Monday, June 29, 2009

Tools of the trade

I've been trying to formulate a complete thought about my new purchase, but it keeps coming out like...


Translation: Went to the fabric store yesterday. Got a rotary cutter, mat and ruler. It's a relatively inexpensive purchase, but it makes such a difference. Seriously. I don't know why I didn't get one sooner.

Ahhh...I love it.

So, if you don't hear from me for a while, it's because I'm buried under a pile of perfectly cut pieces of fabric (or I've been horribly injured in a drinking-and-quilting accident...which is more plausible).

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Something has been bothering me

When I first created this blog, I made the decision to allow "anonymous" comments. My thinking was that anyone (in particular family and friends) could leave comments on my blog posts without having to create a Google account, if they didn't already have one. Unfortunately, this has not been the case. The couple of anonymous (which I shall keep in quotes because, really... you are never anonymous online) comments I have received were from people who felt it necessary to spew their ignorance on my site. So, even though ShankRabbit loves responding to these "anonymous" comments (and I loved reading it), I've decided to get rid of this option.

So, in a completely related tangent/rant, here I go...

If you are going to make a comment - whether online or in real life -

Own what you say

Plain and simple.

Some additional thoughts:

- I welcome other people's opinions. Many times I learn a great deal about the topic at hand through the other person's words...other times I discover more about my side of the argument. All I ask is for you to be educated about what you say - do your homework.

- I hate the phrase "no offense." Plain and simple: If you didn't mean it, you wouldn't have said it. And if you inadvertently offended someone with your words: a) apologize and b) choose your words better next time.


That feels better. Now, onward!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

That is one ugly rainbow

It may not be pretty, but it's true...
(thank you for sharing the link, Scriptor Senex)

Your rainbow is intensely shaded brown, yellow, and white.

What is says about you: You are a deep thinking person. You appreciate quiet moments. People depend on you to make them feel secure. You're good at getting people to like you.

Find the colors of your rainbow at

Friday, June 26, 2009

Cake or death?

I've talked before about my general dislike for any kind of bug in the house. We had our issue with spiders, silverfish (though, if it's anything like last summer, this will only get worse), and the occasional odd bug here and there. It's an old house, what can ya do?

My husband, the keeper of my sanity and "do it yourself-er" extraordinaire, got a pest control product for me us last weekend. We have yet to try it out, but I'll let you know how it works.


So, while I'm daydreaming about someday being able to relax in our TV room and not have a silverfish fall on me (ew. ew. EW!), I notice a strange dead spot in the landscaping on the side of the house. At first we thought it was damaged from the bad rainstorm we had a week or so ago, but upon further inspection, it's an ant colony. A LARGE ant colony.

After surveying the rest of the property (it's not big, so it didn't take long), we noticed at least three other areas of the yard where the little buggers have destroyed the grass and set up shop.

Now, I've said before that I don't mind bugs when they stay on their own turf (read: outside)...but this is excessive. They are destroying the lawn and creating more work for me in trying to keep Peanut from smashing and playing with ants (good thing she hasn't taken to eating them...yet...).

I asked the Google gods how I could get rid of an ant problem without going chemical-crazy. Of course, it returned a lot of answers. I'm not sure how effective these are, but here are a couple I found interesting:

- Sprinkle grits or Cream of Wheat around their colony. They will eat it and eventually die of starvation (it expands and they can't digest it).

- Pour a few gallons of boiling water directly over the colony.

Geez. I'm not trying to extract top secret information from them; I just want them to leave. Do I have to resort to torture?

I know, I know, they are just ants. But doesn't this seem...extreme? I guess it's better than sprinkling chemical death on their abode. And I'm sure politely asking them to take their business elsewhere won't work either. Though, maybe if I asked the queen herself...

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Quick Thursday Update

Me - still injured
Daughter - napping
Husband - working from home (because of injured wife)

I'll update more when I can move a bit more.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I spoke too soon

How many times have you said or thought:

I spoke too soon...

Situations like this happen WAY too often for me.

Case in point: I posted a picture on Twitter of my wrist brace with the statement "how I spell relief" (old repetitive motion injury + caring for 2 children yesterday = P.A.I.N.). I was sitting in our TV room thinking how wonderful this new wrist brace is and how I am feeling pretty good today (even with a crappy night of sleep). And here is where the phrase comes in...

because at that very moment, after merely shifting my position on the couch, I wrenched my neck so bad that I crumbled to the floor. The pain began at the base of my skull and radiated down my arm (of course the same one with the wrist brace on it...because the wrist issue wasn't enough already).

After the tears subsided a couple minutes, I called the "King of All Remedies" (also known as ShankRabbit) and asked him what I should do to fix this. He gave me a list of things to do and told me to call him if it doesn't get any better.

So here I sit - well-stretched, medicated, hydrated, 'vitamined' with a heating pad on my neck.

And I'm going to keep my mouth shut.


And this footnote is for the brother-in-law: please shower your wife with thanks from me. The homemade heating pad she gave me for Christmas is my new best friend.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Maybe my thumb isn't so green after all...


Remember this post where I updated you on the progress of my first attempt with growing herbs? I was hopeful, excited, proud...

Well, I'm sad to say they all bit the dust. The first to go was the oregano (well, it was never really there) followed closely by the basil. I even bought another envelope of basil seeds and tried again. No go.
Today, I decided to toss in the towel on the cilantro and chives. There are sprouts, but they didn't get much farther than that.

Chives - they want to go back in the soil

Emo cilantro

Maybe I should just visit our local farmer's market and get seedlings. That way I'm only responsible for keeping it seed work required.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

It's what you say...

I was lying in bed, wide awake, listening to the hacking sounds of my husband. I had several thoughts cross my mind -

It's been well over a week and this cough isn't getting any better. I know he's a stubborn butthead and thinks his immune system will work this one out, but it's taking too long. It's 5am and I want to go back to sleep. Should I say something? He's due for a physical anyway. It's really important I word what I say in just the * right * way. Saying "GO TO THE DOCTOR ALREADY!" might come off as harsh. Hmm...

I mulled over my exact words for at least 15 minutes (remember, it's 5am. I'm not too bright this early in the morning).

I lean over and gently rub his back. Then I say, "Babe, I love you..."


"...but your coughing is annoying. Please go to the doctor."

Eh? Pretty good, huh?

Moral of the story: If you say something nice, throwing a "but" in the sentence negates the niceness. Or so I'm told.

This led to him feeling guilty for being sick and acting snarky and slightly defensive this morning. Hmm...wonder why.
Though, he did agree to go to the doctor...just to shut me up.


For those that don't follow me on Twitter (if you don't, just do it already - I'll even provide the link to make it easy on you. Here ya go!), you may not have heard about Peanut's "nap hair."

Our child started off with a basic fuzzhead. Observe:

It took shape as a beautiful, naturally swooped 'do:

We thought for sure her hair would be sparse for a long time, but out of nowhere her hair started to grow. A lot. We've now got a crazy little mane going...and you know what? I adore it! The best part is what we call her "nap hair."

Recipe for hair goodness: add one tablespoon of heatbox child to a heap of crazy sleep antics. Let bake for 2-3 hours. Voila!

I am not amused.

Now, at first I was calling her "Flock of Seagulls" girl. But, after reviewing their photos, like this one...

I realize I did not do my daughter's hair justice. It would be better described as the lovechild of Rick Astley and Lyle Lovett's hair. Am I wrong?

Or all three? ((shudder))

And what does mom do when Peanut wants to drape a scarf on her head? Tie it on and take pictures, of course!

"Matchmaker, Matchmaker, make me a match..."

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I just have to get this off my chest

If you are not in the mood for a ranty, crazy post...then you can skip this.

Rant in the first:

I was just about to read Peanut a book before nap time when my cell phone rings. Some Chicago number I didn't recognize popped I decided to ignore it and continue on with the naptime routine. Just as I'm putting Peanut in her crib, my cell rings again. Same number. I run out of the bedroom to answer it.

It is a general rule in our family that if you call 2 or more times in a row, it's really important.

Caller: "Hi, this is Lola from [some weird company name having to do with products]. Is this Stitch?"
Me: "Um, have the wrong number."
Caller: "Is this [recites phone number]."
Me: "Yes, but I'm not Stitch."
Caller: "OK then. Good bye."

After I hang up the phone, I notice I have a new voicemail. Lo and behold, Lola left a message...for Stitch.

So, not only did Lola not listen to the voicemail greeting (where I clearly state my name) but she proceeded to call right back to see if I would pick up.

Normally, not an issue...except when my child is about to go down from a nap and the sound of my cell phone makes her jump up (she thinks daddy is calling).

Rant in the second:

I could go on for pages about my beef with "stupid drivers." Be thankful that I am sparing you from this. I will only touch on what's bothering me right now -

1. If you are in the left lane of a multi-lane freeway and are not paying attention to where you need to exit...please don't cut off three (busy) lanes of traffic because you are friggin' idiots (yes, plural. More than one person decided to do this in front of me today). I have a child in the car and God help you if you hit me.

2. Solid white lines in a construction area mean STAY IN YOUR LANE, DUMB@SS!

[photo (minus text) courtesy of Washington State Dept. of Transportation]

Rant in the third:

If you, the cashier, are ringing up my items and I tell you that something you just scanned was incorrect according to the sale display...DO NOT show me the price tag and say, "but the price tag says $5." Yes, genius...I saw that. But the 10-foot ad above it said $3.50. To further solidify why you are employee of the month, you gave me one heck of a look and an audible sigh after asking "do you want me to have someone check that price for you?" and I said yes (let me add, the store was dead). You don't even have to move from your station. You flip a switch, someone comes over and checks on the item for you.
Save the 'tude for someone else.


Thank you for letting me get that out. I've been having a great day, but there are just some people...

Monday, June 15, 2009

I can't call it "giving up"

For those that don't know me, I can be one stubborn sonofa' (shut yo' mouth!).

The term "give up" doesn't enter my vocabulary.* Ever. It just doesn't.

So, while loading Peanut into her carseat on Tuesday after our last stop in the "errand" train (drop ShankRabbit off at work, return CDs to library, mail project #2 for Craft Hope and the recall pieces), I happened to glance down at what I was wearing - baseball cap, glasses, no makeup, old t-shirt, my red "Guard" hoodie, jeans (the ones with the safety-pinned zipper) and beat-up flip flops. That's when it really hit me. I won't call it "giving up" as a) I don't use that term, remember? and b) I still have some clothing standards (e.g. I will never leave the house in pajama pants)...but...I've fallen into frumpydom.

When I was pregnant...heck, well before that even, I swore to myself this wouldn't happen. I was never a fashionista, but I made sure I was somewhat presentable on a daily basis. Now...well, now I'm just kind of "meh" looking.

ShankRabbit and I had a pretty good discussion about this. And we came to the conclusion that I'm not necessarily clueless about how to dress well, I just don't have the items to do so.

So, now that my body is pretty close to where I want it to be (I'm at my pre-pregnancy weight, but apparently I left my @ss in the delivery room, because I can't find it), I can start investing in staple wardrobe pieces...and go from there.

We'll just see how this goes.

Here is the frumpy me (I can't believe I'm actually posting photographic proof of this):

Back in the day, when I "tried":

Were you expecting a serious, "good" photo of me? BAHAHA. I just had to post this psychotic-looking photo from our honeymoon that I found in our archives.

* I'm sure ShankRabbit would jump at the chance to say I "gave up" when it came to driving his MINI (stick shift). I know how to drive manual...but the power behind his car scared me. So I rarely ever drove it.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Cute baby attack!

My mother-in-law bought this dress for Peanut a while back. Unfortunately, it never really fit (elastic midsection = uncomfortable fit for Buddha belly), but I decided to have her wear it for a few photos...just so we had photographic proof how cute she looked in it (before packing it up in a storage bin):

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I guess I should be flattered...

...but I'm not.

Doorbell rings. It takes me a while to answer the door (I was upstairs with Peanut). Mr. Door-to-door Salesman, who was halfway down the stairs, turns around and sees me with Peanut on my hip and says "hey...are your parents home?"

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Calendars and popcorn

Just a short post thanking Blogger for being my calendar.

I had to call our insurance company regarding an incorrect bill we just received. I could not remember when I got my MRI done (even though they have my file pulled up, apparently they need specific dates).
I couldn't find it on our fridge calendar, my purse calendar, or our Google calendar (you'd think with all these calendars I would have found it). Thankfully, I wrote a post about it - on April 23rd.


In other news...have you ever heard of coffee popcorn? Not coffee-flavored popcorn...this:

I found this "popcorn" in our new bag of java today. Just sitting on top of the other beans...all weird like.

So odd...

Monday, June 8, 2009

Kenmore Mini Ultra

I'm posting this meme for the Sew, Mama, Sew! blog. So, if you really don't want to read all about my lovely sewing machine, then skip this post.

Photo courtesy of You think I'd take a picture of my sewing table? BAHAHAHAHA!

What brand and model do you have?
Kenmore Mini Ultra

How long have you had it?
About 3 years

How much does that machine cost (approximately)?
I think I bought it on sale at Sears for $50-$80.

What types of things do you sew (i.e. quilting, clothing, handbags, home dec projects, etc.)?
Clothing, stuffed animals/dolls, bags/purses, baby gifts (bibs, blankets, burp cloths), baby shoes

How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get?
I sew about 3-4 hours every other day. I would say it gets a moderate amount of wear and tear, but I maintain it pretty well.

Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name?
I like my machine. It's very easy to use and small in size. Her name is Betty. :)

What features does your machine have that work well for you?
All of the basic features of any machine - a good amount of stitches, easy to use, etc. Nothing fancy.

Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine?

Do you have a great story to share about your machine (i.e., Found it under the Christmas tree? Dropped it on the kitchen floor? Sewed your fingernail to your zipper?, Got it from your Great Grandma?, etc.!)? We want to hear it!
There is nothing super exciting to tell about it...other than I got it because I wanted to make my own veil for my wedding.
Oh, and I once thought it was possessed when I would turn it on and it would start sewing right away (turns out my fabric bin was on the pedal).

Would you recommend the machine to others? Why?
Definitely. It is a great sewing machine for beginners or for anyone who is looking for a straight-forward, "no frills" machine.

What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine?
I think it's very important to look for a machine that is going to suit your specific needs, not just go out and buy one because it has all the bells and whistles.

Friday, June 5, 2009

It was originally about repurposing...

ShankRabbit and I love to "repurpose." For example, when I had to take a scissors to our recalled pack n' play, I tried to think of other ways to use the residual materials (as long as it was not for baby-supporting purposes, as apparently this version failed at). Here are a couple of our projects -

I made Peanut a pair of soft-soled shoes out of an old pair of jeans:

Look at those chubby baby legs!

(the pattern for these awesome, relatively easy baby shoes can be found here).

**Note: I whipped these up really quick because I needed a good multi-purpose shoe. They aren't pretty, but they work (and we have since added puffy paint "treads" to the bottoms for a non-slip grip).

ShankRabbit made a headboard for our bed out of two small nightstands:

(as you can see, there is barely any room for walking next to the bed, let alone a nightstand)

And since I'm showing you a picture of our headboard, allow me to explain a few things:

1. That "lock" box houses my jewelry. Nothing of importance in there since the most expensive items I own are on me 24/7. So, if there is anyone out there reading who thinks they are going to hit pay dirt by breaking in and stealing this are sorely mistaken. Unless you like name necklaces from 8th grade and several pairs of $1 earrings...

2. Yes, that is a cribbage board in the middle section. ShankRabbit and I like to play a game or two if we go to bed earlier than normal (I know...we're one EXCITING married couple, I tell ya!).

3. My side of the bed houses the "Babyproofing Bible," an InStyle magazine, and a homemade heating pad. ShankRabbit's side has all of our DS games, a devotion book, and the Bible.

4. Eventually, I would like to outfit this with doors in (Plexiglass? Acrylic?) some form of plastic sheeting that will slide across. I will have ShankRabbit run some lights and you've got one heckuva lighting and (hidden) storage option...or at least the pipe dream is there.

So, I realize that I meant to cover how much we love to repurpose and yadda yadda yadda...but since I've gone into depth about our headboard (and felt the need to explain everything), I wonder -

What's on your headboard/nightstand?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

NOT Oreo crumbs

We were in the midst of making dinner (in last night's case, warming up leftovers) and Peanut was HUNGRY. Since it was going to take all of 30 seconds to warm up her dinner, we didn't give her any "appetizers" to tide her over. She whined a bit and then wandered off into the living room (not unusual).

When she came back in the kitchen, she seemed a little too calm. That's when I noticed something on her chin...a tiny spec of dirt.

what the...?

Peanut ate dirt. From a houseplant.

While I give her props for being resourceful ("Hey, I'm hungry. Let's see what grub I can scrounge up"), that's just...eeeeew.

ShankRabbit and I discussed the "weird" stuff we used to eat as kids.

He ate sand and dirt, but never paste (he was afraid it would glue his insides together). I preferred ants (for a very brief moment in time), the yellow flowers off clover plants, and violets.

So, I'm curious...did you ever eat anything out of the ordinary?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Revisiting childhood with an artichoke

When ShankRabbit and I married, he assumed the title of "Chef" and I the "Baker." This arrangement suited us well. He can look at a few ingredients and throw together an amazing dinner. I, on the other hand, need planning, measurements, order (if only you understood how much I truly enjoy leveling off a cup of flour...).

Now that I am the one at home all day, meal preparation is quickly becoming more of my responsibility. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy long as I have a very explicit recipe. Give me a bunch of ingredients and say "have at it!" and I'd either curl up in the fetal position on the kitchen floor or pelt you with said items. Or both. Though I'm sure my aim from the floor would be pretty poor.

(ShankRabbit's domain will forever and always be the grill. I know how it works and what to do...but it still scares the bejeebies out of me)

Last night I decided to try my hand at a childhood favorite - stuffed artichokes. My Sicilian great-grandmother used to make these for us quite a bit and I honestly haven't had one since (well over 15 years ago).

After a lengthy internet search, I deduced that the recipes are relatively the same. So, I melded my favorite ones and got to work.

I won't bore you with the recipe I created, but I will say that it was quite yummy (and thanks again to my hero, The CrockPot Lady, I was able to "set it and forget it" in my crock pot). And for anyone attempting to cook these on your own, here are some things to know:

1. I knew to trim the tips off the leaves, but I didn't know why...until I punctured my finger on one. Apparently, artichokes have thorns (they seem to be sharper the farther in you go).

2. When the directions say "tap the top of the artichoke to spread the leaves," they mean turn the artichoke upside down and smack it against the countertop. Seriously. The wider apart the leaves, the more stuffing you can shove in between (and the more yummy).

This right before it was cooked. They didn't hang around long enough for me to get an "after" photo.

That first taste was just as delicious as I remembered it. While I was inhaling eating, I couldn't help but think fondly about my great-grandmother and how much I miss her (she was 98 years old when she passed in 1999). She was an amazing lady.