Thursday, September 20, 2007


You know how I all feel about Christian websites (or anything overtly Christian). Or maybe you don't (it all creeps me out), but here is a fun chance to vote for the cover of a new book for a Christian author. Holy cow, I can't believe I just wrote that on my site. And I didn't creep myself out. And you're still reading.

Matthew is funny. I needed more funny Christians when I was growing up.

In other (non-Christian, far as I know) author news: E is sad. So very sad.

Our running joke when we were first married was, either I start reading the Wheel of Time series (oh, how I hate fantasy), or have a baby.

And Tess was born.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Sick too

Great, now E is throwing up. Ben's 1st birthday party is Sunday afternoon. Durr. I hope the kids don't get this bug for more reasons than just that. It is the most wicked throwing up I have ever done (or witnessed). Like you are possessed.

Good thing I didn't go to Scrap Camp with everyone today.

Here's a purty picture to distract you from the idea of a stomach virus.

Monday, September 17, 2007

A rather tasteless weekend (for me, at least)

The ultimate test...
Originally uploaded by CreativeExile
Ben is here enjoying his quilt from Karen D. Yum! She gave it to me when I came along to the Great Ann Arbor Quilt Guild meeting (finally!) on Saturday. It's all those cool Harry Potter fabrics I was admiring when Karen posted about them...ooh...about 6 months ago! Sneaky girl.

Unfortunately, I didn't get these photos posted until just now because I've been battling a wicked stomach bug that hit me Sunday morning. I'd been tossing and turning all night, and E came in to the room just in time Sunday morning to see me nearly hork up a shoe. Honestly, that was all I had left in me by then.

I'm still feeling achy and weird but I'm trying to get to the mounds of laundry that piled up (in just one day, apparently) and to wipe off every surface that E seemed to hit in the kitchen while caring for the kids. Hey, he cleaned up after me (iiich) AND gave up tennis (the beloved Sunday night league that he runs), so I can allow him a small disaster. Or two.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Morning Reflections

Kids just waking up...I woke up early (6:30a), just before my alarm went off, with a disturbing dream. Woke up glad it was just a dream. All I can say is, I need to learn Russian. Then maybe these dreams where my husband and MIL are talking frantically to me in Russian will make sense, and be less disturbing.

Tess got all emotional on the drive home last night about her Dyeda (Russian grandpa). Out of the blue, she says:

"Bacteria can make you die."

Me: "It's pretty rare, though."

Tess: "What did Dyeda die from?"

Me: "Cancer."

Tess: "Sounds like 'pencer...and 'can't...'"
(she drifts off here, obviously sounding things out and rhyming them, to help her remember, then...)

Tess: "I miss Dyeda. I loved Dyeda. Why did he have to die?"

Then, within 30 seconds of my attempts to comfort her and find out the source of this sudden sadness, she's off talking about her bus driver and how they all have to be quiet when they are crossing railroad tracks (we soon came to railroad tracks, thus the jump to a safer subject).

Apparently her bus driver, Jen, has a CD player on the bus, which she turns down to listen for the train...all the kids have to hold their hands up to show that they are being quiet...and Jen went into a rant one day about her CD player (still not sure of all the connections on this, but it was pretty funny).

"Our bus driver spent her time and money to have music on the bus and we have to all be quiet when she stops at the tracks.

"But I wish she had Backyardigans instead."

Me: "What kind of music does your bus driver like to listen to?"

Tess: "Blues...y'know, stuff like that. Backyardigans has the blues. She should play Backyardigans."

(Tess is obviously obsessed with our Backyardigans CD...maybe she should take it on the bus some day for Jen to play...heh, I'm sure that would be appreciated...)

Saturday, September 8, 2007


I need some advice. Tess has never had neighbor children to play with before, she's always gone alone into our yard and played just fine on her own (if a little lonely).

She's been over at the neighbors' two doors down all. day. Seriously, from like 11:30a -- when I walked her down there to ask if their 6 year-old could play -- with a break for lunch at 12:30p (she came over to ask if she could have pizza with them, they'd invited her but I'd already made her a grilled cheese sandwich at her request...she ended up eating that AND pizza!), to a visit from a bunch of neighborhood kids to OUR house for about a half an hour at 4p, until she FINALLY came home ("just for bug spray, mom! I'm going back over there!") where I insisted she stay home for dinner (with a little bit of questioning, it seems *they* were eating dinner, so I kept her home).

I've spoken to the mom on a number of occasions this week, she's super-friendly and works outside on their home a lot. This weekend she and her husband were working outside all day, replacing wood frames and staining wood around their house. They were totally cool with Tess being over there all day (I went over at 3p when Ben woke up from a nap to check on her).

Apparently they had *another* neighbor girl over to watch their kids (they have a 6 year old and a 4 year old), so essentially I had free babysitting all day. E thinks we should offer to pay, I'm thinking the 12 year-old was more of a mother's helper while the parents worked around the house.

I'm all for asking, I'm just not sure how cool it is to have Tess over there all day. She goes in the evenings after school, too.

Anyway, this is a new issue for me. I'm happy to have kids over here, we just don't have the super-cool playset up (and won't, until next spring).

Tess goes to her Baba's tomorrow, then we have friends over who are leaving for Colorado (sniff), so she'll be distracted.

These gorgeous photos are distracting me right now. After E being gone all day at ANOTHER tennis tournament (last one this season, so help me God), I'm happy to surf the net for the rest of the evening.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

And she's off...

Ben went down at 11:27a, the bus came at 11:42a. Whew. Tess had just finished her popsicle and was upstairs getting her socks. She loves her crocs but I thought socks might be necessary in school (who knows, she might come home with a note, No Crocs Allowed).

I love that she picked out her frilly socks with lace at the top. Oh, and polka dots and paisley TOTALLY go together, as long as they are both in the same color family. Right?

I was very surprised and pleased to get a call from our bus driver yesterday, telling me that they would pick up Tess at our driveway. The bus came sooner than I was expecting today, though, so it all happened in a rush.

An assistant came down and drew a (pink, hee) chalk line on our driveway, the "Do Not Cross" line for Tess, and showed her how the driver will signal when it's okay to get on the bus.

The driver had Tess turn around to get her picture taken (yay!); when I spoke to her yesterday she said she expected cameras and hugs, etc. etc. so it was nice to have her give me a moment for that.

I wasn't expecting a to get a little teary-eyed. I mean, c'mon, Tess has been underfoot all summer. I haven't signed her up for any sports or dance or crafty classes, so it's been me and her and Ben all. summer. long.

But now she's off on her own adventure. The Big One. I had to give her lunch at 11:15a, so I packed her a snack to eat on the bus ride home. She had packed some books to read (my suggestion) and a big ballerina bear, but when I pulled that out to put in her snack I asked her about it and she decided she's a big girl now so she had me take it out. Awww.

I threw in a notepad and pen for her to draw with, since she loves to draw, and her snack for the afternoon. She decided last night to pack a change of clothes "in case I don't make it to the bathroom in time" (which has only happened once at school, when she was THREE).

Now I've got my precious free time (and here I sit, writing an entry). Here's hoping Ben does at least a 2-hour nap this morning...I've got 40+ postcards to make. At least my scrap room is getting, well, more scrappable. Is that a word?

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Some creative time

Okay, after the bitching yesterday, I have to say I did manage to get in *some* crafting time. I'm going to make about 60 of these postcards to send out. I wanted to make sure the bear-in-a-box was secure on the front, so what could I use? Something I have plenty of...packing tape! Naturally.

Too bad CTMH is retiring this set. Stampin Up retired *their* Just Moved set in July, so I had to go with this one. Looking back at the SU set, I like this one better after all. Certainly more for the money -- 15 stamps to SU's 7, for $18.95 versus $23.95. Acrylic is cheaper, after all. It'll be interesting to see what both companies comes up with for this theme in future catalogs.

Today is the last day of summer vacation. Tess was very excited to learn that she starts school TOMORROW. More to the point, that she is going to see her friend Mackenzie then.

I'm putting her on the bus, for now, and letting it drop her off in the late afternoon. I think she's going to be on the bus home alone, almost -- everyone I talk to is picking up their kids from school. First of all, I don't want to wait in the long, loooong line in front of the school with a baby in the back, and secondly, I don't want to waste a moment of Ben's nap time, either when Tess leaves or when she comes home. We'll see how she does. She's sensitive, but has her tough side. I hope she doesn't need it on the bus.

Ben is still a bit all over the place with naps; for the most part he takes two, but sometimes he skips a morning nap and takes one monster afternoon nap. Tess gave up her morning nap altogether when she turned one, and her afternoon nap was gone when she turned two. Hopefully everyone's prediction that two kids can be very, very different will come true in my kids' case.

Monday, September 3, 2007

At least someone around here is relaxing

Big Feet
Originally uploaded by CreativeExile
Tess checked out my new jetted tub today...only without the jets (naturally). I turned them on for her after she got out, and the just the soap she had used made a TON of bubbles. So now I know why the home inspector said not to use bubble bath in this tub.

Tess had to jump back in to enjoy those soapy bubbles.

Damn, that was a long weekend. I haven't had much of a break since Friday night. E and I got into a wrassle (is that a wrestle and a hassle?) over it today, in fact. His solution (to the fact that he gets to work with ADULTS all day, AND gets out to play tennis every. day. for 2-3 hours) is for me to get a job.

I know (and I know he knows) that that is a knee-jerk reaction, and that my going back to work would bring us more headaches than me being home, despite the fact that I don't get paid for the work I do around the house and with the kids.

The discussion brought to mind a statement I read in one of those mother-empowerment books, a statement that made me realize how our society as a whole does not "get" the sacrifice families make when one parent stays home (to be fair, I do know of at least one "househusband" in our circle of friends).

If you choose to stay home, you will see a big fat "ZERO" on your Social Security earnings for the year.

If you hire a nanny...

..she gets Social Security.

And a paycheck.