April 28, 2007

Your Mission

I ask but one thing of you this weekend. Take a moment to say good-bye to the lovely month of April. To do this, you will need a pair of old tennies, your eyes and your nose. Now, leave the house. (OK, finish reading this, then leave the house. Detail, detail.) Either start walking or get in your car and drive to a neighborhood or park that has lots of trees 'cause here's your mission.

Find a lilac bush. Never mind the bees, if you don't bother them, they won't bother you. Settle down by this tree and close your eyes. Hear the bees buzzing and smell that incredible aroma of the blooming flowers. They only bloom for 2 weeks out of the year so this is your only chance to stock up on lilac smell until 2008 people! Pink, purple, fushcia, lavendar - any color flower works. Just savor it.

Next, find a dogwood tree. Again, settle down. This time, keep your eyes open and drink in the sight. Did you find a pink dogwood or a white one? Either way, the color is enough to electrify you for the rest of this weekend, isn't it? As I drive around, I find myself slowing down every time I pass a pink dogwood tree. They just take my breath away.

Now head home and tackle that laundry or mop the floor or pay your bills. Continue your daily routine secure in the knowledge that you have enjoyed the very best that April has to offer.

Posted by Chrissie at 10:42 AM | Comments (905)

April 24, 2007

By Any Means Possible

Ok people. All you friends and family, you need to get here. NOW.

Kulia has peaked. She has attained maximum possible every cuteness. It is unbearable. The terrible 2's are rapidly approaching so it is only a matter of time. Get here now before it is gone. All Kevin and I can do is stand around with our mouths open in absolute stupification. The kid is beyond adorable.

Do what you need to do. I will ask no questions. Just get here!

Posted by Chrissie at 04:02 PM | Comments (0)

April 22, 2007

She's Out of Town

I have to apologize to all the people that have called to wish Chrissie a happy birthday this weekend. And an especially big sorry to Elmo who's called twice because he cared so much about wishing his oldest daughter a happy birthday in person.

You see, for Chrissie's b-day I sent her and Liza out of town on a "Mommy Vacation." Liza arranged for a cool place place for them to stay on the river in Eugene and I made a reservation at a day spa for them to relax at on Saturday. I know they had plans for shopping, site-seeing and a special dinner but who knows if they've kept to the plan or not. I don't even technically know if they're in Eugene or not. I can vouch for the fact that Chrissie called me from a southern Oregon area code Friday night though. But I haven't heard from her since and can only assume she's having a blast or is halfway to Vegas by now.

I should have posted something Friday night so all the well wishers could call tonight - she's due back at dinner time (if she shows). So don't think Chrissie doesn't care, she's just too busy enjoying her "me time."

Posted by Kevin at 01:31 PM | Comments (0)

April 17, 2007

Who are you people?

You'll notice I've added 2 new links at the top of the page:

1) The "stats" link takes opens the page generated by our hosting company -which is keeping tabs on you! Yes, you. I don't know who "you" are but last month, on average, 175 of you visted per day. While I'm sure that's nothing for an uber-site like Defective Yeti I don't think I've ever told 175 people about this blog. Of course, it's not my blog so maybe Chrissie is out there spamming everyone saying, "visit my blog or I'll send you naked pictures of my husband." Of course we know only uncle Dan would respond...

Still this site is getting ~500 visits a day. Again, how many of those are Chrissie just clicking refresh to get her numbers up we'll never know. But if you visit one day and see a bunch of advertising on the side you'll know her manic clicking is being put to good use.

2) The 2nd link is for the Library Thing 'cause I thought it was just so cool. Once I'm done blogging I'm going to start creating my virtual library. The window that appears are actually Chrissie's recent Library Thing entries, since this is of course her website and I just maintain it.

-The Management

Posted by Kevin at 09:35 PM | Comments (1)

April 16, 2007

Motivate Me!

I went to Jo-Ann's this weekend to buy a good lamp and ended up with a garden bench. How does this happen? How? Admittedly, it's a very nice bench at a very nice price but no where on my shopping list was there an entry for a garden bench. Luckily, our backyard is big enough to house several large benches so I'm sure I'll find a home for it somewhere. Basically, I'm a sucker for a good bargin.

I also bought a bunch of adorable summer fabric to make a few cute dresses for Leina. I'm hoping my purchase will entice me to take my new serger out of it's box and figure it out. I don't know why I'm so intimidate by it. How hard can it be, right? (Ok, don't answer that.) Truth be told, I've been hiding in my bed these last few nights watching bad show on E! instead of getting to work on my many languishing projects. I appear to have lost all steam. So my current resolution is to finish something. Anything! Just finish it!

Here are the current projects:

1. Xmas wall hanging I purchased and started in 2003. (No, that is not a typo). I got about 80% finished and then gave birth to my oldest (who is turning 4) and it was shoved out of sight and out of mind.

2. Carpet bag that I started a few months ago, hit a snag, and kicked under my desk. Again, 80% done but lost all motivation to finish.

3. Linen sundress I started last month. This was suppose to be my learn-to-serge project but I chickened out and just used my old sewing machine. I was doing great until I hit the part about putting in the zipper. I have no idea how to do this and can't get up the gumption to figure it out. I'd say I'm only 50% finished on this one.

And now, I can add Leina's sundress to this pile of projects. Arg. Could someone please email me some motivation? Please? I'll pay ya back? I'd appreciate that.

Maybe that's why I bought the garden bench. Here at least is a project I can finish. Take bench, place outside and voila! Project complete! Ah, if only all my ambitious undertakings were so easy.

Posted by Chrissie at 04:50 PM | Comments (0)

April 13, 2007


I signed Kevin up for the intro Karate classes. My goal this weekend is to get a picture of Kevin and Leina side by side in their karate outfits. Can you even picture them together? Today while Leina was working on her back kicks, Kulia busted out with her own kick while yelling "KI-YA!" It makes me wish I could carry my video camera around in my pocket all day long.

This weekend we are slammed. Slammed! Between errands, classes, birthday parties, and Kev's crazy work schedule, I have no idea when I am going to be able to kick up my feet and recoup. Some days it just feels like my life is on fast forward.

In an effort to regain control, I have moved my to-do list into my bathroom. Yes, that's right, my bathroom. Whenever I have an item that needs to get done, I write it on a post it note and stick it to my bathroom mirror. That way, I see it first thing in the morning and last thing before I pass out at night. At first, Kevin mocked my post it notes. He has since retracted his mocking and has come to embrace this new method. Instead of pestering me about what needs to be done, I can now dash out a note and stick it to his mirror. He can complete them whenever he wants and in any order he wishes. A very odd but handy system.

Even though my weekend is looking awfully busy, I'm going to do my best to eek out a little time for myself to have some fun. Wish me luck!

Posted by Chrissie at 03:53 PM | Comments (0)

April 12, 2007

Books Stuff

For some reason, I'm reading three different books, each scattered throughout the house. This is mildly annoying but now that I've started them all, I can't just put two down and walk away. So I'm stuck jumping from book to book to book.

In the master bathroom, you'll find My Antonia. I've never read it and am only two chapters in but I found this lovely passage...

"I kept as still as I could. Nothing happened. I did not expect anything to happen. I was something that lay under the sun and felt it, like the pumpkins, and I did not want to be anything more. I was entirely part of something entire, whether it is sun and air, or goodness and knowledge. At any rate, that is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great. When it comes to one, it comes as naturally as sleep."

Wouldn't that be wonderful? To not want to be anything more? To dissolve into something complete and great? Every now and then I'll feel happiness like that. Oddly enough, it usually happens when I'm outside, alone, and communing with nature. No hustle and bustle of daily human life. Just me and the earth, communing. Since my girls have come along, I can remember that same sense of stillness late at night as I rocked them while they slept in my arms. Just surrendering to the moment and leaving yourself totally open and free. That's happiness.

Random, no?

Anyhow, the reason I bring this up is because of this neat new site called LibraryThing.com. I think my mom told me about this once. It's an on-line site where you can catalogue the books you read or want to read. You can see other people's reading lists, join discussion groups and they'll even offer recommendations. They have this cool side bar you can add to your blog but it involves code stuff so I think I'll leave it to Kev to tinker with. Hop over and give it a look. I'm going to keep my reading list there for a while and see how it works out. You can search for me under chrissiemc and then click the See Catalog link. Isn't the internet just the coolest thing ever?

Posted by Chrissie at 03:39 PM | Comments (0)

April 09, 2007

Garden '07

This will be the year of the garden. Oh yes. It will.

When we first looked at this house, I was overjoyed to find the owners had put in a little garden out back. Coming from a back yard that boasted very large and very shady trees, I was desperate to get my mits on a bit of sunny soil. I had tried the whole container gardening but it just didn't do it for me. I wanted my own plot of land baby! I immediately had dreams of red tomato vines, green snap beans, bright orange pumpkins, and chickens. (Don't ask.)

Unfortunately, we moved in over the July 4th weekend which was just a scoosh past the growing season so my little plot lay fallow that year. I had plans for the spring of '05 but I failed to factor in a little thing called "pregnancy". My last trimester fell during the months of March thru June so as much as I longed to get down on my knees to dig and plant, I realized that once down, I wouldn't be getting up with my massive belly. And so, another spring pasted without a single seed sown.

Last year, I made a valient attempt and actually got a few things in the ground but it was pretty scatterbrained. No real planning, no real dedication. Lets just say my spare moments between running after a 12 month old and a 2 yr old were few and far between and most likely spend passed out in a deep deep exhausted sleep.

But this year. Oh baby. This year it is on! The girls are old enough that I can turn them lose in the backyard and ignore them. I just wait for the screams before I even deign to raise my head. No pregnant belly and the exhaustion level has fallen from drop-on-the-bed-and-sleep-fully-clothed to something closer to normal. I've already started beans and strawberries. I've pulled out all the weeds and laid down a protective layer of hazelnut shells to deter slugs. This week I'm breaking out my seed starting kit and sowing carrots. Carrots people! Are you as excited as I am?

Ok, don't answer that.

Of course, the gorgeous spring weather is only feeding my garden lust. Blue skies one minute and warm spring rain the next. I'm telling you, this will be the year of the garden!

Now all I have to do is train Artie not to pee on my veggies. Nothing breaks the mood more than seeing your dog raise his leg on your nice fresh veggies still on the plant. Drat that dog.

Posted by Chrissie at 10:05 PM | Comments (0)

April 07, 2007

Spring Fling

Why do we feel the need to Spring Clean? I think it's because of the sunshine. When the sun is out and streaming into my house, it illuminates all of the dust and grim and clutter in beams of light. It's as if God herself is pointing a finger into my home and saying "Look! There! That floor is filthy! Clean! Clean! Clean!"

For me, spring cleaning also means spring purging. All the stuff I've horded away over the winter suddenly seems suffocating. I begin stuffing bags with worn coats, scuffed shoes, and discarded toys. I feel the urge to see clean counters and organized closets. I want to be able to walk across my living room bare foot and not yelp with pain from stepping on odds and bits. I want to open my desk drawer and actually find what I need.

What the heck, I might as well hope to win the lottery.

But sometimes, we get a little nudge in the cleaning direction. Mine came in the form of a very small rodent. A small house mouse really.

Kevin keeps the dog food in the garage and when we had the cats that was no problem. After the cats found a new home, the mice moved in big time. Our garage was infested with the critters while they gorged themselves on bags of open dog food. I would find mouse poop all over the place and it was pretty revolting. Kevin and I went on a major cleaning spree last summer sealing up all the dog food and driving the mice back outside. We routed the little buggers out and the whole incident sort of drifted out of my mind.

Then last week, Kevin came in after walking Artie and announced he had another mouse in the garage. I guess he had gotten a little lax on keeping the dog food sealed up and an enterprising mouse had re-discovered the free meal. So we did a quick clean up. But this time, I took it one step further. I had Kevin seal up the crack in the garage door that gave the mice access to the garage. Kevin was a bit doubtful about this move. He didn't want to come across a bunch of starved mice bodies in the next week but I insisted. So he sealed the crack and, once again, I forgot all about the mouse.


Well, it turns out, mice are smart little buggers. If you take away their food supply and lock them in the garage, they become hungry and very resourceful. Our little visitor somehow found his way out of the barren garage and into our plentiful pantry. Yes. IN OUR PANTRY.

Can I even describe to you the horror I felt upon pulling out a bag of almonds to find little teeth marks all over the bag? The disgust of finding pellets of mouse poop strew between my cans of soup? The revoltion of detecting the tracks to mice feet in my gnawed through flour bag? No, no I cannot. It was too retching for words.

Now, I knew I was in trouble. If I didn't catch this mouse and it made its way behind our living room sofa, I was sunk. There are enough goldfish crackers and shriveled grapes behind that sucker to feed a colony of mice for seven years. Seriously. I had to get this mouse now. Now.

And so, last Wed, I found myself slowly removing every item of food from my back pantry. Shrinking every time a can was removed, flinching at the thought to a desperate mouse launching itself at my face, I carefully emptied everything from the pantry and began the disgusting task to cleaning up all the mouse poop. The mouse itself, however, was no where to be seen. This did not deter me. Instead, I proceeded to Home Depot where I purchased four sticky mouse traps. I baited them with some Trader Joe's Whole Wheat Honey Pretzels, and took a long hot shower with lots and lots of soap.

The next day dawned and I checked for visitors. Sure enough, there he was. A very small, very cute, and very terrified mouse was stuck in the middle of the mouse paper. For a moment, I felt sorry for the little fella. But then I remembered all the food I had trashed and all the poop I had to remove and my heart hardened over.

Our mouse is gone and my pantry is looking mighty fine. What a way to start my annual spring cleaning binge.

Posted by Chrissie at 05:11 PM | Comments (0)

April 06, 2007

One Of Those Days

Today is heavenly.

Not only is it Friday, it is also one of those rare Summer-Spring days. Sunshine, blue skies, high temps all in the beginning of April. Just a taste of summer a little early. All around the neighborhood you hear the hum of lawnmowers, smell the tang of a smoking BBQ and see balls bouncing above the fence line. By Sunday the rains will be back but that won't matter because right now, I'm thinking strawberry lemonade and ice cream cones. Yum.

Leina had her first Karate class today. She was so amazingly adorable in her little outfit that I was laughing so hard, I started crying. Watching her learn her kicks and punches was a sight I will never forget. The kind instructor even lent me her camera and I got to snap a few shots. Hopefully she will forward them to me and I can post them here.

Leina's responses were hilarious. When the teacher was trying to teach her how to block, she asked Leina, "what would you do if I tried to pinch your nose?" Leina's response, "I would run away!" When the teacher reached for her nose and told her to "block" her hand, Leina immediately reached up..... and covered her nose with both hands. The teacher cracked up and had to show her how to push her hand away. Every time she yelled "block", Leina just covered her nose and laughed. I hope I got a picture of that.

Next, they played Push and Pull. The idea was to teach Leina how to jump up quickly and get back into fighting stance after a fall. The teacher would (gently) pull or push her over and then encourage her to jump back up. Leina let herself get pulled over a few times and then announced she was "done" with that game. She wanted to do the balancing and the kicking and wasn't so excited about falling. That's my girl! Kevin gets to take her tomorrow for her group class and I might have to warn him about the dangerously high cute level she emits. This is the best $40 I've ever spent!

Posted by Chrissie at 04:21 PM | Comments (0)