Tuesday, October 30, 2007


to be continued after Halloween fun!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Flashback Friday!

A little late. This week's theme is by Lovely Button, best and favorite toys. I had a lot. I remember loving my Glamour Gals doll house, my friend Jared would always want to play it with me - he just like "undressing" the well endowed mini dolls. I loved playing with many different dolls and stuffed animals. I loved my Cabbage Patch Dolls, my 3 (yes, I only owned three) Barbie dolls - Cowgirl Barbie, Cowgirl Skipper and Cowboy Ken. Then there was the Fisher Price record player. We would listen to "The Smurf's Sing....", some album of Sesame Street and a couple others, in my basement and dance and dance. But, I don't have any pictures that I can find of these great toys. Instead, I have tons of pictures of me in my backyard. I've already told you how much I LOVED my backyard. It was so big. Part of it was cement - a huge covered patio, then the "track" - a figure 8 like area. It was a big plot of cement with two round gardens in between, making it a figure 8. We would ride our scooters, big wheels, trikes, bikes or just run around this track all day long. Races, skill tests, whatever, all day long. Then there was the area just North of the track area, 3 steps down to the pathway that led through some dense oaks to the sandbox with the climbing dome. The path wound through to the big grass area where we would play soccer or run through sprinklers. My friend Brookie and I would always be captured princesses, trapped in the oak forest. There was also a ledge the was where the cement area dropped off into the grass. We would rake all the leaves in the fall and jump into them over and over.

We also had a basketball hoop, which I never really had the skills for. I could do most things sport, just never a jump shot or free throw. I was a really good dribbler. We had a little rope swing attached to the basketball standard, I think I fell right on to me head a few times.

So, I had lots of great toys but most of my memories were outside, in the backyard, running between about 3 houses in my neighborhood, being gone from morning - eating lunch at one of these three houses - and then home for dinner. And then until it got too cold and too dark, out again for games with kids in the neighborhood.
Both of these pictures are of me at almost three years old. Both in my backyard. When else can you post a picture of yourself in a bikini, with a shadow underneath your belly, and not cringe?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Things I am eyeing this week

While getting the blue dye for E's costume today, I walked past the Halloween aisle, that was less Halloween and more CHRISTMAS!!! So in honor of that, how about stocking stuffers or gift ideas for less than say $20?

I love these gloves from jmaccknit's shop. This design on them is beautiful. Is that a Fleur de Lis? Love those. This designer doesn't use a pattern for any of her wares. She has been knitting or crocheting since she was eight. Who wouldn't love these for themselves or a friend? Check out her hoodies - they are beautiful. I just visited her blog - amazing. http://knitcafe.squarespace.com/ Have a look at her silk and felted scarf. This woman is truly talented. Whoops, this is my only item over twenty dollars, I promise. I just loved them too much.

MirrorGirl has taken licensed work from great artists and featured them on mousepads and coasters. I love the idea of these - different, not commercial home touch.

This shop has pouches, wristlets and totes are great prices. Great color combinations and fabulous fabric choices, the wristlets would be great gifts in a stocking or with something fun like earrings inside. Have a look at Wooden 45.

Want to be fashion and eco-forward? These bags from littleoddforest are both. Made from durable and washable polypropylene, you can fit groceries, gym clothes, rocks, lots of pens and pencils, beach stuff into these large bags and reuse, reuse, reuse. There is a of products in this store - from purses to tank tops to cushion covers. Great things for your home, other's home, shoulders, soda cans.

I just noticed these purses from aszichild. This Tangerine Orange and Moss Green MaLu tote is fun to look at, and probably better to use. Totally handcrafted and lovely to the eye, you can see the individual, hand-stitched details. And the price is beautiful too.

Jewelry is always a fun item to receive. There are a lot of amazing jewelry artists on the Etsy site. I think I have done other posts about some of them. I love this idea from Lily Baubles. They take images and put them into a glass charm pendant. What I love more is that they customize them. You can add them to a chain, or even better, a charm bracelet. It would be a beautiful gift for a new mother, or to do all of you siblings for your own mother.

And I must add these kitchen towels from PataPri. This gal, originally from Tokyo, became a graphic designer and then after taking a silkscreen class became addicted. And now we have these towels. Plus she designs lots of great fabrics.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Does anyone else do this? Really do this?

I'm tired. I mean downright exhausted. The time is just escaping me. This is happening for many reasons but let me use today as an example. Please read at the end of this post if you would like to see this example. I just typed it all out and as therapeutic it was for me to do that, I will not make you read it to get to the point of my thinkings. When I get this worn out, I tend to get sensitive to things. I tend to start comparing myself to others.

For instance, I just read one of my friends blogs. Pure genius. And I wonder: She has more kids than I do, is in about the same parental position I am in, and yet she still can express herself brilliantly. Why can't I?

And what about my good friend a block away? Same thing, more kids, parental position, yet her house is so clean and inviting. Clean in a way that her children can still play, clean in a way that I don't freak when C and Gus climb on the couch's back. But clean. Dustless, smearless, clutterless. How?

Or my good friend that is now pregnant with her 5th child. In her second trimester and even knowing she is pregnant, I forget because her body isn't giving her away and neither is her go go go attitude. Damn her on so many levels!
Another friend, that is more new than not, her son and mine hit it off and haven't stopped. She always seems so level-headed, like nothing will phase her and no mess will freak her out. Her child has a small tantrum, nice, calm, soothing mothering. Something to strive for. At least I have her as an example.

One of my dearest friends, who always knows the right parenting skill and answer in all situations. Thank goodness for her, just wish she sat on my shoulder, wearing some stylish toga, telling me what to do or say right when I need it. I question myself all too often in these circumstances, yet really follow my gut, good or bad.

Friends who I may or may not know in person, who are busy, but have time to blog, or create, or help at school, or make a very nutritious meal each day, and still do all that I have detailed below and do it well. They aren't complaining. They aren't comparing. They aren't wondering "What is my thing?" Right?

Aren't there those who are so genuinely upbeat and happy all the time, nothing phasing them (we all know them, you are probably one of them) that you love to be around them. I so want to be this person. And those who just never cease to amaze. Those who do the acceptable and gracious thing at appropriate times. Those who never say the wrong thing. My "problem" is that I have so many talented people that I know or know of, that I could compare talents, personalities and so on for weeks and weeks and find myself lacking for weeks and weeks. I have SO many friends that are gifted, smart, and kind and lucky for me loyal and patient.

I was speaking to my friend's mom this week. She was saying "Lisa loves you. She loves how you always say what you are thinking." I corrected her. "I actually have learned to bite my tongue. Imagine all the things I don't say and how much trouble those words would get me into!" This is what I have been known for my whole life. Good or bad. And I tend to lean on sarcasm a little too much. So badly I want to be the person who says what she means but never says that wrong thing. Who's words come out of her mouth as clever and funny as they sound in her head. Who doesn't offend. Who can speak freely knowing that whatever I say is pure genius, brilliant and inspiring.

Let me clarify. This is not me feeling sorry for myself. I am being honest with how I feel day to day. I realize there are some things that I do well. There are things that I can't do. I am fine with this. But it doesn't mean that once in a while, I wonder what it would be like to have those other skills. I think this is only natural. Maybe I am wrong. Am I the only one that feels this way? I hope not. Or do I hope so?
But for now, I have to remind myself that I do some things well, even if I don't recognize them. Maybe someone lives vicariously through my awkward out loud musings, who knows. My pregnant friend's body and energy? Part genetics, part hard work. My genius blogger/friend? She's gifted with expressing herself and smart, really smart. Do I wish I was? Yes. Am I grateful she shares her words? So often. My clean friend, who also is kind and warm and smiling all the time? I don't know how she does it, and sometimes I want to kick her, but thank goodness for her friendship. My Parenting Wiz friend? She is just that good, and she shares the wisdom with me. I will have to reread this paragraph when I am not being logical, too hard on myself or others. And I will also reread the paragraph below and be grateful that not everyday is as busy as this one.

My mom went into surgery at 7am. J got up for the day around this time. I, along with the help of D, got E and the other two kids ready for the day and E and I left for school at 8:50a. I helped in his class from this time until 10:30, at which point I ran home, nursed J, did C's hair, got J dressed and packed us into the car to run to the store. I have been trying to find the right color of blue in any form of shirt and pant combo in order to put together E's Halloween costume, so off to another store to look for options. It is now 11a, find a couple of options, do a little grocery shopping and race to pick up E at noon. All the while, checking in with Dad about Mom's condition. Get home, feed the kids (yay for me, no McDonalds). Realize that what I thought I had bought for the costume wasn't it, get all three kids back into car and return to store. Find some other options. Can't find the right color of dye. Go to another store. Call a friend for E, pick him up (cute kid!). It is now 1:30p. The doc called down an hour ago saying they where closing her up, would be down shortly to talk to Dad. Still no word. Trying not to think the worst. Get home, nurse J, put down for a nap. Go out and clean up fallen tomatoes before they decay into the garden and become volunteers for next year. Deliver pictures to people in the neighborhood. Get a phone call that D's sister's water just broke. Can we meet them at the hospital and pick up their girls until her mother in law can come and get them? (turned out to be 9pm when she was able to get them, still no baby born!) Girls come, we go to E's soccer practice, come home to pizza, which some wouldn't eat, make mac and cheese (would McDonalds be healthier?) which some ate both that and pizza. Do homework with E. Nurse J. Finally go to the hospital at 7:30p to be with Mom, so Dad can rest. 10:30p home, opening the door to sounds of J screaming because he is awake and hungry. Nurse him, put fabric part of E's carseat in wash (shaken sprite drink from earlier). Realize I haven't had enough water today, decide to drink while the seat is washing and write this post. Now, we are at midnight.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Flashback Friday!

This week's theme is you and your pop. Being the only girl, with 3 brothers, I kind of had the best of both worlds. I learned to play hard, play lots of sports (never was good at shooting baskets though), but I got to play with dolls, be the little girl to my mom, and be Daddy's little girl. I have lots of memories with my dad. Where my mom is artistic and empathetic, my dad is logical and goofy. And a bit grumpy, no one believes this (even him) but those who are close to him know he can be a bit of a grouch (I get this from him). But he is also fun and funny - we are the two funniest people we know.

This picture is of my dad and me in our backyard on the moped. He would drive me around the back and front over and over again. This lasted until my little brother and his friend Tommy decided to gas up the mopeds with sand.

This picture is of dad and me at a daddy daughter dance. It was a fifties sock hop. I still remember dancing the Jitterbug with him. I asked him about the other day and he says he remembers. These are memories I don't get to share with any siblings because they are between a daddy and his daughter.

He is a great Opa to my kids. He calls at least once a day asking what they have done that is funny. He thinks C is fascinating. He thinks E is the most handsome and funny kid he knows and he loves how J smiles and smiles. He also has always cared about what my friends are up to. He gets excited when one gets married, or has a new baby, or does something noteworthy. He laughs at all the stupid things we have done. He also admires the dad that my husband is.

***edit*** So, I missed the boat on this one. Pop refers to your grandpa. I don't have any pics of my grandpa's and I, just mental pictures in my head. My dad's dad was one of the kindest men I've known. He was a politician and businessman. He was gentle, handsome and gave wet kisses - not gross, just wet. My mom's dad was an army man. He loved to have fun. He is who I get my unfortunate "laugh when someone falls down but isn't terribly wounded" gene from. I remember going snow-mobiling at our family ranch in the winters. He would pull us grandkids on a big tube with a long rope behind the snowmobile, his main goal to throw us from it. Sounds mean, but was actually quite fun (after you brush yourself off, stop crying, rub out the bruise sort of way) and especially fun if you managed to stay on. He had this mischievious twinkle in his eye. And when he swore he would say "Pardon my French", don't know why. Both grandpa's raised boys into great men, and girls into great women.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Time is flying! This is what has been happening, sort of...

Let me start with my favorite picture of the last 2 weeks. C is ready for her second 1st day at dance. I moved her to a different school, the first was a madhouse, this teacher being the cheeriest person alive and maintaining smaller classes! She wants all little girls to feel special and pretty because soon enough, the world tries to make us believe otherwise. So here she is, with her bag that my mom made for her, her ballet slippers and tap shoes inside. E wanted to be a part of the picture and struck this funny little pose. Does he remind anyone else of one of the guys from Abbot and Costello? Is this who I mean or is there some other guy? Let me know if you think of who it is.

She loved her dance class, is taking it with a new little friend named Rosie. It turns out that one of our family friends is also in it. Small world. Here is proof that C has a softer side. You just have to pay attention. She initiated this hug. The other day, she waited for E to come out of the restroom with her arms wide, embraced him, and then took his hand and led him down the hall. She did this to one of his friends also, bringing him upstairs. Josh didn't know what to think of it.

Friday C had her first haircut (well, by someone other than me). She sat still, with a little embarrassed grin, and when the gal had spent all of 7 minutes trimming 3 inches off and putting long layers in it, smiled big and jumped out of the seat to have a look at all the fingernail polish.

About an hour later, we picked up E from school and headed to Gardner Village to meet my mom, my sister-in-law (D's sister), her mother-in-law and of course my nieces. My sis in law, Missy, is due in about 10 days. She isn't finding out what she is having. This I find terribly annoying. But I guess we will find out soon. It is fun to have her and her family now living nearby, we get to see them and spend time with them more often and we love it.

GV is a historic old mill and community of homes turned retail shops. During Halloween they have tons of big and little witches throughout the area. It was a madhouse. We managed to have some treats, look at a lot of witches, take some pictures, ride some ponies and then before any of us adults had a breakdown, leave. My mom is the real trooper. She is about to have surgery on her back, it is not fun for her to walk around, carry kids, sit and feed ducks with kids.... but she came because she knows she won't be doing any of these things with my kids for a while. She kept E happy, helped all the grandkids (including the grandkids in law, or whatever they are). My kids absolutely adore her and so do I.

Now for the cutest 6 month old, he has just had his first taste of solids. I start my kids later because of food allergy issues. So J had his first taste this weekend. He loved the first 3 bites and then just wanted the spoon. The two older kids wanted to help, which as most of you know, isn't much help. And of course, him being my third, he hasn't tried again. Poor kid, who doesn't get the attention or the play time he really deserves - he really probably does because we all pay so much attention to him. I just remember with my first, everything they did was seen by me, all the time. With my second, she got attention from all of us, and now I guess J gets a lot of attention just different amounts from 4 different family members. Oh, the rambling is beginning. I must stop now.

I've talked about our great neighborhood before. A couple moved in last year and we love them. They grew some pumpkins this year in their backyard and decided to invite the littler kids in the neighborhood and their parents over for a picking party.

They had paints for the pumpkins, a pinata, treats, the works. Did I mention that they don't have any kids yet? It was so much fun. C chose the outcasted ugly duckling pumpkin. D still wants to throw it away, but no, all pumpkins deserve to be loved. I wish I had a better picture of it. It is so misshapen, but she loved it and painted it pink. The kids had fun, the parents too. Can't wait until next year. The mother of the friend who threw the picking party (she also lived up our street) commented later that she couldn't believe I would put these painted pumpkins on my porch. She said she didn't think I was the type to allow these "non-perfect" pumpkins to mix with my fun, perfect pumpkins - implying that I want my display perfect (which it never is) and my kids' art didn't mix. I let her know that I have three kids, my house is a child's house. I love how they express themselves. And truly, I can't believe she thinks I really have it all together enough to have a perfect front porch. Rambling again. Going to bed.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Flashback Friday!!!

This week's theme is Homemade. This picture when I was 2 years old. Caroline is sitting on my lap right now as I type saying this picture is of her. Probably because she is always trying to be right in the action when I am cooking. My mom says that when I was little I always was right next to her in the kitchen, always wanting to see things cooking. I actually do enjoy cooking now, from scratch. I do not like baking. This could be because I am awful at baking, I can overbake, underbake, ruin any given recipe, even rice crispy treats. It usually stresses me out to have Caroline near the stove or oven when I am cooking - I can just see her touching a hot pot, the hot oven. This might be the good excuse I am looking for when I fail to cook for the family.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Finished a project...

in less than a month. Something I haven't been able to do for the past 6 months. I went to Art Market yesterday, intending to just browse, but someone was selling oilcloth and I saw this fun black and white toile and decided to make a tablecloth for my kitchen. I bought some yardage, got home, used a children bowl as a guide and scalloped the edges. I went online to Sew, Mama, Sew to see a how-to on sewing with oilcloth - thank you for the practical and uncomplicated advice. I then decided that it wasn't wide enough, so I went back to the market, bought some black and white polka dot, used a salad plate as a guide and scalloped those edges. I thought it would look fun with some large pom-poms in black so I went to one of my favorite quilting stores and found some and also found this beautiful green ric rac. I bought enough of each, the pom-poms were going to go over the ric rac that was going to hide my seam that attached the polk dots to the toile. But then I decided that the kids might have a little too much fun taking the pom off of the pom-poms, so I ended up with just the ric rac.

I actually need a pattern or appreciate a pattern because when I make up my own it takes me a long time. My brain just doesn't process all the numbers, the dimensions, how the end product should look. So when I measured the table, then measured the cloth, then measured the trim....trying to figure out the dimensions, the yardage needed...it hurt my brain. I had to talk it out with my husband, who couldn't figure out what I meant by inches and yards and this fitting this and that fitting that. As you can tell from my rambling, I tend not to make sense out loud.

But here is the finished project, completed in just over 24 hours, interrupted by kids' baths, bedtimes, time with the hub, sleep, soccer, lunch with friends from out of town, grocery shopping, not being able to find the adapter for my sewing machine (I think I have bought about 6 in the past year, and they all disappear), dinner, kids' bedtimes. Good time if you ask me. My cousin left a comment on my last post about her cute daughter saying "I made it!" when she finished a bracelet and that is how I feel, "I made it!". I just can't believe I have finished a project. Although, it isn't quite finished, I may need to glue a little here, tuck a little there...

And what to do with 8 yards of big pom-poms?

Friday, October 5, 2007

Flashback Friday!

This week's theme is about your grandmother's and what they taught you with their craftiness. Let me begin with the lady on the left. This is Cora, my mom's paternal grandmother. She was Dutch, and if I remember correctly, taught my mom to knit when she was three. She also taught her many other needle-using craftiness, which in turn, was passed on to me. The woman on the right is my maternal Gramma. She is crafty, still sewing all of us grandchildren and great-grandkids something when we marry and for Christmas. So mom learned from her, once again helping me. Not pictured is Gramma's mom who was an amazing artist, the blood running through my mom's veins and most, if not all of her siblings. This is a picture of my Gramma (same as up above in the wedding gown), my brother Joe and me at Sea World, I really don't know the year, maybe 1987. Do you remember me telling you about my brother's daring fashion sense? Here it
is in action. My mom grew up with 8 other siblings, she sewed a lot of her own clothing, she still sews all the time, knits, crochets, needlepoint, needlepunch, draws, paints - all these talents which have slightly trickled down to me, given to her by her grandmothers and her mom.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Things I am eyeing this week...

So tonight I am finally moving Joey into his crib, yes almost 6 months after he was born. Before Eli was born, my uncle made me this beautiful cradle, all wood, even the mechanics of it. It has been one of the most cherished gifts I have ever received. I love this cradle, it fits nicely into my room, the babies have all been in it for 5-6 months. I am always a little reluctant to have them move into their crib. I love having them near, I love having them use this gift, I am lazy and want to be able to feed them right when they wake up.
So, tonight's Etsy review is on the beautiful baby gifts.

She's Crafty is the beautiful shop with knit gifts. I love this little hat, I love the face of this gorgeous model. What I love more is that she has the pattern for this hat on her blog, http://shescraftyness.blogspot.com/ . Plus another pattern for some booties. What I like more than free patterns? Buying the finished product from a talented gal.

Eli has two small blankets that we call his bees. We have two of them because if one ever got dirty, it was not good. He still, at the age of five, sleeps with both of them. He has to have them when he is upset. The great thing is that these little blankies travel well. Itsy Bitsy Babies has some beautiful made "bees". Give these as gifts, even better than one is two identical blankies.

I am totally into this particular baby clothing item lately. I have bought some of them and LOVE them. Caroline has some pink ones with skull and bones on them - she wears them to dance. Joey has quite a few pairs. I love them because here in Utah, the weather is a little unreliable this time of year. He wears them to sleep- easy to change diapers, under shorts-it's a little chilly but not enough for pants, plus when he starts crawling these will save his knees on our hardwood and tile floors. I recommend Fate Goddess' shop.

I think this is a great idea. These bundlies from Kozy Niche look comfy and cozy for a little baby. Plus they are shaped like little stars, how cute. You just put your baby in and they stay warm, and look super sweet doing it.

I just found this shop, Apple Blossom Baby, and I must say I love it. A chime ball? These balls are stuffed and have a little chime in the center that makes a sweet little sound. Great for rattling or tossing. What a great gift. Cute burp clothes too.

Oh, and I think these baby gifts are so perfect. My mom has been making these kind of plates for years. I think my friends have babies just to get a baby birth plate. These that are in my shop right now aren't the personalized ones, but they can be ordered. Sorry to put the plug in my store, but I love these plates like crazy.

And every gift needs to be beautifully wrapped. Erin Ruth's shop showcases her art design talents. Have a look.