Monday, December 29, 2008

Putting on Ears

My husband is the consummate deal finder. The man never pays full price for anything. He has literally bought something on sale with a coupon for more money off than the cost of the item and the grocery store actually had to give him money to buy it. So, when he found a primo deal on a Sony MP3 player I was game. After all, everyone else on the planet has one so shouldn't I jump on the bandwagon too? I rarely listen to music anymore; the radio is permanently dialed into NPR. But I miss cleaning house or driving along with a great tune playing. So, off he goes to the Sony store and buys me one. He brings it home and I dig into my rather meager CD collection to begin ripping CD's to download. I get them all synced to the MP3 and eagerly put on my headphones. It sounds great and I am really enjoying songs that I have missed like a good friend that I have not spoken too for a long time. I am jamming along (or as close to jamming as someone my age gets) and should be having a great time. But, I feel vaguely unsettled and can not put my finger on the reason why. Then it hits me like a bolt, I am missing "having ears." It has literally been years since I have been able to drown out the world. It is a mother's job to have ears at all times. At first it was to make sure my baby was not crying, then it was to make sure my toddler was not destroying the house, now it is to guard against monsters and other scary things that invade my preschoolers dreams. I had completely forgotten the luxury of oblivion, sweet oblivion. It was decision time, do I keep the earplugs in and get some much needed solitude or do I succumb to the responsibilities of motherhood and resume my sentry duties? Well, God bless my deal seeking husband... five years ago he got a great deal on a baby monitor that lights up when junior in in distress. I placed it smack dab in front on my keyboard, put on the headphones, cranked the tunes, and have been free to do gloriously mundane tasks like update my blog. Thanks honey.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Doin' a little holiday decorating...

I got sick of looking at the same ol', same ol' around here. So, I did a little redecorating for the holidays. We are going to see the world's best Santa and Mrs. Claus on Saturday so I will be back soon with some pics. Here is a little walk down memory lane until then.....

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Holiday Wishes and More New Lo's!

Hope everyone had a wonderful and restful Thanksgiving. Now it is time to gear up for the Christmas season. I was bound and determined to have my shopping done early this year. Much to my delight (and surprise), I stuck with my goal and am almost finished and it is not even December yet!! Leaves me more time to scrap and here are my latest creations!

This one is scrapped with my good friend Julie's new kit Industrial Elf. Check it out here at Plain Digital Wrapper.

I love this picture and was so excited to get an opportunity to work with the new kit by Gypsy Couture, Colorful Curiosity. You can find it here at PDW. This LO was also done for a challenge over at PDW called Three Things by Courtney Wilson. The three things challenges are rapidly becoming my faves and I think you will like them too. You can find the forum thread here.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Finally here to update!!

My whole family, me included, have been sicker than dogs. We are all finally on the mend thank in no small part to the miracle of the Z-Pack! I have busily been working to get caught up with scrapping and to unveil my first group of Creative Wonder LO's!!! Here are my creations and the links to the amazing kits I was so lucky to be able to use!

This is from Winter Wonderland by Shawnery Mathis

This LO of my darling niece is from RazMaTazz by Julie. Itis.

This LO, also of my darling niece, is from Wild Thang by TammyKat Dezigns.

This LO of DS is from How Does Your Garden Grow by Kaylek.

This one is from Hooty by Designs by Shelle!

Friday, November 7, 2008

I'm a Creative Wonder!!!

I've been accepted as a creative team member, also know as Creative Wonder, for Plain Digital Wrapper. My digi-scrapping friends know exactly what this is all about. But for those of you unfamiliar with the world of digi-scrapping, this simply means that I have been chosen to represent the designers that sell their work at PDW and I get to scrap with all of their amazing designs and show them off to others! I am so excited to be given this opprtunity and will be posting about it often! If you get a second, run over to Plain Digital Wrapper and check out all of the amazing things they have to offer!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Operation Orange Belt= Success

DS tested for his orange belt this past Saturday. He did a great job. After the testing was a costume contest and he was so damn cute he won! Great day in our neck of the woods. Here are some pics taken by proud mama!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

October Designer Color Palette Challenge

Here is my work that I did for the October Designer Color Palette Challenge at Hummie's World. Hope you enjoy!! Here is the 4 shared link.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Heavy Sigh

You know your little boy is growing up when he spends a great deal of time setting up his train tracks for Thomas. Then as he sits there watching Thomas puffing down the tracks he pulls out his Batman toy and uses it to shoot Thomas.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Shout out to all my friends in Korea!

Ok, I really only have one friend in Korea. And well she is not a friend in the typical sense of the word. She is the daughter of one of my dearest online friends and let me tell you she is smart and funny and if I lived in Korea I am confident she and I would be fast friends!! She has undertaken the amazingly brave task of teaching English in Korea! Go check out her blog here. Every once in awhile when she blogs of the trials and tribulations of teaching I try to pop in with a nugget of teaching wisdom. It is worth noting here that it has been 8 years since I was a classroom teacher, and while being a school counselor is rife with it's own challenges, it is not the same as teaching day in and day out. Additionally, with the exception of my first teaching job, all of my years in the classroom were in a nice suburban school with nice suburban children. So really my nuggets of teaching wisdom are completely useless in light of the challenges she faces on a daily basis. So Kati, my hat is off to you and what you do. I am amazed with the grace and fearlessness you have shown during your adventure!

Kati sublty :) pointed out that I have not blogged forever and she is right. Normally it is a case of me not really having too much to say. But these days it is because I have too much to say and can't sort out what I should share.

So here are the highlights:
  1. School is crazy this year. Kids are keeping me hopping; I see no light at the end of that tunnel unless you count summer vacation!
  2. DS is liking preschool this year and is even showing signs of abandoning his underachiever role in this world. This is a good thing because his dad and I are uber-achievers and we are really floundering on parenting a kid that is not excelling.
  3. Politics are consuming me and I can't wait for all of this to be over. I love my family more than anything, but I am definitely of a different mind politically than anyone else. It leads to contention and it is lonely being the only one that is right! (love ya' sis)
  4. I miss scrapping and am needing a creative outlet, but I am too damn tired at the end of the day. I need to find some me time, but you all know how hard that can be.
  5. Last but not least, I am immeasurably blessed by friends close by and online. Especially those that would take the time to post on their blogs to get me to get off my sorry rear and back into the swing of things! Thanks Kati. I am touched, really touched!!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

My latest mini-kit!!

I found time this month to participate in Hummie's September Designer Color Palette Challenge.

Here is my mini kit!! The image is clickable!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Since my husband did not really seem to notice...

Happy Birthday to me, happy birthday to me, happy birthday dear Chris, happy birthday to me.

That's all, you may return to your regularly scheduled programming......

Saturday, August 23, 2008

My mojo has returned from vacation!

Scrapped a ton tonight and I am feeling good about it!! Here is my handy work!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Sheer exhaustion

Well, I am glad to report that the first day of preschool was not traumatic. DS found his best friend and they immediately busied themselves defending our planet against evil; otherwise known as let's pretend to shoot at stuff! Today he seemed actually happy to be there and although I had to work very late he was more than content to hang out out with Daddy until I could come home to put him to bed. I am really missing having time to scrap. By the time I get online at night I just can not muster up any energy to create. I love to check my fave blogs and hang out at Hummies, but that is it. I did spend some time organizing some of the digi stuff I had not yet organized and last week I was able to put together this simple LO. Hope to get in the swing soon and manage some serious scrapping! Anyone have any inspirational words to get my mojo going again?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

I survived!

I dread the last week of July and the first weeks of August more than anything. I have to return to work and my poor little guy has nowhere consistent to go. After a fun week with Daddy ending in a terrible fever, a stressful week with Grandma and Grandpa and the return of aforementioned fever, and a relatively uneventful week with Auntie, we are ready to begin a routine. DS goes back to preschool on Monday. This is great news for me and according to DS not so good news for him! I am hoping that his best friend and the fricking sandbox (which is the bane of my existence) will be alluring enough to make the first day drop off uneventful. Last year when he was new there the crocodile tears and histrionics were enough to rip my heart out of my chest and I am praying to avoid that scene! Truth is he NEEDS preschool. I think I may have spoiled him a teensy bit (DO NOT EVER SHARE THIS WITH MY HUSBAND please :)) and the structure of the day will serve him well as he truly is a creature of routine and habit! Think of me Monday morning as I embark on the start of my journey to the new normalcy in our lives and the nightmare of cleaning sand out of the infinite number of nooks and crannys my child's little body has!!

Sunday, July 27, 2008


This is my first week participating in the weekly photohunt! I am excited to play along. Here is my rather literal take on the theme!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Mothering... not for the faint of heart

This has been a huge emotional roller coaster week. I am contending with going back to work full time and leaving my precious baby in someone else's care. Apparently my son has sensed this because he has done things that bring me to my knees in tears with the grief of knowing how much I will miss him and then doing something that makes me think maybe I will be glad to get a break from him.

Case in point:
On Wednesday DS has his second to last swimming lesson which entitles him to the title of champion dog paddler. We have spent exactly 18 days this summer going to swimming lessons. I have yet to see any real swimming instruction. However, my child is king of the game "Green Light Go, Red Light Stop"as played in the shallow end of the pool. Anyway, I digress. Lessons are over and DS and I have hopped into the pool for quality mother and son time. This is also known as me being repeatedly splashed in the face as he belly flops into my arms from the side of the pool screaming, "I want to do it again, Mommy." This time though he is distracted by the big kids jumping off of the diving board. He looks at me and says I want to go off the board. I pause, casting about for some reason to keep my four year old safely with me. I am not sure about your community pool, but ours have pretty stringent rules that have not changed in 25+ years (I am not exaggerating, the rules are the exact same as when I swam at this very same pool during my childhood.) For the diving board, you must jump off and swim to the ladder, not the side and no one may be there to help you. This is not a short distance to the ladder and I am certain my kiddo will not be able to make it. I explain this to DS knowing that he will see reason and change his mind. No dice! After asking him,"Are you sure?" for the eighteen billionth time, I know what I have to do. My son is NOT a risk taker. When other mothers are pleading with their children to stop doing dangerous things I am encouraging my son to try it. I must let him give it a shot. I tell him I will go first and will wait for him at the ladder. I figure that way when I go into to save him it will not be as crazy as me running and screaming from the edge to jump in after him. I jump off and swim to the ladder and look at him perched on the edge of the board. I am fairly confident he is going to chicken out and all I will have an opportunity to be the perfect mother as I help him back off the board and comfort his bruised ego. But no, he jumps in with vigor. Holy toledo he is swimming and he keeps going. I am waiting for him to tucker out and look at me to rescue him. But, it never happens., He happily swims all the way to the ladder as I cheer him on and he is beaming with pride. That's my boy!!

Case in Point #2:
We are now at home happily basking in the glow of DS's diving board success. He has picked "Monsters Inc" to watch for family movie night and we are happily cuddled up enjoying the flick while he greedily munches away on his snack. All of the sudden he turns to me screaming bloody murder. "What is wrong, sweetie?" I urgently ask. Through his tears and the blood that is starting to drip out of his nose he informs me that he has stuck a Craisin up his nose and he can not get it out. For those of you unfamiliar with Craisins, they are dried cranberries. They happen to be my child's favorite thing to eat in this world besides any form of pasta. I ask him why in the world he would do that, but he just wails, "I don't know!" We try to get him to blow it out, I go excavating with a flashlight and tweezers. No luck. I guess I will have to call the pediatrician in the morning as it appears that he is fine now and will likely not die during his sleep. (Although I kept the monitor turned to 10 in case the Craisin decides to dislodge and choke him in his sleep. NO Craisin is going to take the life of my child!!) So the pediatrician assures me they remove objects from children's noses and ears all of the time and to give my ENT a call to get him checked. I call the ENT who likes me very much. She likes me because I alone am funding her retirement with the numerous surgeries for ear tubes and removal of mysterious things called adenoids. They are more than happy to take more of my money to remove foreign objects from my child's nose. So we get up the next morning to head downtown to the hospital. We have to park on the very highest level of the parking garage which is problematic given my child's long standing phobia of elevators. We trudge down 7 flights of stairs and make it down to the long hallway to the lobby. We run into a man and his three young sons. I smile and mention that he has his hands full. He smiles back and tells me they are going to get mom and the baby. I continue with the pleasantries saying he will really have his hands full with one more. He proceeds to tell me that the baby will die of a chromosomal disorder and I am searching for the appropriate words to respond when DS pipes in,"I have a Craisin in my nose!" In case you are wondering, there are no rocks to crawl under in that particular hallway. We make it to the lobby and get directions and realize we are going to have to take an elevator. This is not going to be pretty. DS starts shaking and begging me not to go and I remind him we would not be in this predicament if HE WOULD NOT HAVE STUCK A CRAISIN IN HIS NOSE!!! He wisely relents and decides to ride the elevator. We wait in a waiting room for an hour and finally get to see the doctor. Several tools go in his nose, no Craisin comes out. We are pronounced to be in the clear and we are sent on our merry way, after paying our copay of course!

As you can see the first story shows why I am absolutely bereft about leaving my baby behind. What you probably can't see is that the second story does not leave me craving a break like I reported earlier. Quite the opposite. It is in his trying moments, not his triumphant moments that he needs me most. I want to be there for them all. Damn job!!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

June Designer Palette Challenge!

I have finally completed Hummie's June Palette Challenge. Here it is! Hope you enjoy! The preview is clickable!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Fun Times

I was resigned to a summer with nothing but stacations! But my sister and her husband's family decided to purchase a lake home on Table Rock Lake. This last weekend we all headed down for some wet fun! My DH opted out as that kind of stuff is not his thing, but maybe we can talk him into going next year!! Anyway here are a few pics. I found it really hard to take pics while on a bobbing boat so most of the shots are not great, but my sis captured a few fun ones of me and my son!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

I hated playing tag when I was younger and I am not so sure it is any better now! :)

Alright I have posted my Kit for the May Design Challenge at Hummies, (see below) so onto more pressing matters! :) OK, so I guess I have been tagged by my friend Dani and that means I have to blog about 7 random things about me! Here goes:

1. I had straight hair until after my son was born and now it is curly. I have no idea how or why this has happened but it did...the mysteries of science never cease to amaze me.

2. My husband is 14 years older than me. We met when I student taught at the school where he taught. Our first date was to see Treasures of The Czars. We had taken a group of students to see it, but did not get a chance to see much ourselves. The group of kids I had were thugs and required constant supervision and Hilda C. did not feel so good after a 1hour bus ride so DH followed her around with a basin in case she decided to hurl. I asked him if he wanted to come back and see the exhibit without 100 6th graders and he agreed! Thanks Hilda, we'll never forget you!

3. My father died in a car accident when I was twelve. He was a geologist. So, in college, when I needed one more science course to get a science teaching endorsement I decided to take Geology 101. I thought it would be a neat way to learn about what made my father tick since I did not have the chance to do so firsthand. At the conclusion of the course I had come to a very deep realization about my father. He had to have been one of the most bored humans on the planet!! I was extremely hard pressed to find anything interesting about rocks! Sorry Dad if you are reading this from Heaven.

4. Like Julie, I have hazel eyes. Unlike her, I love mine.

5. I never leave the house without mascara on. NEVER! I am way too vain to not at least put in that little effort on my appearance.

6. I have secret desires to be a really great cook, right now the only thing food related that I am great at is ordering off of a menu!

7. I am a complete control freak and need to have my fingers in all of the things going on around me. I would be happiest if someone put me in charge of the world and I got to make ALL of the decisions!

Since I am a blog newbie and all of the people I know that have blogs have already been tagged, I will refrain from passing this on directly. However, if you have read all of this and are still lucid and not comatose and you yourself have yet to be tagged, consider yourself invited to join the game. It is actually much more fun than I would have thought.

Never underestimate the power of your preview!!

The original preview for my most recent kit was terrible! I should have never put it out there. The response to my kit has been underwhelming at best! So, I am going to give it another shot! Hopefully more people will be interested! Here ya' go! Download The Sun Also Rises

If you like these colors swing by the May Color Palette Challenge Thread at Hummies. I especially like the kits from my friends Julie and Dani!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

My May Palette Challenge Kit is Ready!

Well, it has been a crazy month and I have had a hard time finding time to get to this challenge at Hummie's World. But I am finally done. I have learned a lot by trying to work more with brushes and actions, so this kit has been a huge learning curve. I hope you enjoy it and can use it for your scrapping! Click on the preview to download! Enjoy!!

I have deleted the horrible preview for this kit. See the next post to see a much (I hope ) better preview!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Happy National Scrapbooking Day!

Glad you stopped by my blog. I have a little month circle freebie for you! The preview does not do it justice, so take a second to DL and check it out in real life! Also scroll down for my April Design Challenge kit!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A new little freebie for you!

Here is a tiny new freebie for you inspired by my friend Hummie. I will be forever grateful to her for showing me that I know how to do more than I think I do. Also thank to Christy Lyle for the inspiration and Jellyka Nerevan for allowing me to use her font, Ellianarelle's path!

Here is the link Chris's month circles!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Now the random thoughts part of the program...

It has been subtly pointed out to me by my good friend Julie that perhaps I should be posting something on this blog. Apparently the intended purpose of this blog venture is to write witty things that keep you mildy amused enough to keep coming back while you wait impatiently for me to upload my next sub-par freebie kit. Since I really don't have anything witty to say I will just tell you about the amazing thing that has been happening in my household this week.

Two weeks ago my son's preschool teacher pulled me aside to tell me that she had started working with DS on letter sorting and beginning sounds. Now, being the calm rational sort, I immediately decide he is ready to begin reading, NOW. After all Miss Tammy has said he has conquered b, f, m, and n. I mean if that is not a solid reading foundation I do not know what it is. Vowels, shmowels! So, I being the model parent ask her what I can be doing to encourage reading at home. Well, she tells me that the BOB books are the best and I should think about trying those down the line sometime. Since she clearly meant NOW when she said sometime down the line, DS and I headed to the library the very next day. I confidently walk up to the librarian and ask her where the BOB books are. I am determined to get my boy the best books so he can become a champion reader! Well, clearly I am one of steely resolve because after she told me that BOB books are only available in paper back so the library does not carry them I settle for some books on tape and give it nary another thought. I am sure that following along to the brilliant narration and page turning beep of Curious George Goes to the Movies is also excellent reading preparation.

So fast forward two weeks and my husband, DS and I are out on our weekly pilgrimage to Costco. We are strolling happily along. We have already loaded up our 48 roll paper towel pack and the 5 gallon drum of olive oil and are just meandering through the aisles in search of other must have bargains. As I turn the corner into the CD and book aisle my heart does a little dance. There in all of their glory are the BOB books boxed sets 1, 2, and 3. Better yet they are only $9.99 a set. I swoop in and grab set number one. My husband nonchalantly asks what I just put in the cart. I answer him with extreme authority that these are the books DS needs to use to learn to read. My husband presses further and asks if we really need those yet. I assure him, again with extreme authority, that we need them NOW.

So, by that evening I have pumped up the idea of the Bob books to DS so much that he can barely contain himself as we carefully peel away the cellophane wrapping and open the decorative box. I pull out the first two books thinking that that should be a good start. Book #1 is called Mat and book #2 is called Sam. It is patently obvious to even the most casual observer (and to those that read the parent guide on the back of the box)that these books MUST be read in sequence in order for your child to learn to read. I am certain that my child will end up spending his entire adult life asking, "Would you like fries with that.?" if I screw this up. So I confidently hand him book #1, Mat. He takes one look at it and says, "No, I want to read Sam." I open my mouth to explain that we must read Mat first when I realize that I have not yet told him what the books are called. He read the word Sam!!!! Did you hear that, my baby read the word Sam!

Now I would be remiss if I did not point out that I have a lot riding on this reading thing. I have always been a reader. I count the library as one of my favorite places on Earth. I was the second best reader in Kindergarten, beaten only by Kiersten who was always one primer ahead of me. To this day I resent her for that! I taught English for several years and have basically built my identity around the printed word.

So, as it sinks in to me that DS really may be ready to start reading I expect to want to gloat at my child's accomplishment. But instead I had to silently wipe away a tear as I realized the amazing, wonderful world that is about to open up for my child. Reading will take him places I never can. Reading will be his friend when he feels alone. Reading will make him laugh and make him cry. Reading, quite simply, will be the key to the world. And if you are taking the time to read me go on and on, I know you understand. My baby is ready to read NOW!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

This is just crazy!

I just checked my 4shared account and 75 people have downloaded my kit. Holy smokes. I can not even begin to express how much that exceeds my expectations. Thank you so much for this vote of confidence. I will definitely try my hand at creating some more things!!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Freebie for you...

I have been so inspired by the April Designer Color Palette Challenge at my favorite site, Hummies World . So, I decided to give it a shot. This is my very first attempt to design anything, so I still have some kinks to work out. I am having trouble sizing my elements correctly. If you are interested, you will have to resize them yourself to fit your needs.Here is the link if you are interested:
Miss Chris's April Design Challenge

Also pop over to see the kits my friends have whipped up for you! Julie and Dani

Well, here goes....

If you would have told me even a week ago that I would have a blog I would have told you you were crazy, but here I am. I have no idea what I am doing, but the day I stop learning and trying new things is the day I want to die so I am going to give it my best shot!