Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Cool iPhone uses

For a long time there Skadi would only go to sleep if I put her to bed. AB would walk into her room and much to the horror of us all, she would start screaming. It broke AB’s heart, it wasn’t fair to Leif who then never got me for bedtime, and it was hard on me too being the only one who could put her to bed.

This shifted when a few years back I had to start traveling again for work. Suddenly her choices were daddy or nobody. She picked daddy and he wormed his way into the preferred bedtime person by singing her songs at bedtime. Somehow my husband’s soft soothing voice singing “The Rainbow Connection” or “Castle on a Cloud” became her Ambien. And more recently he has become her preferred “putter to bedder”.

This doesn’t bother me. I am making up for lost time with Leif and since Skadi goes to bed before Leif, AB gets to bed earlier. Works out for everyone.

Out of fear of simply swapping roles and getting into a situation where I *can’t* put her to bed, we do switch this up. Skadi is fine with this, but this was the usual result.

Finished reading books.

Skadi: “Mommy, I need a song.”

Me: “Ok, ‘twinkle twinkle…”

Skadi: “No mommy, I need a song from daddy.”

My dad used to always ask my sister and I, “what did you do with the money? The money I gave you for singing lessons?”

Yes, my singing isn’t a pretty thing.

Usually I get up and go drag AB out of Leif’s room to sing her a song and thus finalize the deal.

I figured out something new though the other night that may just give AB a run for his money in the singing department.

YouTube on my iPhone.

Not only does she get to hear “The Rainbow Connection” but she gets to see Kermit sitting on a log singing it!

NM scores one!

I fear though that we are on a slippery slope.

Skadi: “Mommy, play the crocodile song!”

Skadi: “Now mommy, play the pink dancing girls song!”

Skadi: “Wouldn’t it be funny if the crocodile came and ate the girls like he did the frogs?”

Me: “You should be sleeping.” (Stifling laughter.)

Skadi: “I am going to have daddy sing ‘Mahna Mahna’ to me tomorrow night.”

And she drifts off the sleep.

(Another cool use for my iPhone – videocamera! I plan to have my phone there to record this.)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

March Goals Wrap-Up

My goals for the month of March included cleaning out our closet and with that, organizing the closet and donating a bunch of stuff. I always have better intentions than actual follow through when it comes to clothes. I wish I could stick to that rule that "if I haven't worn it in 6 months to get rid of it".

I don't know what happens but I start flipping through hangers and one or two things actually fall into the pile. This time around I pulled out jeans I will never wear again for a variety of reasons - mostly style issues - and dumped them in the stack. Then I sacraficed one or two shirts and called it good. I did hit the closet hard with organization though. My closet rocks now.

The quilt was number two. And while I never actually did any sewing, thanks to a very, very busy month of March and my sewing machine being held hostage by a little red-haired girl requesting pretty dresse, I did make some decisions about the path forward on my quilt. I need to put the border on it and then haul it down to the Quiltworks store with the backing material I bought on sale at JoAnn's and the batting I bought also on sale. Then I will part, momentarily with the quilt, permanently with $200 and come back to retrieve a beautifully quilted quilt for our bed.

We have done surprisingly well at clearing out our freezer as I discovered today when I went to the freezer to scrounge for a protein for dinner. I moved a few things, but only a few, to reach to the bottom of the freezer to retrieve a flank steak. Much of what is left is pot pies and spaghetti sauce and a few random chili containers. Note to self, when freezing chili, be specific. I need to indicate if I or AB made it (we have very different chili styles) and particularly if AB made it I need to know the cuts of meat, whether there are beans and the color (because once frozen, green and red are remarkably similar in appearance).

Next weekend starts the month of April. My quilt tops the goals for April. Though also on the list is my laundry room and my coat closet. Low hanging fruit really - in hopes that it will push me to devote the time to the quilt.

Our laundry room appears to have been an afterthought in the house. Our washer and dryer barely fit. And as the theme for the house extends to the laundry room, there are shelves and cabinets all over. Untapped storage space. I need to clean out and label the fabric storage boxes I do have on the shelves and just organize the rest of the area.

Then my first floor coat closet is a few hours job at most. I need hangers. Must buy hangers. And I need four storage boxes to split up the gazillions of gloves and hats and ski goggles and snow boots and scarves and earbands out of the one big laundry basket they are currently occupying.

I have the spring cleaning bug, this shouldn't be an issue to do these two things here very soon.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

March 23, 2011

Four Year Old Celebration

Skadi opted to have her 4th birthday party at "Coach Brett's". The only hairy thing here is that "Coach Brett" had to be there. Otherwise she wanted a swimming party.

So I picked up the phone and called "Coach Brett's".

Me: "Yes, I want to schedule my daughter's birthday party, but here is the catch, Coach Brett has to be there... yes, I understand his schedule is busy... yes, we will come whenever he is available... yes, just tell him that it is for Skadi and that we are EXTREMELY flexible... yes, call me back after you talk to him..."

Success. Coach Brett would be there as long as I could plan the party for this time on this date.

I agreed and sent in our deposit.

4 Year Well Child

I can't believe my baby is four! What has happened to the time?

So I will try and type between my sobs here...

Skadi had a good 4 year well child exam. She enjoyed telling long stories to her doctor and answering all her questions.

Dr: "Skadi do you know what opposites are?"

Skadi: "No."

Dr: "Ok, if I say 'tall' then the opposite of that is 'short', right?"

Skadi: "Yes, or really tall."

Dr: "Ok, let's see, what is the opposite of hot?"

Skadi: "Really hot."

Dr: "Well no, would it be cold?"

Skadi: "It could be but if it isn't hot than it might just be warm, you just never know about these things."

Dr: "She has a very advanced vocabulary.

The four shots were murder. The doctor actually gave us the option of putting them off until she was five, but since we had already talked about it and had the gummy worms ready in the car, I pulled the trigger.

Skadi cried, "I don't want shots! NO mommy!"

Me: "But they are good for you honey and keep you from getting very sick. And you didn't even cry when you got your flu shot, you will do great!"

Skadi: "I will only do shots if they give me band-aids."

Me: "If the nurse comes in without band-aids I will send her out to go get some."

Of course the nurse came in with band-aids.

Skadi didn't hold her end of the bargain up. She struggled.

And not only does she have a large vocabulary and reasoning skills for her age, but the nurse said she is freaky strong.

She screamed bloody murder.

Me: "Skadi, the band-aids are on."

Skadi: (suddenly stops screaming bloody murder) "I want to see them."

And that was that.

The nurse gave her four stickers and a lollipop and life was excellent again.

The details:

Height - 40 squirmy inches - 55th percentile
Weight - 36 lbs - 50th percentile.

Friday, March 18, 2011

"Let me give you a hint"

One of my favorite stories about one of my cousins was the Christmas they told her what they bought her dad for Christmas.

She gave him a hint:

"It goes tick tock tick tock."

Every year after they started telling her wacky stuff, like that her sister was getting a dishwasher for Christmas because she spilled the beans.

Skadi is showing signs of being the same way.

Leif is a vault. He loves keeping secrets.

I can do it, but it is very difficult. I am an open book really. I tell my husband everything. I tell my coworkers things I later wish I hadn't. Not only can I not keep a secret, but I tend to tell more than is really necessary.

Anyways, enough about me.

The other day when I picked Skadi up at school they were playing "hide the play tiger" and "hot and cold".

Skadi hid the tiger.

About 5 seconds went by and she lead the 6 or so kids over and said, "let me give you a hint," she paused. Then she pointed at the tiger and said, "IT'S RIGHT THERE!"

And she jumped up and down and squealed.

Aunt Tara came over this evening, picked her up and said, "who has a birthday in a few days?"

Skadi replies, "Ok, I will give you a hint, it's ME!"

Yep, Skadi is showing every single sign of following in my direction with not being able to keep a secret very well.

Apparently it is genetic.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

How to catch a leprechaun!

Ranking right up there with Santa, is...

Larry the Leprechaun!

Leif's teachers have this tradition that has captivated my son something fierce for the last few years. The kids all get to build a trap to catch a leprechaun. And not just any leprechaun. LARRY the leprechaun. Leif has been talking for months about his plans for his trap.

And now the day is just around the corner. Leif's plans to catch Larry are nearly all we hear about.

"You should see my trap," Leif carries on, "and Parker and I are connecting are traps together to make one massive trap and we are putting it on Mrs. S's desk because last year the leprechaun tipped over her chair!! And he left his shoe behind on the window ledge!"

Seriously the fact that her chair was tipped over was HUGE.

See Larry breaks into the classroom during one of the outside times and wreaks havoc tipping over chairs and disturbing things. Every year Larry leaves some small memento behind that the kids find in the room. Evidence that Larry WAS there!

And just maybe, one of the traps will catch him! Though none actually have caught him in the three years that Leif has been in the room.

"And you get to keep all his gold!" Leif tells us, "but I heard one time that if two people catch it they get to share the gold." Apparently he and Parker have decided they will deal with having half the gold by teaming up and putting their traps conjoined in the most obvious place to catch a leprechaun - his teacher's desk. "Because doesn't every leprechaun want to dance on the teacher's desk?"

This is the first year I am fearing massive disappointment because Leif knows he will not be there in the class next year. It's his last chance to catch Larry. And he is SO determined. SO SO SO determined.

"Mom, what if they don't try to catch Larry at [public school]?" he asked me today.

"Well they probably don't, you might need to ask C how they celebrate St. Patrick's Day," I told him.

I told him we could set a trap at home, but so far no leprechauns have made an appearance at our house, no havoc has been wreaked. (I might have to rectify this...)


Yay me! This is post # 1400!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Nothing sweeter...

Me: "Ok, I will go get you a piece of cheese if you say your prayers."

(Skadi insists on eating a piece of cheese before bed every night. I don't know why.)

Skadi: "Dear God. Are you there God? I said, are you there? Oh ok. Please help me to sleep and be good and don't let the shiny sharks get me. Amen."

If only my whole house could look this nice...

I just have to say that I still – a few weeks after finishing it off – walk into my half bath just to look and obtain a sense of calm. I still love it! And it is kicking some serious motivation into me to make the rest of my house pretty.

Insert my husband’s eye roll.

This weekend I cleaned my closet out. I split it up – my side on Saturday and AB’s side on Sunday. As always happens with this type of organization project, I envision that it is going to take days, maybe even weeks! I look at the daunting mess and worry about getting lost in there and no one finding me.

I was wrong. It took me an hour on each day and this includes hanging hooks, piling up trash, piling up Goodwill stacks and actually bringing stuff into the closet to store. AB gets up before the crack of dawn and he tends to go back and forth from the dresser to the bathroom and closet. I emptied about 1/3 of his dresser out into his shelves. I KNOW my husband well and so I KNOW that these shelves will become messy quickly. He made mention of possibly putting cupboard fronts on the faces of the shelves, but I don’t think that will work easily and I think his time will be better spent just folding and not stuffing stuff on the shelves. Or *my* time will be better spent finding a few low tray like baskets to hold the small loose things. We will see.

In the meantime I have belts, bags and scarves all separated and on their own hooks.

I had to walk in the closet a few times today just to look around and admire.

Our house was a parade home once upon a time. So little details were paid attention to. We have loads of shelves in our closet. I love that. My bank of shelves doesn’t hold clothes. It holds shoes. And I took a little ribbing about the sheer number of shoes on my shelves. Oh well. I can deal.

The last thing I need though is a step ladder to just put in and keep in the closet. A very tall person built our house. Many of these fabulous shelves are up high and I need to be able to utilize them without going to get a ladder. If I can do that then my closet becomes so much more effective at its job.


The other part of my goals that I am working this month is tackling my quilt.

I packed it up and went to the local Quiltworks store that I heard had a long arm machine and could likely quilt my quilt in a very short time. And yes, they can do it, and yes, it will look fancy and fabulous when finished. For only $240.


AB heaved a big sigh and said, “what?”

Then I ignored him and pulled out the three fabrics I found – two for a double border and one for a dress for Skadi.

Quilt – zero progress.

Dress? And matching dolly dress? Done! Skadi had found a pattern for a dress in my stacks of my mom’s sewing stuff. I am sure she bought it intending to make the dress for Skadi at some point (or for Celeste before this). (See I DO get this affliction from someone.) So when I saw the cute fishy fabric I knew I had to have it.

Skadi was a bit disappointed that little mice didn’t come out to help us sew and that flinging the fabric into the air didn’t magically create a gown. But she was very interested in watching me sew and “helping”.

Once the dress was nearly done I needed to sew the shoulder straps on. Skadi squealed, “wait!” And she ran up to her room and found her little baggie of cute buttons from my mom and pulled out two smiley faced orange buttons and handed them to me. Instead of sewing the straps on and putting a zipper in the back, I sewed up the back and put buttons on.

I know my mom was looking down smiling.

Anyways… back to my issue. I have a decision to make. Try and tackle quilting a king sized quilt myself. Pay the local shop's price. Finding a less expensive place online. Or deciding that it is just worth it to try and quilt it myself. Or – and as a quilter, I can’t believe I am thinking this – tie it?

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Arranged marriages?

When I was about Leif’s age I was playing in my backyard with two of the neighbor girls, Dani and Jennifer, and the neighbor boy, Brandon. Brandon declared a rule:

“Whoever says me first, gets to marry me.”

I have never been terribly quick with my tongue and suffice to say I came in last. I stormed in crying and went to my dad explaining the situation. His reply was, “well why would you want to marry Brandon, he’s just a goofy kid from down the street?”

Brandon moved away or didn’t come around much after that, not sure which. I don’t remember what happened to him he just quit coming around shortly after that.

And I survived.

Leif seems to have a bit of a crush.

He is bound and determined that he is going to marry Niranjana, our good friends’ daughter. Trouble is that Niranjana has other plans.

“I am going to marry Ken,” she announces routinely.

At 6 years old I never thought I would see my son aiming to “break up” other kids!

“What does it mean to ‘break them up’?” I asked. He couldn’t possibly understand dating and boyfriend and girlfriend, could he?

“It means I don’t want them to get married, I want to break them up so they don’t get married,” he replied.

I have listed off all the reasons in the world why we just don’t need to worry about this right now.

… “but Niranjana’s mom says she can’t get married until she goes to college and I think that is a good idea too”…

… “there are so many other people out there, you will meet other people, other girls you might want to marry”…

… “it is a long time till you need to worry about who you will marry”…

(Leif replied the other day that this past year has gone by faster than the others he remembers, so he is going to need to worry about it sooner than we all thought… he has no idea how right he is.)

Nothing helps.

I went and picked Leif up the other day and the kids were all in the same room. Niranjana and Ken were coloring and Niranjana was leading the conversation.

“See Ken is from China and I am from India and so that makes us a perfect match!” (Chuckled to myself at this line of reasoning.)

Leif asked me the other day if he colored his hair black if I thought Niranjana might want to marry him.

Maybe I was getting a bit tired of this obsession. I broke loose and started on the long conversation about why would you want to marry a person who doesn’t want to marry you? Everyone deserves to marry someone who thinks that they are their perfect match regardless of hair color or anything else. Then I added – because I know that what a mom thinks bears heavily on her son’s mind (ha ha ha) – “Leif, I love your strawberry blonde hair and if you ever color it black it would make me so sad.”

He gave up the obsession for a day.

Finally yesterday a line of reasoning that might make sense to Leif entered. And it came from Niranjana.

“Niranjana says that we CAN’T marry each other because we are cousins!” he announced.

I could try and clarify… then I thought wiser of this and decided I would just take this for now.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Things I will never understand...

Why my son will eat his boogers, but refuses to taste an olive, or a bean, or allow his food to touch, or drink a carbonated beverage.


Why my daughter shrieks in pain when anyone looks at her and falls on the floor faint with utter pain when someone brushes by her or the cat looks at her. But she will clip a clothespin on her own earlobe and then say simply, "oh mommy, that hurt!" (Giggle, giggle, giggle!)


How everything in the world that Skadi ever does is an "ansident", but cannot accept that anything done to her might also be. "Mommy, I ansidentally hit my brother on the head with my doll while he was watching TV!"

Sunday, March 06, 2011

My new project

Because I have NOTHING better to occupy my time. (Said VERY sarcastically.)

I don't have many expectations of extensive posting. Just something I want to work at. I would like to say that everytime I sit down to post here that I would post there as well.

Check it out:

Four Generations in the Kitchen

The introduction post is here - explaining why I am doing this crazy posting of recipes that I may or may not ever make!

Boys = Fighting and Farting

When AB and I talked (well before we had kids) about how we would raise a boy we agreed (or at least I insisted) that my sons wouldn't have guns or shooting implements or have anything to do with fighting.

Then reality hit. For some reason "fighting" seems to be built into boys' psyche. We channeled Leif towards sword play and lightsabers, but even I have been loosening up on the toys that shoot things.

Like nearly all parents I know out there, we read to the kids regularly. When I am not sure whichever child I am reading to is paying attention, or to test their wakefulness at bedtime storytime I start changing the story. Inserting other names into the stories.

"Young Yolanda Skadi is yelling on a yellow yak."

"Now there are two Leif's on your head!"

Skadi is less receptive to this and usually tells me to "read it right mommy or don't read it at all".

Leif laughs.

Transformers are NOT my favorite toys in the world. Far from it. And when Leif starts asking for Transformer stories I try to keep my eyes from floating to the top of my head.

I have a new solution... there isn't much that ranks up there with stories about fighting... but farting gets dang close.

About a month or so ago, I started substituting some words here and adding in an occasional sentence about how stinky Earth is becoming due to all this flatulance.

And now I have to admit, those Transformer stories can be danged funny!

The only downside is that giggling little boys are usually not as prone to falling asleep during storytime.

Just my way of combating violence with "hilarious" bodily functions.

A brand new half bath

The last touch to the bathroom was finished this past week - crown moulding! I loved the way the hotel room we stayed at in Palm Springs used dark crown moulding at the intersection of the walls and the ceiling. So I stole the idea for my bathroom makeover.

The crown moulding at Home Depot - you know the stuff labelled crown moulding was wide. Too wide, in my opinion for my little half bath. So I found some trim I liked instead and painted it.

Then I bought some new accessories - towel and soap pump shown here and finished the room off. I love the mirror in this room - it came with the house.

This is an awful crooked picture below, but it shows the toilet paper/flower pot thingy that I bought (that AB laughs at). You can also see the green color that has to go at some point.

Yay! I am really happy with how the half bath came out. February goal was a success!

I can't say much for March yet... I bought a few hooks for the closet to hang my belts and shawls/scarves. We will claim 10% complete on the status of the closet. By the end of the day if I am lucky I might be able to see the floor. I can't claim any status on the quilt - not even a trip to the fabric store to buy the supplies. Though we are slowly working our way through the freezer... last night we had both sturgeon and salmon from the freezer - and it was delicious.

Tonight we are having paella... of which nothing came from the freezer. Oh well.