Friday, August 29, 2008

Dishes Dilema

Plain Jane Vanilla

Whimsical Dots

Ok.  I am doing it.  I am switching to corelle.  I have always thought they were pretty ugly dishes, but here are my reasons for the big switcheroo.  
A. They have come out with some pretty nice designs lately
B. My kids can't break them. (easily, at least)
C. They're better than the plastic IKEA plates we use every night for dinner
D. I want something kind of nice at our dinner table
E.  My kids can't break them.
F.  I can't break them.

Here is where I need your help.  Which one do I go with?  Do I go neutral (so I can match more of my cute Bend the Rules napkins) or do I shake it up a little with a semi-neutral design?  
What do you guys think?  I need some girly input on this one. 

Hair Bag update (see how creative I am when it comes to names?) :  The girls and I are going to vote tomorrow.  We'll fit it in somewhere in between appliance shopping (yes, I need a fridge by Saturday) and the zoo.  We'll let you know once the democratic process at the Kang's is complete.  

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Apples to Oregon

Yes, two book reviews in a row.  I am working on quilts for the little girls' room, but I haven't gotten a picture of them yet.   Think bright feedsack patterns from the 30's.   Yum.  Pictures will come soon.

On to another favorite at the Kang house.  I don't know if this book is meant to be read with a twang, but I can't seem to read it without one.  This is a tall tale about a dad who brings his family and a wagon full of fruit trees across the plains to Oregon.  We Kangs giggle everytime we read it.  He is constantly putting the trees above his family, in a pretty silly way.  And there is actually a dad that brought his fruit trees across the plains way back when.  And we sure do love all of that yummy fruit that makes Oregon great.  

Moving week is next week so us Kangs are going to be pretty busy.  Off to beautiful Forest Grove.  Everytime I drive out there, I feel relaxed by the beautiful surroundings.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Beeman

On my most recent trip to Washington, I picked up this book from my dad and sister's bee store.  I love it!   You see, my dad is the beeman.  He is a lot of things, actually.  He spins, he cans, he gardens, he makes yummy pies.  He is your all around  do it yourselfer.    But over the past few years, he has purchased a Bee Supply store with my younger sister, Rachel.  He has a whole ton of bees in his backyard and he even has a little kid bee suit that my girls have worn when helping him with his bees.  He has taught my kids to feel comfortable around bees (now I need to work  on me!) and they know all about bees. (Enough for Rachel and Autumn to put on a skit at Cousin Camp about bees that completely went over my head!)  

To be quite honest, I would probably love this book even if it was badly written and illustrated just because it hits close to home.   But it is wonderfully written, teaches about all of the different types of bees and has beautiful pictures.  I give it an A+.  And I recommend everyone get a copy.  It is a wonderful book for every family's bookshelf, showing a sweet grandpa sharing his love for bees.  Gosh, I love you, dad!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

My marvelous little bit of genius (it doesn't happen very often, so let's celebrate!)

Ten years late I came up with what I consider pure genius.  Six girls into the game, I decided to start carrying a little zippered pouch in my purse that houses a comb, barrettes, hair thingies (thats what we call them around the Kang house), a miniature spray bottle and candy.  

This allows me to do the girls' hair when a) we have made it out of the house in a rush and still need to fix hair b) when we are sitting at home without waiting for a brush or hair things to be found and c) when Elise pulls out her hair while we are out and about and looks like she hasn't had her hair done in a week when she really just had it done 2 hours before.  I love it!  And I have found my girls running to get their hair done simply because they know there is candy in my little magic pouch.

So here is where the contest comes into play.  I made a bunch of them to sell on etsy and for gifts, but I just don't know what to call these marvelous little bags.  Everyone put your idea in the comments and I will choose my favorite one.  The winner will of these thingamabobs of your very own.   Are you ready to play?

Monday, August 18, 2008

A rose by any other name is still a rose

Poor Rachel.  Poor patient Rachel.  She has really been mommy #2 to Elise.  And Elise really loves her to bits and pieces.  Unfortunately for Rachel, this did not mean Elise saying her name 1st.  In fact, this meant that she saved the best for last.  (Much to Rachel's frustration, of course)

My explanation for this is that Elise made up simpler names for things before she could speak clearly.  I can't think of any other examples besides Rachel, but that is simply because it is late.  There are a bunch.  I promise.  She has always called Rachel "MmmMmm".  Short "mm"s, not long like in "yummmy".  Rachel has tried and tried to teach her to say Rachel.  Elise started with the typical "mommy" and "daddy".  Then she started saying "Aunum". (Autumn)  Next was "Hannah" (easy enough) and this was followed with "Baby" and "Wiwwy" (Lilly).  And then there was "Chowee" (Chloe).  And then the blow that really hurt.  "Becca".  Wait!  We don't have a daughter named Becca.  Right?  Well, our near adopted neighbor, Rebecca, has been one of Elise's best friends.  Ouch.  

The other day, right after driving past the duck pond, I tried to help Elise.  I turned to her and said "Ra-chel", emphasizing each syllable.  She looked at me and said "Du-cky!", emphasizing her syllables just as much.   Out of the blue, Chris and I were driving home from some errand of little importance when he called Rachel at home.  When he asked for Rachel, Elise peeped from the back seat, "Dachel!  Where Dachel?"  YEAH!    Now she says Dachel all the time.   If she wants out of the cart after Mommy says no, she asks Dachel.  If she wants a lollipop after Mommy says no, Dachel is the go to gal.  You get the idea.  She knows how to get what she wants....and Dachel is where is gets it. 

Thursday, August 14, 2008

99 Degrees + No A/C = No fun

The worst part of our move being delayed into September is that we are stuck in our townhome (that doesn't have a/c) during the hot month of August.  Yes, I lived in Las Vegas for 6 years in 115 degree heat BUT we always had a/c.  And we pretty much spent our summer indoors.  Does anyone not have a/c there?  

Today we we're lucky enough to hang out with "Miss Kylene" (as my kids refer to her) and cover buttons, that will soon be made into adorable hair clips (like these), in her air conditioned house.  Then we went to soccer practice, where I spent the majority of the time in the air conditioned car while feeding Lilly.  After practice, we were off to eat pizza at the air conditioned Round Table Pizza.  Do we see a pattern here?  Now I need to come up with a similar game plan for tomorrow and Saturday since it won't be cooling down until Sunday.  Yes, I am sure we can make it for two more days.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

My berry fun day


Today was a fun day over here in Portland.  We started out the day going berry picking with a group of friends and their moms.   We stuck to Triple Crown blackberries, which are a thornless (right on!) gigantic type of blackberry.  We didn't get a lot of picking done since it was during Lilly's grumpy time, I left the baby carrier at home and Elise ate most of what I picked.   Pretty soon into picking, I went to pay before nursing Lilly because I knew that if I waited, I wouldn't be paying for anything.  These triple crown berries pick fast so I am definitely going back this week, with the baby carrier.  Berry picking is one of my favorite things about Portland.  Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries.  $5 for a few ounces at the grocery store?  No way!
After our berry adventures and a nice picnic lunch, a friend came over to orient me with my newly, craigslist bought, serger.  Can I even begin to tell you how cool sergers are?  I have never actually used one before today and....WOWSERS!  It is so stinking neat!  And mine works pretty well for $65. (Granted, I would have never decoded the threading part if it weren't for Jeanette and her mad serging skillz. Thanks, Jeanette!!  You have changed my sewing life. )

Then it was off to buy fabric at Craft Warehouse, pick up a happy hour Diet Vanilla Coke at Sonic, take the kids to their very cool library to pick out a free book through the summer reading program and pick up Chris from Nike.  Busy day, but lots of fun.  Did I tell you that I love my serger?  Yep.  Totally love it.   

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The pros and cons of neonatal seborrhoeic dermatitis (cradle cap)

  Cradle Cap:  It isn't caused by slacker mommies, but is possibly because of overactive glands in newborn baby skin.  (Thanks to all of those lovely hormones from mom)  Some people also think it might be because babies have a hard time absorbing biotin and other B vitamins.   All I know is that it is ugly (a little less so for Lilly with her hair to cover most of it) and a pain to get out because it requires oil in all of that hair that is covering it up.  

All of my babies have had cradle cap with the possible exception of Rachel. (I don't remember that far back!)  It is ugly and kind of gross, but rather easy to get rid of.  (If you are comparing it to any medical precedure.  This doesn't even require a doctor's visit!)  You simple put mineral oil on her scalp, let it sit for a few minutes and then wash her hair until all of the oil is out.  That is probably the worst part because sometimes you have to wash 10 times just to get the grease out.   Then you comb her hair (and scalp, gently) and all of the cradle cap just kind of flakes out.  Like magic, but different. :)  You can use other kinds of oil (baby oil, olive oil) but I have found that mineral oil works great and comes out easier than olive oil.  

The best part of cradle cap (and probably the only good part) is that when we are combing out the cradle cap and there is still some oil in her hair, we always get some fun hair do's.  Last night, we went for a sort of Elvis do.  As if Lilly isn't cute enough, this tempted me to play with her hair more. 

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Where in the World Have the Kang Girls Been?

We spent the last week in Snohomish, WA (taking the kids to Cousin's Camp) and Port Orchard, WA (visiting my sister, Lia and her family)

This year, my amazing parents hosting the 2nd Annual Cousin's Camp for all kids 5 and over.  (We found out that this is slightly flexible for almost 5 year olds)  I realize that my parents aren't the only ones to do this, but I just think this makes them even cooler grandparents. (If that is possible)  Especially because they have 5 growing families and are already at 18 grandkids.  With my brother in law, Mike, just finishing up a very large and extravagant tree house in my parents' back yard, they decided to hold cousin camp in their backyard for now on.  Cousin Camp included a trip to a Kangaroo Farm (now 2 of my kids have been kissed by a llama), meeting grandma and grandpa's new baby goats, a hike to Dorothy Lake and an afternoon at Pilchuck River.  Above all of this, the kids got to play with their cousins and do a little bonding with family.  They came home telling me stories about my ancestors that I didn't even know.   They now list their favorite foods as "breakfast in a bag" and foil dinners.   My least favorite thing about cousin camp is that it really raises that bar for me.  Am I going to have the energy to do this when I am a Grandma? I guess I better!  
This is a skirt I made at Lia's house.  No pattern.  Yeah!
My new niece, Lucy Wren.

Is Lilly sticking her tongue out at me?  This is the earliest sign of sassiness that I've seen.  uh oh.