Saturday, January 31, 2009



This little girl is looking for a new home. She has a new valentine's day outfit and she's waiting for a little girl to take her home and love her. You can find her here if you'd like to invite her to stay at your house. You may find some other things you'd like while you're there.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Making cookies

Cookie was a very happy monster. He's been living here over two years and finally, he has some cookies of his own.

These felt cookies upped the monster's play value considerably. He's always been loved, but he's so much more agreeable when there are cookies for him to eat.
Enzo likes stuffing the cookies in his mouth the best.

Zizza prefers to help him chomp.
Nice Snow White tattoo huh? That thing has been firmly affixed to her arm for over a week, it's not even starting to peel. I don't think stick-on tattoos lasted that long when I was a kid.

Back to the topic at hand, it was only a matter of time before someone got curious. I'll bet that felt has a good mouth feel.

I think making those cookies was the best half hour I've spent all week.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Humbling service

I took dinner to a neighbor in need last night. I really enjoy doing that. The transportation part always stresses me out some, (especially after the incident where I spilled cream of potato soup in my car and it it never smelled the same again) but I love planning a comforting meal for someone who, for what ever reason, needs it.
This time there were 13 people who needed to be fed and I had more to do than cook all day, so I decided I'd go ahead and warm up the frozen beef and barley soup from my freezer. I eased my guilt for taking a commercially prepared entree by making cheese pepper bread (my mother in law's recipe, the Mr's favorite) and super delish chocolate peanut butter chip cookies to accompany it.
Here's the thing about the soup. We got it from the company where we buy frozen meat in bulk. We had 2 frozen tubs of it from our last shipment. I made one for dinner at one point and thought it was awful. Allow me to explain.
My mother always makes everything from scratch. She uses cake mixes about 70% of the time, but no other type of mix passes through her kitchen. Being thus spoiled though out my early life, I have little to no tollerance to the flavor of preservatives in my food.
I can't eat a Krusteaz pancake without cringing. After years of conditioning I can now eat Bisquick pancakes cringe-free, but the progress was hard won.
So, I had this high quality prepared-frozen soup in my freezer that I personally didn't care for, but others would enjoy. (I assumed they would anyway, I never saw anyone else at the big pancake breakfasts I attended in my youth make a sour face and walk their krusteaz to the trash can after their first bite) It took days and days to get through the left-overs after I prepared the first tub so I assumed it would be plenty to feed six adults and seven small children.
I made the bread and cookies early in the day, all was well. The soup was mostly thawed and I started it heating. My pot was rather emptier than I'd expected, so I poured in some beef broth I had in the fridge to stretch it out. I checked on it and found that the edges were getting nice and warm but the middle was still rather slushy so I gave it a stir and sat down to read a few chapters.
And it burned.
At this point it was time to deliver the darned stuff and I hadn't the time nor ingredients to make anything new. I poured it to a new pot hoping that just the bottom was scalded and the rest would be fine. I happened to notice in the pot switch that there really wasn't all that much soup, the quantity wasn't helped when the bottom layer of barley scalded onto the previous pot. Anyway, I tasted and thought it was ok, so we packed up and headed out. All the while I prayed "Please Father, let the soup taste ok. Or, at very least, let these be people who enjoy the flavor of burned food"
So, I carried the dinner into the house and noted that the children were more medium sized than small. I believe medium sized children are apt to eat a good deal more than small ones.
I asked them to trade me pots, (This is my custom when I take dinners, it's such trouble getting dishes back to people I always end up thinking it would have been better for me to have cooked it myself) and as the woman poured the soup into her medium sized sauce pan (enough for 13? I think not) the burned aroma wafted through the kitchen. Thus it was made clearly evident that I had delivered just enough burned soup to feed half of the people in the house. I ducked my head in shame and made my exit.
The bread and cookies were good though, and plentiful, so I guess that counts for something. Also, I'm glad I don't have to go back there and collect any kitchen ware. Re-entering the scene of such a humiliating experience would surely be too much to bear.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Pizza for dinner

Pizza of the barbecue chicken variety.

The dough rises in anticipation and I consider the possibility of cheesy pull apart bread.

Monday, January 26, 2009

I'm all about fostering creativity and that kind of thing, but...

honestly does every imagination game she comes up with have to involve her bossing me around?
No. My name is not Rosita, so quit screaming it down the stairs and expecting me to answer.
NO. I am not riding in an air plane, I am changing the crib sheets.
NO! You are not my mother!
Please let me do my work.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The rest of us wore...

A continuation of the discussion of our Family Photos and what those of us who are not four year old girls were wearing.

I had grandiose plans in my head. Plans that included pearl gray cable knit, flashy belts (well, really only one) Mustard yellow sweater vests (fine, only one of those too) and royal blue silk charmeuse. I realized of course that designing a wardrobe for 5 people entirely out of ones own head when one does not have unlimited time, skills and/or means will only lead to disappointment, so I scrapped all of that and we wore this.

I planned for Enzo to wear the charcoal shorts from his Micheal Banks suit. But I never made the Micheal Banks suit so that was a problem. I kept up hope that I'd get to it in time to make the shorts for the pictures but I ended up simplifying.
Simplifying is good stuff.
The morning of picture day I found those gray shorts on the clearance rack at Target. They were size 4T slim fit girl's walking shorts. I took them home, cut the rise deeper, hemmed them to Enzo's knee length and my desire for gray shorts and knee socks was fulfilled. It was fulfilled until his socks squinched down anyway.
I made him a yellow pull over vest too but I edited it at the last minute. It was too buttery a yellow which didn't quite sit right, so away it went.

The New One was the easiest of all of us to dress. My first stop on my all day shopping trip was Gymboree where I found the little sweater dress on sale, the last one in the store. I snapped it up and she was taken care of.
I entertained notions of making her a pair of shoes in the camel color of her hair bow, but that's another thing I didn't quite get to.
Ok, you caught me lying again. I patterned and cut the shoes but after stitching one up I discovered I hadn't left enough seam allowance and it was too small so I gave it up.

The Mr was the second easiest to dress. Found his shirt (love the yellow pin stripes, not that you can tell they're yellow from the photo) at my second stop on the day I died shopping. Then it was just made a matter of making sure my favorite of his jeans were clean and on top of the pile the day of pictures.

Dressing myself was horrible. I spent hours upon hours searching for trousers, then more and more hours searching for a suitable blouse.
Then I died.
Then I went home and ate pizza.
Two days later I found my dress on the clearance rack at Target. Yes, Target's clearance rack was good to me that week. After a few alterations, namely narrowing the shoulders and bringing up the sleeve length a titch, it was set to go.
In the store, I tried it on with the belt in the pictures but I thought I could do better so I didn't buy the belt. I found another belt at another store and didn't bother to try the two on together until I was getting ready.
The other belt was awful. It was purple which seemed like a good idea at the time but I don't remember why. It completely blended into the dress once it was on. To make things worse, it also would not cinch. Since I was planning to cinch with a belt I hadn't bothered taking the sides in on the dress. No, that's not ideal, but I was tired and in the Target fitting room the belt cinch had worked. It would certainly be more flattering without the extra bulk, but it wasn't un-flattering the way it was so I saved myself the time.
Un-belted the thing is an absolute sack and the belt I had, between it's disappearing color and failure to cinch, was equivalent to going beltless.
I called the Mr, who was already at the photo site waiting for me. He went to Target and fetched the brown belt. He couldn't remember what size I wear so be bought one in every size. (Yipee more stuff to take back to the store!)

Then we met up with Kaylea and had a lovely shoot.
The End.

On family trips to Target

The Mr pushes the cart.
The kind that seats all three kids.
That leaves my hands free. Free for Enzo to hold.

First sewing project of the year

Yesterday the stars aligned such that at long last I had the time, supplies and desire to make myself a diaper wallet.

I love a quick one day project.
I haven't worked out the kinks in this idea yet. I tried different pocket placement from last time, but I'm still not completely satisfied.


I also need to work on snap placement. I put the snap on early in the process this time. On the first go around the snap was an after thought, the last thing I did. That made it easy to figure out where exactly it should go, but I had to come up with a way to cover the mount on it's back side.
I remembered that, and put the snap on before I started quilting this one. That means, the ugly mounting business is completely enclosed, but without the pockets sewn on and filled, it was hard to guess where to put the two pieces of snap, so the whole thing has to fold differently than I'd like it to in order for the two pieces of snap to match up.


Maybe if I make another one, I'll get it right.

In any case, the appliqued flower was fun. I love the fabrics even if it does fold awkwardly.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A New Love

My boy loves crayons, and pencils and markers... you get the idea. I guess it's coloring that he loves, more than crayons.
His sister didn't get interested in coloring until she was closer to three. I wonder to myself what made the difference. Did he become interested earlier because he saw her coloring, or is he naturally more interested in that sort of thing?
Mix a love of writing implements with an energetic not quite two year old and what do you get? That's right, a mess.
We had the crayons out at kid level until just recently when his love really bloomed. I've been gathering crayons and tucking them away for the past few months. I thought I had them all but early this week he found one.
Generally if this occurs I either get him a piece of paper speedy quick before he finds his own medium, or thank him for finding it and put it away. This time though, it was a white crayon so I let him hold onto it.
And that is how Enz came to have a crayon as his constant companion.

He kept it tight in his fist as he pulled up plants in the garden (don't worry husband, it was just one small plant)

And later, when he sat down to rest for a spell his "eon" was there with him.

Zizza noticed the crayon for the first time today and tried and tried to pinch it for herself. She had a hard time understanding why I was defending his sole ownership of the crayon. Blankies she gets, crayon love is beyond her grasp.

Handmade Christmas gifts

I really did make some of my gifts, I just never mentioned it. There were a lot of really great things that went on in December that I never mentioned. Anyway here are a few things I made.
The hat is for my brother. I was just crocheting along making an average beanie and then at the last minute I decided to try for a brim. I think it turned out ok for an experimental kind of thing. The only problem with the last minute change was, I did it all while snowed in on Christmas day and I didn't have anything available to me for stabilizing such an after thought. I gave it to him unstabilized at our family party the next day. He even wore it sledding that way. I just made him give it back before I left town so's I could fix it up proper. Here's what it looks like now, Boy. It'll be coming to you soon.

That same brother wanted to give his wife a handmade apron and called upon me for the handmade part. I got it done in plenty of time all except for buttons. The buttons were another after thought kind of a thing and I had nothing in my stash that would do. I kept thinking I'd make it to the store before we left but I didn't so he had to give it to her buttonless.
I planned to measure the neck strap for button placement, and do the button thing while I was in town but that didn't happen. I brought it home with me too. I put the buttons on and here's what it looks like. Thanks to Zizza for the photo.

Now that you've enjoyed my awesome modeling skills. I'll tell you that I also made another one of these in the same fabrics as the apron, gave a handful of hobby horses to various nephews and nieces and that did it for my holiday sewing.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I was only dreaming

In my dream last night I was watching a romantic comedy staring John Cusack and Judith Light. I was really enjoying the movie but my dratted conscious mind kept butting in with comments about how Judith, as great as she is, seemed a little old for the roll.
Just as the dream film was really getting good my conscious mind got the better of my subconscious and the whole thing crumbled.
As I drifted back to sleep I willed myself to pick up where I'd left of, but to no avail. I really wanted to see how it ended too.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Dish it up

The exercise in my kitchen this evening was to see how many dishes I could use to make a single dish. I did well, very well in fact. I dirtied more dishes in a shorter period of time than I ever have. (That last statement may or may not be an exaggeration, you be the judge.)
The Mr recently got a bodybugg. My gift to him for our coming anniversary.(Romantic, no?) Last evening he did the dishes and was pleasantly surprised to find out just how many calories dish duty burns. I figured preparing a heap of dishes for him to wash would be a good way to support him in his new fitness endeavor.
Only too bad for me, 'cause he tweaked his shoulder somehow and can't get his scrub on. He did unload the dishwasher, but he said "ow" every time he fully extended his arm. I guess I have some calories to burn when I'm finished here.
The recipe which, along with my poor prep planning, is responsible for my pile of dirties is The Pioneer Woman's Cauliflower soup and it was totally worth it. My two kids cleaned their plates, er, bowls. The only other meal that garners such results is plain steamed rice.
Some may argue that plain steamed rice doesn't count as a meal but it passes for one around here more often that I care to admit.
Now if you'll excuse me, I've got a sinkfull waiting for me.

Friday, January 16, 2009

3 in one

It's about time I told you about our family pictures. We had them taken way back in November.
I guess I should show you the dress I was working on that day when I was sewing and the time ran away from me too.
Also, I've become aware of a shabby apple contest going on. You all know what a sucker I am for a contest!
Fitting all three of these things into a single post? Am I a master of efficiency or what?
Here goes. Three pictures of my "Picture Princess" girl. All from our family photo shoot with Kaylea in November.
Why Should my Zizza be the picture princess?

Because she's smiley,

and dreamy,

With a little bit of spunk for good measure.

By the way, Peach Cobbler is the dress I think would best suit my Zizza.

Now, that takes care of the contest portion of this post, let's move on to the day eating dress. Or dresses to be more accurate.
This ensemble started one Sunday at church when I saw a little girl wearing a tuxedo ruffled dress and got to thinking about how I could inject a little more uniquety into the the look. The answer I came up with was to add a stand-up collar and french cuffs and layer it under a wide necked sweater dress.
I bought a women's sized cream sweater to use for the sweater dress. I thought I was going to have to do some creative cutting to get the pieces I needed for the dress with ribbing in all the right places, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that the ribbing was just top-stitched to the sweater in the first place.
I ripped out those seams and had all the ribbing I needed ready to stitch onto my dress wherever I wanted it without worrying about anything unraveling. It was like that sweater was meant to be ripped apart an re-purposed!
I originally thought of dotted swiss for the dress fabric. I wanted strong color, but solid would be too harsh. I needed that little bit of texture to soften things up. I didn't find any brightly colored dotted swiss so I started exploring my options.
The pattern in the fabric I chose works just as well to soften things as the texture of the dots would have but it's subtle enough not to overwhelm. Perfect.
For picture day,I knew I wanted her to be wearing knee socks with her clogs. I also didn't want to be too matchy-matchy about things. I found the adult sized argyle socks at Target. I hacked off the feet and hemmed the remaining tubes into leg warmers. Then I made the hair bow out of one of the discarded feet.
After all of that I found the same style of socks in the little girls section. I like the scrunchy leg-warmer look though, not to mention the matching bow, so I'm glad I didn't find the child-sized socks first.
And that, Friends, is all I have to say about it.


a few (6) years ago I got me some fake hair.
It was cool.
It was cool in a "pretend I'm actually a black girl" kind of way.
For three weeks I had long (to my waist) polyester braided extensions. I rocked that look.
The only bad parts were, 1 the plastic hair was kind of itchy on my scalp. and 2 it took for freaking ever to dry. Also, while it was drying it was so heavy I couldn't hold my head up. I had to lay down with the hair spread on a couple of towels until it dried.
I wish I had some photos to share with you but we were camera-less at the time.
Anyway, we found the extra hair in a closet the other day. Now I'm debating about what to do with it.
I kept it because I always expected to revisit the look, but my braid end sealer went missing a few years ago. Vanished entirely from my possession, I've searched every closet, nook, and cranny in this house. Without means to seal the ends of the braids, extensions are an impossibility. Also, I think I might have outgrown the desire for crazy-long braided extensions. Crazy, huh?
So what does one do with extra plastic hair? Give it to the DI? Do you think anyone would buy hair second hand at a thrift store?

Monday, January 12, 2009

4 months new

4 months ago today we thought our foster parenting days were over.
4 months ago today we got the phone call saying there was an hours old baby needing a home.
We didn't hesitate to say "yes" even in spite of the fact we'd decided to let our license expire at the year's end and count our lesson learned.
Now we have eleven pounds of four month old, giggling and cooing, wiggling on blankies and getting ready to roll around the house(she rolled once already, tummy to back, 3 days ago) Sometimes she holds her own bottle, and sometimes she falls asleep snuggling that hard plastic thing.
What a blessing to have her, how I pray to keep her.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


Look what I did last year. There are a few things I never took pictures of, but it's still a pretty comprehensive look at what I made last year.


I am not so much a baby person. Don't get me wrong, I like babies. There are a lot of babies I love, even. My own, for example.
What I mean to say is, I am not the type of girl whose arms ache with yearning any time there is a baby in the room. I like to smile at babies I happen to meet. That's usually enough for me.
Once at a family function it was decided by the general population of the hallway where I stood that I should hold the baby of a cousin.
The child was handed to me and I stood there. Holding it. Trying not to make it painfully obvious to the baby's mother that I actually had no interest in her darling boy. It was all terribly awkward.
That being said, if that cousin had needed someone to hold her boy while she attended to some necessary task, or just to give her a break, I would have been happy to help. The part that was the problem was the assumption that I wanted to hold the child for no other reason than my own delight when I took no such thing from the situation.
This is why I do not offer to "let" people hold my babies. I assume that if a person wants to hold the baby, they'll ask.
Now that I've told you all about my stone heart, let me introduce you to someone.
This is my nephew.

I think he was afraid of my camera.

See, now it's getting better, he closed his little mouth. He looks happier, right?

Anyway, back to the story. When I saw him, for the first time since July, on Christmas Eve it was all I could do to keep my hands to myself.
Lucky for me there were plenty of people around who wanted to hold my bitsy little babe so I was free to squish his sweet fatness to my hearts content. It's a good thing I got that squishing in because by the time I get back up to Utah he'll be big enough to protest.
In the mean time I'll keep working on my New One's squishability. I've always wanted a fat baby, maybe if I feed her enough she'll make that dream come true for me.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Snow is good for...

We went with a pack of my siblings and their children the day after Christmas. Let me tell you about it.
It started out like this. Two little boys, one with ketchup smeared on his face, bundled up twice their normal size and smashed into car seats.

A sweet girl, similarly bundled and smashed...

next to her hairy Uncle Boy.

I too was tightly bundled, on top anyway...

Sadly, this was the best I could do for my feet. You can't so much tell in the photo, but I totally put on a second pair of socks in preparation for the day's activities.

The Mr was there too but he was not bundled so I didn't photograph him as part of the "bundled up" set.
He, as I mentioned in a different post, threw out his back shoveling snow and had no plans to join in the festivities. He just came along so I wouldn't have to drive in the awful. He's a nice guy like that.
First thing out of the car, Enzo took off up the road like he's so fond of doing.

Once we were on the hill, he face planted immediately. I hurried to snatch him up and thanks to my awesome footwear I fell down too. Here was are in the aftermath. The snow oh his hat is evidence of his fall.
There, between my brows you see the etched number eleven that is a plague upon my family.

Here you see my little brother propelling a pair of four year olds and three sleds up the hill under no power but his own.
Way to go, John. Uncle of the year award, right there.

Zizza had a dang good time, Just look at her.

And there behind my nephew, I'm hard at work on my number eleven. Seriously, zoom in and check out the furrow between those brows it's impressive.

This is my niece. See the unlined expanse between her brows? She's too young to realize that a number eleven is lurking in her future, waiting to jump onto her face at the first opportunity.
Enjoy it while you can sister, it's only a matter of time.

Now, for a look at our little passengers after the sledding took place.
There were rosy cheeks,

glazed stares,

and dripping noses.

I guess that means the outing was a success.

Monday, January 5, 2009

No Christmas Tree, No Christmas Tree

One of the best things about today is the nekkedness of this corner.

Putting away the Christmas tree = crappy job but it's done now so I can't complain.

One of the other best things about today was listening to Zizza play Kung fu Panda all morning.
"I want to be the tiger" she told me, "What's the tiger's name?" She asked. "Tigress" I say. "No, I mean the tiger. The one with the pretty vest" she says all rolling eyes and long exhales.
"Yeah, her name is Tigress." I tell her, and this time she accepts it with no tenageresque reactions.
The mop and broom from the cleaning set grandma gave her become "Kung Fu sticks" and she commandeers the foam sword she gave her brother for Christmas. She tried over and over to give him a weapon but he was just not that into it.
She assigned and re assigned parts to all of us
"Ok, I'm Tiger-ess and you're Kung Fu Panda and Baby Brother is The Master because he's the shortest and The Master is the shortest"
Her reassignments always had to do with the role Enzo played. I was always Po and she was always Tigress. Every so often she'd look up at me from under her lashes and say gravely "You do not belong in this palace."
She asked me why I wasn't doing Kung Fu and I said I was I was just using my Kung Fu to fold laundry at the moment. She told me I'd better start hitting the laundry with a stick then.

Another best thing about today happened after lunch. I scooped Enzo out of his chair and washed him up, then I asked him if he wanted to go find his blankie. His response?
"Ni-ni, tr-tr(sister) ni-ni, be-be, ni-ni, poppa(even though he was at work)" All sweet and happy. My boy is back.
I got my "ni-ni, momma" after he was tucked in with four dinos, a giraffe, a monkey and every blankie within his sight. He's really into snuggling things lately.

Ahhh, good times.

Sunday, January 4, 2009


We've still been vacationing this week even in spite of the fact that we've been home since Tuesday night.
Staying up late and getting up late, going out to lunch and not returning phone calls. It's been lovely but tomorrow the Mr goes back to work so we'll be getting back to real life.
Tomorrow will be the first real day of the new year for me. I've been looking forward it.
From time to time throughout 2008 I've thought to myself what an oddly out of whack few months it had been. Finally late November-ish I realized how many more than a few months had gone by with me still in my little rut, somehow unaccustomed to my life and unable to find a comfortable groove.
Since then I've been waiting for the new year to come. Last January knocked me down, maybe this one will pick me up. I think it will, I will anyway, pick up that is. With or without help from January.

Saturday, January 3, 2009


Out and about, running the sort of errands one runs after a week long separation from one's home. Groceries, garbage bags and a stop at the car wash to rinse the awful winter from Dusty Miller's flanks.
During the process, mention was made of bum cheeks. I'm not sure how it came up. Probably something about Zizza getting her bum cheeks in her seat where they belong.
She was confused at first, "bum cheeks?" she asked all skeptical like.
"Yeah," I answered. "The two sides of your bum. That's what they're called, cheeks."
She thought that was the funniest thing in the world. "bum cheeks, bum cheeks, BUM CHEEKS! bumcheeksbumcheeksbumcheeks"
And she laughed at herself every time she said it.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Tale of the Slumbering Boy

Once upon a time, in a desert kingdom, lived a young boy.
The boy was born smiling and laughed for the first time at a mere two weeks of age.
As he grew, he remained ever cheerful and friendly capturing the hearts of even the dourest of townsfolk with his ready smile.
Near the end of his second year, the lad and his family traveled to the bitter cold northern country of their heritage to celebrate what was known as "The Holidays" with relatives who lived there still.
Day after day and night after night the boy was bustled from party to party, always dressed in more clothes than he'd ever thought could be necessary, and never home in time for bed.
Once, he was even placed in the lap of an uncle and shoved down a steep snowy hill. He was apparently supposed to enjoy this. Indeed, his sister, cousins, aunts, uncles, even his own mother, the their apparent delight, took turns at this hill sliding nonsense!
Eventually, after being subjected to such abuse, the boy's born cheer wore thin and he began grumping, whining, flopping and exhibiting all sorts of behaviors out of harmony with his naturally blithe spirit.
It was then that his parents saw fit to take him home, away from the parties, away from the chill. Home, where he could have his naps, play in the sunshine and find his smile again.
Even there, his polluted disposition remained until one day when he took to napping late in the afternoon. His mother worried at first. Such a late nap for a boy already out of sorts could prove catastrophic.
The afternoon reached on and spent itself into evening. Some advised to wake the boy and feed him afore night lest his hunger wake him in the dark. Others whispered "He must be roused and jammied, sleeping so long in one's clothes will surely bring bad luck!" But his mother shook her head, "No, let the boy alone, he must sleep as long as he will"
Sleep he did, throughout the night and on into morning and when at last he woke, his gladsome demeanor had returned and all was right.

(At least that's the ending I'm hoping for)