Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Back to My Regularly Scheduled Programming

So how about a real blog post for ya there?

We're having a slow lazy day over here. Greg is sick with a cough and Elise is finally actually sleeping today (maybe making up for her non-napping day yesterday) and so I'm just here snuggling with Greg will he alternates between coughing and roaring in my face. So that's fun.

Matt started back to school, which is a bummer for me. It's so nice to have him home all summer. We're settling into a bit of a routine and trying to get in lots of outside time. Greg starts preschool in 10 days. Not that anyone's counting. He is very very excited to get back. Yesterday all the neighborhood kids started school and he was dying to get on the bus with them. While we waited for them to get off the bus, I asked him if he thought they had fun at their first day of school. He said: "Well, if it was a playing classroom, they had fun. If it was a learning classroom, it was boring." Uh-oh! I better enjoy his love of school now.

Greg's newest expression is "I was thinking about." It usually is his way of suggesting an activity we could do. Here's an example of how the conversation might go.

Me: OK bud! Time to lay down for your rest.
Him: Well, Mommy, I was actually thinking about going out to play with my friends.

The kid never ceases to make me laugh.

Over the last few weeks Elise has been in a "wonder week." It's apparently this developmental thing that causes babies not to sleep and mothers to go insane. She's doing better now, but it was rough going for a week or so. She's definitely done something developmental, though. Her faces are so full of expression now. At one point during the haze of her waking up a zillion times, I was trying to put her back to sleep by having her lie on my chest and suck on her pacifier. She was dozing off, but then looked up at me like "hmm...well, mom, as long as you're here, I guess a snack wouldn't hurt." And then last night as I was nursing her to sleep and I had to cough. After doing so, her eyes flew open and she gave me this look like "look, lady, there are people trying to sleep here."

In quilting news, I'm almost done Katie's quilt. I'm really quite pleased with how it turned out.  For your veiwing pleasure:

And because I can't write a post with out including a picture of my babies:

Go Phillies!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Entry for Serger Giveway by Sew, Mama, Sew

I wrote this for a chance to win a gorgeous brand new Husqvarna serger from Sew, Mama, Sew (a fabulous blog for those who love to sew). See! Who ever said an English degree was useless?

Oh The Things I Could Sew
(inspired by Oh The Places You'll Go, by Dr. Seuss)

To Win a Husqvarna!
It would be my day.
I'd be off to Great Projects
I could sew sew away!

With the brains in my head
And the thread in my spool
I could mend or create,
I could sew like a fool.

I'll look round my house,
Look it over with care,
And find all the clothes my husband likes to wear.
With the brains in my head and the machine with it's feet
The seams of his pants' seats could once again meet.

My husband's britches often need stiches.

And not in the way that I've patched them before
With old scrappy scraps of bamboo velour.
But properly this time with my serger, for sure.

I know I know...does it help that it's organic bamboo velour?

When I've done all the mending
I could possibly do
In that case, of course,
I'll learn something brand new.

From a tutorial here
or a tutorial there
out there in the open wide
wide open blogosphere.

That's where things can happen
and frequently do
to people with a Husqvarna or two.

Sometimes it weeps remembering it's friends from the Husqvarna sewing gallery.

When these things start to happen
I won't worry or stew
I'll go right along
I'll start happening too.

Oh! The Things I Could Sew!

I'll begin with my son,
a boy all the way through,
He'll be a superhero in an
Ironman costume brand new.

He won't lag behind, because he'll have the speed
He'll pass all those bad guys and soon take the lead.
Where ever he flies he'll be the best of the best
With his super serged seams he will top all the rest.

Batman was so 2009. Ironman is where it's at, dude.

When I'm all done with that

and he's happily playing
I'll buy some bright fabric
and start girl clothing making.

With patterns galore
once more I will find
all the things that I need to
to make dresses one of a kind.

Wouldn't I look cute in a dress my mommy made me?
Oh! The Things I Will Sew! No more seams frayed for me.
Cloth napkins, cloth diapers -- I can't wait to see.
That magical serger and I'd have a ball.
It would make me the sewing-est sewer of all.

These diapers get a little jealous when they see diapers with serged soakers.
I'll get mixed up of course
as I already know
I'll get mixed up
with many wrong stitches I'll sew.
A seam ripper will aid where I've lacked
and I'll just remember sewing is a
Great Balancing Act
I'll never forget to be dexterous and strong.
And I'll never mix up my fabric's right side from it's wrong.

And will I succeed?
Yes! I will, indeed!
(98 and ¼ percent guaranteed).

Me? I'll sew mountains!

I'll be off to great places!
Today is my day!
I've got thread, fabric and pins.
All that's left now
is a serger to win!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Vacation, Round Two

I'm typing this from the sunny shores of the Outer Banks. We are currently enjoying a lovely vacation with Matt's family.  The weather has been absolutely gorgeous, and we have been taking advantage of some wonderful beach days. Even Elise is getting in on the action. I put her in the waterproof sling, and she drifts off to sleep to the sound of the ocean. It's very sweet. I thought it might be fun to do a compare and contrast of this vacation and our previous vacation. Let's see...

Things That Are Different
the house
the location
the people

Things That Are the Same
Greg's ability to find a third floor balcony to pee off of

What can I say? Our dear son is a huge fan of eliminating outdoors. 

Thankfully he is also very concerned with being safe in the water. I really, really appreciate this, because while I tend to be really cautious around him and water, it still gives me a little peace of mind to know he is very unlikely to jump into an open pool if he should ever happen upon one.  I did have to laugh, though, when he told the group of adults standing around him "someone make sure I'm safe in the water!" and then proceeded to move his boogy board 10 inches further from me at to the very edge of the surf. (Also, while he's on his surfboard he sings The Backyardigans Ho Daddy Ho. He is about the cutest thing ever, I think.)

Elise is also being an absolute joy. Tonight while I was putting her to sleep, I just had one of those moments where I fell more in love with her. She is very into babbling these days. If you start talking to her, she'll give you the biggest smile and just start babbling away. If there is no one there to engage is conversation with, she moves her attention to her toes and begins a dialogue with them during which she sounds very concerned about something. Something very important, I am sure.

We take turns here making dinner, which is a lot of work one night (cooking for 9 adults and 2 kids), but it's nice because then you only have to cook dinner once. Tonight was my night, and I made something which I thought was quite delicious. The main part of the meal was broiled shrimp and flounder, with three different sauces: lemon butter, lime butter, and mango salsa.  I added in roasted potatoes, a big green salad and garlic bread. The recipes:

Broiled Shrimp & Flounder: buy super fresh shrimp and flounder, put them in a broiler pan with some salt, pepper, and butter. Cook them on "broil" until the shrimp turns pink all the way through and the flounder is flaky. (Do this in two different pans as they probably won't be done at the same time)

Lemon Butter Sauce (from Bonefish Grill)
  • 1 tbs. Fresh, Chopped Garlic
  • 1 tbs. Fresh, Chopped Shallots
  • 2 tbs. White Wine (preferably Chablis)
  • 3 tbs. Fresh Lemon Juice
  • ½ lb. Cold Unsalted Butter
  • 1 pinch Salt
1.) Put all ingredients except butter in saucepan on low. Reduce to half.
2.) Slowly add butter, a few tablespoons at a time. Whisk while adding to sauce, and serve immediately. 

Mango Salsa (from Epicurious)
  • 1 firm-ripe mango, pitted, peeled, and cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, chopped (I substituted cilantro for the mint)
In a bowl stir together salsa ingredients with salt to taste and let stand, covered, at room temperature. Salsa may be made 2 hours ahead and kept at room temperature, covered.

Lime Butter (also Epicurious)
  • 1 large garlic clove, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted
Purée garlic with lime juice, salt, and pepper in a blender until smooth. With motor running, add melted butter and blend until emulsified, about 30 seconds.
Roasted Potatoes
  • red potatoes
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • italian seasoning
  • garlic
Dice potatoes. Coat with olive oil, add generous amount of spices. Stir to coat all the potatoes. Cook in at oven at 425 until crispy (about 35 minutes.)

Grandmom's Salad Dressing
  • 1 part olive oil
  • 2 parts rice vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients, pour over salad.

Yum. It was very very good. 

OK it took me forever to actually upload the pictures to publish this post, but I finally did it.