Monday, March 30, 2015

Mount Mending

Inspecting Mama's repairs
The mending pile. Just thinking about it makes me cringe a little, and I can totally understand why hardly anyone even bothers to mend stuff anymore. Nothing in it is all that difficult or time consuming to fix, and normally 30 cents worth of supplies are enough to breathe new life into an article of clothing worth way more than that. It is just a matter of hauling out needle, thread, sewing machine, ironing board and iron, or whatnot to get the stuff fixed. Why, then, do I always put it off until there's an enormous pile of items that has been there for ages? An even better question is probably, "what is it that finally gets me to finally get in gear and pull out my needle and thread?" If I could figure that out, I wouldn't have an enormous pile of "oh, I'll fix this tomorrow" that had built up over time.

In some cases, it's that one of us no longer has any jeans to wear that don't have holes in awkward to explain places. This is why I sewed patches and reinforced pockets on five pairs of jeans between Charlie and me. (Interesting side note : a while back, I found the iron on patches at Walmart on clearance for $.75 instead of the normal $1.17, so I bought them all. The reason that they were on clearance? They have a flame pattern on them. I REALLY wish that Charlie would let me sew a patch on the outside of his jeans with them instead of always putting them would be so much fun to tell him how much I liked his hot tush. *sigh* He just won't let me have any fun like that. Spoil sport.) 

The purse that I finally fixed yesterday (the lining pulled apart a few inches near a seam - no big deal to fix) had been in the pile since before we moved to our current home. That's right. At least two years of sitting on the "fix me" pile when it needed less than 10 minutes of my time to do it. Why didn't I do it sooner? Um, I am not good at actually doing the domestic type household stuff? Why did I finally get to it? Not sure. Maybe because the one that I've been using is starting to wear out even though it's a canvas messenger bag from the Army/Navy Surplus store? Maybe because I know how much my sister hates the canvas messenger bag thing, and I felt bad that I wasn't using the awesome "matches everything and I look like a grownup" one that she bought me during our Sisters' Weekend. I am liking the fact that it's big enough that I can put diaper bag stuff in it and only take one bag when I go shopping now.

Now comes the hard decision.....I have finished all of the items that are not currently stored in the room where the baby is sleeping. Do I leave all of the mending type stuff out and work on more of the pile after she's awake, or do I put stuff away and call it quits for this round? Hmmm.....well, maybe I'll leave things out and do a bit more that I have a nice purse, I should probably mend some of the khaki pants that I have in the pile (since they're all in the pile right now). I might just start looking presentable yet.....

Friday, March 27, 2015


It has been quite the week for us here in Chicago, and we've totally loved it. A certain someone started out early with new adventures by teaching herself how to unscrew lids on jars. She also managed to scoot her little bum into the other room before Papa saw the powdered coffee creamer all over the kitchen floor. (Apparently, being a grandparent causes amnesia as to how fast little kids can get into trouble.) It really is not possible to get mad at her when she's just exploring her world and not even trying to be naughty. There's plenty of times when she is trying to push boundaries, but this just was cute.
Elska spent a lot of time trying to play with her cousin. Unfortunately, three months old is a little young for playing catch and the toys kept hitting her in the face. After a day or so, she did figure out that tickling her feet and helping bounce the seat were better ways of playing. They spent the rest of the week having a grand time that involved lots of giggles and squeals. Elska also attempted to teach some dance moves. We'll see how well those lessons worked out in a few more months.

In other exciting news, Elska got her first book in Spanish, has learned to how to cough just for the fun of it (and to get her Papa to laugh as she "hocked up a big luge"), has started waving specifically at people instead of just randomly, had her first visit to the zoo, went to her first fish fry, and got her first string of beads.

As much fun as we've had, it will be nice when we head back home tomorrow. I miss Charlie, and Elska really misses her daddy. And her doggie. But mostly Daddy.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


Last Sunday, we had a nice dinner and some cake to celebrate that this little girl turned one year old. It was the perfect birthday party for a little girl - fun people, awesome presents, and her first ever sugar buzz. If you'd ask her, cream cheese frosting is amazing. If you ask her parents, we'd tell you that the crash associated with said sugar buzz combined with a nap free afternoon (someone decided that naps are for babies and she was too grown up for them) is a recipe for a disastrous bedtime. I've been lobbying for the reintroduction of a decent naptime all week. We'll see how those continued negotiations go.

Elska and I are spending this week helping to watch Elska's sweet, little, three month old cousin. It's a nice break from normal to be spending a week at someone else's place for a week. Sure, I've done a bit of laundry, cooking, and straightening up after ourselves, and there are two infants that like to feed off one another for melt downs. However, it still feels like a bit of a vacation. I don't feel like I need to be constantly cleaning, organizing, or working on projects for all of my free moments. It isn't a total break though since there are definite challenges, and us girls totally miss the Dread Pirate Roberts while he's home with the puppy and going to school. This is the longest that the sweet little girl has been away from Daddy, and she sure misses him. Hopefully we can get the video chat to work tomorrow morning, so she can jabber away to him for a bit.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Almost a Toddler!

I'll help vacuum!
As tempting as it is, I am not going to do one of those nostalgic retrospectives as we near this little wonder's first birthday. If you're wanting it, there are a year's worth of posts that you can read. I will say that she's a lot more of a little girl and a lot less a little baby nowadays. 

Elska spends most of her day scooting around the house and exploring her world. I've decided to give up on keeping the kitchen towels in the drawer that she has decided is hers and have moved them to a higher altitude, so I don't have to constantly rewash them to get the dog hair off of them. The drawer now holds "her" kitchen tools and supplies. Whenever she helps me cook, she takes her items out and then puts them back in her drawer, (and then takes them out and leaves them strewn all over the kitchen). We've also decided that since she will not be dissuaded from the game where she sticks things in the dog's kennel to get her yelled at for chewing on things that we need to put a screen around the outside of the crate. 

Last week, a certain someone decided that she needed to be able to reach further across the coffee table to get all the good stuff, so she stood up and started grabbing. Um, I guess that we will be adjusting her entire environment......
Big grin from a big girl!

In other exciting news for the little girl - today we finished out with her "100 books before 1" literacy program through the library. (Yes, we've done LOTS more than 100 books in this last year. We only found out about the program a few weeks ago.) She got a certificate and a free book. It was very exciting. The librarian also let her sign up for the "1000 B4K" program a few days early. Something tells me that we will finish it before Christmas.

Charlie is over halfway through his first term. He's already learned a lot about welding and is feeling confident that with what he has learned, he will be able to handle anything that he needs to do when we finally find our homestead. I've already started a list of projects for him to work on. 

Caulk strip replaced by yours truly
Today, he is taking care of orientation/registration for the wood tech program that he will be starting for the summer term. He's thinking that it will be less stressful for him than this term was since he's #1 more familiar with the medium and #2 hoping to have math and blueprints as pretty much a review of what he's been doing this term. It'll be nice if it actually works out that way and even better if he gets to start going to school days instead of nights. Elska misses "Daddy Bath Time" since he does way more playing and has a lot more bubbles in the tub than Mama does.

As for me, I've been working on establishing positive habits. Translation - I started doing more walking, I made a daily checklist of chores to do on a daily basis (so I can keep myself accountable to cleaning, mending, etc.), and I've really started focusing on regularly setting aside time for reading and study. Sure, most of the books that I've been reading are more children's and youth literature. I realized though that there are a lot of classics that I've never read and most of the others I haven't picked up in 25 years. I need to refresh my memory if I'm going to be able to pick books that match Elska's interest at the time. I've finished a little over 20 from this list of classic literature. Only 400 or so to go.......

Other upcoming projects: prepping the garden, updating the kitchen, and sorting through all of the stuff that's stored in Elska's bedroom. Really. I'm going to sort it this time. For real. Why are you laughing?

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Three Cheers for Learnin'

Ok, now put them back!
A new game has emerged this last week: putting things back in their original container. It has taken various forms....putting towels back in the drawer in the kitchen and putting the coasters back in the coaster crock are the repeat versions. It's nice to think that there might be a "someday" out there when a certain little someone actually starts to pick up her own toys and put them away. Sure, it's a long way off, but I can dream, right?

After months of reading books, a favorite has emerged. I Howl I Growl requires the most funny voices from the reader and elicits lots of baby giggles. We got a late start on tracking for the "One Hundred Books Before Age One" program at the library, but we should still make it even though we only had 6 weeks by the time that we heard about the program. We've only got 35 to go in the next 2 weeks!

Last night, we went to our first event at the library. The theme was "Pete's a Pizza Pizza Party." Even though it was intended for kids 3 and up, Elska did a wonderful job of sitting and listening while the librarian read "Pete's a Pizza" and "Pizza Man", she colored nicely during the craft project (and only chewed on the crayons a little), and then shrieked with excitement when she saw her slice of cheese pizza. She did so well that the librarian talked to us about coming back for reading times in the future. We've got plans to go next week!

We are in the process of final preparations for Pi Day. Shirts are ordered and in transit to us, the Norske Nook reservations have been made (let us know if we need to add to it), and there are only a few minor details to arrange. We're counting down to 3.14.15 9:26:53!