Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Sometimes something stunning finds you unexpectedly.

I've got a very bare dining room wall. It's actually got 3 small paintings on it now, but they get lost and blend into the wall color.

I've looked, and hemmed and hawed, and nothing has ever stuck me as "this would be perfect". I decided just recently to order a HUGE portrait of all the kids (once I get the perfect picture of course!), and hang it there. Maybe in a grouping with individual ones as well.

But then someone pointed me in the direction of this shop. And I'm awed. I tend to be a bit biased and spoiled by having artists in the family. I'm very picky with what I like, and maybe a it overly judgmental as well. But I LIKE these. This one is my favorite. From the colors, to the title, and everything in between.



September song is the essence of my mom. Born in September, with a beautiful voice. The bird is the color of her eyes, and the colors just so "her". I can't help but feel her when I look at it.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Me? Neglect my poor blog? NEVER!!

Ok, so I've been a bit busy. A couple photo shoots, a couple final research papers, kids, holidays, and then everything else has kept me busier than usual.

School is almost done for this semester. I'm praying that I pass a couple classes, it's going to be close! Lack of organization bit me in the butt a couple times, and I missed assignments, or was trying to cram in a math test at 11:30pm while holding my eyelids open with toothpicks. I REALLY don't want to have to take English 1 and intermediate Algebra over again. Yes, it would have made sense to think of that at the beginning of the semester instead of the end!

The whole family has had to make a lot of adjustments the last few months. Not only with me (and Chrissy) being in school, but opening the studio and being gone more as well. It's slowly starting to fall into place. Hopefully even though I won't have classes for the next month, it won't be such a big adjustment in January when we start back up. Though Eric will be starting as well - so who knows!! Nothing like waiting until your an adult to do the things you should have done as a teenager. We like to do things a bit backwards.

I'm actually really looking forward to my classes next semester. Two long photography classes, and a half semester of Spanish. No, spanish is not what I'm looking forward to!

We're starting to gear up for Christmas. Taking the annual photos, bought the tree the other day (boy are they expensive!!), pulled all the decorations down. I have all these ideas of crafty things to do, but like most years, they probably won't get done! Time never stands still enough to do everything I want to do!

Go to my flickr page (click on the rotating ones in the upper right corner) and you can see some of the pictures of the kids I've done so far!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Want all the cuteness of a puppy - without the mess?

It's hard to resist a cute puppy. They're just so... well, cute! Stumbled upon this today though. You get to ohhh and ahhh, and think about how cute and sweet they are, without actually having to own one!

Puppies

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Hmm... Not sure that this is a good idea.

http://ikeahacker.blogspot.com/


I've added that to my bookmarks.

I'd been an Ikea virgin until just a very short while ago, even though one had been open within driving distance for almost a year. I think a part of me knew exactly how much I was going to like it, and was avoiding the temptation.

I finally went when we opened the studio. We bought ALL our furniture there. And it all fit in the back of a Suburban, even the couch (which came in a box!). I was in organizational knick knack heaven. It was a little bit easier to resist spending a ton of money since we were buying stuff for the studio, and of course, I didn't have any anyways (stupid financial aid - but that's another day's rant!).

I then went with another friend while she was in town. Again - I didn't spend a penny. I was very proud of myself. But the urge to go back has been strong. I'm trying to justify going there (It's almost an hour away) just for wrapping paper. I'm nuts. Not quite certifiable, but close!

So, bookmarking a blog that shows you more really cool things to do with things you find at Ikea probably isn't the best idea. Especially since that money thing is still an issue.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I've given up.

I can't make my baby stay a baby.

There. I've admitted it.

I've spent a long time trying to convince him to stay a baby, and it's just not going to work. He's going to be a toddler. In a little over a week. It's amazing just how quickly the time has gone, and it's sad knowing how quickly the time ahead of us is going to go too.

You would think after so many babies that I'd be used to this, but I'm not. I'm not sure exactly what it is I'm afraid of losing as they grow up, but there's something there. I want to hold them close to me forever! I know realistically that can't happen, but I can dream, can't I?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

2 Days and Counting...

I'm excited, nervous, and can't believe how quickly the last 3 weeks have gone, since we decided to open the studio! There's still so much to do, and things to get ready for our grand opening. It's going to be a busy couple of days. But it's going to be worth it!!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Women??? Seriously?

So I take my oldest daughter out shopping today. She's been doing a ton of babysitting, and hasn't felt 100% health wise on top of it. I owe her - big time. We head to Goodwill to try to scrounge up some stuff for her Halloween costume. She's wanting to be a punk rocker (I'm thinking 80's, she's thinking 90'-now). I pull her over to some obnoxious belts, and her cart is taking up a bit of room, but not completely blocking things.

So this guy - older, not clean cut, but not grungy gross either - comes towards where we're standing. Doesn't pause, doesn't say excuse me, just wiggles his empty cart in between the rack and ours, bumping into it (repeatedly)and making a ton of noise. And as he walks by, he mutters "women". I did a double take, and had to think to make sure I had heard him correctly. A nice lady (who he also walked by) comes up to my stunned self and asks if we heard him. "Women? How about men?".

No, not men. RUDE men. And I wasn't quiet about it. I hope he heard me, is embarrassed, and thinks next time before he acts like an ass. But I doubt it. Rude men don't care about what others think.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Studio Grand Opening!!

Karen Bove and Allison Streeter are proud and excited to announce the GRAND OPENING of our new studio!

OPEN HOUSE

110 W. Indiana Avenue, Deland

Friday, October 24, Noon to 8

Saturday, October 25, 9 to 4


Stop in to say hello, check out our beautiful new location and take advantage of our Grand Opening Specials.




Monday, October 6, 2008

time and music

I heard this song this morning, one that I would belt out at as loud as I could driving down the road 15 years ago. It had a meaning to me then, and as I tried to sing along this morning, it still had meaning. The meaning has changed with time, more important, more scary, and not just about me anymore.

4 Non Blondes

What's Up Lyrics


Twenty - five years and my life is still
Trying to get up that great big hill of hope
For a destination
And I realized quickly when I knew I should
That the world was made up of this brotherhood of man
For whatever that means
And so I cry sometimes
When I'm lying in bed
Just to get it all out
What's in my head
And I am feeling a little peculiar
And so I wake in the morning
And I step outside
And I take a deep breath and I get real high
And I scream at the top of my lungs
What's going on?
And I say, hey hey hey hey
I said hey, what's going on?
Ooh, ooh ooh
And I try, oh my god do I try
I try all the time, in this institution
And I pray, oh my god do I pray
I pray every single day
For a revolution
And so I cry sometimes
When I'm lying in bed
Just to get it all out
What's in my head
And I am feeling a little peculiar
And so I wake in the morning
And I step outside
And I take a deep breath and I get real high
And I scream at the top of my lungs
What's going on?
And I say, hey hey hey hey
I said hey, what's going on?
Twenty - five years and my life is still
Trying to get up that great big hill of hope
For a destination

Friday, October 3, 2008

Newborns aren't supposed to stand by themselves

Somebody want to explain to me why my baby is standing here next to me with 2 toys in his hands, and not holding on to anything? He's no where near old enough to be doing that, if you ask me!

Yes, I'm in extreme denial that my baby is growing up. A friend pointed out that in less than a month in a half, he'll be one. I'm no longer on speaking terms with her!

It hasn't been long enough. Wasn't it just yesterday that he was born? If he keeps going at this rate, he'll be driving in a few weeks! I'm just not ready. I never am. You'd think that after 7 kids, I'd have a way to make them stay little longer, but nothing I've tried works. I made Alannah promise to not grow up, and she lied to me. Can you believe that? I was shocked too.

Can someone please tell my baby to slow down?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Things I learned today

1. It's stilll dark at 6:30am here.

2. The extra large soda drunk at 8pm to keep you awake to finish your math homework the night before is still in effect at 6:30am.

3. When you're tired from only 5 hours of sleep, all the things you have planned for the day seem impossible and daunting.

4. Kissing sweet fat baby necks first thing in the morning makes all bad things go away.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Politicians should take a Dave Ramsey course

Why? This is why. I wonder if congressman, senators, and all those nice rule making people in Washington and running our states, had half the mind that he does for money, that we'd be in the economic mess we're in right now?

Monday, September 22, 2008

And people iron sheets why??

I ironed my first sheet ever today. Actually I didn't even finish - just got maybe 1/8 of the way done. I don't understand WHY people would actually choose to do this chore. Doesn't make sense at all! I wasn't even doing it for my bed - that would make even less sense.

For my photography class, I need to take a roll of portraits. Figured I would practice on my kids, plus I was dying to try developing at home. Had all the chemicals and stuff mixed up and ready to go, and then realized I didn't have a can opener to open the film roll with. Ugh.

Where does the sheet come in? For a backdrop of course! We just put windows in our screen room (and A/C and heat!!) and the light in there is wonderful. So I figured I'd just hang a sheet from the curtain rod and have at it. Then I realized I can't photoshop all the wrinkles out in film. Oops. I ended up going with a velveteen fabric I had that wasn't as wide as I'd like, but didn't need the amount of ironing the sheet did.

I took 30 pictures of the kids, all except Chrissy. I grabbed these 2 with the digital to test it out before hand. Of course, the film is all in black and white. Hopefully I'll get it in the tank to develop sometime tomorrow, I'm very excited, and was mad I didn't have enough time after class this evening to do it!

I promise I do take pictures of the other kids, but the younger ones are so much more willing victims...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Energy

Anyone know where to buy any? Appartley with the gas shortages some areas are dealing with, I'm dealing with energy shortages. I don't want to get up and do ANYTHING. Even my favorite pastime, sitting at the computer wasting time and people watching, is too much. Blah. That pretty much sums up how I feel.

I'm hoping, really really hoping, it's just because I'm not drinking any soda. I had 1 at the movies the other night (don't go see Stepbrothers, I promise you won't miss out on anything by not seeing it!), and that's it since last Wed. I'm shocked that besides being exhausted after doing nothing, I'm not in pain with a caffeine withdrawal headache. Shocked actually! I'll take exhaustion over pain, thank you.

If you go click on my flickr album over there ------> you'll see some pictures I've taken recently. Hopefully there will be a lot of new ones soon, I've got lots of pictures to take for school!

Speaking of school. It's going well. Math stinks - I barely (like a 66.7%) passed my first test, and now making sure I get a 100 on all the homework/classwork (it's all online) to try to bring that up a bit. Stupid mistakes. I will be using a calculator from now on. It's been pretty laid back and easy, but the next few weeks it will pick up drastically.

Just wanted to poke my head in and post a quick update. Before I go take another nap ;)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Photography class

I'm working on my first assignment. I'm probably over thinking it, but it's got me stumped a bit. After my first class, when I realized how "easy" it was going to be, I told myself I would work above and beyond what was expected so it would be challenging to me, and help me learn and grow as a photographer more. Someone actually called me a photographer the other day, and it shocked me. I don't think I am - yet. Some day though! I have a LOT to learn.

So, our first assignment is to shoot a roll (yes, film!!! And only black and white at that!) with shadow and/or reflection as our subject. I could easily go shoot 36 pictures of just about anything, but I wouldn't be happy. I don't want to "waste" the film, and the time developing and processing, just to come away with something that I would never use.

This is what I came up with today. Getting Eric to sit was a pain in the butt. He's been sick, and whiny, and totally like a typical sick baby, er, guy. But since he loves me, and I threatened him a bit, he did what I wanted, and angled his head the way I told him so his precious motorcycle reflected in his glasses.

I'm cheating a little, and taking the pictures I want first with my digital, getting everything the way I want it, and then with the film camera. This was my first (and so far only) picture for shadow and reflection.

Monday, September 8, 2008

I wonder

If as humans, there always has to be a disaster that we "look forward to". I ran across this site today, and it reminds me of all the Y2K hubbub.

Yes, things are changing as prices for things go up, and the value of our dollar goes down. Do I think there won't be groceries in the store tomorrow? No, not unless a category 4 hurricane is headed straight towards us, and then it will only be for a few days.

It makes me wonder if we have a ingrained tendency to over think, and over plan things. And it's not limited to just a few people, obviously it's more than just that or there wouldn't be websites devoted to preparing for it (or Y2K). There is some religious/cultural influences for some people as well, but I think that's a separate issue than "the world running out of food".

Even if we DO start having shortages of food, I don't think it's going to be an all at once thing. There will be slow changes, and people will adapt to those changes. Look how we've adapted to the HUGE price increase in gas! People drive less, use their car and run errands more efficiently. Gas consumption is DOWN. Yes, the prices hurt some people. There will always be people that can't afford things. It's just the way life is unfortunately, and sometimes I'm one of them!

So, I won't be digging a basement (that would flood anyways) to store all my cans of freeze dried food (where else would I put enough food for 9+ - no, not pregnant yet - people?), or figure out if where I'm living will sustain us completely and go off grid and become completely self dependent. People NEED other people. It's just the way life is. And if I do become self sustaining on our own property, it's going to because I think it would be cool, not because I think the world is coming to an end!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Kian's first tropical storm

It feels like it's never going to stop raining. Thank goodness besides a few time where we've had flickering lights, we still have power. Hopefully it will stay that way.

To say we're bored would be an understatement. My kids have been stuck inside for the most part for 2 days now, and are getting restless and antsy. If it weren't so windy, I'd let them go play in the rain.

Kian got his first look at a tropical storm though. This was from when the winds first started picking up this morning. He thought the water blowing in on him was the coolest thing!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

You'd think with an expensive camera

that taking pictures of a couple things I had sewn would be easy, right? Not so much. Probably doesn't help that I've never cracked open the manual, and didn't even know where it was. I'll have to put that on my reading list now. Which is probably a good thing, but not something that's very entertaining.

So, what did I sew? Some things for my baby boy that doesn't want to stop growing. I'm shocked at how big he is, and how quickly he's outgrowing clothes!

I hope he likes giraffes, because I seem to be addicted to them. I have a whole wardrobe picked out and planned for him, and giraffes are going to be a big part! Here's a little peek at some of it


Kian really wasn't cooperating with getting his picture taken, so I eventually gave up and just laid everything out on the floor. My camera wasn't cooperating either (yes, it was user error, but still) which is why the same shirt looks to be a different color in each picture. I also realized I didn't upload one that showed the shorts well (that were supposed to be pants until I noticed a hole in the fabric - already cut out of course!), but since taking and uploading the pictures (flickr was giving me fits!) took longer than sewing the 3 things, you'll just have to use your imagination to figure out what they really look like!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Moe's - you know I love you? Right?

There's nothing like Moe's. Nothing. It's wonderful, it's good, and it's helping me maintain my weight.

I eat there once a week with my friends for "mom's night out". I usually stop in at least one other time too. But I have a couple complaints. First - you changed your queso. It used to be one of the best parts (besides the guacamole) about eating there. Now it tastes like microwaved american cheese with jalapenos in it. Gross.

And while we're talking about jalapenos, I wish you would put them somewhere else besides next to the olives. While part of the appeal of Moe's is watching the workers grab handfuls of vegetables to put on my burrito (and then try to keep it all stuffed in when they roll it), this practice leads to some dropped food. And it mixes.

I almost died today. I took a nice big bit of my salad (well, streaker homewrecker if you want to be exact) and started chewing. Everything was going along fine until I bit into that stray jalapeno. Now, if I liked spicy foods, it probably wouldn't have been a big deal. But I don't, I'm a wimp when it comes to hot stuff like that! Now, why did I almost die? Because I didn't have a drink available, and I was choking, and crying, and looking aimlessly around for something to drink that wasn't empty (I knew I should have gotten a large drink!), and I had nothing. I had to try to put out the flames shooting out of my mouth with a bite of sour cream (ew).

So Moe's, please, can you find another place to put the jalapenos?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

It only took four years

I was taking my bath this morning, and had my usual bath time visitor. Not one of my kids, though it's rare that I get a uninterrupted bath from them anyways, but our cat, Dumb dumb... er Storm.

Storm has this thing about the freshness of his water. He runs towards the sound of running water, and will whine for fresh water if the water in his bowl is more than a couple minutes old. He came to us spoiled like that, and we haven't been able to break him of it!

So, when he hears the water run for my bath, he moseys in there to get a drink. He doesn't care that the water is hot, it's fresh (well, as fresh as it could be with me sitting in it!). He climbs on the edge of the tub, and sniffs a couple times to make sure it's palatable. Takes a quick sip, and then digs in.

Eric has threatened me numerous times to push him in the tub with me, but has been met with the "you'll be sleeping on the couch for a month" look. I've thought about pushing him in when I'm done, but he's never in there then. Guess soapy water isn't his thing.

Well, today it happened. He didn't get pushed. I had just cleaned the tub before getting in, and I guess the edge was still wet. I also guess he was super thirsty, as he came running in. Got the picture in your head yet? Running cat, wet slippery bathtub?

Let's just say I've never been more thankful my cat is front declawed then today. Yes, I know, it's inhumane, and cruel, and painful, and I lost crunchy points by having him declawed. I'm ok with it. And my stomach is more than ok with it today!

I'm not sure if he'll ever get over the humiliation of slipping, losing his balance, and getting soaked. As he walked out of the bathroom, shaking one paw at a time to get the water off, he turned and gave me a look of utter contempt, and I almost felt like it was my fault. That didn't take long to wear off, as the laughter took over.

Sorry cat.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I have crickets and baby frogs in my house

Why? Because they're for a snake named Max. But Max won't be getting them, and I'm sure they'll die in a corner somewhere to be found later. Ick.

Max is Mikhail's friend's snake. The two of him caught them when we were over there a week or so ago, and I insisted that Max didn't want to live at my house. He's a tiny little thing, and actually pretty cute - for a snake, but I still don't want him at my house! Snakes dying in corners stink worse then crickets!

So my kids are thrilled with catching little things for Max to eat. They put them in containers, and bring them inside so they don't bake in the heat/sun while waiting for our next trip over there. Unfortunately, we've had a few "prison breaks". Nothing like hearing crickets chirp and frogs croak at night. Just wish they weren't in my bedroom! Maybe today (as the kids round up crickets outside) some will actually make it over to Max's house.

I almost feel sorry for the frogs. They're tiny little things. Just out of the pond (really - they were born in our pond) and starting on life. And then my kids get a hold of them - not even really understanding that Max is too small to eat them. Max's head is about the diameter of a pencil, so not up to much more than tiny crickets!

I'm hoping that Max will make an escape soon, and my house can be cricket and baby frog free for a bit!

Meet Max:

Monday, July 28, 2008

I know you've missed me - right?

It's been a very busy past couple of weeks here! Registering for school, trying to get some sewing done, vacation bible school for the kids, and just life in general. I'm worn out!

Some highlights of the last week -

Eric built a solar hot water heater. It probably holds a little more than a gallon. Not much. Not sure how long, if ever, it will take to recoup the money spent on it! But he finished it - that's what matters. I don't have a half done project laying around my house waiting to be finished.








Of course, he's now thinking of ways to improve it, and change it. So I guess it will be never ending!

The kids had vacation Bible school every night last week. Sunday evening, they sang for the church, and had awards and stuff. I'll add the link to the video feed of the service as soon as it's up on the church's website!

I played some with my mom's old 35mm camera a bit. Trying to figure out what I need for school, and if I want to use that one (I don't!!). Going back to film after using digital is REALLY hard. I kept on trying to look at the picture on the LCD after I took it to make sure it came out all right. Though it did make me pay a lot more attention to the picture as I took it. I had fun, and quickly burned though the 24 exposures. Film is much more expensive than digital!! I figured it cost me about 55 cents per picture to take and develop (including the cd so I could edit and upload!). And if I decide to reprint the ones I edited, add another 20 cents to those. All the pics in this post were taken with it, and so were these.

And the biggest event of the week? Aislinn lost her very first tooth!! Excuse her face! The sun was in her eyes, and she was doing her best to show me her missing tooth!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

I broke my serger

Stupid piece of crap. Actually, it's a good serger. But I'm mad that it decided to get all messed up when I have a TON of stuff to do! Doesn't it know I'm on a deadline? And I have some pettiskirts to make when I'm all done with everything else. I promised myself I wouldn't touch them (as much as it's killing me not to!) until it was all done. I want them for pictures on Tuesday, but if I have to take the serger to the shop tomorrow, nothing is going to get done :(

If I could buy a decent one locally, and not have to wait for shipping, I think I would. It's lived a long, HARD life (6+ years), and I think it's wearing out. Poor serger

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Gulp... Here goes!

I got my acceptance letter today. Acceptance to what, you ask?

College.

Yes, you read that right. And if you know me, you know I also HATE school. But I decided to take a giant leap and do it. I'll be attending the community turned state college (and therefore no one quite knows what to call it anymore) hopefully to get a AA degree in photography (actually called technical photography I believe), and if it goes well and I actually like it, I may pursue a BA degree. Don't know in what though!

While I was sure I'd get accepted (I mean, really, it's a community college!) it still makes me feel a bit better with the actual letter in my hands. Amazing how such a simple thing can affect you so much.

Now I have to figure out how the heck I'm going to pay for it. Student loans, here I come!!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I should be asking my kids that, not myself. Yet, here I sit, asking myself that very question. I'm not sure I'm ready to decide. There seems like there's so much to do before hand. Like raise 7 kids and get them out of the house.

On the other hand, there's no time like the present either. I don't want to be old and gray, and look back on my life and wonder what I did with it. Raising kids IS an accomplishment, and it's something I hope I will do well. But it's not all I want to do either. When they're grown, I don't want to be searching for myself. I want to already know who I am, and what I do.

Of course, when I think about making a career out of any of the things I like to do, I want to run away as fast as I can. I like sewing. But if I have too much paid work to do, I end up resenting it. I like taking pictures. I've taken pictures of two friends' kids (for fun), and it's not something I really enjoyed beyond having someone new in front of the camera. I want to take pictures that make me happy, and not worry about them making someone else happy.

Maybe I never will "grow up", or actually have a career. I like my hobbies, and they're for the most part self supporting (doing some paid sewing pays for new camera stuff as well as new sewing stuff). And I'm fine with keeping them as hobbies. It's more fun that way.

I think I'll hold off on an answer for a bit longer.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Girls think my baby is cute...

OK, so maybe at almost 13, he's not exactly a baby anymore. But I'm still unprepared for him to be in the "girl likes boy, boy likes girl" phase. And yes, I realize that he'll be in this phase for the rest of his life, but it really just hit me today. My oldest baby boy is growing up.

I had already accepted that Chrissy was growing up (she DRIVES!!), but I didn't even begin to think that it would hit me this soon with Mikhail. I still can feel his fuzzy little baby head when I think about it.

It's amazing how as young parents (not just in age, but the age of our children) we don't even put much thought into our soon to be teenagers, because it's so.far.away. And in reality, it's not, it sneaks up on us much faster than we realize. It's amazing how fast time flies when you have children, compared to when you were a child yourself. Similar to how a pregnancy tends to drag on, and the first few weeks/months of your baby's life are gone in a blink (another issue I'm dealing with at the moment!).


But what brought all this reflection on? Apparently there's a few girls at church that like my boy. They think he's sweet, and cute, and not in the way I think my 8 month old is sweet and cute. I feel a protectiveness coming on for him that wasn't there before. The same one I have with Chrissy. Someone please tell them they're not allowed to keep growing up? Well - he can grow up enough to get out of the attitude-y, know it all, stage he's in right now.


He makes my heart melt sometimes, and I should be the only girl who's heart is melting over him!!

Someone wants me to get nothing done today

I find I'm distracted too easily by things like this. Of course, there's the part of me that has to "win" too, so I'll keep trying and trying until I get it! I'll see ya'll in a couple of days!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Happy Birthday America (and Fred)

A day late. It was a busy day yesterday. I got a wild hair to move all the kids' bedrooms and my sewing room around. All I can say is, never again. That was pure torture, even though I got a room to completely call my own for sewing.

Besides that, we just did the regular 4th stuff. Hot dogs, ice cream, and fireworks. Had the pleasure of watching one go off under the chair of a man about 15 feet in front of us. Thank you FL for allowing us to shoot ones up into the air! Thankfully it was a smaller one, and he didn't get hurt at all. And even more thankfully, the people shooting them off stopped after that.

Here's some pictures from our evening last night.







Thursday, July 3, 2008

Am I really asking too much?

Where the heck did I go wrong, and how in the world do I fix it?

My kids are slobs. Bona fide slobs - and it's all my fault.

I grew up in a messy house. Clutter, and dirt, and more clutter on top of the dirt and mess. I don't want my kids to grow up that way. It's been a real challenge to overcome the slob in me, and it still peeks out more often than I'd like.

I taught my children to pick up after themselves. They don't. I'm sick of having to constantly be on them to clean because they don't. You'd think they'd get it, but again, they don't! Example - I picked up fast food for dinner because we're rearranging rooms and I didn't want to cook (nor do I ever want to cook). Not one kid threw their wrapper away. Of course, with getting ready for church, feeding the baby, and eating my own food, I didn't notice until they were gone. Is it really that hard to walk 10 feet to the garbage can and throw a little piece of paper away? I guess so.

I don't know how to fix the problem. It's beyond me. It's on a scale way bigger than food wrappers and not clearing places from the table. Them not cleaning up after themselves is the biggest "make mama mad" thing we have going on. It happens daily. I'm sick of yelling. I'm sick of reminding. I'm sick of having anything nice for them to ruin. Nothing I've done or tried has done any good, so why bother?

I know it's NOT because there's so many of them. I have friends with more kids than we have that don't have pig sty houses, and they don't spend all day cleaning like we sometimes do either. How do I get them to put things AWAY!?!? Everything does have a place, as I know that's the first thing to making sure putting things away is easy. But towels and dirty clothes, and toys, and shoes still end up under the bed, couch, in the closet, stuffed under the dresser.

Eric isn't much better. He cleans by moving things off the floor, and on to any available surface. It's almost as if it's too hard for them to try to think where something belongs, so they'll just put it anywhere. We don't even have that much stuff. Really, I promise! My 7 kids all together have less clothes and toys than individual kids I know (hmm hmm - Kim).

It's frustrating. It makes me want to farm them all out to military school. Of course, my luck would be that they would learn how to make perfect hospital corners on their beds, and how to fold their shirts into perfect 6" squares, and ignore it all to stuff things under the bed again.

Anyone got a bulldozer I can borrow?

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Gross

Eric and I went to see a movie tonight. It was his turn to pick, and he wanted to see "Wanted". Look at the preview, looks ok. Typical action/guy movie, but the actor looks cute, so do-able. In hindsight, I should have looked at the non-pg rated preview.

It has to be the most gory movie I've ever seen that wasn't a dedicated horror movie (which I don't like either). Blood and tissue splattering just doesn't do it for me. And there wasn't much acting to take note of. The special effects were pretty good, great if you like gore.

There are jobs that I wouldn't take or pursue (not that I'd really pursue any job!) because they involve blood and ick. So if I wouldn't deal with it while getting paid, why in the world did I just fork over $18 for two tickets to see it?

Eric's not allowed to pick movies anymore.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

There really was an owl!

Eric and I went out for dinner (love Logan's Steakhouse 2 for $15 on Mon and Tues!!) the other night and heard the mysterious owl when we came home. We grabbed the flashlights and proceeded to look for the real thing since it sounded pretty close.

It was close, and close enough that I could get a picture. Eric held one flashlight, Chrissy held the other, and I set the camera to auto and used the flash (no way was I trying to fool with it in pitch dark!).


And there he/she is. In all her weird for an owl sounding glory. She doesn't hoot - she kinda does a cross between a hoot and a screech, and it's very obnoxious actually.

So we look at her for a bit, and get ready to go inside, when Kivett points and yells (he has two volumes, loud and louder) - "Look - there's two!!". We all turn and look.

He's pointing at the plastic bag...

Monday, June 23, 2008

Morning at the beach, with a little history lesson thrown in

Last year we went to the beach every week during the summer. Now I'm not sure if I want to spend the $25 dollars in gas to make the trip each week this year, but if we continue to carpool, it can be doable. It's that whole responsible adult thing again. The extra $100/mo on the credit card is more responsible then the beach. But I can't buy memories for my kids either...



Kian had his first taste of beach sand. Maybe the minerals in it make it nutritious and make it tase good?? I tried to sit my fat rear in a tube and float, but ended up flipping upside down and over. A little too top heavy I think!












We also went across the road to the intercoastal, and got to watch about 7 manatee play 5 feet away from us. The water was a bit muddy, so we couldn't see their bodies well. Since the rocks were 2 feet from where I was standing, I'm assuming the water gets deep pretty quickly right there. I could have reached out and touched them if I had wanted to. They were very curious, and after initially swimming off, came right back. The white line down this ones back is a huge scar. The waterways are a very dangerous place for these guys.



We showered, ate lunch and played on the playground a bit. Nice relaxing morning! On the way home we decided to stop at the sugar mill ruins in New Smyrna. I can't tell you how many times we've passed it, and have never stopped. It was pretty cool. So the kids got a mini history lesson as well.




We made one more stop on the way home. It was right off the highway. One of the people that I carpooled with is very involved in the Lake Helen community, so I though she might know what this place that I'd always been curious about was. She thought it may be an old community cemetery, but wasn't sure. So we made a quick little detour, and found out that it was indeed. But not just old - there were new graves there as well. It was very interesting, and could see the family tree spread out in front of you. There were quite a few of the founding families of the town buried there. It's really amazing what you can learn about a family just by visiting a cemetery.


This one made me sad. The one in the background appears to be mom. Her little brother (1899-1904) is next to her. It appears that mom/Queenie died bringing Elsie into the world. What appears to be Elsie's brother is to the right of her (not in the picture), so Queenie left behind a newborn and a 2 year old. So sad.

This one I thought was really unique. I've seen a lot of grave coverings at cemeteries in this area, but none quite like this. It's all brick, and old enough that the rains have worn some parts of the actual bricks down. The mortar must be made of something a little more resilient, since it wasn't affected as much.

If you want to take a peek at more of the pictures I took today - they're here

Thursday, June 19, 2008

I get 11mpg in my van

And with rising gas costs, it makes me want one of these. Is it not the coolest thing ever? Of course, I can't read the website because it's in Dutch??? I believe :) And there's even trailers you can buy to put on the back!!

Being able to walk or bike places is something we really can't do with where we live right now. Eric and I have discussed many times our "dream house". Acreage, with no neighbors. And I mean LOTS of acreage. Or the idea of living in a small town/city that we could walk or bike to stores, the library, post office, etc is also appealing. We actually live only 3 miles from our dentist (where we seem to spend a LOT of time), the grocery store, a couple department stores, etc. But there's a couple semi-busy roads with no sidewalks that we'd have to take to get there. And one major road crossing. I'm just not confident of my little ones biking capabilities to stay safe in that situation. Heck - even my 12 year old had to be told he couldn't ride in the middle of the street at a friends house! Living on a dead end of dirt road has a lot of advantages, but my kids do miss out on some learning experiences.

But think about all the gas I'd save, and all the weight I'd lose and muscle I'd build! I really like the idea of the kids being in front rather behind in a trailer. There must be some advantage, because all the Danish sites I've looked at have them in the front too.

So, who loves me enough to buy me 3 of those (For me, Eric, and Chrissy - someone needs to haul the groceries!), and import them?? This site is even in English!

Hmmm... I think we may be white trash.

Our house is up for sale. So is the one at the end of the street. So occasionally we get people down our dead end street looking at them. Either that or they're lost.

The baby is taking a much needed nap, so I lock the door send the kids outside to play. I'm sitting on my butt as usual, in front of the window. We have ants in FL. Killer ants. No, really. OK, so they just hurt like nothing else when they bite. We try to keep them under control with toxic chemicals organic pesticides, but we've been lax lately, and we've had a few ant hills pop up.

So, Aislinn steps on one, and is screaming, turning the hose on to wash them off. Kivett (sweet big brother that he is) comes over to help. Alannah comes to watch. She's naked btw. Guess she won't have tan lines this summer either. She then steps into the same pile Aislinn just disturbed, and starts freaking out as well. This gets the 2 hound dogs that are tied to the tree in the front adding to the mix.

So picture it - Alannah naked, Aislinn taking her clothes off, Kivett spraying everyong with the hose, and the tied up hound dogs going nuts. And then a realtor drives by. I don't think they'll have much luck selling that house down the street.

The only thing that's missing is the toilet planter. I already have 3 cars parked in the yard, and bikes and toys all over. At least we don't have the chickens anymore!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I miss my kids

Don't tell them!! OK, they actually know. I don't do letters, but I wish they could get email while they were at camp. By the time I wrote something, actually found a stamp to mail it, and remembered to stick it in the mailbox, they'd be home. So no point really.

And for those of you thinking that it's because of all the help they are - you're WRONG!!! :) Things are actually going really well (almost better really). There's no trying to drag teenagers out of the bed in the morning, all the other kids are up and ready to go at ungodly hours. And I actually like that. It feels like we have more time in the day now. So, unfortunately for Mikhail and Chrissy, we'll be continuing this trend when they get home. And I'll be dragging their butts out of bed by 7:30 with everyone else. Hey- I 'm being nice. The other kids wake up anywhere between 6:30 and 7, and I'm up at 6ish trying to convince Kian to stay asleep so I can. It usually works, but I have to hold him and bounce him a bit, so I end up wide awake anyways.

I miss conversations with Chrissy. She's starting to be close enough to an adult that they go pretty well. I miss seeing Mikhail play and snuggle the baby. I can't believe how much he's changed in the last 7 months. He's really starting to grow up. I miss the stupid things they do that make me roll my eyes and laugh.

Only 3 more days, and I get my kids back!!!

Monday, June 16, 2008

How to waste a day

Ok, so I really didn't waste it, but I didn't get anything super productive done. I worked on a video/slideshow of the pictures from Kian's birth. For 4+ hours! No laundry done, kids fed themselves (except Kian of course), and who knows what my house looks like now. I'm scared to go look. Kiera made pumpkin muffins (which are now gone). And for a flashback of the last time we made them - a picture from the day Kian was born. Poor Alannah - she's not quite sure of everything that's going on.


I have to say, looking at fresh baby pictures doesn't do anything for baby lust. And then there's evil friends that shove even more in my face (you know who you are!). Of course, having the sweetest and cutest baby ever is a lot of incentive to do it all over again too. But enough on the baby talk. I've got time to kill while trying to upload an almost 500MB video - it's slow going.

Chrissy and Mikhail made it to camp today. I won't be able to talk to them again until Sat. They had a great time at my in-laws - grandma took them white water river rafting (and paranoid me had a heart attack!). I actually can't wait to see the pictures from that - they took a waterproof disposable camera with them, so it should be interesting. I hope Chrissy took the pictures, she's much better with a camera then Mikhail.

Blah - only 1/10 of the way there in uploading, and it's been going for 10 minutes already. I'm scared my laptop is going to start "hibernating" if I leave it! Which wouldn't be a big deal if I hadn't been sitting here for so long already. I have things to do!!!

Friday, June 13, 2008

I just tried to take a picture of a plastic bag

Yes, I just spent 20 minutes outside, in mosquito infested FL (at prime biting time no less), trying to take a picture of a plastic bag.

In a tree.

No, I wasn't in the tree. The plastic bag was! And why did I want to take it's picture? I didn't actually.

When we got home from the store this evening, we and saw and heard a couple owls. I had to take the screaming baby in (he cut his first tooth today!!!!) and put him to bed. The kids stayed outside to look at the owl. After cranky was asleep, I grabbed the camera. Kivett points me to the owl. I can't find the quick mount thingy for my tripod, so I set up on top of a garbage can and a skateboard. I knew I couldn't even begin to hold still for the slow shutter speed the picture would take, and that's what was available at the moment. It was dark enough that my camera wouldn't even auto focus. So I take a couple pictures, and I'm disappointed that you can't even tell the blob is an owl.

So I figure, what the heck, I'll get closer and use the flash, and risk it flying away. Hmm, still not looking very owl-y. Get the camera off my face, and try to get a closer look. And, lo and behold, it's a plastic bag. One of my bratty sweet children must have thrown it up there. I'll have to thank them later. I'm thinking they can put itchy relief stuff (I'm being real technical with terms tonight!) on all the mosquito bites to make it up to me.

And no, I won't be posting any pictures of the plastic bag/owl for you to point and laugh at. I figure I'm giving you enough reason to do so with out them!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I said goodbye to 2 kids today

For a week and a half. It's going to be a LONG week and a half, and I'm going to miss them terribly. They're such good kids, even though I often try to play down how great they are!

My oldest 2 got on a plane all by themselves today to go visit my in-laws in NC. Then the in-laws will be taking them to summer camp on Monday, and they drive home with the rest of the group on the 21st.




I wasn't allowed to go to the gate with them. They would only allow one adult, so I stayed with the rest of the kids, and Eric walked them through security. I'm really glad he stayed home from work, since I wouldn't have been able to take them to the gate with everyone tagging along.

My last view of them - going up the escalator. Mikhail was a bit nervous - this is his first plane ride that he'll remember. The real first was when he was 2 weeks old and I took both kids to NY by myself. Yes, I was young and crazy.

And if you ever wonder if you really need to get to the airport 2hrs ahead of time? Even in a dinky airport like the one they left from, this was what we were met with. I was able to drop them off with Eric, go get gas and breakfast, park and unload everyone, and they were still only half way through the line.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Stuck up people

Do you think they know that they're stuck up? Do they care? Well, I've actually heard someone say before that they knew they were stuck up, but they didn't care what other people thought of them. Going to be hard to have no friends down the road with that attitude!

OK, so I know everyone's view of stuck up is different, and I'll even make the assumption that every person is self centered in one way or another (even me - gasp!!). But then there's those people whose world clearly revolves around themselves. I have to say that it's fun to watch them.

It's especially fun to watch them at gatherings with people that they know don't like them, or where things might be tense. It's actually sad in a way to see someone clearly have to make an effort to be nice. I wonder what goes through their head on a regular basis if they have to try that hard. And then still fail with little slips here and there that shows their true self.

Their attitude shows that they obviously think that they're better than others (everyone). I wonder if they realize that the people they think they're better than them don't share that opinion, and that their reaction is pity? Yes, I pity the person who is so full of themselves that they have no regard for the consequences of the harsh and uncaring things that spew out of their mouth. Because one day it's going to catch up with them. The evil twin side of me wants to be there to watch when it does! But I'll be good, and hope that their lives stay peaceful and happy. It's all about karma!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Being a Responsible Adult

I hate it! There are days that I want to just go back to being a kid. No worries about the real issues in life.

Worrying about what I'm going to wear tomorrow to school to impress that guy wasn't as stressful as budgeting. Or what color to dye my hair, compared to getting kids ready for a 2 week trip (after doing said budgeting).

I was bad last month. I spent ALL my fun money. Which wouldn't be an issue, but I just spent all of June's too. Which makes June no fun. I want FUN! Sea World (planning on going Tues) isn't as fun when you either have to go around meal times, or take food. Shopping for clothes so your kids don't run out on a trip (only time a limited wardrobe is bad) when you have a strict budget isn't as fun.

I want to be irresponsible, and spend money I don't have. Or the bill money. I could do a lot of shopping and eating out with the money that goes to the mortgage company. But I think my husband and kids appreciate having a house. And food. And electricity. To keep myself in check, I already set up payments for all the bills. So I can't forget (conveniently or not!).

Really, sometimes being an adult sucks!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

My kind of knitting project

For those of you that don't know, I'm not very patient. I'll lose interest in things very quickly if they start taking too long. For that reason, I've only ever completed 1 knitted thing on my own. I've paid people to finish things for me! I also tend to not pick out things to sew that are so complicated that they take a long time either. They just end up in a bin to be finished later (usually never).

I started this last night. It's a sample for something I'm making for a friend. I've never used needles this big before (15mm) and with this chunky to thin yarn, I'm loving it (the texture is awesome). The yarn is from my stash. I'm not sure why I have a yarn stash, but I love to buy yarn. And yes, I'm using circular needles. I'm a klutz and constantly drop straights and have to put all the stitches back on!

I'm not a fast knitter by any means, and I've only got a little over an hour into this project, and I'm a third of the way done, if not more. This will be the perfect thing to take along to sit at the dentist waiting (with 7 kids, we spend a lot of time there). And it's almost like instant gratification! Which is so me :)

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Breastfeeding doesn't cause saggy boobs

It's six month olds that do it. And if you've ever nursed a 6 month old, you know what I'm talking about. I can tell a toddler if they're not still the milk goes away. Kian doesn't quite get that yet. And there's so much going on in the world around him, he can't be bothered to stop nursing to look at it all. Even if it's behind him.

He's actually trying to perfect the technique of looking around without loosing his latch. He doesn't got it quite down yet, and my poor chest gets to act like a rubber band. Soon it's going to stop going back. Doesn't he realize that they've already played this game 6 times?? They don't have much left in them!

Instead of asking my kids to help me in my old age, I'm going to ask for them to chip in for my boob job. There's no way these girls are going to look good when I'm done nursing. They're half saggy and deflated now, imagine when they're no longer producing? Scary...

Monday, June 2, 2008

There's never enough time in the day

And yet, I waste so much of it. Boggles my mind really.

There's so much I want to do today, and here I sit, on the computer. I can pretend I'm doing something important by babbling here, but really - I need to get up and MOVE!

I have the blahs. I'm tired. I'm achy. My bones and muscles actually protest when I want them to move. Really! I can hear them scream! I really shouldn't give in to them, but I do.

I'm working on a new camera bag. I can't use my sling style one with Kian on my back (in the ergo carrier). I think I have it figured out, and I should be working on it, but here I sit. I'm excited about the fabrics I bought for it, and some others I had to have just because. They're wonderful - aren't they? And so me. I couldn't have designed something so suited to my style better myself. I just had to travel to Alabama to find them.



I love coffee. At least I love to smell it. I'm not too keen on the taste, though Starbucks and the little local coffee shop are doing a small part to change that. I still prefer my Chai Tea latte made with cream instead of milk and whipped cream on top. Nice and thick, and the whipped cream is divine dipped into the tea and eaten with a spoon. I just wish I wanted something hot to drink when it's close to 100 degrees outside. I'm sorry - the idea of iced coffee just icks me out. I'm not sure why - I actually like the Jamocha shakes from Arby's (slightly coffee flavored chocolate). These are the others I picked up. I saw them and about swooned. I'll be using the polka dots and swirly stripes for a new wallet and keychain. They'll make me think of my mama every time I use them. She loved coffee, and I think that's why the smell makes me so happy.

OK, I'm really getting up now. Actually, I have to go take the pictures of my fabric to put in this entry! Hear my legs screaming??

OK, done. Supposedly there's a way to get my pictures in here directly from flickr, but I haven't figured it out yet, and I'm not sure I want to give my brain that much of a work out to do it. So I'm doing it the regular way.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Sometimes I scare myself - maybe I am crazy

Eric (my husband for those of you that don't know) and I were talking this evening as we sit on the computer and all the kids are in bed. I asked him what he was doing, he said checking the news (crap - we missed the shuttle launch!). I mentioned a motorcycle accident that I had heard about earlier today, and asked if he had heard about. I tend to be on the paranoid side, and he rides a motorcycle to and from work everyday. So hearing about accidents makes me a bit nervous. I also tend to obsess a bit. Just a bit.

So, we start discussing what the other would do if something happened to one of us. And it hits me, if something happened to him, we couldn't have any more babies. Getting pregnant again is something I'm really looking forward to in the next year. It's almost killing me to wait, but I need to for a couple reasons. Being able to nurse Kian for a full year at least is the biggest one.

So, we joke around saying I could use a sperm donor. But I like having his babies. Not some random guy's. I tell him that I'm going to keep him on life support until I can harvest his stuff - is he ok with that? He says sure. So, I'm playing my game online, thinking a bit, and have a great revelation. We should just collect and freeze his spermies for a later date now. And then I wouldn't have to worry about it!! He laughs. I laugh. And I think I'm half serious. I ask him if he knows this - and his reply?

"Yes, and that's what scares me".

So there you have it. I scare my husband.

And for disclaimer - no, we won't be doing any of the above. And if he dies before I'm done having kids, I'm just going to have to kill him!

Friday, May 30, 2008

New link on the side

Over there -------> in my "places I like to visit". Only, this is a place I wish I didn't have to visit. Lifting up Serenity. An online friend I've "known" for quite a few years got news that most parents dread a few days ago. Their sweet baby girl has cancer. Their website has a blog to keep us updated on her journey.

The more people praying for and lifting up this little girl, the better. Cancer is such an evil thing, and the struggle this family is going to face over the next few months and years is going to be rough. And not just medically. So please, keep them in your thoughts and prayers!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

These monkies won't be jumping on the bed

I needed to make something cute for Kian's 6mo pictures (yes, I'm late!) and when Lisa told me that the quilt store near her house had the Moda Sock Monkey fabric, I knew what I needed to do. So we schlepped over there with both babies when I went to visit last weekend. Amazing quilt store. I wish I had thought to bring my camera - it really was worth taking pictures of! And the people working and shopping there were exactly what you think of when you think of southern women. They were so helpful, kind, and just full of joy at seeing two babies. Kian got fussy in the ergo, and I think three different ladies ended up holding him for me so we could shop. I have to say, I would never do that here. One more thing to confirm that central FL is NOT the south. I can't wait to go back again next time I visit. And I'll make sure I have more money then too!

So, after hours of cutting, ripping, sewing, and top stitching - I ended up with about a half yard of sock monkey patchwork fabric. I now know why pre-patched fabric is so stinking expensive! And mine is no where near perfect. But I'm in love. This ranks up there is one of my most favorite things I've sewn. And as tedious as it was, I believe I will be making some more.













I made some mistakes when cutting them out (and I tried SO hard not to since there wasn't much fabric), but we were able to salvage everything that I screwed up to get these bloomers for sweet Olivia, and shorts for Kian. Kian will be getting a matching bucket hat (not out of patchwork though) in the near future.










Kian was absolutely enthralled with Olivia. Now, we just need to teach him how to be gentle. It will be really fun watching these two grow up as friends!











We also had a mini photo shoot while I was there. These two are my favorites of Lisa's youngest girls. The one of Riley shows what she looked like before she got a hold of the scissors later that day. That is one three year old that makes me thankful for my screeching three year old! I'll take noise and burst ear drums over the trouble that little girl gets herself into.

Friday, May 23, 2008

I'm tempted to steal a baby


I'm visiting a friend, and her new 4 week old baby girl. And she's gorgeous, and tiny, and I want to sneak her away back to my house. It's amazing how much bigger my baby looks now!

I'm having a ton of fun taking her picture too. She's not old enough to whine about it, and she doesn't move much.








There's just something about baby toes that does me in. I could sit here and look at them, smell them (no - I'm not weird!!!), and just snuggle baby feet all day. Is there anything else as perfect?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Taking a self portrait is HARD -aka new glasses :)

I got my new glasses today. Yeah! I can see! Other people are safe on the road again! OK, so it really wasn't that bad, but I had an anti-glare thing put on, which is supposed to help keep the headaches away when I spend hours upon hours online, and help me see a bit better at night too. I hate driving at night because my distance perception is BAD.

So, I figured I'd take a self portrait so I could show everyone. I've discovered that it's very hard. Even using a tripod, getting the 12 year old to stand in your place so that you can get the exposure and focus right (and wearing your glasses with his eyes closed so you get figure out which angle is best for no glare), and a self timer. And then resorting to getting the kid to press the button for you because the focus is still off. I've decided I need a remote. Not that I take pictures of myself very often, but it sure would make the process a heck of a lot easier. And I would like better pictures when I'm showing off things I've made for myself.




So, I bring you my new glasses. They're light - much better then the plastic frames of my childhood. And I hope they make me look a tiny bit younger. Or maybe just not so blah. I've been feeling very blah lately.

Looking at pictures of myself recently has motivated more than anything else to start exercising. I was lifting my chin in this picture to try to get rid of the double one. It didn't work as much as I would have liked, but that's ok. Just means I need to spend more time running. I'll tell you about that later :)











And proof that I really did make Mikhail help me. He'll pretend that he hated every single torturous second of it, but he asked me when we were done if the glasses looked good on him! Besides, it got him out of his chores for about 10 minutes.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

I'm always amazed at the things kids come up with

To keep from going to bed.

As I sit here contemplating never moving again (exercise can do that to you I'm discovering), my oldest son gets out of the bed that he's been in for 2 hours, to tell me about something he saw at the store last week. Because you know it was just so important it couldn't wait until tomorrow. Or next week even. Granted, I'm semi thankful as it was something I've been window shopping for, comparing features and prices. But it's not like I'm going out tomorrow to get it.

And of course when he gets up, it's like everyone else automatically has permission to get up as well. One kid didn't get their good night hug and kiss. One needs to go to the bathroom again.

Someone is afraid of the dark tonight. Someone else can't sleep with the light, or even the hallway light on. Can't shut the door - that's too scary.

Mom - there's something making noise outside my window (putting a pond next to kids' bedroom windows will not be something I do again!). I can't sleep (because you've been reading a book with the night light). The oldest thinks she's exempt from bedtime, and is the worst to get into and stay into bed. She's also the hardest to get up in the morning.

Why does bedtime have to be such an ordeal? Why does it need to last 2-3 hours? Don't they understand that this is MY time? Some people (the ones that are getting OLD!!) have their "me" time in the morning. I only get up when I absolutely have to. And thanks to a nice squishy 6 month old, that's much to early to even comprehend that I'm having "me" time.

And my husband doesn't help. If by some miracle everyone is in bed (their OWN) and asleep before he's comatose, he's bugging me. Like right now. He's asked me at least 3 times if I'm coming to bed. In the last 5 minutes. It would serve him right if I dragged the laptop into bed with me and ignored him :)

Saturday, May 17, 2008

I have a gripe

This is aimed at parents of children that have big families.

1. Child #4,5,6,7...12 is just as special and important as child number 1. Go see them as a baby. Mom needs just as much love and support as the first time. Yes, she chose to have that baby, but that doesn't excuse you from having common decency. And buy/bring a gift, just like you did for the first one.

2. We don't have lots of kids to make you happy or unhappy. We do it because we love them. Any happiness that they bring you is a bonus. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't treasure them.

3. Yes, we know what causes it. That doesn't mean that it's any of your business how often we do that certain thing, and if we're trying to avoid a pregnancy.

4. Just because I don't feel good, doesn't mean I'm pregnant.

5. And the right response when you ask me the above question under those circumstances, and the answer is no, isn't "Thank God". Manners - remember your mom did her best to instill them in you?

6. We try out best to love you. But nothing discourages us showing that love more than you questioning and criticizing the size of my family.

7. Please don't complain how much my choice in family size costs you at Christmas. It's tacky. My kids don't care. Don't you think it's expensive for me too? Do what you can. It's ok.

8. When I tell you I'm pregnant, the correct response is Congratulations. If anything else comes out of your mouth, it should be all positive. If there's nothing positive for you to say, remember the manners your mother taught you. And then lie. It will do wonders for the relationship we have.

9. There's no rule that you have to spend time with all the kids at the same time. My kids DO notice when you spend time with their cousins, but not with them. If you can't handle all of them, that's fine, there's days I can't either. But take 1 or 2 at a time. Make that effort please. They'll notice, and so will I.

10. I'm not crazy. Please don't tell your friends, or strangers that I am. It makes you look bad. Remember - you raised me.

Sewing "just becase"

Sometimes it's nice to sew just to sew. Not because somebody needs something, or for an order. But just because I want to. I haven't done that kind of sewing for my kids in a LONG time. But for once they have just about everything they need, and then some. My littler ones are easier to please, especially if they can't talk yet, so they tend to get most of my "creations".

I saw this outfit in the newest Ottobre, and fell in love. They did it in black on white linen, but there's no way that's reasonable for my 3 year old to wear! We just don't do white in this house! So I used this paisley fabric I found at my local quilt shop. The best part, besides falling in love with it when I saw it, was that it was on sale!! It was hard to photograph though. It wanted to look washed out. And while it's not a bright fabric, it's not dull either.

OK, enough babbling, and on to the pictures!! This is the "tie-back tunic". I think for this size (the smallest) the ties could have been longer. It was hard to get the bows. The pants are the "Daisy" pants.




Here's some close-ups of some of the details on the pants. The ties at the legs can either be pulled tight like they are here to make them look like long bloomers, or left loose so they look like wide legged capris. I didn't have any pink ribbon, so I used that yellow. I will be changing it! I love the little gathers and contrast on the pocket. It's too bad the tunic covers them. I'll have to make some matching tees for her to wear with them too so that they get to show occasionally.


See how short the ties are? And she did NOT want to hold still for me to tie all 3 of them perfectly!



I really do love this outfit on her. I hope she picks it out to wear often! If you want to see bigger pictures - you can look here.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Chocolate chip cookies are evil.

I've been blessed with girls (and boys!) that love to cook and bake. Hopefully they'll continue to do so as I get to old age, and they move out, so I don't starve. I promise I would otherwise!

Today Kiera and Aislinn conquered chocolate chip cookies. I forgot to tell them to put walnuts in them, but they were better than any I've ever made. And rivaled many I've had before. It's amazing how something so simple can go so awry. And how it can be so divine as well.

I'm not going to even think about the amount of exercise I would have to do to even out the amount of cookies I ate. It would be way too much, and I wouldn't do it anyways. I'm not in the mood to feel guilt. Though maybe I should, since I was looking at pictures of me earlier today and thinking about how big I looked!

This is what's left. Makes you hungry, huh?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Happy Birthday sweet baby girl!




My baby turns 3 today. No - she's not really the baby any more, but I consider my 15 year old my baby still too. So there you go!



From this little thing - just 6lbs 4oz of pure sweetness


To this sweet thing- though the percentage of sweetness is getting less - as the 3 year old mentality takes over. But she still loves to snuggle, and every night as she's laying in bed with me, going to sleep, she points at the baby pictures of her on the wall
and says "I was a baby". It used to be "I am a baby". My baby girl is growing up
:(