Sunday, June 28, 2009


The potty training is going well with Jacob. He is getting the hang of things and I hope soon he will be able to tell me before he needs to go. Now he recognizes when he's going but we go to the potty every hour or so and haven't had any accidents recently.

I told Jake we would get him a new movie and I realized that it would be rediculous to spend money on a new movie when I have a boxful in the garage that he has not seen yet. So I have decided to move onward with life and stop being on hold waiting for the house to sell. I went to the garage and grabbed our box of movies and pulled out Finding Nemo - he is in the middle of watching it now and I think it will be our new favorite for a while. Brian and I might actually watch some movies too. I also grabbed a box of Jakes old books so Abby will have some baby books to play with too.

On with life. No more hold.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Mystery Itch

So on Wednesday evening I was cooking dinner and my back started to itch. I scratched it and then it REALLY itched. This went on for 20 minutes...I would resist scratching as long as humanly possible until I couldn't stand it any more and scratched. Eventually it went away but later my legs, then my arms, then my stomach, then my feet all would itch constantly and at random intervals. I went to bed hoping it would be gone in the morning. I scratched my feet all night long. When I got up I showered and that's when I noticed I had a fine rash all over my body. Not gross or bumpy but almost like a mild, mottled sunburn. I put some cortizone cream on my feet (they were what was itching at the time). That did little to help. I called the Nurse Hotline and they reccomended a baking soda bath and an antihistimene and to watch for more serious symptoms. I did ok for the day and by evening the rash was better but I still itched. I took an antihistimene before bed and I feel a little better this morning. There are still some really itchy spots (like the bottom's of my feet - weird) and the rash is mostly gone. I have no clue what could have caused this as I don't have any known allergies and I don't think I ate anything new that day. Didn't garden or get into anything unfamiliar. No new medication. I am sure it had to be an allergic reaction of some kind but to what I have no clue and I wish I did because I would like to avoid this feeling again at all costs. Whatever it was was not contagious as neither of the children or Brian has had the issue and we have hugged and snuggled eachother so I am sure I reacted to something but I don't know what.
Anyway, all is well, just had to share my little mystery.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Catching up from Camping plus Potty Training Trials

Ok so last week we went camping...we got home on Friday so, here is a bit of an update on what I've been up to during that time.

On Saturday morning we got up and hit the road. I think we were rolling by 7am. We stopped at a rest stop and got the kids dressed and in dry diapers. Brian and I swapped seats and we were off again. By lunch time we arrived at the campsite and started to pitch our tent. Man that thing was a monster. 9x17 feet. Don't get me wrong I LOVED having the space but it is definitely a 2-3 man job to set it up. the best feature of the tent is that it has a hinged door on one side - a total life saver when you are toting a baby around. By the time we got set up and unloaded we were dying hot and so we immediatly got changed into shorts. Don't really remember much more of the first day other than hanging at the campsite...oh, and we went swimming too. Abby's first time in the pool! She loved it...her brother wasn't so sure (never has been).
We hung out on the lawn after dinner and had a grand ol' time...The only bummer was that we didn't have a need to use a fire pit at these sites and ours didn't it was too windy anyway.
The next morning we all got up and had breakfast...Jake getting ready to head out of the tent in his jammies with his shades on because "a sun's too bite 'or my eyes, Mommy"
At this point my days pretty much start to run together. On Monday (day 3 into our trip) I got the wonderful surprise of starting my period for the first time in 3 1/2 years...Joy. I was not able to go swimming from that point on but that meant I had someone to be sure to get pics!

By the last day we were in the pool Jake let us float him by long as he didn't know you had completely let go.
Jake had the 2nd ice cream cone in his lifetime thus far and really enjoyed it.
One of the days after getting out of the pool we had lunch and then kids decided they wanted to run around on the lawn through the was a lot of fun and quite nostalgic to watch them.
Another day Grandpa took Jake and Eve out on his boat...they really loved it and did not want to get off when we docked...until we got to the sno-cone stand.Guess what color Jake picked?
Another evening Brian and I took Jake and Abby to the miniature golf course so Brian could teach Jake how to play golf (Jake had been saying for days "Daddy teach me play golf" it was adorable). Jake even had his own club that we brought with us (I bought it for him shortly after we found out we were having a boy).
I cant remember if he is trying to 'read the putt' or yell at the ball in this picture...he was so darned cute when the ball didn't go in he would say "no, no, no" and then go pick up the ball, set it about 3 inches from the hole and hit it in. I think its funny he didn't do what I expected him to do and just put it in the hole with his hands. While Jacob did not win the day, he did beat Brian on at least one hole.
One of the days we tried to keep up with giving Abby the opportunity to try 'solid' food and for the first time she actually ate it! Not only that but look at that bib! That is at the end of her meal and she was eating sweet potato...that tongue thrust reflex is finally gone! Now we all eat 'real' food at meals!
Another cute one of Abby - She napped in her playpen in the shade and she kept her legs pulled up until she was very deeply asleep - it was rather adorable.I think it was on Wednesday that I went hunting for a geocache up at Dry Falls in Sun Lakes State Park. It was a wonderful hike and climb. See that tiny dark spot near the center of the photo just to the right of the large cliff? that was where we headed to. More than I was expecting to do but so very glad I did it. My friend Krista came with me (she is my sister-in-law's sister and comes camping with the family every year). She took some pics of me that I need to get that I will post at another time. But basically we hiked to a lava tube and crawled through it into a collapsed lava bubble. We climbed up and out of that to stand on top for a spectacular view and then looked for the cache. We did not find it but found the only place it possibly could have been. I have not yet checked the geocaching website to see if it was removed intentionally or not. I left a note in the spot and we headed on back.On Thursday we went to Dry Falls as is a tradition with us. It is a massive dry waterfall and I reccomend ya'll go check out the history sometime, it is amazing.While we were there I found a geocache. Actually I should say Brian found it. It was the first thing he saw and we kept looking because it was so inconspicuous. But after we came back to it and looked closer at it we realized it was a microcache, not a standard geocache. We logged our names and put it back. Spoiler pic to follow so don't look if you are ever gonna search for this one.See that bolt looking thing? that was it. when pulled out there was a capsule on the end that contained a small scroll of paper.
One morning the kids were restless - I brought Abby to bed with us. Shortly thereafter Jake woke up so I put him in bed too...I curled up on the end of the bed with his blanket. It was not too bad and I think I even dozed back off for a while.
Thursday evening we packed up as much as we could and on Friday morning we got up and totally broke camp and headed out. Per tradition we stopped in the nearest town and filled the gas tank and had McDonalds breakfast. Driving back home was harder on us. Brian and I were very tired. He drove the first bit and I napped for a bit until I noticed he had his window down in an effort to stay awake. I tried to talk to him to keep him engaged until we stopped at the Thorp Antique and fruit stand, again per tradition. We wandered the antique mall (I saw a pair of hand cards for 20bucks. I would have been all over them if I didn't already have a pair...I should have bought them for my friend Andrew though now that I think about it. Oh well). Then we walked around the fruit stand part of the place and I picked up some apple butter. Jake was allowed to pick his own snack and much to our surprise he walked right past the many flavors of kettle corn and went straight for the apples. He ate more than half of it too. I took over driving from there. I stopped at a rest stop about 20 miles down the road to feed Abby and change diapers and then we hit the highway again. Thank goodness for iPod's man. It was a really long drive home and it was overcast or raining most of the way.
I think once we were home we pretty much crashed. I know at one point I took a shower and while I did that Brian unloaded the van (I was thrilled!) I pretty much igorned putting anything away for several days though. I did get through the laundry and I worked here and there at putting stuff away.
From the day we got home we put Abby in her crib in Jake's room and she has been sleeping there ever since. I have only had to get up in the middle of the night once to settle her back down. Now we work on getting her to go down at a scheduled bed time.
On Saturday we went to Eldon's 5th Birthday party. It was a lot of fun (even if it meant eating yet more BBQ). Here is the birthday boy with his favorite gift (grandma and grandpa always nail it)
That's a fishing pole in case you can't tell from the pic. He was just elated and thankfully there was not only a lake stocked with rainbow trout in the park but Walmart was across the street so they were able to get him a fishing liscense as soon as he was done opening his gifts.
There was a HUGE playground too and Jake had a ball on that.
How's that for a goofy look? So we have been settled in and Jake has been really liking his sister a lot lately and one night he decided that he really needed to be the one to feed her......until she reached up and grabbed his hair - then he was done with her. So I took over from there. He has been just loving sharing a room with her too. When I bring him to bed he says "need Abby" it is so cute.
The other major undertaking we have been trying since being home (well, since Monday) is we are potty training. We just went straight to underwear in the hopes that he will be more inclined to notice than if he is in a pull up. We did potty sits every 1/2 hour the first day and didn't manage to make it in the potty once. Day two was pretty much the same except by dinner time when he started to go he would say "oh no!" so he is starting to recognize what is going on (instead of making a puddle and ignoring it). Yesterday he went in the potty once on one of our hourly potty sits and then not at all again until after his nap (when he was wearing a pull up - come on people there is only so much laundry I can handle and I am already majorly handicapped in that area). We had one accident after dinner and then moved to a diaper and jammies. Today is Grandpa day, so we'll see how he does - I think I'll send him in pull ups just in case. Between him and the cat I am so tired of cleaning up pee I can't even stand it although Jake is better than the cat at this point (for some reason she gets her front half in the catbox but not her back half). Jake has been telling me his potty hurts him and when he gets up his little thighs have some serious red marks on them so I do believe him. He will try out the potty at Grandpa's today and if he isn't bothered by it we'll get him one of those (ours is a 10 yr old hand me down).
Well this post is long enough. Until next time folks.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Busy busy

It has been a very busy couple of days. So here are the basics. Tuesday night Brian and I watched some TV and I sat and spun and spun and spun until I had finally finished my cotton singles. I was a little sore from spinning for so long but so be it. I don't think I'll be doing cotton again any time soon. I wanted to learn about the fiber but I think I simply enjoy wool more and I don't really like to knit with cotton that much (I make wash rags with it - that's about it). When I got up on Wednesday I Navajo-plyed the singles and got about 57 yards of naturally colored cotton. Then I put a pot of water on the stove to boil and dropped the cotton in to set the twist. I was surprised at how much color was left in the water. I guess I assumed that because it was naturally colored that there would not be any color in the water (then again grass is naturally green and if I boil that the water will turn green too...). Boiling it also darkened the yarn slightly (again that is counter intuitive to the color seeping into the water, but I guess that's the way it works). This will be a washcloth as that is really the only thing I do with cotton.

After doing that Jake and I played for a bit and I got my sewing room cleaned up...I really should have taken before and after pics cuz it was a disaster. I decided to 'go shopping' in my fiber bin to see what I want to spin next. I decided on a pencil roving I bought from the Crown Mountain Farms booth at Madrona. Here is a picture from the web site but mine has more orange in it.I grabbed that, some empty bobbins, my lazy kate and they plying head for the wheel and brought them down. I got the plying head put on so I could ply the singles that I had been working on from the roving that Brian brought home for me one night. Some of you know that story and the rest will just have to wonder. I started plying but was not making a dent at all in the singles bobbins. It was very similar to the knitting black hole in which you measure your knitting and get say, 3 inches and then you knit for an hour and still have 3 inches...yeah, that black hole. Same with the singles: treadle and treadle and treadle and NO progress seems to be made. I gave up for a while to tend to the kids and visit with my friend. We decided to make a run to the store and pick up stuff for dinner. We ended up making a chicken fettuccini with a tomato cream sauce from the Williams-Sonoma cook book. It was simple and fabulous. It didn't hurt that we made fresh pasta for the dish. After the kids were in bed we started watching a movie. 'Zack and Miri Make a Porno.' It was funny and sweet. Very graphic as you might assume from the title (really? there are naked people bumpin' uglies in a movie with a title like that? who would have thunk it?) Anyway while we watched I plyed. and plyed. Then Brian got home and started watching the movie and we started it over for him so he could see the whole thing. I plyed and plyed and plyed. When I finally stood up I thought my legs were going to fall off. I probably should have gotten the clue when I started using the wheel as a single treadle - trading off legs. I still wasn't done yet by the time the movie was over. I think I plyed for 3 hours straight.
Thursday morning Brian got up and went to work early (yes he's ambitious but for 2 reason's besides that 1. We are going on vacation for a week - he needs to be all set to go for that and 2. the real reason - Abby, who I pulled into bed with us when she woke up and wouldn't go back to sleep sometime before the sun was up - kept reacing over at him and her nails were long enough to scratch him. I swear I just cut those. I feel like I cut them twice a week and they just grow like gangbusters). Anyway I was having one of those really rare mornings that I get to sleep in a little then BANG! At first I thought what I heard was a gunshot. Then I looked out my window and couldn't see anything so I looked to see what the time was - No power! Then I knew it was a blown transformer that caused the noise. I got up and called the power company and they sent someone out. I got up and got the kids up (what, you think they were going to sleep through that noise?) and settled in for some milk and grahm crackers (our standard morning fair). Then I plyed and plyed and saw the light at the end of the bobbin. I plyed some more and finished the singles! Yay! I am happy I only had a little bit left over on one of the bobbins. So here are the singles now a 2 ply. I will ply one more time from the inside and outside of a centerpull ball to get a chain plyed yarn.

I was worried that I was not going to have enough room on the bobbin but it fit fine. After breakfast we got dressed and mowed the front and back lawns. That was work but it was also kinda nice too...glad I did it before the sun came out though. When I put the lawnmower away I figured I was in the garage, I may as well haul out the camping gear we are going to I got that all pulled out and into the house. I fed Abby and Jake had a snack and we headed out to WalMart to get a few things for the camping trip. Once we got home we had lunch and Jake had a nap. While I was up in his room I got all of the kids clothed out and dug out the swim diapers, air mattress and other bedding for the trip. I fed Abby again (these kids keep wanting food, like several times a day - sheesh) and then got all of the kids clothes sorted and folded and put into the camping pile. I decided I was exhausted and should rest while the kids were sleeping. So just as I give myself permission to drift off the phone rings. Damn. Good thing I didn't get too far into sleep mode since it was a realtor wanting to show the house - Yay! But now I had to bust my ass to clean not only the standard shit but I had all the camping gear to deal with too. Short version is I tossed most of the camping gear in the car and got my house cleaned up. I had my friend come over and help me move the old mattress out of the hallway and into the garage (yeah, I know we got the new mattress a week ago - what's your point?) I finished with the house about 5 minutes into the window for the agent to show up and headed out with the kids to meet up with Brian at the used bookstore. We wandered there for about a half an hour and then decided to have dinner at the teriyaki joint right next door. Finally home for a little sit down. I was pretty beat by the end of the evening.
Now I still have a buttload of crap to do for the trip. So today I am going to spend the day cleaning out the van (vacuuming and all of that) packing and I think I still have a few things to pick up from the store that I managed to forget. I would like to finish plying my yarn but I don't know if I am going to get to that. Now Jake would like some strawberries, so I am off to cut some up...

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Who needs A/C

Sooo for a while now the A/C on the van has been acting up (not blowing cold - unless your moving so red lights were unbearable during that heatwave we had a few weeks back). Anyway I finally took it in to the dealership to have them look at it (mind you this entailed both children's carseats having to be moved to the courtesy shuttle - I am really glad we didn't wait around for them to do it cuz we would have been there until 3pm and we got there around 9am). Anyway the diagnostic cost $105 after taxes...the fix would have cost another $1000 on top of that. We can't afford that so we are going to go on our annual camping trip with no A/C. Fortunately it is supposed to be a reasonable temperature this year (not in the 90's or higher thank goodness).

Last night I made another snake for Abby and also one for an almost 5yr old friend of mine.
Abby's is the smaller 18inch size and Eldon's is the larger 34inch size.

Now the task at hand is getting the house whipped into shape and getting everything packed and ready to go camping. We are leaving at the crack o dawn on Saturday so I have 4 days to do it. So I guess I'll go start a load of laundry.

Monday, June 08, 2009

What I've Been Up To.

I keep waiting to post until I have pics uploaded and I don't know why, I guess I just usually like blogs with pics (mostly - there are a couple of exceptions). Anyway so here is a quick catch me up.

First was the dryer acting up - well actually it was just taking things way too long to dry and the lint trap was not wanting to fit I get down and take a look...hard to see in there but there was obviously a lint build up stopping the trap from fitting and probably causing the drying problems I get out a pair of hemostats? whatever they are called (have a friend that used to work sterilizing medical equipment and they had to throw out any with any flaws so he got to take some) anyway I got down in there but they were just pulling apart the clumps...not pulling them out.So I got out the screwdriver and pulled the guard off and then I was able to really reach down and pull that stuff God there was a lot! I am not exaggerating when I figure it to be about a half a pound of lint and that doesn't count the stuff I got with the vacuum hose:No wonder the damn thing wouldn't dry...there was no where for the moisture to go...
Anyway once that problem was solved the dryer decided to behave itself a bit more (I think it just didn't like the thread of open-lint surgery again).

Ok so another little tale to go with how my next project got started...Every day I read my son a story from the Little Bear books. His favorite is "Birthday Soup." The basics of the story are this: Little Bear wakes up on his birthday with Mother Bear nowhere to be found. His friends are all coming over for his birthday but there is no cake and he needs something to serve his guests. He decides to make birthday soup with carrots, potatos, peas and tomatos. He makes the soup, everyone likes it and Mother Bear surprises him with his birthday cake. So anyway for about a week Jacob kept telling me he wanted to make birthday soup too (in his little voice it's soo cute and comes out "...with carrots, 'atatos, peas an' 'amatos.") So on Friday I finally got my fanny in gear and got everything together.I also decided to include half an onion and some diced up stew meat because we had it, it needed to be used up and I know that Brian and I probably wouldn't eat it without a few more flavors in it.
Jacob had a hard time waiting for me to dice and sautee the onions and beef so he tried to start the soup while I was doing that...I told him we needed to make sure our ingredients were good before we put them in the he checked (he's chewing a bite in that first pic):
Yes folks, that is my two year old enjoying the flavor of a raw onion...he even kept stealing bites of the diced bits too. He told me "It's good mommy."
So we got the base together and then added the diced carrots and potatoes and then just emptied a can of diced tomatoes and some frozen peas into it. Jake stirred and decided it was good and we should have lunch.
This is a little chef in the making...ensuring quality ingredients and tasting as he goes...good for him...
He really did not want to wait for it to cook. It looked done after all. Oh and then there was that whole 'its an hour past nap time' thing. So the second the potatos and carrots were soft enough to chew I let him have a bowl. He took a bite and said 'it's good mommy' then he took two more bites and informed me it was nap time. I think the poor kid was just holding out so he could try his soup (he is really good about telling me when it's nap time if he's tired).Here's the real kicker though. I had some with Jake at lunch time and it was ok. I didn't think Brian would go for it mostly because he just isn't really a soup kind of guy. He got home and Jacob and I told him we had made birthday soup for lunch. He tried to hide the 'I guess I have to taste it then' grimmace on his face and went to the kitchen to tell Jake how good it was. Instead of the expected 'wow Jake, this is really good - you did a good job helping mommy' I get the exclamation "Wow! this is really good soup - I think this is the best homemade soup you have ever made." I didn't think it was anything better than I tried it...he was right, after the flavors had a chance to mellow and blend it turned into really great soup! We even had it for dinner that night. Yay for birthday soup!
Ok so another intro story to a project...Jake and I were at WalMart and they have this little arcade in there with one of those claw machines you can get plush toys out I decided to let Jake have a go at it (it's one of those play til you win ones)...the damn thing ate my money and Jake was having a fit because he wanted the damn stuffed I told him I would make him one when we got home...they seemed pretty simple I could probably come up with a pattern or something. Sooo after a couple of days of him not forgetting about it (this kid has one helluva memory, let me tell you...) and asking me repeatedly to make him a "'nake" I get my crap together and rough draw a pattern. He played with it for about an hour before walking up to me, handing me the snake and very matter-of-factly stating "My 'nake needs eyes Mommy." So I embroidered some eyes for him. This is what it turned out likeIt's about 18inches long (longer if it wasn't wavy). Not bad for a first go...he has been toting it about for several days now. Abigail likes to chew on the tail and I really need to make her one cuz Jake is rather possesive.
On Sunday I had my craft day with Alexis so she could finish up her name pillows and she brought her two cutie pie sons with her, Caden and Cole. Cole is 5 and Caden is almost 2. Cole needed something to do since the other kids were a bit to little for him to have any real fun with so I asked him if he wanted to make a snake. He said 'Yeah!' So we grabbed him some fabric from his Mom's bag and I drafted a snake right onto the fabric (made it a bit wider and longer as I had issues stuffing the first one...I had forgotten I needed to make it wider than I thought to account for the vertical height that stuffing it would take up). I thought it looked pretty darned good so I decided to trace it onto some freezer paper to preserve the pattern. I am glad I did...Here is how Cole's snake turned out...and mind you he did all of the ironing, helped with the pinning, sewing and stuffing - oh, and he picked out the green beads for eyes and named him Kevin.
Not too shabby. We finished him up and Cole thought Caden should have a snake too. Soooo we made one out of red fabric for him...I had just gotten the template ironed/pinned onto the fabric when Cole made the statement "snakes need tongues" - Right you are Cole, so I cut out a little tongue to add to Cadens...We were using flannel and I think that I need to use felt for the tongues so they don't is Caden's finished snake - Caden is little so he got embroidered eyes, just in case.Here is a close up of the tongue...
The big ones are are about 34 inches long. They seem to be a hit and I think I am going to make a bunch more...I am starting at least with another small one for Abigail to chew on. Girly colors. It should be fun.

After Alexis finished the sewing on Caden's pillow and they left Brian and I decided to have take-out Chinese for dinner since we really didn't want to I went and got some. We all sat at the table and ate, Abby in her bumbo as a centerpiece. She tried banana for the first time and liked it pretty well, she is still having a bit of a hard time getting over the tongue thrust reflex though. After dinner Brian headed for the living room and I got a rag to wipe Jake up...when I came back into the room this is what I saw:"Screw mashed banana, gimme BBQ Pork!" I can't believe she was able to stretch far enough to reach that! She was really pissed when I took it away too. Oh well. You need teeth first girl.
Last night after the Chinese food Jake informed me that it was bed time and that Mommy and Daddy and Abby ALL had to come up and put him to bed. Buuuut he wanted stories in 'Daddy's Room' (Also known as Brian's office with a computer and a futon). He got all set up with a pillow and a blanket and after the story wanted to sleep there. We decided that it was ok for one night and he did not try to get out of bed and goof-off so we let him. Might be hard to go to bed in his 'real' bed tonight, but so be it. After putting Jake down we came back downstairs and I fed Abby a bottle and needed to change her diaper again (I had literally JUST changed her when I got Jake into his jammies) before I could put her to bed. She was mostly asleep so I decided to do it on my lap to jossle her as little as possible...this is what I was rewarded with:Laughter, then the camera, then a towel. Joy. Not 10 minutes later she loaded it with the stinky stuff and had to be changed again. I should have made Brian do it.
Speaking of the stinky stuff I am off to empty the diaper pail and clean the cat box. Then I think I'll make another snake.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Sweet Sleep

I am looking forward to getting a decent nights sleep again soon. Brian finally decided he was ready to get a new mattress - Ok he was tired of hearing me complain about ours...he says there is nothing wrong with it...I disagree since I there are two rather large divots where we sleep that can be seen just by looking at it (and this is with 3inches of mattress topper and a made bed). He also doesn't seem to notice the ridge in the center of the bed between our two divots. There is also the 'uphill side' which is the edge of the mattress since those springs are reinforced they did not wear down like the center ones...I HATE sleeping on a slope of any kind. Now keep in mind I have not been actively whining or complaining...he asks me how I slept, I say not well, he asks why and I tell him it's the mattress. If he doesn't ask why, I don't tell him. But anyway I am very happy that come Friday night I won't be sleeping in a huge divot. I am also very happy that since it was on sale and we decided not to have it delivered (for 50 bucks! really? most places deliver free of charge when you spend that kind of money) and we only bought the mattress, not the set, it only cost us 200 bucks out of pocket with many thanks to Brian's mom and step dad as they gifted us with some Visa gift cards for Christmas.