Monday, March 31, 2008

Too much to do

I have been meaning to update my blog with lots of stuff but I never seem to find the time.

I should post pictures of the kids' quilts. I should post pictures of the DK art auction, although, it isn't that great. I could leave that one out. I've got great pictures of my Easter coffee cake. I need to update the food blog.

DH is out for a meeting that will run late. I had issues putting the kids to bed. J was fine. He's out like a light. A has told me I'm the meanest mom again. I agree that sending her to bed without being able to read is pretty mean. However, it was 8:45 and she came home from school and read instead of doing her homework. She didn't start homework until after dinner and didn't finish until 8:40. I think that she got her reading done for the day and it was time for bed. The 7 year old doesn't quite see it that way and my "mean" reputation is holding strong. (Luckily, she hasn't figured out that there are flashlights in the house yet.) B is still in his crib talking. I had to call DH at the meeting to figure out what was wrong with the modem (it wasn't the modem, it was the router, which explains why restarting the modem wasn't working.) and found out that he let him take a 4 hour nap, because "he thought he needed it." More like, DH got to sit around and watch the Cubs game get rained out in peace while B slept.

Anyway, all of that adds up to it has been a hard night and I'm tired. So instead of pulling pretty pictures off the camera and showing you how talented and gifted we are, I'm going to bed.

Have a good evening.

Friday, March 28, 2008

I'm thinking it is time to potty train

I walked into the playroom this morning to see B standing on the couch, holding a diaper in the air like it was the baby lion in The Lion King. He said to me proudly, "Poo-poo!"

I ran, grabbed the diaper and looked around. Luckily the couch looked safe, he had not sat down sans diaper yet. I then had to figure out how to pick him up without covering myself in poop. I ended up leaning over him, scooping him up in a Heimlich like hold and swinging him down to the ground. Luckily he wasn't that messy and he walked back to the bedroom to finish changing his diaper.

He is obviously unhappy with a soiled diaper. But do I have enough nerves to potty train??? I managed to get out of it with the first two. I should just send him Ms Liane's for a month or so of daycare and she can take care of it for me again.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Bird nesting

The kids made doll quilts over spring break. I had lots of little scraps of fabric in a pile next to my sewing machine. I was trying to figure out what to do with them. DH insisted that I couldn't put them in the recycle bin. I couldn't bring myself to put them in the trash. I remembered something I had seen on the internet. It was a spiral wired basket thing that you filled with yarn scraps and hung in a tree for the birds to use in their nests. I didn't have the basket but I decided to put the fabric out for the birds.

Yesterday I put a few bits of fabric in the crooks of the branches of the little tree/bushes in the backyard. DH laughed at me. But just a few minutes ago, he came to tell me that he saw a bird taking some fabric. I was so excited. Unfortunately, the bird dropped it and it got tangled on another branch. I just spent the last few minutes watching the bird hop and peck at the fabric.

DH told me that I'm a tree hugging geek. I love it!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I should have learned

I finished up the Chicago BIL hat this weekend, it's all ready to give to him. I hope it fits.

I was going to make a new hat for J but since is it already March 18th, there is little chance that he will need to wear a hat before Thanksgiving. I'm putting that one off for awhile.

So back to knitting my touring wrap. Two nights ago, I picked it up and tried to figure out where I left off. I had finished a purl row and I couldn't "read" the stitches to figure out what pattern I had done the row before. I tinked back the whole row and figured out it was a row 7. Last night I picked it up again, purled the row and then finished row 1 of the repeat. Only to discover at the end that I was 1 stitch short. That would mean that I was 1 stitch short back on the row 7. Now I have to undo 2 rows of stitches and figure out where I messed up on the 3rd.

I should have remembered to count to 97 before I ever start a row.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Breaking in the Husky

I got a husqvarna sewing machine for my christmas present. It has been sitting since late December. I've been meaning to get it out & use it. I've been meaning to take the free class that came with the machine. Other things just seem to come first.

So now we're a few hours into spring break and the children are going bonkers already.

I resorted to desperate measures. I promised A that she could make a doll quilt. Simple strips sewn together shouldn't be too hard. Now she's in there sewing. She's the first one to use my machine and it is taking every bit of patience and control I have in my body not to push her aside and say "It's my machine. Let me do it." It's killing me but I'm letting her sew all by herself. She's pinning and sewing and even seam ripping when she pinned wrong. And she hasn't broken the machine or the thread or the needle yet.

It is a lovely machine. I put it on slow speed so it doesn't matter how hard she pushes on the pedal, it only goes so fast. The bobbin thread doesn't get tangled and I don't have to take the whole contraption apart every 15 minutes or so. I can't wait to use it myself!

Even better, A is having a great time. She just ran in here to show me her progress. She was beaming as she told me, "Look, Mommy, I did it all by myself!" See, patience and control is a good thing.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Parade & lollipops

We went down to the Greenville Ave St. Patrick's Day parade this morning. I've never been before. DH & J went last year and had a fun time. A really wanted to go this year.

I had heard stories about the parade crowds and I wasn't enthusiastic about going. Luckily we did it right. We found a spot in the median of Greenville about a 1/2 block south of the start. The kids were able to stand right in front and catch all kinds of beads and candy. We even got 3 t-shirts and a nerf football. I saw footage on the news of the parade further south and I'm glad we weren't down there. Bigger crowds, more alcohol, barricades holding people back, not fun. Just what I didn't want to be a part of, the top of the parade is a much better place to be.

B didn't like the parade for the first hour or so. There was a group of Harley riders at the beginning that stopped right in front of us. They revved their engines and were extremely loud. I looked down at B, knowing he doesn't like noises, and he was shivering like a scared dog. I held my hands over his ears to block out some of the noise, but it pretty much ruined his enjoyment for a long time. After about an hour and 5-6 lollipops, he finally got out of the stroller and waved his hands for beads.

I asked him about the parade this evening. His assessment was:

"LOUD! Ears hurt! Lollipops all gone. More pops, Mommy."

I guess the lollipops won out over the loud noises. Nothing like a dum-dum to soothe a 2 year old.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

update on J's class

So I've been hearing rumors. It seems that one family pulled their child out of J's class because of the behavior of the dessert stealing girl. So, I think the dessert stealing girl is also leaving.

I guess we'll see if the rumor is true or not.

Monday, March 10, 2008

CVS killed the Easter Bunny

I asked A to clear the table for dinner tonight. There were some newspaper inserts, some cups and napkins. Not a hard task, unless you're a 7 year old and then everything asked of you is incredibly difficult. Instead of clearing, A sat down and started looking at the newspaper insert.

Next thing I know she stands up and exclaims, "I was right, there is no Easter Bunny. You guys fill the baskets." I didn't know what to say, so I replied, "What are you talking about?" She said, "Look at this, it proves it!"

I looked at the CVS insert. There across the top of the page was "Fill their baskets with treats they really want."

I told her to bring the paper and follow me. We went to DH's office and I asked Anna to show her dad. He said with his usual parental response, "If you don't believe in the Easter Bunny, then the Easter Bunny won't come." A huffed and turned to me with a sassy, "Mommy?" DH was behind her waving his arms, shaking his head and mouthing "No, don't tell her."

I'm such a bad liar. I didn't know what to do. I finally repeated that the Easter Bunny doesn't come if you don't believe. If she didn't believe then the Easter Bunny would come for her brothers and not for her. I asked her if she believed and she said that she would. I mean, who's going to say no to candy and presents.

Then after we left DH, I pulled her aside and said I didn't care what she believed but she has two little brothers and she could not talk about her doubts in front of them. She agreed. Hopefully they will keep the magic of Santa/Easter Bunny/Tooth Fairy a little bit longer.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

The search is over for now

For the past 4-5 years, DH and I have been on a mission to buy a new kitchen table. We've read the Sunday ads, we've gone to furniture stores. We went through the trouble of collecting multiple coupons for Ikea, drove all the way out BFE (aka Frisco) with the sole purpose of buying a table, only to talk ourselves out of it once we got there.

A few weeks ago we had a slow day. DH decided it was time to take advantage of the Presidents' Day furniture sales because we all should celebrate the fathers of our nation by buying a table. We went to all the standard stores and found nothing. B, who had been dragged through all of this, was starting to get cranky, I was hungry and pretty much grunted my assent when DH suggested going to one more place.

It was an Amish Furniture showroom, hand-built by the Amish (they say.) I walked in and the sales lady started talking. I walked right past her to a table.

For months and years I've been saying that we just need to find someone to make a table for us. Our problem is that most tables are 72" or longer. We needed a table to sit 6 people that was 66-68" long. Very difficult to find, nothing was what I wanted in the size I needed.

I finally found the perfect table. A quarter-sawn oak butcher block top with 3" tapered legs (not to big but not spindly either) in a dark stain with chairs that weren't too tall and comfortable to sit in. It was ridiculously expensive. Okay, probably not that bad in terms of well made furniture, but $4000.00 is beyond our budget at this point in life. I was ready to spend it. They would make the exact table I wanted, it would be perfect.

DH was scared. He put me off for a day or two. Then he saw a news story about Barack Obama going to a a coffee shop in Oak Cliff. (No, he didn't go, it was a fund raiser/rally thing that got misconstrued and it ended up a feature story on the news. That's typical for a Dallas news station.) DH probably doesn't remember what the story was about, but he liked the table that they showed in the coffee shop. He emailed the shop asking about the furniture.

The reply came and the table was from Target. DH started talking sensibly about our budget and upcoming school tuition and all the other things we have need in order to live, you know, essentials like food/electricity/water. For a day or two I stamped my feet like a 3 year old insisting I wanted my table, but I eventually came around. A few days later this arrived at our house. He found the matching benches at a local store and now we have a new kitchen table.

Someday when we win the lottery or get all three kids out of the house, I'm going to buy my amish butcher block table. Just like someday I'll own a duxiana bed and will vacation in Maine. It is nice to have dreams.

LYS is over

The LYS that is across the street from #5 sister is closing. They are suppose to re-open somewhere new the fall. I've been getting emails for the past couple of weeks warning of their closing and announcing their sales. I keep meaning to go but I hadn't gone.

Saturday morning, A had her cookie booth sale. I got her up and announced an hour early that we were leaving on an errand. Once in the car, I told her the true reason for leaving early. I called #5 sister and she met us there.

It was a nice visit. There was still a bit of yarn left. I wandered through, looked, picked up, looked some more but I couldn't bring myself to buy yarn just because it was there. I'm not a stasher at all. I wandered more and found a copy of VLT. I found a pattern for a skirt for #5 sister. She admired a wreath of felted flowers so I bought a noni pattern and told her I would teach her to knit so she could make her own. I still hadn't bought yarn for me, I needed yarn for a project, not just yarn. I decided to knit socks. I found a woman who worked there and told her that I wanted to try knitting socks. She pointed me to the yarn. When we debated what size needles I should use, I bought both sizes. Hey they were 50% off so I was getting 2 for 1 anyway. I'm kind of excited to try and see what all the hoopla is about.

This morning I got an email saying the store was still open today, come on down and buy some more yarn. Well, I couldn't make it but #5 sister could. I sent her over and she bought me a couple of skeins of cascade 220 and some purple cascade 128. I guess I might be a stasher afterall.

By the way, my abbreviations are getting confusing. The oldest sister can be the chicago sister. The other could be calgary sister, but she doesn't live there yet, she's still here in dallas. The next sister could be the other dallas sister and the last one could be the "single, unmarried, childless" one, but I know she hates it when our mother refers to her that way. So I've decided on numbers. #1 is chicago, #2 is dallas/calgary, #4 is the other dallas & #5 is the last one. It's easier that way.

How DH gets me to clean

He asks people over to dinner.

I guess the house was starting to look sloppy. I know the bathrooms needed a good scrubbing, floors needed vacuuming & mopping, dust needed dusting. I'm not motivated to do this all of the time. I do a little here and there, but it rarely all gets done at once. We used to do it together on Saturday mornings. He took half, I took half. We tackled the whole house in an hour or 2. That was before we had 3 kids, 2 old enough to do real stuff. All that real stuff (aka soccer) takes over our weekends.

I should get on a flylady schedule or something. One thing a day and that's it. I've tried it before but the minute I skip a day the schedule all goes to heck.

Well, I guess it was bothering DH because he called me yesterday morning while A was selling girl scout cookies at a local Starbucks and said, "Why don't we invite the Vs over?" I said, "That sounds like a good idea." He replied, "Well, we'll have to clean the house, you know."

See there was the true motivation. It wasn't really about being social, it was all about making me clean. He even rigged it so he went to the store for groceries and I did the cleaning. Okay, that's an exaggeration on my part. I sent him the store because it is easier to clean with him out of the house!

Dinner was good. We even ended up inviting some neighbors from down the street. They are friends with the Vs and we've met them several times. It was an enjoyable evening. We'll probably do it again in a month or so when the house is looking pitiful again.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Cold turkey update

It took 2 hours and 15 minutes for him to fall asleep. B played and talked the whole time. I finally called DH in desperation. There wasn't anything he could do, I just needed to tell someone that the baby wasn't sleeping because he didn't have his paci.

Sure enough, I hung up the phone and realized that I didn't hear him anymore. I waited another 15 minutes, still no noise.

If that was the trick, I should have called DH an hour earlier!

Knitting update

I ripped Koolhaas back the ribbing. I couldn't fix it.

But I've been diligently knitting it back again. Three repeats down, 2 to go. I should have it done with plenty of time before the Chicago BIL gets here for Easter. I just hope it stays cold in Chicago so he can get some use out of it this season.

Cold turkey

We took the pacifier away this week. I was hesitant to do it. I kept putting off the time to take it away. He's my baby. I know we need to. He went to his first dentist visit a week ago and the first thing they asked was, "Does he suck his thumb or use a pacifier?" You can see it in his teeth & they look just like A's teeth. I'm not enjoying the orthodontics we're enduring now, I'd like to avoid it a second time. The longer he uses it, the worse the teeth will be.

So since I couldn't pull the plug, DH did. Sunday night he hid the paci and put B down. Boy was he mad. He kept yelling "Get it, get it, get it!" The first 4 days B cried for it every time we put him down. Sometimes it is was as little as 10 minutes, at least once it was more than 30 minutes. He hasn't been happy about it at all, but he has been sleeping.

Today what I feared most occurred. I put him in his crib for his nap and he didn't cry for the paci. Instead, he's been in there for 1.5 hours and he's still playing. He has read books, played with animals (and probably thrown them out of the crib), jumped up and down repeatedly, and called for me. But no tears. AND NO SLEEP!

I am not ready for him to give up naps. I know that some kids give up naps at this age. I need the nap time. Maybe he'll get exhausted and sleep eventually. My fingers are crossed!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


It is primary day today. I've never voted in a primary before.

And there's a bonus. I can caucus today too. Everything is bigger and better in Texas, you know. You vote in the day then, after the polls close, you go back to caucus. The Democrats actually award a number of delegates based on the caucus. They've talked about it on the news and stuff, but until I read about it in this article, I was still confused. I'll go vote today, but I doubt I'll caucus. We've got soccer practice and dinner and laundry and homework. Too busy.

Of course I still have to decide who I'm voting for. I'm not altogether excited about any of the candidates. Maybe I should vote for Huckabee since he has no chance.

My Dad's Better than Your Dad

Ever since J saw commercials for this show, he's been begging for DH to go on it. I keep telling him that he's not old enough to go on the show. J is fine with that, he says that A can go on with DH instead. He really wants to do this. Every couple of days he'll ask me if I've looked up the rules and figured out how to apply for the show. He hasn't forgotten yet.

So, last night we turned on the tv and guess what was on? Yep, My Dad is Better than Your Dad. J was so excited to watch the show. There wasn't much to it. The kids and dads participate in silly stunts, answer questions and try to beat the other families.

I had a big problem with it. In the middle of the show, they had a commercial for another new show, Lipstick Jungle. The commercial was about how one woman was hot for one man and he was hot for her, but there was a problem. She is already married. There was some heavy kissing going on. This commercial should not be shown during a family show like that, totally inappropriate. DH turned the volume down and I distracted A & J. I guess I've gotten used to watching shows on tivo. You skip the commercials that way. Plus a majority of the shows we watch come from the Disney channel or Nickelodeon. I think I'm going to figure how to complain to NBC.

Monday, March 3, 2008

knitting frustration

I'm knitting the Koolhaas hat for Chicago BIL. I noticed a small mistake in it and decided to try to fix it. It is was about 8 rows down. I dropped the stitches around the mistake planning to knit it back up. I discovered it was not a good idea with this pattern. I'm thinking that I need to frog the whole thing and start over.

Not good. Especially since I need to finish it by March 20th when they come to town. Actually, I need to finish it by March 25th when they leave town.

I'm going to try to figure out how to fix it this morning. If I don't get it done by this afternoon, then frog city here I come.

another one of those weekends

I don't really remember exactly what we did this weekend, but it was too much. Not enough downtime, too much uptime.

I suppose I should be ready for this to continue until B is 18 or so. But I want a weekend where I have time to do what I want. I wanted to go to the yarn store that is closing and I wanted to work in the yard and I need to do a thorough cleaning of my house and A has to deliver girl scout cookies. I didn't get close to any of them.

Maybe by next weekend the weather will be nice and I can steal a minute or two between soccer games & cookie sales and tackle my to do list. Maybe. Someday.