Saturday, May 30, 2009

Funny Story for the Ladies

Gentlemen, you may want to step away from the computer for this one.

Today while I was taking my shower, Aidan got into a new box of Lightdays that I'd accidentally left within his grasp. I peeked out to check on him at one point, and he'd dumped them all in the floor. Annoying, but no big deal. They'll go back in the box.

A few minutes later, he flings the shower curtain back and asks, "Mommy, do you like my sticker?" When I turn to look, I realize he's taken off his underpants, peeled the backing from one, and stuck it to the end of his peep. It was the funniest thing I've seen in a while. He's lucky I was in the shower, or I might've taken a photo to preserve the hilarity of the moment.

The worst part, though, was when it came time to rip it off.

Friday, May 29, 2009


A few months ago, I got tired of looking at these:

Not the kids. Look way in the back. Do you see them? Those yellowed lace curtains? They hung on all four windows in my dining room and all four in the living room. One day, I'd had enough of looking at them and took them all down, regardless of the fact that without them, you can basically see everything going on in my house when it gets dark out.

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Stacey dug this Waverly rooster toile out of the clearance shelves at our local fabric shop.

It was $4.99 a yard! I'd been thinking of using red and white toile to make new curtain panels for my dining room, I just couldn't make myself pay $15 a yard or more for it. I got a little over three yards of this fabric - the biggest whole piece they had - for a little more than $15 total! Very exciting.

I've been working on these bad boys all week. I'd wait until the kids were in bed at night and spread out my giant pieces of fabric, measuring tape, and pins in the living room floor. I finished them last night, and I got them all hung this morning. They're definitely not perfect, which I'm okay with since it was my first attempt at curtains of any kind, but I like them. (Oh, and sorry the picture is weird. The light comes straight in the front of the house in the morning, so the photo is really bright on one side) I'm using that not-quite-the-right-color-red ribbon as sashes for the moment. I do have leftover fabric that I'll make matching ones with soon-ish, but I have more important projects I need to get cracking the ring pillow for Joe & Maggie's wedding that is fast approaching.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Aidan is trying to learn how to blow his nose. He came to me a little while ago saying, "Mommy, I need a tissue!" I reminded him that he knew where to find them, and told him that he should go try to blow his nose all by himself. Moments later, I heard a manufactured, "Achoo! Achoo!" coming from the bathroom. After a few tries, I heard him actually managed to blow out and into the tissue. If this means I have one less nose to wipe, I'm going to be thrilled!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Spray Paint and a Sofa Table

Last week, I drove to Marshall, Texas to pick up this $35 Craigslist find. It wasn’t a bad looking table to begin with, but the moment I saw it, I had visions of spray paint. I’m going to lay blame on Kimba over at ASPTL for this. I’ve seen one too many of her furniture rehab projects. But I digress…

I started out by sanding it down. I was a little lazy with it, so I just sanded until the piece of paper I was using wore out and called it good. Then, I wiped it down really well to get all of the dust particles off.

Next up: primer. You can buy it in a spray can now, so that is what I opted for. Easy peasy.

Once that dried, it was time to paint! My original plan was to paint the entire thing blue, then paint a chocolate brown color over all of it and distress it. However, once I got the blue paint on, I decided I really liked it and chose to leave the legs blue and just paint the top brown.

You can see from the picture that I got a little messy with that brown paint. If I’d planned it out right, I’d have done the top first and then painted the legs. Since I changed my mind midway through the project, I made a mess of it. And I ran out of blue paint. I’ll have to go buy another can tomorrow and touch it up. But I love the (nearly) finished product, and I couldn’t wait to share it!

Once the table is situated in its new home and properly decorated, I’ll share photos of that as well.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


When I went to get my baby girl out of bed this morning, this is what I found. She was standing! It's a good thing we had the forethought to go ahead and lower that crib mattress, or she probably would've been flipped out of the bed, too! I can't believe how big she's getting. She tries to pull up and stand all the time now. This afternoon, she was holding my hands, standing in the middle of her bedroom floor, with Aidan running laps around us. Neely was just wiggling and bouncing, trying to figure out how to move her little feet. She wants to chase her big brother so badly. It's adorable. And he's in big trouble once she figures it out.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sunday morning

God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort.

~ 2 Corinthians 1:3, NLT

Thursday, May 21, 2009

It's been five years.

It’s John’s and my fifth anniversary tomorrow, and at this time each year, I like to pull out the photos and reminisce about our special day. Also, as will be obvious by the end of this post, I still love to share them with anybody I can trick into it. (Ha! You just thought you were going to get to see something new today.) I had so much fun on my wedding day. So for family and friends that are featured in any of these photographs, I’m sorry if you don’t think I’m sharing the best picture of you, but these are my very favorites, and I think you all look great!

I have lipstick on my teeth? Get it off!

This dress is HOT!

I have my sunglasses stuck in my wedding dress. So what?

Our wedding party.

Crazy dance. And Joe, don't think we're not doing this at your wedding, too. ;)

Andrea's face totally says, "Oh, shoot. I'm about to drop her."

And we sang to Margaret for her birthday. She looks like she's eyeballing the nearest exit. Hey, Maggie, I'll bet you never imagined that in just five short years, you'd be gearing up for your own wedding. Happy birthday, girl!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

What I did with the felt

I made a crayon roll for Aidan! I love it. I have loads of extra felt, so I'm going to make some more and list them in my Etsy shop for anybody who's interested. And of course, in those that I sell, I'll include shiny new crayons, not well-loved, down to the nubs crayons which is virtually all I could find when I was hunting some down to put in Aidan's.

Actually, now that I think about it, if anybody wants one and has requests for colors (your child's favorites, team colors, to match your child's backpack are a few ideas), I can make one custom for you and embroider a name on it. Sorry, train of thought there. But I had loads of fun making Aidan's, so I'd love an excuse to do some more!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

No more forgetfulness

I never purchased a planner or 2009 calendar in January. After forgetting my grandfather's and Aunt Cheryl's birthdays, I came to grips with the fact that I can't get by without one. I really and truly have permanent memory loss from bearing children, I believe. And for some reason, the computer calendar isn't a good substitute for me. I either don't sit down and enter everything, or I click that little "Dismiss" button thinking (silly me) that I'll remember it later. So here it is, my new cherry red calendar. Hopefully, I won't forget anybody else's birthday...this year.

I think I may unwrap this moment with Emily over at Chatting at the Sky. Until this morning when I sat down with last year's calendar to copy all the births and weddings that we celebrate every year, I also forgot how much I enjoy doing that. Maybe it's silly, but I think it kind of goes along with my school supply obsession somehow. Now that everything is transferred, I feel I've accomplished something, and I can get back to that little thrill I get whenever I send a birthday card on time.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Hello, Cupcake!

Over the weekend, I received an awesome belated birthday present in the mail. (Thanks, Laura!) This book, Hello, Cupcake! makes me salivate just looking at the photos. I’m now envisioning a summer full of yummy cupcakes, dressed up to look like works of art…

…goldfish bowls…

…an alligator…


…and cute little owls!

Don’t worry, it has an awesome tutorial section at the front of the book, so I will work to improve my icing skills before wasting them on any actual cupcakes. I think Aidan is going to love this! Maybe I can have something really cool perfected by the time Neely’s first birthday rolls around.

Ragamuffin Wreaths

On Friday morning, Stacey, Ashley, and I opted to skip the gym and have a craft day! We’d visited the fabric shop the day before and each picked a few fabrics to make wreaths with. (That was part of what made my morning crazy – three little boys running wild in a fabric warehouse, climbing ladders, calling it a playground, etc.) Friday morning, Stacey’s and my little guy were having their last day of Mom’s Day Out for the year, so we only had one little boy and Neely to worry about. We met at Michael’s to get the last of our supplies, then gathered in the floor at Ashley’s house to get to work.

If you want to attempt this easy-peasy project, here’s what you need:

18-inch straw wreath
three or more coordinating fabrics, about 1/2 yard of each (if you want your wreath to be fuller than mine is, get more)
scissors (you can use pinking shears, too)
a crochet hook (a chopstick also works well)
paper mache letter
spray paint

To start out, cut all your fabric into strips. They should be about 1-1/2 inch wide and 6 inches long. Actually, you don’t have to cut all your fabric first. I did. You could do it like Ashley and cut them as you go. She didn’t have the patience to cut all her fabric at one time.

Next, start stuffing fabric into your wreath using the crochet hook (I don’t know enough about crochet to tell you what size, but it has to be one with a small end.) Spread your fabric out to begin with, maybe 1/2 inch to 1 inch between each piece, and then fill in the holes once you’ve gotten the whole thing covered. You don’t want to run out of fabric. And make sure that you stuff fabric in around the sides and in the middle, so none of the straw shows when you hang it.

By the time I finished cutting all my fabric into strips, Stacey was over halfway done with her wreath.

So was Ashley.

Here’s mine. I’m slow. I also started out putting my fabric way too close together. I had to pull a bunch out and nearly start over.

Once you have your fabric stuffed into your wreath, you can hang your letter. Wait, whoops! I need to back up. Before you start anything else, go ahead and spray-paint your initial so that it’s dry by the time you’re ready for it. We were impatient, so we only did one coat of paint. If it starts to weather and look bad, I’ll give it a touch-up coat. No sweat.

Okay, NOW you can hang your letter inside your wreath. If you’re like me and have a “good” letter, you can loop your ribbon around the top and then around the top of your wreath. I tied a bow at the top of mine, too. It doesn’t really matter. You can’t really see it in all the wonderful scrappiness. If you’re unlucky and have a letter like “L,” like Ashley, you may have to staple your ribbon to the back and then tie it around the top of your wreath.

Once you’ve got your initial secured, your ragamuffin wreath is ready to adorn your front door, or wherever else you’ve decided to use it. The only thing I’m not sure of is how weather-proof these are. It rained here last night, and I brought mine in just in case.

If you decide to tackle this project, have fun! It’s super-easy!

There's mine again, just in case you forgot what it looked like.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Bad Day

Maybe I shouldn't say "bad." Maybe I should say, "Our morning has been...eventful." Regardless, this has been the highlight of my day thus far.

My felt came from Prairie Point Junction! I have a new project waiting in the wings. I'll share once I've finished it.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Our Weekend in Pictures

On Friday after I pick up Aidan from Mom's Day Out, we like to hit up Sonic's Happy Hour. Our slushes turned our tongues pretty colors, so I took a picture.

Then, Aidan played with his sidewalk chalk while we watched the Blue Angels (almost typed angles, folks) rehearsed for the air show.

Neely and Daddy.

Aidan and Mommy.

Daddy with both babies.

You can't tell, but they're ready to go. And here's a little video I took on my little Canon instead of the video camera. Not the greatest, but still fun.

Saturday, May 9, 2009


In light of today’s holiday, I feel it’s appropriate to write a tribute (of sorts) to my own underappreciated mother. I’m not certain that I’ve ever properly acknowledged her importance. When I was a baby and could do nothing for myself – fed me, washed me, kept me in clean clothes, wiped my dirty bottom, picked my nose with her crazy long fingernails (Hey, I’ve seen her do it to Aidan. I doubt that much has changed), etc.

As I grew older, she still took care of my basic needs, but her role in my life became more complicated. She became a tutor and a chauffer. She double-checked my tooth brushing job and my homework. She made sure I practiced the piano. She hung my artwork on the refrigerator and on the Christmas tree (seasonally, of course). She took me to church and came to all my choir performances. She even let me sleep in the bed next to her when Dad was out of town.

Still later, she continued to teach me important lessons – how to use a curling iron, the very best way to wrap a gift, how to drive, how to wear make-up, how to pluck my eyebrows, the list goes on. Much of it seemed trivial or insignificant at the time, but as I look back, who would have taught me those things otherwise?

Now that I’m an adult and a mother myself, I find that I still have a lot to learn from my mother. She is an invaluable resource and the best example I have of a gracious, patient, and loving wife and mother. She’s all I’ve ever aspired to be, and I’m lucky to be able to call on her when I need her.

I love you, Mom. Happy Mother’s Day!

Friday, May 8, 2009


Tiffany has posted one picture for me to drool over for now. I love it!

Fun Friday

The day is only halfway over, but we've been very busy today. This morning at Mom's Day Out, they had a special breakfast with mom set up. Everyone else's child was sitting at the table with them, eating their muffin and sipping their Capri Sun. Where was Aidan? Running laps, playing in the water fountain, shrieking to hear his voice echo, etc. I hope no one was trying to have a peaceful, meaningful time with their children.

Next up, Neely's portraits. These were originally scheduled back at the end of March, but we got rained out. Then we went on vacation. Then the photographer went on vacation. I procrastinated setting up another date, so here we are, six weeks later, finally getting it done. I'm glad we waited, though. Neely is much better at sitting alone now than she would've been for the original date. Tiffany did a great job, I'm sure of it. I can't wait to share her pictures with you once I have them. By the time we finished, little Neely girl was so sleepy and hungry, and the fact that she cut her second tooth just yesterday didn't help, either. She passed out in the car on the way home.

We then went to lunch with John. Nothing fancy, just Taco Bell, since John was running short on time. But when I got home, this was on my porch. It's a kit to put Mentos in Diet Coke! I've never done that before, so I'm super-excited. I'll have to shoot a video of that one...and of the kids' reactions!

Neely is napping again now, so I'm catching up on internet time. I may do some crafting, or I may take a nap. Both sound appealing. Although, with the Blue Angels practicing for the air show outside, the crafting may be more realistic.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Teacher Appreciation Gifts

It’s Teacher Appreciation Week. When I saw this blog post online, I thought to myself, “What better way to show a teacher you appreciate them than to give them a cookie the size of their face?” I set out to make these gigantic goodies.

Here’s what you need:
1 c. unsalted butter
1 1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1/4 c. white sugar
1 tbsp. Vanilla
2 large eggs
1 egg yolk
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. Baking soda
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 1/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 c. chopped semi-sweet chocolate bar(s)
1 1/4 c. M&M’s (original recipe calls for minis, but I couldn’t find any)
jumbo stand mixer (if yours is like mine and hasn’t seen the light of day since Christmas, don’t forget to dust it off)
a big cup of Crystal Light (I had to take a gulp whenever I was tempted to stick my finger in the cookie dough)
hand-scribbled recipe (My printer’s out of ink, okay?)
adorable apron (if you’re messy like me)

Now, you’re ready to start. Preheat that oven to 350*F. Stack two baking sheets, and line the top sheet with parchment paper (or waxed paper if, like me, your grocery store doesn’t carry parchment paper).

Cream butter with brown and white sugar. And remember, one cup of butter is two sticks. I’d tossed a third in there before I decided to double-check how much a stick of butter really is. Oops! I salvaged the wrapper.

Next, add the vanilla, eggs, and egg yolks to the butter and sugar mixture. Combine.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. I like to use a whisk. I think it’s more like sifting, but it may not actually be.

Fold the dry mixture into the butter mixture. The batter will be very thick. You’ll wish you did a few extra bicep curls at the gym last week. I did.

Fold all the chocolatey goodness into the cookie dough. I nearly went into a diabetic coma just looking at this. Sensory overload. Anyway, fold and fold and fold and fold until everything is really well mixed.

(I didn’t have to do this, but the recipe recommends adding two to four tablespoons of flour to your batter if it is too soft and greasy.)

Scoop one cup of dough onto your cookie sheet. Only two cookies will fit at a time. They’re going to be huge, so don’t crowd them.

Bake for 20 to 24 minutes. Use a toothpick to make sure the center is done before removing them from the oven.

Once you’ve removed the cookies from the oven, let them cool on a baking sheet for 15 to 20 minutes.

Voila! Stephie’s Monster Cookies! One recipe makes only six cookies! I don’t know Stephie, but I sure love her cookies. I hope she doesn’t mind my sharing them. And I hope Aidan’s Mom’s Day Out teachers like them. We enjoyed scarfing down the spares after dinner tonight. Although, I’m feeling a little woozy from the sugar letdown now.