Friday, July 30, 2010

Five Question Friday, Take Four

1. Did you have a favorite blanket or toy as a kid? If so, do you still have it?
I remember having a large panda bear I called Poppy, the same thing I called my grandpa who bought it for me.  It is in my dad's garage still.  (I hope!)

2. Do you dream in color?
I don't know.  I think so.  I remember things being colors in my dreams afterwards.

3. How tall are you? Do you wish you were shorter or taller?
I am 5'2".  And yes!  I wish I were taller.  Can I add four inches?  All to my legs?  Please?  Pretty please?

4. If you could have anyone's (celeb or other) voice as the guide on your GPS, who would it be?
Ha, Sean Connery.  I actually put mine on the British voice because she sounds less bitchy than the American voice.  But Sean Connery would be super!

5. Do you return your shopping cart to the corral or leave it wherever in the parking lot?
I return it.  

So now I've finished reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and am waiting for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.  After that will probably be The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest.  Woo-Hoo!  I've been sewing like mad lately, too.  I made two lunch bags, a dress for Lauren and now a shirt for myself.  This has been my first experience with interfacing.  

Jen and I have been putting a lot of effort into our joint blog lately.  Check it out: Team Awesome.  I know, best name ever!  We have some good things lined up to be posted soon, so keep an eye on it.

Ben has been getting in lots of flight hours.  He dropped the crab pots today and plans to pull them tomorrow.  On Saturday we're going to drive up to Mount Vernon to go to a birthday party.  My friend Andrea (from elementary school) is having a barbecue birthday party for her one year old daughter, Gwyn.  I'm excited to go up.  Last weekend I drove to Seattle to go to Andrea's birthday celebration.  She booked a private ghost tour of Pike Place Market.  First we met at the Abili Room in Pike Place where most people had drinks, but I had a fabulous apple, brie and focaccia bread appetizer plate.  It was so yum.  I wish I had brought my camera, but I didn't.  Luckily, this person did, and they posted their picture on Flickr:  Doesn't that look delicious? Then we did the ghost tour, which thankfully wasn't scary at all, but was a good history lesson.  It was fun to see a group of girls I had been in Campfire Girls with but hadn't seen for 13 years.

Natalie is pointing to my eyes now.  She thinks it is hilarious.  I say "eye" every time, and occasionally when I ask her where my eye is, she points to it.  She has been climbing onto the coffee table and the ottoman and just getting around everywhere.  Lauren has been so amazing- believe it or not, she's been doing MATH!  Like, real addition and subtraction.  I can't get over what a genius she is!  And she gets so excited about doing it.  She just loves it.  It's wonderful.  I hope she can hold on to that.

The weather here has been perfect lately, between 75 and 85 degrees, cool in the morning and sunny all afternoon.  I think July in Washington is one of my new favorite things.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Five Question Friday, take three

What?  Again?  Something semi-regular posted on this site?  Will the third time be the last?  Stay tuned.  This week's questions, answered below:

1. What were your school colors?
We were blue and silver.  Interestingly enough, this week my sister texted me a picture of our high school, which was recently painted maroon.  We can't figure out why.  I'm guessing a prank by one of our rival schools?  She said it looked professionally done and doubts it.  I loved our colors.  I've always been partial to blue and silver anyway.  We also had a pretty bad-ass logo, where our initials were shaped to look like our mascot.

2. What's the best compliment you ever received?
Um, I don't know?  Today I was told that I was intuitive by my friend Jen, and also that I had pretty teeth by my dentist.  Those are two recent ones.  Isn't it funny how it's harder to remember compliments than insults?  I still remember a somewhat snobby girl telling me I had a booger in my nose in 4th grade.

3. Do you buy cheap or expensive toilet paper?
I prefer a more expensive toilet paper.  Charmin Ultra Strong to be exact.  If Ben goes shopping with me we come home with something cheaper.

4. Have you ever had a surprise party thrown for you? Or have you had one for someone else?
No on both counts.

5. What is one material possession that you "can't live without"?
Hmmm, my iPhone probably.  I dropped it and shattered the screen and just about had a heart attack.  Got a new one at the Apple store, thank goodness, and life is happy again.  But, in pre-iPhone times, I would have said my computer and more specifically, my internet connection.  

I know I could live without them, but I like life a lot more with them.


Jen and I have been doing some more work on Team Awesome.  We started two new features, TeamPhotos and TeamPrintables.  We've been working on a new banner and a few other design changes that will be coming soon.  

I've been sewing so much!  This week I've been working on a cross stitch piece as a gift for someone. I have four new shirt patterns I need to get supplies for, plus the fabric for another shirt for me and two kids dresses.  

I'm still reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, which I'm really enjoying.  It's over 700 pages long, though, so despite staying up way past my bedtime, I'm not half finished yet.  Although, really, I haven't been devoting that much time to it since I've been working on this cross stitch.  I feel like I need to make myself do one thing at a time, it's starting to catch up with me.  I'm tired today!  I'll be heading to bed shortly after the girls tonight.

Friday, July 16, 2010


On Tuesday the girls and I drove about an hour north east to Bremerton to meet my grandma, who I call Ema at Olive Garden for lunch.  It's really nice that we can have a short visit more often when each of us only need to drive an hour each way.  It's especially nice when we do it on Tuesdays after Natalie's physical therapy and we're already out that way and the drive drops to 45 minutes.  I'd love to be able to do it every week or every other week.  Knowing we'd want to do more than just lunch, Ema told me which stores she likes to shop at in the area around Olive Garden and she mentioned JoAnn Fabrics and Micheals and Ross.  I pulled out a book I got myself with some gift cards I got called 101 One-Yard Wonders which is a book with plans for - wait for it - one hundred and ONE sewing projects that can be completed using one yard of fabric.  Most of them have several other materials you need, like coordinating thread, bias tape, batting, fiber fill, buttons, velcro, etc., but most of them are also really easy to do.  I flipped through and noted three different projects I wanted to try and made a list of the materials I'd need.  After lunch, we went to JoAnn and I bought the fabric for all three projects and because I found another fabric I thought my friend Jen would like, I decided I'd do two of one of the projects.  I can't say yet what it is because said project is in the mail, on its way to Germany as we speak.  When I got home, I promptly sat down and dusted off my sewing machine and started on her project and had it all finished in about 3 hours.  And that's with the distraction of two children.  The directions in the book are pretty easy to follow and many of the projects don't have a paper pattern, they just give dimensions for various squares and rectangles for you to sketch out and cut.  After finishing Jen's project, having dinner, and getting the girls to bed, I started another one yard wonder- a dress for Lauren.  They described it as an "updated pillowcase dress" and call it a Ballet-neck Toddler Dress.  It's SUPER cute! It has one tiny pattern piece to cut out and keep track of, and the rest is just a giant rectangle. (I bet if I make it a few times I'll be able to do future ones from memory!) I finished most of it before bed and waited until morning to have her try it on so I could get the elastic around the waist the right length and so I could hem it to the right length.  She of course wanted it to be so long that she'd trip over it, but she told me that would be ok, because she'd just hold the front up with her hands when she walked.  You know, like a princess.  I hemmed it to just below the knee anyway.  Probably ruining the entire dress.  She wore it all day anyway.

I haven't started the third project yet, it's a changing pad and a little pocket to store 2 or 3 diapers and a small container of wipes in.  Maybe I'll get to that one this weekend.  Tonight I'm working on the second one of the unnamed project that I made for Jen but so far it's not coming along well and thus, I stopped to blog.  Sewing does make me happy, though, and I'm glad I have been making time to do it this week.  I stopped into Barnes & Noble this evening to flip through some sewing books and I found a couple that I liked.  I'll order those with some gift cards and hopefully have them in another week.

On Monday and the Friday before we finally had a little bit of speech therapy for Natalie.  It was actually parent education sessions that last about 30 minutes.  Most of it was stuff I already was doing and know, but it's nice to have reassurance that I'm doing things I should be doing, and also nice to have someone tell me not to worry about some other things.  Natalie has been babbling a lot more and has been overall more vocal.  It was great to hear her laughing at her sister over and over tonight at the book store - so nice that I didn't care if she was bothering anyone else in there.  Small victory for us and for her!  Anyone who didn't like it could go to hell.  (Not that we had any problems or looks.)  And I'm pretty sure she'll be walking any day now, she just thinks she can't do it and stops herself and sits down.  I've got to try to boost her confidence about it, she has it, it's right there, just about to happen...

I took the girls to the new splash park on base yesterday.  It's really cute.  Lauren had so much fun.  Natalie?  Not so much.  She doesn't really enjoy getting sprayed with water.  She and I sat on the sidelines and watched Lauren run around and play.  I'm hoping we'll get a chance to go tomorrow, if not, we'll head over on Saturday.

I'm especially glad I've had time to sew since it's been too hot to cook.  I miss baking cookies!  I've been spending my spare time in the evenings reading (I'm catching up with the Harry Potter series.  I've read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.  Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire should be waiting for me at the library tomorrow) and watching movies (the first two Harry Potter movies and 'An Education').  It's been nice.  The girls have been doing pretty well about sticking to a bedtime schedule.  Well, Natalie has been doing fabulously, she's ready to go down at 8 on the dot, starts rubbing her eyes about 10 minutes before and quiets right down and is asleep by 5 after.  Lauren is a little more difficult, she didn't have a regular bedtime until this past May, so even when I can get her into bed at 8 she watches tv or movies until 9, and sometimes I go in after I've turned off her tv and lights and she's still up playing.  I've been cutting down on tv during the rest of the day, though, and she acts better overall when it's off more.  If the tv is on she's able to tune me out completely.

Anyway, I better get back to that sewing project, it looks so sad sitting there hanging out in the sewing machine.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

blogs, books, birds, ballet, bikes (kinda)

I've been such a bad blogger this year, I was looking back and except for January, I haven't blogged more than 3 times a month.  I need to hop back on this train, I like doing it, I enjoy having a sort of family diary and I feel good when I have plenty of posts each month.

However, I have been a good reader this year, and I'm on book #17 of the year already.

Lauren painted a bird house last fall and we hung it in a small tree in our back yard.  A few weeks ago we hung a bird feeder next to it and we have had some really pretty birds lately.  I googled and found a good site that has helped me identify the two birds I was interested in and they are a Steller's Jay and an American Goldfinch.  If you quickly google them you'll find some pretty pictures of each one.

The girls are doing well.  I think Lauren is a little bored now that ballet is out, too.  She has been having fun riding her two wheel bicycle with training wheels.  We got a free hand me down Dora the Explorer bike and spray painted it pink and put new princess stickers and a white basket on it.  She likes it better that way.  Natalie is getting close to walking.  She'll go between two things that require a reach and has, though not often, pivoted on one foot.  I've been getting frustrated at her resistance to wear her glasses lately so I popped into a Claire's yesterday and found a pair of glasses with no correction to them.  I've been wearing them since then hoping it will encourage her to keep hers on her face.  It may take a while, I should get used to my new look.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Five Question Friday, take two

So I actually happened to see the sneak preview of tomorrow's questions as I was browsing the internet tonight.  Here we go:

1. What is your favorite thing about summertime?
The shoes.  I love to wear flip flops and cute sandals.  This year I picked up an adorable pair of espadrilles at Target and I want to wear them until they fall apart.  I hate it when my feet and ankles are cold, so as soon as the temperature drops I'm in knee high socks and usually my Danskos, but once it's warm enough I can't wait to let my feet be free!

2. What is your ideal retirement location (if money didn't matter)?
I'd probably love to live by the beach.  Part of me wants to say somewhere right in Malibu, but the ocean is a little cold for swimming in out there.  So, maybe a home in Malibu with a pool?  LOL.  Still close enough to drive to see family and close enough to a real city.  I think Ben would love to live near Chicago.  We will see how that works out in another 8 years when he's done with the military and we have more freedom to pick where we live.

3. Do you live in the same town you grew up in?
Which one?  Doesn't matter, the answer is no.  Ha ha.  I consider Cathedral City, CA to be my hometown even though I hardly lived there.  Before that was Rancho Mirage, Mukilteo, Palm Springs, Escondido, Oceanside... a whole lot of places I don't remember.  But I went to Cathedral City High School and it's where my dad lives now, so it's pretty much home.  I moved away when I married Ben and now 10 years later I've lived 7 different places and each of them has been new to me.  

4. What nervous habit did you have as a child that you kicked to the curb before becoming an adult?
I don't know?  I never sucked my thumb or kept a blankie or any of that, so if I have a weird habit, I probably still do it.  

5. What is the most embarrassing thing that happened to you while on the job?
This one is really embarrassing, actually.  I was wearing a suit with a skirt and heels and standing talking to some co-workers.  I was standing with my feet crossed at the ankles and kind of leaning against a counter.  I went to turn and walk away, stepping to the right with my right foot (which had been crossed over my left foot), but as I turned, my heel got stuck and I totally fell to the ground, all the way onto my back with my legs up in the air.  It was more embarrassing than I could explain, but all I could do at the time was laugh.  Before that, I actually had been having a pretty bad day, but that kind of turned things around and got me out of my funk, and let's face it, my day could only go up from there.


I finished reading Tori Spelling's Uncharted Territori yesterday in one sitting.  I find her really funny and I enjoyed the book.  Now I'm reading through Country Living's "Simple Country Wisdom: 501 old-fashioned ideas to simplify your life".  I'm hoping the library books that I have requests out for will be ready soon.  I've been devouring books lately which makes me happy.

Tomorrow morning Jon is headed into town so he and Ben can go crabbing.  Ben's planning a big catch since it will be the first day of the season.  I'm planning on ordering a pizza.  LOL.  That sounds like I don't have faith in him, but that's not it!  I do, I just don't really enjoy crab.

I made an appointment for Lauren to visit the dentist next week.  It will be her first time going.  I think she will do fine, she brushes and even flosses every day.  I finally scheduled my own teeth cleaning, too.  Natalie's latest trip to the Neurosurgeon went well, he will see her again in a year.  She had a thorough hearing test on Monday and that went well, also.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Gardening, Reading, Driving

Our garden has been doing amazingly well.  I went to Lowe's yesterday and bought some chicken wire and wooden stakes and set up a trellis for the peas.  I also bought a cilantro plant and put it in since I hate buying a big bundle of it at the grocery store only to end up using a few tablespoons of chopped leaves at a time.  This way I can use it as I need it and not waste quite so much.  For our back yard, I bought a jasmine plant and put it in the ground by the patio.  I'm hoping I'll be able to get it to climb up the column on the back porch.  What a great scent to be greeted by every time I open the door!

I finished reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and now I'm on to Dead in the Family, the latest in the Sookie Stackhouse series.  Harry Potter was better than I thought it would be, and I probably will read more in the series, but I'm not in any rush.  If anything, it made me want to watch the movies.  Happy to report, though, that Jen liked Twilight and has already finished New Moon and moved on to Eclipse, as well.  Stephanie Meyer needs to add onto that series already.

This morning I got up before 6 and Natalie and I headed up to Seattle for her checkup with Neurosurgery.  She had an MRI and her doctor said everything looked great and he'd see her again in a year.  That's great news and we'll take it!  It was awful traffic heading up there, but the drive back was easy enough and we were home by one.  I'm feeling exhausted from the day though and I think I'm going to head up to bed and call it a night.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

I need reminders!

I've been looking for a perpetual calendar/birthday reminder book for a while now.  I just couldn't find one that I wanted.  I wanted something sturdy and classic looking with room to add plenty of new information as time went by, but that was also small enough to sit on a shelf by my desk and not be intrusive.  Last summer there was a 365 page journal at Anthropologie that I now regret not buying.  It had twelve sections, each in a different color, but the pages were all blank.  That would have been perfect!  Oh well.  Today I went and bought a plain black hard bound journal, counted out the pages (224) and divided it into sections myself.  I have some extra pages in there, but each month has a "cover page" and then each page in the month is for two dates.  It ends up that every day of the year has at least 15 lines where I can keep birthdays and anniversaries and other important things to remember year after year.  I did a quick fill in of the dates I know by heart and the ones I had written in the front of my address book, but now I need to send out emails and make pestering phone calls to the people I'm trying to remember.

I have had the idea for the perpetual calendar for a while.  Actually, JCrew had one for sale a while back that I should have bought, but missed.  This week I started reading The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun by Gretchen Rubin.  One of the chapters highlights the importance of creating and fostering personal relationships, and one of the simplest ways of keeping in touch is with birthday cards.  I decided I needed to put off finding the "perfect" birthday calendar and just make my own.  It was pretty simple to do, and it didn't cost much, the journal I found was around $5.  I'm thinking I may send a journal and a pack of colored pencils off to Jen for her next craft for Team Awesome.

The book has really made me think, and I'm flying through it at the same time.  Which is good, because the first Harry Potter book is waiting for me at the library now and I need to get started on it.  I wish I could say I was really looking forward to reading it, but I just am not.  I'm more eager to finish it and move on to something else.  I hope it can change my mind once I start reading it.

Tomorrow morning Ben is going to take Lauren fishing.  He told her before he left for Louisiana that he would take her once he got back and today they bought her a Disney Princess fishing pole.  I can't wait to hear what she thinks about it.  She had a little bit of a fever yesterday and just laid on the couch watching tv and napping for most of the day.  This morning started off a little rough, but by the afternoon she was feeling better.  Natalie has been adjusting really well to an 8 pm bedtime and I have to say, I really love having a few hours to myself in the evening to read, watch tv or movies or play on the internet.

Saturday, May 29, 2010


Tomorrow is our tenth anniversary.  When I woke up ten years ago tomorrow, I didn't even know it was going to end up being my wedding day.  The whole thing was so spontaneous, but I'm glad we did it.  Two beautiful children and seven moves later, here we are about to celebrate a pretty big milestone.  Well, maybe - we don't have any plans yet.  We have a babysitter lined up, but don't know what we want to go do.  Probably out to dinner?  I don't know.  We will see.  Hawaii was my birthday celebration and our anniversary present to ourselves rolled into one trip. (image by Chris Craymer)

I finished reading The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo in two sittings.  It was quite suspenseful and really grabbed a hold of me.  I have the sequel, The Girl Who Played With Fire and started reading it last night.  The wait list at the library for this one was pretty short.  I think there are 250 people ahead of me on the wait list for the third one.  Hopefully that will go quickly so I can finish up the series.  The librarian told me that the author, Stieg Larsson, had written the books about 10 years ago and died shortly after.  If the second two books are as good as the first one, it's a shame that he didn't get to write more.  I made a deal with Jen that she would read Twilight and I would read the first Harry Potter book.  She's been resisting the Twilight series just as I've been resisting Harry Potter, but the theory is you can't have an accurate dissenting opinion unless you're fully informed, so here we go on our reading journey.  Plus, I sent her Twilight before she left for Germany thinking she could read it on the plane, and she has conveniently misplaced it.  LOL.  Now she can find it and put it to use.

I got a really good deal today at Joann Fabrics, I got some fabric to recover the throw pillows on the couch for $3.50/yd thanks to a great find in the clearance section and an additional 50% off.  I went in to get another fabric that would have been $14.99/yard, so this was quite a bit cheaper, even with extra yardage in case I am not as talented as sewing as I like to think I am.

We picked up Natalie's new glasses yesterday and it took less than 24 hours to break one of the pairs.  I took them in today to get them fixed under warranty.  I think I'm going to take her other flexible frames in to have new lenses put in because they lasted nearly a year, and we only ordered something new because the lenses were so scratched up.  I think I'll go in to order those some time next week.  Natalie has also started to become a thumb sucker lately.  While I'm glad she has found a way to soothe herself, we still can't get Lauren to stop, and I just see visions of orthodontist bills dancing in my head.

We did separate the girls' rooms, so Lauren has her bed in the playroom and Natalie has her own room.  The toys and clothes are in separate rooms, though, which will hopefully keep laundry and toy clean up simple.  Ben's first night back, everyone slept in their own rooms and it was great.  Very peaceful and I think I slept 8 hours straight through.  Ahhhhh.

Crabbing season starts up again in just a few short weeks (less than 3 I think?) and Ben is getting excited for that.  I'm still hoping that the weather here will improve and we'll have some days in the 70s with no rain so I can wear  some cute espadrilles and maybe even a dress.  I don't know if the PNW sees this in my future or not.

So far, my thirties have been good, I don't know why people freak out about them so much.  I just generally feel more confident and happy with myself.  I think that comes from having different priorities than I did at the start of my twenties, as well as caring less about what others think and caring more about what *I* think.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Busy with the Usual Stuff

Well it seems to be the theme that I feel worn out and busy but don't really have anything to tell from it.  I took Lauren to ballet this morning and then we took a quick trip to the PX and then watered the garden.  We got home and straightened up a little bit and then Stephanie came for Natalie's home therapy appointment.  Since it was sunny today and over 70 we sat outside for therapy.  Since then I've done some laundry and made lunch and just have been kept busy with the girls.  I'm very hungry but in the mood for Chipotle and just looked it up to find it will take at least 30 minutes to drive there.  With evening traffic, over an hour?  I don't want it that badly.  Cooking for myself and the girls is tricky since Lauren doesn't eat that much and Natalie doesn't, either.  Cooking even a small portion of a main dish and two sides would mean leftovers, and those usually just end up being thrown out.  Anyway, we'll come up with something.

I'm about to start reading "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" by Stieg Larsson because some friends on Facebook recommended it so highly.  It's supposed to be really well written and very suspenseful and one friend said she was over 200 pages into it in the first sitting.  Sounds good to me, so I checked the wait list at the library and it was about 70 people long - I just bought it instead.  I'm being a bit impatient and really wanted to get a new book to read.  I have not been keeping up with reading as much lately and need to get back on track with that.  I also really want to get out and take more pictures with the girls now that it's sunnier and warmer.  I miss taking pictures.  I do take TONS on my iPhone, but they're only 2 MP and I can't control the focus, exposure, etc, and of course, they're just BETTER with the SLR.

I bought some cute office storage boxes at WalMart this week in green and yellow so that I could get my desk under control.  First step was just getting everything out and throwing out the trash and next I'll organize what I decided to keep and pare down more.  It'll take time, but eventually it'll get clean, right?  I need to become a better tosser, I keep too much stuff and we just don't have the room.  I need an attic like Candy Spelling has.  Man, that would be awesome.

Anyway... back to real life for now.  Tomorrow I'm getting up to make pigs in a blanket for our potluck dish for an FRG get together and next week I'm driving up to Everett to visit my friend Andrea from elementary school.  I think it's been about 13 years since the last time I saw her.  Natalie is also having a feeding evaluation this week and Lauren has her ballet recital.  I need to dust off the video camera for that one, I'm really looking forward to it.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Five Question Friday, take one

Blogghopping one day I came across Five Crooked Halos and started following her site.  She's been participating in Five Question Fridays for as long as I've been reading her site, and I always intended to do this at some point, but never got around to it.  Until tonight!  So here I go:

1. Take your night, girls night out, or night out alone?
Probably a girls night out,  but I haven't had one of those in a long time.  I really enjoy getting out with friends.
2. Can you touch your nose with your tongue?
Only if I push the tip of my nose down with my finger.  :)
3. What is your favorite flower and why?
Probably a Gerbera Daisy or a tulip, but I can't really say why.  They just both seem so friendly and sunny to me.
4. If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself?
If I could go back I'd tell myself to quit worrying so much about what other people thought about me and about trying to fit in, and to cultivate my own interests more.
5. If you won the lottery, what is the very first thing you would do?
I'd call my dad.

Today I took Natalie in for her last follow up from eye surgery.  She'll go back in the fall for another of her annual eye exams.  I ordered her new glasses today and we should get them in  a week or two.  Lauren got to go to daycare today and was just thrilled about it.

Our garden is growing beautifully, the peas are taking off the most so far, the corn and spinach look good and the peppers and broccoli are right behind.  We've been busy with just the usual stuff around here - ballet and physical therapy and the usual stuff.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Just Eight More Days

Eight days left until I'm 30.  We already did my big birthday present, our trip to Hawaii.  It was part birthday present to me, Anniversary present to ourselves, and just long overdue family vacation somewhere really fun.  We had a blast!

We flew in on Thursday the 15th.  We didn't get to our hotel until sometime after 10pm, Lauren fell asleep in the shuttle van on the way to the hotel.  Friday was chilly and overcast, but we walked just under 2 miles each way to go pick up groceries at WalMart- peanut butter and jelly and bread and crackers- so that we'd have some good food in the room so we didn't have to go out to eat for every meal.  We stayed at the Sheraton Waikiki and it was pretty awesome.  We were able to walk right out from the elevators to get to the pool, down the stairs from the pool to get to the beach, or out the front of the hotel to the main streets for shopping.  Lauren picked out this Keiki Friends Dress-Up Dolls from the ABC store to play with in the room.  We found two more similar sets for the plane ride home, too.  Saturday morning we met up with Ben's cousin (who he hadn't seen in 15 years or so) who happened to be in Hawaii also.  He and his fiancee were leaving that day, but we had a good breakfast at Cheeseburger Waikiki and it was fun.  On our way back to the hotel, the sun came out and it was good weather for the rest of the trip.

We spent lots of time at the pool, lots of time on the beach and in the water, and lots of time walking around.  I can't believe we almost didn't bring the stroller!  We used it every. single. day.  The hotel had a koi pond and they let kids feed the fish twice a day.  Lauren really liked that.  We went to Margaritaville for dinner.  They have a hula show that is pretty fun.  Lauren got up on stage and did the hula during the show.  Then after the show was over and while we were eating, Lauren decided she needed to dance again, so she went and got on stage and performed for everyone.  It was great.  Ben got a short video of it, and believe me, this isn't the highlight.  There was so much more to it, and it was a lot of fun.

We shopped lots at the ABC stores, ate breakfast at Cheeseburger on the Beachwalk most days (they had great pancakes, and we were able to get a plate of fruit for the girls to share. Ben liked their omelets.) It was a great trip. On the last day, we checked out at 11 and had the hotel store our bags. We went for a loooooong lunch, laid by the pool, walked around and picked up souvenirs, and finally got picked up to head to the airport around 7:30. Our flight left at 10, and Lauren fell asleep at the gate and Natalie fell asleep while we were taxiing to the runway. They both slept the whole flight home. We got into SeaTac before 7, shuttled to our car, drove home and took a nap. It was a great trip!

Today we are going to go to a baseball game and then I'll have to start a new book. I finished reading The Devil in the Junior League and in the few days we've been home, I finished Chasing Harry Winston. Next up I have Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously unless the library emails that they have the latest of the True Blood series waiting for me.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Her Last Day Being Three

Lauren turns four years old tomorrow.  We're taking her to IHOP for breakfast since Ben has to work tomorrow night.  I think I'm looking forward to that as much as she is, if not more.  It's a pretty fun weekend for her with Easter today and her birthday tomorrow, lots of presents and treats and fun.  We're going to have her birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese next weekend.  Lauren is all done with soccer now, she did such a great job this year.  She was by far the smallest kid on her team, but loved playing goalie. Somehow her team only ended up with five kids on it while the other teams in the league all had 10, and even with that huge disadvantage, they won a few of their games.  She got a medal and a certificate at the end of the season and they had a pizza party at the bowling alley after their last game.

Natalie has an evaluation for Occupational Therapy tomorrow.  We'll see if she starts doing regular work with them.  That is for more fine motor skills than the Physical Therapy she does already.  They changed the setting on her shunt when she visited her neurosurgeon a few weeks ago.  They upped the setting to a slightly higher pressure.  She's been doing pretty well with the change, which is good, and in June she'll go back and have another MRI to see how it's going in her head.

I have to get a crown put on my tooth in 10 days.  The dentist thinks I cracked it.  I was in such pain and thankfully they got me in the same day.  I've been doing ok with tylenol and learning to avoid the tooth, I hope the crown does the trick and helps me out.  I always get so nervous about the dentist and every time I go it's awful, then I avoid going and the next time it's bad again.  It's an awful cycle.  I do really need to get better about going regularly.  I just hate it so much and avoiding it only makes it harder on me later.

Ben's been making some really great food lately.  Tonight he made pulled pork and last night chicken caesar salad and bread.  We had strawberry shortcake for dessert both nights.  I made the Pioneer Woman's Hot Cross Buns on Friday and they were really good.  They make a great breakfast.  I didn't realize Hot Cross Buns were an Easter food, but now that I know, I think I'll have to make them every year.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Fifty Five Days Left

I have 55 days left in my twenties.  Nicole at Making It Lovely made a list of 30 things to do before she turns 30.  She has a little bit longer to accomplish them than I do, but I don't think I'll use her list, anyway.  I have started thinking a bit about my birthday though.  I think my 30s are going to be awesome.  I'm really looking forward to them.  But I realized that once I'm there, I'll never be 20 again, so I should celebrate these last few weeks of my 20s before they're gone forever.  I made an impulsive decision today and cut my hair again, this time a bit shorter all around than the last time.  I still may go even shorter.  Or, I'll let it grow a little bit and just do the back shorter and really embrace the inverted bob.  I figure making crazy decisions about my hair is very 20s and I'm allowed.  And I'd like to figure out what I really like with my hair so my 30s is a better hair decade.  I didn't start my 20s off with great hair, so it should be easy to start off better this decade.

I've also been on the search for a lip color that I really love.  I'm having to buy lots of new makeup since I dyed my hair and it has a bit more red in it.  Changed all my colors on me.  I feel like the lip color that I'm drawn to looks almost cartoonish with a bit brighter hair.  But I need that color on my lips so I don't look washed out.  I was pale living in the desert, I'm going to be translucent living up here in the PNW.  I've embraced blush, but I'm not going to ignore my lips.

Thirtieth birthdays should be a big deal, right?  I really would love to have a big party with my family and friends, but it looks like that isn't going to happen this year.  I can't lie, I'm a bit disappointed about that.  But I understand.  And we're the ones who moved far away from everyone else.  I'm not going to dwell on that, like I said, I'm only a little disappointed about it.  

I have been making my birthday list for this year.  I added a few photography books to my Amazon wishlist.  I also want pretty OPI nail polishes.  There are lots of pretty pinks and purples I've seen.  I still have some thinking to do about this.  Ben's going to upgrade the seats in my Jetta to leather seats this week, which I'm excited about.  I thought about it for a long time and was hesitant at first but I think it will be great to have seats that wipe clean, especially living somewhere that gets wet and having an almost four year old who doesn't know how to keep her feet off the seats.  Really, I think it's more likely that she'd stain cloth seats than puncture leather ones.  Plus, they'll be heated, which will be really nice.  

Any ideas on things to do before I turn 30?

Monday, March 1, 2010

Time Marches On

Has it really been over 10 days since I posted something?  Sheesh.  Time has been flying by around here.  Natalie had her feeding evaluation.  I have to thicken everything she drinks for a while.  I have lots of questions about this, and I'll ask them at her checkup on Wednesday.  She's also been experiencing separation anxiety any time I walk away from her.  She cries and gets really upset, even if I just walk to the trash can to throw a diaper away.  Kind of frustrating, but age appropriate.  She's also getting four more teeth, which will bring her up to twenty!

Lauren's been having lots of fun with soccer.  She likes practice more than the games because they are shorter.  She says her big games are too long, and she gets distracted once she starts getting tired.  She does well playing goalie, though.  She blocked two goals this Saturday.  Her ballet seems to be getting better, too.  I just went this morning and signed her up for her April class.  She sometimes gets a little bit too chatty in class, but last Friday was observation day and it looked like she was paying attention and didn't get the giggles too much.

Ben's night schedule is finally done.  It was more exhausting for me than I thought it would be.  He's off today and has been working on my car, something about a steering column bearing, I think.  I'm not trying to learn about it, I trust him to do it.  Besides, I'm much too busy staying warm in the house to go hang out in the garage.

I'm thinking I'm going to host a brunch for some new friends.  I'm not really sure what to make, though.  I've been browsing through the Martha Stewart website and Tasty Kitchen for recipes.  Any suggestions?  Hopefully I'll get to host it as a kid-free event and get some mommy alone time.

The daffodils in the front yard have bloomed!  I think spring is coming, and I'm very happy about it!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Soccer and New Foods and Springtime Gardening

Lauren started soccer two weeks ago.  It's so adorable.  The kids are all so motivated and active and have no idea whatsoever about what they're supposed to be doing.  I love it.  It's fun to watch and she gets to run around like crazy and wear herself out, and that's the whole point of it really.  She has two practices a week and her first game was last Saturday.  Her team is the Hurricanes and they won!

Natalie is crawling around EVERYWHERE now, pulling herself up to stand, and is starting to cruise the furniture with a purpose.  I asked her home therapist to start helping us work on baby sign language with her since she still only says "mama".  Her eating is great, though, she's been eating pretty much everything I've given her.  Bell peppers, beans, avocado, cantaloupe, even lasagna last night for dinner.  By the time she has her feeding evaluation on the 24th, she won't need it anymore.

I planted strawberry seeds and some flower seeds in little pots and put them in the kitchen window.  The strawberries sprouted, but now they aren't doing anything.  I'm not sure what went wrong there.  The flowers are doing well, though.  I wish I could remember which kind I planted.  Hahaha.  It feels nice to have a seed I planted actually grow into something.  My hydrangeas outside are starting to get new green life, and the daffodil and tulip bulbs I had Ben plant are all up and I think I see the start of a few blooms thinking about growing.

I haven't done much lately craft or sewing-wise, which is a shame.  It feels like we've suddenly become very busy with soccer, story time, ballet, and physical therapy.  Story time is taking a three week break, though so that's one more day a week we have off.  We are also getting over having mild colds and Natalie had a bad diaper rash/yeast infection that's finally clearing up thanks to a trip to urgent care and a prescription for some cream.  Ben's current schedule is throwing things off a bit, too, but we only have another ten days of that and then we can get back to normal.  And last night I ordered myself Cath Kidston's "Make" (that I mentioned in my last post) so I'm excited to get that and get inspired again.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Things I Love -Jan 2010

1. Cath Kidston
Cath Kidston is a British designer.  The website sells homegoods (like umbrellas and gadget cases), clothes, fabric, kitchen stuff and more.  And all of it is in very lovely prints that are just adorable.  The fabrics are my favorite.  I would love to have a giant sewing stash of her fabrics.  Actually, I'd love to have at least one of every single thing on her site.  She has two cute sewing books, too.  I may have to go add them to my Amazon wishlist, like, right now.

2. Peanut M&Ms
There's not a whole lot to say about that, but I love them.  Not a huge fan of plain M&Ms, but I do also like almond.  Lauren also likes peanut M&Ms, so we get along just great when it comes to getting a snack in the checkout aisle.

3. Getting mail
Opening the mailbox and finding a letter just for me and not from a company or utility is such a little joy.

4. Bookstores
Specifically, getting to browse uninterrupted through a bookstore at my own leisure.  Not that it happens much anymore.  But when I get to, or when I used to get to, it made me happy.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Creative Inspirations

Do you use Flickr? I ♥ Flickr! It's a giant collection of user photos. You can search based on user's name, groups the photos belong to, or key words (called tags) that the user has assigned to their photo. People from all over the world use Flickr and I can spend an afternoon browsing through people's pictures. I've searched the restaurant where the band my dad is in plays to see vacationers' pictures with him in the background. I've searched craft projects I'd like to do to see how others have done it. Often, I'll start on one search and end up finding a picture I like from one user, then looking through that user's photos, and then end up in another group with more pictures completely unrelated to the first topic. I suggest doing searches for "Bento" - I find that one really entertaining.

I love searching for Quilts on Flickr. It makes me want a sewing room of my own where I can have room to cut and piece and lay things out and store and organize more fabric than I can imagine. I find I'm drawn to scrap block quilts and appliqued quilts the most. And I love quilts with lots of white mixed with brights. There are quite a few I've found that are all done by a woman whose website is called Red Pepper Quilts. Look through those, they are amazing.

I really really want to get a quilting machine. I think I'd churn out a dozen quilts a year if I had one. It's the final step of quilting by hand which is so daunting, especially when I like to make quilts that actually work on a bed and not doll sized quilts. And I don't really need any more baby blankets. I could cut and piece all day long, but sewing by hand on something that large is intimidating and tiring. There are so many chances to mess up and I don't want to run out of steam before I finish. Buuuuuuuut.... a quilting machine costs money - lots of money- and so I don't think I'll be getting one any time soon.

For the time being, I'll plan quilts. And I may even piece them. I may even do some by hand. Learning to quilt with my regular sewing machine might be a good idea, but I'm worried about the quilt shifting under the foot and I'm worried about really screwing up something I've spent hours doing.

Lauren picked out a dress pattern and fabric at JoAnn's yesterday, so I'll have that to do. I'm also thinking about making another pillow for a friend of mine who just adopted a baby girl. If I use her nickname, I'll only have four letters to applique, so that won't take too long. My grandma also gave me two applique quilts that she started in the 80s and never finished. The pieces are cut, all I need to do is the sewing. They look like fun projects and not something I would normally choose to do, so I'll probably learn a thing or two doing them.

Sometimes I feel like there are so many projects I have set up for myself that I don't know where to start and so I end up doing nothing. Does that ever happen to you?

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Story About The Movies

On Thursday, I got a call from Natalie's home therapist that she would have to cancel Friday's appointment. I thought this would be the perfect chance to head out to my grandma's house with the girls to spend the night. We hadn't gotten together since Thanksgiving because of weather and all of the appointments we keep every week. It seems like whenever we had two days off, it was storming and would make me nervous for the two hour drive. We left Friday morning right from Lauren's ballet class.

Packing is pretty easy, I packed one large duffel bag with all the clothes and toiletries and diapers for myself and the girls. I also take the playpen for Natalie and I let Lauren pack a small backpack of toys. Before ballet, we loaded everything up and Ben set Lauren up with the DVD player and her case of movies. It's one of those zippered books that holds around 100 DVDs and has a little handle. Lauren carries that case all over, from her bedroom where she watches a movie in bed, to her playroom or the living room where she'd like to watch something. All of her movies are in it... the Disney classics like Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty, the Nick Jr. compilations with Dora, Backyardigans, Kai-Lan, the Barbie movies, Strawberry Shortcake movies, Max & Ruby.... all of her favorites.

I drove straight to ballet, got Natalie and Lauren out, sat inside. After class, I loaded the girls back in the car. Over the sound and through the woods to grandmother's house we go. Or, went. We got to her house and when I was bringing the bags in, she stopped me. She had a family from church staying with her. They were getting ready to move to Ohio. Their house was being packed and cleaned for showings by the realtor and they had been staying in her spare room. They were leaving that afternoon, but their things were still in the bedroom that the girls and I would be in that night. She told me just to set my things down and we'd put them in there after the family left. They were out when I got there, but she expected them back around 4:00 to load up their stuff and head to the airport.

We let Lauren paint, and I painted with her, we played some hide and seek with Lauren, played Lauren's My Little Pony board game and then headed out to the store to pick up a few things so that I could cook dinner. We got home just before the family did and I was cooking up some chicken breast when they came in. The dad and daughter were running late, so they were rushing around to get all of their suitcases packed and loaded into the car. Another friend of theirs from church was going to be driving them to the airport, and he was helping to load their things, also. It was kind of a mad dash and I just did my best to stay out of their way.

After dinner, Lauren asked to watch a movie, and ... that's when we realized we couldn't find the movies. Right away, my grandma figured it must have been loaded with the stuff the family was taking to the airport. I called Ben to ask if he had loaded the movies, he said he was 99% sure they had been on the seat next to Lauren. He thought there was a small chance he had left them on the roof of my car, so he went and checked the alley off the garage, the street, and called the base police to inquire about the lost and found. My grandma called around until she got the family's cell phone number and she called to ask if they had it, but they were in the car and would have to wait to look until they got to the hotel by the airport.

The next day, we still hadn't heard back. I searched all over my grandma's house to see if they had been moved out of the way, but couldn't find them. I stopped at WalMart on our way home and picked out a few movies for Lauren from their $5 bin so she'd have something for the 2 hour drive home, and something for bedtime. Saturday came and went and we didn't hear anything back.

Sunday I started browsing eBay and Craigslist for secondhand kid movies because I figured our collection was long gone. I was getting really sad about the thought of replacing all those movies. Over a hundred movies at an average of $10 each (if not more) is a THOUSAND DOLLARS worth of movies. And they were just gone.

My grandma called me last night. The family had found our movies! They are putting them in the mail Monday morning. We're so relieved. Lauren did get about 10 new movies out of it, including Beauty and the Beast, which she didn't have and I won on eBay. I'm also fairly certain we'll be only taking a few movies when we travel from now on.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


I just realized that those pictures of the pillows are super small and that clicking on them doesn't make them bigger! Whoops!

Here are the pillows:

Monday, January 18, 2010

Sunny Day! Sweepin' the Clouds A-Way!

It did not rain today. Can I even explain just how excited I am about that? The only bummer is I did not realize just how nice it was outside today until sometime after 1:00 when we left for a lunch out at our favorite place. Ben took Lauren to the park this morning to run around and although he said it wasn't raining, he did not mention it actually felt kind of warm out there. We didn't even need coats today. Do you understand? Mid-fifties! Sheesh, I'm about ready to break out the tank tops and flip flops, y'all!

Well, maybe there's still too much California girl in me for that.

Not that all this time indoors has gone to waste. I have been getting good things done. Like these pillows I made for the girls. Hand appliqued letters and rose, and machine stitched the rest. The buttons keep the envelope closure closed.
And here's the dresser that I redid for Natalie:
Fun dresser (10/365)
This photo is from before I actually finished so there's still a little bit of the wood laminate showing in the bottom corner, but that's gone now. The dresser is in use in the girls' room now. It's so wonderfully bright and cheery and girly. Perfect thing to keep the clouds away! Which will be good, because this sunny weather is not supposed to stick around, we'll be back to rain over night and tomorrow.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Things I Love - etsy All-Stars

Two things I love in one easy post, for your browsing pleasure:

1. Star Silver and Gold Ring by trudiedavies, $32.00

Cute, dainty, mixes metals and has a cute star. Love it!

2. Star Dust Necklace in Sterling Silver by Roundabout, $24.00

Tiny and adorable. I love how the chain goes through the star. Click on the link to see other images and how this necklace hangs right in the dip between the clavicles. My A&P terminology is failing me now, but you know, that spot. Just see the picture.

3. Japanese Star Moss 3/4 Sleeve Tee by Xenotees, $24.00

I just like it. The green, the cluster of stars. Really cute.

4. Star Drop Earrings Key Lime by cashmerebark, $36.00

I like these for a couple reasons- the little stones, the length of the earring, and the way the star is a little accent. I can totally see me wearing these with my purple scarf.

This looks like the perfect little activity book to take along to restaurants, waiting rooms, dressing rooms... anywhere the girls would need to sit and be good (and quiet!) for a short while. It has a spot in the middle for a pad of paper, and pockets on each side for a total of 12 crayons. Love this. Will probably buy soon!

Forget glow in the dark stars on the ceiling! You could make an amazing wall or room with these stars! They're available in metallic silver and stick right to the wall. I would LOVE to do the girls' room with these. Or my own.
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