Sunday, November 29, 2009

DONE!


It's done, it's done! Hooray it's done!

Actually, I've been done for a week or more, but struggled to find a time when Hubby was gone so I could take a picture.

7 afghans in 11 months. Whew!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Maniac sadness and joy!

I have done "real" maniac shopping exactly once. After Buddy-boy was born, we really needed some not pink blankets (since he would spit up all over 2 or more a day!). Joann's typically has flannel for $.99 on black Friday, and I did the whole get up at 4 am thing to wait in line. It was kind of fun - since Hubby could stay home with the little ones!

Since then, I have usually gone shopping on Black Friday, but never that early again. I just didn't have it in me to go with my little ones.

But this year there were so many things I REALLY wanted. I made a list, and decided to do my shopping online! JOY!

Except, then I found out the all the things I wanted were being offered in store only. But I was celebrating Thanksgiving with my Mom, a full hour drive away from a Target, and a good 20 minutes away from Walmart. Despair. No goodies possible.

JOY! Happy Mom was going to to Target early and could pick up my "just-for-me" Christmas presents!

Despair - she called and said that our Target didn't have it.

JOY! Mom and I decided to go to Walmart to try for the awesome card table deal!

Despair: they sold out 10 minutes before we got there.

Joy! I did at least snag the $3 pjs (for next year's presents) and $4 blankets (also for next Christmas), and party favors for Buddy's birthday party in July. So nothing great for this year, but I've got a great start for next year!

But I was really bummed about Psych. Have you ever watched that show? The. Best. Ever.

And then today, JOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I'm a fan on Facebook. And they happened to post that Amazon had some great deals. And I just checked - ALL THREE SEASONS FOR 12.99 EACH!!!! The same amazing price that Target had. And they included the first season too. Seasons 1 and 3 won't get here until after Christmas, but since it's just for me, who cares!

Slight despair: I spent too much at Walmart. If I buy all three life is going to be tight. But we're spending a lot of time at family's in the next few weeks, so I did some great justifying.

We may need to eat a bit more Ramen, and get rather creative with some other meals, but I'm getting three seasons of Psych for less than the cost of one.

Life is good!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Winners!

Ok, first of all, I feel the need to give a giant raspberry to all.

Pththththththththththttththth!

Seriously, guys! I know I don't have a lot of readers, but only two of you even tried this contest?!?!?!? What is up with that! I was really hoping for some great names to wow my hubby with.

Well, since only two people entered, and I didn't want to be accused of nepotism, and since I wouldn't even have to pay for postage if I send one to Happy Mom (and I had all the stuff to make two), both of you guys are winners!

Thanks for playing along. At least I know two of you wanted to play with me!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

My new goal


Oh yah. I'd love for that to be about me!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

100th post!

Whew! We made it guys! Thanks for sticking around with me. I know my blog following is tiny, but hey, it's fun to have a place to spill your guts and people actually still talk to you.

As apposed to if I was to talk this way in the real world, where people would at best meet me with blank stares and at worst start talking very slowly about "special places" to put someone like me.

I've totally wanted to do a 100th post contest for a while. Especially after InkMom's (which was so fun!). Of course, I don't have something near as tricky to figure out. I've been racking my brain for what to do, and finally decided on a name contest.

See, in case you didn't recall, I'm having a baby sometime in the next 2 months. We're hoping for full term here, but there is some precedence for early. Like, maybe born new years eve early.

But I digress. For the first time, we did not find out the gender of this little one. It's driving my hubby crazy, but the gender wasn't even written down on my chart, so at this point we can't even ask. We also don't have names picked out.

Well, let me clarify that. I have a girl's name I LOVE, and a boys name I really like. Hubby just can't agree with me. He also can't come up with anything he likes better.

So here's the contest: Submit two baby names (1 boy and 1 girl). You also must do an ounce of research and figure out what the names actually mean ('cause that's important to me) Also, your best idea for a "blog name" since we're attempting to keep things private around here. I'll draw a name out of a hat for the winner (and hopefully can convince Hubby of some great name ideas!)

Oh, and the prize.
Last year, I posted instructions for how to make this: (sorry Paily, I know you already have one!) I am giving away one put together mini muffin tin advent calendar (which would be all the squares already assembled, a cute little bag to hold them, and a ribbon to hang it up with) This does NOT include the actual tin, since I'm cheap and don't want to spend that much to ship the puppy!

It's really cute (cuter in person than my lousy camera skills show). And fun, and the kids love the whole thing. You know you want one.

Contest runs until 10 ish on Monday November 23 . . . . .(or just before I go to bed), and I'll announce the winner the next day. That way if I actually remember to ship it, it can get to you in time to be actually used for THIS Christmas.

Unless of course I end up going into labor or some crazy thing. Then you guys are going to have to wait.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tell me what I want . . .

Being married is an awesome, strange experience. I love my Hubby - he's the best. But there are times that the whole blending traditions thing gets a little strange.

Growing up Christmas was a big deal. We had traditions for EVERYTHING - special plates and cups for Christmas eve, and again for Christmas morning, certain foods at certain times, the treat jar, Mom crying as she told stories, everything was done each and every year. But presents themselves were almost secondary. We tried for thoughtful, often homemade (all though at times the result was just silly and cheap!). The spending time together and remembering all the traditions was more important than the what.

Hubby's family is pretty much opposite. Growing up they would go as a family to the mall, where mom and dad would hand each kid a BUNDLE of cash and they'd go their separate ways. It apparently wasn't uncommon for them to spend $75-$100 on each present. But the only tradition they have is they usually watch Ben Hur Christmas Eve.

I know. I think it's a strange tradition too, but it works for them.

Getting used to that whole "spend a ton of money on everyone" from that side of the family is still a work in progress. We don't spend that much on them, but they do tend to shower us with stuff.

A few years ago they asked us to start wish lists. It was originally just for the kids, but then Grandma and Grandpa asked for lists for me and Hubby. It's kind of fun. I try to have a big variety of price ranges, needs, and just silly stuff on it. I keep a file with ideas running all year long, and we've gotten some very fun things.

Hubby's Dad called today. They had received our wish lists, but he has a better idea for a present for me. (which, if I pick, I'm supposed to act very surprised and like we've never discussed this whole process). But it's pricey - REALLY pricey, and I don't think I'd get anything else on my list if I chose it.

What is it you ask? It's a Cricut.

Now, Cricuts have to be one of the coolest things on the planet. The possibilities of craftiness are endless. But they cost way too much for me to have ever really considered getting one. And on my wish list are a several things I need, and several more that I want (Memory mixer upgrade anyone!?).

I don't know which to choose. Really, I'm so torn here. I've already come up with 5 projects I could actually finish if I had one, and a dozen more ideas to start. But the wish list (that sander so I can refinish some furniture, speakers for my mp3 player, all of those books) . . . .

So, help me decide. If you were in my shoes, which would you choose. Help my indecisive pregnant brain function here please!

Monday, November 16, 2009

I think I might be crazy . . .

in more ways than just one. I have such great ideas, but this one is scaring me a tad.

So here's the story: I won a blog contest about a month ago - a $25 cert to Crafty Moms, home of the most awesome binky clips I've ever seen (and only $3!). They also have these really cute tutus. Well, Girly-Lou had been asking for a tutu for a few weeks, but I was too lazy to go to Joann's and buy the fabric to put it together. So I picked one out. Originally I was thinking birthday present. However, the color I picked was on back order and wouldn't come until the end of November. So I switched my thinking to Christmas and said great!

Then I started talking to Happy Mom. We started talking about how great it is to do cheap/easy/homemade presents for Christmas. She mentioned that she made a doll for her oldest girl one year. That got some wheels a turning. What if I made a doll for my girl? And picked up a little bit of tulle the same color as her new tutu so it was all cute and matchy? That would be lots of fun, right?

I started googling doll patterns. I found some ugly ones, some ok ones, and some I thought were pretty cute. But the cute ones meant buying a $10 pattern plus fabric. As much as I love my girl, the point of me making this doll was to save some cash, not spend the same amount as just picking up a doll.

But then I discovered Waldorf dolls. I think I'm in love. I found this one first. How adorable is that! But still, I wasn't sure if I could pull it off. But I kept on looking. And then I found this version. Supplies from the dollar store! That I can handle. I've also been reading a lot about re-purposing old clothes. I went through a charity pile and found some awesome possibilities for clothes. And then I found instructions to dye a t-shirt with tea for the skin material. So in reality, all I'm going to need to buy is some stuffing.

It won't be a true Waldorf doll, since those are supposed to only use natural materials and I've got a great conglomeration of stuff, but they are so flippin cute!

And then the more rational thoughts start pouring in. "You've never made a doll in your life. You've never made ANYTHING that had to be stuffed. And these aren't the easiest dolls for a first timer. Are you sure you can do this and not have it look like a stuffed potato? You already made 7 afghans this year, shouldn't you take a bit of a break? Plus you're pregnant, and to the point that you need to take a nap every day. And it's only 5 1/2 weeks until Christmas., 4 1/2 if you count the week you'll be in California and therefore unable to work on this. You'd only be able to work on this at night after the kids are in bed, and usually the only thing you want to do after 8:00 is read a bit and then sleep. And whenever Hubby is home, you usually feel like you should do something with him. All this means you have approximately 20 nights to work on this. Happy Mom admitted that she was up way late Christmas Eve sewing hair onto her homemade doll. Don't you think you'd end up in the same situation? IS IT EVEN WORTH IT?"

I'm honestly not sure. I guess we'll see. But I think I want to try. I'm off to pick up some stuffing . . . . If I produce something non-potatoish, I post some pictures.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

a bit of nostalgia

I come from a big family. There are 8 kids divided into two sets of 4. I'm part of the younger crew. In my half of the family, there were 4 of us born in 6 years. Combine that with a Dad who worked SUPER hard at two jobs to put food on the table (and often put in 12-16 hour days), one on one time with a parent was a rare commodity.

I suppose that's why I always loved school shopping so much. Even as I got older and school wasn't something I looked forward to starting so much, I always enjoyed the shopping part. It was a day just about you. Just you and Mom, gone for the whole morning. You laughed together. You got NEW clothes (not hand-me-downs!). New paper, pencils, crayons THAT YOU DIDN'T HAVE TO SHARE. And you even got to eat out with Mom.

My favorite place to pick for school shopping lunch was Hunk of Bread. Sadly, this wonderful shop has now gone out of business, but it was the best. The premise was simple: luscious homemade bread, sliced super thick (at least 1 1/2 inches), smothered with butter, then topped with either jam or ham and melted cheese. It melted in your mouth. They also had the best doughnuts ever.

I'm not sure what it was today. Maybe the drizzly weather. Maybe the lack of sleep. Maybe the 13 four year olds I teach at church that all acted as if they had been injected with caffeine and then brainwashed to forget any good behaviors they had ever exhibited. But today, I NEEDED to feel 7 years old again, kicking my heals against that vinyl booth, melted cheese dripping down my chin.

This was a fantasy too good to pass up. This must be done for dinner tonight! I made some bread - oh, it was just perfect too. Not to tough, raised like a dream. Perfect melty homemade bread. We were out of ham, so I voted for just melted cheese.

Look at that gooiness. The kids decided to go for the sugar route. Judging by that schmear all over Buddy's face, I think they're fans.

And yes, I even kicked my feet back and forth. And just for a minute, I was 7 years old again, the biggest worry in my life which box of crayons to splurge on.

Life is good.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Wow, is has it been that long

Girly-Lou-Who turns 5 today. 5!?!?!?!?!? I can't believe that she could be that big.

Because she was so tiny for so long. She started out so little (and early too). It was like a miracle when she would open her eyes.

(I don't know if I've ever mentioned it, but I'm a little bit of a closet scrapbooker. I hate paper scrapbooking, but I love the digital stuff. I don't do anything fancy, but I've had some fun putting books together for my kids. Someday I'll actually have the money to print them out!)

This scrapbook page shows a bit of what I'm talking about:

Happy birthday, my silly, crazy, wonderful girl!

I'd LOVE to win this one.

Over at the shopping momma, they are giving away an awesome convertible car seat. I would LOVE to win this for little #3 coming. Of course, the contest started yesterday and there are already over 1000 comments. So my odds are really slim, but hey, I thought I'd give it a shot.

Go check it out.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Quick update

Some days are lousy. Really stinkin lousy.

Some days are in-betweenies (that's most of my life around here)

And some days really. freak'n. rock!

That would be today. I finally got a decent night sleep. I woke up to the most beautiful sunrise I've seen in months. The kids were semi cooperative as we drove Hubby to work. I had a great exercise class. I got a rockin deal on a bunch of pork roasts.

And then my Hubby called. I think the birds started chirping a bit louder as the sunlight streamed through onto my awesome couch - maybe even a doe and fawn stopped to smile at our happiness.

He's changing bases effective December 2 again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh, all those agonizing stressful things are now gone. Life looks beautiful. At least for today.

Cross your fingers. He was also told that this could change on a daily basis. If he makes it to December 2 and does 1 flight in the new base he's locked in for good. They can't change him back. So here's hoping for 19 more days

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Ack! I want to tell all!

I know I've previously mentioned, but I really do love finding other people's amazing ideas. The majority of the blogs in my reader are ones that feature cool crafts and stuff. Most of the ideas that I find, I go "Oh, that's so fun, I want to do that."

And then I found The. Single. Coolest. Thing. On. The. Planet.

Seriously, this is the coolest thing EVER. It had my jaw on the floor. So simple, so easy, so cheap, with such possibilities for true awesomeness.

But I can't tell you about it!

That's because I think I'm doing on for every single one of my sisters, and mom too, for Christmas. And since every single one of my sisters reads this blog, they would all know how cool it's going to be. I don't want to ruin the surprise, but it is SO COOL!

On the bummer side, I need a color printer to really make it work. And ours died a month ago. Otherwise, I would be working on this right now instead of blogging.

I need to go hit up some friends and see if they'd be willing to let me print off about 4 colored pages . . . .

I promise I will tell all after Christmas. Sorry to make you wait!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

last day: 14

Day 14 was a combination of days 11-13. The nice thing was she had us just use the same collage as day 13. I'm fairly happy with the results.

Day 13

This was similar to day 12, but on a grander scale: a full on collage. You were supposed to use brushes to add some punch, but my version of photoshop is too old to add cool brushes to. So I stuck in a flourish png all over and erased portions.

Day 12

This was about creating a story board - you know, the awesome really expensive sets they try to sell you when you bother to get pictures done professionally? Now I can to it for super cheap.

Oh, he's cute! (even if he's the reason I'm up at 4 am!)

Finishing up projects

Do you remember back in (cough) JULY when I was taking that photo editing class? Um, so yah, I never finished doing the projects. But since it's currently 4:06 AM, and I've been awake since 1:30 (grumble grumble), I figured I might as well get up and do something semi productive.

Day 11 was selective spot recoloring. I wish I had a perfect photo like she always does, but this one works.

Man, my little girl was SO tiny back then! this is her clutching her precious giraffe, which has been her favorite since she was about 4 months old.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

12 days of Junkies

I think I've mentioned before how much I love tip junkie. Hundreds of crafty/cleany/inspirey ideas every week all in one place.

And giveaways too.

Right now she's doing the 12 days of Junkie, with awesome giveaways every single day. But you have to actually check every day because they only last 24 hours!

Be still my little heart - I love this stuff!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Wow.

I think it's finally happened. A skill I have been developing for at least 25 years just might be fully developed. Others have tried to help me with this. I've felt guilt over my lack of ability to accomplish this task. I've been bothered, annoyed, frustrated, even given up multiple times. But I think I can finally say . . .

I now make my bed every single day.

It finally actually bugs me to not have my bed made. I no longer find it more annoying to actually make the bed than to see it rumpled. I find joy in straitened covers.

Of course, now it bugs me at how lousy the rest of my room looks when my bed is made (and the serous need of some actual decoration done in that room!), but today I'm finding happiness in the little things.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Language

Have you ever thought just how amazing language is? The fact that we are able to communicate with others, through voice, through print, through electricity, through touch, through hands?

In college, my major was Communicative Disorders. For those not in the know, this is the undergrad for either audiology (hearing specialists) or Speech Language Pathology (speech problem specialists). You pick which on to specialize in, and then go on to grad school to be able to actually do anything with the degree. While I did not do the last step, I learned some amazing things about language.

One of the most fascinating classes I had was our voice disorders class. There we learned, in great detail, just exactly what is involved to talk. There are such minute differences between different sounds. For example, the difference between and long e sound and a short i sound. They are produced in the exact same place in your mouth, your tongue is in the same position, they are the same length, same intensity, same everything. Except for one small thing: there is a very small muscle underneath your chin that is tightened for the long e. This results in a very small harmonic change, which our ears are able to pick up, change into an electric signal, send to our brain, which then correctly interprets the difference. All this happens in less than a blink of an eye, for the myriad of different sounds used in our language on an hourly basis. English has 18 different vowel sounds. The actual difference between different sounds is minuscule, but we can understand.

I have been fascinated by sign language ever since I watched Linda on Sesame street. I always wanted to be able to sign. When I was 17 (ish), I started to learn. A good friend of mine knew a woman that lived close by who was an interpreter. Together we took classes from her for over a year. I never was proficient, but I could get by.

In college, I was able to take two more classes. I learned syntax, vocabulary, culture. I still was not even close enough to interpret for someone, but I loved every minute. One of my favorite classes was a conversational ASL class. This was taught by a grad student that I knew fairly well. He was hearing, but had been raised by deaf parents, and actually learned English as a second language - his first was sign. He was able to give such a unique perspective.

Now, as an adult, I've had little opportunity to use my sign language. I have forgotten so much of it. I will admit, that's one of the many reasons I was happy to move here - my sister is good friends with a deaf woman. As I have also become friends with this amazing lady, I have had the opportunity to brush up on this amazing language. While I am still very limited in my vocabulary, and really lousy at actually interpreting into full ASL, I love the ability to communicate with her, to feel my understanding grow.

On Sunday, I had the opportunity to interpret during Sacrament meeting. It was hard - really hard at some points (you try interpreting computer code into a different language!), but so fulfilling. To help someone be able to understand, to grow, to communicate with another person, is a great gift. One that I'm excited to have and develop even more.

What gifts do you have and develop?

Monday, November 2, 2009

rants

I had planned on this wonderful uplifting post about my amazing experiences over the weekend. Well, that post is going to have to wait. One of the reasons I started this blog was so I could talk about whatever I wanted without everyone and their dog talking to me about it - which is why I'm semi anonymous here. Of course, that backfired just a touch, since I'm related to most of my followers. Not that I'm complaining that people read me, just know I need to rant for a minute.

I'm trying really hard today to be grateful. I mean, at least Hubby has a job, right? There are thousands of people out there, especially pilots, who have found themselves out of a job. We even know a few. But I am so ticked off at his company right now I could scream.

Moving across country was supposed to be the best thing for our whole family. We got to live close to family, buy a house, meet new people, and Hubby's schedule was going to be so much better since he would have twice the seniority. The commute wasn't going to be bad because he was also changing bases. Hubby started that process clear back in April. It took until middle of August for us to FINALLY get word that he would be changing, starting October 1. Which got pushed back to November 1. And then December 2. But we were getting close. We've been counting down, getting so excited that this was his last time to bid for Dallas.

Until today. Hubby just told me he's been put off, AGAIN! Now his start date isn't until, get this MARCH 1 ?!??!?!?!?!?!? "'m more irate than I have words for. He can't hold a line any more in Dallas, but they won't let him change to the new base because "staffing reasons". What? You don't have room for him where he is, but he can't move because they might need him where he is right now. Um, yah, that makes sense.

This messes up Christmas (because his training will be all messed up). This could mess up Girly-Lou's birthday. And I'm pretty sure this means our chances of him being here for the baby being born are next to zilch now. He has to spend even more time away from the family, just when we thought it was going to get better.

On the plus side, he does have two ways to fight this, and he promised to do all he can to get this changed back. But right now I'm so angry I could just hit something. Maybe I should go bake some bread. There is something very therapeutic about knocking some dough around, and the smell might help me calm down.
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