Thursday, June 29, 2006

Today is Steve's birthday. I was going to get him the 24 Playstation game, but he bought it last weekend and said it would count as his present. By now, he's already beat the game so it's like he has no present at all. I was going to bake him a cake, but his dad is taking us out for dinner tonight so it's not like we want to fill up on cake and then go eat a big dinner. Plus, we're going to Cinzetti's (yum!) where dessert is included, so it's not like we want to eat dessert there, and then come home and eat some more cake. So, other than cards from Emma and me, we're doing basically nothing for his birthday. I'm feeling kind of lame about that, but don't know what else to do.

Emma had a bad fall yesterday and scraped up her face. Here she is yesterday (with our farmer's market treasures), but you can't see the scrape that much.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Whenever I'm knitting something and I notice a mistake a few rows back, I just let it go. The whole idea of unraveling stitches is just too scary. I can imagine myself desperately scrambling to stop the unraveling, only to have stitch after stitch, and eventually the whole project, come apart in my hands. Well, today I was about to start decreasing the toe of a sock, and I was congratulating myself on finishing my fastest sock ever. Too bad I had to notice that I completely, totally screwed up the gusset. I tried it on, hoping it wouldn't matter, but no dice. The left side of the ankle was so floppy it probably wouldn't even have fit in a shoe. I had no choice but to unravel the entire foot and fix it. I set to work performing the surgery with my teeniest needles and an itty bitty crochet hook and...I did it! I managed to get back to the gusset and pick up all the stitches with no major unintentional unraveling problems! This means that, if you are someone who can expect to receive a knitted object from me in the future, know that now you can also expect fewer mistakes!

Remember that baby stuff I wanted to get rid of? I put it on, and eight people emailed me expressing interest. Most told me they wanted everything. I emailed them all back, thinking that I'd give it to whoever could come and pick it up first. I only heard back from ONE person, and she said sorry, but she had decided she wanted more girly stuff. The other seven? Nothing. Why did they email me if they didn't want the stuff anyway? So annoying.

Monday, June 26, 2006

So I ended up cutting off the curtains and they look MUCH better. I'm going to use the extra fabric to make pillows (Thanks, Catherine!) as soon as we get a better couch.

Yesterday I deserved some sort of horrible parent award. Emma likes to play in the bathroom sink, which she can reach if she leans over from the tub or the toilet. I'm always worried she's going to slip and fall when she does this, and yesterday when she was playing in there I mentioned it to Steve. He brought in the stool from the garage and put in in front of the sink so Emma could splash and play more safely. After awhile, I noticed that there was no sound coming from the bathroom, so I went back there to investigate. Emma was standing on the stool, which apparently gave her easy access to the medicine cabinet (!), holding a nearly empty bottle of Hyland's Teething Tablets. Her face was smeared with chalky whiteness, she had three of them in her hand, and there were eight on the floor. The bottle originally had 250 tablets, and we hadn't used up very many. All of which led me to believe she'd downed at least a hundred of them. I know they're homeopathic and all, but 100 tablets??? I called poison control, where they assured me she'd be fine. Whew! She was maybe a little irritable the rest of the afternoon, but otherwise seemed okay. How's that for horrible, neglectful parenting? I've been feeling guilty about it all day.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Okay I need some advice. We like the living room curtains, but they make our living room - which is already freakishly small - look even smaller. Here is what they look like, and please excuse the bad picture.

We're thinking it might be better if I just cut off everything but the top 1.5 feet or so, and ran that all the way across. That would give us the benefits of probably not shrinking the room, it would hide the blinds when they are up, and Emma wouldn't be able to wipe her grubby fingers on them all day long. BUT, is that too kitchen-y of a look for living room curtains? We're not sure. What do you think?

Picture this, but with the bottom 3/4 of the fabric gone.

Friday, June 23, 2006

I finished the curtains for the living room. I have no idea why I put those off for six months, because they only took me just over an hour to sew. Pics to come tomorrow after I get Steve-o to hang the curtain rod.

Today was a good day, except for one traumatic incident. We were playing in our backyard with some friends, and having a lovely time. When we tried to go back inside, however, I discovered the lock on the door had flipped shut when we went outside. Poor little Emma was naked and her clothes were wet from being in the pool, and here we were, locked out. This isn't even the traumatic part yet. So we're trying to devise a way to break into the house, when suddenly I almost step on a monster of a snake. He was laying there, looking all black and sinister, and of course I screamed and freaked out and looked like an idiot. Not only that, I just stood there stupidly while my friend walked by the snake to get a chair, then stepped into some dense flower bushes by our garage (which may have been harboring who-knows-what), then hoisted her very limber five-year-old into the garage so she could let us in the house. Tell me, does it seem fair that I, who am probably more scared of snakes than anyone else on this planet, have to live smack dab in the middle of a freaking snake infestation? No, it does not. Stupid snakes.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

I want to learn how to quilt. Someday it'd be nice to make something like this or this, but for now I just want to try a simple quilt with simple squares for our bed. However, I'm not doing that until I finish the curtains for the living room and bedroom. Still, I just requested about ten quilting books from the library so I can soak up plenty of quilting knowledge until then.

I can't think of anything else to blog about so I'm off to sew some curtains!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

I dyed some yarn today. This one turned out okay, but those weren't really the colors I was hoping for.

This one I love, but the picture doesn't accurately represent the colors. They are much better in person.

Emma came up with a game today that kept her busy for hours. She'd color on her arm with a (washable) marker, then stick her arm in a glass of water. The marker would wash off, turning the water whatever color the marker had been. Oh, the excitement!

Last night was the worst night we've had since night-weaning. She woke up around 4:30 and cried to nurse for almost an hour. I kept telling her we'd nurse when it was sunny outside, but of course we were still awake when the sun was coming up, so she eventually just got to nurse. Hopefully that was just a one time thing and tonight is better. I SO don't want to go back to all that night nursing!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Our weekend was good. My mom and dad came to visit, which is always wonderful. They brought my composter, which is wonderful as well.

After months of talking about flying kites, Emma finally got her chance this weekend. Steve and I managed to get the kite in the air, and about thirty seconds later, Emma said, "Get it down. Go swing!" So much for that, I guess.

We did go swing, and Steve impressed us all with his jumping skills. Not to be outdone, my dad and I followed up with some pretty remarkable synchronized jumping action. I know you're impressed, right?

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Emma is a funny kid. She does the weirdest stuff.

Yesterday we were reading a book about five little ducks who get dressed to play in the snow. Emma got so excited about the snow that she put on her own boots, sweater, and hat, and insisted we go outside and play in the snow. When we got outside, she was so disappointed to find no snow that she actually cried. :( Not only did she want to keep wearing the snow garb in ninety degree weather, but she called to everyone who walked by, "Ready for snow!"

Then today she donned a bathrobe and birthday headband and refused to take them off to go to the store. Lots of people stopped to talk to her and she told them all proudly, "Ready for a bath!" They all of course asked her if it was her birthday and she, of course, told them all that it was. I felt like a big old meanie telling them it was, in fact, months after her actual birthday.

Also, she has discovered static electricity. She now asks to watch TV, but only so she can stand right next to it and laugh at her crazy hair.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

I want to learn to make candles. Well, I really want to learn to make soap, but the very first instruction in the soap-making book I got says, "Set aside at least three hours when you know you won't be interrupted." HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!! Yeah, right. So, since candles are apparently easier, I will have to settle for those.

This afternoon we'll make a fun trip to Joann's to get the supples I need. I'm also going to buy fabric to sew curtains for the bedroom - never mind that the fabric I bought six months ago to make living room curtains is still sitting in a nice, folded pile in the basement.

In addition to both of those things that I absolutely must do this week, my cleaning plan is coming along very well. So far this week I've cleaned the living room, our bedroom, the office, and part of the kitchen. I'm talking like cleaning the windows inside and out, moving the fridge and cleaning underneath and behind it, organizing closets and junk drawers - things I never do. I've also been sticking with those little things, like making the bed and wiping off the table all the time. And honestly, I'm loving it! I know that it's only Day Three of my new plan, but I really really really want to keep it up because this clean-house thing is pretty great.

All this cleaning has made me realize one thing: I will never move into another house where I don't have my own room specifically for craft stuff. Yesterday I was at a loss over what to do with all my craft clutter sitting around. See this knitting stuff? And this scrapbooking stuff?

I don't have any place to go with it. The scrapbooking stuff has to stay out because if I put it away I would never talk myself into working on it. And the knitting stuff...well, that's self-explanatory. In the end I consolidated everything on that card table, which is in the office and I'll just have to deal with it's being there. Now I just have to figure out where to go with the soon-to-be-sitting-around candle stuff and sewing stuff.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

I'm thinking about getting Emma a haircut. Some days, her hair is curly and adorable, but other days it's straight and looks very mullet-y. Are part-time curls worth the price of a part-time mullet? I'm not sure yet.

Emma loves to cook lately. We bake things every day, a few of which have been ruined because I tried to make them too healthy. The good news about that is, if Emma helped make it, then by-golly she wants to eat it. She apparently hasn't developed an aversion to eating cardboard yet.

I've been going through piles in our basement in an attempt to reduce the amount of "stuff" we have sitting around. We have a large collection of baby things that were never used or used maybe once or twice and I'm tempted to get rid of them. They take up a lot of space and, if we didn't use them the first time, we probably won't use them for the rest of our kids. Crib, Pack N Play, walker, Diaper Champ, cradle, bath seat, an unopened bouncy seat...hmmm, what to do with these things?

Monday, June 12, 2006

The mess and clutter in this house were really getting to me, so today I implemented a new plan. In addition to regular things - picking up toys, laundry, etc. - I am going to have a set area to clean every weekday. Not just moving the junk, but really deep cleaning. Also, I am going to work on that whole "clean as you go" philosophy, at which I have always been an abysmal failure. I am going to make the bed in the morning, which, really, is a complete waste of time, but will probably help me get into a clean house mode. This may seem like pretty basic stuff, but today I actually did the dishes and wiped down the counters after every meal and after various baking activities. Right now, my living room and hall (today's areas) are cleaner than they've ever been probably, and my kitchen is cleaned up and crumb-free. The dishwasher and washing machine are both running, and it feels GREAT! I am very much looking forward to waking up in a clean house tomorrow morning.

Right now Steve is still at work and Emma is in bed. I have a margarita to drink, a sock to knit, and a baseball game to watch. Ahhhh...this is the life. Toodles!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Lately when we ask Emma not to do something, she quickly retorts, "YES!". She then often contines to do it, which results in a childish exchange of "No!" "YES!" "No!" "YES!". I need to brush up on my redirecting skills. So anyway, today she was trying to play with my scrapbooking stuff, even though she knows it's off-limits. Following another no-yes-no-yes argument, she ended up on the floor in tears after I took away a stamp pad. I left the room to use the bathroom, and moments later she came barging in, pointed her finger at me, and in her toughest little voice said, "You JERK!" I probably shouldn't have, but it was so funny and she was so cute that I laughed and laughed. Of course that made her laugh too and repeat it about 100 times. I asked her where she heard that and she said, "mommy". Oops. I really do say that to Steve a lot when we're joking around. So we had a talk about how we should both try to not say jerk because it might hurt someone's feelings. Now if only I can remember to not say it...

Friday, June 09, 2006

This new knitting stitch, the right way to do it, is getting on my nerves. My stitches keep being all uneven, so for now I'm going to work on making matches for all the lonely socks I've knitted. I have to do those the same way as the others, so I don't have to worry about the new stitch for awhile. At least this way they will actually get done!

Every time we go to Target, we go to the suitcase aisle so Emma can play with the little rolling suitcases that she loves. Since we do a fair amount of traveling, we decided to get her one. She was so excited to pick one out and has been rolling it everywhere since. Last night during dinner, it sat in the fourth chair! Tomorrow we are going to visit Steve's grandpa, and I have been telling her we're going on a little vacation. She's been packed since yesterday, and keeps asking me when we're going to "weave for yittle 'cation".

It's getting HOT outside!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

The worms are history. I still hadn't separated them from the castings, and was getting more and more reluctant to do so because every time I opened the bin I found more creepy crawlies. There were probably more snails slurping their way around in there than I have ever seen all together the whole rest of my life. The final straw was the trio of flies that flew out when I opened it today. Not being one who is fond of waiting around for maggots, I dumped the whole bin in the barren spot in the garden. After it settles a bit, I'll spread it around to the plants. Good-bye, worms. It was nice knowing you.

Today Emma was eating some delicious Chicken Lo Mein from cooking club when she dropped a spaghetti noodle on her foot. She was so amused by this that she demanded, "Mommy, take a funny picture!"

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

This morning I was talking to my mom on the phone. As soon as I hung up, I heard Emma exclaim from down the hall, "Uh-oh! Made a BIG mess!" Swell. She had squirted out my entire new bottle of Burt's Bees lotion and smeared it all over the pillows, comforter, sheets, and nightstand. And I just changed the sheets yesterday! We salvaged what we could and now have the moistest skin ever.

Today I realized that I have been knitting incorrectly! My stitches have been twisted, so now that I know I can actually start knitting the right way. I had no idea! I'm going to rip out my three current projects, which will be tough, but worth it in the long run.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

The night weaning process is over and was a complete success, BUT - now Emma is waking up at 7:00-7:30 in the morning, which is not good. I certainly do not want to get up that early every day, plus she is getting crabby from lack of sleep. At first the whole thing was not nursing in the bed, but a couple days she was up at 6:00, wanting to go out to the couch to nurse. Then I told her we could nurse in the bed, but only when it was sunny outside. The trouble? It gets sunny long before I actually want to get up. It wouldn't be so bad, but it's been taking forever to get her to sleep at night so she's not going to bed any earlier at all. Hopefully this is just an adjustment period and we'll soon be back to sleeping in a little more.

Yesterday I got to go to the yarn store and spend the giftcard I got for my birthday. Yay! I got this

to make this bag, and this

to make this sweater, sans the stripes. The sweater will be the biggest project I've attempted to date, so I'm a tad nervous.

Yesterday I worked on weeding the garden for twenty minutes, and I swear to myself I will never weed the garden without applying bug spray first. My legs look like a bad case of the chicken pox, and are equally itchy. I also promised myself that I would spend 20 minutes every day weeding, but already I'm not doing so well because I never did it today. Sigh.

Friday, June 02, 2006

After ignoring the swing coat for awhile, I finally finished it last night. I think it looks really cute and Emma loves it. Today we went to Joann's and I let her pick out buttons, but I still have to sew them on. The white attached I-cord looks good, I think, so maybe it's for the best that the yarn I got didn't match.

Emma and I really did cook all that stuff yesterday. I was so tired of cooking by the end of the day! Everything was delicious, except the pasta, which was just so-so. And Emma hates the bread we baked, but I think it's fabulous - which is a good thing because we made six loaves! Here is the recipe for the Strawberry-Almond Shortcake. It's from (of course) the Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook by Cathe Olson. (And Grandma, the recipe calls for it to be made into single servings!)

Strawberry-Almond Shortcake

4 cups sliced strawberries
1 to 2 tablespoons honey, brown rice syrup, agave nectar, or maple syrup
1/2 cup almonds
3/4 cup rolled oats
1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter or coconut oil, cut into small pieces
1 egg or egg replacer
1/2 cup milk (dairy or non-dairy)
2 tablespoons honey, brown rice syrup, agave nectar, or maple syrup
Vanilla Yogurt Dessert Topping(2 cups plain yogurt, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 1 tablespoon honey)

Toss strawberries and 1 to 2 tablespoons sweetener gently until fruit is coated.
Preheat oven to 375. Oil baking sheet. Grind almonds and oats to coarse meal in food processor or blender. Mix in flour, baking powder, and salt. In a mixing bowl or food processor, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal.
In separate bowl, beat egg, milk, and 2 tablespoons sweetener together. Add to flour mixture. Stir gently just until mixed. Scoop out 1/4 cup balls of dough and place on prepared bakign sheet. Flatten slightly to about one inch high. Bake 15 minutes, or until edges and bottoms are golden. Cool slightly.
Split warm biscuits in half horizontally. Place one half on place. Cover with fruit and then a layer of topping. Place the other biscuit half on top. Add a little more topping and fruit.

Note: The picture has whipped cream, but only because Steve didn't want yogurt on his. The yogurt was wonderful on ours!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

My worm bin is dreadfully overdue for a clean-up. Most of the bin is worm castings now, and I've just been adding more bedding for awhile, but I can no longer put it off. The castings are toxic to the worms and I don't want them to die. When I got the worms, I didn't think I would mind digging through them to separate them from the castings, but now that that time has come, I'm not looking forward to the task. Sorting through thousands of worms, worm poop, and rotted food just doesn't sound like all that much fun. Go figure.

After a swap this weekend, I'm dropping out of cooking club for a few months. Steve has been complaining about our lack of fresh food for awhile, our freezer is already stuffed with meals, I'm tired of picking through my food to remove onions (which I HATE with a passion), and I am suddenly consumed with this overwhelming urge to cook things. On the menu for today: Avocado-Feta Salsa, Bread, Penne with Vodka Sauce, Bruschetta, and Strawberry Almond Shortcake. Mmmmm!