Sunday, January 31, 2010

Not Me! Monday

I wrote this last night and am posting it today (Monday) but don't know how to change the date of a post from when it's started to when it's posted. I'm sure it's really easy and obvious but I don't know how.

It's that time again . . .

Our playlist in the car does not swing wildly from one extreme (Hermie and Friends) to the other (Dropkick Murphys).

At one point in Saturday's drive, both children in the backseat did not each have a ipod. Because it's OK to be bored, look out the window, and not need electronic media to be entertained.

And I did not learn a new craft activity. I didn't go over to a new friend's house and learn how to make hair bows. I didn't make 10 bows today to send to my niece in South Carolina, even though I need to buy clips to attach to the bows.

I didn't make a super-cute bow holder to send with them (maybe I'll take pictures and post - or not!!).

Sam doesn't frequently say, "this is delicious" about dinner and then 3 minutes later declare some (or all) of what's on his plate inedible (not that he uses those words, but that's the essence).

Kate didn't eat only three cucumber slices for lunch yesterday at the family gathering.

Now, head over to MckMama and see what else has not been going on this week.

What's in a Name?

Ever since I began blogging, I have thought about using creative nicknames for my children (like MckMama does). Hers are great because she has the whole "McK" think going on, and the McDonald's food theme . . . cuteness.

I thought of Special K for Kate, for a variety of reasons based on how special she is, and then some other cereal for Sam. Froot Loop? Oatmeal squares? Rice Chex? This options are endless.

I could use their, hmm, what are they, stage names? The Noodle and the Belle. They both have bucket loads of nicknames to choose from. For a long time after Kate started talking, she didn't say Sam's name. Our theory was that she didn't know his name because we called him all manner of other names. Dude. Buddy. Bubbaloo.

I always loved the name Sam, so when we found out our baby was a boy we knew that's what we'd name him. Samuel means asked of God, which he was. And he's such a cool dude, Sam fits him perfectly. His middle name is my father-in-law's name, Frederick.

We had a much harder time coming up with a name for Kate. I always loved Kate, too, and had a wonderful friend in college named Katey. She still is a great friend (although I am more humble . . . you had to be there) and I liked that naming my daughter Kate would be a tribute to her and to that time of wonderful, intense, loving, lasting friendships.

But. It was not to be so easy.

We have close friends of Craig's family that named their daughter Kate about 8 months before our Kate was born. They are missionaries to Papua New Guinea. My argument to Craig was this: they are about as far away as you can get without starting on your way back, so it's fine if we both have a Kate.

He liked Marin. I tried out Isolde and Carolina. Finally we sat down (at Federal Jack's) and made lists and talked about it. He agreed that I could have Katherine (Kate) if he could pick the middle name (her name was to be Katherine Anne because Anne is a family name on both sides).

He chose Isabelle.

I wasn't big on it at first (and would have vetoed it posthaste if I had known my sister liked Belle for a girl and was going to name her baby girl Bellencia) but then looked it up and it means "devoted to God" or something like that (I think it's a sad commentary on how lazy I am that I don't save this post, open another window, and google it, but hey. Limited time here). But we didn't officially decide until after she was born. Her hospital bracelet says "baby girl Leland" because we didn't decide right away. But she looked so much like Sam, and the names go well together, so we finally had a name for her.

So very often she's Katey Belle (and even though they live 900 miles away [give or take], my sister's baby calls herself Belle Belle), or KateyB, Katrina, Katrin, K.B., Katarina. One time we were out somewhere and I admonished her "Katherine Isabelle!" and this lady turned her head and said, "that's a beautiful name," which amused me to no end that Kate was being wild child and I was attempting to get her under control and the thing that got this lady's attention was how much she liked Kate's name.

She objects to names like "angel baby" or "sweet girl." NO, she protests, my name is KATE.

She also has a rap name, Tenacious K.

Sam has been variations on peanut: peanut butter pie, peanutter butter, Mr. Peanut Butter Pie. Also little man, love bug, noodle doodle, Sammy Noodle, Angelus, dudealoo.

Now that you know the entire story of how their names were chose and what their names and nicknames are, I guess the point of "disguising" them with clever names is moot. I'm still going to work on a cereal for Sam, though. Maybe.

Alright. I did just google "name meanings Isabelle" and found one site that said "My God is a vow" which is not what I thought, but the other site said "God's promise" which is more along the lines of what I thought it meant.

Friday, January 29, 2010


Yesterday, after taking Sam to school, I went with Kate to a friend's house and then to Target (or course) and as we were driving home, we passed the turn that leads to Sam's school. I thought, I wonder what my boy is doing? and then looked at the time . . . 2:34. Almost time for school to be out.

I think I'll pick him up, I thought.

Nah, I didn't write a note.

But I think I'll pick him up.

So I made an illegal U-turn and went to the school where they asked me for my ID. I said, "I was just driving by and thought I'd get him." The secretary said, "Sometimes it's better to ignore those impulses."

No, it's not.

Because I'm his mother. And I trust in God.

Sometimes it's obvious what God wants us to do. And sometimes He speaks in a still, small voice.

Something told me to pick him up.

I'll probably never know why. The bus didn't crash or anything. But he came home with me.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Craig was very late tonight so I went ahead and gave the children their meatloaf and baked potato before he came home. My neighbor was over chatting about the knotty girl scarf so they didn't have my full attention. This apparently meant it was time to go bananas. Both of them refused to eat and ran around screaming to the horror/amusement of the neighbor's daughter (who is Sam's age but an only child). The look on her face was an eloquent "this is crazy loco."

Craig made it home safely (snow squall and slippery roads) and we enjoyed the prepared dinner. Kate ended up with macaroni and Sam finally chose bagel pizzas. By finally I mean "at 7:00."

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I try

I try to feed my children a balance, healthy diet, but sometimes the quiet brought on by a bag of fruit snacks is so delicious.

I try to remember what day it is, yet my niece's second birthday is tomorrow and I haven't made her the world's best card. Yet. (I did send her her birthday present int he box with the Christmas presents.)

I try to be happy about play dough and Bella dancearella at the crack of dawn but sometimes the coffee isn't ready yet.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Something Fishy

Last night we made baked haddock - it's called something elaborately descriptive like "oven-baked herb-crusted fish" or something like that. Both children ate it. Kate needed a little more encouragement and some "help" with the fork (did I mention how "I don't know how to do it" is her favorite phrase?). Sam said it was good and didn't need any reminders.

It was really good. We'll see if they like it next time.

Monday, January 25, 2010

More Crafting

This is my "knotty girl" scarf. I got it for Christmas (actually I bought it for myself and my husband wrapped it up). Then I got one for Liz. She (haute hooked designs) actually has some up right now so I encourage you to head over and get your own.

Anyway. Kate is obsessed with wanting to wear this and use it. She's pretty much obsessed with all scarves for some reason. Maybe because they're extraneous to outfits? Just an accessory and doesn't fit in any category she wears so she wants to check them out all the time?

So I decided to make her her own. And this time I took pictures of the process.
First, assemble the supplies (this one required a trip to Michael's where I was appalled to find yarn is like $5.79 a thing [skein?]. I ended up with some sale stuff and "splurged" on the eyelash yarn [if that's what you call it]). I mean, she could not like it and then this is all a waste. (Feel free to, as I did, use a stack of place mats for your "backdrop.")

Then, cut the yarns & ribbons to desired length. I made mine as long as my arms are when they are spread out to the side. This is a very unscientific and irregular method that resulted in varying lengths. (Don't feel the need to move the place mats during this process.)

Tie the ends together. Then make knots at (regular) intervals. I debated (briefly) getting a tape measure but went with "the pair of scissors" as my measure of lengths between knots.
It did not take very long. I did have to be careful to keep the yarns (etc.) from sagging between knots. Cut the ends to the same length.

Then I took it up to Kate when it was time to get her up from her nap.
"I love it!" she said.
"It's beautiful."
Then she posed for me.

I think I'll make one for my niece.


I realized I have made some resolutions. Both of them have to do with Facebook.

1. Update my status less often
2. Use fewer exclamation points

Other than that, I'd say my goals remain the same, which basically are: to follow God faithfully and love Him absolutely; to love my husband and children deliberately and well; and to faithfully do my job (housewife) as God has given me the ability and tools to do it. To be a friendly neighbor . . . good grief, this is getting to be a lot. I'm going to go check Facebook.

(Oh, MckMama has her Not Me up. I had a good "not me Monday" but can't remember what it was . . . head over to MckMama to see what else has not been going on this past week.)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

It's all coming back to me now

We took Sam skiing yesterday. I was a little worried that I would not remember what I was doing and Craig would be there, on the bunny slope, in the rain, trying to deal with both of us.

As it turned out, it was a gorgeous day. And I remembered how to ski.

Sam was ready to go. He didn't want to go short distances and practice turning. He kept asking to go to the top of the hill. He was driving us nuts a little bit, with being a complete noodle when Craig tried to ski with him, and falling in dramatic fashion that left the skis going every which way. Then he wanted to leave. So we got snacks.

The turning point came soon after break time. We'd taken the tow rope up to the top (Craig was completely exhausted with holding Sam up for practice runs and then supporting him on the tow rope) and Craig had tried holding Sam and skiing. They stopped, and Sam kind of moved away and took off on his own. Not the best idea because he really didn't know what he was doing, but he did finally get to feel how it felt to move. So that's how we finished out the day: setting him up, pointing him down the hill, catching up to him when he fell. Craig and I took turns at the end, one waiting at the bottom of the hill (with ski boots loosened because holy cow I forgot how uncomfortable those things are) and the other going up and coming down with Sam.

I think one of the reasons I did so well (the others being my natural athleticism and phenomenal muscle memory) was that I didn't have a lot of time to think about what I was doing. Sam was careening down the hill and I needed to catch up with him. Just turn, turn, turn, stop.

We can't wait to go again.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Craft Project

I made this today.

What is it, you ask?

It's to hold Kate's bows.

I can't tell you how happy I am with how this turned out.

Here are directions so you can make your own:

1. Begin by assuming this will be easy. Think about it for a few weeks before proceeding. I should also mention, in the interest of full disclosure, that it will be easier if you are a hoarder of craft/sewing supplies as I am.

2. Finally remember to look at frames at Target. Realize do not want to spend even $10 on a frame as have lots at home and can use one of those. Think about sanding & painting one of the frames filling 2 boxes you have in the basement. Decided to use this frame hanging on the wall in son's room, as it has that shabby-chic look you were going for.

3. Take frame to basement so can pull it apart on husband's workbench. Realize scrap table is still cleaned off from going to an all-day crop and decide to work there. Take back of frame off and remove glass.

4. Get the cardboard you saved from the 2010 calendars (it was bound to come in handy sometime) and glue the two pieces together (to make it stronger).

5. Get out pink toile fabric you've had for 2 years. You will find this in the bin under the bin of other fabric you've had for 3 or 4 years. Wonder why fabric is so long and skinny. Cut off little piece. See it is wrinkled and go iron it. Come back down and see that it would have been better to turn on the light while ironing. Proceed anyway as plan to pull fabric tight.

6. Use tape runner around outer edges of cardboard. Affix fabric. Realize cardboard is showing through and making fabric look dingy. Pull fabric off and go look for white fabric. Realize can use white piece of cardstock so affix that. Go back to attaching the fabric (folding it up around the edges and pressing down).

7. Fold corners flat and have trouble getting them to lay down flat. Realize can use tape (real tape) because this is the back of the thing we're talking about. Get fed up with going up and down the stairs.

8. Get out ribbon. Decide on 4 rather than 5 strands. Lay these down how you want them spaced & arranged and think this is going to work out after all. Use tape to attach these. Turn thing over and straighten.

9. Put fabric-covered board back in the frame. Flip it over and think how outstanding it is and how much you love it.

10. Take pictures to post on blog.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


For awhile now, stir-fries have been popular around here. They are eaten with gusto and minimal complaint. I really don't know why this is. Maybe it's the little pieces of food? Maybe it's giving them chopsticks?

I didn't realize, until Craig pointed it out, that Kate prefers the ones with noodles instead of rice. So tonight, of course, she wanted nothing to do with the beef/carrot/green bean goodness, as it was over rice. She wanted macaroni. I told her this was Chinese macaroni, which elicited crying and whining (hey, it could have worked).

And then I made her macaroni. Which she insisted she be fed. Her new thing is "I don't know how . . ." to eat, to sleep, to draw kids, to play. You name it. She doesn't know how to do those things.

She does, apparently, know how to stealthily remove all the Cars cars from Sam's room during her nap so I don't hear her; how to scream in Target that she doesn't like the store because it's too big (or too baby, I'm not sure which); and how to answer questions with a mixture of yes & no so that I don't know what she wants (It's very hard to do this. She'll start out with "yeeeeeeeeeeehno" or "noooooooooooooooooyeh") and have to ask her to repeat herself.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


I am fairly certain the new ipod is smarter than me. I'm almost afraid to touch it for fear it's going to reach out and smack me for being a mere human.

Monday, January 18, 2010

More Winter

This is our back deck. I thought the angel looked cool with the snow on it. There's also, just to the leftt of the gate, a measuring stick that Sam and Craig made so we can look out and tell how much snow we've gotten. It's plastered with snow so instead of being exact we'll have to estimate we got a lot.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Things I do not like about winter:

1. Forgetting to go out and start the car so it can warm up and having to drive in a cold car.

2. Not being able to clean fingerprints/drool off the windows because the cleaner freezes when I spray it.

3. Tracking in sand, gravel, and rock salt.

4. Looking for mittens.

5. Sam's lips get so dry they crack :(

6. Small children going bananas indoors because they can't go outside to go bananas.

7. Cancelling plans because of snow.

8. Trying to think of things I do like about winter so this post doesn't seem so negative.

9. Getting a car wash and then having the car get grungy on the way home.

10. The gravel-covered snow on the sides of the road that is just ugly.

Maybe I'll come up with some things I do like about winter . . . and I'll look for the Emily Dickinson poem ("birds/by the snow"), because I do think winter makes me appreciate summer more.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

So it's Wednesday and I feel like I should post something. I have nothing to say and I'm too tired to think of something.

Is there a Wednesday meme? Oh, I've seen Wordless Wednesday on other blogs. Try this on for size:

Monday, January 11, 2010

Not My Child!!

Since I have not done anything, shall we say, confession worthy this week, this week's post is about Katey Belle. Head over to MckMama's blog to find out what else has not been going on this week.

Because Katey Belle is such a mild-mannered, well-behaved, and self-controlled little girl, she did not get a tube of toothpaste during yesterday's "nap time" and proceed to decorate her walls, furniture, toys, and my church shoes with it.

Oh and I KNOW I don't hear her little footsteps right now cruising around the second floor even though I put up a gate to keep her in her room.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Recent Purchases

So, sooner than I expected, are pictures of some of the many things I've bought recently. "Recently" as in since the excessive influx of material things known as Christmas.

This sailboat was at the L.L. Bean Outlet. It was originally marked $69, on clearance for $14.95. Really? I wouldn't have even looked at it for $69, but for $14.95 I'll buy it. I said to the lady at the register, "I don't even really want it but for that price I'll buy it."

I got this comforter for Sam's bed. For a long time now (since he got the big bed 3 years ago, I guess), he's had the quilt (now folded at the foot of the bed) from his Nana. He had a bassinet quilt and a baby quilt but she made this one on our request for one to "match his room." She made it twin sized (at the time he was in a toddler bed and we didn't really plan to give him a full size), so for however many years he just had the twin size quilt on the full size bed. In the last few months, though, it's been bugging that his bed was sloppy all the time, even when "made."

So I started looking for something in the right size that didn't cost too much (the plan is to get him bunk beds and then he'll use the twin quilt and I'm working on another one made from his crib sheets). Home Goods usually has something but didn't. So, I looked online (I really only wanted to spend about $40) and found this at Wal-mart! Of all places! (I hate going to Wal-mart). About half the reviews online said it was cheaply made and didn't wash well . . . well, people, it was $25 at Wally World. What did you expect?

It's not Garnet Hill, Pottery Barn Kids, or Land of Nod, but it looks SO much better than the textile conglomeration we had before.

This is the picture Kate took when she saw me in Sam's room with the camera.

This is Puppy (who is sometimes called Bolt).

Puzzle, bought while looking for a birthday present for my nephew.

Patriots shirt bought because it was Patriots Day at school and he had nothing Patriots.

They both got watches but I only have a picture of Kate's. I was trying to use natural light.

I have a shopping problem. I know that. It's been dialed down from a full-blown addiction. I think. On a good day.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


I did not, as the title suggests, have an epiphany (as in, a deep, revealing thought and certainly did not experience a pre-incarnate revelation of Christ [since He already came in the flesh, an event we just celebrated]). Jan. 6 is Epiphany, or 12th Night, or traditionally when the wise men came to see the Christ child.

Mostly I just think it's cool that it's 12th Night.

(On a side not, I have a Nativity set [I think my mom gave the same one to my sister and me] that has Mary, Joseph, and the Babe [lying in a manger] and wise men but NO SHEPHERDS. This bothers me profoundly. I put the wise men across the room because they are traveling. This year, the nativity was on a table at the bottom of the basement stairs and the wise men were on a ledge near the top of the stairs. When I was taking down the decorations, Kate came up and asked me something along the lines of 'move these now?' and took them down to the manger. I forgot that until I started typing about the nativity set. It was so cute how she asked and how excited she was to put them down with the rest of the set. And as she acted out a little scene, I realized she asked. It must have been so hard for her to use self-control and not touch them for the 3 or however many weeks they were out, and maybe it profoundly bothered her that the set wasn't together. But she obeyed and didn't touch them (touching of Christmas decorations was strictly forbidden). My baby girl. My sweet baby K.)

Oh, I'm so glad I actually had something to write. I came on here to say, since it's the week of Epiphany, apparently I feel the need to buy a lot of stuff. I plan to take pictures and post them with the title "recent purchases." Don't hold your breath. It may take a few days.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Finally . . .

I finally assembled all the ingredients, started on time, and made the beef, cheese, and noodle bake for dinner.

It was declared 'great' and quickly eaten by, well, all of us.

Complete Cave-in

I have just spent the last, I don't know, forever (20 minutes?) reasoning with a 3.5 year-old. I do not recommend doing this. Craig has a knack for getting her to calm down when she's unreasonable about nap/bed. It's a different story with me. Things that never come up have to be discussed. Example: the "teeny circle thing" that she put in the gate (there's this tiny opening, sort of a track to allow you to make it bigger or smaller to fit your doorway). This becomes of vital importance to extract last night at 7:45. Telling her it doesn't matter, or that I'll buy a new one at Target (if I had ANY clue what the thing is, I would be happy to get a new one; I suspect it's a hair elastic but she said it wasn't), or that Dad will get it later doesn't help. She was sobbing.

Craig went up, talked to her, and emerged 4 minutes later with her quiet.

Today, for rest, we discussed donuts, the fan, Sam's 'kitty' (stuffed), and toilet paper.

So last night (you won't believe this, I know) I went to make the beef, cheese, and noodle bake and DIDN'T HAVE TOMATO SAUCE. How would I know (except to read the recipe) that I needed tomato sauce? So I didn't make it. We had ham and a sort of potato gratin which (shocking, I know) neither child wanted to eat.

"Cereal?" I said, without hesitation. "Will you eat cereal?"

And that's what they had for supper.

Monday, January 4, 2010


I am not doing a Not Me! Monday this week . . . seriously. I realize saying I'm not doing should mean that I am doing it . . . You can head over to MckMama to see what others haven't done.

Last night, after I went to bed, I thought that I could post my layouts here (since they were such a pivotal part in getting my kids to eat last night), so, here they are:

I did add some ink to the RH page. This is a little too symmetrical for me but I was tired of looking at it.

I love this one. I love the pictures of the pine pitch-encrusted feet and I really like how the page turned out. I hammered the brads to flatten them and sanded the cardstock to give it less of a refined look.

I stamped "blueberry hill" three times and still am not happy with it. oh well. I wanted to be finished with it - this is the culprit of my dinner defection last night.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

I am SO not eating that!

Earlier today:
Craig: What are we having for supper?
Me: Beef, cheese, and noodle bake*
Sam: I am SO not eating that!

So, do I address it right then? It's like 11 in the morning. His attitude could change by supper time.

Or mine could.

It took me WAY longer than it should have to complete a layout and then I wanted to upload my pictures (so people could get right on telling me how great they are) so I didn't brown the beef. Or start the water for the noodles. Or grate the cheese (have I forgotten anything?). So . . . We got takeout (yay!).

*I think this is a dumb name for the dish as it also has carrots in it. And what makes it Beef, Cheese, and Noodle Bake rather than Beefy Noodles with Cheese? Or Cheesy Beef with Noodles? Or just plain Noodle Bake?

S & K both gobbled up chicken nuggets and carrot sticks.

Sam got his way anyway.

Friday, January 1, 2010


It was a long New Year's Day. Craig unexpectedly had to work all day.

I made frozen ravioli for supper.

I cooked it first.

This did not sit well with Sam, who screamed and protested and had to be sent to his room.

He calmed down, came down, and decided he wanted not only 4 but SIX ravioli.

Kate ate some of hers but was way more into slurping her chocolate milk off of a spoon. So I encouraged her to eat between slurps. This led to her dipping the ravioli in the milk.

Gross, but . . . ok . . .

Then she dropped (half) a ravioli in the milk. And couldn't get it out.

A few minutes later she was stirring and announced she was making a smoothie.

I responded by saying, "You are NOT making a smoothie!" (thinking about it now, it was a total waste of breath to say anything. I mean, really, was she going to sit up, hold her fork correctly, and say, "Of course, Mom, you're right; because no one in her right mind would ever think chocolate milk and ravioli would make a smoothie"?)

Sam's objection to the smoothie production? "She doesn't have any crushed ice."

Happy New Year!

I realized this morning that anything I thought of as a 'resolution' was really just a 'to-do' item. Such as, take my boots to the cobbler.

I spent the morning cleaning the kitchen and living room and contemplating how a new year isn't bringing much change . . . yet.

I also have the idea for a 2009 layout rolling around in my head. My dream for today was for Craig to take Sam ice skating in the afternoon and then I'd scrap while Kate "rested." Craig is working and the skating times are 11:50 - 1:30 so that's not happening.

The layout will have "the best of 2009" - such as Movie of the Year Bolt, Song of the Year "Love Story" (I am sorry but it cracks me up to have two little voices from the back seat singing "marry me Juliet you'll never have to be alone," etc.) . . .

Sam's quote of the year: "Don't look at me like that, Albert Einstein."

Kate's quote of the year: "I'm a big girl, but I'm also a baby."

I haven't thought of much beyond that so it seems like it'll be a pretty lame layout right now.

Also thinking about some best of the decade events . . . I really need to just write these things down so I don't forget. On paper.

Happy New Year!