Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Made it through another day!

This morning I was feeling significantly improved...by this afternoon, I was reminded that it takes a little time for the stamina to return! It took a lot out of me to do school, shower, dress, get all ready, leave the house, do our stuff and then come back home again...things that I hardly think about on a normal day were quite a feat today! Tonight I had to make dinner for the first time since surgery, too. Between my parents cooking and the wonderful ladies at our church bringing a few meals, that has been one task I have been spared. But tonight I made a stir-fry using leftover meat from last night's dinner and fresh peas from my parents' garden. The colors were so lovely (before the meat and stir-fry sauce got added) that I had to take a picture to share. I am very blessed to have two kids who eat just about anything, and lots of it. They happily chowed down the stir-fry, complete with bamboo shoots and water chestnuts. Bruce and I were such horrid eaters as kids that it doesn't seem quite fair to our parents that our kids are such good eaters! We stopped at the library on the way home from piano lessons today so that we could replenish our book supply. David was a trooper; we loaded the books into a backpack and he carried the whole heavy load, since lifting/carrying is still painful for me. A few minutes after we got home, I realized I couldn't hear him (usually a bad sign!), and I found him engrossed in a book, with a bunch more books strewn around him. Happiness is.I also enjoy it, not only because I love to see him read, but also because he's a very loud and high-energy guy, and the only times he's peaceful are while eating, sleeping, and now while reading. He does usually let out a primeval yell in between books, though -- gotta burn off the energy somehow! :) Abigail is still not feeling well. She's not running a fever today, but she only has half a voice, her cough still sounds nasty, and her nose is producing substances that none of you want to read about. She's complained several times today of not feeling well. Our piano teacher kindly let us come early, while her kids were still napping, so that we could get our lesson without contaminating everyone! In this picture, Abigail's rolling her eyes at me for being silly...she's perfected that look lately and usually accompanies it with "Mom!" (pronounced "Mawwwwwm!") I expect we'll have this exchange many times throughout her growing up years. :)

Lovely flowers

I forced paperwhites again this year and they are so lovely, but I think this will be the last year I do it. I say that every year, but this time I'll try to mean it. They're just so pretty that they're hard to resist, but...
...THEY STINK! Bruce informed me last night that our living room smelled like the inside of a cat's bladder. No, really, Honey, tell me how you really feel. :)

On my own again

My parents left Sunday morning, Bruce went to work yesterday morning, and so it was time to get back to life again! I'm doing much better, really; as long as I move slowly and refrain from twisting, lifting, bending over/standing back up, and reaching my arms upward, I'm pretty good. My back is what's bothering me most now -- it didn't appreciate the three days on the couch -- it's used to a non-stop activity kind of life and the sedentary behavior didn't agree with it! After my parents (and their cats) left, Molly came out of hiding. After a bit of a tussle because she wanted her customary spot on my stomach, she finally gave in and tucked in next to me. Cats are wonderful recuperation-companions!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Entrepreneurial spirit

While we (my parents, the kids, and I) were outside enjoying the lovely weather Tuesday afternoon, David decided it was a good opportunity for a bit of a business venture. We had recently read a library book in which one of the characters tried a lemonade stand, so I wasn' t all that surprised when he pulled up with this wagon and its attached sign that said "selling drinks".He was smart enough not to list a price, figuring he could feel us out and charge us as much as we would pay. He was very thorough, even chocking his wagon wheels (albeit in the wrong spot). He even tried maximizing his profits by selling milk (which his mother had paid for at the store) as well as water (which was stale water from his mother's plant-watering jug...my mom owes me one for tipping her off to that little fact before she started drinking!). It was one of those quintessential childhood-moments, and I was happy to get to share in it. I'll never forget the time that I, as a child visiting my grandparents in Florida, tried selling lemonade and (slightly-stale-and-melted-due-to-the-heat) cheese and crackers by the roadside. I remember feeling like it was such a serious and important business venture. And I remember being pleased as punch when I was done, happily packing up my supplies and going away to play something more exciting. I felt like such a grand success, and all because, after my hard work and long wait (or so it seemed to me), I had made a sale. My dad rode his bike out the backyard and around the long way just so that he could stop by my roadside stand and buy my lukewarm lemonade and slightly-stale-and-melted cheese and crackers. (Thanks, Dad.) And so that's why, when my son came around with his wagon, I paid him an exorbitant price for milk I had already paid for, and I did it with a beaming smile, a thank-you, and a warm feeling of pride and love. This is the sweet stuff of childhood.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Apron for Abigail

I like to sew something each year for the kids' birthdays, and this year, a couple of weeks before her birthday, Abigail asked for a new apron. A perfect choice, since it's a quick project, and it also worked nicely into our unofficial gift theme this year, as we gave her a duster and a just-her-size real broom, and her great-grandparents gave her a play-vacuum (yes, I realize it sounds like we gave her rather self-serving gifts, but really, she loves to be a little mama and help me with my chores!!!). Here's Abigail modeling the finished product... I used a great pattern. I made a couple of minor modifications, such as adding some length. It was easy to sew and has a couple of great design features; namely, an elasticized neck strap and a waist strap that wraps around and fastens on one side with velcro, so it's easy for her to put on/take off the apron by herself.

My surgery and recuperation-weekend

Well, we had Wednesday to enjoy with my parents before my surgery on Thursday. My mom and I used the time to take apart my Viking sewing machine and tweak a part that wasn't working right. My mother is very brave...I wouldn't have attempted this on my own...but once we got started, it was fascinating and fun to see the "guts"! ...and the machine is fixed, now, too, which is a nice bonus. :)My mother also encouraged me to use the nervous energy I had to accomplish something useful...so I finished a quilt top (all but the borders). (Sorry for the dumb picture, but it's not ready for its unveiling yet...this is just proof that I did something!)The surgery went well. They didn't find the endometriosis we were expecting, which is both good and bad news. More on that after my post-op appt in a couple of weeks, when we have a game plan again. My recovery was certainly helped by my parents being here to help run the show (...thanks, Dad and Mom!), and Bruce has taken over nicely today. It was also nice to have snuggles from my kiddos...well, the gentle snuggles were nice, at least. :) Below is a picture of one of those nice snuggles on Thursday night -- sorry I look so ridiculous in it, but I'd just had surgery a few hours before and I was drugged up and worn out! David fell asleep hugging me like this. I was also entertained by the animals. My cat goes into hiding when my mom brings her cats, but my mom's kitten Nyki discovered the joy of a heating pad and so she sat with me a few times. When Nyki wasn't sleeping, trying valiantly to figure out how to taste the goldfish, or otherwise entertaining us, she was busy bullying our wussy-dog. All she had to do was look at him and do this funny machine-gun-spit noise and the dog cowered. When Nyki really needed some fun, she'd meander near the dog's bed while he tried to shrink and disappear. It was great entertainment for the rest of us! And I've actually accomplished something while I've been recovering...in the crafting world, this is referred to as a "UFO" -- an UnFinished Object. I sewed and quilted it this past autumn but never got the binding sewn on, so it had been unceremoniously stuffed in the UFO pile. I'm not usually very good at going back and finishing UFOs, but this was a perfect opportunity and I took advantage of it. Now this table runner is finished and will be tucked away, ready to be a new and exciting decoration this fall! I'm feeling okay now, although still very sore -- rather like a big, strong man punched me in the stomach -- but I'm hoping to wake up in the morning feeling almost normal...after all, it's the beginning of a new week and I have the world to conquer! :)

Abigail's birthday...wrapping up loose ends

Here are pictures of Abigail opening/playing with her gifts...these pictures may be tedious to some of you, but please bear with us -- we wanted to be able to share each moment with the family who sent her gifts!Thank you, everyone!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Abigail's birthday dinner and cake

Abigail's birthday-dinner request was pasta with tomato sauce and garlic bread... ...and for her birthday cake, she wanted a cake that had green frosting for grass, flowers with lots of colors, and a horse on top. It was fun to make and she was thrilled! The horse's head moves down, so it looked like it was grazing. It was really cute, and even cuter to see Abigail enjoy it.

Abigail's birthday daytime

We had lots of fun together on Abigail's birthday. We played games, read lots of books while sitting outside on the swing enjoying the beautiful weather, made jewelry (see her bracelets?)......I walked and the kids rode bikes -- doesn't she look like such a big girl on her new bike? She especially loves the water bottle. :)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Abigail's birthday morning

Fresh out of bed, Abigail hopped into her birthday chair to open her morning presents.
She opened her new apron......and her new princess bike!!!We had to alter today's plans because I'm not physically up to the challenge of a big outing. Instead (thanks to my wise husband, who put his foot down to me!), we're doing a special school day -- an "applied studies" day -- no formal instruction, but lots of application of what we've been learning through games, projects, reading time, physical activities, etc. Here Abigail is picking the potential activities out of a jar...
...a happy birthday morning so far!

Five years of Abigail

2004 ~ We have a daughter!
2005 ~ Daddy's all-time favorite picture! 2006 ~ new hearing aids! 2007 ~ beautiful flower girl for Uncle Jared & Aunt Krystle's wedding 2008 ~ our girlie-girl 2009 ~ our drama queen has a wonderfully-vivid imaginationWe love you, precious Abigail Rose... you bring such joy and wonder into our lives!!! Happy 5th birthday!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

A post for clarification...

Two people have now mentioned something to me, which means that there are probably more of you who thought the same thing and just didn't say anything...so I felt that I should post an addendum to one of my earlier posts to offer some clarification. I almost didn't post this picture originally, because in the blurriness of the picture, it looks like David's feet are bare, and I thought at the time that I should mention it so that no one drew the wrong conclusion; however, against my better judgment, I posted the picture without clarification and now here we are! First, let me point out that David's bike has an excellently-designed chain guard. It would be very unlikely, although not impossible, that his toes would get past that guard, even if he slipped or crashed. Second, David IS wearing flip-flops in this picture (re-posted below at a higher resolution so that hopefully you'll be able to click on it and see the yellow flip-flop strap). Thirdly, yes, I am aware of the danger of riding bikes without shoes. Let me also mention that our house rule is "no bikes with bare feet". Typically, I even require something more substantial than flip-flops. I considered his footwear choice that day and decided to just let him ride without trading in the flip-flops. Mother's prerogative.

"Alice" the ballerina and the mighty explorer

Thanks to Grandma Minota for the ballerina skirt and ribbon -- they are very loved!
(David found the 'guts' from the birthday wrapping paper roll and it immediately inspired him to use it as binoculars and be an explorer/pirate/cowboy.)
Below is a video of Abigail being "Alice" the ballerina (her current name choice).
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