Saturday, September 29, 2007

Noah is six months old today. I am a little sad that the first year of his life is already half over, but at the same time I am really looking forward to all the things he's going to accomplish in the next six months. In honor of his half-birthday, I was going to post his birth story, but I'm going to have to think about that a little more. Maybe I'll put it up tomorrow.

Toady we went to the Lee's Summit Octoberfest. We were trying to go to see Emma's dance class perform, but we accidentally went to the wrong stage and ended up watching a brat eating contest instead. Woo. Emma loved the carnival part, and was a lot more brave on the rides than I expected. She and I rode the Scrambler and afterwards I asked her if she liked it and she said, "That was the most fun in my whole life!" Before we left, all four of us rode the Ferris wheel together and I think she and Noah were in awe. We've never been to Worlds of Fun, but she loved the rides so much that I think we're going to try to go there before the season is over.

Tonight we went out to dinner - the first time all week! I think that's a record for us!
When I was transferring my things to my new bag, I realized that I've been carrying around this big old wallet with nothing in it but my license and insurance cards. I turned to my trusty Bend the Rules Sewing book (again) and sewed this little wallet, which is perfect for what I need (even though the button is completely off center).
What was not so perfect, however, was my attention to the seam allowances because at first my cards didn't fit in it. After a little ripping and some more sewing, my license and insurance cards are fitting snugly in their new home.
Emma is really into doling out the compliments these days. Pretty much any time I make something, no matter what it is, she says, "Mommy, you are such a wonderful cook." She also tells me that she loves me many times every day, and often says things like, "You are a very kind and amazing mommy." What a sweet kiddo. Ha ha - as I was typing this paragraph, she wandered in the room, looked at me in my old ratty shirt, glasses, and messy ponytail, and told me I looked fabulous. Well, so what if she has low standards?

Last night I made Pumpkin Turkey Chili (with added corn, kidney beans, and chicken stock) for dinner. I'll admit, I was a bit skeptical at first. Steve got home just as I was opening the can of pumpkin and I hid it while he was in the kitchen so he wouldn't scoff at the new chili recipe. It was fabulous! It was so good that Emma and I ate it for breakfast and lunch today too. YUM!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Emma has spent the last two days painting. The first day it was great because it kept her busy all day. Yesterday, though, she became determined to paint pictures of dresses. For some reason she thinks she can't do this herself, which translates into ME painting lots of pictures of dresses. When I tried to encourage her to do it herself, she'd paint like a single line, then exclaim in frustration and throw the whole page away. To avoid this (as well as my having to paint any more dresses) I think I'm going to put the paints away this morning before she wakes up.

As time allows, I have been busy embroidering this week. I have never really embroidered anything until I got my Sublime Stitching book last week, but I'm really, really enjoying it. After Noah is asleep at night I make some tea and curl up on the couch with my project. Pulling the thread through the fabric up and down, over and over, feels really peaceful and almost meditative.Last night I made Roasted Fall Vegetables to go with our dinner. I wanted to use the leftovers to make Roasted Fall Vegetable Soup today, but the vegetables were so delicious that we ate them all last night. (Never mind that the recipe makes twelve servings.) Emma said, "Can we have butternut squash every day now?" I really had my heart set on some of that soup, however, so this morning we're going to the store to stock up on those yummy fall vegetables.

For this morning, the perfect Fall breakfast: Spicy Pear Bread (I used all whole wheat flour and subbed applesauce for 3/4 of the oil. Delicious!) and hot tea with a hint of honey and vanilla soymilk. Mmmmmmm.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

For what seems like ages, I have been on a quest for the perfect bag/purse. (I hate the word purse. It seems way too frilly for me or something.) Several months ago I bought a Jansport sling bag, thinking it would be perfect: no flopping off my shoulder when I'm lugging children around, big enough to carry plenty of necessities, and conveniently on my back and out of the way most of the time. It served me well for awhile, but now that Noah is a little older I don't need to carry around as much stuff, and it's seeming way too big and cumbersome. While trying to come up with something better, I realized that a fanny pack would actually be the ideal bag for me. However, I have a little too much self respect to go around sporting a fanny pack, so last night I sewed this.I carried it with me today on all our errands and I like it fine, for now. It's from Bend the Rules Sewing, but I changed the pattern around a little bit by extending the handles and adding a pocket on the inside.

We went to a birthday party yesterday for two sweet little girls, and brought them these appliqued totes (also from Bend the Rules), and matching crayon rolls.Last week I found out that Emma's dance teacher prefers that the parents only watch once a month, so tonight I just dropped Emma off at class. I think I'm going to use this time every week to do the grocery shopping, which will be nice with only one kid. Tonight, though, it didn't go very well. I got everything we needed in plenty of time, but all the checkout lines were super long. On top of that, I chose the line with the World's Slowest Checker. She was clearly new and had to keep calling the manager over for help, which took forever. By the time it was my turn, Emma's class was already over and I considered just leaving all my groceries sitting there and going to get her because I was worried that her teacher was going to be mad and Emma was going to be upset. The checker was fiddling (ever so slowly) with the bags, so I told her I'd bag the stuff up while she scanned everything, and then she couldn't find the number to type in for apples. I told her I was in a big hurry and to forget the apples, and she was like, "No, I'll find it...hmmm...I know it's here..." AHHH! Forget the freaking apples already! Anyway, I ended up being in that line for over 30 minutes, and I was 17 minutes late picking up Emma. When I finally got there, Emma was sitting on her teacher's lap "helping" her teach the big girl class, so I think I was really the only one worried about it. Her teacher is so incredibly nice, thank goodness.
Today at the thrift store I got a big bag of fabric. The grand total? Forty-nine cents!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Emma draws the cutest pictures, and I really want to embroider some of them and make them into a quilt. Sort of like this one. Because if there's one thing I need, it's another project for which I have no time. Still, the embroidery will be a good project for when I'm riding in the car. Usually I knit while in the car, but I haven't been in the mood for knitting much lately so this will be better.

I took this picture today at the park. Isn't it sweet?

Saturday, September 22, 2007

This morning we had plans to meet friends at the zoo at 10:00. Why I would ever make plans to be somewhere at 10:00, I don't know. It seems that every single time I end up calling the person and saying, "Uhhh...can we meet later?" Today was no different. Emma was up until after 1:30 last night so I knew waking her up would mean trouble. Because of that, this morning I was all gung ho about trying to get into some sort of routine and actually have some semblance of order in our lives. I guess throughout the day my resolution waned because now it's 1:31 and Emma is currently sitting on the floor next to me, munching on carrots. One of these days, maybe.

Emma has a very, um, eccentric clothing style. The little fashionista thinks nothing of wearing her flower girl dress to the grocery store, or my old First Communion dress to the park. She puts a lot of thought into what she wears, and changes her clothes many, many times every day. Today, as we were pulling out of the driveway on our way to the zoo, Emma (who never, ever wears socks) suddenly implored me to go back to the house to get her some socks. The pink ones, with the bears on them. "Please, please, please! I really need those socks! Oh, please, please, please!" As I was pulling back into the driveway, I asked her why she wanted those particular socks. She looked at me and said, "How can you expect me to go to the zoo if I don't have animals on my socks?" Right. What could I have been thinking?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

We got another swap package today, this time with some adorable knitted fruit. Right away Emma whipped up some "fruit soup", which Noah thought was delicious. Emma was pretty militant about him not putting it in is mouth though, so he didn't get to play with the fruit for very long.I've been looking for an exersaucer, and today I found a good deal for one on craigslist. Noah needs somewhere to hang out while I take a shower, and he's outgrown the bouncy seat. I'm not a huge fan of contraptions that allow people to stick their babies in and forget about them, but so far he doesn't seem to mind.
Where did the Fall weather go? We turned our air off last week and it's been heavenly with the windows open every day, but the temperature has been creeping back up, and today it got to be a little too much. The kids and I were pretty much sweltering in here all day but I was trying to tough it out. That turned out to be a waste, because as soon as Steve got home tonight he turned the air back on. That was at about 10:00 so the worst was over by then, but it does feel much better in here now. I want the chillier weather back, because I am so ready to start making soup and wearing sweaters!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Steve worked from home today, so it sort of seemed like an extension of an already fun weekend. My high school reunion was fine. Seeing all those people again brought back a lot of memories, and made me so glad I am not in high school anymore! Everything is so much better right now and I am much happier than I was then, so if nothing else, the reunion made me appreciate my current life a little more. The kids did great with my parents. They were there for about 2.5 hours, and then Noah started to get cranky so my mom loaded them in the car and brought them to us at the reunion. I was so happy to see them! Steve and I sat in the van with them for awhile while Noah nursed, and then they left to go back home and Steve and I went back inside. By that time though, I felt like I'd seen everyone I wanted to see and I knew I'd be having more fun back at my mom's house playing with Emma and Noah and beating my mom at Scrabble. We said the good-byes, and left. (And I did beat my mom at Scrabble that night, and twice the next day. Even though Steve won't play with me anymore, it appears I still have mad Scrabble skills.)

We got a great swap package in the mail today. Noah got these jingly patchwork balls
and Emma got this dress. I know she will wear this a ton this winter. The lady who made these things for us also sewed Emma a cute pair of underwear that she loves. I love swaps!
Tonight both kids were in bed at 9:30 (!) so I had a bunch of time to sew and I also finally got started cutting the fabric for Noah's quilt.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Tomorrow we are going to St. Louis to attend my high school reunion. It will be my first time being away from Noah. I know he will be in good hands with my parents, but that doesn't stop me from feeling a little guilty for leaving him when he's so young. Thankfully, the reunion is being held just a few miles from my parents' house so they are going to bring him to me mid-evening so he can nurse.

I just ordered these books from amazon and I'm so excited!

Friday, September 14, 2007

I'm not doing so great with the dinner cooking thing. Yesterday at 11:00 I threw a roast in the crock pot and made some yummy barbecue sauce to pour over it. All day I was looking forward to sandwiches, but we were in and out of the house so I didn't check on it until 4:00. Guess who turned the crock pot ON, but didn't plug it IN? Yeah, that would be me. Argh! So not only we were left with nothing for dinner, but the meat was ruined as well. We ended up running to the store for a frozen pizza. Hey, at least we didn't go out. Then tonight I had a nice dinner all planned out, but I found out Steve wasn't going to be home so Emma and I just grazed on random snacks throughout the evening.

I started this post over five hours ago, and now it's late and I want to go to bed, so I'm going to make it easy on myself and just post a few random pictures.

Steve took some clients to the Royals game yesterday, but was home the rest of the day so Emma had plenty of time to sucker him into drawing princesses with her.A couple finished items: some more napkinsand some pincushions for a swap. The pincushions are supposed to have a Fall theme, so I tried to pick some Fall-looking fabrics and as a result I think they are pretty unexciting. (I'm sure that some, if not all of you, are asking yourselves, "There's such a thing as an exciting pincushion?")And one last thing - here is the sweet boy playing with his papa.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

It's finally cooling off around here a bit, and it's wonderful! Today we turned off the air and opened all the windows. The kids and I planned to take a short walk this afternoon, but it turned into a long walk because the weather was so great that we didn't want to go inside. We stopped at the park on the way back, and my big boy got to try out the swings for the first time. Doesn't he look all grown up?He seemed to enjoy himself, although Emma was disappointed that he couldn't swing very high.

This is his favorite activity - sucking and gnawing on his chubby little hands. They are never not in his mouth.Tonight I got a bunch of sewing done. I have some swap deadlines and birthdays coming up and I was getting a little nervous because I haven't had much time to sew lately, but now I'm pretty much caught up. I'll take some pictures tomorrow, but most of the stuff I finished is for gifts so I can't show those yet.

Here is tonight's dinner - beef stroganoff, squash, and strawberries. The picture is no good, but it's all I could get because a certain husband of mine was not very keen on waiting while I tried to get a decent picture of the food.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Today was kind of a weird day. We had a fun time at the arboretum this morning with some friends, and afterwards I was planning on running some errands and going home to do some desperately needed cleaning and laundry. As soon as we left the arboretum, I started feeling pretty rotten. Within a few minutes my head was throbbing and I felt like I could hardly stay awake. We went home and the kids and I crawled into bed for a four hour nap. When I woke up, I still had a horrendous headache but luckily Steve was on his way home by then. After a few more minutes of agonizing malady and feeling very sorry for myself, I went in the bathroom and threw up and within five minutes I was completely fine. Strange.

Tonight was Emma's first dance class, and it was so darn cute! She was completely in her element, what with all the singing and skipping and hand-holding they did in the class. I think Steve and I sat there the whole time with big, goofy grins on our faces. We all liked the teacher a lot. Earlier, when I was sick, memories of early pregnancy were flooding back a little too clearly and I was questioning ever going through that again to have another baby. Later on at the dance class, though, I watched Emma prancing around proudly in her little pink tutu, then looked at my sweet Noah gleefully gnawing on his fists, and I knew that of course I will do it again. Because they're so very much worth it.

On the agenda for tomorrow - lots and lots and lots of cleaning and laundry. I'm ecstatic.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

My ten year high school reunion is next weekend, and I've been planning on wearing something I already own. Since I get dressed up pretty much, oh, never, I don't have many things from which to choose. This afternoon at the mall I found a dress that I thought was pretty cute and really comfortable, which is a huge bonus. I bought it, planning on wearing it to the reunion. When we got home and I tried it on for Steve, he said it looked more like pajamas than a dress. Rats. I've been wearing it all evening (I told you it was comfortable!) and he keeps calling it my house dress. It seems I will not be wearing it to the reunion.

Right before we left the mall today, we stopped and got a big pretzel to eat. I was pushing Emma in the stroller, carrying Noah in the sling, and trying to juggle my bag, our pretzel, and our drink all at the same time. I managed to get a couple napkins pulled out of the dispenser and I dropped them in Emma's lap and asked her to carry them. She sighed and said, "Why do I always have to carry everything?" Heh. She has no idea.
We got this great handmade tutu in the mail today for a swap.Emma didn't see me open it, and I haven't shown it to her yet because I can't decide if I want to wait and give it to her for Christmas. My goal this year is to give my kids all handmade presents for Christmas. (Well, except for this camera, which we are probably going to get for Emma.) Saving this tutu for her would be a good start to their Christmas stash.

I'm probably going to be posting more food pictures here in the near future because that is good motivation for me to actually get something on the table. I like to cook. Really. It's the whole planning the menu and going to the store part that I hate. Once I get started planning a week's worth of meals, it's not so bad and I actually find things that I am excited to make. Still, for some reason, that task always seems so daunting that I end up going to the store and grabbing stuff for one meal, then having to go back to the store in a day or two to get more stuff, and then back again a day or two later. Today I went to the store and stocked up, so this week I should be able to get a good meal on the table every night - starting tomorrow because tonight we bypassed all the good fresh food in favor of some leftover pizza.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

I've been wanting a prettier blog, so bear with me while I tinker around with the settings. I am clueless when it comes to HTML, so "pretty" may not be the right word for whatever I end up with. The picture at the top is pretty random, but will do for now. I'd like to get a shot of Emma and Noah sleeping, but that would require them to both actually be asleep at the same time. So, in other words, don't hold your breath.

Friday, September 07, 2007

More fun times with my grandma today. There was building little houses with dominoes, reading books, playing outside, cooking, dancing, Candy Land, and Scrabble. Sadly, she is leaving tomorrow morning. What is not quite as sad, but close, is that I have to get up at 6:20 tomorrow morning and drag the kids out of bed to get to the train station bright and early. Eek. I am hoping we can come home afterwards and go back to bed.

I went in the yard today! I helped my grandma carry something out for the trash pickup, and I was very nervous the whole time but we didn't see any snakes. Whew! She and Emma did see one later in our abandoned garden, so I know they are still lurking around, just waiting to slither up and scare folks. (And by that I mean me.)

I better get to bed because 6:20 is going to come really fast. Night.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

My grandma is staying with us for a few days, which is great because I love when anyone in my family visits. Today we went to the farmer's market and ran a couple more errands. It's amazing how much easier it is to go places when there is an even ratio of kids to adults! Since the weather is starting to be slightly less unbearably hot, this afternoon we walked to the park. Another benefit of having my grandma here is that I have a Scrabble partner. Steve refuses to play since the "reforks" incident. Lame. Whenever I'm at my mom's we always try to fit in as many games as we can, and I'm hoping to play at least one more with my grandma before she goes home. Apparently I have become some sort of geeky Scrabble addict.

You know the whole potty thing that, for SO long, Emma swore she couldn't do? Well, it's been over two weeks since I banned the diapers, and that kid has not had a single accident. She rocks. We've even packed away the potty chair already. We always told her that she could go to dance class when she stopped wearing diapers, and next Monday is her first class. I think I might be more excited than she is!

A couple little sewing projects from last week...

These coasters were a housewarming gift for my brother and SIL,

and this checkbook cover was for my mom. I pretty much stole the idea for the checkbook cover from here.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Our mail lady's first grandchild was born last week and a few days ago she brought pictures to show us. She - the mail lady - is always so sweet and friendly to us, so I sewed this reversible bib for her new granddaughter. The bib is modeled, of course, by the lovely and talented Emma.

I have serious difficulty sewing straight lines, but it hasn't been too noticeable in my past projects. I'm discovering, however, that when doing any sort of patchwork, crooked lines are painfully obvious. I'm going to have to polish my sewing skills a bit, or just get used to making crooked things.

The kids and I are going to my mom's tomorrow. Steve is supposed to work on the office/future kids' bedroom while we are gone, but I'm not holding my breath. It would be nice for little Noah to finally have a bedroom, though. You know, before Emma was born we went out and bought a new crib along with a dresser/changing table combo. We regret buying both of those because the crib was probably used for all of about 15 minutes, and we should have bought a used dresser that actually wasn't a huge waste of space with only three drawers. You'd think I would have learned my lesson, but before Noah was born I was certain that he needed a dresser. We bought one off amazon, and that same dresser is still sitting in a box in our hallway five months later. Clearly, the guy does not need a dresser. I wonder if we can return something after that much time has passed. It's probably worth looking into, I suppose.
Ahhh...the weather is finally cooling off a bit and it's SO nice. The trouble with that is now I have no excuse not to get outside and start making good use of the jogging stroller. For some reason (sanity, maybe?) I don't have the urge to run like I did earlier this summer, but maybe if I start walking then I'll feel more motivated.

Steve was out of town for a few days this week, and boy, was I happy to have him back! Two years ago he was gone for 36 weeks out of the year, and I think if he had to travel that much now I would probably be losing my mind a little bit.

I don't have much else to write, and I'm about to fall asleep here, so I will leave you with a couple pictures of this spectacularly cute little guy, who happens to be getting big way too fast.