Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 was

Well, it looked like it would be a rough one... and it was. It's never as bad as it could be, it can always get worse, so I'm not complaining, just talking.

Honestly, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.. but probably because I psyched myself up.

I didn't do much blogging.. even though I wanted to. even though I needed to. I just couldn't.

In January Mathew had spine surgery. [details on the before surgery info, here]
Recovery was rough [here + here]... and not just on Mathew. I almost had a breakdown.
At times I felt weak for not handling it better. But we got through it.

We also celebrated our 7 year anniversary... I'm here to tell you that the 7 year itch is real. It. Is. Real. But we made it. We survived. We're stronger than ever.

I got some good deals.. this dress for 9.99?! I mean...

You guys, Douglas started pre-school.. SCHOOL!

We had a couple of great trips home, even one to fabulous craft show that I haven't told you guys much about. I was so excited to get in, and I had such a fabulous time! But I just haven't had the time to blog about the experience.

Double rainbow!

Isabella was grumpy... I'd say about 355 days out of the year.

I found some more awesomeness via Pinterest. Including some words that help me be ok with being a crappy mom sometimes... I bared my heart and soul to ya'll. I know I'm not the only one that hears the phantom murders, screams, and carnage.

Douglas turned 5 and had a killer Michael Jackson party.. I have that blog as a draft.. forgive me.

Douglas also had his first surgery... hopefully only surgery. He had his tonsils removed, but get this.. on the SAME day as Mathew had his removed.. Double tonsillectomies... I have nothing more to say about that. It wasn't pretty.

We had a fabulous Christmas... but I have to mention Sandy Hook. I was out Christmas shopping when I heard, first I saw something about it on Facebook. Even though Facebook + I have a rocky history, when I'm out on the town I can't help but check it every so often. Everyone just expressed sadness... once I looked into it.. I had a horrible feeling. I tried not to let it get to me, I was trying to get all the shopping done that day. It was on the back of my mind though.. and after the kids were put to bed, I just lost it. I couldn't stop crying. I was so sad. I feel for the parents.... and those poor babies. What they went through... What they felt, the fear. I can't even... I'm so sorry. My heart, prayers, love goes out to all of the victims' families... no words could ever comfort you, or make it easier... I still have my babies though, and I don't think I'll ever look at them the same. though I want to run away from them sometimes, or they make me want to stab myself in the eyeball, the thought of those sweet children & what their parents went through won't leave me. I can't shake it. So I'll hold them a little longer, let them sit on my lap, let them "help me in the kitchen... love them. Because they are still here for me to love.

I think that next year we'll have to do more giving than receiving. And by we I mean the children. They were a little stingy this year. So I'll have to come up with some activities that induce more of a charitable spirit.

This last week D & M got some kind of stomach flu thing.. It lasted less than 24 hours though so that was a +... I'm thinking me & Is didn't get it because we're strong, healthy girls.. men are weak. [*wink*]

I'm kind of glad to see 2012 go... I'm really looking forward to next year. I've got big plans. Mostly plans to get my life back. To do things right, grow, become a better wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend.. a better me.

I also have plans for my little shop.. not big ones, but good ones. But for now, to celebrate the old + new year I have a little something for you.


Monday, December 10, 2012

The way it should be...

I'm going to lose my mind.

I need to keep Douglas occupied so that he doesn't start bleeding out and die. [dramatic much? I don't think so. They cut pieces off of him.] Isabella just wants to be held all day long, she needs constant attention. I know that she takes after me in that way, I like to have attention I wish I didn't but I do need people to like me and be affectionate toward me.

So I think, "okay, all this other crap can wait till tonight after they go to bed or during nap-time." But lately Isabella can't go to sleep without me, without ME being with her. So I lay with her for what feels like an hour, sometimes it IS an hour. By the time she falls asleep it's 9 o'clock and since I've just been laying there I'm super sleepy, if not already passed out with her. I put her in bed with D and it worked fabulous for a while, but she just tries to keep him awake now. During the day we color, play, watch movies/tv [more than we should]. The only things I can do are crocheting, maybe reading, and some online stuff because Isabella can sit on my lap or next to me while I do it.

So things get put off and dishes pile up and laundry overflows. And honestly I just want to throw all the dishes away and get new clothes. I'm also a stress eater so I've gained 20+ pounds in the last two years. I want to do yoga. I want to do my hair. I want to make a nice dinner. I want a freaking shower. I want to sew. I want to have a clean organized home.

But I also want to spend as much time as I can with my children and I want to make memories with them. I want them to remember me as a good mom who didn't take any bull, but also fun. I want them to be happy that let them paint their bedroom walls and I let them paint naked outside and I let them make cookies and make messes and I made cupcakes and things for them. That I took time out and played with them.

I want them to see me as more than just their mom too. As a person, a creative person. A smart person. A pretty girl that doesn't always wear yoga pants. But there is no time for ALL of that. ["Ain't nobody got time for that!"] There's no time for me to play with them AND keep everything picked up and perfect. And if I try to keep everything the way I think it should be I turn into a monster. I want to stab someone if they just breathe or dirty a plate.

So I will learn to embrace the messy. Be comfortable in yoga pants that don't get to do yoga very often and hide the dirty pots and pans and cookie sheets in the oven. At least we made dinner together and decorated some cookies... Even if they were eventually just fed to the dog.

In a a few years I won't know what to do with myself. In a few years I'll wish I could wash their dirty clothes and sleep with them.

But then it'll just be us. it'll be time for us to get to know each other again... for me to pursue anything that I want to. I can travel, go to school, get a job, paint. Anything. But for now I need to just take it a day at a time. I've enjoyed them as babies and toddlers, now Douglas is in preschool and too soon he'll be in kindergarten.. I'll get to enjoy most of it. I'll also get to hate lots of it. No sleep, all the poop, being their taxicab, getting their bad attitude, being talked back to, the eye rolls... Then being left for the career they've dreamed of, the opportunity of a lifetime, for the God that they want to serve, for the pretty girl that he loves & for the boy that steals her heart. They can go be productive, involved members of society. Invent things, write things, learn, teach, achieve. Then all those times I couldn't poop, eat or shower without them will be a blur. And I'll be proud to have been the person that made them who they are. Then they'll live their lives. They'll be on their own. And I can live mine.

[images via here, here, + here]

Sunday, December 9, 2012


Yup, more than one. Same family.
Father-Son tonsillectomies.
What I thought would be within a week of each other, then ended up being on the same day.
This would only happen to me right?!

Mathew's was initially scheduled for Wednesday November 28th and Douglas' for Monday December 3rd. Mathew's would've been the day after D's birthday/party [Michael Jackson party?! yes, I'll blog about that soon. Hopefully]. It would have been before The Little Craft Show. So in between me planning/hosting/cleaning up after a party and building my inventory for + traveling to the craft show I've been looking forward to for a year. I would've also had to figure out something for the kids since he would have been recovering from surgery. So... I moved it. To Wednesday December 5th. They do all tonsillectomies on Mondays + Wednesdays. 

So I was prepared, for D's surgery to be on Monday, and M's on Wednesday. Then they called from D's ENT office and said they had to reschedule his to the 5th... I laughed and said of course! Both tonsillectomies would be on Wednesday. Thanks to my wonderful in-laws and some well thought out planning, things went through without a hitch. 

Douglas looked so cute in the gown.

[little boy booty in boxer briefs, need I say more...]
We tried to keep him entertained, and he kept the nurses cracking up. When they asked him if he went by Douglas, Doug or Dougie, he said, "Michael Jackson." And when another nurse asked if she could call him Michael, or Mr. Jackson, he said, "it's Michael Jackson." Ha ha! my kids are a trip.

[clockwise from right: D feeling nervous, D coloring and goofing around with the nurses, and D trying on some of the nurses' latex gloves]

Douglas was taken for a wagon ride.. taken away from me. That was hard.

The doctor came out to talk to me when the surgery was done. She said that he did great and, "his tonsils were huge! And it takes a lot to impress me. They definitely needed to come out". She knew that his dad's tonsil were coming out too. She gave me a hug and said that I probably needed a prescription to get out of the country. Ha! 

The experience of having D go through that was horrible. I hated every minute of it. He was miserable afterward. He hated waking up from the anesthesia and I had to get in bed with him to calm him down. He just wanted it to be over, for the pain and grogginess to go away and go home. I wanted to take his place, make it better.

Thankfully my in-laws kept Isabella for the first 2 nights. Mathew slept, and Douglas threw up most of the day the day of the surgery. He couldn't keep anything down until around 7pm that night. Even now, he's not 100% himself. There's been times when I've had to keep him from running and trying to wrestle the dog. But yesterday was day 3... The notes, the doctors, the nurses, the internet says that day 5-7 will be the worst. That's when the scabs come off and they will be in more pain. The pain is supposed to increase every day til they do come off, then it's supposed to hurt really bad, and then get better. I'm not ok with that. Mathew will be fine, though they say it's worst on adults than on kids. basically, D is making Mathew look like a wimp. I feel a little bad because he's totally getting jipped. I'm taking care of my baby. Mathew is an adult, he'll be fine I'm sure.... Sorry babe.

I think we'll be ok. I think keeping D's mind occupied is probably the best way to keep things going well. We've watched movies, played games, read books & baked + decorated cookies.

Hopefully the rest of the recovery will go on uneventfully. But for now I'm just holding down the fort. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Little Craft Show

Guess. What?!

I made it into The Little Craft Show!! I am SO absofreakinglutely excited.

They. Are. Amazing! To see some of the greatness that will be at the show you can check out their 2012 vendor Pinterest board. I can't believe I made it in. With it being a juried show, I just feel so humbled.

With that said, I have lots to do before the show. I have to plan my booth, stock pile some inventory... Plan D's birthday party... Who by the way, is also going to an ENT tomorrow to see about getting his tonsils taken out. Needless to say, I wont be taking any custom orders until after the show. Then you can get your Christmas orders in.

But before I could get started on any of that, I had a project that I HAD to finish. This blanket for Jessica of JessicaNDesigns.

It's a queen size... Talk about a big endeavor.

I'm happy with how it turned out.

Though I don't plan on making any blankets of this size again any time soon, I'm so proud of myself for accomplishing it. If you crochet and would like the pattern for this Flower Patch Quilt, it's for purchase here from The Stitch House and it was pretty simple. The size of this one just made it feel a little overwhelming, but it's beautiful. I think a smaller size would be a great weekend project.

Hope to see you at The Little Craft Show on December 1st, where there MAY be a lap quilt/toddler size Flower Patch Quilt in my booth...

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Phantom

I used to love taking showers. Well, I still do.
Ever since Douglas was born I kind of hate them.
Well, I love them. But hate them.

When they're babies, the spit up, poop, and sleepiness makes you wish you could shower every half hour.

When they're toddlers you hope to have 10 minutes to just shave your pits and maybe wash your hair.

But what about when they're old enough to be alone for 15-20 minutes and know that you're in the shower if they need to get you? Can you actually enjoy yourself?

That's a big fat NOPE! [no Call of Duty breaks for me]

I don't think that as a mom I'll ever just be able to not think about them. To just be in the moment. At least not for more than a couple minutes. But it only takes 1 minute to scarf down two slices a slice of walmart cheesecake in your car in the parking lot. I live for those minutes. Even though I don't log enough workout time to counteract them...

Right now Douglas will be 5 in November & Isabella is 2 + a 1/2 and showers suck when they're home. Even if they're sound asleep. EVEN if their daddy is home.

Shower time is when the phantom shows up.

The phantom crying, screaming, crashing.
I know that I'm not the only one who hears it. I've asked around.

When D was a baby I swore he cried as soon as I got in the shower. I'd turn the shower off and everything was quiet. Daddy at work, d sound asleep.

Not just during showers though, any loud activity, vacuuming, blow drying my hair... whatever.
It sucks.

I mean, sometimes when Mathew is home I think that I hear a car full of murderers pulling onto our gravel driveway, coming in and killing everyone. I'll come out of the bathroom in a towel only to be shot in the face. ["I shot Marvin in the face!"- name that movie!]

I know it's morbid.
I try to ignore it.
I have a playlist entitled "squeaky clean" for those rare occasion where I can use up all the hot water because the kids are in bed and Mathew is home. I use that time to practice my lip-sync performances with a shampoo bottle. I'm kind of amazing at it.
If there is no music and sometimes even WITH the music and the dancing and shampoo mohawks there's still that fear.

It's like Dexter's dark passenger. I've wondered if it will ever go away.... I think:

"I'm sure it'll get a little easier once I know that they are adults and I've [hopefully] done an ok job raising them. But when they go to school, are they being picked on? Would they tell me? Are they keeping up with the curriculum? Do they wash their hands? Do the other kids ignore them? They're in the backyard but what if a cow goes crazy and runs through the fence to trample them? Did one of them just fall down the stairs? What about when they start driving.. Oh man... I'm starting to hyperventilate. What about when they decide to go explore the world.. When they're in India, or Turkey, or Bolivia, or Tulsa? Will I hear phantom sounds then? Yup... I need some cheesecake."

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Pinterest [again]

Do you Pinterest? It's a verb you know... Pinning!
I've talked about it before. About it's Words O' Wisdom.

Today, I'd like to show you some of my other favorite pins.
Pins that have changed my life.. well at least my hair.
That's a very important thing in a girl's life.
As a frumpy mom, I wear my hair up A LOT, too much.
More than I'd like to.
It's quick + easy, but sometimes messy.
I need something that doesn't need to be adjusted every half hour, and looks cute if I need to run to the store because I forgot something, or we run out of Nutella.
Enter this pin.

the first time was a bit of a mess. [top pic]
But it gets a bit easier, and honestly, I love it.

Another thing I saw on there was this..
Nutella ice cream!

I didn't follow the instructions exactly, here's what I did.

When I buy bananas there's always 1 or 2 that get spots and the kids wont eat it. As we adult's know, there's nothing wrong with the banana, but they're kids, and the banana looks gross. So they won't eat it. My mom always put them in the freezer, peel and all. The peel gets grosser looking but the banana is good. I suggest taking the peel off and putting them in a freezer bag. Peeling a frozen banana is a mess. Trust me. + it's cold. A while back my lovely friend Amanda made us some banana "ice cream". It's not really ice cream, but a very yummy and healthy alternative. [She writes a healthy food column for the Joplin Globe, you can read her article on frozen yumminess here]. It wasn't long after, that I saw the Nutella ice cream pin. So we tried our own version of it.

I used about 1/2 cup of Nutella
6 bananas
and about a cup of milk poured in beween blending.[because I wanted it creamier]
I wonder what it would taste like with 1/2 + 1/2, or whipping cream.....

We [the children + I] blended it up and then immediately served some up. It was good!
I put the rest in a yogurt container and put it in the freezer.
Even though I had to defrost it in the microwave for like a minute, it was even MORE delicious the next day! 

Ok! one more Pin!
My darling Amanda...

She has a green thumb, garden every year, plants all up in her house, fresh flowers everywhere. I love greens. LOVE them, but I can't keep anything alive.. having her as a friend is a major advantage though. I mentioned to her that I wanted a kitchen herb garden, and she helped me get started.

Yes! that's romaine lettuce, it's my favorite kind of lettuce.
I saw this pin and told Amanda about it.

Both of us were leery, but I said I'd give it a try.

It actually works!!
I'm still amazed and look at it every time I walk by it.

I'm never throwing another lettuce butt thing away again! Yay! I'll show you guys what it looks like when it's bigger, before I eat it.

Let me know if you give any of these a try! I love sharing things that actually work! So if you have any "must do" pins, hook me up! It's so exciting when they actually work!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Martha, Martha, Martha!

I moved to Northwest Arkansas when I was 14.

From California. 

Umm... talk about culture shock.

I wanted nothing more than to go back.
I wanted to walk down the Santa Monica Pier, City Walk, Sunset Blvd [not in a stripper/pretty woman sorta way].

I didn't even know what a hay bail was.. I just stared at the fields wondering what in the world those giant round things were. I didn't ask because well, I didn't care.

If you don't know, Bentonville, AR is where Walmart originated. Fayetteville is perfect. Springdale, Rogers, Centerton, it's all a fun, lovely community. It grew on me. Because of Walmart, Cargill, Tyson's world headquarters & other companies there, there is lots of money there. I'd say the perfect definition would be sophisticated southern. Not too hillbilly southern. Though I've had encounters.

I use the word y'all more often than anyone should.
I live on a farm in southwest Missouri.
I have to burn my own trash.
My mailbox is like a mile away.
And most of all, I love Arkansas.
I miss living there.

Lucky for me, my mom still lives there.
The kids need to see their abuela.

She lets them do fun things.

I enjoy ditching them and enjoying the place that now feels like home.
I get a melancholy feeling. I get giddy. I feel like there's never enough time there... even before I get there.

I had a little bit of business to do though. I've talked about True Treasures before, it's still rad! I love that place.

and seeing my stuff there blows my mind!

Debbie had a tub of buttons...
Or as Amber reffered to it, crafter's crack.
I think I spent at least 20 minutes picking some out.

I also found some yarn.

Which will make for some lovely bracelets with vintage buttons! Score!

When will they be in the shop you ask? Soon my lovely friend. Soon.

Besides the loot, getting to hang with my mom, and ditching the kids, I also met up with my Martha at the Bentonville Farmer's Market.

If you become my friend, I'll love you forever. No matter how many friends I have, you become my special friend. [sometimes there's an ed after that special. those are charity cases.] either way my friends mean a lot to me. I know good friends don't come by easily. So they're mine. My Amanda, my Kalyn, my Liz, my Amber.... And so on.

I've written about my Martha before, but after Saturday, I love her more. 

The main reason I wanted to meet there is because there's crepes.
Frédéric is in the back round. With his lovely French accent and all.

We had a blast waiting for the crepes!

We talked about how YOLO needs to go away, but then decided we should just start using it.

We ordered sweet La Foster crepes and Cokes to drink because... well, YOLO. ha ha. it's growing on me. Martha has even begun to use it as a verb. We're goofy like that. If you have a twitter account, follow her. She's hilarious. That's why I love her. As you can see, she's a beauty. The picture in the bottom right where she's covering her mouth, she should be in an add for hair stuff, or Coke, or YOLOing.

We walked around, I talked.. a lot. I'm working on my listening skills ok?! We stopped into a couple of shops. Including a bike shop because I need want one to ride around town with my Amanda & the kids. Realized that I'll need a kid's bike.

Thanks for a great time my sweet, lovely, funny friend! I had a blast!!

cause YOLO.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Plaid Giraffe

so this guy started preschool last week.

The back pack was a toss up between Sonic, superheros, and Mario.
Mario Kart is his fave thing right now. maybe the fact that him playing video games is so limited helps make it special. [y'all know how much I love video games.]

He went to bed early, laid out his clothes, set out his back pack, asked for cupcakes for breakfast.

We were all very excited.

He didn't care that I dropped him off. He didn't even think about telling me goodbye.

I'm not gonna lie, I did mind him blowing me off a little. But mostly I was happy for him.

When he ventures out, confident, happy + ready to take on the world on his own, I feel like I've done my job so far. Not a perfect job mind you. But I do feel validated.

I took the time he was in school to myself and went to target, dropped off donations at Goodwill, enjoyed some Starbucks, + got the grocery shopping done. The most exciting part of the morning was picking him up from school. I couldn't wait to hear all about it.

To my disappointment all I got out of him was that he loved school. LOVED it. And he got to use scissors, play outside, + eat a snack. He's the kind of kid that tells me nothing, then one days teaches me something new and I'm all, "where did you learn that?!" To which he responds with, "school!" "sunday school." or "Curious George."

We tried to keep the special day going. Mathew had lunch waiting for us when we got home. Fried rice + fish sticks! Then He played Mario Kart while I put groceries away and Isabella napped.

over all I'd say he'll have a good memory of that whole day.

I shopped for like 4 hours. I was tired. So... dinner needed to be easy. I made french bread pizzas. super easy and quick. Great for busy days. [detailed steps below]

  1. purchase bread, cheese, toppings. You can also buy some pizza sauce or check out my recipe for a super easy one here. [sauce hint* no need to simmer if you don't feel like it. just mix ingredients well and it's ready to go!]
  2. slice bread in half, spread pizza sauce on.
  3. add your toppings.
  4. bake at 375 for 15 minutes
  5. cut into slices. I like to use a big chopping knife and just rock it across so that I don't burn my fingers. [does that make sense?]
  6. [not pictured] eat your heart out.
you can make a side salad or whatever you'd like. It's quite popular around here.
You're welcome!

After dinner we flew kites.

Douglas has gotten the hang of it and can even keep up with his daddy.

They BOTH also would like y'all to know that they flew the kites to the end of their string. [pictured below... they're pros.

good day indeed.