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Showing posts from October, 2008

Fine Motor Skills...

The task given to her: Help Mommy by taking these little wooden beads out of their tray and put them into a zip-lock for easier storage.

What she decided to do instead: (In her words.) Make a puzzle.

Her finished product.

I would have totally expected such attention to detail from her older sister. I guess maybe she has a bit of the organization bug too. It amazes me how a 2-year-old brain works!


Because I'm Kinda a Nerd...

Check out this little informational video about the candle. I found it fascinating.

Update on the cleaning/organizing/crafting progress thus far. BUT, my kitchen table and counter have been found under the piles of this and that which have accumulated over the past several weeks, all the movies in the house have been put away, we can actually see and use the coffee table, and the bathroom has been scrubbed for the first time in weeks. So actually, quite a bit of progress has been made...just of a different sorts than I had originally envisioned for this week.

Today's project: Lexi's pirate costume. After all, Halloween is tomorrow!!!


In the Comfortable Silence of Friends...

This weekend I stole away to Wisconsin for some time with good friends; Laura, Marie, and Carlos. I was reminded of the simple joy that is being in their presence and the comfort that exists even in the silence that lays between conversation. Politics, spiritual beliefs, family roots. The depth and breadth of topics which we discuss when we're together amazes me. My life became a brighter, happier, richer place as each of these individuals have come into it. I'm so blessed by their love and friendship.

As we merged into city traffic going into Madison Friday night, we pulled up behind this car.

It gave me such comfort to see that welcome as we began our brief stay in Madison.

We had so many great, simple moments of fun throughout the weekend. Night time walks lit by the glow of the capitol building. Sharing a yoga class with Laura on Saturday morning at a studio just 2 blocks from Marie's apartment. The Madison Farmer's Market. Possibly my favorite part of the weeken…

And this...

is an example of why sometimes I just don't get the way the world works these days. (It's an interesting, somewhat funny read. Especially for those of us who have NO CONCEPT of spending money this way!)

What $75,062 will buy you at Neiman Marcus

I can't help but think that for that amount of money...we could pay off our mortgage!

(I wonder...if they don't win...does she still get to keep the stuff? Oh wait...OF COURSE SHE DOES. Silly me. What was I thinking?!?!?)


Getting My Groove Back...

I've been in a funk.

Been missing my mojo.

Have lost my groove.

I'm not sure exactly when this took place exactly. The best I can deduct is that it's happened slowly over the course of the last year. All the ups and downs. All the time spent focusing on just getting through the basics of day to day. Somewhere along the way I started to lose interest in some of those things that make life interesting. Things that help brighten my days. That provide a creative outlet. That help me stay sane and balanced.

I wake up each morning ready to simply cautiously go through the motions that will get me safely to the end of the day. Sometimes I wonder when the next big hammer will drop. Admittedly each time the phone rings I take a moment before I answer, weighing the pros and cons of answering. It could be my Mom just calling for a chat. OR it could be one of the many entities to which we owe money and are currently unable to do anything more about that fact than apologize and promise …

Dance, Dance, Dance...

I know, I know...enough with the YouTube videos you're saying. But's about a political dance off! I mean when it comes to getting younger voters involved and excited about the democratic process, you gotta give this one props. Besides that, you can't help but be amazed at what some of those dancers can do with their bodies...the strength, the control. Amazing! (And in case you're wondering, yes, I do watch So You Think You Can's family time!)


The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything...

With Scott working a second part-time job at a video rental store, we've been watching a few more movies than normal lately. I mean hey, it's free entertainment. One of our favorite animation series, Veggie Tales, just released their second full length animated movie, The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything. So of course we had to give it a watch.

The girls were entertaining me earlier today in the car on the way home by singing the movie's theme song. So at dinner while we were waiting for their pizza to cool, I suggested they give Daddy a little concert too. Of course, too funny not to share.

We're trying to talk the girls into being pirates for Halloween...I think Lexi's leaning that way, only she want's to make sure it's "appropriate" for girls to be pirates. Miss Marie? Greta? Laura? Apparently Mommy's opinion isn't quite enough reassurance on this topic.


Simple Reminder...

I've found this past year that facing anything is possible with love on your side. And that's also why life hurts so much sometimes. Because we open up our hearts to love. It's a beautiful thing, but it also makes us vulnerable. Today, I'm extending my arms all the way to Texas to hug my brother. And a shorter distance down the road to my friend JW. Words can not explain how heart broken I am for your losses. For the world's loss. May the memories of your loved ones and the strength of the universe settle peace into your hearts over the coming days.

On a day when my heart is heavy with sadness for tragic events, a simple, beautiful reminder to continue celebrating life. This one's for my Mom, my girlies, and the special bond that comes from being a daughter and a mother. Just one of the many ways opening my heart to love has blessed my life.


More Fun with YouTube

A little YouTube fun to get your day started with a laugh. Weird, but you've gotta give the guy some credit for instrument creativity!

And while you're on YouTube, check out the latest additions by tiny circus. While I didn't actually have a hand in any of the newly posted shorts, the girls and I did watch a little bit of the shoot for this rough of The History of Maps. (Don't worry, there's no sound. There's nothing wrong with your computer.) I'm hoping to make it out to help with the current animation, The History of Brainstorms, a bit this weekend. I need me a little tiny circus fix.


Random Prattle...

It's Thursday morning and Brea and I are just chillin'. She while playing with a collection of babies and stuffed animals and watching Elmo on Sesame Street. I while wasting time doing nothing productive with Scott's laptop nestled on my lap and a warm (but quickly cooling) cup of coffee at my side. What better to do with my time than personalize my iGoogle page and watch/blog about tday's random YouTube videos that have been selected by the little gadget thingy. (After all, sometimes we all just need some wasteful down time and that's what my Thursday mornings are all about!) So here you go, my favorite short thus far this morning. It makes me laugh because well, you know you're a progress bar watcher. Come on, admit it. It's ok. I do it too!

This one is a close second because who doesn't love those sound effects from the original Super Mario Brothers Games!?!?!

* Related note: I discovered that by using iGoogle (which I haven't been doing to thi…

Oh, you meant...

Let me set the scene. The girls and I are sitting at the dinner table last night, eating our tacos (it was Tuesday you know), talking about Lexi's day at school and the new song she learned. We're quietly eating when she asks:

"Mom, how many virgins do you know?"

Me (trying to keep a straight face and wondering WHAT the hell a 7-year-old knows/understands about virginity): "Huh?"

Lexi (without missing a beat of course): "How many VERSIONS do you know? You know, of that song?"

Me (silently to my self): "OH THANK THE LORD, SHE MEANT VERSIONS!"

Deep breath of relief...she meant VERSIONS!


Negative Nelly...

I have been in quite the negative mood the past couple of days. I could go on and on about why I think this is the case, or trying to justify my feelings, but what good would that do? So instead, I just want to say SORRY for those who have got the "pleasure" of listening to me bitch and moan over the past couple of days. I'm aware of the situation, and I'm consciously trying to turn my mood around. Shake it up. Flip it over. Whatever you want to call it.

On a somewhat related note, I found the latest post by Connie at Dirty Footprints to be a timely read this morning. A good reminder that negativity is a slippery slope, and that we all have the ability to stop the slide before it gets out of control.

On a somewhat unrelated note, I wish I could continuously record the things that comes out of Brea's mouth these days. I'm lucky that whenever I need a pick me up through the day, I just have to stop and listen to my 2-year-old. Brings a smile every time!


With Courage and Grace...

I'm cheating today and double posting the same post on both of my blogs. But I feel strongly about the message and thus, wanted to share these thoughts with all of you who may not also visit my other spot, Happy Daisy Yoga.

After attending a couple of conference sessions with Max Strom this past spring, I signed up to receive his monthly e-newsletter. It's often filled with wonderful words of insight and encouragement that always make me take a moment to stop and think. Today's newsletter was no exception.

"Today we cannot pretend to know the outcome of these global financial events. Catastrophes create new opportunities. Often when things explode in our face, they also blow open new doors. We can reinterpret this negative situation into A Wakeup Call for Action and Wisdom.

To have our courage stripped away by others is something we cannot afford to let happen. Money and property can be taken away by others, but our strength of spirit and human good is ours …


My Mom always has always felt that responsibility should be taught from an early age. That everyone has something they can contribute to the task at hand. That it requires us all to work together to move forward. I'm so thankful she instilled that value into my brother and I...and in ways I don't think we truly appreciated growing up...until now we see how it's helped shape our lives.

We have expected our girls to be contribute responsibly to the functioning of our home starting at an early age. Just little things as simple as putting toys back in their basket before bed, bringing Mommy or Daddy a diaper from the diaper basket at changing time, or throwing away food wrappers at snack time. But through all those simple little tasks, they have learned to contribute, and do so willingly. (Another fact I'm thankful for as I know that's not the case in everyone's households!)

One of their favorite toddler tasks has been helping me load or unload the dishwasher. I re…

Celebrating her 95th year...

My Great Grandma Mary is celebrating her 95th birthday today. My Great Grandma who still lives alone in her 3 bedroom house, because assisted living facilities are for "old people." My Great Grandma who at the age of 5 left Italy, her land of birth, on a boat bound for the USA with her parents. My Great Grandma who married another Italian here in the states, and who I remember speaking in Italian with Great Grandpa when she didn't want us grand kids to understand what they were saying. (My mom says growing up she knew all the Italian cuss words thanks to Great Grandpa's use of them thinking he was fooling the grand kids.) My Great Grandma who used to tell me a story about a little mouse, making a prop from a hankie. My Great Grandma who is kind and loving and who I feel so fortunate to have had in my life for over 33 years.

Happy Birthday Grandma. We love you!


Little Pillows of Happiness...

I am infatuated with these flowers. They're planted in a pot by our front step. This spring I randomly selected some annuals for the our big ol' pot that looked nice together and were noted as good for pots. This one has not disappointed. First of all, it's October 9th and they are still blooming strong. Second of all, their whole design amazes me. They start out as this little clumps of square pillows (which I find fascinating for some reason)...

and then ring by ring, starting from the outside, open up...

into these cheery little puffs of happy little flowers.

I smile and pause every time I walk past.

Check out this bug that had stopped to rest on a sign at the gas station the other day when I stopped to fill up Velma.

He was huge...and super cool.



One of my biggest joys as a mother is watching the incredible, magical bond between my two girls. Whether it's coloring together, playing babies, playing school, watching a movie, chalking on the sidewalk, swinging, or digging in the sand box, their ability to play so well together for hours at a time amazes me. Lexi is a great big sister. Such a natural nurturer who is patient and kind to her little sister. Brea looks up to her big sis with adoring eyes. And even though they have their moments of differences, they are the best of friends.

Lexi has blossomed into quite the reader as of late. She devours books and, luckily for both her parents and her little sister, she never tires of reading to Brea. Lately when I listen to her read, I can't help but smile at the emotion she gives her stories. Last night while I was making supper, the girls were sitting just a few feet away reading The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss. I couldn't help but stop slicing and dicing to listen.…

Quirky Confessions, II...

I prefer ODD to EVEN numbers. OK, I'll admit, sometimes it's a little more than just a preference. I can't explain it, but for as long as I can remember I've been attracted to odd numbers. It's not like I FREAK out if confronted by an even number, but in situations where I can control the number of things, you can almost bet they will be odd. Here's some examples of how weirdly aware of the number of things I sometimes am in my life.
My favorite number is 3, followed closely by 9 (3, 3s) and then 7.I like the number 13 even though most people believe it to be unlucky.
The humans in our house all celebrate our birthdays on an odd numbered day. Lexi and I's birth dates also happened in odd numbered months during odd numbered years. Scott was born in an even numbered month in an odd numbered year. Brea was born during an odd numbered month in an even numbered year.Our wedding date was picked because it was an odd numbered day. The original date I chose, May…

Fall Festival in Living Color (and some other photography stuff)...

I cleaned our carpets this afternoon which means for a bit we all have to find things to keep us busy while they were drying. Lexi was at a friend's. Brea was napping. Scott was busy watching football (meaning taking a nap while the game was on). So I decided to sit down at my computer and play with photos.

One of the things I love about this blog is the photos. And then there's the wedding photos that can be seen here and here, both talented freelancers. All these photos jump off the page at you with color and detail. And I love that. And while I've been working really hard at capturing a complete photo "in camera" that doesn't require much processing once downloaded, I know Photoshop is an amazing tool that I really could utilize more in regards to livening up the color in my photos. Feeling pretty confident lately with the composition of my photos, I've decided it's time to explore color saturation. I don't know why this has scared me in the pa…


This photo is one which you can purchase from the National Geographic Photography website. Someday I hope to have the skills developed to take photos with colors this bright and vivid. It makes me wonder...Photoshopped or simply the amazing brightness of life?

Regardless, I think it's beautiful and it gives me something to strive towards in my own work.


I Just Don't Get It...

Differences in views aside, after reading some of the news/controversy centered around Sarah Palin's pregnancy and the birth of her son in April, (I know...old news but remember, I RARELY stay in touch with current events and I only went out to read about this particular topic today after watching a bit of the debate last night and having NO idea what Palin was referring to when she talked about having a child with special needs.), I'm wondering WHY ANY woman would willingly accept the invitation to join the Presidential/VP ticket with a newborn at home!?!?!

I'm all for Moms supporting Moms regardless of whether we choose to stay home full time, work part time, or work full time. Unfortunately I don't think that support if offered up enough because we all get stuck on the idea that OUR choice is the only RIGHT one when it comes to balancing work and family life. (Supporting each other as Mothers...don't confuse that with I will vote for her because we both have vag…


while Mommy was in her office on the computer putting together some fliers this morning for PTO, Brea was in the living room "creating" herself.

Obviously NOT on the piece of paper she came in and asked me for. (I should know that long spells of quiet are never good! Except for nap time of course...thank goodness she still naps!!!)

One more argument for why Mommy needs a lap top!


Quirky Confessions...


We all have them.

You know, those little things you do that make you who you are...even if sometimes they don't make sense.

I love people's quirks. Like the fact my husband who needs little order or neatness in his day-to-day life, has a totally organized closet! Who would have guessed it? (Love you honey.)

So, at a time when the world is all full of seriousness, I've decided to celebrate the silly little things that make me who I am. Even if that means having to laugh at the absurdity of some of my own quirks. I guess officially that means I'll have two "regular" features here now, even though Thoughts from the Shower haven't been flowing real freely as of late. (I have been showering though. Don't want you to think I'm just hangin' out here all stinky!)

So today's confession involves...our dishes.

A couple years ago I traded in our random Corelle Ware dishes that we had mix and matched from the outlet store in college, for some inexp…

Handmade Goodies...

For those of you who have not discovered the goodness of Etsy, get out from under your rock! Etsy is a website dedicated to helping those who want to both sell and buy handmade goods. It's an amazing place and while I have yet to buy something, I drool often! These little felt hair clips may be what puts me into the buyer catagory! They're from the store front of Zoe Bug Designs. Not having much patience for hand work and such SMALL embroidry, I'm amazed by what Amy has created. Not only does she do clips, but pony tail holders, PUSH PINS (amazing), applique/patches, brooches, and birthday favors, just to name a few things. Check it out. I promise you'll be amazed and inspired.