Wednesday, October 29, 2008

18 month appt.

So, the blessed baby had her 18 month checkup today. Good news, all is well in babyland. At 18 months, The Small One, and let me emphasize the "small" weighs a grand total of...wait for it...18 lbs. 12 oz. Woot! Cue the band! Her doctor hoped that she would 18 lbs. by 18 months and that goal was achieved. Yeay, yeay, yeay!!!!! While that weight puts her nearer the chart, it still doesn't put her on the chart, however, should she continue to gain at this rate, she should be back on the chart by her 2nd birthday (which, startlingly enough, is sneaking up on us!) It does create a lovely jump in her personal curve. Heightwise-she is 31"and some change, which leaves her smack in the 50th (where she has been the whole time) and her head is still in the 75th percentile. Doctor tells us she needs a large head to hold all those brains.
Her cognitive development is, as usual, rather ahead of schedule. She has many more words than normal, can also identify many more body parts and her physical skills are very good as well. Apparently, spinning and jumping and climbing like she does are supposed to wait until closer to the two year mark. Ha ha! My kid is a smartypants! After her exam, she took her clothes over to Doctor and told him to get her dressed, which he did, and then she toddled on over to the door, knocked on it, turned and said ba-bye! to doctor. He laughed.
She got her final dTap and a flu shot today. She doesn't like shots, but she holds very still while they are administered. She learned being in the hospital twice, that wiggling when needles are near means she gets pinned down. She hates that worse than the needles, so she stays still. Screams her silly head off, but stays still. Nurse April gave her the two stabs and her bandaids, The Small One screamed for about 38 seconds, then blew a kiss to Nurse April and left. Dang, that kid is soooo funny!
At the car, after The Small One was seated, she hiked up her little skirt to survey the damage. She pointed to her bandaids (hello kitty ones!) and I asked her what the Kitty says. She hissed. This just made me howl with laughter, because you see, if you ask her what a kitty says, she says reow, reow, reow. But if you ask her what an angry kitty says, she hisses. Evidently, band-aid kitty was an angry kitty. Which ought to have been obvious, seeing as how it bit her!
So, all good at the Doctor's office. Despite her allergies and her cold, we are told that she is extremely healthy!
The Small One likes to be swung (is that a word?) around sometimes, so last night I decided to oblige her. She stands with her back to me and I grasp her under the arms and swing, once, twice, then third time over my head so she lands sitting on my shoulders. She pauses there a moment, then back over my head to land right side up on the floor. I did this sequence a couple of times before setting her back down on the floor. When I did set her back down, she gave me a concerned look and said uh-oh! I said- uh-oh, what? She lifted up her skirt, felt her bare bum and looked around confused. I fell down, I laughed so hard. Her underpants had flown off somewhere during the swing and she couldn't figure where they had gone! She looked around, located said skivvies and sat on the floor in an attempt to re-install. I couldn't help, I was laughing too much. She looked at me with the most bemused expression, it made me laugh that much harder. I could tell she thought I was a bit of an idiot.
Bless the child, aren't you all jealous she isn't yours? I've read that intelligent children are more difficult to raise (and I will attest to that fact) but I wouldn't trade those brains for anything. The fits, the naughties, the trouble, it's all worth it!

By popular demand

Okay, here by popular demand-okay, not really, just a few people-is the recipe for Samosas.

Two pie crusts-or one batch of pie dough. Sorry, I don't have a recipe for this, as I am a cheater.
3 medium potatoes
1 cup or so frozen peas
Some diced carrots if you like them
1/2 onion diced small
Garlic, if you like it.
Diced chicken or lamb or beef if you want meat in it (I make 'em vegetarian)
1 tbs cumin seeds
1 tbs garam masala
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp red curry powder
1 inch cube of fresh ginger, grated
vegetable oil or ghee
salt to taste
red pepper flakes if you want heat
a bit of coconut milk, or cream, or even milk if that is what you have.

Peel and dice potatoes small and place in water, bring to a boil and cook until nearly done
Put 1/8 cup ghee or oil in a large saucepan on medium heat. When hot add cumin seeds and cook about 30 seconds. Then add remainder of spices, except ginger. Cook, stirring, about 1 minute. Add onion and cook until soft and translucent. Add garlic and ginger and cook for a couple of minutes. Then add nearly cooked potatoes, peas, carrots, meat. Stir the mess round until potatoes are coated and starting to smush. Add coconut milk or cream or milk, just enough to make it a bit saucy. The longer this can sit over low heat, the better it tastes.

Place oil in a pan to about 2" depth, heat over medium heat.
While heating, roll pie crusts out so they are thinner than normal, cut 5 inch rounds, cut each round in half. Moisten the straight edge and fold together and seal, this will make a little cone.
Fill each cone with filling, squish it on in there, the crust should stretch, then seal the open edge. Fry a few at a time until crust bubbles and golden brown.

Eat with minty yoghurt dip (this is plain or greek yoghurt with fresh mint and lemon juice and a wee bit of salt stirred in) or mint chutney or tamarind sauce.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

And Finally...

In knitting news, I am knitting lace! Woo-hoo! I have, until now, not been brave enough to try this. But, there was an irresistable sweater in the summer Verena magazine, and I had the perfect yarn, so I decided to give it a go. To be sure, it is not a super complicated pattern and the yarn is DK weight, not laceweight, so it is a bit easier, but still, it is lace! And it is turning out beautifully, I am very excited. The front is nearly done, I am working on the shoulders now. This will be the third adult sized sweater I have knitted. Very exciting for me.
In food type news, I have been on an Indian food kick lately. I love Indian food, but I have never made anything beyond a simple Aloo Gobi. Well, the other night I decided to give Chicken Makhani a try. Delish! Still working on the right blend of spices though. Not being terribly familiar with actually cooking Indian, it is hard for me to figure out what is missing. I will prevail, though, fear not! Tonite, Mike and I made Samosas. Oh, very nice. I love Samosas, and while these weren't as good as those to be had at Bombay House, they were still quite tasty. They even passed muster on the refined palate of my gourmand brother.
I have decided I really need to try and be more successful at the Holly Homemaker thing. I think if I can run my house better, I will feel better. It is hard to feel at peace in the midst of chaos.

The Small One

I don't know if it is the 18 month mark or what, but The Small One's vocabulary has exploded. There are so many new words to try out! So what if she doesn't remember all of them? She discovers them again and finds it terribly exciting! It is so very funny to hear the words come out of her mouth in that adorable Disney voice, and with a pronunciation all her own. I must get a video of her saying words so that I can remember how cute her little voice is.
The Small One has also learned another new skill. Spinning! This is very exciting, as for some reason the child likes to get dizzy. Crazy baby. So now, she will spin herself twice, then try to jump. Terribly funny. Especially when she can't jump when she isn't dizzy!
Also, in less than enjoyable news, the child WILL NOT EAT! It maketh me crazy. I am at my wit's end trying to figure out how to get food down her little gullet. Some days, she will eat like a little pigling. For instance, yesterday, while I was at work and Mike was on a job, Memaw and Papa took her to dinner. They had prime rib, mashed potatoes, scones and veggies. The Small One ate everything in sight. Generally, she will eat red meat, the little carnivore, but one cannot live on beef alone. Today, nothing but a cereal straw and countless bottles. I am grateful that she will still take a bottle, even though she is a bit old for it, at least she gets some nutrition. This is how most days go, though. No food. Occasionally, she will eat ice cream. And butter (which makes me want to vomit). So, if any of you out there have any fabulous ideas about how to get a very stubborn toddler to eat, I am all ears. Unless that method is to deny her a bottle based on the fact that if she is hungry, she will eat. This is not true. She has been hungry (and thus, cranky) all day. She still won't eat. I fear she has inherited a problem I have, my younger brother has and my mother has. I do not often feel hunger. I have learned to tell when I need to eat, but I don't feel hungry the way normal people do, same with mom and brother. I think The Small One is the same way. She knows she feels crappy, but doesn't know why, and doesn't want to eat because she feels crappy. (Ask my husband how difficult it is to get me to eat if I have gone too long without doing so.)

Blue Funk

I haven't posted lately as I have been in the grips of a blue funk, a slump, a downhill slide, if you will. I would like to find an oubliette and crawl into it for awhile, but I will leave a note with a time limit on it, so someone can remove me from said oubliette when things improve. Because, if you haven't guessed by now, things aren't going as well as one might like. To be sure, they are far from being as bad as they could be, but right now, it would appear that I am a glass half empty kind of person (oh, who am I kidding, I have always been that way!), and so I have a tendency to dwell more on the fact that not only are they not as good as they could be, but they could get even worse! This causes me stress. And that stress manifests itself in myriad unpleasant ways, both emotional and physical.
But, here is the core of the problem. I do not have the faith that I should that things will be okay. My blessed husband? He does. He just keeps on truckin'. How grateful I am for him and his good attitude. I wish I could take some of it for myself. The Lord has promised us that we will have sufficient for our needs and that Mike will be successful. Mike takes that promise as it stands and works to make it true. I look at that promise and think, Well, the Lord's idea of what is sufficient and mine may not be the same. And what does success mean anyway? See, this is a character flaw, and one I have much need to work on. My most favorite scripture of all is this one: Be still and know that I am God. I need to take that to heart.
And really, I don't have any reason to be in this funk. Things really aren't that bad. I mean, yes, the economy sucks, which means that our financial position sucks, but the Lord has seen fit to take care of us. I have a job, it pays fairly well, but does not require that I spend inordinate amounts of time away from my baby. We bought a very low cost house when we bought it, so we can still pay our house payment. And most of all, our beloved bishop, he has his eye on us. He is determined to make sure we survive the slump. What a good man, how in-tune he is with the Holy Spirit. The Lord has promised us success. Why do I worry about anything else?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Hello cuteness!

Sorry, folks, but I have to be honest. They just don't come cuter than this.

And how 'bout that sweet hat? I made it. MMMMMalabrigo. Sunset colorway, if you are interested.

More things and stuff

See, it was a good thing I copied that post below, because Blogger lost it again! Even though it autosaves, when I go to the draft, only the title will come up. I don't know why this is, but it is seriously annoying!

So, the sucky week. You ever have those days (weeks) where you pretty much can do nothing right or well? That suck all the self esteem out of you? This was one of those weeks, and I am beyond glad that it is over. Here's hoping I can start fresh on Monday and not have a repeat of this week.

Wanna know what went wrong? Of course you do, you nosy beggar.

Truthfully, I can't even remember what went wrong at the beginning of the week. I swear this week has been a year long!
Here is the crapatiousness in list form;
My house is a pigsty.
My laundry pile is nearly as tall as I am.
I am out of work clothes (see previous for reason)
I am chubby (okay, that didn't just happen this week, but you know how it is)
I cry when I am angry, frustrated, ticked off, tired, worn out and/or upset. And I can't help it.
My brain cannot seem to focus on more than one thing at a time.
I can't get anything done on time.
I have no motivation to exercise and de-chubbify.
I have screwed up at work more times than I want to think about.
I have messed up some free lance stuff, thereby creating more work for self.
I like knitting way too much.
And the big kicker, I am not as talented as I like to think I am.

Okay, now for an explanation.

Tis the season for new designs to be due at work. We have been working on said designs since the beginning of September. Now, we are in crunch time where everything comes due and there is a lot to think about. Also, the boss man hired a new girl, who, among other things, is also supposed to design. And she schooled me. Big time. She is very talented. At designing. She can't really sew, doesn't pattern, isn't very educated on the technical aspects of clothing manufacture. But she sure can draw pretty pictures. Of clothes that are right fabulous. What does this mean, you ask? It means that I think I may be being phased out of the design part of the party and pushed back into the technical part of the party. Because, this is what I am good at. I am good at taking someone's lovely, pretty pictures and translating them into reality. I know the terms, I know the patterning, I know the industry. The problem? This is not what I want to do! The dilemma. Do I accept my limitations and know this girl is a better designer than I am? Do I accept my place as interpreter of her designs and give up on the designing? Or do I put out the effort to keep sketching, hoping that I might turn out something really good? I don't know. And it frustrates me.
Onto the next problemo. Because we have been much involved this past week in trying to get things ready for China, that is where my mind has been. And it seems, my mind can only be one place at a time. There was a time when it could be several. I think it is broken, now. I blame pregnancy. Or something. Because of this one place thing, I forgot or messed up multiple things at work. In fact, on Friday, I forgot to do the alterations for two fittings. And apparently a third today. I got a call from the shop telling me that so and so had come in to pick up her dress and I hadn't even started on it! And she had to have it by monday, because she was leaving Tuesday morning for the wedding. Aargh! Now, in all honesty, I don't think I would have scheduled a pickup with that many alterations on a day I didn't work, but the bride swears I did, and I can't remember, so there you go.
Also, had a meeting with the boss man and the hotshot designer. Did not go well. I suck. I cannot do what he wants. I don't know what he wants, and this lack of knowing basically keeps me from knowing how to do what he wants.
Plus, I really hate doing alterations. They are not fun. Brides are not nice. Brides mom's are worse. And I think Bridal Store owners might even be worse. But that could just be my bruised self-esteem talking.

Things and stuff

Okay, I am going to try to remember to copy and paste this entry. I lost a very long, very amusing entry the other day and was so annoyed that I haven't posted for a while!
So, here is a rundown on the week. It sucked. There you go.
See post above if you want to know why the suckage.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...
The Small One has decided she is a monkey. And she is correct. Let me elaborate.
A couple of days ago, The Small One was being her usual willful self (methinks she is being advanced and has entered the joys of the terrible twos somewhat early). Mamma (that's me) had run short on patience and we were both eagerly awaiting the arrival of Mike. Except, I must remember to call him daddy, as The Small One thinks Mike is a proper form of address for her to use in reference to him. Anyhow...
The Small One has learned to recognize the sound of a truck coming up the driveway, and in fact, can usually recognize her daddy's truck. This is a feat in and of itself, as there are 4 trucks currently residing on our little flag road. Jared, out front, has one. Brandon, behind, has one. Joey, one of Mike's guys and The Small One's current crush, has one. And of course, the all-important truck, that belonging to Daddy. Everytime a truck drove by, The Small One's ears would perk up. "Daddy?", nope, not yet. Then finally, the long listened for engine came driving up the road. Excitement reigned! Straight to the door went The Small One, followed (with relief) by Mamma. Out we went, with much shouts of "Daddy! Daddy!" She went straight to him, got her hugs, then clambered to get down and explore. I stood on the driveway, chatting with Mike, when suddenly, after an ominous silence which ought to have clued me in to the fact that mischief was occuring, I hear a pathetic whimpering. (This is her new thing, and far from getting the reaction The Small One hopes for, it just makes me howl with laughter. I will have to get a pic of her face when she does it, as it is worth seeing.) I turn around and what assaults my vision, but The Small the TOP OF MIKE'S WORK LADDER!!!!!!
The silly little monkey had climbed up to the top and couldn't figure out how to get down. I snatched her off of the ladder right quick, but then laughed. It was a sight to see, the tiny little girl gripping the top rung of the ladder with all her might, her little mouth pursed up in her silly whimper. Must make sure all ladders are put away from here on out!

I think baby is about to go through a growth spurt, as she has started waking up at 4 am or so to eat. Now, for most babies, this would be something to discipline out of them, but The Small One, being, as she is, well...small...we have to feed her whenever she is willing to eat. She is tiny, underweight and needs to pack it on, so no denying the food. Although 4 am is not a polite hour to be wanting anything but sleep, in my opinion. Well, the other night, she was sleeping in our bed (aargh) and woke up at her usual 4-ish. And she wanted a bottle. (yes, yes, I know she shouldn't be on a bottle at her age, but the weight thing...blah, blah, none of your beeswax anyway). I wasn't about to get out of bed, having only gotten in bed a couple of hours earlier. She knows Daddy is the one to bug, anyway. So, she sits up...and whispers...Mike, Mike. I am snickering over on my side. He doesn't respond. Pat, pat. Mike. Mike. With a big emphasis n the "K" sound. Mi-kuh. Mi-kuh. No response. She leans right into his face, I am about to explode from holding in the laughter. Mi-kuh. Mi-kuh. Finally, he wakes up to a baby in his face, whispering his name. Kind of creepy, that. Mi-kuh. Ba-ba. He rolls out of bed to get her baba and I go back to sleep with a satisfied smile on my face.

Tagged by Kaytee

A- Attached or single: Attached
B- Best Friend: I have a few, Stephanie Foster Breinholt, Jennifer Graff, Sheli Sillito Walker and Mindy Gerun Holtey
C-Cake or Pie? Neither, thanks.
D-Day: Saturday.
E- Essential Item: chap stick
F- Favorite Color: Blue
G-Gummi Bears or Worms: Worms
H-Home town: Orem, Utah. Now Pleasant Grove
I- Indulgences: Sunflower seeds and shopping.
J- January or July?: July...After Christmas it sucks being cold!
K-Kids: Lillian, 18 months
L-Life is incomplete without: family
M- Marriage Date: March 14, 2002
N- Number of Siblings: 5 brothers
O- Oranges or Apples: Depends on the day.
P- Phobias or Fears: Heights, bugs, Lillian getting seriously ill (again)
Q- Quote: Be still and know that I am God.
R- Reason To Smile: Mike and Lillian
S- Season: Fall. Best clothes, no question.
T- Tag:Mary and Linda
U- Unknown fact about me: If you don't know it, it is probably none of your business.
V- Vegetarian or Oppressor of Animal: Definintely an oppressor.
W- Worst Habit: Yelling
X-Rays or Ultrasounds: Neither at the moment, thank you very much.
Y-Your favorite food: Fresh seafood.
Z: Zodiac Sign: Virgo

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


I recently reconnected with an old college friend via Facebook. I haven't seen him for 10 years, though I have emailed him a few times. He informed me that (back then, anyway) I was brassy and not BYU cookie cutter. I am not sure what this means. Is it a compliment? I don't know.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Crab Boil

Today, finally, we had a crab boil. If you are not familiar with the joys of a crab boil, I suggest you hightail it on over to google and make yourself familiar as they are a thing of beauty and a joy forever.
Normally, in my family, we have at least two of these delectable events per year, but, due to crazy busy schedules, it has been well over a year since the last one. That is the shameful truth. Today, however, we remedied the sad situation and the fam came out in force. The weather cooperated, my mom has a delightful backyard and the fun commenced. If you don't like seafood (as is the case with three of my SIL's) the fun is well, not so much. But being the kind SIL that I am, I cooked those lovely ladies some chicken for their unadventurous palates so they were able to join the party. My uncle always joins us for the family feeds, and this time he brought his new fiancee with him. Baptism by fire, if you will. He was kind enough to warn her that this part of the clan could be a little "rowdy", haha, understatement, but the lovely woman was able to hold her own.
The Small One did her part, eating buttered potatoes, corn, shrimp and even dipping her share of the crab into her root beer. Whatever works, baby!
After the party ended, my dad and older brother came over for some chat time. As always with the chats (with those two in particular) it went long and got loud occasionally. I believe we woke The Small One once or twice, but daddy to the rescue, he went in and got her back to sleep, as it was evident that mamma was not going to leave the convo. The things we talked about were many and sundry, a lively debate on the merits of classical art vs. the movements of the late 19th, early 20th century, the benefits of a vocational school vs. a traditional university and the most important, is our family really that weird. The answer to that was yes.
We are a different breed than a lot of other active Mormon families. The most particular issue being that, while most of my friends had lots of rules, my family had few, but very strict. This allowed for a lot of exploration, literal and figurative, as a child. My dad continues to wonder how we turned out as well as we did, as he is not positive that he and my mom were great parents. Oh, but they were. They allowed us certain very important things. They allowed us to be as intelligent as we really were. They allowed us to develop our talents, whatever they were, nay, they encouraged. They encouraged questions and learning and exploring. They encouraged opinions, form them, then support them. They encouraged unconventional friendships with unconventional people, and on and on.
Sometimes, the learning and exploring was a "necessity". We grew up poor, indeed, very poor. So poor, in fact, that hearing certain stories about my childhood make my dear husband depressed. Whilst brother, dad and I laughed about certain occurences from the childhood, husband thought they were rather tragic. For example; when I was pregnant with The Small One, I had a certain craving once or twice. I craved that cheap Carl Buddig lunch meat. The kind that costs somewhere around 50 cents per package. It was pastrami, in particular, that I wanted. So, I went off to the store, bought a package, a loaf of smushy bread and some mayonnaise and came home and made a sandwich. After I made it, I called my brother and said -Guess what I am eating.
-A Carl Buddig pastrami sandwich.
-How many slices?
- 5
-Wow, that's over the top.
-you know it.
Much laughter followed. Because, here is the thing. Growing up, we were only allowed 3 slices of pastrami per sandwich. If you were really that hungry, you could eat another sandwich, but no more than 3 slices per sandwich. More than that was wasteful, and we couldn't afford it.
Husband thinks this is terribly sad.
Brother is an artist for Avalanche, a company that makes video games for Disney. Growing up poor is what pointed him in that direction. When we were little, he got a Star Wars action figure for his birthday. He took it over to a friend's house to play with said friend's Millenium Falcon and X-wings. These things were far outside the reach of our family. While playing with said spaceships and knowing he would never have one of his own, brother reached into his own ingenuity and said, I could build spaceships myself for these action figures. So he did. This necessity led him straight into model making, which landed him his first job in the gaming industry.
Same sort of thing happened to me. I loved Barbies, and I had a few. What I never got was one of those big fashion packs of clothing that you could purchase, and oh, how I wanted one. When I was about 10, my mom bought an evening gown for Barbie at the local fabric store. These were made by a lady who worked there and they were beautiful. Far lovelier and more chic than anything that came in the fashion pack. I looked that gown over, and I realized something. I could make custom clothes for my Barbie. So, I did. I made patterns and I draped and I made my Barbies the most fantastic outfits ever. Oh, and what do I do for a living? Yeah, I make fantastic outfits and wedding gowns for people. I make patterns and I drape on my mannequin just like I did with the Barbie.
And I don't think that is tragic.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

I am this Austen Heroine

I am Elinor Dashwood!

Take the Quiz here!

Hello and all

My house, it is messy. My hair, it is messy. My baby, she is messy. But it is all good, because it is Conference Sunday, there is a fire in my fireplace and the baby, she has learned to put on her own shoes. It makes her quite proud.

Pins and needles...or just needles

Oh, Knitpicks Options, how I do love thee.
Thou art slick and smooth and sharp of point, and leadeth me to speedy knitting.