Saturday, December 31, 2011

To 2011

To 2011-
You gave me Sammi.

I needed nothing else really.

(Well, aside from gymboree and baby legs to clothe her in.)

You made me a mother again and Dave a father again and Jack a brother.

A wonderful brother.

Everything else this year? It pales in comparison to the sweetness and joy of that baby. And of watching MY KIDS (plural!) as they grow.

I will love you forever for that gift.


To 2012 -
I like to choose a word for every year instead of a "resolution". I think this shall be the year of "embrace". Embracing our differences, embracing our faults, embracing our gifts.

Perhaps even embracing new challenges and new journeys.

Embracing the uncertainty of the world with grace.

Yeaup, that'll do.

Here's to you bright shiny new year.


Friday, December 30, 2011

Pottery Shelving, AT LAST!

When we remodeled the house I DREAMED of a big wall of built in shelving for my pottery collection.

But like any good remodel we ran out of money.
With no place to store the pots I bought these two shelves at Target. (They didn't have white.)

I have never liked them.

They are dark, they are tiny. Did I mention dark?

And then Sammi got moving. So for nearly 5 months they have been sitting completely empty in the living room. She was into everything on them.
For Christmas/our anniversary, Dave built me some shelving.

Finally! Hurray.

They aren't built ins, but in the end I decided I didn't want that. (My dad was going to help him do that, but I thought my much loved tv dresser might look weird with a built in around it since it's old and chippy.)
It's kind of hard to believe, but this is the same amount of pottery. Actually a little less since I culled the herd yesterday.
Left side.
Right side.
I added in bits and pieces of things other than pottery - millinery flowers, my beaded wedding flowers, my wedding cake topper collection...
Old family photos...
And a silver trophy among other things.
And now the bottom shelves hold toys for Sammi instead of sharp dangerous objects.

Thank you honey, it's lovely!

*We also had to hang up the giant television. I was terrified she was going to pull it over on herself.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Let's never do that again, okay?

As I feared, Sammi started SCREAMING for milk at 2 35 am.

Almost 6 full hours before she was allowed to even have water again.

And I had stayed up until after 11 to feed her one last time.

At around 4 we put her in the swing and she went back to sleep.

Just in time to be woken up at 5 to go to the hospital (with parents who have now, literally, been up all night).

At the hospital everything was going splendidly* until their "15 minutes" became 25 minutes and then 35 minutes.

You might as well have put me in a straight jacket at that point. I asked be to taken to recovery to be with her, and I was ASSURED she would be right back any moment.

Uh huh.

So when I heard her screaming her little head off down the hall I rushed to her.

Only to meet MRS RUDE ASS who started demanding I go back in their room. Then she started hollering about checking my bracelet, even though every nurse in the hallway knew she was my baby (they had all been fawning over her all morning) and one even remarked that a mother knows her own baby's cry, even from a mile away when I was rushing to her.

No thanks, that's my baby and I will take her NOW DAMN IT.

(I think the hold up was that they were trying to get her to take a bottle. A strange bottle. Of cold apple juice. Had they bothered to get me as they promised I could have assured them that Sammi 1) will never take a bottle from a stranger 2) never uses anything but an Avent bottle, trust me I have tried, 3)Sammi drinks nothing cold and 4) Sammi wants nothing to do with juice or water.)

Then I had to be lectured on how there was NO WAY IN HADES SHE COULD HAVE MILK RIGHT NOW even though she was completely beside herself from anesthesia and starving to boot.

(And I knew there was NO WAY IN HADES WE WERE GOING HOME ANY TIME SOON if she didn't get milk, since she couldn't pass their "drink and don't puke for 30 minutes test" otherwise.)

So. 40 minutes of hysterical baby later, she finally drank some milk and passed out. (Honestly this part was H-A-R-D, no doubt about it. Sammi is an easily consoled baby. I am so not used to her crying like that. Jack? Yes. Sammi? NO WAY.)

And I was finally released from their hellish prison.

Now I would like to kindly ask the universe to PLEASE never, ever make me have to go through that again.

Can I cry now?

*Oh yea, their stupid hospital gown made her break out in a vicious rash after about 10 minutes or so. So she ended up going back in her own clothes.

** And did I mention that last night Jack had a rip roaring fit of his own? Which went on and on and on and I was already on edge. MAN! I am having a good time over here.

*** AND we still have 10 days of freaking antibiotics plus a week of antibiotic drops. The baby has been nuked to hell and back with those meds for 2 solid months now. I would like to be done with them now thanks.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Crepe Paper Streamer Birthday Wreath

Sammi will be having a very "pinterest" party this year. I went through and pinned everything that caught my eye and I am busy making a bunch of them.

I pinned this first birthday wreath , and spent hours trying to track down the source with no luck. (Irritating!)

Since we are having a pink party I searched high and low for the perfect pink cupcake wrappers to make one with. After about 6 stores I gave up on the idea.

And then I had a little lightbulb moment - crepe paper streamers.
Cut them into squares.
Then do the crepe paper twist with a pencil and stick them on a cardboard number. (I used Aleene's craft glue.)
*This is my most pinned post and people seem confused about the twisting of the paper. This blog has a photo of what I mean. I learned how to do this from Childcraft Make and Do, which I have had since I was a child.  If you haven't already thrifted the childcraft set, it's worth doing so!  When I was teaching in daycare I think we made every single craft in Make and Do!
It turned out cute!

The perfect pink entrance to our pink party.

Where we will be eating milk and cookies. :-)

Now I have to go find something else to distract myself with. I am really upset about this surgery thing with Sam tomorrow. And to make it worse we have to be there at 5 45 am and she can't eat after midnight tonight.

And she doesn't sleep through the night! If she wakes up at 2 am for milk it's going to be a very long worrying night for me.


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Conversations with Jack

"Dave, I have some lunch ready for you."
"Mom, that was really sweet. You don't usually sound so sweet."
"Are you saying I usually sound like a mean old ogre Jack?"
"Well, what do I usually sound like?"
I make an ogre voice.
"No, you are not an ogre you are my beloved mother."


Even Dave has noticed that Jack's behavior over Christmas break is markedly different.

Gone is the child who is screaming and rolling on the floor and being uncooperative and rigid and freaking out a lot. I haven't had to hear him cry once and there is has been no sobbing and "I need more recess."

I really, really wish I could figure out just where the hiccup in his giddyup is at at school.

I read an article yesterday about "middle childhood", age 7 to 10, and it mentioned that this is a child's greatest period of growth. They are no longer frustrated toddlers and are not yet mired in the hormonal turbulence of adolescence. Reportedly this is when they "learn what it means to be human."

Interesting food for thought.

I will be back tomorrow FREAKING out about Sam's surgery. Sigh.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Heart to Heart 2012

The invitations are done for Sammi's first birthday (yes, that is her actual silhouette!), and you know what that means! Time to sign up for the 2012 Heart to Heart swap.

There are 14 spots open.

If you are selected you will make 14 Valentines, mail them to me and receive 14 different valentines in return.

THE ABSOLUTE, WRITTEN IN STONE DEADLINE IS FEB 1. THEY MUST BE AT MY HOUSE BY THEN OR YOU ARE OUT. (Sorry to shout, but I just don't have time for dawdling.)

Specific making and mailing guidelines will be emailed to participants on Jan 1. If you are wondering if you want to sign up the general making guidelines are no bigger than 5 x 7 and they can be made from any materials you'd like. Searching the blog for heart to heart will give you an idea of what previous swaps have included.

If there are more than 14 people signed up I will have a lottery for the spots. (Aka, throw your names in the hat and let the kids draw names.)

You may sign up by leaving a comment here (be specific in your comment, "I want to sign up for the swap" and leave an email address please) or you may email me directly -

I already have a great idea for my contribution and I can't wait to see what you all make this year!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Just like that, two solid months of planning and plotting and shopping and scheming and making are over in a flash.

Santa is quite proud of herself this year. She consigned and couponed and rebated and clearanced and freebie shopped herself into quite the Christmas for the kids (and Dave too!). It took her a lot longer, and she had to try and buy one present every pay period, but it paid off in her checking account. Plus, she used the leftover rewards and gift cards from buying things like toilet paper to score herself a free vacuum. Yippee! (And Jack was able to get a lot more of the things on his list this year.)
We had our family Christmas yesterday. My brother and I agreed many years ago that kids shouldn't have to travel on Christmas. They should be able to stay home and enjoy their loot.
Sammi's outfit was CRAZY CUTE. Pink velvet ruffled romper over sparkly striped tutu leggings? YES PLEASE.
I TRIED to get the obligatory Christmas pajama photo, but there were TOYS that Sammi was far more interested in.
Jack is a pretty patient kid. He waited a full hour for us to get up so he could open presents. (Sammi was up until 10, then up again at 4 am. We are TIRED.)

When he was finished with presents he declared "this was a wonderful Christmas." (Santa is still patting herself on the back. Ahem.)
Sammi actually ripped the paper off one gift.
And enjoyed sitting in her pile and examining her loot.
Then she did what babies do - played with the boxes for a bit.
Herself the elf, aka me, enjoyed a package stuffed to the gills with baby legs. Me and baby legs? We go together like me and Gymboree. Or me and Robeez. When they hit 75% off this week I couldn't hit the buy button fast enough.
And there was a fun collection of vintage barrettes in my stocking too.

Oh sure, they are really for Sammi. But we all know that dressing her up is for ME~!

I hope you are all enjoying a wonderful Christmas at your house too!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Under the wire

The sinks are scoured, the floors are vacuumed (not a single present is wrapped, mind you), and I managed to squeak in two more presents under the wire.

Aprons for my nieces.
Disney princesses for Maggie.

And powder puff girls for Cori.

And it only took me like 3 hours to make them, even if I did have top stitch 400 miles of apron strings.

(They are tied in the photos, making them look a little strange.)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Still making for Christmas

I can't believe I am still trying to make things for Christmas!

Jack has been asking me to make some books for him. He loves making books right now. I did some googling and stumbled on this tutorial at the Small object that seemed doable. (Bonus point for the supplies being readily available on Amazon or in my sewing room already.)

They turned out super cute, even if I did have to use a little duct tape because my chip board was too thick to sew through.
I also added a label on the front for his titles.
Now he has a stack of "wimpy kid sized" books of his own for under the tree.

When I was in the basement doing some sorting I realized that once again we could not fit ANY THING in the vintage stockings we have been using for several years. They are cute, but SMALL.

A few weeks ago I fell in L-O-V-E with these vintage junky stockings . So I set out to make us a set.

Except I could NOT find any clip art that was similar to what she has made, and I was getting frustrated.
I had an idea that was either going to include 1) candy colored fabric or 2) each stocking in a different vintage print. But when I went to Joann this keepsake calico jumped in the cart and refused to get out. Even when I tried to swap it with more of the DS Quilts fabric I love.

And it is perfect. The color is awesome with the glass tiles on the fireplace and the design is snowflakey.
I thought I was "settling" on the silhouettes, but really I didn't settle at all. They are wonderful. This is Jack's stocking.
And Sammi's.
See how they work together? Him pulling her on the sled.
Santa for Dave.
And Mrs. Claus for me.

Totally worth the eight hours it took me yesterday to make them. (Sewing on those intricate designs was crazy slow.)

Now onto making some things for Cheek's first birthday!

P.S. I will be opening the heart to heart swap sign ups between Christmas and New Years. I will leave it open until New Year's Day. If there are more than 14 interested I will do a lottery drawing for the spots this year. If you want in, don't forget to check back in/add me to your reader/etc!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The glass ornaments

This year I only put up trees and decorated the mantle.

And honestly? It's okay. I am not sure I miss the other stuff this year.

Perhaps I have just been too busy too notice.

The tree topper collection is back on the mantle again. I love this display so much.
And those little flea market wooden figures make it even sweeter.
The big vintage tree is in the kitchen, far away from curious little fingers.
I didn't fill it as full as I usually do. I was sick of hanging up ornaments and gave up.
There are still loads of really good ones on there.

My favorite this year is this silver beaded ornaments with the little pink bell.

Ya'll. Jack and I are sick. Sammi CANNOT GET SICK. She cannot have her surgery if she gets sick. There are about 2,000 other reasons I don't want to wait until the new year for that surgery. Please don't let her get sick.

I am off to sanitize everything we own and pray for mercy.