Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Raw Milk

Ok, I know that some of you are going to think I'm crazy for this, but a few months ago, we started drinking raw milk. That's right, not pasteurization, no homogenization, but instead straight from cow to refrigerator.

Some friends from our small group had been talking about it, (funny, they talked us into raw milk but never mentioned the fact that they sell Amway...ha!) and how much they and their son have loved it. With a little research as well as picking up our friends' share for them one week, we were convinced. It didn't hurt that the farm is only ten minutes away and right behind our regular grocery store.

We love it. Love the taste, love the good nutrients and healthy bacteria it provides, love the freshness and local consuming of it. We especially love just going to the farm, seeing "our" cow along with the ducks and the pigs and the chickens. They also have fresh breads and meats and cheeses and eggs that we can pick up right there.

Personally, I have experienced one of the most amazing health benefits of this milk. Now, a few times a year I catch myself a cold. They are always the same. Sneezing, sore throat & runny nose for a few days and then progressing to a hacking cough for a week or more. I've mentioned before how great Zicam is. If you haven't tried it, take the chewable tablets or mouth spray right at the start of your cold (during the sore throat part--first day) and your cold will be noticeably shorter.

My friends, I think I found the natural version.

Since I am currently gestating, the only medicine I have been taking is the occasional Tylenol for a headache. I've had two colds this fall. Neither of them lasted longer than two or three days and neither of them made it past the sneezing and (very slight) sore throat. Milder than any cold I've ever had and never have I succeeded in avoiding the coughing stage.

I think it's time for some more hot cocoa with milk...


Friday, December 11, 2009

Feeling Crafty. Part 2.


At the moment I am working on completing my boy diaper stock. (In case I didn't mention it, I seem to be having a boy!) I finished the first of the "monkey buns" fabric and have another in that material to do today as well as a cool black & gray stripe. 
They are so soft and fabulous, I can't wait to use them! I want to be sure I have at least 12 various dipes to start with as those silly newborns go through diapers fast.

 It's hard to say if they will be small enough for my itty bitty dude or not, but they will work for some stage at least and then I plan to make bigger ones later. I also have no problem putting my child in pink diapers if need be. Little guy will be likely to play kitchen and dolls with his big sis anyway. 

The best part is that Andy has PJ pants in this fabric. 


Last night I whipped up some quick curtains for the play room. They aren't finished, but I have had the fabric for several months now so I wanted to get them at least started. The next step is purchasing some simple white felt for a thick, protective layer on the back. Especially in the winter, anything to keep out the cold is helpful. Our windows are newer but I can still feel the cold on
 them. After the felt, I'm going to add some dark blue ribbon ties to snug them up in the middle so I can still look out when I want to. 


And yes, that is indeed Dick & Jane fabric. I'm kind of in love with it. It perfectly complements the light yellow walls (that my favorite craigslist friend helped me paint!)  as well as the dark blue carpet and green & white box storage. Plus, it's darn cute. 





With all of this I'm trying to clear my list of projects after several new items as well as many fix-its and repairs and etc. Darning socks and sweaters, tightening buttonholes and replacing buttons, replacing broken zippers and repairing towel bibs.


I do so love my towel bibs. Over the past few months I have made several bibs of old towels trimmed with bias tape or ribbon and they are the best if I may say so myself. They always seem to work better at both preventing and cleaning up meal messes than any of our store-bought bibs. 



The very last thing on my current list is another work project. I need to build and cover a little bench seat for our preschool wing at church. Sadly, this has been on my list for many, many months. Yeesh. This is partly because I need my handy man to cut the wood for me before I shape the foam and staple on the fabric. Come ON, handy man, get to it! It's not like you have a huge list of things to do anywhere else in the house or anything. 







Thursday, December 10, 2009

Feeling Crafty. Part 1.

I don't know if it's the fact that we've been happily cooped up for several days of serious snow weather lately or what, but I have been getting my craft on. 

Last week I sewed up a whole pile of new costumes for church. While we didn't end up using all of them for the children's event, we definitely needed new ones and it was fun playing with the different 
fabrics and textures and getting a little creative. 

I'd show a picture of us in some of the costumes, but apparently we were overcome with the holy spirit at the time...or else it was just a weird trick of the lighting because all that could be seen in the photo was a huge beam of light where we were standing. Hmm. 

This weekend I worked on a little snowflake project. You need a box of Borax, some heavy thread or yarn, a good-sized pitcher and some pipe cleaner. 




The measurements were 3 tablespoons of Borax to one cup of boiling water, but you could probably get away with a little less. I ended up making one large flake and one little one. 

After twisting the pipe cleaners into your desired flaky shape and tying on the string, hang it from a pencil or stick of some sort into the water. Be careful not to let it touch any of the sides or it will get stuck! This is an overnight project, so just pop it in the liquid and leave it for a while. 



The next morning (or evening, whenever you remember to pull it out...) you will have frosty snowflakes! The still seem to be a bit flexible but very icy. I just need to pick up some suction cups so I can hang it from my kitchen window.
 
This is an easy and fun project for the kids as well. Little to no mess and quick for short attention spans!

Friday, December 04, 2009

First Snow


Today was the first big snowfall (heck, first snowfall at all!) of the year. We figured the kiddo probably doesn't remember snow from last year and her grandparents had just bought her new snow pants and boots. Therefore, out she went with her new warm gear and her daddy in his flannel jeans. 

Every time he would shovel some of the sidewalk she would scoot her little feet behind on the cleared area. She was enthralled with the cold, white flakes on her mittens and tried valiantly to make snowballs but mostly ended up with white pancakes. 




The best part of the morning was the little snow person they made. She loved this little guy and even tried to kiss it (from a good foot away). She poked each of his eyes, patted his hair and helped stick in his little carrot nose. 

I have a feeling she could have stayed out much longer, but she started refusing to wear her mittens and her little fingers were getting mighty cold. 


Luckily for her, her mama made some cocoa and gave her a cookie to warm back up. Mmm. Remember how great it used to be to play in the snow and then come in to cocoa and cookies? Maybe that's one of the best parts of kids. We get to relive our favorite things from childhood with them!

Now we just need to get a sled so we can pull her around the neighborhood and over to the park. 









Thursday, November 19, 2009

Make or Buy

What is your plan this year? Do you already have your Christmas list filled, wrapped and tucked away or are you still planning on picking up a bunch of gifts next Friday? 

Generally I am a big fan of the black Friday sales and love the lure and thrill of the hunt. Not to mention, good sales help the economy, right? 

This year, due to the new roof and new attic, we won't be buying each other or anyone else anything. That doesn't mean I won't be giving presents!! No indeed. I'm looking forward to Make Something Day. Though it might take more like a month and not just a day.

Both plans are equally good and fun! What's yours this year? 

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Another Great Deal

Since I'm on a kick of telling you lovely interweb folks about great deals, I thought I should let you know that tomorrow is the last day to get restaurant.com gift certificates for 80% off. 

Have you bought GCs from them before? There are restaurants available practically everywhere and the deal is impossible to beat. I just spent $4 for $50 worth of restaurant coupons. Seriously. For some of my favorite places in town. It's really the only way we can afford to eat out. We will generally have about a $30 bill and spend about $10 overall with the tip. 

Anyway, check it out. Just enter the code ENTREE at checkout. You have up to a year to use the gift certificate. Plus, these are great to give as gifts or use when you're traveling. You can select any zip code and find a great place to eat out anywhere. 

20 Weeks

Um, apparently this means I'm half-way there? That seems like a rather frightful thought. Not only is there currently nowhere for this child to sleep, but the to-do list to prepare for it is horribly long. 

We'd ideally like to have the insulation and drywall hung in the attic before the first snowfall. Then it will be a matter of finances in getting it mudded and then the room carpeted before said child makes their appearance.

Unfortunately, I can't begin to prepare a nursery until the attic is finished as everything that is generally stored in the attic is currently stored in the to-be-nursery room. There would probably be enough room to stow a bassinet, but not to walk around it or actually get to it and therefore not very useful. 


Anxiously I await the ultrasound to find out if there will be a need to buy blue and green clothing or start sorting out the tubs of pinks. Only a week and a half before we hopefully get an answer. Though I am not too worried if my child is shy. I have easily met my deductible for the year so if more ultrasounds are needed, I can get them scheduled! It's more just the wondering to know. 

As any expectant parent will say, I'll be happy with whatever gender pops out, but my symptoms have been almost entirely identical to my first pregnancy. Thus leading me to believe that there is a girl type baby swimming around in my belly. As active as the first too. I guess we'll just wait and see. 

These pics were both taken last night. I have been horribly remiss in getting good belly shots done this time around, so we're are attempting to remedy that. Am feeling rather huge lately, but the scale says I've only gained 6 pounds so far so I guess it's not too bad. Hating the reflux, and eating lots of Tums. Lovely. 

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Get Them Before They're Gone!


I have been keeping my eyes out for the semi-annual sale of cloth diapers. Twice a year or so, I get an email saying that they are having a big close out at one of my favorite sites for dipes. Every order has been fabulous with them and I have been very happy with the quality of everything I have purchased there.

Click for the list of what is still available in the outlet store. Everything is half off and the discounted price will show up in your cart before you check out.  I stocked up on smalls so come March/April my new baby's buns will be well covered! Though, often newborns can be smaller than the smalls so it might be more like May before the buns are covered with cloth. 

If you currently use cloth, you already know what a great deal this is and will hurry over. If you haven't tried cloth, this is a great time to give them a chance. Your baby's bootie will thank you! (as will your budget-most people say they save over a thousand bucks)

 Feel free to ask me any questions you may have about cloth diapering as I've been at it for (gasp) almost two years now and I also have lots of resources to share to any future converts!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Kitty Kats

I don't like the scary goulish part of halloween. It always creeps me out to walk into the hastily set-up, dirty with last year's costumes, filled with hooker outfits, noisy as I go past the mummies with blinking red eyes temporary Halloween stores. Yet, every year I find myself there in the store looking for, what? Inspiration?


Regardless, I love having halloween parties. They are my favorite parties to throw. I love hanging silly things from the ceilings, cooking "scary" foods ("hand" meatloaf, radioactive hummus, brussels sprouts, etc), dressing up and eating candy with friends. Especially friends who go all out with their costumes. Even better than that, now that I have a kiddo, I get to dress HER up. And darn it, kids are so cute in their little costumes!

The week before Halloween it was cold and rainy and yet we still trudged across the park to hit "The Zoo Goes Boo." Luckily, there was one candy spot where they were handing out full sized candy bars and the Hershey bar mysteriously went right into Mama's pocket.  Here you see my little white kitten with her kitty basket trying to decide how much she really wanted to be out treating. 



The day of Halloween, I didn't have to work, so as it was cold and rainy yet
 again, we decided to brave the mall and do our treating inside. Later I found out that one of our local colleges do great dorm treating so we will have to be sure to go there next year. 

Yes, I realize that this is two weeks past due, but darn it, interweb, didn't you want to see this cute little pink & white kitten? 



Thursday, November 05, 2009

I Love My Hair

In general, I have pretty thin hair. My fabulous stylist says I have plenty of hair but that the strands are thin. I guess that makes me feel a little better. Most of the time I have to wash my hair every day if I want to look presentable. 

Most of the time I don't really mind too much how presentable I am. Frankly, if I'm staying home with the kiddo all day I am perfectly ok with the Mommytail. 

However. Right now I have pregnant hair. It took a couple months to kick in, but once it did, it became glorious. Maybe not to you, maybe not for anyone else to notice, but to me--glorious. I don't have to wash it for at least three days and it can still look fresh and silky yet grease-free. 
Some days I go curly and use my diffuser, other days I take a little more time and flat iron it. The times I straighten it I know will last the longest. Somehow, I don't even get bedhead! 

In my google reader, I subscribe to several Freebies blogs. Last week I got a free sample in the mail for Pureology's Super Smooth Smoothing Elixir. I have always loved this brand for shampoos & conditioners, but haven't had a chance to try any other products before. 

Am. In. Love. First of all, i didn't just get a little bitty one-time-use packet, I got a full-sized bottle! Secondly, while I only used a little bit, this stuff seriously made my hair much smoother. I used no other products after showering and I could tell a big difference when flat ironing. Frankly, it took less time to straighten than usual as well. Big win there!

I know my hair is only going to be this great for the next six months or so, but I'm loving every last moment that I have until I start balding again. At least I'll still probably have some elixir left to at least help with the styling process. 


Friday, October 30, 2009

Drip Drop

There's something so innately soothing about rain. The drip, drip, drip, pitter, patter, pit. Makes you just want to curl up with some hot cider and a good book. Even a big storm, when it ferociously whips against your windows with gale forces bringing down the last vestiges of leaves, can somehow be calming. 

Except when it is drip, drip, dripping inside your house at 3 am. That is a whole lot less soothing. 

Last night we were awakened by my fussy child who's paci had fallen out. (Yeah, I know, she should give up the paci, but that's the last thing I want to deal with right now.) I stumbled to the crib, cram the bink in and stumble back to bed. 

Except I noticed a steady stream of drips onto the hall floor. This is made even worse by the fact that there should not ever be water coming down from above there. After stumbling up to the attic, we (mostly Andy, I can't actually see at night, am blind as a bat) discovered some serious holes in the roof tarps. Like, not-joking-around-about-rain-coming-in kind of holes. Added to which was the serious wind and excessive pouring down buckets of rain. 


The good news, which was reported to me after said husband climbed back into bed, is that the skylight already installed was dry as a bone. Phew. 

During breaks in the drips today he is going to try to get as much put up as possible. Only, of the special order windows for the other holes, we're still missing one. Sigh.


We would try to do this during the rainiest time of the year so far, wouldn't we? 

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Disorganized, Disconnected, Disturbing


Lately it has felt like practically everything in my life is out of my control. Good work is getting done on the house, but like all old homes, every step of the way seems much more difficult and more time consuming and more messy than it needs to be and somehow escalates so that I am completely overwhelmed. Of course, with all home improvements, the period before the home is improved often finds the home vastly unimproved. 






I feel as though I can't but make wrong choices and life is more complicated at every turn. Everything seems like it is just harder than it needs to be. Not that I'm complaining that life should be all peaches and roses, but lately I just can't seem to handle it all. Financially, emotionally, spiritually, I am disconnected and frustrated. Drained. 








Fortunately, today was a good day. Hubby made a fantastic breakfast for us all this morning, the sun actually was shining and it was quite warm. Warm enough to go for a walk to the park and see the lake monster. Plus, I captured some fabulous pics of my kiddo. Crazy little munchkin makes me laugh all day. Here you see the most common phrase of hers, "Come on." She doesn't prefer to play alone lately, always wanting Mama or Dada to be at least near her if not playing with her. She gestures her little hand to you and you can't help but take it and follow wherever she leads. 

Monday, October 19, 2009

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Things I Really Love

I’ve wanted a kitchen corner nook table since we bought this house. It just seemed as though it would be the perfect fit and save space as well. For years, we have kept our eyes open for one and even found a great one at a local wood store, but it was a bit more than we could pay so we kept looking.


A few weeks ago in a sales flyer I saw the perfect table and bench set for my kitchen corner and it was at the perfect price.

It was flat packed and needing to be built, which is something I actually love doing. With the help of a friend, I got the table I always wanted.

You’ll never guess where I got it. No really, you won’t.

I totally have the biggest crust on Aldi. I've always been a fan, really. But seriously, this thing is fabulous. Storage in the benches for my napkins and such. Plus, every time I go, I treat myself to a bouquet of flowers that are not only inexpensive, but they also tend to last about two weeks. 

Aldi, people. Aldi. 

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fall-ish

We hit the apple orchard today. And by hit, I mean we knocked it out of the park in picking crazy tasty apples. The trees were heavy laden, some apples even touching the ground. Bright, juicy, red apples beckoned us to take a bite before putting them into our bags. My mouth is watering now just thinking of how fabulous they were. 

Sunday will be the big sauce-ing day and I can't wait to smell up the entire house with apple-y goodness. The leaves haven't all turned yet, but with the a stop at the orchard and the cooler air (and a need to have the heating guy come fix our heater) it definitely feels like it is fall. 

I'm stocking up on my fall decor and ready to put out my pumpkins. The halloween party is approaching and I can't wait for pumpkin pies and cookies and spiced cider. Not to mention a good excuse to eat more candy. 


Monday, September 21, 2009

Progress

The kitchen got a facelift today. 

Everything got moved into the newly finished basement Studio today. 

The playroom started taking shape today. 

The best part is, we got to sleep in and then have a leisurely family breakfast of omelets & cinnamon rolls together. 

Mondays are the greatest. 

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Cutie Stinkin' Patootie

These days, my child cracks me up more and more. Sure, she's throwing more tantrums and obeying less, but the cute things she is doing are trying desperately to outweigh that. 





We've been trying to get it on video for a while, but she and her daddy play a game with their pianos where they both play at the same time and then she puts her hands up in the air.....and they have to stop. Then start. Then stop. And on and on. It's pretty cute and it's so funny to watch her make up games. 

The other day I heard a noise out of the corner of my ear (don't you hear that way?) and knew it was my child getting on her daddy's laptop when she shouldn't be. I immediately go over and use my serious mom voice to tell her in no uncertain terms that she should not be doing what she was doing. Andy walks into the room and she turns to him and flashes a huge silly grin, as if to say, "Yo Dad, I'm totally in trouble." Unfortunately, I completely lost it. It was too darn cute and I had to walk away doubled over laughing. Discipline fail. 



Today she spent at least 10 minutes moving the cat's food from one dish to another. Quietly picking up dropped pieces and putting them back into the bowl. The cat just sat and stared, not sure how to intervene without losing fur. Fortunately, she has become a very patient kitty. 

Some days I feel as though I will
 never get her to eat anything but cereal and then she goes and surprises me by happily eating a meal with us of salmon, rice and peas. I content myself with knowing that if few veggies get in, she will always drink a smoothie with all kinds of fruit and hidden vegetables. Nutrition by trickery, that's my motto. 


And those faces. I love the raised eyebrows and the grouchy face and the eyes squinched tight. Oh, but the best new game that we play is sleepy time. Yesterday after her nap we were playing in her room with various toys when she pulls a pillow off the rocker and lays it on the floor. Then she pushes me down, brings me a blankie and some stuffed friends, has me turn on the fan, kisses me (with the best kissy noises), says "nigh, nigh" and proceeds to walk out of the room, closing the door behind her. She was a little bothered that she couldn't turn off the light, but it all worked out ok. Gee, if my own kid makes me take a nap, I'm doing great. 
 

Sunday, September 13, 2009

On Lots of Stuff and Also a Few Things...

I keep thinking that life is going to slow down. Until I realize that it really isn't. That I need to take the quiet times and hold on to them, to savor them while they last. 

This summer has been a whirlwind of travel and home improvements and gardening (at which I was sadly very unsuccessful this year) and canning (at which I was surprising adept) and work. Somehow I always assume that work will be a little quieter and a little easier in the summer but it never really is. There is always chaos and planning and extra work that wasn't originally planned. 

I will admit to being rather proud of my canning this year. It is something my mother always did a lot of and I never learned how to do, something I will always regret. Instead, I bought the bible of canning: Ball's. 
I've been able to use this guide for every recipe I have needed and it hasn't failed me yet. There were a few terms I had to look up, but other than that, I'm a huge fan of this handy dandy guidebook. 

This year I put away strawberry & strawberry rubharb jam, peach jam, peaches, pickles, tomato sauce & tomato soup, diced tomatoes and today I am working on grape juice and grape jelly. I would like to do pears, pear jam and also applesauce. Now that I feel as though I have the hang of it, I'm on a roll!


However, at the same time, I'm completely exhausted. I'm 11 weeks preggo (most of you were aware of this little tidbit via Facebook, that purveyor of all things) and this little critter is sucking all of my energy. Some days I feel as though getting up off of the couch is asking too much of me and other days I can accomplish a few things. It seems as though I can get the most done in the evenings, but I also feel the most nauseated them. Frankly, I just can't win. My house is generally a mess and there is always a pile of laundry somewhere that needs to be put away. The worst part is that there is no good tv on right now to keep my lazy self occupied!

Home improvements haven't been at all helped my my lack of motivation. I was able to prime the basement (with low-odor paint) but that was probably three weeks ago now. Theoretically, I will be energized enough to do that tonight, but I can't promise anything. We really want to have the studio finished and everything moved down there this month so that I can paint and curtain the new playroom and get these blasted toys out of my dining room. That is going to be a fun and creative project that I am really looking forward to as well. 

On top of all that, I originally wanted to be able to move into our attic master suite by snowfall but now I'm just hoping for it to be insulated and dry-walled by them. Since there is virtually no insulation up there, that is pretty much a requirement here in good ol' Michigan. The rest won't be as difficult. (again, theoretically)

Regardless, by April (or maybe late March?) this house needs to be ship shape. Because by then, I'm going to be running after a two year old and keeping an infant alive at the same time. Yikes. (ok, I know many of you have way more than two children, but it still seems like quite a challenge to me)

I am tired (of being tired and also) of feeling so very disorganized and cluttered. Of feeling like it isn't just my stuff that is everywhere, but it's also my brain and my life. Did I mention how horribly my garden grew this year? That crazy jungle needs to be cleaned out and mulched over. Next year is there is going to be a very minimal amount of growing done. We'll call it a year to let the ground rest, how about that?I need to sell a ton of things and de-clutter. There are multitudinous sewing and/or crafting projects that need to be done.  Basically, there is an endless list that I feel is hovering over me. 

I'm just so blasted TIRED.  

Monday, September 07, 2009

Friday, August 21, 2009

What I Don't Teach

You don't have to teach a toddler how to throw a fit. You don't have to teach her how to scream at you.

I never taught my daughter that she should throw her food or her dishes on the floor. Nor have I taught her to ignore my requests.

However, I apparently don't have to teach her how to clean up after herself either. A couple days ago she spilled some milk out of her sippy. When she noticed the dribble on the floor, she ran to the kitchen, pulled a towel out of the towel drawer and came back to wipe it up.

I'm not sure if this is really my kid after all.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Stay Tuned

I like things. No, really, I do. Stuff is good. Granted, I am trying to weed out unnecessary junk and sell it all on craigslist, but I tend to find myself spending a lot of time screen shopping. Quite often, I will even pick things out, have a full shopping cart and then just close the window. Please tell me I'm not the only one that does this?

Anyway, I was approached by csn mattress to check out their products and get something in return. Geez, who's eyes wouldn't be perked by that? (I would have said ears, but since it was an email, eyes made more sense...)

At any rate, I got to screen shop for a bit and then even pick something out for free! I am going to try out some of their linens so I'll keep you posted on how the products turn out.

Pretend Money

I discovered tonight that I think cash is pretend. 

It's only the money that I put on my debit card that is real. The money in my checking account is what I have to budget from, subtract from and monitor. The green stuff in my wallet is more like a coupon. 

At least that was the realization I came to this evening. 

It all began as an innocent shopping excursion to CVS. My coupons were stacked on top of great sales and deals and more coupons. I saved at least twenty-three dollars with coupons. 

Then I handed over my cash. When I saw the final total I thought, "Sweet! All this for only twelve bucks!"

Apparently, the twenty was just another coupon. 

Monday, August 03, 2009

Mom Advice

Hey there Moms. I need some advice. I am thinking that it is time to actively start potty-training my little munchkin and wondered what your best resources, tips and tricks were/are. 

She seems to always tell me when she has just gone in her diaper and asks for a clean one and she's often dry after a nap or long stretches of time. She has a little pink potty and likes sitting on it, but doesn't seem to understand how to go. I don't expect to be able to do it in a day and am fully ready to spend some time and effort on it. I am also fully ready to be done with diapers! 

Ok. Hit me with your best shot. 

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Kashi, How I Love Thee

video

Kashi, if you'd like to send my child some samples of your fabulous products, we would be more than happy to help her eat them. 

She has recently discovered the joy of a bowl of milk and cereal. She's her Daddy's girl. 

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I Love Vinegar

As I have said before, it is berry season. Blackberries grow abundantly in my little backyard and they are sweeter than anything I have ever bought from a store. Just a couple more weeks and we will be able to go blueberry picking. 

Baby girl could eat her weight in berries, but the big problem is the juice. And the subsequent stains on all of baby girl's shirts. Or pants. Or socks. Yeah, this kid is a little messy. Takes right after her mama. 




While many of her outfits are play clothes that she can get dirty in, I still want to be able to get the stains out, but the berry stains were baffling me. You all have probably already figured this out, but I just solved the berry situation. 

Put a pile (not too huge, just enough to cover the stain) of baking soda on the berry mark then douse it thoroughly with vinegar. I generally try to make it bubble up at least twice. Leave it for about 15 minutes, then rinse with cold water and wash in a cold load. If it doesn't come out, try another dose. I find once usually does the trick, but twice will definitely fix it. 

Plus, if it is on white cloth, you can also leave it in the sun to bleach out. Another benefit of line drying. 

This Thursday, I love vinegar & baking soda solutions! What do you love today? 

Friday, July 10, 2009

Strawberry Summer


There's nothing better in the summer than fresh strawberry shortcake. It tastes even sweeter when your baby girl helps you make the biscuits. She poured the flour, baking powder and salt then helped me roll out the dough and cut it into little heart shapes. 

It was so tasty. 

So tasty, in fact, that I might have to eat more tomorrow and the day after and the day after that. 

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

My kid drives me crazy sometimes. We all know the unnecessary whining, the spontaneous tantrum on the floor, the kicking and twisting while trying to change an excessively messy diaper, or the refusal to eat anything but a stick of cheese and a pickle. 









Then there are the sweet times. She runs over to give me a pucker kiss when I ask for one. A great song comes on and she dances in a circle holding hands with her baby doll. The times when a new word comes out unexpectedly and used correctly. Like elbow. Who knew elbow would sound so cute? And truthfully, she points more at her wrist, but it's close. 








But sometimes I am just baffled by this little girlie. I've come to the conclusion that she actually likes napping. If it's just the right time (and I do have to time it perfectly) all I have to do is suggest that it might be nap time and she stands up from playing, waves goodbye to everything (every. thing.) in the room and heads off upstairs. We collect a blanket and a stuffed friend and I plunk her down in the crib and that is that. I think this could be one of my favorite attributes of hers. It's so sweet. 

And yeah, it's also great for getting things done or reading a book. 

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Because I Miss My Baby Girl


Mama said I could have just ONE cookie.








Hi there. I'm cute. And sweet. And full of smiles. And my mama misses me. Sigh. 











Also, randomly and because I loved this picture, I had great flowers this spring. My peonies bloomed so big and bright and beautiful. They were so big I brought in several vases full and still  had to send bouquets home with friends! 

The summer daisies and echinacea and black-eyed-susans are about to bloom as well. But I'm confuse
d by two mum plants. Blossomed already!? Usually my mums don't pop until September at the earliest. Crazy. 




Aaaand one more sweet baby face. With some type of food on it. The girl likes to eat, what can I say. 

Love you, baby girl. Can't wait to be able to hug you again. 

Things I Love Thursday - Drugs, Music, Men

Surgery went well yesterday. I overheard the nurses talking about me while I was recovering and they said it was the usual and I was very healthy and should recover well. All in all, I was only at the hospital for a little over six hours. 

I definitely loved the morphine the most. Not to mention a friend loaded up my ipod with Morphine tunes which were absolutely perfect for recovery. Relaxing, chill and ironic. I also love being on staff with a bunch of great guys who give me great tunes. They are always up on the good stuff. 

I'm down to a lower dose of vicodin. Now, I love me pain meds as much as the next girl, but I hate, hate, hate the dizzy feeling. So I'm on a bunch of ibuprofen with a vicodin kicker. 

God knew what He was doing when He invented drugs. All power to those of you who went without them in labor, but me likee the epidural. My belly is sore and "pinchy" feeling and yet I feel good otherwise. Thank you, prescription AND over the counter pain-killers. Thank you. 

Also, my husband came out of CVS last night with a bag of dark chocolate Ghirardelli squares. He said that was written on my prescription as well. I love that man. 

Monday, June 29, 2009

Two More Days

It always seems that everyone is looking forward to something. Vacation, a visit from a friend, getting married, having a baby, starting a new job, quitting a job, when the economy turns around, etc. 

I have two days left during which I will still have all of my internal organs. This Wednesday, I'm going in to get rid of a faulty gallbladder

Personally, while I'm not nervous about it yet, I am really looking forward to not feeling sick anymore. My fingers are crossed and I am praying that this will fix the problem. They haven't given me a time yet, but if you can pray on Wednesday that it's quick and I recover relatively easily, I would greatly appreciate it!

Besides, who needs a silly gallbladder anyway?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Little Things

Some days I feel like the to-do list grows while I'm not looking and even when I can check most things off, there is a whole other list somewhere that I wasn't paying attention to. Anyone else, or is it just me? 

Anyway, the past few days have felt like that. I have bills to pay and laundry to do. Dishes to wash. But then I discover a mouse (in a house with a cat, no less!) has been living in one of my cupboards so there are things to be thrown away and everything on those shelves must be washed. Ick. So this means three or four loads of dishes along with regular dishes and things all over my counters in the meanwhile. 

I'm not the most tidy of people, but I hate a cluttered countertop. It seemed as though every time I would get one part finished, something else would come up. Like eating. And feeding my family. Sheesh. 

Then there is the garden which is getting choked out by weeds. But the sun is so blazing hot I can hardly fathom going out there for longer than it takes to water the plants. At least when I'm watering, I can spritz myself a little bit. 

Yesterday I was able to get a couple little sewing projects done. Hemmed some pants for a friend, made a tiny diaper for my girlie's baby doll and then shortened a pair of pants so I could have cute, knee-length shorts. I have been ogling this length of short until I realized I had an extra pair of brown pants that would be perfect. 

This morning I got the bills paid and the checkbook balanced. No more shopping until next week. Thankfully, we are pretty well stocked up and can root in the freezer for several days. Baby girl just needs milk. 

Now I'd better head down to wash the diapers and get started on some more dishes. And probably a pot of coffee while I'm at it. 

What's your to-do list for today?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Gender Neutral

Cars are a big favorite right now. I picked up a bag of five little cars at a garage sale last week for .50 and she has been playing with them every day since. 

(Also, while I'm on the topic, can I just reiterate how much I love garage sales? Because I really do. We got new-in-the-box Pottery Barn curtain rods that we needed for the attic, two lattices for my plants for $2, a fabulous backyard playset (like this, but different), a baby doll stroller and swing, ($1 each!) books and a bunch of clothing for winter and for Randi's soon-to-be-seen cousin. Whew. The only bummer is that there is nothing I need to get at sales for the rest of the summer. Not that that will keep me from stopping. Who knows what gems are to be found!)



Fortunately, while baby girl loves playing with her trucks, she also likes rooting through mama's purse and toting around her baby doll. The new doll stroller was a smash hit, to the point that when she has friends over she will not share this toy. Any other toy can be shared with no problem, but she will literally shove a kid out of her way to get the stroller back. We're working on that...

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Here's to a Lifetime

This is seriously one of the best things that I have seen in a long time. It's a few minutes long, but well worth the watch. I literally teared up from how fabulous it was. I love that there are groups out there doing this kind of thing. 



I think this is going to keep me smiling for the rest of the day.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Project Central

It has been busy around here. Since we decided last week that it would be in everyone's best interests to stay home from travel this week, we have been getting some work done around the house. Not too much, mind you it's still our vacation, but some. 

In an older home, there are always weird quirks that one must accommodate. Old, questionable wiring shouldn't be one of those things. Therefore, my handy dandy man redid all of the electrical for the first floor in preparation for finishing the rest of the basement. I can now plug in a three-pronged plug without having to use one of those annoying adapters. I can't tell you how irritating that has been and how thankful I am now that there is no fear of blowing the house up. At least not from the first floor electrical. 




Frankly, this is going to be a very long process. The Studio is moving to the basement once it is  finished. The Playroom (currently the living room, dining room, porch and kitchen) will be the former studio once it is painted and storage installed. Our Bedroom will move up into the Master Suite of the attic once that is re-insulated, drywalled, painted, built-in cabinets installed, closets walled in and carpet laid. The current sewing room will move one room over to where our bedroom is now and that room will become the next Nursery. (No. I am not announcing anything. Do you see how long that list is? Do you also see how this is the last item on the list? Yeah, no announcements anytime soon, believe me.)

But I'm so excited about this process. While I, as much as anyone, hate the mess and the chaos and the expense and the fatigue and the stress that a huge (HUGE) home project creates, I look forward to how much more practical the set up will be and how much more organized it will be as well. We're taking it relatively slow and easy as our budget and time allows. We've been saving for a while and scrimping the extra bits that come along to make this thing happen. 


It will be so nice to be able to shut all the dang toys away in one room. Right now the Farm and the Zoo and the Circus train are taking up residence in the play Kitchen right next to two wheeled wagons full of blocks and stuffed animals. 


At any rate, now that the electrical is done, the next steps are the walls of the basement. He is already kicking it into gear. Here you see the before shot. Pretty much just some blue walls and a lot of mess. Basements are like that. 





And here you will see some framing. Along with a bit more mess. I'm told it will only get worse before it gets any better. This week we buy some insulated, sound-reducing doors. We'll see how much of that noise we can contain down there. 





 My main job is pretty much just occupying the kiddo whilst the sawing and drilling and hammering go on. And a bit of gardening on the side. Ok, a lot of gardening. The weather has been perfect for it. Not too hot, not too cold. Goldilocks weather. Here's hoping my tummy stays in decent enough shape to finish what I have to do. 

What have you been up to lately? 

Friday, May 29, 2009

More Waiting

Many thanks to all of you who I know were thinking and praying for me this past Tuesday. It meant so much to know you were behind me and I had no anxiety going into the test. 

Plus, I was highly impressed with the hospital that I went to as they were extremely busy, it being the day after a holiday. However, rather than being called like a number from the door across the waiting room, the ultrasound tech walked all the way over to me, right up to my chair and asked if I was her next patient. Impressive. 

I'm sure they have a clothing identification system entered by the registration person,
 but it was very friendly and very professional. I was impressed to say the least of being set at ease. 

She took a half hour and carefully got all the pictures of my abdomen that she needed and said they would call after the radiologist had read the report and given it to my doctor. Hopefully by Friday or Monday, she said. Argh. We had been planning on going to New York this coming week and I would have liked to know something before we left. 

Fortunately, I got a call Wednesday (another yucky-feeling day) from the nurse at my regular office that the radiologist had seen a polyp on my gallbladder. Also that they would be referring me to a gastro-intestinal specialist and would call me soon with an appointment. Yesterday they called to offer July 1st. I immediately said that that wouldn't work as I was having problems right NOW and need to see someone sooner! She was going to try another office and I haven't heard yet what the plan is. Sigh. 

From a bit of online research, I discovered that this seems to mean that it will be pretty likely that they will take my lovely little gb out. It's outpatient surgery and I'll need to be careful about what I eat afterwards to digest more easily. I'm ok with this. I'm ready for it to get taken care of NOW. It's just irritating to feel sick after every single meal. 

In the meanwhile, here's a cute picture of my kid in her jammies and jellies. It makes me feel better. 

Monday, May 25, 2009

Tall-ish


This is baby bug's favorite stance. It's partly a "pick-me-up-now," partly "look-how-big-I-am!" This little stinker keeps growing. 

Blood work confirms that there is definitely no baby swimming in my belly, but I'm going in Tuesday for an ultrasound of the rest of my guts. I'm ready to not be sick anymore. There was more nastiness last week and it seriously wipes me out for several days. It's especially frustrating as I feel like I have the summer itch to get things done around here. 

So, if you think about it tomorrow, please pray that they will find something usefully and fixable round about 10 am. Thanks. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

OK, So Maybe a Little Spoiled

Garage sale season is upon us. Not only am I a pro at sale-ing, but it is simply one of my favorite summertime activities. I save my singles and change for weeks and get my best bargain-hunting, price-haggling game ready. 

I keep my eyes open for books I'm missing in a series or a favorite author. In past years, I've found the exact ceiling fan I had wanted from the local home store. I can spot a good sale from the street and conversely try to avoid the sparse ones with a slow drive-by. 

This Friday baby girl and I are heading out with a friend to take advantage of a few prime neighborhood sales. 





In chatting with a coworker last week, I discovered that she was participating in one of these upcoming sales. She mentioned she was getting rid of her kids' old play kitchen. 



My ears immediately perked up as my kiddo has loved playing with kitchens when she's been around them. Without hesitation, I told her we would buy it and pick it up before her sale so it would already be out of the way. Andy stopped by and got it tonight on his way home from work. Randall's face when she saw this thing come through the door was ecstatic. Here, she's making her motion for "love" after I asked her if she loved her new kitchen. She hugged her arms to herself and rocked back and forth like she would if she were holding her baby doll. 



Kiddo almost forgot to eat dinner she had so much fun with her new toy.