October 31, 2008

Seeing stripes

After the long day I had yesterday, the night that followed was even longer. Kyle and I went to bed around 11 and Jack woke up around 11:30. He was crying and we didn't know why . . . so we assumed it was teething. He slept a total of 3 hours or so from that point on.

Today was better, and after a long morning of grocery shopping (in which I purchased $140 worth of groceries for $68) Jack fell asleep on the way home. Unfortunately, he woke up as I was transferring him to his crib. Which meant no nap. Then, he developed a bit of a fever this evening. Fortunately, he fell asleep with zero protest tonight.

We did go to trunk or treat at the township office anyway. I'm totally wiped out, so I'm headed to bed, but here's just a little bit of the cutest little zebra you ever did see . . .

October 30, 2008

It's difficult to put into words

I've had friends tell me that the "twos" aren't as terrible as everyone makes them out to be. They tell me that the "threes are what I really have to fear. Well, I'm just going to go ahead and say that the "1.5s" aren't really a piece of cake, either.

Jack wasn't really in a bad mood today. Just ornery. Really, really ornery. He was into everything! I just chased him around picking up after him and saying, "no, no, no." He didn't want to be held, but he didn't want to be put down. He didn't want me to play with him, but he didn't want me to leave him to play by himself. Everything he said was screechy and shrill and made me want to find ear plugs.

But like I said, he wasn't in a bad mood. He walked around with his toy phone to his ear doing his courtesy laugh and cracking me up. I asked him what he wanted for lunch and he said, "moatmo." Which translated means, "oatmeal." I told him that we ran out of oatmeal at breakfast, but I would make him a grilled cheese. As he nibbled on his carrots and bananas I gave him while he was waiting he kept shrieking, "Moatmo!" But then he saw me take the sandwich out of the pan and he started chanting, "Muuummmyyyy. Muuuummmmyyy." Which is how he says, "yummy." Talk about mood swings. I definitely need to get video of him saying yummy. You have to see it for yourself to really understand how funny his enunciation is. Anyway, he was just really restless and hard to manage today.

As I type, I realize that I'm not really sure how to put the frustration and exhaustion of today into words adequate enough to describe how it left me feeling. I'm pretty sure that I could write dozens of paragraphs without really conveying my thoughts. The whole day was just full of ups and downs. There were moments when I was literally laughing and crying at the same time.

I need to get some sleep. Here's to a laid back, more productive day tomorrow! Right? No? Maybe?

October 28, 2008

So you'll know where to find me . . .

We're having the world's largest garage sale at camp this week. Ok, it's probably not the world's largest, but it's pretty big. I spent yesterday pricing my stuff and putting it out. And now I have a runny nose from all of the dust! Stupid allergies.

The sale starts today and runs through Thursday. Yes, it's weird to have a garage sale during the week, but it was the only time the field house was going to be available. And, it's going to be open until 7 PM each evening so people can come when they get off of work. Smart, right?

Jack's Halloween costume came in the mail yesterday. I found it on ebay. It wasn't the one that I wanted, but I refuse to pay more than $10 for something he'll only wear once. Maybe they'll be cheaper next year. You might remember how cute he was in last year's costume. This year will not disappoint.

I have a few things on my plate for this week. I have more going on at camp that I can even list here. I'm going to add a few more Christmas designs to the shop. I also hope to finish up the mommy cards and personalized stationary that I've been working on to add to the shop in December (or maybe January . . . we'll see). I know, I know . . . mommy cards? But people are asking for them. I'm also taking pictures of the Hammonds on Thurdsay . . . yay!

Oh, and did I mention that I had a photo session with a new family over the weekend? It went really and I think the photos turned out well! The client opted to not have their photos posted online, so you'll just have to take my word for it!

I hear Jack stirring. Time to get this day started.

October 27, 2008

Point and shoot

Today, I start my second year of my photo-a-day blog. I remember starting it last year at this time and wondering how long it would be before I quit. And there were two "breaks" during the year, but otherwise I was pretty good.

I think I've come a long way . . . and still have a long way to go.

If I close my eyes, it won't really exist.

When Kyle got up early this morning to let Murphy out, he claims that it was snowing.

I'd prefer to believe that my husband is a liar than to believe it was snowing last night.

Just kidding. Kind of.

October 26, 2008

A busy day

Yesterday was a busy, but fun, day!

Joy came down Friday night and we spent Saturday morning getting ready for the baby shower we threw yesterday afternoon for Jen. We appliqued onesies, feasted on cupcakes (made by Maria) and Jen opened her gifts. It was a lot of fun! I wish I would have taken a group photo.

After that, the girls from the floor at SAU that we're floor parents for came out and we hosted a hayride and hot dog roast. Unfortunately, I did not once pull my camera out.

Tonight, I have a photo shoot with a family (if the rain holds off), and I'm super excited about that.

I had a fun weekend, but I'll be ready to settle into our routine again tomorrow!

October 24, 2008

Yet another . . .

There's another less ordinary designs give away here. Yay! The winner will be drawn on Monday.

Crystal is hosting this give away which is kind of cool, because she was my first etsy customer EVER. I just wrote to her the other day and was telling her that I had my cards up for about a week and NO ONE had purchased a single one. I was telling Kyle about how dumb it was for me to spend so much time on those and how crazy it was to think that someone might pay money for the designs. Lo and behold . . . Crystal send me a message and I had my first sale! I might have quit if it weren't for her.

A few days later, more people followed and 335 sales later, here I am! Did you know that in May, I set a goal of 200 sales by Christmas? Maybe I need a new goal . . .

Anyway, I don't take any of this for granted and I'm grateful for every customer who comes my way, and also for the repeat customers who send people my way. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

OH! And be sure you visit Little Bit Funky (Crystal's etsy shop) for all kinds of homemade goodness! I try to re-invest a portion of what I make on etsy back into other etsy sellers (a.k.a. a great excuse to shop) and hers is one of my favorites!

Allow me to introduce . . .

My friend Debbie has been reading my blog faithfully for the last year or so. Probably even longer. I know this because when we get together, I'll start telling stories and she'll finish them. Or she'll ask me about things that I wrote. I love this about Debbie.

5 years ago this month, when Debbie was 16 (I think right before her 17th birthday . . . correct me if I'm wrong), her mom passed away after struggling with breast cancer. While losing a parent is hard for anyone, a precarious family situation made this even more difficult for Debbie. Fortunately, she has an aunt and uncle who stepped in as parents during her senior year and she called their home her home during college.

Shortly after her mom died, she started dating Brian, Kyle's cousin. That's how I first got to know her. I could have started out this post by saying "Kyle's cousin, Debbie" but that doesn't feel right. Because even though we're family now (she and Brian were married in June), she's a dear friend.

All that to say, she started a blog called "Dear Mom: Life without you". The title of her first post was "I'm not crazy, I just miss you." I loved her first two posts and thought I'd pass the link along. I really like the idea of her writing about her life as if she's talking to her mom.

I write this because I know that several of you who read my blog have lost parents or close loved ones over the last year and you can relate. Even if you haven't, Debbie is an excellent writer and I know that you'll enjoy her blog.

So, take a look. Add her to your blog reader. Enjoy!

October 23, 2008

Fa la la la laaaa . . .

First, thanks to everyone who let me know comments weren't working yesterday. I have no idea what the issue was . . . but it seems to be resolved. Right? I hope so.

Second . . . I know, I know. I have a Christmas banner up. In October. I've explained to you all before thatI start Christmas a little earlier than many people do.

I think it's a bit of a coping mechanism for helping me deal with the cold weather. I can handle the cold if I concentrate on Christmas coming soon. Also, Christmas music is too good to only last for three or four weeks. And, I've started to fill Christmas card orders, so I'm full of all sorts of Christmas cheer.

I've struggled constantly for the last year to find a 3-column look that I like. So, instead of working on things that I should be working on tonight, I figured it out. I think I'll be keeping this for a while. I think.

In conclusion, yes, I have a Christmas banner up. And I hope you can enjoy it instead of scorning me for bringing Christmas stuff out too soon. Oh, and if you like the banner, check out my shop for the card design that inspired it!

October 22, 2008

What I'm reading . . .

Every blog post I've started for the last few days goes something like this:

"I'm so tired and so busy and Jack's so cute. More later."

So, allow me to point you to some good posts from my blog reader over the last week or so. Maybe you'll find a new one that you like!

Delicious. This was a unanimous favorite in my house (among the three people who live here). I through a handful of frozen spinach in to make it a serving of veggies too.

Funny. This made me chuckle. That's right . . . chuckle.

Literal. I'd say he's a good listener.

Free. Don't miss out on these giveaways . . . of which I am the first (I think . . . maybe)!

Hilarious. After viewing this post, look at the entire blog. It will not disappoint.

Yummy. I will find the time to make these. Eventually.

Creative? I don't know her, but if you like to laugh, subscribe to her blog.

Amazing. At 8 1/2 months pregnant, I could barely squeeze my feet into flip flops. And Sara looks fantastic in her boots!

Ok, there are more, but this is where I stop. I've already taken too much time and I have stuff to do! And it's already 9 PM! When did it get to be 9 PM?! I'm guessing sometime between "literal" and "free" . . .

October 18, 2008

Teething bites.

The poor kid walked around with this hanging out of his mouth for a while one morning this week. He's a trooper.

October 17, 2008

My winnings

I won this outrageously tacky stunning trophy for my triumph as working woman of the week back in August.

Breathtaking, isn't it?

I know what you're all thinking. "With that beautiful plaque, what more could a girl ask for?" But I also won . . .

. . . $20 to a consignment shop called "Second Time Around,"

. . . $20 to a movie theater. This is the only thing that I was really excited about.

. . . $50 to Dusty's wine cellar. I don't drink wine. Maybe I'll be giving a bottle of wine or two for Christmas gifts this year.

. . . $25 gift certificate to Lansing Urgent Care. If I ever am in need of urgent medical care, I'm not sure I'll be visiting the Urgent Care an hour away.

. . . and a party for 50 people at a place called "Rum Runners." Um, I really don't think that I have 50 friends anymore.

I know I shouldn't complain. I should be happy with my winnings. But all I really wanted was a spa package.


Do you see the smudge of dirt on Jack's right cheek?

It's not dirt. It's a bruise. From running into a chair. It's also the reason (along with the scrapes on his forehead and nose from planting his face into our gravel driveway) that we won't take family pictures this week.

Oh, well. That's life with a toddler.

October 14, 2008

Who needs pumpkins?

I feel as though I'm shirking some sort of parental responsibility by not taking Jack to a pumpkin patch. Is there any blog-keeping parent out there who has not taken their child to a pumpkin patch/cider mill, or is not planning to sometime before the end of October? I'm pretty sure I'm the only one left. And by glancing at my schedule I can tell you that it's not looking like we'll make it there at all this year.

So, instead of seeing Jack picking apples, sitting on pumpkins or drinking unpasturized cidery goodness, you get to see pictures like this:

Because what he's thinking in this picture is "Who would want to go to a pumpkin patch when they can grill with their dad? In their pajamas?"

October 10, 2008


Five reasons I like my blog-world (as opposed to real-world) friend, Nicole:
(Did that just make me sound like one of those people who plays virtual, second-life video games in her spare time? I hope not. Because I don't.)

1. She recently posted about a particular episode of a certain tv show . . . one that my sister and I mock lovingly & religiously.

2. She has three boys . . . if I have more children, I'll be praying for more boys. Now that I think of it, I'm pretty sure this is why I originally subscribed to her blog.

3. We both have one-year-old's named Jack.

4. We both have fears about being pegged as Chicco's customers.

5. She's sent me several etsy customers and is now giving away one of my cards for her one-year bloggiversary.


OH! And I was just reminded of #6 . . . we have a mutual real world friend. Which is how I found her blog in the first place.

October 8, 2008


This video clip pretty much sums up what I'm doing today. ALL. DAY.

It takes a lot of time! from Somerset Beach on Vimeo.

Oh, and if you find yourself succumbing to worrying about the future (like I have been), maybe this will help.

And if you're still feeling down, look on the bright side . . . at least this didn't happen to you.

October 7, 2008

In five minutes or less . . .

  • Life is busy. It's so trite, but it's never been more true for me. I need sleep. I need a few minutes to unwind. I need rest.
  • Things are still pretty busy at camp but I honestly love my job. I love what I do and the people I work with and the One whom I ultimately serve through my work. It's crazy and sometimes stressful, but so, so worth it.
  • Another giveaway here. If you haven't been on this site, you need to stop by occasionally or subscribe to the feed. I'm not one for wanting tons of free samples sent my way, but this site has saved me A LOT of money. I wish I had taken a picture of my Walmart receipt the week that I whittled $47 down to $6.76 using coupons and tips from this site.
  • Rumor has it that a gas station 20 minutes south of us has gas priced at $2.99 a gallon. Just in time for the election? I have no idea if the two could be related . . . I suppose this is just my cynicism coming out.
  • Card orders have been steady and I really love filling them! I have met some fantastic people doing this. I don't know why I continue to feel so insecure about the whole thing. I have this continual "I'm not very good at this and someday everyone else will realize that, too, and will stop placing orders." Anyway, I want to thank any of you who are sending business my way. I had one client tell me that she heard about me through the maternity ward at a hospital in Victoria, British Columbia! Huh? It seems a nurse on that floor has a daughter who used my services and now passes out my info to new moms. I don't know who you are, but I'm grateful!
  • My lips have been chapped all day . . . a sure sign that winter is upon us.
  • Jack is cutting THREE MOLARS right now . . . which I'm pretty sure is equally painful for everyone living in this household.
  • A few minutes ago I was breathing a sigh of relief because I had responded to every message in my inbox and there were no new ones when I pressed "send/receive." However, when I pressed "send/receive" I realized there were 16 messages in my outbox that were still waiting to be sent. Oh well . . . it gave me a nice break here for a few minutes.
  • Last week, I tried to send a bulk e-mail to our camp mailing list. Before I did this, I didn't realize that hotmail limits the number of e-mails you can send in a day. At the 178th e-mail in my bulk sending, it quit and shut me down for 24 hours. 24 hours in which I couldn't send e-mail! What a pain! I now have a gmail account in case I again encounter such an emergency.

My time's up . . . but be looking for a video montage of Jack's dance moves that I'll be posting soon!

October 5, 2008

Dear Jack, Month 16

Dear Jackson,

For your first 15 months of life, I would often jot down little notes along the way so that when it came time to write your letter, I didn't have to recall an entire month in one sitting. I didn't do that this month because, well, life has been too busy. Which is why your letter is three days late. So, my temptation this month is to write:

"You're bigger.
And smarter.
And funnier.
Love, Mama."

Because you did get bigger. Specifically, taller. Pants that fit you in August are too short now. The scale doesn't show that you gained all that much weight, but my arms feel like you did. And you have three molars slowly and painfully pushing their way through your gums . . . which practically makes you a grown man.

And you did get smarter. Your vocabulary is sporadic, but growing. On some days you will clearly verbalize what it is that you want (those days are usually after a good night of sleep). On other days, you revert to grunting and pointing. You're learning to deal with the fact that just because you know how to ask for something doesn't mean you'll always get it. Your two favorite things to ask for are "dide" (to go outside) and "dairs" (to go downstairs). Usually, when we take you one of these two places, you're ready to go back in or back upstairs as soon as we get there. Sometimes I wonder if you're just trying to show off your ability to tell us what you want.

And you're definitely funnier. You are, perhaps, the funniest when you dance. We LOVE to watch you dance. Every time you hear music . . . even faint music from a distance . . . you start bobbing your head up and down and rocking back and forth. If the music's loud, you jump, spin and flap your arms. It seems you've inherited your parents' total lack of rhythm or dancing ability. But you don't care. You just move and you love it. And we love it too. The only thing you like more than dancing is when your dad and I dance with you; though, you will never see any footage of this because your dad and I have made a pact to never to video tape the other dancing with you. On Friday, you were working with dad in the garage and had his ipod. You put the ear bud up to your ear, closed your eyes and started rocking back and forth as if you were "feeling" the beat. You crack me up.

Life is passing us by so quickly and before I know it, you'll be off at college. And instead of jotting down notes for your letter, I'll be jotting down notes of things that I want to ask you or tell you when you call. I know you think I'm exaggerating, but 20 years from now, I'm going to read this letter and say, "It feels like I wrote that just yesterday."


October 1, 2008

Don't get me wrong

One of the only things that makes the end of summer even remotely palatable is the changing color of the leaves. Don't get me wrong . . . I'd be happier if it were 85 degrees out right now. But I'd be lying if I said that I didn't get a little bit of pleasure out of turning the fireplace on this morning. And I guess I did enjoy the cup of hot chocolate that downed a few minutes ago.

I think that fall will always make me think about the time two years ago when I was waiting to find out if I had a viable pregnancy. I was at the end of that journey and at the beginning of another. It seems like that was a lifetime ago. I know it's weird, but I feel like I was so young back then. I'm feeling very sentimental.

Because that kid, who was smaller than a grain of rice two years ago at this time, and was just learning to roll back and forth last year at this time, is running all over the place and is too heavy for me to hold for more than a few minutes at a time.

We are blessed.