Saturday, June 28, 2008

another saturday

1 handed typoing, so that typo there is more accurate than usual. dd's almost asleep while nursing on my lap, but i need to go to the store at some point.

i went to karate this am because i hadnt gone all week. i like saturday classes, i think. except when ms. p teaches them because she makes us do stuff like jump rope and pretty soon i start wheezing. anyway, it was renshi M today and he's my favorite. i got my black tip so at the end of this coming cycle i can test for my next belt. woot!

we've been socked in with forest fire smoke for most of the week and the kids are bouncing off the wall. we've been going to swim lessons, but by the end, my chest hurts from smoke and i'm not even the one exerting myself. i ran in to some old LLL friends when we were playing on the climbing thing after the boys' lesson and before their kids' lesson. it's wild to see how big they get so fast.

ds1 says he woke up at 5 this am. he's silly and goofy and tends to fly out of control when he's tired. oh joy.

but the smoke isn't as thick today - or at least it's not as close to the ground because the sky is still mostly gray - so we are trying to get the boys outside. being outside has lasted about a minute so far. augh!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Another good book: Garden Spells

I read Garden Spells last night. It's by.... oh I don't know. Sarah Addison Allen. (I had to look it up) and was her first novel. It's about two sisters from a small town in South Carolina whose family has been pariahs for many generations because they have some magical power and a magic apple tree.

It reminded me a bit of The Unfortunate Miss Fortunes by Jennifer Crusie and 2 other authors, which was also published last year and both sort of refer back to that TV show with the witch sisters, Charmed, which refers back to thousands of years of witch stories.

Anyway, Allen has a new book out and I just requested it from the library.

bleeding injury

DS1 kneeled on the edge of their white board, which lost its frame long, long ago and gashed open his knee. It's just a flap of skin less than an inch long, so I sent him to wash it but I was trying to get DD to sleep, so didn't jump up to help him immediately. He dripped bloody water all around the sink and soaked most of a box of band-aids in the puddles. I'm thinking he probably shouldn't get in the pool less than an hour from now.

And what lame spell checker can't find "kneeled"? Oh, the one automagically spell checking this post. knelt, isn't it? why are my language skills getting worse rather than better? Oh yeah, placenta brain. but then again, the spell checker can't find isn't and didn't and other things that I know are right, so it's sometimes not a whole lot of use to my foggy head.

Monday, June 23, 2008


The boys had their first lesson of the year this morning.

DS1 wasn't ready this morning to swim away from the wall without someone right with him, holding him up, so the instructor "like, you know" wants to move him to the next class down. Which, unfortunately, is DS2's class. I was trying to help him preserve his "I'm 2 1/2 years older than you" studliness, even though they swim at about the same level. And he'll be a head taller than all of kids in the younger class, poor guy.

But then DS2 announced that he didn't like swimming because at one point he went under and couldn't get up and had to be rescued. I told him that it was specifically so he can rescue himself that I want him to have lessons. I will sit right near the pool tomorrow instead of under the shelter to effect a rescue in case the instructors and the life guards standing around don't see him and he really needs help. There are tent-canopy things by the pool, but the solid shelter is cooler for me and the baby.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Lazy(-ish) Saturday

Lazy except that DS1 and I went to karate this morning. We had only been once this week. It was a good workout. I'm finally getting the hang of the stick defenses we're doing, though if anyone ever really attacked me with a number4, I might not survive. Well, with 3 or 5, either, unless they really telegraphed it. OK, so I've only really got 1 and 2, OK? Don't rub it in.

DS2 wants to drop out of karate for a while, which is too bad. Well, it's better that he take a break than we continue to struggle with getting him there and getting his uniform on him once he's there. Unfortunately, I bought the padded weapon, gloves, and shin guards last week and wrote his name on them in silver Sharpie, so I can't return them. I need some for myself, so it would be great if I could trade them, but anyway.

DD is asleep, which took a couple of tries, but now that she's down, she's out for the count.

I've been reading a couple of reference works on life in Victorian England. What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew is good, but I'm really loving Inside the Victorian Home by Judith Flanders for all its detail, even though what I am writing is an attempt at blurring the line between the peerage and the middle class and the book is all about the middle class. I have a book out on women's clothing, too, and am trying to picture what my characters would be wearing in about 1840 or so.

Right DD's awake so I need to go.

A couple more PICTURES

Isabelle wearing the romper I made. I'm going to add buttons higher up on the straps so it fits better.

Beautiful rainbow baby quilt made by Granny!

Get the papparazzi outta my face!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

pointless quiz du jour

Your result for The Fashion Style Test...

Brainy Student

[Tasteful Original Random Prissy]

Your style is classic but not glamorous. You don't concentrate on clothes an awful lot, preferring to spend your time on more interesting matters. You don't want to look like everyone else and your probably take care to have a unique element or two in your outfits, just to emphasize your personality, but, on the other hand, you don't need too much attention paid to your looks. Believe it or not, fashion says some things about character. You're probably quite an intellectual and somewhat reserved. But your style is not bad.

The opposite style from yours is Sex Bomb [Flamboyant Conventional Deliberate Sexy].

All the categories: Librarian Sporty Hottie Office Master Uptown Girl/ Boy Brainy Student Movie Star Fashionista Glamorous Soul Fashion Enemy Bar Cruiser Kid Next Door Sex Bomb Hippie Kid Fashion Rebel Fashion Artist Catwalk God(ess)

Take The Fashion Style Test at HelloQuizzy

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

My Cherry baby - more PICTURES

Cheeeeeerry, won't you come out tonight?

Or is that Sherry baby?

This is probably my favorite outfit for her. Until I finished the romper I made today, of course!

I couldn't get her to smile. Or rather, she'd grin quickly and then stop by the time the camera actually took the picture. You know how digital cameras do. And this wasn't all that long before she started her meltdown and then took a mammoth nap.

Finland: the land of top-stitching

Today, Isabelle woke up early, then took a micro-nap a couple of hours later. A couple of hours after that, she was screaming and crying and wouldn't go to sleep, wouldn't nurse, wouldn't do anything but screech.

So I popped her in the car (if she's crying inconsolably in the car, you have to take her out. So I figured vice-versa why not?) and took the plastic to the recycling place and made $7.26 and then went next door and blew most of it on bird seed (I'm a party girl). Then Isa conked out in the car so when I got home, I just took the seat out and she proceeded to sleep for 4 hours.

So anyway, I had been looking at the Ottobre magazines a friend sent me (thank you again, Jen!) and decided on a romper from Summer 2007, I think it was.

I traced it onto pattern paper stuff, cut it out, chose the leftover turquoise from my brother's quilt, had to jig it around and do the bodice separately because I had 16 inch squares not a continuous cut, decided to do the bodice lining in fabric not interfacing, decided after it was all cut out to do half the front in one of the other fabrics from the quilt, decided to do the flower appliqué after all.... etc etc, always expecting to have her wake up. I even top-stitched around the seams in the bodice and I NEVER top-stitch. In dark blue and I usually go all wobbly, but it's pretty good.

I finished after about 2 hours, maybe 2 1/2. If I could just manage to follow a pattern without doing anything extra, it would have taken 1 1/2 hours, probably. Maybe an hour, now that I have the pattern.

I did the 74 cm size, which is pretty big on her, but the next size down was 68 cm and she's almost that already.

Oh, and then when I tried it on her, I noticed that I had missed the edge on the outside in the front center where the two sides of the bodice meet the rest of it. ARG! And it was subtle, but the little 1/2 inch edge was already starting to look like it was fraying and suddenly it loomed like a huge, black hole disaster about to strike, and I'm a perfectionist (or at least a cover-up-the-glaring-defect-ist). So I drew a smaller version of the flower appliqué directly onto the steam-a-seam (or wonder under? don't remember which I have) and did the smaller flower.

Oh, and the flower petals are indigo, but the buttons are black. And please please for the love of all that is holy do NOT look closely at the buttonholes.

I'm pretty darn pleased with myself!

Close-up of the big flower appliqué. I took a picture of the smaller one, but it was all fuzzy and not really worth posting.

Saturday, June 14, 2008


wrestling, i guess you'd say

my three lovelies (ETA: DD really looks like Grandma L. in this pic, doesn't she??)

DD smiling, trying to eat the rattle,

With me

Tickles from ds2

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


DD was sitting in her bouncy chair. She has just in the last few days discovered that she can grab on to the toys hanging from the bar over her head. Oh, she's about ready for a nap anyway. So, as she has been doing for a couple of days, she latches on to the tag of the stuffed turtle. And she can't get the d***ed thing to her mouth. She just can't. But she's not going to give up, no sirree bob.

So pretty soon she's shouting at the toy. Calling it every name she can think of. Good thing I can't understand baby language or she'd be in time out by now.

So I try again to give her a different stuffed toy, one that is not attached to anything. Nope. I try to take the stuffed turtle off the bar so she can reach her mouth with it and she can't hold on to it well enough to get it there anyway.

So now she's on my lap bouncing on my knee, gazing at the screen, listening to the happy clicky clicky of the keyboard. Still complaining a bit, but mostly calm.

Tuesday in the afternoon

Karate again last night. I'm just soooo tired by the end of it and the hip joint I keep tweaking is very stiff. I'll keep going for this month, then I have a hard decision to make. We jogged at the beginning of class as part of our warm up, then ran up and down doing high knees, etc. I was wheezing and was holding up everyone behind me, but I wasn't ready to collapse, so maybe there's hope for me.

On the up side, I was in class last night with the geek brothers that I started with way back last year. They're a couple of belts ahead of me now and still enthusiastic, though the one that was way over-enthusiastic is calming down a bit (though both he and the youngest brother have ruined their padded weapons by hitting each other so hard). Nice, nice young men (even if they hit each other a bit too enthusiastically). Plus, they don't hit like girls. Whoops, did I really say that? I know that the oldest of them (20-ish) was not hitting me as hard as he hits his brothers when we were practicing sparring, but he wasn't all namby-pamby and I knew he could take it if I did more then brushed him with my padded weapon. (pause here while I search my own archives for my first mention of geek boys... here's a good one, though I completely overestimated their ages)

DH has the car - he had a lunch meeting of some sort, then he'll pick up the big boys and he has one more stop to make before he comes home, so it'll be 4 or later until I see anyone other than DD.

I wanted to go to the library and I think it's open later tonight, so I might still get the chance. I have, um, 16 or so books that I requested waiting for me. I still have 12 books checked out and all of them have been renewed at least once or else are due within the next couple of days.

I've stalled on the book I am writing. The people I intended to be the hero and heroine are not getting together. The hero might be gay and the heroine is mourning her late husband and won't get over him for a while, plus she has a new baby, which is not the most romantic time in one's life, at least in my experience. The sister is falling for a guy, but he's more interested in the woman I thought was the heroine. Basically, it's not a romance novel as it started out, so what is it, who knows. I don't think there's enough mystery involved to make it a mystery. It might just be cr*p. Or an historical novel with romantic elements, as they say. Which is probably more to my taste anyway. But in that case, I would have to do a lot better with historical accuracy. Research. Sigh.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

kiiii-ya *whoops*

I went to karate again yesterday. Can I just say how humiliating it is when you have to race against a bunch of 16 year old black belts? And they are all the way down the mat and halfway back doing a bear crawl when you're about 10 feet out, thinking you're going to fall on your face? At least I didn't stumble and fall on my tush like I did the other night on my first night back, which reminded of my first day ever when we were learning kicks on the bag and I lost my balance and fell on my tush. It's sort of a theme for me.

Fall down seven times, get up eight.

I did yank the sore hip joint when we were practicing kicks, but it wasn't too bad and I walked it off.

I have a bunch of subplots and scenes cooking for my book and some suggestions from my writing group, including playing up the mystery angle. So I've been daydreaming it instead of writing it over the last couple of days. Better get busy...

Thursday, June 5, 2008

PICTURES that I took today

the pc's working again. we don't know why it doesn't work so can't predict when it will.

but hey ho as long as it's working i'll put up pics!

DS1 having rice krispies for snack. two bowls. can you say growth spurt?

DS2 - much too impish to be innocent (we got this phone call from his teacher today....)

DD watching happy feet, ds2 bouncing her in her bouncy chair. look! she has hair! at least, relatively speaking.

Though hmmmm.... looks like she lost more from the sides and back than she gained on top. izzy wizzy was a bear, izzy wizzy had no hair.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Wednesday already?

The concert last night was sweet. Short, too ;) DS2 waved his orange map and remembered his line. DD fussed some, so I was in and out for most of the classes. One of the classes was singing "It's a Wonderful World" and she hit her cue nicely on the "I hear babies cry" line :)

We got home a bit before 7:30 and DD had sacked out in the car, so I put on my gi and went to karate. I have never, ever been this out shape in my life. Whhhooooo. But we did a lot of stuff, much of which was still familiar from last year and it was certainly a good workout. I partnered with a little teenage girl for part of the time and she wasn't very serious about it. I'll have to find out which nights all my old buddies are going so I can really work. I mean, once I am vaguely ready and in shape... I'm only moderately sore today, though I am a bit dehydrated.

I snapped off the end of one of my big toenails when kneeling down on the mat. Owwwwwww. It's only a little ways down into the quick and only bled a little. But Ewwwwww.

Also, I pulled into the drive at about 9:15 and DD had apparently been awake and complaining for about an hour. DS2 was cross that he didn't get a book last night because Daddy was carrying DD around, poor lad. So if there's anything that keeps me from going back to karate for real, I guess it will be the sanity of everyone who has to listen to DD cry when I'm not there to feed her. Maybe I will try out the 6:30 class.

DD hasn't been sleeping as well lately. She's shortened her sleep times to 4 hours or so maximum. I'm hoping it's a short phase, but remember that the boys' sleep patterns changed at about 3 or 4 months and they didn't sleep through again until they were over a year old. Sigh.

She really is a gorgeous baby - she's very alert and strong and loves to chat. She is already exploring her voice and we sometimes exchange shrieky sounds. I'm trying to get her to do it on cue while I sing "I Feel Good", but I guess she's more a Louis Armstrong type of girl and not so much James Brown.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

I didn't go to karate last night. Monday is the one night a week when my class is at 6:30, which is just exactly when we eat dinner. Though that might be easier for bedtimes and for DD's fussy time than an 8-9 class, it makes it a bit harder to get there.

DS2's Kindergarten promotion/ Spring concert/ presentation is tonight. The teachers have been sending odd, cryptic notes home with seemingly random sentences and no instructions as to what they are. Apparently, they are the lines he is supposed to learn. Then yesterday there was a tiny scrap of paper saying "Orange North America, paint stick. Orange shirt." So I went and asked for clarification and they'd like the families to come up with pictures of the continents in certain colors. I got the orange shirt part and DS1 has an orange school shirt and it might even be clean. But I can't print out a pic of North America because....

Our PC is dead and it's the only one linked to the printer. It's also the only one with the digital camera software on it. Well, we thought it had died a few days ago, but DH messed with it and it worked again for a couple of days. So I'm on my laptop that Dh uses for work things way more than I use.

And my upper back hurt even more today than it did yesterday, but I generally ache more 2 days after a big workout or a strain of some sort. Chiro on Friday will put me back together if it doesn't ease by then.

DS2's art walk and promotion ceremony are Thursday, Class field trip to go ice skating Friday. DS1 field trip next Thursday. Both have class breakfast/parties next Friday, which is the last day of school.

And I am giving in to my book compulsion and requesting the rest of the books in a couple of series from the library. I have read a couple of the books, but now must read them all, even though I'm not actually all that thrilled by them. I simply must read them all, read the ones over again that I have already read, and read them in order. No wonder I have 20 books out of the library and 20+ more on reserve, 10 of which are in transit from other libraries and for most of the rest, I am the next in line. I am returning some of the ones I have out without reading because now that I see them up close and tried to read a few pages, I have decided to pass on them for now.

I wrote a bit more on the book that's in my head, but might be writing myself into a corner. Someone spread a lot of malicious gossip about my heroine before her husband died, so the legitimacy of their unborn child has been called into question. But it's all rumor and I have no idea who would do that and why. So I might be stuck. We'll see.

Monday, June 2, 2008

with or without slings

Yesterday, we walked to the birthday party - it's less than a mile, mostly flat, etc. But between that and holding DD in the sling for most of the party, my upper back today is really sore.

So I got to the grocery store today and realized that I didn't have the shopping list AND I didn't have the sling. DD rode in one of those hard plastic baby seat carts. She thought it was great for the first bit, but she was getting grumpy by the end anyway, then we rolled out into the parking lot and her little head was bouncing on the hard plastic. But she fell asleep in her car seat and is still snoozing away 2 hours later.

I'm going to start karate tonight. I have a pulled muscle in my left hip joint that I keep re-pulling, so I might only make it this one time. We'll see. Which reminds me that I need to find my belt.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

dyslexic dukes and limping lords

I read Laura Quinn's new book, The Lost Duke of Wyndham, yesterday. Really good: excellent characterization, H&H were really good for each other, and almost enough non-evilness to the duchess like maybe she's a pain but there's a human in there, but I felt some of the plot points went unresolved. Like why Jack's cousin felt compelled to join the army - I can come up with some reasons, but I felt like I was missing something. And why his father never even mentioned who his family was and why no one wrote home to say "oh, by the way, he got married and his wife is pregnant" even though someone had written to say he died. Though on this latter point, Jack turned out to be a much nicer guy than he would have been. I am looking forward eagerly to the second Duke of Wyndham book.

Anyway, it got me thinking about the several times that dyslexia has been used in romance - and other - novels, especially in historicals, since way back then, they didn't know why Johnny couldn't read, they just figured he was dumb as a post. One of those 19th-century-romances set in Egypt has a dyslexic hero. (I've read two and they're hopelessly mixed up in my mind. Not the one by Loretta Chase, but the other one - I had read the other one and so when I saw the one by Chase, thought it was the same one and so didn't read that one until I read the BCC a little more closely and realized that I hadn't read it. Anyway.) And it seems like it has come up on other books, maybe even another Quinn?

And then it made me think of the books with wounded heroes of the Napoleonic Wars, limping around disgruntledly, having nightmares. Which led me to the modern and historical heroes with their PTSD.

Too many books in my head, it makes me wonder how I ever get to sleep at night.

If I could only get my own books out of my head and onto the page. I actually started a new book a couple of weeks ago, but got bogged down. It was historical, but I don't know enough actual history to be able to write what I wanted to say, plus it was starting to come down to the women needing to be rescued and protected and that's not my favorite plot line. I'll keep messing with it, I think.

T minus 2 hours to a birthday party. They can't waaaaiiiiit.