Wednesday, November 28, 2007

we are a crafty kind of people

Last week we made a few Thanksgiving crafts. A few of these were turkeys worth gobbling up quickly!
turkeys to gobble up

more verbs

Coveting - this machne made by ProvoCraft. I can't believe I'm going to admit this, but I actually watched an infomercial about the Cricut over the Thanksgiving break and now I just can't stop thinking about all the things I could do with this thing! So expensive, but sooooo nice! Oooooo!

Reading - Eat, Pray, Love for book club. I've picked it up a dozen times so far and still haven't made it through the end of the first 15 pages. Maybe I'll set aside more time for it soon.

Loving - the new church we've been going to. Very exciting, uplifting, and inspirational.

Hoping - to lose at least 5 pounds before Christmas. I went to exercise early this morning and I'm going to try to exercise every weekday between now and Christmas.

Feeling - fortunate. I've been praying for a friend of a friend who's 1 year old son was critically injured by his babysitter a few months ago. He's made remakable strides towards recovery, but still has tons of progress to make. I read the frequent updates on his carepage and thank God for sparing him, giving his family strength, and of course I thank Him for the health of my family.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


I may have mentioned before that I love making lists. I often have so many lists going at once that I lose track of what I'm suposed to be doing and then I inevitably leave one or two items on one list and move on to the next list leaving those few "undone" things forgotten. It's frustrating because I seem to go in circles, never getting anything done.

Well, sometime this past weekend I decided that I wanted to try to become more organized. I think that if I start with all of my lists I will become, in general, a better person. I want to eat less, exercise more, be more productive, spend less, etc. I realized that I needed a system to get rid of all my lists. So I bought a big dry erase board and I'm going to hang it up somewhere that I will see it everyday. (I haven't decided where yet - any suggestions?) On the board I put three sections. One is for a list of things I must get done that day. The second section is for the list of things that I need to get done soon (as in a few days or one week). The third section is for the things that I want to get done but are not high priority. I hope this helps me get my lists under control and get more things done.

Anyway, here's a peak at what's on my "soon" list this week.

  • sweep the kitchen

  • vacuum the den

  • do some laundry

  • begin this month's book club book

  • put Julianna's too-small clothes away

  • start wrapping Christmas gifts

  • go through and throw out old magazines

Also, I am pondering how the English words "to" and "do" run together to make the Spanish word "todo" which means all or everything. Am I the only one who finds this sadly amusing?

Monday, November 26, 2007

upcoming dinner menus

  • pot roast, carrots, potatoes, green beans

  • BBQ pork chops, baked beans, corn

  • steak gorgonzola, broccoli w/cheese, baked potatoes

Do you have anything to add? What else sounds good for dinner this week?

playing around in the leaves

The leaves have been absolutely GORGEOUS this year. Prettier and more vibrant than I've seen in many, many years, if not ever. A couple of my cousins cam over last week and we got outside for some fresh air and enjoyed the warm weather. One of my cousin's children entertained Julianna for quite a while and I got some nice photos. I love the colors of fall!

fun in the leaves

Sunday, November 25, 2007

i will be so glad

...when November is finally OVER!

This NaBloPoMo stuff is going to kill me! I had almost 400 blog posts unread and waiting for me in my reader on Thanksgiving. I've managed to whittle away at that number and get it down to about 90, but I am so tired of reading posts that are there just for the sake of posting an entry a day during NaBloPoMo! I almost participated in it, but I am thankful now that I didn't because you people write so much I can't keep up! When November is over I will hopefully be able to return to my life already in progress.

Thanks for listening to me gripe! I feel better now.

twenty months

Dear Julianna,

This is the first time ever in your whole life that I haven’t started this letter before the day I needed to post it. Time has just gotten away from me and the month has gone by way too fast this time. It really seems like I just did one of these last week. And we have been sooooo busy. Running here and there for the holidays and when you finally get a chance to sit down and breathe you remember ten other things you needed to do so you get up once more or you just sit there and rest so you don’t lose your mind. ANYWAY, you’re still mama’s wonderful little girl who never ceases to amaze me.

This month you’ve somehow learned how to count to ten. You’ve also expanded your vocabulary by leaps and bounds. I can’t even begin to keep up with all the words you know now. Just now you climbed in daddy’s lap to read a book and you quickly said the name of the book, “Shapes,” a word we didn’t know you even knew. Things like that actually happen all the time now. You’ve learned almost all of the basic colors and you can point them all out to us although you can’t say a few of them. You’ve learned a good bit of the alphabet and now when we go to Nanna and Pap’s house you prompt me if I forget to start singing at exactly the right spot on the way.
in the time out chair... again

You’ve also had a little bit of a “mean” streak going lately where you hit and push people when they want your toy or when they ask you to do something you don’t want to do. Mama and Daddyyou’re your favorite people to hit although you’ve managed to swat at a few others. We’ve still been using time out when this happens, but you don’t seem to mind too much.

It will be interesting to see your interpretation of Christmas this year considering that last year you hardly understood anything. This year though, I think you’ll start to get a little bit of what’s going on. I know I sure have had a blast explaining the season to you and seeing you process it all so far. It makes me feel like a kid again. I was so excited to take you to see Santa at the mall the other day and you did really well with it. It took some warming up, but you finally sat on his lap and you’ve talked about it lots since then.
helping Mama decorate the Christmas tree

We put up our Christmas tree the other day and you’ve been fascinated with the “biiiiiiiggg tree” in the house as well as all the ornaments. The nativity set that I had as a little girl has brought you lots of joy in the last week or so. You set all the pieces out in a line and then transfer them to a new location one by one and amazingly display them in the proper positions. Occasionally you pick Baby Jesus up and give him a gentle kiss.
having fun in the bath with Baylee
kissing baby Jesus

You’ve had some fun playing with a few friends this month. You can tell that you’re learning more and more how to interact with the people around you. You recently took a bath with your friend Baylee which you haven’t stopped telling us about since and you love going to Mamaw’s house so you can go visit and play with Abby and then later tell us about how Abby cried, “Waahhhhh.”

fun in the leaves

Potty training hasn’t been going very far. You will sometimes go days without wetting a diaper, telling us every time you need to potty and then after that you’ll go back needing lots of prompting or never wanting to use the potty at all. It’s so confusing sometimes why it goes that way, but we’re still giving you all the time you need.
You’re doing really well in your big girl bed. You’ve rarely gotten out of bed at night and you’ve taken many more naps there this month so I feel we’re doing great. You’re growing up so quickly! In a few of the pictures we took the other day you look eight years old already!
Julianna hugging her stocking

Finally, I want to tell you about Thanksgiving a couple of days ago. We celebrated with family as usual and as Thanksgiving often prompts, I’ve been thinking about what I’m thankful for. I’m thankful for the early mornings you bring. I’m thankful for the messy highchairs and dirty kitchen floors. I’m thankful for filthy bathrooms and cars with squeaky brakes. I’m thankful for that extra roll or two of fat that I have gained this year and I am thankful for your small temper tantrums. I am thankful for your problem-solving daddy even when I just want him to listen to me rant. I’m thankful for money problems and always needing more hours in the day. I’m thankful for the past and the future. I’m thankful for hearing the word “applesauce” 1,822 times and for that really annoying “Candice Can-Do” book. I’m thankful for every bit of my life. And I’m thankful for you, Jules. I love you, baby girl.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

for your viewing pleasure this fine Tuesday morning

The other night Jonathan and Julianna were goofing around before bedtime. Of course, Julianna got to running and not looking where she was going and she had a pretty bad fall on the corner of the table. She cried one of those silent cries that breaks your heart because you know she's hurting so badly. Anyway, after Jonathan had calmed her down and we got some ice for the huge bump on her forehead that was already turning blue we decided (what else?) to video her latest tricks. You know, since she was sitting still and all...

BTW, I'm an idiot and I took the video vertically without thinking. Now I can't figure out how to get it turned sideways so pretty, pretty please just turn your monitor up on it's side and pretend nothing's wrong. M'kay? Thanks!

Drill Sergeant Mom from c525600 on Vimeo.

Monday, November 19, 2007

things I will not buy any more of until 2009

There are some things you just really can have enough of. This is my list. I vow not to spend another cent on any of these things for at least another year.

  • facial cleanser

  • body wash

  • fabric

  • fiction books (unless they are specifically for a book club meeting)

  • wine

  • make up

  • things that would be great for a "Dirty Santa" gift

  • magazine subscriptions

  • Pampered Chef products

  • nail polish

  • wrapping paper

  • candles

Sunday, November 18, 2007

got on the scale today for the first time in a looonnnnggggg time

It wasn't pretty.

I think a diet is in order.

Plus some exercise.

Maybe after Christmas.

I need to etch the date in my brain calendar and start saving up my willpower.

I am at my highest non-pregnant weight ever.

And approaching my highest weight ever period.

It is super depressing.

I haven't exercised in many, many weeks.

I will soon.

Care to encourage me?

I could really use it.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

i got elfed

Hey, I just made a total elf of myself. Check it out by clicking the link below.

fun with Brady

One of my friend's little boys came over to play on Wednesday. His mom had all day training for her new job so I offered to keep him while she went in for the first day. Julianna had fun playing with him (he's only a few weeks older than she is) and it gave us something to do. Plus it was cool to try my hands out at taking care of two little people instead of just one. Good times. Anyway, they're adorable together. See?

Brady and Jules

Friday, November 16, 2007

Paper Goods

Now selling my handmade greeting cards on Etsy.

Click here to visit my shop.

More cards are being added now. Gift tags and scrapbook pages will be added later this weekend.

Just trying to make some money as a SAHM.


Well, I dropped Jules off at school this morning and had my first "parent/teacher conference" as a mother instead of as a teacher.

When I started to leave the preschool teacher pulled me to the side and said she needed to speak with me for a minute. She then gently told me how Julianna had started hitting the other kids in the class. She explained that she just wanted to make me aware of what was going on at school and asked that I help reinforce why we shouldn't hit people with Julianna at home. She also told me that they've been putting her in time out because of the hitting. One day she apparently took a plate from the play kitchen and smacked it across some poor kid's head.

I have to admit, hearing all of this stung. My whole body got warm and rigid while I was standing there listening to her. I was shocked and I immediately got defensive.

As a previous teacher myself, I recognized that my instinct response was the worst response I could have had. So instead of saying what I immediately wanted to say and defend my sweet, innocent child I considered the facts.

Jules hasn't really been hitting other kids in my presence, but that could be because I haven't been around her with other kids too much recently. She has started hitting me when I ask her to do something and she doesn't want to do it. Per the pediatrician, we have been trying to use time out to discipline at home. Usually she only has to sit in time out during dinner when she throws her fork or spoon or cup. We know she does this to get attention and we're working on teaching her how to act properly. But the idea of her hitting kids was a surprise to me. Not that I can't see her doing it, just that I didn't imagine her doing it at school. I fully believed everything the teacher was describing that had happened.

Anyway, to ease the conversation I guess, the teacher pointed out how she doesn't have siblings at home and that she realized that she could have picked up some of her newfound "skills" at school. We talked about using time out at home and about how Jules usually only hits me. I thanked her for bringing it to my attention and assured her that I'd do what I could to reinforce the "no hitting" philosophy at home as well.

It took a while for me to get over the whole conversation. I am sad to have to deal with these sort of little things. Of course I want my daughter to be perfect. I want her to be the "easy" kid or the "good" kid. I'm also not naive and I know that she has to learn how to live and communicate along side other people while respecting their rights too. All this just means that she's growing up so fast. And that makes me a little sad too.

Fortunately, the more I think about it this whole little discussion really made the teacher grow on me a little. From experience I know that it was difficult for her to have to pull me aside and tell me that my daughter is showing signs of being a bully and a troublemaker (i'm totally exaggerating there I know). [I absolutely dreaded talking to parents when I was a teacher.] I also know now that she really wants to help my child learn. It is perfectly normal for Julianna to want to defend her territory when another child comes and takes away the toy she is playing with. Not only will helping her learn to stop hitting teach her how to survive later as a normal adult it will also help the flow of the classroom now so I really believe the teacher wants what's best for both of us.


What's next though?

Monday, November 12, 2007

i just sneezed…

...and my most adorable little girl said, "bless you!"

this is one she WON’T be carrying around between her teeth

Last Tuesday, my husband's grandmother, his mother, and I all went to Old Salem to learn how to make pewter spoons. His family has a love for pewter pieces and when we heard about the class, we thought it would be enjoyable to learn how they were made and then to have a treasure to take home and add to the collection.

When we got to the class we had a little trouble locating the building and room from the dark cobblestone street. Once we go inside we noticed the room was lit with only a few lights and the glow from the fireplace (450 degrees we were told). We got a brief introduction and some instructions on what we would be doing and I chose to cast a spoon from the mid to late 1800s since the "federal" mold was already warm when it was my turn to cast. We had two other choices, but since I went next to last I knew from watching the others that it would be easiest to choose one of the warm molds.

The class itself was more than three hours of grueling detail work - casting, re-casting, cooling, trimming, filing, sanding, sanding, more sanding, stamping, and finally polishing - but it was also more than three hours of experience. I was amazed at how tedious it was just to create a simple object that we all use every day and certainly take for granted. I cannot imagine making those things all day long for a living.

During the class I would often stop and take breaks, putting my spoon and sandpaper down to rest. I began to love the small scratches or uneven places (some would call them "flaws") and I exclaimed to those working near me that those places gave my spoon "character." I'm glad to have made it.

Here. You can admire my handiwork.
federal style pewter spoon - front
federal style pewter spoon - back

Don't you love the way I stamped my initials in a diagonal line intentionally?
pewter stamping - diagonal initials were intentional, i promise

Now it's sitting on the buffet in my dining room, displayed with the pewter tea set my MIL gave me one year for Christmas. It looks a little out of place there, but I don't mind. It's something I'll always treasure.

my pewter set on display

Monday, November 5, 2007

another first

I don't know what this says about my parenting skills, but my less than 20 month old daughter just climbed up on the couch, turned the TV on, and changed the channel to the cartoons. And now she's sitting here quietly watching them. Another first, but certainly not one I expected to encounter this early.
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