Friday, September 28, 2007


(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at


(from Once Upon a Child)


(also from Once Upon a Child)

Halloween Kitty Socks:

(Thanks, TNGreatAunt!)

"Instant Cat" Halloween set:

(from some Halloween store)

Being able to pretend it's Halloween a month early:

(Isn't she cute?!)

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Open Letters

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

To My Youngest Daughter

Dear Penguin,

3:00 am is only technically morning.

Also, neither the small teething cow toy nor the pink turtlebug is hard of hearing. Therefore, you do not need to talk to them (joyfully though it may be) so loudly in your crib.

Thank you,
Your Tired Mommy

To Our Recent Rodent Resident

Dear Mickey,

Ha ha! Mr. Kluges got you the first day!

Now don't come back and haunt us please, even though it's not long until Halloween.

Rightful Renters

To The Elder of My Two Brothers

Dear Uncle Drew,

You know that Lamaze peacock you got for Penguin? She loves him. He is the best for chewing on. And to help Pumpkin with the middle of the alphabet song, and because I think I'm clever, we've renamed him El Emeno. That's right, he's now El Emeno Peacock.

Your Big Sis

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Funny Pumpkin Speech

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

I LOVE the way Pumpkin talks. (And considering how many noises Penguin makes already, she'll be a talker, too.) When we went in for Pumpkin's 3 year check-up, our pediatrician said that by this age, they want to make sure that kids are using sentences of at least three words. "Yeah," she said, "I'd say her speech is superior!" I'd say! The other day she told me, "The windows at this house are too high for me so I need a yadder, but at the brick house they're much yower!" Definitely some lengthy sentence structure there!

Besides the cute mispronunciations like yook for look or umbrumbra for umbrella, she comes up with some interesting comments or interpretations. For example...

Acorns = "Squirrel nuts"
As in "Oh, yook at all the squirrel nuts!" [on the ground under the oak tree]

Pants = "They're like a tunnel for my legs!"
(That one made me giggle. Since then she's also told me that sleeves are like tunnels for your arms.)

She also uses the term "only" for "lonely," which, you know, I actually think is more of a glomming together of two similar concepts with similar sounds into one word. It's funny when she asks for "The Very Only Firefly," though.

I think she makes me laugh daily with some new term or comparison or mispronunciation or just funny sentence. I can't wait until Penguin starts talking, too, because I have the feeling that eavesdropping on their conversations will be hilarious!

Monday, September 24, 2007

7 Years of Wedded Bliss

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

(Well, mostly bliss anyway! *grin*)

Happy 7th Anniversary (yesterday), Mr. Kluges!

Looking forward to many more lucky years together.

Love, Me

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The passing of a legend

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

So, I guess it would be fitting to have a moment of silence?

From CNN:
Mime legend Marcel Marceau dies

Saturday, September 22, 2007


(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

It's fall. That means the mice are looking for nice, warm, food-filled places to spend the winter.

That means they're trying to get into houses.

Now, we expected that at our new/old brick house.

(Do you see where this is going?)

Yeah, not so much at our current rental house. But yeah, we've seen, um, "evidence." I first noticed some evidence a couple of days ago, but since it was on the counter near some light fixtures Mr. Kluges had brought over from the brick house's attic, I figured it had just fallen out of the very old newspaper they'd been wrapped in. So I cleaned it up and decided to just keep an eye out in case.

Then I found some more, and we knew it was not just from the box of light fixtures.

And this morning, well, we realized they were very bold fellows and that we needed to put out traps tonight.

You see, Pumpkin gets a treat when she uses the potty successfully (and remembers to ask for it). If it's post-toothbrushing, then the treat gets put on the table next to our vitamin containers for the morning.

Last night there was a Tootsie Roll on the table...
... this morning there were two tiny mouse turds...
...and no Tootsie Roll.

You can mess with us, but not with our candy! You meet your doom tonight, Mr. Mouse!

Friday, September 21, 2007

They're everywhere!

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

In other news, we got both girls to bed before we were completely exhausted, so both Mr. Kluges and I spent our Friday night ... making blogs.

Yup - After a recount, and counting each set of French doors as two, Mr. Kluges now has the "House of 42 Doors."

And while we couldn't get "Recipeeps," I tried to be close to that with "Recipeeps 4 Us." Feel free to suggest better names for it and we can put up a poll and vote. I tried to send out some invitations to contribute tonight, but if I didn't include you (I know I'm missing at least one address (That'd be you, Diplowhat! *grin*) and I might have used some not current ones), then leave me a comment with your email or send me an email. (If you know me in real life, send it to myfirstname@myhusband'


(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at


  • Penguin discovered her toes.
  • We saw Christmas trees and decorations for sale at Kohl's.
  • Mr. Kluges got to clean up our first sewer back-up.

(Argh! Mr. Kluges just told me I missed out on "Talk Like a Pirate" Day this week! I guess I'm just a scurvy dog.)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Apologies (and a bit of whining)

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

Sorry I haven't been posting much lately. It has been busy around here.!

We had tree removal guys out at the brick house all day Monday and Tuesday. They took out 7 trees that were too close to the house plus spent at least half the day on Tuesday taking out a couple of huge branches from the 200+ year old oak in the backyard that had been right reaching up to the roof in back. It looks a little more open and spacious on our property now, but still plenty private and sheltered. Much better and safer.

Then last night I had to do laundry. Yup, one of the things I'm going to enjoy the most about finally being in our new place is when we get a new washer and dryer. Not that going to the laundromat is so bad in and of itself. It's just that it's a huge production to sort all of the tons of (spit-up-coated, filthy from house cleaning, sometimes "accident" dirty) laundry, bag it all up, haul it over, wash, dry, fold and put it away. It takes the whole evening and then some, so I've only been going once a week or maybe a little more often. So that's 7-9 loads of laundry I'm doing in one fell swoop, instead of just throwing in a load or so a day and getting it done gradually whenever.

And it's no picnic for Mr. Kluges either because it's impossible to do the laundry while keeping any sort of an eye of either child. Well, that's not strictly true, because Pumpkin does love to come along while I throw the many loads of pre-sorted laundry into the (I hope enough are available) washers at the laundromat and help me add the quarters. It doesn't take long, then we head back home because the laundromat is so close we could walk over if it weren't for the Blazer-load of clothing we have to haul. (Actually, we have walked over before to do a load or two in the middle of the day, but that's only accomplished by hauling Pumpkin and the laundry in the double stroller & Penguin in the baby carrier. It's not something to do often). Penguin would be fine if she'd be content to sit in her carseat inside the laundromat and watch the action, but that only lasts so long before she wants to be held. It's impossible to load and unload washers and dryers encumbered by an infant. So that means when I return to the laundromat after the half-hour of washing is done, to switch things over to the dryers, that he gets to manage Pumpkin's bath and bedtime routine on his own, while juggling an "Eat at Mom's" only infant.


Wow. I guess I had some built-up whining to do there, huh?

*grin* Well, once the electricians have done their stuff, we'll be getting a washer and dryer right away.

Then today we had Pumpkin's "Teacher & Me" class, which went very well, then a trip across the street to the library before we came home for a few hours of lunch and naptime before we go pick up Mr. Kluges from his work, go back out to our new brick house, replant the hostas I dug up before the tree guys came so they don't die, then hurry back here for a little supper before my belly dance class.


And tomorrow has the heat guy coming out to fix the boiler in the morning at the brick house... then Pumpkin's swimming class in the evening.

But Friday? Friday is finally appointment free, and I am SO looking forward to a slower day!

Gotta run- going to try to fix the soup I've got planned for supper while the girls are still asleep, then we'll be hustling over to get Mr. Kluges. You might not get another post for a few days until things slow down a bit!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

And the prize goes to...

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

...Happy Veggie! She guessed it right on with 30 doors!*

(Also, just so you don't have to go back and look, she did have the highest guess.)

In case you really want to know, that'd be:
(Let's see if I can get this right...)
  1. Master bedroom
  2. ... and closet
  3. Penguin's room
  4. ... and closet
  5. Pumpkin's room
  6. ... and closet
  7. Guest room
  8. ... and closet
  9. Sewing roomlette
  10. Bathroom
  11. Door to walk-up attic
  12. Door to balcony over back porch
  13. Linen closet
  14. Cedar closet
  15. Between maid stairs and kitchen
  16. Kitchen to dining room
  17. Kitchen to back hallway
  18. Back hallway to basement
  19. Back hallway to outside
  20. Back hallway to back porch
  21. Dining room to living room by entryway (French doors)
  22. Living room to entryway
  23. Living room to kitchen by closets/office
  24. Front door to entryway
  25. Closet under stairs
  26. Closet under maid stairs
  27. Closet in living room
  28. Office
  29. ...and closet
  30. Living room to sun room (French doors)
Those 30 are the ones she cleaned. Our house also has 6 additional doors.
  • Maid room in attic (not code, not officially a room)
  • ...and closet
  • Basement toilet's tiny room
  • Sun room to outside
  • Root cellar
  • Basement storage room
[Edited to add...
  • basement stairs to laundry room
  • laundry room to workroom
  • laundry room to hallway/defunct shower room (no, that's not a mistake... in typing anyway)
  • laundry room to boiler room
...because we forgot a bunch in the basement.]

Hmmm... after helping me count those all up, Mr. Kluges said maybe he'd have to use for his house blog... Maybe I'll go see if it's taken...

*Not that there is a prize, other than the satisfaction of guessing right. And if there were actually a prize, it'd probably have to go to Gramma Yori anyway for being the one to clean all those doors.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

No, the spiders didn't get me

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

No, the spiders neither ate me nor held me for ransom. It's been a busy few days, so sorry about the lack of posting. I'll make up for it now with a nice, long post to help you avoid doing some work on a Friday. :)

Gramma Yori headed home today after cleaning the vast majority of our house. She cleaned all 4 bedrooms including closets, the bathroom, the linen and cedar closets, the sewing room and the hallway upstairs. That would be the entire upstairs, for those of you keeping score at home. She also cleaned the dining room, kitchen, living room, office, entryway, and back hallway downstairs. (That's everything except the sun room.) I don't remember how many bottles of Mr. Clean she told me she emptied, but I think it was around 6... plus some Spic-n-Span, Pinesol, and others. Amazing. It's so much more pleasant to walk through the house now! It smells so nice, and you don't have to look at dead bugs along the walls, or cobwebs on the ceiling, and I know it's all clean now. It's so nice! Thank you again, Gramma Yori!

She also was remarking on the large number of doors our house has (and that she cleaned)... so she counted them up. Hmmm... I could just tell you, but let's make it a guessing game. How many doors do YOU think she cleaned on the two main floors? We'll use her counting, which counted sets of French doors as one. Leave your answer in the comments, ok?

Mr. Kluges (with some help) cleaned out all the "treasures" that were in the attic. They are plentiful, varied, and unusual enough to warrant their own post with pictures someday... once I remember to take pictures of some of the best ones. He also did some shop-vac-ing of the attic stairs and attic itself. That means all we have left to clean are the sunroom with its many, many-paned windows and possibly hornet-filled woodstove and the basement.

The basement is where the really big spiders are.

With all their relatives.

Including shirt-tail relations and hangers on.



I don't especially like spiders.


In more exciting, less cobwebby news, September brings the start of community education classes, too. Between us all, we're enrolled in three. I've managed to find a belly dance class here, which started last Wednesday. Looks like it'll be a good one, even though none of the other students has ever done belly dance before. Based on two classes, the instructor does a good job of explaining the moves we're trying to do like my first instructor in GV, while keeping it all very aerobic and great exercise like my instructor in Cork.

I've signed up Pumpkin for a class called "Teacher & Me" for 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 year olds. It's meant to be sort of their first independent class. It's only a half hour, with stories and coloring and activities and songs and such. She did fine and seemed to enjoy it. It happens to be in the same dance studio that my belly dance class is, so I found that rather amusing. I stood around and peeked in through the big windows with a bunch of other parents. Didn't think to bring my camera though to immortalize her first without-me-along class, unlike some.

I DID remember to bring it along this evening though for the Parent-Child swimming class. She was a little reluctant to get in, but that's because the water was rather chilly. She loved getting to play with a bunch of water toys, and was grinning ear to ear during some of the songs and games at the end of the half hour.

Here, you can see for yourself...

(What? You maybe thought I was doing the class with her?
Nope - I get to spend all day with my girls.
I signed up Daddy to get to do the fun
class with her. It's good for both of 'em.)

And just because she's so dang cute, here's a picture of my other girl.

I swear, she's growing so quickly, I can hardly believe it.

(Ha ha! I am zee cute French bah-bee with zee pink beret! Adorable, no? Oui, oui!)

Ok, that's (more than) long enough. Have a great weekend!

P.S. Don't forget to guess how many doors we have on the two main floors that Gramma Yori cleaned!

Monday, September 10, 2007

The spiders tremble at her wrath

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

My mother-in-law, Gramma Yori, is here to visit and help. And, lo, the woman is a cleaning fiend.

She arrived Friday late afternoon, and by the end of the evening, she had one of the bedrooms cleaned from top to bottom. That's no mean feat, because I swear there were 200 spiders in there, plus current webs, plus old webs, plus the dead bug husks... (Well, I could keep going, but then I think Kittenpie, who doesn't care for spiders, might just take my blog off her reading list! *grin* *wave*)

Since then, she and Mr. Kluges ('cuz I've been primarily kid-wrangling) have cleaned the dining room top to bottom (including the built-in buffet), hauled out the rugs and runners that were left and vacuumed and carpet-cleaned them twice, finished hauling all the considerable amount of junk/treasures left in the attic out to the garage, vacuumed the cobweb-filled attic stairs and the main stairs, thoroughly cleaned the "sewing room" and another bedroom and the large linen closet and the cedar closet (we have a cedar closet!) and about half of the hallway, plus they almost have Pumpkin's room cleaned... Whew, I'm getting tired just writing about it. Mr. Kluges has also finished cleaning out the gutter, which desperate needed it, and has done some yardwork, which has consisted mainly of pulling out, hacking down, or hacking back vegetation.

(I passed off kid-watching for long enough one day to do the big, really dirty one from the living room three times, just to feel like I'd contributed, you know?)

And where is she now? Back at the house for another day of Mr. Clean, Spic-n-Span, and Old English Wood Soap. We'll be joining her a bit later, once Mr. Kluges drops off the car, but I think she's declared war on the spiders and the mess.

God bless her for it!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Shopping Review: Kitties and chips and potties

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

Yeah, this is not a shopping blog, but I had to let y'all know about some of my favorite things that I've purchased lately.

Boo Boo Buddies I picked up the kitty one (and it sure wasn't as much as these! It was only a few bucks!) as an impulse buy at Bed, Bath and Beyond, and it is super! Nice and small for sticking on a little girl's owies. Although it's been most successful as a distraction from the actual hurt. Either way, the tears stop. (Apparently, it also comes in sports ball styles, too, for non-animal lovers.)

Flat Earth Chips Yes, these really are "impossibly good." I pink-puffy-heart the cheddar ones in particular, and the garlic & herb ones are a close second. The tomato ones are good, but not quite as good as the other two. I've finally gotten around to trying the fruit ones, and they're ok, but I don't expect chips to be sweet. (Also, the record for a bag of these lasting in my house is two days.)

Potette Dumb name, sure, but I was looking for some kind of small and easy portable potty chair for Pumpkin. We're talking not only something to take along in the car for sudden potty emergencies, but also small enough to take in the stroller to the local park which doesn't have toilet facilities. This fits the bill. I found it at a Baby Depot, but after I got it home and opened it up, I feared it would be too short for Pumpkin. The fact that it sits only scant inches off the ground doesn't bother her at all. In fact, on our potty party day, she even got to use it on the way to the DQ! (Yeah, she had to go when we were stopped at an ATM with the stroller to get cash... so somewhere out there she's probably immortalized on a security cam. We were as discreet as possible though, especially since we were also rather near a road. But hey - no accident!) It comes with special liners that basically look like plastic bags with handles with a maxipad on the inside. Once we were through the ones that came with it originally, I just use plastic bags with a folded-open diaper or pull-up inside. This is small enough it could even fit in a good-sized diaper bag. Also, it works well in the back of our Blazer - it's short enough that she can sit on it without bumping her head on the ceiling, which gives her more privacy than if she had to sit on it out in a parking lot. (And yes, she has used it in the back of the Blazer in a parking lot - she didn't give a lot of advance warning in the first while after the potty party!)

And in things I've purchased and don't like - Target-brand diapers & pull-ups. Target's got a good reputation for decent stuff for cheap, so I figured I'd try out their diapers and pull-ups and save a few bucks. Totally not worth it! The diapers were the same size I get for Penguin in Huggies and/or Pampers, but they wouldn't stay up. She had plumber's butt all the time, which is not good in terms of messy diapers! And as for the pull-ups, well, they were even worse. The very first time Pumpkin wore one at nap time, it leaked. Never happened with the brand name ones I got. They just don't seem as absorbent or leak-proof. I ended up not even using up the bag before going out and buying better ones. I figure I'll just use them up as Potette liners.

Any recommendations or should-avoids from you all to share? Feel free to leave them in the comments.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Check-Up Update, or We Could Have Named Her "Zippy"

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

Penguin had her 4 month well-baby check yesterday, complete with 4 shots and an oral vaccine. Today she's already clingy, fussy, and making many messy diapers. Probably good that the girls and I aren't going to our new house today.

As for her stats, she's height-weight proportional, but her head, well...
  • Weight: 15 lbs. 7 oz. = 85%
  • Height: 25 1/4 in. = 84%
  • Head Circumference: 40.3 cm = 30%
Bit of a pinhead there!

And in belated update news, for Pumpkin's checkup, three was the magic number. She was 30 pounds, 3 feet tall, and 3 years old! Makes it easy to remember!

Ok, must run - fussy, post-shot baby!

Monday, September 03, 2007


(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

For those of you who won't be seeing our house in person (ever or for some time), I thought I'd post some photos on-line from when we took possession. If you click on the photo over to the right in the sidebar, it should bring you to them.

Now, in your imagination, add in a lot of dead bugs around the edges of the walls, cobwebs in every corner, and two years worth of dust and such.

(Yeah, cleaning's taking (and going to take) a LONG time.)

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Scattegories Meme

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

All-Knowing Jen has the best ideas...

* Use the 1st letter of your name to answer each of the questions.
* They MUST be real places, names, things … NOTHING made up!
* If you can’t think of anything, skip it.
* You CAN’T use your own name for the boy/girl name question.
* If your name happens to start with the same letter as mine, sorry, but you can’t use my answers!

1. Famous Singer/Band: Jewel
2. Four letter word: jive
3. Street: Jardin
4. Color: jade
5. Gifts/Presents: jewels
6. Vehicle: Jeep
7. Things in a Souvenir Shop: jewelry
8. Boy Name: Jack
9. Girl Name: Juliet
10. Movie Title: Jurassic Park
11. Drink: Jameson
12. Occupation: Jester
13. Celebrity: Joaquin Phoenix
14. Magazine: Journal (Ladies Home)
15. U.S. City: Juneau, Alaska
16. Pro Sports Teams: Jacksonville Jaguars
17. Fruit: jujube (*shrug*)
18. Reason for Being Late for Work: jackhammers
19. Something You Throw Away: junk mail
20. Things You Shout: Jump!
21. Cartoon Character: Joker