Friday, January 28, 2011

for the love...

Back in the day I used to pity products like baking soda and pumpkin pie spice. They're cheap, you only use them a teaspoon at a time, and I'm pretty sure their shelf life ranks up there with twinkies.  My first box of baking soda lasted several years....and I'm pretty sure the  pumpkin pie spice in my cupboard dates back to 1998.

While I still pity pumpkin pie spice, I now understand how baking soda stays in business.... it turns out, it can do more than create lava, clean toilets, and rise cookies.  Combined with vinegar, it can blow up a balloon. 

And once again I'm out.  It might have been cheaper to send Dylan to every day kindergarten after all :)

Happy Friday all!

Thursday, January 27, 2011


The year was 1978.
Gas was $.63 a gallon,  Jimmy Carter was president,  and "Nanu Nanu" was household slang.  I was 2 years old.
The year my parents brought a puppy home.
A beagle named Cleo.
I can still remember being terrified.  Crawling up the green vinyl chairs onto the trusty brown formica kitchen table crying, because I was so scared of the furry brown thing.  This carried on for a bit.... until one day, my dad put that puppy in my lap on my perch on the table.
I held him, he licked me, and in that instant I loved him.  Cleo was our pet for 16 years.  My parents finally put him down my freshman year at Calvin.

I grew up in a quiet suburb neighborhood where lawns were generous, neighbors were nice, and wildlife was minimal.  Over the years I can remember a few animals.  The woodchuck named "Morley" that lived in the hole by the garage.  The snake that greeted me on the sidewalk, that was eventually run over with the lawnmower by my mother.  The turtle that wandered into our yard that we made a habitat for, and eventually let go in the nature preserve. 

My parents currently have a squirrel named "Stubby" that lives in the yard.  She comes to the slider every morning and peaks through the glass to let them know she is ready for her peanuts.  She had babies awhile back that are now scattered throughout the neighborhood, but Stubby remains loyal.

I tell you a smattering of little pet stories to paint a picture. 
I was a city girl. Well, a neighborhood girl at least.
I grew up with one loyal dog, and minimal day to day contact with creatures of any kind.
Wildlive was something you drove to....sometimes even paid money to see.

Since marrying my small town cowboy in '98, moving to the sticks, and procreating children that have a love for all things living, no matter how small....I have seen more than my fare share of wildlife.
Sometimes I feel like that movie "Jumanji".  No matter where I turn, there's an animal on our doorstep, a varmint in a bug barn, turkey's in the garage, deer in the driveway,  snakes lurking under every crevice, a bat in the house, kittens in the barn, wounded birds, tadpoles in buckets on the porch- oh the list could go on and on....and on.

About three weeks ago, I opened the door into the garage to take the trash out, and almost tripped over a pile of black and white fur.  Naturally I screamed, slammed the door shut, and called for Tim.   It was then that I heard the "meow".

I peaked out again, and sure enough there was a black and white cat on the doorstep. Wearing a collar and no claws, she was clearly somebodys pet. I told her to "go away, we have no vacancy",  but the next morning I could hear her meowing before I even got to the door.  Clearly she got the memo that if you're looking for a home, ours is the house to visit.  She stayed in our garage and Phoebe tormented her all day long.  She would sneak in the house every chance she got when I opened the door. The kids played with her, named her, and loved her.  After about 2 days, I realized she wasn't going away. We called and stopped by all the neighbors to see if they were missing a cat. 

We came up empty.

The next day the neighbor girl came over to play with Syd.  I sent her home with the cat and told her to ask her mom if she could keep it.....10 minutes later, the cat was in our garage again :)

This went on and on.  Cat living in the garage, Phoebe treating it like a chew toy, me tired of having to break up fights between animals too, and threatening to learn to shoot Tim's gun.  "This can't go on"  I would tell Tim every night over dinner. 

Then one  morning, Tim stepped out into the garage and was greeted by a dead mouse on the doorstep. In that very instant, I knew the cat would be ours forever...for how ever many lives she had left.  She earned her keep in Tim's eyes. 

Last week was really cold.  Really, really, cold.  Instead of sleeping in her cat shack that Tim built, she sat on the doorstep and meow'ed. A ridiculously, pathetic, cold, sad, meow.  And our ridiculously soft hearts took pity on her, and she now lives in the unfinished part of our basement by night, and in the kids arms by day. 

She really is a good cat. Naturally her name is Oreo, and she even eats dog food.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

just for fun....

While switching out photos today, I came across this goody from 2005 buried in a frame.  Austin 3, Sydney 2, Dylan 6 mos.  I'm pretty sure this is my last dept store photo, as once Dylan learned to move.... he never stopped.  And gone was my patience for the always behind schedule, big box, cranky photographer.  I'm so thankful for such talented friends!

Monday, January 17, 2011

You guys rock!

THANK YOU for all of your input on my little flowers.  You guys rock!  I hope to try out some of these great ideas in the near future.  For now, I've listed them just as they are in my etsy store...for people to use for their own creative endeavors. 

I've also decided to start a new blog :)   Mostly so that I can keep my stories of potty training separate from my creative ideas :)  Stop by and visit....

Friday, January 14, 2011

Floral goodness

Alright friends, I could use a little help.....again :) 

You see, I have been having a grand old time sewing all my fabric and felt scraps into these delightful, scrappy, one of a kind, darling little daisys. You might say I've got a thing for flowers.  If you are 9, you might tell me I want to marry them.

My initial intent for these floral goodies was strictly along the clothing accesory line. I originally sewed one onto a shirt for Elle... but lets face it, most of the white shirts in our house could use a good soak in bleach.

Besides, I get bored with clothes pretty quickly and like to mix stuff up ALOT.... that paired with the ridiculous number of tights we've accumulated over the years....I thought it might be fun to be able to switch the flowers out. You know, get more milage out of one shirt.

And so the second flower I made for Elle, I attached velcro to the back of it, and also to a white onesie.  But, I soon realized this too limited my options, as the flower could only be used with that one particular shirt....every time.  We have 3 gals that I would love to float them between. Can you tell I like options?

So, I've decided to keep them as they are.  Just fabric flowers sewn onto felt. They can be pinned to just about anything....shirts, dresses, hats, bags, etc. 

I envision selling them in sets of 3 in my etsy shop.  Thoughts? Do you too like the idea of being able to switch things up? Any thoughts on other uses for these lovlies?  Glued to a card?  Sewn on a pillow? What would you pay for a set of 3? Talk amongst....I need to come up with more uses for them, because I am having way too much fun making them!
Happy Friday all.

Monday, January 10, 2011

dare i say....

...that we're officially down to one child in diapers?

 9 straight years of buying diapers....and we're down to one.

 Liberating I tell you. 

And yet it makes me a little sad at the same time.  Ridiculous? yes.
It turns out, the unbending stubborness that kept this little girl from doing her duty on the potty, is the same will that gave her the determination to be trained. 

As mentioned in a previous post, we were in a bad cycle of the little gal holding her business until she was back in the security of her diaper at naptime and bedtime.  Since candy is the way to her heart, we would sit her on the potty and dangle M & M's in front of her face.  She wanted them SO badly, but clearly not enough to go.  Tim would sit her at the counter and make her drink, and drink, and drink.  But she wouldn't go.  When she had accidents (which didn't happen very often), it was always 5 minutes after getting off of the potty.  Eventually she would tire, and ask to go to bed.  "I wear diapers"  she would tell us as we put her down. A few hours later, she would wake up from her nap, full diaper, and no need to use the potty.

In her defense, I can honestly say I wasn't giving it my best during the week for consistency sake...most of the effort came on the weekend when Tim was home.  Between potty training the dog, a baby who automatically starts screaming every time I set her down,  and hearing "mom" no less than 200 times a day, I confess I just wanted to take the easy road. 

Wow, this is turning into the longest explanation ever!  Stay with me. 

Last week the kids were on Christmas break, and I was homebound in what already felt like a state of chaos, so  I decided to put her down for a nap without a diaper....fully prepared for the extra laundry.

Wouldn't you know, she woke up dry!

I put her on the potty right away, and she went!  She recieved her candy reward, and it must have finally clicked in her brain, because she has been going ever since. 

It took about a day before the big kids started feeling jipped.  And so now when Stella goes, we all get candy...including me :)  It's a family event, and the big kids are more than willing to help her out and encourage her.  I'm sure our dentist would be proud :)

She's a smart one too.  Her love affair with candy has her claiming unflushed toilets, and asking for candy ever time she toots.

She will now tell you " I a big girl, Elle's wear diapers."

Next up?....the pacifier :)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

lets wrap up Christmas already, shall we?

Since my last Christmas post was "Christmas, Take One", it only seems right to finish out the holiday season in pictures.

We spent Christmas Eve with Tim's family....

Sydney received her very own sewing machine!  Now I can finally use mine without having to fix it every time I sit down to use it LOL.  I went through Stellas closet and gave her a bunch of old shirts to practice on... and she has been transforming them into dazzling little dresses  :) 
On Christmas, we spent the night at home with our family....

I have wanted to try making a tule skirt for awhile now, so I decided to make one for Christmas. I thought it turned out pretty well...aside from the fact that it would have probably fit Stella better :) 

Dylan's most prized gift?  A volcano that you make out of a plaster...and when your mom remembers to add vinegar to the grocery list, it shoots lava out.

And by Monday, this kid had every new lego kit put together, and I had every trace of Christmas taken down and out of the house.