Sunday, September 28, 2008


(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

Pumpkin will not have one of those perfect attendance school careers. She missed Friday thanks to a lovely case of pink eye. Did I mention she's already brought home one cold that hit all of us? Also I think we're starting Colds Vs. Us, Round II as well?

Penguin only likes the cylindrical wooden blocks. I think it's because they fit nicely in her hand, plus they're the only ones she can easily drop in through the shape sorter top of the block bin. In fact, that's what she's doing as I type.

Mr. Kluges has been busy-busy outside lately, trying to take care of things for the roof/gutter project, finish fixing and painting the storm windows, and in general taking care of preparing-for-the-winter business. This weekend he's priming and painting the decorative exterior gutter element. MUCH more on the roof/gutter project (with pictures) available here at the House of 42 Doors.

Me? I've been just trying to keep up with the tidying, clothes washing, dishes washing, cooking, CSA vegetables, cherry tomatoes, diaper changing, kid care, etc. etc. etc. This most recent cold is really wiping me out, too. Last night I sat in bed, reading The Thirteenth Tale based on AllKnowingJen's recommendation and drinking hot water with honey, lemon, and brandy from a thermos. It was a good, cozy night.

(But Tuesday was even better because it was our anniversary, I didn't have the dang cold yet, we got a babysitter (!), and went out to eat at a fancy restaurant. It was awesome!)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

WW - Yum, Tomato!

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

You can find more Wordless Wednesday here.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I rock.

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

Can I just say I love Cool Mom Picks?

Also, maybe we should buy a lottery ticket today....

Also, also, paint-it-yourself pottery kits? Expensive!!

(Yeah, I stuck them in my bloglines reader so I'd check them out regularly, and enter their contests often. You should, too!)

(Oh wait, don't. You're competition.)

September 23rd, The Past Eight Years

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

2000 - We were married.

2001 - We ate out at W.A. Frost, compliments of my mother's brother.

2002 - We were in Ireland, the first time.

2003 - We were living in our first home.

2004 - Pumpkin had arrived one month and one day earlier.

2005 - Look at that! Back in Ireland.

2006 - Still in Ireland, but we had a babysitter, so we enjoyed an evening out. Penguin was just barely on the way, but word wasn't out yet.

2007 - Back in the US, AND Penguin had joined the family, AND we'd purchased the House of 42 Doors less than a month earlier.

2008 - Now. Our eldest has started school, our youngest is walking and (almost, nearly, sort of) talking, and we've made a lot of changes in the House of 42 Doors, including the current (like, as we speak on-going) gutters/roof project!

For each of those years, honey, I'd marry you all over again.
I love you. And I look forward to many more years together.

P.S. However, I don't think I want to wake up to "Flet Flet Flet, The Sequel," like we did this morning any other anniversary, ok? I know it's 'cuz of the big, sunlight-through-'em gaps in the roof right now, but it's definitely not my preferred wake-up call!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Arrrr! Avast, ye landlubbers!

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

Your Pirate Name Is...

Pegleg Bessie Backstabber

Arrr! Today be the 19th o' September, and that means it be International Talk Like a Pirate Day! Now, I, Pegleg Bessie Backstabber, be tryin' to get me own girls to talk like fellow pirates, but the one can only say, "Arrrr!" and the other, she be tellin' me that girls don't talk like pirates. Well, blast that! Arrr! She didn't used ta think that way, so I'll be sharin' with ye scurvy dogs a video I took back in the days when she woulda been proud to wear an eyepatch and fly the Jolly Roger!

(That'd be back in December of '07, if ye be wonderin'.)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Public Service Announcement

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

Now, I don't want any of you to be forgetting that tomorrow is Friday, September 19th.

The significance of that, you ask?

Why, it's....

Start now, if you have children, training them in so they, too, can talk like pirates! 'Cuz you're never too young!

(Although you may be too stubborn.)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

WW - Tree Climbing, Variations A & B

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

You can find more Wordless Wednesday here.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Open Letters, Again

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

Dear 2000 Chevy Blazer,

Your heater core is bad. Broken, leaking, kaput. Not to anthropomorphize much, but I'm thinking either:
a) You're acting up since we just got the new (to us) car two weeks ago, and like a (slightly spoiled) new big sibling, you want all the attention and love, or
b) You've been struggling to help us get by as long as you could, being our sole non-human-powered transportation, but now that we've got another car, you could relax and let that part break that you'd been holding together so long by sheer force of will.

So to you I say either a) Buck up and get over it. We still love you just fine. Or b) Thank you so much for holding off on this repair as long as you did. It will be much easier to have you in the shop overnight now that we have a different vehicle Mr. Kluges can drive to work.

Your Drivers

Dear Checkbook,

So, talk to the Blazer lately?

From, The Ones Who Sign at the Bottom

Dear Hair,

WTH? Do you hate me? I know I haven't gotten you cut/trimmed/whatever in seriously forever, but I thought we were ok with this "hmmm, I guess I'm growing it out" thing. But come on... when I last wanted you bangs-thingies to look like that it was a far different decade. Why must you suddenly decide to always curl up and crazy and make me look like I'm trying for 80's big bangs? Granted, there are people around in the Fox Valley area who are still sporting that look, and not even ironically or anything, but please, just stop it.

I Promise I'll Buy Better Conditioner Than Suave Tomorrow

Dear CSA,

Ground cherries? Really? You have the most surprising things in your boxes sometimes. Not that I'm complaining because I would never have bought kohlrabi or garlic scapes ever, and we've really enjoyed the two weeks of edamame, but opening the CSA box is always an adventure.

And I mean that in a good way.

Us Fruit & Veggie Eaters

Dear Triscuits,

I love you.

I was craving something crispy and salty tonight, but there were no pretzels, chips, chex mix, etc. in the cupboard. So, in a last ditch effort, I took a look at the pantry shelves.

And there you were.

I missed you when we were in Ireland
. I'm so glad to have you back!


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

WW - The Living Room, one year later

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at


And now...

Cross-posted at House of 42 Doors You can find more Wordless Wednesday here.

Saturday, September 06, 2008


(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

I just have to gloat that I've SUCH a sense of accomplishment today!

I sorted out Pumpkin's long-sleeved shirts, took away the too small/short/sleeves too short ones and put them into a box of "between" fall/winter clothes (that is, between the sizes of the two girls), and got those long-sleeved shirts put away into a drawer. (Tidily! Sorted by color groups!)

I reorganized her pants/jeans drawers. Apparently her legs either haven't grown too much, or it's harder to tell than with the shirts, so all of those went back in the drawer. Oh yeah, also rescued her tights from the tangled wad they'd become.

While I was at it, I chose her outfits for the upcoming school week and put them in the 6-pocket hanging sweater storage dealie I got a few weeks ago that has been working really well to avoid "but I don't WANNA wear THAT" in the mornings. Genius, if I do say so myself. ;)

I made marinara sauce from scratch with 5 lbs. of fresh tomatoes. That means peeling and seeding 5 lbs. of fresh tomatoes, which is not quick. (Oh, except now I think I forgot to add the basil at the end. Well, that's fixable.)

I pulled the three totes of girls' and my fall/winter clothes up from the basement and went through the two girls' boxes, pulling out the currently usable for either and sorting the rest into "might fit yet this season," which is now under the crib, and "between," which is now (already!) in the basement.

I culled a bunch of the summer stuff from both girls' closets (that might fit one of them next year) and put them in a tote, which is under the crib so I can continue to add to it... unless it gets too full. Stuff that looks definitely too small is tossed in a different box to be Craig's Listed, brought to Once Upon a Child, or donated away.

I sorted and rearranged Penguin's drawers, taking out definite summer stuff and consolidating short-sleeved onesies and shirts, therefore creating (and filling) a drawer for long-sleeved shirts/onesies, put away her summer dresses & moved the remaining seasonal-ok dresses & jumpers to a smaller spot, hung up her sweaters/polar fleeces/etc. or folded them and set them right below, and sorted/organized her skirts, pants, and capris.

I also finished the sorting/shoe-boxing/labelling of the between-sized shoes that are in her closet, tidied and reorganized some of the other "tossed stuff in" spots, and sorted/refolded her blankets.

Hooray for such a productive day! It feels GREAT to have gotten so much accomplished today!

P.S. Oh yeah! While I was watching the marinara sauce, I even did a teeny tiny bit of kitchen rearrangement and moved the spices out the drawer that Penguin can now open (grrr), and up into the cupboard onto a lazy susan, alphabetized even! (Thanks, Mom, for that very useful turntable!)

Friday, September 05, 2008

I think we like this 4K business.

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

Pumpkin's first week of school went swell. No tears any day... Well, except for a suspicious blurring of my eyes when she walked in to her classroom on Day 1. I'd've been fine, too, but I saw a few other parents getting tear-y, and I find that very catching.

She loves it. I've heard about stories they've read (Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, The Kissing Hand), centers she's played in (kitchen & legos), and songs they've sung (the "Hello, Neighbor" song and something that apparently includes the line, "Do you like peanut butter in your underwear?" Which is immediately followed by hilarious laughing on her part. Ah yes, the funniness of underwear.)

And we're all setting in to the new routine pretty well. Mr. Kluges was off her first day, so the four of us drove to school that day (we had errands to run afterward), and got to drop her off all together. Even though mornings have been earlier than we'd been used to, I've been trying to gradually shift her wake-up time for several weeks, and that has definitely helped. Now, if we could just get Penguin to sleep in a bit longer so I could get ready sans-child...

This morning went like butter. I got up, no noise from Penguin in her room, had a chance to shower & get ready & even have breakfast on my own. Mr. Kluges got ready and left for work; I went up to get the girls up and Pumpkin was just waking anyway. That noise woke up Penguin, which was fine. So between dressing and changing and toothbrushing and hairbrushing and breakfast and shoes and coats and all, we got all ready at just the right time (without rushing or worrying or anything) to walk the mile to school. Where Pumpkin had to be reminded to give me a hug and a kiss before she went off to line up to go in, she was so ready to be off to her adventures at 4K.

Then it was the walk home for Penguin and I (with a brief stop at a rummage sale we passed on the way), followed by a nap for her, a little baking & exercising for me. I went to wake her up to go get Pumpkin, but she was already up and happy, so both of us were in good moods to enjoy the nice fall-ish weather on our walk to school again.

Where we got our big girl back, and she proceeded to regale us with stories of her day at 4K, which included playing in the lego center with some friends, building "a tower that was SO tall! It was the biggest tower in the WORLD!"

I'd say this 4K thing is going swell, all the way 'round.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008