Saturday, September 27, 2008

Need New Furniture?

I am one happy person.

Goodbye, navy/hunter green/burgundy plaid!! May you have a more loved life with your new owner.

Hello, beautiful vintage green leather, in reasonable shape with no holes or tears!! You are soft and supple, now that I have cleaned and polished you with saddle soap. You ably cradle your dwellers, creating for them a comfortable, soothing cocoon.

When I am seated, I command the universe from my living room. Behold the power of a well-crafted chair!
One more look, up close and personal, for old times' sake.

Friday, September 26, 2008

A Loose Paraphrase

Before naptime today, we read books on the couch. I was reading a much-loved Bible storybook. On the last page, I gave Owen opportunity to fill in the words, because he has memorized a few lines from other books. It was Mark 10:14, where Jesus tells his disciples to let the little children come to him, after they had been sending them away.

"'Jesus said,'...pause..."

"Time to go night-night!"

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A New Crop

This week Jason has been helping a friend plant sugarcane.

Acres and acres of cane.

The planting crew likes to start at 6 am, and it's all planted by hand.

Jay brought some home to plant. Why not experiment? We need something more interesting than a dead hydrangea in this bed.
This is the cane.

This is the joint of the cane.

This is the new root growth from the joint of the cane.

Helen sucked on a piece of peeled cane, which kept her busy all evening. I had visions of her impaling her pharynx. You know...don't run with a sucker in your mouth...don't run with a scissors...don't walk around and go up and down stairs with sugar cane in your mouth.

This cane is supposed to get very, very tall, so Helen will have an unending supply of the sweet treat.

Supper Guests

A while back, The Family decided that for PawPaw and MawMaw's anniversary, instead of a bunch of unneeded gifts, we would take turns hosting them for a meal. Each family was assigned a week on the calendar. It was such a hit with everyone, that we are on Round 2.

This time, we had homemade pasta and meatballs, salad, corn and sourdough bread, and for dessert, homemade chocolate pudding layered with peanut butter pie crumbs and Cool Whip, in individual dessert dishes. (I am a sucker for individual desserts. They are so cute.) I enjoyed the chance to use nicer table service; for instance, I put the salad dressing in a fancy-schmancy glass pitcher. And see, I even used vintage CLOTH napkins! I used to use cloth napkins all the time when we were first married. Life with kids changes more than a few things.
Our children love their great grandparents, can you tell?! Almost every time I make bread or muffins, Owen says we need to take some to MawMaw. By the way, this was the last time Helen could wear that cute little shirt. I could barely get the button over her tummy closed!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A little of this and a little of that

Yesterday I finally ran the whole 5K distance on my treadmill. Without collapsing a lung or flooding my jogging shorts, I might add. My time was exactly 3 minutes slower than my only official 5K race, which I ran 7 months post baby Helen. I'm 11 1/2 weeks post baby now. I found a neat tool for comparing the two races and future times.

Jack was proud:

And I'm starting another scrap rug. I've been looking forward to this for quite a while; aren't these fabrics awesome? Jason's grandma kept an eye out for doubleknit as she measured donated fabric for a local thrift store. (I paid for it!) The endless cutting of rectangles gets pretty dull, though.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Meanwhile back at the ranch...

When your husband tells you he cleaned up a headless rabbit off the back porch, and had to fight the mama cat and her kittens to do it, you can bet it's going to be a busy day.

Despite the rabbit, today began nicely, with only minor disagreements between Owen and Helen. They amused themselves outside, Helen traipsing around with handfuls of peanut hay mulch, and Owen driving his tricycle.

Post-graham-cracker-snack, Sesame Street and Cedarmont Kids Video, I decided to shell some pecans for a healthy Omega-3 snack for myself. The kids' sixth sense caught me using the lever-operated pecan cracker, and they pushed over a chair to help. When the helping progressed to dabbling in freshly-ground cornmeal and reaching for the wheat germ, the baby monitor and everything else within grasp, I decided it was time for lunch.

During lunch, whereupon Owen accidentally (?) catapulted his spoon across the room, and Helen fed herself wild rice casserole with an occasional assist from her wiggly digits, Jack woke up from the morning’s nap and demanded food. I had already dismissed Owen and helped him wash his hands, so I fed Jack while Helen finished eating. She sneakily progressed to smearing wild rice and cheese while Jack leisurely gorged himself.

I placed Jack in his car seat after a mid-feed belch so I could clean Helen and change her clothes. I then sent her outside to play with her brother. I saw the peanut hay strewn all over the outdoor tile, and determined to clean it up before their father found it.

I was about to reach for the broom when I remembered poor Jack, who was waiting patiently for the rest of his milk. I picked him up to cuddle him, and was met with the hugest, slimiest, yellowist, runniest blow-out poopie I have ever seen. I had to strip him in stages, holding him under the tub faucet after each piece of clothing was removed. Bless him for not crying one tear. Owen wandered in from outside to check on his brother. His dirty feet hit the overspray from the Jack-washing and made mud-prints. Fortunately for everyone, I saw the humor. So did Jack, since he created two pee fountains for good measure.

After Jack was properly fed, I demonstrated the toddler gate to Owen, since he had discovered it in a dark and dusty corner.

Then I checked on Helen outside and made good on my porch clean up. As I began to sweep, I realized that although Jason got rid of the rabbit, he didn't notice the smeared rabbit blood or the animal poop where my children had been playing barefoot. Thank goodness for my spray bottle of Basic-G, my favorite Shaklee disinfectant. Unfortunately, the poop stuck on the tile, even after forceful spraying with the hose. I got out Jason’s tire brush and finished the job. What he doesn’t know…

Feeling rather broomish, I swept inside too—stray rice, wisps of peanut hay, pecan shells. Somewhere in the middle, the phone rang. A frantic-but-successful search ensued. I had left the phone in the nursery, but was thrown off by the sound coming through the baby monitor. I was so pleased to have answered it, since it was a recorded message from Laura David, expressly for Your Home’s Main Grocery Shopper. She was probably following up on the survey she sent me, which was already in the trash. Just curious how many cigarettes I smoke and what brand of instant coffee I use, I suppose.

Somewhere else in the middle of my morning, the cat slipped inside and tore into my homemade whole-wheat bread and chocolate chip muffins which were left over from Friday's impromptu tea party. Mmm...rabbit and cat germs.

This day is only half-way done, and the kids are all in their beds, recharging. I can’t wait to see what else might happen. Jason just informed me that they got the combine stuck in the mud and had to pull it out backwards with a fat-daddy rope. Apparently today’s a Monday all around.

In other good news, Owen finally earned his toy chainsaw for potty training. We are cautiously optimistic that we’re done cleaning out his underwear and dumping solids out of his pull-ups.

And in still other good news, we are thankful for our health insurance:

Friday, September 5, 2008

Finding time for creativity

I love being a mom. This is a good thing, because I'm very entrenched in mommyhood right now. Wiping little people, feeding mouths, doing laundry, buying groceries--it all takes more work than I ever dreamed. Of course, there are many pay-off moments--unsolicited kisses from the kids, sweet grins, pushing chairs in without being told... But, all the same, I am so exhausted, I have to "fake awake."

However tired I may be, I still need time for sewing and crafting. Being crafty energizes me in a way that boiling more macaroni can only dream about. (Yeah, I just live for throwing a handful of salt into pasta water...)

Here are a few projects I've managed to get done since Jack has been born:
As you can see, my hot mitt of 8 years had seen better days. My fingers were poking through the end.

So I copied it and made a new one from an old shirt. Unfortunately, even with three layers of quilt batting, it's not as insulating as Old Faithful.
I had to include this picture just for fun. I made this dragon mitt several years ago. He's not so insulating either.

Helen got another new dress. Here she was watching and waiting for waffles. Bless her little heart, she is usually the first one to the table and quite often the last to leave.

This was a special gift for a cute little man born last week.

And a little something for his big sister.