Friday, November 08, 2013

Day 8

Baby's first sushi...he liked the ginger, but the avocado made him gag!

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Day 7

Hmm...plugging along. So far November is a bad month for lips. Thea put an incisor into hers last week, and abraded the outside as well. She nearly split it inside to outside, which would have required stitches (on her birthday, no less).
Tonight Willem fell off a chair and bit his lip (also, held his breath and fainted, he's a fun one). His was a fast fix, nursing babies with mouth injuries are such easy first aid. Nursing puts pressure on cut lips to stop the bleeding and rinses everything with sterile, antibacterial breast milk. Never a dull moment around here!

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Day Sikx first cold in ages. Scratchy throat, drippy sinuses, time for bed. This may be the most pathetic set of November posts ever, but that's okay. I love going back and seeing what we were up to.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Day 5

All my loves.

Monday, November 04, 2013

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Day 3

I started a new job a month ago.  I am doing admin work for a therapy company, which is a new adventure for me. Only 10 hours a week, from home. Lots of my lab management skills come into play...collecting and arranging data, researching supply pricing, using excel. I am currently trying to figure out a State Billing system that is not intuitive, but the setup will be the hardest part. Once I've managed to get the correct data into the correct fields I should be good to go. Invoicing is coming together as I learn what different abbreviations and services go with different clients.
It's good to be working again...there has been a budget crunch here the past few years (as there has been for many people), so an opportunity to do something about it has been good for my state of mind.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Day 2

Birthday celebrations today...lots of fun with grandpa and grandma!

Friday, November 01, 2013

Day 1

Looking back, all I'm going to have is snapshots of November (and they all sound the same...sickness abounds, Thanksgiving travels, etc. etc).
Today is Friday, culminating a crazy week that's not quite over. There's been costume sewing, breakfast with a friends, treats for Halloween parties, trick or treating, treats for Thea's birthday, and a car that wouldn't start. Nothing horrible, but a lot of go, go, go. Today is Thea's 5th birthday, and tomorrow we celebrate with grandparents. I'm hoping tonight can be a little more quiet and I can get myself centered.
I owe Ella a trip for froyo since she aced her spelling test last week (no small feat for someone with reading challenges) so maybe a little time with my oldest will be just what the doctor ordered.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Finish it up Friday

So, a couple of weeks ago we had a wedding to attend, and I went out to see if I could fine something new to wear. I was quite excited to find this skirt:
A little pink shimmer, built in liner, pockets!

I was even more excited by the price:

That's a 92% markdown, people!
Because I am a genius, right before it was time to leave I thought I would touch it up with the iron (even though it was only slightly wrinkled). What I failed to do was completely read the fabric contents. Mostly linen, hot iron. I missed that tiny percentage of rayon, and a tiny little portion of the skirt just...disappeared! Whoops.
Because the mall was on the way, and the skirt was a whopping $4.88, I stopped by on the way to the wedding and grabbed a (second) new skirt.
I was about to throw the first skirt into my fabric stash when I decided to try to salvage it with an applique. I pulled out my French Roses quilt pattern (by Heather French) and reduced the applique pieces by 20%. I cut them out of some hand dyed linen scraps I had hanging around and viola, problem solved.

Closer look at the raw edge applique:

You might notice that both of these skirts are super wrinkled. I hung them after washing and have not yet gotten up the nerve to brave even a cool iron. I'll try the appliqued one first.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

February Sunshine

It was windy and raining this morning, so when I went outside this afternoon I was surprised to find that it was over 50˚F.  I came in and immediately shooed the children outside to ride scooters and run around for a bit. This is peculiar weather for February, and the temps usually hover in the teens most days. We are expecting snow tomorrow, and a high temp of 33˚, so sunshine and temperate weather are a gift.
I took Willem out for a walk in the stroller, not far (a little less than a mile?) but it felt so good to stretch my legs and soak up a little light. This postpartum has had a few dips and valleys, but none of the pits of despair and rage that came after baby number three. (I learned that a spring baby is better for my mind; for me, having a newborn just as the days get shorter and shorter is a difficult thing indeed.) I am anxious for spring, to get outside and stretch my limbs, to work away the last bit of baby weight, and get the children out of the house and each others' faces. Last March we had a glorious week of temps in the 80's, memorable because I was 40 weeks pregnant and found the heat a little shocking. I'm secretly hoping it happens again this year.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Freezer to Crockpot Recipe Reviews

A friend recently posted a link to the Six Sisters' Stuff Slow Cooker Freezer Meals and I decided to give most of them a try. After school time has become bit of a chaotic cluster, with homework, a pre-schooler who wants her sisters to play! now! you're home! and a baby who needs more sleep. His bedroom is right off the kitchen and dining area, so the prepping/cooking dinner during naps is a gamble. Even if he has napped it's hard to keep everybody in a decent mood and making progress on their homework and chores while trying to cook at the same time. Consequently we are waiting for Tom to come home and cook, and eating an hour later than usual. Time for a change.
These recipes appealed to me because they use mostly fresh ingredients rather than the dreaded "Cream of Crud" soup poured over meat. Since we have a dairy allergy and I'm picky about whole foods I've made a few adjustments, and I'll note those along the way.  I've prepared several and they're waiting in the freezer, but I wanted to review them as we make them for anyone who might be interested.
First up is the Black Bean Taco Soup. I just made this on the stovetop for dinner, since
I needed something for tonight. Ingredients and my substitutions:
1 lb ground beef (we have a hog in the freezer, so I used ground pork)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 package mild taco seasoning mix 

      I don't usually use seasoning mixes, but I gave it a go. I added an additional 1 tsp. cumin, 1/2 tsp. garlic powder, 1/2 tsp. chili powder, 1/2 tsp. oregano, salt and pepper to taste. Next time I'd skip the packet and season myself. I usually keep pureed chipotle in adobo in the freezer, but I'm out. I'll use it next time, along with fresh garlic.
1 16 oz can corn (undrained) 16 oz. frozen corn plus 1 C. water.
1 16 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed (you could use kidney beans or pinto beans)
1 14 oz can stewed tomatoes
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes

     Since I was doing a bunch of meals that needed crushed/diced etc. tomatoes I bought a 6lb can of whole tomatoes and prepped them in the food processor. I used 2 cups chunky puree and a cup of water for this recipe.
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 4 oz can diced green chilis
(1/2 of a fresh jalapeno, sauteed with the onion and meat)

Verdict: Very Good - I misread the corn as frozen at first, so I had extra in there, but it was fine. I'm not a fan of canned veggies anyway!  We like strong spicy flavors, so I kicked up the seasonings. The amount was decent, and we'd probably have leftovers if we hadn't eaten it for both after school snack and dinner. It could be served over rice to stretch it even further. Total cost was around $7-8, assuming that you were buying ground meat at the store. My San Marzano tomatoes and frozen organic corn were both bought in bulk at Costco, so are comparable in price to conventional items at the supermarket. I'll be putting this into the rotation.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Die gelbe Durchfall*

Nail polish serves a very specific function for me - it keeps me from biting my nails to shreds (and then destroying my cuticles when the nails are gone). Once my nails have recovered I can usually go without polish, until I happen to get engrossed in a book and notice when I finish the story that my nails have mysteriously disappeared.
My preferred polish colors are things non-sparkly and neutral, that don't show too much when they chip. I picked up this bottle last fall; it met the color requirements, it is one of the main colors of the local university (which pleased my daughters, they are devoted fans despite their parents having attended the rival state university), and it was on sale.
This fall has not been kind our health - strep throat and a couple of random bugs toured the household in November. December saw rotavirus meander through before Christmas and then Norwalk (norovirus) brought in a swift and complete attack on New Year's eve.
Consequently, I'm not sure that I'll every be able to use this nail polish again; it is the exact color found in sick baby diapers, SO MANY sick baby diapers.
*the yellow diarrhea

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Art Lessons

Tom is instructing Ella on the finer points of portraiture. She often feels compelled to correct him with things she has learned in elementary art class, despite his university degree in biological and medical illustration. This is not the best quality picture of them, but it becomes blog-worthy by virtue of the cat.
Being starved for attention, Sphinx has been shoving herself awkwardly into the mix. I managed to catch her mid-glare with the flash, looking as if she were shooting lasers via the tapetum lucidum.