Monthly Archives: January 2016

my endorsement

The New York Times just endorsed Hillary Clinton for president.  She’s far from a perfect candidate.  She was, in fact, a much stronger candidate eight years ago.  How much better it would have been to have her first and the younger Obama second!  However, imperfect as she may be, she gets my vote.  Weak, impractical and ineffective Sanders is nearly as frightening as Trump, in my mind, in part because he could get Trump elected.   I caucused for Hillary before, and I’ll do it again if necessary, but I sincerely hope it’s not necessary.

Tomorrow should be interesting.

Q&A with L

I found this on Facebook.  Short but amusing.

1. What is something I always say to you?
Don’t twist your hair.
2. What makes me happy?
3. What makes me sad?
When you put ponytails up in my hair that I don’t want.
4. How do I make you Laugh?
By saying something funny
5. What was I like as a child?
I don’t remember
6. How old am I?
I don’t know, tell me!
7. How tall am I?
A lot tall. Bigger than me.
8. What is my favorite thing to do?
Go to the library
9. What do I do when you’re not around?
Come and get me.
10. What am I really good at?
Cutting celery.
11. What am I not very good at?
Cutting boxes.
12. What do I do for work?
Build rockets
13.What is my favorite favorite food?
Sparkles (aka Talking Rain sparkling water)
14. What do you enjoy doing with me?
Reading my Anna and Elsa book

sewing and playroom update

Inspired by Carolyn Friedlander, I decided to make a quick pouf for the playroom.  Like all sewing projects, it turned out to be not as quick as I had hoped.  I’m pretty happy with the finished product, but the directions were very hard to follow.  Friedlander had a number of tips and pictures on her blog that made it considerably easier.  The actual directions featured low DOF, over-exposed artsy photos that were not helpful at all.

I used several pieces of fabric from a half-yard bundle of Alison Glass’s Handcrafted Indigos, which I received for Christmas.  Following Friedlander’s suggestion, I filled it mostly with little styrofoam balls.  This worked rather well, but wow, they are a pain in the neck to deal with.

The fuzz on the outside is from soft stuffing I put in it as well.  Presumably that’ll come off.

It’s handy and cute in our playroom.  The playroom itself is coming along.

The rug is beautiful, and it’s great for the kids to have a dedicated place to play.  With H’s relatives continuing to send us a lot of toys, it’s nice to have a place to store them all.   I’m planning to move the couch away from the window to where a bookcase currently is, add an additional bookcase, and add a hanging tent for the girls to play in.  Standby a month or so for the finished product.


my sister’s Christmas quilt

I did finish this quilt on time, by the skin of my teeth, but I was fairly uninspired by it, so here I am writing about it in January.  I ended up getting sick the first week of December, so I only had about three weeks to make it.  Three weeks is really not enough time (for me) to make a quilt.  But, here it is.

The design, such as it is, is mine.  The fabric is my favorite cotton/linen blend, and I used Mormor by Lotta Jansdotter blue and yellow fabric randomly in several spots and sizes on the quilt for interest.

The quilting is a pattern from Step-by-Step Free Motion Quilting.  I’m not thrilled with how it turned out, but it’s OK.  It adds some interest to the quilt.

The back is another Jansdotter fabric in sea green.  I really love this fabric.

One of the reasons I waited so long to post about it is that we have been having non-stop rain, and it’s been hard to find time to photograph it, but we finally had a sunny day yesterday.

After my big rush to finish it on time, my sister forgot to take it with her.  This turned out to be a blessing in disguise since I’d initially forgotten to photograph it.

lottery tickets

I ended up spending about $650 on the rug, including tax and shipping.  (Tax is 10% here – it’s a killer.)  I have actually been agonizing over rugs since Thanksgiving, so I’m honestly just glad to have finally pulled the trigger.  This was the last major purchase needed for the playroom.  I do play to buy some kind of tent or tee pee and some pillows or bean bags, but that should be pretty cheap.  Here’s the rug I picked:

Tile Rug - Porcelain Blue

I have never bought a lottery ticket, but I actually went up to H yesterday and suggested we buy some.  He informed me that Powerball had already been won by someone.  Nevertheless, we spent some time talking about what we would have immediately bought.  He wanted a house with a view.  Personally, I like our house and I have no desire to move.  But I would:

1.) Hire a housecleaning service

2.) Give our nanny a big raise

3.) Buy a really expensive rug that I liked

4.) Buy a nice sectional and maybe some other furniture

5.) Consider hiring a driver to make my commute to and from work easier

6.) Hire an on-call babysitter that would be available to come take the kids whenever we were sick or just needed some extra help for some reason

home decorating

How much is reasonable to spend on an 8 x 10 rug?  I really agonize over every home purchase I make.  The thing is, furniture is expensive.  To date, we’ve mostly decorated our house with Target and other discount merchandise.  Our kitchen table was bought at a garage sale for $50 with two chairs included.  (We bought a couple more cheap on Amazon.)  We did splurge on a $600 crib, but our changing table was an inexpensive Amazon special.  The side table in our living room was Target, and our couch was bought on sale at Macy’s furniture for around $700.  Our shelves are a mix of inexpensive Amazon, Ikea, and one nice set that my Dad actually made for me years ago.

Lately, I’ve been buying a few things from Pottery Barn – curtains, some shelves.  I generally wait for everything to go on sale and create a new e-mail so I can get the 15% off new subscriber discount, but it’s still pricey relative to Amazon, Target and Ikea.  Pottery Barn is not exactly fine furniture, but it is a step up over what we had been buying.  The thing is, we can afford to pay a bit more for furniture, but should we?  I mean, at what point is it silly to spend thousands on decorating when you could put that money aside for retirement or the college fund?

Home decorating aside, we are still struggling along over here.  B has been continuing to sleep poorly.  She was running a low fever last night, but in general, I’m kind of mystified.  Most nights over the last couple weeks, she ends up in bed with me, and H is in the spare bedroom.  She is really not a very good sleeping companion.  She is constantly crawling all over the bed, invading my space, occasionally demanding attention.  It’s really not ideal.  She is still working on some molars, so that definitely could be a factor.  I’m coming down with a cold and feeling kind of lousy; maybe she is too.  Who knows.

We bought this clock that lights up when it’s time to wake up, and ever since, L has been on a streak of great sleeping.  She’s only woken up once at night since we got it a couple weeks ago. It’s really quite wonderful.  I expect the clock effect will wear off eventually, but for now, it’s much appreciated.

This morning I took the kids swimming at the Y, then dropped them off at the daycare there and went for a 2-mile treadmill run.  I’d like to do this once a week, but wow, taking those kids swimming is not exactly leisurely.  By the time I’m done wrangling them out of their swimsuits and back into their clothes, a run is the last thing I’m interested in.  Still, I haven’t been exercising much since I went back to work, and I really need to get back on the horse.