Thursday, February 26, 2009

Happy Birthday, Random Yammering, And A Recipe!

First, I finished the heart and it is now hanging in the window...
And today is Ryan's birthday! He's 12 years old. TWELVE! hhhh, makes me melancholy. He was such a tiny baby -4 pounds. I had such guilt over him - I basically evicted him at 34 weeks because my blood pressure had been going crazy and he wasn't thriving. Such a scary time. It's very rare for a woman to have preeclampsia with a third child when there was never a blood pressure issue before. He was so tiny. He looked like a 90 year old man. He had absolutely NO body fat - just skin and bone. He was covered with a fine fur. He couldn't cry so he made this strange little squeak sound. The nurses would bring him to me in the morning and say "He's squeaking I think he wants his mommy!" He was 4 pounds and 17 inches. We put a long sleeved undershirt on him as pants and then another one on as a shirt. It was so cute. Poor Mark missed the birth. The doctor told him to run and get something to eat because the cafeteria was going to close - I told him not to leave - I had very very quick labors. They induced me and had me on seizure medication. Mark left (because the threat of no food other than vending machine food was more than he could stand), about 10 minutes later - one push - hello Ryan. Mark comes in the room 10 minutes after that and I'm sitting there holding a baby. He was really really upset. Hate to say I told you so... I had had the shots to speed up the development of his lungs so he was fine that way, but he couldn't eat - what a nightmare that was and it went on for four months. His mouth just wouldn't work right - it always took several tries before his mouth would be able to drink. They (and I) wanted him breastfed which was impossible for him until he was four months old, so I would pump and then feed him a bottle. I would be able to get the bottle into his mouth eventually (he just didn't have the skills or the energy to latch on) but we would both be crying (him screaming, me sobbing) by then. Feedings were a nightmare. He was too weak to wake himself to be fed so I would have to try to wake him with a cold washcloth (and keep him awake long enough for him to drink). He only took 2 ounces at a time so it was basically every two hours he had to be fed. Between the no sleep and the pumping and the waking and the trying to feed and having two other small children it was so overwhelming! Thank God he wasn't my first child. I don't think I would have survived it. He was slow to develop. Everything was delayed. But his speech was the worst. The only sound he made was mmmm. He had therapy to teach him sign language and to work on sounds. Finally at age three he started making more noises and by age 4 he was talking fairly well. And by 5 you would never know he had had any issues. Comprehension will always be a problem for him though. He will eventually get how to do things, but it takes him a lot longer. His therapists explained that that part of his development will never catch up. I remember trying to explain this to his third grade teacher and her response was "oh, he'll be fine in my class - I teach in a way that the kids all get it right off." He wont get it right off. "Oh! Sure he will." Needless to say it was a bad year because he didn't get it "right off" and she couldn't understand why and wasn't patient enough to give him the extra effort. The crazy thing is that he is obsessed with Lego. Other than cars, it's all he plays with since age three and he can make anything. He will go online and print out a photo of a WWII tank and another photo of the mechanics of it. Then he will build it in Lego with every compartment and moving part. The guns fire, the axles turn, the top turret spins and the gun can be raised and lowered. It's crazy how intricate it is. CRAZY! He has been able to do this since he was very small. But he has trouble reading and math is a nightmare! Isn't it strange how the mind works? So anyway here is the funny part...
He knew that I had ordered his Lego's for his birthday on Monday. I told him I did express shipping so that they would be here by his birthday. Well, Tuesday he comes into my room holding his stomach..."ooooh, I am so sick. fake cough, fake cough. I need to stay home from school." You're going to school. "I'm sick! fake cough, fake cough." No you are not sick - go brush your teeth." In the bathroom moaning, fake coughing, big sighs...He comes downstairs all bent over holding his stomach and fake coughing and I tell him that I checked and the Lego box will not be here until Wednesday afternoon. Complete, miraculous, instantaneous recovery! Off he went to school just as happy and healthy as ever! :O)

He was very happy to see the box when he got off the bus yesterday. Because Mark wont be home today he sort of celebrated yesterday. He didn't even wait for me to wrap the gifts! :O)
Today we are going out to eat with my parents and then tomorrow when Mark is home we will have Ryan's choice of dinner (tacos) and his favorite cake (Jello Cake). This is the best cake ever! Really more for spring, and definitely summer, but Ryan loves it so he always has it on his birthday. Here is the recipe...

Jello Cake

3 oz box of ORANGE Jello (I have tried other flavors and they just aren't as good as the orange)
3/4 Cup boiling water
1/2 Cup cold water

Make this up and set it aside on the counter while you make the cake. Make a Yellow cake (Betty Crocker is the best) in a 13 inch x 9 inch pan. When cake is cool, pierce it with a meat fork or the end of a small wooden spoon - you want holes, but not giant craters. Pour the jello over the cake so that it runs into the holes.


3 oz Box of Vanilla Instant Pudding
1 Envelope of Dream Whip
1 1/2 Cups of Milk
1 tsp of Vanilla Extract

Whip with a hand mixer until it thickens (I think it's like 4 minutes). Spread frosting over cake and keep in refrigerator. Yum! It is so good for a cookout! Try it - I've never had anyone not love it.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Getting In Some Beading...

I am working on this heart today. I'm finishing the beading so that I can hang it in my window.
I love beading the edge. It's my favorite thing on these little pillow/sachets...

I like this heart so I think I am going to leave it up all the time.

I love old postcards - I've been collecting them for a long time. I got some of them out and copied them onto fabric today. I'm going to make little wall hangings and sachets out of them...
So that is what I'm working on today - what are you doing?

Hanging My Head In Shame...

So since Kris is teasing me about my worry doll for Kellie, I though I better defend myself! ;O) A worry doll is a GOOD thing. It takes your worries and bad dreams AWAY! SEE - it's a good thing :O)

And then Cathie is shaming me over Howard's destruction ;O) so I guess I have to agree - we weren't very diligent on moving all the pots in time - hhhhh, I'm so ashamed. :O)

Such a sad day - all this negativity! LOL I'm going to go cry in my coffee. :O)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Don't Worry...

Today I'm making worry dolls...This one is Kellie's. I still need to add some beads in the hair for her.
And this is still going on...
I turn my back on him for 2 seconds! He is determined to make me crazy. In one week - 11 pots GONE! 11 pots worth of dirt dumped on the DECK! 11 times sweeping the deck while he jumps around me slamming into me like isn't this fun??!!!! Yeah, this is the culprit - the one under the snuggie! Kellie is convinced that when Howard is sleeping he should be covered!
Molly and I measured him yesterday. He's 44 1/2 inches tall at the head, 35 inches at the shoulder, and 156 pounds. He's growing up so fast! :O) He'll be two on May 14Th. OH! And I came home yesterday and there was Howard ON MY LIVING ROOM SOFA!!!! and to add insult to injury he was sleeping with MY PRETTY NEW BLANKET!!!! Rules people - we have rules! And where was Mark while this was going on --- sitting in the man chair in the same room! MARK! why is Howard on the sofa?! Oh, I didn't see him get up there. You didn't see a 156 pound almost 4 foot tall dog climb up on the new living room sofa? huh. Well, I can't make dinner because I can't see the stove. - and I also don't see any dirty laundry! :O)

Monday, February 23, 2009

My Poor Scarf...

Oh the trauma of it all! This is the first yarn I ever spun on my wheel and the scarf that I knit with it....
Oh how I love this scarf. But look...
I'm sure it was one of my hooligan children yanking coats and scarves around in the foyer closet! I'm so sad. I'm using it anyway even if it looks a little shabby.

Ryan came home Thursday afternoon and said "Mom, my math teacher said I can't go to the bathroom anymore during class unless you send in a note saying I have a medical condition." What?! Are you asking to leave the class every day? "No. I never ask to leave, but today I didn't feel well and had to leave twice so she got made at me and that's when she said I needed to bring the note." Then, at noon on Friday I decided to run Jason over to school to get his Chemistry book so he could start working on all the school work that he had missed last week. He went to the office to get a pass to go to his locker. She told him that that wasn't allowed and that the assistant principal would have to be notified that he was absent from school but came onto campus! What kind of idiots do we have running our schools?! It's like the time when Molly was 11 and the wacko school nurse (sorry all school nurses out there who are not wackos) told her that she had scoliosis and totally freaked her out! She was all upset the rest of the day and crying to me when she got home. So I took her to the doctor the next day to have the test done and NO she did not have scoliosis. I called the school nurse to complain and basically told her I thought she was an idiot for making a medical diagnosis and then telling an 11 year old all about her findings. Nurse: So, should I put a note in Molly's file that she is extremely sensitive about her health and school staff should avoid any reference to her health when she comes into the nurses office? ME: Molly is not extremely sensitive about her health - but she trusts the school staff - school staff that are not licensed to practice medicine and certainly not authorised to diagnosis medical conditions or discuss those medical conditions with a minor! You should be calling me about your concerns. Nurse: So, I should put the note in her file? Me: No! The next time you decide to play unlicensed doctor you call me with any findings - you do not discuss it with my daughter! Nurse: So, I should call you if she comes in the office and complains about a headache because she will get upset if I discuss it with her? Me: Do you really have a college degree or are you also impersonating a nurse? Because you couldn't possibly have made it through college and still be this stupid. It went down hill from there - what an ass.

So now I'm just waiting for the assistant principal to call me. I can't wait to hear him explain how it's against the school policy for a mother to bring her son up to school to get a school book so that over the weekend he can work on what he has missed while he is laying in bed! - bring it on baby! :O)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Don't You Just Love When....

You are standing in the kitchen happily chopping carrots and potatoes, and chicken is cooking on the stove and here they come in like 5 minute intervals...

M: what's for dinner?

Chickkkkennnn Pot Pie! :O)

M: mmm, yum.

J: what's for dinner? snif, snif, cough, cough, sneeze

Chickennnnn Pot Piiiiii! :O)

J: hhhh, okay but that's not what I want. snif, snif, cough

good to know - go away.

R: what's for dinner?

Chicken Pot Pie! :O)

R: iiiiiii. can't we have something else?

No. :Ol

K: what's for dinner?

hhhhh, chicken pot pie. :O/

K: oooooooh! let me guess and I have to eat it?

ahh, yeah. That's the plan - you will have to eat it.

Mark: what's for dinner?

Oh For God's Sake! Chicken Pot Pie and no I can't make anything else and yes you will have to eat it.

Mark: oooookay. I like chicken pot pie.

hhh. You start out all about making dinner and in 25 minutes they've reduced you to this frowning cranky person who wants to order carryout!

And here is something totally random...If I had any land I would have a donkey. And his name would be Frank. I love donkeys. Mark says I have one and his name is Howard.

Yesterday Jason came staggering down the steps looking for the snuggie and Howard! LOL Poor kid - he is not a happy camper at the moment. He needed a little Howard therapy and Howard was more than happy to share the snuggie and the sofa for the rest of the night. Oh, I hope this doesn't go through the house.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

It Seems The Flu Has Found Us...

Jason is home with the flu. While we were waiting for his turn with the dental chair he couldn't keep his eyes open and he complained of a headache. Seemed fine otherwise. By 6:30pm he couldn't eat, had a fever, body aches, headache, cough, sore throat, etc. So he is home with me today. I've only seen him once when he came down to get more Tylenol. What is the best over the counter/home remedy for flu symptoms? Any suggestions to help him feel better so he can rest? He's not feelin' the love for tea with honey. But I'm on my 4th cup and feel great!!! :O)
And Miss Molly...She didn't find anything her friend would like on line the other night, but she did find several things for herself. mmmmm. It's a good thing she has a job.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Lesson Learned...

When your 15 year old daughter comes to you at 8pm and says she needs to buy a birthday gift for her friend - Don't decide that you are too tire to run to the mall. Don't remember that you have a store credit for American Eagle for $15. And don't don't don't say to your precious daughter "Here. Go on line and order a gift for her. You can use this store credit for it and (- this is the important part - don't say this -) here is my credit card to make up the difference for the shipping." Because dear friends the next morning when you are cleaning up the kitchen you might find one of these....
Now, granted she is paying me back right away, but $124!!!! What the heck?! This is why when she said "Can't I be added as an authorised user on your American Eagle card?" The response from me had been "BAAAAHHAAAAAHAHAAAA! Yeah, right."


We are having issues with the big idiot dog! The weather is just a little less cold so he wants to be outside more -- and he has rediscovered our container garden on the lower deck. It's currently just a bunch of pots full of dirt. Well, Howard keeps dumping the dirt on the deck and then running like a nut around the yard with the pot - and then he eats the pot! rrrrrr. And if you go out to get the pot back he just goes completely insane because he thinks you are enjoying the game too! I think Mark may kill him. This would be the last anyone would see of pot number six...

I get so angry with him and then he comes in and gives me this...

And I just can't stay mad. The dog has no control over his tongue.

And my house is trashed! TRASHED! The kids went back to school today and in their wake they have left a disaster! It's so bad that I just keep spinning in place trying to decide what mess to tackle first. I really need to get moving because I have to take Jason and Molly to the dentist this afternoon and I need to have at least one floor finished before I leave. I'm hoping to be very productive so that I can have some fun this afternoon.

Monday, February 16, 2009


First, the party for Cornelia was really great. There were 8 of us so they gave us a nice private room with one large table for 8. The food was amazing! Very very nice time. I worked like a crazy person on the bag - the bag that I had seriously underestimated the time needed to complete. I finished the last stitch at 2:30PM SUNDAY!!! Had to shower, dress, and leave by 4PM to be on time for the party - So a little self induced stress there. I liked the bag...

But there were things that if I had time to do over I would have done differently.

Valentine's Day in our house isn't a romantic day for us. Basically because Mark and I aren't that type - We don't do cards or gifts. But we do try to make it fun for the kids which is why food coloring is added to any food that will show it. Hence the pink milk, mashed potatoes, cake etc. I made BBQ Ribs for dinner...They were so so good - the BEST! So I feel I must share...You can find The Ultimate Barbecued Ribs Recipe here. But the cooking time on this is listed wrong - they take 2 1/2 to 3 hours NOT 1 1/2 hours which I knew in advance so it wasn't a problem. All 6 of us loved them and that's really saying something! There usually is at least one who hates whatever we are having for dinner - not this time - rave reviews all the way around the table. YUM!

After dinner Mark was playing all these really bad 70's songs from his Ipod (he is trapped in the 70's) but Molly and I had a great time singing along (it's scary how many songs I knew all the words to) to songs like Boogie Oogie Oogie, and we were doing some goofy dancing - like the hustle, the sprinkler, the lawn mower, etc. You get the idea. Then we watched The Little Shop Of Horrors movie (it's a favorite around here). I went to bed feeling a little ill from the saucy ribs followed by crazy dancing and laughing, but it was a great day. I hope you enjoyed your weekend, too. Today I am off to the Orthodontist to have Ryan's brace thingies put on his teeth. Am I the only one who feels guilt about these things? Anyway, I'm glad that the bag is behind me now and I can relax and work on something else. But I think Howard is going to miss all of the snuggle time...

Friday, February 13, 2009

A War Time Valentine...

As you know, my father was in WWII. He was gone for almost two years.

I'm not sure you will be at all interested in this, perhaps this post is more for me. I have a Valentine letter that my father sent to his mother during WWII. I will not bore you with the entire 8 page letter, but I will give you a little of it. I don't know, I think it's kind of sweet and sad.

February 22, 1946

...In the past few mails I have received several Valentines...all sweet and I enjoyed receiving them. I had forgotten all about St. Valentine's Day as did all of my buddies. We have lost track of everything since we have been so far from home. Half the time we don't even know what day it is and I'm not exaggerating in the least. But those Valentine's set me thinking. Valentines Day is the day you send some little something to the one you love. There hasn't been evidence of much love for anybody or anything in the would these past few years and I suppose that is why we fellows over here slipped up on our Valentines Day. I haven't got much of anything these days, none of us over here have, but we still have the ones we love and that's some consolation. I suppose if I had remembered St. Valentines Day I could have had Dad or someone get you some candy in a big, red, heart shaped box or something but I want something else. I want to send you something right from me over here - something that I have touched with my own hands. It's a little late, I suppose, for Valentines since the Saint's feast day was nine days ago. And I have no pretty paper to write on, but I do have a little poem and I want to dedicate it to you, Mom.

To My Mom - My Valentine

Mom's battle is the toughest one,
'Cause it's the kind that's never won,
It's not a fight with sword of gun,
It's all day wondering, "Where's my son?"

It's not a war, it's a fight within;
It's where I'm at and where I've been,
Am I gaining weight - am I getting thin?
Am I steering clear of hell and sin?

The things I said, the things I did,
When I was nothing but a kid,
It's all these things that haunt Mom's mind,
It's a battle of a different kind.

A day never starts, a day never ends,
Without a prayer that dear Mom sends,
To the Heavenly Father up above,
That He'll watch over her fondest love.

So I think I'll be on my way in a couple of weeks or so. At least I hope so...and I wont have to do any more dirty work while I'm waiting on my orders to come home. I'll let you know everything that turns up...

Well, his orders to come home did come through a few months later. They told him one day that he served his time and that he was free to go home. How was he to get home. That was for him to figure out. So he hitchhiked across France depending on the kindness of strangers who could barely communicate with him and finally made it to the base he was to go home from. He didn't come home to ticker tape parades or mobs of people (strangers) cheering him. By the time he came home the war had been over for months. He walked down the street toward home with the neighbors he grew up with cheering him home. And to his mother running out the door of their home screaming and crying! I can't imagine how hard that must be for a young man to be so far from home and to miss his family so very very much for so long. I look at Jason and it's hard to imagine that when my dad left for duty he was only a few years older. I don't know how I would cope with saying goodbye to Jason - knowing he was off to war and then not seeing him for almost two years. It makes me think of all of the mothers who currently have sons and daughters fighting a war far from home.

So, Happy Valentine's Day friends. I'm going to go hug my creepy kids and enjoy a Valentine dinner with pinkish-red milk, pinkish-red mashed potatoes, and heart shaped dessert tomorrow and I hope you have a good day/weekend with the people you love too!

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Yesterday was like 70 degrees and today it's like 60 degrees, but I am in the mood for soup. I'm making Vegetable soup...
This is not a quick to make soup. It basically takes all day! But it's very good, so it's worth it.
Vegetable Soup
First 10:
1 or 2 Soup Bones (like Shin)
4 Quarts of Water
1 Tbsp Salt
1/2 Medium Cabbage
2 Onions Chopped
6 Carrots
2 Stalks of Celery
1 Large Can of Diced Tomatoes
1/4 Cup Barley


Bag of Frozen Mixed Vegetables
1/2 Cup Ketchup
2 Tbsp Parsley
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper

About 6 Red Skinned Potatoes

Cook first 10 ingredients for 1 hour. Add next 5 ingredients and cook for 3 hours more. Add potatoes and remove bones and cook until potatoes are done. I also add about 1 or 2 pounds of beef cubes with the first 10 ingredients because my kids like beef in their veggie soup.

Getting Ready For Kellie's Big Day...

Kellie is celebrating her First Communion this spring (May) and we have been busy getting ready for that. Since it's been the focus of our week this week I decided to pull out Molly's First Communion dress so that I can have it cleaned and freshened...
I absolutely love love love this dress. It is so pretty and feminine. The neck has tiny organza flowers with a pearl in the center of each...
and the waist has a wide band with the same flowers/pearls...
the entire dress is satin with a layer of white organza over it and the skirt has an extra layer of organza. The back has tiny pearl buttons to the waist and the sash is lined on each edge with pearls...
oh I just love it!
and her veil has a band of satin flowers with pearl beads...
and both sides of the veil are edged with satin...
hhhhhh, LOVE IT!!! Here is a photo of Molly in it on her big day (she's on the right)...
the camera we had was a piece of junk so we all look like we were in the sun too long (I hate that!)...
good grief the red in these photos! LOL.
I will never get rid of this dress!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Happy Birthday Cornelia

Today is my good friend Cornelia's 60Th birthday. This Sunday her daughter is having a surprise dinner for her with a few of her friends at The Capital Grille. She is going to be so surprised. I spoke to her yesterday and it was clear that she has no idea. I can't wait to see her face when she walks in and sees us there! Anyway, as usual I didn't decide what to give her until yesterday. She has been wanting to learn how to paint with watercolor so I bought her some supplies...

And then I decided to make a tote bag for her to go with it. I'm doing some embroidery and beading on it before I assemble it...Yeah, I need to have both sides finished and the bag made by Sunday. It's going pretty quickly I think. I didn't start on it until around 8pm last night and worked until midnight and I'm more than half finished this one side. Wait a second...that's FOUR hours!!! Hmm, maybe this isn't going so quickly after all! :O) I'm planning to work on nothing else today and hopefully be finished with the beading by tomorrow - well at least by Friday. That's the plan. I can't wait to get to the beading. That's always the most fun. I'm using an outdoor canvas because she will be carrying paints and water and I thought it would be better to use this kind of fabric so that if it gets wet it wont be a big deal. I'm using the same kind of canvas for the lining of the bag in this...She likes earth tones so I hope she likes it.