Thursday, May 28, 2009

Saying goodbye to the sewing machine, but not for long :(

Well, my machine is acting a little funny lately. (I do, of course, mean my sewing machine. About my favorite machine in the house. Her name is "Sassy Pfaffy" for those who don't know, which is pretty much everyone.) Just needs to be tweeked more often than normal. I was working on some curtains, and it kept bunching up the stitches. So I brought out some scrap fabric of the same weight and tested every tension number on Sassy, and couldn't fix the problem. I rethreaded, rewound the bobbin, and couldn't fix it. Since the fabric I was working with was very heavy, I thought I'd switch to a different project, another dress for Silje. It worked fine in the straight stitch, but when I tried the zigzag stitch, it was like watching someone die on a heart monitor. Zig zag zig...straight...zag...straight straight straight...zig, and then just a straight line.

So I've seen it coming for well over a month, but have been in denial, but I believe it's time for Sassy to spend some time at the "sewing machine spa" down on Lincoln Ave. Well, they don't call it that, but that's what I'm telling her. They'll just give her a little tune up, and fix the problem, which I'm pretty sure is just an adjustment to the tension plates. (I know if I went to a spa I would need some tension plates adjusted too.) I don't know how long they'll keep her, but I hope not too long. Sewing is my therapy, and I'm as nervous as a chronic patient who knows his doctor is going on vacation.

But I have some other hand sewing projects that need to be done in the meantime, so hopefully I won't miss her to much! Anyone want a hint as to Silje's handmade birthday present? I've given her handmade things before, but it's never been the "big gift" like it will be this year. Mind you, this is just part of it...a hint. The food is unstuffed and I haven't clipped thread yet so it's still messy.

And for those of you who like to read into things, here "might" be more of an idea for what "may" be in store. (There's one more link but it's password protected, and who knows if I'll even get it done!) But shhhh! Silje doesn't know, and since she's not allowed on the computer she won't know, right?

And here's a quick morning project I did a few days ago. It was so nice outside I wanted to hang the clothes out to dry. Then I remembered I had run across a clothespin apron tutorial online awhile back that I had saved. So in the time it took my front loader to wash 2 loads of laundry, I whipped out this baby:

I got the tutorial from here.

O Sassy, how I'll miss you!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tuesday Ramblings

I'm sorry I haven't blogged in a few days. Life got really busy there! All of that gorgeous weather kept Knut out and in the fields. But, just before the rain yesterday, they planted the last of the soy beans, and this gentle rain is perfect. So with planting season done, I might have Knut back in the evenings, which I'm looking forward to! We spent most of yesterday evening cleaning, laundry started to pile up, clean and folded in our bedroom. You know it's bad when you don't even stop by any of the dressers to look for clothes, but just go to the pile in the bedroom.

Yesterday was so productive, even before Knut got home. I got all the bedrooms cleaned and vacuumed all the bedrooms, changed the sheets, cleaned out the back hall closet (which meant I removed all the winter boots, took out all shoes not belonging down there or don't fit the kids, took the magic eraser to all the scuff marks on the wall, washed the floor) did 6 more loads of laundry, cleaned off the piles of clutter on the kitchen counter and the back hallway, and took a quick nap. I'd say a good morning.

But the weekend! It was Knut and my 10 year reunion from our high school graduation. There weren't many from out of state, but still, it was really neat to get together! It's hard to believe it's been 10 years, but then again, not that hard because so much has happened since then. Some were married with oodels of children, other were married with no kids, and still others were single and working or going on mission trips. It was so much fun to catch up.

It's funny that some of us have kept in touch through blogging. I know when I saw Ryan and Amy Garvin there, with their little girl, Paisley, I felt almost star struck, as I only knew their baby through her blog, and was excited to meet her in person. Most of us are facebook friends, and did much of the reunion stuff through facebook. It's a new age, isn't it? I'm still of the generation when I remember my first email account, back when I was about, hmmm....13? I know we had moved to AZ, so I was older than 11. I still have never texted.

I wonder what it will be like for our kids. When will we let them have their own phones, and when will we let them on the computer? (I know the PC commercials have a 4 year old sending an email, but we have still not our kids on the computer yet. Silje has done a few games in my lap, but that's about the extent of it.) There are some things that we know our kids might have the ablity to do, but not yet the judgment to handle it. Just little things like teaching them the controls for the t.v. because they might think that since they CAN do it that SHOULD do it whenever they want.

I'm pretty sure that they'll catch up in the computer world pretty quickly, and don't think we're holding them back at all. Plus, kids should be spending their time playing with actual toys and being outside, rather in front of another screen.

I suppose we'll have to figure out computer rules when Silje starts school. My first gut feeling is no more and 30 minutes a day, or homework only to begin with. When she wants to go on the internet, I'm going to have to be over her shoulder for the first few months, and then after that, have all of her passwords. I think gradually, she'll get more freedom, but for now, she's not even 5. 5 year olds don't get freedom. I don't know. Hopefully by then we'll have enough money for a laptop, so she can only be on the computer at the kitchen table when I'm doing dishes or cooking or something.

I know for most parenting things, I like to see what previous generations have done, but in this case, I think that most kids have taught their parents about the newest technology, leaving the parents at a terrible disadvantage. I sure hope Knut and I can stay ahead of technology that our kids are learning, so we can protect them from the exploitation of those technologies.

Wow, I just went from talking about cleaning, to reunions, to kids on the internet. You never know where a blog entry will take you, I guess!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Dirt is Dirty and Other Funny Quotes

First, before I tell the quotes I'll post a 2 pictures of the kids' chalk drawings today, because I've found I like posts with pictures. They were having a contest to see who could make the biggest picture. Silje drew a unicorn with a princess riding it. (We've made up a whole slough of stories together about Princess Silje and her magical horse that takes her anywhere.)

David got points for not leaving any blank spots in his picture. For awhile, he drew people, but he's back now to just blobs of color. I remember when Silje was 2 1/2, I asked what her painting was, and she rolled her eyes and said, "Mom, it's an ABSTRACT painting. It's not supposed to be anything." That's our girl. Overarticulate and always explaining to her mommy the way things are. On the other hand, the last picture David drew for Knut, was of Knut and me, with a big blue blob inbetween us. He pointed out Mommy and Daddy, but when asked what was inbetween us, he simply responded, again with the eye roll "It's blue." That's our boy. Straight and to the point, never overlooking the obvious.

Silje is now reading where ever she goes. She just can't help herself. We were in a mall today munching on hot dogs from DQ after Elias' portraits were taken. Silje looked behind me and read "Foot Locker." Her eyes got huge and she said "Mommy! That place says 'Foot Locker!' I don't want to go in there or they'll lock up my foots!"

When playing at the dinosaur play land, David hit it off with another boy and they were running around. I overheard Silje approaching the little boy in the tunnel, as she was a little disturbed that David didn't know his' friend's name, and saw no reason for an introduction. Here's how it went:
"Excuse me, my name is Silje. You see that boy you're playing with? That's my brother. His name is David. What would your name be?" She is always careful that matters of ettiquette are never breached even in such casual encounters as the mall playground. I don't know why I think that's so cute!


This evening after brushing the kids' teeth, and before they were in bed, I wiped down their arms and face with a warm washcloth, just like my mom used to do on nights when we didn't take a bath. (I always remember how good that felt!) Anyway, David, asks 'why?' to about everything. I told him to come over so I could wipe him down with a washcloth. "Why?" He asked.

"Because you're dirty!" said I.

"Why am I dirty?" said he.

"Because you played in the dirt today." said I.

He paused a moment, and then, with the brightness of a huge revelation in his eyes he exclaimed: "Mommy! Dirt is really dirty! I never knew that!"


And also today, I said "Hi Elias!" And he said "eeeeeebbgghhhaaaaa[squeal]...[giggle]...[grin]...[look of adoration]"

And I laughed. Sorry, I just didn't want him to feel left out for not having a quote.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

6 month stats

Well, as promised, here the update from Elias' doctor's visit this morning. He is 19 lbs, 1oz. and 26" tall. I was certain he would beat Silje's record in our family, of being 20 lbs by 6 months, but alas, he is not quite as fat as she was. On the other hand, as my mom pointed out, he came a month early, so maybe we should weigh him in a month before we say who was the chubbiest of my babies!

He was a champ getting his vaccinations. He only cried for about 3 seconds. They also took a few drops of blood for an iron check, and he didn't even cry at the technician taking it from him. He just smiled and cooed at her. What a flirt!

Despite being a preemie, he is meeting all of his milestones, without adjusting his birth date. We are so blessed to have such a healthy baby. Spending some time in the hospital this winter has really made us so grateful that all of our kids are so healthy! O, and he is in the 25% percentile for height, and 75% percentile for weight. (The Dr. joked that he's 3 times as wide as he is tall!) That is a comparison against other full term 6 month olds, so that's pretty good! Silje was always in the 90% for height until recently, but my boys have always fallen in somewhere between 15-25% for height. Go figure.

Praise God for good health!

Friday, May 15, 2009

6 months already!

Why are these 2 sideways? I don't get it.

Happy half-birthday Elias! It was 6 months ago that you surprised us all with your early arrival. You are now rolling over every way, eating baby food, grabbing everything within reach, and telling us amazing stories in your own little language. You have endeared us all. We love you so much!

6 month stats will be reported on Tuesday after his doctor's appointment.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Supper is Hilarious!


Diaper swap package arrives!

My swap package arrived today! As agreed my swap partner sent me 2 embroidered pocket diapers, and she surprised me with a matching terrycloth embroidered bib too!

This adorable monster one is celery colored with blue snaps. Didn't she do a great job?

And here's the tractor diaper! I left it opened ended as to what she could embroider on it, but she wanted some ideas. I suggested maybe something farm related, but nothing John Deere (as we're more of a Case/New Holland farm) so she was sure to make the tractor not green!

And here's the cute bib that she made just as a gift!

What do ya think?

The kids wanted to have Elias model the tractor one right away

Here's what I call the "baby chip n dale" picture

I'm not sure who was getting more into or Silje and David! I'm pretty sure those who use disposables don't have this much fun.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Well I haven't posted anything about the projects I've been working on. With spring cleaning in the air, I've gone through all my old clothes, and then went through the ones I planned on donating, and pulled out the cotton ones that I think might look pretty good in a scrap quilt. So I've been spending a bit of time cutting up some of my old skirts into strips of fabric, to feed my quilting scrap stash. I use many of the ideas in storing scraps from the most awesome scrap quilting site that I have come across. I have been cutting up everything into to 2" strips (for a future "hidden spools" quilt), 2" squares (for a future/semi working on irish chain quilt), strings (anything less than 2" for a string quilt that I haven't picked a pattern for yet) and keeping the crumbs for a "who knows, maybe never" crumb quilt. As a bonus, I've been able to salvage buttons and zippers for future projects. I know...I am so weird.

And these are some roman shades that I'm sewing up for my aunt. As much as I love to sew, I'm beginning to think I don't like to do it for money. (How dumb is that?) When money is involved, I over think it, I worry about it, I procrastinate it. I think I calculated the dimensions of these about 50 times. But, this is almost done, and in the end, I'll have more money, that will either go to pay off student loans or more likely, buy me more fabric.

Other projects? Well, I don't have pictures of them, but I've been knitting up some more wool soakers for a diaper swap on my diaper sewing diva board. (We send each other diaper related items in a swap. It's way too much fun, and yes, there are others out there just as weird as me and we have found each other on the internet. My swap partner is making me some machine embroidered pocket diapers. I'll have to post pictures when they come.)

And finally, I have been working in my spare time at the ongoing grandmother's flower garden quilt that Silje will have some day. Not ready for pictures yet...but soon.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Rolling over both ways!

Guess who can roll over from back to front now! Well, at least I'm guessing he can. I've set him down 3 different times on his back, and then a few moments later I find him on his tummy, with no idea how he got there. (Well...I suppose I have some idea.) He's starting to get really frustrated when toys are just out of reach. I think it's just a matter of time before he puts the back to front and front to back rolling together land figures out how to get places. He's getting so big!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Another Not Me Monday!

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.
Since I got such good feedback last time, I thought I'd take another stab at it.

I did not talk to my husband on the way to church yesterday how I wish that certain people would stop holding onto their grudges and stop bringing up things that happened years ago, because they are no longer relevant. I did not, moments after saying that, complain to my friend when we got to church, about Knut not living up to my par on previous mother's days...something that was dealt with years ago. I would not be that hypocritical.

I did not completely forget that this morning was the once a month amazing "a little break" put on by a local church where I get to drop the kids off from 9-11:30am and do whatever I like. Silje did not ask me at 11:38 this morning if we were going to a little break, and when I realized that we missed it, I didn't just say it must be on a different morning, so that she wouldn't throw a tantrum because she has so much fun there. Nope, not me!

I did not actually stay in my pajamas and bath robe all morning and actually dare to walk outside to get the mail in that getup just before lunch. Nope, not me!

And when David wet all the way through his pull-ups (that he wears at night) so much so that his sheets were all wet, I did not, in the middle of the night, just change his pants and put down a towel for him to lay on until morning. That's disgusting.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Funny Quotes

I made Chicken Cordon Bleu for the family (don't get too impressed. It was something I got in the freezer aisle for nights that I don't feel like cooking.)

David: What is this, Mommy?
Me: chicken cordon bleu.
Silje: Mine is chicken cordon pink!


Round 2:

On the way to church, a car passes us David says, "Daddy look! That car is wasting lots of money on gas!"

I can't think of anymore, but I'll keep my ears peeled.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

What's up?

So I realized that I haven't blogged in about a week, and thought that I should share what's been going on. I had to look back through my pictures from the last week to remember. I've been busy coming up with a new kind of normal. Partly because we're living with a dog now, and partly because Knut is busy doing field work now, so he is out of the house by 7, and doesn't come home until 10 or 11pm. I've thought about it several times, because people compare it to being a single mom for a few weeks. I've come to believe it's nothing like that. Sure, I don't have to work outside the home like most single moms do, but I have to drop everything and bring him food out to the field once a day or so. I suppose I could pack him something cold, but that gets old after a period of time, and the kids never see their daddy that way. I still have to do his laundry, wash his dishes, etc. I don't at all mean that I would rather be a single mom, but I will admit that at times it gets hard.

I've been calling my papa a lot asking for dog training advice, as he has trained several excellent dogs. Frustrated with Lina one day, I was talking with him, and he thought I may be overworking her, since she's still a puppy, and suggested I let her have more alone play time, and shorter training "sessions". The only place for her to be alone and play is tied up in the yard. She has one of those zip line things and we have a little built in doghouse by the summer kitchen. Although she whines when she's out there, she's always much better once she comes back in. I was telling my sister that I feel guilty putting Lina out there, but I keep reminding myself, she's a's okay. Really, she's only out there by herself a few mornings a week when we're in town, and I put her outside between supper and bedtime...about 2 hours. I've found that feeding and getting the kids to bed is much easier without her excitement rubbing off on them. Once all the kids are in bed (Elias now has the same bedtime as the Silje and David! Yeah!) Lina and I play, and then she lays on my feet while I work on some project (or...just veg on the couch and watch t.v.).

Silje plays dress up about every day still. She's usually a princess or a ballerina. This day was princess.

Elias is getting cuter and bigger every day. He astonishes me in so many ways. Now that we have been working on establishing sleeping times, I lay him down, and he talks to himself for a few minutes, and then he's out. Neither of the other 2 EVER did that. I had to use the cry it out method, or rock or nurse them to sleep. Either I'm getting better at this, or he is an astonishingly easy baby. He coos and plays so cutely all the time! He does like being in the sling I wear between 4 and 6pm every day when I'm making supper. (I don't actually spend 2 hours making supper. He's just in the sling about that long.) I think that's a fussy time for all babies, though.

I ran out of clean diaper covers the other day, and actually got brave enough to put him in one of the wool covers I knit for him when I was still pregnant. People say wool works great for covers, but I've been too chicken to try it. So here's my report. It works! I didn't believe it until I touched it. He was acting crabby, so I checked his cloth fitted diaper underneath, and it was soaked. The wool cover? dry...both sides...not even a smell. I don't get it; it has holes, like any knitted garment. I'm puzzeled to be sure, but not one to argue with nature, we used that cover for the rest of the day. He had a bit of a diaper rash the day before, and the wool breathed so much better than the plastic covers that we use, that the rash was gone in a matter of hours while he wore this cover. I've heard stories of that happening, and that wool is a good option for babies with sensitive skin because it helps eliminate diaper rash. (The wool doesn't really scratch the baby...wool for baby diaper covers is actually very soft.) So there you go. I bet you learned something new today. I don't think we'll use wool all the time because clothes don't fit over it, and I've heard it doesn't work well if the baby is in the car seat for too much (compression wicking it's called) but when we're just chillin' at home, it might be a very nice option.

Here's David and Elias playing with cars on the floor, a favorite activity for both of them.