Friday, February 26, 2010


I don't think I like change. I like routine. Sure the same old stuff every day can get boring. The girls change. They grow. Mary goes to school, Ellie can walk and climb. I'm pretty surprised Ellie isn't a baby anymore. Wasn't she just born yesterday? Heck, wasn't Mary? Now I'm looking forward and choosing a school for her for next year. She will be going 5 days a week. I think she'll just be going half days, unless she loves it so much that we decide to do full days. It will be odd to have her gone every day, and it will also be strange to just be here with Ellie.

One thing that I wanted to change a YEAR ago was that I wanted to wean Mary. She's only been nursing once a day for maybe 6 or 8 months now. I've still been nursing her to sleep every night. Because it's easy, it puts her right to sleep (like 6 to 10 minutes and she's out cold), and she doesn't seem ready for change. I've seen many references that the average worldwide weaning age is about 4.2 years (although I am not sure what all variables were considered in that figure). I've also read that if all mammals were on the same lifespan (like, if a dog year is 7 human years or whatever) that humans would nurse until they were 6 or 7. I was just looking for a strong reference for the 4.2 years statistic, and saw that a natural age for weaning might be 6 times the gestation of that species, or 4.5 years for humans. Nursing is a two person relationship. In my nursing relationship with Mary there are two people that want two different things. I want to be done, and she does not. I finally told her yesterday that I was done. It wasn't the first time I've mentioned it to her. Last fall we discussed that she would only nurse on school nights when she was 4 (something she came up with). When we got to her birthday, she changed her mind. She still wanted to nurse every night. And so we did. Until last night. I just told her that I didn't want to nurse anymore. I told her I loved her and respected her opinion. I told her we'd still nurse on school nights (which we've defined as three nights a week). She cried. She cried a lot. And she was hurt. She was shocked. I told her I wasn't mad, and that I loved her very much. I told her it was a compromise. That it was 3 nights a week, or none. She chose three. So last night, she didn't nurse and seemed okay with it. John put her to bed. Tonight she asked if it was a school night yet, and I told her no. She asked if she could nurse anyway. I said no. She cried a bit. She told me she didn't think she could wait that long. But then she was okay, and again John put her to bed without any problems. Later this spring, when there are no more school nights, I will be completely done. Mary will be 4 years and 4 months old. I will have done my time and loved (almost) every minute of it. I am proud of sticking with it. I remember how proud I was when we made it a week, and a month. I never dreamed I'd nurse her this long. I didn't plan on it when she was born. I just got through it one day at a time. But now it's time for a change, for a new chapter in Mary's life and a new chapter in mine.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Spring eggs...before and after

So here are my eggs. You can buy something very similar looking to my finished product from Pottery Barn. They are $14 for 12 eggs. I got mine for a dollar at Dollar Tree.

And after!

That glass jar is one of my favorite things. I think I paid 75 cents for it at Salvation Army. Glass is super thick.

I'm so ready for spring! I took down the Valentine's decorations today. I had a few winter things out too, and they are put away as well.

I have my 4 brass candlesticks primed and one coat of paint on them. Unfortunately it's going to take 3 coats of paint, so they won't be done tonight. I'm going to try to get them done tomorrow though.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I cheated on myself.

I couldn't last a month without buying more supplies for more projects.

It started so innocently. There were these candle sticks I'd been eying at Meijer. I liked the shape. The color was....brass. Ick. Well, maybe someone liked them. They were $10 or $12 each. Last week they were 50% off, then this week....75% off! Woot! The small one was $2.49 and the large was $3.24 I think. I've never bought anything new only to come home and paint it, but there's a first time for everything I guess. I have another brass candle stick I bought at the thrift store for $1. I'm going to paint them all black. I'm thinking of just doing them with regular paint (not spray paint) as I could do it at night inside.

But then, I needed candles of course. I thought maybe I'd run to town tomorrow and get some. I got online during Ellie's nap and found a really cool painted eggs project on Dollar Store Crafts. Hmm. When Ellie got up, we went to the Dollar Tree, then JoAnns, then Family Dollar. We took cash. We didn't browse. We got in, got what we needed and got out. If I would have been alone, I would have browsed which would have resulted in more supplies for new projects. Maybe taking Ellie is a good idea! I had about a dollar left in change, so we hit Salvation Army. I found a really pretty silver bowl for 75 cents.

Tonight I primed my clearance candlesticks, and the one I'd had in the basement from the thrift store. In a way that means I'm working on saved up projects, right? I almost went back the the basement to see if anything else needed primer, but figured I should just focus on what I already have started. They look so much better already! I also worked on my Dollar Tree eggs. Mary helped a bit. I think I'll let her finish them tomorrow. At least I didn't just come home and throw the supplies in the closet. I'm hoping to finish up the candlesticks tomorrow night.

I should be knitting. Ugh. I'm not feeling it though. Three pairs of longies in two weeks is apparently my breaking point. I'm only an inch into the legs of this pair. I'm hoping to get them done in the few days. I have yarn for one more pair I want to make before we go on vacation next month.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


I am trying to focus. Maybe I'm just so sick of winter, maybe I'm tired because I have a toddler that doesn't sleep, but I've found myself zoning out to the internet A LOT lately. Way too much. I really don't need to check Facebook/Twitter/my blogroll/my email/the weather 319 times a day. I don't need to check it both before and after breakfast, then before and after I clean up after breakfast. Ugh. It just takes 3 to 5 minutes each time, but that adds up. So I'm trying hard to stay off the computer.

Plus, when I focus, I can get 2!! pairs of longies done in 10 days.

Hopefully they will last Ellie the rest of the winter. I have a third pair about half way done, but need to wind up another skein of yarn before I can continue.

Instead of going straight to the computer and TV after Ellie was asleep last night, I cleaned the girls' bathroom, then dusted and organized my desk. Then I had my TV and internet time. And when I went to bed, I didn't think "ugh, I didn't do anything today! I wish the bathroom wasn't so dirty." When Ellie was awake for an hour at 4am, I wasn't thinking about the dust bunnies on my desk. And I have more time for the girls today because I got those things done while they were asleep. Of course I'm on the computer now, but Ellie's napping and Mary's resting.

Maybe I'll do some more housework tonight. Or knitting. But I really don't want to just sit here for 2 or 3 hours until I reach the end of the internet.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

I must be in love

I am not a lovey dovey person. I'm not usually into Valentine's Day. We've never really celebrated it. But this year, I just felt like it. I ordered John a little gift a few weeks ago. I made him something too. We are going to exchange gifts/cards/whatever the heck he got me tonight.

Mary and I made salt dough hearts. She gave hers away to grandparents, aunts, uncles, and to us. I kept the ones I made though.

I put them out in the dining room. I smile every time I walk in there.

On Friday, the girls and I did another project.

I hung it up on the kitchen.

I finally finished up this bunting last night and hung it about 11pm! But I can cross it off my to do list.

It's impossible to take a picture out the window of course. I made it from the vintage fat quarters that I get from the consignment shop downtown.

I sewed it using free motion stitching, which is the coolest thing ever! I want to do more projects using free motion sewing. So fun (well, when the machine is behaving, and I'm not about to throw it across the room). I'm glad I have a machine that can do it.

It really is no wonder that my heart if full of love, is it?


Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Basement: after...for now

I was looking for the before picture and didn't even recognize this:


Ceiling: not falling down!
Walls: painted!
Floor: painted!
Missing baseboards and other misc trim: replaced!
And there's so much more....the hours spent scrubbing the floor so the paint would stick, repairing some cracks and nail holes in the floor, and replacing the dryer vent. I'm sure there's more. (I guess I should mention that I didn't like the finish on the first round of painting (satin paint) so we painted the walls and trim all over again with semi-gloss.)

I didn't even get a pic of the door to the crawlspace, but before it was covered over by a baby gate across the top, and a sheet of plywood pushed up against it and held by cinder blocks. Fancy! Now there's an actual door there.

Clearly we haven't put the junk back on the shelf over the sink, etc. And the basement was a huge mess when we started.

Here's a shot from by the sliding glass doors before:

And after! There were 3 wall shelves on the far wall can sort of see them. They were just boards resting on some brackets, and one was so close the the ceiling that it was basically worthless. We painted them, actually attached them to the brackets, and made it one long shelf.

I guess I didn't get a straight on shot of the wall where the new shelves are, but this is close:

And one of the shelves John built:

And we still have room to pile stuff on! Woot!

I am proud of us. We thought it would take a month. Then we thought it would take three months. We started in late August, and John just finished it today. That's a long time. But now we know the pace at which we can do home improvement stuff (glad we didn't decide to tackle the kitchen first!) and stay sane AND parent two toddlers.

I think it will be a while before we start anything else. But John got the shelves he wanted. I hope he's happy:).

Last but not least, the granny blanket I made:

I wish the lighting would have been better, but I figured this picture was better than none. It's so pretty in real life. I hope my customer is pleased.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Ellie's first art project!

Yesterday was one of those days. Long, snowed in, no school, tired, cranky kids and a tired, cranky Momma. But then.....Mary wanted to watercolor. I thought maybe Ellie did too. I gave her a brush and paper. I let her sit at the counter just like Mary was. And for ten minutes, no one cried. No one fought. Mary didn't scream "ELLIE!!!! Leave my stuff alone!!!" Ellie didn't get mad because she can't talk.

They had fun! We could work together on something. Ellie won't be a baby forever. They might actually play together someday without me. Ellie won't always be this tiny, grabby tornado that destroys everything in her path. Ahhhh, life is good.

Then, it was time to stop. Ellie screamed. She cried. She tried to tell me something, but can't talk. She was frustrated. She went boneless. She flopped on the floor. She wanted back up. I don't blame her though, because I feel the exact same way when my craft time is over:).

Here's a picture from Saturday. It's too cold to even go out and take a picture today. Just imagine this with another 8 inches on top. Oh, and then another 2 on top of that as it's coming down hard again today.

The granny blanket is done! It's blocked and ready to go. I still need to get a picture. And mail it ASAP. I was going to do that Saturday, but the roads were closed. I'll mail it this Saturday if I have to walk to town. Errr. Darn snow!!!

Now I'm working on longies. Ellie's legs need to stop growing. I have Mary's old longies, but the are too long and about 3 or 4 inches too big around:).