Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy All Hallows Eve!

Never am I more grateful for an overflowing dress-up box than today! Yes, we dress-up. Yes, we trick-or-treat. Yes, we buy all chocolate from our kids for 5 cents/piece. Yes, someone, usually David, changes their mind at the last minute about what they will wear. This year, Sarah said she would use a dance costume, and decided upon "70's girl". Leah thought about Cinderella a few months ago, but soon switched to fairy and stuck with it. David decided to be a knight. He has swords, a breastplate, three helmets and a shield. At noon, only the shield was working. Everything else was too small. Maybe he'd be a pirate? But what he really wanted was a dragon costume. He even worked out when I could go shopping for said get-up, and did not want to hear about the possibility of creating something at home. I had no desire to go shopping for a last minute costume. Dress-up box to the rescue! When looking for his pirate hat, he found a train engineer's hat. (My favorite part is that this was Jesse's when he was a boy.) He grabbed a bandanna and told me how to put it on. I dug up some overalls and a blue-and-white striped shirt from his drawers. saved! And everyone was happy!!

Here's my troupe. =)

I stayed home. nice.... and enjoyed this... even better. Only mine was cooked on the stove, minus Tabasco sauce and pepper. I replaced the beef broth with water and ground beef with pork. This is a hearty, filling soup that fits the season perfectly.

Oh, and who took my children and left me these perfect little people? *hehe* They got home, dumped their buckets, sorted and sold, ate one piece without complaint, sorted and organized their stashes, spent 30 minutes trading! amongst themselves, then said, "It's bedtime. Our candy was our bedtime snack. We're ready." What a happy, happy Hallows Eve!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

3 hours

This is how long David and Leah played this morning.

This is how the house looked afterwards:

health ward

remnants of a beaver dam

animal adventures

the demise of the kudu
(in the lower left corner)

fun times! =)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


We had such a wonderful visit with my brother, his wife and their two children. (Joseph is 3.5 and Catherine is almost 2.) We ate, drank, talked, relaxed, played games and swam at their hotel pool. When they were not playing at "The Richman Children's Museum" as my brother called our home, we took them to: Joseph loved the city bus. I mean really, really LOVED it.
and the beach. (The only time I remembered my camera.)

With all the bodies about, (They stayed here two of the nights.) and the ages of all the little ones, we had a delightful time.
Thank you for coming down guys! We'll see you at Christmas!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Sorry I have not been around. Thank you for your patience. My brother and his family were visiting this past week, for a total of 6 days. Before that we were cleaning and organizing and cleaning and decluttering and cleaning some more. I hope to get back into a blogging swing soon. I also have a few back-entries I want to get on here, so keep checking beyond this post for a few days. Very good news - I now feel much more comfortable in my "space", both immediate and widespread, and am not ready to move in a heartbeat. It feels good to finally start rooting.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

little libertarian?

intro: Sarah reads everything! And asks what it's about. She has not yet reached the "weeding out" stage - where you can pass something without reading it or read and discern that the information is not pertinent to you at the moment. She's approaching this, but still has a lot of questions. I'm glad she's still asking. When I was 7, in the backseat of our station wagon on a summer vacation, I was also reading everything, including the fine print on the mosquito repellent. I read far enough to learn how to operate the aerosol can. Before I got to the, "WARNING: Do not point nozzle towards face." my eyes were full of the stuff. That warning is there for a reason. I vaguely remember my father racing his screaming child into a gas station to flush her eyes. I distinctly remember vowing to my little self to never read again, but then I finished the fine print, to be sure I still could read.

I digress...

My brother's family arrived today. We met them for dinner. On our way there, Sarah asked who all the different candidates were after reading their signs. So, who is Bob Barr and what party is he with? And what does the Libertarian party believe?

On the way home from dinner she said, "I want to talk more about that Bob guy and the party that believes people are smart enough to make decisions for themselves."

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Harvest Moon

I took this earlier in the evening. The moon rose so fast, it was hard to capture. Of course my camera and skills did it no justice. This moon felt majestic and magnetic. Numerous people were out on the bridge, just quietly observing, marveling at the beauty.

Debating my Indecisiveness at 20 wks

Now this finally was a debate. We did not watch. We listened, to the entire thing. (And yes, I did take a long hot shower in the middle. I had a tradition to uphold. ;) I loved it! But I'm still undecided. I've never considered myself undecided before. It's an odd feeling. I'm leaning, but haven't made a firm decision yet. I think the current state of affairs is so murky, I cannot make out a clear picture for the future, and which candidate is best suited for the position. I'm sure I'll see one soon. In the mean-time, Jess and I agree that Bob Schieffer was the best moderator and this debate gives us much to discuss.

Now for the 20 weeks.... drum roll please. I'm halfway folks! Unless she's moving around, which she does a lot, or I wake up with an aching lower back, or I crave the oddest things at the oddest hours, or I'm in the bathroom either frequently or for forever, or... Oh, never mind! I guess I do feel pregnant. =) It's just that the first half has flow by. It's hard to believe. If I remember correctly, the next 18-21 weeks will drag, especially the last four. I want to enjoy feeling good as long as I can.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Memo from Baby

Hello! If you see my mommy start grinning for no reason, you'll know that her secret wish came true, and I am a little GIRL!

My name will probably be Rebekah, Anna or Clara. My sister Leah thinks my name should be Lily, and that it is her privilege as my big sister to give me my name. Mommy and Daddy do not think so.

I stayed curled up for most of my picture session. But here is one time I moved my hands down from my face.

I look forward to meeting everyone in about 20 weeks!

Friday, October 10, 2008

A week ago today...

I experienced a freakish accident. I was walking Moe in the morning. This is something unusual, and will never happen again. I saw our neighbor walking his girls to school with their two dogs, on the other side of the street. I made a foolish decision to cross my corner first, hoping to jog ahead. Note: These dogs are 90 and 70 lb. animals. They walk on a joint leash. Moe weighs 21 lbs. One of them attacked Moe when we first got him last August.
To continue: I did get a good distance between us and the other dogs. I could hear our neighbor yelling at his dogs behind us. Moe could not hear him or the dogs barking. He's completely deaf. He was sniffing a tree. What I did not know was that as our neighbor was ushering his daughters across the intersection, his dogs broke the link that connected them to him. They came up behind me at about 15 mph, one on either side, and I did a Fosbury Flop onto my right buttock. Only I did not land in a pile of foam. I landed on the hard, sandy, dirty ground. Note: Many of these details are from my neighbor, who came down twice to see how I was, to see if I needed a ride to the vet, to apologize profusely. I could not get up. There were three dogs on my legs. Two of them were attacking Moe. I remember saying, "Get your dogs away from mine!" and that my sister said it was okay to kick another dog in Moe's defense. So I tried to kick the dogs. My neighbor arrived. With the force he used to pull his dogs, he fell back. He hollered for me to get my dog away, since he unknowingly took Moe's leash with him. I untangled Moe and got him to sit. He calmed the instant he was separated. It's taken me almost a week to calm.

Moe is fine. His chest and stomach were covered in saliva, which then had sand and grit sticking to it. We gave him a bath. He slept the rest of the day. I am fine now. I have one tiny scratch on my leg with a large bruise. Two days after the fall, the entire right side of my body throbbed. No one but Sarah could touch my shoulder. With heat, soaking, yoga and Riki, my body seems to be healing itself. I still want to get a massage, possibly a chiropractic adjustment. Baby is good. I was concerned all day, but movement started at its usual time - when I lay down to read with Sarah at night. I think my neighbor almost had a heart attack. He was so worried about me. He brought me these later in the afternoon.

Yes, he's very sorry.

And that is what happened last week.

When I get the chance, I want to write about what happened a year ago today. The memories are fonder - our first day in Paris.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


No baby pictures yet. Check back on Sunday for those. =) I planned our ultrasound a bit early (19 wks, rather than 20) so I can share with my sister whether she will have another niece or nephew. She has a visiting weekend in two days. Living in a convent, communication is not always ideal, but she has the opportunity to call me on Saturday. I really want her to be the first to know, since everything else she hears is second-hand. randomness

My favorite parts were seeing a tiny, perfect face, little hand waving, long legs and having the head measure exactly 19wks 1 day, which is where we are today.

Other sights to share...
Rainbow blocks arrived last week! Can you tell? My favorite play moment so far was David swirling them on the floor. They were a tornado. As the storm lessened, they created a rainbow. He carried them over to their shelf when it was complete and said, "Hey, it's fun to play before picking up."

Water filter arrived too, but I will not bore you with views of a tall stainless steel canister. ;) I will say that it is sooo worth it, especially if you lived on a farm, got spoiled to the taste of spring water and after moving spent the next three years buying and drinking water out of plastic.

After Sarah read a sign for a pet store today, Leah asked, "Do you know where you can buy 100 cats?" "Where?" "The cat market!" Here's Leah from the summer with a beloved kitty.
Leah also informed me today, "Did you know that mommies' tummies are spheres?" Maybe she understood more about David's sphere and cube lesson than I thought...

I'm not sure why, but my thoughts keep turning to my grandfather lately. I have some flowers from his funeral on my front steps. They stay there all year, except when we go away in December. They've bloomed for the last 18 months. With Autumn, I added some wheat too. I love to see this as I enter our home.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Watered Down Debate

What is it with me and water and presidential debates? Last night I listened while scrubbing the bathroom for 45 minutes and soaking in a hot bath. Sorry I do not have anything intelligent to share. I do not think the debates sway many voters, and except for the toilet and sink, my bathroom harbored more than a month's worth of dust and soap scum.

Plus, I realized I don't really have to watch. I live with, trust and love my very own political scientist. =) I mean, my man studies why politicians make the decisions they do, among other things. So, if he says there wasn't enough time for the candidates to respond to and rebut each other, I do not feel the need to form a different opinion.

In case you're wondering, his verdict on the VP debate was that it was pretty typical. It put us both to sleep. I was knitting while still awake, so I did not see any winking or smirks. He says the first debate was one of the best he's seen, with thoughtful responses.

I think I'll leave the analyzing to him. It's one of his specialties. Next Wednesday you'll probably find me back in hot water. ;)

Monday, October 6, 2008

Bucket of Beans

If anyone questions my poor dietary judgement when pregnant, here's proof: Today I finished the 5 lb. bucket of bean salad I bought on Saturday. And no, I did not gain 5 lbs. ;)

This was not any bean salad. This was the four bean salad with onions that I discovered last month on the salad bar at a Farm Fresh in Newport News. I searched for it here. I craved it at midnight. I passed by Trader Joe stuffed grape leaves, (another pregnancy favorite) knowing the bean salad was in the next shopping center. On Saturday, I found it at The Market! just 10 minutes away. We got some great coupons to shop there, ($20 off a $50 purchase) so I was looking to stock our pantry. Instead I got $20 worth of beans and $30 of bits I'd forgotten in the monthly shopping.

When I got home, I realized my bucket held another treasure, the list of ingredients! Now I can try to recreate this. I can also see that I crave sugar and vinegar. I have for the last four months - sweet baby gherkins, dills, embarrassing amounts of soy ice cream, cucumbers from our garden chilled in vinegar with a spoon of sugar mixed in. The list goes on. I'd like to figure out why this is, and hope The PH Miracle can help. Thought: Whoever has this book from the VB library - there is a pregnant woman who is eating a fortune worth of beans, would like to balance her diet in general and was asked to read this book for homework. Please return it as soon as possible. You cannot renew it. She already has a hold placed on it. Thank you kindly.

Random question: What do you crave when you are pregnant? (so I do not feel like a freak, eating so many beans)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

thrifting on Little Creek

Today I took Sarah along, hoping to find her a fall jacket. This girl does not care about labels. She tries something on, checks for how it "feels" and needs to see if she can RUN. So, if I find zip sweaters from Gymboree and American Girl for $4 each, but the rolled sleeves fall as she's racing down an aisle or they feel "heavy", back on the rack they go. At our last stop we finally found something. Of course I don't recognize the tag, but she's happy with it, and she can run. I also got her a cloak, since she loves them so.

Here's my $31 stash.

breastplate to complete David's Halloween costume, 8 children's books, cloak, complete chess set, small baseball glove, 3 matchbox cars, lap desk, classic pooh, dress for Sarah, dress for Leah, Sarah's sweater jacket and a mermaid costume

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Sister Scarf #2

SURPRISE! For the first time I finished one project, started another and then finished it, all in the same day! I'm not that experienced a knitter, but I know enough to know that this was made possible by chunky yarn, garter stitch and size 13 needles.

This yarn is a grab from my basket, so that is about all I can tell you. I know it does have some wool in it. It's measurements are 44" x 4 1/2" - skinny, short and perfect tucked under a jacket. =)

Sister Scarf #1

I finished my first Sister Scarf!

This is a double moss stitch, using needle size 10 1/2, with Patons Shetland Chunky, color blue jeans variegated. It measures 63" long and 8" wide.

When I told my brother I was knitting scarves for all the sisters, he thought I meant these. Umm... no. I am knitting a scarf for one of them, since she is my sister, but 7 scarves is daunting enough.

None of these have names on them yet. ;) I have to go yarn shopping again, so if you love it, let me know. Then I'll know who to create for next.