Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Down Comforter

The Husband and I used to sleep under a king-size, 100% cotton, goose down comforter. It needed to be cleaned and I dreaded the process that would entail.

First off, a king size comforter and my puny washing machine aren't a good match. In fact, it says on the comforter's tag, "Do not wash in your puny washing machine." Ok, in all honesty it says "dry clean only." Dry cleaning doesn't really treat the problem about why this comforter needs to be cleaned in the first place. It needs a good, deep cleaning because Annie pooped on it during her bout of roto virus. But still, my washer is small, this comforter is large and even if the washer manages to agitate the tiniest bit amid the giant blanket and not shred it to peices, the blanket is filled with down feathers that take a month to dry. I'm lucky if it drys before mold sets in.

While I don't want to clean it, I don't want it sitting in my laundry area even more. I just stuffed it into the washer. Right now the washer is thudding because it's becoming unbalanced. Dear Lord, let the spin cycle start soon! Then I can drape it across a couple wood chairs from the dining room and seti t up under an air vent. Hopefully the circulation will let it dry quickly. Then I can move on to washing important things, like the Husband's underwear.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Pentecost

is a great and holy day in the liturgical calendar. The Holy Spirit descends upon the Apostles and strengthens and binds the church together. We get to take part in Pentecost when we receive the sacrament of Confirmation.

While this is a good and worthy thing, that's not the reason why I'm blogging about Pentecost. It's important because it means no more daily mass readings from the Acts of the Apostles, or as I like to call them, the Adventures of Paul. I am continuing the daily mass readings, but I need to go finish Acts of the Apostles to find out what happens to Paul after he gets shipped off to Rome as a criminal. Television drama can't come up with better plot lines than church history, I tell ya.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Things That Make Me Happy

In no particular order, a list of ten things that make me happy:
1.Dogwood trees
2. American Girl doll hair
3. Tire swings
4. A good cup of coffee
5. A good playground
6. My warm robe
7. Office supply stores
8. Dark chocolate
9. Clothes that fit
10. Lip balm

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Evolution of a Babywearer

So when I was pregnant with Annie, I saw the Snugli's and the Bjorns at Babies R Us. I'd recently gotten a hands-free device for my cell phone and when I saw those carriers, I thought, "A baby hands-free device is brilliant! I will so need one!' And I registered for a Snugli. I got the Snugli at a baby-shower.
The idea of a hands-free device for a baby is brilliant, but a Snugli not-so-much. It wasn't comfortable to wear and the material that was responsible for keeping the baby attached to the straps kept coming undone. It was fundamentally unsafe.

My pediatrician recommended the Dr. Sear's Baby Book as good reading on the care and raising of a newborn. Dr. Sears goes on at length about his NoJo baby sling. The sling seemed to make sense, so I got one of those. It worked so-so for awhile. Here's one of the few pictures of me wearing the NoJo, although there are loads of the Husband using it.

Then a distant relative noticed that I was trying to wear the baby and turned me on to babywearing and all the wonderful options that are available out there. I stumbled across both thebabywearer.com as well as NINO. She helped me find a mei tai of my very own. A mei tai is an Asian-style baby carrier. It has a peice of fabric to support the baby's body, and long straps to comfortably and safely tie the baby to the mama's body. Below is a picture of Annie and I at Merrifield Garden Center.

I got pregnant around the time this picture was taken. I used the mei tai for another six months, until Annie started to walk and my belly popped. Once Annie could walk, she wasn't interested in being carried until she'd perfected her new skill.

With the second baby on the way, I knew I wanted a better ring sling than the NoJo. I picked out an Ellaroo lightly padded ring sling in Lilac passion and my mother in law purchased it as Elizabeth's birth gift. I have lots of pictures of the Husband wearing it, but none of me. It's currently on loan at the moment. When it makes its way back to me, I'll post a picture of me wearing it.

During the same time that I acquired the Ellaroo ring sling, I was looking at a forum called The Baby Wearer. I was learning lots of information about babywearing and parenting in general. There are avid babywearers on this forum, and some people even develop collections of carriers, or at least keep an eye out for beautiful carriers. I think the carriers are nice, but nothing ever made me think, "OOOh I want that" until I saw a Sakura Bloom ring sling.

The Sakura Blooms are double-layer duponi silk. The color combinations are eye-catching and breath-taking. And the silk is so luxurious. I sighed over these for months, thinking I would never have one. My mother-in-law offered to make me a double layer silk ring sling for my birthday (can you tell that I have a great mother-in-law?) and I busied myself looking at fabric samples to choose a great color combination.

The Husband suprised me with my very own Sakura Bloom as a birthday present. I wear it everyday.

You would think getting one of the most lovely things you've ever seen would create contentment, yes?

Weelll, the summer is upon us, and we'll be at the pool and at the beach. Doesn't it make sense to have a carrier that's waterproof? I've ordered a solarveil ring sling and it's on it's way now...I'm sure there will be more to my evolution as a babywearer as I continue having kids.

Maybe one day I'll even wrap my kids up in a long peice of fabric.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

New threads

I mentioned in a previous post that I did a little shopping for the summer.

I don't want to illegally import a bunch of images so I'll post links instead.
From LL Bean:
Linen Pullover
Cable Knit sweater
Khakis
Navy Blue pencil skirt

From Eddie Bauer:
2 polo shirts
Navy Blue capris
other capris
and a pair of shorts

From Motherwear
a swimsuit
Edited to Add:
The swimsuit arrived from Motherwear (I ordered it online). The suit was not pieced together properly and I'm sending it back. Since the return is due to a manufacturing error, they will be covering the cost of return shipping. While I'm glad about that, I am disappointed that the suit didn't work out. I'll likely end up getting a regular swim suit for the summer and taking along a giant beach towel to cover up with when Elizabeth and I need to nurse.

Monday, May 21, 2007

What did Paul do today?

I don't have any kids named Paul, nor a husband named Paul or even any friends named Paul, now that I think about it. The Paul I'm referring to is this guy. This Paul died nearly two thousand years ago, minus sixty years, so why am I asking what he did today?

I started reading the daily mass readings. The first daily reading has been from the Acts of the Apostles. Acts is the first book of the New Testament following the Four Gospels. Basically it recounts how the early church was established.

Paul is struck from a donkey and is blinded; Peter, the first Pope and to whom Jesus entrusted the leadership of his church, stands up to speak to all the Apostles and presbyters gathered together. Once he makes a decision, everyone is silent on the matter and rejoices Peter's decision. Paul is stoned and left for dead. Paul debates the ways of the Lord with the Greeks, the Jews, and a man named Apollos. Paul is imprisoned for his teaching when an earthquake shakes down the walls of the prison and the jailer is converted....I'm getting it all out of order and there's more but it's a thrilling tale told in short paragraphs.

It's like watching Must See Tv--I only read a paragraph or two and I'm left dying to know what happens next. Reading the mass readings is easier for me than watching tv these days because I can find a few quiet moments somewhere in my day to do the reading, but I never have an opportunity to sit down and watch a television program. I never get to watch tv regularly as the girls need to be settled for bed when anything interesting comes on anyway. Yet here is a fascinating, thrilling adventure story. The brief paragraphs are short enough to really focus on and have enough going on in them that I am occcupied thinking about it for the rest of the day, much like a good television episode. Acts of the Apostles rivals Heros!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Anniversary Fun

Today the family went to a softball game and BBQ to celebrate the 5th anniversary of some good friends of ours. The softball game was a rematch of the game the couple played as part of their wedding festivities. The softball series is now tied 1-1. Originally the wife's team had a capable win, this year the husband's team won. While a good time was had by all, I'm not sure that the teams weren't stacked a little. Come on Pat, is it really fair to make sure your one-time-semi-pro-baseball buddy came to play on your team? And to put the always late Schaads -minus Tim who showed up on time- on your wife's team? Really? Although there may have been a decided imbalance to the teams rosters, I have to say everyone played well. The bbq afterward was delicious and a great time was had by all! Congratulations Pat and Kate. I'm glad to know such a happy, loving couple.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

ELMO



Annie has an ongoing love affair with Elmo.

Gramma gave Annie an Elmocize DVD, which Annie watches religiously. While Annie asks for the video every day, every day she screams for me to turn off the exercising caterpillar that is in on of the segments. She's watched it so much, that she actually does the "workout in a chair" and gets excited by the dancing at the end. I am finally a little tired of it. I decided to introduce a second Elmo DVD into the mix. Since Annie had expressed an interest in potty training, I got Elmo's Potty Time DVD. We watched it a few times, but Annie was so excited about it, she broke the DVD. It's a shame, because Grover and Elmo sing an excellent song about "Accidents Happen and That's Ok" which Annie was starting to sing in the car prior to her breaking the DVD.

We were back to just Elmocize.

I tried turning Sesame Street on during the day so that she could get her Elmo fix and I could get a little variety. We have to watch Sesame Street when it broadcasts, so if we watch it, we end up watching it early in the morning, when she's too interested in other things, rather than the late afternoon, when she would enjoy the stillness. Annie enjoys Telly and Cookie Monster, but is disappointed that Elmo doesn't have enough exclusive face time in an average episode.

I immed my sister, to see if she would be willing to TIVO some episodes of Sesame Street for me. With a disk of episodes, I could put it on when it was a good time for us to watch a little TV, and I could use the menu options to head straight for the Elmo's World segment if Annie found the rest of the program boring.

My sister did me one better. She got her neice a brand new Elmo DVD. The Best of Elmo.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Shoe Shopping


Annie has been fated with the poor genes of both her mater and pater and is cursed with Big Feet. Since her feet are wide with a narrow heel, I've got to be careful about getting shoes with a good fit. We go to Stride Rite. She's been complaining that her toes hurt and she's been taking her shoes off every chance she gets. These are universal signs that she's outgrowing her shoes. So, we went to get summer sandals. I'm so glad it's sandal time--it keeps me from having to find matching socks. Vive la sandals!

Annie is fortunate that we were able to find two pairs fo sandals for her. A church pair and a play pair. We rarely get to go in and pick just any pair we like. It has to be available in a wide width, and have a heel that can grip her very narrow heel. I'm glad we found two pairs since she'll be playing outside a lot this summer.

Annie decided to wear the pink pair out of the store. Although she did try to run out of the store without paying in the white pair. Annie was initially afraid of the sales lady, but was delighted to try on shoes.
Yes, that is my daughter who enjoys shopping for shoes. Yes that is my daughter who puts on mommy's heels and walks around the house. My girl loves her shoes. Thank you Jesus for daughters who love shoes.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Second born


My sister pointed out that I'm neglecting my second born on this blog.
Here is my second-born in all her cutie-pie-ness. Elizabeth is rolling and drawing her knees up and dragging herself by her arms to reach toys. At five months she's mobile! We were trying to get a shot of her length-wise, but she kept moving to face the camera head-on. She's incredible, I tell ya.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Declutter Challenge

I belong to a parenting forum, and there's a challenge going on to declutter various spaces in the house. It's just getting started, so I voted for the master bedroom. I think it needs the most work in my house because:
--laundry manages to get clean, but never put away. I need a better system
--it's where we relax, and clutter isn't relaxing
--it needs some decoration too, so if anybody has any ideas, I'm more than glad to hear them.
Here's the clutter...
First off, we have the Husband's dresser, with several loads of laundry in front to be put away. All of this sits in front of the one reach-in closet we have. Not a lot of space to put away all the clothes that need to be stored. Husband's dresser also needs to be cleared off and dusted.

Next up is our bed. I actually took this picture after I started some initial cleaning, so there are clothes and shoes piled up on the bed. Usually it's just unmade with the kids in it.


Finally, a picture of my dresser. My dresser is a catch all of trash, things the kids shouldn't have, things we don't want to lose and then last but not least my earrings and other personal stuff. This space either need to not have any personal things on it or not end up being a catch all for everything. It doesn't do double-duty well. In the foreground of this picture, you see a big white thingy, with a dishtowel on top? That's our bassinet, filled with clothes to be put away. Once I sort, purge, and put away the clothes, I think I'll try to Craig's List the bassinet.
I will post decluttered pics soon so you can see how the challenge went!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Date Night Baby

So Husband has been traveling quite a bit. When he's home, we've been super-busy. Not only the usual "Grab that baby and strap a clean diaper on!" but also, birthday parties, first communions, team meetings, volunteering at CLC, Husband's regular Warcraft date with the boys and other general just places we're supposed to be. All of the scheduling and travel has combined into over a month-long period where we haven't just had an opportunity to relax.

Last night was supposed to be Warcraft with the boys. I had Husband nix it in favor of Date Night. He willingly agreed and headed off to work. I had errands and of course, Date Night to plan! Well, errands ran longer than expected, so Husband got home before me, but I did arrive with dinner, so Date Night was started.

We had Indian food for dinner. Husband loves rogan josh and naan so that's what I got for him, and I tried the chicken curry. Husband told me how much he loves Indian food and what a great choice it was. After we ate, then it was time for the entertainment portion of our date. I had stoped by the Game Parlour, a place that sells board games, and picked up Carcassone
for us to play. I had wanted to get a few other games, but didn't want to make purchases without Husband's input. So insteads of settling in to play Carcassone, we headed back to the game store. We picked out a second game to try, then headed home to put the girls to bed.

Annie settled with little fuss, and Elizabeth needed to nurse. Elizabeth took long enough to settle down that Mommy (me) fell asleep with her. Husband came to check on me and ask if I wanted to get up and play a game. I don't think I had a coherent response and fell back to sleep. Date night was officially over at 9pm. Husband, without a date, wandered down to the computer and met up with the boys to play Warcraft.

The next morning, as Husband was getting the leftover Indian food to take to lunch he commented, "That was the best night ever. Good food, we got to hang out, and I still got in a game of Warcraft! We should do this more often."

I suggested that next time he plan the Date Night to suit my interests. He countered, "I should also build in a 9 o'clock bed time for anything I plan, shouldn't I?"

That would be best, yes.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Riches and Poverty

Here's what I had for breakfast the other morning.


A cup of coffee and a biscotti. A rich and savory breakfast indeed.

Here's what Annie wanted for breakfast:

A sweiback (dry teething cookie) and a cup of water. Oh, the povery of her life!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

New 'Do

Debuting the new haircut:


Tada!

Edit to Add
:
I like the cut, but I'm not going to keep the style. I'll be growing it back out after this.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

It's summer and I'm NOT pregnant?!

Two Monday's ago, I was running around trying to get ready to go to CLC. I was telling Husband over the baby monitor that I didn't know what to wear. He yelled back, "Shorts! The weather is great."

My response was, "I don't have shorts. I have been pregnant the last two summers. Nothing fits from pre-pregnancy. I don't have anything to wear."

I've done a little shopping to take care of this problem. Let's see if I can find some images of what I've picked up...
Oops, bedtime. Will update later.