29 April 2009


for weeks i'd been promising thehobbit i would take his kitchen set, & the teeny kid items out of his playroom. his kitchen set is big enough for him to still play with, but since he began learning to cook in the actual kitchen, he hasn't touched the toy version. i cannot tell you how bittersweet i find that.

home for the second day with a mild pestilence, i figured today was as good a day to stop procrastinating as any. we began by filling a large bag with toys he no longer plays with, & another, smaller bag with garbage, & broken items. to make the occasion less a chore, we listened to a book as we went along.

soon we had a clear path, so started dragging the kitchen set, & miscellaneous things to the dining room. the shopping cart & doll buggy had been housing stuffies & puppets, so never were removed as he grew (many years ago) too big to push them about.

as with the kitchen set, those are going to be wrapped in moving plastic, & stored in the garage - until our new boy is big enough for them. wow these are those little transitions that most people don't think twice about, but send me into an emotional puddle of goo. still - it helps knowing that i'll get to watch another child of mine play with these beloved items.

part of the kitchen set manlyman & i did not build. this little hutch was instead built about 60 years ago by manlyman's stepfather's father, for his own children. it was given to thehobbit when he was a toddler, & as you can tell by the chipping paint, he loved it well.

here it is in its new home, our bedroom. we're going to use it to house the bebe's things - all we need are a few baskets to keep things from getting cluttered.

when i came up with this idea i was worried thehobbit wouldn't want his hutch used for bebe stuff. he is a generous child, but when it comes to things he dearly loves, he is unwilling to let them go. happily i was wrong! he is so excited by this, & has even asked if he can help get the hutch ready.

of course once it was moved to the bedroom, he was disappointed to learn we weren't going to begin filling the shelves & drawers. it's just going to sit there, empty? until he is born!? not content with my positive reply, he put the stack of receiving blankets (thank you grammie) on the bottom shelf.

& since then thehobbit has been listening to music, & writing letters in code in his newly enlarged playroom. i've been recovering in a cozy chair, & watching martha stewart. so far it's been a pretty good day :-)

what did you do today?

28 April 2009

last-minute day trip.

yesterday was spent in the high desert, visiting my mother-in-law. we had a lovely time, & for once the weather there was mild.

after a lunch of veggie burgers & endless fries (endless fries!), mil took us to her favorite shop in town. there we discovered row after row of bulk bins - which drove my menfolk over the edge! the lights dimmed, & a choir of angels sang as manlyman & thehobbit gleefully filled zillions of bags with trail mixes, & dried fruits.

i; dainty flower that i am; behaved in a more reserved manner. i quietly walked through the rows, seeing what was to be had. in the end i came away with 2 small bags of dried fruit: strawberries & cranberries. i chose the ones coated in a thick, protective layer of dark chocolate though - i like my dried fruit to be safe.

these photos are of the weeds along mil's drive - i wish my weeds were this delicate. aren't they lovely? i nearly had a photo of a gorgeous raven, but he flew away before i could get a good shot of him.
it had been nice to get away, but it was nice to get back home. too bad the belfry isn't nearly as clean as mil's.

25 April 2009

just another serene saturday

neither thehobbit nor i felt like doing much of anything today. i did try to be the responsible adult, but it was half-hearted, resulting in only getting the watering done. ah well - at least the veggies shan't die of thirst.

instead, we played in the yard for a bit, then i came inside to just 'be'. thehobbit stayed out of course, as he must play in his tent every. waking. moment.

i really should take a photo of his set-up, because it's just too cute. he's got a little 2-man tent pitched, with a beach gazebo set up next door. creating a circle he's dragged over a small picnic table, & some chairs. one must be fancy even when in the wilderness, so there are potted plants on his table.

a blanket & pillow are the only things in the gazebo; but within the tent (which he calls the swamp) he's got: a chair, a small table, his radio (playing opera when i left him earlier), & a tote filled with books & drawing accoutrement.

other than watering the farm, craving a vegetarian taco salad, & playing with thehobbit, i've pretty much stuck with my decision to do nothing all day. i've been listening to music, puttering, & poking around the internet. it's been lovely.

one of today's putterings has been to figure out how to no longer have to see manlyman's chin-up bar. it hangs in the doorway that leads from the dining room, to the east wing of the belfry. hahahaha wing!!! the east wing is basically the rooms to one side of the big room. we haven't even any hallways here, so you can see why i'm cracking myself up at this absurdity.

sorry, i got off track for a moment there. here is the ugly chin-up bar:

& here is my solution:

it's a freakylong table cloth. yes i know it's wrinkly, but the iron & i don't get along; she belongs to manlyman, & she is a jealous thing. it's just tucked up there (as you can see from the previous photo), so manlyman can easily access the bar for his weekly pull-ups. maybe he'll even iron it for me, before rehanging it!? yeah, i doubt it too.
hanging the cloth there not only hides the ugliness beneath it, it keeps the warmth in the big room, & makes for an excellent back drop. voila!

oh my one & only reader, i'm sorry for yet another belly picture. you see, my best friend spryte lives far, far away, & has taken to threats if i don't show more of the bebe. usually a gentle soul, i think being so far from me what she has decided is her bebe has driven her mad. or perhaps it is her 4 hellion hobbits? either way - another belly photo.
this was also an excuse to show my newest thrift shop purchase. the blouse is not meant to be maternity, but it works perfectly. the fabric is amazingly soft, sort of like a very thin sweater. the best part; in addition to being so cute; is that it only cost $4. how i do love thrifting.

i hope you're having a lovely, serene saturday. i'm off to make some tea :-)

23 April 2009

creating despite the weather

one would think i've done naught but complain about the atrocious heat of late; but ah - one would be wrong! though i did complain constantly often, i also managed to pack quite a bit into our days.

something i'm very happy to say i managed to do, is create! it had been ages since i last sat at sewlie, & i was missing her dearly. i could have sewn the aprons i need to take to a local shop, or the blanket i began cutting out for the bebe; but in typical kat form i did neither of those things. first i whipped up a new needle book, then this:

the little purse is perfect for when i'm out on my own. it's big enough for just the essentials: no asthma kit, no snacks, no other peoples' anythings. i still have to stitch on the closure, but that's easy peasy.

my maman sent the fabric to me last year, & the lining is wool felt from soap. the colors are not those i typically wear, but it's fun to have a few items that are out of the norm.

this was yesterday's creation. i was craving a blendie, but hadn't any ice to make my own. just before i'd convinced myself it was necessary to the health of my pregnancy to go buy one; i realized i could make a blendie in my ice cream machine! it took a bit of watching; to make sure it didn't go past the 'blendie' stage; but oh my one & only reader! it was ever so good. all that was missing was an equal amount of whipped cream on top.
& that brings me to my on-going creation:

the ever-expanding kat! please excuse the wretched photo - i'm not coordinated enough to take a decent photo of myself. can you believe how huge that belly is?! a very sweet woman was chatting with me on monday, & asked how many weeks i had left. hahahahaha - months! i told her. everyone assures me my body will keep making room as the bebe grows, but i don't know that i believe them. mostly because it just doesn't seem physically possible, but also because i only keep company with liars. liars, pick-pockets, & loose women.
so what did you create this week? have any favorite blendie recipes you'd like to share?

22 April 2009

earthly babble

photo :: property of picture-book.com

happy earth day!!! what are you doing to celebrate?

thehobbit & i are off to our farmers' market, then we shall be spending the remainder of the day in our backyard. i'd originally planned on getting together with friends for a party of some sort, but decided a quiet afternoon tending our yard & farm was a much better way to celebrate mother earth.


last night was the weekly mamas' craft outing. only half of us could make it, but we had a wonderful eve nonetheless. even more wonderful: i had what was possibly the best decaf blended mocha ever! when i left for the coffee shop, i'd been a tad stressed, but the mamas (& the blended) washed it all away.


you can now follow me on twitter - the widget in the upper left corner should take you there. i make no promises to be witty, but i do tweet (i really think it should be twit - ha!) daily.


today's babble was brought to you by a decent night's sleep. happy earth day!


19 April 2009


yesterday we spent the day at the renaissance faire, with some of our most favorite people. manlyman opted begged to not go with us this year, so his ticket went instead to tinker. at first thehobbit was sad, but having minipaper, & the minitinkers there more than made up for the lack.

this dragon was a life-size puppet! i wish i'd taken more photos of it, so you could see the entire body, as well as the puppeteer. he was truly gorgeous.

one of the funniest parts of the day: i was stopped by officials as i tried to enter the privees, & asked if i had a license to use them. i showed them my pg belly, assuming they'd step aside. instead they asked my name, & issued me the above license to priv. click on the photo to read it, because it is quite funny. notice the signature? thehobbit nearly peed laughing when we realized that barnabas fife, was most likely taken from barney fife (deputy sheriff on andy griffith, known for giving ridiculous tickets). of course i kept the license. i want to make sure that all my future potty visits are legal ;-)

this set was even more adorable in person. they were carved from stone, & the chairs large enough to actually sit upon. of course i didn't, because they were made from stone, & had been sitting in the hot sun all day. both thehobbit & minipaper discovered (the hard way) what happens when rocks soak up sun - ooh their poor little bums! i suppose we could have warned them :-)

the day was hot, so not nearly as long of an adventure as we would have liked - still, it was great fun! when asked his favorite part of the day, thehobbit replied: i just liked being with my bestest friends. a mama cannot ask for more than that.


16 April 2009

treasures for hobbits

thehobbit is in need of new clothes; all his favorites are either too short, or too tight. i thought he was dressing like a normal kid (jeans & t-shirts) out of whimsy, but yesterday he told me it was just all he had left. i didn't have the energy to drive to the good thrift shop across town, so took him to the crummy one a few blocks from home.

as usual they didn't have much in the way of fancy clothes for boys - he came away with only one dress shirt. there were, however, other hobbity treasures to be found!

an unopened kit for only 99 cents - thehobbit loves wood kits! he keeps his tools with daddy-o's, but i'm sure he'll find another use for the box once he's built it.

a small, funky, souvenir apron! i was planning on making him a new apron, but he fell in love with this as soon as he saw it. i am pretending it's because he shares my unhealthy love of linen, but in reality the lure was australia. manlyman is all sorts of freaky for australia, & thehobbit wants to be just like his daddy-o. is there a word for australia-love, like anglophile, & francophile? anyway, i pulled it down to fondle the linen, he saw the aussieosity (real word) of it, & declared it his new apron.

there were a few vintage blouses that should cover my ever-growing belly a bit longer, but most of the treasure-hunting joy went to thehobbit. i love him more than i love thrifting, so i don't begrudge him. much.
what about you? have you any treasures to report?

13 April 2009

well fine then.

i have had a lovely family day, but i have to say i've felt thwarted at every turn.

first our ob; whom until this morning we were convinced walked on water; wouldn't give us an ultrasound. something about not needing one, & blah blah blah. i'm not sure if i'm quoting her correctly though, because i was busy pouting.

next i wanted to go to the getty, but they are closed mondays. then i thought we could bop around disneyland for a few hours, but our passes are blocked-out for spring break.

after taking thehobbit to the park so he could "ride his bike" (see last photo), we went to target. i had a gift card aching to be spent on frivolity. they had nothing i liked in my size! by then i was feeling like the day was out to get me, so i used the remainder on more bins for the garage. ooh & ahh.

since coming home manlyman has been desperately trying to hack his way through our backyard. what began as a quick mowing of the lawn area, turned into a (so far) 3 hour extravaganza.

this is a portion of newly-shorn lawn. behind the bench you can see the grass & weeds with which he's been dealing. i should have sent the hobbit back there to show how high it is, but i feared he'd never find his way out again.

i'll conclude today's babble with the subject of this last photo. this is thehobbit "riding his bike" at the park this morn. see him zoom past the camera in a blur? see the sweat flying off his brow as he pedals for all he's worth? no? that is because he spent more time playing with ladybugs than actually riding.

when asked over lunch what he felt was the best part about riding his bike he said (& this is correctly quoted) definitely playing with the ladybugs. he makes me smile, this odd child of mine. & for the record: how fantastic is that photo?! let's pretend i waited for the moment the bug would raise its wings, then snapped the photo; shall we?

ok my one & only reader i'm off to see if i can convince manlyman to put away the lawn mower, & come in for dinner. have a fabulous day - & don't let anyone thwart you!

12 April 2009

basket update

the sciency easter basket was a huge success! i now feel better about not giving him the more natural toys i had in past baskets. of the science toys, this has thus far gotten the most attention:

it's called a fridge rover, & it is so dinky. it uses magnets & clockwork to drive up the fridge (stove, washer, etc), & even came with info explaining the science behind it.

he also got a grass headz which he'll be going outside to set up - once he's finished teaching his new stuffed bunny to play gin rummy. ahh if only i were joking.

to end on a decidedly non-child-related note: i found this recipe in a magazine my mother-in-law gave me. who wants to bake it for me?


11 April 2009

the easter butterfly

i forgot easter was hippity hopping on its way. well technically i knew it was coming, & when - i just, well i just wasn't really paying attention. so instead of lovingly making treasures for thehobbit's basket, yesterday found me scouring the gift shop at the science center! yes i am a wretched mama.

fortunately i'd been paying attention to what he & minipaper were drooling over, so i know he'll love what he's getting. still, i feel strange not making his prezzies, & giving him tiny educational kits & toys in their place.

the easter bunny is sure to come through with an ever so squishy plush bunny, & some chocolate at least. i mean i guess that's what he'll bring in his basket.


before the shopping spree, we spent the morning with our r&s group. it was our annual trip to the opening of the butterfly pavilion!

the day was quite cloudy, so very few butterflies were in the air. the pavilion was filled with buttersits. ha! ok that was thehobbit's joke, but as i'm his mama i am allowed to borrow it.

the chilly weather did mean that the creatures were content to let the kids handle them, which made for a fabulous morn. of the zillions of butterflies thehobbit has managed to coax onto his hands over the years, the one that had always eluded him was the monarch. you can imagine his excitement when yesterday he finally held one!

in typical katdom (real word) i forgot my camera, so was unable to capture my boy's crowning moment, & hobbity joy. truly there is a special ring of hell just for me. luckily for you, i did have my camera last year, hence you don't have to deal with a photoless post.

& that brings today's babble to a close. if you celebrate easter, i hope yours is a happy one. if passover is instead your groove, i hope yours has been fabulous thus far. mmm now i want some matzoh brie.

09 April 2009

spring overhaul & a closet opened

a fabulous professional has agreed to redo the homeschoolla website! can you see me doing the happy dance? can you?!

for the time being the site shall remain up; there just won't be any new content. when it's time to do the actual change-over, i'll post another announcement.

when we initially created the site i was hesitant to have my name plastered all over it, so used a secret identity. over the years i stopped being paranoid caring.
so for those who've long wondered: i am "mg". ooooooooh it's all secrets & intrigue over here.
ok back to your regularly scheduled program.

06 April 2009

i'm barefoot & pregnant, & they...

are in the kitchen! now that is a fabulous twist to the old mindset. look at my beautiful (be-jammied) kitchen help:

your eyes do not deceive you; manlyman's doing the dishes, & thehobbit is making his own breakie. it's good to be king pregnant.

& what am i doing whilst the menfolk work so hard? just sitting here with my cuppa :-)

i'm sure i've mentioned before that manlyman only gets mondays off work. well, the past 3 mondays were taken over by doc appts, a golf tournie, & a mother-in-law; so i am more than happy for today.

the plans: a trip to the nursery, some gardening, playing in thehobbit's tents, a bbq, & lots of snuggling.

i hope your to-do list is as filled with joyfulness!

04 April 2009

& on saturday she rested

what a week! i feel like i've been on the go, with nary a moment to myself. that wasn't a complaint by the way, we've had an amazing week, i'm just ever so slightly exhausted. ok that was a lie. i'm so exhausted that i can barely see straight. it was the last two days that did me in.

thursday the belfry was overrun by 5 wild things. we had no crafts, projects, nor activities of any kind planned for them. we merely got them together, & sent them to the backyard. the hope was they'd stay out there all day, so we mamas could just relax, & enjoy a quiet afternoon. the wild things would have none of that, & kept concocting reasons to come inside: food, water, hugs, drawing supplies. wretched things.

there were less wild things at the belfry yesterday, but the day was just as tiring. most likely because it was hogwarts, so we mamas had to actually participate here & there. the kids prepared for an upcoming time-travelling adventure (renaissance faire) by copying elizabethan phrases with quills, & watching a movie.

the bulk of the morning was spent dying miniature dragon eggs with things from the kitchen.

pictured we have: turmeric, coffee, chili powder, & beet juice. they also wrapped eggs in spinach leaves, & boiled them. that last one didn't work, but it made the kitchen smell divine. for fun (& because auntiepaper brought 60 eggs!) we also let them have at the food coloring.

the kids enjoyed the process, experimented with techniques & combinations, & even discovered (through accidental splatterings) that turmeric had the best staining ability.

not surprisingly, their favorite part was cracking some of the shells, so the dyes would seep into the eggs. i had hoped to try one flavored with turmeric, or perhaps the chili powder; but this morning i found all the cracked ones were either beet, coffee, or blue. no thanks.

the papers stayed well into the night, because we mamas had a website meeting. happily, the most fabulous manlyman took over wild-thing-wrangling once he arrived home from work, & kept them occupied until the meeting's end. i'm one lucky bug.
so you see my dearest one & only reader? today we go nowhere, & we see nobody. today i rest. i hope you have a restful day as well.

02 April 2009

the one where kat loves other people's stuff

* gorgeous art for free: my favorite illustrator & all-around sweet blogger mandy has one of her illustrations here, that you can print for free! manlyman printed one for me, & i absolutely adore it. of course now i must have another, & thehobbit has his eye on one of her illustrations as well - pandora's box has been opened!

* delicious vegan goodness: for well over a year i'd been meaning to make jennifer's nacho cheese sauce. queen of all procrastinators kept me from gathering all the ingredients. finally i decided i just really wanted nachos dangit, so i popped over for her recipe. lo & behold she made it even easier by substituting white beans for the cashews. last night i made it, & holy crapoly it was beyond good! i'm going to buy the ingredients in bulk, so i can make it all the time. i think it was a bit heavy on the cumin, so i may tinker around. i also want to add chopped green chilies mmm.

* addictive chips i am eating as i type this: sassy & nice, michelle always posts interesting things on her blog. as soon as i saw the kale chips, i knew i had to try them. for some reason i cannot hi-lite the actual post, so just click on her name above, & scroll a few posts down until you get to kale chips. they took no time at all to make, & they don't taste like they were ever a healthy food source! especially if you use a bit too much sea salt as i did - shhhh. don't walk away from the oven though, because they crisp fairly quickly. to me they taste a little like korean seaweed, but without the ocean flavor. thehobbit's only comment was mmm.

& that brings today's love-fest to a close. i'm off to finish eating my kale, then get dressed for the day. yes i am still in my jams at 11:30! it's a swanky life i lead ;-)

01 April 2009

peeps & toons

i hadn't meant to leave you all alone for so many days - how ever did you survive without me?! we had a mother-in-law visit, & some homeschooly things, & well, before i knew it time had slipped on by. if i offer you imaginary tea & sammiches will you forgive me?

the m-i-l visit had the belfry a bit stressed for the days leading up to it. thehobbit loves to see her, but she always brings him tons of prezzies. i know this would please most kids; it would have had me swoony as a child; but it makes thehobbit very uncomfortable.

as the days ticked past he became more & more agitated, constantly asking when she was going to be here, & if we would tell her not to bring him anything. by the morning of her arrival he was a wee basket case. i have to admit it was a bit comical; watching him watch the unloading of her jeep from the window.

a big box?! there are probably things for me in there. oh no another box, & a bag too! that is a prezzie sort of bag, i can tell. what are those things?!

his tone was a sort of whispered manic. yes i know i'm a dreadful mama for finding it funny. but really - there's nothing i can do to help him. we've explained over & over how some grammies express their love with prezzies, blah, blah, & so on. & really, we're talking about a grandmother here - we couldn't stop her with a train.

in case you're wondering: yup it was all prezzies, & most of it was for him. tons & tons of too much stuff he didn't need. he did fall in love with one though - a small, fuzzy wind-up chick that hops about in drunken circles. he named it peep. the next morning he & peep were snuggling with me, & said i wish all grammie had brought me was peep. will she ever understand?

i just hugged him closer.

absolutely unrelated to any of the above:

i drew cartoons, once upon a time. i cannot for the life of me recall why i stopped - but lately images have been popping into my mind. yesterday i dug out an old sketch book, & poked through its pages. above is one of my favorites. i never went over the cartoon with a thick pen, so you'll have to open the image to get a better view.
now i'm contemplating starting again; because, you know, i have just buckets of free time. i wish i could find the book with all the cartoons i did during thehobbit's first year. nothing says funny like the lives of 2 insanely overwhelmed, sleep-deprived new parents.
we'll see where this goes. it may be a passing whim, or i may actually take to drawing again. if it's the latter, i promise to share them with you. only - don't forget one of main rules here - no negative comments allowed! we at katsinthebelfry reserve the right to refuse (here, refuse means delete & ban) all negative comments about opinions, work, & random babblings.
& on that note, i'm off! i need to get that imaginary tea brewing.
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