Tuesday, November 30, 2010

storybook mobile (for you!)

I have been in love with this idea for a long time.  After finding a bunch of vintage Little Golden books, I treated myself to a circle punch and got to work.  (what makes punching circles so satisfying??)

I love old wooden hangers and buy them whenever I can find them cheap.  I spray painted this one first and then sanded it a little.  I then sewed 5 strips of 6 circles each together, punched from a Frosty the Snowman book.  I hot glued the strips down under a button for an extra pop of color.

I kind of love it.  :)

The vintage illustrations are the best.

I'd like to send it to one of you!  I'll ship it anywhere, just leave a comment and I'll pick a name on Friday.  :)  (friends and family are welcome and encouraged to enter!)  (lurkers and first time visitors, too!)

As it's not specifically Christmas it can stay up all winter!  :)

Thanks for reading here.  I do appreciate the friendship and feedback more than you know.


p.s.  I also posted this on Allison's fun Tell Me Tuesday.  Click on the link to see some lovely ideas...


Monday, November 29, 2010

sing us a song, you're the (portable) piano man

That James sure is clever, ain't he?  Using my Brest Friend as a keyboard holder?  Nothing short of genius.

(As his mother, I am also quite proud of the camo shirt layered under the Star Wars one and the band-aid on his forehead covering up a Ruby-related wound.)

(In the photo I chose not to share, he was on his tip toes.)

(You're welcome.)


Patrick and I had a talk recently in which I made a little confession.

I am such a better late afternoon mother when he is out of town. 

Does that sound strange?  It kind of does to me but it's the truth.  Late afternoons are the hardest part of the day and it's much easier to let myself get swept up in all the dramatics when I know he'll be home in a while to pick up the pieces and give me a break.  When he is gone I know I am on my own and things will be much nicer if I keep my business together, so I do. 


I have tried pretending he is not coming home but it's just not the same.

I guess I'll just be thankful that it works this way.  That I can dig deep when I have to.  :)

(and I am not saying that every afternoon is a hot mess around here, mother.)  ;)


In other news,

well.  I don't really have any other news.  Um, wait a minute...I guess Pickles has decided it's his turn to be sick and went and rustled himself up some sniffles today.  That baby is crawling everywhere and I love it.  I love laying on the floor and watching him come towards me like a baby tank, he just crawls over whatever is in his path.  I also love when he smiles at me.  It makes me feel so happy.  It makes me want to eat him.

(Years and years ago I wrote a poem about being afraid to have babies because I might want to eat them.  Whoa...I predicted the FUTURE!)

That reminds me of this:

S:  (talking to Patrick on Sunday)  Well, maybe not now but sometime in the future it will be.
R:  (from couch)  Mom, are we going to the future today?
S:  No, Ruby.  Not today.
R:  Oh good.  I am too tired for that future place today.


I need to go get some sleep.  In bed by 9 was my goal.  I have 27 minutes to sew.


this thanksgiving, our joy was contagious

No, really.  It was. 

The joy was contagious along with the pink eye, cough and GI issues troubling my eldest 2 children.


It may not have been the standard Thanksgiving celebration but we enjoyed ourselves nonetheless.  "Pass me the gravy and the hand sanitizer, please."

The whole weekend was really good and felt like it was about a month long, in a good way.

There was turkey and pie and Black Friday shopping (for bras!  alone!), naps, Holiday Fantasy in Lights (although I do think "fantasy" is a bit of a stretch), movies, cleaning, crossing names off of lists, ordering books and cards, tons of laundry, a walk, playing outside.  Very good.  I loved it.

Now the week is starting with the harsh reality of life with small children who have coughs/dry throats/runny noses.  Last night, between the hours of 11pm-6am, I was woken (is that right? woken??) up SEVEN times, maybe even eight.  Does that even count as sleep at all?  I think not.  I think I will always refer to this as "that one night that it got dark and I fell asleep and then it was still dark but I did not sleep any more."

the end. 

Pray for me, Patrick is out of town again.  (he was the 7th wake up...I can't complain about a kiss goodbye, really.)


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

t fdz sazxxx42*

Last night Patrick and I did his expense reports for his last 4 trips. (He has gone four times since Nicholas has been born...that is more than the whole previous year!) 4 trips, $2500.00 in expenses. About half of that was charged and the rest has come out of our monthly cash. No wonder we've been feeling poor lately. He also found receipts for 2 trips he took, one in 2006 and one in 2007, that he never turned in reports for. sigh. Those are on the agenda for tonight. He is an accountant's nightmare. (but he's my little nightmare and better late than never, right? And right in time for the holidays!) (no coincidence there.) We were up until midnight because the internet was down until nearly 10pm. yawn.

The weekend seems so long ago already but we had a good one so it deserves mentioning. Ruby and I had a lunch and shopping date on Saturday (Panera & Target) and we all went to church/trader joe's/the zoo on Sunday. After we got home I baked blueberry muffins, banana bread, made red sauce for dinner and taco meat for last night's dinner. There was some football and a few naps mixed in, too. Later that evening Patrick surprised the kids and came upstairs with two blue plastic things tied to his head with a belt. They squealed with a mix of terror and glee and things got really crazy for a few minutes.

I got one picture of the get-up but when I jokingly told Patrick last night that I had put it on the blog, he gave my fingers the "labor squeeze." ouch. Guess I can't show you. Too bad because it's really flipping funny.

Tomorrow morning I have a dentist appointment and then will take all the kids to get groceries. WTH am I thinking?? We don't need much, I already got a turkey, but do need to get some berries for a yummy sounding pie that my sister-in-law Cheryl told me about. Razzleberry! James also wants a chocolate pie so I have to do some recipe hunting. We are staying home for Thanksgiving, just our family. I'm sure we'll have pangs of missing but it sounds kind of nice, too. And my whole clan is coming in December so I won't have to miss them for too long. Now if we could just get ourselves to North Carolina...

Nicholas slept until 8:30 today so he didn't really feel like going down for his nap at 9:00. (not that I didn't try. haha!) He was a little beast yesterday and I'm hoping today will go better. I think he must have needed the sleep. He is pulling up on everything and writing lots of daring checks that his little body can't cash yet. He will fall down, cry, want to nurse, nurse for .5 second and then be on his way again. I'm going to try some new soothing methods today that don't involve my nipple. I guess if he is bleeding, he can nurse. No blood? Here's a hug.


Did you know Christmas is in one month and two days? yikes. I have started a bit of shopping for the kids but Patrick and I still have to decide if we're going to shell out for a Wii or something. If we do, it would be the "family" gift and there would only be a few other small things. (well, Ruby would still get one "wow" present because she could care less about a wii.) Neither of us is sure that we want one but James is sure enough for all of us. :) The kids will also be getting: art supplies (my sister got them a ton last year and it was awesome), 2 books each (ordered from scholastic), new journals (kind of goes with art supplies), and some sweats ordered with the school name on them. Nicholas is getting alphabet blocks and one of those musical stacking ring things from fisher price. (a favorite baby toy of mine. hope he likes it!) If anyone asks, I might request a Children's Museum membership for the family.  I'm not sure how often we'd go to ours but Teresa convinced me how awesome the reciprocity deals are.  (I like ours but Patrick would hate the crazy.)  I am probably going to stay up extra late (again) and order my photo books by tomorrow through snapfish.  They have a b1g1free deal that ends tomorrow.  (sorry shutterfly, I love ya, but that sure beats 20% off)

Well, Nicholas is all tangled up in the computer cords so I have to go.

While all the chaos with Patrick and the big kids was going on Sunday night, pickles felt left out.  I let him go to town with some dot matrix printer paper and he was a happy boy.  :)


*title by mr. pickles

Monday, November 22, 2010

oh deer

I think I'm in love.  Is it wrong to say you're in love with something you made yourself?  I don't think so.  At least I'm not as in love as I was last night after I finished it...I couldn't get to sleep I was so pleased and excited.  Strange, no?  You probably know how I feel, though, if you are a crafty type.  :)  It doesn't happen very often but when something turns out EXACTLY like you imagined it, that's pretty magical.

Especially when something you spent far longer on, two days earlier, turns out kind of blech.

I'll show you the blech first.  I don't hate it but I definitely don't love it.  Just not my style, I guess.  I had never made anything patchwork of this size before and I guess I think it's too country bedroom-y or something.  I have the second all cut out, and I will finish it, but I don't love them.  And yeah, maybe next time?  I should cut back on the GINGHAM.  (I like gingham but come on, Stephanie!) 

For the back I used my favorite button up shirt trick in, surprise!, gingham:

The kids love them.  That counts for something.  ;)

Now, on to my favorite pillow ever which came out just like I imagined and was so simple:

Super cute and cozy!  Squeeeeeeee!  I cut out the deer from a favorite plaid shirt and sewed it onto a panel of thrifted sweater wool using my machine's blanket stitch.  I didn't use any stabilizer or anything, just pins, and it worked great.  I then used that same shirt for the back. 
I'm going to make a coordinating one with maybe a bird or a tree.  Love.  LOVE.

I needed that after the patchwork pillow downer.

Edited to add to Allison's Tell Me Tuesday! Click on the link to find lots of other great handmade items & ideas...


Friday, November 19, 2010

best roast chicken recipe ever

I have made this roasted chicken recipe so many times and every time it is delicious.  Don't overcook it...check it at 4 hours just to be safe.  The kids and I ate a whole chicken tonight before Patrick even got home.  There is a good reason this recipe calls for two birds.

I highly recommend prepping the birds the night before.  It feels so good to pull these out of the fridge after lunch, pop them in the oven, and know that you'll have a delicious dinner with virtually no more work.  Scrub and poke some potatoes to throw in at the 2 hour mark and you'll be good to go.


  • 4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 onions, quartered
  • 2 (4 pound) whole chickens


  1. In a small bowl, mix together salt, paprika, onion powder, thyme, white pepper, black pepper, and garlic powder. Remove and discard giblets from chicken. Rinse chicken cavity, and pat dry with paper towel. Rub each chicken inside and out with spice mixture. Place 1 onion into the cavity of each chicken. Place chickens in a resealable bag or double wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight, or at least 4 to 6 hours.  (this is not crucial but it does make for a very flavorful chicken.)
  2. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C).
  3. Place chickens in a roasting pan. Bake uncovered for 5 hours, to a minimum internal temperature of 180 degrees F (85 degrees C). Let the chickens stand for 10 minutes before carving.  (remember...check them at 4 hours!)                           
You will have lots of drippings to make some gravy with or just pour it as is over your chicken and potatoes...it's really good.

Don't throw those bones away...make some stock!


(you have to try this, cher!)  ;)


i'm dreaming of a shutterfly christmas

The Christmas that James turned one was very exciting for me.  I could finally send out my first photo card!  I had the cutest little dumpling of a boy and was so excited to send his sweet face off to all of our friends and family.  I had so much fun sorting through my photos to pick my favorite one.  This became a tradition for me, one I look forward to every season.  Many of my friends send photo cards of their kids (and whole families) and I love displaying them every year, usually until late January or even longer.

As the years have gone by the options for photo cards have gone through the roof.  A favorite place for me to shop over the years has been Shutterfly.  I have ordered everyday prints, holiday cards and photo books from them and have been pleased every time.

Here are a few of my favorite cards they are offering this year:

I still have to find my photo (or photos...love that option) so I haven't made my decision yet but chances are good that it will be one of those above.

I was checking their website and saw that are 20% off through the 22nd, with free shipping on all orders over $30.  I have done holiday books the last 2 years and have had so much fun with them.  I think I know what I might be doing this weekend...

Another gift I've considered for our family, or maybe Grandma or Grandpa, is a photo   One of these in a nice frame would make a great gift I think, and one that could be easily updated every year.  The bargain hunter in me likes the reasonable price, too.

If you haven't already, you should go check out.  Great prices and great products make this a potentially one stop shopping place for nearly everyone on your list.  :)


I wrote this as a sponsored post for Shutterfly, my first ever, and will get 50 photo cards in return.  I wouldn't have written it if I hadn't used and loved them in the past.  Do you have a blog?  Find out how you can do this too, 

Thanks to Allison for sharing this offer!

a big week for little pickles

Sunday - first time in nursery at church, first time crawling on all fours (he does this now on the kitchen floor as his knees slide easily, still army crawls everywhere else.  James saw him do it the first time and was SO excited.  very cute.)

Monday - first big boy bath in the sink

Tuesday - turned 7 mos old, got licked by first doggie, crawled up and down one stair at Teresa's

Wednesday - crawled up as many stairs as I'd let him for the first time at our house

Thursday - pulled himself up to full standing in crib, pulling up on everything he can  (I had just put this small chest of drawers in his room and he was playing with the lower 2 drawers yesterday, pulling them in and out.  A minute later he's pulling himself up on them and wouldn't stop.  I took the 2 drawers out and he hollered at me while I put them up in the closet.  poor pickles.  mama strikes again.)

Friday - TBD


I'd like to blog about other things but right now that girl on the left up there is screaming too loudly from her room.  It seems as if this is going on the third really hard day with her, from almost morning until night.  If I were to talk to my friend Jolee she would ask me if Ruby is at a 6 month mark.  She read somewhere (where, I can't remember) that kids go through a big adjustment period every six months or so.  That they add new "ability blocks" to their current load and need to "shuffle" it all to get a good grip again.  Ruby is at a six month mark and something is definitely underfoot.  I hope it passes soon and she goes back to the normal combo of sweet/salty that makes Ruby Ruby.

(item of note:  she is currently working on a swear word alphabet.  this is a dream of hers, to recite a swear word alphabet that she created herself.  She whispers the words to me as she comes up with them.  so far she has:  hate, stupid, pie hole, diaper head, butt pants, and apple poopy nose.)


Thursday, November 18, 2010

mr. pickles learns a new trick

whatcha doin' Ruby?

can I try, mom?

like this?

I did it!
(a few minutes later...)


that just figures.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

now why didn't I think of that?

Good thing I have smart friends.  Zoe and Kathy both suggested that I actually go to a real life store and, wait for it, try cameras out!  Brilliant!  I am going to do just that as soon as I get some time on my own.  Maybe this weekend?  Also, 3 friends have suggested Canons so I am definitely going to give them a look. 

(as a p.s. - go look at Kathy's new header.  It is beautiful.)


My darling husband is home.  He is cute and smells good and had tons of hugs and kisses for all of us this morning.  He went into work late so we got to have coffee together and it was very nice.  I'm so glad he's home.  I am also so thankful that the time he was gone went as smoothly as it did.  I don't even feel all tired and stressed out, just happy.  Love that.  Thanks, God.  Thanks, friends.  xo

(this morning)

Patrick loves to get us all cozy.  Either in bed or set up on the couch or just in his arms.  He will adjust and rearrange and bring footstools or do whatever and then (jokingly but probably wishing it would happen) say, "Okay, now go to sleep."  My husband loves to sleep and while it is not my favorite past time (except for at night and the occasional afternoon nap) I try to let him sleep in on the weekends, even if it kills me sometimes.  We are at a point where we need to rearrange some of each of our personal needs and wants to align with the reality of 3 kids, one of them a baby.  I spent some time (actually a lot of time) while he was gone thinking about our lives and coming up with some ideas to talk with him about.  We always had a good balance and I am sure we can find it again, it will just take some adjusting. 

I also realized the key to my weeks not feeling so crazy:  I tend to schedule appointments in the mornings because a lot of times there are a reduced number of children to drag along.  I think once in a while this would be okay but if I have two or more things taking up my "free" (ruby at preschool) mornings then I feel off balance the whole week.  Having this bit of quiet time at home during the morning is a huge deal to me and I think I need to try and keep it relatively free of scheduled stuff.

James has a dentist appt. tomorrow morning and I have one next Wednesday morning but after that I am going to try and be more aware of when stuff is scheduled.  Taking Ruby with for Nicholas' appointment would not be much harder than just taking him so why schedule it during my one daily break?  silly.  (also, pickles will need less appts. as time goes on so this might not even be a big deal...)  (hindsight.)

So now it's time to go fold some laundry.  Actually, a small mountain of laundry.  It's the one thing I let totally slide while the husband was away.  I washed it, and hung some of it up, but left most of it on the counter downstairs and I can hear it calling now.  (just like James called down this morning that he had NO pairs of SOCKS, MOM!!)


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

the panasonic lumix DMC-FP1

So, I bought this version of the Lumix.  The reviews were good and the zoom lens is non-telescoping so I thought it would be safe from sand screwing it up.  (the problem with my last 2 cameras...you'd think I'd learn!)  I hate it.  Teresa said they bought one for their son and it takes pretty nice pictures so maybe I just got a bad one?  Who knows, but it is going back.  (Amazon has a nice return policy.  I have until January 31 to return this camera for a full refund.  They pay shipping as long as I can print out the label at home.)

Here are a couple examples of the poor quality photos I've been getting:

Really?  This was using their "Intelligent Auto" mode.  HA!  I am not sure if the "noise" is visible on the blog but it was all over this picture.  And look at the color quality?  ugh.

Here's another, showcasing Ruby with her afternoon artwork and our messy art shelves in the background:

yuck.  Again with the grainy!  That never happened with my Sony, especially on a shot using the flash.  (which I would not have had to use with my sony...the kitchen lights were plenty to give me in-focus shots.)

Now, I know it was pretty cheap - $150 regular price, but I didn't expect quality this poor.  It must be a bum camera, right?  I will probably spend $100 more and get another Sony.  (BUT WILL NOT TAKE IT TO THE BEACH OR PUT IT IN OUR "SANDY" BACKPACK.)  Sorry about the caps but I need to get through to myself somehow.  :)

I would love a DSLR but at this point I still want a camera that fits in my pocket.  So, the search continues...


We had the nicest time at Teresa's house today.  We talked, Ruby and her son played, she made yummy cookies and mr. pickles got up close and personal with his first doggie. 

Now it's nearly dark and I haven't turned the lights on in here yet.  Pickles is napping, Ruby and James are downstairs watching TV and I have been catching up on some favorite blogs and looking at cameras.  Soon the show will end, the baby will wake up, I will turn the lights on and the evening ruckus will begin but this sure has been a nice break.

Patrick should be home by 11:00.  Yay!


rub a dub dub, baby pickles in the tub

Last night was mr. pickles' first big boy bath.  He sat up in the sink all by himself and LOVED it.  I showed him how to splash and that may have been a mistake.

We were soaked.  The whole lower half of my shirt and pants was dripping, the curtains (you can see this in the picture), the rug...soaked.  It was so cute, though.  I couldn't help but say "splash!" in a really annoying, high pitched voice every time he splashed and boy, did he giggle.

I will do nearly anything for a baby giggle.  Won't you?

smoochie smoochie pickles.


  • oh, does my camera SUCK.  I will post examples sometime but am looking for a new one.  (this one will be returned.)  It takes decent pictures of a stationary object in perfect indirect lighting but um, that is not exactly my life.  I took lots of flash pictures last night and even most of them were out of focus.  Steady shot my ass.  (Patrick would say he'd give me a...  oh, nevermind
  • speaking of Patrick, he'll be home tonight!  (cue choir of angels)  He's been in San Diego since last Thursday so we are all very excited to get him back.  xoxox  
  • James sent him a text yesterday morning, "dad how much money do you have  give it all to me  james  (and then a bunch of heart emoticons)"  how sweet.  :)
  • Wendy took Ruby yesterday afternoon and let me tell you, it was a much needed break.  Thank you, Wendy!  xoxo
  • I did have a babysitter come over on Saturday for a little while and when I came home it looked like the Cat in the Hat had been watching them and left before he pulled out his big cleaning machine.  sigh.  
  • I asked her to come so I could go to the Glitter Workshop and do some shopping.  I love it there.  Have you been yet?  Naomi posted some pictures on her blog...go look.
  • I've listed some items in my etsy shop again.  Take a peek if you want to, I have free shipping on lots of items!  Blog readers & friends will get a little treat with their order.  :)  (there is also a link over on my sidebar near the top)
Alright, gots to go comb some hair.


Monday, November 15, 2010

dairy free shepherd's pie - so good!

I have always loved Shepherd's Pie.  I love it even more now that I know how easily it can be made.

With the above ingredients and a pound of hamburger (or crumbles) you can have a delicious dinner on the table in no time.  No fresh ingredients required!

ha.  I know that is not usually a selling point but sometimes it's gotta happen.  I was happy to find these mashed potatoes at Whole Foods (sometime in the last year) and use them at least once a month.  They are tasty and dairy free.  Get the tastiest gravy you can...it makes or breaks this.

So.  Brown your ground beef or crumbles.  Drain and set aside.  Prepare the gravy according to directions and then stir in the ground beef.  Pour this mixture into the bottom of a small baking dish.  (a pie pan works, too.)  Oh yeah!  Turn that oven on to 350.  Now make the potatoes according to the box.  (you will need water, milk of your choice, and some olive oil).  Put a layer of corn or peas over the hamburger/gravy mixture and spread the finished potatoes on the top.

(If you're not going dairy free you should really sprinkle some grated cheese over the top but don't sweat it if you can't....this is still really good without it.) 

Pop in the oven, uncovered, and bake for 20 minutes or so.  mmmmm, good.

I'm sure this would work with any instant potatoes, or if you're an over-achiever and don't have a cranky baby at your heels, real mashed potatoes.  ;)


Sunday, November 14, 2010


Sometimes it is so hard to be a mother.

Did you know that?

Well, it is.

Like tonight, for instance.  I came downstairs after putting Nicholas down for a late nap and the kitchen was DESTROYED.  There was play doh sitting in puddles of water on the floor, pools of red glittery glue covering coloring book covers, globs of unwanted cheese stuck to the side of the garbage can, wet oreos under the kitchen table and green marker all over the table top.  And like a dusting of snow on a December morning, there were tiny triangles of white paper over all of it.

Only that analogy doesn't work.  A dusting of snow on a December morning sounds all pretty and peaceful and this wasn't either of those things.  This was MESSY and sent my pulse racing.

Ruby is such a little pig.  Seriously.  She creates enormous messes in the blink of an eye, and while usually happy to clean them up when asked, she doesn't think to do it on her own so I am constantly walking out of one of them and into the next.  (like a blizzard!  there.  another snow analogy, more fitting.) 

And since I brought up Ruby I might as well get this off of my chest, too.  She is turning into the perfect "pesky little sister" lately.  She talks quietly under her breath, just loud enough to be heard, when James asks (begs) her to be quiet, she blows raspberries at him and runs, she hides his legos in the closet and destroys his ships when his back is turned.  (to be fair, I've also noticed that in the next instant she will request two stickers at the library, one for him, and will always give him her last piece of licorice, when requested.)  She already knows exactly where his buttons are and how hard she needs to push them to get the most spectacular reaction.  Poor James.  I can barely handle her sometimes, at 39.  How can he, at not-quite 7?

Oh, Ruby.  I adore you.  I make myself spend more time with you these days because those moments spent with you, not cleaning up after or correcting you, make me forget all the creepy stuff and focus on your little self.  Your little faces you make, your crooked mouth smiles and frowns, and things you dream up.  Your questions and how you slip your hand into mine when we're walking up the stairs.  The way you play with pickles and how you smiled at him this morning and said, "Babies are just so cute but extra cute in the mornings."  (it's not just babies, little girl.)

So now that she is asleep I can get a little mushy about her (which I totally did not intend to do when I started writing but there it is.  huh.) but let me tell you...Ruby can be pretty challenging these days.

As for the other two, James is normally pretty even-keeled.  His specialty is relentless badgering and complaining but with some good consequences (complain about going to church, lose your allowance) (just came up with that today) he is kept in check most of the time.  (unless I am on the phone.)  (WHAT IS IT WITH THAT?)  James kind of boggles my mind in that way that I think big kids do to their parents.  There is such a feeling of awe and admiration for me when I am with him...this first baby of mine is becoming such a big kid.  The things he says just floor me.  I love his brain and his sweet little face. 

I was changing Nicholas on our bed the other day and he rolled over so his little bare bum was right in our faces.  James pinched it and then asked me shyly if he could kiss it.  Oh man.  I know exactly the feeling he was having.  Baby butts are SO CUTE.  I told him yes, just don't touch his crack as that is private.  ;)  So he gave little pickles a kiss on both "cheeks" and I put his diaper on him. 

Did that story creep you out?  I hope not because I thought it was so sweet.

This morning after we left church I surprised them and told them we were going to go to the Children's Museum.  A few minutes later James says, "Sometimes you cry because you are happy, right Mom?"  Right sweetie.

And on to pickles.  Well, he is perfect in that way that only babies can be.  I told my mom that his thighs seemed thinner this week and how that made me want to cry.  She said he probably grew and sure enough, another pair of jammies went into the Jacob pile yesterday. 

I looked at him through the nursery window this morning (we went to church today for the first time in a looooooong time) and choked up a little.  The first time I left my baby in the nursery.  He was fine but I felt a little sad.  He is growing up so fast, just like they do.  7 months on Tuesday.

7 months.


So now I am going to bed feeling not angry or stressed but incredibly blessed and thankful.


(Good thing because Ruby will be back at it in just about 10 hours...)

Friday, November 12, 2010

I forgot one

  • never stick your finger in your baby's diaper to see if he has poopies.

a few things you should know

  • Fudge covered Ritz are good.  Really.  They are.
  • Gingerbread PopTarts are not.  (I can't even believe I went there.)
  • If your baby gets about a half of a cup of ranch dressing all over him and then the clothes sit in the back of your van for 4 or 5 days before you wash them, it will take more than one wash to get the smell out.
  • pickles likes ranch dressing.
  • baby mentioned above was sitting up in his crib last night when I went in to get him.  (Patrick lowered it on Tuesday after I told him Nicholas was working on climbing the stairs.)
  • those teething biscuits?  also a hit with a thin layer of seedless jam spread on them before microwaving.

holy banners batman

Naomi, of Craftacular fame, is re-opening her Glitter Workshop store this Saturday.  (6138 Mineral Point Road - by Stitcher's Crossing)  I was so happy when she was interested in selling some of my banners.  I thought it would get me sewing again and bypass that procrastination that prohibits me from ever listing stuff on etsy.  (sigh.)  The good news is that it did get me sewing again, even cramming a little, and I delivered 27 banners to her yesterday afternoon.

First let me say how flipping cute her shop is.  Even unfinished it felt warm and cozy and was so full of cute stuff I just wanted to stay and look at every bit of it.  (Saturday, Saturday!)  I am so excited for her and wish her the very best.  I know I'll do lots of shopping there in the future.  It's like the Craftacular ALL THE TIME.  Awesome.  :)

Here are some pictures of the banners I made.  Most have 4 or 5 different fabrics but I only photographed a couple of them, just to give you an idea.  (and because I was too lazy to unfold and refold the whole things.   :)  )

They are between 8-10' long and cost $14 each.  I'd like to get some more on etsy soon (a goal of mine) but email me if you know you want one.   I can make any of the above except for the scottie dogs, the mod Christmas (pic 4), Lightning McQueen (but I do have some other CARS fabric with him on it) or Rudolph. stephaniekg AT yahoo.com .  Free shipping.  If you are local and like one of the above, head to the Glitter Workshop!  :)


Thursday, November 11, 2010

best teething biscuits ever

Nicholas has 2 teeth now (his bottom two) and more on the way.  He is kind of tired of the baby mum mums. (Although he will still eat them, he has a rather disappointed look on his face when I pull one out.)  The organic wheat biscuits I bought were exciting at first but taste like cardboard and he doesn't really like them anymore, either. 

I googled teething biscuit recipes earlier in the week and happened upon this super simple idea.  You take one slice of bread, cut off the crusts, roll it up (kind of smooshing it together) and microwave it for one minute.  Once it cools it is hard and ready to be gnawed on.  I upped the flavor factor by spreading his with a thin layer of earth balance (margarine) and sprinkling it with cinnamon and sugar.  He loves them!  (right now, anyways.)  They keep him busy for a long time (bonus!) and he hasn't gotten a big chunk off yet.  They get kind of slimy as he goes but he doesn't seem to mind.

Here's to easy, cheap and tasty teething biscuits!


p.s.  I got a new camera and it kind of sucks.  I will be returning it soon.  sigh.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Pickles slept for 10 hours last night.  Thank God.  I needed that.


Tuesday, November 09, 2010

mr. pickles visits canal park

back in wisconsin

We made it home yesterday afternoon.  Patrick, bless his heart, came home from work early so I could nap.  Pickles and I slept for 2 solid hours, from 4:30-6:30, and I felt like a new woman afterwards.

It's good to be home.

I had a wonderful time.  And while it feels weird to say that about a funeral weekend, I really did.

I have some stuff to finish up in the next couple days though, so I can't chat right now.

Back soon, I hope.  Hope you are well.  :)


Wednesday, November 03, 2010

ramble ramble blah blah blah

I realized that part of why I've been feeling so off lately is because I am tired.  Mr. Pickles is usually giving me one long(ish) stretch (5-7 hrs) and then getting up 2-3 times between 2am and 7am.  I don't normally go to bed at 7pm like he does, so I am only getting, at the most, 3 uninterrupted hours of sleep per night.  I get it!  That is making me tired! 

I fondly remember the pre-teething days of him sleeping for 8-10 hours.  Man, that was nice.  :)  Some day it shall return to me.  Until then, I plug along.

It's not so bad, you know, when things are going smoothly.  I expected to be pretty tired this first year.  But when you add in a gramma dying, missing your family, arguing with your husband, feeling broke (although realizing how wealthy we truly are), and trying to get some crafting done on top of the usual stuff...well, it feels like a lot.

I am looking forward to going home this weekend for the funeral (am now going with just the baby) but it has meant a super busy week of preparation.  Thank God that Patrick and I are back to normal.  Thank God, also, that we have such an excellent auto body place right down the street that can usually look at our vehicle with very short notice.  Thank God that they can replace a bad solenoid on the van today so I won't get stranded somewhere with a van that won't start along the way home.  (like in MINONG or something like that.)

I think that tomorrow, as I leave town, I will feel tired out but in a good way.  The packages will have been shipped, the banners will have been sewed, the gifts will have been wrapped, the instructions written, the patches sewn on, the van packed, the groceries bought...and I can rest in my family for a few days while we celebrate my Gramma's beautiful life.  That's all I want and it's right around the corner.

Boy!  This has turned into a doozy.  I didn't intend to write all this out but when I do it clarifies things for me and I have found that so helpful time and time again.

Now I am going to go do some yogilates and get started. 

I hope you all have a good weekend and I will see you back here next week. 

Oh, did I mention that Patrick leaves soon after I get back for 6 days in San Diego?


Am going to add drinking to my to-do list.


Tuesday, November 02, 2010

you wanna see cute?

Here is little Jacob.  You can visit my sister's blog to see more of this little cutie.

(as well as some ugly socks!)  (that are now in the trash, fyi.)

Monday, November 01, 2010

this -n- that

James took a picture of his bare bum with my phone the other night.

He is definitely not getting a cel phone until he is 18. 


We had a fun Halloween, a nice Sunday.  Saturday was kind of hard for Patrick and I again but I think we are moving out of this icky patch we've been in.  We had had such a nice week (after arguing the weekend before) that it was really hard to have everything start up again on Friday night. 

I am not taking the blame for everything but I know that I haven't been myself the last couple of weeks.  I am hoping that after the funeral I can start fresh.  I think I just need some time to mourn and be sad and then I'll feel better.  Haven't really had that yet, haven't really let myself. 

A friend asked me last week why I would even mention it on here when Patrick and I aren't getting along.  I guess I feel almost obligated to as I am always going on and on about how much I freaking love him and how funny he is, etc etc etc.  I never go into details about our disagreements, and we don't have them all that often, but of course we do from time to time. 

(another friend asked who had the poops in our house last weekend.  :)  When I said we had a "poopy" weekend it meant shitty.  I was just trying not to curse.  hee.) 

Okay, then.  Moving on.

Last night after trick or treating, James started talking about bobbing for apples.  He asked if we could do it next year but I said, "How about now?"

They loved it and I got major fun mom points.  After the apples we bobbed for (wrapped) candy.

After the wrapped candy bobbing James totally lost his poop (read: shit) and had to practically be carried up to bed.  Once he was changed into jammies and had brushed his teeth he calmed down, thank goodness.  sugar + excitement + staying up late = hard times for buddy. 

I have to add that seeing James & Ruby dressed up and running from house to house together made me tear up.  Patrick felt it, too, it was just that kind of night.  The kind when you are so thankful.  And then there was baby pickles all cuddled up in his stroller just taking it all in.  sigh.  (no, I never made the pickle costume...bad mom!)  Ahhhhh, Halloween, we'll see you next year.

 And just so I don't leave pickles out, here is a picture of him at Target last week.  He had munched on his first real biter biscuit during the trip and was so filthy. 

(thank you heidi for the cart thing...we love it! and thank you teresa for the little vest...so cute!)


p.s.  remember in grade school when everything was something -n- something?  My favorite (from the era) was Steph -n- Kurt.  tlf.  (ha!)


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