Bits and Pieces

So what have I been doing that I can’t find the time to write for over a year? A lot and nothing. Or so it seems.
Well, there’s the every day stuff. The parenting and the cleaning and the cooking and the laundry. And then there’s the exercise. My bestie and I were walking 4 days a week until she left me and moved away in November. Bitch. So after a 2 month funk, with some occasional hot yoga thrown in, I joined a karate place that has kettlebells and kickboxing. I LOVE the kettlebells. It’s a grueling 30 minutes with a LOT of sweat but a great workout. I figure I can do anything for 30 minutes, right? But my strength has definitely improved and I’m able to swing and lift more and more weight. My arms are looking great and I’m way more toned but I still have a long way to go. The gym also has crossfit and with my membership, I get 2 free weeks of CF. I’ve only done 2 WOD’s so far but I can already tell I’m hooked.
And then there’s the sewing. I have been doing a TON of sewing. I can definitely see a marked improvement in my skills and am all over the map with clothing (for the kids and I), bags, pouches and quilts. I feel like sewing is one of those things where the minute you think, “I’m pretty good at this,” you then spend 2 hours taking something apart. But I really love to sew. I love choosing fabrics, putting things together, the way that it allows me to be creative and imagine how things will look. It also keeps me engaged and I really enjoy that. Of course my “I want to make that” list is a good 6 years long and I’m sure I’ll never get to them all but I really love it. We completed my sewing room ages ago but I’m still working at the dining room table so I can be part of the family. Maybe someday I’ll move downstairs instead of using the designated sewing room as a dumping spot.
Then we’ve been doing some traveling. Let’s see… We went to Connecticut and New Hampshire last summer. We also went to Florida in the summer and fall and then to Disney this past spring. All of them exhausting trips but great fun and full of wonderful memories. Our ability to travel at will and off peak times has come to a crashing halt as Courtney will be in the public school in the fall and we’ll actually have to be there on the designated days. Total crap.
I’m sure there’s more but that’s a highlight and I’m sure you’re bored silly. Then again, I’m pretty sure no one is actually reading this….

A week in the life


I’m a little mystified that half of February is already over and that March is looming on the horizon. Valentine’s came and went and the kids were all about the day. Weird but I guess that’s what happens when you talk a lot about it in school.
I “did” the Valentine’s party for Patrick’s class and while it was fun, I feel like it was a bit unnecessary. I mean, they’re 2 and they don’t care. I did bring in cookies for them to decorate but they didn’t care about decorating cookies, they cared about eating them. And then after they were all hopped up on sugar, they definitely didn’t care about the book I had to read for them. I mean, whatever lady. But it is fun to see Patrick and he seemed intrigued that I was there during the day and confused when I left without him.
We had some beautiful days last week – sunny warm and 60 or so. Things here are starting to bloom and the daffodils are all up and crying out for spring. Or maybe that’s me that’s crying for spring. But Courtney reminded me on our walk that it’s important to stop and smell the flowers.
On Saturday I took Courtney to see the Atlanta Ballet’s production of Cinderella. I wasn’t a huge fan and don’t think Courtney was either. We practically broke our necks trying to get there and then while our seats were good, the lady in front of us was a tall lady and neither of us could see well. The production was barely an hour long, which didn’t make me overly sad, but I’m not sure it was worth whatever I paid for the tickets.
My sweet, sweet boy recovered beautifully from his tubes and by “recovered beautifully” I mean the next day was like any other day. And it was 2 weeks ago. My stomach has been causing me all kinds of problems of late, not sure what the deal is, but Saturday afternoon/evening I curled up on the couch and laid like a lump. My sweet boy kept me company. I’ll take all the cuddling I can get from him because it’s not going to last and when it’s gone, I will be crushed.
There’s been a ton of sewing in my life of late (not that that’s anything new) and this week is QuiltCon and I’m sure pumped. I’m really looking forward to being with my peeps, learning a lot but also a few days away. I have a TON to do before I go and my guess is that I won’t get it all done, which I hate but such is life. I’m also going to have to take my machine in for repair, which is going to take a couple of weeks and who wants to come back from a quilting conference to have no sewing machine???
And can someone explain to me President’s Day? Does anyone actually sit around, celebrating Lincoln or Washington? Do you get a cake? What’s the deal?

What’s for (Christmas) dinner?

With a mere 12 days to go until Christmas, I’m feeling a wee bit anxious as to how unprepared I am. The house is set and ready, thanks to a party we had here last weekend. As for the rest of the fanfare, I’m at a loss.

I have shopped for the kids and I’m pretty much done there. I’m not going all crazy this year like we have in years past. They are each getting a “big” thing and then the accessories to go with it (think doll house, dolls and furniture). Of course there will be lots of books and silly stocking items but that’s it. No Christmas Eve day shopping excursion at Walmart. Seriously, I mean it.

I’m hosting Christmas dinner at our house this year and I’m super excited. It’s been tradition in my forever years that we have roast beef, or some red meat thing, for dinner. It’s the ONLY time all year that I make some fancy (fatty) roast thing and I’m not quitting that now. But what do I make to go with it? We’re only 8 but that doesn’t mean I have to go small or unexciting.

I love setting a beautiful table with candles and linen napkins and all the proper silverware. But what do I serve WITH my meat? What’s your favorite side dish? What do you HAVE to have on your Christmas dinner table? What meal says “Christmas” to you? Tell me, I really want to know?

The good, the bad and the cough cough

Things around these here parts have been insanely busy. Not that that’s any different than any of your parts. Not that I know anything about your parts. Or want to. I mean I do want to know about your parts but not those parts unless there’s something worth sharing that will change my life forever. Never mind…
I took on some sewing work (I’m pretty sure I already mentioned that) helping some ladies make some dresses and ran my serger into the ground. I’ve had the thing for over a year and didn’t use it for the first 6 months because I was afraid of it. And then I use it non-stop for 3 weeks and it spits thread at me and laughs in my face and mocks my inability to sew anything. Which maybe isn’t so bad because some friends have hired me to make them some other things and I need to get started on that. I also need to work on some Christmas gifts that I’m making for others and I should think about those things as well. AND, I actually would like to make some things for myself but whatever, that’ll just have to wait.
In the meantime, we hosted our annual holiday party over the weekend and ended up with 66 people here!!! Not all at once but close enough and it was mayhem. But awesome. I was way more organized this year than last and managed to be tackling the final touches when people arrived at 4. But the food was awesome and the company was great. The kids (all zillion of them) had a great time running around the back yard on the 65+ degree December evening. Such nonsense but super helpful for a party. You know what else is super helpful, hiring your nephew to help out. He was super helpful and did everything I asked, no matter how stupid it may have seemed. (I shall surely miss that boy when he leaves for college.) I’ve also decided that the BEST hostess gift anyone could ever give is breakfast for the next day. And coffee. Not that anyone gave us that but that would have been SUPER helpful after my 2 bottles of wine… I’ll be sure to mention that to some folks for next years party.
Both of my kids have terrible coughs and sound like death warmed over once you get them into bed. As a matter of fact, I’m writing this post at 8:40 am and both of my children are still asleep. I guess it goes without saying that we won’t make it to school at 9. I did call the doctor this morning and they said I could come in at 8:10 (this was at 7:50) but that wasn’t happening either. There was NO WAY I was waking my children to take them to the doctor so that I could then listen to them whine and fight all day. Courtney has a bit of a perpetual cough and we now have her on her inhaler on a daily basis. I’m not sure it’s making much difference but we thought we’d try it out for a few months and see if she coughs less. I feel bad – she often asks me why God made her that way and I don’t have an answer for that, for several reasons, and I just tell her that she’ll get better and to hang in there.
The kids are super excited about Christmas and the Elf on the Shelf. The Elf in particular. Patrick is in love with all things Santa and no matter where we go, he’s screaming about every Santa we see. I confess to loving the Elf part and seeing their excitement but our elf, Henry, who turns out to actually be a girl, isn’t terribly creative. Maybe he’ll get more creative with time. Or not. It’s best to keep peoples expectations really low.
OK, I hear Patrick stirring. 8:48, that’s not a bad time to start ones day.

It’s like living in the zoo


I feel bad that I’ve been all Debbie-downer of late about our home life and our kids and all that jazz. Things have been hard and a challenge but not all the time. We have great moments and lots of love, and even some laughter, but that doesn’t mean that Courtney isn’t going to end up in therapy. Recounting these days when her parents were so mean and they didn’t understand her and why wasn’t she born into a nicer family. Courtney told me this morning that she didn’t want to talk to me ever again (she promptly forgot). She told me later in the afternoon that she wished Patrick and Trouble didn’t live here. Ho hum. Good stuff.
We did have a great weekend though. We had our neighborhood block party, which we LOVE. Sadly Patrick melted about 45 minutes into it and ended up with a fever of 102+. Courtney had a BLAST with the neighborhood kids and desperately wanted to be a big girl. “They called me little, I’m not little.”

The happiness of a Princess at a party


Sometimes you pick and choose clothing battles. I talked him out of the pink princess dress, I considered this a win.

But because of this fever, Courtney and I headed to a birthday party at the zoo without Paul and Patrick. We had a great time and while it wasn’t our first trip to the zoo, it was one of the first where you could see all kinds of things clicking. Things she’d learned or seen in books were there before her, in real life. 

I do need to make sure that Courtney needs to keep her fingers out of other peoples noses. 
I’ll be more than thrilled when this phase is over. People tell me it could last until she goes to college. I’m clinging to the good moments because really, they’re good. And she’s so damn cute.