Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sunday fun

How to have a fun day without spending any money...

Go to the Harvest Home Festival at Long Street Farm!

We harvested our own potatoes. May I add that it wasn't hard because the ground was soft. That also meant we were walking around in mud. I went back to the car to get my camera once we were done with the potatoes.

Watched a Flea Circus.

Played old fashioned games.

Tried to bring a new friend home.

Sawed a log. All fingers are present and accounted for.

We also tried the pressed apple cider, apple butter, helped the tin smith, and checked out the animals.

Lastly, we went on a hayride.

The kids had a blast. So did I.... minus the mud.

Saturday, September 27, 2008


Hi. It's been a few days since I last posted. Nothing to exciting going on really. Day to day stuff mostly. I seem to be busy all the time yet nothing gets done around here. Know how that goes? Of course, I'd probably get more done if the fall shows hadn't started up! Curse the TV. I also got myself hooked on Lost. I have heard so many people rave about it so I got the first season from Netflix. So far, I really like it!

I got the pylon today so I can get to work on the baby clothes quilt. I am a little hesitant to begin. Not that I don't think I can do this quilt but I've never cut up clothing for a quilt before. Once I cut there is no going back. It is no longer a functional outfit so I have to make it work in the quilt. I know once I get going on it I'll just cut them up without thinking about the cute little outfit that is no more. Silly, I know.

I have a whole bunch of t-shirts that were my dads that I have wanted to make into a quilt but I didn't want to cut them up. It's not like I wear them or anything, they just sit in a box. Once I get this commission quilt done I think I'll have to start planning my dads t-shirt quilt.

So, I have made a decision and if I put it out here for all to see then I have to keep my word, right? I am tired of being squishy around the middle. I weigh more this year than I did last. I don't want to ignore it any longer. I weighed myself at Tiff house this week and didn't like the number I saw at all. I am going to do something I've never done before. I am going to diet. Not severely, I won't go off the deep end counting calories unless I don't see any results in a few weeks. No more dessert and less snacking in between meals!I'm not breastfeeding anymore after all. I am going to step up my exercising too. I have put a half assed effort into running since July. I can run about 10 minutes now and I want to get up to at least 20. I will run a few times a week and yoga again once a week. Will it work? I hope so. I only want to lose 10-15. Here is my squishy belly for all too see, stretch marks and all. I took the picture after I ran today. No, I am not fat. Just getting too squishy!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Happy Fall!

Hurray for fall! I am eagerly anticipating sweater weather. I love the crisp air and all the fall smells... ahhhh.

I found a quilt guild out here. I am hoping to find a group to sew with more than anything. I'd love to have a little Stitch and Bitch. Scylla and I tried to get one going out here but it just didn't seem to catch. Anyway, I went to a guild meeting this month and they do a lot of different things. Charity quilts, pillowcases, guest speakers, and they even raffle off blocks every month. This month it was a witch, Sun Bonnet Sue style. I couldn't resist making it. I think it's kinda cute!

As far as quilting... not much has happened. I wanted to make that cute Nappy Bag but I didn't have enough fusible interfacing. So sad. I was all ready to start in on the bag last week and re-read the directions only to discover I didn't have a key ingredient. I will go get some this weekend. I'll need a lot because I'm gonna have to use it on C's quilt too.

I did get to meet with C about her baby clothes quilt. We decided on a scrappy kind of look so we can easily adjust the size of the block to fit whatever size I need it to be. I think this will be fun.

Ah, speaking of fun (yeah, bad transition, I know) we all go to hang out with Karl one last time on Saturday. We had been thinking about going to the beach, even if we weren't able to swim we could enjoy the water and sand. Mom called me in the morning and we decided to do something different. Something totally out of the norm for us, we went to another lighthouse. I'm telling you, we're crazy around here.

This lighthouse was much cooler in my opinion. There are 217 stairs to the top. Sounds easy until half way up when the toddler wants you to carry him. Then, the stairs seem to spiral up forever!

The older kids got to play on the rocks until I realized how big the crevices were and that there was water down between the rocks. I had visions of broken legs or one of them getting trapped between the rocks and drowning. Yeah, I made them get down. They moaned about it too.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Apples and stew

It's that time of year again. Time to go apple picking! We got a big bucket full this year. Almost 17 pounds worth of mixed varieties of apples. The best part about the apples is watching them be eaten up!

I have one request so far for what to do with the apples. Dan asked for Apple Bread. Do any of you have a good recipe? I found one in my Enchanted Broccoli Forrest cook book. It should be yummy but I am always up for something different.

Tonight for dinner I thought I'd try my hand at a beef stew. I think I made it last year and it didn't go over well. Today though it was a hit. With all of them... ah, that never happens. It was easy to make so I thought I'd share it with ya.

Beef Stew

1 lb stew meat
3 potatoes
3 stalks of celery
2 large carrots
1 small onion
minced garlic
1 box beef broth
1 box chicken broth

season to taste with:
steak seasoning
worcestershire sauce

-Brown the meat and onions in a bit of olive oil. Add broth and veggies. Bring to boil. Simmer till done. About an hour.

It got rave reviews from the short people. Ok, the big kids didn't like the cooked carrots so they gave them to Seth and he gobbled them up!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

All tuckered out

That'd be me btw. Not one of the kids.

Seth and I took a bus this morning up to NYC to meet my mom and brothers. It was an easy ride up. All was smooth sailing. We took a cab to the Metropolitan Museum, not the MoMA, my bad. What a fantastic museum. I was in awe. Since I don't frequent art museums all that often I thought it was awesome to be standing in front of a real Picasso, Monet, Van Gogh, etc. Truly cool. You can say it, I am a dork. Although, our reason for going there was to see the Turner exhibit.

The smooth sailing came to an abrupt halt though. Little Seth decided he was done... an hour into our day at the museum. I tried to hold him off by taking him up to the roof to see some balloon sculpture. There was a small snack stand up there. Hum, if I get him a cookie, will he calm down? He might be getting hungry? Let's try. We sat down on a bench to enjoy the cookie and without thinking about it, I had the audacity to break off a chunk of cookie for him.... It was like setting of a nuclear toddler. Too late, no going back, thermonuclear meltdown. He crumbled the cookie and threw it on the ground while screaming about wanting a cookie... shit... now what?

First call my husband. Tell him I'll never bring Seth with me anywhere again and have him remind me of this. Dan said he wished there was something he could do to help. I suggested he tell me that throwing Seth off the roof wasn't an option.

Toddlers. I should have left him with Tiff. Who cares if Chloe likes to nap... Oh, wait. That's not nice.

Mom came up to us on the roof. He calmed down and we went to the cafeteria for lunch. I was worried he'd do it again but he didn't. The rest of the day he was testy but no more tantrums. Thank you!

Seth napped on me for a bit. We finished seeing the things we wanted to see and went into the park to find the castle. Hurray, it's easy to find and not far from the museum.

We randomly started walking from there. A trail this way, a trail that way. Hey, look! The lake.

"Can you see the boats?"

We took pictures and ate some ice cream. Ah, it was like being in a weird movie. I asked the guy we bought the ice cream from how to get out of the park. I had no idea which was up. He point the way. Once we exited the park we were a long way from the museum. For those of you who know Manhattan then you'll understand. The museum is on like 80th and 5th Ave. We came out of the park on the west side at 67th! We just kept walking from there. We went to Starbucks along the way. I even went to Chipotle because I LOVE their burritos. They aren't down where we are yet but I will be a good patron once they get here!!!

We walked and walked and walked down 8th Ave. I swear that while we were walking Dustin Hoffman passed us. He had sunglasses and headphones on but I am pretty darn sure it was him.

I walked all the way to Port Authority. I carried Seth almost the whole time because he stubbornly wouldn't let me put him in my sling. (We really don't use the sling anymore but I thought it'd be an easier way to get around than pushing a stroller through all those busy streets.)

If my mom got some good pictures of all of us I'll share them. Also, Seth took a ton of pictures with my camera. Hey, he was quiet and cute. Here are a few of his. Don't worry, I won't show you the ones of bellies and toes that he took.

"Ok, honey. Last picture and then you have to give mommy the camera."

So now, I am all tuckered out. I am going to bed.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Nappy Bag

Do you like the new header on the blog? Is it ok?

I am itching to do a project. I don't want to start a whole quilt until I finish the baby clothes quilt. We should be getting together this week to get started.

I have wanted to make this pattern for a while but I didn't know who to make it for. I certainly don't need a new diaper bag when my little guy is 2 and our goal is to someday be done with the whole diaper thing! I guess I could selfishly make it for me and just use it as a large tote bag.

Well, I just found out that I am going to an aunt again! Yes, now I can make the Nappy Bag for someone! The only question is, does it matter that the fabrics are girly? What if my sister in-law is right and she has a boy? Would she still use the bag? I'd hate to pour effort into an adorable bag that wouldn't get used. Oh, the dilemma!

We have another busy week ahead of us. My little brother is coming out this week. Or should I say my middle brother since the youngest brother I see all the time since he is only 11 and lives at home. Yup, Karl is flying out here! I am not sure of all our activities while he's here but we are definitely going to go up to the city. Mom would like to go to the MoMA. I think that will be fun. I haven't had a chance to go there yet.

Somewhere in this week we get to squeeze in an orthodontist appt for Hannah, 2 Tae Kwon Do classes, the library, a playgroup, and apple picking! Never a dull moment.

Friday, September 12, 2008


This week has been pretty mellow. Not much to report on. The big kids are back in school full time now so we had to get back into the routine. Getting everyone up and ready isn't to hard. I am trying to start running some more after I drop the kids off at school. A few days a week at least. I am still not very good at it. I can go maybe 10 minutes before I want to walk but I know it's a great way to get a good work out. We'll see if I can step it up a bit.

I've finished the binding on my aunts quilt and I'll get it washed and sent off soon. I was watching the movie Waitress last night while I worked on the last of the binding. I thought it was pretty entertaining.

I have also been trying to organize my fabric closet. It's rather embarrassing how bad it can get. I have bins and boxes full to the brim and more stuff shoved in on top. If there isn't room in the closet than things get set on my sewing table or ironing board. AH!

Hopefully it will be easier to find things once I get it all done.

My next quilt project is going to a commissioned piece! I have been asked to make a quilt out of old baby clothes. I think I can handle that. We need to get together and pick a pattern. I am not sure what she'll want. Have any good pattern suggestions?

Yesterday Seth helped me make granola for the first time. I followed the recipe I found and it is very yummy but I think next time I'll try it with honey instead of molasses. The kids didn't seem to like the molasses flavor. I think they are nuts. Molasses is good stuff. Do you have a favorite granola recipe?

Monday, September 08, 2008

Extended breastfeeding

It's been a long time since I even mentioned breastfeeding Seth on my blog and when I was in Vegas my aunt had asked me if I was still nursing him. No, no we are all done but I never mentioned here how long we went because frankly I didn't want to hear about it. Not that everyone frowns upon extended breastfeeding but some do. Maybe I should talk about it so that those few who secretly keep nursing their toddlers won't feel so alone. There is no shame in it after all. Not only does the AAP recommend breastfeeding for at least one year but the WHO recommends 2 years. Sadly most women barely make it to the 6 month mark before throwing in the towel.

I feel like I have had an easy time with breastfeeding... The more I think about that statement I realize that it isn't quite true. I had an easy time once the breastfeeding relationship was fully established though. The beginning, with each baby, was difficult. I've dealt with cracked bleeding nipples, clogged ducts, thrush, engorgement, etc. The beginning can be so rough especially when you are so hormonal and sleep deprived. I think everyone knows the benefits of nursing, right? Maybe not. Here are a few- Human milk for a human baby for starts, it boosts their immune system, it's always ready and the right temperature, helps with bonding, moms loss more weight nursing, also lowers moms breast cancer risks, and they also seem to be less picky eaters. The immunity boost is so important I think. I really love the idea that the germs your baby pick up you can also get and then you create an antibody in your milk to help them with it. Kissing your baby cheek is all it takes. A mama's kiss can make it all better. :)

So, how long did I nurse Seth? Until July of this year which means he was 2 and a half. I was the one who was ready to be done nursing, not him. He asked for milk for a while when we cuddled up to go to sleep. He didn't nurse all that much just at bed time and sometimes for a nap. But he loved his "nilk". I just really wanted to be done. I have been pregnant or nursing for most of the last 10 years. I had a big break between Simon nursing until he was 2 and becoming pregnant with Seth but I was ready for my body back. I think an extended breastfeeding relationship only works if both the mom and child are ok with it. It's so easy to get there though. You start off with that little infant with the goal of nursing them for a year and before you know it they are nursing a lot, it's so easy, and they aren't ready to quit just yet. Age 2 comes along quickly and they still seem so baby like.

I don't know how it works for all families but that's what worked for us. He slept snuggled up with his mama and nursed as a baby. When he got older I moved him to a bed in his brothers room. He doesn't get milk to help him sleep but he still wants his mama to sleep with him and slowly but surely he'll be ok with sleeping by himself too.

Now you have it. The full picture. I am a crunchy granola kind of girl. How about you? Did you nurse for a long time or even tandem nurse?

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Moms quilt

I am all done with my moms quilt top and back. I even went so far as to miter the corners.

I figured it'd go better with the angles of the center. Of course once I was done with the mitering I thought hey, I could have taken pictures in case someone wanted to know how to do it themselves. Too late now. It really isn't all that hard.

I'm going to take this quilt to another place to get it machine quilted. I have been very happy with the lady who's been doing my quilting for me but I am not all to happy with the store I have to go through. I will say the women at the quilt store are nice. Firstly, I rarely like their fabric. You know how you walk in, look around and leave without buying anything or even having to restrain yourself? Yeah, that's what it's like. Then add their ridiculous store hours 11-4 and that makes me not happy. I tried to go get my aunts quilt on Thursday. I got there at 4:15 to find the doors locked and the lights off. I thought the sign said 10-4 so I decided to try going back in the morning to get it. I got there at 10 (which was already making me late for a playgroup) and found it all locked up and not open for another hour. The mistake driving there the second time was truly my own but infuriating none the less.

So, I'll try some place else. Somewhere where the fabrics talk to me and the hours are more reasonable. Hopefully I'll be happier with them.

I better be off to the quilt store (again!). Tropical Storm Hanna is on her way...

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


My computer is all better now. Actually my computer wasn't the problem. The monitor was. John came over and gave my computer a look-see while Dan was gone and he said the back light on the monitor went out. Um, ok. Sure, the back light. I knew that.

All is well now. I can see my email and all the lovely blogs I like to read.

The kids went back to school today.


It was a half day so I barely had time to hit Costco before I needed to go back to get them. They both had supply lists. I think that is the one major gripe I have with this school. Sometimes you'll get a list at the end of the year but the teacher will always amend the list at the beginning of the year with more stuff. Simon had no list until today. Target is bare so we had to hit up Staples.

Yesterday, as a say goodbye to summer thing, Tiff and I ventured down the shore one last time. I slathered Hannah and Simon up and off they went to swim.

After a while they both told me they itched all over really bad. WTF? "Go wash off!" I went to look closer at the water.

See the brown at the edge of the wave? Eew, gross.

There was something in the water. It looked brown to me but it turned out to be green tide. Yuck. There were also tons of jellyfish. The clear ones are ok, they don't have tentacles but there were some reddish purple ones that could have stung them. I made them stay out of the water the rest of the time there. Even though we rinsed off before we left we still had the green algae crap on us from the water when we got home. EEEWWWWW. Get it off! So much for a fun goodbye to summer day. I can't say I'll be missing the beach for quite a while. Yuck!

It still creeps me out. Yuck.

Totally unrelated- I got the main top on moms quilt done. The borders are in progress. Mom likes it so far! I got an email today that my aunts quilt is all done. I'll try to go get it tomorrow.

Even more unrelated but totally cool- Baking Soda works. I ran out of Comet (finally) and needed to clean the toilets. I have heard that baking soda is a great cleaner and may I also point out it is environmentally friendly! After it worked on the toilets so well I decided to do a before and after shot of my sink. Now, I do clean out the sink when I do the dishes but it needs to be scrubbed from time to time. All I did was sprinkle it in and wipe it off with a wash cloth.



What do you think. Did it work?