Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Calgon Take Me Away

Do you ever have those days when you just want to scream? My kids have decided that the best way to deal with each other is to yell whenever someone comes anywhere near them. DS3 let out a shout when ds4 barely brushed against him. Then ds3 screamed again when dh brushed up against him -- although in all fairness, he thought it was ds4. And ds4 screamed "stop it" when dd walked into the room and sat beside him.

It's out of control. I'm tired of yelling. Being quiet about it doesn't work. Can't punish the screamer, they might actually have been hurt. Can't punish the non-screamer, sometimes they didn't do anything. Gonna punish everyone in the room at the time! At least if I send them out of the room it will be quiet in the room I'm in.

Does that make me a bad mother?

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Rainy Days and Mondays

It was a grey and rainy day, so we decided to get some household chores done. The children were bribed with promises of dinner out (actually dinner brought in), so there wasn't too much complaining.

My choice of chores was to clean out my closet. Since we don't have a linen closet (I mean really, who designs a house without a linen closet?), I bought some wire basket/shelves from IKEA and decided to give up part of my closet so that the towels and sheets could have a real home.

Well, the nether regions of my closet are know as the "bonus closet" and contain all of the stuff I buy when it's on super clearance and save for a rainy day (ie surprise gifts). As I was digging out the boxes and bags of goodies, the princess was claiming new treasures. I guess I should be grateful that she only chose a new little tiny baby doll (newly named Matilda) and a Dancing Princesses Barbie. There was sooooo much more in there, and she only picked two things. By picked I mean, grabbed the package and snuck into another room and opened her new things.

On a much sadder note, I finally purged my closet of my nursing clothes. I nursed for 14 years straight, and it was a huge part of my life (and part of my identity). I don't want any more babies, but the idea that there will never be a new baby in our lives is a very sad thought. Well, the stuff is in the garage, and I'm eyeing the margarita machine.

It will all be worth it when everything has a place (and everything is in it's place), but for now, I'm a bit blue.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Chicken Socks

The Sockamania socks this month were called Bluebell. I wasn't going to knit them because they involve color work, and I have this fear......

Anyway, they are finished, they are beautiful, and they are photographed. Even the inside of the socks turned out to be nice - see!

The princess is now healthy. Somehow my kids manage to almost always just have one sick day, then they are better the next day. It's wonderful what a healthy immune system can do for a person. I'll just say that we need to go get new pillows because they are the only things I can't wash. Any more information would be too disgusting to get into.

Ed was really upset by the sickness of the princess. He spent most of the day checking on her. Usually he would jump up on her bed and pester her, but he seemed to know that she wasn't feeling well and just sniffed at her. He also got quite out of sorts because he didn't have the usual routine around the house. It's pretty pathetic when we have to worry about the dog's emotional well being too, but such is life.

The boys are all practicing for their guitar recital. It is so nice to be able to hear something beside Iron Man and Smoke on the Water. Right now ds3 is trying to play both the melody and harmony for Ode to Joy. What a treat for my ears!! He wants to play The Star Spangled Banner for his recital piece and is digging through the cd pile to find the patriotic songs cd I bought a few years ago. If he can't find it, there's always itunes.

DS2 is currently reading The Scarlet Letter, and I'm supposed to be reading it with him so that we can discuss it. He's on chapter 10 and I haven't started. At what point do I just admit that I didn't read it and just take the test?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Nothing Sadder Than a Sick Princess

The poor princess is sick. She's such a trooper - no whining, no complaining. That almost makes it more pathetic. She's just laying there (actually she's asleep right now). This morning she asked for her brother, because "he always makes me smile when I'm sick" and wanted me to go wake him up.

As soon as ds4 got up, he came in and started comforting her. It was so sweet. He brought in trains for her to play with, and when she just needed to lay down, he put them beside her so she could look at them. Then he got some books and sat on the end of the bed and read to her.

I hate for any of my children to be sick, but it really gives them a chance to shine. Kind of makes all of the bickering seem worth it....not!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

New Socks and a new cloth

I finally finished DS1's birthday socks. He was the one who originally requested socks (Christmas '07), requiring me to learn to knit socks. The first pair didn't fit quite as well as I would have liked, so I decided to make him some birthday socks.

Since he's a UT alum, I wanted to knit him some Longhorn socks. I found some wonderful burnt orange sock yarn and ordered it - forgetting that he would never in a million years want to line dry socks. Soooooo, I lucked out and found some Cascade Fixation yarn in burnt orange! DH loves the socks that he has in this yarn, and they're supposed to be machine dry, so I gave it a go.

I got the bright idea to put a "UT" on the sock. Unfortunately, the Fixation yarn is so nubby that the details don't really show. I'll show him where it is, and point out the UT, but since it's so subtle, he'll probably never see it again. At least he'll have some mom-knit burnt orange socks that he can throw in the dryer.

I also finished the mid April cloth for the Monthly Dishcloth group. It wasn't supposed to be finished yet, but it's a repeating pattern, and I just got carried away. Actually, I got lost on where I was on the lines for today, and just kept going. It's a pretty pattern, and dd has claimed it.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Thursday Blahs

It seems that everyone has the blahs here. DH thinks it's because anytime you turn on the tv or read a paper there's nothing but bad news. I'm hoping that it's just some sort of weird allergy from Africa or something so that it can blow over. We've got it so bad that we've just decided to have blizzards for dinner! How's that for teaching the kids healthy eating :o)

Tomorrow is one week since my last flat tire. I'm hoping that the curse has been broken. It's amazing how having a flat tire can ruin a day. With three flats in two weeks I was always on edge whenever I drove anywhere. My car has been wonderfully considerate, though, and the flats are always in my driveway. Can't imagine what I'd do with a flat and all of the kids out somewhere.

Off to DQ for blizzards - who cares about the diet.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Potatoes and Socks

The boys discovered twice baked potatoes last week and were amazed that I knew how to make them. We had everything we needed, so for dinner on Friday we made them. DS2 was the official masher and he really took that job to heart. Apparently you shouldn't tell a teenage boy to "mash'em" if you really mean that he should just mash a little bit!

By the time he was done, they were a sticky mess. The flavor was great, but they were gooey. So, this past weekend, we bought him a ricer. That way he can get the potatoes mushed without killing them. Our plan was to make a large batch of potatoes and freeze them. The kids all like to have potatoes for lunch, and this way they'd have fancy ones without any more work than just popping them in the microwave.

On the sock front, I'm close to being ready to turn the heel on the second of my Sockamania socks. I think that when I finally finish them and post a picture, I'm going to post a picture of the inside too. It's so tidy! Isn't it fun when the private side of work looks almost as good as the public side? Too bad it'll be months before it's actually cold enough to wear socks again. Next pair for SAM5 will be more croc socks out of Cascade Fixation. That way I'll be able to knit my socks and wear them too.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

My Life in the Comics

Over The Hedge had a comic strip today that captured my life. DS3 and DS4 play either "Smoke on the Water" or "Iron Man" until it burns my brain. And since someone got the bright idea to get them electric guitars (a guitar for ds3 and a bass for ds4) along with amplifiers, they can play LOUD! And they play loud and proud, but only the first 8 notes or so. It is so annoying - same song, but it never finishes. Even dd knows the words to the beginnings of both songs. I know that it's important for parents to teach their children all of the important things in the world, but I really wish that dh would have skipped the 70's hard rock stuff.

On the plus side, I finished one of my Sockamania socks for the month! I wasn't going to even try them, but was inspired. As it turns out, since I know how to knit with both hands, it was a lot easier than I expected. Unfortunately, since I wasn't sure that I'd like the outcome, I used sock yarn that I don't really like. Now I have a cool sock in a color that I don't really love. Lesson learned. I still don't want to do color work throughout the entire sock (it makes them double thick), but I won't shy away from future color work patterns.

The Sonlight Core 400 that I'm planning on using for ds2's Sophomore year came yesterday. This is the first time he's used Sonlight, but I think it will be okay. I am using a different government text, and modifying everything quite a bit; but I like almost all of the literature. And best of all, almost all of the books required are available on paperbackswap! Since the books are easy to obtain, I'm going to read a few of them with him. It makes me a bit nervous, because it's hard to switch back and forth between each of the kids readings as it is, and ds2's readings are deep. The first book is "The Scarlet Letter" and since I don't remember if I ever actually even read the book (I know I took a test on it in hs, but I don't think I read it), it should be interesting.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Why I Need To Take Up Drinking

This was the actual discussion that took place at my house today. It must be noted that the working title is:

Why My Mom Drinks

Homeschool discussion:

(first child): Mom, don't we have a book that has all of the Egyptian gods listed?

-- yes, on the shelf with all of the other ancient history books

(second child): I thought you said we had almost all of the Dr. Seuss books. Do we have the ones under his pseudonyms too?

-- I don't think we have that one (Because a Little Bug Went Kachoo), remember to look next time we go to Half Price books, I think I saw it there last week

(third child): Why don't we have a priest?

-- dad's in charge of religious education

(second child again): Dr. Seuss coined the phrase "nerd"

(first again): Imhotep was real, I told you (making a face at third child who is still quizzing mom on why no priest ever comes to dinner like in his book)

(last child before mom goes to margaritaville): Oh no, the beetles (watching "The Mummy"), beetle time, they'll eat your brain you know

It's five o'clock somewhere!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

My Dog Ate My Homework

I'm a night time jaw clencher. There, I've admitted it.

I always thought I was better than the tooth grinders, but since they share the same name, it's pretty much the same thing. Anyway, a few years ago I got a "bite guard" to keep me from destroying my teeth while I sleep. It was pretty easy to get used to and since I'll do anything to prevent tooth problems, I dealt with it.

A few months ago, my dog decided that he needed a bite guard and took a big bite out of mine. As I'm quite a dental phobe, I didn't go get another one. Today at the dentist I mentioned that my dog had eaten my bite guard and found out that it really quite common! Seems that dogs like the taste of bite guards. No one even laughed.

It will be ready in two weeks, and then I'll again look like a football player when I go to bed. Good thing dh likes football.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Going Postal

I love paperbackswap and bookmooch.

That being said, I always need to go to the post office to buy postage for the books that I send out. A few weeks ago I discovered that my kids were taking bets on how long it would take me to get back out to the car (not to worry, ds2 is 15 and very capable of maintaining order in my absence).

Today I had to mail two paperbackswap books, a bookmooch book and another package. A few miles before we got to the post office, ds4 shouted out that he bet 4 minutes. In order to be fair, I had ds3 hold up all of the stuff that I needed to mail. DS4 still wanted 4 minutes. EEEK - am I that predictable? Can you really tell how long it will take me to do something? DD claimed 7 minutes, ds3 had 3 minutes; ds2 is the official timekeeper.

I finished up my postal business and was walking out to the car. A little head popped out of the window and told me to walk slower, and a voice from the back of the 'burb said to run. One young soul (the 4 minute lad) said that I was fine, and the others should leave me alone.

Luckily we don't have a history of gambling problems.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Knitting Hurrah's

First, here is the picture of the April dishcloth. I used a camel color that I had two partial skeins of, and kept my fingers crossed that I wouldn't run out (I had just a teeny bit leftover!). I don't mind doing bobbles, but they don't really work for us since we use the cloths as napkins.

Next, whoo hoo, I won the yarn from Anni for the Sockamania sock group for March. Now I just have to figure out which of her wonderful yarns to pick! I'm so excited :o)

Also, I wasn't going to knit the Sockamania socks this month. They're Fair Isle and I was totally unsure of my ability to knit them. Here's a picture - aren't they beautiful? Also, due to the nature of fair isle, the socks end up being double thickness, and since it's hardly ever cold enough here to warrant thick socks, I didn't think I'd ever wear them.

Well, along comes Anni to save the day - she said that we could do the socks with only the top color work. I can do regular socks on the foot part and do the fancy part on the leg. That would make them wearable!! Now I just need to find two sock yarn colors that will work. Oh no, that means a trip to the yarn store! Although, I just saw a posting on SAM5 where someone used Bernat baby yarn. I have some baby yarn leftover from the fishy afghan that might just work. The problem is that baby yarn probably won't wear well at all. I'll be up near the LYS this afternoon - I'll have to give it some thought.

DS1 is getting socks for his 24th birthday. I found Cascade Fixation yarn in burnt orange at the LYS, and it was 30% off - so that was the yarn I chose. I knit dh's socks in Fixation and it's soft, stretchy and really easy to work with. Since I liked it so much for dh, and since it was on sale, I got burnt orange for ds1, dayglo yellow for ds3, and dark blue for dh. I'm ready to turn the heel on ds1's second sock and will only end up using 2 skeins. So, ds4, who's also a Longhorn fan, might just get some burnt orange socks. I haven't made my little ones socks yet because they tend to run around outside in their socks - but their feet aren't as big as dh's so I may give it a go.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Not Again!!

For the second time in less than a week, I've got a flat tire! Last week it was a broken valve stem, this time it's a nail. On the bright side, both times the tire went flat in the driveway, so at least I wasn't stranded.

Called dh - don't need him to come home, just want him to know he's needed :o)

Kinda makes the $50 to join AAA seem like a good deal.
Not to worry, we're going to watch "Shane" for our Movies as Literature course. We've even got enough Jiffy Pop for everyone!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Sock Planning

I bought a skein of this sock yarn. It's Schoeller Fortissima/Socka 100g 4-ply Sock Yarn 1776 Stars & Stripes, and when knit up it becomes red and white stripes with a stripe of blue with white "stars" in it. When I first saw socks made up with this yarn I just had to have some.

It was out of stock everywhere I checked. So, I looked for it on eBay, and voila, found it in an eBay store that is actually located relatively close! I could have driven over to the store, but it was cheaper to order it and have it shipped.

After searching for an appropriate pattern for this yarn, it seems like most people just do a plain sock to let the striping show through. Since I'm not going to do my Anni's pattern this month (it's a two color pattern - beautiful, but I just don't want to mess with it), I decided to do my patriotic socks.

They should be finished by the end of April, and I can wear them to my family reunion over the 4th of July weekend. It will be hot, but my feet will be full of the spirit.