Taking the Scenic Route

Monday February 28, 2005

28th February 2005

Monday February 28, 2005

Sunday Supper

Sunday night I made a roast with potatoes and carrots and invited my folks over for dinner.  Mom & Dad have had a rough couple of weeks and I knew they could really use a relaxed, home-cooked meal and some ‘Zane time’.  While we we set the table, we put mom to work making gravy because she makes the BEST gravy.   We bought the roast from Sams, and like everything from Sams, it was huge.  We ended up splitting it up into two pans so we could fit lots of carrots and potatoes into the pans.  It did make it obvious that cast iron cooks differently than stainless steel.  I LOVE my cast iron…the roast looked better, the potatoes and carrots had a beautiful roasted taste and look to them.  The other one was good, but the cast iron one was spectacular.  Wow!  I would have never believed there was such a difference.

  While waiting for us to put the final touches on supper,  Zane and Dad were playing with our coasters.  (it is a set we got from Zach’s dad’s family for our wedding…Mary Englebreit teapots…the set has two each of different teapots.)  Zane was lining them up, matching them Dad was teasing him by flipping the teapots upside down and such and Zane was enjoying the goofiness and then changing how he lined them up.  (Dad would flip one upside down or move it out of pattern, and Zane would make them match).

Zane is wearing Dad’s hat here.  The first two things he often does when he sees this grandpa is snag his hat and try to take the cell phone out of his pocket.  He has done that since he was a little tiny guy.

After dinner, Zane showed Grandma his computer.  Grandma spent an inordinate amount of time watching Zane press letters over and over and over again.  I glanced over there to see the entire screen filled with “W”s at one point.  One of those things that is only exciting when you really love the kid that is doing it.  Later on in the evening, he drug Grandma to the kitchen, opened the fridge, and she got the first hand view of the egg obsession.

Zane:  “eggies! eggies! eggies!”  (Quick note here:  Zach used to call them eggies when he was this age too.  He was so obsessed with eggs that he named his pet cat “Eggy”.)

Grandma:  (not wanting to cook, presenting alternatives to eggs) “Yogurt?”

Zane:  “nooooo”  (he lifts his voice as he says this, then tugs her hands toward the eggs)

Grandma: “grapes?”

Zane: “noooo.  eggies!”

Grandma:  “cheese?”

Zane, somewhat exasperated:  “no!  I want eggies!” while pulling her hand insistently towards the eggs, then an enthusiastic “eggies! eggies!  YES!”

Being too cute to resist, Zane got eggs.









He held the eggs and watched carefully as Grandma cracked the eggs into the bowl.

Watching the eggs cook.  mama note:  it is so nice to have a solid chair for him to stand on so I am not worried about the chair collapsing (folding chair) or trying to hold onto him.  It makes the whole process a lot safer and more enjoyable.

Zane insists on peppering his eggs.  (and then the grown-up helping has to scoop pepper off the eggs in the really thick parts.) 

After finishing the first two eggs, he insisted on more eggs.

Zane participates in the cracking more this time around.  There was one egg lost in the attempt because this time, instead of resisting the hand moving down to crack the egg, he enthusiastically participated and the combined force obliterated the egg.  I really wish I could have captured the look on his face when that happened.

Of course, it wouldn’t be eggs without hot sauce.

After dinner, he demonstrates his counting ability on the placemat.  Notice the egg leftovers…that is the remains of FIVE eggs.  Also notice that none of the left over peices have dots of hot sauce on them.

It was a fun night.  Life is really good right now.  Zach is doing well in school & got invited to collaborate on the study, finances are ok, everybody is healthy, and we got the table and chairs that will make our lives a lot nicer.  It is so much easier to enjoy the simple things in life when you aren’t stressed about the big things.

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28th February 2005

Monday February 28, 2005

Another magnadoodle creation


We finally got a table.  WooHoo!  We underestimated the sizes of the boxes though.  We went to the store with both of our cars, since we knew we couldn’t get it into the Pontiac with the carseat in it, so we brought the Olds along too.  We were all happy and excited and then we saw the size of the box.  The mother of all boxes.  We went home and tried to find somebody who had a vehicle with a rear end big enough to haul the sucker.  Robert won. lol.  What a good friend! It barely squeezed into his van, but it made it. 

Here are some shots of Zane helping put the chairs together. 

He unwrapped all the pieces carefully

notice Zane finding the holes for the rails and working to get them in there

On another subject, some REALLY GOOD NEWS!   Zach got invited to collaborate in a study.  They are studying the usability of the new fonts Microsoft is going to be putting out with their new operating system.  (due to be out next year some time).  He will be doing database programming to create the interface for people to take a survey.  This is a MAJOR deal.  There are going to be at least 7,000 participants, and very likely more.  He will be published!  WOOO HOOO!  Big, Big Deal!

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26th February 2005

Saturday February 26, 2005

OK, I have heard more about BTK than I ever hoped to know.  lol.  My gosh, every 10 minutes all night long on every local channel they break in.  There is a news conference at 10am tomorrow….hopefully the speculation will be over with. 

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23rd February 2005

Wednesday February 23, 2005

Knitting Knews

My much anticipated birthday/Christmas gift came today!  Denise interchangeable knitting needles.  I got them from Copper Moose Fiber & Spinning on Ebay and had great service.  (and a great price)  I heard about them through Little Turtle Knits forums and would recommend them. 

 I am so stoked!  I have needles of every size and configuration I will need for quite some time!  WOO HOO!  I wish I could afford to make a whole set in Brittany wood needles and Clover bamboo needles, but there is no way my pocketbook can handle it.  Now I am not held back by not being able to go out and get the proper needles.  I will report back on how well they work, but they look like they will work great!

I have an insane knitting “to do” list right now.  Luckily, I was able to knock one thing off the list….an Easter vest for Zane.  I tried on his Easter outfit from last year and it fits just fabulous, so I am just going to go with that instead.  A part of me is disappointed, but a bigger part is relieved.  I would rather put the effort into a winter sweater that will get a lot more wear.

Here is my current list, some on the needles, some not yet:

  1. Funky “Red Hat Society” scarf for my mom (promised at Christmas time — but this is one of the ‘waiting for my needles to arrive’ projects)
  2. Practical warm scarf for my mom
  3. Warm hat for my dad (also from Christmas)
  4. Fun scarf for my Grandma (mom’s mom)
  5. Rasta hat for Kaz
  6. Dori’s soaker.  I finished up the body of the soaker a while ago, but was waiting for the needles to do the legs since I can’t find mine that are the right size.  I think they might be stuck in another project.
  7. Scarf for Aunt Pauline (Grandma Jackie’s sister who has always been great to us…she was the only family member in that area besides Kaz that didn’t get a scarf from me at Christmas and I need to correct the over site…Kaz knew her gift would come later, so that wasn’t a big issue)
  8. Something for the MCC sale…maybe a layette set or felted slippers
  9. A layette set I was supposed to do for my mom for one of her cousin’s grandkids.  I only have a short amount left, but I just set it down and never picked it back up again.  I might end up having to make them a bigger set and sending this one to the MCC sale if I don’t get it in gear soon.
  10. Knitted food for Zane to play with
  11. Felted Slippers for Zach & I. 

“Want to do, but don’t even have yarn for it yet” projects

  1. Warm scarf for ME.  (no, I actually do not have a good scarf…correction, I do not have any scarf or hat at all…..bbbrrrrrrrrr)
  2. Socks for me and Zach….with patterns all the way down the heels so they look great with Birki clogs.
  3. Winter sweater for Zane
  4. Some yet-to-be-determined project for Zane, 2 nephews, and 2 nieces.  If I am able to get to it in time for summer, I am thinking about the apron top dress from LTK for the girls, and a sleeveless cardigan for the boys.  If not, I am thinking coordinating sweaters for all for Christmas.
  5. Something for my BILs & SILs in Texas…but I don’t know what.  I don’t think it gets cold enough for scarves and I am at a loss of what else to do.   Something for FIL and MIL in Texas too…same problem…I have no idea what to make.
  6. Two doggy sweaters, one for each of my MILs little dogs.  That one is a maybe…not sure yet…one might not want one, one might not want one from me.
  7. Sweater vest for my mom (she is getting the yarn for this one, I just need a pattern I like and the time)
  8. As much as I would like to make Zach & myself a sweater, it probably isn’t going to happen for a while since it would probably be nearly $100-200 in yarn alone, each.  Another incentive for losing weight I guess. lol.
  9. A mobius scarf and Klein hat for a prof that has been especially great to Zach.  I have some time with this one though…I want to give it to him when he graduates so there isn’t any ‘weirdness’ about it.  His first love was math, so he would get a kick out of those.
  10. Tea cozy
  11. dishclothes

And Zach wonders why I have a rubbermaid tub full of yarn.  I will be busy, busy, busy.

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22nd February 2005

Tuesday February 22, 2005

Today sort of sucks for me.  Between my cramps and my sinuses I can’t seem to get anything done.  It took most of the day to get my pain under control, except for the headache, but now I am light headed.  I really can not wait for Zach to get home today, I am barely coping at this point.

Interesting situation tonight.  Zane was rummaging through the fridge, and since I am not feeling well I was slow to get up.  He comes around the corner holding  half an onion.  Oh crap!  Now I have to reach through my addled brain to figure out how I am going to get that away from him without touching the damn thing.  I remembered that I had stashed some surgical-type gloves up in the cabinet for emergencies.  He sees the gloves and wants them, so I am trying to get away from him so he doesn’t touch me with his little onion hands while putting on those awful stretchy gloves with my light headed brain.  That had to have been a sight!  I finally did get the onion away from him, wrap it up, and then had to grab him with my forearms under his armpits, because now I have onion on the gloves and don’t want to transfer the juice to him, which can get transferred back to me.  I finally get him cleaned off and disposed of the gloves, then had to find another pair to give to him to keep him from digging in the trash.  Such drama.  No blisters, and he didn’t eat any so I don’t have to worry about kisses and such.  I am definitely going to need to talk to Zach about storing his onions a little more securely.

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22nd February 2005

Tuesday February 22, 2005

Computer Nerd Rite of Passage

The day finally came that Zach decided “it was time”.  Time to get Zane his own computer.  Not a new computer or anything, but a computer.  (ever feel like you live in a computer lab?…I know we would have an even larger computer graveyard if Zach had room to store computers because we have had to turn down a lot of offers of dead computers)  Unfortunately, we couldn’t afford to get a desk, so we looked around the apartment for something that would work.  Settled on an end table.  This whole project kept doing the “one thing leads to another” phenomena.  We moved a bookcase (and it’s contents separately) to make space for Zane’s computer in the living room (near our computers).  We decided to put the bookcase in the dining area of the living room so it was still within easy access, so we moved (again, removing the contents) our big craft/art/cookbook pantry to make room for it, and slide the piano keyboard over so it was directly over a plug in (which would make it easier to use).  We went to put the bookcase back in and realized the bookcase was a few inches too wide.  There was no more shuffling to be done anyplace in the living room/dining room area.  It looked like our living room had exploded with the contents of both our pantry and bookshelf on every surface and the empty furniture sitting in the middle of the room. 

Eventually, we hauled the bookcase back into our bedroom, and put the pantry back against the same wall it was at originally, but in a different location.  We also had to dig in our storage closet (packed wall to wall, floor to ceiling)  for the second utility cart to replace the end table I was using that will now be used by Zane.  Zach ended up getting a $20 bookcase so his computer books could be in reach after we discovered we were going to have to move the big bookcase, so we had to put that together in the middle of all this too.  Oh, and we had to re-tether everything back onto the walls.   What a flippin’ mess!  Whew!

Finally, we are back to the original reason for the chaos…getting Zane a computer.  Turned on the computer and it didn’t work.  Wugh.  not good.  It turned on, but kept crashing before Windows even loaded.  He ended up taking the case apart and checking the connections and such.  Eventually, it runs.  Thank goodness.   We grabbed a chair from the kitchen set Phoebe gave us and set it in front of the computer. 

When Zane woke up the next morning, he understood immediatly that the computer was meant for him and started dancing around the room in excitement.  We turned it on and opened up ‘Word’ and showed him he could type things and they would show up.  He was very, VERY excited about the whole thing.  Here are some pictuers of Zane and Zach from that morning:

By evening, he shocked us.  He typed in the numbers 1-19, while reciting them. (looked like “12345678910111213141516171819″)  I have heard him say the numbers about a gagillion times, but seeing him write them out like that surprised me.  He also typed the alphabet in order…but not the whole thing at one time.  He stated at “A” one time, “L” another time….it was cute.  I am looking forward to him learning to use the space bar. lol.  I was surprised at how much he seemed to figure out in such a short time.

It was really sweet.  I think Zach was as excited to set up a computer for Zane as Zane was to have it.  Even with the disaster that ensued.  Now I look over at my two guys and see them sitting near eachother both hard at work at their computers, with Zach occasionally having to scoot over to help Zane after he has managed to throw up a few windows that interfere with him typing.

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21st February 2005

Monday February 21, 2005

Magnadoodle time!

This has to be the best toy we own.  He has spent a lot of time drawing on this thing.  It is actually not as easy to draw with the tool as a normal pen and paper, so I am amazed he is able to draw so well on it. 

First, let me tell you about the pictures I missed.  He got this great Melissa & Doug chalkboard/dry erase/magnetic board from his grandparents in Texas.  The thing that is unique about the letters is that the magnet covers the entire back of the letter instead of just a square attached to it (like refrigerator magnets)  He discovered that if he put them on the magnadoodle as a stamp, it made the letter shapes.    He spent a lot of time carefully stamping the letters on the magnadoodle.

He also began to take the letters and using them as shapes and elements in larger pictures.  Using the “O” for tires of a vehicle, using the “1″ to make lines, ect.  He also just makes neat looking designs using the letters as shapes.  Very good open-ended toy.


Now, the pictures

A vehicle, obviously.  The things I notices is that the wheels were carefully drawn with 3 nested circles to create a tire and hub caps.  The squares are the windows, and he included bumpers.  I assume it is a car, but it might be a train since he drew the ground as lines (and the placement of the windows).


An example of the “O” as tires.  This time he drew wheel wells around the tires, and used the “O” slid across the bottom for the ground.


Carefully laying down a grid of squares.  He filled the whole thing with this pattern.

After putting down a grid of squares, he drew lines in a cross and x shape in the squares.  Then he took the square stamp again and tried to lay it over the top in a diamond angle…which sort of messed it up, but it was really neat to see him layering pattern upon pattern to make it more intricate.


Look carefully at that drawing tool.    He is using a ‘Thomas the Tank Engine” train to draw with.  (the ends have magnets on them to join them together)  Here he is drawing flowers.


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20th February 2005

Sunday February 20, 2005

Woo Hoo!

It isn’t law yet, but it is expected to pass.  You better believe I was writing my reps to show support for the law.  I was also thrilled to see in the second section, it doesn’t put a limit on the ages (by saying it is ok to feed an ‘infant’ or anything like that).  It specifically talks about the rights of the mother in the second section, and describes the benefits in the first section.  Yeah!


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20th February 2005

Sunday February 20, 2005

Picture Time!

Zane is working on dressing himself.  Almost all of his pants are fleece pull-on pants, except a pair of jeans and his “church” courderoy pants, which have a snap and zipper in the front.  He decided that he wanted to wear his church pants, but came for some help when he ran into problems.  So, what do we do?  Well, take pictures of course!



My little sleep fighter refused to admit he was tired, so I sat with him while he worked on his Thomas puzzle.  He went from figuring out how to piece the puzzle together, to this position in one swift move.  His eyes were closed almost before he hit the ground.


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16th February 2005

Wednesday February 16, 2005

Zane antics

Zane jumps on his little foam chair, bounces off, hits his chin against the train table.  Bleeding and crying ensues.  After about 30 seconds of daddy, wants to be held by mommy who is trying to assess if there is any real damage…gets tired of mama trying to look at his chin, wants down.  Goes back to chair, starts bouncing. (mom and dad look at each other like “you have got to be kidding me”)  Throws gigantic tantrum when we tell him to jump on the floor, sit on the chair.  How do these creatures make it to adulthood?!?

Zane was sitting at the table, eating his yogurt with a spoon in one hand, looking at a ‘Little People” with the other.  I sit down to make a phone call.  I look up mid-conversation to see him dipping the Little People guy into the yogurt and then sucking the yogurt off, still holding the spoon in the other hand.

Zane also entertained himself today by taking all the tops of the trees that go with his train set, and then trying to replace the leaves with bananas.  He was poking the bananas pieces into the tree trunks, but when the fell off, it would tick him off and he would smash them into the train tracks.  Yeah, mama had fun cleaning up that mess.  *note to self:  follow him when he takes banana in the other room, and don’t leave him alone for 3 minutes*

Always entertaining around these parts!

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