Friday, August 22, 2008

In The Beginning

Phase 1 of Operation Build Me a Dining Room has started.  The Mister spent yesterday doing a bit of demolition:




He's taking the week after next off work to continue, and his dad will also be coming down to help.  Yay!  Him being home yesterday and today has also been a bit of a break for me, as Short Pants wants nothing more than to help Daddy.  Double Yay!  I actually got to nap a bit yesterday afternoon when Pita Pocket went down.

I've been doing my own bit of work inside the house over the last few days.  I made my first attempt at homemade spaghetti sauce.  Since my tomatoes all signed that suicide pact I told you about, I went to the local u-pick farm and bought a bushel.  Holy crud!  No wonder I've been buying spaghetti sauce in cans my whole life!  I thought I'd never been done with the endless chopping and de-seeding.  I have to admit, it does taste a lot better than the canned stuff, though.  Look at the yummy stuff that we'll be eating this winter over our pasta:



I've also finally cleaned, sorted through, and organized my craft area in preparation for the masses of projects I need to be working on.  It doesn't look very pretty yet, but I'm very glad to have a more open space for working in now.  I ended up getting rid of quite a few things and boxing up my yarn as I wanted space for the little boys to be able to play while I work.  We'll see how that pans out!  It's an odd area to take good pics in (it's our loft) but you can get the general idea from these, I think:

Dscn3089 Dscn3089_2



The lovely plastic gate is so no one takes a plunge through our perfectly toddler-sized gaps in the balcony railing.  The room is just so odd that it's difficult to set it up very effectively.  Since it's near the top of the "A" of our A-frame, one side of it has a dramatic slope to the ceiling, and of course I have to share the space with our computer.  But all in all it's a good place to work, and at least I'm not having to pull crap out of a closet all the time like I did before we bought this house. 

On a very bright note, the fabric for Pita Pocket's Christmas quilt arrived and I LOVE it:



But, the fabric will have to wait, as tonight I'm starting work on my niece's birthday gift.  Sis suggested some doll items, so the plan to make some wee diapers, wipes, and burp towels. 

Monday, August 18, 2008

All Work And No Play

...thank goodness doesn't happen here.

Saturday was spent working on our decks, which in all honesty needed to be stained when we moved in almost 4 years ago:


Yep, we're just a bit slow.  4 kids will do that to you.  We did have kid help on Saturday.  Bean was in charge of little boys:


while Boba and his best friend helped with staining.  (if you spend the night at our house and stay overly long, you just get put to work with the rest of the family!)  Unfortunately, putting two 13-year-olds in charge of staining the front porch wasn't the best decision we've ever made.  Their motto was "Brush it on fast, get it on everything."  They both did a wonderful job of following said motto:


We re-doing the front porch tomorrow night.

Since we had run out of stain Saturday evening, and well...because we like to have fun...we went to an amusement park not too far away on Sunday.  We had a blast, and have definate plans to return.  The weather was perfect and it wasn't all that crowded.  The kiddos had a great time riding rides and playing at the splash park:








Tonight I spent a few minutes out in the garden, stubbornly ignoring the weeds.  I picked some more green beans:


And admired the new ones that are popping up:


It looks like tomorrow I really need to take care of some more basil:


Back to work, I suppose.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Yard Finds

Do you ever have something that you really need to do but you just keep forgetting?  For me it's buying AA batteries.  We currently have one rechargable set.  I need 2 of them for my camera.  But...Short Pants' "heartbeat" (known as a sound machine to the rest of the world) ran out of batteries earlier this week.  So, I keep taking pictures and meaning to blog, only to forget to buy batteries for heartbeat, which means come about 8pm my batteries are helping a toddler go to sleep. 

Yeah, I know - I could upload pictures before his bedtime, or even after he falls asleep.  Unfortunately I only think of doing so while I have a baby attached to my boob or I'm so tired that I'm falling over.  I swear I can almost feel my brain cells dying off. 

No crafty stuff today.  Still working on the rug, and pictures of t-shirt loops are only interesting for so long (or never, I suppose). 

We've still been enjoying our gorgeous weather.  It's come off a bit hotter lately, but I can deal with that.  The other day while Bean and Boba were at school Short Pants spent the afternoon playing in the sprinkler.  His butt obviously needed some washing:


Pita Pocket, who will "officially" starting solids any day now, got a head start on things by eating a bit of grass.  Luckily, he didn't care too much for it:


Garden is still weedy, but I did get to pick some green beans:


And 8 cups of basil leaves for pesto:


An eagle-eyed toddler friend of ours spotted a blackberry bush on the edge of our woods this week.  hooray!  Here's a decidely bad picture of shriveled up blackberries (the boys ate all the good ones!):


And it appears that we have a few young persimmon trees:



At least, hopefully they're persimmons.  If they're poison, let me know, ok?

Note to self:  No blogging at almost 1am when you're tired and when Bean and Boba BOTH have friends over to spend the night.  You just ain't got the mental energy.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Pita Was A Rolling Stone

Pita Pocket has learned to roll both ways over the last week or so.  Exciting stuff.  He's also become my little hip rider:


Yeah...he's pretty proud of himself:


What he's most proud of, though, are his new lovely locks.  We thought he'd be a brunette, but turns out he's really a blonde:


The weather here has been simply gorgeous for the last few days.  We've said goodbye to air conditioning and hello to windows wide open.  Short Pants and I spent Pita Pocket's naptime yesterday out on the screened-in porch, me working on my rug and him playing in his rice bin.  Sounds nice, doesn't it?  It was...till I ran to the bathroom and came back to discover Short Pants throwing huge handfuls of rice all over the floor like a demented guest at a 1980s wedding.  We (meaning I) decided to start making better use of our lovely back porch:


Turns out the entire family will be spending lots of time out there come fall, as The Mister and I have decided to convert it into a small dining area.  Though I'll miss our porch, taking our table out of our living area will give us almost double the floor space, which we definately need with 4 kiddos.  Yay for home improvement! 

I got to thinking...we really don't use our space to its potential.  We have 2 more porches, plus a balcony, and we almost never use them.  There's the front porch:



...but as the cat house is out there, it's considered kitty territory.  All plants are immediately smothered and all chairs immediately covered with hair.  Not good.

There's the side balconey:


No one really uses it except for the birds.

And there's the master bedroom porch on the second story.  When The Mister and I bought the house, we envisioned romantic evenings out there with a bottle of wine.  Yeah right.  It's too hard to sneak past a sleeping baby in order to sit out there:


One day, I guess.

So in short...we're converting the only porch we really use.  That's ok, 'cause I've already secured the promise of a nice new deck off the nice new dining area from The Mister.  Woo hoo!

In gardening news, the awesome weather has encouraged work on setting the huge mess of weeds garden to rights.  Last night I dug the last of our potatoes:


I planted one more square of beans, which should have just enough time to mature before our first frost.  Meanwhile, we should be picking some mature ones in the next few days:


Peas will go in this week.  I also raked up some grass clippings to cover the beds that are now empty.  Hopefully I can start dealing with my paths soon.  Ugh.  But if I have to face that mess come spring I'll  might scream.  I'm hoping Bean and Boba are money hungry enough to help me out.  Hooray for greed!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

I'm...Dreaming...Of A...Handmade...Christmas

Sorry for the lack of posts lately.  My life has been astoundingly boring and craftless due to Pita Pocket's recent love of waking every 2 hours to nurse at night.  He must be stopped

Ok, so there's been a teeny bit of crafting going on here.  I finished my first rag rug for the kitchen.  It's crocheted out of t-shirt strips, using this most awesome tutorial.  One down, one to go:


I decided recently to change up my kitchen a bit.  Hence, new rugs - and embroidering the most kitchsy little bee tea towels in the world for the wall.  Err...I haven't embroidered the towels yet, but they're on the list.  Who can resist bees telling you to "Bee Tidy?" 

Speaking of lists, I've started the Christmas lists for our herd.  I'm trying to be good, and realistic by reminding myself that I can't make a bazillion things for each kiddo for the holidays.  My plan is to give a lot of business to the good people of Etsy.  So here's what I think I can actually finish by Dec. 24th:

Boba:  Crap.  No idea.  What the hell do you make for a 13-year-old boy?

Bean:  Embroidered purse, Black Apple Doll

Short Pants:  Waldorf doll (this kit) - ordered and on its way, bedding/quilt for a doll cradle that The Mister is making

Pita Pocket:   Kid-sized Quilt (fabric ordered and on its way), Waldorf doll (this kit) - ordered and on its way

Hopefully I'll come up with a couple of good ideas for Boba soon.  Help!

Looking at my Christmas list reminds me of the other stuff that is on my, well, other list.  You know - that huge list of crap that I keep buying supplies for and not starting/finishing?  Yeah...that one.

List o' Crap:

1 more kitchen rug

Bee towels for kitchen

Felt banner for Short Pants's room

King's crown for dress-up box (part of Short Pant's birthday gift - October)

Fall pants for little boys

Stenciled t-shirts for little boys and medium-size girl

Birthday gifts for niece and nephew (Sept./Oct.)

*shuts eyes*

I refuse to look at the lists anymore.  Everything will get done....right?

In non-listy news, my big kiddos started back to school last week.  We were able to take a trip to a nearby zoo before the big bad event, accompanied by my sister and one of her daughters.  My niece likes to hug.  Short Pants doesn't, at least not under duress.  Here he is trying to escape her loving clutches.  How could he not want to hug that pig-tailed cutie?:


Bean had me take her picture posing inside of a giant snake statue?  sculpture?  I dunno, but here she is, clearly afraid of being eaten:


I also manged to get a rare photo of Boba last week.  I was clever and waited till his hands were too doughy to cover his face.  Please notice the baby feet and kangaroo in the foreground.  They add something, don't they?: