Thursday, June 30, 2011

Just yum

My brother has been working on an organic farm and he recently brought us a box of produce that included peas, turnips, beets and cabbage.

All were consumed and enjoyed, but the peas! Oh the peas! I hadn't had fresh peas since I was little.
Today when he dropped my nephew off he brought a few more pounds of those peas, which I quickly shelled...

and then admired...

and then resisted eating them all until dinner time.

Just YUM!


I bought Sammi another swimming suit. In my defense, I have managed to lose the cute little strawberry one AND

it was like $3 at Gymboree and there was a matching coverup. I mean come on!

But where did that strawberry one go? I didn't even get a picture of her in it. Boo.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Accentuate the positive

Jack has continued to be a bit of a wildebeest around the house this summer.

I've mentioned here before that he has really taken a liking to hitting and kicking me and screeching so damn loud that it terrifies the baby.

I was starting to feel like ALL WE WERE DOING ALL DAY EVERY DAY was managing Jack's behavior and quite frankly I've had enough of that.

So when I was reading blogs and I stumbled on an idea for "mom bucks" I got right to work. (My apologies for having no clue where I saw the idea.)
I cut out a bunch of mom bucks from pink cardstock and Dad dollars from green and blue cardstock.

Then I sat down and made a reward chart to go with them.

The first thing the next morning I put the buck plan into action.

Anytime I catch Jack being "good", aka exhibiting desired behavior I give him a mom buck. When he has enough of them he can cash them in for rewards.

So far it seems to be working pretty well. He hasn't magically become an angel or anything, but it has most certainly slowed down the amount of time I have to spend saying NO NO NO NO NO NO NO.

A few thoughts on a behavior system like this:
* I am pretty stingy with the bucks. I want to keep him guessing about when and where he will get them. BUT I can't be too stingy, see below.
* I keep them in my pockets so I can give them to him no matter where we are.
* I set up the rewards and the point values to be fairly low because I would really like to get him to earn/use one reward per week of summer vacation. I had to explain that part to him though, and encourage him to spend them, because Jack tends to be very thrifty with "money" and he was trying to save them until he had a huge amount of them. (This does mean loosely keeping track of how many he has to ensure that he can cash in at least once a week.)
* I do not take them away for "bad" behavior.
* I give them out for a huge variety of reasons from eating the crust of bread without being asked to asking nicely to go to the park to playing quietly with a toy to not complaining about dinner.
* As part of the "plan" I am purposefully ignoring plenty of other behavior "transgressions". Picking my battles, if you will, and hoping that he becomes self motivated.
* I don't tell him if he does so and so he will earn one. I give them to him quietly after he has done something that I think is worthy of one and I make a point of telling him HOW he has earned it by saying "Thank you for eating your bread crusts."
* You can see on the chart that I assigned a somewhat random monetary value to them. For us I made each Mom and Dad buck have a one dollar denomination and the cash out value is 50 cents. You could easily make bucks with different denominations for bigger rewards, but I need simplicity.
Last week Jack chose backyard camping for his reward and tomorrow he is cashing in on his first sleepover and cousin Liam is coming to stay! We are all very excited about our new Mom Buck and Dad Dollar plan. :-)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Party Tricks

This is Samantha.
She turned 24 weeks old yesterday.
This is Samantha wearing the ADORABLE little pinafore dress I thrifted for her yesterday that is quite hard to photograph.
This is Samantha wearing said adorable dress and looking every bit like a kewpie doll. (Too bad I cropped out the bit of hair that was sticking up on accident.)

And this is Samantha doing her newest party trick - rolling onto her tummy.

Which she did over and over and over and over and over again last night in her crib.

Except that she cannot roll back over to her back.

So then she hollers for someone to come rescue her.

Over and over and over and over and over and over again.

It will be a much better party trick when you sort out how to roll over again Miss Samantha Dear.

Just sayin'.

Sunday, June 26, 2011


Oh Dear. It's been a dreadful weekend.

First we went to like 14 garage sales on Saturday and bought NOTHING.

Then it rained and rained big thunderstorms for SIX hours last night, which meant we were all up until about 2 30 am.

Then it rained out the flea market this market.

And then, the very worst dreadful thing happened.
You see, we had baby bunnies living in this spot in the yard. We were visiting them daily to watch them grow (they would crawl out of their little hole to come see us!), we were feeding mama all of our fruit and veggie scraps, we were very carefully avoiding that spot when mowing, and we had even scaled WAY back on our "get the damn voles out of the yard" initiative to avoid getting any babies or mama in our snap traps.

And then this morning I heard a bunch of crows squawking in the backyard. I went to the kitchen window and saw the crows on the fence right above the babies. I yelled for Jack to run out in the yard and scare them off while I sent Dave out to try and find a way to shelter the babies. Mama was out there hopping around the hole wildly.

Except it was too late. There was a dead baby in the yard and the hole was empty.

And now all day Mama has come back to the hole looking for her babies.

GAH. Dreadful. Jack cried and I wanted to cry and Dave is gutted too. DAMN STUPID CROW. Couldn't you have eaten the voles our yard is INFESTED with?
So I tried to console myself at the thrift.

Except it was pretty dreadful too. Dave found another vintage chime ball for Sammi.
I picked up a feedsack with a cobbler print.

And some pretty linen napkins.

But even a cute feedsack does not make up for our poor dead babies!

Stupid mother nature and her survival of the fittest.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Five for Friday

It's finally Friday. And this is more than five, but the title is catchy, so it stays.

I am thankful for:
Baby birds at the park;
a FINALLY sleeping baby (her sleep has really gone to hell this week. And yes, she is swinging!) LOL);
a very, very sweet gift for Sammi, thank you Jenni!;
a pile of $2 tank tops from Old Navy (man, I had to fight a hoard of couponing vultures to get those);
a peek at a project that is going as planned (for once!);
the discovery of a park that is perfect for a kid like Jack (who doesn't really care about playgrounds, but water and sand and rocks? oh my!);
the combo of sand and my favorite type of kid photo;
watching Jack, who used to be the shyest kid I had ever seen become a real leader;
chamber of commerce weather;
an irresistible reusable cup from Old Navy (come on! It's like a doily around the middle.);

And the promise of minor league baseball tonight.

Thank you Friday. It finally feels like summer vacation around here. :-)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Garage sales with kids in tow

Yesterday I was DETERMINED to hit some garage sales since the weather was nice. It was after 9 am when the kids and I finally got on the road (and then there was the spectacular poop), but we managed to pick up a few things.
9 blue ball jars, about 50 zinc lids and 10 other old canning jars. (The kind with wire and glass lids).
A cute vintage rocking horse for Sammi.

And a pair of wool, made in France, hot water bottle covers. They were kind of pricey ($10) and not so useful, but cute. I might regret them 6 months from now though when I go on another "nothing in this house but crap that is useful" kick.

In fact, I have decided that my recent purging is part of why junking has lost it's rosey glow right now. I spend a lot more time waivering about what I will do with stuff than I used to!

About the comments thing from yesterday - it isn't that I think no one is reading (I do still occassionally check my blog stats), it's more about the frustration of feeling like you've finally managed to make something really interesting and then hearing crickets. As many of you know, blogging is WORK. It takes time to take the pictures, time to type the posts, time to think up the ideas, time to make the "projiks", and I feel very much like 2 years ago if I had made something great I would have heard it was great. Now? Not so much. Which is okay, I would still make stuff for us because it is part of who I am now, but there is definitely no motivation to blog about it. In fact, half the time that I do buy something at a thrift/yard sale I just put it away instead of "wasting" time taking the pictures and blogging about it. I NEVER used to do that.

Now, I don't want anyone to feel like I am putting all of that off on the people who read my blog. I certainly am guilty lately of reading and not commenting. I am usually stuffed into the chair balancing nursing Sammi and the laptop and the boppy and I just find it hard to type. Or I will click through and find that there are 67 comments already on the post and not bother.

Anyway. I have been blogging so much longer than many of these ladies who DO get 67 comments every time they burp, and I am not likely to go anywhere anytime soon, but it has been on my mind. And I can tell from some email conversations on the topic lately that it has been on other people's minds too. Blogging obviously goes through phases, but with the big boom in iphones and ipods and ipads and twitter and facebook it's good to have some conversations about where blogging is going. I think. :-)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

From Daddy's shirts to covered with love

Before I tell you about the quilt, I have to tell you about the kids.
Here is Sammi in her "emergency outfit." Despite having more clothes than "Carter has little liver pills" (as my grandma would say) I am ALWAYS unprepared for her to poop when we are out. And without fail, she ALWAYS poops ALL over herself. This is the second time I have had to go to Target with a naked baby in my Moby wrap and buy her something to wear.

That's right, Mother of the year I am! LOL
And here's Jack. Playing. Guess what he is playing? Extreme Coupons. That's right. He is in LOVE with that show on TLC and now he is playing Extreme coupons.

Mother of the year for me again! LOL

Anyway, onto the quilt. I have been collecting Dave's work shirts from the goodwill bags whenever I really like the print. I was starting to get a heck of a pile of them and I had been tossing around the idea of making a new quilt for Jack with them.

I was having a really hard time deciding on a pattern when I saw Susan's* new book, Modern Log Cabin Quilting . I could not get that cover quilt out of my head.
So I did something I never do and ordered the book. And then I started cutting and sewing. And sewing and sewing and sewing. And cutting some more. And sewing some more. And a few months later I have managed to turn Daddy's work shirts, 2 queen sized flat sheets and a piece of batting into a new quilt for Jack.
I will say this thing gave me one fit after another.
I found the chain piecing really tedious.
And because there is SO MUCH fabric in it it's simply too heavy to quilt on the machine. So I was forced to sew on 64 buttons in the center of each cross.

In the end, I like the buttons because they are the shirt buttons I saved when I was cutting apart the quilt. But I do have concerns about the longevity of this method instead of just having quilted it.
And my piecing is a LOT wonkier than I like. I am more into perfection than wonky.

But Jack loves it and has been anxiously awaiting the finish line.

It's too big for his current bed, but I bought him a full size bed at the flea a few weeks ago and I figure by next year he will be ready for the bigger bed. Besides, his first quilt** is WAY too small now!

And that's what really matters, right?

*In the interest of disclosure - One of my projects appears in one of Susan's other books. I was in no way compensated/involved in reviewing/etc for her book though. I bought it myself, chose it myself, etc.

** I've made one other "recycled" quilt here . If looking at the remade/reused stuff on the blog gets yours wheels turning, you might enjoy that one too.

*** It makes me a little sad to look at Jack's baby quilt on the blog. 35 comments on his little quilt! Most days I feel like I am talking to myself here now and that is quite a change from a few years ago. I keep reminding myself that I blog for me and the kids and I would blog if no one were here, but ugh, lately that has been bugging me. 'Nuff said.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


When we emptied the house of my grandparent's things there was an old cast iron typewriter in the garage. I saved it from the trash pile because Jack has been DYING to have a typewriter to play with.

It was just too rusted and broken to use and when we cleaned out the garage (AGAIN!) it went in the trash pile (AGAIN!).

But I before I gave it to the scrap man Dave and I pulled off the keys.

I probably won't do anything thrilling with them, but even as push pins or fridge magnets they will be a nice little piece of my own childhood to have kicking around.

Happy first day of summer to you!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Father's Day Flea

Dave wanted to go to the flea yesterday for Father's Day, so off we went.

We got a really late start (storms having been keeping us and kids awake the better of every night lately!) and the flea was severely lacking in vendors*.

I picked up something I have been looking for for a VERY long time, but it's not ready to debut yet.

And I picked up two old quilts in really rough condition.
The butterflies are sweet, but I probably wouldn't have bought it. In fact, I only bought it because I really wanted the second quilt you see here, and to get the price low enough I had to buy them as a package deal.
I don't dislike it or anything, but it is DEFINITELY a cutter and an applique quilt like this is hard to use as a cutter. I have no clue what I will do with it.
This one is a "cheater", i.e. not patchwork at all,just printed fabric.

But the print is OH SO SWEET.

As soon as I am done sewing on 64 buttons on Jack's new quilt and binding it I need to get this dismantled so I can find a sue for that great fabric.

*I fear something terrible is happening to our flea market. The word on the street (at garage sales anyway) is that they are losing vendors rapidly because no one is buying. People used to camp out overnight to get a space to sell at this flea market and now it is more than half empty every week. This is DREADFUL for me, since with a small baby the flea is really the only way I can junk right now. Garage sales, auctions, estate sales, those are all just too hard with the kids.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Hapde Father's Day

The kids and I worked on a little project for Father' Day this week. It was HARD.

It hasn't arrived yet, but here's a little taste of it. (And, FWIW, Jack's bad haircut is driving me nuts in these photos. LOL)

Hapde Father's Day Dad!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Got no mojo

I am SERIOUSLY lacking in the junk mojo department right now. It's not for lack of trying - I am still getting us up, getting us dressed and trying to find junk, but it is nowhere to be found. This morning I went chasing a craigslist ad that promised "98 year old grandma's fabric" but despite driving 25 minutes (!!) there was no yard sale at the address in the ad. (SERIOUSLY people, put up a cancellation ad!)


I've managed to scrounge up a few things.
I have a sizable vintage toy collection. For the kids. Yea, that's what we'll call it, a collection for the kids. I keep them on the playroom shelves, but Jack has never shown the least bit of interest in them.

Sammi on the other hand is completely in love with the big red wheels on this racer.
And the little tow truck is too fun too.
I found the green pot (McCoy) and the white pot together. I am on the fence about the white one. It seems like it could be new. But it was cheap, and they were together, and the aqua one *is* legit, so home it came.
And I scrounged up some adorable vintage doll clothes that have seen better days. (And they need to be ironed badly.)
I can't even imagine putting in the amount of time it would take to make these little outfits for dolls.
Even as a sewer I think I am way too lazy for that. But I love the love they represent - from a mama to her little girl.

This little sunsuit is my favorite.

I need to find a doll these will fit for Sammi.

Other than that I am still feeling WAY WAY too busy. What is the deal? I need time to relax already! I need time to sew already! I have so many things I want to be making right now. Oy.