Saturday, December 27, 2008

Maggie in December 2008 (left)
Will in January 2007 (above)

Our Christmas Eve Eve excursion to the Children's Museum
My dad made this marble race for Will

Such a cool dude!

This is Maggie's new baby stroller. Will likes to race it around the house and crash into things.
My sister went into labor at church on Christmas Eve. She left church after 7, went home to pick up her bag, drove the 30 minutes to Elkhart General and had her baby by 8:45. That's what I call efficiency! Her name is Gabriel Nicole Vallejo and she was 7 lbs 4 oz.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Last night we went on our first date in 5 months. Yes, five months! So, we were due for an extra special treat. We satisfied our meat tooth at Fogo de Chao in downtown Indy. It's called a churroscario and there are lots of people running around the restaurant with skewers of meat that they cut off for you when your button is turned onto its green side. The meat was so good...(Homer Simpson drool). I ate lamb, pork, and several kinds of beef in one meal. I think if I had to choose between a fine chocolate bar or a fine steak, I would definitely choose the steak. What would you choose? I would highly recommend this to anyone who likes to indulge the inner carnivore in them.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Last night I watched a rebroadcast of The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. I love the glitz, the glamour, the costumes, hair, and the jewelry. And WOW! Have those models ever hit the genetic jackpot!
List of things I need to be a Victoria Secret Fashion Model:
1. The strut
2. I need to grow about 6-8", mostly in legs
3. Drop about 10 lbs
4. Grow boobs three times current size
5. Stop lactating
6. Learn how to wink without looking like I have something in my eye
7. Get a 'tude
8. Grow long, lustrous hair (or at least buy some)
9. Face transplant (they now do that in America, I hear)
10. Glamorous new name

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Today I hosted a cookie exchange at my house. I had 3 friends from church and my neighbor, Emily. There were 11 kids in all, running around my house. I had to lay down and rest after they were all gone. Just being in the same house with all that energy made me tired. Will and I ate massive amounts of cookies today and I feel kind of fat and even though I have flossed and listerined my mouth a few times today, my tongue still feels tender from all the sugar. I will have to lay off the junk food for a couple days until it returns to normal. Yeah, probably not going to happen. I will be into the fudge right after breakfast tomorrow. I heard a quote somewhere that says that only when you have mastered self control that you truly come into possession of your soul. Ouch! Good thing I have the rest of eternity to work on that self control thing.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Last night, we went to our ward's Christmas party. Our suspicions were confirmed: Will still hates Santa. He wouldn't sit on Santa's lap, not even for a candy cane. Oh well...

This past week Maggie started crawling. I thought she might do the Will scoot, but she just does the classic crawl. Will has become very protective and jealous of anything that she picks up, whether it is his toy or not. Maggie flips out whenever Will takes something from her, so I have been trying to keep peace in our house. I know this kind of behavior will last for at least the next 20 years so I need to get used to it.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

$16.80 for Christmas card stamps (ridiculous!)
$9.00 for cards from last year's Christmas clearance (I could have bought a few bags of Ghirardelli chocolate chips for the same amount)
$0.00 for card pictures because I didn't have the photographer's permission to reprint. I know it's stealing. I apologize to artists everywhere who have their livelihood stolen because of technology. But, not being able to pick up my pictures at Walgreens took the last shred of desire I had to spend any more time or money on doing Christmas cards. So instead of sending everyone cards, I would just like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and best wishes for a happy new year!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

" The sun did not shine, it was too wet to play,
So we sat in the house all that cold, cold wet day.

We sat in the house, we sat there we too,
And I said how I wish we had something to do!

So, all we could do was to sit, sit, sit, sit!
And we did not like it, not one little bit!"

We are still waiting for our Cat in the Hat to come and rescue us from a day of extreme boredom.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Christmas devotional is about to start, but it made Tyler's computer crash so I will have a few minutes to blog. Even though it was pretty cold out this afternoon, I felt the pull of a nice, brisk solo walk. That is one of the things I never appreciated pre-babies. Not having to pack crackers or worry about messing up naps and bedtimes when I want to go out. I also miss being able to go to the movies on a whim. Must try to enjoy everything about motherhood!

This past Saturday, Greenfield had their annual Christmas parade and lighting of the courthouse Christmas tree. We went with our neighbors, the Fryes, and their two young boys. It was a "cute" parade with floats that included a school bus decorated with lights, decorated dump truck, miniature horses pulling ladies in tiny carriages, the local nursing home bus complete with residents, and "Blue" the Colts mascot on a 4-wheeler. Santa and Mrs. Claus made a special entrance on a fire engine. I thought this would make Will excited, but he was "sceered" of everything but the mini horses. Oh well, this will probably be an Ellis family tradition until the kids start to think it's lame. We power-walked home because we were so cold. I thought my toes were going to fall off.

I have started to do my Christmas cards. I find this a curious custom and also wonder if there were no females on earth, would there be such a thing as Christmas cards? Do any of you know of any man that sends out his own cards of his own free will? I know Tyler would never take the time to do such a thing, yet he requests several people be sent a card.

The devotional just started! Ooh, I do love hearing everyone sing, "Joy to the World".

Monday, November 24, 2008

Artichoke Soup

I love artichokes. I was really excited to try this Cream of Artichoke soup and I thought it was delicious. Not very healthy, but delicious. Tyler didn't like it but he will just have to suffer because I plan on putting it into my cookbook, which means I will make it again. I have typed about 6 recipes for my cookbook so far, so I have hardly made a dent in my stack.

Cream of Artichoke Soup 4-6 servings AntiquiTea, Pittsburgh
1. ½ cup chopped green onion
2. 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
3. 2 stalks celery, chopped
4. ½ cup butter, divided
5. 1 bay leaf
6. ½ tsp thyme
7. ½ tsp oregano
8. 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
9. 4 cups chicken broth
10. 4 oz. can sliced mushroom, drained
11. 14 oz. Can artichoke hearts, drained and sliced
12. 3 tbsp flour
13. 1 cup heavy cream
14. Salt and pepper to taste

-In a large saucepan over medium heat, saute onion, carrots celery in ¼ cup butter.
-Add ingredients 5-11 and simmer for 15-20 minutes
-Meanwhile, in a small skillet, melt remaining butter over low heat. Stir in flour and cook, stirring constantly until mixture thickens. Stir the flour mixture into artichoke mixture.
-Slowly add the cream, and salt and pepper. Cook 3-5 minutes or until slightly thickened and heated through.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Yesterday and today have been spent entirely at home. This is one of the reasons I enjoy being a stay-at-home mom of two young children. We get to stay at home in our jammies whenever I feel like it. It can be a double-edged sword of sorts as well. Sometimes I get a little bit of cabin fever. Yesterday we watched a lot of tv. I especially enjoyed Oprah and her show about beauty around the world. I think today's Oprah is supposed to be about sex, so I think I will skip that one. I also watched a movie from the library, "the Woodlanders" based on a book I read a year ago. It had Rufus Sewell, one of my celebrity crushes, in it so I enjoyed it.This morning I made turkey shaped sugar cookies with a recipe that was in my stack. It was the Land O' Lakes "best ever butter cookie" with orange juice in it. I don't think I will make it again. I couldn't even taste the OJ in it. But the cookies turned out cute after I decorated them. I think that picture of Will holding the tray of cookies was torturous to him because he really wanted another one. He had already eaten 3 unfrosted and 1 frosted already, for goodness sake!

There is a broken water main in our neighborhood, so we have no water this afternoon. I now have urges to drink several glasses of water, do the laundry and dishes, go to the bathroom and be able to flush, and take a long, hot shower. But, alas, we have no pressure. Just a little hiss of air every time I test the tap. I am a bit worried about the boiler since there is no water to fill it up. I turned down the thermostat so it wouldn't turn on. Hopefully our water is restored soon. I threw out all of our water storage when we moved to Greenfield, so I think I only have one or two bottles of water that are several years old and all dented. My urge to clean will subside once we have water again.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

favorite recipes

I am addicted to recipe collecting. I have a stack of recipes from magazines, etc. that I want to try out sometime. The stack grows larger every week. I just can't make all these recipes. I also want to type my favorite recipes and eventually make them into my own personal cookbook so I don't have to shuffle through yucky scraps of yellowing paper. I don't know if I will ever stick to this project, but I at least have a start. I made this the other day with my food storage black beans and really liked it (after the addition of the sour cream).

Steak and Black Bean Chili 6 servings
¾ pound sirloin steak
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans (15 oz each) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
1 cube beef boullion
2 tbsp chili powder
½ tsp sugar
1 cup chopped tomato
2/3 cup sliced green onions with tops
6 tbsp reduced-fat sour cream
1. Remove fat from steak. Cut steak into ½ inch cubes. Heat oil in large nonstick saucepan over medium heat until hot. Add steak, onion, and garlic; cook and stir 5 minutes or until meat is no longer pink. Add beans, diced tomatoes and juice, bell peppers, jalapeno pepper, boullion, chili powder and sugar. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered 30 to 45 minutes.
2. Top with chopped tomato, green onions and sour cream.

Monday, November 17, 2008

It's a rare occurence, but both the kids are down for naps. It's 2:00 and I have a bit of time to kill. WIll doesn't take naps, unless I take him for a car ride. I think it's hard for him to wind down in the middle of the day. He woke up at 5:20 this morning and he was getting cranky so he let me cuddle with him (also a rare occurence) and he went to sleep. What shall I do with my few remaining minutes? I think I will waste them mindlessly surfing the internet!

Friday, November 14, 2008

new kitchen

My mom came to visit for a couple days. We got the kids pictures done and my mom got an early Christmas present for Maggie. If you say that it is her kitchen, Will gets in a snit, so we call it Will's kitchen for now. Is it fair that they have a nicer kitchen than their mom?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Last warm days

We have been enjoying the most beautiful fall weather the past week or so. Tomorrow it is supposed to turn colder, so we have to get our last trip to the park in today. I keep on thinking that we are on our last nice day, but it keeps on being warm and sunny. But I do think this is our last day in the 70's.

I have started stripping wallpaper in our bedroom. It's coming off pretty easily, revealing some cracked walls. It will be a huge job to patch walls and ceiling in this bedroom. Oh well, I'm tired of waking up to sunny cabbage roses every day.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I failed miserably in my resolve to not buy candy until it went 75% off. I needed to go to Target to get diapers, tp, and laundry detergent and i was reeled in. They still had some LIndor truffles which I snapped up. I also got dots, a giant bag that had a few different chocolate candies in it, and mint chocolate 3 musketeers. I was disappointed that they didn't have any York peppermint patties. Oh well... The money I spent on candy seemed like a drop in the bucket compared to the price of tp and detergent. We have become accustomed to ultra-soft charmin and Target had a deal where if you buy two packages of tp you get a $5 gift card. I am such a sucker for that kind of promotion. The scent-free detergent is also really expensive. Oh, Maggie just woke up, gotta go!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Candy, candy, candy

We got home yesterday in record time, less than 3 hours. I gazed fondly at the Muncie exit on I-69, thinking that if we still lived there we would almost be home. But, alas, we still had a good 45 minutes left. We unloaded all of Will's treats, including all the Curious George books from Kohl's(my mom just can't resist that little monkey), some dvds, a sticker book, and all of Will's candy which I promptly hid. I have eaten way more candy than I am going to let on. When do kids realize their mama has been in their stash? I did give Will a lemon flavored tootsie roll(one of the lowliest candies in my estimation) today. That's about as much as I can share. My biggest test will be when I go to Target this week. I promised myself that I wouldn't buy any candy unless it was 75% off. I am going to try to keep to that. I do so love Ghirardelli filled chocolates, though. Their siren song gets me every time. Last Christmas, I bought bags and bags of chocolates (all in the name of food storage, of course!:) and didn't tell Tyler of my stash for the longest time. I will let you know if my resolve holds out.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Yesterday was the perfect night for Halloween. It was in the 60's and 50's the whole time and sunny. Will loved getting "dandy" from my parent's neighbors. The only bad thing about the warm weather is that there were lots of pre-teen and teenage girls running around in some seriously skanky outfits. Those kinds of outfits belong in nightclubs and adult parties, not running around a neighborhood where there are a lot of kids. But, at least they are not my children (and hopefully never will be).

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I turned the boiler on last week and everything is working just fine. It was endlessly fascinating the first couple of days to walk around the house and feel the heat emanating from the hulking pieces of metal. The radiators hiss and clunk and sometimes it sounds like there is a swarm of bees. There is a pleasant sauna-like smell in our house, too. It's better than some of the smells that sometimes waft through our air:)

Tyler is gone this week to a trade show. We are leaving for Goshen to spend Halloween with the Kreuter clan. My mom's birthday is on Halloween. We are going to Michigan City to the outlet mall, as well as attempt a cousin picture with a 6 year old, two 2 year olds, a 10 month old, 7 month old, and a 3 month old baby. How well do you think that is going to go?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

For some time now, I have been looking for fabric to make cafe curtains for my kitchen. But the sad truth is that I will probably never be able to decide on how I want to decorate the room. My tastes change constantly and I don't want to put time, effort, and money into something that I won't even like next month. I went onto ebay to look for some fabric and now I really can't decide. There is just too much to choose from. Do I want a kitschy look or a retro look? Do I want my kitchen to be modern or classic? Who knows. Fortunately, the kitchen redo is far in the future. For now, I just need to focus on getting the stained yellow and orange cabbage roses off our bedroom wall(after we paint bedroom #4).

I just looked at the thermostat and it said that the temperature in our house was 60 degrees. Shouldn't I be feeling cold? I am just wearing a long sleeve shirt and a light jacket. Before I had kids, my fingers and toes would turn a dead gray (Reynaud's syndrome) until I rinsed them under warm water. But my hormones or circulation must have changed for the better, because that rarely happens anymore. I am nervous about turning on that boiler. What if it blows up, or sprays steaming hot water out of all the radiators? Our heating guy checked it out last month and said it was good order, but still... I will just have to wait for Tyler to get home. Besides, none of us feels really cold. Will still rips his socks off or sits his bare bottom on the cold tile floor of the bathroom. BRRR!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Tyler is going away on business for a few days. I made some delicious chicken soup, which will last us a couple days and after that, I will be surviving off of yogurt and fruit and chocolate. I hardly ever cook when Tyler is away, and it's always a nice break. Another thing I don't do as regularly when he is away is cleaning the house. Our house is usually fairly clean, but when he is gone it goes down a few points on the cleanliness scale. This week I plan on doing some visiting teaching, and patching and maybe even painting the ceiling in the toy room.

This evening while Tyler was packing and I was changing Maggie's diaper, we heard Will start to count and he actually counted to ten. I have been trying to get him to count with me, but he usually only makes up to two or three and then gets distracted. Perhaps ignoring him is a better way to get him to do stuff.

Friday, October 17, 2008


Will is watching The Lion King for the first time right now. I keep on hearing gasps and noises as he watches it. It always cracks me up when he reacts to tv. He is such a big boy now. A few days ago, I was following him up the stairs and he didn't even need to hold onto the railing. He took each step without any help. Every day, he adds new words to his vocabulary. He's been pretending to be BUzz Lightyear quite a bit, lately, as well as some other characters. One of the things that I like to do is to ask him what he did yesterday to see if he remembers. It always amazes me to hear him ramble off a couple things. When he went to Nanny and Poppy's the other day, I asked him what he did. It included: Grandpa, barn, kitties, Patch, apple tree picking, tractor, Poppy pumpkin, Nanny cookies. Every time he sees an airplane, he thinks it's my dad flying over us. I wonder when Maggie will start talking. I hope it's not too soon, because even though they have such sweet voices, sometimes Will wears me out with his talking. But, I need to enjoy it because in a few years, they won't want to talk to me at all.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Tyler had a few errands to run this morning, so he was nice enough to take WIll. Maggie and I sat down in front of the tv with a bag of Kissables and a pop and watched PBS. We watched a couple of carpentry shows and I have decided that I want to be a carpenter when I grow up. I can just see myself turning out beautiful and useful pieces of furniture from the workshop. Maybe I can travel around the country to art fairs and sell my pieces. I will be featured in numerous home magazines and will be sought out by the rich and famous to make unique masterpieces. Or, maybe I will just plop down in front of the tv in my lazy-boy and eat candy with my baby.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


The saying, "One man's trash is another man's treasure," is so true. I went to Goodwill this morning to look for some cheap plates to put under house plants. As I was browsing the store, a rocking chair caught my eye. I hustled Will over there and sat myself in one of them. It was as comfy as could be. Only $75 for the pair of them and they weren't even falling apart. I walked away so I could think about it. I watched jealously as another woman rocked in them. It was then that I knew I must have them, even if it meant knocking her down and stealing the tags away from her. Fortunately, she walked away and I scuttled back and tore the tags off. So, now we finally have some porch furniture.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

wedding reception

Last night we went to my cousin Brad's and Amanda's reception. It was held at his parents house. They had pulled pork and ribs along with the usual potato salad, etc. The ribs were so delicious that I went back for seconds. There is something very primitive about eating meat off the bone with your hands. There is really no other way to eat ribs or chicken wings. I think that is why Tyler hates eating that kind of stuff. He hates getting his hands dirty. I, on the other hand, have no problem eating stuff with my hands. Bonfires also seem rather primitive. Maybe that's why those kind of parties are always popular. Everyone is mesmerized by the jumping flames and crackling logs. We weren't able to enjoy the fire for long, because by 8 Will had pretty much had it. Maggie was already asleep. I didn't even get to roast any marshmallows because the fire was too hot to get near.

This morning, Will awoke at 4 and I barely heard him leave the room, but I heard him call for Yammy and I realized he was going to wake up my parents. Fortunately, I was able to stop him in time. He went back to sleep after that. We are planning to leave this morning so Tyler can catch up on his homework. We won't make it to General Conference at all, but it's ok because we were never able to focus on it much now that we have a couple kids. We will just have to read the Ensign really carefully next month.

Friday, October 3, 2008

The picture people

We went to Mishawaka yesterday and got Maggie's 6 month pictures done and some fall themed ones with both kids. I don't know if Will behaves better for pictures now that Maggie gets all the attention at the photographer or if it's just because he is maturing, but he was really good. When I was putting her diaper on after naked butt pics were done, she peed all over the white vinyl mat. It cleaned up easily, but makes you think about all the other yucky baby messes that have been on those surfaces.
Tyler made it to Goshen safely from his weeklong trip to the northern states. Tomorrow, we are going to the Pumpkin farm in the morning and then to the bonfire at night.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


In response to comments from the last post, let me know when you are coming to visit and I will make some creme brulee for you.

Today, we came to Goshen to visit my family and also attend the wedding reception of my cousin Brad and his new wife. They are having a bonfire on Saturday, so I'm going to gorge myself on toasted marshmallows. Tyler is traveling in Minnesota and Wisconsin and he is going to meet us here. My Dad is a pilot and he picked us up in "Dappa's airplane" today. Will was in little boy heaven as we took off. He talked nonstop and looked around at every little detail of the plane that no adult would ever notice and asked what they all were. After we were above the clouds, I put him in his own seat and buckled him in. He quieted after that, no doubt pondering the wonders of air flight, as well as very successfully picking his nose. Cousin Ethan and Auntie Tracey came over for some Manstinko's grinders and then we decorated Halloween cookies. I did not get to use my Wilton cake class skills, though. The cookies are looking pretty rough, but at least they taste good. Then, Will got his first taste of playing with Play Dough. They have made a huge mess, so I better get out there and help Yammy clean up a bit. Also, my beloved HGTV is on, so I must watch.

Monday, September 29, 2008

creme brulee

This morning, I had some leftover cream that i wanted to use up so I made maple creme brulee. It was so good!

Maple Creme Brulee

2 cups whipping cream
1 cup pure maple syrup
7 egg yolks, stirred together
-Heat oven to 325. Boil a pot of water for water bath.
-Cook and stir cream and syrup together over medium-low heat, just until bubbles form. Remove from heat
-Slowly whisk cream mixture into the egg yolks. Strain through fine mesh sieve. Pour into custard cups
-Put custard cups into a large pan and add boiling water until it reaches halfway up the cups. Put in oven.
-Bake for 50-55 minutes or until it slightly ripples when shaken. Take out of water bath and let cool on wire rack. Refrigerate.
-When ready to serve, crumble sugar on top and melt with a torch or put cups under broiler for a short time.

My all-time favorite brulee is from family fun magazine. It's called maple pumpkin custard. Check it out!

I got Will a Halloween costume today at Marshall's. It's a monkey. It seems very fitting that he should be a monkey since he seems to be obsessed with Curious George.

Friday, September 26, 2008

crown moulding

This evening we started hanging the crown moulding. We bought it a month ago from a company that sells foam trim. Yes, we are putting styrofoam up in our house! Actually, you would never be able to guess that it is not nice wooden crown moulding, unless you happened to ding it. And it is not like it wasn't expensive. But we figured that the ease of installation outweighed the added cost. You just glue it up into the corner and caulk any gaps. It looked so easy in the video on the website, but in reality, it is kind of tricky. And to make matters worse, Tyler and I realized long ago that we don't work together well. But so far, we haven't gotten too mad at each other. He is making another Home Despot run for more glue and caulking and both the kids went to bed before 7PM which means I will be up before the sun tomorrow morning. But that also means I get lots of kid-free time tonight.
I have decided that there are a few recipes for dinner that I should make frequently. They include Fried rice, beans and rice, and pan fried flank steak. It is strange to me that I should include so many rice meals, because I really don't like rice. But, these recipes are quite tasty. I found out today that WIll doesn't like Chef Boyardee ravioli. I should have known that since he also doesn't like spaghetti (what kind of a kid doesn't like spaghetti?) but I thought I would try the ravioli anyway. Tyler said that the only kids who eat Chef Boyardee are those whose moms don't cook. What about those moms who throw a piece of bread onto their kids trays and who give them a handful of shredded cheese for lunch (yes, that's me)? I try to get a banana and apple down his gullet every day, too. And a container of yogurt. But the boy will not eat the delicious meals that I prepare. Oh, gotta go, Tyler just pulled in the driveway with the glue!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Will now has a cold, but fortunately his poop is back to normal. It's a good thing he's only 2, because if he was older he would be so embarrassed that I write about it. But, I suppose as long as I have to deal with his poop, it can be as public as I want it to be. He started with a runny nose yesterday and he was so congested last night he could hardly sleep. This morning, he was sneezing great gobs of snot. So, needless to say, we stayed home from church. I am even letting him watch Caillou, even though we try not to watch tv on Sunday. We got a couple DVDs at the library. He is on a real Caillou kick right now. When we turn off the tv, he cries and kicks and screams. We've only seen it a handful of times up until last week, but he kept on asking for it. Tyler let him watch an episode of it on youtube and when he came back into the office to check on Will, there was a raunchy Snoopdogg track that accompanied the cartoon. I guess we need to be more watchful of what we pull up on the net for Will.

We finished priming and are almost finished painting the ceiling in the dining room. Tyler painted "earthy cane" around the pocket door and it is quite a lot greener than I imagined it to be. It almost looked like the same color we had in our living room on Woodway. For my part, I loved that color. Sure, it looked like baby poop after eating strained peas, but still. When we had cable this summer I watched a ton of HGTV and episodes of Designed to Sell. When the realtor went through one of the houses at the beginning of the show, someone had that exact same color of beigish-green and the mean realtor made a gagging noise. I was hurt.

We finally got a spot in the library toddler time. We made a kitty mask last week. The woman who did story time had a kitty hand puppet. She walked around the circle and let the kids all pet the kitty. When it came time for WIll to pet it, he wouldn't. He is so shy in those library groups. He was a little better this week and even went up to get the supplies for the sheep we made.

My neighbor, Emily, and her 4 year old son Cameron and 15 month old Marshall came over to play Friday afternoon. Will hid in his room for the first several minutes. I went to get him and he sat on the couch the rest of the time they were there. I guess it was just too much of a shock for him to have other kids playing with his toys.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

This picture of Spike the dinosaur doesn't quite do justice to what WIll needs for Christmas. We went to Target today and it was on an endcap. Will really liked it, but he was scared to press the button that made it go. It was $130, but I think it would be worth every penny. Will (and mommy) would love it!

Will has had diarrhea today. We did a triple bathroom rush in Meijer today, which was not fun. Trying to get a baby seat, baby bag, and WIll out of the cart three times gets really tiresome and stressful. Fortunately, he didn't poop at Meijer, but just this afternoon, he had an accident. It wasn't quite as messy as what happened on Sunday, though, when he pooped in his pants and as I was trying to carefully extricate him from his pants and undies he starts kicking which sent poop flying all over. Oh well...

Much to Tyler's chagrin, I started stripping wallpaper in Will's bedroom. This wallpaper had a sun, moon, and stars border and then a plaid wallpaper. It only went up to about shoulder level, so it wasn't hard to get off. I will have to paint the ceiling since it is blue, so that's going to be really annoying.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


It is really windy out today. I am so glad we have a front porch, because I love sitting out there and watching the trees thrash and the rain fall. Our across-the-street neighbors have some really old trees that are way too big to be so close to their house. We had that problem in our last house. I was always scared when wind storms rolled through. I should feel safe in our house since the large trees in our yard are very healthy and appear strong. But if that elm across the street ever decides to fall south it will take our house out with it.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


I am freezing! It feels so good, though. We've only been without AC for about 5 or 6 weeks now, but it was the hottest 5 or 6 weeks of the year. We had a couple of thunderstorms roll through last night, so that cooled things off. I think we have had a pretty moderate summer, though. It hasn't been really hot for more than a few days in a row. I am so glad I live in a climate where we have changing seasons. I can't ever say which season is my favorite, because there are things I like and dislike about each. What do I like about fall? I love the scent of the leaves on the grass or burning in some far off field ( though I would be pretty peeved if my neighbors were burning leaves), apple cider, cuddling up with a hot cup of marshmallows with a little hot cocoa in it and reading a good book. Tyler and I have been planning a leaf peeping trip to Brown County for years now. Maybe next year when TYler is done with his MBA we will make it there.

Saturday, September 6, 2008


Will stayed with M&N again overnight. So, we continued to work on our house. We had new tile installed after we broke some taking the glass shower door off. I stripped off an ugly floral border last night and Tyler is painting the walls "Dolphin Fin"(I can hardly stand to type that, it sounds so stupid). I will post a picture of the bathroom when it is done. No more big pink! I also tried stripping paint off a door. I used "Nature's Own" paint stripper. It didn't smell very natural, but whatever. It took off some of the paint and I got some less "natural" paint stripper to try after the kiddos are in bed tonight.

Also, I tore out all the noxious weeds/groundcover from our gate gardens last week. See before and after. I got two "radrazz" shrub roses (1/2 off, of course) from my new favorite lawn & garden center, Frady's, and planted those a few days ago and mulched this morning.

I made some spaghetti sauce this afternoon that was surprisingly good.
I am now ready to take a break and do some mindless internet surfing.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Sticker fun

We went to Target today and they had some cute stickers that were 50% off. So, I got some for Will along with a notebook and alphabet flash cards. This is what he chose to do with his stickers.

We also went to the library for 2.5 hours this afternoon to escape the heat of our non-air conditioned house. You could tell that other people without air conditioning were there, too. A boy came up to us with a gun made out of Legos and said "check out my muzzle loader!" Then he proceeded to show us how to use it. It was quite informational.

Monday, September 1, 2008

A labor day miracle

This labor day has been wonderful. It started out with me waking up at 7:05 AM. A few minutes later I heard Maggie and went to get her. Then at 7:20, Will finally woke up. Now, Will is what you might call a "short sleeper". He only gets on average, about 10.5 hours of sleep a day. For a 2 year old, that's not much(at least not enough for me!). I hope he doesn't join the ranks of short sleepers as an adult. Some famous short sleepers include Bill Clinton, Napoleon Bonaparte, Thomas Edison, and Winston Churchill. Anyways, after we all woke up, I made French Toast. Then Will and I tore some more noxious weeds out of the west foundation planting, destroying prime cricket real estate. Then, after getting into some poison ivy, I took a shower, then played with the kids, then Tyler made some delicious burgers for lunch. Then, we played some more.

We actually had family home evening. We aren't very good with that, what with Tyler in classes on Mondays; or at least that's my excuse. In WIll's Curious George book, it shows you how to make a boat out of paper. So, we sang Nephi's Courage, told Will about how Nephi built a boat(he ran around the living room while we tried to tell it to him, so I don't think he benefited from it), then Tyler tried to build a boat following Curious George's instructions. You would think if a monkey could do it, we could do it, but that was not the case. TYler had to watch a video on the internet. Then we tried floating it in the "dink", but it almost immediately fell apart. WIll had a fit, so Tyler tried to make another one, which fell apart again. Our conclusion: Heavenly Father should have taught Nephi how to build an airplane. THey are much easier to make out of paper.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

She's got wheels!

This morning, I had the sudden urge to go roller skating. I usually blame my urges on hormones, but I don't know which hormone controls this particular urge. Anyway, I imagined myself sailing down the sidewalk, steadied by my double stroller. The last time I tried to roller skate, I seriously damaged my coccyx. I couldn't sit comfortably for months. So, I donned my skates (the official roller derby skates, to be exact) and practiced a minute in my driveway. I didn't exactly sail, but I blamed it on our disintegrating concrete. We headed out and I can tell you, skating is a lot more difficult than I remembered. We made it onto the Pennsy trail which is about a block away. Fortunately, it was a foggy morning, because I truly looked like a stooge. I couldn't get up much speed and ended up walking on the donuts in front. After going about a block, I had to turn around. My hip muscles were already ready to give up. However, I am going to get this roller skating thing down. The best thing about growing older is that you don't care as much when people make fun of you, or cast curious glances as you are trying to do something that most 26 year olds don't do. But, at least I had fun!

We are babysitting Nanny for a bit today while Poppy has a meeting in the area. Then Nanny is taking Will to Muncie for the night so I can get some things done around the house. We are still working on our dining room. We don't have the crown molding up yet, because we need to address the papered ceiling. There are some cracks in the plaster that tore the ceiling paper (yes, white wallpaper on the ceiling) and we need to do something about it before we put the molding up. I think we should texture the ceiling, but I don't know if you can just slap the plaster on top of the paper. I tried steaming the paper, but the first layer wasn't going to budge without a fight.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I really shouldn't have called bats "vermin" in my last post. I realize they are beneficial to our environment. I also think it's funny that their poop is called "guano". Besides bats, we have a few toads in our back yard and a snake. Yes, I saw a snake slithering under our ever-growing pile of brush last week. At first I thought it was a giant slug. I have found more slugs in our backyard this past month than I have ever found in all my years of gardening. And they are truly gigantic. I can't stand to even look at them, they are so gross. The snake was moving too fast to be a slug, though. With all these insect eaters in our area, you would think there would be no insects at all, but we still have tons of crickets and mosquitoes, among other things. So, while I appreciate bats, I would rather have them stay outside along with their guano.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I don't really have anything to blog about, but I feel obligated to write every now and again. Maggie got her 4-month shots this morning. She has been really good today, though. I didn't give her any tylenol, either. My allergies have started bothering me. I have been pretty lucky all summer. Except for a week in May, I have been quite comfortable.

We did have some excitement when Tyler came home and walked into his office. There was a dead bat in the middle of the floor! We can't figure out he got there. Old house woes, I guess. That's one thing that is kind of annoying about old houses. Vermin. And I envy anyone who can go around their home, opening windows up willy-nilly. No struggles with sticking windows or broken sash cords sending the weights plummeting into the nether regions of the wall. Oh, and lead paint worries. I could go on, but I will spare you. In spite of all that, we still really like our house and are glad we bought it.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Yearbook faces

Tyler found this website that lets you paste your face in certain years to see what you might have looked like with that year's style. I think it was called yearbook faces. I think we were at the height of hotness in 1992.


I was feeling quite surly yesterday morning and just wanted to curl up with a book. Of course with a 2 year old you don't have that luxury. So, after a few frustrating hours I made the conscious effort to enjoy Will and we went to the park. We played on the slides and swings and went rolling down the sledding hill. I don't know when a kid decides it's not cool to roll down a hill in public with your old mama who is sqealing "WHEE!" the whole way down, but I'm guessing my rolling years with Will are few. After rolling about 5 times, I took a good look at the grass and saw that the clover was still in bloom and that the bees were busy that day. I'm lucky I didn't get stung. So we ran up and down several more times, looked at the river a few minutes and went home. Maggie slept the whole time. I can't wait to roll with her!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Will's new pool

I went to Target (Will's favorite store) yesterday and saw that they had a bunch of summer stuff 50% off. So, I ended up getting an inflatable pool and pump. The water was freezing cold, but Will didn't care at first. I think it did get to him in the end. His teeth were chattering and he was shaking with cold. I don't think we will be classified as White Trash until I get in there with my barley pop a'la Homer Simpson.
Before Tyler went to New Philadelphia (Ohio) on Monday, we walked downtown to a cafe called the Bread Ladies. That may just be my new favorite place. I got a grilled portabello mushroom sandwich on Ciabatta. It was great. For dessert we got giant cookies.
The dining room is slowly getting done. I have most of the wallpaper off, and have been trying to get all the glue off the walls. I never realized how lovely and smooth plaster walls are. It's a shame to paint them.
We have found a new thing to do. Puzzles. I always had them put away for fear all the pieces would get lost, so I never remembered that we had them. Will is surprisingly good at them and loves to do them. I love to buy puzzles. And baby books. Some people like to buy baby clothes, but I love going to the kids book section at the book store. We bought this really cool new book called "Gallop". WHen you open the book and move the pages, it looks like the animals are moving.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Will's new phase

The past few weeks I have noticed a change in Will. I think he is finally getting into his "terrible twos". Everything is "MINE" or "NO" and kicking and screaming all the way. When Maggie so much as touches him or whatever toy he is playing with he throws a fit. We were reading a book today and he didn't want me to touch it or turn the page. So, I guess I will just take a couple Tylenol and wait for him to go to sleep. At least I have one cuddly, sweet baby to love on.

Yesterday morning I walked with the kids to the farmer's market at the courthouse. I felt so urban. All I need now is to start taking public transportation. I love walking around downtown Greenfield. There are some fantastical houses. My favorites are the Victorian Era houses that are painted wild colors. I no longer think of these houses as crack houses where the neighborhood drug lord lives. There are at least a couple painted pink, one painted various shades of purple, and yet another that is painted shades of bright blue. It's a good thing we don't live in a paintable house, or Tyler might come home one day to a bright pink house.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Wiggles

Last night we went to see the Wiggles at the Coliseum in Ft. Wayne. It was surprisingly fun. Most people really hate shows like the Wiggles, but i don't mind them. Perhaps I wouldn't have as much tolerance if Greg and Anthony weren't quite as good looking. Being a Wiggle is not the most masculine profession, but I'm sure they make a ton of $. I had a great time clapping and dancing with Will.

Today Will and ET (Will's name for Ethan) are going with Yammy, Aunt Kathy and Kailyn to the splash park in Elkhart. I plan on staying home to relax and read more of Little Dorrit. That book is taking me forever to finish. I can't say it is my favorite Charles Dickens. There aren't as many eccentric characters as I like to see in his books. My two all-time favorite characters are Daniel Quilp and Richard Swiveller in The Old Curiosity Shop.

Monday, August 4, 2008

chair rail crisis

We are trying to figure out the placement of our dining room chair rail. Convention says that we should put it 32" above the floor. We have a window on the east side of the room that is about half way up the 9' wall. Should we put it a few inches above the bottom frame of the window (not really a chair rail anymore), somehow join it with the window frame (color and shape issues here) or put it below the window frame? I tried to put some pics up for you, but for some reason it wouldn't upload. I think we should put it a couple inches above the window frame. We also considered not putting chair railing on that wall at all since most of that wall is windows, making it a red accent wall. What do you think?

Maggie has her 4 month check up tomorrow. After that, we are leaving for Goshen and central air! I can hardly complain, though. It is warm during the afternoon and early evening, but with the box fans going in the windows at night it actually gets kind of cold. We were freezing last night. August is a miserably hot month and I don't know if I can make it.

The electricians started today on our new wiring in the upstairs. They will probably be here all week. We went to Castleton mall to get out of their way. Will had fun playing at the playground in the food court. He pooped his pants, but fortunately i brought backup undies. Then we went to Calico Corners to get fabric for the dining room chairs that I am going to reupholster. Hopefully I will do a better job than the last time. Some of the fabric got all bunched up. I got a black and white damask outdoor fabric. I hate to admit it, but I didn't do any measurements and decided I better get 6 yards of the fabric; one yard for each chair. Do you think that's too much? Probably. Well, maybe I will go all HGTV on you and make some wall art out of the remnants.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Will and Tyler went to M&N's house on Saturday and I was able to get alot done on the dining room. I have just another night or two of work to get the last bits of wallpaper off. We plan on putting up chair railing and crown moulding. I roll my eyes at many things, but one of them happens to be paint sample names. We are painting the dining room Earthy Cane, Almond Paste, and the moulding is going to be Ivory Tower. I often wonder who comes up with these names. If you are a fan of old movies, you may remember one called "Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House." It's a wonderful movie. There is one scene in it where Mrs. Blandings is telling the painters what colors she wants in each room. She tells them things like she wants one room to be the color of robins eggs, one room to be a sunny yellow, but not too yellow, etc. Then the painter says to his partner who is writing the info down, "blue, red, yellow". You will just have to see the movie. Or read the book. I just found it is by an author named Eric Hodgins.

This week we are going to Goshen to visit the family. Wednesday, we are going to see the Wiggles in Ft. Wayne. We have limited basic cable, so we don't get Disney or Nickolodeon anymore. Will misses his shows, but I would rather have him just watch PBS.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Yesterday was a pretty good day. We haven't had any hot water for a couple of days, so we had the new home insurance preferred plumber come out and take a look at it. He said that it was shot and proceeded to replace it. When it came time to turn the new one back on, he said that we didn't have any gas. When I had stopped all or our utilities at our apartment, I thought we had gas there and had called Vectren. Well, we didn't have gas there and I thought I made it clear that we still wanted service at our Main St address, but obviously my point wasn't made clearly enough. But, the plumber was nice enough to still bill it to the insurance. It was 25 years old, for goodness sake. It was time.

The amount of poopy diapers has dramatically decreased in our house. Will has gotten surprisingly good about going on the toilet and Maggie poops less than once a day. Another small victory for me. Well, I have to go. Will has finished his English muffin, or rather, finished eating the PB and jelly from off the top of it. Stinker!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The picker

Sunday night, I was sitting in the 4th bedroom on the couch, reading Little Dorrit and I looked up at the wallpaper border. I thought to myself, I wonder if that will come down easily? So I started to pick...

It came off all too easily. I don't even have anything to complain about, which is unusual for me. So I got that border down by the end of Monday night.

Tuesday afternoon, Will and I were playing cars in the living room. One of them happened to make it into the dining room (wood floors are great for playing with Hot Wheels). We scooted into that room. A loose piece of wallpaper happened to catch my eye. I started to pick...

I suppose there are worse things in life to pick than wallpaper. I always get mad at Will for picking at things, but he obviously gets it from me.

The window air conditioner in our house has finally given up the ghost. The instruction book that came with it said that it was installed on 7.7.1977. I think it has served long enough. We will give it a good burial with the good folks at CGS.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

We are finally done moving stuff from our apartment to our house. Now all we have to do is unpack the rest of it. Tyler is turning in the keys to the apartment today. I've hopped on his computer for a few minutes to check email, etc. He hates it when I use his computer. Apparently, everything I touch becomes sticky.

My mom, sister, and nephew came to visit for a couple days. Will loves Ethan. He goes nuts whenever they are together. We went to the zoo and the children's museum. It's nice to live closer to Indy.

Tyler and I had our 5th anniversary yesterday. What a great 5 years it's been! To celebrate, we went to a restaurant just 6 blocks away from our house called Carnegies. It's in the basement of the old Carnegie library. The food was delicious. It was nice to go out with each other without the kids. Nanny and Poppy came down to watch them and they took Will home with them. We slept in till about 7:30. Well, gotta go unpack some more!

Friday, July 18, 2008

The final big move

Tomorrow, we are going to move into our house. It's going to be another 90 degree day. I'm glad I'm not moving the big stuff. I turned on the window units today and it was heavenly standing in front of them while I was drenched in sweat. I'm taking the kids out while the move is happening. Will is always underfoot. We are getting our cable/internet turned on on Monday, so I will let you know how the move went later on next week.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


The plumber came on Wednesday and installed a new toilet and the tub glazer came this morning and reglazed our tub white. When we took down the glass door, we broke a few tiles, so we will have to retile the tub. But that's what happens when you start changing things, you have to keep on going. The bathroom smells like you just inhaled a bottle of nail polish remover.

We're spending the rest of the day at our apartment. With temperatures in the 90's and no AC going at the house right now, it's just too hot. We'll get the window units going on Friday and hopefully those will keep it bearable.