Thursday, January 31, 2013

Sweet Pouch Update

Well, I finished my zippy pouch and packed it with a box of chocolates from our local candy store, Cranberry Sweets (which has been featured on Rachael Ray), added a note, and a headband chosen by P and sent it off to Australia.

I wrapped the chocolates in a plastic bag because I had been reading about some very hot weather that Australia has been having and I was concerned the chocolates would melt into a big mess.

I have been enjoying the photos on the Flickr pool sweet pouch swap group. Some very gorgeous and creative pouches being stuffed and shipped all over the world. It is worth a look and also some photos #sweetpouchswap on Instagram.

This swap was organized by Ros at Sew Delicious. She has a wonderful etsy shop under the same name, a FB page to like, and a delightful blog:

Nothing in my mailbox....yet....

Saturday, January 26, 2013

My Best Friend, Coffee.

It seems that J has developed a pattern of waking up before the sun. I mean way before. Some mornings it has been as early as 3 AM. This is not an "ease into wakefulness" this is "I am ready to take on the day!"

This is motherhood.

"Mom! Let's get up!" he shouts in my face and then gives me a big smooch. He wants toast with butter and some water along with cartoons of some sort. I shuffle about and do my best to keep my eyelids from closing for a prolonged period. Sometimes I try winking, giving one eye a rest and then the other, this is more work than what it is worth but it's 3 AM.

I do love coffee and these early, early mornings have given me a new respect for it. However, one time J fell back asleep just as I finished my first cup of the morning.....I cried.

Today he decided to wake up P at about 3:45. This turned out to not be a good plan. P needs her sleep or she is a beast and I can't give her coffee to help the rest if us but I can drink coffee. I drink coffee and it allows me to handle the wild that awakens each morning before the sun, with ease. I drink coffee because it understands.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Bad Words.

Casually walking around Staples the other night, P starts the following conversation:

"Mom, there are 4 bad words. One begins with an 'H' and one begins with an 'S' and one begins with an 'A' and one begins with an 'F'. Can you say them for me?"

Oh, goodness my mind was all a flutter and I could feel my face starting to burn. I will admit that I do, at times, like to sprinkle my vocabulary with said four letter word enhancers but I do my best to not do it in front of my children. And I rarely use the "A" word!

I took a deep breath and calmly asked P where she heard these words and completely expecting the finger to point at myself, she answered "at school" and preceded to tell me who exactly in her class says these words and when they say them and what happens when they are said in class. She also listed a couple other girls who frequently use the "H" word.

Holding back a "What the 'F'ing 'H' is wrong with these dumb 'A' kids today who don't give a 'S' about anybody but themselves!" I calmly replied with "it is not appropriate to use bad words at school or out in public. It is disrespectful and rude."

And with that our four letter word discussion ended. I was much relieved she only knew four!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Far and Away

My parents have decided to seize an opportunity they cannot pass up and move away. It is a really good thing.

However, if you are me then you can both see the greatness of it and feel the anxiety and loss of having them pack up and go.

They will only be 4 hours away. That is a huge jump from being 40 minutes away but still closer than when we lived 2 1/2 days away.

When we lived 2 1/2 days away and one month after we were married my mother was diagnosed, for the second time, with breast cancer. I was 2 1/2 days away and far away from any other friends or family that could offer me comfort and support. It was awful. Being far away was awful. I was gifted with a plane ticket and was able to be there for the surgery and help with the recovery. Emotionally it was important to be there.

It was because of that feeling of helplessness that we began seeking a way to the west coast to be closer to my folks. It wasn't until P was born that we realized just how important the parent/adult child relationship is combined with the importance of the grandparent/grandchild relationship.

We did not have that where we lived. A wonderful circle of friends yes, but no family support of any kind.

We moved when P was 2. The deciding factor was that my parents lived here. Given what I have just disclosed, I would find it safe to assume that we will be seeking opportunities that would bring us closer to them. It makes a huge difference to have that support close by.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Yellow the Color of Cowards.

So, Lance Armstrong confessed to the world on Oprah, that he did indeed dope it up during his cycling career.

I am trying to wrap my brain around why this matters. Here is what I came up with:

It is a loss. However, if he had overdosed on drugs or died during the Tour de France he would have been remembered as a hero. We would be in mourning over the tragedy of losing this great athlete.

We are still in mourning over this but we mourn the loss of trust, the loss of determination, the loss of as a world we came together to cheer in this one man to his victories! He lied to us. He used us. Is he worse than Tiger?

He seems to have no remorse or no visual indications of being sorry other than flapping his lips. We may turn our back on Lance but he will still live a luxurious lifestyle and certainly feel nothing of discomfort, after all a confession should rid him of the anguish and torture his soul must have felt every time he lied about this.

Does he even have a soul?

Who gives a crap if everyone was doing it! It doesn't make it right and I am certainly not trying to teach my children to go along with whatever everyone else is doing!

Potential made-for-tv-movie title:
Yellow Jersey of Shame!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The True Love of a Princess

There is absolutely no way to keep a determined little girl from following her heart's desire into the land of the princesses. Once P's eyes were opened to the world of glittery tulle, flowing taffeta, jeweled tiaras, and glass slippers there was just no stopping her.

Since Merida has been introduced to our world she has become our world. P knows every line of every character from the movie. If she asks you to play "BRAVE" with her, you will be assigned a character and given your lines. If you do not say your lines exactly as they are said in the film with the same emotion and inflection then consider yourself fired!

J has been sucked into the princess world too. He is fond of Rapunzel and often times asks for a frying pan or will quote Flynn Rider: "Are you coming blondie?"

He plays the "BRAVE" parts assigned to him really well. They often replay the scene where Merida rips the tapestry. J is Elinor and knows every line. He then becomes Mor'du and the real fun begins!

Merida often joins us out and about:

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Talk About the Weather

I complain a lot about the rain. When it arrives it brings with it a huge dark grey cover that blankets the sky as far as the eye can see. The wind also likes to tag along, uninvited, and trash the place.

It is January. It is winter. I read a lot of posts about snow and storms across the country. I "like" the snowman pictures my friends post on the Facebook. School closures are always well received too as nothing is more memorable than a snow day to play and drink hot chocolate!

We don't get snow, we get grey. That is when grey decides to show up. Today, it is 45 and sunny. Clear skies over the Pacific ocean. There is no wind. J is playing outside in shorts. I could take a catnap on this chair in the sun.

Red Breasted Robins flood my yard in search of a wormy meal and yesterday I saw an Oriole. This is winter.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

That was a Lousy Way to End it.

I received a message in the morning saying "it's a great day for football!" It turns out it was a lousy day for football.

In the pre-game show, Boomer promised and all but guaranteed that the Ravens would wear out due to the altitude long before this game was over. Boomer lied to me!

P told me these things during the game:

1. If I love football so much, then I should marry it. (If football asked, I would have said yes.)
2. Football is bad for my health and maybe I shouldn't watch it anymore. (I now have the off season to get healthy enough to play again.)

At one point my family was in the other room and I was alone with the T.V. jumping up and down,  yelling and screaming. I was hot and flustered.

Football is an emotion.

Friday, January 11, 2013

And Then She was Gone....

My family moved a lot when I was a child. I was frequently starting new schools and doing my best to make friends wherever we moved.

I was always the one that moved away; not the one that stayed.

It turns out, little P is the one who stays. In first grade she has actual friends. It's no longer just kids she attends school with, sits by at lunch, or plays with at recess. She has little girl friends she shares stories with, plans outfits to dress alike with, makes gifts for, writes notes too, plans play dates, and talks about "when we are in second grade together...."

One dear little friend goes away in the winter to play in the snow but thankfully returns in the spring. One friend, her BFF, has moved to the next town over, the next school district over. She has moved away.

This is most heartbreaking for P. This is a new role for me. I'm always the one that went away, I am not the one that stays. P is the one that stays. I am at a loss for what to say. So far, it's a lot of stuff like "we'll plan a play date soon!" or "I'm sorry your friend won't be at school anymore."

She is handling it well, staying positive. I guess I thought my friends forgot about me when I moved away and I am seeing that maybe they didn't and maybe they were sad, like P, that I wasn't there to play with anymore.

I'm going to plan a play date for P and her little friend very soon!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

She's Crafty.

I have signed up for a craft swap. This will be my first ever (official) craft swap. I am really excited about it. It is organized by Sew Delicious. We are to make a zippered pouch and fill it with chocolates or other sweets and send it along to our assigned partner.

I got my partner details today! She is a lovely lass in Perth, Australia. I have started stalking her....not in that creepy sort of stalking way.....ok, stalking sounds creepy in any sense. I have checked out her blog and started following her on the ever growing assortment of social media outlets.

Once P finds out I am making something for Australia all bets are off! P will take over and insist I find out about all the animals there, what language they speak and how to speak it, do they have princesses, what the weather is like, and what natural disasters could possibly maybe occur there.

I should have my baby back from the repair shop this weekend. Now the big question is do I make something with ruffles or pleats?

P.S. there is still time to join the swap! Just click on the Sew Delicious link:

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Terrible Twos Aren't so Bad the Second Time Around

The closer J gets to 3 the more the words "No!" "Don't!" "Stop!" are in my everyday vocabulary. It's frustrating mainly because my over reacting is inefficient in defusing whatever age appropriate albeit annoying behavior J is demonstrating at the time. Currently, he likes to stick his tongue out and blow.

Most of the time I find his two year oldness a breath of fresh air compared to his sister's. Not that I am big on comparing the two of them, I mean one has a penis one does not. They are different. They are different in more ways than just physical. It is just great to watch them be different and mesh together their likenesses. It is best to watch them be brother and sister, siblings, best friends. The one true person guaranteed to be there.

P is more of an endurance racer at every task she lays out to accomplish and once accomplished, she moves on. J is just a recreational racer and does a task until he gets bored or distracted.

Parenting takes patience, love and the fine art of finesse to know that one does not parent different children the same way.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

No Nap Jack takes a Nap

It is a very rare treat when J takes a nap and I find a few quiet moments to myself. This happened yesterday.

It is sort of a frantic feeling at first. "My child is asleep and I do not know what to do with myself!" Expecting him to wake at the immediate closing of his eyes, I watch and I wait.....still sleeping! Then tip toe out of the room, backwards, and breathe.

Naptime is the restart button for moms.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

You can take the Girl Out of the South....

One time at a Chinese restaurant P tried to order her food in Spanish and kept saying "gracias" to our server every time her water glass was filled.

With her increased interest in learning French P has become more aware of the accents people around her have.

Most notably her Tennessee bred & born grandmother who, although has not lived in the volunteer state for several decades still pronounces words with a minimum of two syllables and adds "honey" onto the end of most terms of endearment. If she has spoken to her sister over the phone we can always tell as her accent becomes greatly increased with twanginess. Southern is its own language altogether.

It's time to plan a trip to the deep south and introduce P to her extended family. She now likes to add "honey" to her affectionate terms and can twang and add syllables when necessary!

In the Spirit.

The Christmas Season comes to a close and for many, it seems, so does the Spirit of Christmas.

I am going to work really hard this year to model, demonstrate, show, teach, and help my children learn that the Spirit of Christmas is in each if us everyday. It does not end when the tree comes down.

I'm not striving for perfection, I just want us to be more aware of the individuals around us and more aware of how we present ourselves to the world. We need to spread happiness everyday; be less judgey and more lovey!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Sew Sad

My sewing machine is currently out of commission.

I am someone who crafts something daily using my sewing machine and to not have it at the ready is very difficult. I have loads of projects waiting and ideas for more goods to make are growing daily.

The local repair shop is unable to fix her and my dad has offered to drive her to a repair shop in Eugene that fixes her brand. I will keep you posted and hopefully will have good news to report soon!

Thursday, January 3, 2013


I woke up this morning at 4:00. J had been snuggled up to me the entire night and started fretting about. His full bladder broke his slumber and when he is up....he is up!

It was black outside. I fixed a cup of coffee and pleaded with my brain to keep me alert and eyes open. I shuffled about, fixed snacks, set up a morning movie cartoon and watched the sky lighten and quietly usher in the sun.

Our home faces west. We can see our little town, the river and beyond to the ocean. As the sun rises, the western sky turns a charcoal grey and the buildings, trees and river blush pink and orange. It is vivid.

This morning clouds clung to the coastline and a rainbow drew the line between light and dark. The huge arc spanned from the beach over the river, town and beyond. The sun opened her wide eyes and the rainbow slipped away.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Snail Mail

On my list of goals for this year is to send more snail mail. I'm pleased to announce that I have a dozen or so envelopes addressed and ready to mail.

I did get some help from Shutterfly as they are photo cards. Some have a little thank you note inside too. I like to let people know how they made our holidays special. I use Shutterfly for just about every card sending holiday there is and more. It helps that they send a lot of freebies and coupons to my inbox.

They do make it easy to whip out an attractive photo card while your 2 & 6 year old have ripped the sheets off your bed into a big pile thrown the pillows on top and have challenged each other to a daring game of who can jump the highest and farthest off Mom's bed before she notices.....all this with screaming too!

My goal for the snail mail increase is to try to send at least one handwritten card a week. Any photo cards crafted via Shutterfly will just be a bonus! Remember, there are handwritten notes in about half my stack of ready to be mailed.

Also, for the record I love to get mail too!

It is fun to send a smile or a hug to someone far away. If you are reading this and know someone who needs a note in their mailbox, please follow this blog and send a message with the details and I will be more than happy to send a snail mail note along.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013, Day 1

So, here it is: New Year's Day of the year 2013. We survived the end of the Mayan Calendar and a very busy December!

P is in first grade and this year she had full schedule of social engagements. Nutcracker practice/performance, gingerbread party (ok, I organized that), an angel with a speaking part in the Christmas Eve Mass pageant (she rocked it). A whole host of other little fun holiday activities were thrown in there too. Luckily, we don't travel over the holidays so, on Christmas Day we were able to really enjoy the day.

Now, onto 2013. I've been thinking a lot about goals and what I hope to accomplish as a person. It's varied and sort of all over the place. P has expressed a few things she wants to learn/try and so, I, naturally as a mom, have incorporated those into my personal goals too. I narrowed down 12 goals for myself to tackle in this year. Thinking I could do one a month (some are daily tasks) and work on creating positive habits. So, here is my list of 12 (in no particular order):

1. Blog daily (a good start)
2. Send more snail mail (thinking at least 5 letters/goodies a month)
3. Run another 1/2 marathon
4. Teach P to sew
5. Help P learn French
6. Try extreme couponing
7. Make a quilt
8. Get my Etsy shop going
9. Make more/use less
10. Clear out the clutter/organize our home
11. Take a family vacation
12. Celebrate More!

I am up for this challenge 2013!