Happy Halloween!

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Voila! My Beehive hair! Yes, that is my real hair, braided together with yellow yarn, adorned with bees and butterflies and all sorts of creatures. It was fun! Can’t take credit for the idea, though- I got it from Kage’s post in Tales- which linked to Martha Stewart’s website. What can I say? The woman has mad ideas. Or at least she pays well the people who do.

The boys are super-wild ninja wolverine creatures, and Abby is a bee girl. We are now officially the M’s house of Sugar Insanity and Mayhem. Heaven help us all!

Have a fun (and reasonably safe) night, everyone!

Poison Control, Chapter 2

Yet another reason to use only natural products to clean your home! Honestly, you can’t turn your back for a minute…

59.jpgToday was housecleaning day, and I was on the warpath all day- so just before dinner when Abby came in the kitchen sucking on a squirt bottle of spray cleaner, I completely freaked out, dumped her in the sink, and speed-dialed Poison Control. Turns out, the cleaner I use, EcoSense Tough n’ Tender by Melaleuca is absolutely safe. Not that I suggest letting your kid drink it, but the Poison lady was amazed that nothing in it was a danger. Hooray!

So mamas: get that Poison Control number plastered by your phone! Oh, and switch to non-toxic cleaners for you home- because while in an ideal world I would follow Abby around gazing at her marvelousness and never evereverever leave a spray bottle on a window sill when the phone rings, the truth is, well, it’s not pretty. My brain doesn’t always work, and sometimes I do dumb stuff.

Tagged Again

Really, you would think, after two and a half years and almost 600 posts, there would be nothing left I have to hide. Ha! You would be wrong! Jen at Mythbuster Beauty tagged me to share seven things you don’t know about me:

  1. I HATE the smell of peanut butter. Positively loathe it- and peanut butter is all Beanie will eat. Go figure.
  2. One of my top front teeth is fake. I knocked it out roller skating when I was 12 on Super Bowl Sunday.
  3. It makes me absolutely nuts when a fly gets in the house. All activity has to stop until the fly is either smooshed or let outside. Squirting them with window cleaner is a great way to knock them down, then squish them, just in case you feel like I do.
  4. I’ve never, ever seen a horror movie. Of any kind. Period.
  5. At my wedding reception, we had small wooden figures of Adam and Eve on top of the cake, and gave out apples for favors.
  6. Red or blue food dye makes me itch like crazy, and I think I’ve passed that little quirk onto Beanie.
  7. I say I don’t collect anything, and I’m adamant about that, but I have soft spot for antique egg-cups and, it’s a secret, but I love glass birds on my Christmas tree. Don’t tell anyone!

Weekend Update

I wish you could have seen how darling Beanie looked for our Primary program today! He marched right up the podium and held his picture high over his head, Norma-Rae style, and just grinned out at all the people. He didn’t say anything, just smiled and smiled and smiled. Then waved at me and said “Hi Mom!” It was pretty dang cute.

Jeffrey actually spoke during church today, too! It’s been his habit to crawl under the podium as soon as he gets up there and sees all the eyeballs, but not today- he did wonderfully, and is now filled with the confidence of a boy who had conquered a personal dragon.

It’s been a friendly week at the M’s. Busy. Hectic, but friendly. Monday was watching kids for friends. On Tuesday, Mo came over and showed me how to actually use the piles of make-up I’ve accumulated over the years- and she’s good, people, just for the record. She made me look pretty! Friday we had friends over for dinner, Saturday was soccer day, and Sunday we went to some other friends’ house for lunch after church. Busy.

Abby has suddenly morphed from my sweet, cute, mild-mannered baby-girl into a mountain climber. Nothing is safe. She scales the bookshelves, the chairs, moves furniture to get what she want, and positively loooooooves the computer. The other day I caught her on my desk- she had seventeen different windows open- pleased as punch. I also caught her on the dining room table, swinging the chandelier back and forth, but we won’t talk about that. She’s wearing me out!

Dude! Pumpkins were eight bucks a piece at Safeway this week!!  I’m glad we have a u-pick place- three monster squash, six bucks. That’s all I’ve go to say about that.

I’m about ready to ask Jeffrey be moved to another teacher. Anyone have any experience with that? While I don’t want my kid pegged as a son of a troublemaker, I’m less and less pleased by his milquetoast of a teacher.

The Red Sox just swept the World Series! Go Sox… although, I have to admit, I’m not as verklempt as I was last time.

Jeff scored six goals at his soccer match on Saturday. Beanie huddled in my lap to try and stay warm, while Abby pulled her socks and shoes off, and kept insisting on running onto the field.

Contentment and Self-Image

On my mantle is a small framed antique embroidery that says: Contentment is not the fulfillment of what you want, but the realization of what you already have.

When I was a younger woman, I wanted so desperately to be smaller. I wanted tiny cute feet that fit in normal shoes, ladylike hands, manicured nails and a poised demeanor. Fact: that’s not me- and each time I’ve tried on the that shoe, it has  pinched so badly it figuratively flew of my foot and shattered a window across the room. Not doing it anymore. I’m going to sing a song of praise, I’m going to stop buying into anyone else’s notion of what it means to be a woman, and embrace myself.

I’m overweight. Always have been. The fact is, being overweight is what helped me deliver three healthy babies while losing 20 pounds each time because of hyper-emesis. If I had been skinny, who knows what would have happened to my babies.

My feet are big. Like, size 12 big. Yeah, not kidding. My hands are big. My toes are freakishly long. The fact is, these big hands make beautiful things, calm babies, cool fevered brows and paint anything my mind imagines. My enormous feet look right on my body, and they move me through the world. My toes look just lovely with shiny red polish. My German roots are showing, and I love them.

My hair is insane. I feel so unkempt most of the time, because of the nest of curls. When I want to feel sleek and put together, I iron the crap out of it. But it always reverts back. It gets complimented and noticed more than anything about my appearance, and I’ve never seen anyone with hair just like mine. While the craziness bugs me, I also know it can be startlingly pretty; it’s one of my vanities.

So there it is. The things I’m most self-conscious about. The things that used to make me feel like a bull in a china shop, but now are just part of who I am. One of the best things about getting a little older, getting a few more years under your belt, is a certainty of who you are. A calmness and confidence in what you do- and how you do it.

Contentment is the realization of how much you already have.

Barf-O-Rama

We actually had one tonight. Remember in Stand By Me? It happened at our dinner table! Abby choked on a piece of potato, and threw up all over herself, her high chair and her plate.

While I was running for a towel, Beanie looked at Abby’s piles o’ barf and promptly tossed his dinner onto the table. DH and I both stood there, mid-move, like deer in the headlights, as we watched the waves of barf overtake our dining room.

Grabbing a roll of paper towels, I covered Beanie’s pile to avert any further contributions, and began to clean Abby- and by clean, I mean strip her down. When I did so, I inadvertently got barf in her hair, too. Turning to grab the paper towels, I accidentally nudged the towel off of Beanies pile, which Jeffrey gazed at and began to promptly gag.

DH is upstairs bathing Abby, and I have a giant, hefty super-stretch bag o’ barf in the garage. Wanna come over for dinner?

Herculaneum

We don’t live in California anymore, but holy heck, things are bad down there. I just got off the phone with my Uncle Freddy and his car had 1/8″ of ash on it after work (he works at Disneyland). He said the dome of the sky is brown and hazy, the light is crazy and the air is thick. People are displaced and frightened and the situation is hot.

Thoughts and prayer and good hopes for anyone caught up in the fires- especially the firefighters, pilots, guardsmen and homeowners in the path of the fire. Here’s hoping for a cooling rain and an abatement of the Santa Ana’s.

Monday Moaning

I’m cleaning my house today. I am. I am. I AM. Nothing is going to distract me. Nothing is going to draw me off course- I will get the nineteen loads of laundry done, I will get all four bathrooms spic-n-span, I will get all the dishes done, the sheets on five beds changed (thereby contributing to the nineteen loads of laundry), I will get the bookshelves dusted and the floors mopped.  I will I will I willwillwill!

I hate housekeeping. I love home, but I positively HATE house cleaning. Especially with three kids, each of whom takes it as a personal challenge to immediately UN-do whatever I have just DONE.

Thankless, unending, never-ending, always more, unless you live in a museum, but even then you still have to dust, housework. Ugh.

So here I sit. Chin resting on my hand, gazing morosely around my kitchen and desk. There are fragments of toast, a washcloth, a stuffed pig and a little plastic ring from a gallon jug of milk under the table. Nevermind that I swept last night. I’ve already done one load of dishes, and there is as least another in the sink. On my desk are my scriptures, two half-full glasses of water,  a pile thiiiiiiis-high of papers, two pull-ups, some wipes, a pair of Buzz Lightyear underwear and the new Brandi Carlile disk.

I just don’t want to deal. Mostly it’s the laundry. Good golly, is just never ends. I can deal with basic upkeep fine- but the laundry? There are only five of us, but you would think there were fifteen. Even with a high-capacity front loader, I will be doing laundry until it’s dark. Seriously. Then I have to fold it all, only to have the kids empty their drawers and closets looking for that particular pair of “pretty pants”. Grrrr. Nothing makes me feel more irritated and unappreciated than laundry.

Of course, this may really just be a problem of modern excess. I suppose if we were more like our ancestors, with only a few items of clothing each, it wouldn’t be such an issue. And at least I don’t have to haul our stuff in a basket on my head down to the river and beat it on the rocks. Right? But then,  they didn’t bathe daily, either, so I really don’t want to go there. I would suck as a pioneer. Of course, the point is moot, because I would have died in childbirth. Had I even made it to adulthood.

I don’t suppose asthmatics did so well in the wild, wild west.

*Sigh* I really am going to clean my house. Really. Any minute now…

How To: Totally Easy Totes

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As promised, the above link will take you to my pattern for making the tote bags. Yesterday, for my three classes, I made each of my kids a trick-or-treat bag- as evidenced by the above bag, which belongs to the Abidoodle. The smallish toile bag was winging-it at my last class, and shows how, once you get the gist of making them, you can make them, literally, in ANY size you need.

If you can sew a straight seam, you CAN make these. Honestly. I promise. If anyone has any problems, e-mail me. This is seriously a high-success, not-much-experience needed sewing project.

Oh- each bag cost less than $5 in supplies. Have fun and let me know how you do!