Saturday, January 31, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Happy thrifting! I gotta get an actual hobby. But what would it be? I don't like anything except drinking coffee and wine...are those hobbies?
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
When Matt's gone, I tend to fry stuff. Like, I just pull meat out of the freezer and whatever it is, it gets fried. So, tonight I had these turkey cutlets so they got fried into tiny little turkey nuggets. The kids loved them.
Then we busted out some YouTube videos and played a little band. I was supposed to be on drums while Claire sang and Sammy did guitar. This went on for quite a while...poor the guys upstairs (we have students that live above us in the other condo). They must have heard us blasting Cecilia on repeat about a dozen times.
Sammy loves this song because he has a little baby crush on the teacher's daughter, Cecilia, who is coming over for a playdate on Thursday. I think Sammy's practicing some moves so she'll think he's a cool band guy. And yes, I realize that this song is completely inappropriate for small children, but I can't help singing it myself whenever Sammy mentions Cecilia...it just gets stuck in my head. I promise that they don't listen to anything else inappropriate.
Then we got ready for bed...and now I'm kinda lonely. And I'm cold. I always feel cold when he's out of town. Come back big hairy guy!
Monday, January 26, 2009
Here are the cast of characters which are rolling over and over in my mind trying to fight it out for a winner:
#2: My friends at church. Most of the women at my church work. Most of them work in various ministries, but they work "outside the home". And they are all good mothers too....concerned with their children's hearts and minds and all that. Lots of good stuff there. And they seem to have good marriages too. I'm sensing that since they aren't all together all the time as a family, that the time they do spend together is pretty "quality".
Well, Claire and Sammy are taking a bath together and I just heard Sammy say "lets pretend I'm nursing". Awesome. Better go.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Well, I forgot to turn off the downstairs tv while I was watching upstairs, so when Sammy popped back up out of bed and wandered into the living room, he decided to watch a little tv himself. Since I didn't emerge for quite a while from my own watching, it was pretty late before I finally figured out that Sammy was still up. He came into my room and said: "Whew...I just watched a looooong doctor show. And now I'm hungry."
What? Terrified, because Matt freaks out when they watch ANYTHING that isn't on PBS, I started questioning him about what he saw. Turns out it was ER, which I don't watch, so I had no idea how much trauma he witnessed or sex or other weird stuff. Sounds like he wasn't too traumatized. After making sure he was not going to be scarred from watching blood and guts, I shot this (very bad quality) video. Kinda funny.
too much tv from Susan Harris on Vimeo.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
So, in order to keep the natives from killing each other, we have had to make up some post-Christmas festivities. One of the things we did was to host a small tea-party for a few of Claire's friends and her old teacher. We had apple cake, whip cream, fishy crackers, animal crackers, and peppermint tea, which Claire picked out. Claire and I even made a last-minute run to the Salvation Army for a set of tea cups since we only had the very very tiny kind.
There is a Michael's craft store across from my new gym, so Sammy and I ducked in there for a few craft ideas for the party. We found these cool gingerbread kits for $1.99 on clearance, so we got some for the girls to make. We also bought tiny wooden treasure boxes for everyone to paint. Sammy picked out tiny wooden airplanes for the 2 boys to paint. They never got around to painting them though, because they had eaten so much of the candy off of the gingerbread houses that they were pretty crazy and unable to sit still by the middle of the party. The girls did the craft though, of course. Nice sweet little girls. The girls above are our favorite little curly haired sisters from Claire's school.
A tea party isn't enough to keep the boys occupied though, of course, and Sammy has suddenly had a renewed interest in his instruments: particularly his old guitar which has but two strings left on it. Claire and I came home from Trader Joe's one night, though, to this scene of the boys jamming to Beach Boys songs that Matt had gotten from YouTube. His favorites are "Surfin' Safari" and "Barbara Ann". He particularly thinks the line that goes "bushy bushy blonde hairdos" is hilarious.
Last night, we went out to our friend Julie and John's house in the suburbs and they had bought tatoos for Claire. Sammy had to get in on it to be even more "rockstar-ish". He said "mommy...put it on my muscle." Haha.
Then Matt decided he wanted one on HIS muscle. We're seriously getting desperate for entertainment around here. Well, as long as he uses those big strong muscles to unload the dishwasher, he can decorate his body however he wants. And I have to admit...it's kinda cute.
Here's to staying sane for a few more loooooooong winter months in Chicago.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
But, until I become a better person, I thought I'd at least share what things I like right now about life. Because not being completely pessimistic or generally discontent would be a good resolution for me to have (if I were to have resolutions).
For one, I still like the Salvation Army. Even with Christmas just behind us and plenty of new toys, Sammy is still generally discontent with life unless he is being 100% entertained by someone. That is why on Tuesdays I take him with me to the gym and then to the Salvation Army. Sometimes I find something funky for myself, but he almost always picks up a $.50 something or other, like this little truck thing that he is playing with here. And when it's hot off the press, it's the best toy ever, even if it's just a little metal digger like this one. He played with it and even got Claire into it for a good while. I'll probably end up taking it back to the Salvation Army in a few weeks, but it buys me a few hours of content playing once a week.
Hard boiled eggs. We can't get enough of them. We actually call them "Frances eggs" because of this book called "Bread and Jam for Frances" which Claire and I love. In the story, Frances actually doesn't like eggs at all, but it was the first time Claire had seen a picture of a hard-boiled egg, so when I actually made them, she called them, of course: "Frances eggs". I've just realized that they are the quickest best breakfast, snack, lunch, whatever! And my kids love them...with salf of course, the only good way.
My new travel coffee mug. I lose them all the time, but this one has stuck with me since Christmas and having coffee-to-go again is making me a much more energetic mom in the morning. My kids will probably remember me with disheaveled hair and coffee breath driving them to school in the morning, but isn't that how you're supposed to remember mom during the early years?
This turtleneck which I bought with my Express gift card at Christmas (thanks mom) is awesome and I'm wearing it way too often. I also got it in plain black. For some reason, I just feel a little bit together when I put it on in the morning. It has become my end-of-winter mom shirt. I wore one sweater way too long in the fall and I knew I had worn it too often when my kids would say things like "get your sweater on mom...let's get going!" Like I only had the one thing to put on or something.
We have all had various colds and other ailments this winter (ear infections, sinus infections, etc) so we are all religiously taking our "Isotonix" which I buy from my mom, who sells these great supplements. I take the multi-vitamin and an antioxidant, as well as Glucosatrine (great for joint health! My chiropractor promotes them too) and "Greens". Everyone needs greens right? My kids actually take other ones as well: multivitamin, a digestive enzyme (Sammy's lactose intolerant) and an antioxidant. Anyway, Claire has been staying home from school some this week with a cough and runny nose and we are all practically on an IV-drip of supplements to boost our immune systems. But even my kids love this stuff, and that's saying something!
So, I guess it's nothing too exciting: a thrift store, eggs, turtlenecks, travelling coffee mugs, and vitamin supplements, but sometimes it's the little things in life that get us through the day, right?
Monday, January 5, 2009
This house may not look like a lot to you if you live in a normal part of the country (or world for that matter) but this home would have been our first single family home yet! We've owned two other places so far, but both were condos. This house would be our own little place with a yard. It's about 100 years old, and has all this old world charm, but actually is in MUCH better shape than you would imagine and really only needs minor "fixes". It's also across the street from a very good friend of mine and her daughter, who is Claire's best buddy.
But then, as we waited for the bank to reply to our offer (apparently banks take a long time to respond to foreclosure offers) we got a call from Kansas. That's where I'm from. Good ol' Wichita, Kansas, where the air is warmer, the lawns are bigger, and you can get from the east side of town to the west side of town in 15 minutes flat. The call was from a bank that Matt had applied to work at a year ago. Apparently, the guy who was supposed to retire at the end of next year decided to retire early, and they wanted Matt to come in for an interview when we were there for Christmas. WHAT?
I used to want to move "home" so bad that I dreamed about it. But just in the last year I've really kinda settled. I mean, trust me, it's still a dream to move there, but all of a sudden I felt less excited than I used to about the prospect of moving. What about the house we are trying to buy? What about our first tiny Chicago yard? What about finally feeling like an adult here in the city? I was just starting to....
But as we drove west towards my old hometown, the air got warmer. Somewhere around St. Louis we had to take off the coats and snowboots we had been wearing when we left Chicago (it was negative 7 degrees when we left) because it was in the mid-60's! Oh my. It felt so fabulous.
And then, when we hit the Flint Hills on our drive from Kansas City into Wichita, the sky got so huge and beautiful. We watched the sun set, and you couldn't see anything except for fields for SO FAR! For a person whose kitchen window is 2 feet away from her neighbors brick house, looking out onto nothing for miles is heaven.
And then we got to my parent's house, where there was a REAL fireplace and a REAL backyard. There is also a living room, family room, and playroom. We have only one room for all of those rooms. The ceilings were tall and the whole house smelled like some kind of pot roast or something. One of my guy friends in high school used to tell me that my house always smelled like a cow just came into our house and crawled into the oven every afternoon. That's right baby. My mom can cook some serious beef...and that's how it should be.
Sammy got his bow and arrow for Christmas (Claire got one too) so they shot them in the backyard. And the arrows could fly forever and not land in the neighbor's yard! We've never heard of such a thing! The kids also rode in the trailer behind Grandad's riding lawn mower, which they have enjoyed doing since last summer. I know you're getting the point by now, but can I just say that at OUR house, you can basically turn on the lawn mower, do a half turn, and turn it off because our yard is so small!
So, Matt did the interview (on the 29th...our 7th anniversary) and we'll wait and see now. I'm not convinced that I'm ready to leave Chicago. I just lined up my whole life for at least a year out with homeschooling plans and our little Waldorf school the new house and friends and church! I just don't know.
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