Tuesday, July 30, 2013

mixed up words

Just a couple funny things that Caroline says that I want to remember forever:
  • She calls all skirts, curtains. "I don't want to wear a dress or pants today. Can I wear a curtain and shirt?"
  • She loves glitter glue but calls it sprinkles. "My project needs some purple and green sprinkle glue."
  • Back when she was potty training she use to get tic-tacs for her potty reward. She still likes to get them out of my purse every now and then. From day one she has always called them "chapsticks." (But she knows what chapstick is and uses the term correctly when she wants lip balm.)

Monday, July 22, 2013

Mini Vacay

We went on a little mini family trip the end of last week and over the weekend. Here's what I learned...

  • A 3 year old and a 1 year old can not successfully nap or maintain a bed time in a one room hotel room.
  • The hotel pool is awesome to entertain and exhaust children, but MY children are TERRIFIED when anyone goes under water. They will cry & scream like they just witnessed a beheading!
  • All the gross hotel reports that you've seen on the news but try to put out of your mind will come screeching back as you follow a 1 year old around the room reminding him not to put anything in his mouth for the love of God!
  • Going to a theme park when it is 100* is not the worst idea we've ever had. The place was empty, giving out lots of free ice water, had water rides to cool off, misting stations and the kids were entertained enough that they didn't notice the heat.
  • Going to the zoo when it is 100* IS (one of) the worst ideas we've ever had. There were NO animals out. Because, well, it's too flipping hot outside! There was very little shade. There were a lot of sweaty (read stinky - by the end, I was one of them!) people there. The hills... walking up the hills... in the heat... almost killed me! The children were NOT entertained (since all the animals were inside sleeping & eating ice chips) and therefore noticed the heat.
  • Always check & double check that the 1 year old is wearing BOTH of his shoes. Do NOT wait until you are leaving aforementioned zoo to do a shoe check because one WILL be missing and you will have no idea where you lost it in the last 2 hours of hot, sweaty, humid, animal-less torture. Shoe will be gone forever.
  • Suddenly the 3 year old will refuse to eat like normal and insist that she only likes chicken nuggets and ice cream now. There will be an aunt close at hand to make sure she never runs out of either one. Going home to fruit & veggies will not be fun!
  • After sleeping in the hotel bed with mom and/or dad for several consecutive nights, children will no longer want to sleep in their own room upon returning home. If you thought the sleep torture was over - you are wrong!
  • Sleep deprived, nutritionally defunct, hot children are not good at riding in the car.
  • No matter how long you were gone, you will come home with approximately 207,562 loads of laundry and it will take you 3 times longer than you were gone to get it all washed.
  • You will plan to do this again - soon - because you can still remember these same kinds of crazy memories from your own childhood and you don't want to keep your children from the same pleasure.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Project Life Tuesday - What works for me...

This is my fourth year doing a Project Life album and I'm more excited about it than ever before. And I think that mostly comes from me finally finding my groove. The first year I got quite behind and when I tried to catch up I ended up with a good number of pictures scattered through the book but with very little journaling after about mid-year. The 2nd year I got behind again, but would attempt a major catch up about every 4ish months or so. That album came pretty close to being done, but there were still more weeks than I would have liked that were light on the pictures/journaling. The 3rd year I tried to do it EVERY week to avoid getting behind. That worked, but only until I had a baby and then I got behind on printing pictures and putting journaling in the album again. The difference was that I didn't stop organizing my pictures. So when it was time to print it was still super easy. Having several months to do at a time is daunting, but I did it. It was my first FINISHED book. I was thrilled!!

Through trial and error over the years, I've found that the best way for me to do it is a month at a time. I print my pictures though Snapfish and if I try to print much more often than that the shipping charges start getting out of control.  I can also usually find a good print deal about once a month to help keep the cost low.

4 to 5 weeks is also a good number of weeks for me to work on at a time once the pictures get here. It makes it worth getting all my stuff out. And I can usually get it all done in 2 to 3 nights working after the kids go to bed.

It also keeps me excited about digging through my stash, planning layouts, and seeing the book develop. Usually after a couple of weeks I start really missing it and I can't wait to print the pictures and get back to it.

Now on to the pics!! For this week I am sharing the week of July 1-7.  **Please excuse my toes! :) **

This is the whole spread. I love the month dividers to break up the album and making searching for a certain week easier! This week has one insert.

The left side of the week includes a July calendar (I include one in the first spread of each month). I trimmed down one of the 4x6 date cards to use in a 3x4 space and included journaling under the date.

This is the front of the insert for this week. I used a We R Memory Keepers page that had 6 vertical spaces. Since I like my inserts to be smaller than 12x12 in some way I trimmed off one column of the pockets. I also just got a photo pen and I am loving writing on some of the pictures. I can't wait for Becky Higgins pens to become available on Amazon or at my Michael's!!

The back of the insert is just pictures of our day at the beach.
 The right side of the spread is broken into 2 columns. The left side is a continuation of the back of the insert and includes a 4x6 journaling card all about our day at the beach. Then the right side is all about our 4th of July.

I'm linking up with Jessica Turner at The Mom Creative and her Project Life Tuesday series.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Sleeping in Momma's bed

When Nathan started crying last night I was secretly excited that I was going to get to sleep with my baby and snuggle his sweet, curly little head all night.

I scooped him out of his bed and he tucked his head into my neck and quieted instantly. I briefly thought that maybe all he needed was a quick cuddle and I should put him back in his bed. But as I tried to put him back, he started crying again. Yay! He wanted to come sleep with momma!

It's been a while since he's slept with us.

Apparently he's changed some of his sleep habits since then.

He refused to lay down. He started to fall asleep sitting up and then woke himself up as he fell backwards. This happened repeatedly until he finally slept through falling over.

He apparently has what I'm calling "restless baby" syndrome. It seemed very much like my restless leg syndrome but allllll over his body. If I tried to move away from his twitchy little body he would cry out and wiggle closer until we were touching again.

I didn't get nearly as much sleep as I would have liked to, but I wouldn't trade the night of cuddling my sweet boy for anything! The absolute best part was when he woke up just after 5:30, sat up and realized he wasn't in his room. He climbed up on me, gave me 3 kisses, and said "Mommmmmmmma!"

And then my heart exploded!

Friday, July 12, 2013

rainbow strip baby quilt

I'm showing off my latest quilt today. I used Cluck Cluck Sew's "Strip and Flip" tutorial to create this baby size rainbow quilt. Caroline loves it and I've already been tasked with creating one big enough for her bed.  I'm so glad that I found this tutorial and that Allison is kind enough to share so many free tutorials on her blog. I've also bought several of the patterns she has for sale and I love them all as well! I would highly recommend them all.
I used everything from chevron, polkadots, flowers and stars to stripes and geometric fabrics. I love the way they all work together.

I love that the strips finish at just an inch and a half. Its a wonderful size to show off just a bit of the pattern, but still focus mostly on the color which works so well for this rainbow quilt. One of my favorite things about the quilt is the use of the white sashing strips. I just love pops of white in a quilt top!
Straight line quilting emphasizes the strips on the front and contrasts nicely with the vertical stripes of the green fabric on the back. I also used the same green stripe fabric for the binding. It was hard deciding on a backing fabric because I wasn't sure I wanted to add any additional fabrics to the quilt. I finally decided on the green because I had enough to do the back in one piece and it gives a nice neutral touch to contrast the "busy" front.

Friday Fragments

Unknown Mami

I bring you the bumble jumble of my brain...
  • Confession time: we are a paper-plate family. I know this does not jive with the current, super green, environmental trend. I don't care. My least favorite chore is washing dishes. LEAST! I'm terrible at keeping up with it and it is the norm for there to be dirty dishes in my sink. But the last time we ran out of paper plates I didn't buy any more. And even though I now have more dishes to do than before, I'm oddly keeping up with it better. Crazy! (This could & probably will change at any moment!)
  • My 3 year old will do a lot of work for a quarter. I may need to consult my local child labor laws soon! ;)
  • I've been avoiding the dentist even though I know that I'll actually feel better if I just go!!
  • I have mini-van envy. I want one. I'm a dork & I know it!
  • Back to school sales should not start in July when the kids have only been out of school a couple weeks and they don't have to go back until September!!
  • I love the region I live in! There is a HUGE military presence. We can be at the beach in 20 minutes and in the mountains in 2 hours. There are major cities with lots to do within 2 hours in any direction. But I can be in the middle of a cornfield, driving down a dirt road in 30 minutes. It's pretty  much the best of all worlds.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

reality TV obsession

You guys - I'm obsessed with the show Big Brother.

It is on every summer and I've been watching for probably 11 out of the 15 seasons. My level of obsession each summer depends on the people though and at the beginning of this season I really wasn't sure that I was going to be able to get excited.

But I am!

I've never gone so far as to subscribe to the live internet feeds and watch them all day. But I do admit to DVRing the Big Brother After Dark show and watching it the next day while the kiddos are napping & I eat lunch.

This is one of the only reality shows that I watch - and yes, I'm committed to watching all three nights a week that it comes on!

Tonight's episode was a pretty big twist and I loved it! I don't remember the beginning of recent seasons getting into the drama this early. But without it, I know it wouldn't be as entertaining!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Beep and Pinket on Etsy!!

I posted listings and officially opened an Etsy shop today!

This feels huge and completely insignificant all at the same time.
I'm terrified and thrilled simultaneously.

I'm very excited to get my work out into the world and I'm anxious to see how strangers react to my creations. It will be fantastic to get paid for doing something I love - if anyone buys anything! Between my facebook page and now my Etsy shop I hope to really start reaching people beyond family and friends. I know it will take time, hard work and patience but I'm ready to see where this path leads.

I've got 6 listings up so far. Can't wait to see what sells first... and when!!

Just a couple of examples of what is available right now... if you hurry! ;)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda

It really sucks when you think you are making smart choices that are going to get you ahead in life and they end up coming back to bite you in the ass.

Back in 2006 we were on the brink of getting married. Hubby had a good job. I was in grad school to get a good job. We had big plans.

And one of them was buying a house. No need to rent and throw away all those monthly payments when we could "own" something! Build equity. Make our own decisions. Have an investment.

The budget of a student and a new-to-the-workforce, getting-married-soon couple is not enormous. But we found a house that was perfect for our STARTER home. 2 bed rooms, 1 bath room, tiny kitchen, huge back yard, in a neighborhood that was being revitalized.

We expected to be in this house 3-5 years. TOPS!
It's now 7 years later.

We've got 2 kids.

The housing market is in the toilet.
On one hand I'm thankful that we have a home to live in. I even kind of like being in a small house because it keeps us all close. (I'm not looking to move into a mansion - just something with 3 bedrooms and more than 2 drawers in the kitchen.) It's nice that we haven't upgraded to a bigger house because it keeps our bills lower. And "technically" we haven't lost any money as long as we keep the house.

But on the other hand! I'm angry at the economy for "trapping" us in this house. We outgrew this house about 10 minutes after we found out we were expecting our second baby. We didn't buy this house with the expectation that our children would go to school in this district, but we are inching closer to that reality.

At this point we can't sell without taking a $20,000 loss. OUCH! And we can't have 2 houses (even if this one is rented out) since there's no way to get approved for another mortgage with this one already on the record.

I'm a little slow to accept reality - that we can't move. It is hitting me especially hard over the last few days because I've got baby fever. BAD! In my master life plan (HA!) I wanted to be pregnant again already or at least be trying. But since we've already maxed out the space in this house with two kids, there is really no place to put a third. Hubby is adamant that we can't have another baby while we live here. And he's right. (Good thing he doesn't read this - don't tell him I said that!)

So my big life plan is on hold all because we thought we were being responsible and buying a house. If we had just rented all those years ago as newlyweds we could have avoided the big housing market crash and we wouldn't be tied to a house that is too small to grow our family.

Being a grown up is hard!

~~~~I know that MY plan is meaningless and I should be more concerned with what God's plan is for us. Apparently he is trying to teach me that lesson and as stated before, I'm just being a really slow learner. Baby fever is just so dang hard to resist!! Focusing on listening to God and being thankful for what we DO have.~~~~~

Monday, July 8, 2013

Chronicles of Caroline

We were an hour and a half into nap time and I had been listening to Caroline quietly talking, singing, reading and playing the entire time. She's 3, so not taking an actual nap, but just resting instead wasn't a huge deal. She got quiet though and I thought that she may have finally given up and fallen asleep.

All of the sudden, in a panicked voice, I hear "I'M DONE SLEEPING MOM!"

Going in her room I see...
She had been trying to get her piggy bank and it was seconds from falling, so I saved that first and then told her not to move while I got the camera!
Things to note:
  • She has never attempted to climb out of her crib before - hence the reason we haven't moved her out yet, but apparently we're about to get a big girl bed.
  • I'm even thinking of a whole room re-organization so this doesn't happen again.
  • She went to bed in just underwear and now has on only a shirt.
  • I found 7 plastic Easter eggs in her bed that weren't there before.
  • She took off her headband and put it away (behind the door - out of frame on the left) and picked out 5 bows instead.
  • Her lamp and baskets are not usually arranged up there like that - her own decorative work!
This girl keeps me on my toes and I love her for it! 

Sunday, July 7, 2013


Just a random list of things I'm "craving" right now... (in no particular order)
  • fantastic she-crab soup
  • trip to New York City
  • date night with hubby
  • long, kid-free conversation with a good friend
  • watching a good movie in the theater
  • sleeping in past 6 AM
  • live music (on the beach if possible, please)
  • a massage (90 minutes sounds just about right)
  • doing some DIY home renovations
  • having a very BEST friend (besides hubby)