2015 Father’s Day Interviews

I’ve seen this idea floating around for some time. I hope to do an interview with my kids each year for Father’s Day. It should be fun to see how their answers change over the years.

A Father’s Day interview with Zoe (2 years old):

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How old is Daddy? 6
How tall is Daddy? He’s big and little.
What is Daddy’s favorite color? Blue and brown and black and white and blue and brown and black…
What is his favorite food? Vanilla and tacos
What is Daddy’s job? He goes to work.
How do you know your Daddy loves you? Playing hide and seek!
What makes Daddy happy? Vanilla and Chocolate.
What is your favorite thing to do with Daddy? Play hide and seek.
Daddy laughs when I: Make dinner
I love my Daddy because: He takes me to the book store.
What is Daddy really good at? Nothing… um, ENOUGH!

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A Father’s Day interview with Eli (5 years old):

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How old is Daddy? 43
How tall is Daddy? 8 ft.
What is Daddy’s favorite color? Brown and black.
What is his favorite food? Chocolate.
For fun my Daddy likes to: play with me.
What is Daddy really good at? Playing tranquilize gun and making me laugh.
What is Daddy’s job? Writing on the computer.
How do you know your Daddy loves you? He plays Legos and stun gun with me.
What makes Daddy happy? Playing with me.
What is your favorite thing to do with Daddy? Play kiss gun. (This involves shooting kisses, not kissing guns 😉 )
Daddy laughs when I: tell Zoe to sing “Bang, Bang on the door, Baby!… What?!”
I love my Daddy because: He kisses me.

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Happy Father’s Day!

Happy Father’s Day 2013

Dear Jeff,

May 2013 073

I love your patience and gentleness,

the way you can calm a hysterical baby (even when I’ve run through my bag of tricks to no avail).

May 2013 072

I love how you make time for your children everyday…
no matter how busy your life becomes.

May 2013 111

May 2013 114

I love how you never stop being amused by Eli’s three year old antics,

and remind me to do the same when I’m tired at the end of a long day.

I am grateful that you nightly record in your journal the funny and touching things he has said that day.

June 2013 083

I love how you are teaching our son, through your example, how to one day be a loving, strong, supportive and caring husband and father himself. 

I am thankful to be sharing this parenting adventure with you, my best friend.

Much love always,

Karen

Of Plague and Flood

Things have been a bit quiet here on Folk Haven for the past two weeks. That’s because they have been anything but here in our household. On January 2nd we received what I am hoping is not just a taste of what 2013 has in store for us, but rather we are just getting all of the badness out of the way at once. When I was in high school the lunch ladies had a sign posted that read “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse can happen to you for the rest of the day.” I hope our current situation is just our proverbial frog.

Let me explain… On January 2nd, I threw a load of laundry in the wash and left the house with Eli for a walk to the park to enjoy the balmy mid 60 degree temperatures. While we were still at the playground I received a call from my husband who had just arrived home to find water all over the floor. He asked me to try to pick up an extra mop from the neighbor on the way home. I envisioned arriving home to maybe an hour’s worth of clean up.

Instead there was standing water about 3/4″ deep throughout almost every room in the house. We utilized every towel as well as our mop and the neighghbor’s. My husband hauled wet personal items like the bean bag chair into the sun to dry and eventually there was nothing else that could be done immediately. I took Eli and collapsed into bed for a much needed nap.

Less than an hour later Eli and I both were abruptly awakened as he began to vomit vigorously all over himself, me, the blankets, sheets, pillows and the one bed undamaged from the flood. It was the beginning of his third and most serious bout of the stomach flu in a month. He continued to be unable to keep anything down, and to soil many pairs of pajamas and various bedding items all afternoon and throughout the night. And since there we were without clean towels for bathing or a washing machine my husband spent the evening running multiple loads through the machines at the neighborhood coin laundry while I tended to one very miserable little feller. As he huddled over the toilet the light in the bathroom died… not the lightbulb, but the light, some electrical problem in the wall. Thankfully Eli isn’t afraid of the dark as we visited the dark bathroom many a time more that night.

We quickly got a replacement washing machine and after a couple of days Eli’s flu ran it’s course. As he had already had it twice before in the previous weeks (or so we’d thought) I thought I must be immune to this particular strain of the virus. Um,.. uh… NO. By Saturday evening I was definitely the next to play hostess to the bug. I was sick and losing fluids just about every way possible all night long and by morning the resulting dehydration had led to contractions. Sunday was spent in the hospital getting IV fluids and anti nausea medications. Thankfully the contractions subsided quickly and after about half a day I was released to rest at home.

By now we were 4 days post flooding and I was beginning to smell mildew. We had been unable to dry out the carpets at all and the laminate floor in most of the house was showing damage. With everything else going on we hadn’t been able to start the process of calling the insurance. Actually, initially we had thought we were uninsured for this type of damage. Fortunately, we do have coverage and Monday morning we began the process of taking action to address the damage.

We have to replace all flooring in our house except the tile in the dining room and kitchen. Walls in the two bathrooms have to be partially replaced as well. As our condo was built pre-1980, asbestos testing had to be done before any work could be started. We found that almost all of the samples collected tested positive for asbestos, so beginning this week an abatement company will have to come in and contain each room  in plastic and remove the mastic that covers the entire cement slab under our existing flooring. To allow them access to get the work done we have to pack up every room and clear it. As our insurance doesn’t cover this service we will be doing it “musical chairs” style, shifting everything from room to room until the work is finished. Obviously it will be impossible to live here while all of this is going on.

I am now dealing with all of this quite a bit better than I was a few days ago. It has been exhausting to say the least. I am in full nesting mode as I enter my 33rd week of pregnancy, but instead of getting everything ready for the baby we are packing up everything and shoving it to and fro. I sincerely doubt any more sewing for the baby will get done at this point. Eli gets more unnerved than many children by disruptions to his environment. This has all been quite challenging for him as his “house is broken”, he isn’t allowed into his room for safety’s sake, and we will soon be living away from home. We’ve been experiencing many more meltdowns that are of greater duration than we have before as he tries to regain some sense of control amidst the chaos.

I am trying to look on the positive side though. We do have insurance coverage, which is no small things as the bill for this laundry misadventure is looking to be over $10,000. This could have occurred while I was completely overcome by morning sickness, or during the time I was on bed rest. It could have occurred right when the baby was being born and we were bringing her home from the hospital. Instead this is the week that extended family is away on vacation and can offer to let us stay in their nearby condo. Another family from church has graciously offered to let us stay with them if we are still out of our home after this week. Although this has been a challenging time for Eli, it could be so much worse. I am proud of the adaptability he has shown, and in the moments when it is more challenging it is still a good learning opportunity for him in dealing with life when it is not as one would wish, and for us as we continue to hone our parenting skills. We also could have lost much more personal property than we did. Above all else, no one has been injured, and we have a home to call our own, no matter how damaged it might be.

As the old hymn says:

“When peace , like a river, attendeth my way,

When sorrows like sea billows roll,

Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,

It is well, it is well, with my soul.”

Horatio Spafford- It Is Well with My Soul (1873)

If though this all I can only learn to better live genuinely holding the attitude described in this hymn. The story behind it is actually quite amazing (and makes my personal circumstances seem trivial indeed).

2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog. I thought it would be fun to share it here. 🙂

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 38,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 9 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

We Said Goodbye… Hello!

Some of you may remember a post here on Folk Haven last April called The Long Goodbye. My mother, who has suffered from progressing dementia for many, many years had just entered hospice care. Even though she was still with us physically she was fading fast and mentally seemed like she had already gone. We were told that we’d probably have about a month or so with her before she’d pass on. We began to make final arrangements, and my brother and his wife flew in from Japan for a couple of weeks. When I posted our family’s update about this situation I received so many kind and caring comments that meant so very much to me.

With my mother as we celebrate her birthday.

Eight months later not only is my mother still with us, but she’s WITH us. We celebrated her 81st birthday with her last Saturday. Whereas in March and April there were times I’d visit when I felt certain she didn’t even know who I was, or if she did she was so disconnected that she just didn’t want to be bothered, now she converses, looks forward to visits, and shows interest in what is going on around her. Of course, she really likes to see Eli and always asks before we come “You’re bringing the baby, right?!” She also remembers that I am pregnant and is looking forward to meeting grandchild number two.

Here she is showing an interest in Eli as he plays with his play dough at the restaurant.

I know people don’t usually enter hospice care to get better, but in her case that is what happened. In fact, as of this month hospice is no longer involved in her care as she no longer qualifies for their assistance!

Although she is doing so much better it isn’t as if her dementia has been cured by any stretch of the imagination, it’s just as though we’ve gone back to how she was a year ago this time (although she seems happier now than she was then!), and her most recent steep decline has been erased. I honestly don’t know how such a thing is possible. There have been no miracle medications or treatments added. We were praying for her peace and comfort through the last difficult transition, not for a cure. Whatever the cause may have been it is a blessing to be granted however much more time this gives us.

Baby Nightgown

As much as I was going to hold off on sewing for a little girl until we received confirmation at the 20 week ultrasound, I just couldn’t resist. I remember when Eli was an infant we couldn’t have enough of these baby nightgowns. They make those middle of the night diaper changes go so much more smoothly as you just have to hoist them up, and don’t have to completely undress the little one. I recycled fabric for this nightgown from an adult night shirt and the ribbing from an old tank top, so other than the elastic at the bottom it was pretty much cost free.

Growing Up Sew Liberated by Meg McElwee

The pattern is the Baby Sleep Sack from the book Growing Up Sew Liberated by Meg McElwee. There are so many projects in this book that I want to make, and I know I’ll be making more of these baby nightgowns!

Have you made anything from this book? If so I’d love to hear about it in the comment section. Any links to relevant posts you’ve written are encouraged.

Sharing the Laundry Love

When I first began sewing it was to dabble in the realm of quilting. I got most of my fabric from thrifted men’s shirts, but occasionally I would splurge on fat quarters of new fabric. There was a delightful little quilt shop just half a block away from my apartment… so dangerous when you live on a tight budget, yet a great source of inspiration, advice and camaraderie.

So what does all of this have to do with laundry? Well, all of the quilting fabric had to be pre-washed. I had to be especially careful with the new fabric as it could bleed and stain the other fabric or clothing in the load with it. The coin washers and driers in the apartment building where I lived were pretty expensive to use. I couldn’t afford to run separate loads for the small quantities of new fabric I would buy. When sewing I wanted to be able to grab whichever fabric struck me as the right one in the moment, not having to wait until my new fabric reached a “critical mass” before being pre-washed and dried for use.

Shout Color Catcher Dye-Trapping, In-Wash Cloths - 24 ea

Then I discovered Shout Color Catchers. These are little disposable sheets you throw in with your wash. They grab any free dye in the water and fix it so that it can’t be absorbed by other fabric in the load. Now I could wash all of my recent fabric acquisitions, all together, with my other laundry… FULL LOADS! Eeek!

I’m no longer quilting (at least for now) and most of the fabric I use is repurposed from old clothing, but I still have need of the old color catcher. Now it’s more a matter of being lazy and not wanting to separate my laundry. I just want to let enough for a load accumulate and then wash. (Not that I never get behind in doing laundry… that still happens.) I often even use the washer itself as a laundry hamper.(Hey! Don’t judge!)

Now I don’t use the disposable Shout Color Catchers  but this handy dandy reusable cloth called the Carbona Color Grabber.

It claims to be good for up to 30 wash loads. Not so. The first one I had I used multiple times a week for over a year before it seemed to be losing it’s ability to grab errant dye. You are also not supposed to dry it in the dryer, but mine was forgotten when laundry was moved between machines more times than I would care to admit.

Here you see the recently retired, over-a-year-used cloth. It used to be bright white as well.

To show you the wonder that is this product I thought I’d invite you along for its maiden voyage. This is a load of red clothing, including towels that 8 years after the wedding for which we received them still bleed. I threw in a wee white sock as well for dramatic effect.

There you have it. The white cloth no longer white and the sock still as white as it was going into the wash.

I love this product! And since I can’t get my Amazon Associates links to work for me, rest assured that there is nothing in this post for me other than the joy of sharing a little something that has made my life easier and less expensive.

Thanks for reading!

Karen

 

Here’s where I’m linking up.

Sunday:

Homemaker on a Dime,  I {heart} Naptime,  Flamingo ToesMy 1929 Charmer Blog,

What I Wore Sunday

Monday:

Get Outta My Head PleaseSkip to My LouThe Gunny SackSew Can Do,

Singing Three Little BirdsEtcetorizeC.R.A.F.T.,  diy home sweet home,

Craft-O Maniac, Sew Chatty, Artful RisingSarahndipities ,

Everything Under the MoonThe Cure for the Common Monday

Tuesday:

At Home With KNot Just a HousewifeHope StudiosFunky Polkadot Giraffe,

Kammy’s KornerThe Kurtz CornerI’m Topsy TurvyTip Junkiethe space between,

Raising 4 PrincessesThe Creative Itch BoutiqueSchwin and Schwin

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Wednesday:

Sew Much AdoFrugally SustainableThe Shady PorchLil’ Luna,

Someday CraftsPassionately ArtisticWhatever WednesdayTrendy TotsWhimsy Wednesday

Thursday:

Mom On TimeoutThrifty DecoratingBear Rabbit BearThriving on Thursdays

The Crafty BlogstalkerThe Shabby Creek CottageHouse of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful OrderSaved by Love CreationsAnything Goes Linky Party,

Friday:

Simply DesigningWhipperberry,  Happy Hour Projectskojodesigns,

Joyful StamperMaking Lemonade BlogThirty Handmade Days,

Release Me CreationsNaptime CraftersRomantic HomeFinding Fabulous,

Shabby NestFrench Country Cottage, The Charm of HomeThe Grant Life,

At the Picket FenceFingerprints on the Fridge, One Art Mama2805Pencilled Daydream

Saturday:

The Gingerbread BlogToo Much Time On My Hands,

Six Sisters StuffSerenity YouBe Different Act Normal

Paleo Breakfast Bread

In my search for gluten-free recipes, I came across this recipe for Paleo Breakfast Bread.

I had previously not heard of the Paeolithic diet, but since adherents don’t believe in eating grain any Paleo recipe will also be gluten-free. This amazing bread is made of almond butter, eggs, honey, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and a touch of stevia. It ends up having the moist consistency of gingerbread cake. Which makes me thing that with the addition of a few spices maybe it could be gingerbread cake. My husband thought they were brownies, even after he had eaten a couple. Yep, they are that good!

We first made this bread on Monday. I say “we” because Eli and I did it together. He also helped by cutting the bananas for the fruit salad. You should have seen how proud he was of his accomplishment when it came out of the oven and the all three of us sat down together for breakfast! Eli and I will be spending a lot more time together in the kitchen from here on out.

We made it according to the recipe that time, but this morning Eli and I made up a second batch. One of Eli’s speech therapists has also recently gone gluten-free and I thought it would be nice if he could give some of this bread to her tomorrow. She has tree nut allergies though, so the almond butter was replaced by sunflower seed butter. Other than being a bit darker in color it tastes pretty much the same. Maybe if I did a side by side taste test there would be a more noticeable difference, but one would have to refrain from eating ALL of the first batch before making the second. I don’t foresee that happening around here.

This is a quick read well worth your time. Enjoy!

And the winner is…

Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway for the Sakura tea.

Sakura (Cherry Blossom) Tea

  We employed the high tech method of writing your names on a slip of paper and pulling one from an envelope. I could have used the opportunity to learn how to use the random number generator I see used on other people’s blogs, but this seemed more fun.

Misa and Kevin, who brought the tea with them from Japan, did the honors.

And the winner is… mamacravings. She has a newer blog that prominently features her adorable son, who is also a 2 year old Eli. Give her a visit and show some love. 🙂

Enjoy!

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