Thursday, December 30, 2010

Sesame Street: Will.i.am's Song "What I Am"



My kiddy kats saw this on Sesame Street a month ago or so and fell in love. It is a catchy tune and they bee bop around the house when I play it on Youtube...truth be told I do a little bee bopping myself. I love how Burt and Ernie's hair is coiffed to mimic Will's...makes me giggle.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Look who came to dinner...

 Look who joined us at the dinner table last night?
Everyone was in a dither and distracted by this new addition.  Evelyn kept asking what Rubia was eating and if she was done yet...while Elijah kept trying to make her laugh.  Not helpful when trying to spoon baby food into a learning mouth.  The family favorite of homemade pizza went cold on plates as we all were busy with the business of Rubia.

 Rubia seemed thrilled to be included and a mere second after this picture was taken Elijah knocked his milk over.  Oh, well, not his fault, I distracted him.  Rubia didn't care for the delay in eating due to clean-up, however.
After the 3 Ps...Peas, Peaches, and Pooping (in her diaper), dinner was done and she was off for a much needed bath.
It was so nice to have her at the table.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Importance of Gratefullness...

It has been and age since I was here last...I have wanted to post many times, but with the craziness of the season I haven't made the time.
All the gifts have been opened, most of the mess cleaned up, part of the suitcases unpacked, and there is a beautiful blanket of snow on the ground.  I think I'll stay tucked in doors for a wee bit longer.  I have no pictures to share today...honestly, I just haven't downloaded them yet.  It's on my to do list.
I am grateful for all of the good things that were given to us this Christmas.  So much generosity, but honestly it was too much.  I know that family likes to spoil, the kids especially, but when I look at the pile of things that I now need to find homes for, I feel tired.  But, mostly, I feel overwhelmed and thoughtful of the kids that didn't receive anything this year. I want to raise grateful children.  Children that appreciate what they are given.  Children that do not feel entitled to receive everything they ever wanted and more.  Children with compassionate hearts for those who have need.
So here is what I am thinking:
Asking family to cut back the gifts to each child.
And if they feel they want to do more, then say, one gift per child...perhaps they could put money in their saving accounts or buy them savings bonds for college. Or even buy a gift in the child's name for a someone in need.
There is no need to buy me a thing...they should spend that money on something they need instead.
I know my kids are happy with all of their new things and it was truly a joy to see the excitement on their faces when they opened their gifts.  However, when it was all said and done I could tell they were overwhelmed and a little glazed over...and oh so hyper.
Plus, I want more of the focus to be on the whole reason we celebrate Christmas...Jesus birth.  I dropped the ball on that this year...my busyness got in the way.  They bounced from toy to toy, leaving chaos in their wake.
I think this year helped me realize more of what I want for my children and family...Christ centredness, instilling the value of gratefulness, and being about the business of helping those in need.
I am going to make it my mission to create the advent celebration I long for, for next year.  To focus on the family things and less on the material aspect of it all...That's what I think my children will remember the most as they grow.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween wrap-up...

 Halloween was fun...I was running around like a crazy person.  Things seemed to pile up on me and yesterday was a little harried...I was in bed shortly after 9 p.m., I was so very tired.
I got Elijah's Jedi costume done...I was quite proud of it and he certainly felt the part.  I decided on Friday that I wasn't going to get Evelyn's costume done, so she and I took a field trip to a big box store.  We picked out Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz and even managed to find ruby slippers.  If I had had my wits about me, I would have tried to find a Toto dog for her to carry...but, that didn't happen. I thought she was sweet just as she was however.  Her Princess Leia outfit that I was working on will due for next year I think.  It was coming out much to big and was requiring more time then I could devote to it unfortunately.
 Rubia was a flower.  In this picture her petals are askew, but, she was very cute and unencumbered by costume frilliness.  There will be time for that in the future, now all she cares about is comfort.  We went trick or treating with the neighbors and it was fun albeit a bit chilly and what with my broken toe and all, we didn't stay out too long.  The kiddos got plenty of candy, so all was right with the world.

 I was my usual kitty cat and Elijah asked me if that was all I was ever going to be and I said yes.  He asked why and I told him it was because it was easy.  He replied that I should think about being something else next year...I told him I'll would think about it.
 On Saturday, we went to the show Mickey Mouses's Magic Show in Chicago.  We normally don't go for this sort of thing, but we went with some friends and it was a nice.  The kids had fun, but all Elijah could think about was popcorn.  He has decided that one really must have popcorn whenever one goes to a theater...once that nessesity was satisfied, he was all about the show.
A rare picture of my Sweetie...I love it!  I may be biased, but don't we have cute kids?

Friday, October 29, 2010

In and Out...

I am ever so behind...
So much to share, but it will have to wait until another day.
I am trying to get my children outfitted for Halloween...things always take longer when you have three babies to keep track of:
A Jedi and Princess Leia...what was I thinking?  Rubia's flower costume is all done...so she gets to go trick or treating for sure...the other two?  The jury is still out...must get back to sewing so as not to disappoint.  Be back next week to share all of our happenings and pictures.

Friday, September 17, 2010

This Sweet Face...

This is my Squeeky Girl.
She is nearly three months old...I'm not sure how that happened.
She has the softest, squeezable cheeks.
I want to put her in my pocket and carry her everywhere.
I'm not sure how I ever made it through all of my days without her.
Rubia Adele rocks my world!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Just Desserts...

A full calendar

Library reading program
I watched the new show Top Chef Just Desserts last night. 
They were making chocolate desserts.
About the middle of the show, I couldn't take it anymore...
I devoured the head of a Lindt choclate bunny left from last Easter.
I had just worked out on the Wii Fit...so all that went out the perverbial window.
I don't think I can watch that show anymore. *Smirk* (to borrow from Leslie)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Lentils...

A couple of weeks ago I made the family a gooey lasagna.  I am off of dairy in general because it seems to give Rubia issues.  It is amazing how much I want something when I can't have it, that of course means cheese and ice cream.  I do sneak it in occasionally, like when David buys me a blizzard, but, i try to be good on a regular basis.  Anyway, while they had a lasagna, I made myself a big pot of lentil soup.  I love lentils, having grown up eating them often, they are a comfort food.  I feel like it is my magic dish that resets my palate and realigns things for me, if food can do that.  I love to eat, so I suppose that works.  Here is my favorite recipe for lentil soup:

Egyptian Lentil Soup
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 cup finely chopped celery
1 cup sliced carrot
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup dried lentils
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
2 cups chicken broth
1 tomato, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  When foam subsides, add celery, carrot, onion, lentils, garlic, and bay leaf. Saute, stirring occasionally, until veggies are tender, but still crisp; about 10 minutes.
Add enough water to cover veggies. Heat to boiling, reduce heat, simmer uncovered, 30 minutes. Add stock, tomato; simmer until lentils are tender, about 20 minutes.  Remove and discard bay leaf. Stir in salt and pepper. Puree soup. I don't

It has an earthy, chunky warmness that I find to be so satisfying...it's happiness in a bowl for me. And it epitimizes Autumn to me as well.  the cooler days make me want to eat it all the time. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Around the house...

Nature Shelf bedecked for Fall

Morning Bed

Our latest love...books on CD

Baskets of books are everywhere

Shelves of them too

We have been easing into Fall around here. We have started doing a bit of school everyday...sign language, crafts, numbers and letters for Elijah, shapes and colors for Evelyn. We have been talking about weather, dancing to music, and listening to Books on CD. The love the Arthur books by Marc Brown and the Mercy Watson books by Kate DiCamillo. We get new ones each week to listen to in the car or to fall asleep to at night. We collect things for our nature shelf...acorns, pine cones, leaves. My dream is to find a real birds nest. My Mom is on the hunt for one in Alaska. If anyone has one and is willing to part with it...I'll pay the shipping!
These days Elijah is finding his artistic self. He spends hours at the easel drawing and creating stories about what he is drawing. He drew his first people a couple of weeks ago. They looked just as they should by a three year old...amoebas through and through. As soon as he finished with his sheet, I snatched it up, labeled it and filed it in his art folder. Does anyone else out there obsessively keep their children's creations? I can't wait to give the folders to them when they are older. It's hard not to keep everything, they are prolific creators of pictures and crafts, so I have to be selective and toss the rest, which is hard for me. I see genius in each and every piece. I know that is just because I am their Mama.
I think we are going to go pick apples soon and perhaps throw a harvest party for the neighborhood kids. We'll be wearing our pjs around the house more and eating oatmeal and drinking hot apple cider. What's on your Autumn to do list?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Two...

She's 2.
My Little Morsel is not so little anymore.
She is independent, spunky, and very extroverted.
Pretty much the opposite of me. ;)
She is loving and ready to hug, then the next minute she might throw a soft punch if mad. (Yes, we are working on that.)
She'll eat fruit of any kind all day long if I'd let her and she loves to color...on anything. Yesterday the couch got it. (yes, we are working on that too.)
I would face anything for this girl and I look forward to the young woman that God has planned for her to be. For now I will enjoy her twoness and try not to get too worked up when she throws her fits...after all she is still a beautiful work in progress and what is 2 without tantrums?! Just not too many please. ;)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

8-24-10

Rubia smiles much these days. Around six weeks old was the first glimpse of her sweet dimples and muppet smile. Though I have tried, I have yet to capture a picture of her grin. And even at my tiredest, if she begins to smile, I stop and smile with her...I don't want to miss a single one.
I warm my hands around my coffee cup and think about yesterday. Yesterday was a day that I would like to cash in for a do-over...a day I am not proud of as a Mama. Such a hard day with so many challenges. I hope that of all the days that they may remember, it will not be one of them. I am going to chalk it up as one to learn and grow from. Not only are my children learning how to be, so I continue to as well. Life long learning is always going on I guess. I am leaving it behind me and moving on...today is a new day.
The kids are busy playing in their room and I am thinking about many things ahead of my family...David starts his new job soon. I hope and pray for happiness for him in this new company. For opportunities for him to grow and be challenged.
I am looking forward to the new Sunday School class I will be joining in a couple of weeks...Intentional Parenting. I need this one and I have heard good things about it from other parents of little ones that have attended it. I have signed up my babies for Sunday school as well and Elijah for AWANAs. I am thrilled with the church home we have found. I am feeling fed spiritually, shored up in fellowship with other believers, and I love that it is only two blocks up the street...There is something so right about being able to walk to church. But, mostly it is the content of what we have found inside the building than the location of the building that has brought so much to our lives.
I am thinking on the Home school Co-op we joined and about how I want to approach this home school thing. It's not totally foreign to me...after all I was home schooled, but, now I am in my Mama's shoes and to take on caring for my children's education fills me with joy and a sense of urgency and pressure...as well it should. This is something I need to do right and do to the best of my ability. The Co-op seems to be a place of support and learning. I look forward to building relationships there as well as to be able to expand my children's learning.
While I sit in this creaky, old chair, not all of my thoughts are turned to heavy things. I am thinking of the two up-coming David Gray concerts that my Sweetie and I are going to...tomorrow night and Sunday. Two dates together, alone, sharing two of our favorite things...Live Music and David Gray. I am cooking up ways that I can bless the neighbor that will graciously watch all three of my babies tomorrow night.
Now my thoughts turn to the house...it is time to clean and organize my spaces...I think I'll blog walk a little first as I finish my coffee...then it is time to crank up the music and channel the Tazmanian Devil. There is much to be done.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

In a minute...

Elijah ate two carrot sticks at dinner tonight with very minimal complaining...woot! This is huge people...huge!!
Inside I was doing a little dance. I started to gloat and think to myself that "I've got this...I'm awesome...I rock as a Mama!"
The next moment my bubble was burst as Evelyn peed in her seat, at the dinner table, causing there to be a rather large puddle on the floor. Still refusing at times to tell us she has to go.
Parenting is like that...highs and lows...sometimes in the short space of a minute. Plus, it's never wise to gloat...he's only three, I am certain I have my share of proverbial "puddles on the floor" moments to come with all of my babies.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Jam...


A pot of basil grows on the window sill...a little sad, but still growing.
The half jar of Hoisin sauce was used for dinner tonight.
The counter is full of dishes.
They watched Cinderella for the first time today.
We made raspberry jam.

The mosquitoes just about ate us alive while we picked.
Actually, I picked and the children ate...popping raspberry after juicy raspberry into their scarlet mouths.
I still managed to pick four pounds, even with them sneaking.
We will be making peach/raspberry tomorrow.
I love feeding my freezer.
They love eating the jam.
It will be a glorious thing during a mid-west blizzard in January.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

8-16-10...

She smells of milk and lavender with her downy head tucked into the pocket made by my collar bone and chin. She squeaks and sighs, somewhat contented. My hand on her back feels the occasional gas bubble release causing discomfort followed by relief.
It is late, nearly midnight and I look forward to a few hours sleep until her shrill cries and demands for milk wake me to tug and pull on my now conditioned yet sometimes sore nipples. The house is quiet. I can hear my other loves as they sleep. The toss of an arm or the intake of breath.
Now in her crib, she cries before she sleeps, attempting to drown out the sounds of Spring Rain on the noise machine. It is meant to sooth, but doesn't seem to always work. I keep it on just in case and it soothes me. Perhaps she would like Summer Night instead, I debate on whether or not to change it.
Tomorrow we will pick berries. I have promised B that we will make jam. The thought of this excites him as he loves to help in the kitchen and he is a jam fiend. I hope for little trouble from mosquitoes and for the bumper crop of Fall raspberries as foretold by the old guy at the U-Pick two weeks ago. We will also stop at the small library for new picture books, a vegan cookbook, and maybe some books on tape. Morsel enjoyed listening to Geronimo Stilton to fall asleep while staying with cousins last week. It is something I want to try here at home. Then groceries of course. An empty fridge will not work around here.
After a week and a half of travel I am hopeful to get back into a steady rhythm. I am hopeful to find a solution to Squeak's gas issues even if it means drastically changing my diet such as losing all dairy. I am hopeful of many things in the months ahead and grateful for the fullness that is held today.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

To-dos aren't that bad really...

We are finding a bit of a routine around here...sort of.
There are certain things that I try to get done each evening after dinner...
I adore a clean kitchen, but, I hate to do the dishes. Two opposites in conflict...but, I do them anyway. I love to wake up in the morning, walk into the kitchen to make breakfast and to find it neat as a pin.
So I load the dishwasher and hand wash any dedicates or super crusty pots or dishes.
I wash down the counter tops and table top.
I sweep the floor and mop if needed. All to the sounds of my laughing family playing the Wii or wrestling around on the living room floor...nice really.
Bed time is pretty easy around here...pjs, brush teeth, kisses for Daddy, tuck in, pray...sweet dreams. Lately Elijah tries to keep me in the room as long as possible with question after question. I want him to feel like he is always welcome to ask questions...I never want to quash his inquisitiveness, so I answer all as best as I can all while creeping towards the door.
Rubia on the other hand is still struggling with being in her crib. She hates being in there, but for my own sanity I needed to be able to sleep again in my own bed next to David and not on the couch. She cries and cries, but, I have to leave her be knowing that she is fed, burped and wearing a clean diaper. I put a noise machine in the room and that seems to be helping her...Little Miss likes to have noise while sleeping, no quiet room for her. Spring Rain seems to be a happy sound for her to drift to sleep to...
So it goes...today I found myself feeling relaxed and just happy to be where I was at that moment...I love being a family of five, it's a nice feeling.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Taking Care...

It's so easy as a Mama to put myself last...I think we all do that. I have so many balls in the air that anything to do with myself often gets placed to last on the to-do list. I am trying to change that in my life, not to put myself ahead of my family of course, but to make room for taking care of me.
I plucked my eyebrows the other day, not something I have been on top of, but, instead of standing looking at them with a sigh I took five minutes and cleaned them up.
I am really motivated to get myself back in shape. I am making healthy food choices and making sure that I have options on hand when hunger hits. I make up batches of Wheatberry Salad, I cut up fruit, and I drink lots of water. My OB pleaded with me to wait two years before getting pregnant with baby #4. She asked me to be good to myself and to give my body a break as I was obviously wearing it down. I have really taken that to heart. My body is tired and was starting to show it through several issues that had begun to crop up. I want to be able to run and enjoy my children and that means making smart choices. Plus, I feel so alive when I am taking care of myself.
I hope to be running again soon, I have missed it so much. I have been going for walks and the exercise feels tremendous.
I got a pedicure on Saturday. My David is awesome. He took all three kids and sent me off to the salon. I refused to feel guilty and I enjoyed the pampering and time alone.
I am still eating chocolate however. After one particularly hard day David got me my favorite chocolate/ Health Bar Blizzard and I proceeded to consume the entire thing...those empty calories were so worth it and the next day I was right back to eating my quinoa and fruits and veggies.
I am allowing a few minutes here and there for doing things I enjoy. I have started knitting a cardigan for Rubia and I plan to make one each for Elijah and Evelyn as well. I read while nursing Rubia when I can. I love reading and I have missed having my nose stuck in a book.
I am allowing myself just be from time to time and that seems to be making all of the difference. This post feels a little disjointed and rambling...congratulations if you made it through the whole thing, I can't seem to compose my thoughts well these days and that is hard for me as a writer it's what I love to do. But, I know once I get more sleep, it will all come back...hang in there with me won't you? :)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

These days...

*Sigh*
These days are flying by so very fast.
I have been doing bits around the house:
Cleaning months of flotsam and jetsam of paper misc off of the fridge.
Re-arranging some furniture.
Re-decorating parts of the house for super cheap. I put new linens on our bed and hung artwork that Elijah and I created together. David said our room was now like a hotel...*hmmmm* is that a good thing or a bad thing? I hope at least a high end hotel! He refused to elaborate.
Crossing things off of my mile long to-do list. Fun things that involve paperwork and phone calls (being sarcastic of course).
Reading Max and Ruby books to the kids.
Baking...my super-charged sweet tooth didn't leave when I gave birth to Rubia...eek!
Listing goods on Craigslist and Freecycle.
Thank you notes.

Now if I could just get the birth announcements done and the Master bath cleaned I would feel a million times better.
Much has been eclipsed by Rubia's birth that are in and of themselves huge accomplishments. Evelyn is potty trained and not yet two years old. She still has accidents now and a again, but for the most part is doing beautifully. She is also now cozily tucked into her own twin bed. We don't do toddler beds in this house, we jump right to the big size. She only fell out a handful of times...she is doing very well. She talks constantly and is starting to tell stories which is great fun.
Elijah and I have been working on some writing skills. We trace letters, numbers, and shapes in a pre-school activity book that I got him. I don't push him, he is eager to learn right now, so I am rolling with it. The age of 3 is a hard one with him. He is really pushing the boundries and trying me in ways that make me want to scream some days. He is also incredibly thoughtful and loving as well. He is really into non-fiction books from the library...sharks, pirates, space. Those Eyewitness books are wonderful and there is one for just about every topic we can think of. I *heart* that hard/sweet boy.
Rubia had her one month check up yesterday. She put on over a pound and has grown an inch in a mere three weeks, yet she is not rolly polly. None of my babies would have ever been considered chunky, just plump in small ways. She is awake more and more each day with a strong dislike for tummy time and baths.
These days are so hard and wonderful at the same time. Some times I come to the end and I wonder how I got anything accomplished, but, I am trying to focus on the non-tangibles like hugs and laughter. Those are the things that make memories after all. And midnight vanilla pudding with whipped cream and chocolate sauce with a certain 3 year old boy. ;)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Camping...

We went camping the other day...in the living room.
Complete with a tent, a fire, popcorn and s'mores, and stories.
The tent was made from a sheet. I channeled my childhood honed tent building skills while the kiddos brought me books and heavy things to weigh down the corners.
We made a fire from card board tubes with red and yellow tissue paper tucked in to imitate flames. And then the snacks: homemade popcorn and s'mores ala microwave. Sadly the fire was cute, but not functional, so the microwave had to do. While they feasted I read them story books aloud and Rubia napped on a blanket next to me.
I try to muster the energy each day to do something special with my two older Sweeties since the baby takes so much of my time these days. Rubia is starting to sleep for longer stretches, so the house doesn't feel like such a disaster. So we move along...tomorrow we will head to Joann's for a few art supplies for a painting project. I'm looking forward to it.

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Baby...



She's been here for 3 weeks, but I haven't even turned the computer on until today. She loves to eat = no sleep for me, hence no blogging. She is beautiful and I get the feeling she is an old soul like me. I can't tell you how I know that, I just do.
Here are the vitals:

Rubia Adele
June 18, 2010
8 lbs, 3 ozs
18 1/2 inches long

She waited until her due date to make her appearance. The birth was so fast compared to my first two, with no complications. Our family is adjusting nicely. Be back when I can.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Books and such...

Waiting, waiting, still waiting...
I went for a walk this evening and then I proceeded to weed a flower bed. But, besides necessitating the need for a bath, little else happened, such as the much looked for contractions. This baby seems quite content where it is. I keep telling it things are much nicer out here with me, Daddy, and the siblings, but alas to no avail...yet. I tell myself that I won't be pregnant forever and that it will happen when God intends it.
I finished reading my third book in a week and a half yesterday, So let me put on my literary critic's hat for a moment and tell you about them. All three were good and enjoyable for me.
The first was In Defense of Food by Micheal Pollan. His books are tremendous. His compelling, easy to read style makes the reader want to jump up and make instant changes in their diet. This book focused on how the Western Diet of highly processed foods filled with cheap calories and little or no nutrition is the cause for so many of our current health problems. He proposes the need to return of a traditional type diet filled with real food instead fast and processed foods. He encourages shopping the perifory of the grocery store, forgoing the middle aisles, and choosing farmers and local foods markets as well. I garnered a great deal from this book and highly recommend reading it.
Next I read Savage Lands by Clare Clark. It is a fictional account of the true story of 23 women that were sent by Louis XIV of France in 1704 to marry soldiers and settlers in the Louisana colony. It is an interesting tale of the struggles and hardships that these women had to endure. I found several things interesting: in Europe the New World was painted as being a land of little work, streets paved with gold, natives that would beg to be enslaved, and fortunes to be easily acquired. This was of course false. Instead there was flooding, disease, starvation, and constant threat of attack from surrounding tribes as well as the English. It made me grateful for the ability to drive down the road if I need something like flour or a sewing needle, instead of having to wait months or years for ships to bring supplies. It was very well written and I polished it off in three days.
Lastly, I read Romancing Miss Bronte by Juliet Gael. This was also a fictionalized account of the life of Charlotte Bronte. It begins about the time she and her sisters Emily and Anne decide to write and be published in order to earn a living. None of them were married and with an aling father that would be able to leave them with nothing to live on they needed to think of their futures. It weaves around the birth of their now famous novels and poems, but, most of the focus is on Charlotte and who she eventually comes to marry. I have enjoyed reading their novels over the years and this was a nice glimpse into what their lives were most likely like. I was taken with what it meant be a woman in the nineteenth century and how little options there were for women with no money or family to support them. Plus, above all it is a love story, which I always enjoy.
Next up for me is Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay. I have downloaded the sample to my Kindle and plan to start reading it tonight.
Can anyone recommend any good reading to me? My time will soon be limited, I know, but I do love to have at least one book that I am working on even if it takes me months to finish. So this literary critic is signing off...updates of any baby news to happen evenyually. :)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Goo, Craft Kits, and Birthday Gifts...

Tonight David and I went out for Sushi. I love a good veggie roll with any combination of cucumber, avocado, and cream cheese etc. We ordered a Mexican roll filled with cilantro, tomato, onion and jalepeno and I think that it was just about the best thing that I have put in my mouth for a long time. We sat at the bar, me with my Arnold Palmer and he with his Knob Creek as we waited for a table. We soon gave up on that and just ordered our Sushi there and proceeded to consume it faster than I thought possible. I wore sparkly earrings and little heels with David in his deep red shirt from Mexico that I happen to adore on him and we sat and laughed, people watched, and enjoyed an unrushed date, much like it used to be before we had babies. I was full to bursting, my heart and my tummy as we made our way home.

We made Goo a couple of weeks ago and my, my was it fun...
We made long strings and piles...we broke it into small pieces and then clumped it back together again.

It is not quite a liquid and not quite a solid. It conforms to pretty much anything you might put it on. It drips and pools and creeps. The kids loved playing with it and although a bit got on their clothes, I pulled off what I could and the rest came off in the washer with no detectable stains remaining. It is recommended to store it in the fridge between uses, but it still doesn't last too long, just about a week or so.
Goo Recipe
4 oz white glue (standard bottle size)
3 oz water
food coloring (optional)
4 tsp Borax
5 Tbls. water

Mix the glue, 3 oz water, and food coloring in a disposable bowl. Mix the Borax and 5 Tbls. water in another bowl. Stir to dissolve. Pour a little of the Borax mixture into the glue mixture. Stir until a blob forms. Remove the blob to a third container. Pour a little more of the Borax mixture into the glue mixture, stir until a blob forms, remove the blob as before. When all of the glue mixture has been used up, knead the blobs together in your hands (doing this over the kitchen sink is a good idea). It may be rather wet at first, but will come together and dry out a bit while you are kneading them together. You will have one nice sized blob in the end. Store in the refridgerator between uses.

I stocked up on a few bottles of glue from the office supply store and plan on whipping out this activity from time to time this Summer, especially if it is a rainy or unbearably hot day.

I think I mentione awhile back that I made up some craft/activity kits to do with the kids throughout the Summer. Just things that involve cardboard tubes, pipe cleaners, tissue paper and the like. Anything that comprises the uses of glue and sticky tape are always a hit.

I did a web search and I found a couple of sites that had easy and fun sounding crafts. Most of what I gleaned I got from here and here. I then gathered all of the supplies I needed and I put my kits together. Universal supplies that would be needed for most things went into the basket. Things like tape, glue, scissors, staples, paint brushes etc. Then I put craft specific supplies into individual ziplock bags along with the printed instructions. Next I labeled with a sharpie, stashed them all in the basket and placed in the closet. Now I just have to grab, dole out supplies and set the kids to work. I wanted to have them also, so that when my Mom is here she can pull them out to do things with the kids too while I am with the baby. I also put together a basket with sidewalk chalk, bubbles, a kite, etc for grabbing to take out side. I find I am much more likely to do crafts if I am more organized to begin with. If I have to spend an hour gathering supplies, I find the mood has past and it will be awhile before I attempt it again. This way I hope to do more with my Sweeties in the months to come as the new baby allows.

Since the kids are gone, I will be stepping in as a poor in comparison substitute at a 5 years old's birthday party tomorrow. I can't after all, run around and play like Elijah and Evelyn would, but I can at least come bearing a gift.
A few days ago I pulled the sewing machine back out and I sewed up a quick gift. I made up a colored pencil roll and I decopaged a drawing pad for the birthday girl. Tutorials for the pencil rolls have been floating around on blogs for awhile now and I had been wanting to try my hand at one. I used the instructions from here. I added a second row to accomodate 24 pencils and I increased the height from 4 to 10 inches. I also think that 4 inches might have been a misprint and perhaps they meant to put 8 inches instead. My thoughts anyway.

I used linen for the front and three purple prints from my stash. She is a girly girl that likes her pinks and purples. I used a dove gray satin ribbon that I had on hand for the ties and useing fabric ink, I stamped her name in purple on the outside.

I then glued a piece of card board to the front of a drawing pad to add strength and then decopaged squares of paper to it. After it dried, I added a square with her name and a few retro cat stickers that I had on hand as well with another layer of decopage glue. It was a quick, easy, and very inexpensive birthday gift. Although, she is only tunring 5, I think these are things she can use as she gets older.

Well, it is time for bed...well, maybe ice cream and then bed, if I am to be honest. ;)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Getting some rest...

OH where have I been? Here at home mostly.
My Sweet little ones are at their Grandma's and Auntie's until the baby comes. It has so far been a very restful break for me, but it seems unnatural and strange to be childless at the moment. To have all of this time be my own seems wrong somehow and almost decadent. I feel like I have blown off responsibility and there is a wee twinge of guilt there too.
But, in all honesty I am enjoying it too. I puttered around at several yard sales last weekend and picked up a few little things. One of my favorite scores being a large pile of nice clothes for Evelyn for only $6. I also hit the library for a few books and movies. The first time I tried to read on Friday, I had to put the book down and find something else to do, it was much too quiet in the house and I couldn't concentrate. I had not realized how in tune my ears are to the children and to the noises that they make. Not hearing them playing or even sleeping is strange. I have gotten more accustomed to it the last few days and I have been able to read and not be quite so distracted. But, oh how I miss them.
I have worked on a few projects as well and have done a bit of cleaning. The bathrooms still need attention, but golly I hate that chore and I find myself putting it off. I need to just get in there and do it. I did get all the sheets changed and the kitchen floor swept and washed. I just need to ready the guest room for my Mom's arrival when the baby comes and a few other housekeeping duties...washing the car seat cover, bring up the baby swing and bouncy seat from the basement etc. But, my bag is packed and the baby's diapers and bed are all ready and waiting.
Having David all to myself has been nice too. We laugh so much and are our happy, goofy selves. Last night we polished off the last of our episodes of the show Chuck. It is a silly show about an accidental nerd of a spy and his handlers. We enjoy it. We also have Netflix that sometimes takes us weeks to watch, so hopefully in the next couple of days we will watch our latest selection, Letters from Iwo Jima. I love a good World War II movie. I just hope it is not too graphic and violent. I tend to get a little queasy while watching those kinds of scenes...Saving Private Ryan's opening scenes of D-Day were really hard for me to watch because of that. I know that it was even worse for those that lived it, I struggle with visually seeing what man is/was capable of doing to each other. I think I feel a dark sadness more than anything while watching such things. Humans are so cruel to one another especially in the name of war.
Wow, did I ever digress...sorry.
I hope to get back on here soon, I have lots of pictures to share...the kids and I playing with Goo (it's so fun to make, I will share the recipe), the craft kits that I made up for this Summer, and I want to talk about a couple of books that I just read. I have two weeks until my due date...I'll keep you posted about that too. :)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Yellow Dress...


Here is the last dress for Evelyn that I talked about awhile back. I finished it a couple of weeks ago and she has already worn it to church...she wore it with stripy tights and looked adorable. I decided several months ago that I wanted to make her a yellow dress...the idea just sang to me and I had a vision in my head of what I wanted and not being a pattern maker, I thought my best shot would be a pillow case dress. I would post pictures of her wearing these creations, but the girl does not stay still. She is 21 months old and a great deal of her recent pictures are blurry. I keep them anyway, so I can remember this stretch in her life.
Anyway, I made this pattern up. I took what I thought would be around the right amount of fabric for a pillow case dress and then using my armhole curve I just guesstimated how I would like indents for the armholes to be. It turned out much too large, so I had to take it in. Instead of threading ribbon through the casings around the neck to be tied as bows when worn, I taught myself how to make spaghetti straps and then made a loop and button closure instead. I was foreseeing that ribbon ties would be continually coming undone. Like I said before, she is always on the move, jumping, running and throwing herself off of things. The system that I came up with worked well when she wore it and there were no clothing malfunctions.
The pink flower is a ruched fabric pin that was made for me by a co-worker a few years ago. I had set out to recreate one for Evelyn's dress, but then I thought the pink looked perfect with the yellow and I pinned it on and love how it looks. It will be easy to remove for washing and just adds a nice touch of whimsy.
As the dress was on the hanger to to photographed I kept thinking how cute it would be as a top for say, me. So after I have this baby and start to get my figure back, I think I will have to make a version for myself too...wider and longer of course.
After I finished this dress I made a little pair of pants out of the same fabric for the new baby's coming home outfit. Being as we don't know the sex, I thought yellow would work well. The sewing machine has now been put away. I am still shocked at myself that everything I wanted to get sewn, got sewn. Many times I start things and then take months to finish them...this has to be the nesting kicking in. Now I just have the yard sale to get done this weekend and a few other odds and ends like making up activity craft packets that I can throw at the kids when I am busy with the baby. I had also decided to whip up a bunch of meals for the freezer and I now have 12 or so stocked away waiting to be put to use after the baby comes. I think they will come in handy. I worked on them piece meal throughout the last few days and I am happy to have those done as well. Again, that has to be the nesting...I am normally not this organized, I promise.
Well, It is time for sweet sleep, 6:00 am, will be here before I know it.

Monday, May 17, 2010

One Thing...

Some days, who am I kidding? Most days, it's all about the little things. One of my favorite things involves crossing things off of my to-do list. My piano teacher in high school once gave me the same advice that her mother gave her when she married:
"Do one thing every day that you wouldn't normally do and you will always get things accomplished."
I have been taking that to heart more recently. Trying to do those things that are so small that they often get looked over time and again, yet they nag me and lurk in the back of my head taunting me. They can be as simple as hammering one upholstery tack back in place on the rocking chair, or switching the direction of the ceiling fans for the coming warmer weather...things that take two minutes to complete yet clear up a mile of space in my over crowded mind. I find that getting one of these things done breeds me accomplishing more then I had set out to do throughout the day. And I am fostering a sense of accomplishment.
Now I challenge myself daily to find that one thing and cross it off my list for good...my mind and my house are finding themselves a lot more orderly these days.
It's a great feeling.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Rabbit holes...

I wonder often these days, as I am sure many a pregnant woman does, what day this baby will be born. I think of Elijah's and Evelyn's birthdays and how they used to be just days, nothing special really and now they are very special. I wonder at how many times I coasted through those days unaware of the significance that they would one day hold for me. Were they mostly good days with a few bad ones sprinkled in? Did I live them to they're fullest? Did I enjoy them as I do now? This gets me thinking about living in general. How many times do I just get through a day? I spend my days like I have an infinite number ahead of me and even though the day may be "just another day," I still need to treat it as a special gift. I need to get back to mindfullness, but, as we all know that is a hard to state to stay in constantly and consistently...it's rather exhausting really. Maybe we are not meant to be aware totally all the time that our days are numbered and that we should squeeze every amount of joy possible from each moment. Then wouldn't we feel a sense of urgency and obligation that would deflate us and take that same joy away? Maybe we are suppossed to take the good, the bad, and the ugly (excuse the cliche) and go with it...not to over think it.
My mind likes to go in all kinds of pretzal rabbit holes these days. There is nothing like a looming event of huge significance that I have no control over or say in to get me thinking. I had an ultra sound this afternoon and the baby smiled. What a lovely thing that was...made my day really.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Not to complain or anything...

My Joann's Shopping Bag of goodies from a few months ago.
(Entirely unrelated to this post)

Goodness, you all are so nice. I guess I hadn't realized how long it had been since I posted a picture of me. The flower hid a multitude of things. I must be honest and state that I am not in my most favorite condition these days. I have hormone induced acne, so a glowing pregnant woman I am not. And I feel like a beached whale most days. I hobble about like a 90 year old woman because my hip bones and sockets are in perpetual pain because of where the baby is resting. I don't sleep well because that's when this baby likes to kick, I'm boiling hot most of the time, and my appetite comes and goes.
I hope to not come off as complaining, so many other woman have a much harder time being pregnant than I, I know this...but, I also know that I am ready, ready for this baby to get here, ready to know if it is a boy or a girl, ready to start running again, ready to get through the sleep deprived weeks, ready to nurse...but mostly ready to hold the little one in my arms and to count fingers and toes.. I will be 35 weeks on Friday...so close.
So I guess through all of this I am trying to say that I don't feel so picture worthy these days. However, aren't I my own worst critic? Will I want to see a picture of my pregnant self 40 years from now? I don't know...maybe, I'll ponder it for awhile. The thought that I am being selfish today towards my older self years from now begins to wrap my brain into a pretzel.
God is so sweet in his plans however. All of the discomfort and pain builds the beauty of the end result. It makes it all that much more worth it.
So I leave you all with that, I must go try to sleep for awhile...

Oh and P.S.
Elijah didn't care for the homemade lemonade...oh well, I'm digging it. :)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Spring Flowers...

My Sweet ones made these flowers at story time last week...paper plates, flower petals of construction paper, and Popsicle sticks lovely.



Elijah took this picture of his silly Mama...not bad at all.
Have a great weekend friends.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I "heart" David Gray

This is a song I am loving right now. I heard it for the first time at the concert we went to in March. We now have the CD and it is on heavy rotation at our house and in the car...turn it up and rock out!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

More Nesting...(A whole lot of random).

Lots more sewing has happened around here. Let me preface this by saying that most of the fabric was from my stash and I made these clothes instead of having to buy many things for my growing children. I do enjoy it yes, but also I had our budget in mind as well. Also Spring light is so persnickety, so forgive the poorish quality of the pictures. I made Elijah and Evelyn both several pairs of pajama bottoms for this coming late Spring/Summer/Early Fall seasons. Lightweight cotton, elastic waist...simple. I used Simplicity 2826 for all of these.
Planets, Doggies, and Pirates for Elijah...
Butterflies, Appley Checks...
and fun florals for Evelyn. The above two pairs were made from a couple of vintage sheets that I got at a tag sale last year.
Another pair of Summer overalls for Evelyn as well as...
A dress made from my leftover pillow fabric. And...
A dress made from a sweet bird print from my stash. These were made from the vintage pattern mentioned a couple of posts ago.
I do have one more dress to complete. I made a pillowcase dress that still needs a couple of things done on it and then I am done with the sewing until perhaps this Fall. I know with a newborn I can't hope to complete much. That is why I have been pushing myself so hard to get it all done.
Evelyn is turning into a little girl as she loves wearing skirts and dresses and she enjoys wearing an array of bead necklaces that she has been given.
Elijah thankfully didn't need much in the way of Summer clothes this year. He has been blessed with lots of clothes that his cousin has grown out of.
I rounded out the outfitting with swimsuits and new shoes. Their drawers have been purged of too small items and everything is organized and ready to go. Our weather has been quite nice, so many things have already been put to use.

We try to keep busy in other ways too. I uncovered to boxes of colored pencils from when I was in high school and the kids love putting them to use. We color on the backs of used papers and the pencils are stashed in an old Mason Jar when not in use. It has the old metal lid they used to come with. Perfect if you asked me. We still hit the library for Story time and new books and DVDs to check out each week as well as get-togethers with other little friends and MOPS. Gosh I love MOPS. It will be ending for the Summer soon and I am sad to see it go. Those ladies have been such a blessing to my life. I also have started going to a church with my neighbor. We both had been wanting to start going, so we made up our minds and did it. We load up the kids and go and so far we are both thrilled with what we are learning and the fellowship as well.
I made homemade lemonade today. I got a bag of lemons on sale and I told Elijah we should made lemonade from scratch. He was all for it. The recipe actually makes a syrup that it mixed with water a glass at a time. We haven't tasted it yet, but it looks and smells perfect. The recipe is from Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy by Sarah Ban Breathnach.
Boil two cups of granulated sugar with one cup of water with the rinds of three ribbons cut into thin strips for five minutes. Let the syrup cool and then add the juice of eight lemons. Strain and store in a covered container in the refrigerator. Use two tablespoons of the syrup for every glass of ice or carbonated water to make lemonade.
I also made a wonderful Baked Raspberry Custard from Martha Stewart's Everyday Food April issue. I ate it so fast that there are no pictures to share, it was that good. I topped it with a dollop of sour cream and went to heaven eating it. I think it would be good with any berry. I have some strawberries so I think another one will be made this week.
I am also eating Watermelon like it is going out of style. This new craving can stay as I know it isn't as bad for me as all those Blizzards. I guess we have already embraced Summer around here.