Monday, January 31, 2011

isn't it february yet?

Patrick is home safe and sound after traveling to and from Superior in lots of bad weather over the weekend.  Thank God.  We watched Gold Rush Alaska together last night and I just kept squeezing him, so happy to have him back with us. 

Our weekend went pretty well.  We played outside for a long time on Saturday morning and had a lot of fun.  We came in when mr. pickles woke up and instead of everyone being happy, everyone was very unhappy.  what the heck?  The house was a mess, the kids were crabby, the baby was up.  We needed a plan.

I called to invite a friend of James' over for the afternoon, but not until 2pm.  It was 12:30, that meant we had a lot to do in an hour and a half.  We all worked on picking up the house and by the time Blake got here everyone was in much better moods.  Ruby bothered the boys for a while and then her and I worked on valentines while Nicholas took his afternoon nap. 

That evening we watched "I used to be fat" on MTV.  James loved the show and was inspired to pick up my weights about half way through to pump iron along with the 18 year old boy on the show.  very cute.

On Sunday morning James and Ruby both exercised with me while Nicholas slept.  (Thank God babies sleep.)  After that we went to the Pinewood Derby for a very long time.  James' car didn't do very well and he was pretty sad when he got home.  (I left with the baby & Ruby after the Tiger Cub races were over...a friend brought him home a while later.)  I asked him what I could do to help him feel better and he said "give me a cupcake and play ropes & ladders with me."  Done.  He was fine after the cupcake but the game cemented the better mood.

As an aside...have you ever played Chutes & Ladders?  Well, Ropes & Ladders is the same game, just a 1954 version with pirates.  It is soooooo cute, I will take a picture of it soon.  I threw away our Chutes & Ladders years ago because that game takes a painfully long time.  The other night we all played R&L and it was taking forever, which I had warned Patrick about.  And to make it worse we were all shaking an unbelievable amount of ONES.  Not kidding.  We ended up using 2 dice and it makes the game much more fun.  (shorter = more fun.) 

I'm in the mood to go somewhere today but we are getting a lot of snow so it's probably not a good idea.  bummer.

I did a sexy body workout this morning that I found on Charter On Demand.  Holy cats!  I am so sexy now!  haha, just kidding.  I have been working out for 2 weeks now (daily, except for one very bad no good rotten day that I never told you about) and definitely see some improvements.  First of all, I am not as stiff when I get up in the morning.  That was driving me crazy and making me feel old.  I'm not like a spring chicken now but do feel a lot better.  Also, I totally have more energy in the afternoons.  I am still tired at the end of the day but can really tell a difference, especially during that crabby, low energy time of day. 

I haven't lost any weight yet but remember before that I lost an average of one pound a month by just adding exercise and keeping my diet the same.  Not a huge loss but better than a gain!  (Plus all the other benefits.)  I also remember that after a while (and I do already see this a little) I wanted to make healthier eating choices in order to take care of this stronger & healthier body that I'm working on. 

I think my baby is up and he might have a present for me.  A big stinky present.

Oh baby says UP and MAMA now.  I think mama might mean milk more than anything but I'll take what I can get.  :)  He also nods his head when you ask him a question, both affirmative and negative, but doesn't always get them right.  He is right about 50% of the time.  :)  I gave him a bite of cupcake (no frosting) on Saturday and as we walked out of the kitchen he started signing "more" faster than I've ever seen him do it.  I understand, baby.


Friday, January 28, 2011


Nicholas just woke up early from his nap because he needed to have a BM.  Nice timing, baby bowels.  Luckily I had just finished exercising (2 miles with my pal Leslie) or I would have been very sad.

I don't have a whole lot to say today so here are a few pictures before I sign off for the weekend:

This is why it's hard for me to take cute pictures of my baby playing.  Every time I pull out the camera he wails and gnashes his teeth because he wants it:

Here he is staring intently at me blowing a bubble:

One day earlier in the week I took us out for a walk because I thought it was 38
degrees.  Silly me, it was 38 in MA.  It was 23 in WI.  chilly.

I got two surprise presents from friends this week and they both made me so happy.  Now I want to give surprise presents to friends.  Thank you, friends.  xoxo

  (it's hard to tell but that mushroom is about 8" tall.  Love it.)

Have a good weekend, everyone!  xoxoxo

Thursday, January 27, 2011

jar head

  1. When my mom came at Christmas she was bewildered to find our drinking glass cabinet full of jars.  Ha.  I had neglected to share with the world that we use a lot of recycled jars as glasses now.  I just like them!  We mostly use jelly & salsa jars but there are a few pasta sauce ones thrown in there, too.  For years I have saved these jars but never used them for anything.  (makes a lot of sense, right?)  When visiting my sister (I think it was for her wedding) I saw that she kept small amounts of baking stuff in her empty jars (yes, she saves them too.  no, we had never discussed this.)  and thought she was brilliant.  Now I do that, too.  They are the perfect size for those little bits of brown sugar or chocolate chips you usually have left.
  2. I love how Ruby calls Nicholas wubba or chubba.
  3. I just plain love Ruby.  She has the tiniest little face.  Yesterday we were being crabby with one another and I asked her, "What would happen if we were both just really nice for the rest of the day?"  She said she didn't know but we should try it.  It was a really nice day.
  4. James and Ruby have some elaborate games going in the lower level and they have been playing down there for over an hour most afternoons.  It is a combo of dragons/Mario/castle fort and they both seem to love it.
  5. Now that I mentioned it they will never play it again.
  6. Patrick's Grandma passed away yesterday morning.  It is sad but we know she is not in pain anymore.  The hardest thing is that it was pretty sudden and she was totally with it the whole time...she knew she was dying.  :(
  7. Patrick shaved last night.  The funeral is on Saturday.  I want to go but he is leaning towards going himself, which I understand.  I went to my Gramma's funeral myself, too.  It was nice to just be with my family and catch up with those I hadn't seen in a while.  We'll see.
  8. I have toilet paper and scotch tape over my right pointer finger because we are out of bandaids.  Makes typing even FUNNER.
  9. Nicholas just fell asleep and I'll have to wake him up in 30 minutes.  I knew I shouldn't have let him sleep in this morning but I really needed that shower.
  10. Nicholas was up about 100 times last night.
  11. I still loved seeing his smiling face this morning.  Isn't that odd?
  12. Whenever I have to wake him up early from a nap he is really sweet about it and I always say to myself, "He is so good natured."  He really is.
  13. I love when my obliques feel like someone is pinching them.  That means it was a good workout.
  14. I just took chocolate chip cookies out of the oven.  
  15. I am not worrying about losing weight right now.  One thing at a time!
Okay.  I could probably go on and on and on and on but I have stuff to do.

I guess I feel like there is something I should be doing but I'm not sure what that is.

Maybe eating a cookie?


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

munch munch

My one new year's resolution, if you want to call it that, was to stop throwing vegetables away.

I have to admit, I throw away a lot of vegetables.  (Or rather,  I used to throw away a lot of vegetables.)

I don't mean to, I really don't.  I have the best intentions when buying them and then it all kind of falls apart as the week goes on until I find them, slick and dark, in the crisper.

I hate that.  It's a waste of money and even worse, a total loss for my body.

So I decided that I wouldn't throw them away anymore.  Which sneakily means...I must eat them!

And I am. 

(Oh wait...the one exception is iceberg lettuce.)

My sister is a big salad eater and I always love eating big salads when she is around.  Sadly she can't be here to make me salads every day (or egg sandwiches, which she also makes alarmingly well) so I had to step up and do it myself.  (poor me, I know)  I kind of enjoy the process now...

I put Nicholas in his highchair with some finger foods, turn on some good music and get chopping.  Of course there have been a few puckery tomatoes and brown-ish mushrooms that I just couldn't get down in time so those have gone in the freezer to make some veggie stock out of.

My favorite things to put on a salad are mostly shown above:  spinach, celery, carrots, broccoli slaw, pea shoots, cukes, tomatoes, beans of some sort, mushrooms, nuts and a little dressing.  Cut up apples are good, too.

I'm getting hungry now.

I am not hard and fast that this has to be my lunch (I had pizza yesterday!) but if I don't eat it at lunch I try to at dinner.  The main thing is that I eat them up before they go bad.

I've also been trying to put out plates of cut up veggies for my kids and Patrick in the evening.  If it's out, they usually eat it.  Patrick likes ranch dressing, Ruby likes them plain and James likes them with a dip I make out of his mayo, sour cream, and some spices. 

I feel like if they get some fresh veggies in them, even the hardest day can't be called a total loss.  :)

How do you eat your veggies?  Did you make any resolutions?  If so, how are they going?


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

the dogs, they are hot

Good morning to you.  What a fine Tuesday morning it is.  What is wrong with me?  Why am I speaking (typing) like this?

(shakes head)

I have exercised 8 out of the last 9 days.  TOOT!  (that was my horn, not my bum)  You've heard it takes 21 days to make a habit so that is what I'm going for, hard core.  I am not foolish enough to think that I will exercise every day for the rest of my life but for this first period I am doing it as much as possible so I get kind of addicted.  I'm not even setting any guidelines (aside from this introductory period of no blogging until I exercise) for the future...just telling myself to do it because it makes me feel so good.  I just want it as part of my life like it was before.  I feel like that is in reach for me and it feels goooooood.

I am totally mixing the type & length of exercises up.  I am getting reacquainted with my old DVDs and trying new stuff on You Tube (zumba) and Netflix.  Yesterday I did a fat burning dance one.  I don't think I burned much fat but I DID do the cha cha, so that is something.  (and yes, I did close the curtains.)

So anyways.  Here are a few pictures:

First we have Nicholas inspecting our new media cabinet.  (which is very nice but fairly large.  I feel like we got a new dining room table.)  Second is just Nicholas being very chew-able and third are his fangs.  Do you see those front teeth?  I shudder with fear every time I think of the night that those have to come through.  Poor buddy.

I just sent Patrick an email telling him that I reserved the movie Red in blu ray at a Redbox near his work.  He replied with, "hot dog."

(if you don't know him you might think that a lackluster response.  It really meant he was quite happy and very thankful.)

I love him.

I need to get in the shower.  We are getting! out! after preschool and seeing! friends! 

hot dog.


Monday, January 24, 2011

I'm married to a hairball

Does this picture look blurry?  I have to say I am sick of not having my old computer set up.  I totally cannot focus with this huge screen and the keyboard on my lap.  And the touch mouse...AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!  The wires we need should be here by the end of the week.  I look forward to catching up on my blog reading & commenting then. 

How are you?  I'm good.  Just finished working out (I exercised on Sat & Sun, too!) and about to clean the oven.


I turned it on to preheat last night and smoke started billowing out.  Not a good sign.  I sprayed some toxic cleaner in there before bed so I want to go see if it will wipe clean. 

I do have to say that my husband has been spectacularly funny lately.  And spectacularly hairy.  Are you watching Gold Rush Alaska?  Patrick looks like a cross between Dorsey (on Gold Rush) and Zach "Grand dad"Galifianakis.
I'm not kidding, so I guess it's a good thing that he's funny.

I've always liked a little facial hair but this is getting ridiculous.

I am now starving.  Making that little photo collage took a lot out of me.  :)


Thursday, January 20, 2011

where did the day go?

Dudes!  I totally exercised today (zumba!) but talked on the phone instead of posting.  I actually started a long boring post earlier about how much I love exercising but (sadly) didn't get to finish it.

Tomorrow, okay?  promise.

ha!  xoxoox

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

more of the super exciting stuff like yesterday

So here are a few pictures of what's going on around here. I didn't try to make anything look nice, just snapped them. Real life, people. :) The first two show the TV. We ordered a new media cabinet for below it that will be mr. pickles-proof.  The third pic shows where the computer used to be and we ordered a small computer armoire (patrick hates that word) for right there.  My new (not fancy but I like it) file cabinet is moonlighting as an end table.  (I CANNOT wait to set that up with pretty new files!!)  The CPU (just the tower part of a computer...where all the guts are) will stay downstairs and in the new cabinet will be a monitor and printer and other random stuff I need for paying bills, etc.

I have to tell you, I am looking forward to having a regular mouse again.  I hate touch pad mouses.  Old school - that's me.

The "new" art shelf in the kitchen keeps a few more things out of pickles' reach and I'll be able to move my cookbooks to the top shelf, thus freeing up some cabinet space, once the DVD basket gets stuck in the new media cabinet.  (did you follow that?)  :)

I know this is incredibly boring to most of you but I also know that my family was curious as to what is going on over here.  :)  (and kari.)  :)

The last couple pictures are just baby being baby.  Sorry about the runny nose but that is standard these days.  The last picture shows him tumbling out of the basket he had crawled into a few minutes earlier.  silly pickles.

I have PMS.  NO FAIR!  I didn't tell you but I had my first, ahem, cycle around Christmas.  Christmas Eve to be precise, right when we arrived at my Dad's house.  nice.  PMS with January and no sleep just feels mean.

I am kind of kidding as I did get some sleep last night.  Praise the Lord!  Last night I was all sad and made Patrick lay on the bed with me and rub my head until I felt better.  He is pretty sweet.

I also have to clarify that I always joke about homeschooling but I have a friend that does it and I have always admired her.  I just know it would drive me batty.

Have a good day, darlings.  We are going to Trader Joes I think.  xoxo

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

warning: reading this may cause excessive weariness

Hello to you,

  I met up with my old friend Leslie Sansone for a walk this morning.  Remember her?  I used to talk about her all the time.  It was good to see her again, if only for 12 minutes.  heehee.  I did 15 minutes of Yoga first and that felt goooooood.  Oh, my body needs those stretches. 

I had a crappy morning up until the baby went down for his nap.  I had to give Ruby a bath which always adds a layer of stress to our already busy mornings.  I fantasized about cutting all of her hair off, maybe a super short bob, while I combed out her snarls afterwards.  Overall Ruby seems a lot better since when she was driving me mental a while back.  She is still a 4 year old girl, though, so there is always some drama.  Sometimes I look at her tiny face and can't believe she's going to school next year.  How bizarre.  I'm thinking of homeschooling her.

HAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAAA!  Totally kidding.  I am actually giddy when I think about next fall.  Isn't that awful?  Sue me.

Our computer, the main CPU, is now down in the basement so all I have up here is the TV and a wireless keyboard.  I took some pictures yesterday (for Kari.  Kari - I cannot believe they made Simon give back the ICEE!  That was crazy.)  (go read her blog for the strange, sad tale.  Kari's Korner - over on the right sidebar) but to get the pictures off of my camera I have to go downstairs.  I am soooo tired.  I just walked a whole MILE.  (one must start somewhere.)

I am finally reading Pillars of the Earth, a book recommended by my brother and sister in law.  Cheryl, my sister in law, sent it to me a long time ago and I started it last week.  I am almost finished and have enjoyed it.  Ken Follet sure uses a lot of words, though.  Oh my gosh, Ken, have you no editor???  Ha - I should talk, right? 

I know I have written a number of boring posts but this must be in the top 10.  My eyes are half closed.  I think I desperately need my is 10:37 after all.


Monday, January 17, 2011

good morning, dear friends...

Our home is in disarray.  This TV caused a flurry of reorganizing and furniture moving this weekend and we are still not all back together.

It's looking good, though!

Right now I am sitting on the couch with a wireless keyboard looking at a huge "monitor" on the wall that is actually our new TV.  Patrick is going to hook up the regular monitor for me but we are waiting on a long enough cord.  This is kind of weird but kind of cool, too. 

I have to admit, I do like this tv.  We've never had a flat screen before, isn't that funny? 

The other reason we had to do some reorganizing is a fat little baby named Nicholas.  He is kind of a terror and was starting to reach the shelf on the art shelf that he wasn't supposed to be able to reach.  sigh.  Silly baby.  So that prompted some of the rearranging, too.  All the crayons and markers are now in a plastic lidded tote so he can pull that off the shelf but can't get at them.  Good, right?  I thought so until this morning when he pulled down the small tote and STOOD ON TOP OF IT and realized he could reach even higher!  Little turkey.  I find myself trying to stay one step ahead of this kid all day - and our house is baby proofed. 

He was 9 months old yesterday.  One of the best parts of my day is when I look down at him and he breaks into a huge smile.  He has the most beautiful eyes and the fattest drumstick legs and the smooshiest bum and the blackest belly button.  He is a bossy nurser and a total tornado around the house.  Over and over throughout the day he opens drawers and doors and pulls stuff out.  When he goes down for a nap I will put everything right and as soon as he is up he makes his rounds and does it all again.  As exasperating as it can be I like our home to be a place that he can explore as much as possible.  (this does not mean that I love picking up my dishtowels 400 times a day, but I will do it for now because he is so cute.)

He has 4 teeth now and when his second incisor is out a little more I will take a picture.  (just for you, kari)  I hope his front teeth wait a while because he will look cute with fangs.  :)

As an aside, I looked back and saw that Ruby only had one tooth by 10 months old.  She was so cute.

Okay, I'm done gushing.

I exercised this morning and am re-starting my ultra-effective self-motivation tool:  no blogging until I've exercised.   Care to join me?

My body feels creaky when I get up off of the floor or couch.  I am stiff and my joints ache.  My body is craving exercise and stretching and it's high time I give it some.  (I was giving myself 9 months off from structured exercise.)

Okay, this "computer screen" is freaking my eyes out.

Man, I am getting some kind of OLD.


Friday, January 14, 2011

oh dear, am I really going to go there?

First off, thank you all for the comments and commiserations yesterday.

(Melissa, I will text you and we can whine about teething to each other, okay?  I mean, offer each other support.  :) )

So much for no TV in the living room.  Patrick's wish came true this holiday season and he installed a honking flat screen on our living room wall last night.  I had scoffed at this purchase but now I see the (crystal clear, high definition) light.

I know it will take a lot of work on my part to keep the darn thing off all day but WHY NOT add another burden to my already sagging shoulders?  HAHAHAHAa.

I don't have much time.  Here is the wee (ROTTEN) pickles last night as Patrick was rearranging the furniture:

Crap!  I no longer have an excuse not to vacuum, either!

My life keeps getting harder by the minute.

Nicholas' 2nd incisor has FINALLY made an appearance.  Too bad he was too overcome with GAS last night to relax and celebrate with a nice long sleep.  Silly baby.


Have a good weekend and I'll see you soon.  xooxox

Thursday, January 13, 2011

peace like a river (snort)

Oh, you guys.  I am totally tired out.  Maybe hitting a wall?  I am so flipping bored, too.  Nicholas has been pretty sick all week but seems better today.  Luckily we have plans for tomorrow or I'm not sure I'd make it.  I was even considering taking the kids to the mall.  I know, that's bad.  (our mall trips almost always end in tears and promises to not go back for months.)

I pledged to myself in December that I would not wish away these winter months.  There are plenty of fun things to do inside, I said to myself, and plenty to do outside as well.  I didn't plan on all the teething and colds and sad things, though.  These things are getting the better of me this week and it's time to bust on through.  It's time to


Okay, that just came out of nowhere.  I don't have any grand plans but do know this:  I am going for a walk today.  It is cold out but I know that the fresh air will do me lots of good and Nicholas will be just fine if he's all bundled up.

Other things I'm doing:

baking cookies and granola (yesterday)
opening the bedroom windows for a few minutes every morning and making my bed

OH WAIT.  I have to stop here and tell you about my new goody blanket that Patrick got me for Christmas.  It is pink and soft and every single time I cover up with it I sigh happily.  I'm not kidding.  It's this one and I have wanted it for years.  I owe the little elf that told him about it BIG TIME.  Thank you, little elf.

Back to what I am doing to promote happiness and well being.


I guess that's it.

HA!  just kidding.

I am also eating lots of salads this week.  I actually had to go to the grocery store this morning because I was out of vegetables.  True story.  (I also got flavored creamer but whatever.  I am not an island.)  (whatever that means)

Showering   (shut up!)

And really, that is it for this week.  The bad part is that it's not working that well today.  I woke up feeling really grumpy even though Patrick got home last night and we had a really nice time catching up.

wink, wink.

(I even got to say that one line from Fight Club.  I always love when I get to say that line.  Do you know the line I mean?  Please don't say it out loud as this blog is rated G but feel free to give me a mental high five.)

I wonder when I'll get to sleep again.  Did any of you ever have babies that had this hard of a time when teething?  (If your children happily slept through all teething, please refrain from commenting.  thank you.)

Here is a good night for the pickles now, in case you were wondering:

7pm  bed
(occasionally there will be a 8:30 check in but this hasn't happened for 2 nights so I'm pretending it's over)
10pm  hi mom!  can I see that nipple for a minute?
2am  mom, what's up?  um, if you don't mind...
6am mom!  mmmmm, I love you.  now give me some milk...
7:30am  MOM!  why are you waking me up??  (because if I don't it messes up the rest of the day.)

I usually go to bed a little after 10 and get up at 7.  That last 45 minutes, between 6:15-7am, I just usually lay there luxuriating in my new goody blanket and thinking evil thoughts towards my soundly sleeping husband.  It's a pretty good way to start the day.

Alright.  Well, I don't know about you but I am feeling lots better.  Thanks for listening and think twice before you get yourself knocked up.  :)

just kidding.

(kind of.)


P.S.  I changed my header as that last one was depressing me.  I love changing my header.  xoxo

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

homemade blueberry, pecan & coconut granola recipe (with quick cooking oats)

I bought some coconut flakes a while back and wasn't too impressed once I tried them.  Raw, they are kind of chewy and easily wedge between your teeth.  I hate letting expensive ingredients rot in my cupboard so I figured it was time to make some granola.

The problem I encountered was that almost all granola recipes I found call for rolled oats and I've only got Quick 1-Minute Quaker Oats at home with me today.  (and going to the store was just out of the question.  way too lazy.)

I found one recipe, this one, and modified it to suit my tastes and ingredients on hand.

It is fabulous!  I am afraid it's going to be gone before breakfast tomorrow as we all keep grabbing handfuls when we pass by the jar of it on the countertop.

You will need:

  • 3 cups quick cooking oats
  • 1 cup chopped nuts or seeds
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ, wheat bran or ground flaxseed (or any combo of those 3 to equal 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes (or shredded coconut if that's what you've got)
  • 1 T cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup real maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 250. Lightly grease a large rimmed baking sheet.
  2. In a large bowl, combine oats, nuts, coconut, cinnamon and wheat germ combo.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine honey, brown sugar, vegetable oil, maple syrup, water, salt, and vanilla. Stir well; then pour into the oat mixture, and stir. Spread out on the cookie sheet.
  4. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool before serving. (if you can stand it.  I was picking those toasted coconut flakes out almost immediately.)
Before storing I added about a cup of blueberry-flavored Craisins.  Sound creepy?  They are actually quite good and flavored with real blueberry juice, grape juice and, of course, sugar.  :)

This granola doesn't clump but the oats do get nice and crunchy.  It is delicious plain and I think it will be just as good over yogurt or in a bowl, plain, with some soy milk.



no ifs ands or (shakey) butts

James was sitting on the couch the other afternoon quietly talking to himself.  I thought I must have misunderstood what he was saying but I hadn't...

J:  Sometimes girls wear thin pants and when they walk you can see their butt cheeks shake a little or something.
S:  whaaaaa?????  Did you just say (repeats above)?
J:  yeah.  And sometimes when they bend over I can see the top of their butt!
S:  How does that make you feel, James?
J:  Disgusted.  I wish they'd just wear jeans.

Why is my son noticing girl butts at 7 years old?  Is this normal?  At least they gross him out still but I wish they weren't even on his little radar.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

hopscotch & things I miss

Yesterday afternoon James said he wanted to play hopscotch.  I think he mainly wanted to throw rocks in the living room because once I googled the rules and set up the board he had moved on to Legos.  Ruby and I had a good time, though.

Hopscotch is not easy.  Well, it is pretty easy but balancing on one foot while picking up a rock (or a bean bag, in my case)?  Not so easy.

We used a pack of new washcloths for the board.

After talking with his Dad, Patrick decided he best not wait until the weekend to see his gram.  He headed out this morning and will return tomorrow.  I hated to send him off in the light snow, all alone, but it's what he wanted.  He was so cute getting ready...he kept grabbing things from the garage just in case.  He collected:  one bottle of root beer, one blowtorch, one shovel, two gloves, one blanket, one half empty bottle of power steering fluid, some rope and a hatchet.

haha!  He kills me.  I hope he doesn't need any of that but if he does manage to get stuck in the wilderness along I-94 he will be totally fine until help arrives.

So, first on my list of things I miss is, of course, Patrick.

2.  going on dates with my husband

3.  going out at night  (will resume this when pickles stops the annoying habit of waking 1.5 hours after going to bed.)

4.  Going away for the weekend  (not that I did this a lot but I like the idea that I can and am planning on doing this when the baby weans.)  (you know, when he's 14.)  (ha!)

5.  watching TV all the time  (okay, we haven't done this since we had James and even when we did this before we had James it never left us feeling that good but still...sometimes I crave hours of uninterrupted mindless television.)

I guess that is it, really.  Kind of a boring list.  I did really miss reading in December but we have been reunited, reading and I.  kiss, kiss, reading.

I shouldn't complain because I did watch TV last night while I held my little sad baby...

As an aside - How many teeth does one baby really need anyways?  I think 2 would be PLENTY.  (his poor gums are bulging but NO OTHER TEETH YET.  teething was not this hard for my other two children, or it was and I've just forgotten.)

...I got to watch the Bachelor (he is kind of a sap) and then this show on HGTV? called Cash & Cari about a woman who runs estate sales and has a shop, etc.  I liked it.

It reminded me of when my sister and I had the idea to open an antique shop, one idea for the name was Antiques A La Mode, that would have cool vintage finds and a bakery.  We were going to rent a UHaul and move her back from Mass while stopping along the way and buying loads of old crap.  This was years ago but I still think it would be lots of fun.

Anyhow.  Pickles is up from his nap so I must cut this short.

HA!   I bet you wish he would have woken up about 3 paragraphs ago.

;)  Have a good Tuesday and pray that my husband doesn't need his hatchet, okay?  thanks.


vintage stamp valentines

Here is a photo of the finished sheet of collaged stamps:

I love them all together.

Again, from yesterday, here are the hearts we made in GIMP:

After I finished the full sheet I wanted to try a couple of things.  Instead of working on my original I printed out a copy to experiment with.  (hello, captain obvious!)  (remember, I am functioning on very little sleep these days, friends.)

I cut a bunch of blue stamps into letter shapes and did this:

The blue didn't POP as much as I liked against the red background so on my printed copies I lightly colored the blue stamps with a blue crayon and that gave me more of what I was looking for.

This was fun to play around with and fun getting it all ready to share.  These 3 images are on Scribd as PDFs if you want to download them, click here to see the collection.  (I think you need an account to do so but it's easy to sign up.)  You might also be able to click on the image, then right click on the opened image and save it.  I think the quality should be pretty good.

If you decide to use these for your valentine crafting or anything else, send me a picture.  I'd love to see!  :)  If you publish anything using these images on a blog or website, please link back to this post.

I am posting this as part of Allison's Tell Me Tuesday on Vintage on the link below to see some great ideas:

(p.s.  don't worry, I will be back later with my usual drivel.)  xoxo.

Monday, January 10, 2011

stamping it up

Last Friday I was thinking about valentines and had a look in my craft dresser.  In the first drawer I opened was a large ziploc bag full of stamps that I bought at SVDP years ago.  Already having collage on my mind, the stamps all but jumped out at me.

I enjoyed this project because I could do a little at a time, whenever the baby was playing or in his high chair.  It also put me right there with Ruby but not in the position of having to think of another scene to color or paint.  (I do enjoy how they fawn over my "masterpieces" though.  heehee.)

My plan was to collage an 8x10 piece of paper with all the reddish stamps I could find and then cut hearts out from that sheet to use on my valentines.  After a while I realized I could do something similar digitally and share it with you!  Patrick actually did most of the work figuring out how to do this in GIMP on Sunday morning while we played hooky from church with our sick kiddos.

I was pretty happy with the results and will share more with you tomorrow if anyone is interested.  For now here is a PDF you can print from here or go here and download to print out & use however you'd like. 

Six of Hearts

I've never done this before so please let me know if you try it and it does or doesn't work.  I might try googledocs for the other ones...has anyone used that?


We got some more sad news last week that turned into even sadder news this morning. Patrick's Grandma has cancer and it's not looking good for her right now.

On a purely selfish/personal note: I'm not sure how much more death I can take. Seriously. 3 people in 3 months? 3 trips to Duluth to see family that is either already gone or passing away? It's so very sad. It also leaves me counting years in the middle of the night...what if I only have 25 left and die at 65 like my Uncle Larry? What if I only have 45 left? When you've got nearly 40 years under your belt already, 40 more doesn't seem like nearly enough.

Thankfully, these fruitless thoughts don't usually stick with me after the sun rises. The only thing, the ONLY thing, that I can take from this right now is to be thankful for every day. Everyone says it and we are all right.

I know this was a total downer.  I'm sorry.  Please, enjoy the hearts. :)


Friday, January 07, 2011

I wish I could remember what I sat down here to write

Ruby just got home from Brennan's house and all hell broke loose there for a minute.  I totally lost my train of thought.  dang.

(grumble, grumble, kids, grumble, grumble)

Nicholas napped in his crib this morning!  That was awesome.  His second incisor is just about through and I think his front teeth will follow.  I hope a little relief follows soon after that...poor buddy.  I never wrote about how awful he slept while everyone was at our house last week.  Oh man...some of his worst nights ever.  I think the second or third night I felt that first incisor poking through and I just about wept with happiness.  Just knowing what it was helped a lot.  (Sleeping all night would help even more but beggars mothers can't be choosers.)

Other Nicholas tidbits:  His belly button is so deep I feel like I need a rotary dremel tool to clean it out.  seriously.  He is also cruising along furniture now and letting go to stand alone for a couple moments at a time.  He signs "more" by clapping his hands together and uses it as a more general way to say "I want."  He will crawl to the middle of the kitchen floor and clap if he's hungry or clap when he's in his high chair and I'm taking too long.  He will also look at something he wants, like the remote or a phone, and clap.  It's very cute.  I am now teaching him to sign, "I am deeply sorry I kept you up all of last night, dear mother.  You have my eternal gratitude." 

I'll keep you posted.

Here are a few pictures from the night before last, when we were all slightly more rested and healthier:

 OH!  I forgot to tell you about my storage bins!  I hot glued clothespins to them so I could clip on index cards listing their contents.  This was one of those simple tasks that I've wanted to do for about 2 years.  It made me so happy and yes, I did keep wanting to go downstairs to look at it.

Have a good weekend!



Ruby was feeling better so she went to preschool yesterday.  yay!

Nicholas woke up from his morning nap as hot as a pistol and fairly miserable.  boo.

Ruby ate cookies played by herself so well all day while I held the baby.  yay!

My arms got sore and I was kind of bored.  boo.

I did get to watch some tv.  yay!

James came home from school feeling hot.  boo.

Patrick came home and gave me a break from the baby holding.  yay!

Baby didn't sleep well.  boo.

His fever broke!  yay!

We are all home today.  (the boo or yay is still to be determined...)


I took a bunch of pictures of sick pickles yesterday because he was so soft and mucky and cute.  (sick + pickles = sickles)

This last one is my favorite.

(the picture, not the baby.)   heehee.


Thursday, January 06, 2011

collage artist that I can't remember, eat your heart out

For years and years my mom and I have enjoyed cutting cute stuff out of magazines almost as much as we've enjoyed reading them.  (some of us more than others.  ahem.)  I have made homemade cards with my clippings and even kept an inspiration book about our future home before we owned one. 

As all of these children have appeared in my life, I find it incredibly hard to find a moment to even read a magazine, much less spend hours (ahem.) cutting them up.  I still have my thick accordion file of cuttings but I was halfway thinking of getting rid of them. 

Not anymore.

Behold!  The beauty of collage:

My mom has made 3 of these now and they are all so incredibly lovely.  I love mine the most, of course, because it is filled with stuff that I love!  Mom - how sweet.  It's perfect and was a perfect gift.  Thank you. 

Can you spot all the things that are just me?  Let's see, I spy:

massachusetts, built to last, starbucks, thread, quilts, hydrangeas, pie, peonies, books, magazines, vintage ornaments, super cozy bed, SALE, vintage signs, coffee, cottage, ocean, globes, old dolls and mannequin heads,

Wait a minute.  Old dolls and mannequin heads???  WTF??

(nobody's perfect.)

hahahahaa!  :)  Anyways, I adore this and will keep it until I die.  (that is something my mother would say.  And they she would say, "Give this to _______ when I die, okay?")

And now I want to make one of these!  So I am keeping the clippings for another 5 years or so until I get the chance.


p.s.  My mom found an old metal tray and used that as her base.  She used elmer's glue to glue all the pieces down as she found them and covered the whole thing with mod podge when she was done. 

This is not dishwasher safe.


Wednesday, January 05, 2011


When I saw this picture of Nicholas (on the left) this morning I immediately thought of this one of James (on the right, at 12 1/2 mos). 

Ruby is home today because she had a fever again last night.  She, of course, is feeling fine.  

After the baby naps we might try to get some groceries as we really need them.

I really need a shower.  And some more coffee.

One of my resolutions is to drink more coffee.  I usually only have one cup in the morning and that isn't nearly enough.  It's so good.  Have you tried it?  (ha!)

Our house feels kind of bare with all the holiday stuff down but I am enjoying it.  I have to show you the amazing gift my mom made for me...I just love it and it looks so nice on my living roof shelf.

Baby is telling me he is ready for a nap.  Thank God.  :)


Tuesday, January 04, 2011


I swear this morning has felt like it was going in slow a good way.

Nicholas just woke up from his nap, I heard his mobile start up a minute ago.  Ruby and Ashton will be home for lunch soon and the rest of the day will go on from there.  It is sunny and I'm hoping we can go for a walk this afternoon, the three of us.  (Ashton just comes for an hour on Tuesdays.)

 I promised myself I'd take it easy this week and didn't do so well at that yesterday.  It was a mad rush to get the tree out to the curb in time for the chipper and I just couldn't stop pulling down decorations after that.  I was tired out and slightly crabby by bedtime and then I remembered...I had nothing I had to do.  I crawled into bed with a couple of magazines and a book and read for an hour or so.  I think I was asleep by 9pm.  Nicholas slept well for the first night in, oh, ten or so nights.  It was wonderful.  (he got a new tooth over New Years...a front incisor...that is going to look a little front teeth yet.  :) )

 My family was here until yesterday morning and it was sad to see them go.  I think that contributed to my mood yesterday.  It's good to have things back to our normal routine but I love having everyone around.  Love.  love.  Maybe next Christmas we will all be living in either MN or WI.  (fingers crossed...)

This morning I put the baby down and read a magazine for an hour or so.  Then I worked on putting Christmas stuff away (in an orderly fashion...happy sigh.) and put some laundry away. 

Just what I needed.  so nice. 

We got the very sad news on New Years Day that my uncle had passed away.  I'm not sure how his family will recover but families do, I know.  I take comfort in thinking of them two or three years from now...still missing him but more settled in their grief.  I am so thankful I got to see him.  He was just an amazing warm and funny.  I think almost everyone describes Larry as "warm."  He always made me feel like he was so happy to see me.  Isn't that just the best feeling?  xoxo, Larry.

Nicholas tired of his mobile and is now trying to get at the computer cords by my feet.  Better go.

Happy New Year to you all!  It is such a gift, a new year.


(p.s.  that is James on the snowbanks in the Bentleyville parking lot.  I think they liked that as much as the lights.  :)  )


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