Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Pillow talk

I love slipcovered pillows.  They are right at my ability level {straight lines and not much math}, and I can change them out for little cost.  I like bold pillows because they're so small.

I have a collection of fabrics waiting patiently to be made into pillows.  When I am in a fabric store, I always check out the remnant fabrics.  They are nearly always at least fifty percent off and you can get some beautiful material that you wouldn't otherwise have been able to afford.  I heard someone {probably from HGTV or something} say that if you love a fabric, buy a little and you will find a use for it.  I don't always do this, but you have to think that if you love something, it makes sense that it would work in your home in some capacity. 

Back to pillows.  Eventually I would love to find pillow forms that are super soft, down or something.  I will probably eventually follow this tutorial on how to make them myself.  For now, though, my not-so-squishy pillow forms are fine.  I was getting tired of trying to make the slipcovers from our old house work in our new house, though, so I retired the old ones and started in on my fabric stash, making new pillows to fit my space.  I've finished two of them.

This first one is a crazy giraffe print I found in the remnant section at Hancocks.  There was only half a yard left so it was very cheap. 

Oh, and, yet again, I apologize for my horrible pictures.  I have in no way mastered lighting.  Some of these are with flash and some without, and I have no idea where to go from there.

I love the quirky craziness of this one. The kids use it as a roadmap for their cars.


 The second pillow is in the master bedroom.  The material is a subtle gray herringbone. 

I decided it needed some oomph, so I added some ribbon from the lampshades on the nightstands.  And, yes, that is toilet paper on my night stand.  Is there a problem?

At some point, I will reupholster this chair.  For now, though, the pillow lives here.

I have three more pillow forms from which to make pillows, but I want them to have personality - read:  they will take more time and planning and actual thought, so I don't know when they will be completed.  You know I'll show them to you when I finish them, though!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The walking man walks

A little James Taylor there. 

I so appreciated your encouragement after this post from last week about Jack's walking. So let me update you.

Jack decided he didn't like being left behind,

gazing longingly at the fun to be had when you can walk.

He decided to take action!  He put his game face on.

Over the weekend, Jack started walking consistently while holding hands.  We got him some shoes with arch support, as suggested by the evaluator, and he started walking immediately.  I think he thinks they're magic.  He's ready to join the big kids now, starting with riding a scooter.

Here he is walking with Handsome Hero and Ella on Sunday.  Handsome Hero is sporting his usual Sunday Afternoon attire, complete with houseshoes and dress socks, which go perfectly with his basketball shorts and T shirt.  What did I do to deserve such a stud?


We did get Jack's steps on video, but for some reason, the sound isn't working.  Just pretend it's an old timey movie.  And if you're wondering about his nametag, Ella wanted him to have a sticker.  She is very generous.  As you'll see, she's also his bodyguard, protecting him from the paparazzi.

Way to go, Jack!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Good-bye, Mr. Coffee

Our coffee maker just died.  Bit the bullet.  Kicked the can.  Pushed up those daisies.  Met the great percolater in the sky. 

For a girl who drinks upwards of six cups a day, this was a big deal, though not all negative.  We didn't actually like our coffee maker. Sometimes water leaked out the bottom and all over the counter. Sometimes the filters folded over themselves, spilling the grounds into the pot.

What I'm saying is, I was really excited to get a new one.  I even did a little happy dance.  Still, I wrote a tribute.  It was only appropriate.

Mr. Coffee

I never liked you, coffee machine.
But the thought of replacement made me see gr$$n.
You did the job
when my head would throb,
but I wanted a 'maker with sheen!

A stainless one would do the trick!
It'd make our kitchen really slick!
I admit I prefer
bling on my counter
And silver's the color I'd pick.

So, 'maker, I bid you farewell,
In our home you'll no longer dwell.
I'll get something new
and better than you
that will make my little heart swell.

{Snarky, I know, but it's okay to be snarky to a broken coffee maker.  Sometimes snarkiness is not to be tolerated, but this is not one of those times.}

I needed my fix, so I started to price good coffee makers.  Whoa.  I decided that I might have been too hasty in my attitude toward our old stalwart friend, Mr. Coffee.  Replacement is expensive.

So I wrote a revised version of my tribute.  It's my prerogative to change my mind.  As I have said before, it's my bloggy and I'll write what I want to.

Mr. Coffee

Our beloved coffee maker,
your caffiene made me feel awaker.
I'll miss the thrill
of your drip, drip trill,
you percolating heart breaker.

To replace you, it will be quite pricey
But to go cheap is rolling the dicey.
We'll cough up the cash
{and put you in the trash}
for a broke 'maker will not sufficey.

Well, it's a little less snarky {insert toothy grin}.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Birth to 3

When we went to Jack's 18 month appointment, the doctor thought that we should have him evaluated to see why he isn't walking yet.  I haven't been unconcerned about his not walking {even though he's now twenty months and still not walking}.  With his medical history, we not only knew that he would be somewhat delayed in some of these milestones, but he has been seen by neurologists, geneticists, and other -ologists that I can't remember, who cleared him of any developmental problem causing or caused by his medical issues last year.

See, I'm okay, Mom.

Also, he's very brainy.  My little stinker figures things out.  He can do puzzles {with a bit of help}, plays with legos, and can figure out all of those shape matching toys out there.  He's not lacking in the mental department.  If he wants to do {or get to} something, he will figure out a way.  He's unstoppable.

I'm unstoppable?  Why didn't you tell me?

However, I agreed to meet with the evaluator because, frankly, I thought I would look like a bad mom if I didn't.  So she came over yesterday and observed Jack while we talked.  I fully expected her to say that Jack was a beautiful boy who was doing wonderfully, and not to worry about his walking.  He was clearly capable and just wasn't interested yet.

I'm not interested in anything, really.  Just let me get my beauty sleep.

She didn't say that.  She noticed that when he stands, he rocks back on his heels and turns his ankles in.  She thought it could be as simple has having him wear shoes with arch support, or as serious as needing special orthodics and physical therapy.

Don't worry, Mom.  I'll get by on my looks.

She also brought up concerns about his language.  Kids should say at least eight words by eighteen months, but at twenty months, he says about six.  I didn't think much of this until she started telling me that her concern stemmed from how he repeats words.  He repeats them with his mouth closed or almost closed.  If you say, "A dog says, 'woof, woof' ", he'll mimic the dog sound, but with his mouth closed.  I always thought it was a funny, cute quirk.  She thinks it could be a problem knowing how to form words.

Should I open my mouth like this?  'Cause I got it down when I'm putting food into it.

Obviously, these are not things to be torn up about.  He's healthy and happy, with minor, and most importantly, correctable concerns.  Still, I felt a little blind sided.  I totally missed both things!  When he would rock back on his heels and rear his head back, I thought it was cute and that it was his way of figuring out balance.  I have always loved how he "talks" with his mouth shut.  It's funny!  I had noticed both things, but didn't see the problem with them.

That's because I fooled you, Mom.

Suffice to say, we are glad we have entered this process so that these issues have come to light.  I'm sure he would have walked and talked eventually, but if we can help him learn to overcome the obstacles keeping him from achieving these milestones, great!  They might make learning other things in the future easier.

Easier?  EASIER!?  Why would I make things easier for either of us?  That's not my M.O., dudes.  It's a good thing you love me!

Update:  One hour after posting, Jack looked at a ball and said, "Ball!"  adding a word to his vocabulary.  We went to the gym, and he walked the entire way into the gym through the parking lot, holding my hand on one side and Ella's on the other.  HELLO!  Thank you, Lord!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

rabid cat

I put the kids in the bath, and went to switch the laundry.  When I came back, Jack was dirtier than before.  The culprit?  A stowaway bath crayon.  Ella said, "Do you like Jack?  I painted his forehead.  Do you know what he is?  Do you know what he is????  He's a wild,




Oh, yeah, Mom.  I'm a danger.  But I'm not a wild, crazy, kitty cat.  I'm a cool cat.  Just try to resist this mug.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Ella's intellectual prowess

Ella:  Mama, Daddy, did you know that "N" is for "No"?

Us: {pumping fists in the air over our brilliant child}  Wow, Ella, that's right!!

Ella {in a superior tone}:  It's also for "No, thank you."

Us:  Um, well, yes...

Ella:  It's also for "Please stop playing with my toys, Jack."


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Story time

The CD player and radio haven't worked in our car for months.  While I would rather have them, we aren't taking any really long trips, so it hasn't been unbearable. 

Usually when we're in the car, Ella asks for a story.  She loves stories.  When you ask her to tell you one, though, she claims not to know any.  I think she's full of bologna.

Anyway, today, on the way to the gym, she asked for a story.  I very eloquently told her a story about a forlorn house that wished it had a yard {we were passing a house getting some landscaping done, and I was inspired}.  It was memorable, I'm sure.  Then I said, "Now you tell me a story." 

Ella:  Once upon a time, there was a truck.  The end.

Me:  The end??  THE END????  You can't do that!  You have to have a plot, with conflict and climax!!  Where's the twist?

Ella:  Okay.  Once upon a time, there was a car.  The end.

And that was how we spent the rest of our trip to the gym. 

Once upon a time there was a sign.  The end.

Once upon a time there was a tractor. The end.

Once upon a time there was a tree. The end.

Once upon a time there was an old man walking to his mailbox, picking his nose. The end.

Once upon a time there was a girl writing a blog who really should be cleaning her kitchen. 

The end.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Bay Beach

After a week off, I'm excited to be back and share some of the highlights of the week!

If you live in my area, chances are you have been to Bay Beach.  Well, we had heard of it, but had not yet been until my sister visited last week.  Oi, have we been missing out!  It was so much fun!  Bay Beach is an amusement park through the local Parks and Recreation, that is located on the Bay {duh, right?}.  It's really small, just the right size for our kids.  The best part?  Only twenty-five cents a ride, so, even though there were five of us, and even though we rode as much as we wanted without a break {except to eat}, we only spent fourteen dollars on this little adventure!

Regarding the picture below, I will not point out that Handsome Hero stays inside for his job and usually exercises at the gym and yet still has a tan, and I, who take the kids to the park and am outside much more often, well, I do not.  Not a word about it.  I promise.  What would be the point?

The first thing we did was take a little train ride and check out the park.  This is the original resort.

It was beautiful.  Here we are, waiting in line at the train depot.

Ella and Aunt Becca rode together on the train.

Jack checked out the scenery from under Handsome Hero's armpit.  Or maybe he's just smelling the manly deodorant smell and longing for the time when he, too, can smell like Red Zone.

Then it was on to the real stuff - the RIDES!!  Ella didn't quite get that you are supposed to steer these little puppies, but she had fun anyway.  Maybe she was pretending her hair was blowing in the breeze even though these were going .25 miles an hour.

She took good care of her brother on his first ride {we only put him on rides with seatbelts}.

He got the hang of it pretty soon.  Look at me, guys!

Now he's excited! 

Maybe next time he'll get to pick the color of the cars.

This next one was Ella's first ride alone in something potentially scary - planes that flew kind of high.  We didn't know how she would do, but she really liked it!  She wouldn't shoot the gun, our little liberal, but she seemed to enjoy herself just the same.

Then the ferris wheel caught our eye. 

Please do not gasp in horror that we took our baby on the ferris wheel.  Jack loved it! 

Looking down at the world below.

He kept this smile on his face the whole time {don't mind my armpit.  What is it with our pits in these pictures?}!

Aunt Becca and Ella rode together.

We kept trying to get a good picture.

Hey, quit looking at the pretty scenery!  Look at the CAMERA!!  It's much more important!  Preserve the memory - don't worry about enjoying it now!

I loved the ferris wheel, too.

From the top, we saw these helicopters that adults could ride in with the kids, and Ella got really excited!  Rebecca and I each took a kid, and Handsome Hero took pictures as we went.  Apparently, I have one amusement park facial expression.

How embarrassing.  It's a wonder I didn't inhale a bug.  I have got to work on that.

Rebecca rode with Jack, and was much more creative in her expressions.  Her expressions say things like:

I'm sweet and love my nephew.

 I am smiling with my teeth clenched and pulling on my nephew's ears in a misguided attempt to make him smile at the camera.

I am frightening and could easily jump off of this helicopter and take you down.  Just dare me.

 I am wary of you.  Why are you taking my picture?  Who is this child?

Very impressive, sis!

Then we went on the Carousel.  The first time, I stayed off to take pictures.

Then Ella and I took a spin.  I decided to sit on an animal that bespoke danger and daring, charisma and moxie.  Oh, yes, I'm an adventurer.

It really was a great time and I think we'll try to do it again before the park closes for the season at the end of September.  I'm hooked.

And I want to ride my pink steed again.