Sunday, August 28, 2011

Pinwheels finished!

Remember when I joined the quilting group last January and I got to go first? Well, I FINALLY finished my quilt! I had it put together last winter but got really frustrated with machine quilting it and put it away because I was scared to finish it.
I finished my pinwheels last night! I finished machine quilting it Saturday and put on the binding last night. I love it so much!

the discouraged potty diaries

Remember about two years ago, when Miss M was being an absolute stinker about going on the potty? It was such a power struggle, she discovered right off the bat that she could control the entire situation? She would almost have on purpose "accidents"? Can you believe I would give anything to go back to that now?

At least by three years old, I felt like she knew what she was doing, she was just too smart and stubborn and wouldn't! Oh, those were the days!

Lulu doesn't care! And I guess that means I shouldn't either except I know she's smart enough and dangit, I'm soooooo sick of diapers! If I can't have a baby right now, at least I should have a diaper hiatus! She wants to help change her own diapers-the girl can pee on the pot!

But she doesn't care one whit! She doesn't care if she has an accident, she doesn't care if she goes on the toilet, she doesn't tell me when she needs to go, and half the time, she doesn't tell me if she has already gone! grrrrrr!!

Lulu has always been on her own developmental curve. She didn't crawl until she was a year and then it wasn't quite a crawl! :) She didn't walk until she was 20 months. She was always smart with her speech and language so I know she's a smart chick, but she also beats to her own developmental drum! But I'm impatient! and I'm sick of the weird looks people give me as my obviously three year old talker gets her diaper changed!

okay, i'm done now. I will go back to scrubbing the carpet now.

Friday, August 26, 2011

marathon week

she looks how we all feel this week!
W is back in school Tues and Thurs nights.
Miss M is full swing into school, complete with homework!
Lulu and I have been running ragged all week, trying to catch my speech kids in their new school homes and daycares. Most days, I drop off M, run to work, run an errand, run to get Miss M, run back to work, run home to scarf down some dinner, bathe the girls, do homework, and get to bed.

i have a scary premonition that this will continue in one form or another for many years to come!

i blame the increased caffeine intake this week (to compensate for not feeling good and running around town!) on my insomnia. the result? i sewed my rainbows together last night! and i'm off to find sashing this morning! soooo excited to show you how it turned out!!!


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Lulu turns 3!!

she wanted yellow and purple and princesses. those were her qualifications. and chocolate.
we gave her chocolate ice cream and a funfetti cake. she loved it! she loves rapunzel because rapunzel has golden hair like her and loves purple like her. this girl melts my heart, i tell ya! :)
she loved wearing her birthday "grel" crown. i made a birthday banner (in the background) but i haven't gotten a good picture of it yet.
she was overjoyed with her toys and has been toting around mermaids, fairies, and a baby Cinderella ever since! and any day is made better with a good birthday Jessie shirt! :)
for dinner that night, we took her to "Bob's Pizza" which is really Larry's Pizza buffet where the girls eat pepperoni pizza to their hearts' content and top it off with chocolate chip pizza (or in Lu's case eat mostly that all night! :) we even got to eat dinner with some friends and family who also were there celebrating a birthday! thanks Sharps!

my birthday grel was a happy princess. i'm so thankful for these three. they make my world go round.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

which do you think?

layout A?
or layout B?
and what do you think? isn't it lovely?

Monday, August 22, 2011

happy birthday lulu!!!

it is amazing to me how this...
is now this! oh, how i miss this little snuggly baby!
happy happy birthday to my sweet, happy lulu!
who still climbs into bed to snuggle every morning,
who will always be on her own learning curve,
whose smile lights up the room,
who knows how to rock the sunglasses,
who loves everybody and everything,
who could drink her weight in strawberry milk,
who says her best friend is Grandma Mardie,
who loves the color purple,
who loves to play quietly, singing to herself,
who wants to be cowgirl Jessie when she grows up,
who i can't wait who she grows up to be!

Friday, August 19, 2011

blueberry, raspberry, bubble gum, lemon, and lime

this is how i spent my friday afternoon...

i love the sandi henderson prints (the henna print and the big flowers) that i found in my scraps-the last of a few of my all time faves!
this yellow is my current favorite square.
this one is a bit of an homage to my 12squared block from June for Becca
i laid them all out last night and pieced three more squares. this truly is an illness. and for the record, my house is a MESS!

a tale of two manly ipad cases

My Dad is a technophile. Specifically, an Apple technophile.
He asked me to sew him a case to protect his new ipad. He has the attached cover but wanted something to cover the entire ipad for transporting, etc.

I scoured the blogosphere for "manly" ipad cases. I mostly followed the moda bake shop tutorial from quilt dad.

Here is my first "cute" and "manly" ipad case.
Alas, I measured wrong and it was too small. I growled and maybe shed a tear or two. (no, not pregnant!) and then I walked away for a day. And got feedback from Dad. He liked the beige fabric on the sides the best and didn't need the piecing. He may have mentioned "pleather" somewhere in there, but I refused.

So, here is my "boring" and "manly" ipad case.
Hooray! Hooray! A {{perfect}} fit!
I lined it with soft flannel to keep the cover from getting scratched. Plus it has quilted batting for extra protection.
And really, one can see how it wouldn't fit once you put them side by side. Stupid seam allowances!!!
I hope he likes his "boring" and "manly" ipad cover.

ps-I will be taking all my photos outside until I can get my birthday-anniversary-Christmas camera to replace the dead camera. I think it really helps the quality of iphone photos. Yes, I just figured this out! :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

linking up

I have never done a "linky party" before.
But one of my blog friends recently started a cute blog with great ideas so I thought I'd show my Southern roots and join in!
So, go enjoy her cute blog and the creative things she does!

My Bottled Rainbows Addiction!

A few months ago, I took advantage of a sale at JoAnn's and got a pile of kona solids that have since sat in my stash.

After doing my 12squared rainbow square, I got excited to start on my own!

I also love these squares because I've been adding a few pieces from my mom's stash-so far each square has a bit of her in it too!
This was my first one. The directions say to baste around the edge of the color to hold down the batting but I found just pinning it worked better for me.
As you can see, I used batting on each square like the original directions from from stitched in color. I thought I'd try it, and I love it!!! I love the dimension it gives to the ticker tape pieces. I still have my doubts about how thick it's going to be at each seam between squares but we'll see.

Right now, I love it! And I cut out pieces for five more last night!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


We are blessed with little vacations every now and then. my Dad needed to use some marriott points, so he took us all to Branson!

They have a lovely resort there, where the kids had a blast, they have a wonderful pool and other fun things for the kids!
Mom and Dad offered to take us to a show, and with raving recommendations, we went to....
yes, yes, we did!
and it was AWESOME!!!!!!
We sat around an arena, we cheered for the South, and booed the North!
yes, yes, we did!
we were served this yummy yummy dinner, to eat with our hands! :)
we watched a show of the history of the wild west, followed by a skirmish between the north and south, complete with pig races, horse races, barrel races, carriage races, and dancing and singing to boot!
It was a blast and we highly recommend it!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Miss M goes to Kindergarten!!!!

This weekend she wrote a note to her new teacher. As we were leaving for meet-the-teacher night last week, she said, "but mom, what if they show me lower case letters and I don't know whether it's a b or a d!" I told her if that was her biggest worry, kindergarten would be a breeze! :)
We loaded her up with a good breakfast first thing this morning! She didn't want to get out of bed, but I felt like Nemo this morning, jumping around so excited for her! I'm thankful for PreK last year to get my sadness and tears out of the way-this year, I'm just excited for her!
My talented friend, Emily, embroidered her name on her backpack and lunchbox to make her not-new-backpack, special again!
do you think she might just be a {{little}} excited?? :)
she had so much fun choosing some new school duds. she even let me do her hair!

she sat right down, pleased as punch to be there, and said, you can go now, mom, see you after school!
Lulu was more upset than I was! :) ...until we got to the door and she realized she can sit in sister's booster seat while she's at school ;)
I'm so proud of my big girl!! She has two of her best girlfriends in her class, hopefully a good thing! :) I pray that she has as wonderful a teacher as last year and that she is happy and loves school!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

sucked into books!

I have read a few series that have absolutely sucked me in! I alluded to the first, Poison Study, in an earlier post.Poison Study by Maria Snyder sucked me in from page one! I loved the intrigue. I wanted to know what was going to happen with each character and I had fun guessing! I loved the characters in this, from the murderer-turned-food-taster to the assassin-turned-politician. I love the friends she makes and how they learn more about themselves as Yelena pushes herself. I was happy to see them in the next book!
I dove into the second book, which had a slower start but then grabbed me and I couldn't put it down either! It is a bit racier than the first book, but still not at all rated R. I loved the concept of magic in this book. That it is all around us, and we draw from it to perform magic and control the world around us. It isn't something conjured with a wand. I like that. I was happy to see the relationships she builds with her family when she had never had family that she could remember.
I was excited to read Fire Study but somewhat disappointed. It felt like Suzanne Collins' Mockingjay where it just rushed from one disaster to the next while she tried to fit everything in! I loved these character so much in the first two novels, that I was disappointed with the rush job that seemed like neverending conflict. I grew tired of Yelena's "I have to save the world and OBVIOUSLY I'm the only one who CAN!" attitude that I feel is in a lot of female protagonist least the ones I've been choosing lately! :)

Did I finish it? Yes.
Did I love it? The first two, yes! The third, ok.
Would I recommend them? Sure!

happy birthday, gracie!

my sister dropped a hint that i was supposed to do a birthday post.

so here it is.

it's her birthday. she's turning twenty-two.

when i was nine, i couldn't imagine anything worse than having two older brothers. we had grown beyond the years when we could all share a room peacefully. when my barbies and their gi joes could share a play world peacefully. all i wanted was a sister. i just knew she'd be my ally. however, my parents assured me that after nine years, this was obviously not happening. i insisted that for Christmas, i wanted a baby sister. apparently, i nagged my mother so much that, in desperation, she told me to pray for a miracle.

i did. i prayed and prayed for a sister for Christmas.

and my mother found out she was pregnant a week before Christmas.

they gave us all pacifiers for Christmas Eve to announce it.
i still remember when mom took us all to the ultrasound, the doctor knew that i was desperate for a sister, so she whispered it to me first. i thought i'd won the lottery.

i definitely have.

despite the fact that we proved that you could have years of sibling rivalry even with a ten year gap (mom, she's looking at me!!!) we survived and she is one of my very best friends.

she has endured years of me calling on my way home from work because i just need someone to talk to.

she has loved my baby girls like her own.

she has finally started following my book recommendations. :)

she cries too easily, but it is that sensitivity that makes her so loving to everyone, a great listener, and a patient aunt and teacher.

i love singing near her when she visits and is at church. there is something about blending voices that are from the gene pool that is just magical!

the only parts i like about her living far away is that 1) i can call her and complain to her about the rest of the family :) and 2) whenever she comes to visit, life shuts down and everyday is a vacation!

i love her. happy birthday, baby sister!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

my not-full-time job

(Lulu at work with me last week)
You all know I work part time as a speech therapist.

I love what I do.

I visit dirty, smelly daycares and my boss told me when he hired me that I needed to remember that in many cases, I would be the most enriching part of that kid's week. But I love it. It has been such an answer to prayer, fitting into the flexibility of my life with toddlers and now a preschooler while still paying the bills, getting me out of the house and stretching my skills.

In June, anticipating Hawaii, I started feeling pretty desperate for a break from work.
I knew I needed a vacation. I needed a break from the reality of miserable house selling, packing and moving apartments to escape hellish neighbors, and general life frustration. I lumped my work into that and ran screaming into the arms of palm trees and really good books.

Two weeks before Hawaii, you see, I found out that my boss was shutting down his practice.

I was essentially laid off.

I wanted to call the bank and say, see? I really DO need that short sale because our situation has become even more desperate than before!

There were immediate rumors that the other PT in the practice was interested in buying it from him, saving all of our jobs and even possibly kicking the clinic up a notch. But it was several stressful weeks before we heard for sure. Laura did indeed buy the practice, I did indeed get to keep my job, and the transition at the clinic has felt nearly seamless. I'm excited for the changes she will make and I'm so honored that I get to stick around. The transition has not been seamless on my schedule though. In the process, we lost one of the daycares where we used to see kids and it was essentially 80% of my caseload.

In one day, I went from making my own schedule, seeing kids on my own time, and being my own boss, to being at the mercy of the clinic and hoping there were extra kids there that I could see! I am working odd hours all over the place trying to get enough hours. Especially after an expensive month like Hawaii June, this blow to my caseload came at an awful time. I am a contract therapist, if I don't see a kid, I don't make money. A week in Hawaii equals 1/2 a paycheck lost. So, July was nerve wracking in yet another way.

Laura has been amazing though. She has worked tirelessly to get me the hours that I need and to build back up my caseload. Hopefully in the next few weeks, I'll have a consistent schedule again. I need it. And Lucy needs her naps back!

I find it interesting and humbling that my cry for a break from work was really only a lesson in how much I need to work, how much my family depends on my work, and how blessed I am to work with these amazing therapists. I've worked in beautiful clinics, amazing hospitals, sparkly clean schools, but I'm most at home right where I am right now.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Come to mama!

I had the most delicious treat tonight!

I had heard that there was a Papa Murphy's Take 'n Bake Pizza in Bryant.
That's about 20 minutes south of us.
I had never ventured to it, but always had it in the back of my mind to go there after searching for some rare thing that took me to the Benton Target.

Today, W had an auto claim in Bryant. I gasped, asked which shop he was going to, mapped it out on google and discovered that he would be exactly 0.7 miles from the Bryant Papa Murphy's!!!

It's sad.
I got that excited about a pizza that you bake at home.

But it's been over 3 years!

My Papa Murphy's initiation was early. I was a junior at Utah State, and my study partner fed us dinner while we studied for Prof. Simonsmeier's exam in the most boring class I ever took in my major-sorry Professor! The study session was only kept going by the heavenly smells of garlic chicken pizza in her oven.

I introduced it to my skeptical husband after we were married and I discovered, to my great delight, that Papa Murphy's was also in the Minneapolis area! Papa Murphy's makes heart shaped Valentine's pizzas and pumpkin-shaped Halloween pizzas. Papa Murphy's was the highlight of many get togethers with my work ladies. Their pizzas are heavenly! They have a tangy sauce and spicy pepperoni.

But my heart belongs to this one!
It's the gourmet Vegetarian, but we add chicken to it... because I love chicken.
It has a creamy garlic sauce instead of marina, tons of stringy, stretchy cheese, plus a boatload of mushrooms, tomatoes, zucchini, spinach, onions, artichoke hearts and more! I love love love it!

It was worth a late dinner, waiting for W to finish his claim and pick up pizza. It was worth going all the way to Bryant to get it.
It was worth the three year wait.

And I'm sure we won't be waiting that long next time!