Saturday, September 29, 2012

Lost In Translation

We just spent a perfect week in Milwaukee. Although it's been 2 years since we moved back home to California, Wisconsin will always be this family's first home. I have so much to say about our trip. And I have over 300 pictures to sort through and a few I'm sure to post. But before I do I just have to share a brief interaction I had on our trip. I made a quick trip into the grocery store one afternoon. We needed a few essentials. And some chap stick. I forgot the chap stick until I reached the front of the checkout.

Cashier: Did you find everything okay?
Me: Actually, I was wondering where I could find chap stick.
Cashier: Chap stick?? Good question. Um, are you looking for one? Or a pack? Or ... (he seemed confused).
Me: Just one.
Cashier (looking at the bager): Do you know where we'd have chap stick?
Bager: Hmmm. If we have them I think they'd be over here. Follow me.
(He glanced quickly down the pasta and rice aisle and then walked toward the customer service counter)

Bager (asking two employees standing behind the counter): Do you know if we have chap stick?

Employee #1: Hmmm. Well we sometimes have them by the sushi.

Me: (laughing out loud) Really? That's funny.
(and then a light bulb goes off)

Me: Oh wait. Do you think I'm saying chOpsticks?!? I'm saying chaaaaap stick (making sure to enunciate my most nasally, Wisconsin worthy "a").

Employee #1: Oh chaaap stick. Of course we have chaaap stick. Um. You're not from here are you?

Me: Well I was for 7 years.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Are You Smarter Than A Kindergartener?

Tonight at dinner Henry told us that "a google is a 1 with 100 zeros behind it."

Matt and I quickly corrected him.

Me: "No Henry. Google is a website. Like"
Henry: "No, it's a number."
Matt: "I don't think so Henry."
Henry: "Yes it is!!!! My teacher told me. It's a 1 with 100 zeros behind it!!!!"
Me: "Henry. I don't think it's a number."
Henry: "It is. It really is!!!!!!!!!"

I had to excuse myself so I could Google, "the number 1 followed by 100 zeros"
Gulp. Um. It's a googol! We had no idea.

Me: "Um. He's right. A googol is a one followed by 100 zeros."
Matt: (stunned)
Adam: (laughing)
Claire: (eating)
Henry: "Seeeeeeeeee."

Can you say humble pie?!?

So well done, Mrs. D. Well done.
Now our son will always think he's right.
Regardless, you have our blessing to keep
 imparting these fun facts into his eager little brain.

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Force

 She may be small.
But she's a force to be reckoned with.
Her ability to bring wrath and destruction upon our house is matched only by her adversary, Yoda ...

Monday, September 10, 2012

Roughing It

A friend recently blogged about her camping trip. She, her husband and their 9 month old baby were dropped by plane "way out" in Alaska for a few days of tent camping and hiking. I read her blog entry as I was taking a break from packing for 2 days and nights of camping in Lassen national park. And can I just say, I am in awe of my friend. They essentially took tents and sleeping bags. We took, well, more than that. I'm a wee bit embarrassed to say what all we took. Let's just say we left all electronic devices at home (other than our phones that lost service at camp) so I felt justified that we were just taking the necessities. Although I will admit that the Barron's have a pretty loose definition of what's a necessity.

My friend went on to say she worried the entire time that her family would meet a bear. She actually agonized over it a bit. I'm happy to report their adventure was bear free. Only to cross paths with one sitting in their driveway when they returned home. Funny the things we worry about. I worried the entire time that Claire would poop through all the clothes I brought her and the bed she was sleeping on. I'm happy to report she didn't. She did however poop (diarrhea) in the tub she and her brothers where sharing within the first 15 minutes of our homecoming. The beauty of it was all 3 had already showered the dirt away but I was just giving them extra soaking time to make sure all the dirt in their creases washed away.

We had a fantastic time on our trip. We were blessed with the company of 90 people from our wonderful church. The trip was even catered (while my friends munched on smoked Alaskan salmon and wild blueberries). And when all was said and done we returned home dirtier, happier, fatter and blessed with deeper friendships and treasured family memories.

Fishing on Lake Manzanita.

Dirt. Lots and lots of dirt.

Henry spells quality time C-A-R-D-S. And Matt is great to always play with him.

These fallen trees provided hours of fun, free, dirty entertainment for the kids.

Getting ready for S'mores!

Claire's sweet, dirty hands.

Crazy mountain men.

Dirty. And ready for a nap.

Playing in the tent was as fun as playing in the woods.

Early morning fire and fishy crackers.

Waiting for breakfast on our last day. I love this rugged bunch.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Maybe Next Time

I was a fierce competitor in Jr. High 4H sewing. Fierce. I do believe I always took the cake while modeling my creations at the annual fashion show. And I recall a few "best of show" ribbons at the Colusa County fair when all judging was said and done in the sewing tent. I owe it all to genetics (my mom is a mean seamstress) and a great teacher in Mary Massa.

Fast forward 15 or so years and a few years into marriage. Matt heard of my legendary sewing skills, scraped together some pennies that were very hard to come by during our Wisconsin years, and bought me a sewing machine for my birthday. We scraped even harder and bought a little table for my sewing machine. I was in love. I sewed away many long, dark, cold nights at that little table. My endeavors mostly consisted of curtains and aprons and one lone quilt. I have since realized that two things made for the perfect sewing environment back then: Wisconsin winters and a house with no children. Just a few years into my new found love for the homey hobby Henry was born. And all my sewing ceased.

Fast forward again nearly 6 years to present day where I discover the ultimate motivation to revive my seamstress hand ...

There is just something about a little girl that screams, "Sew for me! Adorn me in handmade dresses and bows and ruffly things." 

So a few nights ago, after waiting 7 days for my machine to be serviced, I decided to make something for my baby girl. I put the kids to bed and eagerly dove into stacks of material that I've held onto for 6 years. I found the perfect print. It was soft, and pink, and covered with roses. It just looked like Claire. Now while I may enjoy sewing, I hate reading patterns, and cutting and pinning and ironing. So I decided I would just "create" the perfect dress for Claire. And that's what I did. From 8pm to 11pm I thought and schemed and cut and sewed and seam ripped and sewed some more until this perfectly simple creation was born ...

I stared at it for awhile before I fell asleep, eagerly awaiting the moment I would hear Claire's first morning babbles so I could get her dressed for the day. The moment arrived 8 hours later. I walked into her room with the dress in hand and slipped it gently over her sweet little curls. Um. Well, it actually looked a bit more like this ...

And like this ...

Before she and I both realized it just wasn't going to happen.


Lesson learned. Perhaps I do need patters. And measurements. And maybe my sewing skills peaked during 4H sewing when I was 13 years old. Oh well. It turns out that Claire's future dolls will have a darling dress one day. In fact, this dress already made it's way onto a friends teddy bear. And I do believe that teddy bear was quite happy with my skills.

By the way, I carved out an hour the next day to sew Claire a little something. A redemptive shot at a dress for my baby girl. It's a pillow case dress. The easiest design out there. But I do believe it looks just darling on her.