Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Don't bother me ...

I'm gift-knitting.

Also I may be on an unfortunate caffeine high consisting of too-strong coffee and half of a Coke Zero.

Also again - Chris is out of town and I might be fantasizing about shipping my heathen children off to their grandparents so I can have uninterrupted days of nothing but sleeping late and organizing closets. Also gift-knitting.

My Internet has been down all day so not only have I been unable to blog (I'm going to attempt to post this from my phone), I also haven't been able to tell twitter about my stress splurges of lipgloss, eyeliner and Martha Stewart Living magazine. The world needs to know, you feel me? (Direct Omar quote) (not really) (I don't think).

Aaaannnddd I think that's all I've got to share.

For now.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Random Monday: Succotash is awesome. I don't know what they were complaining about.

1. I don’t think I’ve actually been hungry for the past five days. 

2. I’ve just eaten because it’s, you know, time to eat.

3. And there’s been lots and lots of food and sweets around.

4. This does not bode well for the holiday season.

5. Anyway, I think I might be over pie.  At least for now.

6. I decided that my children aren’t getting enough vegetables so I thought I’d start cooking more for them for lunch.

7. Most of the time they seem to only eat peanut butter and jelly (Sebastian) or cheese and grapes and ham and bread (Adele).

8. And what little the older one eats at dinner I’m not sure equals an entire serving of anything.

9. So I cooked for lunch.

10. That’s the last time I make homemade succotash for those ungrateful children.

11. They both succeeded in spitting and throwing the food on the floor.

12. I was 99.98 percent sure Sebastian wouldn’t eat it, but Adele has gobbled up lima beans in the past.

13. She was not impressed.

14. That may be because she’s got another ear infection.

15. I think.

16. She’s super whiny, waking up early, not eating as much as she used to, and not letting me near one of her ears.

17. I’m pretty sure it’s my fault for bragging on the fact that she hardly ever is sick.

18. Probably should have crossed myself and carried around an evil eye key chain.

19. And maybe put drops of holy water in her ears.

20. In other news, Sebastian is on a kissing kick.

21. No really, he kisses me all day long.  My knee, my shoulder, my eye, my ear.

22. It’d be kind of sweet if it wasn’t so annoying.

23. It’s like, I appreciate that you want to kiss my hair but can you just hold still a minute while I wipe your butt?

24. Chris starts his new job today.  It’s been a long time coming and greatly needed.

25. And most definitely deserved.

Kiddos playing in a bouncy house at a
birthday party.  They both had a blast.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Motherhood & More: Thanksgiving is about all the right things*

I will try not to sound too cliché, but I’d like to talk about Thanksgiving.

I will resist discussing what I’m thankful for, if at all possible, because I’m pretty sure anything I have to say has already been covered. And if not, well, who needs to hear about how thankful I am that the roof in our back room only leaks in one spot instead of the three of previous years? Or that the weather is cooler so I have more of a desire to knit toboggans for my family? Or for the word ‘toboggan’?

So, Thanksgiving. It’s always been one of my favorite holidays because it requires the least amount of preparation on my part and the most amount of food. And my family knows how to feed people, so our holidays usually are overabundant anyway.

We are not a family that tries new dishes on Thanksgiving. Over the years my parents have perfected their techniques and don’t stray too far from that perfection. We have turkey and dressing and stuffing (stuffed into the bird, thank you very much), corn, green beans, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, sometimes mac and cheese if we can convince my mom it’s needed, cranberry sauce, gravy, rolls, and pumpkin, apple and pecan pie. And cinnamon rolls for breakfast because we have to keep our strength up through all that cooking.

Yes, everyone is expected to help and for the most part everyone wants to. We all start early. I have many, many memories of being woken up in the wee hours of the morning to brown sausage or peel potatoes. It’s an exciting time, one that also is taken very seriously. There is a right way to cook Thanksgiving dinner and we make sure that’s the way it’s done. And all hands are needed.

This year my parents will be renovating their house and there’s a tiny chance their kitchen won’t be available on Thanksgiving Day. I told them they are welcome to have the dinner at my house, but they have to be in charge of cooking it because I’m pretty sure no one will want to eat what I cook. It just won’t be the way it’s supposed to and the family probably will revolt. Also I can’t bake fowl.

Thanksgiving is a time of laughter and family and lots and lots of food. It’s not about presents or decorations, though my mom does bring out a tacky turkey salt and pepper shaker set every year and we all make fun of her for having it. She tries to give it away every year but so far no one has accepted. Sorry, Mom.

Thanksgiving is a holiday that is only about nonmaterial things. It’s about the food and being thankful for all you have. It’s about family and friends and sharing your time, effort and table with them.

And I guess that’s what I’m thankful for: the time spent in one of my favorite pastimes with my favorite people.

Darn it. Almost made it.

*This column originally published in The News-Enterprise on November 23, 2011.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

From now on you can expect a retrospective every two weeks

My little counter thing tells me that this is my 150th post, which begs the question: What the hell have I been writing about?

I mean sure, there are embarrassing stories, such as this one and this one and this one.  And the most recent one I haven’t told you about is that though I resisted eating one of the pumpkin cupcakes I made for Chris’ work Thanksgiving, I did, however, suck the leftover frosting out of the icing bag.  Because it was delicious.

And then there are the stories where I complain about my children, like this one, and this one, and this one.  Actually you could probably just go back and read April through July. 

And there are many stories I’ve told about things that have happened in the past, things that meant something and things that are just silly stories.

And, of course, let’s not forget Fridays, which is my most favorite day to post.  And I promise it’s not just because it’s easier to not have to have a linear thought process.  I can just tell you about that pretty sweater or that project that was supposed to be an awesome bonding experience with Sebastian but ended up being ME DOING EVERYTHING.  Three year olds.  You’d think they’d be better at crafts.  But I like sharing stuff I’ve made or done because I enjoy the process so much.

But I guess what I wanted to say was thank you for reading.  I love this space and I love the discipline that writing here encourages me to have.  I may not be changing the world, but having this blog has made me feel like I’m more a part of it.  

And as a thank you, here’s a picture of me forcing Adele to sit still and take a photo.  She’s very happy about it.


Monday, November 21, 2011

This post has way too many pictures of my hair in it

Last Thursday I tweeted this:

Now, I knew I was nervous because I always am before a haircut.  But I couldn’t figure out why.  I’m not overly picky about my hair and even if you give me a haircut that looks like you put a bowl on my head and shaved everything below the rim, then yank my hair when I ask you politely to fix it, I’ll still tip you 50 percent, apparently.  Not that that ever happened to me 10 years ago in a J.C. Penney’s salon.


It wasn’t until I was sitting in the chair at the salon, trying to come up with anything, anything at all to speak with the stylist about, that I realized what was bothering me.

Small talk with strangers.

I HATE it.  And it’s not like you can just pretend like you have to go to the bathroom or hear someone else calling your name and leave.

No, you can’t leave.  Hell, you can’t even move your head to look away from the mirror.  So you are doomed to stare at yourself, which makes me feel like I’m overly conscious of the faces I make when speaking of random topics I pull out of my ear. 

And the poor stylist put up with me bringing up, out of shear, uncomfortable terror, every person I’ve ever known who’s lived or worked in Louisville, because that’s where she was from.  BECAUSE SHE MAY HAVE HEARD OF THEM.  (Spoiler alert: she hadn’t.)

And then there was daycare.  Why did I bring up daycare, you ask?  Because she has a 4 year old.  I know because I ASKED.  Also, I basically told her my life story, only leaving out the part about my episiotomy because I thought that might be vulgar. 

We also talked about mullets.  Because why not?

I’m pretty sure my incessant nervous ramblings only increased her need to get me the hell out of her chair as soon as possible.  But she was incredibly nice and did a really good job with what little guidance I gave her on what I wanted my hair to look like.

(Layers!  Lots of layers!  MORE LAYERS!  But no mullet, please.  Also, I probably won’t actually fix my hair, so make sure it’ll look good with the least amount of effort on my part.)

I love my new hair.  It’s so much lighter and looks like a style, not just dirty-hippie-chic.   I was bordering on Crystal Gayle in the length department and needed an update.

And so here it is before:

Cheerleader! (I made Chris take these photos. 
He barely even made fun of me.)

Note the tangled mess.

And after the cut and home-hair-dye, which wasn’t as calico as it usually is:

My photographer was unavailable. 
And this one was with makeup...

And without.  A study in yellow.

And just because I’m sharing, here’s a picture of me before mine and Chris’ date on Saturday.  Polka-dots make me happy:

And this one just because the kids are super-cute:

Self portrait of Sebastian as a little boy.  And Adele.

Sebastian did tell my hair looked pretty, but that may be because he wanted a piece of candy.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Homemade Friday: Pinwheel Sweater

The pinwheel sweater is something I’ve had in mind to knit for years.  It just looks so sweet and simple, and it was. 

Please ignore the snotty nose.
I love all the colors that are shown in the pattern, but I’m attempting to use up as much yarn as I can before I buy more, and this black/brown wool was something I already had so that’s what the sweater became.  And actually, I’m happy with the way it is.  I know babies shouldn’t really be described as ‘sophisticated,’ and really, that’s not the right word I’m looking for.  Maybe put together?  

Anyway, it’s nice.  It’s something to keep her on the cold days to come, and the cold days like today that I was entirely unprepared for.  Though the kids are all still in their pajamas because I couldn’t sleep last night and so have zero energy to get them dressed, much less accessorize.

The pattern starts with just a few stitches and it increases every other round, then the sleeves stitches are put on holders and picked up to finish later.  I did have some trouble with the instructions when it came time to the sleeves because I am literal and need things explained in full detail, preferably with video of the different steps.  But that didn’t last too long.  And I didn’t do the fancy edging that the pattern called for, mostly because it looked too fussy and I didn’t want to mess with it.

There’s no button so I found an old black metal hair clip that I use to keep it closed.  Otherwise it just falls off her shoulders.

I think it’s sweet, and I’ll probably make another one as she grows older.  You know, until her mother knitting her sweaters becomes the most uncool thing ever.  Like in a year or two.

(Also – it would help if I wrote these out when I finish the sweaters, not a month later when I have to struggle to remember the details.)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Germans love boobies. It’s in their Constitution.

Chris’ mom buys lots of books for the kiddos, which I love.  And more importantly, they love them.  Both kids have a fascination with books.  And none are more entertaining than the large, board picture books that are full of everyday scenes these: 


And this:

But then you delve just a little deeper into the detail and you’ll see photos like this one:

And this one:

And this one of the creepy man in the kids’ sandbox at the pool:

And of course, there’s the woman who maybe has nursed a baby a little too much on one side, and not enough on the other:

And the obligatory old man in a speedo with a walking cane:

And this one only bothers me because there is a baby in a bassinet underneath a volleyball net 6 inches away from the pool.  Safety first, parents.

There’s the cat that will claw your eyes out if you come within a foot of his food:

 And yes, more boobies:

Of course none of this compares to the awkwardness that is reading ‘The Owl and the Pussycat’ to your child while simultaneously not laughing, even though it almost caused my head to pop off my neck and go rolling around the living room floor looking for a different children’s book that didn’t have inadvertent sexual innuendo.

But at least it didn’t have boobies.