Thursday, January 12, 2012


My current new addiction online is Pintrest.  If you haven't been there, and you have a life, you may not want to visit.  It's a huge time suck!  Because it's totally made of AWESOME!   A friend described it as a "glossy magazine, but on the internet."  I think that's fairly accurate.  I've acquired some great ideas that I've actually used.  It's mostly kids related stuff, that I've executed on;  holiday food treats.  These have been great because they're super easy & get a lot of bang for not much buck. There's quite a few jokes floating around about all the pinning that gets done, but no one actually executes on anything they see.  I'm telling you now, that's not true.
My point is I spend some time on Pintrest, file that little fact away for now.

Also, I'm still very active w/my digital scrap booking.  I even went to what I would call a "users group" in Las Vegas in October. (AKA - SpragueFest) Cranked out my yearly album before Christmas as usual. As you may have guessed, Pintest is a great resource for different ideas, layouts, inspiration.

Still following me?  Good.

Related: Did you know, I collect quotes?  You probably didn't because it's not something you go around telling people.  But I do.  I love fonts & quotes.  LOVE THEM!!   Pintrest has given me a huge medium to find and share new quotes. I have found my tribe of font & quote collectors.   We enable each other on Pintrest!  I recently combined my love of digital graphics with my love for fonts & quotes.  I found an example of  "XX Ways to Stay Creative" in my ongoing search for new quotes.  There are a few versions of this going around, thus the XX instead of a number.  I thought it would be a great thing to have to hang on the wall in the art studio.  So I made my own version in subway sign style.  I let the girls pick the color & printed it at Costco.  (Good prices for poster boards!  And BTW, great quality.  I print all my photos, scrapbook pages, etc... there.)  Then, I posted my finished digital file on Pintrest to share.  As of 1/9/12, it has been repinned almost 50x!  I've included the file below.  (Easier to read then taking a pix of the one hanging in the studio.  Art Studio sounds way cooler than art room, don't you think?)  I love that something I made and love spoke to so many other people.  The ways I put to be creative are, I think, very in-tune w/both my girls personalities.  I'm thrilled that other people were inspired by it enough, that they wanted to save & share it. It makes my heart happy.

Ok, carry on.  

Little side note; Whenever I read it, the part that says, "Collaborate" & "Listen to New Music."  In my brain, it is always sung as the Vanilla Ice song, "Stop! Collaborate & Listen!" (Now, you have the ear worm too.  My work here is done.)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Inspiration (AKA: I Win At Coolest Mom EVER!)

I am not going to vent & bitch today.
Should've told you to sit down, sorry. My bad.  Pick yourself off the floor now.

My daughters are both very into art.  You know how kids have a default activity they tend toward when there's nothing else going on?  It's art for my girls.  They have 2 large drawers in my kitchen desk full of art supplies.  They also have 2 full cabinets in my laundry room of art & craft kits. (Also, paint, fabric markers, playdough & everything else they have to have permission to use.)  So Christmas was coming & I was trying to think what to get them from us.  Santa brings them each a "big" gift (scooter for Big, doll car for Little.)  But we usually give them one "big gift" from us.  Last year it was the trampoline.  So, I'm trying to think of what they love & then what we could get them related to that. I immediately went to ART! Of course!  So, what can I get them, besides more crayons & paper?  It dawned on me.  I'm constantly on them to put their stuff away.  The problem is that they out grew the drawers where they keep their supplies, before we even put the stuff away.  I thought how cool would it be, for all of us, if we could give them an art studio!  That would be very cool, but how do you give them a "studio"?  It's not something you go buy at Target, right?

Read on:

Here's the deal; we have a large "living room" in the front of our house.  In the back we've created a "great room" which includes, the kitchen, a dining area & a "family room."  Next to the kitchen & partly behind the living room is a "formal dining room."  We use the dining room as a dining room about 2x a year, maybe.  The rest of the year, the table becomes a place to put things we don't want to put away.  Last year we replaced the window in there & made it into a sliding door.  Now this room has direct access to the part of the yard, where the trampoline sits.  So the kids are constantly going through that room anyway.  When we moved in, we made our living room into a "play room."   The idea being that we won't have their toys where we're hanging out.  But after 5 years, I'm tired of the mess in there and want to turn in back into more of a "family room."  (It would still be their 'playroom,' but a little more adult friendly; Newer furniture. Toys are more hidden.  I'll tell you more about that in another post.) So, if we were to give them the dining room as an art room, they have room to play, store their art stuff & I can clean up a bit more.  Plus we would be actually using the room, instead of just dumping crap in it.  So we sold the dinning room set.  It was my grandmother's.  It made me a little sad to see it go.  I really liked it.  It just didn't go w/the rest of our house and it wasn't getting used.  So I'm glad it's going to get the attention it deserves.

Here's what it looked like as a dinning room. (These are the pix I used for selling it, so there's no stuff on the hutch.

First, we painted: (DaddySpeak painted.  Elfie & I observed.)
See dark green wall being painted blue.

Added new furniture. (Yeah! Ikea!)
Old light fixture in this one.  

And lots of art supplies from the grandparents under the Christmas tree!

Christmas Morning. They like it!

I'm still working on getting the walls set up.  I'm going to get some quotes in vinyl to put on  the walls.  I have square cork boards I'm going to cover w/fabric to hang "masterpieces." But really, I want them to have influence on what we put up.  It should be stuff that inspires them.
(I know, I totally wish I was my mom too.) ;-)

Friday, January 06, 2012

Day at the Park -- repost

 I was looking for some info about Little, bc my blog is her baby book.  I came across this lovely little post, from when Big was 3 & Little was 4 months old, August 27, 2006.  I don't even know the woman who wrote this, she has so much energy!  This whole deal was actually pretty funny.  Thought you all might enjoy it.

I mentioned that I’m checking into a new mom’s group for Little. This group has playdates several days a week and I decided to attend one with both girls last week. The location for these playdates can vary but the typical choice is a location somewhere in our neighborhood (the group is created by neighborhood/city). It is my experience with Big’s mom’s group that occasionally a park that is considered to be so cool that the group will agree to hold a playdate there even though it would be considered geographically undesirable. In this case, the location was at a park about 6 miles away, a distance I would consider to be geographically undesirable. I figured it must be one of those ultra cool parks. Yeah, umm, not so much. Especially after I got done with it. Only one other mom and I showed up. (Not the mom who organized and choose the park either.) AND I was an hour late, partly cause the park so freaking far away! The other mom also had an older child (her daughter “A” is 2). She brought her kids’ lunch, bathing suits for the play area and was on time. I showed up an hour late, w/ a couple snack paks of crackers, a bottle of water for Big and I to share and needed to nurse BS like crazy. My lovely 3 YO showed all of her maturity by promptly announcing she “didn’t want to play with A”. Nice, thanks for helping mommy meet some new people there Big. Big also wanted to play in the water area (damit I pulled her backpack with her change of clothes and bathing suit out of the car the day before to make room for the outlaws!) After a few minutes of negotiating (me trying to talk her out of it) I finally realized my boobs might explode if I didn’t nurse Little like now and told Big to go ahead and play in her underwear. Yeah, I am white trash that way. I am also a mom who can only take so much and I had breast milk on the brain at that point. She slipped about 5 minutes into it, scraped her hip and decided she was done with it, so she went commando the rest of the day. I’m training my kid in the finer points of white trashiness as well. Then she asked A’s mommy to push her on the swings (nice, insult her kid and ask her to play—very classy.) After that she came over to tell me about the swings and asked if she could do it alone. I said sure. Well this playground had two areas (both gated) and what she was asking was if she could go alone to the other playground, which wasn’t very close to us, so the answer was no if I’d realized that’s what I was being asked. When I realized she had walked past the swings and was opening the gate I yelled at her to stop but she couldn’t hear me. Just then “A” fell on the closer playground so her mom had to go deal with that (since I wasn’t imposing enough on her already). I didn’t know both playgrounds were completely gated so I was freaking out; my kid was going through the gate! Who knew what freaks might be hanging out in the toddler playground! Toddlers even!! I got up with Little still hanging on my boob and started walking/running toward her as "best I could," baby hanging on boob. I’m not so good at the whole mobile child feeding thing. Remember I'm still yelling at her to stop, so as to draw as much attention to myself as possible. Next thing I know, I stepped on a bee! Yes, a freaking bee!!! Of course it was the foot that was the same side I had BS hanging off of. So I’m standing in the middle of the park at lunchtime (very busy time of day), trying to juggle a baby on my boob and balance on one foot while pulling a stinger out of my other foot, all the time yelling at Big to come back. Little, of course, took this moment to pull herself off of me, so now my boob is hanging out for the entire world to see. Thankyouverymuch. I pulled the stinger out, pulled my shirt closed as best as I could and hobbled over to the toddler playground. Got Big to come back & sit with me until I was done nursing. “A’s” mom left not too much after that; “They still take naps.” Yeah, I bet they do and you need to get away from that crazy lady who is letting her kid run around in her underwear and flashing everyone her right boob.

Think they’ll let me in the playgroup?

Monday, January 02, 2012

Happy New...Meh

I know that being a new year & all, I'm supposed to be all reflective & stuff. Meh. I want to set resolutions this year, (which is really a first for me to be honest).  And there's a litany of obvious items I want to resolve to change, but really, I can't be bothered to think that hard about it.  Doesn't say much for how well I would keep said resolutions, does it? 
My real issue, is that I'm not sure exactly what my issue is.  (I'm a freaking one-man philosophy course.)  I want, no need to lose weight.  My current status is beyond embarrassing.  I've basically put on 10 lbs every year for the past four years.  No, that's not exactly how it happened.  Yeah, I (obviously) contributed to it.  (As I shove a doughnut in my pie hole.  No, not really, but hey, did someone say doughnuts???)  But it also happened/started in relation to something that happened TO me, (herniated disc/surgery).  For some reason, I can NOT get past that.  It seems that all my "issues" come down to that problem; "I didn't have fun getting this way.  It's not fair and therefore I shall ignore it and hope it goes away!"  When it doesn't go away, I shall have an adult-style temper-tantrum; and eat my feelings.  (They all taste like chocolate, how lucky for me.)  What might take most people years of therapy to get to, I've managed to boil down in a single paragraph.  Look, at the money I'm saving!  As usual, I can see, hear, touch, and taste the problem, but I don't know how to get to it emotionally.  Therefore, I'm not really sure how to fix it. 
Maybe it's that you don't really "fix" it.  Maybe, just maybe, the answer is that you "fake it till you make it."  You act like whatever it is you want (a size 6 waist,) and eventually you get there be default.  Obviously, if it's my weight, I need to start eating like a supermodel if size 6 really were the goal.  It's not. But you get the idea.
In that vein, (faking it,) here are the things I'd like to change in some manner this year:

Lose weight (diet & exercise)
Pursue something more serious w/my photography (actually get some info on how to do that.)
Be able to do more physically w/my kids (exercise)
Stop feeling like I'm stalled out (I feel like I'm waiting for something to happen, but I don't know what & it makes me feel stymied.)

One thing to note.  Usually, I'm more or less a mess at this point after the holidays.  I did pull back on a LOT this year.  And, as of right now, (even though I don't want to jinx it,) I think it's worth noting, that I'm more or less holding it together.  (knockingonwood)  One thing I do know is that I really, really need to listen to my body.  If it's telling me it's too tired, it's too tired.  I'm not going to get a 2nd wind.  That's just not how it works for someone like me. (Someone w/Fibromyalgia.)  I'm a slow learner, but I'm getting better at listening to my body and heeding the warnings it gives me.  Maybe, THAT is key to all of this & I just need to be patient and see how it all unfolds.