Peace and Quiet, and a Little Spoiling

I have three kids and a husband.  I am reminded of that daily by their sounds, needs, and sometimes affection (but mostly their sounds and needs).  Two kids and husband left this morning for an adventure with Boy Scouts.  Missy Moodle couldn’t be happier to have all the testosterone removed from the house.  And I can’t say that I blame her.  Most times I am her favorite person and she always asking to do special things together.  I always make efforts at this, but often she has to wait because of her siblings and dad.  So I told her we’re having girly week.  We started the day by having breakfast together, her choice.  We played a new board game together, enjoyed the quiet a lot, talked about how we don’t miss the boys yet, went to her favorite Chinese restaurant for lunch, bought some new nail polish and shoes, went to see the Harry Potter movie (awesome!), and then picked up a friend to come over to play. And this is only day one!  I think we’d better slow down or we’ll burn out!

The most amazing thing about the boys leaving is the different feeling in the house.  No stress, so many less interruptions, and it’s more quality time.  It’s completely not reality, and I’ll be ready for the craziness to resume when the boys come home, but for now it feels like a dream for both of us.  I think it’s always good for a child to get a glimpse of what it would be like to be an only child.  And of couse a little spoiling is a good thing too. Each child is a gift and although the days pass slowly sometimes (summertime, when I’m home with them!), the years are a blur.  I need reminding sometimes to slow down and make some special memories with them.

What I’ll be missing this week is a bit of time for myself.  The boys often watch Missy Moodle (at nine she can stay home for short periods alone, but mostly the boys are with her when I run an errand alone).  I know she’ll spend time at friends’ houses for playdates this week and I’m sure there will be some time for me, but it will be few and far between I suspect.

I dunno about you, but this blasting hot summer we’ve had has put a real crimp in my knitting life.  It’s just too damned hot to knit.  Even in the cool A/C I don’t want to touch yarn.  Either I’m dying of some anti-knitting brain disease or it’s just too hot.  I choose the latter.  It’s a rare occasion that I find it too uncomfortable to knit.  I hope it cools down soon.  I’m dying to make real progress on this:

Flyaway Vest from SkeinCocaine (bought at

I had hoped to get it done soon before I go back to work for the semester. I actually had hoped to be wearing it back to work, but I guess I’ll be working on it during my breaks instead.  Anyway, it’s lovely and it’s supposed to be a quick, easy knit so I’m sure I’ll cruise right along. I got the Simply Socks newsletter via email in May and this yarn was the May project.  I bought the yarn and got pattern free.  I chose the yarn from the photo, (Dream Baby), hand dyed Lettuce.  It’s yummy.  I’ll post some progress photos if I ever make any.  In the meantime, stay cool and post a comment, please.  I feel like I’m on Mars here.


Modern Convenience

The New Dishwashers

My dishwasher went out last week.  Life was going along peacefully, or as peacefully as it can be in the summer with three kids out of school, when suddenly, with a dishwasher full of dirty dishes, there was water leaking through the kitchen floor into the basement.  After the panicking was over, the kids were employed as the new dishwashers.  I was astounded at how they stepped up to the task.  For nearly a week they washed not just their own dishes, but any that I asked them to.  For a minute I thought my kids had been abducted by aliens and replaced with extremely agreeable imposters, but no, it seems they didn’t really mind it, especially since they knew it would be short term.

Thankfully, it was short term because their agreeableness was wearing thin by yesterday.  I post this photo as evidence that 1) they actually did do dishes by hand, and 2) it did not kill them. Oldest kidlet looks pretty unhappy in the photo, but I have to add that he is a fifteen year old male and it seems to be what they do when a parent points a camera at them.  They were perfectly happy up until this moment.

I also have to add that every time I’ve been without a dishwasher in my life the kitchen tends to be more orderly.  After meals we tend to do all the dishes and it’s all cleaned up at once, including the sinks.  With a dishwasher it seems we are always in a state of doing dishes.  There are either dirty dishes waiting in the dishwasher to be clean, or clean dishes waiting to be put away, and a few in the sink waiting to be put into the dishwasher.

Sometimes I think if I didn’t work, or if I had more help from the troops, that we’d be a happier family without a dishwasher.  Then I come to my senses and realize that that’s crazythink and that I’d take hostages without one.  Or at the very least I would detest cooking and resort to writing people’s names on the plates and glasses to encourage them to only dirty one per day.  I found myself becoming a dish nazi this past week.  “Okay, here’s dinner.  You’re in charge of washing this when you’re done.”  Or, “HEY!  You can’t get another glass out, where’s the one you used a minute ago?”  I’m definitely a more laid back mom with a dishwasher.  But it’s nice not to buy into the  American pigginess that comes from using a dishwasher.  “Dirty anything you want.  Use four forks and three glasses for dinner if you choose. I have a dishwasher!”

I feel dirty every time I load a dishwasher.  Lazy, I feel lazy by using a dishwasher.  Without one I felt really good, like we are doing things the way we’re supposed to.  Chatting while doing the dishes in teams, and having it all done and tidied at once.  It felt real.  I am thrilled to have a dishwasher again.  The realness and tidyness are no more.  And I couldn’t be happier.

Sherman’s Rockin’ 13th Birthday

When I realized that Sherman would be at scout camp on his birthday I was bummed. He seemed okay with it. I sent him to camp with a birthday surprise to open on the day. He seemed not to care about any of it. As a parent it’s so hard to tell when to make to make a big deal of something and when no to. I chose to make his birthday special even if he acted like he didn’t care. Someday he’ll remember that and know he was loved. Right?
Yesterday was the family party at my mom’s house. My sister brought her new puppy, Skippy, who was the star of the show. He even outshone the two birthday boys. DH’s birthday was the day before Sherman’s. They share a cake every year whether they like it or not.

Sherman's awesome gift from his aunt and uncle
Sweet Skippy
Stella and Skippy

Hello Dolly!



Missy Moodle and her brood

A few weeks ago Missy Moodle asked if we could make a doll.  MAKE.  Can you imagine a child asking that?  It’s only a little unusual for me only because it’s sewing and it’s a bit out of my comfort level (note the knit scarf I added).  I made a trip to my local Joann Fabric store and found an awesome book called Sewing For Children.  This doll can be completely hand sewn, so it’s perfect for a beginner child or adult.

I began the doll on a Friday night and we both worked to cut out the pieces (it was finished on Sunday afternoon).  By the time we got to the sewing, Missy Moodle was off to do other important things.  I guess what she meant when she asked was not “can WE make a doll”, but “can YOU make a doll”.  But seeing her give it a hug and tuck it into bed with her made it worth all the effort.