Monday, April 28, 2008

Look out, world!

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

3 posts in one day? Yeah I know it's crazy but here's why...

Yay, Penguin! She took 4 steps to Mommy before we got the camera out, then she was so excited (probably because we were) that she'd only ever take two and then lunge. This is the best video we got.

P.S. I still can't believe she's walking already!!! Go, Penguin!

Caffeine's got nothing on this

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

(Warning: this story may not be for the arachnophobic (Kittenpie, that's for you!) but is completely safe for work viewing.)

Our morning schedule goes something like this:

Penguin wakes up; I change her diaper; she and I get breakfast.
Pumpkin wakes up, joins us for breakfast (during which time I do her hair), uses the potty, and gets dressed.
Depending on timing and mood, some playtime for both followed by a video for Pumpkin while I nurse Penguin and put her down for her morning nap.
While Penguin is napping and Pumpkin is happily watching Kipper, or Charlie and Lola, or Blue, or somesuch, I hop in the shower.

And that's how today was going...

...until I looked over while washing my hair and saw...



Pshaw, you may be thinking. That's just a li'l ol' spider. Quit freaking out.

To that I respond, when one is, um, unclothed and showering when suddenly seeing said spider, not that far away!, it looks like it's more on this sort of scale...

(Yeah, that shower puff's totally getting tossed!)

Not so much

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

Ok, just so y'all know, right now...'s snowing.

And here I thought spring was here. Pshaw.

Friday, April 25, 2008


(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

Yes, that is my husband working outside by spotlight. The man is a machine.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Meet the Family - Bitstrips Style

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

Thanks, TSB, for the introduction to Bitstrips!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

So I had this cool post with a comic strip I made myself from Bitstrips after seeing Sexy Blonde, featuring one on her blog, but it's way too wide and messes everything up.

Maybe tomorrow I'll find the time to redo it as like separate panels that I can post in vertically or something...

...but don't hold your breath! :)

(But this way at least you know I was thinking of y'all and trying to get a new post up. Not that I don't enjoy all the lovely compliments on my spring beauties pix! *grin* Thanks!)

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Spring Beauties

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

You know those sprouts up in my header? The ones just peeking out of the cold mud?

Have I mentioned that they've turned into the most incredible flowers that blanket a fair amount of our backyard?

And have I bragged lately just how gorgeous my girls are?

Friday, April 18, 2008

Things that are currently driving me bonkers

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

  • that every second sentence out of Pumpkin's mouth is "Why?" Not that it's bad in general to ask questions or anything, but it absolutely drives me batty when...
  • she asks "why?" when I tell or ask her to do something. ALL THE TIME. "[Pumpkin]., please clear your lunch stuff." "Why?" or "Come here please." "Why?" or "Please leave your sister alone." "Why?" And you know what? Sometimes the answer is, "Because I'm the mommy and I said so."
  • that I don't seem to have much to say here lately. I usually enjoy sharing bits of my life with y'all, but I just haven't had much to say lately.
  • how easily and quickly things get cluttery
  • that I've been a bit lacking in oomph and get-up-and-go and ambition in regards to the clutter and remaining unpacking work
  • Penguin's desire to eat anything and everything she finds on the floor or ground. Before I had kids, I never thought I'd utter, "[Penguin], the lawn is NOT a salad bar!"
  • that there has been backsliding with getting Penguin to sleep on her own all the time all night, which is one of my 2008 resolutions. She's been sick again, which means she's been waking more and I've been more apt to jump up and get her. But last night we (ok, me, with reassurance from Mr. Kluges) managed to not go in even when she was crying for a while around 4 am.
  • that the brownies haven't unpacked all my boxes. *grin*
  • Well, really just that we're STILL working on that. And when Mr. Kluges tidies, he puts all of "my stuff" that's out in a box... on top of the "stuff" that's already there... and it's usually "stuff" I'm not sure what to do with, which is why it's not been put away yet. And then I end up with a big (was from our microwave, so large enough for that with styrofoam packing, i.e. LARGE) box that looks like this:
  • the amount of wiggling Penguin does when I'm trying to change her diaper. Slow down for a diaper change?! NEVER!!!!! - or at least that seems to be her opinion. Especially makes me bonkers when it's a messy one that I'm trying to keep from getting all over her, me, and the floor/diaper changing pad.
  • that the electric burying and especially the dang sewer guys totally ripped up our backyard, so now it's all mud, and the brick patio needs relaying, and the limestone path needs relaying, and there's a big clay mound that they left while not completely filling in the hole, but using up the topsoil to do it. (Don't get Mr. Kluges started on this one unless you want a real rant!)

Not that I'm all gloom and grump all the time around here. The girls make me laugh at least several times each day, there are some beautiful electric blue-purple flowers coming up all over the backyard (I'd include a picture, except when I went to take one yesterday, I needed to recharge the camera battery.), and we are making progress on house stuff (slow, but mostly steady). It's just nice to get the mutterings and grumblings out some days, you know?

Saturday, April 12, 2008

In case you didn't already know I was a geek...

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

Friday, April 11, 2008

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Up Close and Personal

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

The hawks were outside again today, so, holding Penguin (hence some camera shakiness), I went out with the digital camera to try to get some clearer close-ups, and maybe even video of their "kek kek kek" call.

I'd post the first video I got...

...but I happened to capture an
"Animal Planet" moment
between the two lovebirds,
I mean hawks...

...which wasn't quite what I'd intended to film. ;)

But I did manage to capture their call after all.

Call of the Cooper's Hawk

P.S. Also, this is the female one. The more "pigeon-y" looking one in the photos below is the male. Trust me, I know this now.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Name This Bird (Please?)

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at
(Cross-posted at Musings & Mutterings and the House of 42 Doors)

**Edited at the bottom with our best guess.

Loved the weekend we just had. Well, other than the cold I'm developing that looks fair to knock me on my tuchus. Had a college friend contact us Thursday to say he'd be in the area on Friday and could he stop by. So we very much enjoyed visiting with him, and since he didn't have pressing plans the next day, he stayed over and went to the wonderful book sale with me on Saturday. I must confess *cough* that I got even more books than Mr. Kluges. In my defense, I went to both the sale he went to PLUS the kid books one. Even so... now we've got to find a lot more bookshelf space....

But to get back to the title of this post, we've noticed a fair amount of birds of prey in the area, and recently have seen them around by our house and neighborhood A LOT. Like, all the time. And now it appears that we've got a pair of ... hawks? falcons?... building a nest in a tall conifer right across the street from our House of 42 Doors. And there's one tree at the front of our driveway (right in front of our sign) that is apparently a favorite perch of theirs. Which is cool because we were able to get THIS CLOSE today....

(Click on the picture to see it bigger.)

...but on the side of the cons, we've (and by "we" I mean Mr. Kluges) already had to clean up what was left of either a squirrel or a chipmunk from underneath on the driveway. Yuck.

We're not exactly sure what they are, so we were hoping somebody out there would have an idea. Here's what they look like.

They make a very loud "kek kek kek kek kek kek kek kek kek" (or "kak kak kak" or "kuk kuk kuk" or some sort of hard to spell vowel sound combination thereof). Like I said before, they appear to be making a nest in the tall conifer across the way and eat small mammals. We've seen them fly and do sort of a mini-swoop in mid-air that was cool to watch.

Trying to find out on-line, they sort of resemble Peregrin Falcons (but the nesting habits don't seem to match up) or Cooper's Hawks or Northern Goshawk or ???

So, can you help? Any ideas?

(On a side note, this counts as about as cool as those deer!)

**Edited Monday afternoon:
Ok, after doing more research, and with Mr. Kluges finding the Cornell Lab of Ornithology on-line, (I love teh internets!), we're pretty confident that they're Cooper's Hawks. They look about right, and the area is about right and the sound of the call is dead-on with what we've been hearing all the time. Dissenting opinions or further discussion still welcomed in the comments though!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Conversation Overheard

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

Scene: Pumpkin, in her playroom, talking on her toy phone
Yes. Uh-huh.
Oh NO!!!
The buildings all fell down?!
I'll be right there!

I guess one of us around here has a secret identity...


Tuesday, April 01, 2008

One year ago today

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

One year ago today, on April 1st, 2007, Pumpkin, Mr. Kluges, and my 31 week 6 days pregnant self boarded this airplane as we ended our two year stay in Ireland.

They were a good two years, all in all. We very much enjoyed getting to visit a lot of touristy and not very touristy sites. We were thrilled when family and friends visited. We made very good new friends.

Pumpkin grew from a wee small lass of just 8 months to a very chatty and busy 2 1/2 year old. She learned to talk, and crawl, and walk, and run, and make friends, and share, and million other things there. Heck, she's still spent a larger percentage of her life in Ireland than in the US.

We traveled around Ireland, and a bit around Europe. We got to know Cork and Blarney very, very well. We ate cheese and olives and chocolate from the English Market. We visited Blarney Castle probably a dozen times with various guests. We got comfortable driving on the left-hand side of the road.

Ireland took our breath away with its beauty, charmed us with its friendly folk, and cheered us with its pubs.

But in the end, we missed our friends and especially family too much to stay. So when the opportunity arose to return to the US, we took it.

Waiting at the gate for the preboarding call
Shannon International Airport, Shannon, Ireland

April 1, 2007

But we'll always treasure our time there. Slainte, O Eire!