Thursday, February 5, 2009

Fifth of February (Happy Birthday, Bet!)

Cheyenne and Elliott playing Little People/Animals/Circus together-- and they weren't even fighting!

It is cold and snowy here. We should expect this, living where we do, but it still feels a little never ending. I always think of May as the real beginning of warmth, because it is not at all unusual to have snow in April. Therefore, warmth is three months away. That said, I am always pleasantly surprised at how pleasant some days are in April! We did have a couple days this week when it did get up in the 30s, so at least our snowbanks have sank a little.

I actually shouldn't be whining about the cold and snow, since I haven't had to take Cheyenne to school at all this week! Alex's mom has done it every day! I (being Jill's daughter) have been feeling excessively guilty about this, but I realized the other day that if the positions were switched, I wouldn't mind picking up another kid in our neighborhood. Lisa has three boys, so maybe she enjoys a little femininity in the car with her! I offer to babysit frequently, and hopefully there will be a way I can help out sometime down the road. In the meantime, I am just enjoying the slower pace! I do wonder about Cheyenne spending more time with Alex, though. Tonight, she was making a card for Alex, and one for his older brother, Gregory. She was telling Elliott, "Gregory is... well, you know, he is sort of my brother-in-law." (!!!!!) I really have NO idea where she gets this stuff!

Rilla turned 11 months old yesterday, and she is sure enjoying practicing walking and standing! She is doing 5-6 steps now, and standing for quite some stretch of time. Of course, if Mommy stopped being so lazy and dug her out some old shoes so she could actually stand on our hardwood floors without slipping... For right now, though, she's practicing standing on our little oasis of rug in the living room, and she's doing a good job of it! Elliott has a little milestone tomorrow, he'll be 3 1/2!

I have always been a fairly organized person, but lately I have been consciously trying to be more organized and keep my house cleaner. I have always felt a bit above decluttering and organizing advice-- whenever I read a magazine article on the subject, I always did all the things they said to, anyway! I started reading some of the Flylady information (I know lots of people follow her cleaning schedules pretty religiously) and while I don't feel like doing everything she advocates, some of the advice has been good for me! I am pretty ruthless when it comes to getting rid of things we don't need, but I realized this week how much junk I was hanging on to. I went through my bureau and got rid of things I never use-- belts, heavy wool socks, scarves, perfume, lotions, hair barrettes. It finally got through my brain that I changed the way I did my hair YEARS ago-- why do I need all the paraphernalia for hairstyles I haven't had since I was fifteen? I'm also starting to lay clothes out the night before-- such a little thing, but it makes the morning go so much better. It means less arguing in the morning-- Cheyenne accepts clothes that are neatly folded on top of her bureau, but involving her in the choosing process leads to tears and tantrums! I also try to pull supper together right after lunch, so I'm not trying to cook when the kids and I are already hungry and tired and all we want to do is sit and listen for the sound of the front door opening-- DADDY!

All this rambling on to say that I see a difference in how much "free" time I have lately. It could just be that we haven't gone anywhere for a while and no one issick right now, but however it works, I'm enjoying it! I've typed up some of my recipes, and sold clutter on ebay, and dug out my sewing machine. I hadn't sewn anything except for a little mending since last summer. I have been wanting to sew some "corn bags." I bought a corn bag last November at a craft show, and a few days later, I warmed it up for Cheyenne in the microwave after she had been out playing in the snow. She loved it. Since then, The Corn Bag is as indispensable as other people's Blankies or teddy bears. I can't believe she grew an attachment to an object when she was five years old-- I thought that was the province of babies. Anyway, Elliott has been a little jealous of Cheyenne's corn bag, and Marilla loves to hold the bag, so I thought I should make some for the other kids. I am not a crafty person, but it was fun to sew!

When I got out my sewing machine Wednesday, though, Evan reminded me of the insane moment I had agreed to sew 36 pillowcases into bags for Cheyenne's Pre-K teacher. She had seen/heard of a cute idea, where the kids put their hand prints on a bag made out of a pillowcase, and that bag is used to send their stuff home at the end of the year, and the parents have a little keepsake bag. However, she had no idea how the pillowcases were actually turned into bags. I have looked on the Internet different times without finding anything I especially liked or that looked doable with my limited sewing ability. My brainy husband, though, found a neat one in about 10 minutes on Wednesday, then helped me lay it out, cut it and sew it. It turned out great! I was dreading making 36 bags I couldn't be proud of, but I think this bag will be useful and attractive.

It's hard to tell in this picture, but the bottom of the bag is flat. It can stand on it's own, and it's double thickness so it's a little sturdier than a pillowcase. Ginger has offered to come over and help sometime, and Evan says he'll help me, so this overwhelming job is seeming possible!

Today, I finally got to the corn bags, the whole reason I had dragged my sewing machine out in the first place! Elliott models them here. I actually used pockets from an old jean skirt for these bags-- look at me, crafty and thrifty! :-)

Cheyenne feeding Marilla Sunday night. She wasn't feeling the burden of responsibility, oh, no!

A cute kid, even if she's blurry.

She's blurry here from hopping down stairs.

Engrossed little boy one morning this week.

Rilla wearing Elliott's new hat. (I finally took pity on him always wearing his sister's flowery hats and bought him a hat and gloves on clearance at Old Navy.)

Some of my favorite people.

I think she's one of Daddy's favorite people.

Oh, yeah, remember how I said earlier about how I was trying to keep my house cleaner? Well, I had evidence this week that I probably do need to clean some things on a more regular basis. Evan has a little Maglite flashlight, and I had changed the bulb on it the other day but it still didn't work. Evan took it apart and realized there was a tiny piece missing. I remembered where I had been standing when I had taken the flashlight apart-- on our little 12-inch counter next to the stove. Perhaps it had fallen down between the counter and stove? I knew there where a lot of split peas down there-- I had a bag fall from the top shelf of the cabinet last week and they went everywhere. Literally. I am still finding them, lots of sweepings later. Anyway, I decided to pull out the stove to look for the flashlight part. When I first pulled it out, I wasn't that embarrassed. The stove has a drawer for pots underneath it that can pull all the way out, and I do sweep under there occasionally and harvest the stray magnets and matchbox cars, so it really wasn't that dirty. Then I saw some envelopes-- there were three unsent letters there! Then Evan found a check-- a birthday present from my aunt last year. I was really embarrassed by that. It wasn't until the next day, though, until I really scrutinized the letters, that I really got embarrassed. They were thank-you letter for Elliott's birth presents. Not birthday presents, birth day presents!! I wrote in one of the letters about how Elliott was switched to a different oxygen delivery system in the hospital! So, now I know without a shadow of a doubt, that I have NEVER cleaned down the side of my stove. We moved in this house six days before Elliott was born, and there the stove has sat the entire time. I guess maybe I do need to deep clean my house occasionally... But I'd rather sew.

1 comment:

Grammy & Grampy White said...

Wow, do these pictures ever make us anxious to see the little munchkins, oh, and of course, their parents! There might be a wee bit of prejudice, but they are awfully cute!