Saturday, January 17, 2009

It's a Hair Chilly Up Here

If it's a hair too cold outside, you can always make a snowfoam man inside.Surely I must be kidding about the cold, eh? Um, no. Just check out that temperature! All the schools had been closed and Little Gym for K- was even cancelled!
Oh look, I'm not proficient with the whole screen shot thing, but I did get a picture of my monitor. It says it's cold. The red part? We live there, as well as Janeen at My Story and Natalie at The Cybyk Times. It could be colder. We could be in Milwaukee like friends of ours or in Minneapolis, like the daughter of our church secretary. It was -13 F there the other day. Ugh.

When Hubs and I met, it was -25 F. The university we attended was THE ONLY place open. Our University President thought there would be a heat wave at noon. There wasn't. I remember the -25 F. Add a wind chill on top of that. If memory serves, it felt like -47 F. That isn't so toasty. (BTW, that was January 1994.)
It is so cold right now that we have ice forming on the inside of our windows. Grant you, this is the wind side of our house. The front of our house always gets hammered by weather.
Our windows aren't old. When it gets this cold, there is only so much windows can do.

But look! Stinky is being kept safe in the Polly Pocket house.
Don't worry. Jabba is close behind to make certain that his little pumpkin muffin is kept safe in the land of Polly's and their many tiny, rubbery clothes.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Double Play Dates and the Big Purges

K- was off school yesterday, so I decided to schedule our friends to come over and play. We had one set that we needed to do belated Christmas and belated birthday with. The other set we just needed to hang with.

The hang with friends came over at about 10:30 AM. We mommies sat downstairs and went through K-'s boxes of clothes that I had from birth up until about last year. You see, we thought that we were going to adopt another baby, but that just wasn't in the plan. So, I kept everything and I've been holding off on going through everything because it is 4 years worth of clothing. We've found a body to put this past years worth of clothes on. We sorted, the kids played. We had a great time.

They left and we had about a half hour in between. Our other friends had to bump their time up, since my friend H- has been having some health issues and needed to run to the doctor to have them checked out. She was there and back in a flash with no real answer to her question and we celebrated birthdays and Christmas. We had cake. It was all good. We went downstairs to play and as she was watching over her 2 year old, I was talking to her from the purge pile as I bagged more stuff for more children.

Then she went white. Her eyes went kind of peaky (as mom would call it.) She didn't look well. She excused herself to the bathroom. It had been a while and I was going to check on her when I heard muffled cries from the kitchen. My friend was lying in the middle of my unmopped kitchen floor. She was ill. She decided to lie on the kitchen floor because it was cold and it would make her feel better. After about a half hour of that, she decided to move to the couch then off to the bathroom. Oh, that poor girl. She was so ill. I kept checking on her through the door, but there was nothing I could do. I mean, I'm sure that she didn't want me trotting in all the while she was being ill. She came out and announced that she felt well enough to attempt a drive home. I followed her and we did get her there, but oh my goodness I felt bad for her. Her husband was soon to follow home, as he had gotten my "your wife is lying on my floor" distress call.

(At my last phone call, she was in the bath. She's doing okay, I guess. I'll call again in the morning since I've actually written this post Thursday night.)

Of course, being the germaphobe that I am, I came home and did a hazmat cleaning on the bathroom (I cleaned it already in the AM, with no time to mop.) I Lysol'd so much that I ran out and had to get more (in 7 F weather.) I bleached, mopped, scrubbed and wiped. If she had anything contagious and we get it, it isn't for my lack of cleaning.

You know the funny part? K- was off school today because it was Bleach Down the School Day. (She wouldn't have had it anyway because the schools were called off for cold.) The stomach virus is rip roaring through her class and I was so relieved that it was bleaching time. God does have a great sense of humor, though. Funny indeed.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Tagged: Honest Scrap

Jamie passed this one along. Tagged me, actually. Here is her list.

Here are the rules. I'm going to break them, but I'll list them.

A.) First list 10 Honest things about yourself - and make it interesting, even if you have to dig deep!
B.) Pass the award on to 7 bloggers that you feel embody the spirit of Honest Scrap. (I don't know enough people for this one, but y'all get to read about me, 'kay?)

1. Having lost a child gives me a different view on things. Having almost died in that process has added to that different view. Sure, I still get worked up about stuff, but I look at things a little different. Things that I was saving for God only knows what reason, I use them. A box of beautiful Crane stationery isn't going to help me if I'm not here. (That was the gift that I had been saving.) Candles are meant to be burned. Dishes are meant to be used. People are meant to be cherished. These are things that I learned from that. The big lesson learned? Take it in, process it and let it go. I need to remind myself of it, though.

2. I don't look forward to telling K- about all of the pieces of her birth mom's history. I don't look forward to telling her that her first mom has HIV now. I don't look forward to sharing with her that she abused drugs while pregnant with her. She had numerous jail stays while pregnant with her. I don't look forward to telling her that she has other siblings that she most likely will never meet.

3. I hate that no matter how hard I've tried, I cannot cure my husband's digestive illness. We don't know exactly what it is, but we do feel that it is bacterial. He just keeps getting dumped into the IBS pile, but no one does investigation. Sure, he had an endoscopy and a colonoscopy, but when the last doctor told him that "[he] should be happy because he has a great wife, great child and great life and that he has to go out to tell the people in the waiting room bad news." MY HUSBAND FEELS LIKE CRAP AND NO ONE CARES!

4. I admit that when I'm in the presence of pregnant women, I don't want to look. I love babies. I love them to their rolly polly rolls and back. I love the women who carry them. I however still have the twinge to wish that I could have successfully birthed a child. It's not at all that I'm unappreciative of K- or her own personal story at all, I just would have loved to have gone the whole way. I would have loved to give birth to a baby. I would have loved to breast feed a baby. I had a friend tell me about a month ago how sorry she was that I missed nursing my own baby. I am too. I can't even tell you how sorry I am.

5. I understand that I did the college gig, but my chosen profession is not one overflowing in money. My husband's chosen profession is not one overflowing in money, either. We did not choose professions that would make us grand money. Our agreement before we married is that we would always have jobs that we loved. When the jobs were such that we didn't love them, we moved onto others. We are very happy with our lives. We don't choose to be monetarily rich. We don't feel like we are losing out.

6. One of my biggest fears is that someone will try to steal K-. Yes, she knows stranger danger and all that. She is supervised, but I try not to hover.

7. Another of my biggest fears is cancer. I watched my grandmother die of colon cancer. I just recently watched my aunt die of brain cancer. I had another aunt die of lung cancer about a year ago. My grandmother has stage 4 small cell lymphoma. Cancer is a disgusting disease. I've seen it eat away at beautiful, wonderful people in my life.

8. I fear that I'm not doing enough with K-. I want the kid to have a life, but I want her to succeed. I 'm fearful that I'm too hard on K-, but we want her to be respectful, kind, considerate, honest and all that stuff that you try to mold children into.

9. I take things way too personally. I try not to, but just yesterday I was fearful that I would lose my job. When I came into work, the floor manager told me that she "needed to talk to me and was sorry that J- wasn't there. (My coworker.)" Basically, she didn't want to tell me what was going on and by the time that 2 hours passed, my coworker and I morphed it into someone was losing their job and I blew it out of proportion. If someone complains about the way that I've helped them, I worry terribly. If I snap at someone, it kills me. If my husband grumbles at me, I do take it in a very personal, failure kind of way. I often feel like I'm not doing enough as a mommy or a wife.

10. I stress myself out. The last few weeks I have been wrought with anxiety attacks that have been waking me up out of a sound sleep. Just the other night, I finally gave up on sleep, knowing what the end result would be and went to watch TV on the couch. I clinch my teeth so hard when I sleep that I wake up with a migraine sometimes. I clinched my thumb in my fist so hard that I've done something whacked to it and I really need it looked at. It now will lock and do this weird click-hinge thing. Out of nervousness, I'll crack my toes as I sleep all night long and hardly be able to walk in the morning. I'm generally a good sleeper, but lately that's gone to crap.

So in a nutshell, there is my Honest Scrap. Take it or leave it. It's one steaming pile o' poo.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Works For Me Wednesday: Headband Containment

My containment system for K-'s headbands and sunglasses? A wide mouth mason jar. Sounds tacky, but it works. Just look! We have some headbands that are kind of obnoxious. Those boingy 4th of July stars and rabbit ears don't just fit anywhere. We also have some sunglasses that we didn't want to lose hold of. That box underneath? That would be the original containment system for K-'s hair things. I purchased that when she only had a wee bit o' peach fuzz.

A simple solution to this week's WFMW. Check back during the week of January 26-30 for my Bloggy Giveaway of a hair bow organization board. I made K-'s a year ago and we love it! Do you want more information on Bloggy Giveaways? Just click the button on my side bar.
An example of my Bloggy Giveaway. This is K-'s bow organization board in action. She has the smallest size, but we have crammed many, many hairbows onto it. The funny thing? I can hardly get her to wear hairbows! But, I'll be making one for the winner. I haven't decided what fabric. I'll probably make a bow to start the board out. Just know that this IS NOT the one that I'll be giving away. This is a prototype anyhow and I've tweaked things since then!

Have a great week!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tales from the Trenches: Thankless Children

I admit that I have a child in my life that is hardly ever pleased with anything that she ever receives. She is incredibly vocal about it. So vocal about it that it makes the rest of us around her want to hide under a rock. By the way, this IS NOT K-.

We were at a get-together this past holiday season and the children were all handed presents. They opened them and it was a variety of clothing/underwear and socks. After she opened her underwear she announced, "This is a HORRIBLE gift!" Later, the mother said that she tells the kids that if they aren't good that they will receive socks and underwear for Christmas. But, this isn't an isolated incident with this 7 year old. I've been told stories where she has thrown things at the givers and told them that she just hated the items. She also told a family member one year that if "it wasn't Barbie that she didn't want it." Every year for birthdays or Christmas, this child always loudly announces major displeasure with someones gift. It isn't like this child comes from major riches or wealth.

What do you do in that case? The mother has pulled her aside and talked with her at that point of offense, but I hate to say that the damage is already done. It would also be a different story if it was a one time gig. Let's face it, kids can be kids, but this one just keeps going. Loudly.

Though my child is not perfect by any stretch, she is a very appreciative child. She would be thrilled if someone gave her a bag of dirt. Seriously. She would say, "That was so kind of you!" Then she would proceed to take her shoes and socks off and play in it for an hour. She received a few duplicate gifts for her birthday this year. Her response? She pulled me aside privately to tell me quietly. She wasn't upset. Her words were, "Mommy, I can share it with someone who doesn't have one." In our home, K- is taught that she is to have a thankful heart.

So, what is your take on thankless children? I'm curious. How do you handle it?

Monday, January 12, 2009

CPSIA: Oh heck.

Feel free to follow this link on over to Rock's in My Dryer for the scoop on the new mandates set forth for selling and reselling children's items. All I can say is fantastic. I had grand ideas of what I could do for an Esty store with the box loads of fabric. Let's just say, that apparently my blog will just remain a blog and that is that. An attached internet store. Nah. Not now. Thank you, Uncle Sam.

Jamie at Mrs. Sour Britches warned me of this the other day. To this I say, oh crap. Probably 80% of K-'s wardrobe comes from resale. So let's think about it this way, the economy is in the crapper, people are buying more and more resale things probably than ever and now the government is pulling the rug out of more smaller businesses because there were some corporate dummies that couldn't follow the rules?!


But then, I promise that I will re-read Shannon's post. I think that I'll re-read it a few times just to be certain that I have the rules all down.

And like my recent couch situation, this one sucks too.

Edited to add: I found this article on Clothes seem to be safe, which is a good thing. I have now made a front door display of all the handcrafted children's items at work. I call it the corner of "Shameless Self Promotion." I told them that we could have them there for the next month until we have to take those items off the floor due to CPSIA guidelines.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

We Had "Snow" Much Fun

K- awaiting her turn on the snowmobile.

My sister decided to have a bit of a sibling get together on Saturday at her house. It was an impromptu thing. Bring something to throw into the pot of Stone Soup (yes, a real stone is in there), haul your warm clothing, a sled and come have fun. She lives out with her partner and her two children on 5 acres in the country. The 5 acres has hills and a pond. Thus, they call it The Pond House.

K- and I made the trek out there. It really wasn't that bad of a trip out. It didn't really take me any longer than maybe 5 minutes extra to get there. (It generally takes about 25 minutes or so.) We flipped our offerings of canned garden tomatoes, rice, barley, carrots and bouillon into the bubbling pot and set off to the great outdoors. We had a lot of fun! The trip back was a bit ugly and required my dropping the truck into 4 wheel lock a few times, but we're back safe and sound.

K- and her cousin, J- after having slid down the hill.

K-'s pile of cousins. The bottom of the hill was a bit more sudden stop for them than they hoped.

My brother, affectionately known as Silly, on the snowmobile with his daughter.

My brother and my sister's partner making an igloo with the kids. As you can see, they were a bit inventive on what they were using for block forms. K- is on the other side of Mr. M-, helping him to release the newest block from its form.

Yes, I did slide down the hill. I also went on a ride on the snowmobile with my brother. I had longed to ride a snowmobile. My only experience with the snowmobile was when the Ski Patrol had to come scoop me up after I blew my ACL. That was not so fun and didn't count.

The snow was very deep, smooshy and a path hadn't been cut in yet. When I was on with my brother, I half fell off and all I could manage to yell was "OFF! OFF!" He didn't stop, but leaned the other way so that I could haul my leg out from under the snowmobile and back onto the foot ski thing. Surprisingly, I'm not hurt though I suspect I might feel it tomorrow. I've taken Advil. The scary thing was that it was the ACL leg. I tend to baby that one a little sometimes.

It is nice to live around family, so that we can get together and just hang out together. (One of my brothers was unable to be there.) My sister tended to the pot of Stone Soup, which was wonderful. She would have loved to do the fun in the snow bit with us, but she is busy baking a baby. She opted to keep the wee one safe and tend to the soup and fire.

We hope that you enjoyed your day!