Monday, January 28, 2013


Guess I better start sharing some of these crafty art projects I have been doing.  They are piling up around here.

First up, embroidery hoop art.

Step 1- get embroidery hoops.  I got mine from JoAnn fabrics for about $1.50 each.

Step 2- decide on what fabric or paper you want to use.  I am in a burlap phase right now so burlap it is.

To be honest, I got a bit stuck after this part as the possibilities were endless!

Step 3- decide on your art.

I decided to do something different on each of them since they all had a burlap background that would tie them all together.

 Black felt with pink stitching.

 Black tulle in a spiral pattern.

 White buttons and a brooch.

 Letters and paint.

Step 4- hang them!

Viola!  Easy, fast, cheap and took up some negative wall space in my craft room.

Next up, I needed a piece of art to go on the shelf above the TV.  After I took down the Christmas decor, it was seriously lacking in style and visual clutter (which for me is a bad thing).

Pinterest is full of ideas for "state art".  I decided to make my own with some stuff I already had.

A frame and some left over laminate flooring from the craft room redo.  I measured out how big I needed the flooring and had the hubs jigsaw it to the right size (we almost both got frost bite during this process since we did it at like 9 pm on the coldest day of the year in the garage).  I would just like to add that I am more than capable of jigsawing it myself but the hubs gets all freaked out about me cutting my fingers off so he made me wait for him to do it.

 (Like how I got a pic of the laminate for the art with the actual laminate on the floor- super artistic)

Then I printed out a state of WI from the interwebs, cut it out and taped it to the laminate.

Then I dry brushed some white paint on the laminate.  I included the pic below so in the event that you try this on your own, you don't freak out when it looks awful and you still try to salvage it.  I had to add some water to my brush and really smooth it all out since the paint dried too quickly to do it without adding water.



Take your state off and this is what you will have.

I then painted a little red heart in the area we now call home and then glued the frame on.

Then hung it up and re-accessorized.

I think it would be cool to make one for all the states you have ever lived in and hang them all together.  Too bad I have only lived in one.

Happy crafting!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Lets all laugh-cry together...

If you have a really laid back, easy child I am happy for you.  I really am.  I think it is super and I hope they stay that way. 

However, if your child is spirited/high maintenance/sensitive/particular/insertyourownajectivehere, then lets talk, shall we?  Or better yet, lets laugh-cry together. 

My friend Teresa sent me a link to an article that had me in an all out laugh-cry.  She said it reminded her of her oldest daughter and my son.  And I could not agree more.  The article was entitled, "46 Reasons My 3 Year Old Might be Freaking Out."  Go here and read it now. 

Are you back?  Are you laugh-crying yet?  Good.  We parents of these children really need a nice laugh-cry every now and then but mostly, we need to know that we are not alone in this odessy of child-rearing.  That there is an entire legion of these mini-dictators wreaking havoc on the daily lives of so many other sane, loving people.  And for reasons as ridiculous as the inability to lift a pumpkin (an actual freak out that Sully had...maybe that is why he hates pumpkin patches...), the car seat is weird, they don't know how to type, someone looked at them and they can't hold onto the keys while I am driving.

I would also like to add a few more...

We only have Sponge Bob fruit snacks instead of "Widdy" fruit snacks.

He can't get "Widdy" to sit on top of the dinosaur correctly.

I won't let him eat sand paper or dog food.

He wanted to go to Grandma's today, not school.

His parents are always trying to keep him "safe."

He never gets to play with real hammers and screwdrivers. 

I didn't put his beverage of choice in the right cup.

I didn't offer the right beverage in the first place.

He wanted to wear the brown hat.

The wind is making his hands cold but he can't properly shovel or drink his sippy with mittens on.

He wanted to watch a different Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles episode than the one I selected.

Feel free to add more...

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Failures and Adjustments

Did you ever let your kid bathe in bath water that you knew, for a fact, that he peed in?  I did.  I know, I am losing "Mother of the Year" fast.  And I do feel guilty about it which is probably why I am confessing in blog fashion.

It was on Thursday.  I had just drawn up (that phrase is ridiculous and so old fashioned) a nice menthol bath for the booger-y boy.  I stripped him down and then after our standard game of nakey-baby chase, I plopped him in the bath.  His new thing now is that he won't sit right away, he has to stand until he decides he wants to sit (it does not matter how much I tell him how unsafe it is to stand in the bath).  And then, of course it happened.  A little stream was released.  It was not much but he clearly peed in the tub.  The last couple times it happened, I immediately removed him from the tub, emptied it and and refilled it with clean bath water.  I definitely thought about doing that.  But then I thought, "hey, its just a little pee.  I am going to go with it."

 In said pee bath.

So pale.

Of course, when he started threatening to lick the water I put my foot down and got him out of there.  

Still, I am finding myself torn between viewing it as a colossal parenting fail or wondering if I should pat myself on the back for being so chill about it.

That same night, I discovered that my auto focus on my beloved 50 mm ($350) lens is no longer functioning. 

Initially, I panicked and thought of sending it in for repair only to read online that it was going to be $150-200 to fix.  Instead, I decided I will become a master at manual focus.

So you will have to bear with me on this new challenge of my photography journey.

It has taken me 33 years to get to this point in my life.  To get to a place where imperfect and failure are not congruent with my self worth or even my happiness.  For this type A personality to succumb to the necessary task of picking my battles.  Even though, I may not always pick the right ones every time, I know that they are not all worth fighting.  That is exhausting and counterproductive.  And I am pretty happy to be where I am.  But I guess it means that sometimes you bathe your kid in known pee water.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


I love a good bargain.  So I can't not share this with you because I feel like I just robbed Joann Fabrics today.

As I was at the check out with my burlap, paint and bird houses, I look over and what do I see?  Mini ceramic Christmas village buildings at 90% off.  Yes, I already have a large Christmas sin city but don't I need a smaller one to put either in a little boy's room or in the dining room?

Yes was the only answer I could think of that made sense.

So I got one of each of the 8 buildings.

They were $7.99 originally, $0.79 today.

See, he loves it!  Thank goodness I didn't pass it up!

We laid them all out and looked at each piece very carefully.

But wait, there is more.  I look past the buildings and see on a bottom shelf the very last of a packet of accessory pieces:  benches, clock, trees, flocked shrubs, carolers, and a man sitting on a bench.

The packet was originally $29.99, but only $2.99 today.

I am just dying over this.  It is all I could think about all day at work.

Monday, January 14, 2013


We had our second swim lesson tonight...if you could call it that.  I had a long conversation with the Sul about how nice boys listen to their teacher and try the activities that are demonstrated and they do not yell or hit.  He totally agreed with me.  He is no fool, he knows that is what nice, good boys do.  And to be honest, I really think he had intentions of being that nice, good boy (at least that is what I tell myself).

But then we got there 23 minutes too early.  I tried to stretch out the clothes changing but I could only do that so long.  That left us with too much time before the lesson.  It was colder in the pool area today than it was last week.  But he jumped in anyway (this is amazing since he would only go in up to his knees for the first 15 minutes last time).  Then he started going down the whale slide which was the most fun thing he could possibly do.  Everything after that could not compare.

Finally, it was time to start the lesson.  I gently reminded him that we need to listen to the teacher.  It started off really promising.  He was really participating for the first 7 minutes.  But then it was time to go to the deeper area with the swim noodle for some kicking practice.  He seemed to try at first and then he started to come undone.  All of four of the kids in his class started shivering, even their little lower lips were quivering.  Sully did not seem to understand that being in the water would be warmer than being out of the water so every time I tried to dip him in the water, he would scream "NO NO NO" and "STOP IT" right in my face and cling to me like a little spider monkey.  At several points in time, he did a full open hand slap right in my face.  Eventually, I just had to get out of the deep end and walk around in the shallow end which only made both of us shiver more.

I was able redirect him when the water toys were brought out and again when the water rings were introduced but once the novelty of these wore off after about 74 seconds, he was again over it.  Thankfully, the class is only 30 minutes long so I was finally saved by the clock at the end.

The Sullymon is much more comfortable in any setting when he can follow a routine, when he knows what comes next.  I already saw progress in comfort with the water and his willingness to put his face close to the water compared to last week.  We have 4 more weeks.  I am interested to see where he will end up by then.  Baby steps people, baby steps.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

January Plans

So I have this obsession right now.  It is with home libraries.  I want need one.  And even though we have lived in this house for 7 years, I only now realize where the perfect spot for it would be.

It is the wall behind our love seat in our living room.  To the left are the stairs that go down to the unfinished basement.  This is a forgotten area of our home and it shows.

Part of this transformation has stemmed from my utter frustration of overflowing toys and children's books that have run amok in our once very tidy living room, as seen above.  In addition, once I converted the guest bedroom closet into my craft/fabric storage area, I have nowhere to put our board games and extra blankets (you feel sorry for me, I know).

Here is what I am looking at for inspiration:

I like the closed storage and lighting in this one...

I like the built up base in this one...

Loving the ladder in this one...

This project has a tight budget so I will be sharing the price of everything with you.  Lucky for me, I have a retired handyman Dad that I have enlisted for the transformation.  

What is going to be trickier is deciding what color the shelving and background will be.  This is especially tricky due to all the different wood tones we already have going on and the fact that I don't think I want black because of how easily it shows dust.  I know I will figure out something.  I can't wait to show you when it is done!  I won't disappoint!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Coloring contest

I think I would like to enter an adult coloring contest.  I am not kidding.  I think I would have it in the bag.  So if any of you know of any, please let me know!

Of course, the coloring contest would need to include toddlers dictating what colors you are allowed to use and the duration that you are able to use them.  The toddler is also allowed to contribute to the picture in any way possible.

Some of my masterpieces:

If you think these are sub-par, I challenge you to a coloring contest with a toddler around.

Of course, if extra points are given for freestyle, the hubs would certainly trump me...

/Sometimes you are allowed some peace to finish and you are so proud.  But then you look over and see your little dictator dunking his Lightning McQueen car into your coffee and licking it off.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The List Anew

On the first day of a brand new year, I am finding myself thinking about what I want it to hold.  There are some pretty obvious things that come to mind...

Watch less TV.

Read more.

Spend more time outside.

Run two races this year.

Blog less.  (I know this one seems odd but I am hoping to have more meaning and substance in blog posts this year so you can expect less in number but hopefully better quality.  If that makes any sense.)

But there are some more significant things I hope to embark on this year.  These things may be out of my comfort zone and involve more faith than I normally allow myself to believe I am capable of having.  But I know the benefits will far outweigh the risks and I am not afraid to see where this year takes me.

But first, a few pics from the most joyous time of year...

Now on to watching a Badger win!!!