Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New to Etsy

A gal I have done a boutique or two with just opened her own Etsy shop. She has great jewelry, and she is such a nice person - two important things. Have a look at her shop - jamjewelry designs. Great for gifts or a gift for yourself, you can personalize any of her stamped jewelry. Valentine's day is coming up and this would be a great gift for your significant other to have made for you with significant initials or names to hang about your neck...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Joey might be the cutest elf ever, or Eli, or Caroline...

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

I can't believe I haven't posted this yet. It makes me laugh all the time. I have done it with my kids and their friends, my family.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

What I Want For Christmas....

I agree, it is too late to get any of this stuff, but my cousin Tia has asked me to be superficial, here are the rules to this tag:

So here goes, these are her instructions: This is strictly superficial. I want you guys to tell me about your desire for an angora sweater or china plates. If you are tagged you have to list at least ten material wishes and tag ten people. And I am many things, and superficial is definitely one of them.

I want anything about of Whitney Smith Pottery. Anything, mostly everything.

And, let's hit Anthropologie.

Plain and Fancy Dress

Furniss Cowgirl Boots

Amelie Sofa

And I would love a huge family session with Miss Paige, the photographer. I'm serious. I want her to give me quarterly photo sessions, bringing the personality of my kids out on her photos. And she can make me look ok, chronicling my aging. And Dave's (he doesn't age).

I really want Dansko clogs. I hear they are super comfortable. My aunt, who has the same foot issues I have (very high arch,), says that after you put them on for a while they are super comfortable.

I want a professional organizer.

I want someone to clean my home twice a month.

I want new windows. All through my house. The kind that look beautiful, keep my house beautifully warm and beautifully cool, when needed.

I want my basement gutted and built to perfection. I guess we could do my main floor also.

And, at the risk of being way too greedy, I really want a Mac laptop. Really want one. It might help me make more friends.

You are tagged:

All ten of you that read my blog. Come and tell me when you have completed this.

I've done it

I've gone to the other side. Five minutes ago, I called Eli into the kitchen and told him that is he didn't start treating his sister better and being happier, he would start losing Christmas presents. I've become one of those moms. My promise to myself when I was 7 has been broken. (Caroline got the same warning, don't fret that I am favoring the fairer sex, Joey seems to be the only child taking me seriously!) If things don't change, Eli may be getting this and only this on Christmas morning.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Serious Neglect

It is Joey's second Christmas and I finally have made him a stocking.

Eli's has lots of sequins that have been plucked off the year he was 2 - maybe someday I will get to sewing some back on.

Mine and Caroline's are very girly, but at least hers has doves on it. And Dave's will be renovated this next year. He has never liked it and says it doesn't look like Christmas and you can tell it really bothers him, seriously. So he will have a Christmas-y one for next year. I hope my kids keep them forever. I still have the one that my mom made for me, Eli thinks if I hang it I will get more goodies - maybe we'll try it.
Here is a holiday question for you. I saw on a blog (dandee designs) I follow that she does a certain Christmas tradition. The kids get 4 things from the parents: something they need, want, read and wear. I decided to try it. I can't tell you how much simpler it has made this Christmas. I might be one of the worst gift givers in the world and this has helped reign in my busy mind and settle it down to focus on these things. I highly suggest it. Back to my question: does Santa give your child the BEST gift or does the gift of honor come from you? Eli has only asked Santa for Pokemon cards. I have bought him something that he is going to love and frankly, want him to know it is from Dave and I. So, what do you do and why?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The end of little elves everywhere

Have you heard about this? I'm just going to copy and paste from a friend's blog because I am being lazy and tired but already have written my congressman and senators and signed the petition. The jest of it is that unless you want to buy strictly from Mattel or Fisher Price (totally great companies, but there is more out there, buy maybe not for long), you need to contact the right people and get this act shut down.

Thanks Jenny.

The Death of Homemade!!!
I was sent this today and thought I would share it as it affects so many of my wholesalers and friends -
Below is an excerpt from 5 Minutes for Mom, (, and a link to a petition. The CPSIA is a very real situation that will cause an unthinkable number of companies to cease business. Mine is one of those companies. I did the math, and in order to continue offering my current collection I would have to spend far beyond $52,000 in testing. Beyond this, it will destroy the creativity and uniqueness of our industry, forcing our children to be surrounded in mass produced factory products.Please do what you can to spread the word. Post to your blogs, send emails, write letters, and please take a few minutes to sign the petition.

I am a mother.
Nothing matters to me more than the safety of my children and other children. But I can also recognize when a flawed, reactionary law puts countless responsible, business owners at risk of unfairly losing their businesses.

The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) may have been drafted with good intentions, but along the road it became a law that is impossible to fairly implement.
If it is put into action on February 10, 2009 as it currently is planned, it will have devastating repercussions to both large and small businesses and basically end the handmade goods industry.

The CPSIA bans lead and phthalates in toys (obviously a good thing) but it mandates enormously expensive third-party testing and certification for all products intended for children under the age of 12.
It’s the ridiculous expense of the third-party testing and certification that will close businesses and make it illegal for work-at-home moms and dads to sell their handmade goods.We will all be affected if this law is not changed.
As parents, consumers, business owners and employees we will all suffer from the economic mess that this law will trigger. Not to mention we won’t even be able to buy handmade baby blankets!February 10, 2009 is already being dubbed
National Bankruptcy Day.
We must all take action now to stop this law from destroying responsible businesses.
How to Help:
If you are an American, write to your United States Congress Person and Senator and the CPSC to request changes in the CPSIA.
You can
find your Congress Person here and Senator here.
Write to the CPSC here.
Find a sample letter at
The Handmade Toy Alliance.Sign the iPetition for the CPSIA Impacts on Children’s Apparel Industry
Post your concerns on your blog, Facebook or Myspace page.
Send an email directly to the CPSC or contact chairperson Nancy Nord at 301-504-7923Twitter: Search using the #CPSIA hashtagJoin the
CPSIA Facebook Group
Join these Etsy folks and send a handmade toy to Congressman Rush.
Learn more about the law and how you can help change it. Here are a few of the many blogs that have helpful resources:
National Bankruptcy Day, The Smart Mama, Cool Mom Picks, Z RecommendsThank youSusan
Warm Regards,Jesseca Bellemare
Owner and Designer
Quilt Baby

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sweet time of year

Most of you know I don't eat sweets, I haven't since Ash Wednesday of 2008 which according to my calendar was Feb 6 because Easter was super early this year. Yeah, it is my own version of Mormon Lent. I usually do it each year, unless I am pregnant or nursing (although this year, I was nursing and nursing and nursing....). I do it just to see if I can kick the habit for a bit. I don't have any self control except for when I do this Lent. It usually only lasts those 40 days. Crazy. And since then, on Easter I had a bit of Angel Food cake with strawberries, but it didn't taste so great and I have had a skittle and maybe an accidental lick of my fingers to clean up something and I allow myself a certain type of dark chocolate, but that was added later. I stuck with it because I think it helped me kick those last few Joey pounds out of my body. And I am not telling you this to be boastful - there are plenty of other habits I should kick that are still lingering about, like that whole clutter habit, but again I am off-track, assuming there is a track. And, I kind of think people are definately in awe of my ability to swear off treats - in awe I say. Just kidding, but I do have people trying to get me to eat sweets, which in some cultures could be considered rude... Being off of sweets also upped my real fruit intake, something that helps me feel better and something I was not great at. Why eat a real watermelon when those little sour watermelons gave me so much more?

So I am downstairs, with my Diet Coke (because I don't have a lot of vices, DC is fine, really Mom) avoiding the wonderment of gifted holiday sweets upstairs. I am usually just fine all year long. We have a candy jar full of M & M's, Hershey kisses, gummy worms, whatever the kids want. There are cookies, fruit snacks, sugared kool-aid a plenty upstairs and in my storage. My kids and my candy-laced husband do not want for sweets, I am just mostly immune to them. Until 3 days ago when some well-meaning neighbors brought over some chocolate mint truffles, and then later, more kindly neighbors bringing over pretzels (our usual neighbor gift, those tramps!) but these were covered in not only chocolate but CARAMEL! Weakness. Then there was the beautifully displayed glass plate with caramels, chocolate dipped strawberries, dipped pastries all gloriously wrapped in plastic and ribbon. The nerve! They must really like us. Luckily for me, my kids realized that mint truffles are the, Joey is eating caramel and chocolate covered pretzels for breakfast as we speak, and I am pretty sure Caroline will be delighted to have her two favorite things - chocolate and strawberries - together in one taste explosion that might just turn her into a junkie.

That is just the tip of the iceberg, my friends. Dave is not a fan of caramel, so that is tough, the kids can only eat so many homemade cookies in a given day (if it has raisins, it counts as a breakfast food, right?) and frankly, we have many great neighbors so I don't see this ending until maybe Christmas Eve. My family eats more sweets during this holiday season than at any other time of the year. And we are making our dipped pretzels on Monday night, which Dave loves to make extras and eat and eat. And I might just be making caramel popcorn today for a shindig tonight, and what if I have to taste it to make sure the consistency is good? I truly don't want to. Not that I was an addict before, I was a firm believer in the power of the sweet tart, but I didn't over indulge, much. But I have been clean for quite some time and I really don't want to screw that up. Giving up sweets makes me feel justified in partaking of salty goodness, which is where the happiness really is anyway. Nuts, salt and pepper chips, vinegar chips, chips. In any case, this has been the first time, minus the first 21 days of Lent, that I have been so absolutely tempted and it is not enjoyable. Why not just eat, you ask? I don't want to, not really, not in the grand scheme of things. And in the really grand scheme of things, this is no big deal but for now, it's a dealio.

Here is where I may sound like a jerky, holiday-hating, low-blood sugar fool. I kind of wish the madness would stop. I kind of wish our neighborhood would just choose a charity, donate to it and just give an extra hug to show that we love to be neighbors (not everyone should give hugs, some people don't love hugs, maybe just an extra warm smile with sincerity in the eyes would do?) I mean, who has the time to make all these goodies, then deliver them in the cold, snowy darkness? Why don't choose another time of the year, that isn't swelling with festivities, to show our appreciation for our good neighbors? Like June 25 - nice date, in the middle of the year, kids are out of school, the nights are nice for walking and delivering candy, there isn't so much hullabaloo going on. People may need the extra love right at that time, after they have recovered from the sugarfest that is the holidays. I kind of wish I didn't have to worry about delivering my homemade goodies to upwards of (insert unreal number here, no really, unreal) good neighbors - not because I don't love them, we live in the best neighborhood in the freaking world - but because it causes me stress and I don't enjoy more holiday related stress, I only enjoy a moderate amount, and stress makes me more prone to writing run-on sentences which that symptom is manifesting itself, isn't it? And here is the real reason that I am afraid to admit for fear of sounding a bit self-righteous (but I am not). I think that we all have enough. We have plenty of sweets and goodness and others don't and I would rather donate the money I spend on neighborly gifts to possibly the food bank for one, because I don't know how much gooey goodness, much less nutritious goodness, some others are getting this year (was this a run on sentence?). This year especially, when prices are high and times are tough. And to be honest, because of high prices and tight times, we can't do both - donate and spread sugar goodness to well-deserving neighbors, I mean. I have mulled this around for weeks, and have come to the conclusion (with Dave's input) that we want our neighbors to know we love and appreciate them and Dave thinks a little note explaining what we would like to do (show appreciation, minus the sugar bugs) might come off wrong. So some sugar love it is and maybe a donation will be made at another time. I realize I may be coming off as a little ungrateful - I am not. I am so grateful for this holiday, the neighbors, the friends, even the grumpy neighbors - let me set that record straight. And maybe I'll change my Scrooge-ish attitude about it and maybe I will make gooey goodness to deliver on June 25th and hope my neighbors remember my token of love December 25th 2009.
*** I realize I may sound like I am trying to rule the world and insist that if my neighbors bring us something it should be savory, like a chile relleno from Fiesta Mexicana, or that my neighbors don't have free will. Bring on the candy - the whole family loves it. I just haven't been tempted so many goodies in a long time. Maybe I should just direct you to this one paragraph and have you skip the rest of the post.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

In the shop

Just in time for Christmas or a New Year's Day gift, or Valentine's or maybe an upcoming birthday, we just added some more gadget bags. They are good for cell phones, iPods, especially cameras. More to come.

Find them here, of course.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Pretty Little Things

They say diamonds are a girl's best friend, and it would definitely be a great gift but I have an idea or two of what a gal in my position would like. Husbands, are you paying attention?

My friend is off at Disneyland and while she is away, her gift from her husband for either Christmas or an anniversary (I am not certain and it is beside the all important point) has just cleaned her house top to bottom - crown molding to floorboards. All that glitters isn't gold, but a glittery counter top is worth it's weight, ask any housewife.
I have had my home cleaned a couple of times by someone other than me and someone not related to me and let me tell you, it feels so good. Sure, you feel a little impractical, a little lazy even, maybe even a little bad about someone else wiping sticky fingerprints from the hallways, but only for a moment. And, you are paying said wiper well. It was so nice to use those hours that I would have been deep cleaning for other things, like playing with my kids and not cringing every time you had to ask them to stop walking on your nice clean and wet floors until they dried. I think what I really noticed is that I didn't resent the maintenance of the clean home that I just bought. It didn't hurt as bad when I saw orange juice splatter on the floor or toothpaste smeared on the bathroom counter because I wasn't the one who had just spit shined it. It wasn't me that spent hours on my knees cleaning. I know it was paid for out of my household income, but I could not have loved it more. So this is really the gift that keeps on giving.

Ooh, and I would love a steamer. Not just any steamer, one that gets wrinkles out of clothing but also has the special nozzle that reaches into the corners of your bathroom and gets those germs you see on those infomercials and episodes of Oprah where she tells you what is lurking on your counter top that you can't see but might kill you.

And if you want to throw in a couple of diamonds, no one is stopping you.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Upside down

I may have posted pictures before of Caroline's amazing ability to pop up in a head-stand at any time, but it is a 100 times a day occurrence ever since we read some book about Angelina Ballerina not being able to do a headstand. Caroline started working on it and now can do one without a second's hesitation. In church (well, primary) on Sunday I was organizing something at the back before we began and I look up front and all I see is some pointed toes in silver glitter shoes. Now before anyone thinks we are super Britney Spear's immodest, Caroline either has tights, leggings or bloomers on because all she wears is dresses. We cover our girl parts here at this house!

She does them on any surface, last night she did one on my stomach and didn't need the wall to help stabilize (it looks like I have steadying her, I'm not). She has some serious core strength. We may have to put out a fitness video.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Dinner Party Frock GIVEAWAY!!!!

Dinner Party Frock GIVEAWAY!!!!

Oh My! Caroline really needs one of these dresses, or all three and I think I need one too, so beautiful! To see more about it, click on link above. Grosgrain is the best.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Thank you, I love it.

Every so often I do the Things I am eyeing this week.... deelio. The last time I did it I mentioned Besem Natural Scents and their soaps that I thought looked delicious. Well, Wendy at Besem's so kindly sent me some cute little soaps as a sweet thank you and I must say they are just as good in person. My personal favorite is pink grapefruit, but that is because it is my scent of choice in any situation. The other two were wonderful and I really like how they feel on my skin. So, go forth and stock your cupboards and stockings with this great product and be happy because 10% of her profits go to orphan relief - win win for all. And thanks Wendy, very kind of you to do.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Vacation from Vacation

Am I the only one that needs a vacation from my "vacation"? We had a great time in Texas, it is always great to be able to spend a lot of time with family, to see the cousins play and interact, to stay up late talking to adults or playing games. But it is hard on me. My kids don't sleep well, I don't sleep well, we have a hard time getting back on schedule. We are getting there, but slowly.

The second day we were they, there was some serious yard debris to be burned. Dave went out to prep the area, with some help from Eli, Caroline and our handsome nephew G. The kids did a good job of keeping away from hot spots, they threw dirt of the grass that Dave was pre-burning so as to keep the fire from spreading.

Finally, the flames caught and who comes wandering out? Archie/Andromeda the Armadillo. I can't tell if he was charred in the fire or if this was his normal variegated shades - grey, dark grey and pink. I am quite fascinated with him/her - I really wanted to touch it and see how it moved, rub it to feel texture and to see how much was char and how much was natural coloring. It was not to happy about losing his home. Dave hopes there weren't any babies in there - way to put a damper on a good farm fire. The fire was kept going for about 3-4 days, a second smaller one burned for about one day. All 11 older cousins helped clean up the debris from around the land to be burned.

I am afraid my years of Eli wearing cowboy galoshes are scarce (notice them in the pictures with him near the fire)- and I love them on him so much. He has had a pair since he was a wee little cowpoke. Joey just got his first pair of boots and as you can see, Caroline sports her pinks.

On Thanksgiving, Dave piled in the car with his dad Mike and little sis Lauren to head 5 hours to the UT v. Texas A&M game. Not that Texas A&M could have come close to winning, but rivalry games are always fun to attend. Dave, Mike and Lauren sat with about 98,000 of their closest friends. Maybe 95,000 were friends, the others were Aggies. I love Longhorn pride.

It was hard to come home without stowing away the cousins. Eli is lucky to have 4 within 6 months of his birthday (he is the youngest of the "quads"), Caroline is the oldest of the "triplets" and I guess Joey is a triplet too - he has a couple cousins 6 or so months younger than him. The quads were out of sight the whole time, playing together, it was fun to watch.

****Yesterday I posted this as the Longhorns playing Texas Tech, duh - that is the name that must not be mentioned, or the game that must not be referenced! I have changed it to the correct team - thanks for the note, anonymous, whoever you are.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Birthday Joe!
You can read more about him here

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Yesterday, I was just grateful to make it to our destination with my sanity. I think we did, but that might be my stronger personality talking and taking over while the real Whitney curls up in a corner with a Diet Coke.

We are in the country of Texas. That's right, Texas, where the stars are plentiful and the roadkill is too. Dave's family has a "farm" in East Texas, about 20 miles from the nearest town of 4000. It is lovely out here. I wish I had my camera thingy that lets me download to this computer, but I don't. This morning, mist and fog everywhere, then it burns off around 9:30am and we had a beautiful sunshiny day on our own little 68 acres (I asked Dave why they call it a farm, not a ranch, since we are surrounding by cattle ranches and even rent the land out to ranchers and he said that they didn't want to seem snobby calling 68 acres a ranch - that is only for those with a lot of land, go figure.

But it smells fresh and clean out here, even when you are walking by the cows, who stare at you from afar, all of them, which makes me wonder what they are thinking and if they know I don't know how to milk them. The mornings are slow, the day has a different tempo, the family congregates and we just chill - sort of.

There is still Wii and guitar hero and right now I can hear Caroline crying and fighting with her cousin Riley, but thank goodness for Play-Do and trampolines. There is still phone reception, wireless internet (thank goodness!) and there is still satellite tv.

Dave just burned two HUGE piles of old wood, big trees, I will add pictures later. Eli has been running non-stop with his cousin Grant, Joey has only gotten one bloody lip and then crashed on his head as I was telling Dave to look at his lip. Right now, Dave is outside with the boys taking slow rides on the 4 wheeler (helmets of course, we aren't hillbillies!) and hanging out with his dad.

We all get to spend time together in one house, which is sometimes a bit too cozy but great at the same time because then we can stay up late, after the kids have gone to bed, and play games, or talk or battle at the Wii.

So, in short, I am grateful for holidays that bring everyone together in fresh air. I hope your week has taken a slower beat like mine.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Not that this is hard for me to think of things I am grateful for, it is hard for me to be sincere and not be sarcastic! I should probably do this way more often throughout the year.

I am still sick, so I am really grateful for Tylenol nighttime cold meds. I am also grateful for sweet hugs from the kids, Dave taking care of everything.

But I am super grateful for teeth. I used to bite my nails relentlessly and my mom would bribe me with things to stop. I don't know what got me to stop but I don't bite often anymore. And never nervously. Why I am reminded of this is because Eli has been asking to go to the dentist because he likes the coin machine with prizes that he gets after AND because his teeth are great, never a cavity (knock on wood) or problem. But I did find out that he has two loose teeth smack dab in the middle of the front of the mouth. He said he knew but didn't tell me because of his immense fear of losing his teeth (remember this memorable outburst?). He still won't let me feel. The hygienist thinks it is a matter of weeks before he wants his two front teeth for Christmas. I love his little front teeth, they are perfect little squares, but I will learn to let go. The other day Caroline asked me if her teeth were loose. I told her know and she said good because if they fall out she will scream and cry like Eli did. I had to tell her that it isn't a requirement to freak out, she cocked her head and replied,"Good, I will think about it."

I love the dentist. Maybe it is because until after Eli was born, I had never had a cavity. They throwing up 16 times a day for 21 weeks may have led to my tooth decay, but I am told it is worth it (I know it is worth it!!!). I love the way that my teeth feel all clean and perfect after the dentist. I always notice teeth on others. My cousin Erin quite possibly has the best set I have seen, they are beautiful, lucky girl. Mine do ok, I have had only 2 cavities, no braces and they are still functioning. They are so useful for eating food, breaking off price tags, opening soda bottles, nibbling babies, filling out mouths with a toothy grin, getting money from the tooth fairy, holding on to combs while fixing Caroline's hair - I could go on and on and on. In short, thank goodness for teeth!

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Thanks Dad for taking me to the game! Thanks Utes for playing such a great game!

Friday, November 21, 2008


I am so grateful for my health and often take it for granted until my sinuses are so plugged, my head is so achy, my throat so scratchy that I beg for it to return soon. And I am grateful for The Backyardigans who keep my babies occupied so that we can all chill a little until my head gets back to normal. And I am still grateful for pomegranates, my fingers are stained and I don't care because I am still eating one each night.

And GO UTES!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008


I am grateful that we have neighbors that are friends that will let us drag them bowling even if it is just for an hour. Please notice Caroline's bowling outfit, she chose it herself and declared it the perfect bowling costume. She would throw the ball down the alley and then tap her foot while she waited and waited for it to hit the pins and then she would jump up and down with her hands pumping in the air. It was really funny because Rob does the exact same thing.

Joey is sporting his Justin Bobby manpris or as well call them in our house,shants, so in style.

I do have to add that I am a horrible bowler, I really am not good at all. Dave is a great bowler. He scored a turkey and Caroline is still asking when we get to go and get his turkey so we can hold it.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I am grateful for these types of conversations and you are grateful I don't document them with visuals.

Just now, Caroline called me into the bathroom.
C- Mom, look at this poop heart!
Me - What?
C - Come look at this poop heart. I pooped and it looked like a heart. My body knows I like hearts.
And behold, there was a poop in the toilet that was the perfect shape of a heart (the shape, not the organ).

Then the other day.
C- Mom, pooping makes my legs so tired.
She had been sitting on the toilet for a bit of time and her legs had fallen asleep.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


I am grateful for etsy, and for stocking stuffers. Tis the season.

I found this bracelet from Eastern Sky. I love that you can choose from many colors and that this bracelet is made from hand-dyed wool, very hands on from start to finish.

I am still amazed when you can find great personalized items at great prices like Font Supply has. I think it would be so cute to spell out your family name, child's name or just stick these initials in the stockings.

Nice smelling soaps and candles are always a good idea. I like how natural and just utilitarian these guest soaps from Besem Natural Scents look. I am sure that they smell extremely good, too.

So many pretty things in Karlita's shop, between beautiful things to adorn your neck, rings for your fingers or these fun textile brooches.

And these pretty little button icicles from P8 Button Art would be nice adorning any home this holiday.

And every one can use more petite little bowls to place the little guest soaps on, or put your rings on when you take them off to wash dishes or wash your hands. I like these from Lynn Cardwell Pottery.

And I just found 3 Fun felt jewelry. Check out this ring and about 30 other fantastic pieces that anyone would like to get in their stocking.