Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goodbye 2009

Last year I posted a blog on New Year's Eve with my resolutions... here's the link if you want to read it:
Goodbye 2008

Basically I had a handful of resolutions and hopes for this year.
1. Loose weight - FAILED!
2. Be more social - FAILED!
3. Contribute financially - FAILED!
4. Draw up wills of a sort - FAILED!
5. Sell our house - FAILED!

Wow! 0/5 I guess 2009 was a bust.

Overall it was a good year, though. No major health problems. No deaths in the family. We refinanced our house and are almost debt free. The kids are great - healthy and smart. Kirk has a good job. We have the basics, and I guess that's what's most important. I started a vegetable garden this year (I've wanted that for sooo long). We did a lot of things around the house this year. 2009 wasn't too bad. I will miss the kids at the ages they are now. I guess that will always be the case.... But I am also looking forward to the ages they will become in 2010. Four and two - what a handful that will be!

So I guess I should get to what my resolutions for 2010 will be... and in no particular order:

1. Loose Weight. Kirk and I got a Wii and a Wii Fit Plus for Christmas this year so I really hope that the exercise I've been needing will come a little bit easier this year. I am determined to up my intake of water. That one seems really hard when you need coffee all day to get through. Coffee plus all the water equals MANY trips to the potty. But hey, I'm a stay at home mom so I guess going to the bathroom 50 times a day isn't that hard. And spring will come soon enough and now that Logan is walking it will be so fun and easy to be out in the back yard all the time. We did it last year but it wasn't exactly easy with a crawler. So basically I have some high hopes of loosing some weight this year. I haven't lost any in all of 2009!

2. Garden Smarter. Last spring I started my first veggie garden and it was so fun! I loved every bit of it. (except the squash bugs and Japanese beetles!) But so much of what I planted went to waste. I planted things that no one wanted. I planted lots of herbs that I never used. I used my small space unwisely. This year I want to really concentrate on the things we will eat and work hard at producing the most successful crop I can. I garden organically, which just means no chemical anything... just dirt, seeds, water. It's as simple as that! But I did arm myself with a subscription to Organic Gardening this year to get some helpful hints. I'm going to use these next few winter months to really plan out a good garden. I'm sure there will be tons of pictures again this year...

3. Housewife Better. I am not and have never been a cleaner. I'm just not that into housework. Yard work is more my cup of tea. I don't like a messy house but I bet I can overlook a lot more than the average person. I can find an excuse as quick as I take a breath as to why I don't need to or can't get to something... I'm lazy, let's be honest here. I would rather play in my kids' messy room with them than clean it. BUT, I am getting better. Slowly. It like changing a way of life that I have had since childhood. I had no real chores or responsibilities as a kid, none that were enforced. So I want to try harder this year. Form routines. Break bad habits and form good ones. And I need to un-clutter. I am a border line hoarder. Nothing like the show on TV but I can see why those people get that way. I completely understand how hard it is to throw out things. Gotta work on that too I guess!

4. Make Time for Me. I need to make more time for myself to do things that make me happy. Having two young kids doesn't allow for this much but I need to insist upon the help from Kirk. Having a break once in a while does wonders (or so I've heard). I want to read more. I want to have more conversations with grown ups. I want to drink wine more, with friends. I want to have a reason to put on makeup, even if I choose not to. I want to have time to paint my nails, without having to paint my 3 year old's nails too. I want to get a nice haircut. I want to be more creative.

5. Be Nicer to My Family. I'm a bitch. I am bitchy. I have a short temper. I expect way too much of people, mainly the ones closest to me. I am rude and mean sometimes to people who I love. And I want to change that. I am who I am, so there will be no June Cleaver arriving as the ball drops... but I need to start paying more attention to my attitude. I snap at the kids and the husband a little too much. Maybe if #4 on this list happens I will be better at #3 and #5... I love my family dearly and I'm lucky my husband puts up with my crap as much as he does. And I'd like to keep it that way... So I will try to be not as much of a bitch as much of the time (hey, that's the best I can do... baby steps!)

So that's a year for ya.... Goodbye Two Thousand and Nine!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Child's Play

Logan doing his best impersonation of a lump on a log.
Sicky poo, holding his monkey and trying to open his crusted over eyes. What a sad little sight to see. Why do kids colds sometimes come with eye buggers? Not leaky eyes, or a clear crust that forms overnight... but green globs that ooze out of the corners of their eyes! It's gross. Nola is old enough to rub her eyes enough to prevent these nasty things from showing up on her face when she's awake but Logan just lets any old thing leak out. Babies don't care what ends up on their face. They just let it fly. But anyway... Logan is sick.

Nola is doing better and wanted me to take a picture of her dancing. She's got moves baby, she's got moves!

After Logan's warm bath, his eyes were doing a little better. Still red and puffy, but clean and open. Later, Nola was playing with a stuffed dog she has on a leash. She was putting it down for a nap, feeding it... then getting it in trouble for peeing on her carpet. There was lots of drama going on. I just stood in the doorway and watched. She was stomping around and huffing and puffing. Telling her puppy, "You have to go to TIMEOUT! And you have to stay there FOREVER! And you can't get out! And when your timeout is over you have to go look at what you did. You have to go LOOK THERE! AT YOUR PEE PEE! And then you have to say you're SORRY!" She was pacing and waving her arms... Logan was standing in the middle of the room just watching her go back and forth and looking up at me as if to ask, "What the hell is going on?"

It was really funny. Then she looked up at me and said, "Mama, my puppy peed on my floor! And now he's in timeout. So now you can clean up the pee pee spot."
Me? I told her it was her puppy and part of taking care of your things was to clean up after them. She said she didn't want to clean up pee because it was yucky! I said that it was only pretend pee pee, so she should be just fine. Made sense I guess, cause she pretended to clean it up. Then she got her puppy out of timeout and made him say he was sorry. Then she hugged and kissed him and took him for a walk (around the living room).

She got in trouble earlier today for coloring on the couch out of anger... She went to time out, had to apologize, then had to clean off the crayon and hug and kiss me... So guess what folks? SHE PAID ATTENTION! But I wasn't yelling and huffing and puffing at her the way she was at her dog, I'm very much over the niceness of my couches... they're ruined. I really wasn't even mad. Just had to put her in timeout for the lesson.

Well - both kids are asleep, Nola on the couch and Logan in his crib... I guess I should do something of a grown-up nature while I can.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas, Three Ways

So - here we go.
Christmas, Three Ways.

Part One:
Going to the Husband's Brother's Ex-Girlfriend/Baby Mama's house.
Not sure what to say about that. I hope she can cook. I hope no Christmas pies go flying around the room! It will surely be a festive and awkward occasion.

Part Two:
Road Trippin it to Indiana. Husband's Father and Step-Mother's house. Maybe an Aunt, Uncle or Cousin sprinkled in there too. First road trip with the kids. Crazy that we haven't done it before but we always seem to have one excuse or another not to endure the hours and hours in the car with small children. This year we had no reason not to... so Off We Go! They have a Great Dane. A dog that could eat both my children in one fell swoop if it was so inclined. Nice dog, just enormous. And Nola is a little afraid of dogs. They also have a cat. Husband is highly allergic to cats! They offered us hotel room but the thought of spending Christmas Eve in a hotel room just didn't sound right. Plus, with small kids you have to go to the hotel room to put them to bed, then just hang out in a dark hotel room..... lame.

Part Three:
Christmas at home with my family after Christmas is over. The week after, or maybe on NewYear's Day. Plans are not set in stone yet. And we are thinking of having a very non-traditional meal (which is FINE by me!)

Then it will be over. And 2010 can begin. And I will vow to loose weight, quit smoking, keep a cleaner house... it will be just like last year!


and for those of you who prefer:


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Pork-Fried Lady Fingers

Whaat? Yeah, I said pork-fried lady fingers.... Guess what happens when you are frying pork chops and one of them slips off your fork and splashes into the very hot oil in your frying pan. The fork that you were holding just inches away from the oil as to NOT splash... Pork-Fried Lady Fingers - that's what!

Technically I may not be a lady... and technically there were no fingers involved - it was my thumb. But I burned the hell out of myself. The oil splashed up and left raw red marks exactly where it landed. I had a splash pattern going from the side of my hand up around my thumb. It's still mostly there but the pattern isn't as impressive anymore. I had several small blistered areas and one main blister right on the 'knuckle part' at the base of my thumb. As the rest of the burn darkened and started to fade, the blister popped... and now I think I will have a scar for sure.

Sorry if this is gross... it's just all I could think to write about today. Wanna see pictures?

This is about 8 hours after it happened... doesn't look too bad (and Kirk admittedly told me later he thought I was a bit of a drama queen with all the crying and whatnot...)

This is today, about 8 days after it happened.... Looks worse, hurts less.

But, I must say... the pork chops were really, really good! Not worth the pain and scarring... but a very good meal.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Inspiration Strikes Again...

The Ovation Channel ran a "Framed" series last weekend. It was several days dedicated to photography. I recorded all of it!

I'm still watching the shows as I find time. It's inspired me to try again to learn more about my camera. I should say, to learn more about photography. I know what my camera can do, and mostly how to make it do those things... it's when and where to make it work for me is the key. My missing key. I have a very hard time self-teaching. I am a bad studier. I have several books. I have a downloaded tutorial with assignments and all... I even printed it out and put it into a binder! I just can't seem to hunker down and focus long enough to retain any of what I go over! It's frustrating!

But alas, I will try again. I really wish I had the time to take a photo class. I do so much better with someone explaining things to me out loud, as opposed to reading them myself. And maybe someone who wanted to take one with me. I really don't want to be the only "oldie" in a community college class full of 18 year olds. For now, I will get out my tutorial binder and my users manual again and give it another go.

I think I want to take pictures of people. Things are very interesting - but people are what I love the most. Obviously Kirk and the kids are my most accessible subjects so I may have lots of photos of them in the coming weeks. I already started shooting Kirk today while he was getting ready for work. I think I may drive him nuts... Oh well.

Here is one of the shots I took on the fly:

Not the best - but I like that Nola was watching him shave. I would consider this a sketch of a photograph I would like to take.

Monday, November 30, 2009

What's the Happs

I've been meaning to blog on here more often... I just haven't. But I am now, so YEAH! Kirk was off work this past week (for my birthday and then Thanksgiving). It was nice to have him home but it didn't really feel like vacation. I guess because my day to day routines were uninterrupted, other than the Holiday.

What was I thankful for this year? That I didn't have to do any of the cooking! I made a dish or two, but wasn't in charge of anything really. That was nice.

I'm almost finished with Allyson's Christmas Blanket. Here it is:
I am still working on the border but it's mostly done. A few more days and it will be wrapped up and crossed off my list.
The day after Thanksgiving I was NOT out shopping! I really don't like shopping when there are the regular everyday crowds... so Black Friday was just not an option for me. No desire, no need, no way! Instead we put up our Tree. For over five years now I have used the same color scheme on the tree: red and gold. Pretty, and added to in some way each year, but I'm over it. Last year I went shopping after Christmas at Target (Oh Target!) and got decorations at 75% off. My new color scheme for this year is blue and silver! It needs a little tweeking (and a gate around it so the monsters will leave it alone) but here it is:
And the next day it was so nice that we went out to the park as a family. We had the kids all decked out in coats and hats... those came off within five minutes of being in the glorious sunshine. We played for a long time since I knew the cold weather would be coming soon... Then out to lunch. It was a really nice day. Here is my big handsome man. I can't believe how big he is!
And once again... Screw Black Friday! I'm ALL ABOUT Cyber Monday! I have already done about 2/3 of my entire list online today... All from the comfort of my uncomfortable computer chair! And on top of not going out to do my shopping I have enlisted my kids to do some of the work for me this year. We are going to have some hand made Christmas gifts this year... and not just because I'm cheap (which I admittedly am) but because that's what the season is about... giving a part of yourself to someone else.... So here's a big HIGH FIVE from Nola to you on having a Happy Healthy Handmade Christmas!
(If something resembling this hand shows up under your tree this year, know that you are loved.)

But don't worry - I'm not going totally off the grid into Granola Land... We already bought the kids a game system for Christmas... ;)
Which by the way was AWESOME! Went to the site today, Cyber Monday, and got almost 20% off of everything I ordered. The system (V Smile Motion) is usually around $60 in the stores. I got it for $36! Then I bought an extra controller, an adapter, and two games. The total was around $82 with NO shipping, thank you cyber monday! And as I was checking out it asked me if I had a promo code to enter... so I clicked on over to Google and looked up Vtech promo code and got one! I entered BIGSAVINGS and got an additional 20% off of everything! HooRay! So I got the system for $28 - that's more than 50% off! .... I mean, Santa did all this and told me about it.... shhhh

Monday, November 16, 2009

New Blanket

(Don't look if you are Allyson!)

I made blankets in college, then stopped for a few years and started making them again when I was pregnant with Nola. And since then every baby born into my family has received a handmade blanket from me. But Allyson (who is older than Nola) was born in the years when I wasn't crocheting... and she never got a Janae Blanket. So for Christmas this year I am finally making her a blanket.

I turned my old purse into a sewing bag. Very handy to carry around and the pockets are very useful. I can zip away my scissors and hooks from the kids - who always seem to be magnetically pulled towards balls of yarn like they were kittens or something.

The colors I chose are pink (almost a hot pink), green (a very bright, light green), off white, and a multi-colored pink. There are four colors, and putting them together in the various combinations of two results in 12 different types of squares.

Not sure how many squares I will end up with, but I hope to make rows of 8. I have 36 squares so far and I was hoping for a minimum of 48... but with the sizes of the yarn balls I have left it may just stop at 40 something....

Here are some of the color combos:
Hopefully I will have many more squares to add to the collection and the blanket will be large enough for her to use and love for years to come. And her room is pink and green, so hopefully it will match. If you happen to talk to little Allyson, don't tell her that I'm making this for her. It's a secret - shhhhh....................

Thursday, November 12, 2009

One Less Thing

Well, I now have one less thing to do on my list... I deleted my Photo Blog. I have about 50 other things on my list(s) that have prevented me from blogging here, there or anywhere. So Goodbye to A Cup of Black & White.... You will probably not be missed at all little blog. Except by Lucy - sorry Lucy.

I'm thinking of deleting the Blog for my Etsy store as well... I was a little ambitious when I got started... I wasn't expecting to be bum-rushed with sales... but I also didn't expect to get NONE. So the blog seems a little like over kill (and too much work) for nothing. I will keep my Etsy store and hope that it generates a little biz once in a while, but I don't think a blog is necessary.

I'm a little sad to see a few of my things/hobbies going away. I don't seem to have much time for Photography these days either. I still take hundreds of pictures of the kids... and a few good shots pop up here and there. But not like before. I guess two mobile kids and life in general just get in the way from time to time.

I think I will just try and combine it all here. Maybe even blog once in a while to make Lucy happy.

Here are a few pictures in memory of the photo blog that is no more:

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Yet Another Blog! (seriously)

I have another (yes, another) blog! Since I opened my Etsy store I wanted to post info about my cards and designs but there isn't much space on Etsy's website to just blog on about things.... so I started a new one. I didn't want people who were just looking to buy stuff to see all my other boring stuff so that's why I didn't just put it all here....

Have a looksy if you want. Any suggestions or ideas will be much appreciated. And hey - buy a card too!

Friday, October 2, 2009

I Have an Etsy Shop!

I finally did it! I opened up my etsy shop! It's called The Yellow Mug.

Here is the link:

I plan on adding many more designs soon. And I hope to get a blog up and running as a partner for the Etsy Shop. Once it is up I will link it here and on Etsy.

Check it out!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Little Conversations

*out of nowhere*
Nola: Mama, I love you..
Me: I love you too.
Nola: And Papa? Does Papa love me when I'm good?
Me: Papa loves you all the time.
Nola: And Logan? Logan loves me all the time, too?
Me: Yes. And do you love Logan all the time?
Nola: Yep! (pause) I'm so proud, Mama.
Me: You're proud?
Nola: I'm very proud of you guys. You and Papa and Logan. I'm very proud.

*talking on her pretend phone to her cousin*
Hi Allyson!
What you doing?
Me? Nothin... Are you at home?
I'm home too.
Why aren't you answering me Allyson?
I'm your friend you know. And your cousin.
I know.
I know.
Are you my best friend?
You wanna come over?
You wanna bring Molly?
Okay, no babies.
I gotta go, I'm really busy.
I love you. Bye.
*to me*
Mama, that was Allyson on my phone. She can't come over right now cause she's busy with Molly but she's my best cousin and we can play in the sprinkler later together.
*walks away...*

You gotta love two year olds.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Universal Mystery Solved (maybe)

So I think I may have just solved a mystery (or a problem) that's been bothering me my whole adult life... Now, this may have been just a fluke, a one time deal, and may never happen for me again. I will let you know upon further investigation.... So what is the big problemo-mystery-thing you ask?

Red sauce staining tupperware. Yeah, I know - one of our world's major dilemmas right? Well... so maybe it's not such a big deal, but it sure does piss me off when I wash dishes and that translucent orange haze remains on plastic containers that have held anything resembling a red sauce... Wash again - still there... wash again - still there.... You know it's clean because you've washed it three times so you just give up and either put it with the clean dishes or throw it away! I usually wait until they're dry and then wipe them out with a paper towel then wash again, which improves the stain but does not vanish it. But today ladies and gentlemen, I figured it out!

As I was washing I realized that as my fingers went over areas on the orange plastic the stain came off....! It was a direct skin to plastic connection that did it! So I put a little hot water in the bowl, a drop or two of dish soap and rubbed it with my hands (as opposed to the sponge). It is now crystal clear! Yes - clean and clear!

I hate touching old food and whatnot with my hands but for a clear plastic container I will do so every time from now on... well, after washing it out a time or two with the sponge... So I have not solved the Economic Crises or World Hunger but it is a small step in domestic upkeep. I just thought I'd share my new found knowledge with the blogging world....

Sunday, August 2, 2009

A Jumble of Stuff

So July... not much happened in July.

I did get lots of veggies from the garden.... Below is a meal I made mostly from the garden: sauted squash and zucchini, a tomato and basil salad, and a pasta with tomatoes, fresh green beans and basil.... YUM YUM YUMMY!

Also finally finished the laying of stones in my new patio area... I even decided to get creative one morning with Nola and add a decorative center with small colored rocks... I really really like how it turned out:

And here's a little bit o' Logan:

And what's the best way to have a wagon ride? Laying down on a soft blanket with your juice and being pulled around the yard....

But it's also nice to have company on the ride.... Look at his fat belly!

And big news in Logan Land... Standing up! All by himself! Well, not getting up to standing without support, but staying up once up....

And I'm starting a new blanket. For my cousin Ashley's baby boy to be, Oliver. I emailed her pictures of several color combos and this is the one she picked... more pix to come as I actually get to crocheting....

(that's a chocolate brown, a light mustardy brown and a light bright teal)

And my latest project is planning Logan's first birthday party - Whoo Hoo! He will be one on August 19th! We are having his birthday in the same park we had Nola's first birthday party, which we have since renamed the Birthday Park. Here's the big boy waiting to be one:

And the theme of the party is....


So that's my big jumble of stuff....

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Harvest Is Coming!

Sorry if you're bored with my garden updates... but here comes another....

Here is my veggie garden on July 1st:

It's a little overgrown for the space I have... I should have planted fewer things, or less of each. Either way there is little room to groove in there. But the harvest is coming! I have had about 5 tomatoes so far - yummy yummy. I've been picking them as soon as they start to orange out and letting them ripen on my window sill. I just don't trust those evil bunnies. But there are other things starting to grow - it's very fun to watch each day as things pop out and get bigger. The best part is going out every day with Nola and 'hunting' through the leaves for new veggies. She helps me water and pick weeds... She's a veggie gardener in training. My little shadow.

So here are a few pix of the newly emerging fruits of my labor:

A very tiny watermelon (do you see it? - it's on my second finger) And it already has stripes! This one has been named... Stripes:

A second very tiny watermelon! Look how fuzzy and cute it is...
This is Fuzz Bucket:

And yellow squash... there are about 4-6 little guys growing:

And the Maters! Lots of bright, white-green tomatoes just waiting to ripen on the vine for my BLT pleasures:

Bad picture, but this is a baby cucumber (right below the flower). There are about 4-6 of these as well.. all very tiny:

And in the first picture of the whole garden - these are the bean vines growing up and over and across the fence... the plant has done great but so far no beans - until a few days ago when they finally started showing up! Here are a few of the beginners:

And the broccoli - there is a ton of broccoli. But I have no idea what do with it or what to expect out of it - I just threw in the seeds and let it go... here's what I have so far:

And the paver area... Can you say the word, Forever? Cause that's how long it's going to be before I finish this damned project! As you can see the back stones are just in place, not set in the ground or leveled... But I have been able to get out there and do a few stones a day... I have 10 left... that's at least 3-4 days work.

So that's it I think... hopefully I will be eating lots of veggies on my new patio very soon!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Update - June

Well - here are some updates on the kids, the yard, and whatever else I can think of as I type...

Yard - No progress in two weeks! The patio (or soon to be patio/stone paver area) is exactly like I left it two weeks ago when the temperatures rose to 95+ and stayed there. It's just too hot to sit in the boiling sun and work. But this week looks like we may have upper 80's for the highs, so it's back to work. I bought some Corsican Mint and Elvin Thyme to go in between the stones... but I bought it two weeks ago and I've lost most of it due to not planting it. I also have some Creeping Jenny to put back there that's still hanging on in it's store containers... I planted the mint and thyme in pots to try and keep them alive. Hopefully I will have some pictures later this week to show some sort of progress. The veggie garden is growing and growing... I've had about 4 tomatoes and a handfull of green beens... and all the herbs I need. I'm actually thinking of digging out the herbs and moving them to the patio area to give the veggies more room to grow. We'll see.

Kids - Logan is still huge. I need to do a photoshoot soon of both of them (together and separate). Nola is doing really good in her big girl bed. Only when there's thunder do we have a bit of a problem. Logan is starting to use little words... Hi, Papa, Mama, Bye, Ba-Ba (bottle), Gawdt (for "got it"). He is pulling up and standing, moving a little around the furnature but not walkign yet. He's already 10 months old! Two months until he's a year already! Such a big boy!

Other - I have to go to the DMV today to renew my car tags... I hope it goes smoothly.... I hate the DMV (I think there is a previous post on my last experience there, I hope NOT to have another one after today). I guess I don't have much 'other' news....

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Big Girl Bed

Things have gone really well since we converted Nola's crib into a toddler bed. I was terrified of the change (as I usually am with any change) for no reason.

Day One, Friday: Converted the crib before nap time. Nap time was not good. It took us more than two hours to get her to sleep... and with a 3 hour limit on nap time we had to wake her up after 45 min of sleep. I was not looking forward to bed time at ALL! Kirk's mom came by that evening for a visit. Around 7pm we were all sitting around the table on the patio while Nola ran circles around the yard. I was hoping the exercise would ensure better success at bedtime... And in the middle of a casual conversation about summer time visits to Grandma's house Nola ended up asking to go that night. Grandma said yes, a bag was packed and off she went! So no rough evening for Mama, Yeah! But I was a little upset because that was one less evening of getting used to the crib with Kirk home as my backup... (he was off for four days, which was why we planned the crib conversion as we did. oh well)

Day Two, Saturday: Nola was with Grandma through her nap time so we didn't have to deal with bed-escape yet again... but again, one less opportunity to transition with backup on hand. We were so busy all day, and apparently so were Nola and Grandma. She slept for an hour in the car going here and there, but no real nap. When we got home we had the Maue's over for birthday cake and run around the backyard time. They left and we bathed the kids and put them to bed. We've started reading her books on the floor in front of her bed so that there is little to no escape route or distraction before getting directly into bed. There were about 2 exits on her part, one to "tell you someting" and the other to "go pee pees". But she slept in bed the rest of the night (or so I thought)...

Day Three, Sunday: It was after 7am and she wasn't up yet... This is late for Nola. So I went into her room to wake her up, plus I wanted to see her sleeping in her new bed, only to find her asleep on her floor. Not right alongside her bed, but diagonal across the middle of her room. It was cute. I asked her if she fell out and she said no. Later that day she said she had fallen out but that it didn't hurt. I'm pretty sure she wasn't aware that she could just get back in. So we went over that a couple of time. That day there was also no naptime. We had plans to be out and I had planned on her skipping nap time. But bedtime went good again. Books in her room, then into bed. Out only one time, claiming to "haff to go pee pees" and then in for the night (or so I thought)...

Day Four, Monday: It was almost 7:30am again and she wasn't up... So I went in to wake her. She was in her bed! Awweee.. big girl! But after talking to her and praising her for a few min she told me that she did in fact fall out of her bed during the night, but she got back in this time! That day was also the first time we had a real nap time in the big bed, after the first day. She did pretty good. She got up a few times but then stayed in her bed for over an hour sleeping. She only got up when she heard Kirk getting in the shower, it shares a wall with her room. Bed time that night was all me! Kirk was at Aikido class. It wasn't easy but after about 2 extra books, 4 extra stories (the kind I just make up and tell her while she's in bed) and 3 extra songs... she stayed in bed. And it was another successful night (or so I thought)...

Day Five, Tuesday: (actually very late Monday night: 2:30am) Loud booming thunder and a screaming Nola! She didn't get out and come get me, just yelled "MAMA" from her bed. So I spent an hour talking to her, telling her stories, explaining that the thunder wouldn't come in the house and that, no, I couldn't make it be quiet for her so she could fall back asleep. I finally gave in and got a pillow and a blanket and laid down on her floor. Then I heard Kirk awake and traded placed with him. I figured he would get her to sleep within 15 min because the storm was passing... But the next morning when Logan and I woke up they were both on her floor asleep together. Very cute! I let them sleep in. Nap time went good again and bedtime was okay too. She got up again to "go pee pees". And I told myself for the third night in a row, 'ask her to go BEFORE she gets in bed...'

Day Six, Wednesday - Today: Naptime went great. She slept for almost 3 hours! Bedtime was great too. And I remembered to have her go to the bathroom BEFORE she got in bed.... and it worked! She didn't get out of bed at all tonight. Well, not so far...

So overall she has done a great job and I didn't give her enough credit, as usual. It's hard for me to think of her as a real person sometimes... I think of her as a mindless extension of myself. I know that sounds bizarre but that's what she was for so long (I know she had a mind, but you know what I mean). She was an infant, then a baby - no real way to communicate thoughts and opinions and absolutely no self reliance... Now she's human. She walks and talks and even back talks. And she has opinions on things. Things are either 'coool' or they are 'baad'. And she thinks about things... Wow they really do grow up fast. And while I'm really glad I don't have to wipe shit out of her ass anymore, I miss my little baby girl. Good thing I had another baby! GO LOGAN!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Garden & Patio Update

First, the garden...

Here it was on June 1st:

And here it was on June 12th:

I now have tomatoes growing (I've even picked and eaten 2), tiny green beans, tiny cucumbers, budding bell peppers, giant zucchini and squash plants and even the onions, okra and watermelon plants are coming along nicely. The herb section is doing great. I need to remove some zucchini and squash plants before they take over the herb garden....

And then we have the patio (or stone garden as I will call it if it turns out nicely).

This is a before shot (again). I have one paver placed in the bottom right corner:

This shot has the first row, or step, placed and leveled... and my back breaking progress of leveling out the rest of the space:

Here it is, all level and ready to be made into something pretty!

Second row set in! And the rest of the pavers in their places:

And I did set about two more rows of pavers before quitting that day. Then the next day I set a few more stones and shoveled most of the excess dirt to another area of the yard because there was a chance of rain and I didn't want it all back in the paver area....

Today the rain came... Oh did the rain come! It rained and rained and rained. I went out to see my lovely patio area turned into a waterfall! Of course I grabbed the camera and took some shots.... Here is the down pour:

It's like a waterpark!

It was really rushing into the main patio from the paver area and the driveway.... how sad....

Still raining, but not a down pour here... You can see that the water had made more work for me when the time comes to get back to work... BUT the pavers I set in are still there and level. I even went out later and walked on them and they feel very sturdy. I will just have to dig out the back row or so... But over all it wasn't as much destruction as I thought it would be when the water was pouring over the sides.

So hopefully we will have a few dry days in the near future for me to finsih this up and get some things planted between the stones... I have some Corsican Mint waiting for me at the Farmer's Market next Saturday so I hope to plant-ready by then. And I will cross my fingers that planting will stop some of the waterfall affect we saw today....

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Escape Artists

Tonight was a combination of bad luck, a bad mood, and BAD timing! Tonight sucked!

First of all, let me just say it all started with really good chocolate. Cayce came over this afternoon with some mighty fine chocolate. With Kirk's help, the three of us finished off the box. So at dinner time I wasn't hungry. I made the kids some dinner and planned on eating by myself around 8:15 once they were in bed.

So bedtime rolls around and Logan is super tired and cranky. Cranky, tired babies are the worst to get to sleep - the more tired they are, the worse it is. This is a cruel and unusual punishment to parents everywhere. On top of his bad mood he was sick for a few days and has been slightly spoiled by being held too long at bedtime. The past few times I've put him to bed I've had to let him cry himself to sleep (which thankfully had topped out at around 5-10 min). Logan has also learned to pull himself up into a standing position around the house. Tonight, after the couple nights of crying and pulling up onto his knees in his crib, he learned how to stand at the rails. For those of you without crib knowledge this means he can fall out. Until we lower his mattress to the lower level (which I can't do alone and certainly not at 8pm). We were goign to do that today but Kirk was sick and I forgot... So there was no 5 min of crying and then a sleeping baby... it was a matter of making sure he was sound asleep before putting him to bed. That did not happen. Every time I laid him down he would scream and pop up to a standing position. I tested him a little by walking away and watching what he would do... and damned if he didn't lean over. So I couldn't leave him... I wasn't too sure what I was going to do.

But as I was holding my screaming baby and thinking about my options I felt a splash on my feet... then I felt it go down my arm and the side of my shirt... He puked all over me. But then he was silent... What's a mom to do? I stood there with foul smelling vomit on me and kept rocking him. He finally fell asleep! And as I was bouncing and swaying over to his crib I heard a noise. What the hell was that? Then in runs Nola (who should be confined to her own crib in her own room!) saying, "Mama! I'm awake!" Logan wakes up, of course and I was scared shitless! I didn't expect her to be out of her bed. She's never before (until tonight) climbed out of her crib. What horrible timing that she figured it out the same night Logan did! I swear they conspire against me!

After putting her back in bed, not once but twice, and having Logan absolutely refuse to sleep without the threat of taking a flying leap onto the floor I went and found the pack n' play. Nola was in her bed with the threat of a severe spanking coming her way if she got out again and Logan was screaming bloody murder on the floor as I set up his temporary bed. I finally got the stupid thing set up, picked him up to calm him down a little before abandoning him in it, and I heard Nola's door knob turning. That crazy child was out again! I was ready to shush her at the doorway when I heard her open her door, take off her diaper and go into the bathroom to pee. I was furious with her... but really proud at the same time because that meant her potty training was basically complete at that point. I put Logan down before she could get into the room, assuming he would start to cry and I was cool with that. I figured a few min. of crying where he couldn't break his neck and he would be out cold... But the little bastard just looked up at me and closed his eyes. He was out.

I ushered Nola back to her room, put her diaper back on and convinced her that she could not get out again. I told her (which is true and was already planned) that tomorrow she was getting her big girl bed. Why couldn't she have just waited one more night!? And tomorrow we will also be lowering Logan's mattress first thing!

Now, I'm on the computer because I'm not about to turn the TV on and tempt the fate of my sleeping children. And I'm eating popcorn to silence my growling stomach (cause I totally missed out on dinner). I think my massive headache is subsiding due to the intake of food... This sucks. I'm not ready for the 2 1/2 year old to have free reign of the house at night. Or nap time! Shit! I didn't even think of nap time... I really hope nap time works tomorrow. I'm going to bed.

This is a picture from the morning, just awake and still in jammies, having milk and a bottle, watching some good ole Blues Clues together... before they caught the freedom bug and conspired to become escape artists.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Another Project in the Yard

We removed the old shed from the front corner of the back yard. It left a 9 x 8 foot square of dirt and sand. So I feel obligated to do something more than just throw out some grass seed and expand our yard. We have enough lawn, we don't need 9 more feet of it. Here is the empty space that will hopefully become a really pretty new area of the yard.

There were concrete pave stones under the old shed and in various other spots in the yard... so I'm going to reuse those and try to create a patio of sorts. In trying to keep with my mostly free landscaping I don't want to have to buy any more so it will not be a solid floor. Here is my idea for the design, roughly laid out:

(the first row of pavers is already set and level, making a first step up to the new area)

Here is a view from back in the yard, towards the house. You can see it's a big ole mess! I would like to add a trellis and some flowering plants to grow up it on the fence by the trash cans. Also to hide the yard from the driveway side and the driveway from the yard side. Maybe some other pretty plants and flowers along the fence and a birdbath or statue of some kind...

Here is the pattern a little closer up. Obviously the area isn't level yet and the stones need to be lined up just right. I plan on planting something low growing between the stones so it will all be level and walkable...

So that's my new project. I think I will cry over this backyard when we eventually do move.... Oh well, I like to do things out there and it will look so much better when it's all done.... IF it ever gets all done! I will keep pictures coming as the project comes along.