Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Life As It Is

A few weeks ago I wrote about how happy I was with my daily life, but how it didn't feel "real" or "normal" yet. I realized this week that I think I'm finally back in the groove of things.

Abigail is forever on the go! :) She is very thoughtful most of the time, and at 20 months is definitely already her own person.

She likes having her picture taken but gets confused about when to smile - she smiles big right AFTER the flash has gone off! :)

We love playing with the blocks, Etch-a-Sketch, musical teapot, talking Elmo, and bouncy balls. We also love to color.

She likes to eat, but seems to get bored with the same foods easily. I took her out to run errands last week and realized that I'd forgotten to plan for lunch (we were out rather later than I'd thought we'd be), so we went to Chick-Fil-A. Abigail made it quite clear that she knew what Chick-Fil-A was, and got very excited until I got her nuggets cut up! I think her attention span hasn't quite caught up yet, so she gets bored or distracted before she's finished eating and wants to get down. Once in a while she will ask to watch Muzzy while she's eating and she seems to eat more. Yogurt is still her favorite food.

We definitely know what "meet the cousins" means, and Abigail will run to get her shoes and coat if I tell her we are going to meet them. :) She enjoys shopping with us; she gets carried around by the kids and likes to look and feel different materials in the clothing sections. But the best part about going out is still the playground, in her opinion. :)

I always pack her own food when we're going out, but she is starting to notice that everyone around her is eating different food. She can't understand why anyone would take time out just to eat when there's a perfectly good playground just a few feet away!

Visits from Granddad are always exciting, and he makes sure to stop by often.

As for me, I can't wait for fingerpainting, playdough, and springtime with nature walks and afternoons in the pool or sandbox! :)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Free Laugh

I love to laugh. :) I've been giggling about this all morning, so I thought I'd share it with you!

This morning the co-op where I teach got cancelled, right after I'd gotten all dressed up and psyched to go, so instead of getting back into slum clothes and starting some chores, I thought I'd run out and get some coffee instead.

As I was walking to my truck, I noticed the nice morning light and decided to take a few pictures of my outfit for my other blog, Girl In Skirt. I started the truck to warm it up a bit and walked a little bit away to take pictures.

I walked back to my truck, but as I was getting in, I noticed something fuzzy on my tire, so I leaned down to investigate, and this is what I saw:

I already had my camera in my hand, so I had to snap a quick picture. What a bad cat! "Ranger" is definitely the baddest cat we've ever had :) but her 'mommy', my sister Anna, loves her anyway. Ranger did not want to get out, but I wanted coffee, and I am bigger. :)

Later on I was showing this picture to my mom and siblings, and we started making funny captions. Each time we'd calm down from laughing, we'd look at the picture again... and we'd start laughing all over!

Here are the captions we came up with:

  • "Pardon me... are you using this vehicle?"
  • "I won't get out until you play with me!"
  • "Who... me?"
  • "Yeah... whaddaya want?"
  • "The wheels on the truck go round and round..."
  • "Excuse me. This truck is dirty."
  • "Just call me Mr. Tire."
  • "I was here first."
  • "I'm from the Truck Inspection Station. You fail."
  • "I'm open to bribes."
  • "Your truck? What do you mean, your truck?"
  • "Bad cat? Where is it?"

Monday, February 15, 2010

All Sorts of Craftiness

It started to snow today as I drove home. I couldn't believe it. If I'd been standing up instead of driving I think I would have started to jump up and down and throw a temper tantrum. NO MORE SNOW!!! I can't take the sight of another snowflake. I'm sick of the stuff.

I got home, and after twenty or so minutes of sulking I glanced out the window and discovered the snow had turned to rain. This is good. Then the rain stopped. Even better!

I have to admit, being locked in my house for the better part of a month and a half has been productive. Never mind the budget benefits - I filled up my truck with gas three weeks ago and only refilled it today - I've gotten lots of projects done.

Something I've been wanting to do for awhile now is to make myself a matching quilt and pillowcase set. I had intended to make them white and black to match my room (and storebought white sheets - see how clever I am!) but I found this material in the Wal-Mart in the next town over and fell in love with it. I paired up this white and blue cloud print with a blue and yellow star print, and added silver sparkly white! The pattern is called "Yellow Brick Road" apparently (as you can probably tell, I had plenty of help from my sister, an avid quilter!).

It matches nothing in my room, but I love it. It also prompted a rearrange-ment of my furniture (again) which I also like. I was afraid moving the bed into the center of my room would bisect the space and make it look smaller... and maybe it does look a little smaller, but it feels cozy and making the bed sure became a lot easier!

I made myself a few matching pillows with the scraps and squares I had left over. I have tons of pillows on my bed - two standard sized, one smaller travel size pillow, a body pillow, and a little square decorative pillow - so I'll probably be making pillowcases for awhile. This is the square decorative pillow.

This is my travel-sized pillow (my favorite!).

This quilt is sooo big and warm... I made it queen-sized so it would be plenty big enough to snuggle up in. And so warm! I don't know what kind of batting we used, but this one blanket replaced the two other blankets I was using before. Can't wait to get more material and finish off the pillowcases.
Another project I hope to do this summer is to make a duvet cover for my poor old down comforter. It also needs some quilting repaired, a good cleaning, and some mending... not sure I'm going to do that myself; I might see if I can take it to someone.
This week's project: a "princess dress" for my sister Ruth, aged ten. Every year my younger sisters attend a Valentine's Day Tea hosted by some friends at church. Fancy garb in red, pink, or white is required, and this year Ruth aired her desire for a "princess dress" and my heart melted, because I remember being ten and wanting something with a huge pouffy skirt and tons of layers of sheer and lace. :) Anna and I found the material on sale today, and I cut out the pattern... now all I have to do is figure out out these directions and get it all sewn up in time for Friday. I guess I know what I'll be spending "naptimes" doing this week!
So, that's pretty much what's been taking up my time lately... what about you folks? Any weather-inspired projects?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Happy Birthday, Khy!

I mentioned before that my best friend was expecting her first baby. Well, due to complications, the decision was made to induce labor, and yesterday Khy Christopher entered the world at 19" long and weighing 5 pounds, 6 ounces. The delivery was smooth and quick (thank God!) and mommy and baby are doing fine. Robin is a trooper and texted and Facebooked throughout labor. :) I was thrilled to get photos on my phone just after he was born.

I am almost as besotted with this boy as his family... I keep taking "Khy picture breaks" throughout the day to look at his pictures and marvel over what an incredibly precious baby he is. All babies are miracles... but this little guy is especially precious to me.

I had fun picking out flowers to send. Isn't technology incredible?!? Even though I'm stuck here in Maryland, snowed in up to my neck (ok, slight exaggeration) I still got to be included in this incredible event.
I hope to get down to Alabama soon to meet Khy in person and see my best friend... now a mommy! :)
In other news, the snow keeps coming, and I am dreaming of beaches, hot sand, and blue water. I love winter, but this is a bit much. I've had to be ferried to work several times now by family members with 4-wheel-drive vehicles, and today my aunt called to say she just wasn't going out in the snow, period. Tomorrow's workday has already been declared a 4-hour delay, but there is a distinct possibility that it may get canceled altogether. I long to make it out my driveway. I swear I will never take running errands for granted again - even small things like picking up milk, cashing a check, or picking up supplies (three things I need very badly to do but probably won't be able to until next week, unless we get more snow... then give it up). Right now I am praying that the snow gets reduced to a manageable level by Friday so I can make the weekend productive... and before I DIE of cabin fever!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Thrift Store Fun

We've had way too much snow this winter... we had a huge snowstorm earlier in the season with over 20" of snow, and I enjoyed it a lot. Mostly because I had just quit my old job and I hadn't started my new one, and I had nothing to do but sit by the fire and crochet. Now it's a little different; I have places to be, and the snow is quite a bit less magical.

On Monday, my uncle and grandfather arranged for me to be picked up and delivered to work, then home again that afternoon. Last night my uncle called to tell me that they thought the road would be passable, but since we were supposed to get even more snow that night, if I had any qualms in the morning, I could call my grandfather and get a ride.

I was dreading the ride in this morning, but it wasn't bad despite the fresh snowfall. The snow was the best kind - crunchy and wet - and even though I was a bit freaked out by it, it didn't give me any issues.

My view this morning.

Today was the first day I struggled with cabin fever... I was cooped up all weekend because the roads were impassable, and I'm going a little stir-crazy. Abigail was wakeful and cheery, so I thought we'd take a little field trip, and we drove up to meet Mom and the kids at our local thrift store.

I LOVE thrift stores! They're a great way to spice up a wardrobe on the cheap. Today's find was a silver star anklet (not pictured) and this incredible yellow studded bag.

I've never liked studs before, but I've seen so many neat studded pieces over the last few months, and they've begun to grow on me. I'm also coming around to this mustard-yellow color... I detested it mightily when I first saw it, but I'm slowly coming around.

Check out this stud action!

After our shopping, Mom and I took all the kids to Burger King - don't worry, hamburgers for the kids but apple dippers for Abigail! :) - to play on the indoor playplace. It was a nice way to chase the winter blues away!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Odds 'n Ends

I've missed a post! And a Friday Update! And I didn't post to Girl In Skirt last week... so what have I been doing?

Well, I'm getting used to my new routine, even though it doesn't feel "routine" yet, lol. However, I'm enjoying my new role as nanny and I expect it will soon feel like I've been doing this forever. :)

I am still teaching at the church homeschool co-op. In literature/composition class right now, we're two chapters into Animal Farm and we seem to be back into our groove (we all seemed to be out of sorts when the semester started... don't know if it was just the post-holiday letdown, the weather, or what. But it's better now). Lots of opportunities in that book for great discussion and debate; I have an incredible group this year (of course, I say that every year) and I am realizing more than ever how much I as a teacher learn from my students. I have several extremely bright students this year who are also very detail oriented; at the beginning of the semester, they would be obsessing over a small point or choice of words that I saw as inconsequential, and I would get frustrated because I wanted them to let it go and see the bigger picture. I realized quickly - lol, I'm learning fast! - that this was a chance to sit back and be taught. I am so glad I did! I'm not detail oriented in the least, so this is a chance to learn.

In film class, we've now entered our film-making period. We've finished planning out our first project, a short involving a short stop-motion sequence, and begun storyboarding our stop-motion sequence. I'm a little itchy to get started actually filming, but I know all this planning will keep us on track!

I've also taken over the schooling for the twins, as Mom spends the majority of her time shuttling Maggie to her appointments with her occupational therapist, chiropractor, various doctors, etc. This is the third week of our official semester since we took a long winter break, and we're still having a little bit of trouble getting everything done (read: if I'm not there to tell them to do schoolwork, it doesn't seem to get done, lol). I am trying to buckle down this week and be a Hitler... not much fun, but hopefully once we're all back into our groove I can return to my former role as learning-instigator. :) I am trying to enjoy the rest of the semester, as I know the summer will be full of curriculum-hunting, curriculum writing, and lesson-plan making. :) In the meantime, I'm accepting suggestions for all curriculums, all subjects.

We have way too much snow here... I realize now how much snow is a child's thing - this is the first year I've wished the snow away just so I wouldn't have to think so hard about getting from point A to point B. My uncle and grandfather conspired to drive me to work and back on Monday since my uncle's driveway was impassable for my small truck. I was hoping that by today everything would be back to normal - but we're supposed to get MORE snow tonight! Sheesh! and I tried to use my sister's sedan to take her to voice lessons, and couldn't make it up the hill in the snow. Luckily my dad came along just then - but it still took him fifteen minutes and many tries! My uncle is supposed to call me tonight and we'll get a plan together for tomorrow. Snow, snow, go away, come again - next year! :)

I hope you're all staying warm and cozy!