Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Week One

Week one of no school. We haven't settled into a routine yet, but part of that is due to the recent holiday weekend and part because I still have zero energy to enforce a routine. I am still blaming allergy issues. I don't feel "normal", I can't seem to stay awake past 8:30 p.m., but I do feel better. This weekend started off with a scurry of packing to take a last-minute trip to San Antonio. Then we leisurely unpacked after not being able to book a hotel on the River Walk (Martin's only criteria). After unpacking we headed to Houston to visit the children's museum which was fun. We had not been before and the girls hit the ground running. I think we will make a weekday trip back during June. They loved it and have been asking to go again. It was great to see them just go, grab, pull, explore and all of it was allowable behavior! Aidan was even intrigued by all the activity going on about her.
The rest of the weekend was spent at a nearby park or two and keeping A & E busy doing anything other than watching television. I am still looking forward to visiting San Antonio though. Austin too. Martin and I really need to plan better.

Not much has occurred in the way of crafting. On the way to Houston I did knit one-half of a dishcloth. I have intentions of finishing it this week AND on making my way to Joann's for some supplies, but until that trip actually occurs I don't have anything to start anything with. I hope you all had a great holiday weekend and it is carrying over into this week!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Guess what time it is?

Summer time here in our little town. Pools, slip-n-slides, sunscreen. There is no stopping us now! School is officially over. I was not prepared for the last day of school. I knew it would be a change in our schedule and I was looking forward to the freshness and variety it would provide us with, but I was not prepared for tears - from ME! I can't believe a whole school year has passed. Just last August I was pregnant and excited about packing lunches for E & A. Now here we are in May as if fast-forwarded. I walked into the pre-school class on Tuesday, which had been stripped of its color, decoration, and energy, and it hit me like a load of bricks. I was so caught up in making plans for the summer that I did not consider what the end of school also signified, the passage of time i.e. the growth of my two oldest daughters, the arrival of a third daughter, the memories acquired. It sounds trite, but the emotions that I felt were so sharp. This parenting thing has a surprise around every corner.
I am super happy to be looking forward to a fun-filled summer and only good things have come out of this past year. We have another item to add to our summer journals already:

We now have two butterflies. You can see one in the photo above plus three of the remaining chrysalids. The girls haven't even seen them yet. They weren't there this morning, then like magic they were fluttering around this afternoon. The girls are taking an extra-long nap, but as soon as they wake up I will introduce them to the winged duo. Catch up with you all soon. Oh - the puzzle t-shirts that I tried were a big flop. Big F-L-O-P! I think I will pick up another knitting project but I haven't picked a specific one. I'll let you know.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Desperately Seeking

I hate to post this photo with such a lame blog entry, because I do like the photo. It is another from our visit to Shangri La. I just love the two shades of green, and I am desperately seeking my happy, green, fresh place that I was in yesterday. Amazing how quickly the wind changes, so to speak. After posting my post and doing my normal thing yesterday afternoon my day just unraveled into one messy tangle and it ended so poorly. I know it happens this way sometimes, and I just let things slide knowing today would be a new day, but when I woke up and still felt irritated I knew I was in trouble.
I want my happy place back. I am 100% sure that 99% of my sour mood can be traced to allergy & sinus trouble. I have been fighting it for about eight weeks now, I have been to see the doctor twice in those eight weeks and agreed to go on a Rx to alleviate some of the symptoms, but six weeks after starting the medication I feel basically the same. What gives? I am told this area is awful for allergy issues. I would say so. I have never had this type of battle with my body and I don't like it. I am anticipating a call to my doctor on Monday which will probably result in a visit to his office - oh yay. Feeling crummy on top of dragging three poor (healthy) children to a doctor's office; not sounding great. But, to end on a good note, we did enjoy a great meal outside this evening and it was topped off with a freshly baked blackberry pie. The crust was very ugly, but flaky and the berries stood up pretty well; it was a pretty good pie considering I am not the greatest pie baker.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Happy Place

I am in such a happy place this moment. I had the greatest morning. Possibly the greatest morning since becoming a mother. Seriously. I will explain in a bit. My mother's day was so nice. Since this is only my third celebration as a mother there is no routine or tradition established. My MIL was in town so it was nice to spend time with her. Basically our day was spent being lazy, talking, being outside with the three girls, being inside sipping on a cocktail while watching a movie during naps (felt like such a guilty pleasure, but so nice) and a light dinner then the whole bunch of us had an early bedtime. Perfect.
We paid a visit to Shangri La again, above, so my MIL could see the gardens. We also sewed. Man - I feel armed and ready to sew. She was very helpful and gave some great pointers.
I was able to finish up twirly skirt number two. I really like the skirt and it looks cute on Erika & Ainslee. I hope they like it. Neither one has asked to wear it yet, but it is sitting in their closet ready to go. If I make a second one for them I will make it a little longer which will be an easy adjustment. They are on the tall side and I just didn't account for that in my fabric cutting. I have also found a new sewing addiction - deconstructing clothes in my closet. This is so much fun. I have a shirt that could & was mistaken for a maternity shirt. Every time I wore it (twice so far) I thought twice about wearing it and more often than not would hang it back in the closet. The fabric is sweet which is why I decided to buy it even though it had an empire type waist and ties that went around back. Coming out of a maternity state the last thing I want to wear is a maternity-style shirt. Well, I wore it once to go pick up shrimp for dinner and the fish man asked me when I was due. The horror, for both of us. I laughed and made light of it since I expected it to eventually happen, but I felt so bad for him. He tripped all over himself apologizing. Hence the deconstruction. Off came the ties (they are now cute hair bows for the girls) and the side seams were ripped out and readjusted to make it much more slim fitting. I know I will wear it a bunch more. The fabric is so soft & thin which will be perfect for summer. I keep looking for more things to rip apart. I have some t-shirts I am going to try and play with based on an idea in Amy Butler's Midwest Modern book (puzzle tees). I'll let you know how it goes.
Lastly, this is the happy place part, we went to pick blackberries this morning. This was a first for Erika & Ainslee. We meet four other moms and their children at the farm and set out. I had no idea what to expect. It turned out to be a perfect outing. Aidan was so happy and content to watch all the other children run around, Erika & Ainslee stuck beside me rather than playing - they actually liked picking the berries. When Ainslee did get tired of it she sat on the blanket close by and munched on berries while Erika and I finished filling the buckets. The thorns & mud didn't phase either one. It was such a great morning. Seeing all the green acres, horses, cows, hearing the roosters crow; it just put things in perspective for me. I wasn't down or unhappy before the farm visit, but I feel so rejuvenated. It was a great start to our weekend. I hope ours continues and you all have a great one too.
p.s. our caterpillars arrived and have already transformed into chrysalids. I will post updates of their progress.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Happy Day

An early mother's day greeting to all you mamas! Hope you all have a great weekend with your families. This flower is one of two that I received. E & A brought them home from school yesterday. They are very sweet. See the little egg in the grass? That is a real egg that I picked up one morning while taking out the garage. There it sat, half of it anyway, right beside the yucky 'ol garbage can. I have it tucked into this pot for my MIL to see. She is quite the nature enthusiast and loves birds. I know she will get a kick out of the owl family & the half shell. Think they are connected? Probably not likely.
I also finished my seed packet cards for E & A's school mates. It was a fun and quick project that I was able to start & finish during nap times.

Here they are, all ready to go. Now I just need to figure out what the actual teachers will be receiving as a year-end "thank you".
Have a great weekend.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Just the facts

This is going to be quick because I should be in bed. I really try to go to bed between 8:30 & 9:00. You may be laughing, but I am so serious. Without sleep I am so grumpy. Grumpy and three kids do not go well together. So no more rambling and here are some quick facts.
The above photo is the roof above our front entrance. We discovered an owl family is nesting on the two tallest columns. My husband video taped them with a night vision spectrum and we were able to count five sets of eyes. We know that there are babies just because of the size difference. The one photographed above is an adult. Pretty cool- huh!
Lastly, I mentioned doing a summer book. Actually, what I intend is for the two oldest girls to do their own summer book. They will turn 4 in August so it will be fairly simple, but for anyone interested in doing something similar this is what I have so far. We picked out two notebooks at Target this evening. As a end-of-school gift I am giving them a disposable camera, along with some books for summer reading. I received a note from their teacher that she is giving all the students "summer-survival totes" and asked if any parents were interested in participating; I decided to buy each student some flowering seed packets. I thought it would be something fun to do and it is something that E & A can use as a journal topic. So, that is what I have so far. Oh, I also purchased a butterfly house. Another surprise for E & A that we can track in the books. I am continuing to think of ideas & projects that can be done in various stages & journaled in some fashion throughout the summer. If you have an idea please chime in. I have three months and two fat journals to fill! Have a great night.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Kites and such

My Tuesday morning was very quiet. Aidan has developed a little nap routine & I am trying so hard to stick to it so that she gets her required sleep. Yesterday was spent here at the house. E & A were at school, Aidan napped & I sewed. I am working on the twirly skirt still (I can't tell you how slow I am with projects). I had everything cut so all I had to do was follow the tutorial and go. I figured I would have it finished it less than 2 hours and have time to do something else before going to pick up E & A. I must think a lot of myself since that was not even close to what happened. I got maybe a third of the skirt put together & sewn when I ran into a problem with the hem. I can't get it to sew without puckering. I got to a stopping point and now it will sit until this weekend when I can take a look at it with the help of my MIL (aka: experienced sewer). I hate to stop and see it sitting on the machine, but I know if I keep fiddling with it I will really mess it up - so it sits.
(Ainslee - above- pre-kite mode).

I love the above shot of Erika. I hate that my camera wouldn't allow me to get any closer. I want a big-girl camera so badly and have run out of hints to drop. I even have my SIL dropping hints on my behalf; in the mean time I know I am missing out on good stuff. Anyway - we went kite flying this weekend. This was a family first. It was a lot of fun and the girls ran, and ran. The kites were in a goody bag we received at a recent birthday party. We had pretty low expectations but were very happy once Martin was successful getting them up and the girls were able to keep them up (hence all the running).

And lastly. Food. Specifically, summer salads. I have been using recipes from the food & wine site. I tried the Shrimp and Noodle Salad with Ginger Dressing. It says 30 minutes for the total prep & cook time - but it took me longer. I would definitely make it again but I would make it a day in advance and let it sit overnight. We liked it better the following day. I have also made the chicken salad with grapes & blue cheese. Another hit. I am really loving this website. I hope you take a peek if you like to cook.