Monthly Archives: July 2010

A jar cozy

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This isn’t a new project, but just one I was using and enjoying. Last summer I crocheted cozies for the repurposed glass juice jars we use for water. I put little handles on them and they are very cute and portable, and they both insulate the jar and keep it from getting broken if I want to grab one on the go. It felt like a nice way to use up (gifted) scratchy acrylic yarn I wouldn’t want to wear or put on my babies. I just crocheted a little mat the size of the bottom of the bottles, then did double crochets in a round all the way up the side. I used several stands of yarn together so it would be extra bulky.

In other news, we’re really enjoying our hiatus from house-selling. Our goal is to have it back on the market in two weeks, but in the meantime it’s nice to not have the constant threat of a showing hanging over our heads. In a funny turn of events, however, the house is actually pretty clean right now because I just bought a steam mop and Dorothy and I are both so charmed by it that we keep using it. I love the idea of being able to keep the floor clean and chemical-free as our little wee one becomes more mobile and has the floor as his new realm. We’ll just hope the charm of using the mop doesn’t wear off in a couple months. (Ha!)

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A caffeine fix and an earring

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We had a fun weekend with a happy baptism celebration and out-of-town guests. We’re having a summer that is fun but never lazy. So lately I’ve been finding my afternoon energy in this yummy blended drink that seems much more appealing to me in this nearly 100 degree weather than a hot cup o’ joe. I blend 10 ice cubes with 2/3 cup of cold coffee, 1 tablespoon of powdered milk and 1 tablespoon organic chocolate syrup. Yum. Ordinarily powdered milk is not something I’d consider putting in a drink (I keep it on hand to thicken homemade yogurt), but this drink is too watered down if I use regular milk and too fatty if I use cream. This version gives me just the right caffeine kick, tastes just the right amount chocolately, and is only 75 calories. Happy mama.

Yesterday I had one of those tough-call parenting moments that makes me need more coffee. Dorothy had been lobbying for quite some time to get her ears pierced. I don’t have any particular thought-out philosophy about child ear-piercing. I’m not really comfortable piercing an infant’s ears (although I don’t really have any problem with the theory), and I was 13 years old myself before I even wanted earrings, so I don’t have any helpful memory of how my own mother handled the issue. So I’d basically told Dorothy she could get them pierced whenever she really wanted to, and I’d taken her to the mall to show her where you sit and describe how they do it. That had cooled her off on the idea for a while, but yesterday she was back on it, big time.

We watched a Youtube video of ear piercing, I was frank about the fact that it does hurt, but she was motivated. I wonder if a child at Bible School last week had earrings, but Dorothy didn’t mention it. To make a long story short, Dorothy ended up getting one ear pierced and then changed her mind about it. Although I’d stayed quite neutral to that point (I was neither discouraging or encouraging the piercing–this was her thing), once we had one earring in I thought it would be a bit odd to walk away without both done. I hugged, consoled, bribed her with new earrings and ice cream. She sat back up in the chair to get the second one in, but just couldn’t go through with it. She’s four, after all, and it does hurt. The young woman doing the piercing felt like if I could hold her still long enough, she could just get it in there (I’m sure she’d done this before), but there was no way I was forcing my kid to get an ear pierced. What a breach of trust! So we left, with one earring.

Today Dorothy is very proud of her earring and has even yelled out to the elderly man across the street (who is hard-of-hearing and certainly neither heard nor cared) that she got her ear pierced. She says she’s going to get the other done “tomorrow.” I’m thinking maybe in a couple weeks. Or maybe she’ll just look charmingly and quirkily lopsided for years. Isn’t that the way life is anyway?

Back at home last night as she was processing the whole ordeal we had to pierce her teddy bear’s ears. (Both of them.) The bear did not find it particularly painful.

Hot buns

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Because, well, I just couldn’t resist that title.

I’ve done bloggable things this week while Dorothy’s been at Bible School, but in the form of a birthday gift for Molly, and since she reads this blog I’m not going to dish. 🙂

These rosemary-herb sandwich buns came out of the oven this evening looking so pretty I just had to photograph them. Wish I could capture the smell too.

And photographing reminds me that I’m now officially, totally addicted to Mpix. I mentioned them this spring, and I am a little more in love with them after each order arrives. The combination of the camera I got last month, my old but still useful copy of Photoshop, and the print quality from Mpix has turned me into some camera-toting-mother-hell-on-wheels-nightmare, and I couldn’t be more pleased. Last week I took some sweet pictures of Baby in the outfit he’ll wear for his baptism this weekend, and then I had little wallet-sized prints made for our guests to take home (they send them die-cut with the cunning little round corners!) and some 4×6 thank-you cards, too, since I know his proud grandparents have gifts for him. Necessary? Nope. But fun. And worlds better than Walgreens, when I have the time to wait for shipping.

Taking it up a notch

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Our house is now off the market. Our contract expired and we’re trying to think creatively about what to do next. Switch realtors? Rent a storage unit? Stay here? Bury Saint Joseph in the yard? It’s nice to not feel like we might have to show the house at any moment, but it’s kind of sad to feel like we’re not getting anywhere toward our goal of living in a house where the baby’s bed and all this stuff doesn’t seem like a crammed-in, added-on afterthought. In the meantime, this came in the mail. Isn’t it great? A friend sent it (a thrift store score, she said) and it totally made my day.

“Faith can move mountains…and homes!!!” I feel better already. We’ll sell. It’ll feel like the right time when it happens. And then I can start the battles with my little budding interior designer who feels like her brother’s new room, in whatever home we eventually move to, should be painted red, blue, green, purple, pink and gray.
Now I think I may go collapse on the sofa, and take St. Joseph with me. My wee ones and I are generally very late sleepers, staying up at night to maximize time with Daddy, but then snoozing in bed long after much of the world is up and buzzing. This week Dorothy is attending Bible School which starts (yes, this is no type-o) at the ungodly hour of 9:00 am. I’m in total denial that we’ve already paid tuition on a preschool this coming school year that actually starts (choking gasp) at 8:45. AM. Yesterday was our first day of early rising and we did it with the enthusiasm of beginners. “Yeah, we’re up in time to catch Morning Edition!” “Look, the cats aren’t so hungry when they get fed this early!” “Want to see this wetness on the grass, it’s called dew!” But today the honeymoon was over. Baby fussed, Dorothy let out a little strangled yelp and rolled back over, and my eyes feel strangely dry and irritated. I’m looking forward to next week, when I can continue living the lie that this isn’t going to become every morning of our lives starting in September.

A frilly school bag

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Dorothy starts preschool this fall and will join the ranks of bag-toting tots everywhere. At our school the teachers prefer open-topped bags (not backpacks) to facilitate easy access, so that’s what we made. Dorothy selected fabric from our stash downstairs (a thrifted sheet, in this case), then contributed the drawing of a flower, which I scanned and printed on fabric along with her name. I put frilly ruffles at the top, a little pocket inside for her sundries, and a little mother-of-pearl snap in case she needs it to stay closed while she’s upsidedown on the monkey bars.

This old t-shirt was being demoted to sleep shirt, so I used it as an experiment for some new t-shirt transfer paper. I’d never used the kind designed for dark shirts, which is an opaque white transfer instead of the typical transparent kind that is only intended for light-colored fabrics. I printed some Dorothy flowers onto it and ironed it on. This paper seems to scorch easier than the other, which is good to know, but the transfers seem firmly affixed and flexible. Hopefully the little artist will be proud when she sees Mom sleeping in it tonight.

There’s no place like home indeed

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We’ve had such a terrific summer so far, rushing this way and that, getting sunburnt, seeing sights and staying busy. But lately Dorothy and I have been getting a bit edgy, and I think we just needed to spend some quiet time at home. So today we totally ditched our plan to visit the Science Center and instead spent the morning in our pajamas doing fun, creative things while the baby caught up on a much-needed uninterrupted morning of sleep. I sewed a shirt from the sheets I’d bought this spring (more or less on the pattern New Look 6871), and she played and painted. Midway through the project I was starting to worry this shirt was going to turn out maternity-looking, which would be horrifying for someone who is only four months out of that state, but it doesn’t. It does need a chunky pink bead necklace, which might require a trip to a bead store. I don’t normally wear such bright colors, but I still think this is kind of fun in a very retro sort of way.

Dorothy did a lot of building with Lincoln Logs this morning. When she was still quite small and became the owner of Lincoln Logs for the first time I repurposed an empty kitty litter container to hold them. We store a lot of her things in these big, sturdy buckets, which I fashion labels for out of colored cardstock. This bucket, if you can’t tell from the photo, has a portrait of President Lincoln on the side and his babyhood cabin on the front. All of the log-cabin-former-President bit is totally lost on Dorothy, however, who asked for them this morning by saying, “can I have those blocks that look kind of like peanuts? The ones in the bucket with that guy on the side?”

The obligatory baby-in-sunglasses photo

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Baby Worth is outgrowing things faster than I can photograph them. I keep finding things I thought he wouldn’t wear until later, only to discover they are already tight! This turquoise and lime green crocheted soaker seemed enormous when I finished it, but is now (at first wearing, since it was with a stash of supposedly “too big” clothes) already snug around the legs. This is a good excuse to put it on him a lot in the next few weeks anyway. I love wool soakers over cotton prefolds in this heat even though it seems counterintuitive, because unlike PUL covers (or plastic gel-filled disposables–ick) they are so breathable.