Friday, December 29, 2006

Life's Little Moments

Although I was going to post something else tonight, I thought this was worth substituting. As you can see, my son has his very own hair stylist. His creative big sister. She's not just creative, she's generous. That's her hairband he's wearing! After the initial discovery and photograph, we got a few more shots as she made 'a few adjustments' before losing interest altogether. From PC's expression in this picture, I've come to the conclusion that, what he ended up with wasn't exactly what he had in mind.

I thought it would be interesting to show the 'steps' Dolly used to beautify her little brother. Have fun!
Firstly, the hairband had to come out again.
Secondly, she had to re-comb his hair.
Thirdly, comb just the right amount into the other hand. Make sure to get a good grip.
Attempt to re-insert hairband.
Try again from a different angle.Ignore any protesting.
Re-position client. Continue to ignore protesting.
And finally! Step back and admire work while Daddy and Mommy take pictures.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Our Family Portrait for 2007!

"That in all things he might have the preeminence."
Colossians 1:18

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Five Months Old!

Finally!! Even I thought I was never going to get around to posting this picture. Yes, it took me forever to take it (he's really 8 days past 5 months in this picture), but Dolly's picture was a few days late too, so they're not that different in age. And... yes, he's now only 9 days away from being six months old. (Hmm... it must run in the family)

PC started sitting up all by himself almost a week before he hit the five month mark. Dolly was sitting around that age too, although she was crawling before 6 months. PC is getting soooo close to crawling, but there's always Dolly around to save him the trouble and fetch whatever he's trying to get!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Anything Else?

Note: This post was written on November 23rd(U.S. Thanksgiving). I finally got around to doing the editing on December 11th. Sorry for the delay.

You'd think that rebuilding a $5.00 toy stroller would be easy. Well, at least that's what I thought this morning.

Right about the time that PC was born, Sir and I bought Dolly some 'baby' toys. Among them was a miniature umbrella stroller that within two weeks was starting to fall apart. The frame was in perfect condition and it was just the cheap fabric that was being worn through and torn.

This morning after watching Dolly happily push her skeleton of a stroller around the house, I decided that it shouldn't be that hard to make a new seat for it and started by taking the rest of the original remains off of the frame.
Then, came the challenge of actually getting through the project. Find a seam ripper.... ok finally. Now, take the old seat apart... done. (For anyone else - try to remember how you take things apart as you do it. It will make re-assembly much easier.) Next... oh yeah... go find some fabric - we made a trek out to the shed. Cut out new seat pieces - hey, at least that part was easy.. as long as Dolly let my scissors alone. Set up the sewing machine. This involved re-arranging the living/dining room temporally. Then all the problems showed up.

First off, I didn't thread the machine properly so as soon as I started to sew, gobs of thread would wad up underneath my pressure foot. While I tried unsuccessfully to figure out what was wrong, Dolly was shedding most of her clothes and PC was starting to get impatient and fussy. Finally I called Auntie Kedg and in less than 30 seconds she had pinpointed the problem, and gave me instructions to fix it (Sometimes one can really feel blond).

At last! I was ready to sew. I relocated my son, gave him some toys, put Dolly's favorite CD in the CD player and let her jump to her hearts content. Then I started sewing. About halfway into the project I burnt my hand again on my 50-60 year old sewing machine (the light bulb gets really hot and you skin sticks to it if you're not careful when lifting the pressure foot - yeah, ouch.) I ran out of bobbin thread on my very last ¼ inch seam. And after just over two hours, I finally finished making a little toy stroller seat while my son screamed his lungs out in the background until he finally fell asleep and my daughter went through everything on my nightstand in the other room (between needing my help to dash off to go potty). I think that next time I'll wait until naptime to get a project done!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Snowball Syndrome

Everyone's familiar with the 'Snowball Syndrome' or the 'Domino Effect', I'm sure. I am very familiar with it. Especially when it comes to my life. First one thing is happening, then three, then ten, then more than I can keep track of, then way too many, then- well, you get the idea. There are the odd times that I have nothing happening, and then I don't know what to do with myself... Relax? How do you do that again?

When I'm caught up in my life's version of S.S.(snowball syndrome), I have to steal moments like this one. While my toddler is balancing on the edge of her high chair tray instead of eating her breakfast like she should be and my son is doing his utmost to writhe out of the battery operated baby swing he's buckled into, I dash off to my computer to try to squeeze in a quick update for all the people who are certain I've dropped off the face of the earth.
I know I probably should be changing a diaper, or doing dishes, or wiping up a sticky face, or vacuuming, or changing my sewing room back into the dining room, or folding laundry, or watering my parched and dying plants, or a myriad of other things, but my conscience will just not leave me alone. "It's been over two weeks since you posted last"... "Almost half a month".... "What about the three half finished posts?" "you still haven't posted PC's 5 month picture". There's just so much you can ignore. And speaking of ignoring... I must go rescue my son, since I can't ignore his demands to be released from the monster swing any longer!

So, in case anyone was wondering, I am still around, and eventually the snowball will melt again and my life will slow down and I'll do nothing because it will take me that long to realize I'm in a wonderfully, peaceful lull and have time to start new projects or finish old ones, and be able to update my blog with current news!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

I Love

Here's a poem I ran across in my folders and files that I wrote some time ago. This is actually a revised version, but that's the best part about writing it. You can think about it for a while and then when you come up with a word that will express your thought better you can change it!

Things That I Love

I love the smell of a dryer-
As it tosses and tumbles away.
I love the feel of sunshine-
When it shines on my face each day

I love the feel of the breeze-
In the summer as it fingers my hair.
I love to hear and see the birds-
As they dance throughout the air.

I love to find and lose myself-
In the world of countless books
I love to taste - sometimes to help-
Make things not often cooked

I love so many different things-
Some large and some so small,
But there is One, my dearest friend-
That I love best of all!!
"There is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother."
Proverbs 18:24

Wednesday, November 22, 2006 Normal - yes, that's it.

Everyone finds their not quite two-year-old daughter on the bathroom counter half dressed... right? That's what I thought!

Today Dolly decided that she was going to use the 'big potty' for a change. Without my help, she dug out the little seat that rests on the toilet seat, went potty and then proceeded to 'wash' her hands. This is where I came upon the scene. Not quite certain as to how she got onto the counter, I put her down and appeared to go back to my cooking in the kitchen. The ploy worked, and within a few seconds I witnessed my daughter -not climbing onto the counter from the toilet like I had suspected, but instead - climbing up the front of the bathroom sink using the knob handle and top of the cupboard as footrests.

After nearly falling apart in silent laughter, I thought about getting a picture of the process, but decided against it due to my daughter's lack of clothing. Instead, I set her up for this photo shoot by taking her off the counter and seeming to go back to my work in the kitchen. As expected, she scaled the bathroom counter, turned the water on, and - got photographed in the act of 'washing' her hands.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

November 18th

As you can see here, PC thinks he's big enough for real food. He tries his best to grab anything within reach or that he can wiggle close enough to make within reach. It's quite a change. You just don't expect to need to be on high alert for anything a baby might dump - especially when the change happens basically overnight!
Besides PC's new achievements...

On this day in 19--,
(← grandma c)
Sir's Mom was born! So, Happy Birthday Mom!


On this day one year ago,

Dolly started walking! She was only 9½ months old.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Cioppino - Soup of the Sea!

If you want an easy-to-make meal that would feed an army - This would be it. I even forgot to add the water and wine an equivalent of 2½ cups of liquid, yet we still had enough food to feed five adults and three children for supper, have a leftover lunch and to freeze five servings for Sir to take to work in his lunches! And it was so easy! All of the seafood was either frozen or canned, so that left me tons of time to make a green salad, slice French bread, set the table and make Baklavas for desert!

Serves 12-14
  • ¾ cup butter
  • 2-3 onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
Over medium-low heat melt butter in a LARGE stockpot, add onions, garlic and parsley. Cook slowly, stirring occasionally until onions are soft.
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans stewed tomatoes
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth (or 4 cups)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 cup water
  • 1½ cups white wine
Add tomatoes to the pot (break them into chunks as you add them). Add chicken broth, bay leaves, basil, thyme, oregano, water and wine. Mix well. Cover and simmer 30 minutes.
  • 1½ pounds large shrimp - peeled and deveined
  • 1½ pounds bay scallops
  • 18 small clams (or 1 small can)
  • 1½ cups crabmeat (or 2 small cans)
  • 1½ pounds cod fillets, cubed
Stir in the shrimp, scallops, clams, crabmeat and fish. Bring to boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer 10 minutes. Enjoy!

Monday, November 13, 2006

The Potty Training Saga ~ Episode 2

Really, I should be writing Episode 4 or 5 by now, and I would have been, but sometimes documenting the process for everyone else, is not quite as important as actually making progress.

We are making progress, although by Day Four I was ready to throw in the towel and succumb to changing diapers for the rest of my life. Someone told me the first two weeks were the worst, but after you made it through them, it just got better and better. You know what? They were right! I took notes, charted patterns and experimented with different intervals for the timer to go off. Finally, we started to emerge from the depths of 'we'll never make it'.

One thing I would highly recommend for the potty training process is a carpet cleaner of some sort. When we moved into this house, I noticed that the carpet was a light tan color and I could only imagine how easily it would be to get stained or just dirty in general. So, I mentioned it to the landlords and they bought a steam cleaner that I could use as I needed - it's been a lifesaver!

Anyway, Dolly is doing really well. Lately she's been telling me before she goes and has made it through quite a few days without a single accident! There are still discouraging days though. The kind where there is nothing but accidents, but they're not quite as frequent as they were just a week or two ago.
Here's our first completed chart and it's corresponding notes.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Four Months Old!

This is when you wish they'd stay little forever and at the same time you can't wait for them to start hitting milestones such as sitting, crawling, eating solids....

It's hard to chose, but I think four months could be my favorite age under a year. They're getting so big and interactive, but they're really still just babies - completely helpless and still need you for everything. I love to feel needed - to have a place where I belong and something that only I can do.

I like to look for similarities and differences, but it's easy to tell they're siblings.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Kelowna Trip ~ Part II (Finally!)

Originally, our Kelowna trip was planned to be as follows: Leave early Monday morning, get to Kelowna around lunch time. Visit with grandparents until late afternoon. Leave, find a campsite, camp overnight and spend the following day fishing. Except, in mid-September... in the mountains... with two little kids.... we decided to skip the camping part and spend more time with our grandparents. I'm really glad we did. Those couple of days were chilly and I would have been worrying constantly about my babies - not to mention the extra gear we would have had to cram into our little car.

After we left Grandpa and Grandma's house we started off for Brenda Lake. The only problem was actually finding the roads. After finally figuring out what was probably the right one, we embarked on our lake finding adventure. The roads were worse than the ones heading out to the Last Resort. Next, the weather changed from bright and sunshiny to ominously dark and then it POURED! 'Oh great!' I thought 'we get to go fishing... not in the rain, but in a downpour.' But it took us so long to get there that the weather had cleared up a bit and was once again sunny, but still really cold.

When we first got to the lake it was cold and Dolly, PC and I decided to be brave and get out of the car... it just got colder so it didn't take long before we retreated. While we were out though, Dolly found a pine needle brush and discovered it would work as a broom. Then she spotted Daddy across the water and sat down to watch him before hoping I wouldn't notice and moving closer to the log bridge that Daddy had used to get to the other side.

I noticed.

So, she settled for sitting on the end of the log bridge instead.
After a while of not catching anything, we decided to make our way to the other end of the lake. The only problem with that was, to get to the other end of the lake we had to drive on 'deactivated roads'. That proved rather interesting. I thought to get pictures only after we had finally gotten to mostly drivable spots on our way back to where we had started.

Sir fished for a few more hours. It was relaxing even if he didn't catch anything. The kids and I read books, molded play dough, ate tons of snacks, played with toys, watched Sir from the warmth of the car and then discovered some birds that I still can't figure out what kind they are. They were bold birds. One of them actually stole the worm off Sir's fishing hook and then chased him back to the water when he put another one on. You can see that rascal beside the rock in the picture below. Their calls were a soft questioning whistle that I could almost imitate and they looked so soft and fluffy although the pictures don't show their soft look very well. All of the ones we were watching were a dull two-toned gray color, there were about four of them, and there weren't any really dominate ones all of which made me guess that they were not quite fully matured nest-mates. If anyone can tell what they are from these pictures, I'd love to know. I have a lot more pictures that I could post of them if you want a better look, but I'll wait for someone to ask about those before I upload all of them.

And then just before we headed back to civilization, I realized that I hadn't taken any pictures of PC, so I thought I'd include one here since I did make the extra effort to take one!