Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Years to you too!

I snuck away from the guests in the other room for a little blog time. We've had Chris' dad and Aunt Mary visiting for the last few days and at the moment they are entertaining Anders. 
I have some ham and cheese puff pastries from Trader Joe's in the oven as I write this and some tomato and red pepper soup on the stove. 
It looks like this years New Years celebration is a quiet one.  

On a different note, there is an interesting lining up of planets happening tonight and I think I may put on a coat and go outside to see what it looks like. Venus was especially bright at sundown which was of worth looking at.

So, Happy New Years to you and may your year be filled with blessings.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

March Forth

I was listening to our new Bose sound system today. It's the one where you can plug in your iphone or your ipod and play what's uploaded on it. Last year Chris gave me an ipod and had uploaded some of my favorite songs on it. It has Patsy Kline, John Denver, a James Blunt song, and a few others. I need to upload more! 

Anyways while I was listening to John Denver, Annies Song came on and it reminded me of our wedding which was three years ago this March. We walked down the isle to the instrumental version of that song and every time I hear it I am moved.  Our wedding was so special to us of course and we always say that it was the best wedding that we had been too. I don't know if the other guests felt that way but we sure did!! 

  We look forward to celebrating our anniversary in a few months but I won't wait until then to honor the vows we took on that cold clear day on March 4th 2006.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Frivolity

Some pictures of our Christmas fun with Chris' mom. She discovered the fun of the Wii tonight. Unfortunately she discovered it when she has to go home in the morning. 
A few favorite gifts were, a Play group handbook from my mom, a dulcimer hand made by Chris' Grandpa who recently passed away, a musical train for Anders and quite a few gift cards. (Gotta love those!) There were many other wonderful gifts and good times.  It was especially fun to have both my sisters and their families here from Texas. I haven't seen them since February and it felt like a very long time!
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas as well. 

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Here are a couple of pictures of our Christmas Craft. These little ornaments were made out of applesauce, cinnamon and craft glue. They smell amazing and I ended up liking the way they looked on our little Charley Brown tree.  
Merry Christmas everyone and may it be filled with the love of Christ and the Truth of God's Word!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Dog Dilemma

About two months ago or so, I had expressed the desire to eventually add a dog to our lives. I feel it's important for kids to learn to live with animals and experience poop scooping, feeding, loving etc.... something that needs these things.  We had two dogs growing up, Sparky a cocker spaniel (who eventually ran away) and Brittany, a brittany spaniel who lived a very long and happy life. They were outside dogs but very much a part of our family life. We also had a menagerie of kittens a couple of rabbits and at some point a parakeet named Rodger. Then as a grown-up I had Bubba the Chinchilla. 

So, when I came across a picture of a little brown fluff ball on Craigslist I sent it to Chris at work, not to convince him to get the dog but to share the cuteness. All of a sudden we were talking about really getting a dog! Chris felt like maybe we weren't quite ready but I figured that now was as good a time as any and why not? 

Chris pointed out the difficulties I agreed with him and then we contacted the owner to meet the puppy. I took Anders to the local dog park that is right up the street from us. She was precious, actually that was her name. She was good natured, cute and most importantly wasn't a shaky scared little thing like I thought she might be. She was a long haired Chihuahua mixed with something else. Most likely Pomeranian. Chris and I both prefer bigger dogs but we had to admit she was the cutest puppy we had ever seen! Chris said that we would never have a dog named "precious" so we started referring to her as "Bitsy".  

The owner wanted 250$ for her. We knew that we would have expenses with a new puppy so I asked for 150$. I figured that if she said 'no' then that would be the end of the story and we would move on.  But, she said 'yes' and we set up a time to meet and pick up the dog. Friday was the day and as the day dragged on and the owner called with various excuses for not bringing the dog at the specified time I became more doubtful. Eventually she called and said she could bring Bitsy over. It was about 7:30 in the evening by then. The original time had been 1:00 pm at the dog park. 

So, Bitsy came into our lives that evening. We had a crate for her to sleep in. Some cozy blankets and the puppy formula that the owners had brought with her. She fell asleep around 10:30 and slept until 1 in the morning. At that point I had to take her outside to go potty. It was FREEZING outside and I was sooo tired. I was already starting to feel a bit overwelmed with her presence and was feeling a little sick about the coming commitments. That night she slept in our bed and it made for an uncomfortable sleeping arrangement as we tried not to roll over on her.

 The next morning, I got up with the puppy and fed her, took her outside and played with her until Anders got up. Then I had to get ready for my Saturday at the salon. I had to hurry because I had been busy since early caring for the puppy and for Anders.  All day I had a sick, feeling of dread. I realized that at this point in time a puppy was WAY too much work. To make matters worse, Bitsy began pooping what looked like spaghetti that morning and now we had to deal with worms! Yuck. I know that this is a normal part of puppy life but it just made matters worse. 

That afternoon I took her to the vet for a deworming treatment and a check-up. Of course the vet commented on what a great puppy she was and how healthy and happy she seemed. (besides the worms.)
I couldn't shake that feeling of dread. It made me nauseous and slightly panicky. Something I have never felt before. It was so strange to feel so bad about a decision that I've made! I had never felt that way about a pet. Chris offered to pray for me which did help the feeling of dread immensely.  I still felt really uneasy in my spirit but it was less so.

 That night we let Bitsy sleep in the bathroom with her kennel and a bunch of newspapers down and we all slept well. The next morning was Sunday and we were pretty late to church due to wrangling the puppy and Anders. 
By this time I had made up my mind that by no means could we keep this puppy no matter how cute and sweet she was. Oh, yeah, to add to the stress wherever she had licked me on my neck or face I had nice big red spots. (that didn't help!) 
Anyways, to make a long story short, we spent a nice long day at the park with the dog and Anders. Went home and hunkered down to more puppy care and carpet cleaning.

The next day the old owner called to see how it was going and I asked her if there had been anyone else that had wanted Bitsy. Yes there was and she was fine re-homing her. Oh thank goodness!!! 
Now I have my house back, I'm able to concentrate on being a mom again and getting the funky smell out of the bathroom! Chris also promised a professional carpet cleaning in the near future!
After this experience we will be VERY CAREFUL about getting a pet again and we will make sure that we can fully commit to caring for a needy little being. It was a messy and complicated lesson. 
Anders and Chris were a bit sad about saying goodbye to Bitsy. I on the other hand have felt fairly exhilarated about getting the house ready for Chris' mom and other Christmas frivolities!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Bye Bye Bitsy

I had to include a picture of Anders trying to keep his toes out of Bitsy's mouth.

Well, we had a brief three days with Bitsy. I'm posting some pictures of our weekend with her and then I'll write more in a following post.  Oh, and just so there is no confusion she is still alive and very happy.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Well, it looks like tomorrow we are going to be adding a new member to our family!
  It all started on Monday when I was looking for cheap or free patio tables on Craigslist. I didn't find a table but I did find a very small and very fluffy puppy! She's 6 weeks old and is a long haired chihuahua mix. Chris and I did a lot of hemming and hawing over the decision but in the end has worked out and I will pick her up tomorrow afternoon. 

Anders and I went to the local dog park to meet her on Tuesday and yes she was a little ball of love. Although Anders thought that maybe she was a large and very scary/amazing bear, and freaked out when she gave him a little lick on the nose and then talked about the puppy, baby the rest of the afternoon. We're hoping that having her around will help him get over his fear/idolization of dogs and that he will grow up learning to be a responsible and kind dog owner.

Here is a picture of the dog we will be calling "bitsy".

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Baby Shrimp, Fish Bellies and Vampires

Over heard conversation over sushi tonight. "I like babies and bellies". (speaking of baby shrimp and blue fin belly.)

Oh, and yes the book is ALWAYS better than the movie. There's nothing like sitting through a high-school vampire romance with a husband who'd rather not be there and a bunch of giggly teenage girls three rows back. Angsty, cheesy, trite and well.... disappointing.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Back Seat Driving

Today while on the freeway I heard from the backseat, "driver, swodown!!"  It was directed at me... 

Contemplating Late Nights and Toddler Barf

I have to admit that at one in the morning I was still up reading Twilight. I was caught up in the story of good vampires verses bad vampires and would have kept reading if it weren't for the baby monitor that erupted in a cacophony of coughing... 

So, the last few days Anders has had a little runny nose. It's been accompanied by a small but persistent cough.  So last night/this morning when he started coughing in earnest I jumped up to go check on him. Chris was still up as well and had already beat me to it.  We went in to the room and patted his back and Chris went to make him a little juice/water bottle (yes he still gets a bottle) I'll save that one for another day... Anyways he started coughing again as I was carrying him over to the changing table and that cough included a nice gag which turned into a memorable "mom" moment that included little bits of broccoli. Needless to say I had to change my nightgown and give my arm a good wipe.  After changing the diaper and waiting a good half hour we decided it was o.k. to put him back to bed.   There was a slight disagreement about whether it was "play time" or not but in general he went down fairly easily.

This morning I slept in until 8:30 (whoo hooo!) and gingerly made my way into what I hoped wasn't a crib of carnage. Luckily all was well and now the day can proceed without extra loads of laundry and lots of lysol.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Applesauce Cinnamon Ornaments

Today we made a visit to Michael's and picked up some craft glue and ribbon and then headed over to Albertson's to pick up a jar of applesauce and some cinnamon. Today was the day to try out a craft I found on this web site. 
It really was a fun project and now my whole house is permeated with the lovely smell of cinnomon. Did you know that allegedly cinnamon is an aphrodisiac? All I know is that is smells like Christmas and it makes me really happy! I should just wear one of these little gems around my neck and take a long whiff if I feel a little low.

You will need

- Applesauce
- Cinnamon
- Craft Glue
- Christmas Cookie Cutters
- Ribbon

Mix equal parts applesauce and cinnamon and add 1 tsp. of craft glue for every cup of applesauce. If the dough is too wet to role out (I had this problem) then add more cinnamon. You can also add nutmeg and/or cloves for more fragrance. YUM!  I actually had to use a smidgen of flour to roll out the dough and I don't know if this will affect the final outcome. Then roll out the dough and use your favorite cookie cutters to make ornaments. Let the "cookies" dry for a few days and harden up. 

**Next Day Update** this morning my whole apartment smelled like cinnamon and the "cookies" are setting up!

Oh The Mess The Mess The Mess!

So, before Chris went to work today (which was especially early for our house hold) at 7:30, he made a passing comment about out bedroom and the "state" it is in. Let's just say that it is a mess. Well, let me rephrase that with saying that everything that was out of place or in the way in the rest of the house somehow ends up in our room along with toys, books, papers, clothes that have no home, and random other bits and pieces of "stuff". (The rest of the house is fairly neat)....

 Now, when we moved into this new place we wanted to make our room an oasis. A place to relax and reflect. My hubby had a lovely vision of a cozy little arm chair next to the widow for me to curl up and read. I pictured a candle burning, sweet smells and soft music.... We even picked out a lovely shade of paint called "Marina Isle" and painted the wall behind our bed. Such high hopes.

Cut to 4 months later and there is no peaceful scene and no sweet smell. Just piles of who knows what and where it all goes! Darn it! I have NO idea how to keep up with all of this stuff!  I mean, when we moved I threw away literally bags and bags of STUFF.  I'm sure all of it was important at one time or another but for some reason it just turned into STUFF and it needed to go.  I like the ideas that FlyLady suggests and I have to say that those techniques have helped me immensely but for some reason the bedroom becomes a dumping ground for all of the clutter that collects in the house. 

So as I sit here and write this I am also planning a major room makeover. We need our oasis! I also am scheming about ways to avoid this traffic jam of STUFF in the future. 

Here are a couple of ideas (for myself) or anyone who is interested in how my room got messy in the first place....

- Always put clean laundry away IMMEDIATELY.
-Don't dump paper work to "look at later" on the little table next to the computer.
-Make the bed every day.
-Do laundry daily
-Don't use bed as a clothes rack
- Toys need to go where toys go in the child's room!
-When I use the hand vacuum, put it away
-Have a place for projects, preferably out of sight

I'm sure there is more and I'll find those when I get to work on this place.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Christmas Craft Time!

I've been scouring the internet for some fun and cheap Christmas craft ideas. Now that I have a two and a half year old we can start doing some fun activities together. Now, I am NOT a crafty person by nature and I can't stand tedious or overly repetitive tasks. BUT I love the holiday's and I want Anders to experience a holiday craft time so that he can learn creativity and have some structure.  So here is a fun link with some creative ideas. Here is another link. 

I'm also including a craft link on the right side of the page which I'll update as the season's change. 

Jacket Shmacket!

This is a favorite pastime in the afternoons around here. I get to work on straightening up the house and Anders gets to play outside in front of our apartment. It takes up a good hour and he is extremely thrilled to be left alone. Except for the bottom picture where I had the audacity to suggest that he put on a jacket. Oh the consternation!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Sitting on my bum suffering from compare-itis

So, I'm sitting here on my bum, listening to my poor tired and sick hubby snore on the couch in the other room. It's 9:15 pm and I'm not ready for bed yet!! Oh, and through the baby monitor I have been listening to my two year old imitate daddy's snoring.... 

I've been having fun reading some favorite blogs namely and Although I LOVE reading my various bits of blog happiness all of a sudden I am feeling cooped up. My cute, messy little apartment feels extra little and extra messy (and less cute). Uh Oh, I'm suffering from compare-itis! I would love to live on a ranch and herd cattle! I would love to watch my 10 children ride horses and dig in the dirt on my many acres of wide open prairie. Did I mention that I love the prairie?? I spent 2 and a half lovely years at a Bible school in Saskatchewan Canada and loved every (almost every) minute of it. Well, except for scraping car windows in 20 below temperatures and getting caught in blizzard's..... 

Yes, a different life can sound more interesting than my own. It's someone else's life. I'm not there living the reality of that person's life. It's easy to compare and wish and then forget about all of the interesting and novel things in my own life. Like, watching my precocious two year old ride up and down our walkway on his little red tricycle or the FABULOUS park that we can walk to. Or the rolling hills of Calabasas that I can look at out my window. Or my sweet husband who introduced me to sushi and technology and who's wit can't be beat. I swear that he has a one liner for every situation and he doesn't even have to think about it! It's impressive.

So, as I sit biting my nails and worrying about bills or what to do about the pile of clothes on my floor I will also look around and think of all the interesting and unique things in my life and yes, blog about them.