Sunday, November 30, 2008

State of the union

Dishwasher? Broken.

Me? Pretty sure I have a sinus infection. My face is sure to explode soon.

Jack? On his way to the doctor tomorrow, still sick. (Or sick again, it seems to come and go.)

Jack's hair? Paid good money for a haircut on Friday. Jack cut his own bloody hair while his father was sewing. He is damn bald now in spots.

Thanksgiving? Poopy. Really there was a whole lot of drama on many fronts that I don't want to relive.

The so called family vacation we are supposed to have been enjoying right now? Yea, sure.

Christmas decorations? HAHAHAHAHA, we will have none this year!

I am going to need to start drinking soon.


(Hopefully my life is going to return to normal soon. The blog will return to normal then also. Please let it happen soon.)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Gobble, Gobble

My little turkey
wants to wish you
a very happy turkey day!

Gobble, gobble.

(I am thankful for preschool crafts, I've never made a turkey anything with him, I don't think.)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Woodland tree skirt

Well, I am sick. And Jack is still sick. (He is congested as all get out, everything else seems to have improved. For him at least.) I am pretty sure we are *out* for Thanksgiving at this point.

Sick means gobs of time at home. Board games, bingo games, movies to watch and time to cut out a million applique pieces.

A perfect opportunity to answer the call of the sewing machine? Maybe. It takes a lot longer to make things when you are sick. LOLI am determined to have a small woodland tree in the living room this year. I can't find the pinecone ornaments anywhere, and I need to order toadstools still, but at least we have one cute woodland tree skirt.
Originally I had imagined the background fabric would be a red and white polka dot, but I didn't have enough dotty fabric, so I went with linen.
The fabric pretty much told me where to go from there, so I just went with it. (Who knew fabric could be so bossy?)
Dave thinks the gnomes need red hats, but, eh, I think they are cute enough without the red hats.

And with that, the couch is calling me.

P.S. Jack is sitting on the floor playing with dominoes and he has just informed me that he is "trying to make a rhombus." (insert wide eyed mama here)A rhombus? Really?

EDITED: If you are reading with a feed reader, I changed the photos to brighter photos. The feed reader might still pick up the original photos, in case you want to click through for sunnier ones. Not that they are much better.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Well, that was fun. Not.

It was a good run.

Four years, one month, 2 days and something like 5 hours until the puke happened. I knew it couldn't last forever, I mean kids throw up, right?

I knew it was a bad, bad, bad thing when the preschooler teacher on Friday pick up said, "You should know that Brycen (insert puking gesture here) today."

And at 1:30 am, the war cry came. "MOMMMY! I threw up." In the bed of course.

And then the floor. And then the floor again and again. The bucket a few times. The blankets a few more times.

We have not slept through the night in more than a week over here.

And to top it off, I am sick as a dog from the head cold he had, and now I am TERRIFIED that the puke train is coming for me.


Wish me luck.

I think we are going to need it.

(The only good news is that he seems to be over it already and is back to torturing the cats and bouncing off the walls. Oh to be 4 years old.)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

true confessions

Ah well, I have nothing particularly exciting to blog about. How about a round of true confessions?
*I had a coke and some weird Trader Joe's candy bar for breakfast.
*I was up all.night.long with Jack and the coughing, mostly because coughing? It freaks me out. I broke a rib with a cough that wouldn't end when I was pregnant with Jack, it hurt like hell, and my kiddo coughing all night really upsets me.
*I took Jack to PDO even though he was coughing last night. He is totally fine during the day, and he had to get the cough from there to begin with. Yes, this is very bad mother of me. I know.
*When I took Jack to school I brought the show and tell bag back. The teacher tells me we have had that bag for like a month and they didn't know where it was. Oops. I didn't even know it was here.

*When my stinkin' wireless Internet won't work, I, ahem, borrow from the neighbor. (He wouldn't care, but still.)
*I just last week mailed a box to Jessi. She won those ornaments in a blog give away in May. Uh huh. She couldn't use them until now though, right? Sure Sarah.
*I have 66 vintage nativity figurines. Why? One person surely doesn't need 66 nativity figurines. Oh well, they are cool and I love them.
*I did a happy dance when I discovered that Panera Bread will be open on Thanksgiving. I really do NOT like Thanksgiving dinner at my aunt's house. Yuck.
*Despite disliking the food, I am SUPER grateful she does Thanksgiving. I used to have to do every.single holiday from Easter through Christmas. Crazy amount of work.
*Jack wears me out with his talking. I counted in the car a few weeks ago and he asked 25 questions in 7 minutes. That's one question every 15 seconds. Holey Moley.
*This morning Jack informed it was time for me to go to work. Why? He wants to stay home with his father all day.
*I miss sewing. I hear the machine calling me. The only problem? I have no freaking clue what to make.
*I took a zillion photos for the Christmas card, sweated for 2 days over editing them and choosing one and in the end I made my husband choose one. I never do that, but I was too tired to think about them anymore. When they arrive tomorrow it will be a surprise! LOL
*Even though I already had one bad run in with Matthew Mead crafts this month, the latest Matthew Mead Christmas stuff is calling to me. The directions are still crap and it is sure to end in another "What the hell was I thinking?" disaster.

Speaking of that, Lisa posted her on what the hell was I thinking craft. It was the only one I saw out there, so if I have missed you, just yell at me.

*I think I will send her a consolation prize for playing along. She should not be surprised when it takes me like 6 months to mail it though. LOL

And on that note, how about you? Need to confess anything?

(Pictures are a flea market quilt in my favorite pattern, but boy is it in rough shape. There are only about 6 good flowers left. The other photo are some recently thrifted feedsack yo-yo's. I am thinking about taking them apart to reuse the fabric in some other way. But for that I need sewing mojo.)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Christmas, already.

At about 7 pm on Saturday I decided we had to go Target right now. I have no idea why, since usually we have Jack in bed by 7 pm. I really wanted to see their Christmas stuff. So off we went.

While we wandering I happened upon a big box full of raspberries. I have been looking for raspberries like this all summer. I remembered seeing these raspberries on Hillary's blog, and since we spent so many good hours picking raspberries at the farm this summer, I have developed a serious affection for them.

Between the raspberries, the Christmas stuff at Target* and a fresh copy of Martha Stewart Living, I decided it was high time to get on the Christmas decorating wagon around here.
Generally I am very much a creature of habit. I put the same decorations in the same place year after year. It's easy and it goes fast that way. I've decided to shake things up a little bit this year. Plus, our furniture has changed this year a bit.

When we were first married my husband made this wooden tree stand for me. I saw one in the old Martha Catalog for Living** (for some crazy insane price like $300), and he cut one for me out of MDF and some hardware store table legs. We painted it pink, and I loved it, but only used it once. I had no place to go with it. It's big and heavy.

The new table is a perfect spot for it.
(Sorry these are blurry, it's the only way for my camera to capture the glow.) I cut up some poly quilt batting for snow, and stacked it full of my ever growing collection of vintage cardboard houses.
I put my old plastic deer on the bottom, even though I know Jack is going to drive me crazy with them. When I was a kid my mom would put plastic deer like that by our nativity and I loved playing with them. He is certain to move them around at least a million times before Christmas gets here. (Or I turn into a crazy woman, whichever comes first. LOL)

Part of the reason the Christmas decor will be different this year is that I am finding it completely, totally impossible to do anything with Jack around right now. I am not sure how it is possible, but it was a lot easier when he was 2, or even freshly 3. He is INTO EVERYTHING right now. If I can't do it while he is sleeping, it ain't gonna get done.
I also discovered today that in the space of 3 or 4 days his coloring skills (and really his cutting skills too), have gone from crazy scribbling type things, to actual coloring and cutting on the lines.

Anyway, Jack has been up all night coughing for many nights now, and I am exhausted. And he has been BEGGING me to make "babies" aka small object ornaments with him, so I better go do something productive. LOL

*Have you all seen this champagne tree at Target yet? Holy moley is it is gorgeous. I am not usually one for "gold" but I actually think I love that tree.

** I still have the catalog somewhere I think, I will try and get a pic on Flickr of the original if anyone wants it, just give a shout.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


I have mentioned before that we live in the most violent city in the United States. Year after year, St Louis tops that horrible list.

And yet, somehow we feel insulated from the violence on this side of the river. It's a rare day that we have a murder over here.

Yesterday the evening news featured this story .

As I watched the news coverage I had the really sickening realization that the building on tv was our pediatrician's office. Where we were sitting 4 days ago with Jack, waiting to see our ped.

A building filled with children and pregnant women and newborn babies.

Sometimes this is a scary, scary world.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Thank you

The sky was so beautiful and pink last night, really lovely.
Thank you for all of the christmas card photo input.
This one is actually my favorite. A simple headshot, natural smile. But there is something on his eyelash that is driving me crazy.
I wonder if you are all drawn to number 4 because of his handwriting?

I wish I had thought to have him hold the sign in the Santa outfit. (He loved the Santa outfit and has declared he wants to be Santa next year for Halloween.)

I have to order the darn things today, so I had better decide soon. Somehow the quality on the one you all like is not that great when I resize it to postcard size.

Taking those pictures is much harder than I always expect it to be. The props, the clothes changing, trying to use 2 different cameras. And let's not forget Jack bouncing all around. LOL

I only saw one "what the hell was I thinking?" craft project when I was cruising this morning. So, I will wait until Sunday to do that post in the hopes that more of you will come out of the closet!

Come on, you know you want to. Even if it is some kind of 1980s geese, plenty of you have something hiding somewhere. I do like Saucy's idea of digging out the ones you think are a lost cause and asking for ideas on how to fix it. If you have those, I will link to those too.

Goodness knows I have plenty more of them!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I need opinions and quick!

I have a fantastic christmas postcard coupon that I need to use tomorrow, so I took some Christmas card photos today.

Great. Except I cannot chose one. And Dave and I have very different opinions.

Will you vote for one? Please?

There are here on Flickr. If you are unable to comment over there, you can just leave me a note here. I will put numbers beside the quick titles so you can just choose a number.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Breaking it to you gently

In my world, there are 4 kinds of projects:
Easy to do, love the results;
Satan (a.k.a. Martha) made me do it and I thought I would never live to see the end, but love the results;
I made me do it and it was tedious as all get out, but love the results;

and what the hell was I thinking (a.k.a. this is a lot of frustration for nothing)?!?!?
I saw these wreaths in some old Matthew Mead holiday magazine. Oh, I love them, I thought. Must make them! Now!
But honestly? What the hell was I thinking*? This one is just plain horrible. Yea, yea, the greens need to be trimmed and it never got a ribbon. But do you know why? Matthew suggests using magnets to hold those tins on. I tried hot glue. Again and again and again I tried hot glue. Hot By the time it was ready to have some sort of embellishment on it I was ready to chuck the whole damn thing into the yard.

Actually, I still might.

I can't believe I actually got a picture of it with all the pieces on it. They were falling all over the floor as I was taking it down.

So much for a cute advent wreath that would help Jack count down the days to Santa Claus. (My husband says he has no clue what the thing is even supposed to say. LOL)
And then there is this beast. You see I have pom pon maker which is supposed to make this job all flowers and butterflies or something. Instead it means it takes FOREVER to make these things. And this tiny wreath? It took so, so many pom pons. I had to watch National Lampoon's Christmas vacation many times over to make them all.

And for what?

I am so not impressed with this wreath. I mean I don't hate it. Really. But it was way too much work for the result.

I might chuck it into the yard too.


So how about you? Have a what the hell was I thinking craft project you are willing to show us? I will link to every one you have to show on Friday if you are brave enough to bare your crafty soul.

Come on. You know you want to.

*I should have known something was amiss when I saw the directions. They were very, very, very vague. At least Martha makes your head spin, ya know?

P.S. Sorry Linda . I know he is your BFF. :-)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

What I love, rerun

My current projects (why do I have three going at once?!?!) are taking forever, so how about a rerun?

I had this wreath packed away while the Halloween stuff was out. I was a little sad packing it away, and unpacking it last week reminded me of how much I love it.
It's fresh and simple and I never get tired of it.
Original post can be found here .

Sunday, November 09, 2008

November 9th already?

I cannot believe it is the 9th of November already. The days are just so full my head is spinning.

I've been:
*Taking down all the Halloween and slowly letting some Christmas stuff creep in.
*Thrifting this amazingly cute Cody Foster tree, what luck!
*Thinking about a new advent calendar since Jack is already asking daily when Santa Claus is coming.

*Doing laundry for 4 days. 12 hours a day. I don't even want to think about how many loads of laundry that is. My father asked if my washing machine had broken. Sadly not. And it has not been that long since I did laundry (maybe 2 weeks?). Where does it all come from?

*Still battling a sick cat. Despite more than a month of antibiotics and much extra love and attention, still he pees on the floor. I alternate between worrying about my beloved and being really frustrated at how much extra work all the cat pee is making. (Let's not even mention giving a cat medicine twice a day for 6 weeks. Oh boy.)

*Trying to come up with an idea for this year's Christmas card. Totally dry on that front. I like something fun. Any ideas that involve photos of the Jack attack?

*Working on a wreath while watching Christmas vacation. A wreath that is taking FOREVER, but hopefully will be gorgeous.

*FREEZING! It's cold, cold, cold. Jack is impatiently awaiting the arrival of the first snowfall, which sadly is probably a long way off for us.

*Battling some of the persistent anxiety that I cannot seem to shake this year.

*Sticking my nose in books: this one , which I am plowing right through, and this one , which I finally bought at Costco after many, many unsuccessful months of trying to get it from the library. (ALWAYS out and on reserve!)

*Thinking about when to take Jack to see Santa and what Santa should bring this year.

*Hoping Jack's head cold passes quickly and I don't get it.

*Occasionally going to bed at like 8 pm. Crazy talk, I know, but I am too tired to keep my eyes open!

So, how about you? Busy yet? Cold yet? All decked out for Christmas yet? LOL

What's on your mind or to do list?

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Lucky me

Way back in July, someone who only signed her post "Holly" left me a super useful comment on this post . If there is any chance you are still out there Holly, can you shoot me an email? (You can find me email address in that FAQ link on the right.)

That comment was on my mind because this photo is of Jack before school yesterday. Ordinarily we wouldn't go outside to kick the ball or play before school in the morning, but with the time change and the resulting sleep disturbance, I find myself with more than a bit of wild child on my hands again at the moment. One of her suggestions was playing hard before school, so we are trying that one. Another was adding some supplements to his diet, and that is next on my list of things to do.

Turning four has certainly not been a magic bullet. (Not that I really expected it to be though.) Some things have definitely changed, but I can still see some areas with some work to do.
Anyway. It had been a long, long time since I found a new tablecloth. Sometime in the midst of Halloween/birthday party madness I found 4! This one is a huge wintery wilendure.

It's actually really dark green, either something is wrong with my camera or it doesn't really like the late afternoon light right now.
A super cute sort of calico one. (Probably better enlarged.)
This one is linen.
And my absolute favorite. I almost died when I found this one! Oh Florida, we miss you still.

With garage sale season ending, it was nice to find a few to add to the stash to tide me over during the long winter months. :-)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Who are you kidding mama?

Who are you kidding mama?
America is the best.
Yes we can.

Photos from the Huffington Post .

To quote my goofy husband, "This is way better than when Ethan won Survivor." LOL

/End of politics on TMMJ. Maybe. I have to admit I am really, really, really gloriously happy to have been part of this piece of America's history and am looking forward to the future with great hope and optimism.

Monday, November 03, 2008

A letter to my son

I know full well that there are many out there who will disagree with this post. PLEASE do not leave nasty comments here though, ok? I support your right to disagree (and actually your right to say so as well), but I have long used this blog as a journal that I keep for my child. I don't want a bunch of nastiness here. It's important to me to document this for him. Thank you.

My dearest Jack,

Today we went to a political rally with Hillary Clinton for Barack Obama. There were a million reasons not to go, but my heart said this was our chance to touch this piece of history together.

I am not sure how much of this you will ever remember, but as we stood together in that hot crowded room, waiting for over an hour to see her speak while older women started to faint all around us, I dreamed for you.

I dreamed for you with a thousand other people of a better world.

A world without endless wars. A world where folks don't have to choose between medicine or dinner. A world where schools are able to have both art and music AND math and science. A world where St Louis County will not have had 5700 families lose their homes in the last year (there have been 3 on our street alone, and we don't live in any kind of fancy new homes, that much is certain). A world where there are fewer guns in the hands of criminals. A world where there is less of an angry panic about the uncertainty around us.

A world where there is both hope and change.

The election tomorrow will be monumental for sure. We talked about what it means to be the President, we talked about why we vote, we talked about why those other cars had the same stickers as you saw on the signs, and the same sticker that you see on our car.

But words cannot convey what it really means to you at the tender age of 4.

When you were born your father and I felt very strongly about you having a "presidential" name. A name that conveys strength and courage, a name that could carry you to the white house.

Barack Hussein Obama certainly blows my presidential name theory all to hell, but he is the embodiment of that little dream I had when you were born, that everyone in this great country really does have the opportunity to be whatever they can dream of, including President. A black man in the running for the highest office in our country, 44 years after the Civil Rights Act was passed. Times really are changing.

And so, Jackson Samuel, as we go to the polls tomorrow to cast our vote for the 44th President of the United States, with the memory of your little hands clapping together and your little voice cheering for Hillary, I hope that the world is about the change again. Everyone is watching.

And I hope that you will forever carry a little memory of the rally you attended with your mama. Your first political event at the age of 4. A peek into the importance of not being afraid, of putting yourself out there. And believing, like Hillary said, that America is a country with a great destiny.

"It's time to move from what we can do, to what we must do, to what we will do."

All my love,

Edited to add: Obviously I wrote this yesterday after we attended the rally. As I sat down to watch the evening news last night, I happened to catch Jack on the 6 o'clock news. There he is, right in front of Hillary Clinton and on the news! When he saw the video of himself he said, "I was rising up out of the pumpkin patch!" You can see me picking him up to take the photos above in the video clip here in the first 2 minutes of the tape.

On my mind

I woke up to Jack crying at 4:30 this morning and all I could think about was how much I HATE daylight savings. A ridiculous policy that was certainly not implemented by anyone with a small child who already was getting up with the chickens before we started messing with the clocks.

But, really, after yesterday I am thankful that my kid is safe in his room, at home with me, even if he is screaming and carrying on.

I've mentioned my "adopted family" here before. They've been an integral part of my life since I was 11. I love them dearly. They are good to me, and good to my husband and child. They were already in the midst of a funeral yesterday (not an unexpected death), when a real tragedy happened.

Really, the horror of it is almost too much to take.

I am often mocked for being overly protective of Jack. I hear more than my share of "why don't you just bubblewrap him until he is old?" But right now I really do want to just bubblewrap him.

If things are quiet around here, I am taking a few days to chew on it all and to sort out what we can do for them.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Roarrrrrrrrr! And just like that...

And just like that, it's all over.

I am one tired mama. After the craziness of October, I need a vacation!

There were pumpkins:
a white and black glittery one,
a cute mouse house (yes, yes, I see the irony),
and my favorite, Peter, Peter, the pumpkin eater, complete with a black crepe paper hat*!
And there was my little sweetie pie, the lion. I thrifted the costume instead of making it this year because Jack *did* want input on his costume this year (a first), but he was absolutely non-committal and changed his mind about what to be.
So, I just did what every good thrifter would do, and bought every cute costume that would fit him and let him choose. Just kidding, I bought 3 options and we had a hand me down choice. He loved the lion best. And so did I.
(My camera was really struggling with the changing light yesterday. And I hate that Halloween prop in the yard in all the photos, but Jack is four, and there was no redoing the "photo shoot".)
Also for the first time, we went trick or treating with a little friend. The boy across the street came running over and asked Jack to go out with him, so off we went. Too cute. Jack was a little sad the other boy was ready to go home a good 30 minutes before he was, but good times were had by all.

I love Halloween, visiting with all the neighbors, seeing the kids dressed up, seeing how much some of neighbors get into doing up their yards. It's all good fun and I am sad to see it go.

Until next year...

*Pumpkin ideas were from the October 2008 issue of Hallmark magazine. I fell head over heals in love with their fairy tale pumpkins. We made the carriage also.