Monday, March 30, 2009

Quiet time

Sorry for the blogging absence, but there really hasn't been much for me to blog about. Things have been quiet around here lately. We've been reading and relaxing and enjoying the warmer weather...though today is quite dreary. I've been reading this and this just for something the think about, Estella will sit and read anything she can find...including sales circulars and my magazines, and Walter has been busy with a big Nursing something-or-other due next week.

I've been going to my classes and enjoying getting my butt kicked...I deserve it really, I'm the one who used having a baby as an excuse for a two year hiatus from physical activities...but the classes have been fun and I'm hoping to be able to keep doing them once Walter's schedule changes when he graduates. I really need a babysitter or something so that if his work schedule interferes, I won't have to stop going to classes...add it to the list of things I need to do...Estella's two and we still haven't found a babysitter. Sort of slacker-ish on my part, but also it just hasn't been entirely necessary up to this point.

We are off to Boston on Wednesday for a quick overnight stay and Aquarium trip. It was completely unplanned, but I decided this morning that if Walter's on break, we should do something fun as a family to get away. Maybe I'll have something more exciting to share when we get back! Happy Monday!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

What the...?

This is not what I thought I'd wake up to. Actually, the plows going by woke me up and I knew my day was not going to go as I'd planned.
The weather on the radio said it was supposed to be nice all weekend with a chance of rain on Saturday...RAIN!...not snow. Was I listening to the wrong station? Did the rest of you know this was coming? Either way, it's here and it's covering everything. It's the kind of snow that sticks to every tiny little branch...very pretty, just not really very welcomed.

On a tastier note, I have finally figured out how to make a decent banana bread! I'm very good at producing rotten bananas but have not, until recently, been very good at using them.
I modified a recipe I found on the Internet and it's super yummy...and I've tried it twice so I know the first time wasn't just a baking fluke. I've been enjoying it with Vermont Soy milk. I know lots of people are anti-soy, but you should all try the Vermont Soy milk. All of the flavors are so good! And it's local!

Estella composed this picture for your viewing pleasure:
She pulled a chair to the window and put her cereal and a book on it and told me to "take picture." So I did as I was told and indulged her artistic whims.

The very serious artiste...
I also am happy to report that Estella has actually started to say her name! Up until now, she referred to herself as "baby" but last night she found out how fun her name is to say and she hasn't stopped since. It's so fun to hear her saying her name in her cute little girl voice...I can't get enough!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

I have a headache

And am therefore incapable of coming up with a clever blog title.

I was looking at all of the millions of pictures on my camera and thought I'd share a rare moment of Estella with her hair in pigtails:
She gets very excited when she sees pigtails in a picture, but will rarely let me actually put them in her hair. I guess she was feeling particularly girly that day.

We took a quick trip to the bookstore today and I managed to spend all of Walter's hard earned money on new books...I like to think of my ability to leave the bookstore with new books as a special talent. This book and this book had some great projects in them and since I'm avoiding making plush right now, I need projects to try.
I also got two other reference books for some reading but I'm not going to get into their subject matter right this moment...

Our ghetto foot bridge through the mud in the driveway:
Luckily most of the snow surrounding the driveway has melted away, so our drive should be dried out soon and we'll be able to remove this eyesore of a pathway. It may be ugly, but my shoes are mud free! And Estella has been enjoying walking on it...perfecting her tightrope skills should she ever decide to run off and join the circus.

Tomorrow we are going to a little boy's 2nd birthday party. I purchased some wooden blocks and a book for him, but last minute decided he needed a bag to keep it all in:
Just a simple bag with his name on it which will also allow me to avoid gift wrapping!

Not much else is happening here. I got my butt kicked in a yoga class on Thursday, and my arms are still sore. I'm trying to be a big girl about it and rest my muscles because I start kickboxing on Monday...and the tires on the jogger have been filled, so running must also start back up...tis the season to work off the winter weight I gained!

Walter has another break after next week's classes and then only three (or is it four) weeks of school left...crazy that it really did go by fairly quickly! Graduation is exciting, but also leaving us with a ton of questions...once again our lives will be up in the air until we figure a few things out. We have a knack for getting ourselves into situations that leave us up in the air and unsettled...I guess you could consider that another special talent! What can I say, we're a talented kind of family :)

Hope you've all had the chance to enjoy the sunshine today - I'm looking forward to a lot more of it to come! Happy Spring!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Spring Cleaning?

I can only assume that Estella is spring cleaning...
She's still a little young to really pretend cook, so she spends her time stacking every single dish and utensil on top of her stove. I figure she's just rearranging and organizing like her Mama!

FYI, the dishes that she got for her birthday are these...100% recycled and made in the US! That's how I justified them being plastic...that, and since they're made of milk jugs, they'll never disintegrate on us :)

Estella enjoying a little reading time in the sun:
She got this Alphabet/ Dictionary book recently and loves to sit and look at it and say "alphabet" over and over.
And of course Peanut is enjoying the return of the sun!
She will park herself in the tiniest little spot of sun for some extra warmth...if she's not laying in front of the heater vent. Look at those transparent ears! She's without a doubt the one who's most thankful for the return of warmer weather.

And thankfully, this morning was the first morning yet that I've woken up and there isn't any frost on my car. It's still chilly, but it's nice to know that spring and summer are on their way.

We are set to go away in May! Yesterday we finally broke down and bought our plane tickets and reserved our car rental for California. I've been avoiding making definite plans...not because I don't want to go, but because I'm so anxious about flying in general, not to mention flying with a two year old. I don't want to be that family that people groan at when they see you get on the plane. Still, I'm excited to go and Walter has promised that he won't fall asleep and leave me to deal with the flight on my own.

If anyone knows of any wonderful things to do anywhere from Los Angeles to San Francisco, let us know...this will be an entertain-the-two-year-old trip, not a shopping and partying trip like they have been in the past. I'm hoping that on our last weekend there, we'll be able to make it it to the San Mateo Maker Faire . I think it's not too far away and it would be a nice treat since I missed the Boston Bazaar Bizarre this year...we'll see.

Hope you're all able to get out and enjoy the day today, it looks like it's going to be a great one!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Next time I'll keep my mouth shut

In my last post I was a little premature in my warm weather praises...the next morning I woke up to snow covering everything that had cleared and frozen ruts in the driveway. I knew winter wasn't over but it's harsh to have nice warm sun coming in the windows and then a day of darkness and snow to deflate my happy little springtime bubble.

As I was taking this picture of Estella at lunchtime, I realized that most of the pictures I take of her are while she's in her seat eating...I guess my only reason for that is that she's stationary long enough to get a non-blurry image of her. So, today you can all see her eating her lunch and just believe me when I say that I do not keep her strapped in her seat all day long!
A shot of my work area today:
Some scraps from Estella's Easter basket that I made from Zakka Sewing, a Living Crafts magazine that I am planning to make the Easter bunnies out of for Estella's Easter basket if I ever get around to enlarging the pattern, some Pickles to Pittsburgh, and another furry beast in the works. I have the antlers turned right side out, but they're a bit limp. I'm not sure how to stiffen them up. An iron on stabilizer makes it impossible to turn them out, and wire would make them a little too stiff and bendable...what about starch? I've never starched anything, so I'm not sure what that requires or what the results would be but I guess it's worth a try...limp antlers just won't cut it!

My quilt in progress is coming along much faster than expected. For some reason this one seams to be easier than Estella's which doesn't make sense since it's the same amount of squares. Anyways, I have all of the strips put together so far.
And some finished beasts:

Hope every one's week went quickly and you all have fun plans for the for me, no plans, so maybe I'll blog again or get some work done, or maybe I'll just be a blob on the couch...that could be relaxing.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Grand Re-Opening!

The studio is back open! I know it wasn't closed for very long, but it was enough time for me to relax a little and not feel so pressured to get work done.

Today I did a little organizing and tidying and sewing. I made this little velvety bunny and put together all of the squares for their first sewing.
I figured I'd better get started on the quilt...I think I'm going to try to get one stage/step done a week, and maybe I'll be done by August! The bunny was just an experiment, but Estella is completely in love with her!

I also tried a little something with some fur.
I'm so excited with how it has turned out so far, and not quite as excited with how much fur there is all over everything in the studio! I'll post pics of this one when it's all stuffed and ready to go.
As for Estella...well, she's sad.
She makes a point to tell us multiple times during the day if something is making her sad, and she often informs us that other items in the house are sad as well. Her sadness requires many hugs and much discussion about why the TV, heater, dog, toy, etc is sad. Above she is crying full on tears while watching The Little Mermaid, which should be considered a happy, special time to be watching a movie, but at each song, she started crying saying "sad".

I'm not sure if her emotions are normal or I should be concerned, but I can't help but get a kick out of her hugging the heater because it's sad...I guess we'll see how long this carries on before getting too worried. Maybe she's just getting in touch with her sensitive side!

Not much else is going on here. We're enjoying the return of natural light during the days, and looking forward to enjoying the back yard when the rest of the snow melts away and the mud dries up. Right now our driveway is un-drivable...there are some fairly impressive tire ruts already and mud season has just begun!

Thursday, March 5, 2009


Thanks to everyone for all of the birthday wishes for Estella! It was a great day.

First, the oven in all of its aqua glory:
Estella has been cooking up a storm since she got it...the first thing she wanted this morning was to "play cook oven"!

She got some great little gifts in this silver tin, which is also very cool...I'm dieing to know what it's actually used for with the two little of some sort?
She has become a champion wrapping paper ripper...I don't know why I bother with paper, she just tears and moves on and then goes back to check out the gifts once the unwrapping's done. I'm assuming that's fairly common for a two year old.
She (and we) enjoyed her cake. I made her Gracie's Yellow Birthday Cake from Feeding the Whole Family, with strawberry sauce and soy icecream. It was very yummy and didn't leave her with a sugar high!
And finally, I couldn't resist these buying these daffodils while I was waiting for Estella's birthday balloons to be inflated...I'm a sucker for daffodils, they really are my favorite flower. And they fill the whole kitchen with their scent...makes me think springy warmer weather thoughts!
That's it for today. Thanks again for all of the Estella Birthday Love!!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Birthday Girl

Just wanted to put up a quick post so I'm not the only one in awe of what 2 years time really does.

The day we came home, so not quite 2 days old:
One year old:
And today, on her 2nd birthday:
I can't believe where I was and what I was doing 2 years ago...pain doesn't even describe it, but neither does amazing. She gave me such a hard time coming into the world, that if I keep in mind what a hard day her birthday was, then maybe all of my other "hard" days won't seem quite so bad...

She really is amazing though, and well worth the effort!

I'm sure there'll be another post today or tomorrow so you can all see her with her new gifts...Walter's at school, so we're waiting until this afternoon for presents...

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

the good, the bad and the ugly

I'll warn you all right now that the "ugly" is the pictures on this post...crappy winter light=bad pictures.

The "bad" is that I have officially given up and closed my studio door. I have incredibly discouraging crafter's block and I am taking a mandatory couple of days off.
I'm hoping that over the next few days, I'll find some inspiration and go back into the studio fully refreshed... Here's to dreaming! I think I'm in such a bad funk that everything I try to make has funk energy attached to it and fails...maybe when my mood improves, so will my usually works like that for me.

The "good" is that H&R Block waved their very expensive magical fingers and found us a tax refund! We were almost positive we were going to have to pay in this year with the two rentals and the two businesses, but apparently if you pay your tax preparer enough money to figure out your taxes, you can get money back.

We are very relieved to be getting some unexpected money and will most likely use it towards our Cali trip...which we are trying very hard to figure out arrangements for. Traveling with a kid is a ton of extra planning. You have to worry about things like Pack and Plays and car seats...gone are the days of spontaneity and traveling light!

Tomorrow is the big Birthday, so I'll at least be able to post about that since there won't be any crafty news to share. I still have a few final things to finish on Estella's gift...nothing like waiting 'til the last minute.

She's been practicing brushing her teeth just in case I change my mind and start giving her sweets!
Oh, this is my 100th post!! That's a lot of meaningless babble I've sent out into Cyberspace...hope you've all enjoyed it!