Friday, November 28, 2008

Week of Thanksgiving: Friday

My in-laws: We had such a fun Thanksgiving with them, the food was delicious, and Stinky was delighted to be with them. I love them, and the proof is that it was mostly their gift that got me up on black friday.

Surviving Black Friday
WBH letting me sleep inafter fighting with the crowds. Until 1:30. Love that man.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Week of Thanksgiving: Thursday

Our home: It isn't perfect, and it isn't ours, but it is home. I'm grateful for the time we've had to live here, the landlords with integrity, and the opportunity to attend church wuth a congregation we really, really like.

Roller Derby: This gave me an outlet and focus when I really needed it. I am so happy for the opportunity it gives me to exercise, let out some aggression, laugh, and have adults to talk to. I am grateful for the workout we got last night- now I feel like I can go into Thanksgiving guilt free.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Week of Thanksgiving: Wednesday

Today I am grateful that my son was exclaiming "Flicker!" and not what I thought he was shouting.

I think the folks who work on Handy Manny are screwing with our heads, moms. Creating a character named Flicker on a show aimed at an age group without the best enunciation? That's a little messed up. It will be funny, until toddlers run around saying "flicker" in public.

Then it might just be hilarious.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Week of Thanksgiving: Tuesday

Flannel Pajamas
Text Messaging
Knee Socks (it's a derby thing - plus, the extra layer of warmth is so awesome in our drafty house)
Baked Oatmeal- I find myself making a big batch early in the week and eating off of it all week long. Here's a great recipe for it.

2 c oats
2 2/3 c milk
1 1/3 c water
1tsp cinnamon (we've discovered Stinky has an allergic reaction to cinnamon, so I sub allspice)
dash nutmeg
1 1/3 c(at least, more is awesome) fruit, raisins, etc your choice
1/2 c brown sugar, maple syrup or honey (less is usually fine)
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a cooking dish. The recipe says to mix it all in a bowl- I just dump it all right into the baking dish- a deep 8x8 pan and stir it with a fork. Bake for 40 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated.

I love mix 'em and leave 'em recipes, so this is right up my alley. Right now I have some with peaches cooking in my oven. The oatmeal made this way is so lovely and creamy.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Week of Thanksgiving: Monday

-My husband. He is my best friend, my biggest fan, and he has the patience of Job when it comes to me. Last night, stressed, overwhelmed and not feeling well, he sent me upstairs to take a break with the bed,TV, and a little less noise. When I came back downstairs, he had picked up everything and was starting dinner. How I love that man of mine.

-Stinky. Like the pseudonym, suggests, and the stories here prove, he makes me crazy somedays. I wouldn't have him any other way, though. I love the slobbery kisses and the running hugs. I love the determined look in his eyes. He was so wanted, so prayed for, and I am so happy we have him.

-I'm grateful for the 5 pounds I lost when I threw the Halloween candy away. Yes, that's more of a brag then a gratitude, but TAKE THAT, trash talking mexican mall guys!

Making it Monday: Easy, Cutsom Wall Art(ish) for Cheap

These are super easy to do. Borrowing an idea from Ali Edwards, who did this with a butterfly-shaped punch and papers she had on her desk, I stole this idea when we got slip covers for our living room. Pretty easy- using your choice of scrapbooking papers, punch the required amount of circles, then glue in place on the posterboard and slap it in a frame. I've also seen this done with larger circles modge-podged on a canvas, then some paint details added. It's inexpensive and you can use whatever colors work for your home.
We've since rearranged and now they're on a larger wall, so I'm working on a third piece. By working on, I mean, bought the third piece of posterboard for the project a month ago and haven't done any more on it.
Later today, I'm borrowing another idea, this time from Kari. I'll be posting a 'thankful list.' everyday this week, in preparation for Thanksgiving. What are your plans for the day?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

"My heart's desire... right in my own back yard"

We got home right about bedtime, but it was evident Stinky wasn't ready for sleep. I plopped him on the couch so I could prep a sippy cup that I hoped would help him unwind and get ready for bed. As I turned on the TV, I heard the familiar strains.

As a little girl, I watched The Wizard of Oz at least twice a week. My mother would bribe me with the movie, and claims I wouldn't blink while I watched it. I had a stuffed dog named Toto, and often claimed to be Dorothy. Being able to play Dorothy last year was a dream come true. The movie's theme and music are near and dear to my heart. I am proud to say that I own my very own pair of ruby slippers, even if they are the most uncomfortable things I own.

I settled in next to Stinky, figuring he might like the music and the dancing for a while, then get tired enough to put to bed. I don't know if it was the hours he spent at rehearsals, or having me sing "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" to him when I put him to bed. Maybe my childhood obsession with the movie is somehow ingrained into my genetic makeup now, but he stayed awake through the entire movie, snuggled up to me, eyes glazing over. We sang the songs, and I'd repeat lines with the movie, just like I would as a little girl. This line, as Dorothy departs from Oz, resonates with me even more as a wife and mom:

"It's that, if I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own backyard. Because if it isn't there, I never really lost it to begin with."

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Oh noes!

Derby skills tests are Sunday. One more practice- tonight! No stress, none at all!

Monday, November 17, 2008

I Made It Monday: Baby Hats

With WBH supervising the HS football playoff game Friday night (go A-Town!) , I was faced with a choice- a lonely friday night at home, or crafting with my mom and sister. Easy choice, right?

These sweet baby hats are for MamatoMama's Caps to Cap-Haitian project. Please check out the site to learn more about the purpose of the project. We made them out of re-purposed t-shirts. Between littlest sister E, my mother, and I (with some help from Stinky) we put together 49 hats in two and a half hours. Each t-shirt usually made two hats, with some of Littlest Sister's making only one, and some of WBH's shirts making three.

The incredibly easy pattern can be found at the Mama to Mama link. If you have some spare time, a sewing machine, and a few extra t-shirts, this is a wonderfully easy project to put together for a good cause. The hats need to be received in Maine by December 10, which still leaves plenty of time.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Once Upon a Time...

At the tender age of 15 I held a summer job at an Adult Family Home, caring for five elderly women as an assistant caretaker. Job duties included helping to prepare meals, making instant coffee at the ladies' request, doing laundry, and occasionally helping to bathe them. I'm not entirely sure that part was legal for me to be doing at that age, so we'll focus on the largest part of my job: helping to keep the home tidy.

We had this notebook which had checklists of daily, and weekly chores that we were to consult and sign off on when the tasks were completed. As long as we kept up on these things, the home ran beautifully, dementia-induced fits notwithstanding (one woman, our sweet Gracie, had a really bad day when she read about Elvis' death for the 4th time that week in the Enquirer, and cried loudly all afternoon, upsetting the other residents. Shortly after that, her family was asked to stop bringing her that magazine). My favorite caregiver and I would race through our daily tasks to be done in time to enjoy the 'socializing' part of our job- watching General Hospital with the ladies. Funny how some habits die hard, isn't it?

I've discovered that I need a notebook like this. I'd love to have something ready made - SimpleMom has a great set up for weekly and daily tasks - but I think I need to invest some time in making myself a home management notebook customized for our family, and similar to what we had a the AFH.

How do you manage your job as a mom, wife, housekeeper, cook, laundress.......

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Time to hit the gym, or so it seems.

I don't speak Spanish, but my husband does, and uses it quite frequently. He works with native Spanish speakers one period a day at school, so his is quite fluent. Because I know him and his inflections, I can often pick up on what's being said.

So when I was walking in front of the two guys speaking it in the mall yesterday, I had a pretty good clue what was being said. And I wish I hadn't. It was the wrong day to hear "She's a little fat." I asked Chris to say that phrase in Spanish and confirmed it. I'm embarassed to admit that I went home and cried for a while.

Fortunately, I had upped my free membership at the Y where I work to an extended membership, allowing me access to the Y's closer to home for a few bucks a month. This was done in part for me, but also in part to allow Stinky to have somewhere to get his endless energy out - they have Mommy/Tot Aerobics classes! It looks like tomorrow I'll be working out, and thinking twice about the Laffy Taffy in the pumpkin jar.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Didn't Make It Monday-

Today is hectic. I'm exhausted. I am still working on my mother's wall hanging!

So, those of you who are still reading- What are you making, or have you made recently?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


It probably won't come as a surprise that I was a McCain supporter, but it wasn't an easy decision for me. Both candidates had pros and cons. In the end, Obama's record on abortion influenced me in favor of his opponent. Last night, I was impressed by "my" candidate's class and graciousness in defeat; an example was set for us all. Regardless of any disappointment I might have felt at the time, it was impossible not to feel the gravity what had just happened, and how November 4, 2008, will be a day our nation will remember forever.

This morning, as I watched a portion of President-Elect Obama's speech on the news, Stinky asked, "Who's that?" I was surprised to feel my voice catch in my throat when I answered "That's Barack Obama. He's going to be our next president." I am so grateful that my son will grow up in this time- where a President who isn't white isn't something that will happen "someday," and a woman was a Vice Presidential candidate from a political party that stood a legitmate chance. I am grateful that I live in the country where we get to vote not only for candidates, but also have a say on laws. I am grateful to know that these individuals do not have the final say in my happiness, nor are they the only voices that count.

I don't think anyone can deny that this is an exciting time to be an American.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Stinky's International Incident

We attend church in a meetinghouse with two other congregations. In this building are a Samoan congregation and a Spanish congregation. I remember walking into the building the first week after moving into our new home, and falling in love with the Primary childrens' voices singing in spanish. This week, however, I wasn't feeling the love.

After I picked Stinky up from Nursery at the end of all classes, WBH had to have a brief meeting. I decided a walk would probably wear him out enough for a nap. During the time Chris was in his meeting, Stinky managed to run through the Spanish congregation's Sunday School, and not once, but twice, did he make it onto the pulpit of the chapel where the Samoan congregation was preparing to meet. Upon reaching the top of the pulpit, he let out an ear-piercing scream. Remember, this was in the chapel a space designed for acoustics. Two times, folks, count 'em.

I finally caught him and left the chapel, tears filling my eyes as I was watched with glares and snickers. I found WBH and asked for the keys. When he asked what was wrong, all I could say was "Finish your meeting. I just need to have him strapped into his car seat and a tranquilizer dart." I'm still not sure who the tranquilizer dart was for.

I just hate feeling like 'that mom' with 'that kid.'

Today has been as much of a challenge, and while it may not have been in public, it did involve doggy destruction, several bodily fluids, and a refusal to nap. I thought about taking a picture for 'wordless Wednesday,' but most wouldn't be family friendly.

Monday, November 3, 2008

I'm Making It Monday: quilted mixed media nativity wall hanging- what a mouthful!

This is my mother's Christmas gift- in progress. I first traced the image (a coloring page I found on the internet and and enlarged), then painted by numbers. After gluing on the ribbon, I am now quilting through the ribbons to give more texture. Hand-quilting through three layers of fabric, batting, paint, ribbon and glue is not fun and leads to some sore fingers. But it looks so nice. I'm still deciding if I'll add embroidery to this around the blue border. After the 'internal' quilting is done, I'm adding a gold ribbon border next to the picture portion.

It's hard to tell in this picture, but I've quilted most of the area around Joseph. Oh, and the next time anyone hears me say "I had this idea for a really cool mixed media piece..." I want you to smack me right on the face.

I haven't been good about blogging. Last week was really busy prepping for Halloween, but I'll catch up this week. Tomorrow I'll fill you in on Stinky's "International Incident" at church. It's a doozy!