Bound to Get It In The Mail

Here it is! The finished product. It seems like ages ago that I was piecing the front in late July when we still lived in Sitka. Sarah was visiting, the movers were coming in a day or two, and my sewing machine was anything but cooperative. I think there was a lot of swearing under my breath if I remember correctly.
This is the back: a sweet Alexander Henry print. I saw it on Etsy.com and loved it immediately. I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it, but when I started this project, this fabric seemed like an ideal complement to the bold colors on the front.
So, I will send this to baby Julianna. It is my hope that it will take many fieldtrips: to the park, in the car, in the stroller. I would love to see it grass-stained and mud-stained, covered in remnants of the fun and exciting childhood I know she is going to have. Congratulations, Tracy and Mark, and welcome to the world little baby Julianna!
I'll leave you with a picture from this past Sunday. There are my two favorite people taking a trip to the hardware store. What a lovely way for a dad and little girl to spend part of their Sunday morning.


Some Notes from the Kitchen

Mike and I went back to our dinner-menu-for-the-week plan last week. It really is lots easier for shopping and just not having to think of something when 4:30 rolls around. So, I used those excess moments think of other, non-essential items instead.

Here are some notes from the kitchen for the past week:
  • It is a really good idea to have the husband and baby go to the store while you are cooking risotto. No interruptions make the process so much smoother.
  • When making risotto, long grain white rice is NOT a good substitute.
  • Double the macaroni and cheese recipe, freeze extra in small containers. Easy lunch for LLSS.
  • Make pizza, then call someone. Pizza is just the right temp when you get off the phone. No roof-of-mouth burn.
  • When offering the baby frittata, don't label it "eggs." She apparently likes the way "frittata" rolls off her tongue.
  • Always throw in some fast, easy favorites (Pumpkin Sage Pasta).
  • Clare will still not eat fish. Spicy salmon burgers were not a hit. Even with sweet potato french fries.

One more night of dinner here before we head off to the Pacific Northwest. It is looking like chicken, red onion, and bell pepper broiled then topped with cheese and made into sandwiches.

I also did some baking today. There is something so soothing about the smell of freshly baked bread on a crisp fall day. And I threw in a pan of cinnamon rolls for breakfast, although they are half gone already. They are going to be delicious with my coffee tomorrow morning!


New Snow and NO Camera

Today was the last day of firewood gathering for us for the season. We went back to the area we got wood last weekend. There was a new layer of snow on the ground. Not much, only an inch or so, but plenty to delight LLSS. While Mike cut rounds and I carried them to the edge of the hill for rolling, Clare stooped and scooped, stomped and tromped, tasted and touched. Our tree was in a lovely, sloping area. Not too steep, not a lot of debris.

Between the bark and the wood, we found many insects and arachnids. Tons of little green winged things. Sometimes more than 100 per round.

Clare is getting pretty excited about her trip to Grandma and Grandpa's for Thanksgiving. We have started the COUNTDOWN!


Time Keeps on Ticking

Okay, this is a bit bizarre, but it seems interesting to me how time escapes us in increments. Since LLSS was born, I've been noticing this phenomenon. It is especially apparent to me when I do something simple like warm something up in the microwave: goodbye minute. Maybe if I were more productive during that minute (squats, cleaning, learning a new hobby) I might feel more justified in its passing. Perhaps this could be a New Year's Resolution for me. Or it could be my "do it every day" activity for next month, like blogging is for me this month.

We really need to have a garage sale around this place. We have lots of extras or things we rarely or never use that are taking up valuable space, like the middle of the living room. Two large boxes and a super-sized coffee table. Maybe we can get our act together to at least get it out to the garage. That would be a step in the right direction.

And yes, there is a spell check for this blog, but I choose not to use it. I don't know why, but I don't use it. So if you see something in the super-sketchy-spelling category, please just ignore it.

I hope everyone has some great weekend plans in mind. I'll see you back here tomorrow!


Creative Block?

Writing every day for a month can really deplete the supply of interesting things I have to share. And it has only been twenty days so far. Can't wait to see what I'm writing about on the 30th.

Clare got to see a horse today, somewhat up close. He was in a horse trailer in the grocery store parking lot. A beautiful black horse with a white star on his forehead. He (yes, we're guessing) stuck his nose out a few times much to the delight of LLSS. We called him Midnight. And we had something interesting to tell the daddy when he got home from work.

I have completed the second side of the quilt binding. Binding clips, or regular hair clips, a really genius for making the process go a lot quicker. Wish I'd tried them on the first side.


Around the Block

There was no afternoon nap today. It was suppose to happen, but it didn't. So, instead of spending an afternoon with a grouchy baby, we went outside where it is hard to be a grouch for some reason. We started with a nice stroll around the neighborhood. It is really nice to be able to use a stroller and walk faster than baby speed. Then we blew bubbles, played soccer, and raced around the yard. When we were both sufficiently frozen (I was cold much before LLSS, but she did eventually admit to having cold hands) we came inside and she immediately returned to grouch mode. Ah, for two hours it was all good.

I went to the dentist this morning to have my teeth cleaned. There's really nothing like that fresh-from-the-dentist smoothness. Seriously. If my insurance would cover it, I'd have my teeth cleaned once a month. I really liked the hygenist as well.


Did She Read That?

Today, while grocery shopping with a very tired toddler I used the grocery list trick to occupy her to prevent meltdown. It goes something like, "I have a really important job for you. You get to hold the list and tell Mom what's on it." Most of the time it works like a charm.

Off to the produce aisle first. Carrots. Check. Bananas. Check. Celery. Check. All is going quite smoothly. Then I pass the broccoli without putting any in the cart. From the cart I hear, "Mom needs the broccoli." Huh. "Get the broccoli, Mom." Okay. It was on the list. We hadn't gone over the list. If only she loved broccoli, but she doesn't eat it. Double hmmm. I'm sure it was purely coincidence, but it is going to be nice when the day comes and I do have a list reader in the cart!


Fabulous Fingerpainting

Clare's first dabble in fingerpainting happened today. She was a little hesitant to get her fingers dirty at first, but in the end she had both hands covered. I've already promised that we will paint again tomorrow, it was that much fun. I think we might need to set up some sort of semi-permanent painting area.

Here is a picture from Saturday's firewood expedition. She wore these blue muffs while Mike started the saw at the truck, but then insisted on wearing the orange ones. Maybe they matched her hat better? I'm not sure what is up with the boxing stance.



Poor baby. This morning she threw up. Throughout the process, she continued to repeat, "What did Clare do?" No explanation seems quite sufficient in the middle of that. Although we reasssured her the entire time, she was still quite upset. It took a nice long shower with the assistance of Daddy to make her feel better. That, and a three hour nap this afternoon.

I have just started to hand stitch the binding on the quilt. This is what I am thinking. It is going to take a while. But it looks beautiful. The blue is contrasting quite nicely with the pinks.


A Beautiful Day For

Firewood gathering. Here we come. We got a bit of a late start, but the day was perfect. We found a nice tree on a nice section of road. Mike hiked up toward it and found a better one already on the ground. The hill was steep, but not overly scary. Clare wore her ear muffs the whole time so we could be up where the action was. She filled her hat and my hood with sticks, stems, and rocks. The rounds rolled nicely, none of them hitting the truck. The only glitch was getting Clare back in the truck. She sure does love being outside. We are thinking about one more trip out, perhaps next weekend, and then the firewood season will be over until next spring. Clare's words of wisdom on this trip: "Watch out for cow poop!"

Looks like it is going to be another beautiful one tomorrow.


Finally a Song

LLSS has been singing songs for us for a bit, but every time we try to capture it on video, she shuts down. It's as if the camera creates a stage fright phenomenon. She repeatedly says, "Yes," but will not sing. So today, in a rare moment, I was able to capture this:

In quilting news, here is the back of the baby quilt. It is waiting for a binding, a box, a trip to the post office, and a new home. Clare wrote this for me today. She called me over and asked me to read it to her. I sounded it out. Her reply was, "No, Mommy. It says, 'No.'"
These apples were a gift from our neighbor Harold (of green grape notoriety). The arrangement is by Clare. "I made the apples a circle, Mommy." Nicely done. This was Wednesday. They are still there, looking lovely.

Last weekend, Mike replaced the tube in his front tire, the victim of yet another goathead. Clare was mighty interested in the whole process. They make such a great team. I love to watch them work.
The team, once again, trying to determine what was wrong with the truck. This was the second day we were delayed by a mechanical issue. All better now, thanks to this brilliant team and a little outside help.


And She Swears Up and Down

Pioneer Street, that is. LLSS swore in public today. Well, we were walking on the sidewalk and I don't think anyone was near enough to hear, but...

(Sun shining brightly through the trees)
"Oh shit, I need my sunglasses."
"Oh shit, I need my sunglasses."
(not sure if I am hearing correctly)
"What did you say?"
"Oh shit..."
"Umm, we don't say that. We say, "Oh bummer."
"Oh bummer, I need my sunglasses."
End of conversation. She didn't bring it up again, although now I know that it is stored in there. And I'm pretty sure, in hindsight, that she has said it several times before but I thought she was saying something else. We're now solidly focused on "BUMMER" and I am preparing myself in advance for all those call home from school. Yikes!


Our Yard is a Litterbox

For the second day in a row, someone in our family has stepped in cat crap in our yard. It is sneakily hidden under grass or leaves and blends right in with all the little dirt piles (courtesy of our little squirrel friends). So disgusting. So now Clare can't go out and play because we don't know what is safe and what is not. This is a new development and it is a gross one.

I planted some bulbs and flower seeds today while LLSS slept. I'm hoping to add a bit of color to the street side of the house next spring and summer. Iris, daffodil, delphinium, malva, and poppy.

I'm off to the dentist tomorrow. I already know that it is going to be expensive, but let's hope for good news on a second tooth that I know I have ground into submission. I need to relax or I will be toothless pretty soon.


Burn Baby Burn

We had our first fire in the fireplace today. The chimney inspector came this morning and gave us the go ahead. While it didn't compare to the Blaze King "Princess", it was nice to be able to see some flames and cozy up next to it. The heater hasn't been on since noon. It is a bit cold downstairs, but that's what down comforters are for!


Moving Down, Down, Down

To the basement, that is. We spent our first night in our new bedrooms in the basement last night. It was a restless first night for me (migraine-the fifth or sixth in the past eight days) but a good night sleep for Mike and Clare. LLSS woke up early but managed to snuggle between Mike and I for another hour and a half. Aside from leaving me about three and a half inches on my side of the bed, it was mighty nice of her.

Here's our typical morning conversation:

"Clare's ready for dinner."
"Are you ready for breakfast?"
"It's time to get out of bed. Mama, get out of bed."
"ummm, ahhhh"
"Daddy, turn off the alarm. Turn it off."
"Clare, Daddy will get up with you."
"MAMA! Time to get up."
(Refraining from swearing) "Okay, I'm getting up."
And so it goes. Even when my loving husband is eager to get up early with the little girl, she still needs the company of both of us. Ocassionally he is able to persuade her to come to the kitchen with him, but within five minutes she is back in the bedroom, pulling on my hand, yelling at the bed, or using the power of tears to drag me from my slumber. I really miss sleeping in. Really. Miss. Sleeping. In.


Life Made Simple

A little conversation Mike and I had today with Clare:

"Are you going to eat cheesy pasta for lunch?"
"Yep. It's going in my tummy."
"That's right."
"Then it comes out the butt."
"Then it goes bye-bye, in the potty."
Life made simple, by a two-year-old.


Raining in the Desert

After a failed attempt at firewood collection (truck issues) we headed to Cambridge for a little arts and crafts show. There was some interesting stuff, but mostly it was a bit too "country" for my taste. Just really not my style. It was a nice drive and we extended it by driving to Brownlee Reservoir to check out the dam. Quite a feat of engineering there. Lots of concrete and blasting involved in the building of that one.

Clare's new expression is, "What is Mom figuring out?", or "What is Dad figuring out?" when we are working on something she doesn't quite understand. She also made a reference to bodily functions today as "butt music", as in, "Daddy is making butt music." Can't wait for her to use that one at the post office or the library.

Oh yeah, it's raining here tonight, which, unlike Sitka, is really something to write about.



Here's a little recipe I discovered recently:

1 healthy baby
1 well-baby appointment
1 doctor's office
1 plastic table
1 activity cube
2 magazines
1 friendly four-year-old

Mix all of these ingredients together. Wait three days. Sneezing will indicate that the mixture is successful. Runny nose, watery eyes, coughing, and stuffed up head to follow.
After all the symptoms have developed, allow once-well baby to sleep in parents' bed so at least someone in the family can get some rest.

Makes me think I should have kept her home from the "well" baby visit as she is now a "sick" baby. At least she got a flu shot out of the deal as well. Now, if only she would learn to open her mouth to breathe while sleeping.

Here is a little conversation we had on our way home from the post office yesterday.

"Look mama. Two puppies (small dogs, but full-grown)."
"Yep Sweetheart. What are they doing?"
"The doggies are playing tag. He got him."
The two dogs are now having sex in the road!
(Giggling a bit.) "Yep, Sweetie, he got him."
It seems a bit early for the birds and the bees to me.


Trying Something New

Cabin completion! Here are some photos of the completed cabin at Starrigavin Campground north of Sitka. Mike aided in putting together the walls and the roof. The rest was finished after we left. It is located in a developed campground and is completely accessible. I'll try to post some links to information from the time it was being built.

Today I am trying to import some video into the blog. If all goes well and it doesn't take all day! Okay, finished.

Here is Clare on Halloween night, about three houses into the trick-or-treating experience. I know this because I am only carrying her bag and not the Queen Bee herself. House four is when that happened! Sorry the audio is so jumbled. I feel our camera was better at picking up the sound of crunching leaves that tiny baby voices.


Catching Up a Bit

In early October, Mike's parents came for a visit. While Clare has spent time with relatives before, she is just coming to an understanding of what it means to be the center of attention. I think she really has a knack for it. She was quite the hostess while they were her. She took them on a walk to the post office, drug them up and down the stairs a million times to share her toys with them, gave them plenty of opportunities to practice their reading skills, and doled out the love on numerous occassions.

Eating breakfast with Grandpa.

Reading with Grandma.

Thanks Bob and Carol. I enjoyed the break as well.


Hanging Chads Not Allowed

Yes, the Mullin family voted in today's election. Clare came along as our cheerleader. Idaho, you might want to consider upgrading your election system. No voting booths, which means no fun curtains to hide and grimace behind because you don't have a TV, don't listen to the radio, and don't read the local paper and therefore have absolutely no idea what several of the ballot measures are even addressing. Just long tables with semi-adequate dividers between voting stations. Come on, Idaho. Even Nondalton had privacy, including voting booths with curtains. And, when I voted there and brought my ballot up it didn't get opened up so any interested party could see, then dropped in a box. Not that anyone even cares whom I voted for, but there is the principle of it all. And to add insult to injury, there was no candy at the end. Hmmm......

On a brighter note, our walk to the post office took just a little longer today as there were piles of leaves all over the sidewalk that LLSS couldn't resist. She was pretty cute tromping through soggy leaves, picking up handfuls and putting them back in yards.


Average, Average, Huge

Once again, Clare's head exceded normal size limitations. We went for her two-year-old well-baby check today and she seems to be normal except for that noggin. She is a healthy 25 pound, 33 1/2 inch walking bobblehead. Head circumference: 20 1/2 inches. Man, we love our little bobblehead.

Here are a few shots from the past week. Little Lovey Sweet Sweet playing in a huge pile of leaves, courtesy of our weeping birch and some hard-core raking by me.
And here she is spending some quality time under the table with her polka dot blanket courtesy of Eve. Thanks, Eve! She loves it.
And Tracy (and Julianna), close your eyes. Perhaps this will be headed your way sometime within the year. Here is my first attempt at thread basting.

It rained this morning and was foggy yesterday. It felt a bit like Sitka, without the mountains and ocean of course.


Renovation Sunday

Well, the time has come to remove all the crap from the basement that was left here for our enjoyment by the previous owners. Included in the wonderful junk collection were cabinets, both hanging and on the ground, disgusting old carpet that might pre-date the house given its condition, lovely odd pieces of wood nailed here and there and assorted other items. The bed of the truck is full, several large garbage bags went into the trash for collection tomorrow and the air cleaner is running full steam in an effort to clear the dust from the air. And it was all accomplished in about seven and a half hours.

Things of interest:
Dust can collect for seventy years in cracks and crevices without being cleaned up, especially behind large, heavy items.
Silverfish, or earwigs, live under large sheets of unidentified material when placed near basement windows and boy can they ever move quickly when someone is trying to smash them.
Rubber dish gloves really are a girl's best friend!
Mike and I make a really good team when it comes to clean up. I love that man!

Of course, in typical form, I forgot to take "before" pictures of the space, although I'm not sure the "after" pictures are too exciting. Removal of all these items really only revealed a whole new list of things that need attention (walls painted, floors painted, window sills replaced, etc...). But at least it is some sort of progress. Yeah!


A Month in the Life Of

With a turn in the weather from lovely Indian Summer to drizzly fall, November has arrived in Weiser. Last night we went trick-or-treating with Little Lovey Sweet Sweet. Although she was quiet at times, she did manage a "trick-or-treat" and a "thank-you" at every house we visited. She also mumbled, "BUMBLEBEE!" under her breath every time someone misidentified her as a butterfly or a fairy.Here we are, pre-trick-or-treating. LLSS dressed up for a trip to the post office and the store. Kind of a dress rehearsal of sorts.
Dressed up and waiting for slow Mom and Dad to get their butts in gear to take LLSS trick-or-treating already!

Post trick-or-treating, loaded up with candy and a little bit on the tired side. Naps really aren't necessary of exciting days like Halloween. At least she slept well last night!