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Friday, March 31, 2006

YMCA

We might get to go to the Y today. We're all dressed and ready to go. My bag is packed. The kids are changed and fed. They even have their shoes on. But, last night I made a costly mistake. I let Frog play with my car keys. Where are they today? I have no idea. I did manage to find a shirt and a skirt that were missing (in the couch cushions), a comb (in a basket w/ the umbrellas), a DVD case (behind the couch), and lots of stray pretzels. No keys yet. I may just be stranded here today. AARGH!

Thursday, March 30, 2006

The New Teens

I was doing laundry (it has to happen sometimes...) and Frog went down there with me. He likes to help me load the washer and dryer. It takes three times as long to do it that way, but he likes it. Anyway, I have a couple of magnets on the washer. They are remnants of some that actually got put through a cycle or two by accident. Frog was playing with them. It used to be a rectangular frame. What's left are two pieces...one shaped like an L and the other shaped like a 1. He put them together on the washer and came up with a new number 1L. Lteen. Of course. Why hadn't I thought of that?

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Something Quite Atrocious*

Frog had his first real session today with the professional (Miss C) from Lincoln Public Schools. We worked on getting him to communicate some and she gave me some strategies on how to help him speak more and echo less. She was really impressed with his singing ability. Frog serenaded her with "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious", "The Sound of Music", "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang", and "Follow the Prophet". She asked me how many songs he knows. Hmmm. More than I do? It's a lot.

We set up a plan to get him into the preschool. They have some openings in the morning session and there is already a kid that we know from church that goes at that time. He's a child with high functioning autism that is just a few months older than Frog. We're going to visit the classroom next week and probably get him started either right before or right after we move (APR 15!). It will be 5 days a week for 2 1/2 hours a day. They provide transportation and everything. My tax dollars at work. I'm sure that he'll thrive in this kind of environment. I'm really grateful that we were able to get him some help.

I'm also looking forward to some one and one time with Big Apple. She rarely gets me all to herself. I feel bad for her sometimes because Frog can really drain my energy and take my attention away from her. Just this morning I had to decide which kid was going to be happy. BA was playing with an empty juice jug that Frog wanted to throw away. BA would cry if I let him trash it and Frog would not only cry but become abusive if I let her play with it. It was BA's turn to be happy. I offered Frog something else to throw away. No luck. Kicking and screaming. We put him in the "jail" (our foyer shut off by a gate). Everytime BA walked by w/ the jug he would flip out. She started playing with it out of his sight and he calmed down enough that when I let him out, I got him started on something else and he was fine. Let me just say that BA and I could really use some time to ourselves.

Miss C noticed that I knit. She mentioned that it must be relaxing for me to be able to do that after a long day with the kids. How perceptive! It's so true. It made me realize that I didn't start knitting until Frog got to the age where he was really starting to get rowdy (about 18 months). I had tried knitting when he was a baby and it didn't really keep my interest. But, when I picked it up again at that time, I couldn't stop. I can't stop. It's my sanity. I'm so glad I have that outlet to turn to. It's a bonus that there is an actual product that comes from it! Blogging is another way that I'm able to reduce some stress. So, thanks everyone! I think I would still blog if nobody read it, but seeing all the comments really make my day!

It's BA's bedtime so I'm getting kicked out of here for now. More later.

*The title for this post comes from a line in the song, "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious". It's how the Frog asks me to sing this song with him. He'll come up to me and say, "something quite atrocious?". How can I say no to that?

Monday, March 27, 2006

Fiber in the Woods 2006

I got back from a lovely weekend. I left Friday afternoon and drove 40 minutes to Gretna, NE. We stayed at the 4-H camp there. The facilities were so nice. We had a chef (crazy Bob), the lodge all to ourselves, and five cabins. I met so many great people and had loads of fun. Here are some of the highlights.

We spent the first part of Friday getting to know each other and spinning. I just watched and asked a lot of questions about spinning wheels. This picture (above) is of Nancy. She did a class later that night on edible weeds. It was interesting but most of you that know me will understand that it is something I will never do (eat edible weeds, that is). I would consider it, I guess, if someone prepared them for me. But, don't hold your breath waiting for me to go out into the woods looking for plants to eat.
I loved seeing everyone with their different wheels. I have a lot to think about when I'm ready to invest in this new hobby. For now, I'm content with using a drop spindle. But, that takes so long that I doubt I'll be content with that for much longer.

The next day was spent working on whatever we wanted and there were some classes held throughout the day. My favorite was the needle felting.


This is what I made. Isn't it so awesome! I'm really proud of it. It certainly wasn't the most complex design, but it's my style. There were so many creative ladies there this weekend! I can't believe some of the things that they made. We also had a class to make stitch markers. Here we are in progress and then, my final product.

I realize that's a lame excuse for a picture. Forgive me. The charms say: love, live, inspire, imagine.

Those are all the pictures that I took while I was there. What can I say? My hands were busy most of the itime. I'm already looking forward to next year.

Friday, March 24, 2006

I Need Some Lovin'

Frog has a habit of hitting his head against things. He usually gets a sad face and says, "Bonk in the head!". The other day I countered back with, "You need some lovin'?". Not long after, whenever he'd hurt himself he'd say, "You need some eleven?" (he sure loves his numbers!). Last night was different. In the same tone of voice he went up to Sugar Daddy and said, "You need some nine?"

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Sooner Socks

I made some socks for Big Apple. They are OU Sooner crimson so I've named them the Sooner Socks. It was my first attempt at making up a sock pattern. Next time I'd do a different toe, but other than that...I like them!

Other items of business:

Frog's therapy kicks into high gear next week. I'm looking forward to it. I've already learned not to mess with his lines. Check out his made-for-the-camera smile and line of pretzels. The hard part is keeping Big Apple from eating them. I have to make her own pile far, far away.


Next, tomorrow I am going away for a spinning retreat. I don't know how to spin. But, I have a drop spindle and some fiber. It's a little more than just spinning...we're going to learn needle felting and some beading, too. Plus, there will be plenty of kid-free time to knit, learn to spin, and relax! I'm just staying overnight and will be back late Saturday but I'm really looking forward to it. I only have to take one change of clothes but I'm sure I'll be taking 1 really big suitcase full of yarn! I need to wind some yarn before I go so I can finish Mom's 2nd annual birthday socks.

I've been practicing the short row toe so I can start doing toe-up socks. I didn't do a very good job picking up the stitches from the provisional cast-on. I used the www.knitty.com tutorial and everything. Maybe I just need more practice. I haven't had much luck with the figure eight cast on either. I'll work on it this weekend in my kid-free environment. That should help. I'm always a little nervous tinking around with 4 pointy needles when little ones keep wanting to jump on me.

Are you going to watch the American Inventor on ABC? We're hooked. Although, what's up with those edible snow globes? Why? Why? Why? And....why did she make it to the next round?

I may or may not post tomorrow before I go on the retreat. But, be ready for a full report w/ pictures when I get back. Eric, I know you'll be holding your breath!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Mommy's Helper

This week is Spring Break for Lincoln Public Schools and I've taken advantage of it by hiring me a "helper" for three days. A girl from my Sunday School class is trying to earn some money for girl's camp. She loves to clean. Sounds like a good match for me! She's coming 4 hours a day. I already have a couple of projects for her to work on (clean and pack up the spare bathroom, clean out a bunch of my binders from when I was a teacher, watch the kids while I do laundry, etc...). Today we're actually going to run a bunch of errands. I have some things to pick up at the mall and I need to go to the post office. This is going to be great fun! I'm also treating us to Pizza Hut buffet. Sugar Daddy will approve because I have a buy one get one free coupon and the kids eat for free. Pizza buffets are awesome for our family because Frog and Big Apple will both eat it! I'm not looking forward to getting all of the snow off of our car, but it's got to be done sooner or later.

In other news, we've had some answered prayers this week. Before we left Indiana, we sold a truck. It was to an acquaintance of a friend of ours. He warned us he was kind of forgetful and we'd probably have to keep on him about paying us (he was going to pay us in two installments). He was right. We still have the title but not all of the money. Last summer we had a month where SD wasn't getting paid much (end of summer term...beginning of new school year, he was a new hire so he wasn't getting paid for August until later, blah blah). Anyway, things were going to be really tight. We had just moved and had a lot of new expenses. Our rent was twice as much as we were paying in Indiana. I was nervous. Anyway, the day we were in most desperate need of the money, the first check arrived. A couple of months ago we sent this guy a reminder letter and a self-addressed stamped envelope so we could get the rest of the money. We hadn't heard from him again until this week. He called to say that he would overnight the check because he sold the truck to his buddy. We should get it in the mail today. This is perfect timing because we are trying to save up as much as we can for our down payment on the house. Things were going to be a little tight until May but now I'm pretty sure it's going to be okay. It also helped that we are getting a tax refund (Thanks, Pres. Bush, for the adoption tax credit)! Anyway, I was telling SD last night that it was a good thing that guy was kind of a flake because he sent us the money when we needed it, and not when we necessarily wanted it. Does that make sense? I'm just really pleased.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Snow Day!

Nebraska continues to get covered in snow. It's really great snow, too. It's not icy or wet. The roads haven't been too bad, although it is starting to stick on the roads this morning. We weren't expecting the university to be closed...but it is! Sugar Daddy now has no reason to go in to work today and we can hunker down and pack up some things. It will make up for Saturday when I was sick most of the afternoon (I've been having nausea and horrible cramping off and on for two weeks--not fun!) and we didn't get anything done. I feel great today (so far), we've got plenty of supplies (Super-Walmart trip on Saturday), and all the warm clothes are clean (because up until this weekend, we've had an extremely mild winter). All set!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

My Birthday

I haven't had much to blog about lately. Nothing is really going on. I'm busy getting the house ready for the move, the kids have been sick and cranky (and so have I, frankly), and I just haven't had a lot of energy for anything other than stupid blogthings quizzes and playing Pyramids (when I actually get computer time). Here's my latest quiz.

Your Birthdate: April 11
Spiritual and thoughtful, you tend to take a step back from the world. You're very sensitive to what's going on around you, yet you remain calm.Although you are brilliant, it may take you a while to find your niche.Your creativity is supreme, but it sometimes makes it hard for you to get things done.
Your strength: Your inner peace
Your weakness: You get stuck in the clouds
Your power color: Emerald
Your power symbol: Leaf
Your power month: November
What Does Your Birth Date Mean?

Friday, March 17, 2006

What Color of Green are You?

You Are Emerald Green
Deep and mysterious, it often seems like no one truly gets you.Inside, you are very emotional and moody - though you don't let it show.People usually have a strong reaction to you... profound love or deep hate.But you can even get those who hate you to come around. There's something naturally harmonious about you.
What Color Green Are You?

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Super Secret Knitting Revealed

My super secret knitting projects weren't all too exciting but they couldn't be revealed because the parents of the recipients read this blog. This week Big Apple's friends, Mckenzie and Whitney, turned one. For their birthdays I made them some really cute hats.



Now I'm working on a pattern for a belt and a purse to match. It's what every toddler needs: accessories!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Last year I made my mom a pair of socks for her birthday. One was finished in March. The other in September or October (probably October). Here's what I have finished for you so far, Mom.
I PROMISE that you won't have to wait as long for your next sock. I'm sure you'll have it by August. ;) Happy birthday!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Big Apple Turns 1!

My Big Apple turned one today. She's such a big girl. She can walk forwards, backwards, and upstairs. She has yet to master going down the stairs. We're working on it. She can make noises like chickens and bears and will point to her nose about 75% of the time when we ask her. She claps and stomps in just the right places when Frog sings, "When You're Happy and You Know It". During "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes" she can successfully identify head and toes. The rest gets kind of lost in the moment. She will giggle all day, eat french fries like it's nobody's business, and dance on command. She's busting out of her 12 month wardrobe and is sporting size 4/5 shoes. We love her so much and can't imagine our lives without her. *I thank God EVERYDAY for her birth family and the decision they were able to make that allowed her to be our little girl*

And now, for the pictures. Hollie and Mckenzie from Still Dreaming of Destin came over to celebrate. We were there for Mckenzie's first birthday on Sunday. Anita, the Cabbage Patch Baby joined the family. She's got pigtails just like BA. Frog loves to "smile" for the camera now. This is what we get every time we ask him to smile!
And now, for the cake. I made cupcakes (yellow w/ chocolate frosting--my favorite) and she's got her own birthday plate (I have one for Frog, too). She started off not too messy.
But, it didn't last long.
Happy Birthday Big Apple! We love you.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Computer Woes

My computer is running like an airplane engine again so I don't let it run all day. This means that it takes me forever to get my computer to start up...I go online for a bit...shut it down. It takes forever. Hopefully SD can fix it tonight.

You can expect another entry tomorrow night once we feed Big Apple her birthday cake! Can you believe it's been a year already? I chronicled our adoption journey here on the blog so Big Apple truly is a blog baby.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Just Checking In

It's been busy around Casa Nelson. We had our house inspection on Thursday afternoon. Everything looks pretty good. There are only minor things to deal with and most of those fall into the category of things that the sellers are going to fix before we move in. We took some measurements and I wrote down wall colors that I couldn't remember from before.

Today we bought a used refrigerator. It's a side by side w/ water in the door. That's what I wanted. Sugar Daddy wanted something cheap. We both got what we want and I think it's going to work out well. It's only 5 years old and we got it for less than we would pay for a brand new small fridge. I'm happy with the purchase.

We're also in the market for a double bed. We have a queen for the guest room right now but the extra room in the new house is a lot smaller. All that would fit in there would be the bed and that just won't do since that's my craft room, too! So, we either need to find someone willing to trade their double bed for a queen, or we'll sell our queen and find a nice double to buy from somewhere. We also need a frame for Frog's twin bed (salvaged from the side of the road, of course!). Oh yeah, we're downsizing the computer desk. We've been using a hand me down from SD's brother for a while and it is a largish corner desk. The computer is going to go in the master bedroom now and we want a smaller one to go along the wall. I think we're going to have one heck of a garage sale next month!

Knitting news: I've made a couple of things that I can't reveal yet but Sugar Daddy is encouraging me to sell them for a side job. They are pretty darn cute and I could make enough profit to make it worth my time. I'll be able to post more about it early next week.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

House News

We close on our house April 12. The current owners are going to pay us 2 day's rent so they can move out (they need it to close before they can close on their new house...and move in there). We will be moving April 15th. I thought we would have a leisurely move. It really is just a few blocks away. But, we're going to try and do it all in one day (at least the most important stuff). I guess if we leave our Christmas decorations and all the baby clothes in this house for a while, that would be okay. I'm starting to get equally stressed and excited about the prospect of having our own house. I want to hang pictures on the wall (something SD has not allowed me to do for most of our marriage...unless there was already a hole or nail), bake in my double oven, cook on my gas range (oh, I've missed having a gas stove!), play in our backyard, and do laundry on the top floor and not the basement. I'm stressed about our tax refund getting here in time (thank goodness for the adoption tax credit...thank you Pres. Bush). It should, but I'm still stressed about it. I better not get shingles this month (the last time I got shingles was last year when we were here in Lincoln trying to find a place to live). I'm also worried about how Frog will handle the move. This is one good thing about our not getting the house in the country...his early intervention program won't have to change.

In other news, I have a consumer report for you. My new favorite lip balm. The pack I got has an extra one, too, Nourishing.
Do I really believe in the power of the aromas? Not really. But these scents are a little more grown up than the normal blue raspberry/watermelon/fruit punch variety. Hmmm...my lips feel so relaxed at the moment,

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Baby Socks

I made some little baby socks from some leftover Regia that I had from my mom's birthday socks from last year. These are my first March socks. I'm almost done with another pair that will give me my first brownie point over at the Sock A Month KAL. Do you like them, Deb?

Also included in this picture is some artwork by the Frog. It's just pencil. The heat spots are SD's fault.

I'm about to try and get some Wiggles tickets now. They are coming to the Mid America Center in Council Bluffs on May 9th and the tickets go on pre-sale this morning at 10am. SD and I want to see them really badly. I guess the kids will have fun, too! :) So, if you're wondering what to buy me for my birthday (April 11th!!!), that's it...contribute to my Wiggle fund.

EDITED TO ADD: Wiggle tickets have been purchased. I can't wait!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Johari Window

Deb over at Mumbo Jumbo got me started with this whole Johari Window thing. It's kind of neat. You click on the link and choose the words you think describe me best. Delusional, on the verge of insanity, nutcase, etc... aren't options. But, if they were and you chose them I wouldn't be offended.

http://kevan.org/johari?name=craftyconservative

Counting Down (Updated)

How much longer until Sugar Daddy comes home? Not soon enough.

Updated to add: Who cares? My Girl Scout cookies just arrived! I'm saved!

Monday, March 06, 2006

Blah, blah, blech

I'm recovering from illness, Big Apple is teething, and the Frog has been having more meltdowns a day than I can count (so much for my good week). Sugar Daddy is just annoyed that I keep calling him at work telling him that I can't make it through the day without feeling like someone is going to die or I'm going to pull a Marie Osmond and leave my family for a few days. I don't know what I'd do if I didn't have LPS Early Intervention providing services to our family. I know I said that I was going to wait 6 months to have Frog tested for autism but after seeing his preliminary testing, it's pretty obvious. If it isn't autism, he has definite pervasive developmental delays. I checked a couple books out of the library and have been doing some limited internet research but I'm having a hard time coming up with some real strategies on how to deal with his meltdowns and keep ourselves safe. I feel silly saying that a 3 year old can beat me up, but it's true. Yesterday I was alone with the kids for a while and Frog started hitting me. I was holding BA and trying to keep her safe but I have this 40+ lb kid on my back smacking my head and tearing off my glasses. I was crying (OF COURSE!) and that just makes him even more angry and it becomes a vicious cycle. Two minutes after this particular incident he was singing "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" and wanting to cuddle with me. He makes me so mad and then so happy. It's emotionally gut wrenching. Aargh! At any rate, I know that help is on the way and I can get through this. At least I know it's not my poor parenting skills that are to blame. Let's blame genetics, okay?

No denying the cuteness, eh? Even with his eyes closed. And check out this one! I took this a couple of days ago while I was blogging. At least she wasn't hanging off the computer desk. She was just chillin' underneath it.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Shopping Magic

On Friday I went to the mall to see if I could find a rockin' dress for the swing dance. I got there at 11am. Hollie met me there later. You should really check out her blog for a funny story about what the Frog calls her daughter and a cute picture of Big Apple and Mckenzie at the Children's Museum. Anyway, it was getting late. We had been at the mall for a while. Still no luck. We decided to check Sears. We walk to the women's section and we see it. Like magic. That's the dress. It's got the big band vibe. They have my size. I try it on. I buy it ($10 + 10% off, not bad!). Then I had to find some shoes. We went to a couple of stores but it was JcPenney that had the ones for me. They're even comfortable (big plus for swing dancing). Excuse the fatness...I'm working on it!

The dance was really fun. It was one of the best dates we've ever been on. Sugar Daddy and I were joking that we switched roles for the night. For dinner, we wanted something quick and cheap. I suggested Chipotle (my fave). We can both eat there for under $7 and it's yummy. SD said that we just ate there for Valentine's so he wanted to go somewhere else. We were running out of options. Fuddruckers is right by Chipotle. I said we could go there but we had just eaten there for lunch before we went to the zoo. He said he could eat there again even though we were just there this week. Hmmm. He won't go to Chipotle because we ate there last month but Fuddruckers is okay. I see how it is! He was willing to spend twice as much money to eat a good burger than for me to have a burrito.

The dance is going to be televised on Nebraska public television sometime this winter. I'm sure we'll be on tv. We were right up by the stage dancing by all the pros. Or, maybe that will keep us from being on tv since the really good dancers were right by us. At any rate, we didn't go there to become tv stars. We were there to dance and dance we did.

I don't know how long it will be before we get to go out on a date like that again, but this one will last me a while. Fun times.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Big Night

This is where I'll be tonight. Sugar Daddy and I are pretty excited about it. It's going to be on Nebraska public television sometime in the future. This afternoon I'm going to see if I can find me a rockin' dress to wear. One of SD's grad students is going to watch the kids. She lives in Omaha so that will be convenient. I can't wait!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Fat Thursday

It's about time for another Project Fat Arse update. Tiffany is the only one that actually called me out on not having any updates for a while. Here's the deal. For the past 15 months, I've been losing anywhere from 1-3 pounds each month. Slow and steady. I'm okay with that. This past month, I went to the dr. and I switched some of my medications. During that month I've gained 2 lbs. I'm not happy about it. I went in this morning to have more blood drawn and have my blood pressure checked. My dr. wasn't available to see me so I couldn't ask her more questions about what more I can do to lose the weight. I've been going to the Y and walking and taking care of 2 toddlers (super-cardio right there!). It's a vicious cycle. I have PCOS and having extra weight because of that is "normal", but I should be able to continue to lose slowly like I have been. I may have to go back to low carb (that seems to work well for PCOS). I'll miss my bread! Anyway, that's the latest.

We're not going to the Children's Museum today. After having blood drawn this morning my energy level is not high enough to deal with the potential stress.

Knitting? I've been basking in the glory of my medal (did you see it? It's on the sidebar!) and have done very little these past couple of days. I did manage to make 1 1/2 baby socks. They were supposed to be for Big Apple but they are way too small. I guess I'll keep them for someone having a little girl. I'll post a pic when they are actually done...probably tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Happy Times

Thanks to all of you that left such great comments and wrote to me by email as well. If you've been a regular reader of my blog for a while, you know that I've had problems dealing with the Frog for some time now. Things still aren't perfect but we've had such a great week here at Casa Nelson.

The zoo was awesome. Frog didn't throw a single tantrum and he even let me change his diaper standing up in the bathroom (they had mounted that koala changing station thing so only giants could use it...or at least people taller than me). Big Apple was a joy. She just smiled and ate apples and french fries all day. They LOVED the penguins. I already wrote a little about this in the previous post's comments. I'll refer you there if you haven't heard about this already.

Feeling good about myself and how I can handle the kids, we took advantage of another beautiful day and went to the park. This was a big deal. Even bigger than the zoo. At the zoo, I can keep them in the stroller most of the time. That doesn't work as well at the park. Frog is notorious for wanting to swing and do nothing else. He freaks out when it's time to get off the swing or go home. He was like a totally different kid today. He did go on the swings (so did BA and she had a GREAT time!) but he didn't complain when I told him it was time for somebody else to use them. When it was time to go, he took BA's hand and marched with her all the way back to the car singing, "Follow the Prophet" (his favorite song today). This may seem like no big deal. Your kids probably don't flip out and they don't run out into the street and they probably understand the concept of "STOP!". Or, maybe they don't. But, today I feel like how I thought it might when we decided to have kids. It feels good.

Tomorrow...the Children's Museum!