Sunday, September 28, 2008

Baleful Dog

Look at that face. It's like we live with the paranoid android. When we walk in a room, Ramona will frequently leave- laboriously hoisting herself up, groaning and sighing, and shuffling huffily away, with her nails clack clack clacking on the floor. We took her on a walk this morning, to buy some flea shampoo, and although she was happy to be out and about, and happy especially to eliminate in front of large crowds of neighbors and then stand back to watch Chase pick it up, it's like she knew a bath was waiting for her at home. Ramona suspects that every good thing in life is only the appetizer for the main course of pain and suffering.

I swear we have never done anything to deserve her scornful disinterest (lightened by moments of terror). We maybe haven't been the best pet owners in the whole world, but we're not bad people. She's just weird.

And her Eeyore like demeanor is pretty perfect for putting up with the girls. She would never ever hurt them, and patiently takes whatever sort of dress-up, ear-pulling schemes they dish out. And if we leave the door open, she will always choose to sleep in their room, to keep an eye on them. So overall she's sweet and a great dog, but she can sometimes sort of bring down the mood of the house. Such as on bath day.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Homework time by the Sandbox

After a week of listening obsessively to the radio, I'm trying to make peace with not winning tickets for Fleet Foxes/Beck tomorrow. Hey, maybe it will rain.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Trial Ride

First time out with our new gifted trailer...

A little scary, watching the three people I love most roll along in vulnerable, highly crushable contraptions. Tighten those helmets, ladies! (Yeah, Jane wasn't too fond of hers. She adjusted, once we were on the road.)

I was the only one without a helmet, since I really don't ride my bike that much. Chase, even pulling the trailer, totally, predictably, kicked my ass. He laughed at me and could not believe I was tired. Shut up! Some of us are more slothful than others! And I did your laundry! Wren, however, said from the trailer, "You have a really nice bike, Mama." And it's true, I inherited Grandma's pink Schwinn cruiser, complete with bell and 3 lovely speeds.

The ride was really nice, although we definitely need a little flag for the trailer, to make it more visible to cars. And happily we didn't need any first aid.

Oh Roomba


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Looooong Week

So both girls are sick, no school, lots of whining and dosing of various medicines. Not my most favorite thing to do ever. At this point the kids are well enough to bounce off the walls, but still potential carriers. They have also both decided they need to be touching me at all times. To take my mind off my impending flight to Mexico, here are some pictures:

Finished! I still haven't decided whose baby they're going to. If any of you pregnant ladies are particularly attached, let me know. However, I have most of a ball of yarn left, so these little mittens may just be my carry-around work for fall.

And speaking of fall, our teeny tiny fall garden is coming along nicely.

I don't think frost will be an issue anytime soon (88 degrees this afternoon) but I may very well forget to water them. I'm hoping to add on, and put some more plants in containers, but we may have to wait for next spring to really move in to the yard. Being close to a creek is nice for turtle watching, but not so nice in terms of mosquito population. And I feel weird about dousing the babies in pesticides for some reason... so we don't hang out in the yard that much. We need a fan- I've heard those make the most difference in getting rid of bugs. Any tips?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Works in Progress

First up, Dave and Jessie's -ready any minute I swear you guys!- wedding quilt. Only a few rows left to go, and thankfully I now have 4 episodes of BSG season 4 on my laptop, so those rows will be done as soon as I finish my homework.

I cannot wait to pull that quilt out of the dryer, all warm and fluffed up. It's going to hurt to put it in the mail, but I really loved making it, and I hope that, in the spirit of the knitting from Midnight's Children, that love will transmit to its recipients. And speaking of knitting, I have something tiny and fun on the needles right now:

I double wound that ball of yarn to make it nice and thick and warm for little baby hands. The mittens are also thumbless, but since tiny babies really only use their thumbs to scratch themselves on the eyeballs, it's probably not a big deal.

Tonight is my study night and as soon Chase is home I'm heading off to the coffee shop. I've done most of my housework, or rather, the Roomba has done my housework, and an enormous book called REFERENCE is waiting to be read. I'm guessing it doesn't say this.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Weekend Breakfast

One of my favorite routines, as people who have lived with me probably know, is making breakfast. I like being up before everyone else (weird since I also like sleeping for 12 hours at a shot) and turning on the coffee maker and the radio and opening the windows and flipping through a cookbook to find something good.

This weekend I came prepared with a recipe for pop up pancakes I bookmarked a couple of days ago.

They were really easy to make (Wren stirred the batter) and very delicious. Also, since it uses 6 eggs, these pancakes don't suffer from the usual breakfast pastry problem, where you feel super full for an hour and then you're starving to death before lunch. Or maybe that's just me.

They definitely popped up in the oven, but I might have been clumsy getting them out of the cupcake pan, because they deflated really fast. It's okay though because they made little wells for all the toppers. We had a bag of strawberries in the freezer and I simmered them with cinnamon and sugar and a little bit of butter to make syrup, and then of course we also piled them up with powdered sugar. Very yummy.


Sadly, this is one of the best pictures I took at Mayfield Park this weekend. Both girls are sick, I guess it's been about 2 weeks since school started so we're right on schedule. We should all be well again sometime next May.

This is a picture of Chase trying to dissuade Wren from chasing that peacock. I always forget how many there are at the park. You'll be walking along looking at koi ponds and hear a terrifying honk above you- Surprise! Tree full of peacocks! I love Mayfield Park so much. Chase and I hung out there a lot when we were dating, and he actually proposed to me right down the street at Laguna Gloria. Going there with the girls was really nice.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Miss Bunny

Fridays can be hard days for me- nothing is on the schedule, unlike pretty much every other day, so I tend to realize shamefully around 2 in the afternoon that I'm still in my pajamas. The girls go crazy, bouncing off the walls with no where to go, and I am generally using up the very last dregs of my weekly amount of patience around 8:11 AM.

I try to get us all out of the house and headed somewhere before everyone falls apart, but yesterday our Central Market playground plans fell through, and I needed something to distract me from all the hopeless wailing: "JANE KNOCKED DOWN MY BLOCKS AHHHHHHH"

So hello Miss Bunny- a heavily Hillary Lange inspired soft toy, for whichever pregnant friend is at the top of the list. She's semi-stuffed and unclosed in this picture, but I plan on finishing her up today and maybe popping her in the mail sometime this weekend. Wren has already absconded with her a couple of times, and I don't want her to be any more than "gently used" when she goes to befriend a new baby. For little soft toys I like to fill up a plastic egg with rice, to make a rattle to sew inside, but I couldn't find any eggs today, so she'll just have to be cuddly, instead of otherwise entertaining.

Sorry about the crappy picture- I don't like using the flash, and we still don't have much sun here. I hope I'll get better at taking pictures. In the meantime, rest assured she's cuter (and more in focus) in real life.


What's that I'm cooking you ask? ...


Don't worry though- they're unbleached, organic diapers, so it's cool.

I read somewhere lately that "stripping" or boiling your diapers can clean away all the detergent residue that traps germs and whatnot. Poor Janey has been a bit rashy lately and Chase almost asphyxiated yesterday during a diaper change. He described the sensation of inhaling pure ammonia as "cold, so so cold..." in between fits of retching. Ammonia and rashes are indications that diapers need to be stripped, so I had a boil-a-thon yesterday. Overall it went well. I can fit 3 diapers at a time into the stock pot, and then transition the boiled ones into a cooling pot, and then hang them up. My hands are pretty destroyed though. Can you imagine being a laundress when washing clothes was that intense? I would have enormous cracked red club hands. Hurray for washing machines.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Wren's New Art

So Wren has started some representational drawing for real and it is so fun. I completely understand why other parents get so excited about this now- it happens SO fast. One day she was squiggling and coloring, and then seriously an hour later she was drawing people and telling us stories about them. That's Octopus Man, on the left, obviously. And I don't know the story behind 'One Giant Eye with Eyeball Man' but I bet it's entertaining. She's also drawn "baby Wren in Mama's tummy" and of course lots of family scenes. Usually "under the ocean." A bit strange but awesome. We went out and bought her a special notebook and some markers that were just for her. Jane is not allowed to even look longingly at them.

I think this one might be my favorite so far. It's a bit melancholy, just like our lady. Yesterday she went out to get her bike off the porch and there was a lizard on it. Chase said she got really close and looked at it for a long time and then said,

"A lizard is a kind of animal that doesn't love anybody at all."

What can you possibly say to that? She is the best.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


There's been a some nice fall weather for the last week- I unpacked boxes of sweaters and winter clothes for everyone that I wasn't planning on unpacking for another month or so. And I have an overwhelming impulse to buy canned pumpkin. Is that weird?

I LOVE fall. It's hands down my favorite season, cozy and anticipatory. Lots of bread and cookies and apples and stew, and knitting no longer feels unthinkable in the heat.

So far, though, it's also meant really dim gray mornings. Chase brought me coffee in bed this morning, which was incredibly sweet, but I really shouldn't have been in bed at that point anyway. My body can't tell the difference between 4 and 7 in this weather. The Pacific Northwest is out as a potential home, ever. Also the dim morning means that I can't put up any pictures of the quilt I'm working on for show and tell. I can't believe I'm really about 3 rows from done. This thing has been the never ending quilt, but I love it. As soon as we get some good picture sun, I'll take some pictures.

I love the new fall routines of school and homework and getting more involved in our community, but it can also feel overwhelmingly scheduled, when I tend to treasure and hold tight to any unscripted time I have already. So it's kind of bizarre that I decided to start blogging again. Oh well.

And in lieu of a quilt picture, there's Jane, demonstrating her kind of fall-ish behavior. That particular climb did not actually end in a fall.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hat Fail, Cuteness Win

So I made a hat for Wren yesterday, no pattern, just kind of winging it. And I decided to add little ear warmers, and then I decided to just add some I-cord, what the heck, go ahead.. and then I realized I had made a small wool blend football helmet, circa 1917. Wren was not impressed.

"22-42-hut" or whatever the heck they say. I obviously have no idea. This is approximately 3 seconds before she ripped it from her head and threw it on the floor. Hoping to salvage something, I tossed it in the washing machine with a pair of jeans to felt it. After all, Jane's head is still slightly smaller than Wren's, and she's not so picky. But apparently I forgot the -blend- part of wool blend. Whatever this yarn is, the majority of it did not come from an animal, so no felting. Chase kindly offered to wear it under his bike helmet in the winter- that has been the fate of all my "this has been a terrible mistake" hats. Including the great hat nipple debacle of 2005. Oh well- two lessons in this- run my wearable ideas by the intended wear-ey, and ALWAYS BUY WOOL.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Tonight's Drink

Tuesday nights Chase heads off shortly after the kids go to sleep for Thunderbird, our friendly neighborhood coffee (and beer) shop. It's a nice arrangement since he gets a whole lot of socializing done, and bikes home boozily in time to preemptively down a glass of water and set the coffee pot for Wednesday mornings, and I get a whole quiet evening all to myself.

This -should- be study time, but it usually ends up being -quilt to trash tv time-. My current quilting favorites are Gossip Girl, ANTM (Shut up) 30 Rock, and Mad Men. If a certain friend would ever cough up my BSG, that's what I would be watching, but as it is, free tv on the computer is how I roll. Sewing on the machine is a big time commitment, and I have to prepare by getting all the supplies out and ready, so I don't have to waste precious crafting time tearing the house apart for a red button I KNOW I HAVE SOMEWHERE DANG IT.

Handquilting, embroidery and knitting, in comparison are crafts that do not take up your whole head most of the time, and they are generally pretty portable. The kind of knitting I do anyway, which is not chart reading or lace making or anything that would require a 6th grade math education.

That is all to say, that quilting + trash tv needs a drink accompaniment, and tonight I realized we were mixerless. I was so inspired by Christie's birthday party that I decided to try making a very simple tonic with my key lime supply (laid in for Chase's dad's soon-to-be birthday pie). It was fantastic, although seedy. I need to make sure to get those seeds out next time. Let the slightly drunken quilting commence! I swear, Ruperts, you won't know the difference.

Frankhoma Ware

One upshot of the hurricane season so far is that I'm seeing more of my family. My dad came to visit last weekend and he brought the long lost box of Frankhoma Ware from my grandmother's house. Some of it chipped, but only one plate (a Mayan-Aztec pattern) was actually broken. I've been drinking my coffee out of the big green mugs every morning- almost my very favorite green. It's comforting and nice to know that these are the dishes my grandmother served every meal on for over 50 years.

And the awesome milk carton vase is from a batch of pottery my cousin Mark picked up in Bali. The glaze looked so much like the Frankhoma that he shipped 2 cases home, and then brought it on the plane from San Diego. We put it all on the ground outside, and sat around in a circle, taking turns picking out pieces with the box fan whirring in the background and my sister walking around with the sweet tea jug, keeping everyone's glass full (everyone who wasn't drinking beer). My Aunt Franny had a heart attack any time a dog walked by, and eventually we took pity on her and moved it to a table inside. I loved the milk carton, and no one else was crazy for it, so hurrah!

Crayon Case

Wren was invited to her first school birthday party last week- it's going to be at Chucky Cheese (God save us all from the animatronic band and the nightmares that will surely result). Wren is excited about the ball pit, and Chase is excited about the skee-ball. I am happy to have a present ready to go- a little crayon case, with some blank books inside that Wren helped me make with contruction paper and embroidery floss. I keep a 'paper' needle around, for making little books when the stapler inevitably disappears.

It could be neater overall, and fasten better, but for an hour long project, I'm pretty happy with it.


A little parenting tip at 8:09 this morning- frozen waffles are great for teething babies. Wren has asked for a frozen waffle (not thawed) every morning for breakfast for a week. Fine with me. But today she offered fussy teething Jane a bite and ALL OUR PROBLEMS WERE SOLVED FOREVER. Or maybe that's just how it feels when a fuss-ster stops grumping around for the time it takes to eat a frozen waffle.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Just to put something up here:

I'm jumping the Lazlo Files over here, and shifting it to be more a record of our lives right now. My days at home with the girls- what they're doing and saying, and what I'm baking and sewing and what not.

It's ridiculously easy, when the months are so short and the days are sooooooooo long, to forget all the fun things these kids do. And it's easy for me to get bogged down in laundry/homework/dishes whatever and miss out on enjoying these few fast years with little babies who thing I'm awesome (even when I say no).

So no big deep thoughts. The plan is to post short and often, and only post things I'll want to read in 10 years. So this will probably not be an accurate reflection of our lives. Oh well.