Friday, January 30, 2009

And when scrapping can't fix it...

...clean the bathroom and start teaching self to knit.

Yesterday I did some serious scrapbooking therapy. I wasn't in touch with the nostalgic/fun and playful feelings I like to have when I scrapbook (so that the pages don't reflect misery/bitchyness), so after today's crying jag about what an awful human being I am that I can't manage to secure professional employment, I went crazy.

Not bad crazy, don't call CPS.

First, I ate a brownie sundae. Then I changed a shitty diaper. That's a good way to get back in touch with reality. Then as long as we were upstairs and Deuce was having fun throwing toys at our refinished hardwood floors (praise Jesus), I cleaned the upstairs bathroom. Now the bathroom looks like something I can be proud of as a person who stays home all fucking day.

Mid-towel change, Deuce started begging for Backyardigans, so I turned on the magic bullet (The Tale of the Mighty Knights), found the knitting needle Deuce hid behind the loveseat yesterday, and cracked open the Learn To Knit Kit. I "learned" the knit and purl stitches about 2 years ago when I bought the kit. I'm surprised to find that although my gauge is loose like a $10 hooker, it can still do a knit stitch. I have about a dozen rows and it's kind of fun. I mean, it's not anything I should be doing so it's great fun.

So the moral of this little story is that I need to focus more attention on housework (and eating sundaes apparently) so that I have something to show for myself.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Scrapbooking cures what ails

I have nothing but frustration and grumpiness in my heart today, so I'd like to share some things I've been working on that make me happy. Scrapbooking.

I'm still working on Deuce's first year, but I'm really organized and doing a page every day. I have literally scrapped once since we moved because my space is so disorganized. I'm taking a class to get my shit together and it's really helping me. It's "Get Organized and Be Inspired" from Big Picture Scrapbooking.

The class is actually one of the reasons I'm grouchy. I can't really do any serious scrapbook room remodelling because... oh I'm not working. It just makes me frustrated that my lack of employment is keeping me from doing something I want to do.

But I'm making progress toward a more organized and creative environment, and doing pages too. I forgot how much I love scrapbooking. So on to some pages from this weekend.

This is Deuce's first time feeling grass (April 2008). Awesome day.

Collage of Deuce teething (and drooling). The puzzle pieces are from Cricut's My Community cartridge.
Here's a page with my dad. He is a champion tickler and has no mercy even on the young. Deuce managed to escape, as you can see. I'm really proud of this page - using the circle motif on the patterned paper on the on a top layer highlighting Robbie crawling away. Not too shabby.

This page is busy. I cropped the photos close before I printed them, but it would have been easier to cut the photos down so that the page wasn't overrun with patterns and colors.

Here's a fav page - I was going to frame that 5x7, but the page came together so I used it. This is also from April, 2008.

So that's what I've been up to lately! I have to shovel the driveway today (boo!) but then back to it!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Hey, what's that funk?

That garbage funk. Damn you Backyardigans.

Count on DeuceDad to snap me out of the funk. Not just an old funk, beetches. A crying funk. An "I'm going to have to work third shift for minimum wage because I have no marketable skills and am a software-engineer reject" funk.

What did he do that was so great? Sent me a craiglist posting for a rockin' job. I didn't even procrastinate sending my resume and didn't just do my normal slightly generic but individually written cover letter. I went to the company's website and read about them. Sounds kind of fun. Customer relationship management software. Very interesting.

I love DeuceDad for a lot of reasons, and one of them is that he is supportive when I need him.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Wind faster!

I wanted to save this for ABC-along, but I can't. Too awesome.

I received an all hand-made Christmas from BIL and FSIL. This is one of my favorite kinds of Christmas, along with useful, thoughtful, and shameful spoiling. Anyhow, check out my winnings!
Yarn swift, made by BIL from cedar and a repurposed pool cue. It turns so smoothly - it's really pretty impressive. I definitely don't need all that speed for my handwinding, but it's so much nicer than the stretching hank around feet method I previously used. This is getting a home in the in-progress craft room.

Nostepinne, which I have not gotten the hang of yet, but I remain determined. This is turned so smoothly the yarn doesn't hang up on it at all. I guess it has a design improvement in that there is a groove for the first wrap of yarn so it doesn't get dropped. Such beautiful work from him.

And from FSIL herself, a Faberge cowl(Rav link)!

The cowl yarn in Malabrigo worsted in the Polygala colorway, and is fantastico! So warm and soft even against my neck. It's a treat for sure.

Thanks so much for all your hard work!!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

It feels good when you sing a song

A strange thing happened to my feed burner. I added Club Trillion to it. I'm sure my (few) readers are not raving college basketball fans and are not tremendously interested in a college kid expounding on the trials of being a poor player on a great team. But this shit is good. And I just had to say something about it because I got all excited when I saw there was an update. AND he calls out Stuff White People Like, which is off color, but hysterically funny to me. In fact, it was on my blogroll, but I decided it was a little off the topic of parenting, and so it was removed.

Meantime, Deuce and I got out for a much-needed play date today that ended in me dragging his crying ass out the front door of my friend's house. Her 2 year old didn't nap yesterday and Deuce is teething. Apparently in toddler math this ends in fighting over DJ from Cars and crying. I need to get this kid back in day care. Before I know it he'll be 39 and going on movie dates with his mommy (I have an uncle who, until recently acquiring a girlfriend, did just that. It runs in the family).

So there's DeuceMotherhood today. Reading sports blogs and failed play dates. G-l-a-m-o-r-o-u-s.

Bonus: Want dance around the living room with your son looking at you like a loon? Play this one for him.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Am I a Democrat now?!

It is the firefighter’s courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but
also a parent’s willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our

I tortured Deuce by watching the inauguration instead of his after-lunch Backyardigans today. To say President Obama is well-spoken is like saying I have a little cellulite. He's cool calm and collected on the day he inherits a struggling economy and a war.

The goals he layed out in he inaugural address are going to be challenging, if not damned near impossible. But he struck some notes with me that rang true.

The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our Gross
Domestic Product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend
opportunity to every willing heart - not out of charity, but because it is the
surest route to our common good.

The key to this one is the "willing heart." The opportunity to earn a living for those willing to work for it is an issue that has been on the minds of this DeuceFamily since, oh, say October 21, 2008.

If President Obama can really help instill this nation with accountability toward our children and the desire to work hard, then I might just become a believer.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Not-A-Shower

I'm back and ready for action! This week I need to catch up this blog (among other things). First up, the recap of the second-baby-not-shower-luncheon-and-make-and-take.

Friday I prepped the food. The menu was light - veggie tray and little sandwiches, punch and cake.

The sandwiches went off without a hitch. Mix 8 oz softened cream cheese with one packet of dressing mix:

Spread on 8 sandwich wraps (these are Flat Out).

Layer your fixin's - here spinach, ham and swiss. Leave some exposed cream cheese at the top to stick the wraps closed.

Wrap and slice. Easy!

Now the cake. Fuck. This was a lemon chiffon cake from Williams Sonoma "Baking." Lovely, I'm sure. If you don't accidentally leave the oven set to broil from the night before. If one were to do that, one's hypothetical cake would not cook in the middle. And when one turned it upside down to cool as per the instructions, one would dump the whole fucking thing all over the counter.

Fuck. (that's cake batter stuck to the front of my btw)

After a brief trip to Wegmans to get a carrot cake, and then a miraculously uneventful drive north, lunch was ready.

Momma was happy, and got TONS of meals for the freezer.

I would do this party again in a heartbeat. It was fun, and low impact to plan, and I think it provided a real benefit to the mom. Good times!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Off the Grid

DeuceFamily is going off the grid until Sunday. What?! Why?! We're going to my ILs.

This used to be tremendously appealing to me when it was just me and DeuceDad and the fireplace, reading and napping. Now it means not only no internet, no cable and poor cell phone reception, but add in a stir-crazy toddler cooped up inside, when, let's face it, I need the internet for sanity. I'm home all the time. I don't need a vacation.

Luckily BIL and SIL will be there to help amuse said toddler, and there will be three woof-woofs there for him to play with when they're not trying to hump/fight each other.

Did I mention I still have this cold (two weeks and counting), so if my pregnant North-Country-BFF has her baby this weekend I shouldn't go visit her in the hospital. Blerg.

Well, I promise the results of mad house cleaning, Deuce pics and all manner of fun posts when I get back! In the mean time, spend a few minutes perusing Simple Scrapbooks, which, as of this coming April, is no more. I'm so sad.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Housework shutdown

I looked around my house today and realized that there is not one square foot that brings me any peaceful feeling right now. I am so completely overwhelmed by the dirt and mess that I have shut down. Last night I went shopping and bought more things instead of picking up what I already have. This is a sign of the apocalypse.

I'm going back to basics and I'm taking the camera with me. My approach is to start in a doorway picking up and cleaning every last thing before moving forward. The only question is, which doorway to start at. Front door (not as bad, instant gratification) or side door (into kitchen which needs more heavy cleaning - floor is play doh-tastic).

I'm going to make a mop bucket and grab my camera. I'll let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Evil I Know

I am one of the few people I know who admits to shopping at Walmart. Most people I know will shop at Walmart only when absolutely necessary. But someone must like Walmart because they're everywhere.

Well, I'm going to stand up and say that I willingly shop at Walmart.

I have evolved as a Walmart shopper.
  • In the beginning, I was fresh out of college, and I needed "stuff." Walmart excels at selling stuff. Kitchen towels and can opener to mascara to look right for the new job, Walmart has it all.
  • Then came the year that we moved 4 times. We kept trying to make apartments feel like home and doing it without going bankrupt - well, back to Walmart.
  • Then came the stretch when I was carpooling with DeuceDad, and arrived in town well before I had to be at work. What's open that time of day? Walmart!
  • We had a baby and it's such a hassle to drag the kid in and out of the car to make multiple stops. Super-Walmart!
  • On and off throughout the last year I've been out of work, and it bites to pay $1 more for every tube of toothpaste and bottle of apple juice, and don't even think about buying diapers at the grocery store. You guessed it - Walmart!

What's the only thing that keeps me out of Walmart? Target.

I don't think there's anything wrong with buying shampoo, diapers, and those consumable goods that I can't (won't?) live without. But here's the catch - what do you buy that you don't need and don't even want?
  • Do you love yarn but buy acrylics because they're on sale, and the LYS "seems expensive"?
  • Do you need a new electronics item and buy the cheap model despite the lack of customer service?
  • Do you buy love cooking with fresh ingredients, but buy inexpensive and unhealthy food to keep the grocery bill down?
Local merchants are more than just an expensive alternative. When there is a real quality difference, in the product or the service, it's sometimes worth it to me to pay more.

My point is to not let anyone guilt you into spending more than you can afford by preaching the evils of Stuffmart, but to try to be conscious of when it makes sense to pay more or buy local.

And just in case you think this sounds a little snooty - I'm far from perfect. In the basement I have a Ziploc Big Bag (bought at Walmart) full of clearance bin yarn. Learn from my mistakes.

Monday, January 12, 2009

A is for Amigurumi

ABC-Along 2009

ABC-Along 2009 is off and running. In 2008 I used a "Deuce" theme, but since this is a Ravelry thing, I'm trying to be crocheting themed this year.

Amigurumi is a Japanese term for small knit and crocheted figures of all kinds - animals, food, people. This book is a popular one on the subject, and the patterns are all over the place. It's cute and very kitsch. I love to look at the stuff, but rarely make any.

I have limited my amigurumi-making to "useful" items (cat toys). Claude loves anything he can kill for fun. I was setting up a living room photo shoot to illustrate that crocheted cat toys must be sturdy to withstand active play, when along came Claude to provide a demonstration.

Didn't have time to fix the shutter speed on that one.

Anyhow - so there it is, my first ABC-Along for 2009 (and on time I'd like to add). Amigurumi.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


My period has turned me into world's brattiest mom this month. All I want to do is eat chocolate and pizza and drink Diet Coke and play with Play Doh. Luckily we're fresh out of chocolate, I'm attempting to cook meals this week, and Deuce loves to play Play Doh.

He also likes to break it up into tiny, sock sticking pieces which I have to get on all fours to clean up and that feels like an injustice to me at the moment. But other than that it's an activity we both enjoy.

I'm on my second kind of pills since June and I'm still a crap-eating sloth for a week once a month. I mean, it's better than the pills that sent me into a homicidal rage (I think the trade name is Divorceterol). But Jesus H. Christ, tell me that every woman in the world spends a week out of every month forcing herself to do the most simple tasks and I will eat my hat. I don't know where my hats are. I will find a hat though, and I will eat it.
I made a deal with myself that if I can do the one load of laundry DeuceDad asked me to do (how dare he politely ask for clean work clothes so he can continue supporting our family?!), I will earn the reward of brainstorming ABC-Along 2009 topics in front of tivoed Law & Order. This is what it takes to accomplish something around here.
I'm saving my energy for when my little sculpter wakes up.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Possible alien abduction

I either had a lobotomy or was abducted by aliens. The lack of stitches on my head points toward alien abduction.

You may have noticed that it is Tuesday. I do not know how this came to be, and I have clearly lost time. The space time continuum that is.

In order to make up time that was stolen from me, I will go fight the battle against crumbs and cat hair on the main floor of my house instead of blogging. Wish me luck.

Friday, January 2, 2009


In the files I transfered from old computer, there are 2006-, 2007-, 2008- and now 2009_Resolutions_Goals.doc. Not only do I love to resolve, but I love to keep Word documents for posterity. Plus then I don't have to remember where the little square checkbox we like to use is (Wingdings, who can remember that?).

There is a long list, but the ones that pertain here are:

  • Deuce related – play with other kids at least 1/week, less than 2 hours TV/day, outside time when over 30 degrees, crafts 2/week
  • Buy ZERO scrapbooking supplies until after class ends
  • Finish ALL crocheting projects before starting new ones

Now is when I ask myself why I set good sounding and impossible goals. The scrapbooking class helps you understand your motivations for scrapbooking, organize your space to help fulfill those goals, and set up "filters" (don't know what that means yet) to help keep the space organized. It involves designing a lot of storage which I would like to embellish with similar papers and things. I don't have enough of what I want to use, which means... shopping! AND I bought a new winter coat on after-Christmas clearance and I don't have any hat/gloves/scarf to coordinate, but I DO have yarn that would look great... I need to reevaluate.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A Bitchy Digression

Ok, I just need to be a bitch for a second. I'm throwing a party for my BFF from where we used to live. She's having her second baby, and even though I think second-baby showers are faux pas, I invited some people to a Make and Take place to make her some meals to stick in the freezer. I'm bringing a light lunch, and a little cake.

Um, two of her friends are bringing meals that they prepared at their houses to give her instead of participating in Make and Take. I'm 99% sure the gripe is that it's too expensive. I'm not fucking working and I still am doing it. I'm throwing the party! Fucking stupid bitches! Fuck! I hate other women! (not you, dear readers, not you. unless you love to fuck with parties other people throw. then I will scream "fuck" on my blog over your behavior.)

DeuceDad says not to worry about that because he thinks one of them is a total mental midget and I, coincidentally, know the other one from college and didn't like her then. You can guess how I feel about her now. Fucking stupid bitches. Maybe the Make and Take employees will kick them out. Or call the cops on them for loitering. I can hope, right?