Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Guess What?

I can't leave angsty post laying around too long. People start to worry. So today I'm going to post something that makes me smile.

Last week I got to accompany my Bird as her kindergarten class went to the zoo!


She was so excited to ride the bus.

And I think she might have enjoyed having me along with her.

We wandered the zoo looking at random animals, having a good time. It was zoo. No biggie. And then I saw it.


The rhino butt! Isn't it ginormous? and cute?

I think deep down inside I'm a twelve year old boy. I giggle at butts, and fart jokes.

But the fun didn't stop with just the rhino butt.

After that there was striped butt


and feathery butt


and spiky butt


and shelly butt


And just when I thought I would die from delight at all the cute animal butts, I found new levels of debauchery in the petting zoo


I love the zoo!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Easter Looming, again

It just wouldn't be Easter if I didn't get all angsty. This annual reminder of grief. Easter has arrived early this year. Or maybe it was just really late the year she died.

I think I've had my "Official Breakdown"tm for the season. Crying into the shoulder of the Greatest while he helplessly stroked my hair and assured me that he misses her too. Whispered assurances that my grief is not mine alone, but his as well. The burden of sorrow is not mine to carry alone, but the crushing load is shared. And in the sharing the load is lightened.

He went to several stores searching for Sweet Tart bunnies and chicks. Cause he knows I love them. And I know he loves me.

Some days you cling to the things you know.

I know she was beautiful.

And brilliant.

I know she loved me.

And I love her.

I know I will continue to miss her everyday for the rest of my life.

Saturday, March 27, 2010


Dear Sweet Pea,

When last we spoke I do believe I was begging you to not be so, well, you. Was that only yesterday morning? Should I be surprised that in typical toddler fashion you did not listen?

So last night, after being warned multiple times to leave the hot sauce alone, when you saw your chance to take a big old swig, and you seized the day, did I feel bad?

Nope. Not a bit.

When you cried and pointed to your mouth, so indignant that the pretty orange sauce had caused you pain, did I feel bad then?


But I did give you a cup of milk.

Which you did not want to drink.

Instead you slowly let the cool liquid spill onto your tongue and down your chin onto your "Princess" nightgown.

And when you realized your nightgown was soaking wet with milk and uncomfortable, did I feel sorry for your confusion on how things end up going so wrong?

Ummmm....not really.

And when you violently grabbed a washcloth and proceeded to scrub your tongue in a vigorous attempt to remove the burning sting of betrayal did I then feel pity for my tiny toddler?


But I might have been laughing so hard at this point that I had to grab onto the kitchen counters for support. I looked across the kitchen at my beloved. The Greatest's eyes glistened with tears, not of empathy, but of mirth. So it wasn't just me.

My only regret is that I did not take pictures.

I do believe the only thing left to say is: I told you so.



Friday, March 26, 2010

Dear Sweet Pea,

I love you. I really do. You are a shinning spot of delight in my life. You make me laugh all day long with your silly faces, and your most sincere babbling. Even better when you say something I can actually understand. You must wear a "Princess" dress every day. And every day you ask me "How do I look?" and before I can respond you provide me with the word you are hoping to hear "Princess?" I love to spy on you as you play in a corner with blocks, or babies, or stolen Barbies. You are so creative and imaginative and bold. Make no mistake, I adore you.


But having said that I have a very important favor to ask of you. Could you please quit being such a two year old?

Please stop changing your clothes eight times a day.

Yes, I am proud that you have figured out how to dress and undress yourself. This is a skill that you have mastered. No more need to practice this skill several times a day. You can simply get up in the morning and change from your jammies to clothes. Then at the end of the day you can put your jammies back on. See how only one clothing change simplifies things. And it reduces the vast quantities of laundry I have to wash each week. Our washing machine is older than Pork Chop, and on its last leg. Next time you go to needlessly change your clothes won't you think of the washing machine?


And since we are talking about clothes, let's spend a minute talking about one of the valid reasons you change your clothes: potty training. Now this is another skill you've mastered. You can pee and poo in the potty. No biggie. But just because you can doesn't mean you do. You're just as content to pee you pants, take them off, and move on with life, never once pausing in your play to alert me to the fact that I now have a puddle of yuck in the middle of my carpet. And forget going back to diapers. You don't like them. And since we've already established that you hold a Masters in dressing yourself it goes without saying that you posses the skills necessary to remove the offending diaper, used or unused, and that is left lying around willy-nilly as well.

Could you cut that out.

Please pee in the potty, every time, for me.

And one more thought on the topic of clothes.

You are developing a bit of a nudist streak. I never know from what moment to the next what you'll be wearing, but lately it is becoming common place to walk into a room and discover you are wearing nothing but a smile. Frankly I prefer this to the fifty million costumes changes, again, think of the washer. Plus, you've got a super cute little tush. But I would caution you, try to temper this urge until the weather gets a little warmer. Do I need to remind you of the month long bout of sickness we just endured. Do you not remember vomiting? I'd like to avoid a repeat of that, and for some reason I think running around in the chill nudie-bootie will lead directly to sickness. There may or may not be scientific fact to back me up on this, so just humor your Mom on this one.


And could you do me a favor and drink from a cup without spilling it? Just once? Pretty please, for me? If you're going to insist on drinking for a big girl cup, you need to handle the cup like a big girl. No more spilling.

And please stay out of my make-up. It isn't good for us to go meet Daddy at work when you've put orange lip gloss all around your eye in a very good imitation of a half-healed shiner that you absolutely refused to let me remove with a baby wipe. Life as a Police Officer is hard enough. Don't make Daddy walk around looking like a child beating Police Officer. Do this favor for your Daddy.


And could you just all around stay out of stuff that doesn't belong to you? I know Pork Chop, Meaty, and Bird would all throw a parade for you if you would stay out of their toys (I'm looking at the stolen Barbies you've stashed behind your shape sorter). But this is more important than just moving around some toys. Remember that half gallon of bleach you poured on my bedroom carpet?




Please stop being such a two year old.



Saturday, March 20, 2010


Sometimes life is unbearably hard.






And sometimes life is unspeakably beautiful.

Monday, March 15, 2010


Well, we spent the last week taking turns throwing up.

That was fun.

I'd like to never speak of it again.

Despite the fevers, and vomiting, and lack of sleep, I got the costumes done.

Although, in the interest of full disclosure, my shirt was neither sewn by me, nor sewn by kindly elves. Instead it came to me from a Fairy Godmother. Auntie must have seen the fear in my eyes as I looked at the mock-up of what the shirt was supposed to look like. It was sewn from a vest pattern, but the neck line was modified (which I think I could have done reasonably well) and sleeves were added.

It was the added sleeves that made my blood run cold.

Sleeves, my old nemesis.

Whether it be knitting, or sewing, I just can't seem to do sleeves properly without a pattern.

How I hate you sleeves!

Seeing the deer in headlights look on my face Auntie took pity on me and kindly donated the mock-up to me, instructing me to sew buttons on the front and invest in some socks (cause I'm a little on the flat chested side *curse you boob fairy* ).

By the time Saturday rolled around the younger three members of our family were well. The same could not be said for the older three. Especially The Greatest. But we rallied. We went to the Aloha Festival.

And we DANCED!

(Except for The Greatest. He doesn't dance)

My three dancers before the show

All set for their debut

Poor Bird is nothing but skin and bones. She doesn't have a scrap of body fat. And she was so cold in her hula outfit with the bare shoulders. Our stage was right by the water and the breeze off the water had a definite chill to it. At one point I saw the teenage dancers crowded around something. I looked, and it was Bird. They had huddled around her tiny form like a flock of penguins, trying to keep her warm.

The Ipu dance.

Didn't The Greatest do a fantastic job with their Ipus?!!

The Boys

To the Left, to the left

The Greatest took the pictures, and he only got one picture of the boys dance. And of course Meaty is turned the wrong way. He did this all through rehearsals as well. He is my child in all the wrong ways, poor thing. I was backstage, but I managed to catch the end of his performance, and he was turning the right way then. I'm very proud of him. And just a teensy bit surprised he like it so much, but he did. He really liked dancing.

Sophisticated Hula

Its the talk of the town!

Love those cellophane skirts in the breeze! Again, The Greatest took these pictures, and he didn't manage to really get Bird in the picture. She's tiny, so you'd think she would be in the first row. But the second row was the place for her. She needed the row of dancers in front of her to help her remember what she was doing. Another one of my children in all the wrong ways. She did great. Now Pork Chop is my shining star dancer! Front row, big smile knew all the moves, loved every second on stage. A born performer.

And Me!


I am Wife, Mom, Daughter, Friend, Chef, Chauffeur, Nurse, Life Guard, Tutor, Housekeeper, Personal Shopper, Keeper of the Keys, Knitter, Quilter, Costume Creator, Blogger. I wear many hats. And now I can add: HULA DANCER!

I wouldn't necessarily qualify hula dancer with the word good. See me in the second row? Yeah, the second row was the place for me too! Hula dancers are generally thought to be graceful. Anyone who knows me, really knows me, is going to fall off their chair giggling at the idea of me and graceful being said in the same sentence. But I went, I danced, I had a great time. We can't wait to do it all again next year.

Of course no post would be complete without a picture of my tiniest Island Princess.

The tiniest island princess

She was too tiny to dance this year, but perhaps next year?

When it was all over we hurried home and tucked The Greatest back in bed. We had ice cream sundaes for dinner, and snuggled up on the couch to watch "Where the Wild Things Are."

It was a perfect day.

Except for the vomit.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Fingers Crossed

Often I find that the amount of time I spend procrastinating on a project is directly related to my confidence in actually doing a good job on said project. That is to say, if I'm not feeling too good about it, the project is going to languish, untouched, and unloved. Examples of this would include Evil, and My Father's Aran Sweater. (Sorry Dad)

So the remaining hula costumes?

Still not looking like a costume

Yeah, not really much closer to being finished.

Yesterday, instead of working on them, I found all kinds of other "Very Important" things to do. I went to twenty different stores in the area trying to find woven basket type bags. I didn't find any. I went to Jo-ann's but forgot my 40% off coupon, so I left. I took the kids to the library for new books, and then spend a good chunk of time reading to them. And most importantly I spend the evening curled up on the couch watching old episodes of "Cops" with The Greatest. You know I'm pulling out all my most desperate avoidance tactics when I'm watching "Cops."

Although while I've not been sewing on these projects, I've have been "working" on the projects. I've been thinking of alternative ways to get them done, ways that do not involve me sewing MY costume. My most viable solution involves waiting until the night before the performance. On the eve of the big day, with an exhausted heart full of desperation, I will lay out the fabric, the thread, the buttons, the scissors, the measuring tape, the patterns... basically every sewing supply in the house will be laid on my kitchen table before I go to sleep. Then during the night kindly elves will rescue me from my plight and I will awaken to perfectly sewn costumes, ready in the nick of time for our Hula Debut.

Do you think it will work?

Cause short of sewing the things myself this is the best plan I've got.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Saved Again By The Power Of Her Cute!

I've been sewing tons lately. I think I might be developing a hunch back from being bent over my sewing machine day after day after day. Three little white hula shirts down! A bunch more stuff to go!

As I sit and sew Sweet Pea sits at my side. She babbles at me. Often using words I can understand! She likes to touch the thing on the side of the machine that goes round and round as I sew. I'm sure that round thingy has a proper name. I'm sure I'll never know what it is.

She also likes to sit and play with my pins.

Seemingly harmess

It seems like a harmless activity. Its all well and good until one rolls off the table and onto the floor where it will lie in wait for The Greatest to step on it and blame me for carelessly leaving my pins lying around.


But worse than planting pins on the floor to frame me for feetal injuries? (is feetal a word? get it feet-al? I'm so funny. I crack myself up. and I clearly need more sleep)

When I'm sewing the final outer border strip on my Valentine Quilt...

Anyone wanna buy a toddler? Cheap!

She likes to keep herself busy by taking the seam ripper and poking a hole in the inner border.

There's a hole in my border dear Dina, dear Dina


I haven't decided if I want to take off three outer border strips so I can get to the inner border. Once there I will remove the inner border and replace it with a new hole-less piece of fabric. Then I will re-sew the three outer borders back onto the quilt. Or I might just skip taking all the borders off and sew a patch over the hole. The Greatest thinks I should put some fray check on it and call it good. *insert eye roll here* He tries hard. But sometimes he doesn't get it.

Saved by the power of her cuteness....again

Some days her cuteness is all that stands between her and certain death.

Somedays You Just Can't Win

I'll admit it. My to-do list is a scary long. We have been sick with coughing nastiness for weeks now and the house is in sad sad shape. We've been too sick to go shopping, so the pantry is in sad sad shape. And as I mentioned yesterday I've got several crafty deadlines looming, not to mention a bunch of stuff I want to do simply because I want to do it. I need more hours in the day. Maybe I should give up sleep again.

When my to-do list gets too big, and my house gets too lived in (a polite way of saying my floors are sticky and I'd rather pee outside than set foot in one of my bathrooms) I can get overwhelmed. I don't even know where to start and I can get paralyzed. Being unable to find a starting point I end up getting nothing done at all.

I'm there.

Paralysis of the mind.

I finally decided the best thing to do was just do something. Anything.

With as tense as I was feeling I decided knitting was NOT the thing to do. No sense in knitting, knowing that what I knit will be too tight and need ripped out.

I also decided cleaning was not the thing to do. I live in a house with small children. I could clean, but it was just going to get sticky again five seconds later. Still coughing I simply didn't have the energy to fight a losing battle.

So sewing it was.

First I cut the fabric for the Girl's Hula Shirts.

curse you missing elastic

Now technically only two of my girls are dancing, but the third needs a costume, well, just cause she does.

And that is as far as I got. Though I searched high and low, the elastic for the shirts was no where to be found.

So I moved on to the next item on my list: Meaty's Hula Shirt. I traced the pattern onto tissue paper and cut out his pieces.

curse you missing brown thread

And that's as far as I got. Though I searched high and low, my brown thread was no where to be found.

So I gave up on Hula costumes. The next one to be made was mine, and sewing for myself is daunting enough without circumstances like these.

So I moved on to my Valentine's Quilt.

Yes, I know Valentine's Day has come and gone. I am unconcerned about this. Valentine's Day will be back next year, and quilts don't spoil. I might have gotten it done for Valentine's this year, but I ran out of fabric to sew the border and only just got new fabric last weekend. Since this wasn't deadline sewing, just hobby sewing, I thought maybe it would be relaxing and lift this cloud of doom I seemed to be operating under. I cut the fabric for the first border, stitched one side, started to stitch the second side...

curse you missing white thread

And this is as far as I got. I ran out of thread. And though I searched high and low, my white thread was no where to be found. Seriously? I ran out of white thread? I know I have more white thread somewhere. *grrr* It is probably with the elastic and the brown thread. Laughing at me.

Somedays a girl just can't win.

That's when I gave up and went to bed. Bed seemed like a solid plan.

Maybe I should have cleaned instead of crafted.

Monday, March 01, 2010

A Girl's Gotta Dream

Once upon a time I tore this picture out of a Pottery Barn Kids catalog.


Back when I was pregnant with Pork Chop and working as a lowly receptionist, one of the few joys of my job was the Pottery Barn Kids Catalog (the other true joy was the Frango mints at Christmas). The Secretaries and I would eagerly sort the mail awaiting the glossy pages of sublime kid stuff to arrive. Now, did you see the part where I was a lowly receptionist? Yeah. I couldn't actually afford anything in the Pottery Barn Kids catalog. But we enjoyed looking at the pretty pages of things and pretending we could afford to decorate our homes. It was a constant source of inspiration for things I wanted to do to my kids rooms. One day I was innocently flipping through its pages and there it was. Something so cute I simply had to have it. It was this quilt, this pretty little quilt. I simply fell in love with this quilt. I loved the gingham, the solids, the neat points of the stars, the bright white background, the diamond border. All of it. I loved it. And since I had taken a beginning quilting class the previous year I decided that forget buying it I could totally make that quilt.

Then I actually had my baby.

Reality is a harsh cruel place to live. I quickly learned babies take up a lot of time. In fact small colicky Pork Chop took up every waking moment, and lots of moments when I should have been sleeping as well. She was rocked and walked and sung to and carried and taken for rides in the car, and still, she cried and cried and cried and cried and cried. I didn't have time to eat, or shower, let alone be crafty. I gave up quilting, too many pieces and part and dropped pins on the floor, and it required a lot of brain cells that I just didn't have at the time. When she was around nine months old I took up knitting. She was sleeping more and finally crying less, so I felt I had a few brain cells I could devote to crafty endeavours. And I figures two knitting needles would be way easier to keep track of than the fifty thousand pins I needed for quilting. That last part is shamefully not true, two knitting needles are not as easy to hold on to as one might think, but doesn't it sound like it ought to be true?

Yet I still dreamed of those perfect points.

I've carried that torn picture around for a decade. Through all our moves I kept this picture. Through the periodic housecleaning purges where I threw out everything that wasn't essential this ragged page was considered important enough to keep. It has always remained on my list of someday.......

Over the weekend we moved Sweet Pea into a big girl bed. The true owners of our crib are expecting their third child, so they will be needing the crib back. Now seemed like as good a time as any to give Sweet Pea her eviction notice from the crib. She is very enthusiastic about her bed during the day, but not so much at bedtime. She cries no until she is exhausted, then I lie down with her while she sleepily repeats "no big girl bed, no big girl bed" until she falls asleep mid-sentence. And forget naps, there's no taking them in the big girl bed. But still, the ordeal is not without a few perks. She shares a bedroom with Bird, and it looks so sweet with their pretty white bed frames.

matchy matchy

I've decided that someday has finally arrived and I am just crazy enough to be planning on making two matching quilts.

Pretty stacks of fabric fill my heart with joy

Pretty gingham star quilts on a pretty white background. Each with a different color gingham binding. Of course I have several other things I need to be doing right this very second, deadlines looming for projects that need done now. A big project for Knitpicks is in the final stages and if I don't get too sidetracked I should finish ahead of schedule. And the seven costumes for hula need to be finished by Saturday. And since they currently look like this

you mean we can't just drape them toga style?

I really need to get sewing.

Still, I could not resist putting one block together


you know, since I already had the sewing machine and ironing board out for the hula costumes anyways.

One block closer to the dream. 159 to go.