Wednesday, March 31, 2010

My favorite Doodad

HH has a game called Cashflow. One of the things that you can land on are "doodads" which are things that we spend our money on: big screen tv's, a daughter's wedding, leaky pipes, etc. Some of them are necessities and some aren't. Either way, you don't really want to land on that spot because you'll have to take a doodad card and it might cost you a lot.
There is one doodad that I always hope to get though: a stand mixer In the game you don't really want to spend money, but I have always been happy to pay for that card. (Turns out, though, that it's actually a "food processor" card...I went through the deck twice and NO stand mixer. All this time I had it in mind that I was getting a stand mixer.)

Anyhow, I bought a stand mixer this weekend, and as I drove home contentedly, I thought how I had just bought my favorite "doodad." I found it on craigslist, so it really was not a bad price, and the woman that I bought it from was a doula (which means that she's instantly cool and kindred, even though I've never had a doula at any of my births).

I've only used the mixer once so far, but stay tuned : )

***********************
Other news: I'm feeling big & eating big and will probably REALLY regret it in about 2 months.

My projects this week have been: revising a slip for Chick that was "boggering" her around the waist--I took off the existing top & used one of HH's old t-shirts to make a tank top which I then sewed to the skirt of the slip, and removed some elastic at the waist that was uncomfortable (hence the "boggering") & unnecessary after my revisions. She's happy with it now, and I'm happy that I didn't have to sew an entirely new slip (WHERE do you find slips for the 4t crowd?!!).

I moved the couches to get the little toys out from underneith (I swear I JUST did it, but both girls are missing their toothbrushes and since all missing things are found under the couch I decided to try. Nope, not there...but I did find 5 books, a glove, a little person, 2 snap-on suits for a doll & said doll's hat, a sock, a shoe, a slipper, and a lid for the tea set). I know as soon as I get out new toothbrushes the old ones will turn up....

And yesterday I made something super dreamy...a confection of frothy tulle and creamy satin with a glimmery flower. That's all I can say, and no pictures yet, because it's for this weekend and I don't want to ruin any holiday suprises.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Weepy Link

I've spent the past hour or so weeping as I read through a series of posts on the MOM-Not Otherwise Specified blog (I blame pregnancy for the weeping. Chick really didn't know what to think of seeing Mama cry). She has an autistic son & talked to his classmates about what Autism is & answered some of their questions. Here's a link to the first post. I found the whole discussion to be very fascinating & informative...especially since I knew practically NOTHING about autism.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Ummmm, Flash Friday Dream?

I would like to apologize to all the people that I flashed last night in my dream. It's not a good idea to just be wearing a towel while running around the airport (train station?) trying to find your luggage...especially when hugely pregnant!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Weekend Fun

Happy Spring! We had a really wonderful first day of spring. We started out the day with a breakfast/devotional/egg hunt at church. Sadly, I didn't realize that my camera didn't have the memory card in it until we were there. It was fun, though.

Next we worked in the yard. I might have mentioned before that we've had 2 little boys (who haven't the etiquette yet to not tell the blatant truth), on 2 separate occasions, tell us that our back yard looks like a junk yard. Don't I know it. It still does, though it's better than it was. Anyhow, we were out there for a couple of hours and made some good progress--I cleared out yard debris, and HH worked on weeds, piling up some wood, and cutting up the old (huge) antennae to put in the garbage. The girls worked on picking dandelions, playing with the wagon, jumping on the mini-tramp, raking (Chick), and getting filthy (Monkey). Then Monkey got a bath, and we all had lunch and a few minutes of rest before it was time to leave again.

After a quick stop to Fred Meyers, that didn't turn out to be quick in the least, we went to cousin K's first birthday party. It was lots of fun. I had my camera, but didn't think to take any pictures. This is the only one that I took: (blowing bubbles with cousin Ben)
I did take pictures of the market skirt that I made, though. It looks wide & short, which isn't what I was going for, since K is tall...I don't know how it will fit. I took measurements & supposedly the skirt should fit, but I don't believe it.


After the party we came home and spent some time in the front yard--I weeded the flower beds a bit, HH weeded in the lawn, and the girls played with bubbles and sidewalk chalk. It was a really lovely day.

Today was church. Then Chick and HH went into the backyard for a while to enjoy the sunshine, while Monkey and I took little cat naps. Now the girls are dancing in their pettiskirts and it's time to eat dinner. So bye.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Giveaway

No, not from me. I still have one more item to make before I've fulfilled my previous giveaway promises! Sheesh. (though I have a giveaway that I do want to do as soon as I'm caught up--and it doesn't involve making anything, which should decrease the turnaround time).

Anyhow, it's Smiling Eyes Photography! That super talented Sarah is doing a giveaway, and I wouldn't tell you about it (decreased odds of winning, of course), except that I get 2 more entries this way!! You can enter until Sunday, March 28th, and it's valid in both the Portland AND Seattle areas. CLICK HERE for the link to the contest posting on the Smiling Eyes Photography blog.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Vinyl Day, Sewing for ME, and other miracles

Yesterday was vinyl day. My sister J has a vinyl cutting business and came down to cut a phrase for my bedroom wall. Another sister (M) also came over, since J was going to be here. M is starting a new business and needed vinyl cut for her car.
(By the way, I haven't seen M since Christmas, and she's lost 18 pounds! She looks so great. She'd been working really hard to exercise & eat well... but was having very minimal results, so I'm glad Take Shape for Life has helped her so much. She's really REALLY excited to help others to see results too.) [end true but shameless plug]

Anyhow, after the car vinyl (it's going to have a logo on the right side as well, but it has to be ordered separately), we cut the phrase for above my bed. I'd decided on the phrase & font at least 1.5 years ago. It was going to say,

"Love doesn't make the world go round; it's what makes the ride worthwhile."

Then last month when I was preparing to give my talk at church I came to a better understanding of love, and couldn't use the quote anymore because Love DOES make the world go round (plus my sister thought that I shouldn't have the word "ride" above my bed...lol). So after a little internet search I decided on,

"I love thee to the depth and breadth and height my soul can reach"

(Elizabeth Barrett Browning)

Hopefully in a year and a half I'll still like it, because it was a big job putting it up last night!!! I'm thrilled with it, though. It looks awesome, and when only my side lamp is on it illuminates just "I love thee" which is a nice thing to see (btw, did you know that "thee" is actually the informal form, and "you" is formal? but of course in English we don't use formal/informal like in other languages).
Other news: I made Megan Neilson's Maternity Wrap Shirt. I made it from a thrifted jersey sheet. I'm going to make a matching tube top, or camisole to go underneith, so I'll probably post another pic later. But the wrap was easy to sew & is pretty cute.
And lastly, the vinca plants are in full bloom and the hosta spikes are getting long & ready to open up : )

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Girls Night Out

Chick and I had a girls night out last night. We went to the ballet (put on by a BYU travelling team). Monkey stayed home with G&G N, while HH went to a meeting.

I was getting REALLY apprehensive as the time drew nearer--she hadn't napped, barely touched her dinner, and wasn't obeying worth beans...what was I thinking taking a 3 year old to a ballet?!

Thankfully, once we got there she was fine...but still a 3 year old : )

  • I had to deal with her asking to go dance with the ballerinas quite a lot.

  • She was really preoccupied during the Cinderella part, because Cinderella is supposed to wear a BLUE dress (she wore brown tatters & then a fancy GOLD dress).

  • During intermission she twirled with another little girl in the aisle.

  • She was quite taken with the 2 week old baby girl that was sitting behind us, and thankfully the grandparents of the baby were really good with my Chick and even let her help hold the baby & stroke her hair.

  • She really was good, but lost interest in the very last (and very long) section. I don't blame her--it was the least "entertaining" and flashy of all of them & it was very long. Plus she was up past her bedtime. That's when she started trying to get into my purse, crawl under the seats, etc. But all in all, I can't complain.

Afterwards, we'd gotten outside and Chick got really sad because she wanted to talk to one of the "ballets" (aka ballerinas). I told her that they were dressing and getting ready to go home to bed, but a man nearby told us that the ballerinas were in the foyer. So we went back inside and met one of the ballerinas. I think the conversation went something like this:

Chick: You have a pretty dress on. I have a pretty dress on too,
see?

Ballerina: You do have a pretty dress. Is it new?

Chick: Yes. You have flowers in your hair.

Anyhow, it was really fun. I'm so glad that I have little girls to celebrate the "girly" stuff with. I'm ready to celebrate boy things too, if we get a boy this time... time will tell. Anyhow, the baby was kicking up a storm...maybe a future dancer or musician that wanted to join in the fun?

Sounds like Monkey had a great time with her Grandparents (and vice versa). So I guess the evening was a success.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Polling

Layout ended late on Friday night. Here's the cover that my boss and I liked best.
The powers that be didn't like the bandaids, though, so I had to revise it and put in a much less bold looking first aid kit.
To kick off "relaxation mode" the girls went to visit my brother & sil for the evening while HH and I went to see Sherlock Holmes. We both liked it. It wasn't quite what I was expecting, but still pretty cool.
We got quite a few things done on Saturday-- HH accomplished more than I did. It's always exciting to see things actually get done. Especially since several of the things that he did were just because they bothered me--like how the tree branches looked like they were laying on the shed roof & I wanted them trimmed up so that there was space above the roof...I had several picky things that I'd complained about, and my wonderful husband fixed them for me : )

Today I'm lazy with a cold (or allergies?), but have high hopes of being productive later.........

Anyhow, we are invited to my niece's first birthday party this weekend, and I'm undecided on the gift (the parents claim to never read my blog [as if anyone can keep away! lol] so I'm asking for help on deciding what to give). The poll is in my sidebar.

Option 1: a Market Skirt and bought t-shirt
Option 2: a Can-Can Skirt with matching headband (I ordered the Chiffon a couple of weeks ago to make some for my girls & have enough colors to do something different for all of them)
Option 3: a Headband and bracelet set
Option 4: just buy something (probably a wooden Melissa & Doug toy or a cute book)
Or you can leave a comment with a suggestion of something else.

And, now that I think of it, we have another first birthday party coming up in a couple of weeks, so I guess you can tell me what she should get too (not a little relative, it's a little friend).

Thanks for the help!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Haiku

(dedicated to HH's yardwork yesterday)

wind breezes new stairs
sunlight slants on exposed fence
roof untouched by trees

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Form vs Function

This posting could also be entitled Thankful Thursday.

I wanted to take a moment to be grateful (especially after reading friends' blogs about the hardships they are going through) that my biggest complaints this week are:
  • a slight sore throat today.
  • a clever little monkey that has learned from her big sister that chairs can be moved over to whatever she wants to get into. No surface is safe. I might have to start actually watching my kids.

(case in point...)

  • Having to see my Chick wear the same white dress every day (or having to tell her NO! every morning)
  • & a form vs function difference with HH. He is totally about function. It doesn't matter what it looks like as long as it's still useful. I, on the other hand, find it draining on my psyche to have to look at things that aren't aesthically pleasing (and I'm here all the time, not just for a couple of hours in the evening before bed). [The good news is that he's somewhat reasonable, and I got to give away an entire truckbed-load of totally ugly junk to some "lucky" craigslister].

But really, what insignificant irritations! So I'm taking a moment to appreciate that I have so little to complain about (before the other shoe falls).

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Freezer Cooking Adventures: Part 3

Ok, I'm "done" (though I am toying with the idea of doing a mega batch of chocolate chip cookies tomorrow.... And I still need to do the Puerto Rican Beans tomorrow.) I have everything in the freezer and the kitchen is almost completely back to normal (it actually really bothered me to have the kitchen a mess...what has Flylady done to me?!).
Here's a picture of everything that I did (except for what we've already eaten).

Here it is in the freezer (It fits surprisingly well! Tomorrow's dinner was in a casserole dish, though, so I put it in the fridge to save freezer space).

Some of you asked about our freezer situation. We have an extra freezer downstairs, which has some extra bread, juice, peaches, ice cream, and HH's boxed meals. I'm not sure what is on the top shelf, actually, because it's almost completely frosted up. one of these days.... Anyhow, it's a standup freezer. There is also a chest freezer down there, but we unplugged it (it's old, I'm sure it uses a ton of electricity).

Most of what I made in the past week is in the upstairs fridge freezer, though. Most of it went into freezer bags and could be stacked up.

The exciting news is that I won one of the prizes from Once a Month Mom's Cookoff! I won a OAMM apron, and a 2-knife Cutco set! Yay!

Ok, and here's a review of some of the food we've eaten thus far:

  • We've tried all of the muffins & I don't care for the stuffed pancake ones, but the other two kinds are great.
  • I didn't like the meatballs/meatloaf, but no one else complained. I'm going to stick with my family recipe next time.
  • The beef enchiladas were quite tasty & everyone ate them well. They aren't healthy, though.
  • Today I made baked potatoes and used some of my extra cooked chicken mixed with bbq sauce as a topping. Quite yummy!
  • The butterhorn rolls are delicious...we had them with Artichoke Chicken Casserole last night. As for the casserole, lets just say that next time I'll make it all for me, and we'll all be happy. Everyone liked the rolls.
  • HH said the burritos were a little dry, but he might have gotten one of the last ones I did--the ones that sat for several days waiting for more tortillas to appear (my homemade ones didn't turn out...that's what I get for actually following a recipe for them!) He said that the burritos tasted good, though...they just needed more cheese or something.
  • And today I made the Baked Veggie Wontons, which are YUM-MY. I ate 4...you know, for quality control purposes. Anyhow, I don't know how they'll be after freezing, because they aren't from a recipe meant for that.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Freezer Cooking Adventures: Part 2

I'll take any baking volunteers...no discriminating based on age : )


On Friday I had a wonderfully productive & QUIET few hours of solitude after everyone else went to bed. It was heavenly. Sometimes I'm not sure if it's worth losing sleep to get things done...but this wasn't one of those times. Totally worth losing sleep.


Saturday I was working on layout & barely got any cooking done.


Sunday was church & family time, and I didn't do anything. We did EAT from the stash, though. yum.


Today I've done some, but still have the Baked Wontons & the Puerto Rican beans to cook up, as well as mushrooms to slice & freeze. I'm excited to take a final tally picture, but since I'm not entirely done I'll wait and post a "part 3."


Here's a picture of my menu sheet & notes. We spent about $170 (we already had some things, and have a lot of left over ingredients -- ie about 40 pounds of a 50 pound bag of flour) and I've made about 52 meals (plus rolls & smoothie ingredients, which I didn't count). So my final tally is $3.27 per meal, and $.82 per person. It's actually lower, because I have a lot of extra ingredients that I froze (like cooked ground beef that doesn't have a purpose right now, but can be part of a meal later). But that's my best estimate.


It's wonderful to have so much food stashed away. I do think that it's been harder than necessary having it spread out over so many days. I'll probably do more freezer cooking before the baby comes, but from now on it'll be smaller-scale batch-style cooking (like just chicken recipes at one time, rather than chicken AND beef AND tofu AND sausage). But JUST WAIT until part 3 when you see all the food that I have ready to eat!!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Freezer Cooking Adventures

I decided to do the freezer cooking. I've written about doing it before (I definitely like stocking up on meals and such before I have a baby), but I haven't done an entire month's worth in quite a while (not since I was expecting Chick).
I haven't done it all in one day, and I'm not finished yet, but I thought I'd post about it midway. I've been taking breaks between tasks & not really economizing on my time much because, well, I'm now in my third trimester & have two busy little creatures about & decided too last minute to find someone to do it with me. So I rest a lot.

Anyhow, on Wednesday night I spent about 3 hours prepping: beef in the crock pot overnight, chicken baking in the oven, and me chopping veggies galore. I started too late to do everything that I wanted to get done that night, but at least I was started. HH did the monster grocery shopping trip for me : )

On Thursday I made:
Today I've made:
Still to do:

Though I definitely need the breaks, I'm really enjoying myself. It's always fun to try new recipes, and mixing them with some of my usual favorites + seeing my freezer fill up with yummy easy-to-reheat meals makes me super happy! Thanks, Once a Month Mom!

recipes taped up...

some of the prepped food (makes me feel like a food show star to just grab a scoop of whatever I need)...

what I do with the girls while I'm busy cooking. Just kidding....


**UPDATE: I've posted a part 2 here. Part 3 (with a picture of all of my frozen goodness gathered together!) is still to come.

Monday, March 1, 2010

In the past few days...

On Thursday/Friday I went out on the Penninsula for a visit with Lia. She taught me free-motion quilting. I didn't get around to taking many pictures...just this one: Annika giving Chick a violin lesson (so sweet!). Chick is also wearing one of their dresses, because she can't resist fancy dresses.

Here's a picture of what I did while I was there--one or two of these may become pot holders...they are just little practice squares. The figure 8 was the hardest for me. Clearly this is a skill that will take some practice, but it was really exciting to learn anyhow. Thanks, Lia!

On Saturday I put my new knowledge to use and started my first real project (for one of my promised giveaway items). I got it all quilted that day, but haven't finished the binding yet. Since it's a gift, I can't show it to you, but here's a little sample section. The quilting is hard to see--making it a little difficult to quilt it because I could hardly see where I'd already quilted, but it was still really good practice at stippling & was kind of an adrenaline rush to be able to do : )

After I finished that, I went shopping. By myself. Without feeling guilty. ok, a little guilty. but not too much. I went to the thrift store, and the fabric store, and got myself some french fries & a smoothie. And I went grocery shopping, which was the "reason" for me to go out in the first place. Anyhow, at the thrift store I got some cute kid's spoons--regular ole' stainless steel spoons like normal, but they're smaller & are the perfect size for my little munchkins. I also got a basket, which was one of the things that I was specifically looking for...I'll put pictures on later: it's going to have a makeover : ) I also got a lazy susan, which may prove to be useful, but so far is best for HH & Chick to play with (HH: "Lets see how fast we need to spin it to make this fall over" etc). That will also get a makeover, and I'll be posting a poll later to help me decide on color selection.

At the fabric store I got new sewing scissors, as well as some supplies for upcoming projects. The scissors I've been using were cheap ones that I've had for 10 years or so, and which I avoided using because they were so dull. I bought a nice Gingher pair, which work like a dream.

I came home, fixed dinner, and worked on finishing my ribbon spooling project while I watched movies.

The next day was church, and then we had our friends, the Hebers, over for dinner. I made Lettuce Wraps from this recipe. Not the best idea: I've only made them one other time, a couple of years ago. I forgot how long they take to make--lots and LOTS of mincing. Thankfully HH was a good sport about being a sous chef, so we weren't tooo late in getting to the table. But honestly, I think I'll add them to my monthly repertoire, they are SO GOOD, SO GOOD YOU SEE. The recipe says that it's for one person, so I pretty much quadrupled it and we had enough left over for dinner tonight & I'll have more for lunch tomorrow! (good thing I like them).

Today I was tired. I hate that...I slept on the couch while the girls played. But Chick informed me that it was Monday, so we needed to do Muffin Tin Monday. Huh, I didn't know she knew the days of the week? Anyhow, there wasn't a theme today, so they got: cheese, tangerines, carrot sticks, crackers with cottage cheese, hard boiled egg, and a beverage (soy milk for Monkey, juice for Chickadee).

In my unproductivity, I blog-browsed & came across Once a Month Mom...a freezer cooking blog that does a lot of the organizational work for you (menus & prep timeline provided). They're doing a cookoff, and I think I'll do it. It's due by March 8th, so I'll need to decide and get it done pretty quickly.....

I guess that's it.

Here's a little familial felicity.





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