Monday, March 30, 2009

What has she got that I don't?

I've decided to jump on the Flylady bandwagon again. It happens a couple times a year. I rarely last more than a couple of weeks. I get a Control Journal all made up, I get all motivated and inspired... and then I give up about a week later when I get sick of the emails. But whatever. It sounded like fun.

So when Chloe asked what there was to do today, I suggested we take a look at the Flylady website. Today's tasks involved cleaning under the couch cushions and some detailed cleaning in the living room: washing the windows, straightening bookshelves and dusting off cobwebs. The child was thrilled! When we were done, she asked "What else does Flylady want us to do today?" I told her we were finished. "Can we do more Flylady tomorrow?" I assured her we could. "I'm going to wake you up extra early tomorrow so we can see what Flylady wants us to clean, okay?"

Sheesh! I ask the kid fifty times a day to clean something, anything, and she whines and complains the whole darn time. But give her a cartoon lady with wings and suddenly washing windows is the coolest thing she's ever done.


I took some pictures of Miss Personality the other day, and some were cute enough to post.


I'm still doing my Life Makeover thing (I got the book on Paperback Swap, yay!) This week's Take Action Challenge is very action oriented - identify five things in your life that are draining your energy and fix them. Among other things I'm organizing and cleaning the entire house, and finishing up some projects that have been sitting for too long.

I finished Amber's gloves (finally.)

I painted a shelf for the girls' room that's been sitting around for three years because I've been too lazy to slap a coat of red paint on it. Now I just need to hang it...


For some strange reason it felt like I had an abundance of time today. That's not a common occurrence, and I really quite liked it. I got my whole house cleaned: floors swept, mopped and vaccuumed, mirrors and windows cleaned, trashes taken out, sheets washed, etc. I went to the post office, took the girls to the mall play area to play for nearly an hour, baked cookies with both of them helping which takes three times as long (since there's three of us working, I suppose). I sewed for nearly three hours while the girls did as they pleased with a big box full of art supplies (the result was a chicken puppet, chicken mask, dog puppet, dog mask, a paper full of Color Wonder finger paints, and a floor covered in brightly covered feathers.) We did school work, played in the snow, remade the bed with clean sheets, and sang Princess songs while dancing around the living room, and still had time to make dinner and clean up the kitchen afterward. Oh, and I only smoked two cigarettes since I'm supposed to be quitting (and I didn't kill or maim anyone today, which should be counted as a significant accomplishment.) I'm not sure where all the time and energy came from today, but it would be swell if it'd stick around for awhile.


I'm dying to show someone pictures of the dress I made today, but I want to wait until I have someone other than Chloe to take pictures, and maybe a day nice enough to take them outside instead of my dark bedroom. I'm excited that i finally made something... it's been awhile since I've felt like it.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Go make an apron.

I have a handful of vintage aprons that have been given to me here and there, and I truly love them. At one point they decorated my kitchen wall. Now, I wear them every now and again because they make me feel a little bit like Donna Reed, and I like Donna Reed. Mopping floors and frying bacon is a lot more fun when you get to wear a cute little apron while you do it!

I decided to make myself a new apron.

The main fabric is a rusty-orange corduroy that used to be a pair of little boy's pants in (I'm guessing) the 70's. The blue is just some calico scrap that paired well.

While I was searching for apron-making advice on the web, I came across this essay written by the Hillbilly Housewife, one of my favorite homemakers on the internet. Enjoy!

Friday, March 27, 2009


Wanna know how much of a dork I am? I read cookbooks for fun. Seriously.

I pick up a couple of cookbooks at the library each time I go, just to flip through and see what sounds good. I love finding cookbooks at yard sales or used book sales. I'll sit down for lunch and flip through a cookbook while I eat. Is that weird?

But ya know what drives me crazy? I can never remember what recipes are in what books, what sounded good, or what recipes call for what ingredients that I might already have on hand. I wish sincerely that there was a way to organize all of my recipes from all of my cookbooks so they were easier to find. It seems like I ought to be able to make a Word document or something where I can just search for, say, "sausage" and have it pull up all the recipes that use sausage. Ya know? It just seems like I'd get more use out of things if I had something like that. Anyone have any suggestions for me?


While Ashley was here, I chopped up a T-shirt for her. It was from a strip club back in Michigan and it was huge. Much cuter now. She likes it.


Chloe's got another little pet living with us:

That's Sally. As far as we can tell, she's a corn ear worm larva. I'm amazed she's even alive - Chloe pulls her out and plays with her fifteen times a day at least. We had fun watching her eat this lettuce last night, watching her tiny little mouth move. I'd love it if she survived long enough to make a cocoon and become a moth, but I'm not holding my breath.

This definitely counts as a week's worth of science class. :o)


We had a big wind storm last week and it blew down our fence. I felt compelled to take a picture:

It's a very old fence, so it's no big surprise that it fell over. It's now held together with some extra bits of wood screwed crosswise into it holding it to the panels that remained standing. Definitely time to replace the fence.


Girly girls:

Big sis is giving her baby sister a manicure. Is there anything cuter?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

What are they eating?

I'm sure most of you have looked at the USDA Food Plans Guidelines before, but it's always interesting to go back and see what changes they've made. (Once you click on the link, you can choose a month and year to view.)

The estimated weekly food costs for our family - two adults and two small children - on the "Thrifty Plan" is $120.90. That's per week! Dear God, what are they expecting someone on a thrifty plan to eat - steak and lobster once a week? I can't imagine having to spend $120 per week on food.

Before our new tightened budget, I spent on average about $90 at the grocery store each week, sometimes more, sometimes less. And that includes toiletries, paper and plastic household goods, cleaning supplies and food. I didn't worry so much about what I spent, just bought the things on the list and a few extras, and I still didn't manage to spend a much as the government's "Thrifty Plan" says I should. Now that we're on a budget, I'm trying not to spend more than $65 per week and I'm doing a pretty good job of sticking to it. The only big difference in my shopping is that I'm more aware of sales and have been using coupons. Maybe someone needs to teach the people in this country how to shop, and how to cook so they aren't spending $120 per week on their groceries.


On the same subject, if you have a Walgreen's near you be sure and check out their monthly "easy saver" catalog for in-store coupons that can be combined with manufacturer coupons for some good deals. A couple of weeks ago I bought my favorite shampoo and conditioner for .50 a bottle. This week I'm gonna pick up bags of Easter candy for .75 a bag and razor refills for $1 a package, regular about $9. It's worth having a look - and kind of fun when you walk out of a store and feel like you just robbed them. ;o)


I've found some cool links lately that some of you might be interested in:


A fun monthly checklist

A free downloadable organizer page - it's pretty, too!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

An early spring hike

We went for a hike yesterday near a campground we camped at last year. We packed a picnic lunch and the BB gun and had a nice little outing. :o)


Andrew and I spent some time over the past few days prepping and grinding about 16 pounds of venison into "hamburger". All the venison has to be trimmed of any fat, then cut into grinder-sized pieces. Then you grind it on a large setting, and again on a smaller setting. It took quite awhile, but we have a shelf full of ground meat in our freezer now. Can't beat that!

I let the girls spend the morning painting earlier this week. Cora's funny - she hates to be dirty, but loves to be creative, so it was a constant struggle for her. They both had a great time though. Chloe painted a vanity/jewelry box that she got for her birthday.

My first little sproutlings are up in the garden - peas and broccoli are finally emerging. I was getting nervous, it's taken awhile, so I'm glad to know I'm still capable of producing food for the family. Hopefully it keeps on comin' - and hopefully some of the other stuff sprouts soon.


Hey Katey, don't be too jealous - looks like snow, rain, and freezing temperatures all week for us down here. Gotta love Colorado; they always say if you don't like the weather, wait five minutes.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Lovin' the Sun

Sorry Katey... I'm gonna brag some more about the gorgeous Colorado weather we've been having.

These were taken on St. Pat's day - notice the green.

The first spring flowers - my beloved daffodils. I planted 40 bulbs (daffs and tulips) the year we moved in. They've done so well and have multiplied so much!

My children, playing with the wading pool. Chloe was actually playing IN it some, too. At 65 degrees, it's way too cold to be playing in a wading pool, but they haven't figured that out yet. Please don't tell them.
Homeschool science: water + dirt = MUD

Notice the little mud splatters all over her? They had a wonderful time.St. Patrick's Day was an overall great day for us, though it had nothing to do with it being St. Patrick's Day. The girls were so good - they just wanted to play outside all day, which was fine with me! I'd sit out there with them for awhile, then come in and get some things done around the house. I baked cookies, and while I waited for each batch to bake and cool, I laid out on a blanket spread on the lawn and read a book and tanned. I'm totally not the type of girl to just lay out and get a tan. I usually have a great tan because I garden, walk, and do other active things in the sunshine. Of course, I was reading, so it wasn't like I was just laying there. And ya know what? It felt pretty darn great. Every so often a cold, damp little girl would come and snuggle up to my bare legs and make me squeal from the cold and give me goosebumps, sending her into a fit of giggles.

When the mud was over I bathed them both in the tub I'd just cleaned, and I didn't let it get to me. (Not to mention the mud tracked through the house!) Then I fed them warm cookies and milk and we read some stories and hung out until dinner time.

It was a "Mommy Zen" day. I completely balanced "need to get stuff done" with "need to hang out with my kids". I'm not so great at doing that, and it felt good. Now if only I could do it more often!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Told ya....

she's cute. :o)

Yay for friends.

We had Chloe's friend Allysa over to play yesterday. Her mom works kind of near us, so we picked her up after the gym and kept her till Jess got off work. She was here for eight hours.

Normally, if I'm watching someone else's kid, I stalk the clock, constantly calculating how much longer until they go home. Allysa is totally different. She's the only child that is truly a pleasure to be around. For eight hours, the only time I heard from the girls was if they were hungry or needed to go potty. They played out back, then they played out front, then out back again. Cora followed them around nearly the whole time, and they were so good to her, always trying to include her. I got so much done yesterday, it was incredible. I hardly had to parent. And my kids were thrilled to have a playmate. I'm seriously thinking about having Allysa over once a week or so - they just get along so great.

At one point, I packed up a basket with some pb&j squares, girl scout cookies and other snacks. I lined it with cloth napkins and kind of made it look special, then included paper plates and napkins and plastic cups leftover from a birthday party. I gave them a jug of apple juice to pour into the cups and share. It was the cutest thing ever - they were pretty impressed. (Especially when they ate the cookies first and I didn't try to stop them. LOL) Chloe brought the emptied basket in and gave me a big hug and a thank you. :o)

I picked up a copy of Real Simple magazine from the library the other day - February 2009. In it, they show photos that seven photograpers took of their wives, and what the men had to say about their wives. It's not a long article, but gosh, it's neat. To hear what a man thinks about his wife - the way they describe the women they love, it's just inspiring. There's one picture in particular of a mom laying in bed with her three kids climbing all over her, and she looks totally relaxed... it's just such a perfect portrait of motherhood. And it's a great illustration of just sitting back and enjoying your kids. (Granted, the photo was taken when they were on a month-long vacation in Greece. I'd probably relax more if I were in Greece, too.) I'm tempted to steal the picture out of the magazine and scrapbook it.

It's worth looking at, if you happen to get Real Simple magazine or come across a copy of it.


I'm still going to the gym pretty regularly - 4 times a week, if all of us are feeling well. I'm there often enough now that I'm making friends. It's nice to show up and have someone to chat with and workout with, and maybe sneak in just a little bit of gossip about the perfect little girls with the tight little bodies and gigantic boobs that seem to be there just to show off how perfect their bodies are. LOL I've increased the amount of food I'm eating by quite a bit - I was seriously not eating enough for awhile there - and I'm trying to increase muscle in some areas while running a mile each day to get the fat off of other areas. I'm not sure how successful I am, but overall, I still weigh exactly the same. Funny how that works. Hopefully it's more muscle now instead of fat!


These are some pictures I took the other day from the duck pond near our house. We stopped there to feed the ducks and walk around for awhile. Cora kept squealing, "Bock bock!" and chasing the ducks. (Bock-bock = chicken. She hasn't distinguished between the two yet.) She'd say "Bock-bock num num?"while doing the sign for "please". Num num is food. She was asking, rather politely, to feed the ducks some more. I love this baby-talk phase. She learns a new word every day, it seems, though no one besides Andrew can understand any of it, and most of the words sound very similar.

Anyway, thought I'd share a couple of shots from the duck pond. I'm so glad it's spring.

And one last picture - sleepy baby just kind of passed out in the kiddie recliner one afternoon. Too cute.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The grocery budget and other bits

Since Andrew's hours have been cut back some, we're being a little more careful with where money is spent. Therefore, I have introduced a new Grocery Budget. I haven't grocery shopped on much of a budget in a long time. Not that I've gone crazy, but it's been pretty lax.

For those of you that have been following my blog since the olden days, you know that when it comes to a grocery budget, I've been there and done that. I've got some mad money saving skillz when it comes to the grocery store if I choose to use them.

And ya know what? Grocery shopping is fun again. And cooking is fun again. I've been in a slump, totally avoiding the grocery store, feeding my family leftovers, canned soup, and the same ol' baked chicken breast with rice for way too long now. But for me, when I have a budget to stick to, grocery shopping becomes a game.

Someone should have told me to stop spending so much at the grocery store a long time ago. It's kind of refreshing.


Speaking of saving money, are you all members of Paper Back Swap? If you're not, you should be. It's free to join, and the savings can be pretty incredible, especially for a homeschooling family, which I know some of you are. You list the books you own that you'd like to trade for something else. When someone requests one of your books, you get a credit and get to request someone else's book. There's an incredible selection and the search function is great. I've already found and requested two books I'd been planning to buy, with four more credits on the way. You pay the shipping to send your books, others pay the shipping when they send you books. It works out to $2-3 a book, plus helps decrease the clutter in your house if you're getting rid of books you don't really want.

My parents - especially my father - are avid book collectors. My mother has been asking my father for years to go through his books and get rid of some. Last Sunday, I told my dad that I'd joined Paper Back Swap as a way to acquire inexpensive homeschooling materials. And I suggested that, if he wanted to, he could donate any old books he didn't want anymore to my cause. After all, it's all about his granddaughter's education, and doesn't he want to support her learning?

He assured me that he'd go through them soon and send me home with books.


I'm still on knitting hiatus. I'm working ever so slowly on a pair of mittens for Amber, but I can only bring myself to knit when I'm too bored to do anything else. I'm not sure what's happened. It's scary. Knitting is what I do, it's how I stay sane. :::gasp::: what if I go crazy now?

But I'm happy to report that our Mexico trip is almost entirely scrapbooked. I'm glad I blogged it all the way I did - I can just print out blog entries and scrap them right along with the pictures. I'll be glad later, when I'm old and can't remember the details of the trip, that I wrote so much now.

The Sisterhood Awards

Dani presented me with a Sisterhood Award. :o) Made my day, I tell ya.

Now, it's my turn.

1. My first award has to go to Deb. She qualifies as the most caring, honest, encouraging, generous person I think I've ever met on the internet. On many levels, I'd be lost without her friendship, guidance and support. Here's to you, Cybermom. :o)

2. Katey is without a doubt the most caring person I have encountered in a long time. Check out her prayer blog too - she makes it a point to seek people out that need praying for, and let everyone else know too. It takes a special person to care so much about others.

3. Tricia has six beautiful children, and has managed to still maintain a wonderful sense of humor. (Maybe that's a necessity with a lot of kids?) Anyway, she's my hero for being able to look at life with a light hearted point of view.

4. Kim gets my award for being a fun, outgoing mama (at least, outgoing online!) She approached me as a "friend of a friend" and now I'm so thankful she has. And go look at her blog and see the pictures of beautiful Kathryn Elizabeth, born just a few days ago.

5. Dani, of course, gets an award too. :o) Dani is a mommy like me - kinda crunchy, kinda crafty, homeschooling, attachement parenting, all that good stuff. She's creative, adventurous, and loves her babies. So Dani gets the Like-Minded Sisterhood award.

6. Y'all should check out Carol's blog. Seriously, she spends an amazing amount of time and energy posting every awesome deal and freebie she can find, for everyone to enjoy. If you're looking to tighten up and save some money, Carol can probably teach you everything you need to know - she taught me!

7. I'm not sure the actual name of the blogger or if there are several, but "Molly Green" from Econobusters is a blog I came across recently that I just keep going back to. Definitely worth a look if you live anything like I do - that blog is full of great ideas!


Now here's what you do when you receive this.

1. Display this award on your blog.

2. Leave a comment to those you gave it to, letting them know they have it.

3. Link back to the person who gave it to you.

4. Pass it on to 10 or fewer bloggers who you think demonstrate great attitude and/or gratitude.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

A good week

Overall, it's been a darn good week. The sun has been shining (aside from the snow we woke up to today), the girls have been good and cute and happy, and I've been comfortably productive.

I got the early stuff planted in the garden this week - peas, broccoli, lettuce and spinach. The light snow we got today will be perfect to keep them evenly moist and hopefully encourage sprouting. Chloe helped with the peas - she's excited to be gardening again too.

I started the second mitten for Amber. I'm hoping once I finish this, I'll be inspired to start something new. Right now, I'm just not in the mood to knit. How did this happen? This has never happened. In the meantime though, I've been having a great time scrapbooking our Mexico vacation and making plans for other pages. I need to get caught up - I'm way too behind right now on my scrapbooks.

Neither of my girls are in perfect health right now, and that's a little bit stressful. I think Chloe has an ear infection. She's never had one before - I've never dealt with one before - so I'm a little at a loss as to what to do for her. She told me last night her ear was hurting and then pretty much cried herself to sleep all the while holding and hitting her ear. :o( I slept on the pull-out couch with her last night, thereby assuring I wouldn't get a wink of sleep. She's also still coughing so much she gags herself on occasion, and isn't sleeping well either. Poor girl.

And Cora's had diarrhea now since she was on that horrible antibiotic for her impetigo. If I can keep enough acidophillus in her system then it clears up, but it's hard to do- she doesn't seem to like it much, even when mixed with applesauce or whatever. And of course with diarrhea comes a miserable diaper rash. Yesterday she was begging me to help her poop on the potty so she wouldn't have to do it in her diaper, but when she sat down she got scared, and then just cried and asked for her diaper again. Poor kid, she starts wailing right before she's about to go. It's sad.

So hopefully both of them start feeling better soon. Thankfully, despite their ailments, they are pretty happy during the day. Yesterday we sat out in the front yard for three and a half hours. I went through curriculum and reviewed the scope and sequence for first grade, I knitted for awhile, and played kick ball. Cora had herself a little picnic (all of her own accord. Where does she learn things like this?) and Chloe played happily with her little animal figures. Have I mentioned how glad I am that it's mostly spring? :o)

And my husband still has a job, and is at least getting some hours.

So yeah, it's been a good week as far as I'm concerned. Today we have no school, so we'll sit around and watch Saturday morning cartoons and relax and cuddle all morning.

Some photos from yesterday - picnic time:

Silly girl - her hair is always hanging in her face like this. Makes me crazy, but it sure doesn't seem to bother her.

And my little ham. As soon as she sees a camera, it's "tease!" I find it fascinating how much personality such a small little person can have.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Halliburton in the News

We knew they were laying people off - we were thinking more like a few dozen though.

Halliburton in the News

Now they're saying up to 300, though who knows if that's accurate or not. That's a huge number. I'm so thankful Andrew had to get up at 2 am for work today.

We made our way through the past year's finances yesterday to get an idea of where we spend our money and where we can cut back if we need to. It'll be interesting.

Ya know what I keep thinking though? Is it possible that in the end, a huge depression might not be a bad thing for humanity? We live such an extravagant life - nearly all of us do, especially here in America. (I'm not including the poor in that statement. I'm talking about the middle and upper class families.) We have so much, and it sometimes feels like we don't know when to stop. Maybe an economy crash will put things back into perspective, maybe it will make us live a little bit more reasonably. I'm as guilty as the next guy of having too much, wanting too much, being smitten with this life that revolves so often around material things. Want something, need something? No problem - go buy it. It's an easy thing to get swept up in, though it goes against my core values. I don't doubt an economic recession will be a tough thing for our nation to deal with - especially if it lasts 10 years or more like the last one. But I wonder if maybe it'll put life more in perspective for people at the end of it all. Does that make sense? It seems like a more complicated thought than what I can say with words.

Anyway, I'm off to the races - skipping the gym today to get more accomplished at home and let my poor, tired body take a break. Chloe's been coughing half the night still, and sounds terrible. She just lays there and wimpers, it breaks my heart. Robitussin finally seemed to do the trick last night when the homeopathic honey-based cough syrup didn't.

So yeah, lots to do, and still a little girl who doesn't feel great. I better get moving!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Our little bubble has burst.

Our little town has been in a bubble as far as the economic crisis is concerned - with our oil field here everyone has still had plenty of money, things have been good. We haven't felt the crunch much at all compared to the rest of the nation.

But it looks like that's all changing. With gas prices so low the oil companies aren't drilling so much, and things are slowing down. Some frac companies have pulled out of town altogether. Others are laying people off left and right. Andrew works at Halliburton, probably the longest standing oil-field related company in town, a well-known company across the nation. But today they're laying off a bunch of people too. Andrew's hours have been scaled back tremendously - from 1oo+ hours each week to 40. Funny, I was complaining about all the work he was having to do, and now I'm wishing he'd get some more hours.

The silver lining? He's home more. It's so wonderful to wake up in the morning with him and go to bed at night with him, to cook him dinner and talk to him and spend time with him. So while things may get a little tighter as far as money goes, I'll accept that without complaint for the extra time I get to spend with my husband.

It's not just us though - my parents are having a hard time financially right now, and that's something they've never dealt with, at least not since they were very young. My little brother is clueless. He's 18 now, he should be getting ready to get out on his own, but it'll be harder than ever right now for him, and he doesn't really understand that. Instead he just asks for more money to go snowboarding. Argh. I'd like to kick him sometimes.

The woman that runs the daycare at the gym told me the other day her husband got laid off from a long-standing local lumber company where he'd worked for 7 years. He managed to find a job working in a gas station for now, but that doesn't come with enough pay or insurance - and she's 6 months pregnant. They're applying for Medicaid now to cover the birth of the baby since their insurance is gone.

There are so many stories I'm hearing lately... it makes me realize what the rest of the nation has been going through. It was easy to ignore it while we were sitting her in our happy little economic bubble, but it looks like that bubble has popped and left us out there with everyone else, and that's kind of scary. There's so much unknown... and I fear the unknown!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I'm stealing

From Dani's blog:

"I'm always up for a good challenge aren't you? Last week, my friend, Kim, presented a challenge on her blog that I didn't hesitate to be a part of. All I had to do was be one of the first 3 bloggers to leave a comment on her post and in doing so, I would receive a handmade gift from her. Yippeee for me! I was #2!!! Now, let me just say that I have received a couple of handmade gifts from Kim before so I can't wait to see the fun, creative, and crafty thing she comes up with! Don't you just love receiving a special gift in the mail?

Now it's your turn to be a part of this challenge....

Be one of the first 3 bloggers to leave a comment here on my post. Those 3 bloggers will then receive a handmade gift from me. The first 3 bloggers can then pay-it-forward to 3 bloggers on their blog. All you have to do is:
~ post this challenge on your blog
~ the gift can be anything you choose and any price range
~ and you have 365 days to make/ship your item.

How about that for spreading some love around blog land!!!"

My craft of choice, my time line, and full of love from me to you.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Li'l bits

Misc. Mexico bits:

The guide, Arturro, for our Nohoch Cenote tour, announced as we were leaving the hotel, "We will go to the ocean, and we will make snorkel." Thinking of that still makes me giggle. Making snorkel is fun. :o)

As we were pulling off of our street in Grand Junction at midnight Saturday to drive to Denver, and I was running through all of the necessities that may have been left behind in my head, I asked Andrew, "You do have your passport, right?" He immediately swung a wide U-turn and headed back toward the house. LOL And he's the responsible one.

On the interstate on the way out of town Kenny Chesney's "Beer in Mexico" came on the radio. That's been my ringtone for the past month.

And then shortly after that, we saw a falling star, the first one I've ever seen.

Those were my three signs that we were going to have a perfect trip. Gotta remember to scrapbook that.


For dinner tonight, I served my children TV dinners, and even ate one myself. I've never done that before. Oh my goodness, what convenience! You just throw everything away, wash some forks, and dinner's done. Fascinating. Lazy, but kind of cool. It won't become a habit - that food was terrible.


And it really didn't seem like a good idea when Chloe coughed so hard that it all came back up. On the couch. If you have a child with long hair, and she's coughing really hard, pull her hair back. Otherwise you will be washing and scrubbing and picking little bits of throw-up out of her hair for the rest of the night. Trust me.

All was good and well - I cleaned it up with the closest thing possible, a baby blanket, and got Chloe in the tub. I set the blanket on the floor by the toilet to be cleaned up later, and started scrubbing Chloe. Then Cora came in to investigate, picked up the blanket and smeared vomit all over the floor, wall, toilet, and herself. Into the tub she went with her sister while I mopped all of that up. I'm amazed that I didn't gag myself, but I managed. Got the girls cleaned, dried and dressed and went back to clean up the towels. I was getting ready start a necessary load of laundry when Cora came in pointing at her diaper and saying "uh oh." Awesome. A diaper full of runny diarrhea... running down her leg into her footie jammies and out the top of the diaper too.

I know it wasn't the TV dinners, but maybe that's a hint I shouldn't buy those too frequently, just in case. :oP

And just for good measure, the dog has gas. What a night.


Andrew got the garden tilled yesterday. I put all the stepping stones back out to create 5' square beds, and drew out the garden plan. I have high hopes this year for the garden, we'll see how well it goes. I planted some lettuce today, and need to buy broccoli, peas and spinach tomorrow and hurry and get them in. I'm thankful for a long growing season.

It was 72 degrees today. It's amazing what some warmth and sunshine can do for the spirits. Between coming back from vacation and spring arriving, I just feel good. It's so nice. I hope everyone out there is getting some warmer weather and is feeling great too.