Saturday, May 30, 2009

Thinking Out Loud

LOAD is almost over, I'm sad but know that there is no WAY I could do a layout everyday now that the kids are home all day. I'm joining a flickr group called LOAW (layout a week), I think I can handle that. I'm also joining Lisa Day on her blog where she is doing Life after LOAD, come up with a goal of how many layouts you have to make before you can purchase any more products (I tried this before, remember?) I still haven't committed to my goal on that.
LOAD was very life changing for me . . . I now it sounds silly to say that about paper and glue especially if you aren't a scrapper but I really feel inspired and creative right now.
One of the most important things I feel I learned that I can do something BIG if I work a little every day and plan ahead some. If someone had told me last month to make 31 layouts in the next month. I would have gotten overwhelmed and wouldn't know where to start but just thinking about them one at a time was the key. Sometimes the night before I knew I should start on tomorrow's layout but when you're tired that's hard.
So many times I would just pull out the photo I wanted to use and look through my creative journal to get an idea, sometimes I would pull out the paper I wanted to use. Then when I had time the next day, I was ready to go. A little bit of planning went a long way for me.
I'm going to take what I learned during LOAD and try to apply it in other areas of my life. First, is getting in shape! Remember I am running a 5K race sometime this year? Yep, I'm still doing it even though I am certainly not ready at this point. I need to start working on it though. Sounds like a daunting task but a little bit at a time. I'm taking my LOAD philosophy to this. LOAD is now becoming GIST (I'm really into these acronyms right now) for me. GIST = Get In Shape Today. Yes, I totally made that up but let's play on Nike's old motto, GIST Do It! Sounds good but I need a plan in order for it to work. I can't go running in the middle of the day with 4 kids. So here's the BIG COMMITMENT part: I am going to get up at 6am and run/walk on the days I don't go to the Y. I think I'll be at the Y 2-3 days a week. On Mondays we go for swimming lessons so I think after that I can take the kids to the playroom and run then. I plan on going to the Y in the morning some too. I think if I sign up for a class I'm more likely to go. So I started looking, what to take: Pilate's, kickboxing, y-pump . . . I don't know . . . I think I need to wait on kickboxing since there is a beginner class in the fall, I'm definitely a beginner. Y-pump sounds challenging and I'm all for that but the times and days aren't convenient for other parts of our schedule this summer. So Pilate's looks like the winner . . . it starts at 8:30 but is only a half hour 2 days a week and then I could go run on the treadmill after and we could go to the library on Thursdays for story time. So there is it. If I am not going to the Y for the day then I need to get out there at 6am on weekdays and run/walk. I'm aiming for 30 minutes, then I can shower and I'll be ready for the day before Aaron goes to work at 7 and hopefully before the kids are up . . . right, today on a Saturday they were up at 6:10 am!
So what can you do this summer with the little bit at a time philosophy . . GIST Do It!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Last Bit of Freedom interrupted by Thickers Emergency

I have one hour left of freedom before summer officially begins (along with the decline of my sanity) and preschool is over. So what am I doing on this last day? Being a lady of leisure? no. Cleaning like a mad woman? no. I had no intention of even leaving the house today until I read Megan's blog and found out that Big Lots had Thickers. Some of you are wondering what is a Thicker? Well if you are a scrapbooker, it is about as necessary to own Thickers as it is scissors and adhesive. They are fancy letter stickers that come in foam, vinyl, fabric, chipboard, and epoxy. I use them on almost every layout for my titles. They come in a million fonts and colors. I have quite a few sets but one can never have too many of these and when Megan wrote they had them for $2 a pack, I got the baby up from her nap (she technically wasn't asleep yet) and off to Big Lots we went . . . 22 packages later I am home.
It was a Thickers emergency! Now in my defense 8 of them are for Keely. I almost didn't call her because she claims she owns almost every Thicker made . . . but I think that is not entirely true because she said she didn't have some of the ones Big Lots had.

The rest of my day was spent finishing our teacher gifts. I waited until the last minute to figure out what to give them even though about 2 weeks ago I started thinking about it. And in the last 48 hours I have changed the gift about 80 different times. I always go to the internet for ideas. At one point I was making a gift card wallet out of fabric scraps but I couldn't think of any place to get them gift cards and I have 5 teachers to give gifts so there wasn't time for big sewing projects and no place good around here for a $5 gift card. Next I was going to go the Bath and Body Works route but when I was at JoAnn Fabrics I was reminded I own these cute flower pretzel molds. So all I had to buy was the chocolate, pretzel rods, and some bags. I decided the flower theme would be good and found a tutorial to make these cute pins that you can wear on a jacket or shirt or pin on a purse or tote bag.
To top it off the kids helped me make the flower cards, with their photos in the center that say "thank you for helping me grow and bloom". I wrote the teachers each a note on the inside thanking them for all their hard work and patience with my kids. Our gifts aren't extravagant but as a former teacher I know it's nice to be appreciated even in little ways. After school today I am going to try to get a photo with each kid and each teacher too -- you know scrapbooking is always on my brain.

So that's my last day . . . oh yeah, I squeezed in a quick layout for LOAD (only 2 more days left).
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It's a lift from my new found friend also doing LOAD who has 5-1/2 year old triplets. It's fun to find another triplet mom who scraps too. She lives in California so we'll have to be computer friends.
I hope your day was productive too and that you don't have a Thickers emergency after reading this post!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A year and half!

Reesey is officially a year and half today. I really can't believe it! She is quite the character. I tried really hard to get some good photos of her. I even put a dress on her and we went uptown for a little photo shoot. She was not super happy about it so I didn't get many smiling faces and it was overcast and about ready to pour rain at any second.
1. She's a talker. She can say anything. I can understand most of the things she says. She is speaking in one, two and three word sentences.
2. She is so darn smart. I think most of it comes from being submerged in life around here with the busyness of this household and have 3 siblings that are nonstop. She wants to be just like them. She copies everything they do.

3. She loves to play especially with dolls. She is quite good at playing alone when the kids are at school. She plays with the dollhouse a lot and I hear her talking and already doing some imaginary play.
4. I think puppies are on her brain all the time. She will say "puppy" or "dog" about 5000 time per day.

5. She loves to be outside. She doesn't do a whole lot in the backyard, mostly just walking up and down the sidewalk but still she loves it. She claps her hands and screams "side, side" when she wants to go out.

6. She still will take 2 naps a day for me about 2 hours each and sleep about 10 hours at night. I'm not rushing to stop those naps any time soon either.
7. She has a thing for shoes but takes them off in the van and in every store we go. Fortunately I've only lost one shoe so far.

8. She insists on feeding herself. She loves yogurt, mac and cheese, spaghetti, pancakes, scrambled eggs, donuts and muffins. Oh and ketchup, she can say that word as plain as day and would eat it on everything if I let her.
9. I wonder if she will ever gain weight. She weighed a little under 18 pounds last week at the doctor's office. Every time I think she gains a little, she gets sick and loses some.

10. She loves music and is a very animated dancer. She doesn't watch much TV which is fine with me. She does love the characters, Dora and Elmo.
11. Like most kids her age, one moment she is super happy and the next throwing a tantrum on the floor. Fortunately her fits don't last long.

12. She is queen of the faces. Right now she's into mocking people and this is her monkey face:

Okay, enough of the Mamarazzi!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

It's the final Countdown

Ugh! Preschool is down in 3 days. UGH! I know at the beginning of the year I was all worried about them now I'm all for year round school . . . don't get me wrong I love my kids but geesh, I will have NO breaks at all . . . they don't nap anymore or if they do they are up until the wee hours of the morning, so are Aaron and me but that's our time not more kid time! I know already I have to start planning it all out. They have to be busy so I don't hear whining and fighting and crazy out of controlness and all the other things that go along with no structure when structure is needed. I started a list, of course, since I am Queen of List Making . . . not sure where the list is but I did have an idea burst one night and put them all on paper.
I signed them up for swimming lessons at the Y today . . . we'll see how that goes. The Y is definitely going to be on our list, along with the library, park/picnic days, field trips to the zoo and museums. I plan on doing art stuff and trying to squeeze in learning kinds of things too with letters and numbers and writing. Physical activity will also needed to be incorporated to get out all that energy . . . obstacle courses and jumping rope and running games. I'm tired already just thinking of all this stuff. I plan on having quiet time almost everyday . . . got some ideas for that . . . busy boxes that rotate between them . . . listening to music . . . watching a movie . . . Something so I can have a small break during Reese's nap. I certainly need to plan this all out because it will have to be planned to have things ready and incorporate our errands into the day trip stuff. I definitely don't want to be going every single day of the week . . . I hate that. I hope we can be home at least two days each week. I'm trying to get Grammy to take them for one play day each week too. Then I'll have some alone time to do cleaning or scrapbooking or errands or absolutely nothing! I think she'll do it but I hope they don't wear out their welcome. I just don't want to spend the summer yelling and having them watch TV. On top of all this "fun" stuff I need to plan, I also want them to become more responsible in helping out around the house. So I have chores I want them to do too; I have ideas on how to incorporate all this too but of course I have nothing ready and really need to do that too. So three days until my freedom ends -- that is if I can get them all to school tomorrow, I had two sickies at home today.
My LOAD project is winding down but I'm still going maybe not as strong as I was in the beginning but I'm so glad I did this. Here's a layout I made a couple days ago:

Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Groundhog Day!

Am I stuck in that Bill Murray movie, Groundhog Day, where it's the same day over and over and nobody told me? After a couple of nice days of weather and a family cookout, today I have two sick kids, one who is currently taking antibiotics for double ear infections. Addison announced on our way to eat today that her face was hot. Aaron had the heat on in the van, as he was chilled from our attendance at the Memorial Day Parade in the rain. Aaron melts in rain, as we know he's made of sugar that's where he super sweetness comes from! We got to a restaurant and Aaron says she's burning up. She wouldn't eat. She slept all the way home and took another nap (with me!) and then Caden said he was hot and he has a fever too and took a nap. Caden already had the mystery fever illness with eye infection. We can't break our streak, this will be week 6!
Anyway, still had a great weekend even though it's ending in a yucky way. We worked on the kids' room. I got the second closet painted pink and we hung up a bunch of stuff on their walls. We had a family cookout with Aaron's sister and her two kids,
his parents,
and my dad.
We had great food (doesn't it always taste better cooked and eaten outside?).
Aaron's parents brought their dog, Bug.
Their bounce house for the kids.
And a SpongeBob Pinata that would not break.
The kids played baseball with Papa.
We got out our parachute and tried to toss the baby around.
The sandbox got some use too.
Then we walked down to the cerementary to see the flags.
It was fun and great weather!
And now that life has just handed me lemons again with more sickness what can I do but make lemonade!
Hope you had a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Still Going . . .

Today I'm still not feeling well so I struggled a bit with getting a scrapbook page made for LOAD. Not sure I'm as happy with it as I thought I would be. I loved this new paper and the photos are so cute of Caden and Addison but I'm just not lovin' it.
Maybe I need a donut!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Donuts make everything better

That's pretty much my motto in life . . . no matter what, happy, sad, mad, hungry or not, everything is better with donuts. There's a new donut shop and I went to try it out the other day at 10:30 am and they were out of donuts! In their defense they were making more but even this hard core donut lover isn't going to wait around for 20 minutes. Well, maybe I would have if I had known how good they are and I had thought about them being warm when I got my hands on one.
Reese and I are both feeling under the weather today but we had to leave the house because it was cleaning lady day. So we headed to the new donut shop.
I got a blueberry cake donut with blueberry icing. The donut was good . . . too good . . .
I wish I would have gotten two but I resisted. There were so many donuts in the case , all so pretty and yummy. Reese couldn't believe it either. If you couldn't tell, Reesey and I are pretty much on the same page when it comes to donuts.
They have a drive through which is a bad thing . . . I could get 2 or even 3 donuts and eat them all without the donut people knowing they were all for me . . .
okay, I'll admit I have a big problem
Guess I'll have to get back to running to work off all those donuts in my future.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Still Going

I think everybody will be recovered and go to school tomorrow. I had to keep Caden home today because that rash he has wasn't gone but it almost was by bedtime so I think he can go. I, on the other hand, am not feeling 100% and am losing my voice (my husband isn't complaining about that though). I'll push through, main thing I'm concerned about is if I get sick how will I keep up with my LOAD Project. After all, I have my priorities!
Here's what I made today:er
I think one of the most main things I've really discovered about myself is that I love, love, love color! The more the better. I am finding my scrapbook style. I'm really into layering and using lots of stuff, and mixing old with the new. I'm getting faster and when I start to fret over the details of does this look good or should I put this instead -- I just say glue it down and move on. It works for me. I didn't realize how inspiring and energizing this project would be for me but it really has. I get sad when I think it will be ending in 13 days. It's not like I can't do a layout a day by myself but I know I won't when I don't really have a deadline.
I hope you had a creative day too!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Medical Update

As of today:
I spent 2 hours at the doctor's office. My third trip there this week.
Reese had to have blood work done. My fourth trip to the lab in 10 days.
Conclusion: Virus nothing to do but wait it out, but she has an eye infection too, needed a prescription.
Went to two different pharmacies to get said eye medication.
Finally got back home at 2, we left at 8am.
While making dinner, Addison announces that her ear hurts really, really, really bad. And says it hurt this morning, too bad she didn't tell me so she could have went to the doctor's office with me.
Also while making dinner, I noticed the shirtless Caden has a rash/hives/I-don't-know-what all over him. It itches he says.
After dinner, Aaron takes 2 children who haven't been to the doctor this week to the 24 hour clinic. I told him he was taking them because if I had to spend one more second in a waiting room, I may go completely crazy.
Aaron returns with 2 prescriptions for Addison's double ear infections and for Caden's not sure what the heck it is rash.
Aaron makes our third trip to the pharmacy today.
This is all true . . . I could not possibly make this up. So I call it no more sickness of any kind allowed here for at least a month. The parents need time to recover!

On a happier note:
This guy is feeling much better and here's his smile to prove it
I hadn't seen it in so long, I'd almost forgotten how darn cute he is.
I also forgot how goofy he is and that he can talk non-stop very loudly.

And my wonderful husband spent the entire time I was with Reese this morning cleaning our entire downstairs and doing ALL the laundry. How great that was to come home too. Here's to a healthier week for everyone!

Friday, May 15, 2009


If you heard a blood curdling scream this morning about 8am -- that was me! It was when I took Reese's temperature and it read 101.8. This can't be happening although it was inevitable . . . I think I will live in denial about it for a few hours and pretend she's really not getting this week and half high fever-vomiting-bacterial infection/virus that the other two kids have had. Ethan's still recovering. On Wednesday night Ethan continued with 105 fevers so I took him back to the doctor where he endured (and screamed and fought) chest x-rays and more blood work. The findings were: on paper he's getting better so the doc thinks in the next day or two he will start feeling better. He was eating a little last night so I think she's right. It took Caden 4 extra days to recover after I thought he was all better -- he was still super tired and grumpy and not very hungry. For me, if I have to sit in the doctor's office one more time for 2+ hours and visit admitting, and waiting in waiting rooms for labs and x-rays, I may go crazy. We need groceries, we to do fun things, we need normalcy . . . life is never dull with kids.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


I'm sick of vomit and 104 fevers and kids sleeping in my bed
and whining and trying to give medicine to a kid who HATES medicine
and my husband saying I'm not doing enough to get him better
and other nonsick kids who are not patient and fighting every 7 seconds
and laundry mountains and not showering for 3 days and my hair
that hasn't been cut since October
and lists they are never going to get done and my husband
yelling at 4 years olds because they are being 4 year olds and kids with
attitudes. This mom gig hasn't been so fun the last few days.

However I am not sick of scrapbooking and it's a great stress release (yep,
gluing and cutting paper, who would have thought?). Somehow, with all the
stress of sickness still going on, I am managing to keep up on LOAD.
Here's today's layout of the day:




I am not sick of sewing on paper, or of orange & blue, or owls, or photos of my kids.

My New Wagon

Remember when I used to haul the kids around in the choo choo wagon? It caused quite the stir . . . now they're too big for it but here's what I need:

Wouldn't I be the talk of the town with this bike? It's a MADSEN Cargo Bike. It is so cool . . . I love the cool color and retro feel plus I think most or at least 2 of my kids would fit in there. Think of the work out I would get? Don't you want one too? Good news, two are being given away on July 15. Go here to find out the details of how you can win one, and if you don't want it, try to win it for me . . . I need the exercise!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Keeping Up!

Even though sickness continues to terrorize our house, I am still keeping up with the LOAD (layout a day) project. Actually I think it's the only thing keeping me sane right now. I even been doing more than one layout on some days. If I could, I would just keep on scrapbooking all day, if there weren't like other more pressing things like laundry, doctor appointments, and feeding the children. During Reese's morning nap I usually can work for an hour or two then at night I spend a couple more hours after the kids go to bed. It's almost addicting. I won't bore you with every layout I've made so far but to show that I have been keeping up, I picked my 3 favorite ones so far:



Out Sick

Long time, no {blog} write. I have a good excuse . . . sickness! We are now on week 4 of somebody being sick at this house. Remember about 3 weeks ago, everyone but me had the flu for like 5 days???? The next week Reese got croupe. Then last week Caden came down with this low grade fever which I thought was no big deal, but on day 3 it turned into a 104 temp which went to 105 a couple times too. I thought for sure he had ear infections, took him to the doctor and nope, after bloodwork and chest x-rays doctor wasn't sure what was going on but he was on day 5 of a fever, so she prescribed antibotics and after 3 doses all better (so I thought). Then Ethan throws up Saturday night and has a low grade fever. Then before long his fever is 105 and 106. I got it to come down with medicine and stripping him but what is this all about? Caden throws up again on Sunday night but no fever and he's been so grouchy with us and falling alseep 3 hours before bedtime and staying asleep. I keep him home from school on Monday and he seems fine. So off to the doctor's office we go again for Ethan and it was a 2 hour wait in the waiting room because 2 babies decided to come unexpectedly yesterday. And Ethan threw up on me in the waiting room and the blanket and the sweatshirts we had . . . good times. Again doctor doesn't know what's going on although she thinks we have two different "bugs" going on . . . oh goody! Ethan had to have urine tests and bloodwork but I'm sure you all knew that, certainly you hear him screaming when that happened. Just getting the turnicate on and cleaning his arm with alcohol was super traumatizing to him so when the needle went in . . . it was nearly the end of the world. Conclusion at this point Ethan has some bacterial infection and needs antibotics too. So we'll see . . .
Mother's Day was nice although I wish we could have done something as a family but Ethan was so sick. Aaron cooked me breakfast
and tried to get my one wish of a photo of me and the kids together. Here's the best one . . . aren't they happy?
Addison and I went shopping and out for lunch at Red Robin where we both enjoy my favorite freckled lemonades

I taught Addison how to play tic-tac-toe.
We had a fun time.
We went to Michael's and kids' resale shop and scrapbook store. It was fun and nice to do something by ourselves. I'm amazed how easy it seems to have one kid when you shop especially a 4-1/2 year old who can listen and stay by you and you don't have to watch her every single second. We came home and Aaron grilled steak, sweet corn, and baked potatoes. It was great and I never cooked once today but had 3 great meals!
The kids and Aaron got me a cute card and a Kenny Chesney CD although I think this would have been a more practical and appropriate gift at this time:

. . . after all, I still have 2 kids to go this round of illness.