Thursday, December 22, 2011

Kidspeak: Sunshine

Ardyn today while in the van "Mama, will the sun ever come out again?"

I know Ardyn, I know. It's terrible isn't it? All brown and dead. No snow to brighten up the days. No sunshine for weeks now. :(

Cup of Freaking Cheer

I feel like I could rant for hours. Except I don't have hours. I don't know what the deal is, but I suspect it is most likely that PMS and Christmas do NOT mix.

I have decided to direct my rant one direction for a brief moment. Walmart's one hour photo center. THREE TIMES in the past two weeks I have tried to place a one hour photo order and have been told that there is a problem with the one hour photo in the local walmart and that the order will take longer than an hour. Now, am I the only one that thinks there might be a good inkling that something is going on over there? Should customers be charged for 1 hour photo prices when it takes more than three hours to process your order? Hmmmm. I am super frustrated with this whole scenario.

I ran away tonight. My kids weren't awful today, but they weren't especially good either. I tried to think of when I was away from them last, and it seems like it might have been about a week ago tonight. Since then we have had preparing for the cleaning ladies, violin lessons, Christmas Present shopping and wrapping, Church Christmas Pageant practice, the Church Pageant, Caroling, Fellowship and movie after caroling, movie night (Chipwrecked) with just me and the two kids, Took the kids to see the Festival of Lights with my parents, followed by supper at Steak and Shake and a visit to the most awesome new Outdoor World at Bass Pro Shops. Then last night we finally got to spend some time with daddy and ate supper at the Mexican restaurant.  This is all good, but also all stressful, because the majority of it was done by myself with kids, or luckily with my parents.... Frustrating. I don't want to choke the life out of my husband with my eyes each time I look at him, but tonight when I saw the opportunity to get milk I decided that I was not coming back until after bedtime. When you start to feel at 2:30pm that the rest of your day would be best mellowed by alcohol and cigarettes (and you don't drink or smoke) you know it's time to escape. I have been away from them for nearly an hour and my jaw is still clenched so tight that it hurts.

I get so furious at how much these seem to be ALL my kids. I shouldn't rant about that I guess, but man it gets difficult. It's the stay-at-home mom's curse. It's the thing that makes me want to scratch my husband's eyes out when he acts like making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for two kids is over his head. I am probably exaggerating that a bit, but man, that look that he gives me like How DARE I ask him to do such a thing.... just boils my blood.

I told my husband that I wouldn't be home until the kids are asleep. Period. I just need to breathe a bit. I just need no one screaming at me or talking over me for a few hours. I need to get my wits about me. I started a big load of diapers before I left so I have those to look forward to when I get home, and I need to do some dishes and a serious lot of laundry so I have something to wear for Christmas. I also have just a few presents that I need to wrap yet for the kids. There are three under the tree right now and they are just killing themselves with excitement and curiosity over what might be inside.

I decided to high-tail it to the library. Quiet. With Internet Access. and My own clear horizontal space. I have my laptop and KK's, because his has a virus and some malware and I have been working on it all day to get it cleared off and updated and running smoothly with fresh AVG and Zone Alarm. Problem being we are on week two of no internet at home, which is a stress in itself, considering that I do EVERYTHING Online, including pay all my bills. So I have my computer working on all the things I need to get done, and his right next to mine doing software updates and virus and malware scans.

I love that when coming to the library I see so many people who I adore, and just happen to work or hang out here. Tonight I was blessed by encounters with Ron and Ann and also saw Jax and Laura and Cullen. All in less than an hour. I could sleep here, I swear. It's so QUIET here. I saw a mom back in the children's section of the library, working on her laptop at a table, while her children sat quietly on the floor reading books. I was like, seriously? Did she DRUG them? Will my kids EVER act like that? Ever? Oy. Bless their overactive and loud little personalities, straight from their parents (me being loud, Evan being overactive, in childhood at least)

Once again this year comes the stress of trying to be at three Christmases in 24 hours. This year another was added to the mix, and we declined. We made our decision two years ago that we would go to ONE Christmas Eve celebration. It seems that although last year we went to one, and this year we are supposed to alternate, we will still be eating at one from 6-8, then going to church at 8:30, and then AFTER church (when any sensible parents would have their 2 and 4 year olds into bed for Santa) we will be going to another Christmas celebration in order to not piss anyone off. I already want to cry. I want to bawl and scream and stomp my feet. I love our families. But WHY can't they understand and let it go, and realize that we DO NOT ENJOY dragging two toddlers to three locations in one night, particularly when at least one of them has to be after their bedtimes. It isn't anything personal. It ISN'T favoritism. It's plain ole logic. I don't know a better way to deal with it. It makes me want to smash my head into a wall, and this is without PMS. THIS IS NOT HOW CHRISTMAS IS SUPPOSED TO FEEL! Even though we implemented this last year, and went to just one Christmas Eve, as soon as this year came along and we were due to switch to my family on Christmas Eve, the guilt trips started rolling in. What about their presents? Couldn't we just "stop in" after church? Do You Think You Could Find The Time to come to Aunt Patti's on Christmas Eve? Oh my. We can not go four places on Christmas Eve. WE CAN NOT. This isn't something personal. It really really really really is NOT. I now feel really really really upset with myself for giving in and saying that we would go to a second Christmas Eve after church. This is entirely breaking the "every other year" thing that we had agreed to two years ago. I didn't "cheat" and go to my family last year. We completely went with his family on Christmas Eve, but this year I am already being made to feel like I am choosing a favorite, which is NOT the truth. But here I am back to square one. Back to the year when I had to start taking Anxiety medication right before Christmas because everyone demanded so much of us right after I started to go back to work after having Ardyn. *sigh*

Dear Lord, please help me to enjoy this Christmas and not go postal on any family members.
And Please Please Please bring snow. This warm and brown and un-sunny Christmas is horrid.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Kidspeak: Santa

the kids are playing Mr and Mrs Claus.... Overheard from the living room.

Ardyn: "Mr Claus! You're feet are freeeeeeezing! You'd better go put on your big black boots!"

Then a few minutes later...

Ardyn: *heavy sigh* "Santa, this checking twice thing is killing me!"


Meagan ~ via blogpress on my iPhone :)

Monday, December 12, 2011


I really do not like waiting. Even though I have no "plans" this afternoon or tomorrow, today we are expecting the Comcast guy from 1-4 and tomorrow the Sears repairman from 1-5. I HATE Waiting. I HATE the time range. I badly want to take a nap when the kids do today, because I didn't get much sleep last night. But in order to do that, I have to wait until the Comcast Guy gets here. And since I don't have any CLUE as to when he will arrive (It's already 2pm now) I am trying to weigh in the factors of when exactly I give up and put the kids down to sleep without getting a nap myself.

The worst part is that there isn't a real exciting reason for him to come, just that they are doing equipment upgrades and it's our turn. *sigh*. I don't like planning my day around waiting. I have picked up the house and done some vacuuming, and some other chores, but I just want him to get here already, get in and get this done, and then let me be so I can nap. :(

Then of course I will feel the exact same way tomorrow as I wait for the Sears guy to arrive. Oy. the waiting part tempts me to cancel my appointments every time. I always think "this is stupid. He can just come another time."

The kids watched the Grinch (animated version) after lunch and I thought FOR SURE that the second they got all locked in to that, he would show up requiring me to turn it off and make them cranky. I was even okay with that.... but nothing yet.

I am having a hard time believing that it's getting so close to Christmas already. I haven't gotten my cards out, which is UNHEARD OF for me, because I always send cards out ON December 1st. But this year we got some really cute pics of the kids taken by Nicole Isaacson Photography, and I just need the FUNDS to pay her for the photo disk, so that I can go make the cards and get them mailed. Surprisingly, it is two weeks till Christmas, and we have only received cards from four people this year. That's stranger than usual, that's for sure. Hopefully we do get some soon because the kids love opening them and especially displaying them. We put a string of flashing rice lights around the doorway to the playroom and I am taping (with painters tape) the cards around the door frame woodwork this year. Simple but effective. We are at such a prime for space here there isn't an inch to display them anywhere else!

I still haven't found the tree topper (Well, to be honest I haven't really looked either) and I think I might be okay with that. I did want to get the peg rack painted to hang stockings, I have had it like, oh 11 months and not done it yet. Lot of good that was, considering it's so cold out it's not like I can just step out and spray paint it now.... but I will anyway. Spray it outside and bring it in to dry and see how it turns out. Hopefully before Christmas.

This week I have a ton to accomplish, from just the everyday things like preparing for the cleaning lady to arrive (she hasn't been here in over a month because of our incredibly knack for spreading sickness around amongst ourselves) and also next weekend is the Christmas Pageant at church and I need to make an angel costume and a shepherd costume this week. I have the fabric from a bin in the basement and it is washed and ready to go to the dryer, but I just need to get that whipped up. Ardyn also has Violin this week per usual, and we need to make a serious effort to practice. I also have my BUNCO Christmas Party, the Health Ministries Team Christmas Party (for our church team) and Ardyn has Dance and School. Add in the Cable guy, the Sears Guy, and Friday night hoping to get everything off layaway and wrapped or opened accordingly for Christmas.... and I am only mildly annoyed with the schedule. This weekend Evan has a gig, and so that will mean at least 36 hours of me and kids, and during those hours we have practice for the church program and then the program itself. This Sunday is also caroling to the sick and shut-ins, which Ardyn fondly remembers from last year (and me too!) so we are looking forward to that!

Chicken Coop

I realized tonight that I never did post a finished photo of the chicken coop on the blog :) Sorry readers! Apologies! I just facebooked them and forgot :(

Here you go... The top left is Marek helping me to remove the old siding from the dog house, which belonged to my in-laws and was what we revamped into a coop. The upper right is a photo of Ardyn admiring the coop in progress, the day that we added the nest box and got the side door opening cut.

The bottom left is the coop with the run attached to the front.... and the bottom right is the side open on the coop, with the double doors and the screen in place. the screen is out for the winter and the doors stay shut unless I am cleaning out or checking in or if it's a warmer day and we just need to air out a bit :) The ladies are so at home :) The coop features two rear 12x12 ish nest boxes with a hinged roof, an interior two leveled perch with room for six fluffy and heavy breed hens, a nice front ladder, an adjacent and removable front run with hanging feeder and waterer (a heated waterer in winter) 24x24" concrete diamond paved floor for easy washing, a hinged front door with a pulley so I don't have to go IN to the run to open the door, and a double "barn door" on the side for easy access and cleaning. The siding is recycled concrete style siding painted "Victory Red" and it features white vinyl trim and corner caps and a green steel roof with a handcrafted galvanized ridge vent. The house itself is fully insulated.... the nest boxes are not, but are filled with pine bedding.

There is an entire album of "coop in progress" photos here, if you are interested :)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Kidspeak- naked fries

Ardyn: "mom, some of these fries were showing their potatoes. I hid them at the bottom of the box"

Me: "what?!"

Ardyn: "naked."

Meagan ~ via blogpress on my iPhone :)

Friday, December 09, 2011

Chicken Sweaters! FREE Pattern for Personal Use :)

Yes really. I really truly crocheted a sweater for my chicken. I saw a blog post this evening that had each of their chickens in sweaters. I thought it seemed incredibly unnecessary and that my chickens would not be happy in the winter without them. Absolutely no way, no how. Since I seem to have tons of Yarn remnants left from my recent scarf escapades.... I decided that while the kids were watching the Grinch after supper, I would make one. I actually took some orange yarn and a hook to Ardyn's dance class and while Marek napped in his seat and Ardyn was dancing, I was going to make one. I had found patterns online but only one crochet pattern, and I wasn't really happy with the coverage that the particular pattern provided, so I thought I might have to modify it as I went. Especially because my chickens are all heavy breeds and I didn't know what hens this sweater was made to fit, but it looked more like a smaller regular sized hen. Plus, I don't like to check gauge and never do check gauge, so I was just gonna see how the pattern went. Well, fast forward to dance class and I ran out of the house without the pattern. Grrr. So I sat in the van and thought, you know, I can totally wing it (pun intended, lol) and make my own chicken sweater.

So, I started. I visualized and I conquered. And I like mine better than the other pattern so I was happy. I will go ahead and share with you here. But first, a few photos and a feature overview....

1. No ties. I was nervous of the ones that tied and if a chicken would strangle or hang themselves.
2. Covers more of the chicken's back.... and dips a bit lower to cover a few tail feathers
3. Keeps wings free and allows flight if desired :)
4. Covers the chest/breast area while still leaving the feet free and the rear end clear for poo and eggs :)

So, I don't write patterns so please let me know if my rules screw you up. The first rule of crochet is, there are no rules :) If you have followed enough patterns, hopefully you will know what I am doing.
I used what I would consider to be regular medium weight yarn, very washable, and a J hook because that's what I could get my hands on. Like I said, I don't do gauge. Just start and try to visualize your chicken :) That's how I did it.

Row ONE- Start Your Work: Chain 31. This is not really a set number. You can chain whatever you want. This is the length of your chicken's body. Eyeball it. Chain whatever you want. the pattern will work no matter how many you chain.
Chain Two and Turn

ROWS 2 thru 6- *Double Crochet in each Chain till end.... Chain Two and Turn again (repeat from star until you have six rows completed)

ROW 7- After you have chained two and turned to begin your SEVENTH row, DC in next SIX stitches. Then, Chain Six (not in previous stitches) to create a chain that will make your wing opening. On the 7th Stitch, instead of chaining, DC back into your work again. This will make a "hole" that is six stitches long.
Continue to DC in each stitch until you reach the THIRD Stitch from the end. You should have THREE STITCHES to fill,
in the first stitch DC TWICE (increase)
In the Second stitch DC TWICE (increase)
In the LAST stitch in your row, DC once, then chain two and turn.

ROW 8- DC in first stitch
DC twice in each of the next TWO stitches (increasing twice, Rows 7 and 8 will create a longer tail area, which you can eliminate if you don't like that idea, but I like the way it looks and fits.)
DC in each stitch till end, Chain two and turn

ROWS 9 and 10- *DC in each stitch till end, Chain two and turn (repeat from star to create row 10)

ROW 11 - DC in each stitch until you are five stitches from end. Then DC once in next two stitches (Decreasing) and DC again ONCE in next two stitches (Decreasing a second time) and then DC once in last stitch.... Chain two and turn, completing row 11.

ROW 12- DC once in first stitch (not in turning chain) and then DC once in next two stitches (DECREASING) and then DC again once in next two stitches (DECREASING AGAIN.) then DC once in each space until end of chain. Complete Row 12, Chain two and turn.

ROW 13- DC once in each of next six stitches, then Chain 6 (creating other wing opening.) In the next stitch (stitch 13 from end) DC again and continue DCing in each stitch until end, creating wing hoed and ending Row 13. Chain Two and Turn.

ROWS 14 thru 18-
*DC once in each space. Chain Two and Turn (repeat from star until you have finished row 18 and are have chained and turned to begin row 19)

ROW 19- DC once in each space, FIFTEEN TIMES, Chain two and turn. (end Row 19)

ROW 20- DC once in each space, FIFTEEN TIMES (do not chain and turn. End Row 20)

To finish Sweater, Fold in half and match last fifteen DC's (the short rows that you finished with) up with first row. Join them  together with 15 slip stitches. Finish off and weave in ends.

For durability, I actually Slip stitched it across twice, once each direction, before finishing off. Then I turned it right side out so that the slip stitched were inside the sweater. See photos and I hope to heck it turned out like mine. Sorry I am not a pattern writer. I can crochet any ol way but I am no pattern genius!

The End.
Feel free to share this and crochet away. This pattern is for personal use only. Please do not use this pattern to create sweaters for profit (this means don't crochet them and sell them!)


Today I finished the sixth Chicken Sweater. That's six in about a day and a half. Today the chickens wore them out in the snow for the first snowfall. :) Here are a few pics :)


ETA: This post was my inspiration for finding a practical chicken sweater. Check it out for a smile:

Kidspeak: it snowed!!!

Daddy: have you looked outside Ardyn?

Ardyn: let me get my drawers on first!

It snowed! We can go outside an build a snowman!!!

Mommy: I don't think there is that much snow on the ground.

Ardyn: well there is grass sticking up but we can use the grass as
His eyebrows!!!!

Meagan ~ via blogpress on my iPhone :)

Monday, December 05, 2011

Kidspeak: Salmonella

I was putting away clean diapers in the kids' bedroom when I heard them busily cooking away at the kitchen in the playroom. Ardyn said "This is going to be some delicious salmonella when we get done!"

Launch discussion on salmonella as a bacteria that makes people sick.
Launch Ardyn's counter-discussion about how Salmonella is delicious and that people love it.


Friday, December 02, 2011

Marek in his Glasses, with his new Christmas Ornament

Today Marek wore his glasses for the first whole day! He got them last night and today he wore them from 7:30-9:30am, and then from 10:30am-2:15pm (when he took a nap) and from the time he woke up from nap around 3:30 until now (6:45) and he is still wearing them now! What a great first day! We celebrated by hanging his new ornament on the tree. He was all smiles!
Posted by Picasa
Related Posts with Thumbnails