Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Gah! I just lost to Steve in what was probably the greatest comeback in the history of Scrabble. I was beating him by almost 100 points, and in the end he overtook me and won by a measly three points! All thanks to the stupid Z, which I picked up on my very last turn and was unable to play.

The only good thing is that I was able to work on the binding for the quilt I'm making for Emma. I'm quite possibly the slowest hand stitcher in the world, but little by little I'm making progress, and I expect to have the quilt finished in the next few days. I'm already excited about planning a quilt for Noah.

Despite my resolve to have Emma wearing underwear this week, she is still in diapers. After thirty minutes of her following me around with a diaper this morning, crying and begging me to put it on, I gave in. I can't make her do it, and as much as I am sick to death of changing her diapers, I guess I have no choice but to just wait until she wants to do it on her own. Blah.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Today I went to the bank and wrote a check for cash. I normally carry around absolutely zero cash, and I have to keep double-checking now because I keep thinking I'm going to lose the money I got. And don't even get me started on having to get both kids out of the car and takeSteve and I pay for everything with our debit cards. He lost his last week, so we had to cancel them both, and are now impatiently waiting 7-10 business days to get our new ones. This is proving to be a rather large annoyance. Yesterday I had to write a check at two different places, and I'm certain that both times the cashier was thinking, "What does she think this is? 1987?" them into QT to pay for gas. I've only been without one for two days, but I'm already feeling very appreciative of whoever invented debit cards.

Noah is such a doll. When Emma was a baby, I remember thinking that she was so great that I couldn't wait to have another baby. I feel the same way with Noah. He simply could not be any sweeter and, really, is there anything more heartwarming than a smiling baby? He is such a mama's boy and is always perfectly content as long as he is in my arms. If he falls asleep and I try to lay him down, he wakes up immediately but goes right back to sleep the second I pick him up. This can be a tiny bit frustrating sometimes, but mostly I love holding him and it makes me happy that he finds me so comforting. Some day I won't have any babies to hold, but (in the midst of a mad frenzy of doing all the things I always wanted to do but never had time for) I'll be happy that I held my babies as much as I could when I had the chance.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Emma is completely and totally potty trained, except for one thing - she refuses to stop wearing diapers. She actually goes into the bathroom and sits on her potty whenever she has to go, then comes out and announces that she needs her diaper changed. Weird. I've been trying to let her do this at her own pace, and mostly it's not a big deal. However, she always seems to poop when I am holding a sleeping baby, and I am tired of having to wake him up (because he wakes up immediately when I lay him down) to change her dirty diapers. So, starting Monday, no more diapers for her. She is not pleased about it, but I hope she will adjust quickly. I don't want it to turn into a big power struggle, but this is really getting a little ridiculous. Assuming this actually works, I will be selling off half of my beautiful diaper stash. That part is a little sad, but not sad enough to keep me from doing it!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Yesterday I went to Joann's to buy some fabric to make this bag. I wasn't real impressed with their selection of canvas and I can't leave Joann's empty-handed, so I decided to buy fabric to make a quilt for Emma instead. I started to pick out the fabrics I wanted to use, but then I realized that they were probably not what Emma would pick herself. I replaced the ones I had, and let her pick out all the fabric for her quilt. She actually did a decent job, and this way it really will be her quilt. Provided I ever finish it, of course. I did get started on it last night so stay tuned for pictures of the work-in-progress.

I have a new plan about which I am very excited. A lot of my family members enjoy listening to audio books, but I have always maintained that I would much rather listen to music instead. Today I was lamenting the lack of time I have for book reading, and suddenly a light bulb went on and I realized that listening to audio books would totally solve that problem. Duh. Why didn't I want to do this before? Hopefully the incessant chattering of a certain little someone will not make it too difficult to follow along. I requested two books on CD from the library - A People's History of the United States, and the first Harry Potter book. I think I'm the only one in the world who has not read the Harry Potter books, and I'm interested in seeing what all the hoopla is about.

I used to be a stickler about not letting Emma see any commercials. I have gotten pretty lax about that, mostly because the only things we ever watch are Royals games and the Food Network and both of those have commercials. I usually just leave them on and hope they are not really influencing her. Today when we were eating lunch, she mentioned that there was a commercial that said kids can't eat too much food. I absentmindedly asked her what the commercial was for, and as if she were getting paid for it, she said, "Hidden Valley Ranch! It makes vegetables delectable!" Heh - so much for not influencing her.

A few months ago, Vegetarian Times had a recipe for Peanut Butter Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips. We've made it a bunch of times since then, and I just have to share because it's so yummy. I'm eating a slice of it right now - yum!

Peanut Butter Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips

1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup light brown sugar or raw sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 medium bananas, mashed
1/3 cup unsweetened crunchy peanut butter
1/4 cup plain fat-free yogurt
1 large egg
2 Tbs. canola oil
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Coat standard loaf pan with cooking spray. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl.
2. Whisk together mashed bananas, peanut butter, yogurt, egg and oil. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture until combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Scrape batter into prepared loaf pan.
3. Bake 40 to 50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it. Cool on rack 15 minutes before unmolding. Cool completely, then slice and serve.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Last time I wrote, we were about to head back home late that night. At the absolute last minute, we instead decided to go to Chicago. My mom and her sisters were taking my grandma there to celebrate her birthday, and I thought it would be fun to accompany them. Thursday we drove to my aunt's house in Indiana, then took the train into downtown Chicago. We managed to cram in as much fun stuff as we could during the two days we were there. I carried Noah in the sling while we trekked all over the city, and my shoulder is still recovering.

When I changed my insurance after I got my new car, I told the guy I don't drive it to work and he said, "So since you only use it for recreation, you probably drive about 10,000 miles a year?" I said I guessed so, but yesterday I realized that I have put over 8,000 miles on it since I got it - and that wasn't even four months ago!

I've decided that next year I'm going to stop being such a wimp about the snakes and plant some milkweeds. My mom has a bunch of them at her house and apparently they are the only thing the caterpillars that turn into Monarch butterflies will eat. Her little patch of milkweeds is full of these caterpillars. Once they've eaten for a couple weeks and become fat, they crawl over to the house and build a little cocoon somewhere. There are tons of these things all around my parents' patio. I want to have these at our house because I think it would be really interesting and a great learning experience for Emma. For that reason, I am going to spend all winter building up enough courage to actually go into our yard and plant this stuff.

And, of course, more pictures:

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

We ended up having a great time while swimming on Monday - except for a small catastrophe - and I'm planning on taking the kids to the pool a lot for the rest of the summer because we had so much fun. The small catastrophe occurred while Emma was riding in a little floaty thing and I was sitting by the pool watching her. I looked away for one second, and when I looked back she had flipped over and was stuck upside down, under water in the floaty thing! Her little legs were just kicking in the air as she struggled to flip back over. I jumped up yelling and, luckily, another adult was nearby to reach over and flip her back over. She was pretty upset, but seemed to get over it in a few minutes. I, however, could not stop shaking for quite awhile afterwards. After this I will always be super vigilant in the water and never stop watching her for even a split second. That was SO scary, but it's even scarier to think about what might have happened if no one had seen her soon enough. Shudder.

We've been at my mom's since Monday. It's so nice to be here and have other people around for adult conversation all day. I'm also not complaining about the extra help I get with the kiddos while I'm here. Tonight my mom and grandma are taking Emma to see a Peter Pan play, and I'm planning to drive us back home afterwards. I'm hoping to leave here at 11:30 tonight, which will put us home around 2:30 a.m. That way I can be pretty sure both kids will sleep the whole way, and I am very much looking forward to a few hours to be alone with my thoughts and my music. Just to be safe, I will definitely have to tank up on coffee before we leave.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Why do cherries have to be so dang expensive? I guess it might be because they are possibly the most delicious food ever. I cannot get enough cherries these days. I just bought two pounds of them yesterday, and they were gone by this morning so today I bought two more pounds at Target. I swear, I could live on cherries and iced coffee.

The kids and I are going to a swimming playgroup tomorrow. I'm a tad nervous because I'm not sure how well I'll be able to handle both kids in the water. I didn't really want to wear any of my regular slings in the water, but didn't think I could take both kids in the pool without one, so I whipped up this pouch. It's pretty terrible - I didn't even hem the edges - but it only took me about three minutes. It'll be fine just for swimming days, however. The whole time I was thinking that the WAHMs who make pouches are really cashing in because those things are super easy to make.

The kids and I are going to my mom's house tomorrow. I'm also somewhat nervous about that because it's anybody's guess how well Noah will do in the car. Keeping my fingers crossed for am uneventful trip with lots of sleeping from the two kiddos.

A few pics from my brother's wedding two weeks ago...

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Emma has had a weird schedule going on all week. She stays up late, sleeps late in the morning, and takes her nap around 5:00. The last three nights when Steve and I have gone to bed at 12:30 or so, she has stayed up to watch the Food Network (which is her new favorite pastime). She's up right now, reading books by herself in the living room, and tomorrow she'll probably sleep until noon again. I'm all for letting someone choose his or her own schedule, but I'm wondering what's going to happen when we have to actually be somewhere in the morning. I can't say I blame her, though. I would totally stay up really late and sleep late every morning if I knew Noah wasn't going to wake me up and if I didn't feel like a lazy slug for doing so.

I think I'm partly to blame for her weird schedule, due to a recent epiphany I had. For ages, I relied on Emma's nap as the only time when I could get anything done. I looked forward to it every day and was always disappointed when she woke up because my "me" time was over. I have now come to realize that I no longer care if she takes a nap or what time she goes to bed. She is self-reliant enough that I can still do a lot of what I want whenever she is awake. In fact, she often asks me if I want to sew because she wants to go down in the basement and play and she wants me to be down there with her. So, now that I am not fervently awaiting any time when she will be asleep and also because she is generally very pleasant to be around, I don't really make the effort to get her to sleep. Is that bad parenting, I wonder?

Check out these cupcakes.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

I want to record some cute things that Emma does so I don't forget them when she is older.

- She is fascinated with convertibles. Whenever we see one, she yells out, "A CAR WITH NO CEILING!" I always point them out to her also so she won't miss any. One day we were all in the car and Emma was asleep, but I pointed out several to Steve, just out of habit, I guess. Finally he reminded me that he is not that impressed with cars with no ceilings and I don't really have to point them out to him.
- She has concocted a "soup" made of beads, sequins, and buttons that she cooks and serves to us many times each day. Because of this, at any given time our house is completely littered with these items.
- She will come to me and ask, "Can I do your eyebrows?" Then she uses a special comb and a golf tee, of all things, to meticulously comb and "arrange" my eyebrows.
- She often starts stories with, "When I was a kid..." or "When I was little...".
- She has an imaginary friend named Sarah, and almost every day she and Sarah have a party for Sarah's birthday. Sarah is all sorts of ages, but most often she is turning five or sixteen.
- She likes to tell us stories about random people, and these stories often start like, "My daughter's husband..." or "Did you know my son's neighbor..." We ask her what are the names of these people and they are always crazy things like Ozria and See-no-ina.
- She says, "I am shy to (fill in the blank)" and "I am brave with (fill in the blank)".
- When she misspeaks, she will say "excuse me" and then say it again correctly.

So Noah isn't left out, here is the handsome man modeling a pair of longies I knitted for him a few months ago.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Today we had our first Parents as Teachers appointment since Noah was born. In the past, she has said things that I know are wrong (i.e. breastfeeding during pregnancy takes nutrients from the baby), and more than once she has asked how we are going to deal with the "problem" of getting our kids out of our bed. Fine, whatever. We stick with the program because Emma likes it when this lady comes and plays games with her, and when she is here I just try to give her information and maybe open her eyes to a different way of doing things. Today was especially annoying, though.

- She asked what hospital we went to for Noah's birth. When I told her he was born at home, she put her hands to her face and said, "Oh, no! That was pretty risky, wasn't it? Especially after a C-section?" Um, no.
- She asked if Emma was still nursing. I told her about the weaning party, and then that Emma still nurses when she wakes up in the morning and that is working great for both of us. She incredulously asked me if I've ever met anyone else who nursed as long as Emma. I assured her that I have.
- She said, "And you're all sleeping in the same bed?" I said yes, and she asked me how we all manage to fit. I told her where we each sleep in the bed, and then she said, "Well, I'm not allowed to tell you what to do, but I do need to tell you that sleeping in the same bed with an infant increases the risk of SIDS." Again, um, no.
- She asked what I will do if one of the kids gets sick while they are both nursing. I was a little confused and she explained that she was worried they might spread germs that way. I wasn't sure about that one, but I had never heard of it being a concern before. I just looked it up (it's not) so I'm emailing her the info so she doesn't incorrectly mention that to anyone else.

So after she'd say something with which I disagreed, I'd always start in with, "Well, actually..." and give her my information. I think it's unlikely that she'll go research these things herself, and will probably instead just write me off as being completely loony, but oh well. Overall, I do like her, and like I said, Emma likes her a lot too. So I'll continue to share my information with her, and hope that she is not out spreading misinformation to other unsuspecting folks.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Steve has to work this week, and after having him around for two weeks, we are missing him today. Apparently I was taking two weeks off too, because this morning I woke up and realized that our house is a disaster. Today has been all about cleaning, although for some reason nothing seems to actually be clean yet. Sometimes I get this crazy cleaning energy and start dusting the ceiling fans and washing the windows and other stuff I rarely do, then after all that work I look around at all the toys on the floor and dishes on the table and it seems like, for all my efforts, I deserve to have a cleaner house.

Over a year ago, I was knitting a log cabin blanket, but the blocks started getting too long and taking forever, and I got tired of it and stopped working on it. It's been sitting in the basement collecting dust, but the other night I decided to use it instead of letting it sit there unfinished forever. I figured it would be a perfect Noah-sized blanket, so I cast off, sewed some fabric on one side, and now I have one less unfinished project sitting in my basement. Emma has decided it's hers now, but here is an action shot with it's intended owner.

And, a couple more pictures of the kids from over the weekend:

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Last night we were planning to go to the Royals game, then watch the fireworks there afterwards. It started raining so we decided to skip the game and go out to eat instead. We were going to go see some fireworks later on if it stopped raining, but both kids fell asleep on the way home from dinner. Having both kids in bed at 8:30 is way more exciting to me than any fireworks could ever be!

I was able to sew another pair of little overalls for Noah. Something is not right about them, though. The legs and snaps are wonky and the whole outfit just doesn't look good. You win some, you lose some, I guess.

Yesterday I bought a rotary cutter and cutting mat at Joann's, and last night I attempted my very first quilting project. Unfortunately, I didn't realize that in order to actually cut straight lines I'd need a clear ruler thingey. So, this attempt is pretty abysmal, but it was still fun. I was going to make it into a pillow, but I'm sure no one wants this pillow sitting around so I think I will finish it up and make a real little quilt out of it. It will be a good learning experience and Emma will like the finished masterpiece for her dolls. Oh, and today I went back to Joann's and bought the ruler thing so my next project should look a little better. At least I hope.

I also added some appliqué to those other yellow overalls I sewed for Noah. The star is boring, but it was my first attempt at appliqué so I wanted to do something simple. I purposely made the stitches uneven because I thought it would make it look sort of artsy (and I also didn't trust myself to make even stitches) but it mostly just looks like a two year old did it.

Emma and Steve have such a great time whenever it's just the two of them. Earlier this week he took her to the mall because she wanted to go play on the playground there, and tonight while I was gone they went to Target and bought her this outfit. Because if there's one thing Emma needs, it's one more fancy dress-up dress right? He also got me a grill pan I've been wanting, so I think I need to leave the two of them alone more often!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

My little brother got married over the weekend. We stayed in the quaint little town of Vandalia, in one really big, cool old house with my parents, brothers, grandmas, and various aunts and uncles and cousins. We had a great time. Emma was the flower girl and I was a bridesmaid. I hope to post some pictures soon, but I didn't get any with my own camera so I have to try to get them from someone else.

I have quite the social life this week, with something going on every single night but Friday. Steve is off all week again, so luckily he doesn't mind staying with Emma while Noah and I go out on the town. Okay, it's not exactly that, but I am having fun at various activities such as Book Club and Mom's Night Out. This Sunday I get to go to a blessingway for my friend Kristen and I am SO looking forward to that!

With everything that has been going on, I have not been so good with the running. I haven't gone in over a week now, and I'm having trouble motivating myself to get back out there. It's so bloody hot!

Remember that whole weaning thing? I was so worried about Emma handling it that I didn't even think about myself and how uncomfortable it might be for me. She was clearly sad about it, but didn't cry any more after the first day. However, by the middle of day two I was so engorged that my bridesmaid dress would no longer zip up and I was getting pretty miserable. I broke down and let her nurse. Of course, she kept wanting to nurse again after that. I told her we could if it was a secret. That was fine for a few hours, but then she started telling people that she gets to nurse when we keep it a secret. Great, kid. I'm going to have to have a talk with her about the meaning of "secret". So now we have reached a compromise that she gets to nurse in bed when we wakes up in the morning - and that's it. I'm really happy with this, and she is adjusting to it very well. Yesterday she only asked to nurse a couple times during the day and handled it really well when I told her she couldn't. I'm so relieved!