Saturday, May 31, 2008

a little project

These are the big clothes pins I embellished, ignore the cards, for home and school stuff.

I hung them to the inside of my pantry door (see them up there above the calendar?) and they seem to be working well. I have been putting invitations, coupons, permission slips, etc. on them and I like it that they are right by my calendar. Everything is centrally located and easy to hide when company comes over! I also hang my grocery store clip board on this door too. It doesn't look very pretty but it works.

Friday, May 30, 2008


I got this quote today from Inspiration and I just love it and wanted to share...

The best thing we can do for ourselves and the people in our lives is to love them unconditionally, forgive them without reservation and to accept them exactly as they are.

I think this is one I am going to have to paste up and remind myself to say as a mantra when someone in my family doesn't do things the way I want them done (i.e. when Zoe says she cleaned her room and I think it looks like an F5 tornado hit it).

Inspiration Peak will send you a daily quote if you sign up on their website.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


I am super tired today. I stayed up until 1 AM watching three weeks of Grey's Anatomy last night. I didn't intend to do that, I was only going to watch a few minutes. I had watched one of those news shows about that polygamy sect and I was feeling all incensed over how the mothers/wives are technically single mothers who qualify for food stamps because the government doesn't recognize their plural (underage) marriages. I was wanting to rant and rave with someone over this abuse of "the system" and my husband was already in bed so I was left to seethe all alone (at one time I was a political science major and I just love a good debate!). I mean how can these women not think there is something amiss? No one in the outside world recognizes their marriages but themselves but they think it is ok to take from other single mothers (in said outside world) who desperately need aid?! My mom was a poor single mother at one time and I know she would have loved to receive help. Don't get me started... So I figured a few minutes of Grey's would do the trick. Lighten my mood, lift my spirits, give me a little McMen time... Well one episode turned into two and then I was so excited I just had to watch the season finale from last week. I actually enjoyed it. I was waiting for the big cliff hanger and for once the tv people made me so happy, they gave me some of the fairy tale endings I was hoping for. Usually I am so mad after a season finale because something crazy happens that the tv people think you'll want to tune in to watch next season, I just like a happy ending sometimes. Call me a sap. Oh and here's the best part, I watched four hours of the show in less than two hours thanks to my handy dandy DVR. I love that thing! Ha mister tv man, you didn't keep me hostage for four hours half of which is commercials! I won! If you don't have DVR service you must get it, a total life enhancer if I say so myself.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

what a mess

Is it normal to have a true conniption fit over a mess? I swear things like this can send me over the edge faster than people who drive like maniacs in the Target parking lot while talking on their cell phones and drinking their freakin' Starbucks. This is our formal living room that it currently being used as a play room. I have big dreams for this room someday and my husband, well I think he has just given up trying to talk me into getting some furniture for this room not made by Little Tikes. I usually don't mind it being a little messy, it just means they've been in there playing right? But total destruction and devastation really make me mad! I hate to try to enlist the kids' help in cleaning because they really just get in my way and I am fast anyway (hear my control freak coming out?) but I think I'm going to have to this time, this is a wreck. The funny thing, they play in there forever after it's all been cleaned up. When it's a big mess like this, they just bring stuff into other areas of the house and trash them too. I try to remember that someday they'll be teenagers who don't play with toys and barely speak to me and that is about the only thing that stops me from renting a dumpster for the weekend and going crazy.

Friday, May 23, 2008

I just couldn't help myself

I have been trying so hard to not impulse buy scrapbooking materials for about a year now. Since I got my desk and bookshelves and a real area to work in, I felt like I should be working and not stockpiling supplies. I usually do pretty well. My best defense is to avoid my favorite scrapbooking stores. Now don't get me wrong, a week is not complete without a trip to Michaels or Hobby Lobby but that's usually to get consumables like, page protectors, adhesive, etc. My real weakness is Archivers, that place about sends me into convulsions, hot flashes, and quicker breath. I get to see all the stuff in person that I see in my favorite magazines. It's really hard not to splurge there. Anyway... I was in Target last week (they finally found my Easter pictures that had been lost! that's another story...) when what to my wondering eyes should appear in the dollar aisle but these cute ribbon stacks! Oh they just called my name, "Jenny, you know you want us, come on, aren't we so cute and all your favorite colors and prints?! Buy us, buy us." I promise that really happened! So now I have these little cuties just dieing to be used in a project, unfortunately, I have several things I am working on that must be finished in a timely fashion (i.e. Father's Day) so they'll have to wait. As for now, they are sitting on my desk just lookin' purty.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

not again!

Oops he did it again! We went for stitches again today, that's trip number 5 for my baby Parker. He wasn't doing his usual stunts of jumping off the kitchen table, climbing on everything, or rolling across the floor. He was running through my bedroom and tripped (over nothing!) and slammed his head into my door jam. I heard the thud and knew that it could only mean one thing, a long morning at the ER. This time the cut was so deep that it required internal stitches and 6 external ones. Whew, I stayed with him this time, usually Paul does the honors, and it gave me renewed faith in doctors. I am always thankful for a nice one (and this one was Grey's Anatomy cute, he could be on that show, I swear) and one that does his/her job well. My mom always wanted me to be a doctor, she still says, "you are so smart, you should have been a doctor," but the sight of blood, tissue, or any other kind of goo almost drops me to my knees! We are lucky, Parker is a good patient. He doesn't scream or wiggle too much and it makes it a lot easier. I hope this is the last trip for a while. I totally deserve a day off!!!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

simple gift

Zoe's teacher celebrated her birthday in class. We gave her some chocolate and a homemade card. I can't believe what a difference a pretty bow makes to an otherwise plain gift. Simple, easy, done, I like that!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

dance teacher gifts

Zoe and I made these m&m pretzel hugs for her dance teachers. Mmm, they are so good.
We also made this "J" for her teacher too (for Miss Jennifer). It is painted and embellished with stickers. We also covered it with some Mod Podge. It looks pretty cute. Her teachers were very appreciative. I felt like we could have done so much more, they really helped Zoe discover confidence and her love of dance has really blossomed this year, thanks to her lovely teachers.

Monday, May 19, 2008

similar paper crafts

Here are some crafts I made with the leftover paper and embellishments I used for Zoe's teachers' gifts. I made them matching cards (and another for a good friend of mine using some leftover Donna Downey canvas:) ). I also decorated these big clothespins. I originally bought them to use as picture holders but I have been organizing things (nothing new for me!) and the thought just came to me. One is for school papers and things like that and one if for home stuff like coupons, flyers, invitations, etc. I plan on mounting them to the inside of my pantry door with some sticky stuff. This is where I keep our family calendar, school calendar, sports and dance calendar, and my grocery list. I would rather use this space for those cool wire baskets that you mount and put small pantry items in but I also like to have this "family" center not out in the world. I can shut the door and it instantly looks cleaner than having everything posted on the fridge or wall. It works for now, we'll see how it goes as the kids get bigger/busier. Here is a scrapbook page I made using some more of the same paper and embellishments. I really stretched my supplies this time. I also "copied" this layout somewhat. I don't usually do this, I frankly don't have the patience, it just seems to be harder for me and it seems to take longer. But, I pulled this page out of Scrapbooks etc. a while ago and I thought this picture of me and my kiddos worked perfectly. Notice that I didn't copy it exactly, that would require too much effort and probably some measuring, I really don't like to do that!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

all wet

I was originally going to write about how sad and lonely I felt on Mother's Day. My husband had been away on a rare work-related trip and I really missed that sweetness of obvious planning to do something for me, like when the kids bring me a gift or Zoe insists on bringing me toast and juice so I can have breakfast in bed. Honestly, all of the mothers I know do not really "want" for anything and any gift is considered truly special and I am so happy for all of them who had a remarkable day celebrating all they do. I was feeling kind of "woe is me" about the whole day until I saw these pictures. I actually wouldn't even look at them because I really felt sad about the day. I was at the end of a four-day, by-myself-with-the-kids journey that included, dance lessons, a funeral visitation for a childhood friend, my car breaking down, having to get it fixed, getting a rental car so I wouldn't be trapped at the repair shop with kids all day, a sick 2 1/2 year old, the dreaded grocery shopping as well as all my other chores, when it rained on Mother's Day. I couldn't believe it. How could it be raining? All I wanted to do was take the kids to the park and let them go crazy while I sat on a bench and just breathed. After a few hours of hoping it would stop, I said "forget it, put on those rainboots, we're goin' outside." I sat in the garage on a lawn chair and they played like there was no tomorrow. Who knew splashing in puddles and writing on wet cement with the sidewalk chalk could be so fun? I had time to reflect while they were playing and I said a few silent thank you prayers for the gifts of these two beautiful children. Seeing these pictures makes me so glad we had this time together, no big to-dos about taking me out to eat, no elaborate gifts, no breakfast in bed, just me and them. Isn't that what Mother's Day is all about anyway?

Friday, May 16, 2008

teacher gifts

This is me totally stealing an idea I saw in a scrapbooking idea book. I took these two drink boxes (and four empty frappachino bottles)... And turned them into "spa" kits for Zoe's teachers at preschool.
It was pretty easy once I got started. I used 4 pieces of 8x8 paper, some ribbons, flowers, a little paint, two metal tags and two binder clips. I just glued the paper to the holders and painted the edges, to hide my measuring flaws, added embellishments and voila! The hardest part has been finding things to fill up the empty Frappachino bottles (my husband was like, "you want me to save the lids and bottles for what?" he just couldn't see my vision, but he liked the iced coffee treats, I don't like coffee at all but I'll do anything for a good craft!). I put m&ms in one jar, I got a poofy sponge and some cool homemade soap and hand lotion for the other openings. I just got some bubble bath to put in the other two empty bottles, still have to fill those up. I think they look so cute. I asked Zoe if she thought her teachers would like them and with wide eyes she said, "mommy, they will love them!" I also made matching cards to write an official "thank you." I am pretty proud of myself for finishing them early, not rushing at the last minute.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

privacy please

I see you! We've been trying to work on privacy around here. I get a teeny bit annoyed when I go to the bathroom and have 2 kids and a dog in there with me. And what really gets me is when I am getting dressed in my closet (lucky me I do have a big closet) and they all come in there. I guess I get irritated when they see me trying on pants or shirts that just don't look right for whatever reason. It's like having the American Idol judges watching you, they just stare and commentate, "mommy I think you should wear this jeweled shirt to the grocery, it is fancy", or "why are you putting on another pair of jeans, you just had some on?" I always try to project the image that I am a self-confident, don't care what others think of me, kind of mom when that couldn't be further from the truth. I especially want Zoe to think I think I rock because it is my opinion that girls just naturally have confidence issues. So until they learn the value of privacy, I'll be forced to lock bathroom doors and distract them ("go find mommy"...)when I am trying to find the perfect jeans.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

things that made me smile

Some things that made me smile in the last few days... Parker came up to me and said, "mommy, deese for you." I turned around and saw him holding these silk tulips Zoe uses to dress up her tea party table. My heart melted I swear! The re-enactment for the camera did not produce the perfect smile but I don't think it matters, this is one I won't forget.
And Zoe wore a dress for me. She wore dresses for about 2 1/2 years straight during the whole princess-phase and it drove me crazy (mostly because she also had to have panty hose and dress shoes- super annoying at the playground) but since school has started, it's been jeans only, which also drives me crazy. She has the cutest dresses and skirts you've ever seen (thanks to my shop-a-holic mom) and she won't wear them. So I told her about a week in advance, you will wear a dress for Muffins for Mom day at school. She agreed but I had to put curlers in her hair (she said, "mom you have them, so I can too", ugh annoying me again) and she took the dress off as soon as we got home. For a few hours, she was my little princess girl again.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

rock on

"I want to rock and roll all nite, and party every day!"This boy is a true rock 'n roller. He loves Queen, Kiss, anything with a guitar. I made the mistake of showing him some YouTube videos of his favorites and now he requests them everytime I sit down at the computer. We don't go anywhere in the car without listening to "We Will Rock You" or the "Bicycle Song" as he calls it (I Want to Ride My Bicycle) and if you don't sing loud enough, he'll yell at you, "youder mommy, youder!" Don't you just love his head lamp? I guess in a few years when he's blasting music I don't like from his room, I'll have no one to blame but myself.

Monday, May 12, 2008


I don't do too many two-page layouts anymore. I think they require me to be a little more creative and that doesn't always mesh with my hurry-up life. I was having trouble fitting all these pictures on one page so voila, a 2 pager. I think it turned out pretty cute and I got to use this cool b&w paper I bought a couple weeks ago. It's funny because these pictures are about 2 years old and the kids seem so little in them, I can't imagine how I'll feel looking at them in 20 years or so. They truly do grow up so fast, sniff sniff!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

In case you don't receive any flowers for Mother's Day, I'll share some of my tulips...
Happy Mother's Day
to all!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

broken hearted

I just got home from the park and I am so mad. Why can't little girls be nice to each other? Zoe tried several times to play with these two girls who looked a little older than her and they just kept giggling and running away. Zoe was so crushed. As a mom, I just want to go give those girls a piece of my mind and knock the heck out of them. Of course, they were unsupervised as their parents were watching (and probably screaming obnoxiously from the sidelines) their preschoolers playing soccer in the field nearby. I tried to tell Zoe to play with someone else but she for some reason thought these two snots were "it." I finally had enough and Parker had fallen about 10 times so it was time to go home but the whole way home poor Zoe was crying. Urgh, I am dreading school for her next year, I know this will probably happen again someday and man am I not looking forward to it.

gettin' it done

Duh! My Saturday pancake ritual just got easier. I remembered to use the griddle my mother-n-law got me for Christmas. Wow, it sure goes a lot faster. In my defense, I was hesitant to use it because it is coated with non-stick stuff and any bird owner will tell you it is absolutely impossible to use non-stick cookware if you have a bird. Apparently, the cookware emits a toxic substance that can kill the birds instantly, just imagine what it's doing to us humans! Upon getting married and becoming a birdy step-mom, I had to get rid of my beautiful non-stick cookware and learn how to cook without it. Let me tell you, this was not an easy task, many a thing was burned to a crisp. Now as much as Grayman drives me crazy with his Mariah-Careyish-decibel-ear-splitting squeaking and squawking, I don't want to kill him! After calling the company and being reassured he would be ok as long as I cooked on a low temperature, I commenced to be a pancake making machine. Although I will tell you, I was grateful for every squeak that came out of that little gray guy's beak the whole time I was cooking, that's all I need is a lifeless bird on the bottom of his cage! Just one little thing to make my life a little easier, lovin' it!

Friday, May 9, 2008

everything old is new again

I love it when my kids love the things I used to love. My kids love to rock out to Queen and Kiss (the especially love to watch them on YouTube!) and Zoe has perfected the perfect "uh huh" Elvis style. I have been telling Zoe about Wonder Woman for a while, we've looked her up on the 'net a few times and she is so into her. I found this DVD at the library and we have been watching it. I love it still! I wish for our daughters to have strong women like this to look up to instead of anorexic, drug-addicted Hollywood girls famous for doing nothing but showing their undieless bottoms! (Although, Wonder Woman did have a rockin' body in her costume?!) We have been playing "spy" using our jump ropes as magic lassos. The only thing missing is Underoos (which I found out they still sell!). Come on girls, you know you wore your Wonder Woman Underoos around the house spinning, jumping, and fighting crime! Or was that only me? And who can forget Fun Dips? Those sugary pouches with the sweet sticks inside just made for double dipping were one of my favorite treats as a youngster. Zoe got this one in a treat bag from school and she was so kind to share it with Parker.
He was kind of like, hmm, this is good but where are the M&Ms? He isn't much of a sugary sweet boy, he prefers chocolate. Zoe on the other hand, loves anything with sugar as long as it's on her plate!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

donut love

Last week after a doctor's appointment, I stopped at THE BEST bakery in the world. I went to Milton's Donuts in my hometown of Middletown. I am not kidding when I tell you they have the absolute best donuts in the world. I know some of you are die hard Crispie Cream fans or Dunkin' fans, but I am so serious when I tell you these are the best ever. I try to stop and get a chocolate cake donut every time I'm visiting family. For a few years, my mom and I lived across the street from this happy place and I can remember stopping before school to get a donut and milk jug. Oh my gosh, they are heaven. No other donuts can compare and let me tell you I know, because I have tried them all, everywhere I have ever visited or lived. Next to M&M's, donuts are my favorite sweet treat. I love the smell of Milton's and when I took the kids in there it smelled the same as it did 20 years ago, they put our treats in a box and tied them with the red cord they always use. I just love a good tradition! They have these really yummy sugar cookies with yellow smiley faces on them that are awesome, I was so excited to get donuts, I forgot to get the cookies, we'll get those next time. I am such a Milton's fan, that when I was a teacher, my students used to bring in Milton's donuts for their birthday treats (I taught here for a while) and they would say, we brought these because we know you like them! Once they even brought me a cake, don't even get me started on that scrumptiousness! No one ever accused me of not being loyal.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

new slippers

Just for me! Terry-cloth flip flops! I love these and I am so excited to have them for this summer. I got them at Target for $5, not bad huh?

Monday, May 5, 2008

more tales from the grocery

I know I rant and rave about my grocery trips all the time but this one is kind of funny...

Friday, my husband took the day off so we both could go to the doctor. I took complete advantage of him by getting up early and going to the grocery by myself. He was in charge of morning stuff, breakfast, feeding animals, etc. I would have enjoyed myself a lot more if I wasn't so darn tired, I got there at 6:45 AM. Anyway, I'm doing my normal shopping when not one, not two, but THREE store employees asked me "where are your children this morning?" OK, what does that mean? Do we leave that much of an impression on the people in the store that they notice when they're gone?!? Hmm, makes me wonder.

Another, not so funny story...

My mom was at the grocery Sunday morning. It was not her usual store, just one she goes to every couple weeks to get this certain kind of yogurt she likes. Anyway... she had a couple things in her cart and her purse was in the baby seat. She was picking out her yogurt and checking the expiration dates when she turned around and found her cart missing. After enlisting the help of store employees, they found her cart and her purse. Her cash was missing ($25) but nothing else. Needless to say, she was feeling very lucky to have it back. She said she was most worried about losing her credit cards and phone and her expensive purse so the cash being gone didn't bother her too much. I just wanted to remind all my friends who might be reading this to keep an eye on all items in your cart while shopping, this happened really fast at a store in a "nice" area of town.