Monday, November 30, 2009

my spot

Here are a couple pictures of my spot on Saturday. I was pretty happy with how it looked...I liked my little signs...but now that I see it in photos I realize that it looks a little like Christmas threw up on my table. :) Oh well. It worked for me, I suppose.

My mom is packing up to leave and Ruby is hollering at me from in her room. (she just smacked me because she was frustrated with her batman mask. nice.) I've got a pretty messy house to get picked up today, want to get the bills paid (so I can buy some more gifts! no, not everyone is getting button stuff), and make my cookie baking plan for the next few weeks. I have to say I'm glad it's Monday and I have a little quiet around here again. (well, relatively quiet, you know.)

There was lots of other stuff I wanted to mention about the Craftacular but I can't think of it all right now. It was fun to see some friends and also really cool that Teresa stopped by. I love meeting other bloggers because there is already a little feeling that you know each's not at all like meeting any other stranger. Thanks, Teresa. :) (your son is a doll.)

Alright, I gots to go. I can hear Ruby, "And I'm not sharing my room with any baby! This is my room!" heehehehehheheheheee.


Sunday, November 29, 2009

buttons schmuttons

(Thanksgiving night, listening to Christmas songs on Pandora and
sewing cookies with Ruby on my lap)

Man, that Craftacular wiped me out. Today I have felt exhausted for most of the day and also have a small cold that is enough to make me feel even sorrier. (not for myself, just sorrier in general.) Luckily my mom and Patrick have been here so I could just be a sloth. I am feeling a little better right now but, shhhhhh, mustn't let on to that. :)

The Craftacular was great. I really had a good time and remembered why I liked being a part of it so much last year. It was lots of fun to have my mom with me and we sat by a couple of really nice sisters (not nuns, actual sisters) that were fun to talk with and got us slices at Ian's for lunch. I had really good sales and made a personal goal I had set...almost to the penny. You know how they say to "put something out there" when you want it to happen? Well, I did, but I put mine out there to God, just tacked it on to my morning prayer so He'd know what I was hoping for and why, and I made that mark, almost exactly. Now, do I think God gives us whatever we ask for? Of course not. Do I think that He does stuff like this for me (and for you) as a blessing and as a fun way to show He listens? Definitely. And I'm so thankful for it.

But then there were the buttons. Apparently God isn't into the buttons. I sold NOT ONE thing that had buttons on it. No magnets, no clips, no magnetic clips...NOTHING. Also a no go? My vintage bingo card magnets. Didn't sell a single one. (but did give some away to those that admired them, which was fun.) It was fun to see what sold well (a lot of the stuff that sold well last year and a some of my "new" items) and what wasn't so hot (buttons and oh yeah, my lollipop ornaments! no lollipop love, either.) (but I still like these things I made. no regrets. (but also, won't be making them again!)) Some really nice women I spoke with at another booth told me that every year you do shows your sales grow because you learn what works and what doesn't. I can see the truth in that and while I probably won't do this next year, it would be fun to test their theory. (one never knows...perhaps I will have a docile infant that loves to watch me craft??) HAHAHAHAHA! (I am not wonder woman like some I know. (cough, Naomi, cough) ) ;)

Okay, enough rambling for now. I have to put some socks in the dryer as James' sock cup is the opposite of running over and he can't wear his soccer socks again tomorrow.

Coming up this week! Cookie plans! Yay!

Friday, November 27, 2009

oh my goodness, it's tomorrow

Please forgive my absence the last few days. My mom arrived on Wednesday and yesterday we were consumed with, well, consuming. :) I hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving filled with people & food you love.

If you're in Madison, please come and see me (and LOTS of other artists & crafters) at the Craftacular tomorrow. It's from 10am-5pm at the Masonic Center at 301 Wisconsin Avenue in downtown Madison. Please introduce yourself if you stop by...I'd love to meet you. :)

My palms are a little sweaty now just thinking about it. Luckily I am just about all packed up and tonight I get to have a date with my husband.

Wish me luck! :)


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

do you ever

have this much laundry?

Patrick was out of town most of last week and we did really well without our 4th wheel. I got and kept the house clean (which it hadn't been in a while) because that really helps me feel calm in the midst of daily chaos...especially at the end of the day. We did some fun stuff, had some friends was all really good. The only thing I didn't do? Laundry. Not a bit. So, if you're a mother you know what 4 days of no laundry looks like. The photo above is just the tip of the cotton iceberg in our basement.

Ruby and I are home from doing some errands. A friend returned some baby gear I had forgotten I even gave her (exersaucer & bouncy seat) and added a few things of hers to the pile for us to use...a mini swing and bumbo seat. All of a sudden there is all this baby stuff around again! crazy. I don't really think we'll need anything else before the little one arrives. Oh yeah...a car seat. hehe. And a pack and play at some point, mainly to protect him from his siblings at certain times.

I'm not sure what is going on with me. Perhaps the pregnancy hormones are calming me way down? I feel like there's lots of stuff that I should be bothered about but am not. Like, where will this child sleep? Will James & Ruby share a room, or Ruby and the baby or James and the baby? I guess I know that at first he will sleep in our room so we'll have some time to figure it all out. I also think the nesting instinct might kick in during that last trimester, which is conveniently after the holidays. (if I turn into a psycho list maker/whip cracker, please remind me of this post)

Speaking of the holidays...Patrick will be off for 12 days. Ahhhhh. Love that. We'll be in Duluth for a couple of them (hahahahahahha!) but will have some time at home, too, which is always nice.

This reminds me of how James likes to stay home a good chunk of Saturdays now...he calls it Stay at Home Saturday. (how very clever of him, no?) ;) I did persuade him to venture out with me late last Saturday afternoon and we had a really nice time walking around on State Street a little and eating at Ian's Pizza. yum! I had the chicken alfredo slice. Don't be a hater if you've never tried it.

I know this is so random. I am still tired and trying to decide if I want to meet Patrick and hand off the kids this afternoon or if I just need to go to bed at 8pm. James is home with us tomorrow and we had talked about doing a little Christmas decorating. I'd like to start our long festive weekend out well rested, so I should just stay home.

(shakes head to clear the fog)

I will sign off now. I hope you are all sufficiently bored and have a good source of caffeine nearby to counteract the effects of this post. You're welcome.



I don't have any new pictures and am not really in the mood to write right now. I have the urge to go sit on the couch and drink coffee and make my grocery list.

I was up late last night (11pm) and I'm feeling it. How sad is that? :)


Monday, November 23, 2009

overheard this weekend

Ruby and I have been reading 101 Dalmatians over and over and over lately and this little rhyme has been stuck in our head...

S&R: With a yip and a yap and a yelp yelp yelp! Fifteen puppies need your help!
(it's catchy...try it!)


R: (immediately) It was an accident!
J: Ruby, you just say that so you don't get in trouble.
S&P: (laughing)
R: Stop laughing, Mom and Dad! Sassies!!!


(talking about baby names in the van after church)
S: Sam? Charlie? Abe? Luke? (all declined)
J: He needs a rock star Spikes or something.
P: (quietly, from the front seat) Would it be wrong to call him Yaweh?*

S&R: (for the 100th time) With a yip and a yap and a yelp yelp yelp! Fifteen puppies need


P: I brought him in a little snack tray because all he had for dinner was that plain pasta with chicken at dinner.
S: I know. He's eaten basically that same meal there for the last 4 years, and never complained. He loves Noodles.
S&P: (silent for a moment, I tear up a little)
S: He's so sweet, isn't he? Little buddy.
P: yeah.
P: (a moment later) Of course, he did say he wanted to shoot 15 puppies.**

*He was totally kidding.
**He brought home another hunting book...this time that's been on his mind. I gasped when he said, "to be shot!" and asked him if he really wanted to shoot puppies. He said no...well, maybe just in the bum with a nerf gun.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I just died a little

the scene:

In the kitchen, James had just asked me if they could have salami & cream cheese sandwiches for their snack:

J: It's soy cream cheese, is that okay, Gavin?
G: Yeah, I like all kinds of cream cheese.
J: (pause) I really like you.

6 year old boys are so sweet.
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clothespins R us

Today is all about clothespins. I finished the pins that will go along with a clothespin bag purchase (top picture) and am halfway through some memo holders (bottom picture). Those will go in bags for the first 50 customers at the Craftacular on the 28th and have a nifty little coupon attached. I'm tempted to stop at 25, and I may, but I may also plow through the other 25 this afternoon. I didn't do this last year so it will be fun to see how many of these get used. (I'm hoping that at least 50 20 of them do)

James is having a little buddy over after school and I am kind of excited to see how it goes. I'm pretty sure Ruby will be excluded so I have a couple ideas of things for her and I to do together. (example: she watches me glue buttons together, she watches tv while I glue buttons together) (hehehehehee)

xoxoxo and sorry about the crappy photos
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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

wee trees

I love making these soft trees. They make me happy.

I found the pattern here last should make some!

Oh...wait a minute. Scratch that. These trees are SUPER hard to make and very nerve wracking, not relaxing at all.
Never fear, though, as I have suffered through the process for you already.
You can buy some from me at the Craftacular on the 28th.



Tuesday, November 17, 2009

ruby's tuesday & a random story

such a big girl/little girl.

(that's how she refers to herself now. A couple weeks ago she was balking at any big girl talk so I'm happy to see she has now embraced it in her own way. She will always be my baby girl, anyways.)


Can I just say what a luxury it is to go grocery shopping with only one child? I'm sure next fall I'll be doing my shopping while Ruby is at preschool, again bringing my total child count to one. Bliss.

I dreamt about my most sickening ex-boyfriend last night (I guess he was my only truly sickening one) and as I tried to get myself back to sleep I composed an entire post about him in my head. The best part of the whole story of (rhymes with) STAN was that after he cheated on me (this came out of (seemingly, at the time) nowhere and I had really thought I'd marry that (cough, using term loosely) man) and couldn't decide where he wanted our relationship to go, and I was a total mess because I felt like I was just hanging there, waiting, I called to talk to his mother. She wasn't home but his Dad started talking to me and gave me the best advice. He said I would continue to be miserable as long as I felt like someone else was in charge of what happened. He said I was letting him be in control and I had to decide for myself if I really wanted to try and make things work with someone who had disrespected me in that way.

Isn't that the coolest thing ever? I think that was my favorite part of my whole relationship with STAN. (His Dad happens to be a psychology professor.) Loved that. Thank you, Dennis. (his real name...nothing rhymes with that)

So anyways. Don't you just love good people? People who are there for you in ways you would never expect? I truly thank God that STAN lied to me that day and that his Dad cared enough to take the time to talk to me and share that much needed advice. (because before that phone call I really was a true break up mess, had lost 15 pounds in a week from not eating anything...sad (but boy did I look good!) and after that phone call I decided I was done with STAN forever. And, oh boy, then the fun began!! :) Jolee, care to chime in?? just kidding, we won't go there but let's just say STAN didn't like my decision at all and stalked me for a good couple of months.)

And, that is my out of the blue story for the day. Time to clean the kitchen.


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Monday, November 16, 2009


I stole this picture off of Erin's facebook page because I thought it was soooooo cute.

Aren't they both sooooooo cute?

We love you Uncle Thomas & Erin!


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Sunday, November 15, 2009

thank you

Thank you all for the Poo love. That post was not easy to write but had been on my colon mind for so long that I just had to. You know, it was almost like an urge now that I think about it. Hmmmmm...

Anyways. Happy Sunday evening to you.

Saturday was a day set apart for me to have some time apart from my children. I started the day out with a little shopping, scoring a TRUCK LOAD of stuff at Old Navy (thank you Ann for that coupon!!) and returned home to a blissfully empty house ready to work on some crafty stuff.

And then the fun started. The jamming thread bungling sewing machine sort of fun that stopped me in my (shoddily sewn) tracks and moved me to assess the situation.

I set up a mock Craftacular table and saw that I am in pretty good shape. There are a few holes I need to fill with stuff still to be made (stuff that I want to work on...not inch thick hot pads that make me MAD) but overall I am doing just fine. Not pictured are a whole bunch of cookies and there will, of course, be more wine sleeves. (I need empties, local friends, maybe 5 or 6. Can anyone help??) I also have extras of a lot of the stuff shown. I'm going to paint the two white display pieces red, for a bit of pop, and iron my sheet tablecloth and I should be good to go. Oh, and signs of course but that can wait until the day before, when I will do this all again with my mother's help. :)

The children just finished their ice cream bars (I know, nice timing) so they are all sugared up and ready for bed.

Wish us luck!

Oh, I'm going to use my free morning hour tomorrow for crafty good so I won't be around here again until the afternoon sometime. (thus this special Sunday PM edition so you all know how much I love you and appreciate all your comments & congratulations and emails lately. xoxoxooxoxoxoox)

xoxo, officially

Oh, and one more thing, my ankles have started swelling up a bit in the evening. It's great!
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Friday, November 13, 2009

you are not alone

I've put off this post for a long time, maybe years. It's not something that easy to talk about, or pretty to think about. It can be a hard subject to bring up with your friends and even your family but I think it's something many of us go through and shouldn't be kept a secret any longer. No, I'm not talking about depression again.

I'm talking about the Target Poo.

Do you know what I'm referring to? Have you experienced this phenomena? The Target Poo is the unexplainable urge to empty your bowels simply because you are browsing through your local Target.

My earliest memory of Target (aside from the mint brownies in the bakery case behind the checkouts) is walking around the Duluth store with a big lump of poo in my diaper. Already, at probably age 2, being in this shining mecca of consumer goods relaxed me and my tiny bowels. I was reminded of this on Tuesday when Ruby & I were there. About a half hour into our trip she let loose with her cry of, "I have to pooooooooooooooooop!" Now, Ruby has only been regularly pooping on the toilet at home for a month or so and she has never pooped out of the house. Leave it to Target to bring her out of her shy colonic shell. Ah, good old Target.

I have talked about this over the years with close friends and family. During these research sessions friendly conversations I have discovered something startling. The Target Poo does not only happen at Target. The Target Poo changes and adapts with you and your life circumstances. It can strike anywhere at any time. It is like a virus with no known vaccine.

A few examples:

A certain woman I know needs to use the facilities almost immediately after stepping into a particularly good thrift or antique store. Seriously, almost immediately!

Another has the urge to purge after nothing more than a phone call from her sister!

A man (no, they are not immune) I know recently let it be known (in a most unpleasant way) that the mere thought of having the house to himself one Sunday afternoon was too much for him. He could hardly say goodbye to us his family that was not us before they left the house.

If you're hearing about this for the first time you may have a great sense of relief, finally being able to put a name to this powerful experience. You are welcome. You are safe here. You are not alone.

This may all seem overwhelming to you....

or, maybe not. I suppose we should also talk about those who are quite comfortable with all of this. Maybe some have come to actually rely on the Target Poo to help keep things regular but you and I both know that is a slippery slope. Target trips are expensive, my friends, and should not be used for anything more than an opportunity to stock up on dry goods and the occasional new pair of shoes or piece of seasonal decor.

No matter what side of the Bullseye you are on, please continue reading....

I'd like to share something very personal with you now. Because we are friends I'd like to share with you how I have triumphed over this mighty urge, and I want to share with you how you can, too. It is not for the faint of heart but it can be done. The only known antidote to the Target Poo is this: Go to Target (or whatever your personal hot spot is) with at least one, preferably 2, small children. Almost like magic the urge disappears and YOU are in control of your own BMs again. Trust me, it works!

Please don't be lulled into thinking you have 100% coverage, though. The next time you arrive in a store by prepared. The Poo is not shaken that easily. Oh no, she is a mighty Poo, and she will be back, with a vengeance. (You won't, however, have to try to poo while your toddler sits on your lap and your baby eats toilet paper off of the floor, so there is that.)

Thank you for travelling down this dark & stinky road with me today. I feel as though I've come out of a tunnel and into the sunshine, being able to speak of this freely here for the first time. And really, if I've helped EVEN ONE of you it is all worth it.

Now you'll have to excuse me. I have some, er, personal business to attend to....

Thursday, November 12, 2009

rhymes with joy

It's a boy! :)

Just found out this afternoon and we are very happy and thrilled that everything looked good with our son.

I'm so happy to know this information and like him a lot already, this pokey little thing in my belly. Patrick is happy it's a boy because he said boys are less dramatic, even though he said either one would be okay. I was shocked because I was sure it was a girl. I kind of wanted a girl, which is hard to explain why because I obviously love having a son just as much as having a daughter, but I've already adapted to this new idea and am very very happy.

Now we just need to think of a name. oh boy.


p.s. Ruby said she quit boys (she had really wanted a girl but will come around) and James is excited but bummed that we didn't get a pic of his mini package. (I had told him they had given us a pic of his penis at 20w and he thought that was v. funny.)

and away he goes...

Ruby's self portrait with orange hair, a baby in her belly, and a penis.

A note James left for Patrick. It says, "I love bla bla dad" (garble) "bla bla dade (daddy)" (garble) bla bla read note

The bla bla comes from some joke they have between them. I have no idea.

James also started writing his second chapter book the other night. (His first was about race cars but didn't go past the cover art) This one is about a Bullettrain and an Evil Dart. He's hoping to fit it all into 4 chapters as that is how much he has room for. I'd take a picture of it but he brings it to school with him so it doesn't get wrecked.

I am seeing an explosion of reading over here and it is the coolest thing. James has been reading simple words and doing other early reading stuff for a long time but I never really did much about it based on some good advice from a favorite teacher I know. She said if he is really good at reading when he starts Kindergarten then he will be really bored, and a bored kid in their first school experience is not a really good thing. So of course we kept reading to him daily and answering any questions he might have but just kind of let him naturally do what he was doing and didn't offer much more information. So now at Kindergarten they are doing their Kindergarten stuff...studying the letters and their sounds and simple words and copying lots of words in little books...and it's like light bulbs are going off all over his brain. He is trying to read signs & words everywhere and getting soooo many of them right, big ones even like Cougar. (I know...he's a genius!) He is starting to have the confidence to try and write little notes like the one above (more than the I LOVE notes he's done in the past) and to write these books. I just love it so much. I think watching him start to read & spell words is one of the most exciting milestones for me as I love to read and I am just hoping and praying that he will, too. (even if it is books about monster trucks and hunting.) (yes, he brought a hunting book home from the library. nice.)

Whenever my kids sit down to color I always hope that they ask for a plain piece of paper. Ruby still likes to color Dora pictures a lot but more and more often she is going for the plain stuff. Seeing what comes out of their little brains is so awesome to me.

So, yes, I am really enjoying James as a kindergartner. I love seeing him learn this stuff, how careful he is with his homework (they have one small project every Monday night), how his teacher told me she knows he always does his best work. The social part of it is fascinating, too. He had a boy who was saying rude things to him a while back and it was kind of baffling at first, and made me angry, but we talked about how he should handle it and he handled it really well. (at just the same time the school counselor was coming into their room to talk about 9 different things they could try to solve problems really was perfect timing and the suggestions worked well for him.) I like to ask him, "Who did something you thought was really nice today?" and hearing what he says. This morning he looked at me and really seriously said he wasn't ready to get married yet. I said of course he wasn't, why would he even say that? Well, he said, Megan keeps saying she wants to marry him and when she found a penny on the bus yesterday (they bus them to another school for their gym, music & art classes) she gave it to him. Can you imagine?? :)

I don't like to write much about this kind of stuff (being all proud of him) because I always worry I sound like I'm bragging. I want to record this, though, as it's very exciting stuff and very special for me. I also believe that any other parent could share something equally exciting about their child, whether it's about reading or anything else. Every kid I know is amazing in their own way, and this whole process of them growing up is the most amazing thing of all. What a gift to be able to watch it.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Ruby and I are off to the dr. this morning, just for a regular OB check, so I don't have any extra time to post.

I wanted to put this picture of James' haircut up as proof to my mother.

My camera was on some strange setting I was using outside so it looks all goofy. Oops.

Have a nice Wednesday. xoox

p.s. The sweatshirt James is wearing is a 4T and so close to being too short for him but he loves it. He's never noticed how the little tab on the pocket says babyGap or he'd never still be wearing it. heehhehehe. ((my boy.))

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

and something for the baby daddy

What man wouldn't love this card? I saw it somewhere online maybe a month or so ago and instantly went over and bought it from these St. Paul artists. I am saving it for Christmas or for a day when I think he needs to hear this particular message from me. (like if he breaks down and cries like a baby because he loves me so much.) HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA.


p.s. I updated my own etsy shop today with some of my holiday scarves. Look here! :)

my happy-baby-to-me present

Today I purchased my happy-baby-to-me present. I ordered a truck load of magazine subscriptions!! Woo hoo! I haven't had any since Ruby was born (they probably ran out when she was around a year) so this is very exciting for me.

I love magazines. I love books first but magazines are a close second. I can hardly stand the thought of going to bed at night if I don't have a book or a magazine to read when I get there. Sometimes it is only for 5 minutes but it's a favorite & necessary part of my daily routine. I rarely buy either (except as an occasional splurge), preferring to get them all from the library. (some libraries in our system let you check out current issues and they can all be put on hold online) The truth is, as much as I love them, lots of times magazines are disappointing (aside from US because gossip is always fun), and not worth their purchase price. So why did I just spend $60 on them?!?

Well, when I have a new baby, all bets are off. I deserve to be pampered a little and getting a new magazine in my mailbox could be just the lift I need to get through the afternoon. My ability to remember to put stuff on hold will diminish for a while and there will probably be some days that stopping by the library will even feel like too much. So, Yay!! I ordered Oprah, Everyday with Rachel Ray, Country Living, Body & Soul, and Family Fun. (I might slip a Real Simple in there if I can find a good price someday.) I also ordered Mental Floss for Patrick for Christmas (this is a really good, newish magazine that he really liked when I brought one home (from the library)...I'm so excited to surprise him.) and Boys Life for James. I used this site to search for deals and ended up getting 4 of them from Amazon and 3 from Right now Amazon has additional dollars off on lots of their subscriptions. You can see a list of them here. Overall I spent $62 for 7 subscriptions and have 2 gifts taken care of. Right now I'm going to order the kids each a pair of Hanna Andersson pajamas (also a splurge but the one thrifted pair of bottoms I got for James are his favorite. He said they're "soooo super soft.") and have 2 more gifts done. Fun. :)

p.s. The other great thing about magazines? Your friends (& mothers) love when you pass them on. :)

Other titles I might like, for future reference (or santa): US weekly , Every Day Food (the Martha one), Real Simple, and if it was free, Martha Stewart Living. xoxoxo

Monday, November 09, 2009

okay, I'm back again

It is (another) gorgeous day here in Wisconsin and we have all the windows thrown open and laundry on the line. Ruby told me this morning she just wanted to stay home (we had a fun & busy weekend) and I couldn't agree more. So, here we are. I'm getting lots of unpacking (long story) done in between laundry, hug time and helping to tuck babies in.

On my mind lately in Christmas. It is coming faster than I like. Well, not really Christmas, but Thanksgiving and the Craftacular weekend. 3 weeks?? Really?! I dropped all expectations for myself a couple of weeks ago (as far as quotas & my schedule of making) and that has worked out well. I didn't want to stress out during November to meet some goals I set for myself before I knew our household would be sick for most of October. That seemed silly.

I am taking great strides to take care of myself and listen to what I need these days. When I am stressed out, I pray and make some lists about why and how and what is making me feel that way, and try to listen and wait for solutions. When I am crabby I step back and see if I think it will pass or if it feels like something more. When I am tired, I rest. When I am really tired, I cry and rest and pray that tomorrow will feel better and probably eat some ice cream. And tomorrow usually does feel better. See, when I found out I was pregnant I stopped taking my antidepressants. I had been weaning myself off of them for a while, having a feeling that I would be okay without them, and getting the baby news, well, I just quit one day. (NOTE: This is not recommended and I would not suggest anyone else do this. It worked for me but now that I look back there were some small strange things going on that didn't add I know why. :)

I loved my sertraline. (generic Zoloft) Loved it. It came to the rescue when I needed it and took care of some stuff in my body that I couldn't do by myself. That deep sadness lifted, like magic. I was left feeling so much like myself again but also with some nice extra benefits. Those benefits were the reason it was hard to go off of the drug. The little pesky things in life, that can bother anyone to one degree or another, didn't really bother me anymore. I was not like a robot or anything, I want that to be clear, but I was so much more capable of telling myself that it, whatever it might be, didn't really matter. Constantly I said to myself, Let it go, Stephanie. And I would! Those little things people say unintentionally that can hurt your feelings? Done dwelling on that. The tiny stuff my husband does to make me crazy? No big deal. Worrying about my actions pleasing everyone else? Pffft, puh-leeze. It was so nice!! The really nice thing, though, is that after 2 years of telling myself that, I really learned to tell myself that. Like, on my own! What a gift.

There were some times during those first few exhausting months that I wondered if I had made the right decision. Everything is so much harder when you are that tired, you know? The good thing was that I always knew I could go back on them if I needed to. And I still know that. (Zoloft is thought of as safe during pregnancy and I am not trying to tell anyone to go off of it. This was obviously a personal decision that I had been moving towards for a while before the pregnancy news.) It's like a little "get out of jail free" card tucked in my pocket.

I have to say the constant self-checks and self-analyzing that I do now gets a little old sometimes but I really feel like I want to stay on top of my self, if that makes sense. I don't want to allow anything to sneak up on me again. I feel really good about the way things are going. I mostly feel like my normal self, pretty happy with some manic episodes thrown in to keep things spicy.

I didn't sit down with a plan to write about all of this. I had been wanting to share it, as I think being on the drugs helped me learn some really healthy skills that I had never before excellent side effect if you will, but not today. I sat down to write about how I am glad that once the Craftacular is over I will still have a month just to focus on all things Christmas with my family. And how I am really excited for Thanksgiving weekend and my mom's visit and the Craftacular day. And how we are setting a budget of $100 for each of our kids and how that probably seems like too much to some and too little to others. (it's just right for us.) And how the Advent Conspiracy will play a role in our holiday again this year, and some day I'd like to tell you about how powerful the Sunday at church was last year when they took that collection from us. (the air was thick, heavy, with God. You could almost physically feel it.) (I guess I just told you.)

SO. whew. Now I am done and have to get back to the other stuff this day has for me. Thanks for reading all of this, if you did. If anyone had any of the same experiences or anything at all, I'd love to hear it. xoxo

remember this about ruby

I keep putting this off but know I shouldn't much longer. There are so many things Ruby is doing right now that I don't want to forget. The cute way they say stuff sometimes changes overnight and is gone from my brain almost as fast.

So, here is some stuff I (extra) love about Ruby right now:

how she says her underwear are "inside outside" instead of inside out
saying "wis one" or "wat one"
still crazy in love with my hair, says black is her favorite color (um, hello Ruby, it's CHESTNUT)
she says she can "easily" do almost anything
(ie: I can easily catch that bird)
how she will climb up behind me on the chair and pretty soon I will feel something rubbing on my back. I turn around and it is her bare bum. She thinks this is hilarious.

Okay, of course I am now forgetting the rest. I will add to this, I promise (myself.)


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Saturday, November 07, 2009

dear us,

love, Saturday
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one messed up day.

It was 24 hours between when we left home on Thursday and arrived back home on Friday.

It was 340 miles that I drove during that time.

It was $160.00 that I spent on gas & hotel during that time.

It was 98.6 on the thermometer this morning that has me kicking myself.



Thursday, November 05, 2009

one small thing

One thing I love about life with kids: How something that is SO challenging or SO frustrating one day can be nearly forgotten within such a short time. I took pictures of all of this the other night because it seemed like SUCH a big deal and now, a few days later, it seems kind of silly. Just another normal night with kids, right? The trick for me is to try and remember what worked...and what didn't...during those frustrating times, so I might as well document it.

Monday night was really frustrating and challenging with James. He was just in a rage, talking super snotty to me and yelling...just being a beast. I ended up making him go to his room and told him he couldn't come out until he A) ate his snack (I did know he was hungry but he had kind of gone past normal hungry, I think, and was totally irrational) and B) cleaned up his room. He sat in there hollering for a good 10 minutes, demanding a different snack on a different plate, saying his room was too messy, until I brought him up this little check list. Shortly after, there was total quiet. About 20 minutes later he opened his door and called for me to come and see his room. He had made his bed...

and cleaned up all of his toys.
The checklist really made a difference for him. I think a whole floor of toys can be overwhelming to anyone (especially because MOST of his bedroom stuff gets sorted) and while I still help him a lot of times, this was a consequence for the foul attitude. He liked the checklist so much that he stuck it on his door, to help him other times, he said. (insert heart breaking) He had eaten his snack, finished his milk, cleaned his room, and was a different kid the rest of the night. (tormented his sister, played Legos, chased his father, etc.)

I use checklists all the time so I'm going to try and remember to use them more often with him. A small thing that made a huge difference.

I suppose that is worth remembering. :)


Wednesday, November 04, 2009

baby hat

baby hat, originally uploaded by stephaniekg.

Thankfully I did have 2 successes before that horrible hat failure I showed you the other day. This little hat turns out darling and goes together easily. It is from the Lotta Jansdotter book, Simple Sewing for Baby. The one shown here is the size the book pattern makes as is. I reduced it to make a tiny one, for a tiny newborn, and that also turned out well. I wish I knew what size/age baby this one fits. I hope it fits the intended at some point this winter.


p.s. I need a new header!!!!!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

tuesday, pm edition

Here are a couple shots from, well, I bet you can figure out when they're from. James could care less about dressing up. He just wants the minimum costume required in order to get candy. It was pretty cold out and this power ranger suit was the roomiest thing in our play clothes, good for layering, so a power ranger he was! We have the belt and mask but he wasn't interested. Ruby wore James' skeleton from last year. Easy. The little witch is our buddy Megan. Her sister the turtle was interested in the photo op. They enjoyed handing out candy almost as much as collecting it...Ruby likes to give big handfuls.

Fun day today. It is my friend Susan's birthday (Happy Birthday, Susan!!) so we met up with her and some other friends for coffee & treats this morning. Then Ruby & I got groceries and then, surprise!, I got my H1N1 vaccine. I'm glad to have finally gotten one, now let's hope it works.

Time to go get the boy. Praying for a better afternoon than yesterday. Well, yesterday was really bad for a while but then turned out pretty good. I took some pictures...maybe for tomorrow? I just love when things turn around. Some time away (in his room) is usually what it takes to get James back on track. Why do I feel guilty for doing it then?? Ugh, parenthood. :) xoxo
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Monday, November 02, 2009

please remind me

never to get Huevos Rancheros again. blech. (Thankfully Patrick shared his omelet with me.) shudder. They were gross.

((These pictures are also really gross to me. The lighting is awful and the food looks just sick. Hope you enjoy them! :) (hee!) ))

On Saturday, after the carnival and before trick or treating, we took the kids out to lunch. We were all tired but James won for being the most tired when he laid down on the booth, reaching up occasionally for a fry or bite of his hot dog.

Oh, and the Pancake Cafe has really, really good coffee.


state street

Ruby and I went all over this morning but State St. was our favorite stop. I had to stop at Anthology to pick up some postcards for the Craftacular. What a neat store...if you haven't been, you should go. It was a windy morning but really nice in the sunshine. She is sleeping now so I'm going to go sew a little bit. Enjoy your afternoon. xoxo
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and to my brother, too!!

uncle thomas, originally uploaded by stephaniekg.

I just love you to pieces, brother. You are funny & smart & fun to be around. The kidlets are crazy about you, too. xoxoxo

the birthday girl

0827 084, originally uploaded by stephaniekg.

Happy Birthday to my dear mother! Mom, you know how much we all adore you...please don't die for a long, long, long time.

xoxoxooxox, Stephanie & crew

thank God it's Monday

The best news I have? We all felt good this weekend and LEFT THE HOUSE numerous times. (Oh, alright, Patrick was a little weezy Saturday morning but that passed, thankfully.)

Here is a shot from the little carnival at the school Saturday morning. This fishing game was always a favorite of mine when I was little.

I have lots of other pictures but am not going to post them right now. Am going to get out of the house and run Ruby ragged today, OUT OF THE HOUSE.

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