Thursday, January 29, 2009

like birthing a baby

While I can't speak for others, my creativity waxes and wanes. I am not always a creative person. Every once in awhile, though, I do become "driven" to create. Like, now, for instance.

Y'see, wha-ha-happened-wuz: A friend led me to a website that has exquisite redwork designs. Redwork (see this sample) is basically an outline of a design. So I am perusing the website and absolutely fall in love with two design sets that feature drawings of young women in fashions from the 1920's. My mind immediately shows me a quilt... one that features these designs as the "blocks" and uses only black and white fabrics.

It was like torture waiting for a chunk of time to be able to hit the fabric stores. King had been out of town and this and that and the other thing, so many things prevented me from going. My "inner brat" had to wait a couple of days. Ugh! But, I had a tunnel vision desire to get to there. It was fueled by the same powerful feeling that comes over a 9 month pregnant woman who is driven to "nest".

We have two major fabric stores in town. I hit the first and just stood in front of the fabrics. Walked up and down the aisles of cotton bolts. Holding a favorite fabric up against another and then deciding it wasn't the right one. Finally, after visiting both stores, I headed home, victorious and inspired.

So, in between meals and during naptimes or bedtimes, I am working to make this picture in my mind a reality. I want to make things to sell to help the family budget, but I'm not sure if I am going to be able to do it, unless I make two of the same quilts. *sigh*

Here's a sneak peek:

Monday, January 26, 2009

getting dressed

"Mommeee, I don't have any long-sleeved pants."

Sunday, January 25, 2009

So, Obama is against the war and wants to end it A.S.A.P., but he is all for the killing of future Americans?

Do all that you can to stop F.O.C.A. from happening! Pray unceasingly.

five day forecast

Cloudy with a chance of toddlers.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

reduce, reuse, delay the inevitable

I'm all about recycling. My father-in-law has been collecting aluminum cans now for years. There is a bin near the fire department where you can donate your used soda cans. The money that is raised goes to the families of burn victims.
Also, I think recycling newspaper or other types of paper is a fabulous idea. I love stationery and when I see that it is made from recycled materials, it gives me that warm, fuzzy, I'm-saving-the-planet feeling.
My kids have brought home crafty little artistic goodies from school which have been made with recycled stuff. But I have to wonder, aren't we delaying the inevitable? I mean, just how long can we hold on to stuff like this?

(picture was borrowed from this website)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

defying logic

Why is it that when you eat the wrong things and don't exercise, your body happily packs on the pounds, but when you start eating the right things and exercising, the pounds stubbornly stay firmly planted? I'm thinking this must be one of life's great mysteries.

Monday, January 19, 2009


Went to my favorite belly dance aerobics class tonight to get myself reaquainted with le grande gym. Let's just bow our heads and pray I can walk tomorrow, shall we?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

more star-spangled than banner

*Sigh* I just finished watching Jordin Sparks sing our National Anthem just before the kickoff of the Eagles/Cardinals playoff game. I'm sure she has a lot of fans. She seems to have a strong voice and she is certainly a pretty girl. But I gotta say, this girl totally took the beauty of the lyrics of Our. Country's. Anthem. and made it all about how she could "hold" a note.

I get so sick of these recording artists and the way they "perform" a song. I found this description from a book that beautifully describes what I am talking about (I have no interest in the book, but find the quote hilarious and right on target):

"an unrefined hemorrhage of sound, a quivering vibrato that mangled words into an unrelenting warble, punctuated at frequent intervals with bursts of shrill bleating."


Our National Anthem, people! Shall we reflect on the moment? Afterward, ruminate on the lyrics.

Star Spangled Banner
by Francis Scott Key 1814

Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!


There are logical places to start when undertaking something big. Like dieting.

I had gotten so off track between Halloween and Christmas. It got so bad around the end of the year that I joked that I was putting myself through aversion therapy from all things sweet. I don't know if it is because I tend to be compulsive, or if everyone is this way, but the first of the year was the perfect time to start getting back to the way I know is the right way to eat. It is also the same compulsion that makes me want to start back exercising on a Monday.

Since the beginning of the year, King has either been out of town or there has been some other hurdle standing in the way of me getting back to the gym. Tomorrow, though, I am saying a prayer that the Lord will help clear my path (the main part of the obstructions being the ones in my mind!) and that I will get back in the game. Back on track. In talking with a friend who follows my blog, I reminisced about the day I actually jogged a mile on that treadmill. Something I've always wanted to do... at least since high school.

And, a word to the girls: Let's hittit!

Friday, January 16, 2009

things not to take for granted: warmth, quiet, & husbands

All day yesterday I kept getting chilled. The temps are dropping here, it was windy, and we live in a nearly 100 year old home. I just chalked it up to the "joys" of living in an older home, mumbled a few curse words and kept busy. When King got home from work, he commented on how chilly it was in the house. "Yeah, I have been freezing all day," I agreed. He wondered if there was something wrong with the heater... "Nah," I said, "I remember standing in front of the heat register yesterday warming my toes." On second thought, I didn't remember the sound of the heater coming on all day. "You might want to go check it out, though," I told him.

Grrr, just as he suspected, the heater was out. Problem: The igniter. Sadly, it was 8 p.m. and we had to spend the night huddled under tons of blankets with little space heaters set up in the main hallway.
"No biggie," I reassured my saintly husband, who at this point was quite frustrated, "we've tent-camped in weather nearly this cold." (I was trying to be optimistic, but my see-through attempts didn't help much.) After surviving the night, and taking the kids to school, our brave hero, King, headed to the heating & air parts store.

To add insult to injury, right after he left, the carbon monoxide detectors both went off. Shrill, deafening, unrelenting. I turned off the power hoping to give my ringing ears a break. No relief. They continued blaring the whole time he was gone (Praise God he was not out of town, because I'm thinking my attitude would have been When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Check Into a Marriott!!).

(Note to the FBI: it's an idea for a "detainee-friendly" torture device)

The story, of course, has a happy ending. King made it home within an hour, disconnected the alarms, and got the new part installed on the furnace quickly. I am now sitting in a relatively warm room with only the normal sounds of kids playing, and Curious George getting into trouble in the background.

I read this quote the other day on Little Jenny Wren's blogspot and it just seems very appropriate for occasions such as this: "Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset." St. Francis de Sales

Monday, January 12, 2009

sooey-cidal thoughts

Just before King called us all for dinner (he cooked as I was finishing up a quilt I am making for the oldest), # 5 walked up to me with her paci in her mouth and a pointer finger in each nostril. You suppose it was a cry for help, or maybe she just didn't want the bratworst and lentils?

Thursday, January 8, 2009


I swear, you're gonna think I make this stuff up.

I realize when I post this, someone's gonna read it and think to themselves, "she must not pay one bit of attention to those kids." In fact, King sometimes jokes that the three year old acts like he was raised by a pack of wolves. However, I do pay attention. Not unlike a mother wolf, I pace around watching their moves, making sure the danger that lurks around every corner does not sneak up and bite them. My mom teases me. She calls me "the worst case scenario" mom. I can't help it, my overactive mind jumps to the worst thing that could possibly happen if they do thus-n-such.
-Don't jump on daddy's chair, honey, you could fall off and hurt your head or break your arm.
-Be careful not to spin around too much, because you'll fall and hit your head on the wall (living in an almost 100 year old home, our walls are plaster and very very hard!)
-Oh, honey, don't stand up on the dining room chair (see above worst case scenario).
The list goes on, of course and as usual, I digress. Suffice it to say I DO watch the kids very carefully.

After having just fed them a little mid-morning snack and getting ready to eat a late breakfast myself, I walked into the kitchen to pour a cup of cappuccino, because Bia made me crave it, and as I'm walking from the kitchen to the dining room, I hear the sound of a large piece of paper ripping.
To my 3 year old, who is on le toilette, I say, "Honey, what was that sound?" He said it was his sister, who was keeping him company (I have no idea why someone would want to "go there", but whatever... maybe that's what little kids do since they don't know how to read yet?!?) Smelling danger (there's a joke in there somewhere), I went to investigate.
My hands immediately flew to cover my face. I screamed the kind of scream that you feel in your tired, stripped throat hours later.
Number 5 had ripped an enormous chunk of wallpaper off the wall. There were also little pieces in her hands and a few scattered about the floor. My head was numb. Quickly, I grabbed a big glue stick that the kids use for art projects and very gingerly glued all the pieces back together, mostly matching the "Waverly Country Life" toille design.

As I was in there, the guilty party was still wandering around. "Close door, Mommy?" she asked (her brother was still on the toilet, maybe she thought he needed privacy?).
"N...", I managed to get out before the door slammed in my face.

And then I heard it. Click. Click. Click. Click. She was peeling paint off the other side of the dadgum bathroom door!

addendum - oops, things went a little further downhill

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

feeding the voyeuristic society monster - today's menu: teenagers

My daughter's friends (those with cell phones) are constantly taking pictures of themselves. I started noticing it a couple of years ago, silly poses *click *click. Very funny. (Secretly I am very glad my kids do not own phones!)
I opened a Facebook account recently and am noticing there that many people also have tons and tons of pictures of themselves, pictures with their friends, etc, etc. (Vanity, thy name is teenager!) The really troublesome thing to me is the way the girls are posing. Their heads are together and generally their tongues are sticking out (and NOT in a "nanny nanny boo boo" kind of way!!).

My head is spinning with questions (some brutal) I want to throw at these parents. So many that I can't even think about this anymore.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

all before noon

  • King left this morning to go out of town for 5 days.
  • The trip to pick the kids up from my sis-in-law was a 2 hour whine-fest.
  • Number 3 puked in the McDonalds we stopped at so that the wee'uns could eat lunch and stretch their little legs at the indoor play place.
  • I've lost all fondness for oatmeal with raisins.

yuck factor: high

Twenty minutes into the hour-or-so trip to go pick up the oldest kids from my sis-in-law, I realize, after pulling onto the side of the interstate, that the baby does not have her pacifier. It's her naptime. I was hoping she'd snooze and I'd have an easier trip. I resolved, as I climbed back into the driver's seat, to be as patient as possible with her tired, grumpy whining and crying.
"She'll fall asleep after she wears herself out, " I thought.
Not so.
Nor on the way home.
However, five minutes from home, she did discover that her big toe was nearly the same size as her paci.


How is it that a baby, not even two yet, can just "happen" to unlock the cell phone and also "happen" to call her daddy's cell phone? Twice.

Friday, January 2, 2009

a poll

I mentioned in a previous post that we thought it might be fun to watch more movies this year. Anyone have Netflix experience? Is it worth it? Are there REALLY no catches.

three is enough

We reminded him before bed last night, "Now remember, brother isn't here, so in the morning, come to get mom or dad before you go downstairs."
We awoke to the hall light on and a confused 3 year old yelling for his brother.
"Come up here, honey," I said (cursing under my breath, because now the baby was also awake).

Stomp. Stomp. Stomp. He comes up the stairs.

"Mommy. The TV won't work."

"OK, but do you remember that I told you to come to mommy and daddy's room before you went downstairs, since your brother isn't here to help you? We don't want you to go downstairs by yourself."

"But MOMMEEEE," he yells at full epiglottal. "I'm three enough to go downstairs by myself!!!"

quiet... that's a problem because......?

Getting back to a tradition that we had for several years running, we took all the kids to the zoo. Number 4 was ecstatic. His joy could not be contained. So much so that on several occasions, he ran ahead of the pack and got in trouble. Imagine standing in front of a serene aquarium with tons of fish swimming around, thinking all the kids are just as hypnotized by the seemingly choreographed water ballet as you are, then realizing there is not a bouncing three year old boy nearby. Then again at the tiger cage. And in the monkey tunnel. And when we were watching the elephants, etc etc etc. My adrenal glands pumped out more cortisol and adrenaline in four hours yesterday than it did all year long.
After the zoo, our three oldest children went to my sister-in-law's house for a few days. After getting back into town, King and I took the two little ones for a quick bite to eat (as if we hadn't had enough fun and excitement for one day).

He asked, "Do you miss the kids?"
Me, "are you kidding? No." Feeling guilty I added, " Not yet anyway. You?"
"Yeah, I do a little. I mean, the ride home was just so quiet," he answered.

Silly mortal.