About Me

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I'm a hand-holding, swing-pushing, story-telling Mama with a creative streak and a nurturing spirit. I like growing food and flowers (and people, hehe), sewing clothes and quilts, cooking and eating and running, a long, tight hug and the color yellow. I love date nights at home, spontaneous trips to the bookstore and hearing my babies laugh. I am indecisive, exaggerrative and I overuse parentheses. I am reflective and sentimental and quick to laugh. I think I still picture myself as a 22-year old, yet every year my life gets more fulfilling. I am still figuring out exactly who I am. :)

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

fall clothes (finally!)

I don't know if this glorious cool spell will last (I'm sure we'll get a few more days in the 90s before winter really sets in), but I don't care. :)

I took advantage and dressed Alex and myself in long sleeves and pants, and Claire chose the same for herself.

I pulled out my most favorite pair of pajamas EVER (from mom and dad I think in high school) and wore them to bed last night (nice to wear pants for a change).

I am thoroughly obsessed with our thermostat. I don't think 've ever walked down the hall without glancing at it to see the temp. :) Imagine my surprise and glee when it read 69 degrees this morning. 69!! It hasn't been below like 75 since May!! Yeah, that's nerdy of me to know that. :)

I will say this for boys clothing: it may fill only half the space that the girls' clothing section does, but gosh dang, boys' clothes look too cute on!!
Our neighbor Ed (Mr. Ed to the kids) was working on his shed, and Claire just had to peek through and talk to him. He's in his late 60s and he loves the kids, so he didn't mind the interruption. :)

Re-cyclebot!! This shirt cracks me up. I bought it because I love the colors, without even looking at the print. It's this robot recycling a coke can, hehe. So we called Alex "Recyclebot" all day. :) Now if he would just slow down enough for my camera to not blur on almost every picture I take of him. I love the way he holds that bucket. And purses, and anything with a handle. )

Don't the clothes make him look like a mini-man??

a few new pages

Sometimes I just want to scrapbook for myself, not for my kids' albums, but for myself. Kind of like a visual journal. And I figure that someday, my kids will find this album and they might learn something about me that I never talked about with them, and it will help them know me better. :)

I really want a bumper sticker with this quote- "There is no way to peace, peace is the way." :)

Ok, this one goes in Alex's album. :)
I had to add some of the seersucker leftover from his shirt.
I can sew fabric, now I just need to figure out how to sew on paper. :)

Monday, September 28, 2009

weird morning and a two-pager

What a weird morning!

We went to Trader Joe's, which was just fine.
No tantrums.
No pulling things off shelves.
Just two little ones who listened to their mama, got to take a balloon home, and sang songs about palm trees ("oh palm trees, we love you, we don't have any in our backyard, or in our front yard, but we love you!" courtesy of Claire)

Then I decided to make a quick run to the scrapbook store.
Bad idea.

Alex was so good.
He sat in the stroller with his balloon, humming happily to himself.

Claire, for the most part, was good too.
She couldn't resist touching some of the papers, couldn't resist going potty in the store's restroom, and couldn't resist the play area (once she found it).

I got a few things, and was thinking to myself, "that wasn't so bad."
Even getting Claire to leave the play area wasn't an ordeal.
But then we got to the car.
Who knows what set her off, but something did.
She refused to buckle herself in.
She refused to let me buckle her in.
She screamed.
She cried, tears pouring down her face.
She cried, the "I'm hurt" cry.
I couldn't figure out what was wrong, what was possessing my spirited, yes, but prone to temper-tantrums, no, three-year-old.
It was so weird.
She has never acted like that in her life.
I had to use all my strength to strap her in.
Then, because she can, she undid the top buckle.
Oh, mama was not happy.
I informed Claire of the "huge time-out" she would have when we got home.
I tried to be firm but calm.
I was firm, but not calm.
I was on the verge of tears, Claire was way over the edge and Alex was just staring in disbelief. Seriously, that is how one would describe the look on his face.

I turned on the car and drove home, not saying a word for fear of what I might say, I was so mad.

Then just as quickly as this odd tantrum appeared, it disappeared.

From the backseat I hear, in the quietest, sweetest possible voice, with just a hint of a sob, "I love you with all my heart and all my soul, Mama."

Well golly-gee-willikers, what just happened?????

Then she started singing about palm trees again, waving to people and cars and parks as if she didn't just freak out her Mama with a complete schizophrenic episode.
Who was that girl?
I have never heard those noises come from her body.

Just as I was breathing a sigh of relief, we turn onto our street, and of course, Ella (Claire's friend) is outside playing.
"We have to go play with Ella, Mama!"
Part of me really wanted to, because Ella is never at home and Claire never gets a chance to play with her, but the other part of me remembered the "huge time-out."
I couldn't go back on my word, especially after such a horrible incident.
So I told Claire no.
No, first you have your time-out and then it will be lunch time and then it will be naptime.

And oh, the tears started again.
Not nearly as many, not nearly as loud and not nearly as hysterical, but tears nonetheless.

So Claire went in time-out, Alex and I unloaded the groceries, and when I was ready for her to come out, she was too.
Everything was just the same as it always is.
We had lunch, watched Elmo and Word World, and danced during all the songs.

But still.
What a morning. :)

I made this last night to document the "mama-hugging quilt."
I know I've told the story here before, but just a quick recap.
One night she didn't want me to leave her room, so after snuggling for a bit, I explained to her that since I made her quilt with my hands, if it was on her it was as though I was hugging her. She liked that. :) Hence, the Mama-Hugging Quilt.

I stitched on it with embroidery floss to add to the homemade theme.

Friday, September 25, 2009

What we've been thinking from the beginning of this pregnancy- "we're going to be outnumbered!"

But then I think, shoot, I do it everyday with two toddlers, surely two adults can handle three little ones??? :)

it's (almost) the most wonderful time of the year

Pretty soon, this beautiful maple will turn a fierce red (hence its name, red-tip maple).

And then I will be one happy-camper, because it will mean FALL is here!

Pants and sweaters and pumpkin pie and apples and cool breezes and open windows and flannel jammies and sleeping with more on our bed than just a sheet and playing outside and leaves falling and hot chocolate and then, CHRISTMAS!!

I know I've blogged about how much I love fall, but it bears repeating.

It cannot come too soon!!

What a blissful world it would be if we were in a constant rotation of October-January!! :)

ah, those familiar braxton-hicks

Just a quick note to say...I was up all last night with tons and tons and tons of Braxton-Hicks. :(

Please, baby girl, you have 15 more weeks!!!

Stay safe in there!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

How I spent my evening alone...in pictures

I watched my latest netflix (New in Town- a predictable yet adorable chick flick that I loved because there were some loveable scrappers in it...Harry Connick Jr. didn't hurt either...) and pulled out some new paper and pictures to scrap. :)

This one's for Laura...well it will go in our "people we love" album, so it isn't really for her, perse...:) Love you girl!
I journaled in grey so it might be hard to read. It says "If I had to pick just one of the many many many photos I took of your third birthday celebration, there would be no competition."
This one is about how we always got o BJ's for lunch after our "big ultrasound" (aka after we've found out if we're having a boy or a girl), to celebrate. This is our latest trip a few weeks ago. :)
And this one is pretty self-explanatory...

I can't sleep, so I'll write

Noah's gone at a tournament.
Claire is tucked into his spot in our bed.
Alexander is safe in his crib.
The baby is moving around inside to keep me company.

And I can't sleep.
So I'll write.

I'm agonizing over this preschool thing.

Don't get me wrong.
I loved the school.
Claire loved the school.
I'm just not sure if I'm ready, or if it is completely necessary.

This debate in my head is pretty constant, and involves not only preschool but the rest of our children's education as well.

Here are my thoughts.

What I love about sending them to school:
- socialization with other kids
- academic opportunities galore
- exposure to some amazing teachers who will push them out of their comfort zones
- school sports and activities
- I'm sure there are lots more, but that's what I came up with off the top of my head at midnight. :)

What I love about homeschooling:
- freedom to pursue individual interests outside the often rigid confines of curriculum/benchmarks/standardized tests
- emphasis on what we want to emphasize (individual curricula, I guess this is very similar to the first point)
- freedom of pace/uninhibited by traditional grade levels
- getting to spend so much time together
- ditto for the last point I made up above

That being said, we will most probably send them to public school.

I believe I had a great education that prepared me well for college.
So did Noah.
We believe in public school so much that our livelihood is financially supported by it.

I plan on incorporating the best aspects of each type of schooling for each of our children based on their own personal needs and desires.
Meaning the whole-hearted pursuance of extracurricular activities whether that be sports, drama, cooking, reading, etc.

But is preschool at 3 really necessary?

We go to storytime at the library at least once, often twice, a week at the library. We go to the park and play with other kids.
Claire and Alex have each other as constant playmates/rivals at all times.
We're always learning, whether that be through books, drawing, rhyming, counting, singing, baking or simply exploring the backyard.

Do I need to send her away a few hours twice a week to prepare her for kindergarten?
I'm not sure.

Maybe I'm having this crisis of confidence simply because the thought of not being with her during that time makes me so utterly sad.
Maybe it's the extra $200 a month that we're not sure we can come up with.
Maybe I'm just prolonging the inevitable mama-child separation.

Of course, it's a combination.

But if I'm so unsure, is that my intuition or something less important, like simply me being unable to make a decision?

I still don't know.

Lucky for me, she's still on a waiting list, and I don't have to make a decision right this second.

What do I do?

Friday, September 18, 2009

teaching three-year-olds about bad words


If you know Noah and I well, you know that we don't cuss.
We just don't.

So our kids have never been exposed to some words.


Claire is really into rhyming lately.
We rhyme a LOT each day, and some of the rhymes she comes up with are pretty good.

Like yesterday, she came up with "shed" to rhyme with "bed."
I was impressed, but it isn't like I'm biassed or anything. :)

So today, we're in the car, driving back home from loading up at Takahashi (we got THREE pints of organic/semi-local strawberries, woot woot! I fear the season is about to come to an end, boo hoo), and Claire wants to rhyme.

"What rhymes with duck?" she asks.

I think you know what's coming.

We go through truck, muck, luck, puck, tuck, nuck, huck, and then she yells it out, "F**K!"

I gasp. Loudly. What do I do with that?

Of course she's not saying it because she's heard it, or knows its meaning, she's just putting sounds in front of "uck" thinking they're all words.
But still.

First I said, "Yes, that rhymes, BUT, some words are not nice."
"They are very mean and inappropriate and they make people (like Mama) sad when they hear them."
"Mama never says that word (in fact, it is my most despised word EVER), Daddy never says that word, Alexander never says that word and Claire will not say that word."
"Do you understand?"

She clearly does not understand.
This is the first time a word has been reprimanded as something you do not say EVER, and she didn't get it.
Of course not.

At lunch, I decided to try to rhyme with "duck" again to see what she would do, and to bring up the subject of naughty words again to try to help her understand.

She said it again, and I calmly repeated what I said in the car.

Then she tested.

She said it again, while looking at me for my reaction, with a sly smile.

I totally overreacted.

I just couldn't stomach the thought of that horrible, dirty, offensive word coming out of my innocent and pure three-year-old's mouth. EVER.

I yelled.
I took away privileges.
I was so loud I made her cry.

We had a long talk about politeness, why some words we don't say, etc. and I think she gets it more now.

We tried rhyming with "duck" a third time, and this time, she didn't say it. She said "some words that rhyme with duck are not nice, and we don't say them." Just like that.
Hopefully she got it.

Oy. This already?


I don't know why, maybe because I've been thinking a lot about this new baby's birth, but I've been thinking about some of the things I feel guilty about surrounding Alexander's delivery/nicu stay.

I don't think about it often (maybe a couple times a month or less), but when I do, I relive it all over again and wish I could change the way I did some things.

I don't want to feel guilty.
I want to cherish the fact that Alex and I are alive and healthy, because goodness knows placental abruptions are not things to trifle with (they're actually among the number one causes of maternal and infant mortality worldwide).

So I made this to try to let go of the guilt.
It will go in my own album, and hopefully when I look at it, or think about it, I will learn to let go. :)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I think she liked it. :)

The first thing she said when she woke up this morning was, "We're going to SCHOOL today!"

So I couldn't really chicken out, now, could I? :)

She insisted on being a ballerina again, passing up the dress I made her for the same outfit she wore yesterday (and, in adherence to our two clothing rules: weather appropriate and clean, I was a nice mama and did a pink load of clothes just so she could)

She looked adorable with her loose and be-ribboned braid, ruby red sparkle slippers, and carrying her basket with a tiny teddy bear and four little wooden cars.

I was really excited too, until I turned onto the street of the school, and it hit me.

This is the beginning of the end.

I thought, "Pull yourself together woman, you aren't even leaving her today. You're just checking it out, for heaven's sake!"

We LOVED it. Her room is huge and colorful, with lots of play space, tiny tables and chairs, and, the cutest part, bright cube-shaped cubbies with the kids' names on them. :)

We met her prospective and probable teacher, Miss Moore, who was super friendly.

We went outside where all the kids were having playtime, and it was like I wasn't even there.
Claire fit right in, playing with kids in houses, on slides and riding with them on tricycles. I could have left and she wouldn't have even noticed. She never once checked to see if I was still there.

She was SO comfortable, which makes me happy because if she clingy and shy I would be more worried for the eventual day when I DO have to leave. I'm pretty confident she'll just wave bye and run away with a smile.

She didn't want to leave when I decided it was time, which I also took as a good sign. :)

Alex, however, clung to me the whole time and was not the least bit interested in getting down and playing. :)

So I'm pretty sure this will be where she goes, whenever there is an opening (we're on the waiting list).

It will only be for a few hours, two days a week, and believe me, that will be more than enough for me!

Claire, however, might want to stay longer...:)

Monday, September 14, 2009

lest you think I only crafted for the girl this weekend...

...got to document his first haircut! :)

a school (eek!) dress

I finally got my bootie into gear and called some preschools last week.

The one we liked best for Claire has a waiting list, but that's ok. Even if it takes a couple of months until we get her in, she's only three.
Plus, it isn't cheap. :)

Claire and I are going to take a look at the school on Wednesday, just to be sure we really like it.
I thought it was important she had a new dress for school, don't you?
And apples are just perfect, don't you think?

The tracing and cutting out pieces took just as long as the sewing of the dress which was very simple (love that).

I haven't made the bloomers yet, which will be made from the blue yoke and hem fabric, but they should be SUPER easy.

Just as I was in the last stages of the dress (trimming the seam allowances on the hem, for goodness sake!), I wasn't careful (I was too excited), and I snipped a tiny bit of the dress. Oops. It wasn't big, but big enough that one trip through the wash would have made it bigger and bigger and BIGGER. So even though I didn't really want to, I patched it up. Haha, one of these days I'll actually be careful enough that I won't have to patch a garment up before it even gets worn. :)

And, as luck would have it, we bought some sparkly red shoes at Target today, that, paired with white ruffle socks and a light sweater for chilly fall days will look just adorable with her new school dress.

Now I just have to wrap my head around the idea of one of my children going to school. :)

a new shirt

(Please excuse the wrinkles) :)

I got the pattern here: www.oliverands.com/patterns/skirts/patterns3.phtml and it was easier than I thought it would be.

I think it will look awfully cute with a tan/brown linen/corduroy skirt with tights/socks and her brown mary janes. :)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

And it's on the bed!

"Claire, do you need your blanket?"
"No, Mama, it's not a blanket, it's a QUILT!"

Well, alright then. :)

project 365: day 253

Homemade pizza!
Diced onions and tomatoes, chopped avocado and snipped chives = yum!! :)
Definitely a repeat lunch- the dough was too easy to make. :)

project 365: day 252

She had to tuck in her dolls, she later told me, because they were cold.

Love to see her starting to understand empathy and caring about other's feelings. :)

project 365: day 251

Two kiddies reading together and not arguing or crying?

Mama is happy. :)

project 365: day 254

I instituted Friday night Game Night, and Noah, Claire and I played hi-ho cherry-o after the rascal went down for bed.
This may seem sad and exclusive, but Alex + those tiny cherries = freak mama out. :)
He'll get his turn too. :)

I did one!

I've been busy at my sewing machine and haven't scrapped in what feels like awhile.
So last night I was just in the mood, and I only made one, but I really like it!
Sorry I had to cover up the best part.
I saw this freaky Oprah last year with moms who had posted innocent pictures of their kids that had been stolen and used not-so-innocently.
I just can't stomach the thought.
So no cutie bootie, but just picture it with dimples and rolls. :)p.s. in case you wondered, the title is stamped and then colored in with green colored pencil. :)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

project 365: 247

Cooking project for the day? No surprise here, chocolate chip cookies! :)

Don't you love the way Claire dresses herself? I do. See I would never have paired a dress with a skirt, but she, in her infinite child-wisdom, knows what works. :)

project 365: day 248

The over-dense, under-risen homemade bread from the day before tasted awesome as French toast, hehe. :)

project 365: day 249

Alex showing Daddy what you are really supposed to do with the Sunday paper. :)

project 365: day 250

When Noah is outside with the kids, you can bet they'll beg him (and he'll oblige) to do Big Round-Rounds. :)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

oh, rejoice!...

...for today was the first day ALL SUMMER that we were able to leave the windows open ALL DAY!!!

Cool breezes, sweaters and jeans, not being greasy from sunscreen all day-everyday, pumpkin pie, apples (in fact, I grabbed a couple of our first locally-grown apples from Takahashi last week- delicious! ANd I ate them all myself, hehehehehe), fall leaves, wanting to wrap up in a blanket at night instead of sweating underneath a sheet, etc. etc. I'm looking forward to you, Fall!!!

Alas, Noah is on the computer that has all of my pictures files, so I have no real pictures to share (even though I have a whole blog post about my day of baking bread planned out. It was on my to-do list today, but the list was a tad ambitious- I always feel overly optimistic about what I can accomplish during the day after I've just woken up. Oh well, I'll get to it eventually! To make a long story longer, I spent all day baking bread, thinking it was going to be a delicious loaf, but it was super dense and heavy. Edible, though, especially as French toast the next day! So that was my second attempt at homemade bread, and while better than the first from a few weeks ago, I still have a long way to go. Back to my original point...) though I do have a sample picture of my next big project.

Actually I have several big projects in the works (don't we always?) but none that I can share here due to potential and probable snoopers. :)

So this is what I am working on for BGOB (baby girl on board, for those of you who don't know). (I don't know if you can click on it to enlarge it, but suffice it to say it is quite possibly the most adorable baby quilt I have ever seen. This is of course a professional version and not mine, with my amateur embroidery, but still. If you would like, go check out the website, www.rabbitshaven.com. The pattern is there (called "Tea in the Garden") with enlarged pictures of all the blocks)

I am completely in love with it.

It is so sweet and super fun to make.

Even though I adore the fabrics used in the blocks surrounding the embroidery, I will be using fabric from my stash, both because I want it to be a bit brighter, and because, well, lets face it, I have a huge amount of fabric in my stash. :)

I also won't be attempting the triangle border (called Prairie Points) because I think a regular-old bound quilt is best for wear.

I've complete one embroidery block (I began it last night), and I'm not worrying about getting it done before she is born. Neither of her siblings had their Mama-quilts ready when they were born, though Alexander would have, had he not decided to make his appearance five weeks early. BGOB, don't get any ideas. You stay in there as long as possible. :)

Every time we refer to her as BGOB I think of when I was pregnant with Claire (the original BGOB, though we didn't think it was very nice to call this BGOB OBGOB, for Other Baby Girl on Board, or BGOB #2, so they are both BGOB), and I particularly enjoy it when Claire refers to her as "My BGOB," as in "when my BGOB is born, your tummy won't be so big anymore." :)

So that's that. Hopefully Little Buddy sleeps well again for me tonight, although it is my morning to sleep in tomorrow, so...no, don't jinx it, don't jinx it. :)

p.s. this post was not proofread; apologies for any egregious spelling or grammatical errors that may or may not result in un-readability. :)

Friday, September 4, 2009

finally, pictures of the dress

Remember the dress I made for Claire, oh, about a month ago that I was so proud of and promised to share pictures?

Finally got to it. :)

It's a bit tight going over her shoulders, so she doesn't like to wear it, but for some reason this morning she was just in the mood.

So we put it on, and Mama got pictures during our morning trip to the park. :)

Oh, how I love seersucker.
She did have what I called Swedish braids (when you loop up the braid and tie it with a ribbon), but one fell out. :)

Of course the post wouldn't be complete without my cutie-bootie boy, now would it??
Looking oh-so-serious at Daddy's waiter polo game......and sporting Claire's very manly crocheted (or is it knitted?) purse. :)

project 365: day 246

Yes, I'm still doing this, but I got off...WAY off, in August, so I'm playing catch-up.
So as not to bore you (you've already seen most of the ones that will be used to fill in), I'll start fresh with yesterday's picture.

Two kiddies, playing side-by-side (one with his beloved double-decker bus, one with her beloved Curious George book) at the desk in the kitchen while Mama made dinner. :)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


I set my alarm for 1:22 am (as I have since her first birthday) so I could be awake right at the moment she turned another year older (and because it makes me nostalgic for that early morning in 2006).

I happened to be awake with Alex at 12:45, so I turned it off (just in case I fell asleep in the rocking chair in his room. I wouldn't want the alarm to wake up Noah).

I got back to my room at 1:19 (I was starting to panic that I had missed it), and lay awake thinking about her birth.

Then at 1:23, I hear little footsteps...Claire, coming in to snuggle.

It was so serendipitous, I almost cried. Almost, but I was so happy so I just smiled.

Then I tucked her into her Special Bed (on the floor at the foot of our bed, where she ends up almost every night), and drifted off myself (for a little bit anyway, until Alex beckoned...)

Happy Birthday Angel Girl!

scenes from a third birthday party

Helping me decorate her cupcake...
...and here it is!
I made paper and rickrack butterflies with a "3" on them as toppers
I promised her I would paint her nails pink for her party, and boy was she excited!
Gotta blow on them!!
See how happy she is? And that little outfit is what I sewed her for her party. The machine applique I maligned in a previous post (hehe) and little shorts. She seemed to like them anyway...
Until she opened this present from Aunt Mira and Uncle Kris! Snow White! She wore it after the party and the next day, with lots of smiling strangers looking on at Trader Joe's and Target. :) And there is Lucy Becca (Claire's name choice, her first American Girl, from Nana and Grampa). She takes her to bed with her, and when she's ready to sleep, Claire turns her on her tummy (just like she sleeps). I'm considering sewing some jammies for Lucy Becca(I hope there isn't too much confusion when the actual Lucy is born!!)
Love this princess crown from Nathan (also went with us on errands)
If I had to pick just one photo to represent her third birthday, It'd be this one. And don't be fooled: the third candle is being lit elsewhere by Noah...we didn't forget and just put two on. :)
She ate all the icing first...:)
Another favorite present- a dollhouse (that folds up with a carrying handle) from Oma and Opa.
Alexander enjoyed the wrappings and the singing card. :)
One last picture of her opening her presents. :)

She got three great games- Chutes & Ladders, Hi-Ho Cherry-O (which she confuses with cheerios) and an ABC game. Every night since the party we have played one after Alex goes to bed (little pieces, you know). She totally gets hi-ho cherry-O, chutes & ladders is a bit confusing with changing directions on the board, but she'll get it, and she LOVES the ABC game. Except when a certain mischievous brother takes the cardboard pieces and hides them. :)

I hope she enjoyed her party as much as her mama did. :)