same_sky: (under the same sky)
I am not sure where time goes. I remember being young, and thinking that the days went by so slowly, but now, it's just... wasn't it only last week that we were doing the Christmas thing? Mid-February. Crazy. And speaking of time, next week will mark a decade of LJ for me, which is also crazy.

Being a serial hobbyist, I am back into sewing at the moment and specifically, quilting. I made a table runner for M's parents for Christmas, and then M fell in love with it so that he wanted a wall hanging for the end of the hallway. I didn't get started on it before Christmas, like I had planned, but I had it done for Valentine's Day. I've also started a quilt for Evie, which is.. hmm. The top is somewhere shy of half done, but not dreadfully so. I have been dreading the actual quilting of a twin-sized quilt, though, and Evie and I discussed the possibility of just making it as a snuggle-sized quilt. She thought that was a better idea than for her bed, without me even directing her into it. I don't know. I would prefer it to bed bed-sized but I would also prefer it to be done sooner and require less work.

Here's the first one, the table runner for M's parents for Christmas.

They are big on the whole handmade thing, so I knew they would be happy and they were. :)

Then there's M's Valentine's Day thing, which he picked out most of the fabrics for. I added the yellow, which I am pretty happy about. I even remembered to add little folded triangles to two of the back corners for a dowel rod to slide into and hang it with. I have now ended three sentences in one paragraph with a preposition, which is bad even for me. Anyway, it's hanging up at the end of the hallway just as planned and, if I do say so myself, it looks great there. I have tried to hang nearly every piece of artwork in this house down there and M has always been against it for one reason or another. Now I'm glad that spot was open because it looks like it was made for it...which....actually....well... it was. ;)

Here it is, hanging at the end of the hallway. This may surprise you but there is zero natural light down there, so this wasn't the best photo session we've ever had. Sending Evie to do it may not have contributed, though.

M was helping her, though, and he turned it over to get the back in a picture, too, hence the wonky hanging thing at the top. I wish the lint had gotten brushed off, though! There's a bookcase (made for my by my grandfather <3) below it that used to be my "books to read next" bookcase. Now it is my "books I will probably never read" bookcase, since I fell in love with my book reader, and most of what's left there are rejects from various used book sales that never looked appealing enough to choose next. I think I shall make it one of my next organizational projects. ANYWAY. On top of the bookcase, there's a large picture of Zinkensdamm in Stockholm, and a picture of us taken there (it's where he proposed) just after we got engaged. :)

And speaking of quilting, I don't have a picture of it, but I have about thirty blocks done on the quilt-as-you-go quilt that I started. Of course, I had twenty when I posted that in April of last year so that is actually some truly terrible progress. Oh, well. The problem is that every time I lay them out and start working on them, I decide to make it bigger. ;) The truly horrible thing is that I still haven't tested the process of joining them together, though I do have the fabric for it, at least. I also think that my new sewing machine seems to have a harder time with a bunch of layers than my old cheapo did. We'll have to see how it goes, but I am just hoping that if my new machine won't sew it, my old one will, at least. It is actually not an abandoned project, though. I cut out strips for it just this week and intend to start making blocks again. I was planning on making it 5x7, which would mean I was almost done, but I think I decided on 6x7. Still, that wouldn't take too long if I would just focus. I seem to have gotten derailed on a great many things last year. Not sure why. It truly feels like that post from April was no more than three or four months ago.

I don't have the pictures transferred from Evie's quilt yet, and this post is long enough anyway so we'll have to save that for later. :) I have to field the "I want candy" complaints department for a while, and maybe make a little dinner. :)
same_sky: (under the same sky)
How can it possibly be almost December? Didn't this year just start? I am pretty sure that Evelyn's rainbow birthday party in May was just a few weeks ago, and M's parents--well, I'm pretty sure that we're still waiting for THAT to happen. How time flies when you get old.

I regret to inform you that my beautiful anniversary weekend alone with the boy was somewhat lessened by illness-mine. I came down with a sinus infection, self-diagnosed, and I actually managed to get through it without copious antibiotics, which was swell. It was touch and go there for a while--I was headed to the doctor on Saturday morning, but finally decided against it. We still had fun, if a little less actively than planned. I was feeling good on Friday and got a ton done while M was at work. We had a nice dinner at a steakhouse (Longhorn) but I was feeling pretty tired by the time it was over. Saturday and Sunday were fairly low-key, but it's still fairly fantastic to have the house to the adults only upon occasion. By Monday, I was feeling well enough to actually enjoy myself while shopping. When we were done, we headed up to pick up Evie-Kadevie and have dinner with my parents. As for her, she had a great time. I think she missed us some but she was just fine with my mom. Sometimes I think she'd move in with them if I would let her.

(This is not actually true. She wanted to come home--she just wants to spend more time at Granny's than she gets to now. It probably sounds like she is always gone, but her overnight visits are pretty rare now.)

When we came back home, we only had two days of normal before we headed back up for Thanksgiving, which was nice. I had a pretty serious headache, which wasn't great. The best part of Thanksgiving day at my house is after it's over and the dishes are done, we all hang out around the kitchen table and we pore over the Black Friday ads. We make lists and talk about gift ideas for all the kids. It's... I don't know. It sounds lame, but it's a lot of fun. It was a little less fun this year than in previous years. Not sure why. In any case, we headed out to Walmart at around nine. I really didn't have a single thing on my list, but I was going for the sake of the family bonding. It was CRAZY.

I know some people feel strongly about Black Friday being absurd, but it's something that I participate in mainly because it's a fun thing that the family does together. I usually don't buy much. It's a lot of fun to actually grab a coveted item, even if you're not grabbing it for yourself. Last year, while my mom waited in a line that stretched back to eternity for a DS (for Evie, though she ended up getting one for herself, too), I amused myself with running all over the store to fetch items. I was bringing stuff back for the people next to my mom in line by the end. (Which sounds funnier than it actually was. It happened to be someone that we knew--the ex-step-mother of my best friend in kindergarten. Small towns are fun that way!) Anyway, in previous years, there was a certain camaraderie in the whole thing. We were a bunch of people out shopping at the ass-crack of dawn and it was wild and crazy but we were all in it together. I was never really worried about those trampling stories because... I was going Black Friday shopping in a small town. In the south. As a general rule, we're friendly here. I have never loved the idea of having my kiddo with me at the big five a.m. rush, but I usually have her by about seven and it's been fine. (M has to work on that day, which we all accuse him of doing on purpose--bribing his boss, etc, because he does NOT want to join in with us on this. Anyway, he would get E ready and bring her out to us before he left town.. since it started the night before this time, he didn't have to do that this year.)

black friday

Anyway, this year, it wasn't like it was in previous years. I think that having it be an evening shopping trip instead of an early morning shopping trip brought out a different sort of person. It was CREEPY when 10 p.m. came and people started clawing at the pallets to get their items. Pushing and shoving and the works. Maybe I sound naive, but I've never seen it like that before. We started doing this years ago, but it's become such a big thing now that really, too many people are going and the retailers are putting out worse deals every year. I don't know. I look forward to parts of Black Friday every year, but I am not sure I will want to go next year... although whether or not I can get out of it is another story. Creepy moment at ten aside, we had a good time. I didn't buy much, but I did find a $3 pink t-shirt with Candace from Phineas & Ferb on the front. Evie loves Candace, because she's bossy like her. Yes, well, at least she's aware of her shortcomings? I don't know. Anyway, I'd have paid more for that. Evie will love it. (I also bought her a Perry shirt from the boy's section that's almost like the one M has. She'll loooove having a matching shirt with Daddy.) And, we had fun, especially the next day. As much as I disliked the mood at Walmart that night, I loved what it did for Friday shopping. We went home and slept for a while, and then got up and were ready to leave town by about 7:00. We made it to Lexington before the early bird stuff wore off, and I finally got to go to a store that Iwanted to go to. Kohl's, of course. The stores were kind of busy but not much more so than on any other Saturday in December, and the stock levels were pretty good to boot. I wonder what the outcome of this year's experiment will be.

M has decided that he no longer needs to sleep, apparently, and it is now after midnight and we're both awake. I hear that when you get old, you need less sleep. As I am still a spring chicken (never mind what i wrote earlier in this very post) I need my beauty sleep. :)
same_sky: (Default)
First on the agenda: I am all sheeplike, and set up an account at Dreamwidth. Because all the cool kids are doing it in response to LJ's week of downtime. Or...something. I dunno. I imported everything and may now crosspost.. I don't really anticipate switching though. I mean, I know that I am currently prolific enough to warrant multiple journals and all, but... :) I am same_sky there too, for consistency's sake.

Today has been an excellent day! We had gymnastics this morning, which was fine, and then we came home for lunch, and headed back out to go to the game farm, which is a free wildlife park located half a mile from my house. The weather was perfect today. Seriously perfect. I can't even begin to think of how you could change it for the better. So, we walked around, holding hands most of the time, and I slipped in a whole lot of educational material, reading signs to her and explaining environmental concepts. (That's their big focus.) It was homeschool preschool science field trip sort of trip, so when we got home, she drew a picture of her observations in her science journal*. Then I got a wild hair to pack a picnic and the three of us headed down to a park on the river to eat our dinner, after which we took a short leisurely stroll and then returned home, where she went to bed properly and easily. It was... so very unlike us, and so very pleasant. Quality family time like that doesn't happen as often as it should. :)

Well, some of us had a leisurely stroll. Some did not.

Oh, the science journal. I started this a few months ago, and we don't necessarily write in it all that often, but it is awesome. And don't I sound involved and teachy-teachy and pretentious? It's just a plain spiral notebook that I pitched to her as a science journal because she L O V E S it when we do science experiments and projects, and this makes it more of a Thing to her. I'll write the date and the name of the experiment, and a brief description of what we were doing. (I was planning on letting it be all her, but decided that it was worth a bit of commentary from me so we'd remember what it was about later.) Now, we can look back at the things we did, and see her little drawings. It's adorable. We also add pages for hypothetical experiments, occasionally, or sciencey concepts. While talking about what exactly an "experiment" consists of, we talked about how we could come up with an experiment to test various things, and her idea was to find out what kitty cats like to eat most. (Her hypothesis was mice.)

Notice how I didn't show you the drawing she did of the game farm today. This is because (I think) she drew a picture of the children's museum that we took her to last year instead of the game farm today. ??? You win some, you lose some. :) At least, I don't remember anything about blowing bubbles at the game farm, whereas there was an entire room at the museum that she just so happened to be talking about all afternoon today.I thought at first she was talking about the fish pond (because there are bubbles there in the water) but I think I'd remember it if I had used a bubble wand at any point to blow bubbles at the fish.
same_sky: (under the same sky)
I'm supposed to be headed to the library for storytime, but the kiddo is sick. And speaking of sick, am I completely crazy for being annoyed that certain family members bring their sick kids down to visit at my grandfather's house? EVEN THOUGH we all decided years ago, after he had open-heart surgery, that we shouldn't come if we were sick since he is really not in the best of health? I mean, I always followed that rule, but now that I have a kid, it really pisses me off that they continue to do it because what do you know, I am the one that ends up dealing with the sick kid. Usually they'll say something like, "Oh, it's just a sinus/ear infection, it's not contagious!" (which, okay. except, you are a) self-diagnosing, so how do you know it's a sinus infection? and b) stretching the boundaries of believability by saying that someone throwing up all night long is because of an ear infection. Just an example of the kind of nonsense that they come up with, not a specific incident. Or, "you can't protect them from everything!" Or, "she just won't get around Papaw." Or, "let's just do it and not tell them that she's sick." It's really me, my mom, one aunt and one cousin who are pro-staying-home, and the other aunt and two cousins who are pro-INSANITY, so it's kind of an even mix. You know what always really boggles my mind? The other aunt is a relapsed nurse. Surely SHE knows a little something about basic disease prevention? There was a mini Facebook drama going on yesterday over it. Sometimes, though I love them dearly, my family is exhausting. :)

Let's see, how about something that is not directly child-related? We are making really good progress on the bathroom again! The walls are nearly ready for painting (lots of painful sanding/spackling/priming involved on M's part. I am lucky that he is one of those rare folks who can do drywall work. Long family joke about that being the one thing that my very handy dad can't do... with the evidence being clearly visible in my parents house! But even better... we are nearly halfway done with the floor! We went with laminate in a very light maple color and it's looking fantastic. It was driving me crazy last night because M was working on it and I had to stay away most of the time to keep E out of trouble. My parents are supposed to come over tomorrow and spend the night, and then on Saturday, M and my dad will work on getting the tub in and installed, and after that... it should all be downhill. There'll be plenty of work left to do in the painting and replacing the toilet and vanity (and I have to put a clear coat on the painted vanity before that happens, too) and installation of the light, etc, but those tasks are not going to be as hard as the work that was done so far and the work that will hopefully be taken care of this weekend. IF it happens, due to sickness. M woke up sick this morning and I'm not so sure that he'll be well enough on Saturday to get much done, and I'm not sure that my parents should come down and get sick, if they aren't already.

And, best news yet! I finally finished painting the dollhouse bookcase that we've been working since like January. It was done except for the finishing, and apparently we hate that so it just sat and languished. Until now! It's been sitting in the middle of my kitchen floor for over an entire month because I decided that it WAS getting done. The painting took so much longer than I planned, though, when I decided to do all of the rooms in different colors. Each one needed at least two coats, and two rooms had to be redone because the paint I used didn't work out as well as I had hoped, and one room had to be resanded due to an incident with gunky primer. I spent five hours on it the very first night that I started painting, and countless hours since then. (And even more countless hours ignoring the project as best as I could while skirting around the thing taking up the entire kitchen floor, propped up on three Capri-Sun boxes because I am so classy like that.) Seriously, it took SO much longer to paint than it did to build. Isn't that crazy?

You may have seen this on Facebook already, too, and you may see it elsewhere before I'm done because I AM SO HAPPY IT'S DONE!

My PLAN was to use this bookcase as a...well, bookcase. Evie's plan is to use the dollhouse as a dollhouse. This is the first day that she's had it in her room. Guess who won? :) Maybe when she gets bored with it, I can steal a few rooms for books and pretties.

A few notes on the Barbie action in the house. I tried to subtly point out that horses do not usually go IN the house, but Evie not-so-subtly pointed out that PIPPI'S horse is in the house, so that blonde Barbie therefore became Pippi.

I put the couple in the yellow room, but to get them to stand up, I fear that girl is touching her friend inappropriately. I'm sorry for ruining what should be a G-rated photo.

I gave Evie all of my Barbies from when I was little, and therefore, she has a huge collection of them... but unfortunately, most of them look as if they just stepped out of 1985. The Rockers were having a little reunion there in the pink room..

The reindeer? It is apparently a kitchen table. Oh, to be three again!
same_sky: (under the same sky)
I was going to email this to Carrie and then I thought if I was going to go to all that trouble of like, typing, I might as well post it here instead.

Evie and I were in the kitchen today and she asked me, out of the blue, when we were going to get a magic carpet that we could really use. I guess she's seen one on TV recently? I don't know. It was cute, and I had to explain to her that sadly, magic carpets aren't real and we could not actually get one for our own usage, even though that would be fun. That reminded me of [ profile] carrieb's Nanowrimo book, and I mentioned to her that I had a friend who wrote a story about a magic flying bed.

It made more of an impression than I had planned. She immediately started asking me questions.

E: Who rides on the magic bed?
K: A little girl named Sarah!
E: Does the bed have wheels?
K: No, it flies!
E: But does it have wheels on the inside, so that it can land in a place she's never been before?
K: Nope, I don't think so! (She's thinking of the airplane wheels. :) )
E: Does the bed have covers on it and blankies to snuggle with while you're flying?, I'm not sure but I think so. Would you like me to ask Carrie?

We also had a discussion about who Carrie is, who Erik is, where they live and when they came to visit and how old she was and how old Erik was, etc etc etc. It was, you know, a sort of unexpected but not not terribly unusual conversation. I will say that while I enjoyed Carrie's story as she was writing it and still think she should finish it, I really only remembered the key elements so I had a hard time answering some of her questions. ;)

Anyway. A couple of hours later, she comes into the computer room and steals two pieces of paper and lays down on the floor with some crayons and starts chattering to herself while very purposefully drawing this--Sarah and a flying bed.

Evie's illustrations

That's Sarah on the left. Drawing people (and stuff, in general, other than just scribbling) is very, very new for her so legs and arms are directly attached to heads. That could be a body and arms, or a body with legs. I think she does spectacular eyes for her drawing skill level, though. And really, matching is so outdated. The bed is on the right and it is a little harder to understand because she embellished it a little too much. The four sticks on the bottom are legs, with the mattress laying right on top. The horizontal lines are the covers and blankets. The arch on top is a canopy so that she won't get wet.

When she was done drawing the pictures, she immediately requested tape so she could turn them into puppets on sticks. (We made a couple earlier in the day... she's really into them right now.) So, she had Sarah hanging out with her magic bed, flapping them around like they were flying. I'm thinking surely you can consider this an action figure for your first book, Carrie. ;)
same_sky: (under the same sky)
Better late than never, right? We have been back a week and a half now, and life has finally settled back into its normal routine. Last week was a little rough, because we were all still jetlagged and waking up at six in the morning. Plus, I felt a little aimless and lost, kind of like you feel after the presents are opened at Christmas. I've been planning this trip for SO. LONG. Now that I'm home I'm not entirely sure what to do with myself. :) I'm glad to report that I am feeling much more myself this week.

sweden picturess
This is my desktop background right now. Isn't M a cute Viking? We took a day trip to Sigtuna, which is one of my favorite places. It's a manageable drive outside of the city and yet it's a small town. I have always said that's where I'd want to live if we moved to Sweden. We wouldn't, of course, but it's a nice daydream. Anyway! We went on a Viking boat. It was touristy and silly but a lot of fun. M was the official steering dude. Is there a word for a Viking boat steering dude?
clicky for more )
same_sky: (Default)
I did not leave my address this week until six o'clock tonight. We did go outside and poke around in the yard a little for the last three days but I didn't go anywhere. I think Evie was getting tired of me by yesterday, and admittedly, my patience was getting kind of short with her, too. I am not someone that needs to be out of the house all the time, certainly, but this was more than should have been necessary. I'm not entirely sure what the deal was, either, because there was absolutely nothing keeping me at home except my fierce desire to NOT GO ANYWHERE. It's even a pretty good shopping week and I couldn't bear going. Crazy! Anyway, by this afternoon, I had turned into a grump and finally decided that it would be good for my sanity to get out of the house. We had a nice dinner and now I feel a little more human than I did.

Well, also, I was going to be out of town on Thursday for a funeral, but I finally decided at the last minute that I just couldn't take Evie to a funeral. I mean, I had the car packed, the night before, with boxes that needed taken to my parents already. I was about to broach the subject with her while we were getting ready for bed, just to prepare her for the day, and then realized that to take her to this funeral, I didn't need to worry as much about how she would behave, as far as everyone else was concerned. I would also have to explain the concept of death, which just seemed a little too hard to contemplate. It was a friend of the famiily--my parents' neighbor/tenant. E has seen her before but wouldn't remember her. I took her to my grandmother's funeral but she was just three months old--a, no choice and b, it was a close family member and c, she had no clue where she was anyway. Not so much now. Added to my previous fear of her being squirmy during the service anyway, and I just gave up. What do you think, would you have taken an almost-three-year-old to a funeral, if it was the only way you could go? Or not?

You may have seen this on Facebook already but I did have a little bit of craftiness today. It hardly counts because it was such a simple little project, but it made me happy. I sewed a new ironing board cover. The old one was beyond useless, because there was no longer anything, anywhere on it, that held it in place on the board. What made me happy, though, was that I sewed it using my Granny's fabric. It's a nice yellow with a tiny floral print.. nothing that exciting in itself, but it will make me think of her every time I iron something and that is worth more than anything else.

ironing board cover

And.. that's about all I've got. We've been making plans for our trip to Sweden and trying to figure out what we're going to do with a 15-year-old AND a 3-year-old. It's us; half the fun of doing stuff like this is the planning and preparation. My grandfather is home from the hospital, which I am so thankful for. And, it's Easter! Which means that the Easter Bunny will be here. I just tried to convince M that Easter was a gift-giving holiday but he didn't fall for it, or rather, he told me that he had given me a European vacation for Easter. I do not think so, mister. And also, I am up two hours past my bedtime and I am going to regret that grievously in the morning, I fear.
same_sky: (under the same sky)
I have recently started playing school with Evie. I haven't been pushing her or anything, but we spend a few minutes a day doing something deemed semi-educational. I started with the letter A, and we talked about words that start with A, and we talked about how to make an A, but she refused to even try to do it herself. This is also when her right hand / left hand thing was resolved into her really being more comfortable with her right hand, she just didn't know she was supposed to use one hand over the other. Her writing and drawing has improved dramatically since then.. but she generally doesn't like to try something if she doesn't think she can be perfect at it. Wouldn't know where she got that from. So anyway, last night in the bathtub, she drew this, completely unprompted:

As she was drawing the center line I asked her casually what she was drawing (in case it was a fluke), and she said, "I MADE AN A!"

I nearly died of the sheer awesomeness of the moment.

So, naturally, being proud parents, we decided to reward her for her awesomeness by giving her our bedroom.

Okay, well, no. Yes. No. We DID decide to switch rooms with her but we did not do it because she drew an A. Can you imagine what her teen years would be like if we were THAT easy? I don't even want to think about it. We had already decided to do this particular project because Evie wants her own bathroom it makes sense from a room management standpoint. Our bedroom has/had a small bathroom attached. We think that the room was previously the largest, master bedroom and they added the bathroom later.. in any case, it's the smallest of our bedrooms but it has the bathroom. We turned it into our bedroom when I was pregnant (it had been a guest room before.) It is perfectly true that Evie wants that little bathroom for her own, but it's not the whole reason we're doing the switch.. it just makes sense in the long run. We barely use that bathroom.. or at least, we used to barely use it. Evie has decided that it is the only bathroom she will deign to sit her little but upon lately. ("I want to use Mommy's little potty! Because it fits my butt!" She has to say that almost every time she goes. Also, not sure why it is MY potty and not Daddy's or someone's. It's a standard size and the big bathroom has an elongated seat, which is what she's talking about when she says it fits her butt.) Anyway. Ignoring the fact that we are all three in various stages of a cold, we started moving furniture around this morning and there's pink paint drying in our ex-room right now. It's kind of sad because it's the only room we were really happy with it being DONE and COORDINATING. Now we're moving into her room, which we originally used as the computer room and which is painted the color of masking tape, approximately, and I really really like the way it looks but I have now painted TWO rooms for that bedroom and not currently using either one--this is the third (out of three) bedroom we've been in since we moved in four years ago. There is just something not right about that. There's also something not right about saying we moved in four years ago, because Jiminy Christmas, where does time go?

(I have been hanging out with M too much, that is one of his expressions.)

Anyway. There is my weekend in a nutshell. Although, why I would want to put something in a nutshell, particularly something like a weekend, is beyond me. I am much too tired to ponder the intricasies of nutshells at the moment so I am just going to let that one go.
same_sky: (Default)
I'm going to try something new and actually follow through with a picture of a finished project! We bought a new flat-screen TV to hang over the fireplace and we have had a LOT of setbacks in getting it put up, but it's finished now!

M thought this picture needed annotation but I'm too lazy to write captions directly on the photo like he envisioned. I shall just direct your attention to the highlights. First, we were not actually watching South Park, just flipping through channels with the mute on (as we were listening to Nat King Cole singing about Christmas.) Just getting the important stuff out of the way. ;) The TV looks smaller than it actually is. The big electronic things in the right bookcases are the receiver, dvd player, xbox and wii, and the important thing here is that... note that you don't see any cables from those items. We're going to do a little more prettification of that area but for now--not seeing cables running in front of the bookcase is enough. :) Also, those big black things on either side are speakers. Amazingly enough, those speakers were dragged all the way from Sweden with M--so purchased long before we moved in here--and they just happened to fit the spaces in the bookcase like that. Absolutely incredible...though they've been there so long now that I barely see them anymore.

And.. just a quick note on the presents on top of the bookcase. We put presents up there last year to keep them away from prying toddler fingers and then realized that it was really, really cute that way. So, there's my home decorating tip of the day--when possibly, use your wrapped presents as decoration, as it looks festive and happy and Christmasy, and it also keeps people from looking too closely at the interesting things under the tree. I do have some presents under both of the trees as well, just to keep it pretty. So far, Evelyn's been pretty good about not bothering them.. hope she keeps to that.

Now, the second thing I wanted to write about is Christmas cards. If I don't have your address and you think I should, send me an email at kisha at mosaicminds dot net. If you want to know my address, I have a contact info post here (friends only).
same_sky: (Default)
I have a lot of stuff to write about and not enough time to do justice to any of them so I think I shall try to just tackle one thing at a time. This probably means that I will lose focus sometime tomorrow and really only post this first thing, but... such is the price one pays.

Thursday afternoon, I decided to take Evelyn to the game farm in the afternoon in hopes of snapping some good pictures of her. We used to take an excess of photos of our little darling, but in recent months, we have pretty much stopped. This is because she will not look at the camera, or if she does, she makes cheesey faces at it. I love an artsy photo of little kids looking down, or off into the distance, or engrossed in their own activities as much as the next person, but it begins to get tiresome when those are the only shots you get.

Anyway, I was not really in the mood for it but I figured that the weather would not allow this for much longer, and the trees had nove yet dropped all their leaves, making everything look tremendously depressing, so the backdrop would still be pleasant. I pitched it to her as a trip to take pictures of her, and though she made me promise we would also look at the animals (haha...well, DUH, kiddo) I think it might have helped her cooperate to think that we were there mainly for the pictures. Or, possibly I am delusional. Anyway, it was quite fun, once we got started, and she was good as gold until she decided her main goal in life was to stuff the knot holes on a tree plank bench with leaves and dirt, and she was BY GOLLY going to stand there and work on it until the job was finished. I was not unreasonably impatient, I don't think. I mean, I let her stand there for more than ten minutes, working on her little project. It was when she started putting her hands on an area covered with bird poop that I started prodding her to keep walking.

And that is when the earth trembled and the sky darkened and Displeasure echoed throughout the park. How DARE I make her leave? The injustice was staggering, and she decided it would be an excellent time to protest all such shoddy treatment. I got her to walk a little way down the path and was working the distraction magic ("Look, Evie, the TURKEYS! And the DEER!") but it was just not enough compensation and she dissolved into tears and shrieks again, which culminated in her throwing herself to the ground, face on the asphalt, and crying hysterically. And I was actually pretty cool with that in a way, because it gave me an excellent chance to explain to her that when big girls act like little babies, they would be treated like little babies, and I carried her, cradled like an infant, in my arms, directly back to the car, thus curtailing all of the game park fun and providing a consequence to public tantrums without inconveniencing me in any way except the temporary physical discomfort of carrying her like that for a good distance. I was ready to leave anyway and I would much rather make that point at a time like that then when I have a cart full of groceries or when we have paid money for the privilege of being somewhere. But then again, I'm kind of mean.

You know, I had no intention of telling that story. I really just wanted to post a few pictures of BEFORE the drama started.

She was fine after we got home and she got a chance to rest, have a snack and watch Caillou. Caillou has magical calming properties. I love that show.
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We had a lovely day at the zoo! I wish I could say that it was an unwhiny day at the zoo, but at least our moods were high enough that we could look past Miss Crankypants and enjoy the day anyway. She was mostly pretty good but somewhat contrary.
photographic evidence )
The zoo itself was okay. I don't think it was fantastic but it was nice enough--pretty small but that's okay when one has a two-year-old. She couldn't have taken much more as it was. I think it could have been terrible and we'd have still had a great time, though. :)

Now, close your eyes a minute and picture being in the zoo. What zoo are you at, and what are you looking at? When I close my eyes and picture a zoo, I am usually either in Memphis (lions or similar) or Cincinnati (frogs or walking). It's strange, the little moments that stick with us for years.
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Last week was so hectic, but we had a great time. Evie was just so tired every night that she could barely stand herself. No naps, plus busy busy busy, plus staying up late.. I let her sleep late in the mornings but it just didn't cut it. She really just had too much fun. The parents were camping across town, along with my niece, W, who's fourteen. We were over there all day from Wednesday through Saturday.

pictures and more )
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So I was trying to make a grocery list while Evelyn was watching Pippi. She was playing pretty quietly until she started saying "lipstick, lipstick", and looked down to see her playing with the contents of Mommy's purse, and specifically, an uncapped pen. I was able to take it away from her before she managed to draw on her lips but apparently, that was still a little too late. At least she didn't put her eye out with it.... sigh.

makeup artist

Great day for her to skip a nap, huh? I was really counting on this blessedly baby-free block of time to get things done, but after two hours of trying to get her to sleep, I finally gave up. She really has craptastic timing sometimes. At least she should be easy to get to sleep tonight.
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  1. She loves to be outside. Really, really loves it. (I do not.)
  2. She has become more affectionate as she's gotten older, and now she willingly gives hugs and kisses.
  3. She is shy with strangers, and she will usually not talk to someone out in public.
  4. She insists on drinking from a cup with a straw in restaurants, and she also thinks she has to order it her own self. (which is contrary to her normal no-talk-to-strangers rule.)
  5. One of her favorite things is playing in the sink, though she's not allowed to do that much anymore due to violent tantrums when it's time to stop.
  6. She fights sleep like an innocent kitty cat dies every time she closes her eyes.
  7. She adores Elmo, loves Abby, Cookie and Oscar, and is more than fond of the rest of the Sesame Street gang, but she doesn't care much for any other set of television characters... except Pippi. She adores Pippi, too.
  8. When Granny and Grandpa are around, she doesn't want much to do with her mother, but if she gets hurt, it's Mommy she comes to.
  9. Bubbles in the bathtub were a recent obsession, and she was crazy about them for about three baths until suddenly she freaked out and kept insisting "NO BUBBLES" when it was time to take a bath. That lasted about a week and now she wants bubble baths again. No clue as to what happened with the bubbles except she told me once they were hot. (??)
  10. She is making really good progress with the potty-training at the moment, and is going multiple times per day most of the time.
  11. We're working on weaning but it's slow going. Still at three times a day, but sometimes we don't get to all three.
  12. She's been walking around all day talking about the "mighty jungle" because Granny sang it to her yesterday. She also sings (parts of) "Happy birthday" and "Row Row Row your boat" and "EIEIO [aka Old MacDonald]" recognizably, and she knows enough of some other songs to request them.
  13. I fear she is something of a germaphobe, for which I guess I must take the blame. She freaks out if she gets her hands dirty, and she scrubbed herself so hard in the bathtub one other morning that I feared she had developed some sort of long-lasting phobia. (Thankfully, she was just enjoying playing with the soap, I think.) I am trying to do better, and to also offer some other reasons for things other than that something is dirty.. like when she thought I threw away a grape because it was dirty the other day, I made a point of explaining to her that it wasn't dirty, it was just not a good grape. I don't know if it will help but it makes sense to me.
  14. Her favorite toys are probably her kitchen and dishes. She loves to cook and is greatly excited about helping me cook.. which is frustrating at the moment but I am looking forward to it getting easier.
  15. She has a little mole on the top of one finger and a paler-than-her-skin birthmark on her belly. I want to kiss them every time I notice them.
  16. She is afraid of older women. I have no clue why. You know that grandmotherly type? They terrify her. She's not always afraid of women of that age, but it happens pretty often. In general, she's a strangely timid child for being so tough. She usually doesn't cry when she gets hurt unless it really, really hurts, so it's always a shock when she starts wailing about being afraid.
  17. I taught her once to kiss Mommy's freckles (on my shoulders) and now she will randomly sometimes grab my arm and say "Mommy freckle!" and kiss my arm. I die a little from cuteness overload when she does that.
  18. My niece, whom she calls Sissy, is the most exciting person in the world to her. Sissy is a rock star and there is nobody who can top her in sheer fun value.
  19. A couple of months ago, my cousin was leaving my grandfather's house and she had to take her daughter's Barbie away from Evelyn so she could go. Evelyn is still talking about it and I promise I have tried to discourage her from remembering it. She will say, in this terribly sad little voice, "Jo Jo. Barbie. Take away." She doesn't dislike Jo Jo or anything and will speak favorably of her at other times, but she cannot get over Jo Jo taking her doll away no matter how many times I try to reassure her.
  20. And on that note, the child has got a memory like... well, M says that the only thing you can compare Evelyn's memory to is that of her mother. She remembers everything.
  21. She has a fascination with sticks, my little girl. Our yard was such a disaster at the beginning of the season that one of our little family activities was to go outside and pick up sticks to put in the wheelbarrow. She loved this (except for a few days when she was too terrified of bugs to move) and she still prefers picking up sticks to other (normal) outside activities.
  22. She is not a big eater, but she does like: ham (lunch meat type), cheese (preferably mozzarella, either shredded or in stick form), pasta, chicken nuggets, french fries, grapes, kiwi, bananas, strawberries, yogurt, peaches, applesauce (but not apples), cheerios and peas. She theoretically likes burgers and pizza and quesadillas, too--by which I mean, she talks about them, she wants to have some of them, but she will only eat them sometimes. There are other foods she eats upon occasion, but those are really the core things that she lives on. Ham and cheese and grapes is her most common meal. I figure it is healthy enough, compared to the things she could be eating, but it is sadly unfilling, which means I have to feed her random things all day long. Have some fiber, child! Alas, no.
  23. She doesn't have much experience with playing with other children. She spends some time with a couple of other kids when we visit my family, but it's seldom and she honestly spends most of her time with my mom when we're visiting. I think she is annoyed by how very immature they are. (Not to say she is any more mature than they are. She just thinks she is. hehe.)
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I told myself that I would do dishes today while Evelyn takes a nap but so far it hasn't happened. Surprise, surprise! I also told myself I would post last night before I went to bed but we all see how that turned out, don't we? I am just so behind on everything. I needed to do pictures last night but then I fell asleep in my chair and M sent me to bed. Ahh well. It happens, right?

Now, for some Easterage. Evelyn had a wonderful time at Easter. I mean, it was really and truly something she loved. Being outside, picking up eggs, carrying around a basket, attention from big people, playing with the other kids--what's not to love?! These pictures are a little larger than usual (clicked the wrong box when I uploaded them and there's no way I'm going to sit here and fix them ) so I'll put them all behind the cut.
Read more... )
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For Valentine's Day, my parents gave me a pair of jeans that fit, five bucks and a few hours of babysitting so that I could go on a date with my husband. (The five bucks was not to finance the date, but to even out the money on what they gave M. They are sticklers on evening out the money, and I scored a 30% off card at the register at Kohl's when the jeans were being bought, and so they cost less than they were "supposed" to. Not that you care.) Oh, also, a whisk. Anyway, that is not the point at all. The point is... M and I got to go on a date! Without the baby! It was fun!

This weekend was crazy busy, particularly on Saturday. One of my cousins turned eighteen (today) and had a party scheduled for yesterday. Another cousin (his aunt) flew in for the occasion. Her plane arrived in Louisville at nine Saturday morning. Her sister was going to come pick her up, and had asked if she could spend the night with us, because we are two hours closer to the airport than she is (just about an hour for us). I told her that she was welcome, but also told her that if she could get the spare car seat to us, we would go pick her up. We were heading up for the weekend anyway so we might as well go two hours out of our way than one of them go six hours out of their way. So, we did our part for familial duty this weekend. Sidenote: turns out that our car is really not designed for two carseats and a person sitting in the middle. It was more than a tight squeeze but we managed. I'm just glad that I am not the one that had to ride back there for an hour and a half.

So, lunch with a thousand people before we adjourned to my parents house for a while. In addition to our date, there was a college basketball game, and we had all been talking about taking Evelyn to see one. We were planning on going to the game with my parents and aunt and uncle, and then leaving after a few minutes and going on our date. I had maybe had some brief thoughts about how she might not like it, but we were pretty much thinking she'd be excited by all the people and the mascot and the ball and the commotion. HAHA HA HAHAHAHAHA. In retrospect.. duh. Evelyn does NOT like loud or echoey noises. This is the child who was terrified of public bathrooms and will still sometimes come running to us when we yell something to someone in another room. So... she cried, and clung to me or my mom or my aunt while we found a seat. We were hoping she would warm up to the whole thing after a few minutes, but just when we would coax a smile out of her, they would start buzzing about something and people would yell and cheer and she would cry again and bury her head in someone's neck. It was really pitiful. M and I were thinking that there was no way in hell we were going to make her sit there any longer but were trying to figure out exactly how to accomplish this because we were supposed to be leaving for our date without our kid in tow, and yet, we hated to say that they had to leave the game too. My mom and aunt ended up taking her back to the house. We stayed with her for a few minutes before they left, and she was fine, and so all was well, but it was so pitiful. She is not much of a crybaby, my little girl, so it really stings when she's sobbing hysterically because she's so afraid of something, you know?

Anyway, after that sour note in the day, M and I headed off to our date. We were kind of without plans, and also, in a small town with limited options. It was too early for dinner and we had missed the time slot for a matinee, and there were no movies we wanted to see anyway. (We have a raincheck with my parents for a movie in the future... that was supposed to be part of our date.) That pretty much leaves you with Walmart, but my smart, smart husband came up with a really sweet lovely idea, and we drove out to the lake and walked around "our" spot. When he came over to visit the first time, we drove out there on that first day, when it was still really awkward and new, and we walked around one of the picnic areas/trails, and we talked and held hands and all that, and M gave me a brief history of European wars. (Don't ask. I never did. I think maybe we were both a little nervous that first day.) It was kind of cold and windy so we were the only ones out there, and it was so quiet and lovely and pretty. Smart boy! And romantic! He even started talking about European wars as we headed down the trail! Awww.. ;) So, we had a little reminiscing time. We followed that up with a quick stop at Kroger and then to dinner, and then we walked over to the bookstore and had coffee. It was so, so fantastic. Really. It was also more Valentiney than I think we have ever been in the past decade. Decade. I sometimes can't believe I can use that term about our relationship.

And when we came home, our baby girl was happy to see us (in moderation; Granny was still there, after all) and she went to bed without much fuss. Score!

Yesterday was kind of a mess, what with the birthday party. It was supposed to be at three, but when we arrived at three, turns out that the doors didn't even open until four. (It was at a bowling alley on campus.) None of the party people were there. We went back to my parents and complained about the disorganization of those particular family members, until they called and were all "oh, we're here. Come in the back door. No, come in the front, we'll unlock it for you!" So we went, and of course, they did not come unlock the door but it worked out. It was actually the second failed outing of the day. Some of them also got baptized yesterday morning but failed to invite the family. Long story, not interesting, all's well that ends well, but still incredible that the whole day was so screwed up.

We were pretty apprehensive about the bowling plan, since we had just had a pretty adverse reaction to another loud event with lots of people, but Evie thought it was grand. We let her play a little bit with rolling the balls down the lanes, but she spent most of her time in the room with the pizza and cake. She normally will not eat pizza but she was loving it yesterday. (She wants to like cake, but sadly for her, she does not.) We were afraid that she would get smacked by someone with a ball, or run down the lane to get the pins, or something like that, so she got held or otherwise restrained through most of the event.

We left well before she was done, and she was devestated to be leaving her Granny, but she had fun while it lasted. We also learned that while yes, we could take her bowling, it would be a giant pain in the tushy and we might as well wait until she's a little bigger. We go bowling once every five years or so anyway, so it's not like she's really crimping our lifestyle much in that regard anyway. By 2014 she'll be plenty old enough to bowl! ;)

And I have officially used all my babynap to write this monster post. I had other ideas in mind on what to do today but I guess they'll have to wait.. it's now past time to go wake up the munchkin.
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I don't post pictures much anymore, do I?

We took her outside to play in the snow this weekend. She loved it. This was supposed to be a picture of us with the snowman we built but somehow that didn't quite make it into the picture. Oh, well, we were lucky to restrain her long enough for there to BE a picture, so it's okay.

clicky for piccies in reverse chronological order )
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The weather here is miserable. We have been having an ice storm this week. It was slushy and bad yesterday, but then today, it is much worse! Woohoo! M decided to go on in to work a couple of hours late. He made it to the end of our road (four miles, maybe) before calling me to tell me he was coming home. He further said that he had never seen roads that bad, anywhere, ever. That would be one thing were it me saying that, because I make a point of not driving in snow and ice. However, M is a Swede, and Swedes know snow and ice. So we have had a nice relaxing day at home. That's pretty good because Evelyn has been a complete daddy's girl today. It's been daddy-daddy-daddy all day long.

The thing about ice storms is that everything is covered with ice. I know, I know, that sounds obvious, and maybe like it's not such a bad deal if you're staying inside. Except, except! Ice weighs a lot. Trees are not designed with weight-lifting in mind. We have a million trees in our yard. Big, big trees, with lots of branches. Or, at least, they used to have branches. We'll see what they look like when it melts.

My poor car, Lyman Zerga, got very lucky just there. It was so close to being clobbered with a giant branch.

Those would be our power lines. It is absolutely incredible that those branches have not broken yet. However, we did lose power earlier, which we thought was pretty much the end. Luckily, it came back on about fifty minutes later. Woohoo, heat and refrigeration! Also, internet. The branches are resting on the house or they probably would have broken.

So far, this is the worst financial damage that the storm has done, that we know of, except for M missing a day of work. That used to be a cute little ice cream table with a glass top. Now, it.... well. Isn't. It is an ex-table. A table that has ceased to be. Stil, that ex-table is sitting precariously close to our sunroom. When that branch came down, I was awake with Evelyn at four in the morning. It made such a loud noise that I jumped up and ran in there because I thought I could hear rain through the broken windows. Thank goodness, it had not actually demolished our sunroom.

I am beginning to have daydreams about houses without trees. They are so pretty but they're such a headache.
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My baby is a year and a half today! Eighteen months! I can hardly believe it has been that long, and yet, it seems like forever ago that I was pregnant. I think that's a pretty recent development because it felt so fresh and recent for a long time, and it just now occurs to me that I can't imagine what it was actually like before she was born.


I took her to her eighteen month check-up today. That was the suck! After a fourteen-month hiatus, Evelyn returned to the world of vaccinations. She's now as vaccinated as a six-month-old! Woot! Ugh. I have gone back and forth on the whole subject several times, so we just sort of took a break from it. We were going to start them again last time, but she was sick and I am not a believer in the vaccination of sick children. Well, at least not my sick child. Well, I wouldn't vaccinate yours, either, but rarely does anyone actually turn over their parenting decisions to me, which is unfortunate because I know everything. Clearly. [If you did not hear the sarcasm and self-deprecation there, this may not be the journal for you.] Anyway! We made the decision to vaccinate again and I am semi-okay with it but I worry because I am me. Please feel free to tell me that I am not a horrible mother for letting them put poison into my child. I feel kind of sick when I think about them sliding those needles into her leg. She, of course, has probably forgotten about it already but I have not. She was a bit out of sorts today and possibly a touch feverish, but she is sleeping soundly now and hopefully will until morning.

The Official Stats are now that she is 28.15 pounds and 33.5 inches tall. Conventional wisdom dictates that a girl's final height is double what she is at eighteen months. If that's the case, she will be 5'8". My husband has been fearing that she would be like, taller than he is (he's 6'3"l) and it would be a major hindrance to her emotionally. 5'8" is relatively tall for a woman but I don't think she will have to join the circus as the world's tallest person, so I think we're good. Some people say it's doubled at two years for both boys and girls, though, so we'll have to wait and see, I guess.


Topics of conversation at said appointment also included Sleep, or Why My Kid Isn't Perfect. Solutions offered were more constructive than I expected but still largely unhelpful. I was very pleased that she did not tell me immediately that I needed to just let her cry it out. We're not big on the crying it out. I am semi on the fence about it--I mean, I know it usually works, and I know that children need to learn to sleep on their own. It's just not for me and this particular child, at least not at this time. (I think M thinks it's not for him or ANY particular child that he has fathered at any time, though. I'll have to ask his mistresses--the strippers--to be sure, though.) The subject did come up, but it was after she suggested various other ideas. Mainly, she thinks I should leave and go shopping or something while M puts her to bed, and not by his usual method of walking with her. (Sounds good to me.) Also, she didn't tell me to wean, which is more points in her favor. I am a little bit prickly, sometimes, yes.

And now for something completely different.

I want to love Picasa. I have tried to love it many different times. I love parts of it. I am really really impressed with a great deal of it! But I think I won't be able to love it until I can figure out how the hell it is organizing things. Every time I open it, it goes all crazy on me, searching through pictures through my whole computer, which drives me batty because it's loud and flickering. (Loud in that it chews up the hard drive.) And yet, invariably, the pictures I want to view are completely missing from the list and I can't figure out how to just OPEN A PICTURE ALREADY. What am I missing, Internets? Please give me the love. We usually use ACDSee for picture viewing, but it is not great right now for reasons I will not get into except to say that it's not working at the moment and I can't get it fixed with the level of energy I have available to give it.
same_sky: (under the same sky)
I told [ profile] carrieb a while back that she should make a peach cobbler for dessert. I think it was when her in-laws were visiting. There is really nothing that is as easy to prepare as this cobbler. She was skeptical that this would turn into any sort of actual baked good when I described it, so I am offering photographic proof. Really, it was all for Carrie that I made a cobbler yesterday, not because I have been craving one for months. Really! Also, I am greatly looking forward to snack time today.

First, the "recipe".

Preheat oven to somewhere around 350. I did 375 because my oven is quirky and last time I made it, it took way too long. Put a stick of butter or margarine in a baking pan. We usually use 9x13 ones. Stick it in the oven until it melts.

Meanwhile, mix together one cup each of sugar, milk and self-rising flour in a bowl. (Hence why we call it one cup, one cup, one cup cobbler.) Although it'll be easier to mix if you do the milk and sugar first.. honestly, it really doesn't matter if there are a few lumps. The batter will be runny and kind of gross. Add a healthy shake of cinnamon. (I guess you could add nutmeg too, but I don't care for it much.) When the butter has melted, remove the pan from the oven and dump the batter on top of it. Open a large can of peaches and spoon them onto the top of the whole mess. Don't put too much syrup in there, though it's not that important that you drain it or anything.

Ta da! It will look like this:
cobbler before baking

I think we can all agree that that mess is not good eats. Trust me here, and just stick the whole thing in the oven for a while. I baked this one for about fifty minutes, but again, my oven is odd so really, just keep an eye on it after it's been in there a while.

When you pull it out, you will have something that looks like this:

cobbler after  baking

Throw some vanilla ice cream on it and enjoy! Best served warm and bubbly, and hey, there's fruit so you can pretend it's healthy. Save a corner piece for me, would you?

June 2015

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