Monday, March 30, 2009

Paranoid in the suburbs

3 witty remarks
My husband is AWESOME.

It ended up taking him about a week, start to finish. (Which of course GUARANTEED that winter would have to give us one last gasp before melting gracefully into spring, because this is Indiana. It actually snowed while we were in church yesterday.) He started it on a Saturday and the following Thursday, not even a full week later, we got the requisite snotty letter from our HOA. "Your play set in your back yard is broken. Please fix it or we'll charge you a $25 fine." I got a pretty good chuckle out of that, especially because that's the second time we've gotten a letter from the HOA about something that, when you really get right down to it, is not actually a violation of the neighborhood covenant. (The first was my kids' Little Tikes playhouse... you know, the kind that you see in every third backyard.) I thought it was pretty amusing that one of our neighbors had nothing better to do than rat us out for not completing construction in a timely manner (which is, apparently, less than a week). I have this funny mental image of one of our neighbors peering out between the blinds, furtively scribbling on a little spiral bound notebook. So we amused ourselves trying to figure out who it was. I'm pretty sure it wasn't our next door neighbors (although their kids were pretty darn eager for us to finish our play set so that they could play on it while our kids play on theirs); I'm fairly certain it's not the guy who didn't mow his lawn for two months last summer; and I'm nearly positive it's not the family that does archery practice in their backyard. But whoever it is, I guess they're happy now.

So, here's some other fun things to share.
  • When we were at Toys R Us getting the baby swing, I found that Fisher Price is totally bringing back a lot of their old-school toys. And even better? Some of them are in PINK. I got Amy a pink corn popper and a pink chatter phone (you know, the one with the rotary dial. Remember rotary dials?) for her birthday gift from Grandma and Grandpa.
  • I love this interview with Colin Firth and Ben Barnes. I swear they're like an old married couple. Totally cannot wait to see Mr. Darcy and Prince Caspian in the same movie.
  • And I love this idea: paying it forward, crafty-style. I'm working on 3 projects to share and will post pictures as soon as I'm done.
  • We got Bolt from Netflix and there was a preview for The Princess And The Frog, which is supposed to be all hand-drawn animation (speaking of There's No School Like The Old Skool). It looks like it will be really good.
  • I actually got a compliment on my personal style the other day. I was at the school and one of my teachers told me I looked like I should be on American Idol. I was really flattered! I guess I've come a long way since my days of total dorkitude.
  • Oscar Mayer makes little tiny hot dogs now. I know that's not exciting for most people but it is for my kids.
  • The kids are on spring break next week. I'm so glad I will be around to do fun things with them. And you know what else, people? It's almost skirt weather!
  • I actually have a job interview tomorrow (organic extraction, third shift). Haven't decided yet if I really want to go back to working full time... Matt had a really good month for sales in March and also, I am having way too much fun with my kids. But it's nice to think that I am still desirable, thin resume and the lousy economy notwithstanding.
  • Remember how cold it was on Easter last year? It should be much nicer this year. And here's a fun bit of trivia: Amy will actually be more than one year old on her first Easter. (One year and three days but it still counts.)
  • It's my mom's birthday today! Let's all wish her a happy one.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


1 witty remarks
Ahhh! Severed head!

My baby is about to turn 1 (sob!) I already had a gift for her that I found at the Massive Toy Blow-out Clearance in January at Walmart (yes, I blogged about it) but ever since I saw the Simplicity baby doll pattern, I really, really wanted to sew Amy a baby. Now that I have gobs of spare time, I decided I could actually tackle it before her birthday. I got all of the pieces cut out on Friday night and by Saturday evening, the bear was finished and the baby was done except for hair. I have to say, I was expecting it to take a lot longer than that! Baby is all done now and ready to go and Amy's day isn't until the 9th.

So, that gave Matt and me both projects to work on over the weekend. I'm just cutting out some extra doll clothes from my scraps to sew up for the girls for Christmas, and Matt continues on the play set. The clubhouse portion went up on Saturday and it smells very cedar-y. (Am I stragne that I love that smell? I have my great-grandmother's cedar chest and I keep my sweaters in there just so that they smell good.) After dinner last night (meatloaf and mashed potatoes; apple pie for dessert; just in case anyone was doubting that we are a family of blue-eyed Midwesterners) he started in on the roof. So, if it's not done this weekend it sure will be next weekend... just in time for the gorgeous spring weather we've been having.

Anyway, I promised babies, plural, in this post and far be it from me to break a promise. The big news around here is my new baby niece Magdalena (Lena for short). Emily's been wanting a girl so I am thrilled for her that she got one this time. Now the balance of grandchildren is even again on my side of the family... three boys, three girls.

I also found out that one of my scrapbooking friends had a little boy... they just brought him home after a bit of time in the NICU. And several of my favorite bloggers are expecting, so it's been fun checking for updates.

Porter's been asking lately when he's going to have a little brother. HA. I've been telling him the same thing I used to tell the kids when I was working and they would ask if I could stay home with them... it's not up to me, it's up to God. We so cannot afford another baby right now, much as I would like one. (It's more the indirect cost than the direct cost... our insurance doesn't cover it, and the insurance that does cover it would cost $700 a month. Umm, no.) We've been praying for over a year that Matt would get a decent job and one of the reasons for that is that I really don't feel like our family is complete yet. I think we still have another little boy waiting (You'd think I would have learned my lesson after Porter, but no.) but unfortunately, a lot of it is contingent on the economy. In the meantime, it's lots of fun hanging out with the kids I do have.

All the same, when garage sale season comes around in a few more months, I think I am going to weed out some of my huge stash of maternity clothes. I didn't like most of my pants anyway.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Three weeks

2 witty remarks
So, it's been three weeks since I was summarily dismissed from my full-time job. And you know what? It actually feels a lot longer. I've finally gotten used to sleeping past 4:30 (well, except for yesterday, when I freakishly woke up and could not go to sleep), I don't have to deal with pumping, I no longer carry 7 pairs of earplugs in my pocket, and oh yes, I don't stink any more. So far I've gotten to watch Porter get on the bus (that was a first), I've sewed and done a ton of scrapping, I've been to the school a couple of times, I've roasted a chicken and made shamrock cookies, and in general I've gotten to enjoy the normal life that I really missed. Still looking for another job - but really enjoying this too.

We got our tax refund check last week, yay! We've been planning for ages to get a play set for the backyard so our little gift from Uncle Sam (or rather, the repayment of the interest-free loan that we made to Uncle Sam, since I know Mike is reading this blog) is going toward this. (They are a lot cheaper than I thought they'd be!) Matt will be assembling it himself so wish him luck. I can't wait for the kids to have somewhere to burn their excess energy. They've actually been on the neighbors' swing set like every day this week so it's about time we got one of our own.

The tornado sirens went off last night... we had weird weather all day so I thought, Huh, maybe. So I hustled the kids into the basement and turned on the radio. (Only the radio is in the kitchen so that doesn't really help much. Note to self.) It turns out that this is Indiana Severe Weather Awareness Week or something like that (I really like the idea of awareness that actually means something) and the sirens were a scheduled test that I would have known about it I was a little more up on things. But I think that not knowing for sure if it was real or not was helpful for me. The kids handled the whole thing pretty well - I'm sure it doesn't hurt that most of their toys are in the basement. And it was a good chance for me to analyze how prepared we are (really well in some areas, not so much in others) and have a talk with the kids about tornado sirens and what we should do.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Hold my clothes and tie me down, sir.

5 witty remarks
So, I finally scrapped the photos from Betsy's dance recital... almost a year ago. I used the title 'Tiny Dancer' (even though it's slightly a cliche for a DANCE page) because it was the name of the patterned paper line. Yep, there's a whole line of scrapbooking supplies named after old songs... Penny Lane, Free Bird, et cetera. I can't help feeling that they missed an opportunity, though. Why not I Am The Walrus? Why not Ground Control To Major Tom? Or, for Valentine's day, Pompatus Of Love? (Of course, first they'd have to figure out what a 'pompatus' is. I think it might be the same thing as a 'hoosier.')

Aaaaaanyway, Emily was concerned on the last post that I scrapped each of my kids except for Betsy. So here ya go. I don't love her any less, I just don't have a lot of patience with the scanner.

And you see, Susan, that I wasn't kidding about the cards!

Maybe for my next post, I should write about something non-craft-related. Somehow.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Something like spring.

4 witty remarks
It's in the sixties today, and it's supposed to be SEVENTY tomorrow. Perfect weather to wear these:

(Betsy took my picture for me - I think, at the moment, she's a better model than a photographer! But look what a great model she is.)

Something I've been wanting to do for a really long time is make mother-daughter clothes. And I got my great new sewing machine last year and have hardly had any time to use it! Matt gave me a Hobby Lobby card for Christmas and I, of course, blew it all on fabric. I got a length of that pink paisley intending to make a blouse for myself, but when I started laying out the pattern pieces, I realized I was going to have a LOT left over. So I found a little girl pattern out of my stash... they're not exactly the same design (hers has a square yoke and mine is round) but I still think it's a pretty good match. I already had the black fabric in my stash and by laying out the pieces VERY carefully, I was able to get her top and mine cut out without having to buy any more yardage. The only thing I didn't already have in my stash was the black bias tape that I used to bind the sleeves (which I didn't technically NEED but it was so easy and turned out really cute!) and that was like a dollar. So Betsy's top was essentially a 'freebie,' which was nice.

I've really enjoyed my week at home with the kids. We've spent most of our time down in the basement... the kids play and I sew or scrap or make cards and Amy hangs out in her playpen and it's really great! I did start a new job this week; it's in-person tutoring, VERY part time (one evening a week) but the hourly pay is pretty good and it's a nice change of pace from only working on the computer all the time.

I got a jury summons in the mail this week! Kind of weird that I've lived in Indiana for over a decade and never gotten one for this state before. I used to get them all the time for New York state when I was going to college...


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