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Friday, June 30, 2006

Knitting, knitting, knitting

This is a knitting blog, after all. You wouldn't know it from my lack of knitting posts lately. Believe it or not, I have been knitting. Up. A. Storm.

First off, let me get my June socks for the Sock-a-Month KAL out of the way. These were made with a 3X1 ribbing in Trekking XXL colorway 107. The socks are super comfy and beautiful. I have enough yarn left to probably make a pair of anklets. This was the yarn I bought right before the Wiggles concert so I've been calling them my "Wiggles" socks. I didn't finish these until this morning and I started to freak out because our computer is out of commission for today and I didn't know how the heck I was going to make the deadline for the knit a long. I'm "remote" blogging from the library. They have wireless and I am on Carl's laptop.
My other knitting is pretty exciting. I'm trying to get rid of my stash. I went to look at what I had and came down with some Sugar n Cream cotton. I'm getting confident enough in my knitting that I figured I could make Eva a tank top without a pattern. I think I did a pretty darn good job. While I was knitting I would just hold it up to a tank top that she has and see if I was close. It worked! Now, I'm doing some different things trying to come up with some different styles and writing out the patterns so I can either sell them on etsy or post them for free here on my website. If you'd like me to knit a tank top for you, I'd appreciate it. I need to make about 4-5 more. If you want one, I'd just need you to pay me for the yarn (a mere $3 for a toddler size--$5 for a larger child). The first 2 people that email me will get them.

You can't tell too much from the pictures but it has a rolled bottom (I'm working on one that doesn't roll up, too...in case people don't like that--I personally like do). It has a subtle design in the solid pink parts and then gradually works up to stripes (pink/white/khaki) on the top. It is worked all the way in the round and I used some double pointed needles for the straps.

That's a Mongolian blue spot on Eva's arm. Not a bruise. No worries, okay?

I'm still working on my Gathering Intentions sweater. I had to get some help from my knitting group last time. The sleeves were coming out WAY TOO LONG. I've started on the back now and will rework the sleeves when I get to a good length on the back. The ladies that I knit with are a lot of help and so knowledgeable! I really appreciate their help.

This isn't knitting but, I've also been doing some more gardening. Here's my latest crop. Probably my best yet!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

New Job

A couple of months ago I posted about the desire to make money. I had an idea of something I wanted to do but I wasn't totally sure about it. The timing didn't seem right. Here's some background information...

About 5 years ago I got this silly notion that I wanted to open a bead store. I know very little about beading in general and making jewelry. My main experience came from a little shop on Campus Corner in Norman, OK called The Beadery. I would go there when I was an undergrad to make jewelry. I even made my mom this really cool beaded watch. Probably my best work to date. When we moved to Lafayette, IN there wasn't a store like that anywhere and I just knew that town needed one. So, I dreamt up my store. I named it The Queen Bead. Oh yeah, can't you just see it? I knew I would never really be able to open a bead store (especially with Carl in grad school and knowing we weren't going to be there forever). But, thinking about it made me really happy.

In Indiana, I was a school teacher. High school Spanish. Señora Nelson. Yep, that's how I paid the bills. I also was the queen of Pampered Chef on the side (to pay for Eva's adoption). I think I did a pretty good job at both of those things.

I've been in Lincoln for a year now and I'm starting to feel a little settled (especially now that we have a house). Four months ago I requested information from a company that met most of my criteria (work from home, crafty, cute products, business support). I got it and put it away. I wasn't quite ready. I am now.

Bead Retreat is a company that does in home beading classes. I will be the first coordinator in the area. This can be a good thing or a bad thing. Good thing? If I stick with it, I'll be the queen bead retreater in Lincoln. Bad thing--no local support. Here are the things I was concerned about initially.

1. This isn't the kind of thing that people with real beading skills will want or need. You can't design your own jewelry. But, how many people out there really have those skills? They wouldn't really be my customers anyway.

2. They sell kits. To someone like me, this is definitely a good thing. I love to make things myself but I like to follow a pattern. If I had to make up my own jewelry designs, I'd flip out. So, for people like me...this is a good thing. I'm wondering, how many people are really like me?
3. You have to pay to come to a class. For someone to host a bead retreat, your friends have to pay a class fee plus the cost of the bracelet (or whatever is chosen to be made---you get to choose, I like that). You can avoid the class fee by bringing a friend or hosting your own and I think there are ways that I can discount it...but it's still a cost. It would cost each person around $15-20 to attend a class. It would have to be something I really wanted to learn how to do or make to get me to pay that.

Overall, I think it's something that I'm really going to like to do. Carl is really supportive. He's the one that actually talked me into going for it. I think he's tired of me whining about not having something I can do to make money.

I need to have 4 classes set up before I sign up. I already have 2 scheduled. I'm coming to Oklahoma in August and I'll be in Nebraska...forever. You can also look at the catalog and just order without attending a retreat. Any takers?

It's not The Queen Bead, but it's close.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Upcoming

I don't have a lot of time to post today. At least not enough time for the posts that I have planned for the next few days. Here is what you can be expecting.

1. My new job
2. Knitting, knitting, and knitting---lots of cute things including a Christy original.
3. The craft room finally done!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Adventures in Shopping

And now, for the Walmart story.

It was Saturday. I needed milk, a waterproof matress cover, a yoga mat, some treats for my Sunday school class and some other things and Walmart was the only place I could think of that would provide me all of those things in one stop (kind of a necessity with the two kids in tow). We got there around noon so I could bribe my kids with french fries to be good. I parked on the opposite side of the food so we could get the fries on the way out. We walked in and I asked the greeter for a cart for 2 kids. She brought me one. It was broken. Only one side would buckle. I had Eva safely strapped in but Caleb was free to jump out at will. This would not do. I asked for a different cart.

The greeter was really nice (a younger girl) and used her radio to ask the other side if they had a cart. No luck. She called for a cart guy to come. He came and went out to the parking lot. He never came back. I stood there for 10 full minutes before the tears started to flow. Caleb was being okay (I had given him a bouncy ball and he had an empty bag of veggietales fruit snacks that he was "talking" to---hello Bob and Larry!). Eva, as usual, was being very well behaved. I just knew it wasn't going to last much longer and I was losing my patience. I asked for a manager.

A manager came, called on the radio to the cart guy and he said he couldn't find one. The manager left.

After a few more minutes, I asked to speak to a more important manager. This time a lady (one that doesn't have to wear a vest---so she must be important) came to help me. I was crying even more but this time it wasn't because I was sad. I was happy. I was so proud of Caleb. He was being so good! He was happy to be saying hi to EVERY SINGLE person that walked into Walmart. Everyone probably thought I was a total idiot---but I don't care. Caleb was a dream. I couldn't believe how well behaved he was and we were pushing 20 minutes sitting in a broken cart and not moving.

Finally, they found a cart. They brought it to me and we transferred the kids. Guess what? BROKEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now I start laughing hysterically (still crying, too) because of my luck. Why does stuff like this happen to me? I know in the grand scheme of things this is really no big deal. It's just a cart. But, in that moment I was wondering when I became a big enough star to be on Punk'd (is that show even still on?).

Two guys (also without vests---I was probably the biggest problem in Walmart that day) came to help the other lady. They brought a screwdriver and took one of the straps from one broken cart and transferred it to the fixed cart. It took them a couple of tries. One time they put two broken straps together and the next time they put it on upside down. But, they got it right. Caleb and Eva were real troopers through the whole thing. I'm the one that lost it.

I told them all thank you and tried to explain that the majority of my crying was because I was happy. They looked at me like I was a nut job. Oh well. I had a cart and didn't want to be hanging out there anymore. I booked it out of there and went shopping.

The managers were trying to explain to me that it was a Saturday and all of those carts must have been in the store being used by customers. As you can imagine, I was going to be on the lookout for people with those carts when I went into the store. I didn't see a SINGLE ONE! Where the heck were all the carts? I was in there for almost an hour...in all the regular kid hangouts (toys, infants, food). I didn't see any other blue kid cart. Ridiculous.

Caleb made it most of the way through shopping. I did have to open up the popsicles before we made it back to the car but that made him forget all about the french fries. Good times.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Review

First off, let me say that I made it. I had a minor mishap yesterday at Walmart that involved three managers, two greeters, a broken cart, and me bawling like a baby at the entrance. That story is going to have to wait for another day. Now I'm going to focus my attention to a very serious matter.

I am quickly becoming an expert on those little drink packets you can put into bottled water. There are some that I like and some that I would like to spit out. I think it's time for a review---for all you consumers out there.

Each brand will be rated from 1-5 (1-gross to 5-almost as good as Pepsi) in the following categories:
1. Taste
2. Ease of opening the packet
3. Floaties--you know, you can shake it and shake it but there are still little powder floaties all in your bottle
4. Price
5. Overall Opinion

Shall we begin?

Crystal Light
1. Taste
a. Lemonade 5
b. Fruit Punch 5
c. Raspberry Ice 2 (personal preference, I think---I don't like raspberry)

2. Ease of opening packet 5

3. Floaties 4

4. Price 3

5. Overall 4.5 The only thing really against Crystal Light is the price.

Walmart

1. Taste
a. Lemonade 4
b. Fruit Punch 3

2. Ease of opening packet 4

3. Floaties 3

4. Price 4

5. Overall 4 Walmart doesn't taste quite as good as the Crystal Light but it is much cheaper and Carl has rubbed off on me enough to choose the Walmart brand over CL if that's where I happen to be shopping.


Hyvee Brand

1. Taste
a. Lemonade 4
b. Fruit Punch 1 This fruit punch made me want to hurl

2. Ease of opening packet 1

3. Floaties 1

4. Price 3

5. Overall 2 Don't buy the Hyvee brand. It's lame.

Target (Archer Farms)

1. Taste
a. Strawberry Lemonade 3

2. Ease of opening packet 3

3. Floaties 3

4. Price 4

5. Overall 3.5 I was expecting more from this one and maybe that's why it scored so poorly. Compared to Crystal Light and Walmart, it was lacking. HOWEVER...they are the only ones I noticed with a Strawberry Lemonade. Too bad it didn't taste so hot.

I hope this post can help you all in your future flavored bottle water endeavors. I'm here to serve you.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Still Counting

It's 10:45pm and Caleb is outside of my room right now playing his guitar. I shouldn't have let him take a nap. He got to sleep in the afternoon and I didn't so I've been going at this since 5:30am. Crap. He just peed in the hallway.
Well, I got that taken care of. I guess now he might not pee in his bed tonight. Gotta look on the bright side, right?

I've been trying to get him to bed since 9pm. I'm pooped. I know that Eva's going to wake up at the crack of dawn . If Caleb gets up before 9am tomorrow I'm going to make sure my next girl's weekend is a 2 week vacation. I'm glad I'm blogging about this so I can show it to him later when he asks for privileges. Prom? Sorry kiddo. Remember when Daddy was in FL and you pooped and peed all over Mommy and her new house? Remember how you got up super early and stayed up late? You can't be trusted. No prom for you.

Goodnight.
26 hours to go.

Counting Down

There are lots of things I miss when Carl is away. I thought I'd make a list.

1. Nobody to pick up dead rabbits. The neighbor kid, Brandon, comes by EVERY DAY to ask me for jobs to do so he can make money. He might not ask me anymore because I finally gave him one! He made $1.26 and a brownie to pick up the dead rabbit that was in our backyard.

2. Usually the only way I can make it through the day without having a mental breakdown is knowing that Carl will be home at 5:30pm. It's hard for me to keep my cool when I know he won't be home until 1 am Sunday morning. Only 42 more hours to go!

3. It's not fun watching my nighttime tv alone. Caleb doesn't laugh at my jokes. Carl and I would have had lots of laughs watching Master of Champions. Didn't anyone else waste an hour of their lives last night by watching that piece of junk?

4. It's 7:30am (as I type this---I have a feeling I'm going to have to save it and finish it later since Caleb is climbing on me right now). Normally, at 7:30am the grownups are awake and the kids are asleep. Caleb has been up for 2 hours already and Eva just barely went down for a nap. It's been a long morning and I don't think I'm going to get a shower unless I go to the Y. I guess I'm going to the Y today.

5. One thing I don't miss about having Carl gone is being able to sleep with the fan on all night. Carl gets too cold but I usually get too hot during the night and wish it was on. I also get to spread out and take up the whole bed if I want to. Good stuff.

I can't think of anything else and I'm really getting beat up right now. Caleb's teacher said to make him wait for things (like playing on the computer). I don't know if she realizes how many bruises and fat lips I get by having him wait. Sometimes it's just so much easier to give him his way. Not this time. This is my computer time. He can deal. I think he can wait two more minutes for me to check my email.

42 hours to go.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

My Little Yogi

Yesterday we walked to the library and back. That wasn't enough of a workout for me so I had this grand idea that today, I would try yoga. The only yoga I've ever done before was on a dvd from the library. A dvd for kids. I didn't finish it.

There is a group of ladies that get together at the church on Tuesdays for a yoga class. It's taught by a real yoga instructor. I went with Hollie. She actually rode her bike to the church. I hope she made it home okay. Are you home, Hollie?

We had never been before and didn't have yoga mats. The teacher got kind of miffed at us and said we should invest in them if we are going to keep coming. Well, gee lady, let me get through one class first. It started out easy enough. I learned how to breathe...yoga style. Woohoo. Then she made us, like, bend and stretch. Anybody want to see pictures of a fat lady doing yoga? I didn't think so. Here's one of Caleb. He actually did pretty well.

There were some things I wasn't able to do because of my wrist. It's still hurting from my competitive knitting injury. Granted, it doesn't hurt like it used to but I can't really put a ton of weight on it (specifically, my ton of weight). Caleb took over during that portion of class. I tried to keep Eva occupied (she kept escaping from the gym since she can open the doors herself now). As soon as I got out the camera, she forgot the doors and ran to be right in front of me. What a ham.

Here's another picture of my little yogi doing downward facing dog (or something like that).
To be honest, I think yoga is okay. I think this now in retrospect because right after the class I was pretty sure I was never coming back. Now that I've had several hours for the pain to set in, I kind of like it. I like the feeling of a good workout. I'll go back. I'm not quite ready to invest in a yoga mat (I asked for one on freecycle.org) but I'll give it a fighting chance. Next week I'll take my wrist brace and ibuprofen. That should cover it.

Yesterday a walk, today yoga...I wonder what I'll do tomorrow?

*In other news, Carl's leaving for his "guys" weekend tomorrow and will be gone until Saturday. Actually, it's a work conference at Amelia Island, FL. I'm sure he'll have fun but I'll be home alone with the kids! Aargh! Should be fodder for some "fun" blog posts.

Ipoddy Goodness

When Carl switched over my computer to the "new and improved" one he built, he left all of my music on the hard drive of the other one. It wouldn't have been a big deal but I erased all of the songs off of my ipod. It was an accident. Anyway, I needed to have some good tunes so I could start taking my walks again and get back into going to the Y regularly (we had a break for potty training--which is going better, btw). I started to upload my cds from my collection into itunes. *if anyone is planning on getting me a gift anytime soon, an itunes gift card would be awesome...I'm sure Carl would love one for his birthday on July 6th (the big 3-0!)* Between Carl (the music junkie) and myself (former cd queen and dj of the ultra hip singles dances), we have a lot of music. It's just not current. I don't remember the last cd I actually purchased. But, going through our collection was pretty sweet. I can't believe all these songs that I love.

1. Mercury Falling. Sting. This cd was one that we used to listen to before we were married. Good for kissing.

2. Am I the only one that's a sucker for this guy? He doesn't have a mullet anymore but he always will in my head when I'm working out to Satisfied. Right Here Waiting and Angelia made it to my "knitting" playlist.

3. Did I know that there were so many songs that I liked by Bryan Adams? Summer of '69, All for Love, Run to You, Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman, etc... You know you love them, too.

4. Beautiful Day isn't the only song I have of U2's. Remember this one? I didn't either until the other day.

5. Another Night. You might have to click on the audio link to remember this one.

I have more and more I could list but for now I think I've reached my limit. Caleb is another music afficionado and is begging to hear "Computer Lazy Town"--which equals www.nickjr.com radio. Lucky me!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Garden

For the first time ever, I have a garden. I've never considered myself the kind of person that could garden. But, now that we have a house...I feel encouraged and somewhat obligated to try it. We have major bunnies in our neighborhood and I'm not so much for digging around in the dirt so I am starting with a container garden on the deck off of our master bedroom.

In the containers from left to right we have planted: Back row-- bell peppers, cucumbers, pumpkins/radishes (in one container), jalapeños/hungarian wax peppers, salad mix, sweet potato
Front row---carrots, rosemary, basil/lemon balm, oregano/garlic chives/lavendar, pansies.

I used some of the garlic chives today in my mashed potatoes. Yum-O!

The wax peppers look pretty good but I think I'm going to wait until they turn red and then dry them and make powder. At least for the first one or two.

I noticed my bell peppers are starting to come out! How cute is that?
I don't want to forget that it's Father's Day today. Carl bought himself an mp3 player. I worked really hard to get the kids to cooperate and not make a total mess for this garden stone. We had a few problems with the "ers". Can you tell? ha ha. The handprints came out okay which is all I'm really worried about. Caleb was excited that we made an octagon (only his most favorite shape). All in all it's been a good day. I should probably call my dad now.
Happy Father's Day to all you dads and dads to be out there!

Friday, June 16, 2006

For the Grandparents



I have nothing too exciting to blog about today. However, there is an excellent post on adoption over at Feminist Mormon Housewives if you feel so inclined. I thought I'd include some pictures of the kids.

Caleb had a good day yesterday. He didn't have any accidents (he also didn't go #2) and most of the time he came to me to ask to go. I usually have to ask him. I say "First potty, then popsicle" when I know he needs to go. The other day I made a chocolate cake. Caleb calls all cake "birthday cake". Yesterday he came up to me on his own and said, "first potty, then BIRTHDAY CAKE!". He got his cake.

Eva has learned how to climb up the ladder to the swingset. She climb up and slide down all by herself. She really is adventurous. She's also getting 4 more teeth so that's not so fun.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Dirty Little Secrets

Carl's obsession with free stuff has reached new heights. I'm not allowed to blog about it because he is too embarassed. Suffice it to say, it's pretty good. It is providing me with much amusement. I'll probably get to share the story eventually, but not yet. All in due time.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Visuals

This post is about Caleb. I'm really starting to regret not putting him into summer school. I just had to make the decision right after he started and I didn't know how it was going to go. We're going to be alright but the whole family is happier when he goes, especially Caleb. I'm going to try and make things structured for him as much as possible but it's been difficult, to say the least. Potty training is not helping.

There are a few things that I've been thinking about with Caleb's autism. I think I've dealt with the fact that he has it. It was actually a relief to know that there is a reason behind his rage and it's not just my poor parenting skills or an inherent violent trait. I'm still struggling with how to deal with this in the public. It's funny to think about this because I thought my biggest problem would be dealing with the fact that he is black and we are white. I don't even really think about that anymore.

I'm starting to wonder whether it would be "easier" if Caleb had some sort of physical manifestation of autism. It's just that he looks so "normal". It breaks my heart when people try to talk with him and he won't answer. Caleb knows how to count past 100 now and he recognizes all of the letters in the alphabet. He can even draw most of them now. He knows all of his shapes. He can't pass a stop sign now without saying "OCTAGON!". He knows the words to every single song he has ever heard (no exaggeration). He can even sing "Spoonful of Sugar" with Carl in harmony. The kid has some skills. But, if you ask him what his name is...he won't answer. Sure, if you catch him at the right moment he might say the right word but most of the time he'll say something like "triangle". He knows you asked him a question and he knows he's supposed to answer. He just doesn't know what the answer is so he just says something familiar to him. I'm at the stage where I don't want to have to explain why he won't answer those simple questions but I feel like I should. I don't know how to handle this yet. I don't want to announce to the world that he has autism. But, then again...I do. I don't want them to treat him differently or pity him or anything like that...but I do want them to recognize that he clearly does have some special needs and needs some help with things. My struggle of the day.

We have been finding some success with using pictures to communicate. This is especially helpful with transitions. Here are some samples of the pictures we use with him.


I have a little poster that I can put these pictures on (they have velcro on the back) and make him a schedule for the day. He's not quite to the level where this works all of the time. But, I can use certain pictures to help him when he doesn't know what's going on. I can show him the car and the stroller and he knows we're going somewhere and he'll get to ride in the stroller. They say that eventually this will cut down on his meltdowns. I sure hope so. I'm sick of getting hit all day. He hits me. He goes to time out. He hits me. More time out. His therapist said to keep doing it, but after months of no results I'm thinking that it's not really working. I have no other options at the moment so I plug on.

Caleb's preschool teacher is the one doing the home visits this summer. She comes once a week and is doing an assessment with Caleb. We're going to work on getting him to have more communication skills and she even got him to sit on the potty...TWICE! He's got some sensory issues with sitting on the toilet (when he does go, he stands up--which doesn't quite work for the poo poo situation). She said that you could really tell he didn't like sitting on the potty and she sympathized with my struggle. That made me feel a little better but I'm still picking poop up off the floor everyday. At least Caleb is more fun than a dog.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Chivas de Guadalajara

In 1996-1997, I lived in and around Guadalajara, México. When I actually lived in the city of Guadalajara, it was in a house just blocks from the stadium. Not just any stadium. The stadium of the Chivas. When we would come home at night, the streets would be packed with fans and vendors. Even in our house we could tell when the Chivas would score. It was pretty exciting. I don't know why fútbol isn't more popular in the US. I think it is amazing and I haven't been able to get enough of the World Cup games. Granted, I do enjoy having DVR that allows me to fast forward during some of it. But, this is not for my lack of enthusiasm. It is more because I don't really have tons of extra time to sit around watching it. I've got to skip to the "good parts".Mexico played Iran today. They won handily; 3-1. It was poetry in motion to see the way they play. Carl was wondering why I am so fascinated by the sport. I've got to admit that it helps that most of the players are really good looking and them running around on the field is my version of "Baywatch". Most of all, I admire the sport. So, you'll know what I'll be doing this month. GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLLLL! Oh yeah, and I'll be rooting for México.

Count Your Blessings

We just made it back from church. If you're unfamiliar with the LDS church, you should know that we meet for 3 hours. The first hour is our main meeting all together, next we have a Sunday School where we break up for classes (I teach 12-13 yr. olds, Carl teaches new members/visitors, and Caleb goes to the nursery...3 more months before Eva gets to go!), and the third hour I meet w/ the women and Carl meets w/ the men. Fun times. Really. I love it. However, 3 hours is a long time to Caleb and I was worried about the potty training. Guess what? No accidents today. He made it through the whole 3 hours without peeing and/or pooping in his pants. Woohoo!

Never Been Kissed


Have you seen the movie Never Been Kissed? I've seen it more than once and I just watched it again last night. It reminded me again how much I love the end of this movie. It is one of my all time favorite movie kisses. Is it just because it is Michael Vartan? Possibly. Part of it is that he doesn't give an excuse for being late until AFTER he kisses her. He just runs down and kisses her. Good stuff.

What are your all time favorite movie kisses?

Friday, June 09, 2006

Chocolate

I'm not feeling well. All I want to eat is some chocolate. This is kind of out of character for me because usually I'd go for something else like bread or pizza (I love carbs). But, right now it's a real shame (or a blessing) because I don't have any fattening treats around (darn weight watchers) and I really need a Twix.

Just because I want one doesn't mean that I need it. Please people that live around here...don't feed the fat girl! I just need to whine about it, that's all.

I'm off to eat a big bowl of salad with as much dressing as I can handle. I've got to do something wild!

Bake Off

Did anyone see the 2006 Pillsbury Bake-off special on Food Network? Every year I see the special I resolve to make up my own spectacular Pillsbury recipe. Why do I never do this? It's about everything I believe in (using prepackaged food to create something delicoso). *Speaking of delicioso...Caleb copies the backpack from Dora by saying, "yum yum yum yum yum deliciYUMso"--so cute!* Back to the contest. They don't have the information up yet for the next contest (if they do and I just didn't find it---email me or comment, please!) but that doesn't mean I can't start thinking about some awesome creations. My goal? I will enter at least one recipe delicioso to the Pillsbury bake-off.

There's another contest I'm entering. It's the Lancaster County Fair. I have got some awesome knitting (remember the gold medal winning Snowdrop Shawl?), crocheting, and a pretty good banana bread to enter. I might work on my baking skills and get some more goodies to enter. It costs $3 per category to enter. So, it would cost me $6 to enter the textiles and baked goods contests. Then, each product I enter is eligible to win up to $4 each. Think of the major money I could win! *sarcasm* But, it's all for the glory with me. I'll wear my ribbons proudly (and I better win some!).

But why stop at the county fair when I can conquer the STATE FAIR? Yep, that's right. I'll be there with my hand made goodness. I don't know what the prizes are but I'm sure they've got some sweet ribbons. The title of state fair winner is pretty prestigious (I know you all wish you could be state fair winners, right?) so I'll try not to let it go to my head when I win. *My parents are from Utah. I've never lived there. Unfortunately, I speak like a Utahn. Go back to that last sentence before the asterisk. "when I win" If you listen to me say this the only way you can tell the difference between the way I say 'when' and 'win' is context. Same thing with "whale" and "well". What's the deal (or in my case...dill)?*

Kids are waking up and I'm sure I've got some pee pee mess to clean up downstairs. Life is good.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Doo Doo Duty


Caleb's diapers went bye bye for good after Sunday night. It hasn't been easy. In the past two days he's only used the potty twice. But, there is no going back. We have to do this. I want him to be potty trained before he goes back to school next year.

On Monday night, we went out to eat. He did great. No accidents. But, as soon as we came home he peed on my computer chair and pooped in his pants. Fabulous. I've done so many loads of laundry these past two days and have changed so many pairs of underwear that I may as well be changing diapers. I'll be so glad when he's done.

I'm actually doing much better this time around. I'm more committed to make sure he gets trained. Plus, he looks like such a big boy in his underpants! He's very much into airplanes and he has some airplane underwear. It hasn't been a big enough motivator to keep them clean but it has helped when I'm trying to put them on him.

So, that's the big news around here. I'm up to my eyeballs in doo doo and there's nothing I can doo doo about it.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Another Book Review

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon is told from the perspective of a 15 yr. old boy with Asperger's syndrome (part of the autism spectrum disorder). I actually listened to this book on the way back and forth from my girl's weekend and then I had Carl listen to it as well. Aside from my obvious interest in this book as a parent of a child with autism, this book was really wonderfully written. It starts out as a murder mystery. Christopher (the main character) is trying to find out who murdered a dog in his neighborhood. The plot twists and turns with Christopher's whims as he is writing the story. We do ultimately find out who killed the dog but the main focus of the story is how Christopher lives with his autism on a daily basis and how he finds out more and more about his family. I think our extended family would gain some valuable insights by reading this book. While Caleb is still very young and does not exhibit many of the characteristics of Christopher, Carl and I found it a very good description of what it must be like to live with autism.

Word of warning: This book has a lot of "f" words. Carl and I were discussing this last night. However, the main character is really just narrating word for word what people say to him and for him, these words really have no meaning. They are just so matter of fact. I didn't find it as offensive as I do when reading books where there really is no good reason for the characters to be dropping f bombs every few lines. Other than that, the book is PG (he does talk about an affair--but again, from a perspective that doesn't really understand the details and very matter of fact).

Grade: A. I would give it an A+ if it had less swearing. It might have been different if I had read the book instead of listened to it, though. I can skim over those words in text but on a cd, they just kind of jump out at you.

In conclusion, the other pictures of Eva eating lemons and one of sweet Caleb.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Busy Weekend

Our weekend started on Friday since Caleb was finally out of school. I spent most of the day trying to keep them occupied. I bought some play-do the other day and decided to break it out. It was a big hit. In the afternoon, we needed an outing. Once Eva woke up from her nap, we went to the Children's Museum. I usually avoid going there by myself because Caleb and Eva like to run in different directions and I'm only one person. But, they actually did really well and it was promising that I'll be able to do this more often.

Caleb and Eva love the water tables. Caleb played with most of the toys appropriately. Eva, is more concerned with eating and drinking at this stage in her life.

They also had a really good time at the piano. They really could have just done this at home, but we don't have the cool sunglasses to put on.
After the museum, we met Carl at Chipotle for dinner. Most of you know how Caleb loves lemons. He can eat them down to the rind without even a pucker. Eva tries.
After Chipotle, we walked over to the Lied Center for their Free at 6pm series. It was a steel drum band. It didn't hold their interest so we left after 3 songs.

The next day we went to the 150th anniversary of the handcart trek in Kearney, NE (about 2 hours away). It was quite boring. Carl sang in a choir (they sounded great). I was glad to come home.

I hope I can make it through this next week. Should be exciting. We're getting rid of Caleb's diapers today. No more! In PFA news, I lost all of my Breckenridge weight so now I'm back to pre-girl's weekend form. This week should be better. I think that's about it for today (I did have a longer post written and just before I uploaded the pictures, Eva pushed the power button---the auto recovery had only saved half--bummer!).

Thursday, June 01, 2006

LMNOP

We're watching the Scripps National Spelling Bee tonight. In my family, I was the speller (aka the biggest nerd in the Charlton family). I remember my grandma calling me once to spell something for her. I wasn't very old and I'm pretty sure she wasn't doing that just to make me feel good. Most of you know that Carl is pretty smart (and not just because he married me). He's a freakin' genius. It's been really fun watching the spelling bee with him. He gets so proud of himself when he can spell the words correctly. I've been teasing him a little bit by reminding him that middle schoolers are spelling these words and he has a little bit of an advantage by having a PhD and being more than twice their age. I remind him of the same things when he is incorrect and they get them right. Just a little family fun...Nelson style.

Giocoso. Just one of the words I got right and Carl missed. Ha ha sucker. Who's the genius now, Dr. Nelson????

Last Day of School

Is it already June? Holy moly. Caleb went to his last day of preschool (for this school year, at least) today. Last night they had a little picnic at the park and gave certificates to the kids that were moving on to kindergarten. Caleb has two more years to go at this preschool and I can only imagine what kind of progress he is going to make. It was only 7 weeks ago that he started at this school and I can already see a big difference.

Caleb had a hard time sitting still during the graduation portion of the picnic. Eva just wanted to be a part of it all and kept walking right into the middle of everything. She's such a cutie that I think everyone was okay with it. It was a pretty low-key event.
The teachers told me how Caleb has a best friend at school. It's Spencer. He wasn't at the party. But, that's okay because Spencer goes to our church. They don't see each other much at church (Spencer is already out of Nursery) but I had a good idea they hit it off. I can see a bunch of playdates in my future for this summer. He lives about 5 blocks away from us and I like his mom (so that's a plus).

I've got another sample conversation from Caleb using his ever expanding preschool skills.

Caleb: Juice?
Me: Can you ask me nicely?
Caleb: Can I have some juice please?
Me: Yes!
Caleb: Thank you for asking so nicely. Thank you for asking so nicely. Thank you for asking so nicely. (repeat until he gets his juice) Thank you Mommy. Say, "You're welcome, Mommy".
Me: You're welcome.

He is also very much into: 1-2-3 Pass It! He'll take a toy and say "1-2-3 Pass it" and then give it to either myself, Carl, or Eva. Then, he'll quickly say it again as many times as he needs to get it back to himself. Then, he's done playing 1-2-3 pass it.

Caleb also sings a bunch of songs from school. After they're done playing they sing a song to talk about what everyone did during play time. They sing, "_____,_____ Where'd you play?"
Caleb sings that for every single kid in his class and then adds all of us at home. Mommy, mommy, where'd you play?

They also sing a song about what kids are wearing that day. Example: Spencer wore his Spiderman shoes, his spiderman shoes, his spiderman shoes, Spencer wore his spiderman shoes to school today.

Now that we don't have school to keep us occupied in the morning...I see a lot of this in our future. The kids not dressed, Caleb and Eva rocking themselves in the recliner, and me wondering how the heck I'm going to entertain these two wild ones all summer. Any suggestions?