Tuesday, June 30, 2009

be kind to dragons

My husband is in the market for a new vehicle. He found one that was 'for sale by owner' a few towns over. (He has always been able to sniff out the best deals in automotive transport.)

This one had potential. The owner said it had some electrical issues, he had no idea how to fix them, didn't want to deal with it...and just wanted it gone. Ever willing to tackle minor-to-medium-ish-major auto repairs, my man wanted to take a look.

After talking at length on the phone with the current owner, he made arrangements to go and take a look. We loaded up our crew. Grabbed lunch. And rode off into the sunset.

When we arrived at our destination, we took beheld the vehicle in question. It had a very large fairy wizard wheel cover on the back spare tire. And bumper stickers. LOTS of bumper stickers. One said, "Be kind to dragons."


Strike one.

And two.

The owners came out of their house and began pleasant small talk. They popped the hood, and then my husband got down on the ground to have a look underneath. When he resurfaced, he had a huge oil drip on the side of his cheek.

He hopped behind the wheel and turned the key in the ignition. Grrrr..rrr..rrr..rrr. Grrrrr.rrrr.rr...rrrr. No start. Again. RRRrrrrrrr..rrrr...rrrrrr....running-only-when-he-kept-his-foot-on-the-gas. Sputter.

While he was behind the wheel, the owners began whispering to each other. I could only speculate what they were saying, but I think it was, "I hope this guy is a sucker and takes this lemon off our hands!! Bwahahahahaha!!!"

He got out of the car, thanked them for their time and we went on our way. Leaving them with their wizard lemon.

On our way home we stopped at Starbucks. AND Target. And Target's Starbucks.

It was a great day.

Friday, June 26, 2009

true confessions

I was so desperate for chocolate today, I ate these:


Send help.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

advice for the newbies

I was trimming my gigantic baby's fingerclaws today. They grow so quickly, that I have to trim them back every 45 minutes, nearly, or risk being scratched to death every time I hold him. (Which is all the time.)

While I was trimming them, I was transported in time to a baby class my husband and I took before our first bundle of miraculousness was born. Our teacher was a nurse, not married, and without children. Not that it matters, but it did. Our class was chock full of first time parents. This particular class was towards the end of the once-a-week-for-six-week sessions. We were learning about the proper care and keeping of newborns. How to bathe, change, feed etc our soon-to-be born babies.

I'll never forget her words of caution about trimming a baby's fingernails. "You MUST use a clipper that is designed specifically for babies. OR ELSE, you might cut off the tip of the baby's finger!"

Oh. My. Goodness.

Be careful when bathing---DROWNING! And feeding---CHOKING! And napping---SIDS!

Watch for fevers.

And Jaundice.

I remember leaving that day feeling a bit panicked. How in the world could we manage?

When she was born and we brought her home, we took turns staying up holding her those first few nights...too afraid to lay her in her crib.

I wish that nurse would have said, "Relax. You'll do just fine."

Because we did. Eventually.

If I could give advice to new parents, it would be this:

  • Your baby is fragile, but you won't break his arms or legs when you dress him for the first time.
  • If you need to put your baby in his car seat while you shower, that's okay.
  • If you need to put your baby in his car seat while you eat a tub of ice cream, that's okay, too.
  • You can't keep your baby away from every germ.
  • A held baby lacks motivation....so hold him every single moment that you can.
  • You will give your first born the worst sleep habits. It's all your fault. But it's okay. When they are 10 months old, you will read the book "Sleeping Through the Night" and will be wiser with all the babies that come next. It does eventually get better.
  • Sometimes it isn't any fun. But that doesn't mean you don't love your baby.
  • Sometimes your baby will cry for no good reason.
  • Sometimes you will cry for no good reason.
  • Sometimes you will cry for good reason.
  • Sometimes you will understand how the crazy people feel.
  • Nursing is a good thing.
  • Nursing is not a beautiful thing right away.
  • Nursing - even with a correct latch - can be PAINFUL LIKE YOU WANT TO DIE for the first six weeks. But! IT GETS BETTER!! Press on!!
  • No one knows your baby like you do. Even right away.
  • Relax. You'll do just fine.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

happy father's day

I wanted to do something nice for the father of my children. He was mowing. I grabbed a cookbook and made up a basic yellow cake.

I took it out of the oven and tried to rush the cooling process so I could get it frosted before the baby woke from his nap.

I wouldn't recommend rushing the cooling process:

Happy father's day. I made it all by myself.

Becky P.

The signature line from her email makes me laugh everytime:

Thought of the day:

Thursday, June 18, 2009

a book by its cover

So I have this new planner. It will last me until December 2010. Which is slick.

But, I'm not jazzed about how it looks. So I covered it in fabric. It was completely complicated. I use only the most sophisticated of methods.

See that circle of tape down there? That's the double stick tape we had left over from a window winterizing kit.......extra classy, I know. And the fabric is left over from my bedding. Matchy, matchy, matchy, matchy. (I'm sorry. It's 10:30 pm and I've been up since 4:00 am.)

Anyhow, I cut the fabric allowing several inches of overlap all around. Folded it here and there and everywhere and then ironed the folds. Then I took that double stick tape, and went to town. There's tape all over beneath that fabric.

Then, I put some tape all over some ribbons, and taped them on.


I don't think that stupid tape is going to hold. Tune in next week, for more adventures in double stick taping. Just kidding. There is no such thing as adventures in double stick taping.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

parenting 531

"I don't like that."

"That looks gross."

"That makes me want to spit up."

"This smells funny."

"I'm not actually really all that hungry."

"Can I have a peanut butter sandwich instead?"

These are phrases I hear at least 89 times a week. And tonight, I took a stand.

I made a Mexican dish for dinner this evening. It was good. Really good. Chicken. Cheese. Cream. Red sauce. Tortilla chips. While 99.99997% of children would be thrilled to eat chips for their main course, my boy decides he doesn't like it before he's even tasted it. (Which is when my girl decides to pour it on EXTRA thick about how wonderful it is, and how much she enjoys everything I make.)

At any rate, we made him muddle through so that he could get to dessert.

Dessert that was ice cream with strawberry sauce.

I was about to hand him his bowl when he said, "I doooooon't liiiiiike thaaaaaat kiiiiiiiind."

And a very heavy straw fell onto a very weak camel, and I said, "I'm sorry to hear that." And walked to the garbage and dumped in the contents of his bowl.

A horrified look swept over his face. Tears began to fall. Oh the tears!

An important lesson was learned this night.

(Hopefully the lesson isn't ~your mom is crazy and you need to be careful what you say to her~)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

the tree

The maple tree in our yard is perfect for climbing.

The kids love to climb. My girl has been able to monkey herself into it for years. Not so, my boy.

Last year, he was certain that this summer he'd be able to get up into it himself. On the first nice day of the year, my girl climbed up to her favorite perch. My boy, excited at the prospect of FINALLY being able to climb up himself, tried his hand at it. And couldn't do it. Was he discouraged? Yes. He was. (He tends to be a little glass-half-spilled-onto-the-floor.)

We've been giving him lots of encouragement. Advice. Tips. Tricks. Pointers.


He would try and fail and say he'd never try again. He would never ever ever never be able to it. *slumped shoulders, frowny face*

Today was a nice day. We were outside. He tried again. He failed again.

But today, he kept trying.

And today, he did it. He pulled himself up and called for his daddy to come and see.

"How do you think of this?" He boasted. *head shaking side to side*

"Way to go! We knew you could do it!" We all told him.

"You know what I did?" He said, "I prayed to God. I said, 'Please let me do it this time.' And you know what? I didn't do it that time. But I kept on, and He let me do it a few times after that time."
. . . . . . . . . . . . .

Wow. That is my life. I pray, PLEASE let it happen right now in my own way and in my own time. And you know what? Things (almost) never happen in my own way, in my own time. Should that discourage me? No way. Because sometimes He lets them happen a few times after...and every time it happens for the best.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28 (New International Version)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

he ain't heavy, he's my elephant

a self portrait:

Sometimes the weight of my mothering responsibilities feels like a big fat elephant. An elephant with balloons. An elephant with balloons but no party.

It's been a long day.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

You know you've forfeited your shot at Mom Of The Year when you serve your kids cookies and milk for breakfast. Especially when you present them as "Cookie Dunkers!"

Am I supposed to send in a letter of resignation?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

art wall

Pardon the lackluster quality of the pictures....
This is a wall in my kitchen/dining room that I've decided to turn into an art gallery.
Not really.
I'm just running out of wall space. And this wall already had 50 nail holes.
It was serendipity. Or necessity. Or insanity.

The pear on the right used to be a pillow. And the pear fabric stretched on the left is left over from the chairs. I stitched around and painted on one of the pairs to make it more interesting.
My girl drew the flowers with oil pastels on stretched canvas.

The bird up there was a quick sketchy oil pastel done on fabric stretched over a picture that had been hanging in my hall. There's a small picture done by my boy up in the corner and a framed drawing by my girl that is my favorite picture of all time. Also, a few random lovely fabrics stretched over random frames I had laying around.

There are still a few nail holes left....

Monday, June 1, 2009

a little sewing

My mom and I went to a super fun fabric store a few weekends ago. We were both inspired by some really fun and folky wool appliques.

I couldn't stand it anymore, so today, I pulled out the sewing machine and did this. I don't know if I'll be able to stop. It was so quick and easy and fun!