Monday, September 22, 2008

Itsy Bitsy Spider

I have spiders. No, not me personally, but in my house. There is one in residence in just about every corner. My kids like to hunch down and yell "Spiiiiiideeerrrrr!" at the ones that live in the corners near the floor. I don't know, do spiders have ears? I'da moved out of that neighborhood pretty quickly so I am thinking they don't. I don't really like spiders. I don't want to touch them - thinking about getting rid of them with a tissue and feeling that horrid crunch is enough to send me into a willy dance. I mean, I know they are not likely going to be able to fight back and win, but it just gives me the creeps. There was one in residence in my bedroom, above the door frame to the outside that could flatten himself to fit behind the frame if I came over. Yet he was big enough that I could see him squatting there in all his black hairy glory from a prone position in bed. Ick. One day he was on the wall. I saw it as an opportunity to move him along elsewhere. So I came at him slowly with a glass and piece of stiff paper. That bugger squared off with me. In a wrestling stance with his front two legs off the wall in a ready position. I moved, he moved. He frickin' knew I was coming. Way too intelligent. Eventually I won and got him outside where I just left the glass over top. Just in case he could run fast too. I know there are two more in the bedroom. Talk about fung shui and a kink in my chi. I don't mind the other ones in the house so much because they aren't thick and squatty. They are more refined long legged spiders.
There are more outside. Obviously. They live in the evergreens in the front flower bed. I think they are solely responsible for the disappearance of the honeybees. The spider realtor sold them on some great property. The evergreens are next to some salvia which is still blooming its beautiful little purple blossoms which are just abuzz with all kinds of bees. Big fat fuzzy ones, honey bees and those not so nice looking bees. And there is just about two in the web every time I go by. It is close to where I load my son into his car seat. It is kind of a nice science experiment for my daughter - I tell her the spider is have a bee shake. Slurp! One of these misty mornings I will take a picture of the web - it is the classic spider web shape and really something beautiful when it is all sparkly with dew.
Back to the ones inside the house. The thing is... they are living here, making a killing off other insects I don't necessarily see. I wish they would do a better job on the fruit flies - I had some really ripe mango on the counter the other day. So I feel bad about getting rid of them. What if they are better guests than their food? In the meantime I will just deal with the two icky ones in my bedroom. And remind my husband again to install the door sweep to the outside door in our love nest.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Things You Say to Your Kids

(This might be one of those 'you had to be there kind of moments' but I can barely write this post I am laughing so hard, nearly out of my chair and crying as I relive it.)

The little kids and I were just finishing up breakfast, sitting around the kitchen table together. I had finished my coffee, well most of it anyway. I make a pot of french press so there is usually some debris left on the bottom of my cup that I would rather not chew, but the kids like the smell of my creamer (Cinnamon Vanilla Cream). When my son smells his dad's cup of coffee (French press, French roast, regular half and half) he usually says "Ewww! Stinky barbage errywhere. So Cole is sniffing away at my cup and I am reminding him not to drink my coffee. Ryan is coloring on an envelop to send to her cousin in Colorado, so listening to the conversation but not face to face with it, if you know what I mean. He actually does take a sip, which leads to him using his whole hand and the back of his sleeve in swiping away at his tongue to get the grounds off and spitting when I hear Ryan tell him very matter of factly: he is going to get another eyeball.
It took me just a minute to register what she had said, but she was just repeating something I had said to her: Coffee is not good for little kids. If you drink my coffee when you are little you might grow another eyeball in the middle of your forehead. Now wouldn't that look funny? Now leave my Frappuccino alone while I put your brother in the truck, okay?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

It's Been a While!

Gosh, I just didn't blog much this summer. I didn't make any cards either. Until last night. My DH went out of town to the Reno Air Races so I quickly called all my girlfriends (those who were in town) and invited them over for girls' night at my house. I am not able to do it when he is here because our house is so small there wouldn't be anywhere else for him to hide... or keep him and the kids otherwise occupied (am I dreaming or what!) Older step-daughter went to college in Australia and has been gone a couple of weeks now. The older step-son has made this his primary residence so there have been a number of changes afloat. Anyway, with everyone supposed to be gone I jumped at the chance to have everyone over. Some girls were able to make it, even just for a little bit. Two of my friends brought over their kids so there was all kinds of activity here. As far as I knew my step son was going camping and wasn't going to be around. That wasn't actually the case - he was here with a friend playing Rock Band in the living room. So when one of my friends came in she played bass while he and his friend had drums and guitar covered. I thought it was hilarious. Eventually they took off and I served a gourmet meal of pizzas and brownies. My friend with a one year old took off to take her kids to bed while my other friend Toni and I made cards. We searched the web and decided on Poetic Artistry Mojo Monday 52.

My step-Mom and Dad have been in town to attend her best friend's wedding so I made Sally a wedding card. Her colors are cream, burgundy, black and gold. Therefor: Very Vanilla, Bravo Burgundy, Basic Black and Anna Griffin dp AG227. I stamped the Bravo B paper with Bravo ink with the Filigree background. The cake from Little Hellos was stamped with StazOn Jet Black on VV as well as the dp. Using Toni's awesome suggestion I paper pieced the cake plate onto the image. I colored the heart in Bravo using a blender pen. I used Stickles to color in the dots on the cake. Don't you just love Stickles? I used my mat pack to place the Basic Black brads. I also used my Cuttlebug for the very first time to make the ovals (Nestabilities!) for the sentiment. It was easy thanks to Cat's CB sandwich stack posting at scs. I had read about the way your plate is scarred with the die but I still was surprised by it. However, I loved the way the sentiment came out. I {heart} those ovals! The "happiness" from Warm Words was stamped in River Rock and then the "wedding" from Occasions Collections was placed just above it in Bravo B. I used 1/4" black grosgrain ribbon under the sentiment. There are pop dots under the cake panel and sentiment. By the time we closed up shop my son had fallen asleep where he had fallen last, wrapped around his kitty (stuffed animal) and the two girls were still running around. It was 12:30 a.m. You know these will be the nights of their childhood that they will say "Remember when...." I don't understand how they can still wake up at the same time everyday no matter what time you put them to bed. But it is what it is.

I love naps.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I can't believe my life! and other ramblings

My mom came up today and we made 3 batches of strawberry jam. Ryan's job was to wash the berries and she did a great job! She stuck through it happily through three half flats of berries and was ready to do more! We got 18 various sized jars out of the deal. Cole napped pretty much the whole time we were cutting up the berries and processing the first batch. The house was hot but it smelled yummy. I remember my mom canning when I was little and no doubt it is why I do it today. I want Ryan and Cole to remember us doing it with their Grammy and talk about it with their children. I wish that my sister and my Grandmother were here to join in (Sister died in '93 and Mom's mom died from breast cancer shortly after my parents were married back in the '60's.) I am glad that I can pass on that tradition to my kids. Anywho, raspberries ripen in about two weeks. I plan to do apricots, maybe some red plums, and the tiny little blackberries and huckleberries, if possible - hard to do those with little kids. In the fall I'll make applesauce and can pears. I learned last year that when you think you have enough, you need to do 2 more batches because it is heaven in the winter. I am also going to try to make pepper jelly. My step-mom made this last year and I think it was one of the best things I have ever eaten in my life. She made it with bell peppers (orange, red and yellow) instead of jalapenos and the color and taste was phenomenal.
We have had a number of nice days so we have been busy at the park and out in the jogger. The down side to that would be (besides allergies) the skylights in the bedrooms above my bed that made my room hotter than Hades. It makes nap time in here near impossible, but the kids don't know how to nap anywhere else except the car. The bathroom stays cool but there is not enough room in the tub for the three of us to sleep. I keep my computer turned off because it manages to add a couple of degrees to the room, I am sure of it, not to mention the fan that runs to keep it cool which drives me crazy. Therefore I cannot sneak in here at a moment's notice to write something or check my email. I still have the card I made for a 4th of July birthday on my camera and I think I will post it tomorrow.
Our daisies are beginning to bloom out in the front yard. These plants were given to me by my friend Toni - they came from her Grandma's garden and I love that fact. They are so cheerful. Ryan noticed the four that have opened the other day and she came running into the house so excited. She had her hands up to her face, one on each cheek (disbelief!) saying, "Mommy! I can't believe my life!" Somewhere along the way she has gotten her sayings crossed and I think she actually means "I can't believe my eyes!", however it is so stinkin' funny I'm gonna leave it as is.
Ya know babe, sometimes I can't believe my life either.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Home Sweet Home, But Without Toilet Paper

We made it back home yesterday, early evening. Our vacation was awesome. The weather could not have been more perfect the whole time we were there. Sunny and hot. So nice since we hadn't seen the sun since last fall around here. All except for the last two days and by then I was really looking for a nice lightening and thunderstorm. It was mighty windy that night. The kids played outside from dawn til dusk and I sat under the tree reading my book. Loved it. We stayed in the little house next door to the main so we were in our own space. There was good food every evening and eaten together on the picnic bench on the front porch. So nice and very little in the way of pesky bugs.

Dale Jr. finally won a race, even if it was under a green white checker caution.

On both the trip out there and the way back we searched for the Oregon Trail. Along our way we followed the Mormon, California and Oregon Trails. There are interpretive centers in several different spots. We stopped at Glenn's Ferry, ID near the Three Island Crossing of the Snake River, the Baker City, OR site, and the Blue Mountains Crossing, OR. If you follow a map you can get to actual wheel ruts at these three sites. Think about it. This was how the west became populated as it is today, yet there are still traces of the original journey by these thousands of covered wagons. You can still see the path they traveled. You can also see that these traces will disappear, probably in my lifetime. The Oregon California Trail Association has been awesome enough to place markers so you can get out and walk segments of it. The Baker City site was closed but we were able to get out and walk for quite a ways on the trail. There is even an Ezra Meeker marker on the site. He was a man who saw that the trail was disappearing back in the late 1800's so he convinced some people in congress and in local city governments along the way to place markers to show where the trail had gone. So much of it now is gone due to farming, development, road and railway construction, time and weather. I had my daughter get out and walk it with me as I am afraid it won't be there when she is old enough to appreciate it again. She sure had fun looking for markers and we talked how so many of the travelers actually walked instead of riding because the ride was so rough inside the wagon. Plus you needed room for all the provisions. I find the whole thing absolutely fascinating. We did have some misses along the way looking for wheel ruts. You can follow the trail and imagine the landscape as the emigrants saw it by taking roads posted with the route sign and it is worth doing in some spots. Route 30 out of Glenn's Ferry is a nice drive but no ruts and the same with Old Oregon Trail Road that connects from Mountain Home, ID to Bliss, ID. I should have done better research before I left but really I had no idea I'd be so obsessed about it by the time I got to Glenn's Ferry on the way out there. You can pick up a map that shows the route and where you can still see the ruts.

We drove to the Canyonlands National Park outside of Moab, UT on the second day of our trip back home. It was another really interesting place to be. The geography and geology of the site are amazing and worth a visit. We will do the Arches National Park the next time we head out to Colorado. Maybe I'll get my butt in gear and post some of my pictures of our journey. While at the visitor's center at Canyonlands I bought my kids each a passport to the National Parks. I wish I had it last year on their first visit to Yellowstone. (Don't even get me started on how awesome that was.) There are stickers to place in the book as well as a spot to hand cancel the date that you visited. I thought it might be something they will enjoy when they are older.

I met the most awesome helpful people along the way. After traversing the Blue Mountains in the modern covered wagon (Yukon XL) in at least a foot of snow in mid-June, some nice man from the Parts Plus store in Baker City replaced the windshield wipers on my truck and gave me information for buying chains for my stupid fat wide tires that suck in the snow. On the way home there is a visitor's center in Naturita, CO where there is a really nice bathroom and an amazing amount of information in the form of murals and pamphlets and the lady who runs the place. In Moab, UT at the Napa Auto parts Store (Go Mikey!) this honest nice young guy (Employee #3) changed the bolt on my battery (stripped due to the nightly unscrewing and morning reconnection process) and got me all good to go with proper coolant levels for heading into the desert. He could have told me I needed a new battery and I would have bought one, ya know? There was the cheerful waitress Ana at Jeremiah's restaurant at the High Country Best Western in Ogden, UT who was just a doll and took good care of road weary travelers. I don't think I could have met nicer more helpful people along the way. It felt almost eerie in a good way how great people were.

We hit traffic in Salt Lake City, Boise and of course Seattle. The rest of the way was just fine. When we got home there was no one there to greet us but it was just as well because we could just collapse on the couch for a little bit and regroup. The house wasn't too bad, I have seen it worse on return. There were dishes in the sink and the dishwasher hadn't been emptied. There were sippy cup items in it so I am suspicious it is the last load I ran. There was no food (except a couple of Oreos), no clean towels although some laundry had been done but the coup de gras was there was no toilet paper. THEY WERE USING PUFF'S PLUS WITH LOTION TO WIPE THEIR BUTTS! Thank god we aren't on a septic system. I was too tired to go to the store last night so I found fish sticks and french fries in the freezer to make for the kids. We showered and went to bed. Today I mostly did kitchen clean up and laundry in an attempt to reclaim my house. I also went to the store and bought some provisions. I do miss sitting under the tree reading my book.

I just finished the The Lake of Dead Languages by Carol Goodman and found it a good read. I had a hard time putting it down so I kept it out on the journey home so I could read it if my mom got out of the car for any reason. The last time I got home from this trip I read Across the Great Divide : Robert Stuart and the Discovery of the Oregon Trail by Laton Mccartney. I found it really interesting. I have been on the hunt in used book stores along this journey for another Oregon Trail book In the Wake of the Prairie Schooner by Irene Paden. I didn't find it so I'll most likely buy it from Amazon. My mom told me a little about it last year, how her dad got the family out along the trail when she was a kid. They used that book as a guide. I might read Undaunted Courage : Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West by Stephen Ambrose as I heard a number of positive reviews by all kinds of people since last year. I also picked up some fun titles at the book store in Crested Butte, CO but they are still in the car so I can't share them with you yet.

I hope to feel settled enough by Monday to actually stamp again. Last year I was in a funk for a couple of weeks following our vacation. Hopefully things will go smoother this time. And nothing like a Girls' Night to get me back in the groove of things tomorrow night.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

People Are Weird

Some one from my past called me up out of the blue. Strangely enough he found me on vacation at my Dad's house. Normally I would welcome a call from an old friend. But the main point would be that this person is a friend. The person who called was a neighbor of mine from when I was 7. They lived next door for a year. I have no memories of this boy - and a faint one of his sisters who I actually played with. He was older than I was by about 3 years so maybe his experience was more meaningful than mine. He talked to me like I was his best friend and that we spent years together. My dad keeps in touch with his parents so that is how he made the connection. My mom told me that they were on the East coast to travel to historic sites so they were gone most every weekend. He told me all about his life and asked about mine. What I am going to share with this person? I told him about being married and my kids - we didn't have any memories to reminisce about ~ so we didn't. And he shares WAAAY too much information about one of his sisters and trauma that occurred to her as a child and how she can't over it and how none of the family is willing to do any of the things she asks of them to help her heal. By now I figure she must be the normal one and the rest of them, including him are the kooks. The whole conversation started off bizarre from the beginning.
"Hello? Is this Amy XXXXX? My name is Officer So and So from the Washington State Patrol. I am following up on a report that your vehicle has been stolen. Can you verify this information?"
I was stunned. I have driven my vehicle from Washington so how has it been reported stolen? Is something funky with the actual owner of the vehicle? Yikes! I am speechless and don't know what to say to this officer. He then asks me if I know who he is. (Like I am EVER going to guess that.) And then he confesses that he is who he actually is. Not exactly my humor but I like a good joke now and then. One of my friends got me good when she had her husband call me up as the IRS and give me the government inquisition for not doing my income tax on time. Now that was funny. But not appropriate for some one you don't know. And since he started it so weird I can't seem to get into the groove of the conversation. Since our parents are still friends I feel obligated to be nice and polite to this person but I want to hang up. We make nice for about 10 minutes and then he says he has to go.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Wedding Day!

My sister and her new husband were married today in a beautiful little chapel. Their vows to the kids ~ she has one boy and he has two boys and a little girl ~ made me cry. So sweet. My sister looked stunning and her new hubby was as handsome as ever. They were so happy. The reception was a good time - we got to show off our Electric Slide that we have been practicing for the past couple of nights. The only dance I didn't see performed was the Funky Chicken. The cake was so fun - with permission I might be able to post a couple of pictures. It is funny how family events bring the drama out in people and I am happy to say that it wasn't our side of the family. Our side has the potential to be pretty quirky so I was relieved. I feel bad for my new brother-in-law but he is the black sheep of that clan and that is just fine. He is an awesome guy.

The other drama that occurred today was a little more serious. We (my mom, the two little kids and I) arrived at the chapel and parked in the shade of a tree. It was warm today, sunny and in the 80's. I put the keys to my car on my seat and left the door open because Cole had fallen asleep and I didn't want the car to get too hot. I heard a bell dinging but it didn't really register with me as to why. I got Ryan dressed in the back of the Yukon as there was no way she was going to fit in her car seat wearing her fancy dress and petticoats so we had the trunk open. I had her out in the grass where it was cool and was just gathering the rest of my stuff. My mom shut the trunk and someone else did me a favor by shutting my door. That little dinging noise? Yeah, that was the car locking. With my little boy inside. I don't have any other keys. OnStar has gone digital and I didn't upgrade it from analog. I kinda freaked out a little bit, did some swearing, and then went numb. I saw CSI so I know how fast that situation can get bad. My dad called 911 and had them on their way. There was a table cloth hanging from a wire coat hanger in a nearby tree (after ceremony mini reception on the lawn) so this nice man attempted to break in my car. My cousin called the Yukon dealer to see if a key could be made. I checked someone else's vehicle in a similar shady area to see how hot it was getting on the inside. And there is Cole, just dozing away. People were really nice and supportive. And I know the one who shut my door felt horrible as she looked like she was going to cry. It took so long for the cop to show up - we were debating about which window to break when two vehicles pulled up. The cop and the locksmith. The locksmith attempted his fake keys and then went on to the door jimmy. After messing around with it for about 5 eternal minutes he got the door open - the alarm system beeping like crazy and that is when Cole woke up. That is also when I began to cry. Holy Crap, ya know? He was fine, not any hotter than he normally is when sleeping. I fed him so extra water and milk and he seemed fine. More clingy than usual during the ceremony but no surprise after waking up prematurely from a much needed nap. It is scary to me how many close calls I have had with serious injury or worse with my kids. I mean I know we wouldn't have let that situation get out of control - it is easy (?) to break a window, but life is tenuous. We have our blinders on for how fragile it really is. I know because I lost my sister when she was 21 in 1993. I feel like I am being watched over ~ that someone protects my children and I am thankful. We recovered nicely from our little episode and went on like normal. My kids had a lot of fun dancing and playing on the practice putting green right off the porch were everyone was gathered and getting jiggy with it. Na Na Na Na Na Na .....

Friday, June 13, 2008

Checking In!

We made it! We left on Monday and had a fun night in Cle Elum staying in a caboose near the Iron Horse State Park. The Bed and Breakfast was great. We knew that snow was expected on the pass that night and it was a heck of a storm east of there. The next day we hit snow - a foot of snow in the Blue Mountains in Oregon. My car's tires are not made for snow so it was a worrisome trip for me. And my windshield wipers are crappy, not scraping the snow completely off the driver's side. And I don't have windshield washing fluid with the antifreeze component, no I have soap and water remnants because my reservoir is cracked and you don't need the fancy stuff in the summertime. Made worse by the gallon of coffee I had consumed that afternoon. We were crawling up the pass at 25 mph just following the RV in front of us as traffic was down to one lane. There was no getting off the exits because they weren't plowed and you were only going to get stuck. After an hour of that when the snow had tapered off due to elevation drop, we made it to an exit with no services but I pulled off anyway. I squatted by the front passenger head light so that no one would see me as they were passing on the high way below but go figure that another car decides to use this useless exit. And there I am, in the rain, on a three point hover, with my pants down my ankles, giving them a clear shot of my vajayjay, peeing away that gallon of coffee. And I am not exaggerating, I peed forever which is quite the feat for me as I seem to have a rather small bladder or overactive gotta go trigger (I think they make drugs for that!). I waved with my free hand - what else am I going to do, ya know? On we went with out any more snow, but a new set of windshield wipers and the cost to buy chains for overly large tires. We made it Boise, ID that night. We were able to do some touristy stuff the next day by going to an Interpretive Center for the Oregon Trail. Last year we took this route and it follows the path that the trail took. I then read a bunch of history books on the trail so it was nice to be able to see these landmarks again with more understanding about them. Still have yet to see some wagon ruts though... maybe on the way home. Wednesday night we stayed in Salt Lake City which is a beautiful spot. We stopped at Stampin' Up! headquarters on the way out of town. Ryan and I were given a little tour. The building is beautiful. I didn't run into Kristina but it's not like I was going to ask to see her - can you imagine if all the people who watched MACM just stopped by to meet her? She'd be so fired. We watched a little clip of how they make stamps which was really cool. Ryan was given a little Stampin' Spot and a cute little stamp as a parting gift. We made to the house here by about 4:30 p.m. A number of my step-mom's family is here - her sisters and their kids and it is like just one big party. Last night there were Cosmopolitans (too many for me) and relearning the Electric Slide (the last time I did that was gym class in 8th grade). Such a blast. So I should sign off so I don't have bags under my eyes for the wedding tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Bags are packed for Vay Kay

I finally got everything I think in the bags. Laundry is done, house is okay as is. I got my birthday dinner tonight - yummy Japanese! (Baseball tourneys all weekend.) My daughter likes California rolls as much as I do. :D My car died again last night. I caught it as it was taking its last breaths ~ I learned how to hook it up to the battery charger. I'll just have to go back to unplugging the battery every night so it doesn't die on our trip. The plan is to go to the gym for one last step class with my favorite instructor - she has a C-section tomorrow and will be gone for 6 weeks. Then, banking, last minute vehicle maintenance, gas up and try to get new tabs on the vehicle. Yeah, whoops! Shower, load car and off we go to get my mom. Like I wrote before I should be able to make updates while in CO. Today, I researched all the Starbucks between here and CO and then paired it up with a municipal park. A nice way to travel with kids. Oh, and you know how I mentioned that there was no way not to send the daughter off to college abroad - the only way it won't happen is if she decides herself not to go. Today she was tottering off that plan and looking at the in-state college. She doesn't feel right having Dad spend so much money sending her to school. (Cool!) I think she is caught up in the emotions of the high school doors locking behind her. We'll see what develops. If she doesn't go, I can't change her bedroom and we will most likely have to spend too much money on another vehicle for the younger kid. Ahhhhhhhh! However if she stays then my son will be more likely to remember her and that would be good. It is so funny how life isn't simple. If I had one of those Crazy 8 balls that tells you answers to your questions I am sure it would tell me to "ask again later".
Later Alligators!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Haven't been here in forever...

Gosh, I haven't even framed an experience with a blogger's mind for so long now, I feel kinda rusty. Not that I am a pro at this. Darn it, I didn't win the Wii. I finally got the checkbook in the computer (2005 thru current) and have it balanced. Now hubby just has to make enough money to cover everything. If you thought of our finances as an outfit, it would look like something close to this: an expensive nice pair of shoes paired with a mini-skirt and crop top. Not as bad as pasties, but trust me - they're under the crop top if things get worse. Still have to figure out how we send a kid to college abroad in the fall. We make too much to qualify for federal loans but have no cash to speak of. Got all kinds of equity tied up in various places. I can't stand it. Oh, and not an option not to send the kid to college abroad, even though she got into a good in-state school. The half-full side of that is I'll just commandeer her bedroom for the two little kids about a month after she takes off. I want to put them in bunk beds. (There are four of us in the master bedroom right now.) Anyway, so I have been trying to get the checkbook all figured out and in before we leave on our trip on Monday. He wants to pay bills and then figure out how much he has to put in the account and I would rather work with a budget with the funds in the account and send them off from there. Hate joint checking too. Would rather not have him access the account other than to put money into it. He was mad at me because I took the IRS refund and stuck it in the account to pay bills and didn't say anything to him about it. I swear, if he had known there was that kind of money in the account he would have bought the latest computer for one of the older kids (none of the 3 computers between the 2 of them is very old) and funneled more money towards some baseball invention he is involved in. I think we should pay bills first, ya know? Oh, and eat. So that's done, but of course it will be a mess when I get home because he doesn't record checks in the register - hence the carbon copy checks. He spends money like he has it. Just wish we did.
I finally went to Urgent Care and got myself a check-up. Bronchitis and Sinusitis. So I am on Amoxicillin: 2 pills 3 times a day. I also got myself a little prescription for Diflucan for the unfortunate side effect of the other antibiotics. Ladies, you with me on this? I'll take that pill tomorrow. I remember the first time I ended up with a yeast infection because I went to the Doctor. It was in college and had gotten myself a pretty good cold, good ol' chest infection so got some antibiotics for that one and a week later had my very first yeast infection. I was pretty steamed up that no one warned me that I might end up with a little problem elsewhere. So I was proactive with this sets of drugs. Don't want that hassle ever, never mind the week I am due for my period, traveling for 3 days in the car and attending a wedding a week from now.
Let's see, last week I was also really pissed off at my husband. It all boils down to priorities. The pie chart is huge in the favor of one kid. Totally uncool. I wanted to attend a baby shower. I thought I had worked it out with him that he was going to look after the little ones while I went. The day before he informs me that he never actually gave me an answer and to call my mom to see if she could do it. (She jumped at the chance to spend time with the little ones. I love my mom. She is always there for me.) He told me that when he watches them he can't get anything done. (It means they actually want him to play with them instead of on his computer on the couch.) He is actually standing in the doorway telling me this as he is headed out to the baseball field for a friggin' double header. What the hell are you getting done while sitting on your ass for 6 hours on a bleacher? Gosh, what is that gushing sound in my ears? It's my hubby, winning the Hoover Award for Dad of the Year.

I made him a Father's Day card anyway. Because my kids love their dad. I'll have the kids sign it and stash it for F's D and have him open it then. All supplies are Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted. Base card is Real Red, with a layer of Basic Black and Whisper White. I put the Black where I wanted it on the Red and placed it down on the cutter to slice away. Same with the next layer of White. My friend Toni asked if I had glued it down and then cut it. It was a great idea I didn't think of. The Red "Father" from the All Holidays set is on pop dots. A little bit of gingham to just add a touch and there you have a bold masculine Father's Day card. He also actually remembered my birthday so I went ahead and got him a replacement pocket knife for the one he lost a couple of months ago. His pocket knife is just part of his daily personal toolkit. He has his wedding band, watch, wallet, and belt that he carries on his person every day. The sound his watch makes - the links that hold the band together - are part of his music that he makes when he moves. His pocket knife usually clips onto his jeans and he uses it for all kinds of things. It isn't one of those Swiss Army knives, but he uses as if it were. It disappeared and I know he is missing it, because I miss it too. It is always handy to have him around if he has his knife on him.

I also made a card for my nephew who will be turning 9 while we are in Colorado with him. I had originally set aside a card for him that has this cute little frog on it: "Have I toad you how much I love you lately?" (Stampin' Up!) But I found out today how much he loves camouflage. I am thinking that if he likes camo, he might not be into little toadies. So I made him this card: The base card is Kraft. The other layers are Always Artichoke, Chocolate Chip, Close to Cocoa, and Mellow Moss. The layers on top of the Always Artichoke are on pop dots. The sentiment is also from All Holidays and is stamped in Close to Cocoa on twill tape. Love that stuff! Aged copper brads from the Hodgepodge Hardware. Used the Mat Pack and piercer from Making Memories Crafter's Toolkit to pierce around the edges of the paper. I think I would like to make this card again but tear the paper into strips and then place the layers and see how that camo turns out. I'll cut off that little bit of tape fringe off before I give it to him.

It will be forever before I get to make another card again! We leave on Monday, wedding is next Saturday and not sure when we will be heading back here. I am not in a rush to return. Can I tell you how much I am looking forward to my vacation? I won't have to cook dinner for at least six people who won't show up or like what I have fixed. I will not have to put up with any one's dirty dishes in the sink or the counter or where ever, even when the dishwasher is empty. It will all just accumulate until maybe the folks around here actually notice that they are messy and expect someone else to clean up after them. They will run out of dishes until they remember to actually load the dishwasher. After they scrape the mold out of the drinking glasses left on the computer table and bedside shelf. They will run out of room to leave dirty dishes in the sink and on counters. They will run out of clean pots and pans to cook in. They will run out of towels because a new one everyday is dropped on the bathroom floor or left to mold in the corner of a smelly bedroom. They will run out of toilet paper because no one bothers to put anything on a shopping list. They will have to look for their shoes at the front door in the massive pile that will accumulate there in a matter of days. They will be unable to tell which pile of laundry is clean because as each new person does laundry they empty the previous load to the floor. Do you think they are going to mop the floor of the laundry room? They will run out of space in the garbage can because they don't bother to recycle. The last bulb will burn out in the living room and leave them in total darkness because the lights will not turn off by themselves any other way. Hopefully no one will break, well.... just open the front door and steal stuff because the door is always left unlocked, even when no one is home. And if it does get locked then dad will have to drive 20 minutes back home to let someone in because this person can't remember to carry the house key on his person. Somehow remembers the cell phone, tho. But school will be out and really, someone is always at home and on the computer or watching TV and bonus, there will likely be friends over while no adult is at home. The personal trainer will have to let himself in the house to wakey wakey his student. PT is strong enough to open the door despite the layer of crap that impedes its progress. My guess is that the lawn will be about 1 foot tall, not that I mow it now, but that the house will be unpleasant to reside in so the only one who does mow it will spend more time at the hangar. I hope he has fun doing it all by himself because that is what he asks of them now. Ahhhh, Vacation. I just hope Fishy survives. I'll call Merry Maids or Terminex to hit the house before I return.

I should be able to post from CO because I'll have access to the computers while we are there. Where I am going it might actually act like summer instead of mid-February.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

I am still here...

Sorry.... I have been sick for the past couple of days and not been on the computer for fun. I have needed to balance my checkbook for a long time and I am trying to get the whole thing done before we go on our trip on Monday. I haven't made any cards. Plus I have been too PO'd at my husband to even be funny about him while blogging. More on that later. It all boils down to priorities: his and mine are different. I wish he put his kids higher up on his list. Men are so weird, ya know?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Some new cards

I am sick again! The whole family sounds horrible - there is that seal bark cough coming from every room and every member in the family. The other night I couldn't even fall asleep because of all the stuffy noses that were trying to pass air through the snot barriers. Is that gross? Yeah, I was nauseated over it myself that night. It isn't like you can stick your fingers in your ears and sing "Lalalalalala" at 2:00 in the morning. Anyway, I pushed it and did too much stuff and it came around again to bite me - it is going on 3 weeks now. I had a fever yesterday and could barely do a thing. I didn't have a fever today but I am gonna hit the sack early. I felt well enough that I made a couple of cards today and posted one that has been trapped in my camera for a week now - DH borrowed my camera to take pictures of the airplane he is building.

This is the card I made for a baby shower. They are going to be surprised as far as boy or girl. I cased: nvscrapmom did this card which I used as a jumping off point. I just bought a Cuttlebug but didn't buy any embossing plates yet ~ Michaels didn't have a good selection and Jo Ann's didn't have any. Small town stores. Anyway - I loved what she did. Right down to the Stickles on the moon and the pop up of the Sweet One band. Everything is Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted.

Paper: Barely Banana, Pretty In Pink, Bashful Blue, and Very Vanilla
Stamps: A New Little Someone, So Many Scallops and Fresh Fillers
Ink: Timber Brown StazOn, Pretty In Pink, Bashful Blue, Apricot Appeal
Accessories: Watercolor Pencils, Aqua Pen, Mat Pack & piecing tool, Yellow Stickles, Scallop Punch, Signo white gel pen, black SU! journaler, Pretty in Pink marker, Black, pink & blue gingham ribbon, glue & pop dots
Techniques: faux stitching, doodling

This card was created for my step-daughter who will be graduating soon. The school colors, as you might guess are green and white. I love that Event Full has the graduation stamp - it is not a specific set that I would buy, you know? As I look at it I might see if I can pull of the hats off bundle and back it with another layer of Whisper White or Basic Black to make it pop a little bit more. The card sketch was SC128.

Stamps: Event Full
Paper: Whisper White, Glorious Green, Basic Black, Paper Pizazz: Graduation
Ink: Basic Black
Accessories: Me & My Big Ideas Ellen Krans: Graduation, Black Gingham ribbon, glue & pop dots

My step sister is getting married in June and we (my mom, and the two little kids) will be heading out to Colorado in a couple of weeks... YEAH!!!! I could not cut this DP once I had trimmed down the piece that I had ~ I was going to do the card sketch that I ended up using for my mom's birthday card (below) so I just left it and I think it speaks for itself. It measures 5 1/2" X 5 1/2". I also didn't have a wedding image that went with the paper: everything I have was too cutesy. It mostly fits into this week's color challenge CC168: Sage Shadow, Chocolate Chip, and Very Vanilla~ I added Blush Blossom because it softened the card and complimented it nicely, IMO. I used the paper that was going to be on the outside (you know, the fab card in your head) and put it on the inside. It is layered with Blush Blossom and every piece of paper except Very Vanilla was touched to the Encore Ultimate Metallic Gold pad. I thought the Fairytale saying was very appropriate, especially for these two wonderful people.

Stamps: Full of Life
Paper: Very Vanilla, Chocolate Chip, Blush Blossom, K & Company Brenda Walton "Somerset": Bouquet Glitter and Diamonds Foil
Ink: Blush Blossom (sponging), Encore Ultimate Metallic Gold (edges)
Accessories: White Organdy ribbon (off some gift), Chocolate Chip, Sage Shadow & Marvy Dusty Pink markers
Techniques: sponging

This last card is the one I made for my mom's birthday completing the CC168 and SSS4 from Heartfelt Greetings Super Sketch Sunday, May 18th. I already love her blog. I added her blog to my list of Favorite Places to Go. These are the colors that I think of when I picture my mom. It turned out okay, but you should have seen the debris field of discarded attempts for the image. Anyway, thanks for looking!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Smells like Waffles

It was such a nice day today and it was a gift. The weather man said it was going to be crappy. We took advantage of it and went to the park before the sun turned the slides into fanny toasters. The little kids and I were the only ones at the toddler park for quite a while so I could push them on the swings and let them slides down the slides as much as they wanted. We went last weekend when the weather was like mid-July and there was a waiting line for the toddler swings. Other times the park attracts tweens and teenagers who run around like bulls in a china shop, and it is time to go. We played out the toddler park and headed over to another area where the slides are longer and there are tunnels to crawl through. It is a grade school kid park but they both love it and if it is not too populated then we usually stay. I brought my book in hopes that I could read for just a minute but that's just dreaming - never going to happen. I get out there and play with them in all the areas. It is fun and for safety too because there are gaps in the play structure so that the bigger kids can swing out and do stuff like the overhand ladder thingy - which seemed like fun until it turned into exercise in gym class. Remember the President's Fitness Test? You had to run the 800 or what ever it was and do push-ups and sit-up and for girls, hang from the bar with your chin above it? Not a fun week in gym. I remember there was this girl Lisa who was pretty short compared to the rest of us and she could hang up there for well over a minute. It seemed the smaller you were the better you did at that one. My friend Amy, who was really tall could only hang for 12 seconds. Me, about 40 seconds was my max.
Anywho, I climb through the tunnels behind my kids and we go down the slides together. Okay, well it is more like, I schlep my body through the tunnel because I am just a little bit too big to do it on hands and knees and as for the slide, it is curvy and my ass drags down it at a rather modest creep. No whee for me! I think it is okay that way though. We went to one of those play places for a friend's birthday party for her little boy and I think I cracked my tailbone. I wore pants made out of a synthetic material and I went flying down the slide like a greased pig and skidded a couple of feet on the crash mat. Bumpity bumpity went my rumpity.

So I am the only adult playing on the structure until this charming man with a British accent gets on with his two little boys. The story isn't even about him, but rather about this pack of three kids there having a picnic with their grandma. They are so excited to have a big kid on the structure that they flock to me like flies on stink. At first I don't really notice it but they keep inserting themselves between my kids and I, which I don't like. My little boy is too little to be on this stuff by himself and I need to be free and clear of and from other children when I am taking him down the slide and by the gaps. I move so that they can play where they are and we have space to play on the other side. Except they move with us. The oldest is a girl about 7 or so. And wearing a T-shirt with Pull-Ups and no pants or underwear. Her little butt cheeks were hanging out the sides of her Pull-Ups which couldn't have felt nice. I originally thought she was wearing them over her shorts to provide a better sliding fabric but that was not the case. The next was a boy somewhat younger, maybe 5 or so and the youngest another girl at around 4. I had my kids go through the tunnel to go back over to the slide when I heard them following us and then felt some one's face in my butt. I forgive a little bit of this stuff because I imagine in her excitement that she has no concept of personal space. We head up the slide and she is practically pushing me and has nudged my daughter out of her way so she can be right behind me. She ends up going down the slide with her feet in my hair because I have to lay down to go down this slide. I ask her nicely to let my daughter be right behind me and not to be so close that her feet are on me. We continue to play and it doesn't get any better. Her head is up my butt so far I am sure she can smell what I had for breakfast. This is so bizarre! I even lose the niceness in my tone and the asking quality the next time I speak to her. Grandma finally tunes in and asks them to back off. I wish she would have told them to butt out, but apparently she couldn't see what was happening. They basically then are just watching to see where we are headed so that they can get there first. The next time we head through a tunnel I pick my feet up a little bit so that they provide a bit of a barrier and natural discouragement from breathing up my britches. All I can think of at this point is a joke that my friend told me yesterday:
Papa Mole sticks his head out of his hole and says, "I smell honey." Momma Mole sticks her head out of the hole and says, "I smell maple syrup." Baby Mole tries to poke his head out of the hole and says, "Can you move? All I smell is molasses."

Saturday, May 24, 2008

I Can See the Future....

Mind if I just rant for a little bit?

My husband is confusing me. We have 2 children together and his two teenagers living in the house with us. I must say the daughter is doing awesome. She just got another scholarship grant. Who Hoo! Only 35 more months of college in a foreign country to pay for! She broke up with her boyfriend last night because he didn't want her to go away to college. And she thought that if she continued dating him through the summer she might not want to go away either. And then 2 years down the line at an in-state university she would have regrets. How friggin' smart is that? I would have never made that decision when I was 17 and I would have stayed and regretted it. I still regret it.... not going on an international exchange during high school or college. It is why I went with Rotary in 2000 ~ wasn't going to let another relationship prevent me from experiencing something amazing and worthwhile. What is even more amazing is that her Sophomore year in high school she was hanging out with the worst people, dressing all Emo and making poor choices. Her dad straightened her out. There were consequences that were handed out for poor choices and followed through with. She moved in with us and has stayed ever since. Even through all of the sad bribery her mom has offered her in order to get her to move back: belly button piercing (she took her up on that one), let her drive the car, offered her a used one and some other weird things too bizarre to go into right now. If she was caught doing something there was punishment like taking the phone away, loss of all activities with friends, a homework and TV/computer time schedule, loss of the car her dad bought her. And there were discussions about choices and consequences and seeing the bigger picture. And she got it. She dumped her loser friends, more than a few of them dropped out of school that year. She gave peer pressure the middle finger and found a better set of friends. How many kids do that? She is graduating with honors in her high school "focus," has won awards for her many projects in school, received grants & scholarships, and has been accepted into her first school of choice.

It is the boy's turn to cause concern. He has really crappy grades, D's and F's along with some C's and B's. Trouble is, he is smarter than that. Trouble is, so is Dad. He has unlimited time on his computer. His mom got him Grand Theft Auto for his birthday. See above paragraph for sad bribery. (She wants him to spend more time with her. On paper he lives with her so we pay her support every month when he actually spends his time outside of school and baseball here, even on "her" weekends.) I feel bad for her. I don't want to live her life as ex-wife trying to co-parent. Anywho, I don't see the same reactions in dad that I would expect. His grades are worse than his sister's ever were, yet there is still plenty of time spent at baseball and on the computer with a little TV thrown in to balance it all out. Baseball. Regular season has ended and now he has started another league. Double AA or A or something. So he continues to have practice in the early evening after coming home in the afternoon to wage war on NYC. On alternating days he meets with his personal trainer directly after school to lift weights or run, depending on the day. His physical transformation in a single year has been amazing. After regular baseball team practice there is no less than an hour at the batting cages, every day. What I can't figure out is why this is continuing while the grades are so poor. Dad has even admitted that he should probably be doing something. He gave me this line of bullspit about how difficult it is to dominate another male. I cry foul ball here. That is the biggest plate of crap set before the Queen in quite a while. When I think of my husband I can visualize him with a steel core, might also be considered a pole up his ... wait a minute! I am getting off base here. He can dig his heels in like no one I know. And it is basically his way or the highway with a lot of stuff. So how hard is it to pull the plug on the computer? Take the cords away while he is at school. Sorry, no more computer until your grades improve. He wants to get his license at the end of the summer. Biggest carrot a teenager will chase after as far as I know. No coffee no workie! I think Dad might be concerned that the kid will not move in with us. He should be free to live where he wants, regardless of the desires of either parent. He doesn't tell his mom he wants to live with us because he doesn't want to hurt her ~ he is a caring kid at his soul ~ but instead he is sullen and angry and totally disrespectful to her in every way he can be (unless it is his birthday) because he is angry about having to coddle her feelings. I would think that the kid is hoping someone will actually take the reins and tell him to shape up. Instead he is adrift.

Dad was trying to convince me (or himself) that he has raised his kids well. Funny, one of his dad's favorite sayings was if you were going to do something do it to the best of your abilities. And my husband idolized his father. The time he spends at home he is usually on his computer, yes researching something for work, but ignoring his littlest kids, the ones who still want to play with him. No one has to any chores. No need to help clean up the kitchen after you make your self a sandwich or whatever, or help after dinner. Cleaning the bathroom is foreign territory as are brooms for when you come in the house with dirt and grass on your cleats. Garden tools are on another planet. Hey, think maybe you could help out by mowing the lawn or doing your own laundry? Dad cleans the boy's room! DH isn't the neat and tidy man he claims himself to be. Gee, I wish I could live there. And dad doesn't support the idea of after school jobs to earn money because they might take up too much time for baseball, or softball when she played or other school activities. The girl has pretty much had a job for two years now and really likes having her own money. It is why she has an iPhone. She gets it. But a job would get in the way of baseball and he needs to relax after his hard day too.

So I don't get it. He was able to get the job done for the girl but not for the boy. Maybe he is getting tired of raising children. My future? I have a girl and a boy who will one day be teenagers. And I will be the Guy. The Good Guy and the Bad Guy making sure my kids are raised to be responsible, helpful, charitable, respectful, fun, educated, balanced children, most likely by myself. I gonna make it as right as I can make it.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Flip Turns

Three Kid Circus posted the winner to the Wii Fitness Contest she just ran. When you have a moment you have to read her entry on Fit in Only Six Minutes a Day. I haven't laughed so hard at a blog story ever. It made me think of what my most embarrassing fitness moment would be.
A couple of years ago now I joined my local gym. It has everything: weights, fitness classes and the pool. I used to swim in college for exercise and I got to be okay at it. Not that I ever lost weight doing it, but it was something I could do. So to ease back into fitness (was I ever really fit??? I don't think so, I was just Young) I headed for the pool. It is good for your cardiovascular system and doesn't put too much strain on your body, your lazy ass couch potato body that hasn't seen the light of day on a walk in many a year now, nor known the strain of spandex pulled tight enough around your thighs to snap you into the next dress size. And being the thrifty gal that I am, I pulled out my old college swimsuit ~ I was still the same size so I didn't need to get a new one. It is a one-piece with plenty of coverage in nice enough colors, colors and cut that don't say LOOK AT ME! Perfect. Never mind the toll that chlorine takes on a swimsuit, specifically the elastic of the swimsuit, I was rarin' to go. I found my goggles, my pool shampoo, my flip-flops so I don't pick up anything icky off the gym floor... I mean, I am close to thin now! And off I go.

I am kinda of a cold wimp so it takes me a while to actually get in the pool and all the way wet - I mean, it is cold. But once submerged I am ready to try my stroke. Luckily I have chosen a time where there are not too many people using the pool. Some of those people will mow you down like road ragers in rush hour traffic: you're the idiot in the fast lane taking a casual Sunday drive, communicating their displeasure with you with hand signals and some choice words, distorted by their underwater filter - you still get the message though. I try the breast stroke and to breathe every third stroke on opposing sides. Three breaths in and I gotta take a break, I am way out of shape. But I soldier on to the end of the lane and make my way back and forth a few more times. Then I decide to pull out my bag of tricks. A couple of yards out I decide I am going to pull out one of my old and only skills, the flip turn. I am not sure that is even what it is called but you swim near to the pool wall, dive down like an otter and do a flip, timing it so that your feet can use the wall to push off for another lap.

I remember that the flip turn is best executed for me about two strokes out and I dive down, make my turn, my feet actually hit the wall perfectly so that I can thrust off and be a quarter of the way down the lane without taking a stroke. I left the top of my bathing suit at the wall. Except I don't know it yet. I keep going on down the lane, complete that lap and decide I need a rest at the pool wall. You know, the end where the camera focuses on you and you look at the stop watch to see which world record and personal best you have broken and imagine yourself in your crown of bay leaves and some bling around your neck. Or the end where you grip the wall like you might not be able to haul yo ass out of the water and you're sure you have digested a fair amount of chlorine because you didn't get your mouth completely out of the water during that last sucking air attempt.
This end of the pool is also the business end of the pool. There are chairs there for the slightly creepy old men that hang out and the moms watching their kids taking their swim lessons, the hooks for hanging up your towel, the walkway to the sauna, public pool shower, and the hot tub. It is also where there is a public restroom and the door to the men's locker room. It is busy and I am topless. My elastic has given completely away, eroded by the sands of time and the gallons of chlorine never completely washed out of the suit. And my boobies are out for one and all to gaze upon. The air is cold, the water is cold and I am somewhat numb from both colds and I don't feel the difference between water wet and air wet and lack of suit wet. Better yet, I become aware of this fact when someone I know looks at me and immediately averts his eyes from me like I am Medusa. I mean, why would he not say hi to me? Maybe because I have a booger. That sometimes happens when you are exercising and sometimes when you are swimming. And heaven forbid, I am doing both. So I reach up to casually wipe my face and nose and that is when I notice that something is wrong with my suit. I don't have a booger, he is not looking at me because .... Oh, because I am half naked in the pool? Yeah, that's probably why. I sink back down to get a better look at what kind of wardrobe malfunction I am having. The elastic has disintegrated at the strap and at the clip in the back and now there is nothing quite holding it up or together. I can feel the water in the pool evaporating at the blaze of red heat that my face has become. And what do I do now? Poke my head out of my hole like a prairie dog to see how many people have witnessed my nakedness? How am I going to make the mile long walk to my towel and slink off to the women's room, the farthest door away from where I am without passing everyone? I am certainly not going to venture back into the middle of the pool like nothing happened, maybe you really didn't see what you think you saw, and I can't even pretend to swim because I can't hold my suit together and swim at the same time. If there had been a fire alarm to pull at the side of the pool I would have done it.

I hung out there until my lips turned blue and my teeth chattered and hypothermia relinquished me of my embarrassment. I figured that everyone who had been a witness to my boobies had gone off to tell someone and have a good chuckle over it and wasn't in the pool area any more, so I could go back to just being another person slaving to the fitness gods. I scrambled out, holding my suit together as best and as casually as I could and made my way to the ladies locker room for a shower. I figured once I had my clothes on no one would recognize me anymore.

I still run into that guy every once in a while and I think to myself: he has seen my boobies.

And I wonder if he is thinking the same thing.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Home Sweet Home

This is the card I created for scs Ways To Use It Challenge #166: Inchies. An inchie is a 1 inch square canvas (paper or fabric) on which you create your work. Mine is a 1 3/8" because that was the closest square punch that I own. The image from Little Somethings was stamped in StazOn Timber Brown and watercolored with crayons and an AquaPainter. It was matted on More Mustard and then Bashful Blue. The Bashful Blue covers up my handwriting attempt at Home Sweet Home. The Bashful Blue is pierced using the Mat Pack. I hand doodled along the edge of the Whisper White and felt it needed something else. I usually reach for the ribbon at that point. I thought the black & white gingham could look like bees with a yellow brad. So I added some bee trails and called it good. All supplies are by Stampin' Up!

The little beehive is also an image in Alison Jay's 1 2 3 A Child's First Counting Book. It is a picture hanging on the wall in the house of the Three Bears.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Little Boys

What makes them pee when you take off the diaper?

What makes them squat down to play in it afterwards?

Thank heavens we were headed to the shower. We all needed a bath after today. Thank heavens I have an extra bath mat always at the ready so that I can clean up that mess and have another one to step onto when the shower is done.
We hop in there and I am getting all of us cleaned up when Ryan tells me that Cole's potty is open.
I look at his little private parts and you could say that is exactly what has happened. I don't have these parts so I don't really have a good answer for her. I have nothing I could relate it to. If my nipple decided to roll inward I am sure I would be hopping around like I stubbed my toe, holding my breath to see if I could pop it out again. When I have to clean in his penis area ~ especially after the round of nasty smelling diarrhea we have been through again, he always squirms his hips like it is uncomfortable. So I am gentle and quick. I let my husband deal with the whole circumcision thing - I would have left it alone where it just me.
So I am just not sure how it feels to have it rolled back like that. I reached down and pulled his hood down ~ I mean I think it would be sensitive, like a hermit crab without his shell. He popped it back so maybe it is like having the window down in the car on a hot day. I just let it be. Ryan was already back to making smiley faces on the shower door leaving me to be the only one wondering about little boys.

Maybe Spring Has Sprung!

Today was gorgeous ~ it was sunny and warm with just a hint of wind. So we took advantage of it. After the gym and library we went to the airport to wash my truck. I wish I had brought my camera because the kids had a blast playing in the water. Ryan spent the whole time running through the monster puddle we had created while Cole was entertained just by standing there stomping his feet. They got soaked pretty much from the waist down. I also got to vacuum the inside of my truck. I wish I had the money to have someone detail it for me. Although I wouldn't be able to hand it over the way it is - I would feel guilty for letting someone else start where it is now. I still haven't gotten the gum and candy out of the carpet from the previous owner. I need a vacuum attachment with the micro-nozzle end so that I can get into all the crevasses of a car seat. So nice to be able to hoover up a car seat - makes it almost like new. Cleaning the truck is like the purse game, only way grosser. I found soda bottles (not from any of my regular little passengers), Cheerios, and dandelion petals. But the coup de gras was the wad of used tissues from one of my passengers who sat in the back of my truck on our way to pizza last weekend. The whole family is sick, coughing up a lung here and there, with runny noses and froggy throats. And no one is going to eat another snack in my car for a while.

At least until tomorrow.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Kristina's Color Inspirtation Challenge #9

This is the card I submitted for her 9th challenge. The colors were Real Red, Pumpkin Pie, So Saffron, Old Olive, and Tempting Turquoise. I loved this color combo. I'd save it to decorate my next kitchen. I stamped the 5 1/2" square base card with Real Red using my Canvas bg. The ship was stamped on Whisper White, Real Red, So Saffron, and the Summer Picnic DP. I cut those pieces out and colored in the Olive Olive. I used a Signo white gel pen to color in the anchor and port holes. The image was masked so I could sponge in the sky in Bashful Blue and use my WC crayon in Tempting Turquoise to make the waves. It was blended with the AquaPainter (thank you Toni!). Next I stamped it in VersaMark and then applied Ultra Thick Embossing Powder and applied the heat gun. I noticed the StazOn might have run a little bit under the embossing powder so that will be something to play with. The other thing I would do would be to apply another layer of powder because my smokestack cut out is poking through a bit. The tag was stamped with Real Red, hand doodled in Tempting Turquoise and attached with a brad. I added the ribbon and placed the various layers on pop dots. Overall, I like how it turned out ~ even if it didn't make her Top Ten! There is always next week!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Pedals to the Wind

This was created for scs Color Challenge 166: Rose Red, Soft Sky & Pumpkin Pie. The gallery is full of beautiful cards so I had to play. While looking I ran into a great card with a cupcake on it and it was for something called Mojo Monday. I checked the site out, it is called Poetic Artistry, and loved her card & sketch so I decided to play there as well. I just got this new set and thought the flower blossoms would be fun in the PP; only later did I remember that I had some flowers that might match. I stamped the image in Jet Black StazOn on watercolor paper. I masked the bike and flowers to sponge the sky in SS. If it weren't for a cc I would use Bashful Blue as I think it is a much happier sunny kind of day sky color. I colored the bike in RR with a blender pen. The tires were done with a black WC pencil and then also blended in. I used SS scraps to weave a little basket and then touched it to the SS pad to give it some depth. (It sounds like I might have known what I was doing, but in reality I had no clue what was going to happen to my cute little basket. It actually turned out just like I wanted it to! LOL I think I just got something like that in a new stamp set: "If you at first succeed, try not to look astonished!) I used a PP marker to color in the flowers. The SS layer was stamped in SS using the Polka Dot background. The base card, in RR, is stamped using the Everyday Blossoms wheel in RR. I added the PP grosgrain ribbon embellishments and sat back to look at it. It needed something. So I dug through my stash trying to remember where I kept the flowers. Found them without too much trouble and played with it in various forms. I ended up keeping the flower with the two layers of petals and changing out the brad with a RR one. I would have used white if I owned white brads. It still needed something. One of my favorite children's illustrators is Tracey Campbell Pearson. She does ink and watercolors so I borrowed her outline technique and added the PP pen to the bike panel. It is one of those things that once you start you have to keep going and if you don't like it your stuck with it unless you want to make another one. I am not that gal. I don't mind mass producing but I don't like redoing a mistake. Go figure. I liked it so I did more handwork on the SS panel in black marker, polka dots like the stamp. Last I colored in the centers and dots to the RR blossoms. I like it better than when it was plain. I had originally popped some of the little float away blossoms on micro pop dots but you couldn't see then and there wasn't enough surface area for them to really stick so I peeled them off. One was still on my work surface which I added to the prima, just cuz I thought it might look cute.
This card took me a little while longer to make. My toddler never feel asleep during nap and I could hear her scampering around in the bedroom. I'll be so sad when she drops her once a day nap. It is my time. To nap or stamp or fold laundry or call a friend. Then the baby woke up. I got there in time to say hi and give him a hug and catch his barf. Aren't you thinking cute little orange blossoms too right now? Hey, that's my get away bike! I haven't had as much time at the computer and thinking funny blogging thoughts because the three of us are a little punky right now. Each of us has a head and chest cold and he has the vomiting and nasty smelling diarrhea to go along with his cold. I had to do laundry so that we could have blankets tonight and the most abundant amount of clean bedding as possible before we went to bed. The last time he had the flu in January we went through all the bedding & his pj's in the house. In a 4 hour stretch. Starting about 2:00 in the morning. I bought more bedding after that. Then I caught it and that's when my friend Shannon brought over the pink 7-Up because my DH didn't have the time to run to the store. My other friend Rena was reading my blog, catching up and thought that I was sick again so she bought me Fresca, in the original flavor. Although she was disappointed that I wasn't in need of her soda (not that because I wasn't sick) I was very happy because it is now secretly stashed away from the soda snatchers in the house for the next time I am praying to the porcelain god and my DH is too busy to be kind and thoughtful. Blog candy is when win something off some one's blog.... so is that called Blog Booty?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Orange You Wonderful

I created this card for Beate's Weekend Sketch Challenge #47. I still had Pumpkin Pie (orange) on my mind because of Kristina's "Color Inspiration" or Color Frustration in my case for last challenge. I had fun but liked the other submissions a lot better than mine. Anywho, I wanted to do something cute with orange. I just got the Tart and Tangy set from the SU! Occasions catalog and knew I was going to use the orange in some fashion. Beate's challenge included an oval. Hmmm.
I don't own Nestabilities YET and I went to Michaels this week with my 40% off coupon to get the Cuttlebug and they were OUT OF STOCK! #@$">%#*$'! She wouldn't issue me a rain check. Lady, it isn't easy to drag my kids around this store puh~lease help me out here!
I looked all around my house for something to use and I finally found an oval. It came off the top of my daughter's fish toy. It even came pretty close to the size I wanted. So I traced and cut it out. I am not a very good snipper. Drives me nuts!
I have the new DP Summer Picnic that matches the Tart & Tangy set so I pulled a couple of sheets out along with Whisper White, Real Red and Pumpkin Pie. When I was brainstorming over Beate's challenge at nap time I came up with Orange juice sweet. And if you say it fast enough it sounds like Aren't You Sweet. All fine and dandy until I look through my stamp sets and realize I don't have the sentiment "sweet!" Must be in my craft room over at my friend Toni's house. During my search I pulled out my Warm Words set just in case because it does have a lot of fun and cheerful words, including the "wonderful" I ended up using, stamping in Basic Black. I decided to write out "you" in Real Red using my ABC Alphabet lowercase set, made better by the use of my Stamp-a-ma-Jig. That has to be in my top 5 tools for perfect placement of stamp images. Really great when you hand-mount your own stamps - you can do a lousy job of mounting and never know it by your masterpiece!
Since the scalloped edge might cover up some of my graceless cutting I used my 1/2" circle punch to pop out a bunch of Pumpkin Pie paper circles and glued them on the back of the oval. I decided to further cover my cutting tracks by sponging on a little Pumpkin Pie around the edges. Add a little Pumpkin Pie grosgrain and call it kinda punny. When I added my submission in my comments I mentioned a bit of MacGyvering to make this card. She said she was glad that I didn't do any MacGrubering. Boy, so am I because with having to small children, not to mention some pretty icky runny noses and stinky butts there would be lots of opportunity for some nasty tools! Plus my house already looks like something exploded.
I am much happier with the way this one turned out. The colors are happy together, the orange fruit is cheerful, and someone receiving it might feel a little bit better about his/herself. I hope you enjoy it.
Thanks for looking!

Happy Mother's Day!

To all you Moms out there I wish you a very Happy Mother's Day!

My daughter planted a petunia for me at the gym Kids' Club the other day. They got to paint the little cartons that they planted the flower in. It is really cute, and she was so proud of herself. I'll snap a pic of it and post tomorrow. My husband took the little kids and I out for dinner ~ yummy Thai! He then took my daughter into the grocery store where she could pick out some flowers for me. I'll post that pic tomorrow as well. I got the loveliest Mother's Day card from my kids. I hope you all had a nice day as well.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

DragonFly Friend

This is the other card I made for the In Stitches challenge . I have been thinking about this DP since I bought it. It is Cosmo Cricket called Fleuriste. Yummy!
The base card is 4 x 8. I wanted the project to be long enough that I could have more of the designer paper showing. The base is Blush Blossom. I just got that cs in my latest order. I kinda overlooked it for a while, but I really like the softness of it. It was stamped with River Rock using the Canvas background. The three panels are Almost Amethyst, Pale Plum, and Certainly Celery. I sponged the edges of them in River Rock as well to soften their effect. River Rock is so versatile! I stamped the image in Jet Black StazOn and colored the flutterbyes in the Soft Subtles markers. It is mounted on Blush Blossom. I used a crewel embroidery needle to sew 1/4" taffeta over the dragonfly wings. They are shimmery in my mind when I think of them. I also added Stickles: Waterfall and Yellow to the main body of the dragonfly for some extra shine.
I faux stitched the image panel in a basic straight stitch, the DP panels in a zig zag, and cross-stitched around the edge of the base card. Oh! and I faux sew as well I sew IRL. Enjoy and thanks for looking!

In Stitches

No Time to Stamp has her Stamp Simply challenge #34 posted. She says: we want you to sew — real or faux — your choice. You can machine stitch, hand stitch, lace something up, faux stitch with pen, faux stitch with pierced holes, faux stitch with the perforator on SU’s cutter kit — whatever you can figure to do — you can even sew on a button!!!
I really wanted to get my hands on my ribbon embroidery supplies and sew a garden of flowers and critters. Couldn't even locate my needles. I want a craft room! I'd have shelves where I could organize my supplies, be able to use my sewing machine, leave a project out on the table without the fear of crumbs and soda splashes...
Yesterday was my step-son's 16th birthday. He'll go for his driving test later on in the summer, something to do about not having applied for his learner's permit in time to take the test on his birthday. It'll work fine that way, his big sis will head off to college, most likely without her car and he'll have something to drive. It keeps him from wanting to borrow mine. I remember finding her high school parking space application with my Tahoe information on it, stuck in a book of mine she had borrowed. As if she was going to take my car, park it for 7 hours, and then go off for Lord knows where for hours until whenever... as if I didn't have a toddler in tow and a baby on the way with limited activity restrictions and things to do. I got a real kick out of finding that application.
This is the card I made for the birthday boy. My husband didn't really like the card I had pulled out for him, he said it was too girly so my challenge was to make a manly manly card. To me that meant primary colors, no ribbon, brads, and a sap-free sentiment.
His card was all SU! supplies: Basic Black base card, Brilliant Blue panel, Real Red and Whisper White. I used markers to color in the sentiment and Real Red brads. I used my new Mat Pack, which I love! and my crafter's tool kit. My husband gave a little ooh when I presented it to him so I know he was pleased with it. We wrote our hand sentiments with a Signo gel pen, great for dark cards. I also made him a cherry pie as his birthday cake. I had been asking about when we were going to have him for his birthday because we share the day with his mom. DH had said that he didn't think he would be with us for dinner so I figured we would celebrate at our next dinner together. Yesterday afternoon, birthday boy was hanging out on the couch and I learned that we were going to pizza for dinner. Holy cherry pie not made Batman! So off the the grocery store we (the little kids & I) go to pick up regular grocery stuff and hurry home to make the pie. DH swears he told me to make it for yesterday. I still think the info was too vague. He gives me a present to wrap, I make the card and I get the pie made and in the oven to bake while they are at baseball. In the meantime the baby has asked to go "nigh, nigh." What kid asks to go to bed? How great is that? I know we are going out to dinner so I left him in his clothes. My daughter decorates a card for her big brother. When they get home, big sis rolls in with her BF and we all get in the 'burb to go to pizza. BD Boy is carrying a bag with him. When we finish pizza he asks that he be dropped off at his mom's. Only on his birthday and Christmas does he ask to go see her, 353 other days he demands that he stay with us. So we do. And the only one to eat the cherry pie is my husband. This morning Big Sis and Dad had it for breakfast. Maybe there will be some left when BD boy comes back.

Friday, May 9, 2008

So Sweet!

Friday is Limited Supplies Challenge at splitcoast; today's challenge was "No Stamping." I used the new Designer Paper series from SU! called Summer Picnic. I can't tell you how hard it was to cut it! I used the coordinating rub-ons called A Perfect Day for the flower in the middle and the sentiment. I cased a card (Sassy Tulips) from last week's Featured Stamper (FS65) Nutsymuhl for the design sketch. I loved the challenge from No Time To Stamps "Stamp Simply" #31 in which black was used as an accent. I love Mary Engelbreit so I wanted to add the checks but I don't think my card has the same level of whimsical as her works does. Another great stamper Markie's Mom always frames her work in white gel pen dots so I used her technique here too.

Here is a link to my card in the scs gallery for all the details.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Kristina's Color Inspiration Challenge #8

The colors for her latest challenge are: Brilliant Blue, Pumpkin Pie, Bashful Blue, and Whisper White. This was a challenge as these are not colors I would normally put together. I think of football when I see blue & orange together, not that I could name a team. I posted the details on splitcoast.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

I won Blog Candy!

Kittie747 is one of my favorite people to case - I think her work is AMAZING! I love her scenes- to me they are works of art. I drop in at her blog and yesterday she was offering Tuesday Treasure Hunt Rubbernecker Bucks for blog candy. To win you had to leave a comment on her blog telling her what craft tool you couldn't live without. For would be a watercolor brush. A number of people talked about their cutting systems... and no kidding... it is a life saver. I can't cut a straight line so I don't think I would make cards without my rotary cutting system by Fiskars.
Okay, time for a ramble..... Last night I read the children's book the dot by Peter Reynolds. It is a great book with a wonderful message about encouraging art. There is a little girl, Vashti, who thinks that she can't draw anything. So her art teacher told her to "just make a mark and see where it takes you." So the little girl grabs a marker and stabs the paper with it. (I have been there!) The teacher looks at it and then has Vashti sign it. The next time she walks into art class her picture is framed in "swirly gold" and hung above the teacher's desk. And Vashti thinks to herself that she can make a better one. And off she goes to explore the dot with all kinds of art materials. She creates numerous compositions based on her original dot and is the hit of the art show. There is a little boy there admiring her work and in awe of Vashti. But he says that can't draw a straight line with a ruler. So she asks him to show her. And then she asks him to sign it.
Now how cool is that book? It is one to buy and have on the shelf for both my kids and myself. I encourage you to check it out at your library or local book store! End of ramble....
But everyone talked about their cutter so I thought about what I reach for in my craft cupboard (wish it were a door knob!) when I am going to make a project. I reach for my Tomboy tape thingy - another essential item when making cards, so quick and easy. But before I even do those things I usually am on the computer. Maybe it is a card sketch or a color challenge (waiting waiting waiting with baited breath for Kristina to upload her latest!) or I have a specific project in mind and I know that there are fantastic cards made for inspiration in some one's gallery, someone like Kittie747.
Anywho, I am off to go spend my Rubbernecker bucks... Yahoo!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

A Cup of Tea by Amy Ephron

This novel was inspired by a Katherine Mansfield short story, A Cup of Tea. I think I will check it out from the library to see how it differs. It was a quick read, each chapter being only a couple of pages long, at most.

It would have been perfect for my car book. I keep one there so that if both kids fall asleep I am not stuck in the car waiting for them to wake up. I can't move them either because most likely they will have power-napped and be awake when I don't want them to be. I take advantage of these moments and turn them into Me Time. That means a trip through drive-thru Starbucks, drive somewhere nice or home and settle in with my car book.

Can you change some one's life by doing something nice for them? Can your act of kindness set the course of their life in a completely different direction? Did you think that by doing so your life would not be touched other than to be able to say that you did something nice for another person? How many people's lives are touched by your actions, even if they are not the direct recipient?

This is that story. Yet there are pieces missing, on purpose that make you wonder who the characters really are... what happened to shape them into who they are.

I read it fairly quickly, as I enjoyed it. I will tell you that, as the back of the book reads..."there is a shocking conclusion." Okay, not exactly earth shattering like Night Fall by Nelson DeMille (holy crap!!!! the way ND wove real life and fiction together!!! a favorite of mine) or absolutely angering (for me) at the horrible tragedy of Message in a Bottle by Nicholas Sparks ~ I was so bitter about the ending of that one that I swore I would never read it again and nearly made up my mind not to read another one of his stories. I got over it enough to read other books by him.

The thing I liked about A Cup of Tea was that what I predicted what was going to happen, didn't. And it didn't end like I thought it was going to once I figured out that my prediction was wrong. It is a bit of a dark tale. A good winter book, under a blanket on a comfy couch on a rainy day, sweetened by a cup of hot chocolate.
(Did you think I was going to say tea?)

Monday, May 5, 2008

No more snackin' more me!

I have recently discovered that I no longer wish to eat snacks if the bag is open in the house. My new weight loss secret stategy? The power of observation. There is a teenage boy in the house who likes snacks too. He also likes to keep his hand in his pants while sitting at the computer or watching tv. Not much of a hand washer.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Inspiring Story (and yes, I teared up over it!)

Opponents carry injured home-run hitter around bases
Someone commented on how this was a win in life.... so true.

When I post there are a little over 1200 comments regarding this story. Some people get it and others just don't.

Friday, May 2, 2008

LSC166 - Spotlight on circles

The limited supply challenge in sc was as follows:

This week, you're limit is on tools. Not only are the tools limited, but you can only use one type of punch.... CIRCLES!

Stamps: any
Paper & Ink: any
Embellishments: any
Tools: circle punches, circle die cut shapes, circle cutting systems

I made this little sour cream container because my friend and SU! demonstrator Toni usually gives one away as a door prize and I think they are adorable. My other friend Wendy and her DH (I have more than 2 friends!) are going away to Mexico for 2 weeks. As a little going away gift I got them some SPF 30 lip balms so I packaged them up in this, using the LSC for the week as my theme. It is also in my gallery for all the nitty gritty details on products, mostly SU! The only change I made was the placement of the third strip of tacky tape - it's on the other long side of the paper.

Thanks for looking!

Oh the things kids say...

Mommy! I have to go poop!
Okay, just give me a minute. (I'm putting food on plates.)
I'm nervous.
The poop is making me nervous!
Okay, we'll go right now!

Hide-and-go-seek! ( 3 Year Old Version)

Wendy, you close your eyes and I'll hide, 'kay?
Okay! Ready? I'll close my eyes. One... two...
Ryan scampers off to hide, giggling loudly the whole way.
three.... four....
scrambling inside the box, almost shrieking with delight
five... six...
Tee hee hee seven... eight...
nine... ten... Ready, or not, here I come! Now where is Ryan?
Over here!
Is she under the table?
Is she under the easel?
No, I'm in the box! By the door!
Did I hear something? Was it Ryan?
Yes it was!
giggle giggle
I think I'll look in the box!
laughter from within
Oh! There you are!
How did you ever find me?