Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Memorial Day and the Spider

I know, I know. You are just dying to see how far I have gotten on the cross stitch projects, right? Sadly, I have only made progress on one of them, and not that much. I am going to do better this week, I swear!

Before I get into the whole weekend story, I wanted you to see who I met on the back deck a few nights ago. Yes, the Godzilla of spiders! He survived a healthy dose of Windex! He is out there, Baltimorians. Watch out!

We went to Dan's parents for the long weekend. What a weekend. It was a long drive (seems like forever when you are sitting on a broken tailbone). Our first stop was 6 hours into the trip in Charleston, WV - not to be confused with the beautiful city of Charleston, SC - this was not nearly as picturesque! We stayed at the Holiday Inn by the river - they were kind enough to give us a big room on the end and provided a crib for the Abster. She did not like it. It was a nice enough crib, and the linens were clean, but I think she felt like it was a jail...

The next day, we picked up Sissy (in Charleston, where she stays with her mom at her grandparent's house) and headed on to Wellington, Ohio. Husbands out there, let me give you some advice, do NOT fall asleep whilst the wife is trying to get to a house that she has not been to in over a year on roads she does not know with two children in the backseat and pedophile truck drivers nearby (That is a whole other story, and one best left out of the blog. Suffice it to say that they are out there and taking a gander at the little ones whenever they can). It is not a good game plan.

Anyhow, after about an hour of backtracking (and so 6 more hours on the road on top of the 6 hours the day before), we finally made it to Grandma and Grandpa's house in Wellington. All of us were glad to get out of the car. They have a beautiful eight acre plot of land and, to the delight of all little girls out there, ponies! They have three ponies, a horse, and three cats. This was heaven on earth for Sissy. Saturday afternoon they hosted a big barbecue and had 40 people over. Sissy and Abster got to ride Rascal and fun was had by all. Abster also got to meet her uncles and a whole bunch of other people, so that was great too. Abster really enjoyed meeting Uncle Ronnie and just could not stop grinning at him and trying to touch him. He had been looking forward to meeting her, too, and it was a pretty special moment when they locked eyes.

By the way, I don't want any truck drivers out there to take offense at what I said earlier. But there is one of you who cruises the highways of the midwest looking at little girls while they are vulnerable and sleeping. You know who you are, and I do too!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Mother's Day Rocks!

I have always been a holiday person. Every holiday is my favorite. Valentine's Day is great because we get the sparklies and the smell-goodies and the lacies from our husbands. They, in turn, get some small tokens of affection and a WHOLE lotta lovin'! Easter is fun because we have a small person in the house just old enough to be excited about it. This year was Sissy's first time starting to understand what Easter is all about - which for a three year old means dressing up in her "princess" dress and getting a basket full of toys and candy (we went easy on the candy, though). In fact, in her mind, going to church on Easter Sunday is just a way to gain an audience so she could twirl around in her dress. The people at Towson UMC were kind enough to make copious, kind comments and look awed in her presence. She responded by bestowing them with her sweet "princess" smile and twirling yet again. (It needs to be said here that she was picked up off of the ground more than once that day for her twirling endeavors.) May Day is fun because it is a reason to drink. There is also some historical significance to this day, however I do not think the average Joe knows what it is. But he does know, I can almost guarantee you, that you are supposed to drink on that day.

Chronologically, this brings us to the newest holiday on my calendar. Mother's Day. Having only produced my first child six months ago, this is my first time getting to celebrate this holiday Let me just say that it ROCKS! There is much attention, food preparation and gift giving on this day - all in my honor. How could a holiday be any more fun?? That being said, I am very fortunate to have a husband who spoils me rotten on such days. It all started out with me sitting straight up in bed at 10:00 - HOLY COW! I do not remember the last time my eyes stayed shut beyond 6:30. After an initial moment of panic (Why didn't the Abster call to me for her typical 6:30 feeding? What was wrong?) I realized that I could hear her and her Daddy playing downstairs. I got up and mozied on down to be greeted by four gifts on the mantle and a smiling hubby and baby. How nice! We had a light breakfast and then sat down to present the queen (that would be me) with her gifts. I used to be the princess, but Sissy currently owns that title. I digress. Gift number one was from the Abster. Daddy and Tiff (the best babysitter in the whole wide world - I am not kidding! She has twin girls and still finds time to come and watch our little one, and brings puppets to boot!) had staged a photo session of Abster in her mommy's current favorite outfit laughing hysterically at something unseen by the rest of us (which, it turns out, was one of the aforementioned puppets). Dan put this into a hinged frame. On the other side of the frame were handprints in clay of her little six month old paws. This is a precious picture, but you don't really get to see it here because it is on Dan's camera and so it is not on the computer.

I would have been happy with just this, but there were more gifts to open and I did not want to disappoint my family. So, on to gift number two. This one was from the dog. Dakota knows that I am a voracious reader, so she got me a gift certificate to Borders. Great gift. Perfect. 'Nuff said.

Gift number three was from Dan. It is an outfit from Coldwater Creek. Long, flowy white eyelet skirt and turquoise shirt. Very pretty. It fits and I will be modeling it for you in the near future, when it is warmer.

Gift number four was also from Dan. This was a stunning diamond pendant. It actually matches my engagement ring. It is, in my opinion, breathtaking. The picture does not do it justice.

So there you have it. My first official Mother's Day. The bar has been set very high, I must say. How is he going to ever be able to top this? How am I going to be able to do it justice on Father's Day? Guess I better get crackin'.

As a post script to this entry, I want to say that we are not overly materialistic people. Either one of us would be happy with a card and some heartfelt words, but ya gotta admit - gift are just so much fun to give and receive!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Cross Stitching and My Other Addiction

Ok, so the Abster is 26 weeks old now and just a pound (or three, depending on the brand) away from crossing into the 6-9 month category for baby clothes. So, today I go downstairs and get the clothes out of storage that my cousin sent me. It is a box about as big as a 13 inch tv, so not too big or overwhelming, and she has the same taste in clothes as I do (Baby Gap, Gymboree, Little Me, etc.) so it is wonderful that she sends me this stuff when her daughter is done with it. It is all in really good condition and some of it still has tags on it! After I dragged the box out and re-washed everything in it, as it now smelled like it had been in a box for several months, and brought it all upstairs, I went to the basket and toybox full of new clothes that my mom, Dan's mom and I had bought for Abster. I laid it all out on the bed so I could start sorting through and organizing it. I think we have a problem.

This is a picture of part of the bed - the whole thing would not fit into frame, but you get the idea. My cousin's clothes are not even in this picture! Ummm...we live in a fairly small townhouse in the city and the closets are miniscule. Abster does have a changing table/dresser in her room, but it is not nearly big enough to fit all of this. The first step is admitting your addiction, right? Ok, here goes. I am addicted to buying clothes for my daughter. She cannot possibly wear all of the clothes that she has. Dan is going to kill me! Luckily, I have a kind neighbor who is going to come over and try to help me get this organized and put away. Also, she is 32 weeks pregnant with a girl, so she may end up just having to take some of this home for her daughter.

As promised, here are pics of how far I have come on the three cross stitch projects on which I am currently working. First of all, I finished A Child Was Born last Friday. Yay! Here it is, ready to go off to the framers tomorrow. The next time you see it, it will be framed and hanging up in her room!

Next, here is the beginning of Summer Stack. Obviously, I have a lot farther to go here, but working on this piece in almost exclusively overdyed threads is so much fun! I love the variation of the colors as I stitch along... I am doing this on 32 count hand-painted linen. The picture does not do it justice. It starts out a beautiful sunny yellow and then fades into a sea blue. Gorgeous fabric!

Finally, I just started The Petal Fairy. I am not even 100 stitches into it yet, but the fabric (32 count Lavender Bliss linen) is prepped and I have started the first color, which is the pale green part of the stem of the flower on which the fairy is sitting.

That's it for now. Gotta go work on the closet.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

The Baptism, Fairies and the Announcement

The Abster was baptised a couple of weekends ago. I am not sure why we thought this was so important, but we did. We had it done at the Methodist church we attend. It was a nice ceremony and we were able to incorporate the new godparents, Paul and Bonnie. They are not overly religious people - they believe in God, but they do not attend church or affiliate with one, but they are really, really good people and that is what matters to us. Here is a picture of all of us at the Baptism.

Yesterday was a good cross stitching day! I stitched all of "November" onto the Lizzie Kate announcement for Abster's room. Now all I have to do is the numbers part of the date and I am done! Hopefully, I will get it to the framers this weekend. I would love it if Dan would get me a gift certificate to The Stitching Post for Mother's Day, but I have dropped a lot of other hints, too so I guess we will see. The other hints all pretty much had to do with sparklies! I especially like Brighton pieces.

I took my neighbor, who is 32 weeks pregnant, to my favorite abovementioned cross stitch store to pick out something for me to stitch for her soon-to-be daughter's room. Rather than pick a traditional announcement, which sometimes tend to date themselves, she picked "The Petal Fairy" by Mirabilia. I am sooooo excited to start it! I have never done a Mirabilia piece, but they are my favorite. I also ordered the supplies to start Chatelaine Mystery IX. I will start that when I get them and then I will be working on three pieces at once!

Finished "Almost a Lady" by Jane Feather last night. It was pretty good! Logged it on to Frugal Reader today so someone else can enjoy it. I just love that website. It is really good for people who love to read, like me. Now I am reading "Night" by Elie Wiesel. Heavy stuff, but really engrossing. Hmmm...I feel another list coming on. I will start one of books I have read this year. They are numerous, but I at least remember the last few. They are all gone now - shipped out to other members of Frugal Reader for their enjoyment.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Goals, the Forklift and the Glasses

I am a list person. I like to have a list for just about everything. Books I want to read. Movies I want to see (although Netflix pretty much keeps that list for me). Names I want to give to children (I have way too many of these, so if you are lacking for names, just shoot me a comment and I will respond posthaste with copious suggestions!). Groceries we need to buy. Things we need to do around the house. Even what I need to pack for our trip to Kansas next month. But you know what I don't have a list of? Cross stitch projects that I want to finish. This list would be pages and pages long, I think, so I will just start with what I want to get done in May. This is a very short list.

  • Finish "A Child Was Born" (Lizzie Kate sampler)
  • Start "Summer Stack" (Waxing Moon Designs) and get it halfway completed
  • Chatelaine Mystery IX - get January and half of February done (just got the chart emailed to me today, so I have a lot of catching up to do here)
  • Start something for Andrea, our next door neighbor, and her baby

That's it. This is a very lofty list for me, as I also stay home and take care of a baby, a dog and a husband. :)

Speaking of my husband. Here is a funny pic of him from this past weekend. Notice anything kinda different? How about those glasses? Yep. They fell out of his pocket at work and got run over by a forklift. At least his face wasn't in them. I have to say that we got a pretty good laugh out of them when he got home and showed them to me. We weren't laughing so hard when we had to pay for the new ones at Lenscrafters on Saturday, though. They are kinda cool - a little trendy, but not too trendy. They are by DKNY (the unisex collection).

By the way, every Monday I want to post a pic of my cross stitch progress for the week, so here goes... I still need to put in the date, and then this piece will go off to the framers to be completed. Yay!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

A well oiled machine

So, Dan and I have been married for almost seven months! I know what you are thinking..."A" is almost six months old. Yes, it's true, we got married when I was 37 weeks pregnant. I was not the most graceful bride, but I sure was glowing! After being together for nearly two years, we were thinking we were going to get married anyway, but we just decided to speed things along. It was a great decision. No regrets.

We do really well together. I appreciate his dry sense of humor and his attraction for me and he appreciates my level-headedness and kindness (who do I think I am fooling??). I guess some of his past relationships have not been with the most stable or affectionate of women. As I am both of those things, he is happy. Plus, we are both short.

We have a lot of things in common. We both LOVE to travel and have done so extensively, although a lot of it was before we met each other. I have lived in several different countries and state, thanks to my dad's job when I was young. Dan has visited several different countries and over 30 states! Together, we have been to (including lived in and visited) Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia, Ohio, New Jersey and New York. We are going to Kansas in June (to visit my extended family) and we hope to hit Vegas sometime this year for a few days.

He is a younger man. I am 34 and he is 31. It works for us. What can I say? Also, he treats my dog like she is his - and she has gratefully adopted him as part of her herd of people. And I treat Dan's daughter, "S" like she is my own. Love her to pieces. We will call her Sissy from now on, since that is what she refers to herself as when she is around her little sister.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Trucks, the giraffe and Barqs

Woke up this morning feeling like a truck had hit me. When I went to bed last night, I felt fine. I have no idea where this came from. It is mainly body aches, stuffy nose and shooting pain in my left ear. Jeez. I hope "A" does not get it. I am going to try to get over this a naturally as possible since I am still giving "A" the boob juice. Just an ibuprofen here and there for the aches and to ward off fever.

I went into "A's" room to check on her during her afternoon nap yesterday and this is what I found. She has just recently become attached to this giraffe. It is kinda cute how her little fat hand keeps ahold of it even when she is sleeping.

Not much going on today except for a whole lot of laying on the couch and playing with the munchkin whilst feeling extremely sorry for myself. Luckily, Dan is a wonderful husband who came home from work and immediately took over the parenting gig - he does this every night and don't think I don't appreciate it, because that would be a gross misassumption on your part!

Gonna finish my root beer (Barqs rocks!) and go to bed.

Monday, May 01, 2006

May Day

Did you know that today is May Day? Any idea what that means? Well, in a nutshell, it is International Workers Day. It is celebrated in every country but the U.S. and Canada, but the holiday started in the U.S. Does that make sense? According to Wikipedia.com, this holiday is what symbolizes the historic struggle for an 8-hour work day back in the 1800's. Obviously, the struggle worked, but lives were lost over it. If you want more info on it, go to www.en.wikipedia.org - this is a free online encycolpedia. Being an English teacher, I love this website.

Ok, ok, I know. You want to know who I am and what I am all about. Well, I will get to all that eventually. Right now, all you need to know is that I am a Midwesterner who transplanted to the East Coast many moons ago. I have a new husband, Dan, a new daughter, "A" and a new stepdaughter, "S". We have a faithful and loving dog, "D" - wait, why do I have to protect the dog's identity? Her name is Dakota Marie. Yes, she has a middle name. Most midwesterners do.

My favorite hobbies are reading, cross stitching, scrapbooking, jewelry making, traveling and shopping - not necessarily in that order. In this blog, I will keep you updated on my escapades into these hobbies and occasionally share pics of my most recent endeavors. In fact, here is the cross stitch project I am working on now. It is a Lizzie Kate design for the newest addition to our family, who joined us in November. If you really, really like this design and think you might want to use it for your own offspring, or somebody else's, or maybe your pet fish, go to www.lizziekate.com or you could go to your local cross stitch store and maybe get it there. If you don't have a local cross stitch store, you can use mine (I know, I know - incredibly generous of me - you will get that a lot here.) Their website is www.the-stitching-post.net. They can get just about anything for you and are happy to ship it. They did not pay me to tell you about them - I just really like that store a lot. Anyway, I am going to try to post pics of my current projects once a week. That way, I will feel pressured to work on them so that I don't keep posting the same picture of an uncompleted project every week and start getting frustrated comments from those of you who are bored enough to read about my cross stitching projects!

That's all for now folks. This momma is pooped.