Tuesday, July 28, 2009

How we beat the heat for free...

Moving in sweltering heat isn't fun. Truthfully, neither is being a mommy. We've searched for the right size AC unit for our home, and hearing other people leave the stores saying things like "That's 6 stores now..." It's been a doozy of a week. We're surviving though. Here's what's working:
  • Siesta: I'm not just saying this for the yummy mexican food in my belly right now (thanks, Mom and Dad T!). Stinky has taken to napping mid day and I try to use the time to rest or get things done without an unhappy overheated child underfoot. Yes, sometimes he's up until midnight, but it's cooler then and we're all happier about it.
  • Put a crab in water: We have a big bathtub in the new place. At least, bigger than the almost non-existant tub in the rental. Cool baths seem to soothe a savage beast, no matter the age. Ditto the kiddie pool- it's not just for kiddies during a heat wave.
  • The Mall: It's not my favorite place to be, but it's air conditioned and has a playground. We ride escalators, I knit while Stinky plays, and we finish up the trip with McDonald's fifty-cent cones. Everyone wins!
  • See the Sea: Find your local body of water. Even if you can't get in, it's bound to feel better there. Throw someone in if you can- you'll feel better, I promise.
  • Finally, we're all trying to give eachother our space and be patient. It's hard not to get hard-headed in this weather. Take a break, take a breath, and stick your head in the freezer for a while.

Good luck to anyone else enduring this!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Inspiration, especially in this climate.

“Economy, prudence, and a simple life are the sure masters of need, and will often accomplish that which, their opposites, with a fortune at hand, will fail to do.”

Clara Barton

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thin Thursday: What the....

So, I quit Weight Watchers, remember?

As of this morning, I've bumped up my losses to 10 pounds. Perhaps it has something to do with having one less thing to stress about and less time to eat. Or all the extra moving from packing? Or less stress eating from waiting to close? Or a lack of appetite both from the heat and lack of junk in our house? The ridiculous amount of fluids I've been drinking because of the heat? Have I just melted away?

Could it be because I'm knitting more? This may sound silly, but I knit when I want to lose weight. You can eat while doing many crafts- knitting isn't one of them.

WBH has also lost some weight in the last few days, doing the fence building at the new place and downing water like a mad man. I don't know what it is that's done it, but I'll take it. I'm really happy with this development and am going to work on keeping it up.

By the way, you guys rock on the recipe thing! Thank you so much! It looks like we'll have a stove sooner than expected, but I will without a doubt be trying the recipes and books you've suggested. You are awesome!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

What's for dinner (and lunch, and breakfast?)

Now that we've finally closed on the house, I feel a small amount of anxiety growing in my stomach. Remember how our offer was accepted way back at the end of May? We assumed we wouldn't have too many problems, and we'd have a month's overlap in our rental home to get things ready. Instead, we had problem after problem, and we have ten days.

We're moving into a home with no appliances and a kitchen that needs an overhaul. We've got a washer and dryer, so our bodies will be covered with clean clothes. We have a chest freezer that's about half-way full (though most of that is OtterPops - the Costco pack lasts forever!). We have a barbecue and can borrow a dorm-sized refrigerator. We also have have a microwave, crock pot, griddle, bread machine and rice cooker.

So, like always, food is on my mind. I'm turning to you. Have you got a favorite slow cooker/no-cook/ microwave meal? This may turn into a series for August- 'a cook with no kitchen,' perhaps?

Monday, July 20, 2009

54 days later...

We own a home. Well, technically I suppose we own a loan. Nevertheless, we're so ever-loving excited!

I Made it Monday/De-Stashing Month: two projects

Sometimes making the effort to use only what's in your stash can lead to some ugly stuff (see sweater). I was sure it would be nasty when I wanted to knit a washcloth, and had only these two colors in cotton. Fortunately,it's growing on me. It reminds me of cherry limeade. I could really go for a cherry limeade right now... Anyway, if I hate it eventually, I'm only using it to clean with. This is my first time working up this ballband dishcloth pattern. I really like it. Much easier than it looks, it becomes very rythmic and is a great project to do while watching a kid play in the yard.

Now, here we have the project where I spent some money. It's all out of the change box, still, and that box is still heavy with coins. I spent $2.50 on the seashell buttons for these cards, a gift for my new sister-in-law. I also spent $3.30 on some good quality glue for the buttons, but that's a crafting must-have and the bottle is huge enough to last forever. I've already used it on another project!

One gift-giving thought: Thank-you notes are a great bridal shower gift, and the one I usually give. When I received a set, I was so grateful for the thoughtful person who put postage on all of the envelopes for me. It's nice to have one less thing to thing about while you're setting up a home and adjusting to married life.
What are you creating (crafty or otherwise) this week?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Inspiration: Faithful and Fearless

"Noble and great. Courageous and determined. Faithful and fearless. That is who you are and who you have always been. And understanding it can change your life, because this knowledge carries a confidence that cannot be duplicated any other way."

Sheri Dew

Friday, July 17, 2009

Looking for a Good Time?

It's derby weekend! Come check us out!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Thin Thursday: a change

Somehow, somewhere, sometime, something's got to give.

There's a lot going on in our life right now, and Clyde's injury this week pushed things over the edge. I'll be cancelling weightwatchers. It's not a choice I'm thrilled about, though there is that moment of "AWESOME! Let's get KFC!" No, I'd love to be doing it and doing it successfully.

However, we just signed the documents finalizing the purchase of a home, which will require work and time, and money. Incidentally, our mortgage payment goes up in almost the exact amount I'd be paying for Weight Watchers. We also have this wonderful dog who will likely need surgery on one if not both of his knees in the long run, and that won't come cheap. Nor will the doctor's bills we may incur when we try for another child, if my body needs the assistance Finally, I wasn't being successful on it. I would weigh in, then sit in the meetings, silently berating myself.

I'm not giving myself permission to eat unhealthfully, or to let myself go. I will continue to make healthy changes. I just can't commit the money or emotions to that program right now. I have more thoughts on this, but I'll get to those later. I hope your Thursday is going well.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

"this was a fun day, mommy"

Dear Stinky,

I said 'yes' a lot yesterday. Saturday, at Uncle Bubba's wedding and reception, there were too many 'no's. So when we arrived at the coast, I practiced my yes-es. Enjoy your first time in the ocean fully clothed. Blow bubbles in it. Throw mud. Splash us , jump on skimboards and be the wild man that makes me crazy. You can't do much wrong running around the beach. Write in the sand with sticks, and carry feathers and dismembered crab legs as your beloved treasure. Chase me pretending to be a pirate and knock me in the water.
What surprised me most was that when I needed to say no, you listened. We got you, daddy, and me into dry clothes and liberally applied the hand sanitizer. Then, you snuggled and whispered "this was a fun day."
Yes, Stinky. Yes, it was a fun day. We will say 'yes' more often.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Worried about NoNuts

That galloping blur in the picture is NoNuts earlier today at the beach. After we returned home, he was trying to do a handstand to get off of his hind legs. We've given him bufferin (ok'ed by the vet techs) and we're taking him to the vet in the morning. Positive thoughts and prayers would be appreciated.

I Made It Monday: Fail

If I'm going to show the awesome things I've done with no money spent, I have to share the flops, right? It was supposed to be a pull-over to cardigan conversion on a sweater that never fit me very well. It was converted. It is not pretty. I learned in the process, though. First, I need to cut the same size binding as I do for a quilt, and second, V-necks aren't a great option for this. So I'm wondering what else a sweater can become to rescue this terrible project. A stuffed animal? A pillow cover? Heaven forbid, a kleenex cozy?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Overheard at our House: Song

Stinky, singing: "I like my mommy. She's not mean. She's not rude. She's nice. She sings to me. I like white cheese. I like orange cheese. I like green things like Shrek. And Fiona."

Friday, July 10, 2009

Pensive Morning

I'm asking myself a lot of questions today.
Do I say "Yes" enough to Stinky, or is it too often "not now?" Are there too many kiddie gates in his life, literal and figurative? Are they for his safety or my convenience? Am I too plugged in and not connected enough? What decisions are making me happy, and which ones are making me entirely too stressed out? Will the pressure I have been feeling this week finally wear off after closing on the house and my brother's wedding are done? Have I made too many committments? Or do I just need to be committed?

I want to be the mom in the picture more often- connected, in the moment, happy. I think I've been focusing on some of the wrong things. Too much Martha, not enough Mary. Lots to think about.
I'm so blessed to have my family; WBH and Stinky are the best parts of everything. Am I doing enough for them, or am I too focused on my own pursuits?
Sorry for the emo. We now return to your regularly scheduled programming.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Thin Thursday: crap.

What do you do, when you have done everything right? When you have tracked, when you have worked out, when you have pushed fluids and gotten enough sleep (for the first time in a long while)? When you have done everything you know is right and STILL you gain weight?

You pray it's hormones and get a small fries. Then you track those points, too, and move forward.

Here's hoping for a better week next time. Craft pic tomorrow. I spent money for the first time this month.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

De-Stashing Month: Baby Booties

I'm extra proud of these booties because I worked out the pattern myself. It's ridiculously simple, and if you know three stitches- knit, knit two together, and bind off- you can do it. I'll add the pattern if anyone is interested, comment and let me know.
These are great stash busters, as they require very little yarn. Add two pink pairs that I've finished since taking this picture. Two links related to this post: CraftHope , which I just can't say enough good things about. These booties, along with a few from my sister's hands, are being sent to her for the Indian orphanage. The yarn for the green and pink booties is from Smart Monkey, which recycles yarn from old sweaters, and sells it at Tacoma Farmer's Market, the Fremont Market and on Etsy at some great prices.
What's your latest crafty endeavor?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

We Need You!

Dockyard Derby Dames is in need of a few good men and women. We rely on our wonderful volunteers to keep our bouts running, and we'd love to add you to our ranks. Volunteers get in to watch the bouts for free, as well as dinner, catered by Three Chicks Catering in Tacoma, and the undying gratitude of the dames. Can you help? This makes for a great date night, or a good guys/girls night out. Comment if you're interested in helping out, we need you!

Monday, July 6, 2009

I Made it Monday: Letter Magnets

message left for me by WBH this morning
This project topped my list of de-stashing projects. Wanting letter magnets, but not the kind with tiny, health-hazard magnets, I bought two sheets of magnet paper, then traced 2 sets of the alphabet and numbers, plus an additional two sets of vowels onto each. When cutting them out, please use cheap scissors, because it really does a number on them. I finished by painting them with acrylic paints. An hour of sitting in a sunny spot later, they were ready for the fridge. Stinky really enjoys them- and I enjoyed waking up to this message!

With some magnet paper leftover, I created a magnet by modge-podging a postcard I liked to the magnet paper. Other de-stashing projects this weekend include a pullover-to-cardigan conversion, and some knit baby booties for CraftHope , with a pattern I developed myself. Pictures soon!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Sunday Inspiration

"There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living. "

Nelson Mandela

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Thin Thursday: Late again

This week was a rough one. Stinky started the meeting two weeks ago by yelling at me, and we left ten minutes later, when he decided to steal Weight Watcher's food and slap me when I made him take it back. (The twos are going to kill me). I didn't get much out of the meeting. WBH is teaching one last week of summer school, and Stinky will be attending summer school with his dad while I attend meetings, and then the two guys get to hang out together after next week. I was up .4 this week. Not really a big deal. I wasn't fantastic about tracking, and it's hot, which can lead to water retention. Sitting in glorious solitude in this week's meeting, we discussed ways to get through today's festivities. Three things my leader mentioned really stuck out to me, and helped me get through today. First, she said that one member had an idea that she loved (and if she endorses it, I'll jump on the wagon!), where on holidays and holidays ONLY, she counts all fruits and veggies as 0-point foods, and fills up on them. I hit the watermelon hard today!

She suggested that we consider switching the day our points reset to Saturdays. Many events are on Saturdays, and having the weekly points all available to you at the start of the weekend can keep you from going crazy. I switched it today, and I'm proud to say that I only used 10.5 weekly points today, minus those fruits and veggies that don't count on holidays.

Finally, she shared a cake recipe, low in points and SO good. I made this for our celebrations today, and it's just too good not to share.

1 can (12 oz) of diet soda ( colas or root beer for chocolate, lemon-lime for a light cake)
1 cake mix- I used cherry chip.

Mix and bake as directed. Simple, right? The cake is pretty dense and oh so yummy. For the frosting, I mixed a container of fat-free, sugar-free cool whip with a sugar-free package of white chocolate pudding. I spread that over the cake and covered it with halved strawberries. One 8th of the cake and frosting is 6, If you divide it by 12 (like cupcakes!), it's just 4 points. It's so yummy.

I hope your 4th has been amazing! I'm hacking away at my de-stashing crafts. What are you up to today?