Saturday, September 29, 2007

Heard and Said at My House this Week

J "squeals of joy and excitement"

I had put C's hair into pigtails, hoping that she still didn't hate them.
"No ponytails Mama!"
"Ok, what would you like?"
After putting in two braids,
"Is that perfect?"
C feels them,
"Yes, just like me." This being said as she walks off, not haughtily, just matter-of-factly.

"E, please don't talk to me that way." After telling him he can't have another popsicle or some treat.
"Mama, you need to go to your room."
"Ok, I'll go to my room, you will have to finish the dishes." As I wipe my hands dry.
"You can go to your room after you finish the dishes!"

I realize E is growing up, he likes to be one of the big kids, but he will still put on his zebra socks.

"Hi Coconut!" E says to me as he walks in the door.
"Hi Meatball!" I say back. Don't know where I come up with meatball (oddly enough, this was D' s grandmother's nickname for him when he was young, he was a bit meaty), but E has been calling me Coconut a lot lately, thanks to his pal Josh.

"Mom, you are the best dad." E says with a straight face as D is hugging me, just to see what D's reaction would be.

As D is fake wrestling me I often call to the kids to come and save me. Neither one of them are swayed when D tries to enlist them. E usually uses his head as a battering ram, then wedges himself in between D and I. C rushes in yelling "I rescue you! I rescue you!" and then when I am safe, "Mama, you are safe" and gives D the stink eye while E head rams him some more for good measure, laughing his head off. I take advantage of this game a little too often.

"What in the gosh is taking so long?"
I tell E this doesn't even make sense. He doesn't care.

Lots of huffing and puffing when I get our some jeans for E to wear to school.
"E, it is too chilly, you need to wear pants."
"No, I don't. I can wear shorts, my legs will stay warm." (Which is probably true, since most his shorts are shants - longer than most shorts, shorter than pants)
"E, we are walking to school, you need to wear pants."
He sits down in them, the back gaping a little bit,
"They don't even fit, they are ridiculous!"
This may not read funny, and it wasn't funny at the time, but if you know E, it was funny

C chose this outfit all by herself. D and I had to talk her into not wearing a sleeveless dress (this is the same day as E wearing jeans) and sandals. This is what she had D help her wear. Very stylin' I think. I bought this coat 2 years before I had even thought about having kids (and any thought I had included all boys). I saw it and fell in love with it. Still love it, especially on her.

C on going to our church party, wanting to wear church clothes and D and I saying it was a party not church,
"Oh, my princess party." She put on a purple tulle princess-y dress, the type I never thought I would buy for her. At the party she would say,
"Thanks for coming to the princess party" to everyone, who would just look at her and either smile or wince.

Friday, September 28, 2007


This is my little brother Joe. He is who our son Joey is named after. The 11th anniversary of his death was about a week and a half ago. I think the fact that I have a son named after him, August is always a particularly emotional month, I am not getting much sleep, and hormones made this anniversary tough. But in reality, each anniversary is tough, I just try to forget about it. I think I need to write this post so I can talk about him but on my own terms. So, I ask a favor of those who read this and knew him - if you are comfortable please leave me some memories you have of this great kid. Anne left a comment about him (from one of my flashback friday posts) and I got so teary, because I don't think I know Anne but she knew Joe and because I want to hear about him. So, please indulge this selfish request of mine for the memories, pass the request along to those who have memories and ask them to come here and leave them and keep reading because I am going to tell you some of mine.

Joe was born when I was 3 1/2 years old. In my mind we were close from the get go, at least as far back as I can remember. He was always happy. He had a group of adoring friends from the get-go. There was Jason and Brady, the funniest group of three. Then Tommy A. moved across the street from us. The boys were 2 or 3. We have pictures of them asleep on the couch, looking like they conked out mid-play. They were inseparable. Even when the Tom's family moved a few blocks away, we still played together, especially Tom and Joey. When we moved 30 minutes away, Tommy and Joey still got together every weekend. Look at this face - always a bit mischievous - in a totally innocent, always hilarious way.
Joey and I slept in the same room quite a bit. I had nightmares often so he would sleep on my floor to help me feel safe (this happened up until he passed away). As kids, he was so accident prone. He fell off of our roof (he climbed on it when there was 3 feet of snow). When he was 16, he stuck his hand in the snow blower to remove some snow (no, you aren't supposed to do this!) and the blades did not cut through his skin but broke each of his fingers in several places. He told some girls at school he had his fingers pierced. They believed him. Who were these girls? He also told some gals that his mom was black and that was why he was so good at sports. Two things, he doesn't look African American and he was not so great at sports - at least, not at football, which is what he was referring to.
Does anyone remember his sense of style? Or should I ask if anyone could forget? He would wear the funniest combinations but always thought it was so cool. He would spend so much time on his hair (this was in elementary school) and then later just shook it out when he got out of the shower when he was a teen. Epitome of cool, whatever the year.
He loved Christmas because his middle name is Nicholas, so of course St. Nick was his pal. See this beanie cap? He loved it and wore it (and outfits like this) because he thought he looked "rad".

He was rarely sad. Look at these pics. This is how you saw him 99% of the time. He loved Michael Jackson back in the '80's, could spot a Corvette a mile away.

He wrote the same book report on "Bo Knows" by Bo Jackson every year for probably 5 years. I don't know if he changed it at all.

When I was away for 6 months in Israel for a study abroad my sophomore year of college, I would call home and talk to him for hours at a time. The phone bill didn't make my parents happy but it was worth it. He was so fun to talk to.
I used to have a little Geo Metro. I would twist the windshield wiper fluid thingies so instead of spraying my windshield, they would spray to either side of the car. My friends and I and Joe would drive along the boulevard and squirt people at random. Or stop and talk to someone we knew and while we talked Joe would inconspicuously be pushing the squirt button. We would also throw water balloons from said car on said boulevard. One time he launched one right into the sun roof of some parents we knew. It was way too funny. I know this all sounds a bit corrupt, but it was in good fun with no mean spirit intended. Plus, whatever Joey did was ok.
When he was 4ish he told us you spelled his name "G.I. JOE". He was so proud of himself for spelling it.
He was especially close to our cousins Ben and Bryon. Those three were little mischievous imps. I was talking to Bry a couple of weeks ago and his wife asked if it was hard to talk about Joe. I said it was harder not to. Then Bry started telling me funny stories. Bry said it was always fun to come to our house because Joe always had a plan, never a dull moment. One time they were headhunters. We lived near some undeveloped land so their were a lot of insects, especially grasshoppers. By headhunters, he meant that they would catch grasshoppers and put their heads on pins. In relaying this story, it sounds bad and gruesome, but they were kids and there were A LOT of grasshoppers and calling themselves headhunters was pretty clever.
When I was in high school and especially when I lived at home during college, he would wait up for me to get home for the night from dates. If I was late he would fall asleep with his lamp on, so I would know he waited.

When we were younger and old enough to stay home without a sitter, he was put in charge because Sam and I couldn't get along, but Joey could keep things calm.
He LOVED chocolate rice crispy treats. He could make them almost better than my Grandma still makes them. I can't make them, they get hard and inedible. He really loved anything chocolate.
He had good friends, who are so good to our family. There are too many of them to talk about, but they mean a lot to me. After he died, they would come over to my parent's all the time, just stop in and eat whatever was in the pantry and talk. These were 16 year olds at the time. They still share their lives with us, marriages, babies, and more. I don't think they know how much this still means to us when they do this. I remember days after he died my mom was downstairs working on picture collages of him for the funeral and she heard someone upstairs walking around, opening the fridge, pouring milk, opening the pantry. A few minutes later Ben C. came downstairs with his milk and oreos and just sat down. He and Joe got in so much trouble together, good trouble I think. Ben married Linds, who was one of Joe's other best friends. They have a daughter who was born last October named Josephine. Linds' dad is named Joe also, but I like to think they named her after my brother Joe. In fact, I really want my son Joey and their Josie to get married. She's a little bit older, but I think Joey could handle that. I would also be fine if Josie married Eli.

So here are some memories, obviously in no particular order. He was my best friend, but I think he was so many people's best friend, he was just that way. I miss him like crazy, but am glad I get to miss him rather than not ever have known him at all. The knot in my chest has loosened a bit, tears have fallen while I have over-shared, which is good. I am glad I was able to say these things that I needed to share, my own therapy session.

(add on) Ok, some of these memories shared have helped me remember some more. Do you remember when he and his friends collected hundreds, maybe thousands of those X96 antennae balls? Then dumped them down 1800 South? Oh, and the Flobee. It is a razor/haircutting device that you attach to your vacuum. They have probably been recalled for so many reasons. Anyway, Joe wanted me to cut his hair. I guess I didn't make it down there in time because I walk in and he has duct tape on either side of his head (to protect his accidental sideburns) and is using the flobee to cut his hair.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Flashback Friday!

Aha, two for one. This has been a crazy week. So last week's theme was the bad hair your mother gave me. My mom didn't really ever do my hair horribly - at least not that I can remember or has been documented - all the bad hair days were totally self inflicted after 1985. But I did find this picture, I like to refer to it as me imitating the Cowardly Lion from The Wizard of Oz. Don't you agree? And to show this cowardly-ness more, notice all my brothers right in there in the thick of things and me on the outside probably adding some cheap shots. This is something I learned from being the only girl in the family - get in quick, get out quicker and run really fast. And unfortunately my tongue is a lot sharper than my two tiny fists - and they are pretty sharp. This is something I am working on everyday.
"Put 'em up, put 'em up! Which one of you first? I can fight you both together if you want. I can fight you with one paw tied behind my back. I can fight you standing on one foot. I can fight you with my eyes closed. Oh, pull an axe on me, eh? Sneaking up on me, eh? Why, I'll... Ruff!" the Cowardly Lion from the Wizard of Oz

This week has a pet theme. Mitzi was a Siamese who found her way to us when I was maybe less than one. She was my cat from day one, she and I, very close. She always slept on my bed with me, if I wasn't home she would meow and meow until she would finally realize I wasn't home. She died when I was 16. She has been sick for a while, my parents took her to the vet to put her to sleep and didn't tell me for a couple of days. Why didn't I notice for a couple of days? I was sixteen, I didn't see too far past my the end of my nose. It was very hard on the whole family.
She was a great cat.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Things I am eyeing this week

Finally, I am getting to my favorite searching of the week. I really don't have an "eye" for art, I like what I like. So here are some of my favorite digital prints, prints of an original painting and silk screen prints on Etsy (but not limited to just the ones I choose, I could go on and on...).

I thought this one was only appropriate, given the title. Elsita was one of the Featured Sellers on Etsy's front page a while ago and I was in love with her prints well before that. Go to her shop and read her profile - very uplifting story, I love what she says her mom always told her and her siblings, smart lady. AND I love all of her prints, and oddly enough this one was listed yesterday.

At Strawberry Luna's shop it is hard for me to decide what alphabet print I love most. I saw the H first, and since we are an H family and my son has been obsessed with hippos since he was one, this is the one I will choose. I could have easily have chosen S, A, W....

The Black Apple is one of the most successful sellers on Etsy, so obviously she is well liked. I like her paintings as well, but when I was looking through them last week I saw this print of an original and thought is was perfect, big eyes and sugar - that is my Girly. If you need to bribe her with anything all the toys in the world wouldn't work because all she wants is sugar, usually chocolate. And whenever she wants something and she turns on the charm I say she is "sugaring me up".

Everyone knows that I ADORE belle and boo, I hope to own many of Mandy's prints (I call her Mandy because when I received one of my prints from her, she sent such a lovely note, was so kind and personable, that I decided we were friends, if only in my mind) and so far have one in Caroline's room. The print I am showing you today is so beautiful and may be familiar to some of you. Some of my friends that read my blog also have links to Ava Florence-Beth Rosemeyer or Sheye Rosemeyer and Mandy did a series in honor of Ava with a donation from each purchase going to the hospital in Brisbane that cared for Ava. How beautiful is that? This series is a bit different from her usual characters but still just as amazing. Love, love, love this shop.

I have always liked Foxy and Winston's screen printed clothing but really love her screen printed wall art. The colors are bold, the silhouettes are crisp and they have a a fun feel to them. I like how she draws from nature and I love to see how she translates the image into her art. I wonder where the name comes from.

John W. Golden has many different collections in his shop. I like all his animals, really like his Enlightened Fireflies, but his signs by order of the management are my favorite. I read his profile and want to be in his studio as he creates. I would love to see the process. He states that this series was done because there are always those phrases that parents say to children that adults need to be reminded of also. I agree. This one is the one D would get for me. I'll admit it. Please go and look at all the other art in his shop.
Ok, I could find more and more. These were all already marked in my favorites and I still could do many more. I need to go looking for more that catch my eye, but not tonight.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Kanye West and Rainn Wilson Rap Battle

Dave andI were watching the Emmys on Sunday (Dave would never admit to this, so we will just say he happened in the room while they were on)and this Rainn Wilson and Kanye West lyric competition came on. I don't watch "The Office", I know I am the only person who doesn't AND I cannot stand Kanye - he may be brilliant but he is SO arrogant and feels like he entitled to everything. I saw him perform before U2 a while ago and UGH. Anyway, this segment is so funny, so funny. My favorite line is "you picked the wrong time to speak properly". OK, the whole point to this story is I am watching it with Dave, who isn't watching but just happens to be sitting next to me, and Dave starts singing along! Word for word and then some! Who is this man and how does he know this song? Seriously, I am at a loss. Watch the vid, it is too funny.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Hi, my name is Whitney and I...

am a blog addict. It has been hard to say this out loud because the addiction came along so quickly. I just started out reading craft/artist blogs of those who I admired, this isn't too bad right? Then, my friend Linds told me about her's. From her's I went from blog to blog like some kind of easy reader. I thought it would be ok to start my own, I rationalized that it would keep our friends and families up to date. It began in June when I blogged about our baby's blessing. To be honest, I don't even think that they read it. Then I began using it as a crutch, to post about things I was interested in, crafters that I admire. Then about E and C, about my garden, about what I was creating, about what others were creating. It helped me get through the rough times, you know, like now, when I really don't have time or energy to express myself in my artwork or what I create. I have so many projects in mind, so many prepped and ready to go. I realize that in order to properly complete these projects I need more than just an hour here and there, a more substantial block of time is needed without interruption. (You know your addiction is bad when you are typing a post while holding a squirmy 5 month old, singing songs to distract him and typing with one hand - so I can still multi-task apparently!) Here is a picture of my projects that are ready to go, scarily slightly organized. Waiting patiently.

I like to be able to have a couple of things going at once - wifing, parenting, school mom, crafter, bookclubber, but to be honest this is the first time in my life, that I can remember, where I am unable to do more than 2 or 3 at a time. It's ok, this is what I ideally want - my husband and three kids, and this is what is more important. I just can't wait until I am up to juggling a little bit more. Right now, my only true extra curricular is my blogging, and reading other blogs.

A recap of Saturday. E had a soccer game, he did a lot better than last week, which is fun. Have a look at the action photo on the right. C struggled that morning to get ready, I struggled getting her ready. She insisted on wearing a certain dress that was in the dirty clothes. I kept telling her that it was dirty, she had worn it 3 days in a row (did I just admit that?) and the 4th was just too much. I finally let her put it one (we had to go out the door) and as soon as I got it one her she said "this is filthy, I can't wear it!". Are you kidding? So she chooses another dress that is getting a bit too short, but I put it one her and put on some shorts under it, struggling with her to do it. I admit I lost my temper. I put them on her without much gentleness. We get to the game and do any of you watch the Disney Channel? Daniel Cook? Well he played against us.

After a hurried day of running around to a baby shower, fabric shopping for a friend's blessing gown (it will be done in silk dupioni and be quite stunning), Dave having to do some maintenance at a rental we own (I don't suggest this investment), then running out to our friends' home to drop the kids off with their kids (one who is old enough to sit) and going to dinner. All in all a busy day, but I don't see this changing.
Check out J just staring at his dad at dinner, very endearing.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Flashback Friday!

and a little catch-up.

This week the theme is "Say Cheese". So here is the cheesiest that I could find, the is early 1980. In our basement we had a built in bench that was really deep. It had a top on and I had put a table on top of it (similar to a card table, but smaller and didn't fold up) and was playing up there and had somehow fallen off. I can remember going to the hospital and having them put a cast on my arm. When we got home, Tina, our next door neighbor, was rocking Joe, who was a couple of months old, in the living room. I think it must have been late, my brother Sam was in bed, so was Chuck I guess. It turns out Sam was so mad at the table for breaking my arm, he broke the legs off of it. That is a chivalrous brother for you.

This week Caroline started pre-school. This will be the first of three years of pre-school. She loves to be doing something all the time and this school focuses on art so it will be perfect for her. She is so excited, she can go to school like Eli.

Last night we went to the State Fair. We have gone every year since Eli was born, we don't have many traditions so this would be one. We went around 3 so it wasn't too crowded. Eli loves to ride the rides, so he and I got the unlimited passes. Then Caroline decided she wanted to ride just as many, so another unlimited pass for her. We went on the Carousel (Caroline wouldn't let me stand near here, which was scary because there weren't little seatbelt-y restraints to keep kids on the horse, she said "Get out of here! in her little bossy voice), some speedy track ones, cars, hot air balloon ride, Caroline rode a real pony twice, both times saying "Get out of here!" to my mom, a couple of fun houses, leaving my kids with major noggin dents from all the mirrors, the favorite was probably this slide. You climb about 200 stairs to the top and ride a feed sack down. Eli can do it on his own and did over and over, on his tummy, sideways, all sorts of crazy positions. Caroline is supposed to ride with an adult but wouldn't so we would pretend to send her down and then jump on at the last minute. It was a lot of fun.

I wanted to take a picture of all the Fair Hair, but I felt stupid sneaking pics of the hair on all these gals and guys. I'm sure all of them thought my hair was boring, who knows. I did get one pic, you can only see the back but imagine the front of the hair looking like a nice, smooth, full fountain. And the Navy Band played a bunch of covers. The pigs still stink, the cows moo, the sheep were great and we couldn't find the goats (our favorite).

Here is Caroline, channeling a little Flashdance.

We rode one ride that is a fire truck that takes you up and down, here we are at the top and here is Dave on the ground.

Can you see how filthy E's hands are? We washed them all the time, it was so dirty. Thank goodness for antibiotic gel, wipes and the freestanding sinks with soap that the fair so graciously provided.

Joey had a great time too!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Things I am eyeing this week...

I went a week without doing this post, who knew Kindergarten was so brutal on moms. So, I have had this post planned for a couple of weeks and C has helped me, really. I would open the store up and she would choose and comment. I will do my best to convey her meaning.

At girl savage's shop, she has made the most interesting animals. C chose this Mossy Fawn, I think because she was wearing a blue ribbon also on this day. I love the way that she constructs her animals, and the hand-stitching is beautiful.

Vivika has lots of fun characters in her collection. C really like Mr. Triangle but I really like Miss Lilli and the two men in her life, Mohawk Boy and Office Guy. On one hand, she loves the wild and offbeat lifestyle of Mo, his spontaniety. But Office Guy, he is stable, has a practical if not a little too straight-laced 10 year plan. And he has a really good insurance plan. How will she choose? And will it be too late?

I like to think that Lilli and the guy she chooses will ride off into the sunset on this elephant built for two from Details: for your space. This little shop has a lot to offer, from magnets to jewelry to great plushies.

We have a thing for hippos at our house so it didn't surprise me when C picked out this one. Skullknockers has created some awesome animals using naugahyde, walnuts and love. I have to agree with C, this hippo is pink and green.

Wapita states that she is happiness, sweetness and optimism. I love how peaceful this little doll is. Her store is bright, colorful and fun. Have a look.

Handmade Pretties shop has always been one of my favorites, but when I saw this plushie and the description I had to include it. This one was not chosen by C. Here is the description: What started out as a failed coaster experiment mysteriously formed into a fertility mascot. Myrtle may not raise sperm counts, but she'll be there to cheer you on! She's a real team player and just loves rooting for the underdog...Perfect for TTC's out there everywhere (if you are asking yourself what TTC stands for, maybe you don't need Myrtle). Myrtle is OBVIOUSLY a female sperm. If you are interested in her brother Yertle, send me a convo, and I'll work faster to get him all ready.

I don't know what a TTC is, I hope it is something that can be posted on this child-oriented post of mine!

I love all the animals in Tiny Warbler's shop, I love the crispness to them, if such a thing exists in a plushie. Apparently I am digging elephants today. C likes his dotty ears.

I could post more and more but I have to get to bed. I am volunteering in E's class tomorrow. I am so nervous, it is like my first day of school!