Sunday, February 07, 2016

Chill February

And the last of the January doldrums.
One day the girls and I met Kendra ("Krenda") and William at the pool.  They loved it.  And I was glad for another set of eyes to keep an eye on them...
 I never remember pool toys, good thing they have some built in.
 Emmy and William... aww.
 Bob and I went to Rustin and Sharon's for a chuck-wagon themed potluck... smoked brisket with all the trimmings.  It was super yummy, probably rivaled all the chuck-wagon suppers Dad dragged us to out west.  It had kind of been a long time since we were with them all, so it was a good night.  And you won't believe what Greg said to me.......  just kidding Greg! 

We took the girls to Bass Pro Saturday evening just because.  They wanted to see the fish and the animals, but they spent the most time exploring the boats.  And the ATVs... 
 Emmy wanted to drive them all.
 We need one of these, right?
 My parents and Jake invited themselves over and brought pizza Sunday evening. 

We've been spending most of our time inside coloring, playing, fighting...
 Stepping on Bubble wrap...
 Putting stickers under our shirts...
 We made cornbread one night for supper.  I measure, they take turns dumping.  Then they both wanted to stir.  Somehow it all stayed in the bowl!  They like cooking a lot more than it looks like in this picture. 
 I've been cooking all sorts of things again!  Whole meals that don't come from a box or the Schwann's man!  It's amazing.  I even made a whole turkey that I bought on sale last thanksgiving.  It turned out great... nice and moist and delicious.  I even made gravy from the drippings!  And the carcass is in the freezer for making broth (once I get around to it or I'm tired of it taking up space in the freezer)!  Can't let Shelly be more domestic than me...  hehe. 

Mom needed a grandma day so she took the girls Thursday... I went shopping.  Anymore I much prefer online shopping... I'm getting old or something.  The girls had lots of fun at the farm with "Ga-maw" and "Ap-aw."

So I had great intentions of rehabbing this little table and chairs that were mine as a child in time to give it to the girls for Christmas... didn't happen.  I'm just finally getting started now.  Originally my plan was to paint/ stain them to match our kitchen table and chairs.... but.... all those spindles.  And the chairs are in decent shape.  After tightening screws and re-gluing spindles and armrests, I used Restor-a-finish on them.  It works really well- the chair on the left hasn't been done yet, the one on the right has.  They still don't look brand new, but the scratches are less obvious and the finish looks nice and shiny again. 
 Oh this poor table.  Apparently the four Wyss kids were hard on their toys.  Ha.  Tape, paint, scratches, missing edge banding... we did a number on it.  Although, I don't remember paint being allowed on it so that must be Michelle's fault.  Anyway, waffling about what to do with the top... it's thin veneer on plywood so it would be a waste of time to refinish it. My trip to Pekin Hardwood for a replacement was fruitless... so if Menards doesn't carry edge glued panels in the size I need I'm not sure what I will end up doing.  I'm painting the legs white so the table will at least sort of look like our table.
Anyway, it's been quiet, the girls are going a little stir crazy, but next week looks to be busier so they'll be happy.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Grandma will give me a ticket to the Symphony

It's been very quiet around here... at least in terms of going and doing things.  The girls have been alternately snotty so this past Wednesday was the first time in a long time that we've even all been at church. 
She thought she was big stuff eating out of Daddy's cereal bowl.
 And Bob got roped into reading ALL of Cecily's new Highlights magazine.  (I think it pretty much firmly ensconces me in the terrible parent category, but I really don't like reading out loud....)
 Little Bee was rocking two pony tails in a slightly ineffective attempt to keep hair out of her snotty nose.
 No idea.  Doesn't everyone wear church shoes with their umbrellas inside in the winter?
 Getting ready to go outside with Daddy!  Emmy is trying to put on my ski pants.
 He managed to get enough snow stuck together to make them a snow man.
 And he carried little miss I-don't-want-my-boots-to-get-snow-on-them around.
 They named him Henry.
 Bob also gave them a sled ride. 
 So my cousin Ned has been playing with the Peoria Symphony Orchestra this season... and last Sunday they had a family matinee concert: Fairy Tales and Scary Tails.  There was going to be a narrator, "captivating imagery," and a costume parade.  I waffled a little bit about taking Cecily because the stories behind the first two pieces are really kind of creepy, but we decided to try it and I'm really glad we did!  All ready to go after church... in her Elsa dress.   
 We met up with Dad & Mom, Shelly & Nathan, and Troy.  Cecily was very excited about handing her ticket to the guy at the door.  But she was really unsure about the crowds.  (She takes after me- new things make me nervous too) If we would have gotten there early they had face painting and pop corn and drinks and Princesses to meet.  She acted very shy, but I think she liked taking a picture with Anna and Elsa. 
 So then we found our seats; she's so little she could barely keep hers down.
 We were in the 1st balcony. "When I'm five I can sit down there, and when I'm six I can sit in the boxes."  Okay then. 
I had played the music for her a couple of times before we went so she recognized some of it... but she was still a little bit scared of "Night on Bald Mountain" and "Danse Macabre."  Understandably. They creep me out a little bit too. The narrator was really good and they had a slide show with pictures that fit the story... she kept whispering things (thankfully there were lots of other kids there making noise too) but we made it thru to the more benign music.  Yay Sleeping Beauty! Right before intermission they had a costume parade down on the stage that she really wanted to go do.  We all talked her out of it... such spoil sports!  And then she was a little disappointed she didn't get to eat popcorn with grandma and get a drink, but she didn't say anything until the second half was starting so I felt bad about that. 

The second half was the "Broom song," aka the Sorcerer's Apprentice, which is just fun.  Although she was worried about Mickey getting in trouble.  And "Carnival of the Animals" was the last one.  She was getting tired by the end, but she did like listening for the animals.  The "Cuckoo" song is her favorite, probably because it's easy to hear the cuckoo. Anyway, she did really well considering it was a two hour concert after a full day at church and she's only 4.  I think she enjoyed it because she's been talking about it off and on ever since. *grin* And after she gets to sit in a box (ha!  I doubt I will ever want to pay for that!) when she's seven she can ride the elevator.

I enjoyed it too, although I don't feel like I really got to listen to the music as much as I could have if she wasn't along... oh well.  Introducing her to the orchestra and great classical pieces was the whole point.  And seeing Ned play.  (She was very shy when he came out afterwards too.  Silly kid.) 
Otherwise, it's quiet around here.

Oh, and my dad took my suggestion... this story makes me cry every time I hear it...


Thursday, January 14, 2016

To Sleep, perchance to dream-

Ay, there's the rub.
So while I finally feel (mostly) like a human being again, the girls have been coughing and snotty and I seem to be picking that up... mur... and Bob had a rough few days of illness last week. Woot. I'm already longing for spring. 
It snowed last Saturday!  It was very pretty.  The girls were so excited.  Emmy kept pointing out the window with big eyes, "Ook, ook!"  Cecily wanted to go out in it buuut I didn't want to and Bob was sick so we didn't.  They got to go to the farm during testimonies so I think that made up for it.  I mean, driving Barbie cars down the stairs is way better than playing in wet snow.
Fred and Dianne came for the baptism... and some elevator people that I vaguely remember from when Dad was on the board... I was very glad Dianne was there because Bob was home sick and there's no way I would have been able to stay in with both girls alone, so it ended up being a pretty good Sunday.
I did let them go out in the snow after church.  Cecily loves it... Emmy doesn't want to get snow on her boots.  And Cecily insists I stay within 10 feet of her at all times.  *sigh*  So I did a lot of carrying Emmy around the yard while Cecily made snow angels.  Then we had to hurry and head to Gridley for our last Christmas!
I didn't take any pictures but we had fun.  We always have soup, which is amazing.  And the California box made it in time.  The girls got to play with Cristina's toys.... and we got home kind of late.  Oh well.
Our new mattresses came bright and early Monday morning!  Woot woot!  So, Bob has not really been a fan of our full sized bed.... that was my Grandparent's... that my Grandpa died in... (my dad should really blog about it and then you would realize why that fact doesn't bother me in the least.) 
Anyway, for Christmas, I got him full-to-queen conversion rails so we can use the headboard and footboard with bigger mattresses.  They're marketed for antique beds and are designed to sit lower to the floor because mattresses are much thicker than they used to be; I was also really hoping that we might end up with not so tall of a bed.   I looked into just buying a new queen headboard and frame but it was way more expensive and I'm not sure what style would go well with our 50's bedroom set. 
The girls thought the empty frame was the best thing ever.
 And new mattresses.  Notice that it's still really tall.  Boo.  Even with the lower side rails its about 3 inches taller than our other mattresses.  Sadness.  You should have seen Bob's face when I sat on the bed and said, "I don't like it."  Ha. Woe is me.  He says they aren't going back so I will just have to 'deal about it.'
It was about that point that we discovered that there is such a thing as "new mattress smell."  I don't like it.  So we haven't even slept on them yet, we've been camping on the couch bed in the living room which is NOT comfortable.  At all.  It was warm today so I shut the door and cracked the window and it seems to be dissipating finally...

Oh well.  I should not complain.  I get to keep my solid cherry bed with the spot on the headboard where the finish is worn from a humidifier when my mom was sick as a kid.... and Bob gets three extra inches of mattress on his side. 

Tuesday was pretty cold so I didn't want to go outside.  One of my HS friends is a nanny and posted pictures of her charges playing with snow in the bath tub.... so we tried it.  They were very unsure at first.  "Why is there snow in the house?"  "What is it doing in the tub?"
 But then they warmed up to the idea. 
 Enough that I felt like I was winning at parenting for once.  Ha.  It was worth it to not have to get bundled up to go outside with the temperature in the teens.
That evening I got to go out to eat with my Washington girls.  It was really good to see them... I have lots of great friends of all ages, but there's something about spending time with people who have known you forever and through so many stages in life... and where pretty much no topic is taboo.  *grin*  We laughed a lot.

So yeah, other than all that and a hilarious (after the fact) incident involving Emmy getting mad that we wouldn't let her have a can of ginger ale and her throwing it on the bathroom floor and it exploding, it's been quiet around here.  I'm ready for all of us to not be under the weather and for spring.  And I'm ready to sleep in a real bed again. 

Oh and Emmy is happy as a clam outside if she's being pulled in a sled.  That way she doesn't get snow on her boots.  Or gloves. 

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Operation Save the Potatoes!

I despise desprouting potatoes... and since we've had a warm fall and winter so far our basement hasn't really been cold enough to store potatoes.  After all the work it takes to grow weed them and dig them I am not giving up the fight to save them and eat them!  Anyway, optimum temperature for potato storage is 45-50 degrees with 90-95% humidity.  Sooooo... my friend just happened to be selling a mini fridge and we just happened to be in need of a cold storage option for what's left of our potato crop.  It's on the warmest setting and we stuck a couple of open containers of water in there and we should be good to go.   Ha.  I feel so crunchy or something.
Anyway, Christmas number 5 ended up getting postponed due to the ice storm... probably a good thing in the long run because Emmy came down with a fever that afternoon.  Boo.  It only lasted about a day though, so not too bad.
The rest of the week was pretty quiet.  Cecily got sick at 3am on the 31st.  Woot.  It's a good thing Bob got up with me because my poor stomach could hardly handle the cleanup...  so we all sat on the couch the next day.  Yes, Emmy is only wearing legwarmers with her diaper.  Her choice. 
"When you're sick you can watch whatever you want."  *Ahem.* 

 Emmy and I made it to New Years Eve service but then we came home and sat on the couch with our poor sick girl.  She refused to take any medicine and she wouldn't even drink the Dr. Pepper I laced with Tylenol.... *sigh* 
"Oook, Oook"  This time it was more Mom-doesn't-feel-good than sick kids.... you don't want to know how many times we've watched Robin Hood over the last two weeks...
She was acting well enough the next afternoon that we let her go to Bob's parent's for Christmas.  My camera didn't make it out of my purse, but I think Bob took a few pictures... we skyped Matt, which was nice.
Cecily got this ironing board but Emmy was pretty sure she needed it.  "Cheeese!"
The rest of Bob's time off work was spent relaxing and playing with all their new toys.  And Legos.
 "Cheese!"  She likes to line the horses up and say, "ook, ook!"
 A new dollhouse just for her! 
'What's on your shirt, Emmy?'  "Duck!" 
Slowly, slowly I am feeling better.  Yesterday I gagged on my toothbrush but didn't throw up!  Yay!  It's the little things...  

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Christmas (thus far...)

Starting things off and the first of six....  we spent last Sunday evening with the Beutels.  This year they borrowed costumes and had the kids do a nativity play.  Cecily was an angel... 
I think she's trying to adjust her costume, and not actually putting her hands over her heart or talking to Tirzah, but it looks awfully sweet. 
Emmy grabbed a book while we were singing and climbed up by Grandma. 
Monday was the day of days at Grandpa and Grandma Wyss's....  we actually skipped breakfast so that the girls could sort of stay on their usual sleeping and eating schedule.... ok, and I need sleep too.  We showed up in time for lunch and presents.  I wasn't feeling the greatest, but it was an enjoyable day anyway. 

Cecily got a Mermaid dress from "Grandma Lydiann at the condos" (and Grandpa).  It's intentionally too big but she wore it for quite a while. 
Ned got this sweet hat.  I think he can probably pull it off. 
Emmy got this little doll high chair.... the doll belongs at the condos and I personally think it looks super creepy, but she carried it around all day and fed it many meals in her high chair. 
And they both got a train set from the Kellenberger girls.
Grandma and Aunt Pearl...
Supper was delicious as always, even though nothing really tastes quite like it should right now. mur.  The girls ate... Cecily mostly ate broccoli, strange child.  Emmy eats everything unless it's green.
Emmy thought she needed to sit in her new little chair, but then she gets stuck and almost tips herself over. 
 At least she's feeding her baby fruits.
We had a few days of a break between Christmases.  On Wednesday we decided to open gifts at our house.  Little Bee was very excited.
As was little miss.
Ook!  Ook!  Kaek! Kaek!  She's fond of cake and her new cupcakes.
Cecily got ballet slippers.  She's been wearing them constantly.
Emmy loves soft things and her new blanket is now a favorite.
I got a globe!  I think Bob is showing her where Uncle Matt is.
We have a pirate princess now too. 
Christmas Eve the Kochs got together.  I didn't take any pictures but the girls got to make sparkly boxes covered in stickers- they loved it.  I didn't feel very good.  Which was disheartening since for a few days there had been some breaks in the constant nausea and I was seeing a light at the end of a very long dark tunnel.... not so much. 

Christmas morning the girls opened their stockings.
Sleepy baby was pretty happy.
We went to church in W-ton.  The girls were good, I felt awful.  My cold had gotten worse and the sinus drainage was making me gag.  So I spent the morning sucking on mints and trying not throw up.  ugh.  We had lunch at the farm and then presents!  Packages!  Emmy would start giggling and saying "Oooh, Ook!" before she even got the paper off.
Cecily got a toy sewing machine that actually works!  We'll see how long it lasts.   
Jakey's list was as vague as ever.  "Gear." "Useful things." "Clothes."  So we got him a box of useful things: string, Band-Aids, tape, rubber gloves, etc. 
Matt and Lena gave Emmy a toy trumpet.  She can't get quite enough air through it so now she will bring it to Bob or me and shove it in our faces for us to play.  It's got four notes... tuned so we can play bugle calls and that's about it.  *grin*  Much taps and reveille around here. 
Some Messiah singing, Cornish hens for supper (Cecily only ate carrots...), games, and we headed home probably later than we should have. 
The girls slept well.  I was super stuffed up and didn't feel good and barely slept.  Even cold meds at 4am didn't help much.  *sigh*  So Saturday was a sit on the couch and referee the girls playing with their new toys day.  And then Bob started feeling under the weather.  Woot.  This morning I woke up feeling about the same with a sinus headache on top of everything... and Bob has a sore throat... so we listened to church.  Cecily was sad to miss Sunday school, poor kid. "Sandikoch will be sad I'm not there!"  I'm just glad she and Emmy have been healthy so far!