Monday, August 31, 2009

Last Hurrah Week: Kicking the Binky Habit.

Someone in our house is binky-free. This morning, Stinky threw them all ceremoniously in the trash can. To celebrate, we made a day of it. Lunch, riding escalators, Build-A-Bear and ice cream. Now, Sir Bananas will help him sleep at night instead of binkies.

Originally, when we asked him what he'd name the monkey, he said something sounding remarkably like "Sir Dead." We changed that quickly.

Also for today- we got a new sofa! Combined with the free TV armoire from Craigslist, we're starting to shape up quite nicely around here. Pictures are being hung, it's looking like home.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

200th post giveaway!!!

Hooray for the 200th post! Thanks for reading, everyone. To thank you, I've got not just one, but two give aways for you. One winner will receive a blue patterned w/red lining key loop. Another will receive the hand-embroidered tea towel with dried dandilions pattern. Though it's one of the easiest patterns I've done in a while, they're some of my favorites, and I think well-suited to the end of summer.

Here's the catch: To enter, I'd love you to head over to my ridiculously talented sister-in-law's etsy shop, Ordered Chaos , and comment here with which wand you like best. Easy cheesy. Winners will be announced Friday.

We're ending WBH's summer break with a last-hurrah week. We've got so much crammed into this week, it's not even funny. Looking forward to sharing with you!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Sunday Inspiration

We must make the choices that enable us to fulfill the deepest capacities of our real selves.

Thomas Merton

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

chocolate covered apples

What do you do when your kid is all kinds of in your face and you don't feel great? Let the kid help you make dessert. Then find out your husband has ordered pizza for dinner. I'm pretty sure it will help you feel better.
Gather the supplies: chocolate chips, glass bowl, washed and de-stemmed apples, other fixin's.

Stab your apples.

Bring water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Set the bowl on top of the pot. Stir chips until melted, then coat your apple.

Call in your kid and let them shake the crap out of a sprinkles container. It will make them happy. Yes, this picture is out of order.

The best way I found to coat them was to twist and smooth the chocolate on. It sounds sexy and looks pretty.

Add your choice of fixins. Chill in the fridge until you want to eat them, at least 30 minutes.
Die of sugar shock.

Have a great weekend!

See, I promised there'd be something cuter than my complaints in the morning.

Stinky at my brother's weddding. The photographer told him to smile at the monkey in the camera. When he finished taking the picture, he'd turn the camera around and say "look at that monkey! What a cute monkey!"

don't judge me for the frequency of my sweatpants

In the first year we were married, I was diagnosed with a chronic pain condition. It was a pretty ugly time and I wasn't always very nice to be around. During my pregnancy and since Stinky's birth I hadn't had too many problems to speak of, until this month. It crept up on me and hit me hard.

It's frustrating to deal with now, as a mom- very different from being married with no kiddo. With WBH being home for the summer, it is probably the best possible time for this to happen, but I hate leaving so many things on him. He's already working so hard on the house. I've also been unable to skate, which has really been a drag.

It's hard for me to ask for help. I like to pretend I can handle everything on my own. I don't like feeling useless and I don't like being unreliable, but that's how I feel. I miss having energy. I miss being able to do things without worrying if there will be any physical consequences later on. I don't know why I'm posting this, but I need to get it out there. I guess some prayers would be appreciated. I don't mean to be a downer. I'll post the world's cutest kid picture in the morning, promise.

Oh, and one more thing. A joint symptom with the pain is some bloating. Isn't that an ugly word, bloating? It sounds exactly like what it defines. I'm downing fluids all day long, working on this. Anyway, if you see me in public wearing sweatpants a little too often, please don't judge.

It's that or maternity pants.

Monday, August 24, 2009

I Made it Monday: Fabric Key Chain

I got something similar to this at a craft fair recently, and I just love it. It's much easier to find my keys in my bag now, or If I don't want to take the bag, it slips easily onto my wrist. This one is for my mom. I 'd guess it cost about $3 in materials, but I already had most of them on hand. I spent $2.50 to get the hardware at JoAnns, and it comes in sets of two.
Tutorial at the always awesome U Create. I'd suggest adding maybe an inch and a half to the strap than what she suggests if the person you're making it for doesn't have small wrists, otherwise it may be tight to get past the hand.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sunday Inspiration: Choice

The strongest principle of growth lies in human choice.

George Eliot

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Farmers Market - can't say enough good things about it!

It's hands-down one of our favorite places to go during the summer and early fall. Stinky is usually really good. We start our trips off with a ride on the trolley, which makes it feel like an 'event' rather than just a trip to the store.
Today was pretty hot, and he held still so well for the face painting, we decided a shaved ice was in order. We split it three ways quite happily. Other favorite treats there include the pretzels, and fresh kettle corn. We also made our way into the Children's Museum, which opens for free on market days.
I've mentioned that Stinky will usually eat the veggies we let him pick out. Today he wanted garlic and scallopped squash. He also managed to get us a free lemon cucumber just for usign his nice manners with the farmers there.
We ended the trip by picking up some flowers for one of WBH's home teaching families. The bouquets you can pick up there are really something, especially when you look at the size you get for the price. The seller gave stinky a spare stem, and he ran with it to the nearest lady, yelling "You want to smell my flower?!"
Back on the trolley, we chatted with one of the street performers. She plays the violin every week, saving money for a bible college in England that she hoped to attend in the fall of 2010. Stinky ran out of good behavior mid-trolley ride, but when you're angelic for two hours, that can happen.
By the way, I picked up some leeks today, something I've been meaning to try. I plan to cook them with some chicken tomorrow night. Anyone else have any suggestions?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Oh, No

My child is going to be smarter than me. It makes me ill just to think about it, but it is absolutely true, and it's going to happen sooner than I thought. Perhaps he'll become an attorney, because he finds every loophole possible.

Example: The other day at the playground, I told him it was time to go. I asked him to say goodbye, meaning to his playmates. He ran from me to the top of the structure, turned to smile and me and waved. "Bye!"

Monday, August 17, 2009

I Made it Monday: Embroidery

Embroidery kept my hands busy while on our trip- These two dishtowels were the result. The patterns are Kurt Halsey and The Black Apple from Sublime Stitching . Check out the gallery link - it's bursting with inspiration and surprises. I found an apron that was stitched for me for a swap posted here. I love that apron so much. Oh, and the towels themselves are from Ikea- breaking the bank at a whopping $.49 a peice. Not spectacular quality, but they work quite well.

It struck me, as I finished the little girls' hair, how much stress is in every stitch I make. Whatever the craft is, when I'm done I'm always surprised how much lighter they are than what I expect. It feels as though they should weigh more for all the daily stresses I drop into them.
I'm coming up on my 200th post here soon- look out, there will be a giveaway.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sunday Inspiration: Vital Things

“We live in a time when we can do more, have more, see more, accumulate more, and want more than in any time ever known. The adversary would keep us busily engaged in a multitude of trivial things in an effort to keep us distracted from the few vital things that make all of the difference.”

-Ardeth Kapp

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Stinky's New Favorite!

I used this to enter a contest sponsored by the farmer's market. We baked a bunch of these muffins to take on the trip with us. Enjoy!!

Stinky has recently becoma picky eater. Evidence of this is the newly developed habit of licking, but refusing to eat, his food. Hoping to add vegetables into his diet, I took him with me to the Broadway market. I had read a suggestion to take a picky eater shopping for food with you. The idea being that if you make shopping for fruits and vegetables a fun experience, and a child will eat what they’ve chosen. There isn’t a better place for this than a farmers market.

Stinky pulled me from one stall to the next, trying to get his tiny hands into whatever he could. When faced with the question “Should we take that home to eat?” he’d quickly respond “No!” and move on to the next table. We repeated the experience with beets, carrots, and leeks, before he yelled “I want a giant squid!” A giant squid? I’m all for variety, but I’m not up for cooking calamari in my kitchen. Beyond that, no one was selling squid. “Where do you see that?”

“There!” he shouted, pointing a finger at a table. We walked over and he pointed again, but it became clear when his hands reached the 18 inch squash. “I want this giant squid, mommy.”

“That’s squash, kiddo,” I said. “Is that what you want? You want to try eating giant squash?”

“Yes, giant squash,” he agreed.

“Okay, you pick it.” He chose a large zucchini. I handed him the money and he paid the seller proudly. Later that night, our giant ‘squid’ took two forms- sautéed, and shredded in muffins. Though the former was refused after two bites (not licks), the muffins were a big success. “This is so yummy,” Stinky said as he bit into the muffin.

Maybe someday the kid will like calamari, but for now, two bites of a ‘giant squid’, and several crammed mouthfuls of zucchini muffin are more than enough for me to call our trip to the Farmer’s Market a success…and me a happy mom.

'Giant Squid' Muffins

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients and divide into 24 greased muffin cups and cook for 30 minutes, or until tester inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on rack for 10 minutes.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

There's No Place Like Home

We are home, and I'm glad to be back. I've written and rewritten this post, trying to be positive, narrative, expressive, and it's not easy.

The trip was hard. We came home to more hard stuff. It's not terribly ugly, and our family is and will be fine. It's just stuff that we have to ride out. Everything is fine, but it's not easy.

We learned that you don't trust a hotel just for the name of it. That when you pack more food than you think you need, you still probably need more. That Stinky loves zucchini muffins.

Just before we left I saw a news piece on a family who had been homeless but a motel opened up a room for them to stay in until they got on their feet again. All five of them. I am so grateful we have a home and don't have to live in a single hotel room, even with just the three of us.

The good was that we hit the pool a lot, and I got lots of embroidering in, which translates into most of two tea-towels, and I look forward to starting "I Made it Monday" up again. Will write more tomorrow- I've got a recipe for you, Stinky's new fave.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Sunday Inspiration: Work

"Work is love made visible."

Khalil Gibran

This one is more for my own reference than anything else and is shamelessly stolen from Are So Happy. She put it underneath a picture of a lovely and clean sink and now I feel like I need to clean. Now I'll have to sign off and pre-vacation clean.

Darn her and Khalil Gibran.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Disconnecting, again

We're off on a small trip starting Sunday, and I'm disconnecting until we get back. WBH has a conference on the other side of the mountains, and Stinky and I get to tag along. We'll be exploring Yakima and enjoying the hotel swimming pool. We might see if we can find some u-pick place, and I hear there's a skating rink not too far out of town, so we may try that as well.

Anyone have any suggestions for trips with toddlers? This isn't our first trip away, but he's so mobile and able to express discontent, when compared to the beach house trips, that I'm a little nervous.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

I Made It: Not Monday

It's a little embarassing.
In two weeks, I became obsessed with knit dishcloths. The ones in the picture are just the ones I kept during that time! There are four more that I gave as thank-you gifts. Apart from their usefulness, dishcloths very satisfying as a project: pretty, mindless, and something you can finish in a day. There's something about the clicking of needles that's soothing when you're surrounded by boxes, or driving to pick up appliances, or unable to get off the couch because you're waiting for your kid to throw up again. Besides, you'll have to use a towel or a rag to do a job you don't want to anyway. I like to think that maybe there's something just a teeny bit more pleasant about doing the job with the hand-knits.
I'm a little burnt out on them, now. I've gone back to embroidery for a while. Looking forward to sharing the results on Monday!

Monday, August 3, 2009


We had our internet hooked up this morning. We survived the move and subsequent cleaning in the heatwave as well as a violently ill kid, which really should warrant an emergency state. One day I bent over and thanked NoNuts just for staying out of the way. I have learned a lot this week.

I learned that WBH loves me more than I can imagine, for tolerating my grumpiness in the heat and chaos, and for sending me away to a craft fair during Stinky's stomach flu. I learned to read Stinky's pre-vomiting cues well enough to enable me to save the floor. Sort of. I learned that I am a maker, and I don't like going a day without working on creating something. I became pretty addicted to those silly knit washclothes while waiting to be a puke-catcher.

I learned why some moms steal their children's ritalin. It seemed that ther wasn't enough Dr. Pepper in the world last weekend. Moving, a heatwave, and a sick two-year-old: These are things that are difficult enough on their own. Doing them concurrently? Well, it isn't for sissies.

I learned that I am so blessed by both the family I was born into and the family I married into. Without everyone's help, this move wouldn't have happened. I learned that I need solo time more than I knew I did. It lets me clear my head and refreshes me.

I learned that a home is defined my its inhabitants. I liked our rental a lot. It's just three blocks away, and I drove past it the other day. It looks sort of lifeless now. Our new home, while it still has that uninhabited for a year smell and isn't what we plan for it to be, feels alive, nurturing. She's a sweet old lady, and I'm happy she's ours.