Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Baby Talk

Connor is 18 months old now, and I swear the nighttime needs of 18 month olds are as intense as newborns (we've had a few rough nights lately). Different, but just as demanding. I remember both of my other two sons being quite needy around 18 months, and I think it's because a big developmental jump happens. Connor is starting to talk, and has a pretty good repetoire of words:

mama -- me, obviously. I was meema for a while.
daddo -- David (daddo started with Caleb. I don't know how it happened, because we always said papa, but then one day Caleb called him daddo, and it stuck)
mao-mao -- any stuffed animal, usually his blue dog Max.
ki-ki -- the cat
ojo (pronounced as if in spanish) -- dogs, usually our dog Sonja
ma-moh -- I think this means he wants to nurse, but I'm not sure yet.
ba-ba -- ball
mine! -- self-explanatory
nana -- banana
ah-po -- apple or any other fruit that isn't a banana
hoT! (always whispered, emphasis on the T) - hot
ay-yigh -- light
na-nigh -- good night

It's hard to spell some of these phonetically. He says more words that I thought! There are other things he says, but we haven't figured them out yet.

Monday, February 27, 2006


The other day, Calvin was goofing around with something he shouldn't have been, and ended up cutting his thumb. It was a pretty good cut, and bled quite a bit. We cleaned it up, put a cloth on to stop the bleeding, and then I got a bandaid. All of a sudden we remembered Caleb's forensic kit with the blood typing paraphanalia, and ran down to the basement to figure out Calvin's blood type. Looks like he is type O. I don't know what David's blood type is, but I am B+, so I guess Calvin didn't get my blood. This is something that we'll have to research now. :)

So, be forewarned: If you are ever visiting us and cut yourself, we'll be heading down to the basement to figure out your blood type.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Design Wall

I finished my quilt blocks (needed 39 total), and here I'm laying them out on my makeshift design wall. Have you ever read about creating a design wall? Most of the time it involves wood or foamcore, covered in flannel. Well, this one is much cheaper and more portable. It consists of a vinyl tablecloth pinned to my wall with thumbtacks, fuzzy side out. The tablecloth cost about $2, and is easy to put up and take down. If I didn't want to put holes in the paneling (eventually I plan to tear it down, so that's why I don't care about holes), I could make a sleeve in the top for a rod to go through, and hang it that way.

The quilt blocks stick nicely to the fuzzy surface, I can rearrange and step back and see the whole quilt easily, and when the time comes for stitching the blocks together, I'll just take a row down, stitch it together, and then stick it back up. I won't have to think too much about which block is getting stitched to which. Also, a design wall is in no way limited to only quilting. If I was making a garment, I might use a design wall to try out trims, combine fabrics, test different techniques, anything new I wanted to try and let mull about for a while before committing.

Here is the final quilt layout. My setting triangles aren't cut yet, but will be purple. DH doesn't think that's going to look so great, but I like it, so there! :)

(as always, click on any picture to see it full size)

(Calvin has recently discovered how to use the video camera, so now he 'videos' everything all the time. It's quite fun to watch his movies, but the commentary is even better!)

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


I'm still working on my quilt (hopefully will have some pictures for you this weekend). In the meantime, I'm nicking this idea from Beki.

Four Jobs I've Had
- swim instructor
- medical secretary
- salesclerk at Victoria's Secret
- dressmaker

Four Movies I'd Watch Again (and again)
- The Thomas Crown Affair
- Amadeus
- any James Bond movie
- Big Fish

Four Places I Have Lived
- Long Beach, California
- Scottsdale, Arizona
- Des Moines, Iowa
- Chicago, Illinois

Four Places I Have Vacationed
- Estes Park, Colorado
- Lucern, Switzerland
- Salzburg and Vienna, Austria
- all over Mexico

Four of My Favorite Dishes
- Caesar Salad
- machacado con huevo, arroz, frijoles y tortillas de maiz
- steak, baked potato and green beans
- broccoli cheese soup

Four TV Shows I Love
- Alias
- Millenium
- NFL Football (ok, it's not really a show, but I like watching)

Four Albums I Can't Live Without
- Soundtrack to Tomb Raider
- Soundtrack to The Saint
- Soundtrack to Hackers
- Message in a Box, The Police (cheating here as this is a 4 CD set)
This was really hard to narrow down. Everything and more are on my iPod, so I always have any genre I'm in the mood for at my fingertips!

Four Places I'd Rather Be Right Now
- someplace warm and sunny.
- at the spa having some decadent body treatment
- at my sewing machine
- having a cozy dinner with David

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Quilt Class

I'm taking a quilt class this February, called Stack and Cut. Here are my 15 fabrics I'm using. I love Asian prints, as well as red and black. Most of these are from my stash, I only had to buy 4 additional fabrics (the 2 greens, the second red from the left, and the last cream on the right) to round out the quilt.

It's been really fun. Basically, we are stacking 5 different fabrics, cutting them randomly 4 times, then moving the top center fabric to the bottom. Then you sew the pieces back together. True the square, but make it crooked, then add a 3rd fabric all around. True the square again (also crooked), and you have finished 1 block.

My homework last week was to finish all my blocks (at least 25). Of course, I want to my my quilt larger than the class one, so I need to make more blocks. I'd like at least 36. So far, I've got 18 done, and class is tonight! The blocks will be set on point in the quilt, so I also still need to pick out my setting triangle fabric.

(I started this post on the 15th, didn't publish it until the 20th. Class is tonight, and I need to get those blocks done!)

Alternate uses

I won this pressing pad a few years ago, and have never used it.

However, it does make a good bed. :)

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Nappy Bag #2

I finished Nappy Bag #2 on Thursday night. This one is an overdue Christmas present for my mom. Two down, two more to go! Miss Belinda does a nice job modeling, doesn't she? She's such a good-natured model too -- no fussing or wiggling. :)

In other news, I went running with the girls today and ran about 4 miles. Go me!!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Arroz Mexicana

(this is especially for Susan)
Click on any picture to see the full size

1 C rice, uncooked
chopped garlic
2 C chicken stock or 2 C water and 2 chicken boullion cubes
4 oz tomato sauce
1 small diced tomato, if desired
frozen peas or corn, if desired

1. In a medium skillet, heat oil. Add uncooked rice, and saute until rice is golden. Be patient, but pay attention -- it takes a while for the rice to cook, but once it starts to brown, it can burn pretty quickly. Add the garlic just at the end.

2. Add the stock or water/boullion, tomato sauce, pepper, and diced tomato (if desired). Stir, bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer until all liquid is absorbed.

3. If adding frozen peas or corn, add them when almost all the liquid is absorbed, so they don't get so mushy. Once the liquid is gone, give the rice a stir and serve. This is really good served with fajitas and frijoles a la charra (I'll post that recipe another time), or in bean and rice quesadillas.

Some very satisfied customers. :)

Monday, February 06, 2006

Baby Quilt #2

Here are my fabrics for baby quilt #2. This past weekend, a local shop had a SuperBowl sale, where everything in the store was 25% off, so I ran out there and picked up the blue batik. The orange batik is leftovers from Nappy Bag #1. I've always liked complementary color combinations (purple and yellow being my absolute favorite). My plan is to make a double nine patch, set on point, from the book Two Color Quilts. I'm pretty sure I have enough of the orange for this (the orange will be the little squares). This will be my third time making this pattern -- it was the first one I ever made, plus I just made it again this past November for another new baby. It's a pretty quick quilt to put together. No idea what I'll use on the back, but I'm sure I'll have no problem finding something.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Six lousy pounds

I generally try to weigh myself on Fridays. Since Thanksgiving, I've gained six stinkin' pounds. Gah. I really can't complain -- last year at this time, I probably weighed almost 140. I lost 20 pounds last year, making my original goal of 130 by my brother's wedding in May, and then losing another 11 by the end of summer. More important than the weight loss, I feel great. I feel really strong and fit. In all honesty, I think the six pounds are partly muscle gain.

Still, I sometimes feel a little down when I see the scale say 125.2 (this morning) when it was saying 119.6 for a few months. I need to get over that, quick! I also need to stop snacking!

On a somewhat health related note, I'm planning to do the Danskin Triathlon this summer. My friend Susan loaned me a book yesterday on triathlon training, and I rode my bike (with middle C and little C in the Burley) yesterday. I might even go running with the girls on Saturday morning!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Another new knitter

We have another knitter in the house! Calvin saw Caleb working on his KK hat, and I was working on Connor's sweater, and he wanted to know when could he learn. I told him he could knit a hat for his teddy bear, using the blue KK loom, and he took to it like a duck to water!

We worked it out that I wrap the pegs, as he had a really hard time with that, and he uses the hook to flip the loops over. He does really well, and got 3 rounds knit last night before bed. His teddy should have a new hat by the weekend.