December 31, 2008

They're Baaaaack

The kids were dropped off with me at 5pm today. I was relieved, to put it mildly.


Some of the things I have heard or discovered in the 2 hours since:

- Shoes' mother said that I must have reached into Mabel's closet and pulled out all the ugly clothes for her visit. I am incredibly hurt but not surprised. Yes, Shoes' mother only believes you look pretty if you're dressed like a 1980's hooker. Consequently, she never liked my looks.

- I was told that Shoes' mother also commented on how, this week, they would get some good food in them, finally.

- Shoes' mother (can you see a pattern here?) was very mad when I phoned because it was "dad's time" after all. No mention of how her son refused to visit his kids for almost 6 months, no. Nope. Because he's perfect, don't you know?

- All 3 of them are sick and strung out. Exhausted and emotional about everything.

- Both of the boys had their heads shaved. (Moo's curls were not damaged, thank God.) Both say they hate it, but they'd never tell their dad that.

- Shoes told me that he hoped Andy would shoot me with the bow and arrow Santa brought him. Seriously.


I knew I wouldn't have to ask a single question to find out how their visit went. Because it's not fair of me to ask and put them in the middle. This doesn't bother me because I also knew that they would tell their mama anything they were thinking, which is how all of this came out. They trust me - and that is a great feeling.

I'm sure there will be more. And yes, if you're curious, taking the high road all the time DOES give me headaches. I wish I had a little more 'kick ass' in me sometimes.

We head home soon. I can't wait. More then...

December 24, 2008

I Guess I Should Update

So. Many. Things. Swimming around in my head.

First, we are in Ohio. It was Dad's turn with the kids this Christmas, so I was the grown-up and drove an accumulative 17 hours so the kids could see him for the first time in 5 months. He refuses to visit them in Da Plains. They have looked forward to seeing him for a long time. There is a lot of pressure for this trip.

It was confirmed yesterday that Comfy Shoes is wearing another pair of feet. ?? My metaphors are slurring. He has a girlfriend. A serious one. Who has 2 children. There is a lot more detail to this, but out of respect for her privacy, I will not say more today. But this obviously adds even more pressure because the kids will meet her on Christmas. Ambush-style, I'm afraid. They know nothing about her yet.

I am fighting off feelings of vomit in my mouth, honestly. I am okay with the girlfriend, but I am not okay with some of the details I can't share. Sorry. Suffice it to say, it's hard to know Shoes has been ignoring his own children completely for months in favor of someone else's.

I got my hair done today. Back to my natural color. I love it. I feel like me. It was fun to be blonde and I may be one day again, but for now, my wallet will remain much fuller without having to pay for insanely expensive and high maintenance highlights.

That's it for now. Please say prayers for us tomorrow when the 3 little hands pass from my palm to his, for the first time in over 5 months. Mabel may not even know him. The boys are holding him accountable on their own accord. There may be emotional explosions. They will meet Feet.

I have to have FAITH. And breathe.

December 18, 2008

Happy Birthday

Some of you have heard that today is my birthday.



I would like to tell you that yes, I did in fact turn 32 today.



Except something is telling me that I can pause this year, perhaps. I have been through a hell of a lot in the past year. I'd ask for a do-over, except I've loved lots about the past 365 days. Well, the sex hasn't been great because I haven't had any. I haven't loved that part. The rest was fantastic. But I don't feel 32. Can I be 30 again instead?




I had to post today because so many people sent me birthday wishes that I felt bad for having not bragged my birthday was coming up. On Facebook, even. Holy cow! Well, thanks. And, what's up with that?!?!



Even Eye Candy dropped by the blog and left a comment; made me swoon all day long.



It's my day.

I bought some new lacy, lusty intimates from Vicky's for my birthday present. I might not be getting any, but I can look fantastic during my drought.

Lulu is coming over and after we tuck our kids into bed (her entire crew is sleeping over), we're going to watch Season 3 of The Office until we fall asleep laughing our fool heads off. Then tomorrow, more friends are taking me out for dinner and drinks. How lucky am I? Except for missing my mom, BeckAY, and some hot man love, my world rocks right now. I've got a great job, awesome friends, and 3 super cool kids.

I, my friends, am a ROCKSTAR.

December 11, 2008

Olive Poses

Olive was interested in posing for the camera tonight. I had it out because (well, okay, I always have it out) the kids have a Christmas program at school tonight. I've got the telephoto packed.

Anyway, Trevor was leaning on the back of the couch when Olive popped up beside him, like she was late for a party.

*please disregard the shaggy hair; they both wanted to grow their hair out, but they are looking like they should be running with Scooby Doo instead*





Awwww. So sweet. She still looks humiliated, doesn't she?



Even the outtakes are darling. Look at that one ear popped up on his cheek.
Then Andy took over.


Olive was happy to comply.


I could eat them.
Andy's signature pose, only this time he bunny-eared Olive instead of himself.




She's some cute stuff, that Olive.
I think we'll keep her.

December 8, 2008

Dreaming of Shoes

From Lori's Shoes

Now, where in the crap is that money tree?

Busy

I finished the boys' toys. Trevor loves his green elephant and Andy adores his blue crocodile. Score, and check. I gave up before even cutting a pattern for a hippopotamus for Mabel. She has her bald dolly downstairs that I still have to finish.


I rearranged all of the photos in the living room when I redid the photo wall.
The new hallway photos:


The new photo wall:


The new (very old canvas) Paris print over the couch:



And, finally, some Christmas decorations:







Also, Olive pauses for a moment to look spectacularly cute and smell like Fritos.

December 6, 2008

Being Productive in Bed

The boys got me a gorgeous bag for Christmas today.



(that's clearly not me - and yes, I know it's big... I looooove it)


And some organic wool yarn for my birthday.











And they don't even know it yet. Thanks to Etsy. :)

I'm in a scarf-making mood. Hmmm.... I've been feeling all sorts of creative lately. (Anyone ever tell you that making something with your hands is a good substitute for hanky panky? If they do, don't believe them. It's totally NOT the same.) Ahem.


Anyway, I'm off to bed to watch some tube and sew the binding on my quilt. At least I'm doing something productive in the sack.


*hangs head*



Did I really just say that? On my blog? I must really, really, need to make something else.

*Sigh.*

December 3, 2008

Today

Today is a great day.


I'm excited to be moving forward in new things, moving on, moving toward... fun. Life.





I'm also feeling great because Trevor and Andy both got themselves up this morning, got themselves breakfast, got dressed, and took the dog out without my asking. How cool is that?!?!

December 2, 2008

26 Things

I'm late in this post, but I've wanted to do it since before turkey day.

Clearly, I'm beyond thankful for my God, my children, my family, and my friends. So, since they top the list, I didn't include them on this list of things I'm thankful for.

A - apples, honeycrisp and granny smith to be exact
B - British accents; they make me swoony
C - coffee, from Starbucks
D - my dog, even though she looks humiliated and stinks sometimes
E - the still of the early morning
F - fabulous furniture, mid-century modern, to be exact
G - it's a tie between Golden Girls and Grey's Anatomy
H - Heaven, because I can't wait to see my dad
I - Ice cream, soft serve chocolate with crunch coat, if you care
J - Jaegermeister and Red Bull - hey, no shame here - also comfy jeans and Jimmy Eat World
K - a first kiss, or imagining it anyway
L - Love Actually
M -My mom's smell: Sea Island Cotton lotion and powder and tea and yummy
N - New shoes
O - Opportunities, and grasping them with gusto
P - da Plains - still loving it
Q - Q-tips - without them, Trevor would have gardens growing out of his head
R - Random acts of kindness
S - Sewing and coconut shrimp at Bracco
T - tomato soup from Minerva's - absolute the best ever
U - "uh - oh!" - Mabel at 14 months
V - Vintage clothing
W - water - for swimming, for bathing, for playing
X - yes, I'm thankful for my X because while he gives me a headache, he also gave me the 3 kidlets
Y - Y's Buys thrift store (it's not my most favorite, but it's a Y)
Z - zurbts (is that how you spell that?) on Mabel's tummy

November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving, Ho!

The kids got out of school early today. Moo and I picked them up and then it was off to the library. Oh how I love the library!



Our plans for this upcoming four and a half day holiday weekend include (not in any particular order):



- Playing outside with friends (the kids, not me) while mom makes sweet potato casserole for tomorrow.
- Make dough ornaments
- Watch tons of movies (thanks, Library)
- Watch Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in the morning
- Finish quilt top (me)
- Finish stuffed elephant and stuffed crocodile (me)
- Put up Christmas tree
- Paint frame and finish photo wall
- Put patches in Andy's pants (the 4th and 5th pair with ruined knees since August)
- Finish 6th and 7th Betsy-the-Queen-of-the-Vampires books by Mary Janice Davidson (really great guilty pleasure for me there)

November 24, 2008

New WIPs

I have a couple of Works In Progress to share today. Just sneak peeks, really.






Also, I found this tutorial on Anna Maria Horner's blog today and want so badly to make one of these for our Christmas tree this year!



And if anyone is keeping track, NO I have not finished the dolls or bound my zigzag quilt yet. Quit nagging!
:)

November 21, 2008

The Eames Era Doll Bed, from Creative Playthings

Oh, I hit the jackpot with this thing.


I was walking through a local thrift store and wondering if the boys were still over playing with the gently used toys, 8 aisles away. Moo was in the cart, hopping so that her little pointy legs flopped up and down. I was looking for a coffee pot - a small one, like they have in hotel rooms. Anyway, I tripped over something wooden in their kitchy-wooden-countrified from the 80's-section of wooden bears and spice racks and bath pegboards. When I looked down, I saw that I had tripped on a doll bed.


Hmmm. It was marked $3. It was relatively bulky - a good 2' x 3', solid wood top and steel legs. I noticed that one of the rubber leg bottoms was gone. It needed a good scrubbing. Mabel smacked it a few times and I threw it in the cart. I wasn't going to because I already have a handmade wooden doll cradle waiting for pickup at my mother's house this Christmas. But it's a cradle and this was a bed. A big one. And modern.


Once home, I noticed it had a sticker on it, and I decided to look it up.


As it turns out, I tripped on a 1950's, Eames-Era doll bed made by Creative Playthings. My $3 doll bed is very valuable.





I don't really care that it's worth anything (and I question that, given the missing rubber stopper) - I love that my taste hit the jackpot, front and center. 1950's? Eames-era? Mid-century modern jackpot. I feel very, very cool.


And I love the bed mostly because it's something Mabel and I can play together. Dollies. Mommy.


So I (grabbed my camera and then) took her into her room and we swaddled "Baby" and put her on the bed. We gave Baby the Cabbage Patch binky and sang a lullaby to her. We patted her scuffed, rubber head. Mabel walked away. I said, "Wait a minute! Come back here! You forgot your Baby!"

So, Mabel walked back and picked Baby up. By the foot. And headed out of the room.




Oh my.



Cuteness! Nana, look how big she is!





And Baby was cast aside. Just like that, left beside the real mommy on the couch. Oh well, one day we'll play. Until then, I'll play. Oh you betcha - I plan to make a mattress and pillow for that bed.

Good times.

November 20, 2008

Living Green and Rocking it Out

Pursuant to my aforementioned List of Lists, please find my new list of FOUND items, thrifted in the past couple of days.



dress up- 3 or 4 suitcases to keep dress up/toys in (need these anyway) - total cost $4.00
overalls - $0.25
hats and wigs - total cost $12
suspenders - $3.50 for 2 pair
clip on ties - $1
desk for Andy - Christmas! - $5
silver glass ornaments - $1
4 buttons (eyes for two stuffed WIPs) - $3
curtain panel for storage room window - $2
2 food storage containers - found 3 for $3
globe - Christmas for Andy! - Ebay for $12
alarm clocks for the boys - $4
travel pillow - $0.50
doll bed for Mabel (not on the list) - $3







Oh, I can feel the GREEN! I didn't have to buy anything brand new and I saved a TON of money. Have you any idea how much money I saved on those suitcases alone? Holy CRAP! We needed them to travel back to Ohio in a month anyway (well, I would have used laundry baskets instead of buying them at full price, had I not found them). They would have cost over $150 for all 3 easily. And the green and black cases are in near-mint condition - they were a buck apiece! I scrubbed the large, gold case for almost an hour and now it's pretty, too - it was $2.


Andy's desk is a flashback from my junior high days. Near-mint condition chair with attached desk - metal, modern frame, turquoise fiberglass seat and gray fiberglass desktop. Not a single mark on the seat or desk. He's been asking for one for 2 months and now Santa has it hidden in the storage room until Christmas. All for $5.


More to come on Mabel's new doll bed. I found it for $3 and looked it up online. It's an Eames era original from Creative Playthings (no longer manufactured) and valued over $200! It's gorgeous and in beautiful used condition, missing just one of the rubber nubs at the bottom of one bed leg. I'm in love with it and have many plans for play. More to come, more to come.

A Green Christmas

I am forever thinking of ways to incorporate more sustainability into my life and as I mentioned in my last post, I've been thinking of Christmas lately. Christmas shopping, presents, present wrapping, handmade Christmas?, travel, music, etc. All of it running through my head like reindeer on crack. Every year I think about how much is wasted; don't you? The toy that isn't played with, grandma's 237th sweater, Dad's 93rd tie, the expensive wrapping paper thrown out after it's torn to shreds, the little twistie ties and packaging that requires an xacto knife and a machetti to get through? You SO know what I mean.

So I did some digging this morning and found some great tips to share with you about greening your Christmas. Most of them are super simple and can be accomplished very easily. All of them should give you much to think about this holiday season.

Green Gift Giving Tips

  • Be sure your gift will get used - A gift that the receiver does not use is simply wasted. Give material possessions only if you know the recipient well enough to pick out something they were on the cusp of getting for themselves, or which they really need and will certainly enjoy using. This is particularly true for babies and children; don't buy what they don't really need.
  • Give a consumable gift - Consider organic teas, fair trade coffee, fresh flowers, fresh or dried fruits and nuts, or another consumable gift. It's a guarantee it won't end up in the back of their closet.
  • Give yourself - Avoid material consumption altogether. Instead, offer your services to baby-sit while your friend enjoys a cozy date with their partner, give a gift certificate for a relaxing massage, or a winter’s-worth of driveway shoveling. You've saved money and given a gift worth more than money can buy - your time. I also like the idea of writing out Gift Certificates for "20 minutes of 1 on 1 time with Mommy" for my kids this year.
  • Give a service - Consider giving a service of any kind, like humanitarian services, in-home care for an elderly friend.
  • Give a gift where it is Needed - Give a gift on behalf of someone better off by adopting a child through a reputable third world food or care agency, sponsoring an animal through the local zoo, or donating time or items to your local mission center.
  • Make a gift - The baby sweater you knit yourself is more likely to become a family heirloom, extending the life cycle of the materials in your gift. Save money by using your yarn stash or ask friends for their yarn castoffs.
  • Buy a local gift - Your locally-sourced gift will save the environment from the emissions involved in shipping. Pay attention to the labels and if you're in the US and can't find something in your hometown to give, buy "Made in the USA."
  • Try flea markets or vintage and second-hand shops for quality goods you can afford - Find that cabinet your mother has been hunting for and then clean it up (using eco-friendly cleaners like homemade vinegar and warm water) to make the gift “new.”
  • Think about your packaging - Use packaging that will not go to waste. Your packaging may be part of the gift itself, such as wrapping the gift in a scarf or enclosing it in a box that can be reused for collecting life’s odds and ends. Reusable wrapping, such as a gift bag, will pass on the fun. For family and close friends, consider the Sunday funnies instead of commercial gift wrap.

Adapted/expanded from Planet Green here.

November 19, 2008

Living Green, a List of Lists

The other night I sat in the bed after putting the kids to bed and watching Grey's Anatomy, Season 2 with my notebook and pen in my hand. I could not. stop. thinking. I couldn't stop writing. I was feeling all sort of inspiration - and not just inspiration to create and gather, but GREEN inspiration. Ways to get what I wanted and needed that didn't involve a lot of money or theft. I wrote and wrote, and listed and listed, and when I was done I passed out from exhaustion. But not before first deciding to put this list of lists on my blog.




plant boxed spring veggie garden:
carrots
cucumbers
cherry tomatoes
green onions
check treehugger.com for eco-friendly planters, fertilizers, rabbit repellents
can I use 2 dresser drawers?



to make:
pork with roasted cinnamon pears (here from Everyday Food)
sweet potato risotto (here from Real Simple)
make soup (veggie, potato, chili)
look up eco-friendly food storage for freezer

Mom's stuffed green peppers (kind of rice? - call Mom)



thrift search:
musical instruments (keyboard, tamborine, guitars) - Christmas!
dress up
- 3 or 4 suitcases to keep dress up/toys in (need these anyway)
- overalls
- glasses (remove glass)
- hats and wigs
- costumes - not scary
- suspenders
- clip on ties
small coffee pot
desk for Andy - Christmas!
games or puzzles (checkers)
silver glass ornaments
4 buttons (eyes for two stuffed WIPs)
2 end tables
curtain panel for storage room window
2 food storage containers
large metal sign letters (R, T, A, M)
globe - Christmas for Andy!
used DS games - Christmas for Trevor!
Christmas cards
antique pear ornaments
antique bird ornaments
full size bed for Trevor (Moo to get his twin)
girlie twin sheets
alarm clocks for the boys
decanter for homemade chocolate sauce
travel pillow


shopping list:
63' thin silver garland
coffee
honey crisp apples
grapes
4 bell peppers
shelving for the boys' rooms
2'x4' - 1" foam for doll mattress (thrift? tear out of old pillow?)



to do:
finish dolls and clothes for etsy shop
free motion quilt for Moo
DCWV home sayings - apply or return
finish WIPs
bind quilt
paint orange/red frame
paint 2 white frames
reorg frame wall
make "mattress" and pillow for Mabel's dolly bed with old blankets
turkey needs 2 days to thaw - mark calendar
make list of Christmas cards
picture for Christmas cards
recycle Moo's unused glass bottles
make washcloths out of Moo's flannel receiving blankets
make gift list for Christmas


I did make that gift list, but because some of the giftees read my blog, I'm not posting it. There was also a grocery list, but I'll spare you that as well.

What can I say? If you're going to love me, you're going to love all of me. Including this neurotic list-making obsession I have.

November 17, 2008

More Pictures of the House







Seriously Inspiring New Stuff

... especially for a Monday.

Hula Seventy's blog. A new favorite. Find her here.







I am crazy about all of it. The collection of globes and maps (that would put Andy over the moon and would match his room!), the little trees, all of the letters (holy crap - SWOON), and the collection of photos and art in the living room ... all of it. I love every single part.