Thursday, February 28, 2008

February Scrapbooking

Just counted: finished 29 (one page) layouts this month! Like I said, I've been a maniac. Here is a page from one of the mini-albums I finished at Scrapbowl! Yeah me, hope this momentum keeps going.... maybe it will inspire me to clean my house more.

You say "vanilla", I think "nilla"

Zoe came home from school announcing "I had the yummiest cookies in the world today."
I said, "what kind were they."
Zoe replied, "Vanilla Wafers, and they were so good mommy, you have to get some at the store."
Well I am such a good mommy, I went to the store the next day and got the biggest box of Vanilla Wafers I could find, I was planning on riding the best mommy wave for as long as I could. When Zoe saw the box she said, "not those kind of vanilla wafers, the rectangle kind with icing in the middle."

OK, I was stumped. What in the h--- was she talking about? You see, I make most of the cookies we eat, everyone around here loves chocolate chip cookies. On the occasion I do buy cookies, the only ones I get are Oreos or Milano (Pepperidge Farm) so it's been a while since I really studied the cookie aisle at the store. In fact, I try to avoid it!
A late night trip to Walmart found me wandering through the aisles, I don't even remember what I was there for... when I came upon these!

I remember these cookies! I think my mom used to buy them. I had no idea they were called "Vanilla Wafers." I was so proud of myself. Boy was I going to get "mom of the year" or what?! The next morning, after a healthy breakfast of Cheerios and juice, Zoe sat munching on the "real" vanilla wafers. And of course, I was basking in the glow of Zoe saying, "mom, you are the best!" Mission accomplished, lesson learned.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Q & A

Q: How do you use an entire bottle of Tide laundry detergent in ONE WEEK?

A: Have 4 people with the stomach flu, one of which a toddler who wears the leakiest diapers in the world!

OK, just had to vent!

A couple layouts

I have still been a scrapbooking maniac, trying to finish up some of the layouts I have had planned for a while now, working on my goals I made in January (goals- not resolutions!). It's actually quite freeing to just "get em done". I have mostly been using a lot of paper, a few stickers, and an embellishment or two. I was glad when I heard Shimelle Laine say she doesn't stress about her layouts anymore, just grab it, glue it, stick it, done. I am trying to remember that as I finish more and more pages. I am also trying to remember that the whole reason I started to scrapbook was to record our family's history, not to create beautiful, original art every single time I sit at my desk. Now I do have some other projects in the works, some a little more extensive and creative than others which is why I am trying to work on my backlog of pictures. I have a hard time starting a new project when I know my old pictures are just sitting there waiting for me, calling to me, "Jenny, I want some printed paper and ribbon too!" I just love slipping another layout into its protector and each time I am pleasantly surprised at how cute and fun an "easy" page can be. And the best part, it's done! Here are a couple pages I have just finished in the last day or so. Sorry if they are hard to see, I don't have a scanner (I know I am so living in the 90's, gotta get with the new century already) so I just have to take a picture. Zoe's is called "Band Aid princess" and Parker's is "Ssslurp!".
OK, I just noticed both of these have polka dot paper, I swear I did not plan that. Oh and they both have colored brads too. Jeesh!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Scrapbowl recap

Almost two weeks (!) have gone by since my wonderful trip to Chantilly, VA for Scrapbowl. I can't believe I haven't written about it so far. I think I didn't want to admit it was over. It was by far the bestest, funnest, awesomest, scrapbooking trip I could imagine. I have been wanting to take a trip just to scrap probably since Zoe was born, night-time crops were all I had done up to this point. Thanks to my pal, Kristin who rocks, I finally got to go on a dream-come-true trip. I came home inspired, tired, and enthusiastic about creating more scrapbooks. We packed a lot into a three day trip. I still can't believe I actually went, got on a plane, left the state, stayed in a hotel, ate whenever I wanted, tried to sleep in (I was too excited to sleep), and laughed myself silly. Like I said, a mommy's dream come true!

Here are the albums I came home with: some are completed, some are almost done, some are from classes I took at the event, and some I did on my own. Here is the big crop room at the convention center. Look at all these scrappin' ladies, goin' crazy! It was energizing being in the same place with all these women that share the same passion. We did not crop in here, mostly in our hotel room, it was awesome, we had our stuff spread all over, cropping on the beds, the floor, etc. Just like college!

Me and Stacy Julian! I am so excited I got to meet her, she is "altogether too happy" like she says but in the BEST way! She gave us brownies and milk. How sweet is that?

Me and my IDOL!!!!! Donna Downey, I love her! She is just like I imagined she would be. Funny, down-to-earth, inspiring. She just taught us how to pose "skinny", don't I look skinnier? I'm such a nerd, I showed her an email she sent me and we both almost started to cry! I was so mad I didn't have my book for her to sign, maybe next time. It's so nerve-wracking to meet someone you admire so much...
Me and Margie Romney-Aslett from Making Memories. She is a hoot, love her, love her style, love her cowboy boots!
Me and Shimelle Laine from jolly-good England. I loved her class and it was the one I was most hesitant to take! We are making (in progress, b/c the poor thing lost a bag coming from England and so she is sending us the directions!) a book called "Just a Girl" based on the song by No Doubt, using the lyrics to create titles and journal prompts. How cool is that? We also are using lots of pink to embellish- love it! I showed her my Smurf ruler, she was diggin' it. See me holding it...
Here is my best scrapbooking resource/idea-bouncer-offer/cropping pal, Kristin. Thanks for everything chicka, loved it! Are we so happy or what?!
I highly recommend all mommies take a trip with a friend or two or even by yourself. It was better than I imagined and I cannot wait to take another one!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Martha would be proud

So we had a snow day and quite frankly, I was a little t-o-ed! That means another day of being stuck in the house. I don't mind driving myself in the snow but I don't like to take my munchkins out if I don't have to. Who wants to bundle them up and buckle their car seats while they are wearing their giant coats anyway? Who invented those car seats anyway? Obviously, not someone who lives in the Midwest where it's cold forever!!!! Or someone who has children wearing giant winter coats!!! OK, I digressed...

I have had this bag of Hershey's Kissable baking pieces for a while so I thought why not make something with them? We made Rainbow Rocky Road Brownies with our last bag. (Why do I have two bags of these yummy things and why have I not eaten them in moments of high stress? Well, my mother-in-law gave them to me and told me to make somethings with the kids. She thought they were the mini-baking kisses. Well, I don't like to break the rules so I said, "OK, we'll find something to make with them.") After searching the Hershey's website for a while, which made me wish I could find a reason to go to Wal-mart so I could scarf a Hershey bar, I found a recipe for cookies. I am so rambling right now...

As soon as I get out the mixer the kids (and the dog) come running. I used to love baking, when I could do it alone. It is so fun to mix, measure, taste, try, etc. Now I just kind of like it. You see, I am a bit of a perfectionist so when the exact amount of flour doesn't get measured, I panic a little. I am trying to "let it go" but sometimes, that is hard for me. The kids were uber-excited to bake. I've been on a baking strike since the holidays. I overdid it a little in December.

Here they are sampling the kissables... I think they approve.
Gotta lick the beater, usually I give them a spatula also so they won't fight, but I was feeling lazy. They fought, I was annoyed, "letting it go..."
As soon as I move the mixer over to a workable area, the Little Tykes chairs come flying across the room, the dog tears across the floor, and the fun begins. Actually, it's pretty much like this every time I cook. Max loves it when a crumb falls to the floor.

The finished product, good and gooey. Fresh-made cookies, fun, kept the kids entertained, wouldn't Martha be proud?

Friday, February 22, 2008

More snow

Oh my goodness, it snowed some more! Another snow day! (These exclamation points are not due to excitement, they are because I can't believe it!) It looks like another day of playdoh, painting, blanket tent building, and waiting for daddy to come home and take the kids out to play. I am so not a snow bunny, give me sun and sweat anyday. hhhhhhmmmm (big sigh)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Happy (belated) Valentine's Day

My sweet husband remembered my favorite flowers on Valentine's Day! So pretty!I can't believe that Valentine's Day has already come and gone. Every year I plan to make cards for my family and I forget. I did make some for the kids and my husband, just not everyone else. (Better get that reminder in next year's calendar now! Good tip for today!) I remember my elementary school days when Valentine's Day was the best party of the year. Passing out those little cards and envelopes was such an exciting job, I couldn't wait to give my cards to my friends and I couldn't wait to see the ones I would receive. I remember taking mine home and pouring over them for days and days. How did one friend decide to give me a kitty card and someone else decide Strawberry Shortcake would be the card for me? Oh and how about that cute little boy who sent me a card and wrote "love" on it, did he really love me? In my mind, I thought so. From my teaching days, I remember these parties as hectic and a little crazy but still exciting for the kids. There is something so gratifying to get a whole bag (or box) of cards picked out just for you! I love it that the same is still today. Zoe has been studying her cards from her school party since she got them. She knows who gave her which card and she is speculating why they picked a particular card for her. She is also wondering if everyone liked the cards she made (no store bought cards for my little mini-me!) Like mother like daughter I guess! Call it nostalgia, call it remeniscing, call it just plain fun, I love Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Just another day

34. Yesterday was my birthday. I don't feel a day older than 26, I swear where does the time go!? I remember a time when I would hear women say they were 34 and I thought, "man that is so far away." It just kind of snuck up on me. Oh well, not much I can do about it. The day was pretty much the same as all the others, gymnastics for the kids, take Zoe to school, go to BMV (do not do this on your birthday, it always make you grouchy!), a 45 (!) minute trip to the post office with Parker, pick Zoe up from school, order pizzas (ordered 2, they got it wrong, somehow we ended up with 6 pizzas by the end of the night, eatin' those for dinner tonight too), ate some cake, gave kids a bath, put kids to bed, watched Boston Legal, fell asleep for last 15 minutes of show. The best birthday present was my husband's gift: some beadboard in my (teeny weeny) laundry room. Yeah! Been wantin' that for about 2 years. Thanks honey, your handy work is awesome! Pictures of scrappin' trip later...

Thursday, February 14, 2008

All packed up and ready to go

Yes, this is a suitcase filled with scrapbooking tools and goodies. I am about to embark on my first ever scrapbook trip with my good gal pal Kristin (who rocks the house! She found out about the event and got us great travel deals, etc. She is the best! I just have to let the whole world know!). You can tell where my priorities are, I have all scrapbook stuff ready but no clothes, who cares how you look while you're crafting anyway? I am soooooo.... excited to scrap the weekend away. I plan on making three albums (small ones) on my own time and I am taking 3 classes, one with my fave scrapbook designer Donna Downey. I am looking forward to a lot of girl time, eating without cooking and maybe sleeping all night with no interruptions! Off I go... check out my Smurf ruler I've had since 1st grade (I think), that would be like 27 years or so!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Dr. Phil moment

Ok, I am hearing Dr. Phil in my ear right now, "if you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got." He'd being saying in that drawl of his that I should not being making Rainbow Rocky Road brownies if I want to lose weight. "What are you thinkin'?" he'd be saying. Well I'm thinkin' they are too good and I need my daily dose of chocolate!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Time to exercise

Gonna go put these on my feet and get movin'..... cos I've been puttin' too many of these in my mouth!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Angels among us

Friday is our grocery day. I take my list, snacks for the kids, drinks for the kids, $1 for the video cart, pennies for the pony rides afterwards, and my coupons. The only thing I consistently forget is a Valium or a stiff drink because going to the grocery with two kids is down right stressful for me. I try every week to tell myself, you will not be one of those moms yelling at her children, grabbing them by the arms, lecturing them about not wanting everything they see but at some point I have done all of these things. Not my proudest mommy moments by the way... this week the kids were actually very well behaved, we got through rather quickly and I wasn't even sweating by the time Virginia (my favorite cashier!) was bagging our stuff. Picture this: we're headed off to the ponies for a few well-earned rides. The kids have their pennies. I have my 5 foot long reciept and extra coupons. I'm saying, "don't get on the ponies yet, I'll help you!" (I'm always worried about stitches.) When what does my darling daughter say to me? "Mommy, I know you want me to tell you when we get here or when we are at the fishies (they are in the back of the store) but I forgot, I have to pee bad." I breathe really loudly, and say, "yes you are supposed to tell me before we pay for everything, let's go," I go to get Parker so we can go potty. Thankfully the restrooms are by the ponies. I'm watching Zoe bounce around and Parker is mad as all get out because he wants to ride the pony NOW(!) and another angel appeared to me (the 2nd time this week! read my post about good citizens). A lovely lady who works for Meijer grocery says, "I'll watch your cart honey, take her to potty." I thank her so much it is starting to get awkward. We go and do the whole potty thing and when I come out I tell nice grocery worker, "thank you so much, I always worry someone is going to run off with our cart of groceries. I know you have to go too, so I really appreciate it." She says "don't worry about it sweetie (love that!), I remember those days." Oh I could have kissed her. Get this, her name was "Cookie"! I love that too! I don't know what I have done to deserve this double dose of sweetness from older ladies as I am struggling with my children in public. I'm going to try not to question it too much and just enjoy it. I am going to tell myself it is my guardian angels looking out for me. Or else I look like one of those moms who is about to blow her top and they just feel sorry for me. Naw, I think I like the angel possibility.

Friday, February 8, 2008

23 Layouts so far

A recent scrapbook layout, simple, cute, done!

I have been a scrapping maniac lately. I have been stealing 5 minutes here and there and everywhere in an effort to try and get "caught up." While I know that I will never officially be caught up in my scrapbooking, I would like to have more things completed so I can do some other fun projects I have floating around in my brain. (Not that I don't think scrapbooking is fun, it is definitely in my top 3 favorite things to do!) I am about two years behind in my family album which makes me cringe! I never thought I'd be that behind. In my defense, when we moved here to this house, I did not have an area just for me to work as I did in our old house. At first it was hard to find a spot to keep all my stuff and work. A year ago, I purchased a used desk, painted it, and since then I have been trying to get organized and back on track. It definitely helps to have a little space to call my own, my little piece of heaven. I just love to scrapbook and it is a great feeling to be getting so many layouts done. I love being able to document my family's life. I will add that my recent layouts have been VERY basic, mostly paper, stickers, and journaling. The only thing I have bought to complete them is adhesive (lots and lots of adhesive!). Since January 1st, I have completed 23 layouts! Woo hoo me! I made a month by month goal sheet for myself of all the scrapbooking projects I want to complete in the next year. If all goes well, I'll be sort-of caught up and working on some of my "fun" projects. "The Loot" is a page I made for Zoe's album, the pictures are from 2 years ago (ugh) but I like the layout: just paper, stickers, and one piece of ribbon. I mostly like it because it's done (and I think it's cute). I hope to keep this momentum going...

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

There are still some good citizens in the world

So here is one of my favorite places on earth, the Lane Library. I love it, I love it, I love it. Not only is it a beautiful building, inside and out, the staff is the most helpful, nice group of people I interact with on a regular basis. Seriously, they are so nice I am smiling just thinking about them. I take the kids every few weeks and we get so many books and DVDs our bags are busting by the time we leave. Today was no exception. On the way out, I have Zoe's pink princess backpack, loaded to the brim, my tote bag, loaded to the brim, and Parker's backpack, loaded, well, to the brim. AND I have our DVDs in my hand and Zoe has some books and CDs in her hand, we really like to read at our house! We're walking down the steps in the pouring rain (I sound like that story our Grandpas tell us... "walking to school in the snow with no boots, uphill all the way"....) and I say, "Zoe hold Parker's hand please." I think she did hold it for about a nanosecond, then KABLAMO! Down he goes, head-first, on the concrete steps. I swear in my mind, I thought, gosh darnit (well I might have thought something a little less PG) he's gonna need stitches again and that is really gonna make me mad! But luckily, he was ok, no cuts, although he was scared and crying. In the meantime, Zoe is crying not because she is hurt but because her hair is getting wet and she can't get her hood up. OK, whatever, I'm freezing and wet too! I throw all bags, DVDs, and keys on the ground because Parker is laying facedown with his head on the bottom step and his feet are still pointing to the top step. I pick him up, check him, he's ok. In the van he goes. I go get Zoe, she is really ticked, because she said, "I'm soaking wet Mom!" In the van she goes. My blood pressure is rising by the second, I want to swear profusely, and I am going to scream at any time. I am opening the door so I can literally throw all our books, etc, in the van when (here comes the good citizen part!) a nice, elderly lady picks up two of my bags and puts them in the car while I get the rest of our stuff. I thank her very much and I want to hug her too, but I refrained. She said, "I remember how hard it is to take little ones places." Oh, she is an angel, I just know it. I buckle up the kids, check them again for boo boos, give them some fruit snacks and head off to take Zoe to school. I swear if it weren't for that wonderful woman, I would have been in tears too. I didn't even care that I was soaked and my hair was a mess. God Bless that mysterious angel.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Here are our glitter Valentine crafts:Our little glittered hearts look so cute in our niche. The kids had so much fun making these, just glitter, glue, and cardstock hearts, who knew!? The "love" is from the dollar aisle at Target. The greenhouse has silk flowers in it, I put this thing everywhere, depending on my mood. I've had it forever and I change the stuff inside a lot, depending on the season, but I like these flowers a lot.

I tried to post yesterday but in my effort to get with the 21st century and upload some photos, I mistakenly unplugged some cords from the computer and needless to say, it was just messed up.

This is a list of all the things I did Sunday morning by 8:26 AM.

made the kids breakfast
emptied the dishwasher
refilled the dishwasher with the dirty dishes
made homemade rice krispie treats
ate about 3 treats
fed my dog
fed my bird
cleaned up the accident from my dog
washed/dryed Parker's sheets and blankets (he had a leaky diaper)
gave my dog his medicine
found and set the new digital watch in the box of cereal
helped the kids get dressed
brushed the kids' teeth and hair
cleaned up the kitchen
swiffered the downstairs
cleaned up the water my bird threw from his dish while taking a "bath"
colored two pages from Strawberry Shortcake coloring book
cut out 2 weeks worth of coupons from the Sunday paper
started washing our mound of laundry from the week

I don't want to hear anyone say stay at home moms don't work!

Friday, February 1, 2008


I am officially sick of cold weather. I am usually sick of it before it even gets started but today's forecast for a "wintery mix" just put me in a bad mood. It's just cold, gray, and yicky. Enough already Mother Nature! I want some sun and I want it now! I really need one of those sun lamps for people with Seasonal Affective Disorder. By the way Happy February! I'll post our cute glitter hearts we made later...