Thursday, January 31, 2008

Too busy to blog lately

I've been busy this past week. I did a layout last week for a Sugar Free challenge at Sweet Shoppe. The theme was "Why Can't I?" and as I had just recently gone through my crochet UFO bin, I chose "Finish Things" for my layout

I decided to make it a goal to finish one of these things & I chose the granny square afghan in the middle.

Even though it is the largest of the projects & will take the most time, it is actually the one I am most likely to finish. Most of those projects are UFOs because I get bored with them. The same stitch, the same yarn, over & over. It gets a bit mindless. I can do quick little projects, like the tarot deck bags I used to make, but larger ones, like scarves, ponchos, sweaters, and afghans bore me after awhile, unless there are changes in pattern & yarn.

The granny square afghan works well for me because every round is a different yarn, they are relatively short and by the time I get bored making popcorns it's time to switch to the front post double crochet rounds, that require paying attention & then I'm done with a square before that gets on my nerves. Plus I have the satisfaction of seeing a growing pile of squares in various stages of completion. I prefer a pile of stuff to an ever growing scarf. I get a greater sense of accomplishment.

I had 8 squares completed,one double round and 22 single rounds done. I had started out making entire squares but then switched to doing them round by round in sets, to increase the randomness & because it is easier to have a skein of yarn and crochet 4 single rounds at a time than it is to have this bin underfoot so I can randomly choose 5 colors to complete an entire square.

The idea is to use up the odds and ends of your leftover yarn & you end up with this totally random collection of colors.  I have lots of yarn. That is one several bins of yarn, just the Red Heart no dye lot yarn. So I have to plan the randomness. I take a skein of yarn & make 4 beginning rounds with it, then I make 2 second rounds with it. Every other skein I also make a 3rd round. Once I have a decent number of 3 round sets made I will start adding a 4th and then the 5th. The sixth round is black on all of them.

It has been 5 days since I made that layout. I now have 28 single round sets, 11 double round sets and 2 triple round sets. I do about 2 skeins worth of rounds a day,over the course of about 2 hours, each round adding half again as many stitches as the previous round.  I need 100 completed squares to make the afghan. You do the math. I can't.

It's been a long day & it's not even 10am

The morning started off promising. I had 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep for the first time in a couple of weeks. No one had any bad dreams, no one wet the bed, no one woke up at 3:15am just for the hell of it. Everyone slept solidly. The boys got their own breakfast & quietly watched TV from 6:30 until 7, when I get up. Then it went downhill rapidly. My mistake, as I now realize, was getting out of bed. Had I stayed in bed I would not have seen that DH had failed to load & run the dishwasher as he had said he would last night. Had I stayed in bed, I would not have had to say "Get dressed" to Havoc repeatedly over a 10 minute period while he ignored me in favor of teasing his brother.  These 2 things combined to ruin the rest of the morning.

I admit having to load & turn on the dishwasher put me in a bad mood. I was expecting it to have been done & was irritated that it was not & now I would have to hand wash things if I was going to get dinner started this morning as I had planned. So I was not being very tolerant of Havoc's failure to respond to my instructions. Havoc failed to respond to a number of instructions over the next 10 minutes - get dressed, put your bowl in the sink, leave your brother alone, I said get dressed, I said stop teasing your brother, have you put the bowl in the sink, leave your brother alone & go sit on the sofa and be silent for 5 minutes, etc etc. He whined about having to do things, fussed about having not heard me, denied that I had in fact said anything to him.  Having reached saturation point I announced "Ok, that's it, since you will not do anything you are supposed to do we're not going to McDs for lunch today." We go to McD's for lunch on Thursday as a reward for everyone getting ready for school without complaint all week. (it started when Havoc only went to school Tues, Wed, Thurs). I remind them during the week when there is too much fussing & delaying that if it keeps up, there will be no McDs.

Havoc collapsed in a flood of tears and sobs. There was much wailing & gnashing of teeth. "You didn't tell me today was McD's day!!!" being the refrain. Oh, so you only do what is expected of you when there is a big prize on the line? If I had said "Get your shoes on now or no McD's today" you would have done it? You are only motivated by the reminder of the loss of a privilege? Sorry kid. I'm done with that. After 2 years, you know what is expected of you in the morning. There are no more warnings of privileges to be lost & there is limited negotiation to regaining them.

Havoc cried while getting his shoes & coat on, he cried while getting into the car, he cried for about 5 minutes of the drive and then he sulked & moped for the rest of it. I could tell he was in a fragile mood. The sort of mood where anything I said or did could set off another hysterical episode. So I left him to get on with it for the remaining 15 minutes of the ride. He sat back there sniffing & not talking.  We get to school, he unbuckles himself, stand ups and drops the race car he was holding and freaks out. Possibly he was bumped by his brother,who was also getting out of his seat, because he was yelling at Mayhem in between shrieks & sobs about not seeing the car on the floor. I eventually get them both out of the car and Havoc sobs the whole way to his classroom & is still shrieking incoherently about the missing race car while I am hanging up their coats. I am calmly (to my surprise) repeating "Honey the race car is in our car. I can find it. It isn't lost. It'll be on your car seat when I pick you up." over and over, trying to get him to calm down. He did eventually stop shrieking long enough to hear what I was saying & to calm down some. I left him sniffing to himself and beginning to sort some cards for his teacher.

I come home to discover that I have no cornmeal, which I need for dinner. I am also really low on gas and today is the 31st& due to the unexpected $100 ER & the $143 car repair bills I am fairly certain I don't have enough to fill the tank up.  Then there will be the ride home from school, where Havoc will again feel the pain of the loss of McD's when I drive by it & he realizes that Mommy actually *meant what she said* this morning &  he will then spend the rest of the drive home crying about chocolate milk and nuggets, setting him up for an afternoon spent in a fragile state, just ripe for Mayhem to torment.  I need to think of something positive to do with him today.  Maybe I can get him to help me with the dough for dinner.  Pounding on some dough usually makes me feel better.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Photo of the Day Jan 21-27

I decided to do Project 365 this year, taking at least one photo a day, ever day. My theme is the boys' toys. Every day I take a picture of whatever toy is handy when I get around to taking the photo. These are the most recent. I'm going to try to post them weekly.

Jan 21 - Havoc's favorite bedtime toys

Jan 22- trains trapped under track. Life on the Isle of Sodor is dangerous

Jan 23 - The gate is to keep our elderly cat out of the boys' room but they play a game called "puppy' with it. The one in the room is the puppy & the other one is the daddy & has to find food & blankets for the puppy

Jan 24-We've had this 4 inch helicopter for almost a year. The fact that it still has it's blades is miraculous

Jan 25-This seems to be a parade of race cars. Not sure why the big Lightening McQueen is on the firetruck though

Jan 26 -Long awaited birthday present

Jan 27 -Another birthday present that is getting all the play time today

Friday, January 25, 2008

ahhhh coffee!

You Are a Plain Ole Cup of Joe

But don't think plain - instead think, uncomplicated
You're a low maintenance kind of girl... who can hang with the guys
Down to earth, easy going, and fun! Yup, that's you: the friend everyone invites.
And your dependable too. Both for a laugh and a sympathetic ear.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Learning gender relations from cartoons

Have you seen the Backyardigan's episode - The Volcano Sisters?

It features Pablo, Tyrone & Austin as the Legendary Luau Brothers and Tasha & Uniqua as the Volcano Sisters. The Sisters are not happy & the Brothers have to make them happy before they erupt. hhmmmm. The Sisters sing this song with a chorus that says "We know what we want, we know what we don't want, so get us what we want" and includes lines about how they won't tell the Brothers what they want, the Brothers have to figure it out with no hints, and they'd better get it right. hhmmmmm again. The Brothers first get a big mask, which is rejected, then a big pearl, which is also rejected and then at the last minute Austin gives them flowers & invites them to their party, which is what the Sisters had wanted. hhmmmmm indeed.

I find this episode hysterical, practical and sad all at the same time. It's hysterical because it is a very funny exaggeration of the interaction between men and women. It's practical because it does convey one of the many ways men & women do interact. And it's sad because haven't we moved beyond these stereotypes?

I don't play this particular 'I'm mad & you have to guess why" game very often with my husband. I did once about a month ago, but that was the first time in a very long time. I only did it then because I really did not know how to express just why I was mad at the time. Mostly if I am mad I'm going to tell him why, so we can resolve the situation. I don't know what he is thinking & I don't expect him to read my mind either.

However, I know many women who do expect the men in their lives to read their minds & it would be remiss of me to leave my sons unprepared for that. I suppose I could consider this episode a teaching moment. Havoc asked me when it was over "Why didn't they just ask to come to the party?" Good question kid.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

It's done!

Less than 2 weeks after the last prompt was sent, I completed my Journal Your Christmas album. I am so pleased with myself for seeing it through. There are only 2 days of prompts missing, because I just couldn't think of anyway to do those 2 prompts. That is pretty damn impressive for me.

I just ordered my viovio book of all the layouts. It's a 8.5x8.5 book. It is a 34 pages long (the 35th layout is the cover), full bleed, soft cover book and cost $15.51 plus $4.38 for media mail shipping (super saver shipping is available on orders over $30). I found the order & book creation process very easy. I'm not sure how long it will take to arrive. According to my invoice they expect it to ship by Jan 29. Media mail can take up to 21 days. So I'm guessing end of February I will have my book. I'm looking forward to it.

Monday, January 21, 2008

The dreaded haircut

Mayhem needs a haircut. He has coarse curly hair. It has reached a length where the back will lay ok but the top stands up, as if he had been laying on his back while it dried - even if he has not. You can't spray it down either. I've tried. Plus he won't stand still for it & I'm not up for chasing him around the house with a spray bottle at 7:30 every morning. It used to grow out smoother & softer with bigger curls and I could let it get girlishly long before I had to trim it. I'm not sure what happened to his hair texture in the past year, but the only way to deal with it seems to be to cut it.

He hates having his hair cut. He will not sit still for a barber or hairdresser. Not on his own, not in my lap, not with the promise of a lollipop if he is good, not with a lollipop already in his mouth, not if they use scissors, not if they use clippers. Even if I manage to persuade him to sit down calmly, he will wiggle, flinch and wail non-stop as soon as the stylist approaches. Once I physically held his head still while the woman trimmed him & he was mostly calm about it but never again. He has seen me, his father and his brother get their hair cut. He has watched other children get their hair cut. He has never been nicked or cut with the scissors. He has never seen anyone so much as have their hair pulled a bit tightly while getting their hair cut. He is not afraid of the noise the clippers make & will admit they just tickle the back of his neck. But he carries on as if there were a million nerve endings in each strand of hair.

I can get him to sit in his dad's lap while I run the clippers over his hair. I use a 1" guide and pretty much just buzz over his whole head until there are no noticeably longer bits left. It looks ok I suppose. But I know it would look so much nicer with a decent hair cut, if someone who knows what they are doing uses scissors to work with the curl rather than buzz it all off. I am hoping he grows out of this sooner or later. Havoc had a brief period where he didn't like getting his haircut either but now it is a matter of pride for him to sit still in the barber chair. Yes, I am saving a bunch of money buzzing his hair myself & he could care less what he looks like but he is just so darn cute when he has his curls trimmed right.

I'm going to try & get him to agree to a trim at Cost Cutters tomorrow morning, but I'll probably end up digging out the clippers after dinner.

Photo of the day Jan 14-20

14 - the King

15 - The best thing about this ship is the anchor

16 - George - he hates rails

17 - We had 4.5 inches of snow today. Get the plows out!

18 - Sledding on the slick melting snow

19 - Weather related car crash

20 - Still snow snow left

Sunday, January 20, 2008

My favorite You Tube video

Reinds me of my pre-mommy days. I used to date the subject of this song. um...actually I married him. :)

D & D song

Thursday, January 17, 2008

almost done!

I did my last photo layout for my Journal Your Christmas album

I still have to do Day1, the Manifesto page and I am going to try & do a page for Day 13, Christmas past. But they will both be journaling only.

I also did a layout with my daily photos (plus a few extra)

We had snow for awhile today! It snowed for about 5 hours & we had 4.5 inches. Then it turned to sleet. Now it is doing nothing. I got some good photos of the kids in the snow. Havoc managed to do some sledding, but the snow was rather deep & damp for it. Mayhem, once he finally ventured outside played with his loaders, plowing the yard. He stayed out longer than I thought he would considering his mittens are too small & we cannot find his boots (which are probably too small also) so he was out in his sneakers in snow up to his ankles. So sometime this month I have to take him to Wal Mart & get some mittens & boots, or maybe get Havoc new boots. One wears 11 and one wears 10/10.5 so the passing down thing is getting to be a bit of a challenge.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

First ER visit of 2008!

We made it 13 whole days into 2008 with no ER visits. I'm starting to think I should have a sign out front like the factories do "XX accident free days so far". Of course that sign would have only read "41 ER visit free days" due to my own trip there in early December.

Havoc was in pain on Saturday, bad cramping. We assumed constipation due to ongoing bowel related issues, possibly he was finally catching the virus that laid DH & I low shortly after Xmas. Only the barest of a temperature - 100.2 at the highest. So we gave him his usual dose of Miralax, some ibuprophin & a heated bean bag. 20 miutes later he was fine. 3 hours later he was back in lots of pain, but once again, heated bean bag to the rescue. This would happen 4 times between 3:30am and 5pm on Saturday. Sunday he was low energy but otherwise pain free. Monday he doubles over in agony during snack time at school & starts panting, which seriously freaks out his teacher (it's his response to pain, he's not having a seizure or lung problems, but if you don't know that it can be really freaky to see). They can't find me, so they get DH to get him. He takes him to the ped, who tells him to come back at 2pm (by this time Drake is over the worst & just crampy & we are still inclined toward the constipation theory, so no rush)

I get home & am now remembering my own experience with appendicitis. I was symptomless apart from a recurring pain in my side. I ended up in the ER because my doc thought I might have a bladder infection & wanted me to go there for more in depth testing. I had no fever, I had no nausea.  We stopped for sandwiches on the way there. They had even sent the on call surgeon home at the ER because 'we only have one patient & we're waiting for her UTI results.'  An hour later they had to page this person to come back & remove my appendix.

Time is passing very slowly & Havoc is miserable but has no fever & is eating a PB&J just fine. I spend the 2 hours debating 'wait for the ped or just go to the ER'? My inclination toward the constipation theory though is strong enough that I wait it out & go to the ped.  He examines Havoc & sends us to the ER for further testing. <sigh> He might have a UTI, or a bladder or kidney infection, he might have an obstructed bowel or it could be appendicitis. He has too many non-specific symptoms & his belly is so rigid the doc can't feel anything. They want blood & urine tests & and xrays done.  Fortunately I saw it coming & packed toys & books. 

There are 3 ERs 'near' our house. 2 of them are actually an hour away and one is 20 minutes away. But from the doctor's office they are all about 30 minutes away. The doc is affiliated with one of them & usually sends adult patients to it. It's one of the hour away from home ones. The other hour away one has a pediatric specific ER department,which the others lack. Its where they send NICU babies & it has a very high pediatric care reputation. That is where my doc sends kids.

So I drive the half hour down there & while doing so call DH so he can come & get Mayhem (it's more than an hour from his office) Havoc is his old self in the car. Chatting with his brother, laughing, playing his Leapster and I am wondering "what the hell?" He does seem to have trouble walking, that makes him hurt, which reminds me of my appendix issues. They get him a wheelchair, we get triaged, are sent to the pediatric waiting area and are taken back to a room within about 20 minutes of our arrival, which is a decent time frame considering how busy the ER appeared. People immediately begin coming in & checking & talking etc... I don't think I went more than 10 or so minutes at a stretch without a nurse or doc checking on us, which is unreal compared to our other ER visits (including one to this ER with Mayhem a couple years back). I've gone as long as 90 minutes without even sighting a medical person at the closest ER, even when my child was bleeding from a gash in his forehead.

We go through the symptoms several times (its a teaching hospital), get a urine sample, DH arrives & removes Mayhem (who is bored out of his mind & earning his nickname), they get a blood sample & the xrays. Poor Havoc, they had to try twice to the get the blood sample & then they wouldn't let him eat anything in case it was really his appendix and it's now 6pm & he hasn't eaten or drank anything since noon. He's sore & a bit dozy and Sponge Bob is on the TV so he zones out to that for most the visit while I read a book. (we don't watch Sponge Bob at home, which makes him especially distracting).

Around 7 we are finally informed that Havoc has gas. Really, really bad gas. His intestines are swollen like balloons with it, but there is no blockage. He just needs to pass it all & there is nothing to give him to help that along. Just keep him fed. <sigh> We know what is wrong, yes! We know it is nothing serious, yes! But there is nothing to be done to help it & he'll be in intermittent pain until it passes. I should encourage him to fart, which he is reluctant to do because of those ongoing bowel issues.

He stayed home from school yesterday because he was up half the night with cramps. "But i did fart a lot Mama". He was fine when he finally woke up but then had some cramps around 11pm. He fussed a lot this morning but I think he was just milking the situation to see if he could get another day off. He's at school now.  He belly is much less distended and is softer so i think the worst has passed. We're feeding him yogurt & acidophilus tablets now to keep down the gas formation in the future. 

I am glad there is a pediatric specific ER 'nearby' but here is the one problem I have with it. While the other 2 have signs saying "copay is expected at time of service' they are both willing to let you leave & be billed for that $100. This place is not. They will keep you there until you give them the money & if you don't have it, they'll help you call family & friends to borrow it from. But you are not leaving without paying the $100. On jan 14th, when you know damn well there is only $24 in your account until whenever the automatic paycheck deposit hits the account on the 15th (sometimes its there at 1am, sometimes not until after 2pm, sometimes they give DH a check at 3pm with no prior warning) this is a problem. I cannot give them my check card & risk assorted $20 fees. I have $11 in cash on me. Fortunately I had my checkbook with me (first time in 2 years I had a checkbook in my purse) due to a book club payment I had to make the previous Friday. Otherwise I'm not sure what would have happened. Its not like DH would have had the money. My family is in Florida, our friends work for the same company DH does & are in the same boat. And anyway, all of them are over an hour away from the hospital. "Hi, hey, it's me. um, sorry to bother you at 8pm but, I'm in a bit of a jam, do you have $100 that I can borrow right now? Oh and could you drive an hour and bring it to me?" Not that I don't think my friends would come through. I'm sure they would. But that just simply is not something I can ask someone to do.

I'm just hoping I can now go 365 days or more with no ER visits.

Monday, January 14, 2008

scrapping goals 2008

My biggest goal this year is to shop my stash first. I have so many kits that I have used once or not at all and I want to get more use out of them. I also have a lot of random element packs that I am not using.

My second is to keep things backed up and purged on a regular basis.

My third is do at least one layout a month using some of my Project 365 photos for that month.

My fourth is to participate enough in the Sweet Shoppe challenges to regularly earn at least a 30% off coupon every month.

My last goal is to get caught up on printing out my layouts & photos

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Photo of the day Jan 7-13

Jan 7 - Harvey's magnet has resulted in a lot of playtime recently

Jan 8 - Lizzie can fit on the train tracks

Jan 9 - the Troublesome Trucks spent today on time out, one of them makes this hideous noise that sounds like rainforest parrots but is billed as 'giggles'. Too much of it & they are removed.

Jan 10 - Emily's tender was discovered in the race car bin today. Still no sign of Henry's tender or the missing Malcom

Jan 11 - Fergus

Jan 12 - Elizabeth

Jan 13 Gordon, the favorite to send off of bridges.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Privacy & Safety

I post my children's photos on the internet. That's them, up there in the header. I do have my personal rules on what sort of photos I post & how much information I give out. They must be clothed, or at least have actual pants on.  They must wear no identifying clothing, like school logos. They must have no identifying landmarks in the background, unless it is a vacation. The photo file name must be neutral, like H086856.jpg. Mostly though, they have to not mind their photos being posted. They are too young right now to understand privacy. They *like* seeing their photos posted. They ask me to put their photos in posts. Someday they may change their minds about this and ask me to stop. I will honor those requests when they come. Until then though, it is my choice.

I had a creepy experience 3 years ago when I had a personal website that I used to keep my family informed of my kid's development & latest photos. I had a photo of Mayhem up that was absolutely adorable. It was an after bath photo. He was doing the gorilla sit thing young babies do & had a towel over his lap & he was grinning so big at the camera. I stupidly had the word 'bath' in the photo. I happened to check my site meter about a month after adding that photo to the gallery & discovered a huge number of hits & links to that photo. From ki.dd.y po.rn sites. Even now I feel sick my stomach about that. I took the photo down, I secured the remaining photos, passworded everything, changed all the names to neutral numbers etc.  Every month web crawlers from those sites came searching for that photo, for months I'd get reports of hacking attempts to get that photo. Which on the one hand relieved me. If they are searching for it, they don't have it. It also made me furious. We changed ISPs & I lost the site because our new one didn't offer it, so I moved to a blog.

But I didn't let the perverts keep me from sharing things with my family & friends. I just have rules for how I go about. I am a digi scrapper. I have  galleries full of layouts I have done. I post some here. But I stick to those rules I mentioned at the beginning. I am also careful how much info I give out about myself on forums. I don't say where I am from. I don't participate in those memes that go around asking you your favorite color, your first pet's name & the name of the street you grew up on etc. Or if I do, I change things. My kids are not actually named Havoc & Mayhem, nor are their initials DS.  Stacey is my nickname. My friend's names are not Mel & Pixie.

There seemed to be for awhile and anything goes personal approach to the internet. Especially with social networking sites & young people. Then a few years later these people realized that potential employers were looking at their MySpace page & perhaps those photos of you topless at the beach or doing beer bongs were giving the wrong impression. Parents went through the same stages, only with children's photos & per.ver.ts. You have to decided for yourself what you are comfortable sharing with the world. Because even behind a firewall, even password protected, the world can still find it if they really want to. I am comfortable sharing clothed photos of my children. They are comfortable with it also, as far as they understand the subject.  But the day they ask me to stop, then the photos all come down.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Photo of the Day Jan 1-6

Jan 1 - a day of trains

Jan 2 - Thomas the Tank Engine - 'he's the one' as the song says

Jan 3 - Calling all engines! Roll Call! We have misplaced Henry's tender, Emily's tender and Murdoch, though we have *his* tender.

Jan 4 - Bill & Ben, the current favorites to take to bed

Jan 5 - Diesel 10, a favorite for all day play

Jan 6 - the 'race car bin' after cleaning up

Project 365 - my version

I decided this year to try the photo a day idea. But because random doesn't really work for me on an ongoing basis I decided to have a theme. That theme is boys' toys. Every day this year I will take a picture of at least one of the toys the boys are playing with or have played with that day (or the previous day). Basically whatever toy is laying around when I have a chance to grab a camera. 'Toy' is open to interpretation - my kids play with chairs, blankets, boxes, rolls of duct tape, random tools, stacks of wood, my Swiffer broom, and other non-toy items. These too will be photographed.  I hope at least once a month to do a layout featuring the overall toy of the month. I'm fairly certain January's will be all about Thomas the Tank Engine.

My camera is having issues offloading my photos at the moment. Hopefully this is not a sign of a serious problem.   I do at least have my 6 year old Olympus to fall  back on if there is a problem & my el cheapo pocket camera as well.  With any luck though I'll have photos Jan 1-10 uploaded here by the end of the day & will probably post a week's worth at time.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Random Mommy guilt

I have never had any of my digital photos printed, except for occasional ones by myself on my non-photo printer.  You can probably imagine just how many photos a digital scrapbooker with 2 small children has taken over a 5 year period. A couple thousand easily.

My kids keep asking me to go through photo albums. Why don't we have photo albums to look at like their friends do?  "Mommy, photos cost to much?" Yeah, Mommy would rather spend the photo printing money on magazines,  bad Mommy, not thinking about her kids wanting to see real photos, not just slideshows on the computer.  

I did go through them by month & year and narrow down my very favorites and then I uploaded them to Wal Mart. Even after the narrowing down I still uploaded well over 600 photos, and have not gone though 2007's photos yet.  I cannot afford to have 600 photos printed at one time, so I had just 2002-03 printed this month.  168 photos, all of Havoc.

They arrived today. Mayhem was so upset there were no photos of him, he was in tears about it.  I suspected that would happen but I have this thing about chronological order. I couldn't afford to get 2004 printed this time. He cried for 15 minutes, "No photos of Baby Mayhem.... where photos of Baby Mayhem? All Baby Havoc" Poor thing.  Made me feel so bad.  I could have not bought Cook's Illustrated last week & and least had his first month's photos printed. Bad bad Mommy.

Now I have these 168 photos, that I had to put in chronological order, because Wal Mart screwed them up and while doing that I ignored my kids clamoring for snacks because "I'm in the middle of something here!" Bad Mommy again. Add to that the "Don't touch that! Put that down!" barked commands, when they began rifling through the stacks of sorted photos.  Bad bad Mommy. I will be ignoring them and barking at them some more over the next few days while I get the photos into an album and get them annotated.  So someday when they are grown they can look at the album and remember:

Havoc: Oh these are those photos we spend a whole week in time out because of .

Mayhem: Yeah, and they are all of *you*

Saturday, January 05, 2008

The need to crochet a scarf

It came upon me last night.

Must. crochet. scarf.

Probably this is due the fact that it is now cold enough to wear one. Winter seems to begin here shortly after Xmas. Sure it is often cold before Xmas, but not consistently. You can't rely on it being cold or snowing until after the first of the year. Hence the desire for a scarf.

It was 8pm when this need came upon me, so I decided to go browse my yarn stash, in search of the scarf I had begun last year at this time. I found it in it's project bag, minus the hook, making the project impossible to complete. I cannot begin to guess what size hook I used to dc the rows already completed. Most of the UFO's in their bags have their hooks or a note saying what sized hook was used. Anything lacking hook or note must be experimented with & failing any easy match is scheduled for unraveling. But I did not feel like unraveling 2 feet of already crocheted yarn & eyelash yarn. So I poked around the bins & shelves to find something else to use.

I have almost enough yarn to open a small shop. I am not buying any new yarn until summer at the very least. A lot of it basic cheap poly stuff, & then there is the Homespun. It is embarrasing how much Homespun yarn I own. This is due to my inability to figure out how much yarn a project will require. I overbuy every single time, usually several skeins worth.

I ended up selecting some black TLC Amore yarn & some multicolored Bernat eyelash yarn. I like the eyelash look but cannot crochet with it unless I have some other yarn at the same time. It's not quite turning out as I envisioned.


It's heavier for one. I unraveled & restarted this twice last night,making it smaller across and using a larger hook, but it's not helping. Also I am not sure what I was thinking when I bought this particular eyelash pattern. I must have had something in mind because I have a half a dozen balls of the stuff. It looks sort of a like a giant festive caterpillar decorated for Mardi Gras, which is not quite the look I was going for.

I'm thinking I need to just drop the eyelash idea, grab a P or Q hook and some Homespun and just get on with it.

Packing it all up

Most of the Xmas stuff is packed away. A 3 foot tree takes about 5 minutes to undecorate & fold up. The rest of it took about 15 minutes.  The only things still in evidence are the strings of lights. They are a bit higher up than I can reach, even on a step ladder. So they await DH's return. Even if I could reach them I'd leave them up because he has gone to purchase a new bin to store them. 

I've told him that I'd like *us* to clean out the junk room closet sometime in the coming weeks. Most of it is his stuff & if he leaves it to me I'll pitch it all. My theory is, the stuff has been in there 5 years without being looked at or missed, so it's all garbage.  I have stuff in there too & I feel the same way about my stuff.  The space is badly utilized now. I want to clean it out, re org the stuff we want to keep & use the regained space to store the xmas stuff, which is now in the boys' and our closets. Plus maybe store some of the stuff that is taking up space in the junk room. The stuff in bins in the junk room is stuff we actually need & use, but it can't go in the closet because it is full of stuff we haven't looked at or missed in 5 years. 

Then there is the spare room closet.....

Friday, January 04, 2008

Journal Your Christmas

Day 30

Day 32

Day 33

I have days, 31, 34 & 35 still to do plus the title and the 2 prompts we will receive today and tomorrow. I can't believe I only have 5 pages left. I really thought I would be much farther behind than I am.

the thought never even crossed my mind

First there was a sentence in Real Simple that went something like
"Another good use for a used toothbrush is to scrub out the tracks of your sliding glass door"
Ok. I know that sentence is in English because I recognize each of the words individually, but taken as a whole it is foreign to me. I have lived in a house with 4 sliding glass doors for 10 years and the whole concept behind that sentence has never occurred to me. Toothbrush? Scrub out tracks? huh?

Then I came across this product
2008 Motivated Moms Chore Planner with Scheduled Bible Reading
So I am not only expected to scrub out my sliding glass door tracks with a toothbrush (what is this, prison?) but read the Bible at the same time?

I am such a failure at this stay at home mom thing. I don't even sanitize my kids toys after other kids have played with them. CPS should be here any day now.

Oh, and apparently for this bible study class my other personality signed up for, I am going to need a, um, BIBLE. Who knew? So the question is, do I admit to the group that I do not own a bible, and therefor get a free bible, or do I keep this embarrassing fact to myself? They did ask. And I serious doubt anyone would be in the least bit surprised to learn I don't own one. But as I am quite likely the only MOPS mom without one, I'd sort of like to spare myself sharing this knowledge. I wonder how much a bible costs anyway? We have to buy a study book for the class. I sort of assumed the bible verses involved would be in the book. For $17, you'd think they would be included anyway.

Bibles are not cheap, unless I decide to take a Gideon's from a hotel room, which is what they are there for as I understand it. But I'd have to pay for the hotel room. Though, at least then I would know I was in possession of an actual honest its the word of God bible and not just a book about the bible that presents itself as a bible. On Amazon, under Religion & Spirituality - Christianity - Bibles-Translations there are approximately 3500 books calling themselves bibles, 1500 more or less that can be shipped overnight to me. Some of them though, appear to be more along the lines of devotional books with bible verses in them, or they have divided the bible up by various topics instead of keeping them in the right order. So if I have to look up Exodus 3:18 I can't just flip to Exodus & go from there. Then there are study bibles, annotated bibles, companion bibles, bibles divided up into 365 sections, daily bibles. And they come in different versions. King James, Standard, New Standard, New Revised Standard, New International, New King James, King James International, and Contemporary Language.

I'm leaning toward one called The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language - Numbered Edition mostly because an agnostic who has read a lot of bibles thought it was a great version, though someone else said it is a slanted translation (what it is slanted toward is not specified) with a narrow perspective. I also like the Zondervan NIV Study Bible. It has great reviews, no one has mentioned it having a slant or any sort of perspective (that came out wrong) and the name is vaguely Hitchhiker's Guide-ish. (Zondervan NIV sounds like the name of a planet somewhere near Ursa Minor Beta, or the name of the band that opened for Disaster Area on Kakrafoon)

So, if there is anyone out there with any bible recommendations for a former Catholic turned pagan taking a class about Bad Girls of the Bible, please leave a comment

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Time for the bi-annual HD purge

First I backed it all up onto my back up drive.  Then I deleted the stuff I don't want to keep - mostly digi scrap stuff I have not used in 6 months and cannot imagine ever using.   Then I burned to DVD the stuff I wanted to keep, but wanted off my HD - audiobooks I have already listened to, the .psp versions of my layouts,1hour scrap product I have created & uploaded, receieved files.  Then I went through ACDSee to burn disks of the stuff I think I may not use, but am not sure about, yet still want off my hard drive, but still want in my 'catalog'.  Then,after confirming the DVDs actually have the stuff on them, I press the delete button.

Deleted digi stuff - 8GBs

.psp files - 6GBs

audiobooks- 4GBs


Received files-4GBs

ACDSee burn-8.5GBs

Approximately 35GBs of stuff cleared from my HD, almost half of it being unwanted or poorly chosen digi supplies.  Many of them were freebies, some were things I have been holding onto in the 'unlikely' folder for over a year, but a decent percentage were things I bought because everyone raved about them or they were on a big markdown. About 6 months ago I resolved to only buy things that I can see myself actually using immediately, only the things I can envision right then, in a layout. Going by the dates on the stuff, I have been pretty good about that. The things I didn't use were due to disappointing previews. So I need to start seaching the store's gallerys for layouts using the stuff before I buy it to get a better sense of the kits. 

My new rule for this year is each kit has to used twice. The price of kits are going up & to feel like I am getting my money's worth I need to be able to get at least 2 pages out of the kit.  I did very well with my Xmas selections. I used Twas the Night 6 times and Sleigh Bells Ring 4 times, the other ones have all been used twice and items from all of them have appeared in multiple layouts.  I spent about $20-25 on all the kits together and will have about 32 pages with them when I am done.  I need to do more of that in the coming year.

I scrapped 133 pages in 2007.