Monday, December 31, 2007

So we're about to start our traditional New Year's Eve festivities. This is the night we let the kids each choose some normally forbidden food. The oldest girl always chooses Jeno's cheese Pizza Rolls. Middle girl hems and haws each year, this year she picked cereal straws, I am grossed out by these, but a tradition is a tradition, right? The Little Man's original idea was Cheetos but since he is spoiled by his grandma who lets him have those all the time at her house, he decided on the equally greasy but not as orange, Fritos. We also make 7-Up and lime sherbet punch and the hub and I have Pub Fondue with crusty bread, pickles, olives and our forbidden food, hard salami. Right now, the littles are taking a bath and making a mess, I am doing some last minute cleaning and then we'll play some games in front of the fire, eat our junky food and have our Family Talent Show with Daddy's Annual Puppet Show as the finale.

One of our traditions is to take my parents to Hamtramck (a Polish section of Detroit) for lunch and then to the Belle Isle Conservatory to see all the pretty flowers, but my mom was not feeling well today so we had to postpone that for another time. We all were sad about that as it is one thing we really look forward to every year. I leave you with the kiddos and Santa, who was not just a helper according to the Little Man but the actual Jolly Old Elf because "his beard was real and not just stuck on".

Thursday, December 20, 2007

I made Peppermint Marshmalllows for the girl's teachers this year, all wrapped up in a cute tin with some Penzy's hot chocolate mix. The marshmallows taste delicious but they do not look nearly as pretty as the ones in the Martha Stewart recipe. I took a pic of them in the pan but it was kind of unappetizing. They look better cut up. I love these little gift tags, I got the PDF from an eBay seller.

More bottle brush trees, I just can't get enough of these things. I used red Rite dye this time.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Ok, here are a few of my current favorite things. The snowman ornament is from the Bethany Lowe collection. Wow, I just love some of her Christmas stuff. It is so old fashioned and sweet. I got Mr. Snowy here from Bayberry Cove.
I am thrilled with the dyed bottle brush trees, they came out great, I love the vivid colors I got from the food coloring. As you can see, I totally scammed the trees in a jar from The Adventures of Mama and Jack blog. The girls made the two with the red ribbons for my mom, I think she'll love them. I hope. The big one is mine, all mine.

Lastly, is this funky tree thing I bought at Ikea a few days ago, I wasn't sure what to put on it but I found a stash of red felt and decided to make these little ornaments. So we have a red and white theme on one side of the mantel, Yes, only one side. heh

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Well, I'm behind in blogging but things are still moving along in the right direction with regard to our holiday must dos. Husband put up the fresh garland and our blue lights on the house, it looks so good. A little moody but cool. The girls and I went baking at grandma's on Sunday and we made several different kinds of cookies. The ones you see in the picture are thumbprints, chocolate chip, snickerdoodles, and lemon bars. You can see the lemon bars are a favorite of my children. The first layer is almost gone. I'm obviously not a food photographer, they taste much better than they look in the picture. I also made popcorn balls, another fave around here. My hands are always tingly the rest of the day after I make these, that's what happens when you stick you2 hands in popcorn coated with 254 degree mixture of corn syrup, sugar and butter. Yikes!

We also worked on bleaching and dying little bottle brush trees. Tutorial found here:

These trees are popping up on many blogs and there is even a Flickr group for some:

We had a ton of fun making ours and will show pictures soon. BTW, if you want to try it yourself, I bought a huge bag of trees at Michael's for $8.99 (with a coupon). Such a deal!

Friday, December 07, 2007

So I'm trying to to move away from the factory made decorations this year. We still have our fair share but I wanted to try to have more handmade touches all around the house. Hence the fabric trees and amigurumi elf. Of course, I can't hog the spotlight so I have many projects lined up for the kids. One of them was painting these wonderful wooden trees, snowmen and "people". I bought these pieces from an awesome site called Casey's Wood Products. Check it out here:
They are from Maine, the prices are great and the shipping was crazy fast. I found Casey's through another blog, I would post a link to them but I cannot find it again. Note the teen and her "don't take my picture" expression. The Little Man loved painting his items, he was so patient and engrossed by the whole thing. He usually gets bored quickly with crafty play but he was going to town on these. I love the pipes that oldest girl put on her snowmen. Middle girl was at grandma and papa's so she'll paint hers soon and I'm sure I will post pictures if those too.

By the way, don't you just love the mess you can see in that longshot? Yikes, and that is after cleaning up a bit. We are just the clutter family around here.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

So here is our Christmas card picture, I'm surprised they still had some natural looking smiles left after all the photos I took. Even the bunny seems serene, look at her cute crossed paws.
Have you seen the new holiday stamps from the US Post Office? They're called Holiday Knits and I keep trying to upload a picture of them but it won't let me. They're sweet, trust me.

Found a cute site that writes personalized letter to your kiddos from Santa. It's free, I printed them out and will pop them in the mail today. I think the kids will get a kick out of it. Here's the URL:

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

So here are the other fabric trees, I like the look of the white buttons. I made the little amigurumi elf from a pattern I bought from this Etsy seller:
My crochet skills still leave a lot be desired and I am so sloooooow, it took me 5 hours to make the little guy and he is tiny. Anyone notice that one ear is bigger than the other?

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

These little girlies are called Dotee Dolls, named after their original creator who posted her tutorial here:
I made these for a Holiday Dotee Doll swap at Swap-Bot. I only needed to make one but I bought 3 different types of holiday fabric and I wanted to use them all. They are just so cute and you can embellish them in any way you like. I think my favorite is the candy cane one. I've been practicing with making different faces for them but so far they have come out looking odd so I'm sticking with the closed eyes, peaceful smile look for now.

I took several pictures of the kids yesterday for our our Christmas cards. I had them sit on the black futon and huddle together, the first 30 I took came out all out of focus (don't ask me how I did that) so I had to subject them to posing for another 30.
I ended up getting a few that I liked and I ordered the cards from Costco last night. The little man and I went to pick them up today. I really love the way they turned out.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Well, for once I am ahead of the game for Christmas. Oldest girl and I spent most of Sunday clearing out the clutter so we could start decorating. I bought the Chocolate Advent calendars for each of the 3 kiddos. Usually I don't get those until the middle of December, I am such a procratinator. I decided I wasn't even going to try making an Advent calendar this year since I didn't even start thinking about it until November 27th. See, what I said about procrastinating?

I did make a few things, I found a tutorial on how to make fabric trees here: and they were so cute and easy that I made 5. You'll have to wait until tomorrow to see the other 2 because I haven't found the perfect spot for them yet. They are slightly different than these. By the way, the little house is a vintage cottage I found at a thrift shop for a buck. I just love it and would die for more but all the ones I've seen since I bought this one have been horribly expensive. Even the reproduction houses, feh.

I decided I was going to try to post at least one completed holiday project for each day leading up to Christmas. I'm only 2 days late. Really, for me, that's not so bad.

Monday, October 15, 2007

His birthday isn't until tomorrow but I won't have time to post because we have a big day planned for the little man.
5 years ago tonight I was wondering when this baby was going to make an entrance to the world. My due date was Oct. 4th and still no signs of labor on October 15th! I was cursing my mother in law because when she found out I was due in October she proclaimed how nice it would be if the baby shared her and her fathers birthday or Oct. 17th. Hello?! That was almost 2 weeks after my due date! Well, he decided he wasn't going to share his birthday with anyone and I went into labor at 2am on the 16th. He was born 2 hours later, my midwife got here just as he was crowning and he came out screaming his little head off and he was so chunky and had a head full of hair (just like his big sisters) and was so cute and eeek.... A boy?! I have a boy?

My husband and I decided we wanted to be surprised and didn't find out the baby's sex. I didn't have an ultrasound anyway, but towards the end I had a feeling I was carrying a boy and I was terrified. What was I going to do with a boy? I already had 2 girls and was worried that I would not know how to be a mama to a boy. Seems so silly now.

I had to talk my husband into having a 3rd child, it took a lot of convincing and then it took even longer to conceive the baby. I look into my boy's big brown eyes and I can't even imagine him not being a part of our family. He is my last baby and the only one to be born at home, he's part of one of the proudest moments of my life.

So happy birthday my wonderful boy, I love you and your silliness and your sweetness and even your stubborn streak makes me smile.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Been on a Halloween ATC jag recently. I really love the vintage Halloween images. I received that ribbon I used for background
in a 2 liter bottle swap. You had to stuff a 2 liter bottle with all sorts of crafty supplies. Ribbons, stickers, thread, rubber stamps, pens,etc. Well, I've had this ribbon for over a year and I just pulled it out yesterday and thought I should give it away because it was kind of ugly and not my style. Apologies to anyone who likes it. But then I started playing with it as a frame on these cards and I think they turned out pretty good. So I need to start using more "ugly" ephemera, right?

So this is the week of tv season premieres. Heroes starts tonight! I think we are also going to check out that Chuck show which starts before Heroes. But what I'm really looking forward in the season premiere of The Office on Thursday. I love the 'What we did on our summer vacation' ad that's been showing on NBC. Creed says he found out he has grandchildren........and children. bwahahahaha Good 'ol Creed, one surprise after the other.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I saw a trailer for the new Ironman movie that comes out next year, I am not really a fan of comic book character
movies but this looked really cool. I'm not sure how to link so sorry, you'll have to go look it up. What surprised me about it is the leading man is Robert Downey Jr. and he looks kinda hot in the movie. HUH? I like his acting but I've never found him attractive. Maybe it was the Black Sabbath song playing in the trailer that got to me? LOL
Oh, and Gwyneth Paltrow appears to be in this movie too? I'm not familiar with the Ironman story so I have nothing to expect from the movie but I think I may actually go to see this in the theater when it comes out in May. So unlike me....

In other news, the little man started preschool yesterday and he absolutely loved his first day. He walked in the class with
confidence and is totally ready for school. Compared to the way he felt about preschool last year, this is a huge deal and
we are so proud of him. I am weepy about it, of course. Every milestone this poor kid hits is so hard on me, since he's the baby and every single one is the last. Oh well, I've gotta become more me and not only the "mama", right?

Monday, September 10, 2007

Little man driving at Michigan's Adventure, love his singing.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

This is my beautiful daughter on her 13th birthday. Yes, a teenager at last!
She is a really special person and I hope she knows how great she is.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Miss 9 year old requested that I create a stuffie swap for kids at Swap-Bot so I did. Only 3 other people joined but that's ok.
Anyway, she made these cute mice. I helped a little with the tail and the eyes but she did the rest.

Friday, August 03, 2007

One thing I've managed to figure out how to do (in an otherwise rather unproductive summer) is learn to crochet. I rented a how to dvd from the library and that helped in teaching me how to do the various crochet stitches but I had to go to a knitting/crochet circle at the craft store up north to learn how to crochet a pattern. This water bottle carrier is my second finished Amigurumi, isn't he goofy? He's from a pattern in 'Super Crochet Wonderful' by Narumi Ogawa.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

There is this one "friendship" I can't seem to let go of, and I really need to. We used to have a lot in common and our families spent a lot of time together but she and I have grown apart over the years and I feel like she just doesn't really like me that much anymore. Our oldest kids are close friends and I feel like that's the only reason she even pretends anymore, but it hurts me to be around her. She works and I don't, I think she thinks I have it so easy. I know I do in a lot of ways but we give up a lot with me being home. Hell, I give up a lot being home and not in ways that involve money. Although that is something too.
I just like her and wish she felt the same about me, that is so junior high, isn't it? Why don't you like meeeee???
I often wonder if she feels I used her because I have asked her for help with the kids on occasion. She works from home and I have asked her for help in a pinch, maybe that pissed her off? Who knows, my oldest was spending a lot of time over their house, maybe she was resentful that I don't reciprocate as much? I wish she would just come out and be honest with me.
I have to end this, but I feel like I need to hash it out with her, but what's the point, really?

Felling pathetic..

So I leave you with photos of of my boy that I took last week while playing with the macro setting on my camera.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

My baby girl turns 9 tomorrow. I love her madly yet she exasperates me like no other. She's creative, funny, generous, helpful, affectionate and talented. This is the child who will spend 3 days making a stuffie cat for her mama's birthday even though it was pretty hard and she got frustrated. She helps the younger kids in her mixed ages class, she plays with her little brother endlessly and still loves to cuddle with her precious blankie.
Happy Birthday my darling girl!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

What I'm obsessed with these days:

1. The Office (US version)
I just started watching this show regularly this season. It is just so damn hilarious. I love all the cringe worthy Michael moments, Dwight's nuttiness. But what has me right now is the whole Jim and Pam saga, I am such a sucker for the unrequited love. The fact that the actor that plays Jim is really cute helps too.

2. Death Cab For Cutie
Ok, I am late to the party on this group but I am really into their latest 2 cds. My current repeat play is 'Someday You Will Be Loved'

You'll be loved you'll be loved
Like you never have known
The memories of me
Will seem more like bad dreams
Just a series of blurs
Like I never occurred
Someday you will be loved

It reminds me of my first serious boyfriend, he should have told me this. It would have saved me plenty of grief. Dork...

3. Amigurumi
These are so freakin' cute! But alas I am crochet challenged and have yet to master how to make these adorable little creatures. I can do all the basic crochet stitches (is that what they call them?) but when it comes to reading patterns I am a total moron. Picture me sitting in the corner complete with dunce cap.

4. Swap-Bot
The love continues. I have pared down the amount of swaps I joined for the summer but I still lurk about the site, reading the forums, checking out profiles of swappers and reading all the swap descriptions.

So how about you, my half dozen or so readers? What are you into right now?

Sunday, July 08, 2007

We went flying today! The local airport had a 'Fly-In". They had planes rides in a 2 seater open cockpit bi-plane and 4 person Cessna. I *really* wanted to go on the bi-plane but it was just too expensive, so we divided up and went on the Cessna.
The pilot took us over the lake, we saw our cottage, it was so fun!

Look at my little man, he had such a great time. I love how excited he gets about everything.

Oh boy, it's after midnight, that means it is offically my birthday!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Well, you know it's summer around this blog, even less blogging from me than usual.

My migraines are still bad, I go for my next series of injections for this Botox as migraine prevention study I'm in. It's a blind study so I could get the real thing or a placebo. I really hope I got the placebo last time because my migraines have been as frequent and painful as usual. I have been getting migraines on a pretty regular basis since I had my oldest child almost 13 years ago. I often wonder if I would have been a much better mama if I wasn't plagued by these damn things.

So here's the list of things I've tried to reduce or eliminate the headaches and/or the triggers that cause them:

1. Feverfew taken daily
2. Regular exercise
3. Massage therapy
4. Chiropractic
5. Acupunture
6. Antidepressants
7. Talk therapy
8. Magnesium supplements
9. CO-Q 10 supplements
10. Cranial-sacral therapy
11. Reflexology
12. Physical therapy
13. Beta Blockers

There are more but I can't think if them at the moment. Some of these have helped, but were way too expensive to continue
on a regular basis. None of them eliminated the migraines completely.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Me and the boy at my work table, I was looking at the pictures in my blog of this table when I first set up my work area and it's so different. Unorganized and messy now, it took about a week to go from immaculate to disaster.

I'm listening to a recording of the old time radio show, the Lux Radio Theater version of Madame Butterfly with Cary Grant, of all people. They make Pinkerton out to be the good guy in this one, I don't think he was in the opera, was he?
Guess I should brush up on my Puccini? Is that even spelled right?

Remember that Malcolm McLaren version of Madame Butterfly? Or am I the oldest person on Blogger?

Friday, June 08, 2007

Made this guy for a felted sweater creation swap. He started off as a cat but slowly evolved into an owl. Jeez, what a bad picture.
My daughters didn't want me to mail him, but we had to. Hopefully he's reached his new home by now.

I had problems initially with this swap. I had already made a stuffed mouse from these same two sweaters a couple months ago and wanted to make something different so I decided to move out of my comfort zone and make a little purse. Oh boy, was that a disaster. It was clunky and ugly and the needle felting I attempted on it was just plain sad. So I had to go back to my old trusty stuffie making self. Oh well, I tried, right?

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Our Memorial Day weekend was fun, I am bummed that I missed out on our friends and their 3 kids visiting us on Sunday because I had a day long migraine. argh....
Get a load of my adorable kayakers.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

We sold the bike seat and I find myself so sad about it. That bike seat has held all 3 of our children on several different bikes and many, many memorable family bike rides. Our littlest is now 4 and 1/2 and just too big for it, so we decided that now is the time. There will be no more babies of ours to ride in that seat and kick us while we pedal to the park or the Pere Marquette trail we love so much. No more babies to wriggle their feet out of the straps, causing whoever is cycling to come to an abrupt halt and fix those feet before they get hurt. We've been reaching so many of these kinds of 'last baby' moments lately, the last 2 times I had a four year old, I also had a newborn. No wonder I am so reluctant to let this boy of mine grow up too fast, I indulge him and his whims way more than I did with the girls. So true is the stereotype of the baby in our family, he is charming and gets his way more often than not.

So now he'll be pulled in the bike trailer until he can ride on a bike himself, and then I'll be writing another post about how we sold the Burley and how sad I am to see it go. Life goes on

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Thanks for the sweet comments on my whine post from yesterday. Just to clarify, I wasn't referring to any one group or any one person in my rant. I seem to feel like this about all of my social networks. Not that there are that many, but you know what I mean. I know that I make myself feel like the outsider, that rotten little voice in my head that says I'm not good enough or special enough to be included.

Ok, let's not be depressing for two days in a row.

My 8 year old went to the eye doc yesterday and it turns out she's farsighted in her right eye. She'll need to wear glasses for
reading and working (haha) on the computer. I was shocked as I thought for sure she'd take after me (as she does in all other ways) and be nearsighed. But she isn't, and I'm glad for her. The frames she picked out are kind of boring, but I didn't tell her that. I wanted her to pick out these really cute and funky ones but she went for the more school marmish ones. No, I didn't criticise her choice! I was very supportive. That's what us mamas are supposed to be, right?

I am thinking of buying a Wii for the kids (um, yeah, just the kids), it just looks so fun in the ads. they really emphasize the fact that you can be standing and active while playing. I like that. It's pricey though and I know we indulge our kiddos so much, so I am still in the thinking stages right now. we'll see, that's my motto today.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Warning, navel gazing and much whining below. Not the usual theme of this blog. Read at your own risk.

I'm feeling left out.

I used to think that being popular didn't matter once you got out of high school, but now I'm not so sure. I don't think I'll ever be that person that everyone wants to be best buddies with. Why is that? I'm funny, interesting, fairly well read, a good listener. Dammit, I'm good enough, right?
channeling some self-help guru here...

So why am I not the one being invited anywhere? Why does it seem I am the one who has to set something up for me to be included? I don't get it. Why do I seem to be last on the list? Do I have to extend myself even more than I feel I already do?
How come some people can come into a situation or a group and barely know anyone and then all of a sudden they are best pals with several others? How do they do that? I really would like to know.

I used to think not having close friends anymore was because of isolating myself when I when through episodes of depression but I have been really pushing myself to socialize for more then 6 months and things feel the same.

None of these feelings are being helped by the fact that my cousin, who has been my very closest friend since we were kids has pretty much dumped me for a guy she met last summer. They were living together after 3 months and got married after 6 months. She has not told me any of this herself, I've heard it allthrough the grapevine. real, nice, huh? I'm really hurt and cannot even bring myself to think about it too much.

The Craft Extrvaganza was awesome, we bought tons of loot. I will post pic in another post. My camera batteries are recharging at the moment.

I found a great tutorial for a coin/credit card holder at this site

I made 3 of these for a small handmade item swap at Swap-Bot. It was scanned so it looks a little flat, but I really love the way they came out. I must make more.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

The girls and I are going to this today, I think we'll find lots of cool goodies. I'll try to post pics of any if we do.
My two men are up north, the big man called and said they were going mountain biking on a trail close to my parent's cottage. Little man will be in the Burley trailer, I hope he likes the bumps. I can't write too much about him because I miss him too much. Why is it when they're little, it's so hard to be away. Ok, he's 4 and 1/2, some may not consider that too little but he's still my baby. *sniff*

Sunday, May 13, 2007

It's only words.


1. Yourself: relaxed
2. Your boyfriend/girlfriend (spouse): eating
3. Your hair: longer
4. Your mother: generous
5. Your father: mysterious
6. Your favorite item: yarn
7. Your dream last night: weird
8. Your favorite drink: Coke
9. Your dream car: Mini
10. The room you are in: upstairs
11. Your ex: forgot
12. Your fear: balding
13. What you want to be in 10 years? graduate
14. Who you hung out with last night? husband
15. What you're not? confident
16. Muffins: poppyseed
17. One of Your Wish List Items: stare
18. Time: 7:16
19. The last thing you did: questionnaire
20. What you are wearing: tank
21. Your favorite weather: summer
22. Your favorite book: fiction
23. The last thing you ate: cereal
24. Your life: unfulfilled
25. Your mood: annoyed
26. Your best friend: nope
27. What are you thinking about right now? finishing
28. Your car: boring
29. What are you doing at the moment? thinking
30. Your summer: fun
31. Your relationship status: married
32. What is on your TV? photos
33. What is the weather like? sunny
34. When is the last time you laughed? afternoon

Your turn!

Friday, May 11, 2007

A friend made lunch for me yesterday, it was delicious and we had some great conversation. Then, to top it all off, she took my 4 year old for the rest of the afternoon. Yes, she's one of those good friends. :-)
Then that evening we met up at a really fun park, where all the kids played and my 12 year and her 13 year actually spoke to each other for once. Heh, adolescents of the opposite gender can be so weird with each other at times.

So, it was a good day, then why did it end up with me being mean and unsympathetic to my 8 year old? Granted, she was being unresonable but so was I and since I'm the adult, I figure I should be the one to suck it up sometimes when it's late and she's obviously tired. But I didn't, and she cried and I felt like a crappy person. We made up before she went to bed, but I was stewing about it until I went to bed. Why can I be so understanding about some things but such a creep about others?

Today we spent the day straightening up this mess of a house. My fabulous husband cleaned our youngest kids' room. It was a total disaster. You know the kind where you can't see the floor? While he did that, the 8 year old helped me clean up the living room. My oldest was nowhere to be seen. She was upstairs making something and I was nagging her every few minutes to come down and help. Boy, did I feel dumb when I found out she was up there making me a Mother's Day present. She was so excited about what she made that she gave it to me early and it is the cutest thing. You'll have to wait until tomorrow to see a picture.

The 5 of us are going out to brunch for Mother's Day tomorrow and then off to Tess' piano recital. It should be fun. I can't wait to hear my persnickity 4 year declare that nothing at the brunch is good for him to eat. lol

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

I am still sleeping way too much, I know it is an avoidance tactic. Could it be more obvious? haha
What am I avoiding? hmmm, that's not as obvious. Let's see, housework, talking animals for the 50th time,
exercise, cooking. I was just not cut out for the life of a housekeeper. Stay at home mom, yes, I can do that
when it involves playing with the kids, doing arts and crafts, reading books to them.

But I'm just lousy at housework, I can't keep up, I get annoyed and oh so bored and the husband is
really getting oh so frustrated with me. I am home all day, why can't I get some laundry done? Why is the
house a constant mess? It isn't fair, I feel guilty, fall into spiral of self-loathing and then do nothing.

I am so predictable.

At least I'm still creating, the only positive thing I am doing, apparently. Can you guess the theme?