Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Everybody around here has sore throats and snotty noses! Boooo. They set in at the weekend and have been getting worse... except for Greta, who had it first, and today seems to be feeling better. Martin took off work yesterday AND today, and its quarter after 9:00 and he and Anja are STILL sleeping. Meanwhile, Greta and I have been up for hours, dancing around the kitchen to my new favorite song, "Abiola" by Ellis Paul. I think it's Greta's new favorite too, and I'm going to add it to our "Happy Morning Time!" mix. It's kind of revolution-ish. Oh, and we made pancakes that nobody else seems to want to wake up for.... so we're eating them all ourselves. I love having kids.

Last night we ran out to Target for cough drops and Cheerios, and I felt the need to document our bad parenting:
Can you see what's going on in this picture? Nobody's strapped in! Nobody's even sitting in proper seats! Anja is perched on top of the Silly Seats and Greta's standing up free as a bird in the basket!! WHO OWNS THESE CHILDREN?!? DON'T THEY READ THE WARNINGS ON THE CART SEATS?!? Well anyway, they had fun. Greta's favorite thing in the world--no matter how she's riding--is to ride across the parking lot in a shopping cart. The look on her face is priceless... we have lots of pictures on our phones of her grinning hugely as we push her into a store.

What you can't see in these pictures are what Anja is actually wearing. You know those old school jammies, the kind with the white plastic feet and the synthetic, fireproof body? Wicked 80's? Well, my mother-in-law found a brand new pair last fall in Anja's size, except they didn't quite fit. She wore them once or twice normally, but she was really too tall for them and they weren't comfortable, but she LOVED them. So we cut off the feet. Last night when getting into jammies, she found these in the bottom of her drawer and insisted on wearing them. My mother-in-law had more recently given her a new pair of purple shoes (and for Greta too... ADORABLE) so she's wearing these yellow pajamas cut off at the shins, socks and purple shoes. Awesome.
So, if Martin doesn't wake up soon I'm going to be completely jazzed up on this WHOLE POT of coffee that I've almost finished.... He'll have to make himself a new pot!
Oh, our coffee maker! It's revived. (I know you were all worried.) There must've been some gunk stuck in an inconvenient place that finally came free or something.... because after doing everything we could think of to fix it with no positive results, one morning it just started working normally again. Weird! But I'm glad.... it's practically a member of the family, and I'd hate to see it replaced.
Greta has started talking a little bit. I think it can be determined that her first word was "bleh." She will pick up a bit of trash from the floor and say "bleh" and hand it to me. Very cute! I'm not sure if it's a good thing or a bad thing that she's learning her words from Anja.... it might be a little difficult to have TWO children who don't use real words to communicate..... other words include Baby ("beeba"), Maizie (panting sound, just like Anja), and "Bah-boooom!". I've heard her make the inhaling "cat" sound, and say "aaah!" when a loud noise or truck is heard. All exactly like Anja. This morning when the music ended, she said "aah! aaah! aaah!" which is what Anja says when she wants music. Very cute! And as long as Martin and I are the only ones taking care of them, they'll always be understood, hahaha.
Remember a few posts back when Martin ordered me that back issue of Mothering magazine? Well, shipping was absolutely ridiculous, but didn't go up but a few cents for other items added. So in order to get it without feeling completely robbed, we got a few more things--another back issue (the issue that was out when Anja was born, both for sentimental reasons and because the cover articles looked interesting) and a book written by the magazine's editor. I'm excited to dive into them! I loooooooooove Mothering, even if they do get a little extreme sometimes in their "lefty" views.
Spring is on its way in for sure, so we have dedicated the few weekends after Easter to getting the garden ready. Our fabulous neighbor is giving us her vegetable boxes, leftover from our other fabulous neighbors and I have a map of our garden all drawn out and hanging on the fridge. Yahoo! It'll be a lot of work to start it up this year, but TOTALLY worth it. And all our vegetables shrivel up and die, we'll still have fresh produce available to buy three times a week just a couple blocks away! Sometimes I absolutely LOVE living downtown. This summer is going to be great.
But my big project today is finishing the wrap skirt I started more than a month ago. Now that the weather is warming up, it needs to become wearable! (don't ask about the project of sorting the girls' clothes..........)

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Time Has Come

Today's the day. I just checked the weather forecast, and it's supposed to warm up! It looks like Spring is here to stay.... for the most part. So I will begin today the colossal task of sorting the girls' clothes. A box will be of clothes to be made into their little quilts. A box will go to Goodwill... or the trash.... or somebody else with small children.... and a box will go under the bed to replace the SPRINGTIME CLOTHES BOX that will come out and be put away in drawers. And from now on, I will fold and put away the girls' clothes in a timely manner and not just let heaps and heaps of laundry fill (I'm not even joking) the bedroom. I haven't seen the floor in that room for weeks and I'm seriously afraid of what might be under the clothes. Ants. Spiders. Monsters. Children I've forgotten I had. There could be ANYTHING lurking under those piles!

We had a quiet, rainy weekend. Went to 4:30 mass on Saturday with the intention of hitting confessions beforehand, but of course, the way we roll around here, that didn't happen. Instead of going to confessions at 3:00, Martin drove a very cranky Greta to sleep (I think she's STILL teething. That is the only explanation I can think of.) while Anja and I went to the library after having been at Barnes & Noble earlier in the day to look around and not getting a certain puppy touch-and-feel book led to MAJOR two-year-old fits.... it was absolutely necessary that we go to the library to look for dog books. We spent a long time there, came home with a huge pile of books, and walked over to St. Boniface to meet Martin and Greta there for Mass, where we stood in the back the entire time with both girls being absolutely psychotic. Not the best start to Holy Week, but what can you do.

I've got some plans for Easter baskets--some for this year, some for next. Had I thought of it just two or three days before I did, I could have grown real grass in our Easter baskets. That is DEFINITELY what I'm going to do next year, and in fact, I might just buy a flat of grass to fill our Easter baskets with on Sunday. This would be so much better than plastic Easter grass for so many reasons, the biggest being that we wouldn't have to pull strands of green and pink plastic out of Theodore's, um, rumpus, all Spring. Ugh. THAT was disgusting. Also, real grass in an Easter basket just sounds cute. I've been working on some felt eggs in which will be a few little surprise, both yummy and cute. I've made two so far and are waiting for them to dry right now as I make more. I'm excited! I always loose my plastic eggs (another Theodore problem) so maybe having something nice like this will motivate me to keep better track of them. Of course, Theodore also has a sort of obsession with wool, so I'll probably be having my own Easter egg hunt when it comes time to put the baskets away. I'll find them all upstairs in his bathtub with all the other stuff he's thieved away from me.... including whole skeins of Noro yarn! Grrrr.

That "Rhythm of the Home" link is kind of fun, but she's a little extreme. I got a little annoyed reading the comments on one of her posts. I like natural living and simple living, and all that goes along with it, but when people start talking with the attitude that their way of life makes them better than other people, it really makes me lose respect for them. You might think your way of living is best.... but that doesn't mean you can think that YOU are the best. An in fact, your may of living may not actually BE the best for somebody else. Arg.

On a completely different note, Anja is really into matching lately! Very fun. I intend to make her some kind of matching game, sort of like Memory, except not so advanced.... just like a little jar full of various shapes and colors that have multiple ways of matching up..... I dunno. Anyway, she's cute.

And here are some ninja pictures from our weekend!

As you can see, my favorite kind of pictures of myself are the kind where you can't see my face!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Good Morning, Saturday

Our coffee maker seems to be on its way out. This is a BAD THING. Now on the one hand, I think that coffee makers are supposed to last longer than three years. But on the other hand, this coffee maker has been used multiple times daily for the last three years. And in the past two years, it's pretty much been working for us constantly. We've tried everything we can think of--giving it multiple vinegar brew cycles, cleaning out the filters, etc., and it still WORKS, but there's something wrong. Instead of ten minutes to brew a pot of coffee, it takes about an hour and beeps the whole time. We looooooooove our coffee pot. The Watsons gave it to us as a wedding gift, and it was one of the gifts we were most excited about. It's served us well. If it is indeed needing to be replaced, I think we're going to go to McDonalds and see if we can buy one of their industrial sized ones for a discount. Maybe they'll throw in the decaf machine for free!
If anyone ever wonders why my cooking/baking sometimes doesn't work out, the above picture is a clue. I have a lunatic for a sidekick. An interesting new development in her language skills is that she's stopped saying "yeeeaaaahh" and has started saying "ja!" Very funny.

Whenever we get packages in the mail we save the packing paper, iron it up and keep it for some kind of later use. (What was that? Did you say "pack rat"?") Yesterday I taped a big piece to the floor and let the girls color. Greta is not very good at coloring and we have to watch her to keep from eating the crayons, but she is slowly starting to get the idea! I think if we had those crayon rocks or something similar--something other than a stick--she'd be a little more successful.

I'm really eager to have a dressup box in this house. Anja would LOVE a dress up box. Right now we have a falling-apart basket under the bed that she rarely even finds, and the only things in it are some halloween costumes. But she dresses herself up all day long--for example, the other day she insisted that she and Greta wear Christmas clothes. And we've got these rabbit ears headbands that are constantly being worn by both of them. I just think they'd have so much fun with a dressup box, and I think it's kind of a must-have anyway.... it's just that we have NO PLACE to put one. Well, another thing to look forward to when we have a playroom, I guess.
This box--which is currently storing my sewing stuff and fabric--would make the perfect dress up box. And as for sewing storage, it's pretty rotten. It's better than garbage bags, but not a lot.

And other than that, we're waiting out the last of the winter weather, trying not to kill each other.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Things I Don't Understand

Here's what just happened in our kitchen yesterday:

Greta was sitting on the floor, just sitting there doing nothing. Anja came over and gave her a gentle hug. Greta screamed. Anja backed off, then leaned back in for a gentle kiss. Greta screamed. Then Anja leaned back and proceeded to stick her feet (wearing her hot pink shoes, of course) into Greta's mouth and Greta thought it was HILARIOUS.


And speaking of Greta, she's a real grouch lately. Given that she's already got about five and a half teeth (I can see that sixth one...) I am guessing she's teething. AGAIN. She also keeps chewing on her hands, primarily on the opposite side of her mouth from where her new teeth have come through. Which only makes sense, I guess.

I have some major projects in mind that I want to do and know I don't have time for. Ugh. One is an applique alphabet quilt. Seriously, like I have time to do that. Maybe for my grandkids. I have it all planned out though, and its finished size would be HUGE, and it would be wonderful, with one block being a letter, the next being a simple shape to stand for the letter, like B, next to one of those fabulous bird silhouettes that are popular and adorable. And speaking of popular, I knew that owls have always been cute, but they are REALLY "in" right now! Target has the MOST adorable bedding set (more than that, actually, but the bedding is what I saw first) with a comforter that is a simliar print as the fabric line that I bought a few fat quarters of and that Clare posted about not too long ago as well. Then more recently I saw that they have these stick-on wall motifs of a big tree with cutesie owls. SO ADORABLE!!! It makes me really, really, really, really, really want a play room for the girls. *sigh* Definitely by next winter, we will all be moved around and our current bedroom will be their playroom.... but A LOT of projects have to come together and be completed before then. Oh well; we have all summer before we'll need the woodstove (which is the main project--along with all projects that will make it possible to install that.)

Another big craft project taking form in my mind is more do-able, but takes some organization--something I'm REALLY lacking. I scored on some pink chenille fabric from the remnants bin at JoAnn's the other night--a perfect amount for the back of two square, child-sized quilts. So I'd like to clear out all the baby clothes and decide for sure what is good enough to keep and cut the rest up to make a little quilt for each girl. I only wish I'd had this idea earlier--like, before I cleared out their clothes before Christmas and took a HUGE load of stuff to Once Upon a Child and Goodwill. Some of the things in particular were things I would have LOVED to keep as bits of a quilt.... like the outfit that Anja wore the day she met Greta for the first time, and was ALWAYS the outfit Martin put her in if he was the one to dress her. But... oh well.

Then the last thing I'm planning, which almost definitely will NOT get completed (or even started) is to knit a sweater for each of the girls for summer. Ha! This is about as likely to happen as the alphabet quilt, if we're being honest. But I'd love to knit them each a cotton sweater in a versatile color like grey or brown, to get them through any cool summer times so that I can put away ALL sweaters. Well.... maybe for the grandchildren.

Yesterday we made bean bags! Anja chose the fabrics, I sewed them up, and she scooped the rice into them. She did a great job! Later in the day when Greta was napping, Anja and I went outside and planted some sunflower seeds. I know how stupid this is going to sound, but I hadn't realized that sunflower seeds are sunflower seeds. When I opened up the packages I was SO surprised to see the same thing that we eat inside there! I guess I thought the things we ate were just CALLED sunflower seeds, and that actual seeds for growing sunflowers looked different. How stupid can I be?!?!? Anyway... we planted three packages along the south fence in the backyard, so hopefully they grow. I hope we at least get one so Anja can feel like she's succeeded.

This post was written yesterday, but I never posted it. Maybe I'll have more to say later today!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Everybody's Awesome

Let's start with why Martin's awesome.

Tonight I was telling him [again] about how glad I am to be reading the SouleMama archives because she seemed so much more REAL before she was famous. I was telling him about how she was featured, with a few other "crafty mamas" in the first issue of Mothering that I received in my subscription--which I gave away and kind of regret. I was saying how in that article, it pictured her "studio" and how immaculate it was, and how it was very cute and amazing, but it was also very.... chic? Clean? Professional? Anyway, I admired it, but it wasn't exactly my style. However, in these archives, which I'm reading like a book (currently in November 2005) she has just gotten her own room in her house, to make her craft room, and she pictured it from all angles, and it is SO much more real, and SO much more like something I would create. Fabric, papers, patterns, STUFF, shoved into wooden milk crates. Stuff hanging from everywhere. Clutter and a look of chaos masking the organization that lies beneath. It was perfect! Her room looked so different in that magazine article.
Okay, so anyway, while I'm actively telling Martin all this, he gets up and goes to the computer. Ugh! Isn't he listening to me?! So I keep talking, sort of, and wait awhile and then go over to the computer to see what he's doing that is so much more important than giving me full attention....

...and there he is, ordering the back issue off the Mothering website. What a swell guy! And handsome too!

Now let's move on to why these two chipmunks are awesome. They PLAY together!! And they do the funniest things, together and separately. I think they had three baths today and will need another tomorrow morning because Anja went to bed with the shampoo still in her hair (more to explain that later) and Greta found some mashed potatoes left on their low table. They have so much fun together and I LOVE it that they are so close in age. It was definitely, definitely, definitely worth the hard first few months. Just like everyone said! But now I can't decide if I want to have a hundred more children, or just stick with these two because newborns take up a lot of time and energy and I don't want to miss any of their funniness!

Like putting potatoes on each other's head!

The daffodils are blooming!

And Anja is awesome because of her amazing style. She's been wanting to wear this fleece polka dot jumper that's too small for her for days and days. And she has a matching shirt that she makes me put on Greta. And she cries if I don't do it, even though the reason I'm not doing it is a perfectly good one--like that they were smelly so they're in the washing machine. She'd been digging them out of the dirty clothes hamper for days and today when she went to get them and the hamper was empty, she actually cried. It was kind of sad, but at the same time, I couldn't stop laughing!
The final awesomeness I'm going to advertise tonight is that of my neighbor, Kelsey, and her roommates. THEY BROUGHT US YUMMY TREATS. They are these amazing shortbread pie slices that are covered in icing. They are almost as addicting as making fabric cards! It was good to finally meet Kelsey's roommates, and I really like Kelsey, and we are SO lucky to have her as a neighbor, because, if you have ever driven through our neighborhood (quickly, with the windows up and the doors locked) you know that we could've gotten any number of real whackos to move in next door. So we are very lucky! And I know, I know, it's Lent and here I am rambling on about these desserts. Do you want to hear about how I was eating spoonfuls of chocolate icing out of the container for lunch today? No, that's right, you don't. If you're on Facebook, I'll just refer you to my status today, which read, "I think I'm failing Lent." And it's true. I'm trying to do well with my sacrifices, and maybe in some areas I'm succeeding, but in others, I am definitely not.
Our neighbors are also awesome because they didn't appear to judge us when our children came out from their baths full of curiousity and nakedness. They also didn't seem to judge us for letting them STAY naked. And pee on the floor. I explained Greta's mongolian spot and while I was doing that, I wondered if it wouldn't be better parenting just to put some clothes on her, or at least a diaper, but I never did! Because these were REAL PEOPLE visiting me, people who are NOT family members! You'd better believe I'm not leaving the room when I have an opportunity like that!
In other news, the girls and I took a long walk today and Greta actually stayed in the stroller the whole time and only cried for the very last block before home. She is sooooooo bad at taking walks. It's a shame, because Anja LOVES them and begs me all morning for a "gawk" and when I say "after lunch" she goes to the pantry and starts getting stuff to eat, even though it's only mid-morning and 35 degrees outside. Hahaha! She is so cute!! But Greta just wants to walk herself, on her own feet, and that'd be fine except that she's so slow and she falls down a lot. So not only would we not get very far, but her pants would all have holes in the knees too.
Maybe she'll get over it and learn to think of the stroller as her princess throne as Anja did... until Anja discovered the joy of riding on my back in the Ergo! ("gack! gack!")

Monday, March 22, 2010

My New Obsession

This is my new crafting hobby. I AM COMPLETELY ADDICTED.

These are cards. They're made with fabric, sewn onto the card stock. I LOVE ZIGZAG. It's seriously changed my life. I can do so much with it! (or should I say "I can do sew much?! Har har har!) So anyway, admittedly I recently saw this in the archives, but it was a few weeks before that when Martin came home and gave me the idea. Yes, that's right. I am now getting crafting advice and ideas from my husband. He had been at Barnes & Noble and was looking at stationary sets and told me that some of them had stitching on them. He thought they were pretty cute and suggested I do something like that. And then I saw it the other day on SouleMama, but mine are a little different from hers.... she covered her entire cards in fabric, front and back, while I only cover the front so that they are not too bulky. And I think they wouldn't close up as flat if they had fabric on the back as well. Anyway, this is one set for sale in my Etsy shop, and I have two other sets up there too. I know one of these is a little wrinkly... Some of my other ones are too, and I can't decide if I like it or not. I definitely don't like how the wrinkles look in this picture, but in real life, you can hardly tell.... it just makes it obvious that it's fabric. I dunno. Anyway, they are super fun to make and take about nine seconds each. Yay!

Oh, Martin is making me post a second picture. He thinks these are more "eye catching". What's eye catching to me is Theodore's girth in the background.

Happy Birthday, Greta!

Even though we celebrated on Saturday, Greta's actual birthday is today, and I already feel like a bad mom for not making a cake, but on top of it, I'm only JUST NOW getting around to making a blog post for her on her special day. So here it is, in all it's typical lameness, a "then & now" pair of photos to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GRETA BIRD!

Greta one year ago:

Greta today:This photo also pretty much sums up our day around here today, and that should explain why I'm just now making a blog post.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Moe Bday Party

Well, we had a fabulous party for Greta Bird yesterday. Unfortunately, I got surprisingly few pictures of Greta. Lots of pictures of our neices and nephews, not so many of our own kids. Well, that's not exactly true.... I took a lot of pictures of Greta in the bathtub after eating her cake, and Anja who joined her in the tub with all her clothes on! But as I told my sister, there is NO WAY I am posting bathtub pictures anywhere for the world to see. My bathtub is MUCH to scummy for that and I won't have you all thinking I live in a tenement. Here is Greta in her new red wagon! We had such a hard time (as we did when Anja turned one) thinking up a good present for a first birthday. I was pretty proud of coming up with this one, and Greta seemed delighted with our choice. (Please view previous blog post for the perfect picture--stolen off of TusaRebecca's facebook!) The only thing that Greta loves, loves, loves are baby dolls. Her Grandmamma gave her one yesterday and it was PRICELESS, the excitement of her opening it, and I couldn't get it out of the box fast enough for her. This girl LOVES baby dolls. It was so adorable, and I really hope somebody else got pictures of it because I didn't. Sadly.
I did get this great picture of our nephew, Carlos though! Martin went to the store and picked out party favors. He's so funny. He did this while keeping the girls out of the houes yesterday so I could do stuff like mop the floor and construct a cake that looked like a cat. No pictures were taken of it because it was so horrible looking that I thought I'd spare you all. I do wish I'd taken a picture of the mudpie though, because it was absolutely gorgeous AND delicous. All 567 calories per serving (pie serves 16). WOW.
And we got all these gorgeous bags! This yellow one (featured here with our springtime friend, Hairy Vawz) is from our fabulous neighbor Kelsey. I'm so glad she got to come! She gave the girls matching dresses that are adorable. They are in the "Liberty" print that is featured at Target right now, and there was a big thing in the current Country Living about it. CUTE STUFF! They even have a ladies bike in this floral print (not the print of this bag, don't be confused) !! Anyway, Kelsey's awesome. I MUST get her reading Amanda Blake Soule so we can be obsessed together.

This next adorable, homemade bag is from my sister-in-law, AnnLaura, and was filled with wooden food! You can't really see it all that well, but the button on this bag is the cutest in the world.
And this third bag was made by my sister with wipe-out lining so it's perfect for things like cheerios! It also has a velcro closure, which is great for both girls, cause who doesn't love velcro?
Greta was SUCH a better cake eater than Anja on her first birthday. Anja made me feed her her chocolate cake. Boooooorriiiing.
Greta got so messy she needed a bath!
All in all a wonderful day! The girls were GREAT too, cheerful the whole time. After the party Martin's family stayed and we ordered pizza. That's become sort of a tradition, and I love it! AnnLaura and Juan come down from Chicago and it seems to make their trip a little more worthwhile. Also, they had boarded their puppy dog for the night, which is usually the reason they need to hurry back home. After everyone was gone Martin and I drove the girls to sleep right away because Anja wanted a ride in the car. Ha! I think she thought we were actually going somewhere, but we knew she wouldn't last more than a few minutes before zonking out. They were both asleep within five minutes. So cute!!
Here are some pictures from the past week.
To celebrate the feast of St. Joseph and the beautiful weather, I surprised Martin on Friday afternoon with a picnic dinner. I picked him up from work and we drove out to Prophetstown with this loaf of beer bread an a yummy pasta salad that turned out to be not as fabulous as had been advertised. Still good though, and meat-free for Friday. I brought it in this handy bread box, a gift from my sister-in-law AnnLaura--it matches a cake container I have that I got from my grandma! AnnLaura also gave me the matching sugar and coffee tins. The sugar tin I now use for sewing notions, and the coffee tin has mysteriously disappeared. It's actually really weird.... I was letting the girls play with them and now I can't find it anywhere. Anyway, the bread tin is the perfect size for a picnic box!

Once we got there is turned out to be A LOT colder and windier than I had thought. We had one hat and one pair of fuzzy pants in the car... but in the end, we just packed up and went home.

This is Anja carrying our silverware box for us! Isn't this great? It's filled with small brass silverware with wooden handles. I got it at a garage sale the summer Martin and I were engaged. I love it!
These pictures were from earlier on Friday afternoon.

Anja is giving the flowers a drink on the sidewalk.

And here she is, coaxing the daffodils to bloom. (Which they did, the morning of G's party!!)
Two old ladies sharing digestive biscuits.

Oh, these are from St. Patrick's day, when we ate our corned beef and cabbage outside.
And that's about it! Happy birthday today to our friend MaryGrace! One day older than Greta!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Birthday Parties

Somebody got a little red wagon for her birthday.... This is the girls with their cousin Aurelio on a wagon ride. It was so cold and windy!! The party was VERY fun, and now we're all cleaned up and ready for bed. Well, the girls are already IN bed, but now I think it's time for me to be in bed too. More of a post tomorrow. Happy Day, Greta! Even though your birthday isn't REALLY until Monday!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Snip, Snip, Cover Up

Yesterday after working WAY too long trying to get my hair into two lumps, I gave up and took a pair of scissors to my head. It was refreshing and liberating, and I snipped three or four inches, taking my length up to my shoulders. Goodbye, dry hay! Hello, normal, healthy-ended locks! It's by no means a "good" haircut, but I expect I could wear my hair down and not get any weird looks. Anyway, it's much more manageable now and since it had been almost year since my last haircut, I'd say I was about due for one.

And then this morning I got dressed. Yesterday I realized with certainty (I'd been suspecting for awhile, but always second-guessed myself) that the zipper on my favorite jeans is shot. So I walk around with my fly down all day. Kind of a bummer. So from now on to wear these jeans I guess I'll just have to wear a shirt long enough to cover the zipper. Enter the new repurposed tank top which met both its birth and its demise last weekend! So the stains from the laundry mishap are mostly in the back and on the straps, so with a sweater, it's still wearable. And since yesterday my car actually DROVE ITSELF to Goodwill where I found a very cute purple hoodie sweater, I paired the tank with the sweater and with my broken zipper jeans---Nobody has to know how truly scummy my clothes are!!! A beautiful coverup. By the way, the purple sweater doesn't REALLY coordinate with my shirt.... only with the stains! But since there are hints of stain everywhere on the shirt you can kind of see how they coordinate without really knowing why. It's kind of amazing!

And in other news, Greta has been waking up too early for the past week or so. It's TERRIBLE. She's not really ready to be up so she's just a huge grouch all morning until her nap. Grrrr. Also, did I mention on here that she's getting more teeth? Her bottom side ones are coming in. Well, one of them is in, the other one looks to be just below the surface.

And speaking of Greta, tomorrow is her 1st birthday party! ...Which means today is filled with cleaning up and baking. I'd better get scootin'!

Thursday, March 18, 2010


I think the laptop was a bad idea. I spend so much time reading craft blogs now, which on the one hand is great because I'm getting fun ideas, recipes, free tutorials, and a never-ending list of links to more and more and more wonderful stuff.... but the bad part is that it makes me insanely jealous. These crafting mamas are so CUTE! And capable! And talented! And successful! Most of them are so cute, capable and talented that they have books and patterns that you buy and really successful Etsy stores. Then there's me, making clothes that fall apart in the wash and other clothes that don't get worn because nobody likes them.

One of the blogs on my sidebar, "Tiny Happy", had a post about a repurposed adult sweater that she made into a cardigan for her little daughter. It was adorable, and cutting and sewing sweaters is something I've always wanted to try. I have visions of "the perfect sweater" (there are many) but I can never find them already knit and I am certainly not good enough to knit up a sweater. So I've thought about cutting and sewing to construct a perfect sweater, but I've never tried it. I might have been given the inspiration to do so, thanks to Tiny Happy.

Another thing that happens on the blogs that is bad for me is that everybody has babies. If someone isn't actually pregnant, then I read back on their blog archives to when they WERE. And then I get.... THE BABY BUG. It's only ever temporary, but still!!! It's this horrible little feeling of, "aaawwww!! I waaaaant ooonnnneee!!!!" that happens while Greta is sleeping and then of course, Greta wakes up and I realize, oh yeah, I have one. But Greta is not as tiny as she used to be and when I see knitting projects for tiny little newborn kimonos and booties and elf hats..... *sigh* Well, it's a good thing my sister is due in June. That's only a few months away! That should quench by baby thirst for awhile. I think she's having a boy.

Last night to celebrate St. Patrick's Day and the beeeeautiful weather, we ate our corned beef and cabbage outside on the patio. I've been working on the pretty days to clean up the yard a little bit. It's definitely not planting time, or even hanging basket time yet, since the highs early next week are only in the 40's (yikes!) but getting the yard cleaned up a little makes it as nice as it can be. We brought out this little table we had in the back room for the girls and set up some of our bigger tree chunks (we have a large pile of unchopped firewood heaped right inside our gate) for seats and I cut the two crocuses that had bloomed and put them in a baby food jar, and the girls had a delightful little dining table. Of course, Greta just wanted to run around and Anja didn't want to eat at a table by herself, so the table didn't really get used.... but it looks cute and I think we'll keep it set up that way for the summer.

I am amazed at how much easier it is to get outside with both girls now that they are older. It helps that Greta walks so well. When Anja was her age, she was nowhere near walking. It also helps that Anja is such a big girl and that I don't have to carry her anymore. She just follows me around and she can carry stuff for me too, or carry her own stuff! And since I have been blessed with calm, mindful little girls, I can dart inside or around the corner of the house for something I need and not worry about either of them running away. It's pretty great! And I've gotten so much outside work done on these nice days.... it feels so great to be productive.

Today is going to be even nicer than yesterday and tomorrow is going to be more beautiful yet, so I imagine we'll spend most of our days outside. Unfortunately, Greta is not so into walks as Anja is. Greta is more "do" while Anja is more "observe" and so Greta spends most of a walk crying and trying to wriggle out of her stroller. Anja likes to ride on my back in the Ergo, which is great, but I'm not sure that Greta wouldn't do better if the places were switched. Anyway... at least we can play in the backyard as much as we want. Maybe today we'll even have a picnic lunch!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

This is my thyme from last year--it's revived!! My oregano too!!

Lucky Finds

Score! I just found a stash of fabric in my closet (okay, it's really the girls' closet, but it's quickly being overtaken by my crafting supplies) and in it might be some suitable fabric for Easter dresses! And if I don't get dresses made in time for Easter, I don't have anything to worry about because last night while waiting for Martin to get done with an extra long appointment (he was at work until almost 6:30!) the girls and I ran to Once Upon a Child where I found, for a decent price (not a steal, but a decent deal) a dress in Anja's size that is exactly like a dress that Anja wore last year which is now about Greta's size. They are really cute dresses, and I was sorry that the one last year didn't fit Anja for very long before she outgrew it. Also, they are pretty, but not over-the-top fancy, so they'll still be able to wear them on Sundays all throughout the summer. Hooray!

Yesterday's weather was gorgeous and today is even better. Greta has fallen into a weird sleep schedule (yet again) so she is napping now, and when she wakes up we'll all take a little walk someplace. While she's been sleeping I have been cleaning the house for her party on Saturday (everyone's invited... sorry we haven't gotten any formal invitations out) and working on the doll I'm making for her. I'm not going to stress about getting it done before Saturday. Her birthday isn't until Monday and I think I'd rather give it to her then anyway, since it'll be so awful looking that I'm embarrassed for anyone else to see it!

Also at OUAC last night I got each girl a sunhat for the summer. Anja loves hers so much she wore it to bed, but Greta won't keep hers on for more than twelve seconds. Still, cute!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Takes the Funny Right Out

So, you know how sometimes an annoying situation happens, and sure, it's frustrating at the time, but almost immediately afterward you can laugh about it? That's how the laundry soap story was yesterday. Sure, I went through the rest of the day needing a shower to get the mucky detergent out of my hair, and sure our carpet is going to be extra gross until we rip it up (but who cares, since it's really only the dog's space anyway?), but overall, NOT a big deal.

But then I went to switch out the laundry later in the night--all the stuff I'd been wearing that I had thrown into a load ready to go in, and for some reason, threw some other non-related stuff in too. Chalk it up to my flustered state and trying to corral the kids and dog while cleaning up the mess, I suppose.... I'm not sure why my new repurposed tank top and the skirts I made for the girls this weekend ended up in with all that other stuff. But it did. And in the load was the shirt I'd been wearing, which was dark purple and had never been washed, and of course, bled. And what did it ruin out of the entire load? My newly repurposed tank top and the skirt I'd made for Anja. It didn't touch Greta's skirt.... because Greta's skirt was crappily made in 20 minutes and already falling apart!!! But Anja's skirt, which was really cute and I'd spent a lot of time on, is now soiled with purple stains. However. She is a two-year-old, and nobody has to know that it got ruined after only one wearing. It was bound to get stained anyway sooner or later, and it is not completely unwearable.... it just looks like a toddler's stained skirt, which is not anything horrible. But the tank top, I'm afraid, WAS completely ruined and is now unwearable. I will have to cut it up again and use it for something else. A quilt, or maybe a pretty pillow. Sad, I know.

And I have to comment that my sister did generously offer me their rented steam cleaner to clean up the mess detergent mess on the carpet. I declined , since the carpet is needing to be replaced anyway and hopefully that will be happening sooner than later. I think it's ok to talk about now because I saw it on facebook, Sarah and Andrew are putting their house on the market! So if you're wanting to live downtown (an awesome place to live) in a cool house (VERY cool, in fact--I used to live there myself!) check it out!

In other news, I woke up with a swollen eye that I can't figure out. And last night after I discovered the laundry mishap, Martin kindly sent me out with my newly arrived Country Living magazine to the coffee shop where I got to sit and enjoy myself with a hot cup of coffee for a nice long while. I love new magazines! I have found that subscriptions are cheap and are TOTALLY worth the tiny amount of money for the joy that every month's arrival brings.

I am still considering making the girls' Easter dresses. I think a run to the fabric store might be on the agenda tonight.... maybe I'll find something perfect..... but probably not, since any time I go to the fabric store with my children it turns out to be an all-around bust. Well, maybe we'll try anyway. I'm thinking pastoral prints and eyelet trim......

The Weekend O'er

So here's what I just did--an example of why a stay-at-home-mom's life really IS more difficult than it would appear from the view of an outsider:

Earlier this morning I had managed to separate my laundry. Hours later, while Anja was locked in her room (literally... she locks herself in now to play by herself. Luckily, she knows how to unlock the door, and I have a straightened paper clip handy in case of emergency) and Greta was happy in the kitchen with a couple of graham crackers, I thought I'd put the dark load in the wash. But, oh, wouldn't this be a good time to refill the small detergent container instead of lugging out my ginormous refill-sized on and dumping straight from that (without measuring)? Sure! So I started... glug-glug-glug... and this turns out to be a slow and tedious job. Then I remember that Greta is unattended, so I go to peek in the kitchen, and sure enough, she's gone. So I go (ginormous refill-sized detergent jug in hand/arms) looking for her, and she is just happily toddling through the house, making her way back to the kitchen. So, back to the laundry room I go, with my giant jug, and to get to the laundry room, I have to step over the horrible dog gate. And OF COURSE, my knee hits the top of the gate, which trips me, and pulls the gate down, and down to the floor I go with my huge jug of detergent, and suddenly the entire hallway--myself included--is blue and goopy. It's all over my face, all over my front, all over the dog gate, and worst of all, ALL OVER THE CARPET. Now, granted, the carpet is disgusting in the first place, but STILL. How am I going to clean it up?!? Laundry detergent is a bear to wash off skin, annoyingly enough, and so I imagine this litlte carpet mess is just going to be pretty much everlasting. Also, it was all over my wonderful blue sweater, which I don't think is supposed to be washed. And my fabulous multi-colored Christmas scarf, which I also doubt the washability of. *sigh* well, I guess I'll just "lay flat to dry" (along with MY FACE) and hope for the best. Ugh. And of course, since normal life without big spills is chaotic enough, all the while I'm trying to decide what to do while not going permenantly blind from having detergent in my eyes, the dog is licking up the spilled laundry soap, Anja is telling me she has to pee-pee, and Greta is getting into everything, including the bathroom, which is a place she is strictly not allowed for SO MANY REASONS, not the least of which being the fact that Anja won't let us flush her poo-poo (which sits in her little pink potty on the floor) until the NEXT time she has to make a poo-poo, and for some reason, poo is fascinating to Greta.

So anyway. That was today's adventure.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

My Family, Repurposed!

I am learning that sewing is much like guitar playing. You just have to feel it. So when I saw an XL sized button down shirt in cute cotton fabric at Goodwill the other day, I felt the cute floral tank top that was living inside. A few snips and stitches, and here it is.

Unfortunately, also like my guitar playing, I'm afraid I will always be mediocre and sloppy when it comes to sewing. I get in a hurry, I don't always finish my seams, I am absolutely terrified of patterns.... I never learned to read music so my music skills are limited. I'm too afraid to learn to use a pattern, so my sewing skills are destined to be the same way.

But on the same trip to Goodwill I found a brown sweater, inside which I could feel the souls of a new pair of pants:

...And a matching dress:
Okay, sewing for Anja would be a lot cooller if she would actually wear what I made her. I had to bribe her just to put this dress on so I could take a picture of it.... and as you can see, she is actively taking it off as I snapped this one and only photo of it.

Another matchy-matchy project features a pair of brown linen pants for G:
(Here is the outfit that Anja chose to wear INSTEAD of the matching dress I made for her):
Later, we added some argyle socks.
Here Greta is modeling both things. Anja's dress and her pants. Good old Greta.
Martin didn't get anything out of this week's sewing extravaganza. I guess I could offer him the discarded sleeves from the button down, but I'm not sure he has any accessories that would go well with them. Or I could take the neck of the sweater and make it into a funny hat! Hmmm....