Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Coziest Day

We went to Sky Nursery today and picked out some plants and flowers for the front yard, which I have steadily been denuding of dandelions, sickly rose bushes and leggy plants. Also gross plastic liner under the beauty bark designed to keep weeds out but which only succeeded in peeking through the beauty bark and looking really tacky. It's raining now so I haven't put the new plants in, but I'll post pictures when I do. The fish are from the pond at Sky; I've always wanted to have a fish pond in my garden, but I don't think the boys are at a good age for such a thing. Matteas tends to be over-confident in his abilities when it comes to water.
Yesterday as I was pulling up dandelions in the front lawn and Aaron was washing his work van in the driveway, he waved me quietly over to the driveway and pointed to the open garage. Out crept this little rat, looking for water. He carefully sniffed the stream of soapy water running down the driveway and scampered further and further upwards until he found the hose, then drank the fresh water. I grabbed a flower pot and scooped him into a plastic bin Aaron brought me and we gave him some food and water. Jack and I wanted to keep him, but I was nervous about him biting the boys(Matteas LOVED him and tried to jump out of my arms and into the bin) so I ended up releasing him into the woods after Jack was in bed. He was awfully cute though, tiny and delicate with a nice pink tail and not a gross, giant scaly tail like big rats. I used to not be into animals much, but after having babies I have a deepened sense of awe for any and all live creatures.
All things bright and beautiful
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful
The Lord God made them all.
-C. F. Alexander

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Together Again

My engagement ring, being an antique, had some character. By "character" I mean problems, most notably that the diamond had shifted in the setting and the prongs snagged towels when I dried my hands and scratched my babies when it brushed their cheek. So I put it away, thinking that for some birthday or anniversary we'd get it fixed. My aunt actually had her diamond FALL OUT OF HER RING(she found it later), so I didn't want to risk it. We finally took it in last week when we went to Pike Place and I picked it up today. I feel like a schoolgirl. An adult, newly-engaged giddy schoolgirl. So if you see me anytime soon and I point excessively with my left hand, please take notice of my incredibly beautiful ring. When I showed it to Jack he said, "Wow Mom, there's stars in your ring." Indeed :)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Slowly, slowly...

...getting rid of the things in my house I hate. Like purple walls. On a whim I took the boys to Home Depot and picked out some green paint. Matteas napped when we got home and Jack ate animal crackers and watched me. It doesn't look very green in these pictures, but it is. I need to fiddle with my camera and find a setting that captures the actual color a little better. For now, here's one my favorite spots in my kitchen. I just love the way my big jars look next to my white mixer. Very Barefoot Contessa. I didn't mention I was doing it, and it took Aaron three hours to notice. The only downside to being married to a contractor is that he doesn't find my home improvement projects cute and endearing; without exception, he could do them better. I'm a great cook, a competent gardener and a budding seamstress, but I am not a handyman. Aaron is very nice to me though, and smiles in a tolerant way that says "I'm so glad you're pleased with your project, but please stop." He doesn't mind so much that I painted the kitchen because we're going to tear it all out someday anyway. By "we" I mean mostly Aaron. See above reference to handyman skills.

Monday, May 12, 2008

To Market... market to buy some honey, grapes, oranges, peaches, carrots, sole and a plastic crocodile. I've noticed lately how few pictures there are of me and Aaron together since one of us is usually the one behind the camera, so when we got to the market Saturday morning Jack offered to take this picture of us from his car seat. For a three year-old, he takes pretty amazing pictures.
After he took our picture, Jack wanted me to take a picture of him.
Aaron pushed Matteas in the stroller and I carried Jack on my back most of the time. It was so crowded in some parts of the market that Jack would have been crushed if I'd let him walk.
Matteas had a fabulous time with all the people to watch and interesting things to look at.
I can't believe this is an actual fish that God thought up and decided to make. Maybe this monkfish played some part in the Fall and was consequently disfigured. There was a sign next to him that said "I'm a monfish; look in my mouth and make a wish." When some little kid or tourist would bend down to look in it's mouth, a guy behind the counter would pull on a rope that was attached to the piece of wood in the fish's mouth, so the fish would sit up really fast. It was cruel but entertaining. We did not encourage Jack to participate.
So after we bought lots of produce and some sole for dinner, we let Jack pick out a little toy from one of the Asian shops. He always knows exactly what he wants and doesn't hesitate to find his favorite.
He knew right away that this crocodile was the one he wanted. Now he carries it around with him and tells everyone, "Stick your finger in my crocodile." Last night he gave him a bath and washed him very carefully, then found a spot on the kitchen floor to be a "special place" for his crocodile to hang out.
Home again; I really like Aaron's dimple in this picture.
Jack enjoying a succulent peach from the market.

The House We Almost Bought

Aaron and I were curious about what happened to the big smelly house we made an offer on, so we drove by yesterday to check. They're taking the huge woodsy backyard and making it its own lot, which kind of bums me out even though it's not mine. It would have been an awesome backyard.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Tote Hoard

This could be a problem.
I swear I wasn't into sewing before.
But now I can't seem to stop myself. I think a big part of the problem was that I inhibited myself with my unwillingness to follow directions and do things properly, but now that I have experienced the satisfaction of finishing a project correctly executed, I'm hooked. I find myself eying the sheets and tablecloths in my closet and thinking about what I could make out of them. The lining of this tote is actually from an old(but expensive) sheet I bought at a thrift store for $5. I've gotten a lot of use out it; it's the same sheet I used to line my kitchen curtains with. I've discovered through my recent sewing projects that I have a major thing for pockets. Squares have always been my favorite shape, and I find the symmetry and cleanliness of a well-made pocket incredibly satisfying. So I have decided that there is a shocking lack of tote bags in the world and it is my responsibility to fill the void. I don't think I'm even a tote bag kind of person, strictly speaking, but that was before I made my own tote. It's completely different when you make it yourself, although I fear the danger may be that I will fall in love with every one of my projects but when I give them as gifts the recipient, not having participated in the thrill of pressing the seams and seeing a corner come out neat and square, may not find it as cute. I feel very strongly that my totes need loving homes and a strong sense of purpose; they are not only incredibly cute, but these kids are STURDY. I made them out of upholstery fabric, and in the case of my brown and blue one, OUTDOOR upholstery fabric. These are not some flash-in-the-pan, look good in the morning but fall apart the minute you try to carry a book in them kind of tote; these totes are in it for the long-haul. They mean business. Cute, square, pockety business.