Sunday, June 27, 2010

A giveaway for the locals

I am making cinnamon rolls. My KitchenAid is humming now as I type.
Anyone (within a reasonable driving distance) could win them. Just leave a comment.
If no one happens to check blogs this evening, then I suppose I'll have to resort to face book in order to find a home for the sticky delights.
Oh, one more thing. Just in case you live near by but, thinking of calorie consumption are hesitant to enter, ponder for a moment on these words...

Browned butter...

Cream cheese frosting...

They'll be worth it.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Mercy me

The Streamer Frock Grosgrain Giveaway
Of all the Grosgrain dresses ever made, this is by far my favorite. I think my heart actually skipped a beat when I saw it.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

It's about time I got back to this.

I think I gave myself too much blogging leeway during the tempestuousness of the past while. It's been so long since I posted regularly, I'm a little psyched out. Nothing seems big enough or funny enough, to write about. I was kind of waiting to post the project that's been dragging on and on for the past four, or something weeks but it's still not done. I hate working that way. I like to sew like I read, in as few sittings as possible per book/garment.
Speaking of that. I read a book yesterday.
I read the books from Mother's day and then swore off util things calmed down a bit. I have an awful tendency to hide in books, neglecting my other responsibilities.
After what seemed like years, I read a book again last week. I even managed to do most of the reading during normal waking hours. This time, (meaning yesterday) I was not so wise.
I finished reading around 3am and crawled into bed. All too soon Zizza was there too, and today she was chipper.
She's not allowed to get in my bed until after 7:30. Even then she's usually content to snuggle semi-close, semi-still and semi-quiet until I'm alert enough to pay her some attention.
Not today.
She was there at quarter to seven lying on half an arm and a leg of mine and talking, talking , talking.
I was coherent enough that her words registered and kept me from reacting grumpily. "I love you mama, you're my favorite favorite mama, mama, mama. I love my mama" on and on, Chatter chatter mama, love, favorite, mama"
Finally I asked her politely to get off me and go away so I could lumber out of bed and slap myself awake without the soundtrack, loving as it might have been.
More things happened. Slightly amusing zombie mother morning moments that I told myself I would include when I forced myself to write something, anything later (meaning now)
I don't remember those things.

I've got to get that dress finished an posted. I'll do it if it kills me.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Rediscovery

To start off, I have to admit that I have been slacking. I was supposed to do one of these music posts on my wife’s blog once a month, but I’m a slacker and I think this is only my second post. Sorry Love! Now on to the music!

The other day, my wife asked “Where is the Ben Folds CD?” I didn’t think much of it at the time, she found it and had been listening to it for a couple days by the time I was driving in the van with the family and it was on. From the first song on the CD “Still Fighting It,” through the rest of the CD, I was re-smitten (I made that up).

I had forgotten how completely awesome some of Ben Folds (and the various incarnations of his bands) are.

Here is a rundown of some of my favorite songs (and favorites of the family).

I love this song. Period. Double Period. Triple Period. This song is right up there on my list of perfect songs. I don’t think there is anything about this song that I don’t like. I am not sure I like the video though. If that is really his son, it might be cool (which I think it is), but it’s kind of goofy if it’s not really his son.

The best line from this song is “Twenty years from now maybe we’ll both sit down and have a few beers and I can tell you about today and how I picked you up and everything changed.” Now, I’m not into beer, I don’t drink, but it’s a great image of sitting down with your child and telling them how they changed your life. It’s a feeling I’ve had before when looking at my kids playing together. How the heck did I ever live without them in my life? How did I get along without my daughters sweet little smile and my son’s big grin? Yes, there are hard times (sunny times and rain), but the experience is amazing.

The first time I heard this song, I thought it was really dull. I didn’t finish listening to it. Then, while I wasn’t paying attention completely one day, I let it play the whole way through and I was blown away. This song has a lot of power. The section near the middle where it talks about the streetlights shining through blinds is a great melodic part, and then it goes into the little piano/strings part which is awesome. The ending of that portion as it leads into the painting scene is way nice. This song is very relaxing for me, which is odd considering its about a man getting laid off. The anger that comes out as it talks about him being replaced is profound too. This really captures some of the helplessness that would come from getting laid off, but at the same time it feels hopeful to me, go figure.

This is not the official video for this song, which is kind of a cheater song, because it’s a Beatles cover. I love the Beatles, and I don’t think there could be any better person to cover this song than Ben Folds. He captures the subtlety of the simple melody and then the rawness of the chorus perfectly. I am almost tempted to say I like this version as much as the Beatles version, but that might be pushing it just a little bit. This song was covered by Ben Folds for the movie “I Am Sam” which I actually never saw. The movie was completely done with covers of Beatles songs for the soundtrack. I like a couple of the other songs from the soundtrack as well.

This song might take second place in my favorite Ben Folds songs (after “Still Fighting It”). It’s definitely more up beat than the previous two songs. The song just rocks in my opinion, I love the little scream in the middle “YOU WERE NOT THE SAME!” that can barely be heard above the ah-ahs (in the recorded version) is pure genius to me. I can listen to this song over and over and never get sick of it.

This isn’t a real “video” for the song, but it’s the best I could find on YouTube that didn’t include people trying to sing to the song at some stupid party. (OK, I don’t know if the party was stupid, but based on the number of people in the background, and the terrible job the two people do singing to it, the party looks lame). I really like this song in general, I think it’s catchy and Ben Folds only makes it better. He loves to pound away on that piano and I think it’s great.

This was one that my wife wanted me to look up originally and I ended up really liking. I definitely like this better than the original Burt Bacharach version. It’s a bit more raw with the guitar in it, and I think is just done better. You can hate me for liking it better if you want, but I’ll get over it.

This is another “non-video” of the song, give me a break, it’s better than a kick in the head right?! I loved this song when it was popular back in the day when the Flaming Lips released it as a rock song. This lounge remake is awesome as well. I think it still captures the song very well and the harmonies are great in the chorus.

This is a song that is hilarious to me, especially after watching the video. Ben Folds doesn’t take himself too seriously. The video has the language cleaned up which is nice. That would be my only complaint about Ben Folds, he likes to drop the F-bomb now and then in his songs, which means I just don’t listen to those songs (unless they are edited). I like the little organ in the background in parts of this song; the little melody it plays is awesome.

This song…is…awesome. I don’t know what else to say about this song. It is just a great melodic piece, and I really like the addition of the orchestra in the video.

After watching this video, I like this song even more. I’ll now envision a pirate Ben Folds playing the piano with hooks instead of hands. There really never is a moment of truth for you if you don’t learn to live with what you are.

This song is just amazing piano, and it’s a song about narcolepsy! Never has falling to sleep on a dime when you don’t necessarily want to been so cool! This song is either really about a guy who has narcolepsy, or it’s a clever way of saying the guy is detached, or sleeping through his life and not understanding what is going on around him.

Last, but not least, is “Don’t Change Your Plans For Me.” This was one of the earlier Ben Folds songs I ever heard and I still really like it. Ben’s voice is great in this song. He has a great range and does a great job of showing it off in this one, along with the great harmonies that Ben Folds Five was really good at. The simple brass part is really catchy to me for some reason. I also really like the line “You have made me smile again, in fact I might be sore from it, it’s been a while.” Pure genius.

As you can see, I have liked the performance Ben did with the WASO group. I generally like the addition of symphony orchestras to songs.

Here’s a playlist for your listening pleasure. I tried to find versions of the songs which were edited, or songs that do not include stuff that needs to be edited at all.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


It occurred to me yesterday that my lack of posts will likely, and reasonably be perceived as evidence that I've been swallowed in grief.
Sorry to keep you in the dark.
The honest truth is; we're ok. I'm ok, and I'm not just saying that.

We met Moo moo's family a week ago. She took to them right away. She actually hugged her new mama within minutes of meeting her. She sat on her new Daddy's lap to play with toys. She was happy to see them.
If you know our Moo, you will realize this was something special. She doesn't just take to people like that, but she did with them.
What a blessing it was, truly a tender mercy from The Lord to see how she will fit into their family. I was afraid I'd be left wondering how she would bond with them but I got to witness it.
She was theirs all along, I was just lucky to have her in the mean time.

All of us here are adjusting well. Every time I think about it I marvel at just how well we're doing.
It could have been so different.
I thank my Heavenly Father for the strength and reassurance he blessed me with. I thank all of you for your prayers, your thoughts, and your concern. All of it was felt and appreciated.
I am stronger and braver than I was before.
And I am ok.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Lock it all up in my pocket

Kind of cliche, I know, but the cliche started with a good idea.

Zizza and her crazy after swimming hair were kind enough to model for me.

I have no plans to break it and save a piece to use as proof of our identity. I think that would be taking things too far.

By the way I found the locket here.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

After swim lessons today we were all pooped. It's normal to be pooped after swim lessons but today Zizza and Enzo both decided to scream and cry the entire time. From the moment I announced it was time to suit up until they swam their final strokes.
All of that wailing wore us all a little extra today.
Oh, and not to be left out of things MissyMoo engaged me in a wrestling match over whether she should or should not be allowed to dip her feet in the deep-end while lessons went on in the shallow. She is a water baby and lives for the experience. Today though, I was nursing a little sun burn on the back of my neck and needed to stay in the shade. This was our conflict.
I brought snacks to pacify her but after she'd consumed every raisin, fruit snack and goldfish shade was no longer acceptable.
She ended up in the pool fully clothed, with a ten to twenty pound diaper full of pool water.
Girlfriend knows how to handle herself in a fight.
She wore me down.

Back at home I realized how badly I smelled after the hour and a half I spent listening to wails, and wrestling 20 pounds of pure determination in death's heat. So I turned on "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs" for my exhausted children while I enjoyed and extra thorough shower.

This evening as I was cycling kids through baths Enzo started a new game.
You know the kissing part and the end of "Meatballs"? How Sam and Flint have to fill their cheeks with air in order to force their lips far enough out that they'll be able to meet unhindered by Flint's giant nose? That's the game. Enz asked me to "go (Inhale)" and kiss him, so I did. Then Moo wanted a puffy cheek kiss. They loved it! When Ziz was finished Bathing and Enz hopped in, she wanted to know what all the fuss had been about and she loved it too.
All that cheek puffing nearly gave me a headache.

You know what I realized during all of that bed time stuff? I haven't made anything much for Moo. After 21 months in this family all she has to take that I have made is the little softie whale that I love but she's never been interested in.

I ordered a new doll pattern a few weeks ago. A button jointed Waldorf style baby doll but it hasn't come yet. It hasn't come and we meet the new family tomorrow.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Making Lemonade

There are a few things to look forward to with less than dread in what lies ahead this week.

1. My left hip will have a chance to recover after over five years of nearly constant cocking as I've carried this or that child.

2. We'll be granted early relief from the screaming tantrum phase.

3. With only 2 kids of my own, carpooling on outings with friends will be a possibility once more.

4. There won't be anyone sitting lonely in the third row of the car.

5. I might actually get my bedroom cleaned up. My room has been commandeered for nap times. Enz and Moo share a room. They don't keep each other up at nights, but no one naps if they are in the same room. This eliminates access to my room during prime cleaning hours and it shows.

That's all I've got.

oh, thought of one more.

6. By week's end I will be living a diaper free life.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

bite by bite

Sunday was a big night around here. It was the night of the long awaited Trampoline sleep out with cousins.
The portion of the trampoline that is not included in this photo is where the Mr's sleeping bag was laid out. I didn't bother to take a picture of that portion of the trampoline as there was a lot less enthusiasm over there.

Here is a picture of my Enzo as he appeared on Sunday night.

Here he is as he appeared this afternoon with his cheeks stuffed full of grape tomatoes.

Here is the side view of the same.

Here is his dear little arm.

And here is his less splotchy sister.

They woke up Monday morning looking like that. No one else on the Trampoline was affected. Not the cousins who flanked them as they all slept.
Not their father who lay at their feet all that night.
Just them.
The current theory is that the sleeping bags they were using got infested with some little nasty or other while on the father and son camp out last month.
Mean while I don't dare take them shopping for fear that mothers of un-vaccinated children after passing me in the isles of the supermarket will change course and head for the pharmacy to pick up bottles of oatmeal soap before returning home to await the onset of the chicken pox. And I sure could use some groceries.