Wednesday, January 30, 2008

24 hours' worth of antibiotics and it's like we've adopted an entirely new kitten - one with a sense of smell! It must be like a whole new world to him - he's wandering all around the house, sniffing here and there and exploring like he never has.

He apparently hasn't yet figured out that the scent of dog generally means a huge ball of black fur will come ferociously tearing after him at any given moment. Or he doesn't care. Or maybe he thinks it's a sign of love. Heck, maybe it is.

This tail thing also has him pretty confused. His own tail seems especially bothersome, always getting in the way when he turns in circles to lie down, and teasing him mercilessly with it's endless twitching. But, the gigantic blob of black fur also has a tail! What fun! And he has yet to figure out that the reason he gets smacked in the head every time he chomps down on said tail is because it is, in fact, attached to his 100 pound housemate and she doesn't much care to have it bitten.

Dogs are definitely smarter than cats.

Chasing that pesky tail:

Diaper wrestling - it's a new sport!

This is what it looked like the other night when I was ready to go to bed:

Izzy loves her baby. Cora is actually asleep in this picture.


So Chloe was at Mark's house last night. American Idol wasn't on because our TV station had the nerve to catch fire and burn to the ground (how DARE it? Hmphh.) I lost my cable needle and so cannot knit. The lights are out in the craft room so I can't scrapbook. I can't recall ever having been so bored.

So what did I do? I diaper shopped. :-D I bought some absolutely adorable diaper covers for my ever-growing baby. And then I watched 10 Things I Hate About You and mourned the loss of beloved hottie, Heath Ledger. :::sob:::


Our poor dog. She's just trying to lie down and be a good dog, and that silly cat keeps crouching down and then springing high into the air, landing on her tail.


Today is Thursday, my 'me' day. I need to get the grocery shopping done first thing, and dry and fold diapers. I'd like to organize my scrapbooking desk - something that has to be done after every 5 pages or so, or I can't find anything.

I'll probably spend most of the day knitting, scrapbooking, and just chillin' out. I rather look forward to it, though by noon I'll be missing Chloe terribly.

I spent yesterday hanging out at my mom's house all day with the girls. She is so nice to keep me company. :o) We played with her Klick-n-Kut, did some scrapbooking, Chloe and I went in the hot tub, I helped my little brother with his trig homework, and it was just a nice day.

I leave you with one final picture, one I've been trying to capture now for some time.

How could you ever say no to that lip? LOL She has us wrapped around her little finger with that look. (It took 15 tries to get that picture. Which means I sat there with a camera in my baby's face while she was crying. :-X)


Oh my goodness. The cat is actually chasing the dog now.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Over the river and through the woods... the vet we go.

I can deal with a litter box. I can even handle sneezing all the time because I'm still allergic to the little fur ball. But I am officially drawing the line at slimy green cat snot.

And so, we are off to the vet this morning, where he will hopefully fix our kitten. Otherwise, I'm afraid Milo may have to find a new place to live. I feel bad, and I really do like the little guy, but I'm so done with the boogers. Yuck.


So yesterday's plan was to go to craft class at Michael's and then a play date with Cayenna and her boys, so we could get out of the house and not drive each other mad. Except that Michael's cancelled the craft class and Cayenna's boys came down with a cold. So we stayed home all day again. It didn't help that was I was cranky all day. I'm not sure what my problem was, but I was just irritable and pissy. So I decided that Chloe could just watch TV all day. :o\ Okay, not really all day, but it felt like it. She probably watched 3 or 4 hours worth of Sprout. Ah well. It won't kill her, and I otherwise might have. LOL


I've been Tivo-ing some craft shows on DIY - Creative Juice is my favorite, along with B. Original and Scrapbooking. We went down and watched Creative Juice last night - Chloe was as into as I was. They showed some different things you can do with a Bedazzler. Get this - I still have my Bedazzler, the one my mom bought back in the late 80's. I guess they've come out with it again recently, but mine's the original. It's practically vintage or something. So after we watched the segment on Bedazzling, I let Chloe pick a shirt to put studs on. I thought it would be over her head, but I showed her how to do it and she did a great job! As we put the stuff away she said "Tomorrow, I'm going to put diamonds on my jeans. And maybe on my panties too." I have a feeling her entire wardrobe is going to be Bedazzled if I don't hide the thing.

In other crafty news - The back and the left front of the Central Park Hoodie are complete now, and the first 5" of the right front are on the needles. I'm starting to get bored. This always happens with big projects. Hopefully I can convince myself to keep trudging on. I have knitting ADD, and that usually means it takes me months to complete a sweater because I get bored and cant' help but cast on and make something new in the meantime.

I've almost caught up on all my scrapbooking again. Only a few more pages left. I oughtta upload some photos of my pages - I never think to do that. I have some pretty cute ones done though. I'm trying to do Cora's baby book in scrapbook form - the first time she sits up, rolls over, etc. I didn't do that with Chloe's first year book, and wish I would have.


Okay, enough rambling for now. Boy, I can't wait for my hubby to come home. I need some adult conversation!

Grease and preservatives - yum!

So I'm doing this whole eating healthy thing. Not just a diet - I intend to change my eating habits to create good ones, a permanent change. And so far, I really am doing pretty good. But every so often, I feel a little bit deprived, and I don't do well with deprivation.

When I feel like something is taken away from me, I do everything I can to get it back. It's probably residual from my rebellious teenage years.

So yesterday, I suddenly got a craving for McDonald's. I wanted grease and preservatives more than anything else in the world. And I almost went. I mean, we're talking I had Cora changed and ready to go, the car was heating up, and I was about to call Chloe to put on her shoes when I stopped dead in my tracks and realized that I had succumbed to a moment of temporary insanity (or was it rebellion?) and managed to stop myself.

I decided it made a lot more sense to bake cookies instead. ;o)

I called Chloe up and said "I really want to bake some cookies, but I need help. Will you help me?" She says "Sure! You put all the stuff in the bowl. I'll be the washer for the spatula and mixer." (Read: you bake the cookies. I'll lick the spoon.)

So we baked 5 dozen chocolate chip cookies, complete with white sugar and lots of butter. As of last night, there were 4 dozen left.

I know what you're thinking. No, I didn't eat a whole dozen cookies all by myself. I'm not *that desperate for sugar. I had two, Chloe had one, and Isabel had 9 or 10. You would think by now I'd have learned my lesson - EVERY single time I bake cookies, the dog snatches at least a few off the counter while they're cooling. She apparently craves sugar as much I do.

Around Christmastime, Chloe and I baked some cookies using her letter cookie cutters. We spelled out "Merry Christmas". We baked them and had them cooling on the counter. I came back in to check on the next batch, and the dog was looking up at me with guilt and satisfaction written all over her face. I looked at the cookies on the counter. "MERRY MAS" was all I saw. My dog ate Christ. :o/ Bad dog.


Well, we've had our healthy smoothies this morning, and we're off to Michael's for craft class, then off to a play date this afternoon. Hopefully today goes by faster than yesterday, because by four o'clock yesterday afternoon I was mildly insane. :o)

Monday, January 28, 2008

No shopping? Yeah, right.

LOL I really did consider not buying clothes for a year. And then I realized how crazy that is. ;o)

We dropped Andrew off at the airport yesterday morning, he's gone for a week for more training in Oklahoma. That means I'll probably be blogging a lot. I decided the best way to start a week of having him gone was to go shopping, so we headed to Kohl's. You just can't do any better than the clearance racks there. In my defense, most of what I bought was for Chloe, all summer and next winter stuff, and was actually needed. I also bought a pair of shorts and capris for me, and a plain white cami top, since I wore my last few out. It's one of those staples of my wardrobe and I'll get $6 worth of use out of it, so I decided to go for it.

Actually, buying bottoms right now is kind of needed for me too. I'm down to a size 5, which I haven't been since before I was pregnant with Chloe. At some point along the way, I got rid of all my size 5 stuff, figuring I'd never be that small again since I was stuck at a 7 for so long. So now I need new pants that don't fall off my hips. :o)

Anyhow, the grand total for Kohl's - $60. And I left with 20 articles of clothing. I'm pretty darn happy with that. :o)


The back of the CPH is done now, and I'm about 25 cable rows up the left front - another 50 or so rows and it'll be done, and I might be able to do that today. I've been watching junk TV while knitting when Chloe isn't here. I think I can already feel brain cells dying off. I watched two shows yesterday, on the "style" channel (there was nothing on DIY, I tried!) Anyhow, it was mind numbing. I need to stop doing that.


Here are some pics I uploaded this morning:

This is what 'school' looks like in our house. :o)

Happy baby

the girls, watching Baby Einstein together on my bed with the laptop.

And... look who can sit up all by herself now! She's staying up for 15-20 minutes at a time. I can't believe how fast she's growing up!

Look who decided to be friends. :oP I guess they decided since they both want the most comfortable bed in the house, they'd have to share it.

Saturday, January 26, 2008


How in the world can one little family acquire so much STUFF? Ugh! I'm decluttering, and it's proving to be a great exercise in anti-commericialism.

While Chloe was away, I cleaned and organized most of her room. I threw away a pile of silly little McDonald's toys, prizes from the library and the Halloween party she went to in October, etc. Just little blobs of plastic, intended to entertain a child for half an hour before being forgotten and left in the closet to collect dust and take up space. After that, I got a couple of big Rubbermaid tubs from Wal Mart and proceeded to pack away about half of her toys. I hauled it down to the basement and stuck it in the closet under the stairs. My plan is to switch out those toys with the ones I left out in a couple months, when boredom sets in. Amazingly, you can't even tell that anything was removed. That's how much STUFF she has. Her room still looks quite full.

What gets me is that she is constantly "bored". We could entertain an entire third world country with all the toys in this house, but my spoiled little child is "bored". Argh! She got in trouble once for refusing to pick up her toys. So I packed up everything - every single toy in her room, and took them out, and I tied her closet shut so she couldn't get into it. I left it that way for a whole day. You would think that would devastate a small child, no? But not her! She couldn't have cared less - she let her imagination entertain her all day long, with not one toy in sight.

I'm not buying that kid any more toys for a long time. It's a hard thing for me to do - I love buying her toys, it's so easy to do, and there are so many toys I want an excuse to play with! But she's overloaded with so much stuff that she doesn't even know what to do with herself. I'm talking like, for the next year, I'm not buying stuff for her.


I'm not really far off though, if I think about it. I cleaned out my closet. I am one of those girls guilty of standing in front of her closet and whining "I have nothing to wear!" when my closet is about to overflow with perfectly good clothing. I cleaned out my closet and pulled out a whole trash bag full of clothes, and you can't tell I took anything out. I'm putting the trash bag in the basement too - I had a hard time parting with some of the stuff, even though I haven't worn it in years, if ever. I have a lot of clothes that I love in theory, but when I actually put them on, they look terrible. ya know? So anyway, I'm putting the stuff in the basement and if I don't miss it at all in a year, I'm giving it all away to Salvation Army or something.

Maybe I should not buy myself any clothes for a year. ::gasp::: I'm so guilty of seeing some great deal at Kohl's and buying it, even though it's something I really don't need. I just love clothes, so much. Oy. I'm gonna consider that. It would be so good for me.


Friday, January 25, 2008


Alas, the mystery is solved, I found the camera. It was next to the towels in hall cabinet by the bathroom. Why? I haven't a clue. The same reason the dish soap can sometimes be found in the refrigerator, and my car keys have been known to hide in the silverware drawer. I do things without having any knowledge of it, because my mind is on a million other things, and autopilot malfunctions.

It's a symptom of Motherhood, no?


So, here are a couple pictures:

Here's the color we painted the living room. I need to get a finished shot now, it's really quite lovely.

And here is my Central Park Hoodie. Oh, I'm in love. I ended up not ripping, and it looks like the 36 will be just the right size. This is a pretty good representation of the color, a sort of olive green color. The yarn is :::hangs head in shame::: Vanna's Choice, by Lionbrand. It's uber cheap acrylic. But ya know, it's a whole heck of a lot softer than Red Heart, and it's knitting up beautifully. And hey, it's machine washable, you can't beat that!


I'm having some girls over this morning to knit. I'm kind of excited - I've never really taught people to knit before, and now I'll be teaching several. But the thought of having some other moms, with kids the same age, to sit around and knit with, is very appealing to me. So keep your fingers crossed that it goes well! Maybe if I had real people to talk to once in awhile, I wouldn't blog so much. :-P

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Mmmm. Love the smell of Modge Podge in the morning!

No, seriously, for me the smell of Modge Podge is synonymous with creativity. I absolutely love it.

So while I've been sitting here sniffing glue today, I created this:

Is there anything tasteful about a collage of beer labels? eh, probably not. But I'm quite pleased with it nonetheless. This is a project that has been over a year in the making. (It takes awhile to drink all that beer, ya know!) LOL We are doing the World Beer Tour at Old Chicago. Basically, it involves drinking 110 different beers (not at one time. They have rules about that!) Each time we order a bottled beer, we take the label home. I've been collecting labels now for over a year. There are beers from China, Japan, Germany, England, lots from Colorado and the US, one from Yellowstone that we got while were there visiting... There's just something kinda cool about that to me.

That, and we simply love good beer. Why not advertise that fact by hanging proof of it on our kitchen wall? :o)

***Disclaimer: I was not really "sniffing" glue. I swear!


Yesterday was so dull and boring. By 8 am I was bored, so I went shopping. :-P I went to Target and bought the girls' January gifts for the gift closet. For Chloe, a tattoo craft kit. You can make over 3600 temporary tattoos. (Should make Andrew real happy. heh.) For Cora, a little turtle thing that lights up, teaches colors and numbers, and rolls across the floor when you push it back. Have I explained my Christmas shopping to you? I'm sure I have, but just in case - I buy a gift each month through the year. At their birthday and at Christmas, they get 6 gifts. I try to spend about $20 (no more than that) on each gift, but less than that is great too. Chloe's tattoo thing was regular 19.99 but I got it 50% off, and Cora's thing was regular 17.99 but I got it for 9.94 or something like that. It keeps Christmas reasonable, instead of blowing tons of cash all in December.


My sister in law came over yesterday. We sat and visited for some time, and it was really nice. She's the older of the two girls, and I haven't ever spent that much time talking to her before. I think it went well, though I have been sitting there replaying it all in my head since she left, kicking myself for saying some things. I always do that though. We actually talked about a lot of *real stuff, which was cool. Whenever their mom is around, it seems everything is superficial, but this wasn't. I really do enjoy the girls' company. I just wish it happened more often that they were able to hang out alone!


And the last little tid bit I have for today - my hubby is coming home today! Woo hoo! 4:15 pm. It can't come fast enough.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The cat

Sadly, Milo does not seem to be a particularly healthy cat. He has some sort of upper respiratory infection that means he is sneezing constantly. This wouldn't be so bad except that he actually emits large cat boogers everywhere he goes. Big slimy green ones sometimes. It's really, really gross. He snores louder than Chloe (which is quite a feat) and his right eye is always twitchy and runny. We've got him on an animal homeopathic, the vet said not to be concerned, but it's pretty yucky. I'd love him so much more if it weren't for the constant boogers he sprays all over the house.

And he loves us. Oh, how he loves us. He loves us so much that he crawls into bed with us, puts his face right up against one of ours, and purrs. And then he sneezes, and cat boogers are sprayed all over our faces.

Izzy is trying desperately to get used to him. She no longer wants to eat him - she just wants to play. Problem: a 100-lb lab "playing" means using her gargantuan paws to smack him around a little and see what happens, or chasing him at top speed through the house until he's safe under some random piece of furniture. And the cat isn't the smartest. He's so flippin' friendly. All he wants is love. So he rubs his little body against Isabel, and she tries, oh how she tries, not to take a bit out of him. Eventually, her senses get the better of her and she snaps, so he runs under the furniture, only to come back out in about a minute and a half and try snuggling up to her again. :::sigh::: stupid cat.

Currently, I'm watching him bathe himself. Only this weird, twitchy thing keeps interfering. Most of us know the twitchy culprit as a "tail", but he's not figured that part out yet. Apparently it has little feeling - he keeps biting it, and hasn't realized yet that it's attached.


So - we have a problem. A rather serious one, really. MY CAMERA IS MISSING. It's gone! It is nowhere to be found. I was handling it rather calmly for the past couple days, but I'm beginning to panic. I am a picture taker. It's what I do, it's who I am! and I have nothing with which to record every mundane moment of my life now. What will I do?

I do have an old camera. I suppose it will suffice until we can solve the case of the mysteriously disappearing camera. The last I saw it, I was taking pictures of our living room painting project. We put the living room back together, and poof! the camera is gone. I'm so sad.

Cora was laughing tonight like I've never heard before. I was holding her in my lap while I played with the cat with my tape measure, and she was belly laughing so hard! Those baby laughs - they just get to you! They are so sweet and joyful, you can't help but feel happy when you hear them. She sat there and laughed at that cat for a good ten minutes. And I had no camera to record it with.


If she could see him now, I know she'd be cracking up. He's on my rocking chair, still chasing that strange furry, twitchy thing attached to his behind. He is attempting to cram his head between the slats in order to reach it more easily, but the darn thing just keeps on getting away. :-P


I have a good 10 inches of the Central Park Hoodie knitted now. Sadly, I have no camera, and so I can't show you. :o(


So I'm getting back in the swing. You can tell I'm trying because I have a list. Each day, I write down 3 or 4 things I want to get done in addition to my normal stuff. Things like "clean out my closet" or "clean the fridge" or "vacuum the floors". I also list all the errands and activities for the day and the times, and then throughout the day I check off the things I accomplish. Sadly, no matter how long I keep up my 'listing' for, I never seem to get everything accomplished.


I casted on for the Central Park Hoodie. No, I more than casted on. I casted on and I knit about 5" of it. Now I think I've decided to rip it all out and do the next size up. It's between a size 36 or 40. My actual bust size is 36, but I'm afraid the sweater will be too tight if I do it that size, so I'll try out the 40 instead. I had such a hard time getting the gauge for this sweater! The pattern calls for size 6 and 8 needles. I ended up using size 9 and 10.5. I wonder if that's normal. Anyhow, I want this to be a sweater that I wear often, and if it doesn't fit just right, I won't. So, a-ripping we will go, and then I'll start again. ::sigh::: I hate that!


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Joy of Motherhood

My daughter is terrified to wipe her own ass. Seriously.

"Chloe, honey, don't you think it's about time you started wiping your own butt after you poop?"

"NO! That's what Mommy's do. Kids poop. Mommies wipe butts."

Oy. So glad to know my job is such an important one.

"Why don't you want to wipe your own butt? That's what big kids do honey."

"Because I'm scaaared. Wiping butts is scary."

Heh, Yeah. You're tellin' me.

I'm trying to prepare her for the day when she will have to wipe her own behind. I tell her frequently, "It's almost time for you to try it yourself." She refuses to believe me. Apparently I will be wiping her ass until she is a mommy herself. Lord help me.


I was antsy and irritable and restless all day yesterday. I got more done than any one person should accomplish in a day, but I felt like I was in a funk all day. Toward evening, I realized why: I have no projects on my needles! Ack! Not knitting makes me a very cranky person. And so, I have decided I'm going to jump on the CPH bandwagon. I generally try to avoid things that everyone else is doing. It's the rebel in me, I suppose. But this hoodie is too cool for that. I'm gonna buy the yarn at Michael's today when we're there for the kid's craft class. My yarn will be much cheaper than the $60+ that the pattern calls for. I'm a tightwad, what can I say. But I think it'll be great still. I would really, really love to find something in that great avocado green color, but I'm not sure I'll be able to. Purple will be my next choice, followed by sky blue. We'll see what they have.

Ooh! I'm excited to start a 'real' project now!

Monday, January 21, 2008

It's Monday again

Andrew's week off is over, time to get back on track again. We had such a great week - visiting with his brother and sis in law, getting new windows put in (the house is amazingly warm now!), painting the living room and hallway a wonderful light brown color, and lots of just spending quality time together.

And, as always, we got totally off track with everything else, so it's like starting over again. Thankfully, there's not really anywhere we need to go today. I might try and schedule a play date with one of her friends. I have some cleaning and such to catch up on - housework went on the back burner all week and I only kept up with the very basics.

I was looking over some scope and sequence charts for Preschool, Kindergarten, and first grade. Sis in law made a comment regarding Chloe's having recently turned five - "Oh, you'll have to start homeschooling her soon then, won't you?" Err... Isn't that what we've been doing since the beginning? But now suddenly, I feel pressure to get her learning. They say this part goes away after awhile. I sure hope so!

Nonetheless, I checked over the charts to see where she stands. I'm happy to report that, in most areas, she's about halfway through kindergarten. Her math is a little weak, but her science, social studies and reading/English are all very strong. Her science is actually more like first grade, possibly higher. It's the animals thing - she loves them so much, and knows so much about them. We're gonna work on memorizing our phone number and address, since she hasn't done that yet, and work a little harder on numbers and number recognition and some other math concepts. Her reading is amazing - she's got several blends down really well, and she's starting to understand the "silent e changes the vowel to a long sound" concept, like in plate and face.
kfast and lunch doing phonics on the fridge with magnetic letters, and then some time spent reading aloud, and some time doing something with numbers and math. I feel like I should be doing more, but I doubt her attention span would allow that. So we'll just keep on going like we are.


I've been spinning lots of yarn. I'm working on trying to get some chunkier yarn now to ply with my laceweight stuff, but it's pretty slubby. Ah well. It'll have character. I need to hurry and finish it and dye it and make something - I've not had anything on the needles now for a whole week! I need to get some scrapbooking done too and get caught up. Chloe needs another book started for this year, and Cora's book is pretty far behind - I think it only goes up till October or November. Guess I should make that a goal for this week too.

Okay, that's all the rambling I have for today. I need to upload some pics and then I'll post those soon.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Laundry Shortcomings

or: Confessions of a Clothes-washing Failure

My husband is admittedly anal retentive. Let's look, for instance, at his laundry habits back when he was a bachelor, before I took over laundry responsibilities.

He would put the clothes into the washer, properly sorted. When the washer stopped, he would pull out the clothes, shake them out, fold them neatly, and then put them into the dryer. He would then wait for the dryer to stop and immediately remove the clothing and hang it all up so as to stop any wrinkles from forming. All of the jeans are hung together, all of the long sleeve shirts are hung together, and t-shirts are neatly rolled and placed into drawers.

Now let's take a quick look at my laundry washing habits:

I do usually sort the laundry, but I don't think it's that big of a deal for something dark to end up with something light or whatever. I just don't wash anything red with my whites. I pile as much laundry as I can into the washer and let it run. Sometimes the same day, sometimes the next, I get the stuff out of the washer. (If it goes more than a day - which happens rather often - I'll run them through again so they aren't smelly.) So when I get back to it, I yank all the clothes from the washer, pile them into the dryer in no sort of orderly fashion, and run the dryer. Eventually I get back to the dryer (hopefully within a day or two) and pile all of the clean, dry clothes into a laundry basket, where it sits for another day or two in the living room or the bedroom. Then, I fold and hang everything and cram it all into drawers or closets.

Occasionally I get really motivated and get three loads of laundry washed, dried, and put away all in the course of one day. This is not common and should be considered a rather exciting event.

But seriously. Wait for the dryer to stop running so i can hang up all the clothes immediately. I'm sorry, I can think of a lot of things I'd rather do besides waiting for the dryer to stop.

Why is this an issue at all? Because my husband actually wants to do his own laundry because I apparently make such a mess of it. And that makes me feel like quite the failed housewife.

I think maybe I should take up ironing as a hobby, since me getting the laundry done in such an anal retentive fashion simply will not EVER happen.

But the thought of ironing jeans... let alone all of his shirts... makes me cringe. I hate ironing. I actually don't even own an ironing board. When a sewing pattern says "press", I assume they're talking to someone else, surely not me. Now, if he was going to some desk job and wearing dress shirts and slacks, I might be able to at least see how a lack of wrinkles is important. But he works in the OIL FIELD. He wears coveralls over his clothes all day long. But heaven forbid his jeans have a wrinkle, or aren't creased just so. Oy! Seriously?

I see nothing wrong with taking a very hot shower without the fan on, getting the bathroom all nice and steamy, and hanging my clothes from the towel rack, then putting them on immediately. That's my version of ironing, and I like it that way.



So I"ve taken to spinning yarn again. I had a bunch of unspun wool and hadn't done anything with it for almost a year. It's so much fun to do - I'm glad I started again. I'm spinning up some laceweight, and then want to ply it with some bulky olive green yarn, if I can develop the ability to spin bulky yarn. Ever since I figured it out, all I can spin is laceweight. I can spin yarn as thin as thread if I want to, but I can't spin anything heavier than lace. LOL My wool is undyed, so I'm going to have to find some way to dye it the colors I want - greens and browns. We'll see how that goes. I would like to make a hat, I think. I spun the whole time we watched American Idol last night and really got quite a lot done.

Ohhhh American Idol. We are not TV watchers. As in, there aren't any TV shows that I watch on any even remotely basis. Except for American Idol. I just love this show, though I'm rather ashamed to admit it. Last night was fun, all the auditions. The one girl, the crazy sparkly girl with star-shaped earrings and a voice like Joan Jett, she reminded us so much of one of our friends, Micah, the way she was talking and whatnot. It was rather hilarious.


Milo is sick. He's sneezy and coughy and acts like he doesn't feel well. We have a vet appointment for him this morning, but I'm not sure we'll still take him. We'll see how he's feeling in a bit. We started giving him some animal homeopathic, that might fix him. I'm happy to report that Milo and Isabel are very good friends now. They even sleep together at night. On OUR bed. Why, why, why won't the animals sleep with Chloe, the one who is "all alone" and wants them to sleep with her? Why must they take up all the extra foot room on our bed so that we are unable to move at night? But anyway, yes, they are friends. It's really cute.

Andrew's out hunting small furry animals again (What is it with guys and killing cute furry animals?) I don't think we have too many interesting things happening today, but hopefully I'll get some stuff done around this house, it's pretty messy.

OH! I didn't even mention our windows! We got new windows! :::doing the happy dance::: They came and replaced all the windows in our house on Monday. They're so wonderful. There's no longer ice on the windows when we wake up in the morning, and the living room and kitchen aren't freezing cold. It's so great. I'm in love with them. Our old windows were from the 1950's - single pane and everything. I'm very excited. And now we get to paint the living room and buy new window treatments - yay! If anyone has any suggestions on what color I should paint my living room, feel free to comment. I'm leaning toward brown. Or maybe green. Nanny says we should do it green. I need to decide by tomorrow.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

More on the in-laws

Tonight was the "Miller Family Annual Winter Gift Exchange". We thought that was a more politically correct term than any of the others we thought of. I considered suggesting "The Miller Family Night of Awkwardness and Misery" but decided against it.

I survived four hours of my in-laws tonight, and have lived to blog about it. It wasn't *so terrible really, just awkward and uncomfortable, as are most interactions with them. And let me be specific: by "them", I mean "her". I mean, it's awkward with all of them, but she's the one who really makes it that way.

Chloe was at Mark's, and missed this.... "celebration". It was very lucky that thus was the case, because otherwise she would have failed miserably at the quiz my mother in law imposed upon the other grandchildren. She was sitting behind us having them recite to her sentences about the Maccabees and other such Hanukkah things. Chloe can't even tell you what a Bible is, other than that it's a big book a preacher holds when he marries two people. :oX Oy. On a handful of occasions now, she has referred to Chloe as her "adopted granddaughter". It wouldn't be so bad except that she specifically points it out. "Our grandchildren... and our adopted granddaughter" as she looks pointedly at me. Ugh! It's no wonder I try to avoid having Chloe around her and always schedule our visits on nights that Mark has her. When Chloe was writing a thank you note the other day to them I told her to write "Dear grandmother and grandfather Miller" but she corrected me and instead wrote "Dear Step grandmother and Step grandfather Miller". I was going to have her change it, as I felt bad pointing that out, but since she insists on pointing out that Chloe isn't her REAL granddaughter, I guess Chloe can call them step grandparents all she wants. Hmphh.

I dropped out of high school my junior year. I was in AP classes with a 3.8 GPA. I loved school with a sort of twisted passion - I have always loved learning. However, I was teased mercilessly because I was never 'cool'. I was never as good as the 'cool' kids and they made sure I knew it. I suffered all my life with a terrible inferiority complex, all because I was a product of the public school system.

When I got to college (I got my GED, performed well on the ACT, then decided to drop out of high school and go to college instead) I realized that I really was just like everyone else. The cliques sort of disappear when you get to college, and no one is any better than anyone else. I've always harbored a slight inferiority complex and my self esteem has always suffered, but it did get a LOT better after the hell that they call high school.

And then, I met my husband's mother. Talk about inferiority complex. That woman would have me know that I will NEVER be as good as her son, EVER. Her family is the best that has ever been and no one else will ever come anywhere close. And in every little way, she wants me to be sure that I know that I don't deserve such a man. Spending time there makes me feel so completely horrible about myself, I come home with the most awful feeling in the pit of my stomach. I sit and re-play the evening in my head, remembering every stupid thing that I said, every way that I made a complete ass of myself, and it makes me hate myself that much more. I'm sure she would be thrilled to know that.

His sisters and dad are better in that they don't sit there and so obviously judge me, but I know they still just know that I'm not as good as they are.

Blah, blah, blah. I just wrote a couple of paragraphs but decided to delete them, since I was rambling. So I'm going to end this abruptly now, since I have nothing else useful to say.

As if any of this was useful?

Heh. Right. Okay, goodnight!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Domestic Talent

I knit, crochet, and sew. I'm a pretty good cook, a keep a fairly clean house. I enjoy doing all the domestic things our mothers and grandmothers did so well.

But when it comes to cake decorating, that is where my domestic talent comes to an abrupt stop.

Exhibit A:

Okay, so it doesn't look all that bad in the picture. Just don't look too closely. In real life, it's pretty awful by my standards. But then, my standards may be a bit skewed - I grew up with a mother who decorated cakes and sold them. Her cakes were gorgeous and everyone around knew it. I will never be like my mother in that regard. I dread birthday parties because of the cake. It takes me all day long to get it done, between baking it, making the frosting, decorating it, making more frosting because I run out, and decorating it some more. And now I have a baby, which means nearly the entire cake was decorated one handed while I held a baby on my hip. And then there's the clean-up. Ugh. Yeah. I am not, nor will I ever be, a cake decorator.

But Chloe thinks it's pretty great, so that's really all that matters.


I'm sitting here blogging, trying to drink down a tall glass of apple-cucumber juice. Three apples and 3/4 of a cucumber through the juicer this morning, trying oh so hard to be a little bit healthier. It's actually pretty good - it tastes like a sour apple jolly rancher. But the after taste is distinctly cucumber, and cucumber makes me gag. So I'm not breathing through my nose. :-P All this eating healthier is having a splendid effect on my weight though - I weighed 124 lbs this morning. I haven't weighed that little since before Chloe was born! I rather like it.


I casted on for a sweater for Cora in that Pitter Patter yarn the other day. I got about 10 rows done and decided it reminded me too much of Easter Bunny puke to continue. I'm not a pastel person. Neither of my girls look all that great in pastels, and frankly, I am just sick of pink right now. So the Easter Bunny vomit will go back in the bin until someone I know has a baby girl and I can knit them up a big pile of puke and curse them with more pastels. :-D

In the meantime I've started a Lace Slant Hat in this yarn. So far, I'm in love. I want it done by tomorrow so I can wear it, but I doubt it will happen unless I knit all night.


Well, I guess I better quit blogging and go get stuff ready for the party this afternoon. 6 children that aren't mine... wish me luck!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

His, Mine, Ours

If you were a knitter or crocheter, and had like 7 balls of this stuff, what would you do with it? I know a baby blanket seems like the most logical answer, but Cora doesn't need blankets and I'm really just not a blanket maker. But then, she doesn't really NEED sweaters anymore either, or hats or anything else. My aunt bought it all, decided she didn't like knitting with it, and gave it to me. Thought I'd ask for suggestions. :o)

Today's mostly just gonna be a get stuff done day. Mark was supposed to have Chloe last night through tomorrow morning but called last night and asked if I could keep her. He said he'd pick her up sometime this morning (which usually means LATE morning) so I can't go to the store until he gets here, for fear of missing him and making him mad. Ugh. I need to pick some stuff up for Chloe's party on Saturday. I'm excited, I think it's gonna be lots of fun. I also need to vacuum and sweep and mop the floors, clean out the fridge, dust and get cobwebs down. And then tomorrow I'll make her cake (a lion) and get the house decorated probably, so that I can make some snacks and such on Saturday morning before our guests come.

It's been a long time since I haven't had Chloe... Mark didn't take her last Thursday either, or New Year's, so I think the last time I didn't have her for a whole day was... maybe Christmas Eve? I look forward to the break, as it's a chance to get stuff done and relax (and actually think without having to constantly listen to her chattering) but as soon as she's gone, I'll miss her terribly. What a goober I am. :oP


So I was talking to my brother in law's wife on the phone a week or so ago. (Does that make her my sister-in-law by marriage or something? I dunno...) Anyhow, we aren't terribly close, but she is very nice. I always feel awkward talking to her, probably because I hate being on the phone and always sound like a dork.

So she was talking about borrowing money from her husband to buy something she wanted. She is a (mostly) stay at home mom. She does Kindermusic one day a week, which doesn't bring in a whole lot of extra cash, I'm sure. I guess it kind of shocked me. In our relationship, everything is kind of ours, I don't borrow money for stuff. I ask sometimes if it's more than I'd normally spend, to make sure it's alright, but I don't have to pay him back. But yeah, she said she had just finished paying her husband back for whatever money it was that she'd borrowed, and that it made her happy. Am I the only one that finds that strange? Or maybe I'm the one that's strange, and I should see my husband's money as his since he's the one that works for it?

Being a stay at home mom is tough in that regard. The only money I ever have is Chloe's child support, and that all goes to her - either things I buy for her, education, fun trips to do things, or into her savings account. Anything that I want, Andrew pays for with his paycheck. Most of the time though, I feel like I earn it. I work 16 hours a day plus 8 hours on call, I cook, clean, transport, teach, raise children... it's pretty full time, I'd say. And Andrew and I both believe firmly that a mother's place is in the home with her children. There's never been any question there.

But sometimes it really would be nice to have my own money. Money that I could buy anything with... if I wanted to buy a $25 skein of cashmere yarn, I wouldn't have to feel guilty about it if it was my own money. Or at Christmas time and his birthday, I could buy him gifts with MY money, instead of spending his own money on him, which is pretty goofy. I think it's something all stay at home moms struggle with to some extent. Especially in today's world, when women are really expected to work and 'pull their own weight'.

ah well. It doesn't bother me enough to go out and get a job and let someone else raise my kids, so I guess it's not that important of an issue, eh? :oP

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The day in pictures

A finished project:

Pattern: A Hat Fit For a Boyfriend
Yarn: LionBrand Wool Ease in Forest Green Heather
Needles: size 8 circs and dpns
Notes: knitted the rib for 6.25" instead of 5.5 as the pattern suggested. Otherwise, I followed it exactly and it turned out great! Yay! He shall now have a warm head and ears out in all that cold.

We had Sarah and her two younger kids over today to play in the snow. I know it looks like they're wrestling, but they were actually 'swimming' in the snow. :o)

We FINALLY got enough snow to build a snowman. Err... snow bunny. :o) I was so excited! I love snow when there's enough to play in and I don't have to drive in it.

Milo took no time at all to figure out exactly where the best bed in the house is. We've been letting him have access to Chloe's room now too, and he's doing great. He really and truly loves his new girl - they are so great together! Now if the dog would only realize that Milo is NOT a toy...

My birthday girl

Oh my goodness. Where have the last five years gone? It seems like just last week I was bringing my baby home from the hospital, along with a pile of medical supplies and tanks of oxygen.

They told us she would likely never walk. Heck, they prepared us for the fact that she might not live. She would have difficulties all through life, may not develop properly because of the brain damage she had incurred in utero.

Today, she's a singing, dancing, non-stop talking FIVE year old. To look at her, you'd never know about the rough start she had in life. She's smart as a whip, active and coordinated. She amazes me.

Birthdays are always bittersweet. I wonder if that'll ever go away. I'm so proud of her for the little person she's become, but I can't believe she's already so grown up!

She had a wonderful birthday yesterday - lots of fun presents, several visitors throughout the day, and lots of and lots of play time with Mom, her favorite. We went out to Old Chicago's for dinner (her choice) and they sang Happy Birthday to her and gave her a cookie.

I've collected dress up stuff over the past year - some Halloween costumes and wigs, and other things. I piled them all into a big bag as one of her gifts. The wigs freaked her out at first, but then became a big hit. She wore the Marilyn Monroe one all day long. When someone would come to the door she'd say "I'm sorry, I haven't seen Chloe. Just this little blonde girl is here." LOL It was hilarious.

For a five year old, she does a great job of sharing with her baby sister. See?


Ya know what's cool about being a mom? I have the power to buy all the cool things I always wished I'd had as a kid for my own daughters, and then they think I'm really cool because I play with them. LOL I'm so glad I'm the mother of girls!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Pics of the day

How to entertain myself when my man is out of town? Take pictures, of course!

Isn't she just gorgeous? :o) I love her.

Chloe playing cowgirl with her dog

Izzy saying hello...

And my little helper, who begged me to let her do dishes. So I did - all by herself. She did pretty good, actually.

Milo is quite settled in. In fact, he keeps trying to help himself to my lap, but there's a baby nursing in his way. He and Isabel had their first taste of one another today - quite literally. She wasn't trying to hurt him... she just wanted to see what cat actually tasted like, I'm sure. She opened her mouth slowly and gently, placed her jaws around his little head, and discovered quickly that such actions result in a quick smack on the nose. :oP Other than his close brush with death though, he's had a very nice day - he unwound a stray ball of yarn, played dress up and ballerina with his new girl, kept me sneezing consistently all day long, and happily adopted the baby's bouncer as his own personal pink plush cat bed. He's currently wrestling an apron string. I think he's going to be mighty entertaining.

intermittent whining

I keep waking up at 3:30 am and can't go back to sleep. Yuck! Definitely need to change this pattern - it requires too much coffee to function.


Did I mention I'm allergic to cats? I'm sitting here sneezing and sniffling and my eyes are watering, and everywhere that the kitten has scratched me is itchy and puffy. Oh, the sacrifices we make for our children. The last time I had cats, the allergy went away after a couple weeks. I hope that happens again.


I was on this weird knitting kick there through most of the month of December. Now I'm kind of... stuck. I started a raglan top down sweater for Chloe, but I'm afraid I didn't buy enough yarn and now they aren't carrying it anymore, so my motivation to keep knitting it is gone.

I've decided there's no time like the present to try out fair isle knitting (the Norwegian color-work stuff, for those of you non-knitters out there.) It's always intimidated the heck out of me but hey, why not? I found the exact pattern I want - it's from Elizabeth Zimmerman's The Opinionated Knitter, a gorgeous fair isle yoke sweater. Unfortunately, my library has apparently not even heard of Elizabeth Zimmerman, let alone Opinionated Knitter, and I can't justify spending even more money on a knitting book (and that one isn't cheap) so I may have to find a different pattern. I do have a fair isle yoke pattern in Handknit Holidays, but I'm not thrilled with the design. I suppose I could put in a different yoke pattern, but that would require finagling that I'm not quite ready to attempt with a technique I've never done before. Ah well. We'll see what happens. In the meantime, maybe I'll knit a hat.


So, Andrew is gone for most of the week. Sometimes I really hate his job. They apparently have no appreciation for the importance of family time. They sent him to Wyoming to do work there for awhile.

It wouldn't be SO bad, except that in addition to him being gone, everyone I know is sick. My mother might have pneumonia, my dear friend Sarah and her kids have all had cronovirus. And that sums up the people I ever see on a regular basis. :oP So we're stuck at home, alone, because everyone is sick and doesn't want to hang out with us, mostly because they don't want to get us sick, which is nice of them. Nonetheless, that leaves me bored and lonely, stuck at home with nowhere to go and nothing to do. Wah.

Achoo, sniffle, sniffle.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Meet Milo

Much to the chagrin of our beloved black lab puppy, we have acquired a new fur baby. Milo is Chloe's 5th birthday present, as promised a year ago. He's settling in quite nicely - he and Chloe seem to be hitting it off. In fact, he won't leave her (or me) alone. He's quite friendly, and loves attention.

Izzy didn't realize what it was she was smelling at first. Then, as she peered over the baby gate, she caught a glimpse of it. A cat! A dreaded cat! She spends countless hours ridding her yard of cats, only to have one brought INSIDE her home. She seems very confused - she's racing around the house, salivating uncontrollably, barking, whimpering, and trying to get us to realize there is a CAT in her HOUSE, but we don't seem nearly as upset by it as she is. And that just makes her try harder. Poor dog. What a hard thing to understand. And to have to share her girl must be very difficult.

Welcome to our little family, Milo!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

It's Thursday : In-Law Day.

The in-laws are coming for dinner tonight. No, not dinner, salad, because that is all they will eat. No opportunity to impress them with my amazing domestic skills by cooking a fantastic, utterly scrumptious meal. I am making a salad. BUT! It will be a damn good salad.

I can't describe the way my mother in law makes me feel. Sort of suicidal. No... maybe it's more like homicidal. Or maybe it's a mix of both. My stomach is in knots. My mind is revolving around all the stupid things I will say or do to make her hate me more. Or all the innocent, but still stupid, things Chloe will say to make her hate me more. I sit and run dialogues in my head of all the things I wish she would say to me and all the things I wish I had the balls to say to her. Of course none of them will ever be said. So I'll just imagine them to my heart's content.

My house is mostly clean, though I'll go over the floors one more time before tonight. Chloe WILL take a nap today, because otherwise she will be cranky and fussy, which they absolutely cannot see.

Oy. It's not even noon, and I am desperately wishing I could toss back a couple of shots already.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

"Garage Sale Chic"

My whole house/apartment/living quarters since I moved out of my parents house 8 years ago has been "garage sale chic". Hand me downs, yard sale finds, whatever I could find to furnish my space. Slowly but surely, we're getting away from that, and it makes me happy.

Case in point: The plant stand.

Purchased at an early morning yard sale for $5 when we moved into this house to provide a home to all of Andrew's house plants. It has served us well. But it's to the point where if you walk to close to it, it wobbles precariously and makes your heart pound, wondering if all that potting soil is about to end up on the carpet. Not such a big problem before, it now poses a serious threat since we will soon have a mobile baby crawling and teetering around the house.

The fix:

Isn't it beautiful? :o) It brings me great joy. On sale at Hobby Lobby, my hubby told me I could buy it yesterday. It has required a bit of switching around in the living room, but it's so worth it. I'm in love with the new plant stand. Enough so that I actually blogged about it.

My living room pleases me. It only needs a few other things and it will be as perfect as I think it can possibly be. See the "To Have and To Hold" sign Andrew gave me for Christmas? I am in love with that, too. :o)


Should be a busy day today. We need to get to the party store and find Chloe's party supplies, hopefully they'll carry them. She wants a Wild Animal party, so I need a jungle theme or something like that. I'm looking forward to her party, it should be really cute.

We also really should go to the library, we haven't been for a couple weeks. I don't think there's story time though, so we might wait till next week. And I need to get some oranges. I realized there's nothing yummier than fresh squeezed orange juice in the morning - it's even better than coffee. (gasp!)

I have laundry to wash and fold, Chloe's room needs a good thorough cleaning, my room could use one too, and as always the computer room resembles the aftermath of a minor hurricane. I'm trying to get a good detailed cleaning done before her party since there will be a few mothers here and I don't want them to think I'm a slob. LOL And Andrew's family is coming over for dinner... err, salad... on Thursday night, so it wouldn't hurt for the house to look clean for them too.

Alright, off I go. No sense sitting around talking about what needs to be done!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Some FO pics - finally

It occurred to me that I haven't posted any of my recent project pictures. I've posted them on Ravelry, but not here. So, here we go.

The fuzzy pink kitten. I wasn't thrilled with it. Chloe wasn't either. In fact, she called it "creepy" and refuses to have anything to do with it. :::sigh::: see if I ever knit her anything again. Hmphh.

The "Monkey" socks from Made from Paton's Grace in Taupe, two balls, size 2 needles. Loved this project, love the results. Very comfy and they wash beautifully.

"Leafy Lace Scarf", found the pattern on Ravelry. 2 balls of Cleckheaton Country Silk 8-ply in a turquoise-y color, size 8 needles. Quick and fairly simple, except that I can never remember what row I'm on when I knit lace and I never remember to write it down. This one is for my brother in law's wife for the 'winter gift exchange' since hubby's family doesn't celebrate Christmas.

Lace Photo Mat from Handknit Holidays, the book my dad gave me for Christmas. Super quick knit, took two days. Size 2 needles, Omega Sinfonia cotton yarn. This one is for my sis-in-law.

Cora's sweater - top down seamless yoke-style cardigan made from 2 balls of Mosaic Twist. Very simple pattern, I designed it using KnitWare sweater designing software. I added a crocheted shell border. I want to put the border on the sleeves as well, and maybe around the collar, but I ran out of yarn and they won't have more till Friday. We'll see what I do. It still needs buttons. If I get motivated I may type up the pattern and put it on here for anyone who might want it. It's really a nice, handy little pattern that could easily be altered for other designs.

So that's it for things I've finished recently. I think I'm going to cast on a hat tonight. I'm on a knitting kick right now, can ya tell? :-P

A new year.

Dick Clark is so old he can't even do a whole New Year's Rockin' Eve anymore. The Ball is now 'eco-friendly' - whatever that means. And we were barely stayed awake to watch it all and sip the remainder of our bottle of champagne. How sad is that? Cora thought it would be fun to try and stay up with us, but crashed out somewhere around 11:30. How nice of her to keep us company. :o)

With a new year brings plenty of new hopes, dreams and big ideas. And resolutions - we all have New Year's Resolutions, no? I've always been one to make a huuuuge list of resolutions, essentially changing my entire being all the way down to the core, and then failing miserably by January 2nd and giving up on all of them simultaneously, going back to the wretched sinner that I already am. And yet still, I make a whole new list of resolutions every year.

This year's list? Stop smoking (again. Ugh!) Relax... a lot: Play more, stress less. There's the usual be a better mom, be a better wife, be more organized, blah blah. But the two important ones are to stop smoking, and to chill out and enjoy life a little more. How are we doing? Well, I've already had one cigarette (there's only two left in the pack, I can't just throw them away, that's like murder!) And my kitchen is a disaster area and I'm leaving it that way till later, after I've had breakfast with my family and watched a bit of the Rose Parade. One outta two ain't bad, right?

Wishing all my friends and family the most wonderful of years in 2008.