Make Me Nigh Unto Pantyhose

I took a bath a few days ago, and while I was soaking in my lavender epsom salts I got to thinking.
I could be wrong, but I don’t think I am: many-a-great idea has been thought up in the bathrooms of America. I once knew a few boys in college who kept a voice recorder near their toilet so as to record their thinking-time epiphanies. I never heard the tapes… nor did I ever want to, but that’s beside the point.

The point is… pantyhose.

I don’t even know what got me thinking about them. I hardly wear them. I THINK I own a pair. They might be shoved in the backest most part of my undies drawer. Nevertheless, I realized that the quality of my life would improve radically if I were to be more like pantyhose.
Now, I’ll say to you what I said to my roommates in college when I told them that the LDS church was like an unborn fetus.
“Hear me out.”

They did, and now they believe. Okay MOSTLY they believe I’m a nut job, but that’s okay. It’s not like I could hide it forever anyway.

Pantyhose are subtle.
They have a way of being in the room, improving it, but never making a scene.

Pantyhose are classy.
Pantyhose are timeless… though they may fall in and out of fashion with the youth, they’re aging effortlessly. Shall I go so far as to say, “They’re aging seamlessly?”

Pantyhose improve.
They have a remarkable ability to SEE the flaws of the person next to them, but they make every attempt to bring out the better instead.

Pantyhose adapt.
They’re delicate, to be sure. All it takes is a little snag for them to completely give up their station. What then? Well, if a little clear nail polish can’t mend them, they have the decency to admit their defeat, and they go on to serve in other ways.


Pantyhose are versatile.
They’re ready to suit a variety of needs. White? Black? Knee high? Queen size? Thigh high? Nude? You’ve come to the right product.

When they want to be, pantyhose are chic -almost daring.

Now, you still might think I’m crazy, but apparently pantyhose already are everything I hope to be, socially. Someday I’ll sit and write a funny poem about it, but today is not that day. Today is the day where I teach preschool and squeeze in a work out and shower. Today is the day where I am NOT chic or daring. Preschoolers don’t need chic and daring, you know.
They need versatility.
They need adaptability.

They’re good practice for me, you know. And then someday, when I’ve mastered the Arts of the Pantyhose and can enter a room only to improve it… I’ll reward myself with a little daring/chic -designer style.
For now?
Let’s make it a nude knee-high day. Ole!
(Hey, there’s my poem!)


Smurf the Whole Day Long

Lacy used some of her birthday money to buy The Smurfs Movie, and the kids have loved it. They mentioned to Grandpa that they had it, and Grandpa got a wonderful, awful idea. He had his grandkids up for a Smurf party!
The kids were really excited.
We made smurf cookies for the occasion (we added blue food coloring to our chocolate chip cookie dough).

Then I whipped up some homemade face paints and, per the kids’ request, turned them into Smurfette and Clumsy Smurf, respectively.

The girl loved being Smurfette.

…for like 3 entire minutes.

Then she begged to be just a butterfly. Because I didn’t want Smurf tears all over my kitchen floor, I transformed Smurfette into a butterfly, and then all was right with the world.

I had the kids convinced that the cookies had essence of Smurf in them, and Lacy loved it.
“Time to get our Smurf on!” She kept saying.

Once up at Grandpa’s and Grandma’s, we were fed a fried chicken feast and then we watched our movie. I didn’t get any pictures because I was having too much fun.
It was the second best part of yesterday. The first best part?

We got a new nephew!!

***The MINUTE he woke up this morning, my son reached up to feel his face. The paint had worn off. “Hey!” He whined, “My Clumsy face is gone!”
This means I may be painting their faces blue again today, so if you see us out and about… please call him Clumsy. He insists.
And I’m now Painter Skater Mom. So cheer.


Yesterday I woke up and spontaneously decided to do absolutely nothing.
It. was. glorious.

In the past when I’ve executed lazy days, I’ve always felt a tremendous amount of guilt… so much so it completely sabotaged any joy I was trying to juice from day-long Austen Movie Marathons. Well. Yesterday was an exemption. To add joy to joyous, the two piano lessons I had scheduled to teach called up and cancelled! It was like providence!

Aside from the usual daily ins and outs, I was free as a bird.
“Kids,” I said, gathering them around me in the morning, “Today is Relaxi-Day, okay? We’re going to have all day be rest day.”
THAT automatically made me the world’s uncoolest mom, but hey. At least she’s sane, ladies and gents. At least she’s sane.

On a side note, I think the Lord assigns special angels to survey the earth.
“Pin point stay at home mothers who are taking the day for themselves and then prompt everyone in town to go over and visit them…” and then they all have a good laugh watching us scramble to put up our hair, put away the blankets on the couch, get rid of the ice cream bowl, slab on make-up (and a bra, for that matter), light a candle (it SEEMS cleaner if it smells good, right?), and bark at the children (“underwear OFF the floor, you are NOT a dog, stop throwing, and do I have to ask again: GET THOSE UNDEROOS OFF THE FLOOR!”), and then politely sweep open the door to welcome visitors with a pleasant smile and a mouthful of apologies for the state of the house and the stench coming from the direction of my unshowered self.

I’d laugh my buns off watching that from above. Real-life comedy show. But then: most of reality is something of a comedy show… like the way I feel when my husband uses the lap top until the battery is borderline DEAD, closes the lid, and then leaves it for me to find. Which I do. After I’ve situated myself comfortably down on the couch. Of course the cord to plug the computer in is ALWAYS at the other end of the house. It’s got the same laughability effect as the whole “empty ice tray in the freezer” situation.
Ah, life.

My kids are champions when it comes to staying outta the way, mostly because they know they can get away with so much more when mom’s checked out for the day. Nutella sandwiches around! Conversation hearts for lunch! Make a fort from the kitchen table!

What did I do? Shuttling the girl aside, attending a preschool pizza party aside, and delivering my husband’s wallet to him at work aside?

I watched an 18-episode television show. Isn’t that ghastly? It was a terrible show about a family who ran a hotel in the 1920s. The first 8 episodes were absolutely gripping. The next ten? Soap-opera at best. I was spoiled with both great plot and good acting AND terrible acting and cheesy dialogue.
“Go ahead, Marcus. Tell them. Tell them what you’ve done. Tell them how you’ve been in love with their mother -your own brother’s wife and THEIR mother all their lives. Tell them how you pursued her!” Marcus’ wife would yell.
“ENOUGH!” Marcus would glare at his wife. Who, by the way, happened to fake a pregnancy and BUY a baby from a poor mother so far in debt she was reduced to selling her unborn child. Marcus had no idea, by the way. He was duped. Not like it mattered. He was too love sick over his brother’s wife to notice the pillow under his wife’s maternity dress.
All the while, there was a soldier son who had the audacity to fall in love with a chambermaid.

I’m telling you: it was all too wonderful and perfect. Hilarious.
By the end of the day, I had myself convinced I could write a scintillating soap opera that would be absolutely gripping to people who took it seriously and gut-wrenching hilarious to those who didn’t. I even started planning music cues to go with dramatic expressions.
You really ought to have seen it go on, you know, in my head…

Anyway, yesterday gave me just enough time off to make me feel ready to start today with renewed umph. Today will be much better.
No chocolate sandwiches.
No rejoicing over the treasure chest I found in the freezer (cookie dough I had frozen and forgot about -heh-ven!).
No sweats.
Today is going to be all sunlight, fresh air, and home cooked food.
And then, at the end of the day when I’ve showered and dressed, cooked and cleaned, I’ll look around and wonder why NO ONE bothered to stop by.
I blame those angels. Is it possible for angels to be rotten? Maybe just a little?

Before “over and outing” I’m going to leave you with a few pictures of our little Blu.
Blu is the bird Santa brought to the girl, and Blu is the bird we’ve all fallen in love with. It also happens that Blu absolutely hates strangers and bites every single one of them, but Blu loves us. Loyal little thing.

Blu goes everywhere with Lacy, per Lacy’s orders.
Blu even sits on me while I craft and poops on the shoulder of my new white shirt. Yay! Per Lacy’s orders, I am Grandma now.
“Come on, Blu,” Lacy’s says in a high-pitched voice, the kind you use to talk to babies, “Let’s go see Grandma…” and then she plops the bird on me.
It’s fine, really. She might as well call me grandma. Ever since we went ice skating, the boy insists on calling me “Skater Mom.”
Between being “Skater Mom” which makes me feel 15 and “Grandma” which makes me feel 50… I somehow feel all right with the world.

Oh, Blu. You patient little thing.

It’s All for the Children

I love “Oklahoma!” And not just because it has a “!” at the end of it’s title. One of my favorite lines from the flick comes from Aunt Eller when she’s playing auctioneer at the school house dance.
“It’s all for the children, ain’t it?”
I find myself using that line time after time.
“Alicia, did you use the brand new Christmas lights that were supposed to be for the pillars outside and BURY them under all that fluff around the Nativity?”
“Well… It’s all for the children, ain’t it?”

Yesterday I woke up really early and ended up having a few hours to myself. It was great and truly needed. Thank GOODNESS for overcast skies that let my babies sleep and sleep and sleep.
I worked out, and then I read.
I read a couple of talks by M. Russell Ballard that got me thinking I should never, EVER leave my home. I’ve always wanted to teach, but lately I’ve been feeling like maybe I shouldn’t. Maybe I should stay home 100%, but get my teaching degree should the time come that I absolutely need it. Reading his talks on the value of motherhood and womanhood gave me the refresher and refocuser (not a word!) that I really, really, really, REALLY needed.
I decided to try and spend more time with my kids that day.
When my son woke up, I let him crack the breakfast eggs in the hot skillet. The only problem? The minute his hands felt the gooey insides of the eggs, he freaked and dropped the entire egg -shell and all -into the skillet. By the 4th egg, he caught on pretty well. No shell dropage there.
Soon his sister woke up, and I was attacked with a stomach ache I had been fighting off all night and most of the morning (my hormones are so lovely to me).
When I could muster it, I started mixing up dough to make a loaf of french bread. It was cooking day, after all, and I try to take one request a week from my husband. This week, he asked for french bread. He loves my french bread, BUT it takes for-ev-er to make. We’re talking… 5 hours at the very LEAST. Add a stomach ache and a full afternoon of visiting teaching to that, and you’ve got 9 hours.
It has to rise 3 different times.

Between the stomach ache and the visiting teaching and preschool, I didn’t get to see much of my daughter. When the boy took a late nap, I put in a movie for the girls and we played with my daughter’s press-on nails we’d bought her for her birthday. YEARS and YEARS ago, my mother bought me some press-on nails. I remember absolutely nagging the saneness out of my mother, begging her to do the press-on nails with me. Remember how it was as a kid? There was always something inside of you that said, “Don’t bug mom. You already bugged mom too much today.” But you couldn’t help it! You HAD TO ASK every FIVE MINUTES if Mom was ready NOW to play press-on nails even though she wasn’t ready 5 minutes ago. A lot can change in 5 minutes, right?
I remember clutching the package and dreaming of how amazing my press-on nails would look. They were brightly colored, yellow or orange -I can’t say which. If I remember right, they had a sort of tropical decal on them. Oh, how I longed to wear them and be the MOST beautiful girl in the world.
The moment finally came when mom agreed to help me put them on.
“When I get back from visiting teaching we’ll do them, okay? Don’t bother them until I get home.  I won’t be gone very long.” She said, and walked out of the door.
The anticipation was killing me. I sat on the edge of the counter and STARED at the press-on nails, beaming brightly back at me from their package. My toes tapped and curled… my palms tingled.
And then I really did it.
I opened the package and decided to DO it myself. I rationalized that Mom would be happy for me -she would be SO impressed with my ability to figure it out for myself.
Only I couldn’t seem to.
There were these sticky sticker thingies, but they were only sticky on one side… try as I might, I COULD NOT do it on my own, and because I tried so hard without having a lick of any idea as to what I was doing, I RUINED the press-on nails, and I never got to wear them. I still remember the look on mom’s face when she walked into the kitchen where I was. I remember how BADLY I WILLED the nails to just stick to my real nails so mom would be PROUD instead of UPSET. Stupid of me, really. And really stupid of me.
Of course I got in trouble for not listening.

I thought of that yesterday as I helped my daughter with her press-on nails. I’m not much better than I was back then with them. Luckily my little daughter is too young to know or care. I was able to get 5 of the little nails to sort of stick long enough to one hand long enough to snap a few pictures, and then she was over it. LUCKILY my nail skills are so crappy that the press-on nails came right off! No soaking for us!

My husband worked a long shift yesterday, so I didn’t bother with dinner… mostly because the awful stomach ache came back and I was flattened on the couch with nothing but my crocheting and hot pad to comfort me. The french bread I had started at 9 am was finally finished around 7 pm. The girl, who had helped me with the dishes and rearranged my entire kitchen (because hand mixers BELONG on top the fridge) asked if she could cut the loaf.
“No,” I said, “That’s just for Dad. He likes to cut it.”
“But,” she used her favorite word and held up a butter knife, “I just know how to use this.”
“Daddy likes to do it himself,” I said, “Please do not touch that loaf.”

And then I resigned to the couch, ne’ermore to rise.
Until I saw:

The loaf.
The all-day-french-bread loaf.
The ENTIRE loaf… gone! I felt exactly like the mother from “A Christmas Story” when her neighbor’s dogs ravish her turkey.
“Is this -?” The words caught in my throat, “ALL of the bread?”
“I FIXED it,” my daughter said, cheerily.
“Okay… but didn’t I tell you not to cut it?”
“I TORE,” she held her hands up, demonstrating to me exactly how she had done it.
I’m sure she rationalized in her mind, just as I had as a young girl all those years ago, that her mother would be PROUD of her rather than upset.
I was just upset, though I did my best to hide it on account of her having tried her best to make dinner for everyone.
Note the cookies? We’d made them together for our neighbor who so lovingly lent us about one billion Christmas lights to use during the festive season.
They even chanced to package up a bunch of the cookies in Minnie Mouse Containers for their Daddy. A “surprise” for him.

I had listened to the kids as they put dinner up (fully unaware that the bread was being demolished).
“Trent, just do errything that I say for you to do.”

“This is glass, Trent, and so you hafta be careful for it may BREAK.”
“DON’T TOUCH THE GLASS!” I interjected from the living room.
“But,” Lacy said, using her favorite word.
“Awwwight…” Trent would say.

Trent’s a great kid. His wife will love him.

After about an hour and after having discovered the bloody French Loaf Massacre, I pled with my daughter to PLEASE leave the kitchen.
“But… I’m fixin’ stuff.”
“Please hurry and be done fixing soon,” I said.
She wiped off a platter with a red towel and deposited the crumbs on my kitchen floor, reminding me of the day when I had scraped all of the dried-up bits of leftover play dough onto my mother’s kitchen floor.
“You shouldn’t do that,” my oldest brother said to me.
“It’s okay,” I explained to him, “I always do and then Mom sweeps it up.”
Too bad I happened to explain that all to him while Mom was sitting nearby and listening. I didn’t understand then why mom said, “Sure, fine. Just leave it all to me” and then sighed heavily.
But I do now…
Sure, Lace. Just leave it all to me.

Gently replace the platter:

Then put mom’s dinner of cookies and bread on top.

In the end, it took the combined efforts of my husband AND myself to stop her from fixing things.
And, oh, my kitchen. My husband couldn’t find his keys this morning because they weren’t where he’d left them in the key dish. I couldn’t find a small bowl to fill with milk to dip my cookies in (what? It’s a serious problem!).
I need to fix it back up without hurting her feelings too badly.
She was just helping, after all.

**On a side note: I just realized that the entire time I’ve been typing, she’s had herself locked in my bathroom. When I asked her what she was doing, she said “CLEANING!” She was instantly ordered out and asked to please go rediscover her play dough. May she throw the dried up crumbs on the floor. Heaven knows, I deserve it.**

Just as we were winding down to go to bed, my son sat next to my on the couch and began threading crayons between his toes.
“What are you doing?” I asked.
“Putting dem in my toes,” he replied.
“Wecause I didn’t want them in my hands.”
Well. Obviously. Wecause.

This is the kind of no-nonsense thinking the world NEEDS which is why, today, I’m decidedly a forever stay-at-home mom… My kind of intellect ought not venture outside my own front door.
Decision subject to change depending on the quality of my sanity… In the meantime, have you seen my ladle?

Bloody Monday

I haven’t had a true MONDAY in ages, so I guess it’s about time. I woke up from a dream in which I could FLY. I literally flew from one place to the other and bested an entire herd of skunks! You didn’t know they ran in herds, did you? Well, you would have… if you could fly. I distinctly remember thinking, as I tried to fly between two sets of power lines, ‘Now that I can fly, I won’t have to do that stupid Jillian Michaels’ workout anymore! I’ll just fly!’

… and then I woke up.

Bleck. As I tumbled out of bed, grumbling at my hand weights under the bed, my husband brightly asked, “What are you going to do today?”
Doesn’t he KNOW?!
It’s Monday. What have I done every Monday for the last… who knows how long?
“I’m going to CLEAN,” I attacked back, “I’m going to do my workout and then I’m going to clean all day long. Isn’t that great? It’s like an entire day of DRUDGERY just for me.”
I don’t think he meant to laugh, but he did.
In the middle of my butt kicks, he came out into the living room and softly suggested changing cleaning day to Tuesday this week… maybe that would make today a little less drudgistic.
“No,” I shook me head and panted, “Cleaning day is today. I have to clean today.”

This time he didn’t laugh. His obvious answer to making my life a little easier was easily shot down by me, and when that happens my husband knows FROM EXPERIENCE that hormones are the ruler of the day and the best thing he can do it… go to work and bring chocolate home. Poor man.

To add insult to self-inflicted injury, PICNIK is closing. I use every dang day! I don’t know what I’m going to do without it! It says it’s moving all of it’s picture enhancing goodness to Google+ so I did what any desperate woman would do… I signed up for Google+ despite the fact that I have no idea what it is, how to use it, or even where picnik is going to be on it.

So I turn my whiny voice to you, readers… where can I go to edit pictures with the ease and funzy funness comparable to Picnik?
Please, shine a ray of light on my Monday. I mean, I did get ONE ray of light when I discovered the special feature on my Jillian Michaels’ DVD that lets me mute her voice…

Project Completed!

I should be posting all of this on my craft blog, but the SADsadsad truth is that if I post this on my craft blog, I’ll have nothing to post here.  Nu-thing.  So here goes something.

Remember when I hacked up my old piano?  I took the piece that went here:
And I kept it. For a long, long, long time. It finally settled comfortably into a corner of the dining area where I would look at it from time to time and think, ‘Someday I’ll have my way with that. Someday.’
I finally took the plunge. I went and bought some paint, and I got to work. That is… I TRIED to get to work, but I happened to try it on a day where my husband had to work a later shift. He could hardly stand watching me work. We’re very different people, he and I.
When I want something done, regardless of whether I know how to do it or not, I jump in with both feet. I make mistakes, and then I try again. My husband likes to read up and get it exactly right the first time.
Both ways are good.
They’re both good.
Unless they’re both trying to work on the same project at the same time…
So he taped.

Then he said, “Were you planning on sanding?”
I said, “Not really.”
He said, “Okay…” (doubtful!)
I said, “It says on the paint can that we should sand glossy surfaces, so maybe we should sand a little.”
Sanding a little in my mind means grabbing a sheet of sanding paper and just sorta running it over the lot.
Sanding in his mind means thorough, even sanding. We lost all sense of our husband/wife relationship and moved effortlessly into surgeon/assistant.
“Fine sanding paper…” He held out a hand.
“Got it.” I handed it over.
“Okay, I’m going to need you to get the sander. Put a new sheet on it.  You’re going to need an extension cord to run it.  Can you handle that?”
“Yes, doctor.”

We removed most all of the dust after the sanding was complete, and we started painting. It must here be mentioned that we did NOT use chalkboard paint. We simply used flat black paint -thanks to a pointer from Aunt Cat. You can use flat paint of any shade as a great substitute for chalkboard paint and it works just as well. I choose black because it looks the most chalkboardy.
“Where are your foam brushes?” My husband asked.
“Oh!” I stood up, “In my craft drawer…” We went back to our closet together and I pulled out one, then two, then THREE foam bushes… all had been used and lovingly washed.
“These are used,” he held them up.
“…and washed,” I pointed out.
“It’s no good. You can’t use used foam brushes.”
“I do all the time,” I shrugged, pointing out the remnants of several paint shades lingering on the brushes.
“This one will have to do,” he said, choosing the lesser of three evils.
I met him back in the living room, and at this point I took over. It was MY project, after all. I was the one who had planned and schemed for a year at least to turn it into a beautiful chalkboard masterpiece.
I opened the paint. I dipped my brush in.
And paint, I did.
For like, 4 seconds. My husband winced and grimaced a little.
“You’re just -” He reached his hand out, “You’re not -You gotta…”
“What?” I looked up at him.
“I just… I know a little something about this kind of stuff. I actually know what I’m talking about.”
I’m still laughing that he prefaced what he had to say with THAT. Babe, I’m smart. Listen to me.
“You need to go in ONE direction,” he said, gliding my brush over the wood.
“I thought I was.”
“These brushes can really hold a lot of paint, so you can’t overdo it…”
“I thought I wasn’t.”
“You have to watch out for bubbles…”

About 3 minutes after this picture was taken, he apologized for taking over my project. He then told me that he spent many-an-hour working with his family painting crafts with his family for his mother to sell at boutiques. He’s Master of the Foam Brushes, it turns out.
I’m 100% certain that I would have gotten the job done JUST fine, but as thoroughly? Never. The wood needed a second coat, but before it got one, I took myself into town and got myself a few new foam brushes.
His high standards are rubbing off on me.
One coat later, I peeled the painter’s tape off. Is there anything more satisfying than removing painter’s tape?

Once everything had thoroughly dried, I attached it to the wall over my piano.

This morning, I turned my chalk on it’s side and covered the black painted area in it… “treating” the chalkboard, so to speak. I then took a paper towel and wiped it all off.
Then I wished I had cool, even handwriting. But I don’t. So I just did what I could. It’s a little morbid, isn’t it? I mean, I hacked up a piano and then hung a piece of it over another piano. Next thing you know, I’ll be hanging a painted portrait of a heifer over my freezer full of butchered heifer.

My husband was a little sad that my piano display lacked color, so… Pinterest to the rescue!

I printed off THIS free printable and framed it. I also threw in a couple candy thingies. All I’ve got left to do is plop some decorated styrofoam balls on the $1 candlesticks from World Market.
Then I’ll probably stop fussing with it.
Probably. Maybe.

Thoughts for a Thursday

~I’m seeing a flood of acronyms on facebook. IDK. LOL. LMS. But there’s one in particular that stands out to me: FML. I just have to say: I’ve seen the same people using it over and over and over, and while I want to feel badly for their bad luck, I DO have to say… maybe if you’d STOP DOING THAT to your luck, it would treat you a little nicer.

~Yesterday, between endless batches of laundry I became addicted to crochet hearts.
I’ve made little heart after little heart and then, out of sheer curiosity, I pulled out different crochet hooks and different materials and made use of what I had on hand. I had some remnants of a cut-up sheet, and I used it to make the crochet heart I love the bestest. I also put two strands of yarn together and tried making one that-a-way.

~After stepping on a scale for the first time in over a year, it was revealed to me that I’ve let myself go. I then proceeded to go clothes shopping. Because I’m the biggest fool of all, apparently. Lesson learned. I will never, NEVER do that again. I think it will take me well over a month to like my body again.

~My son fell asleep on the couch last night, so I picked him up and just held him. He’s wonderful. Have I ever told you that? He makes us all laugh all the time. Whether it’s because he’s telling made up stories about kicking grinches (“I HATE gwinches, Mom”) or asking to watch Farmers (Transformers) or looking for the target for his Nerf guns (“Where’s my guitarget?”) or hugging his Pooh Bear (“Shampoo”) or bursting into a fit of giggles in the middle of Wal-Mart for no reason at all and then making the REST of us laugh because you just can’t help it… he is the best boy ever!

~I’m SO glad I married who I married. Sososo glad. I was overcome with a wave of gratitude yesterday when I thought for a brief minute about a guy I had dated (and by “dated” I mean gone on 3 dates with, during 2 of which he fell fast asleep. I’m awesome) right before meeting my husband, and I’m so grateful that I married who I did, and I told him so last night right before he played a rousing game of Cooties with our daughter and right after he told me not to worry about making dinner. He’s my lobster.

~I watched “Never Been Kissed” for the first time in about 10 years and it was great -mostly because I had completely forgotten the plot line. Also: it’s the first somewhat modern movie I’ve watched in a long time.

~I miss my sister.
And she ATE that dried fish head.

She told me that house is huge. She said probably 3 or 4 families live in it. She also said that it’s out in the country -in the city they are nearly wall to wall. I looked around at my house after looking at that picture, and I felt like Amy from “Little Women.” Ungrateful, vain and fully aware of both.

I miss my sister.

~Today is supposed to be shopping day, but I’m not gonna do it. I need to go back into the city do my bulk shopping, so I guess I have no other choice than to cook food and crochet hearts. NO WONDER I’ve packed on the pounds…

I Wish I Had a River

… I could skaaaate away on.
The birthday girl FINALLY got her birthday wish. My husband took a personal day yesterday and we went to the city. I had a yearly doctor check-up, and we figured we’d combine that with the ice skating and make a day of it, and it was perfect! Because we went on a Tuesday, the rink was basically empty. There was hardly anyone there at all!

I’ve only been ice skating maybe 5 times in my entire life, and I was really nervous about “teaching” the kids how to ice skate. I mean, I could barely stay standing! How was I supposed to hold them up too? But that wasn’t going to stop us. My daughter was DEAD SET on going. She would ask me about it all of the time. Then she’d lift one leg up behind her and spread her arms out, “I’m just going to do like THIS,” she’d say. I tried to explain to her that ice skating wasn’t exactly like she’d seen in the movies.
She didn’t care.
I went online to check the times for public skating sessions. It was only open to the public from 2:30-4:00. We used up every second of that time! The skates for kids were so. dang. cute. But then again… anything miniature-sized usually is.

My girl could hardly stand it. She was itching to get out on the ice, fully unaware that she wasn’t just going to skate beautifully away.

In fact, she was a little shocked when she finally stepped onto the ice. It was nearly impossible to stay standing!

Our family pretty much LIVED on the wall for the first thirty minutes.

I could see that The Girl was getting discouraged, so I asked her to show me again HOW she was going to skate.
“Like this!” She gave it her best shot…

I purposely sat Lacy on the ice, softly of course, and explained to her that she would probably fall and that it would be totally okay. A few minutes later, she fell. She laughed at herself, got right back up and tried again. Then she fell again. This time, her little bottom landed on her skate. She cried so hard she forgot to breath and her little lips started turning purple. I got down next to her, told her that sometimes we fall but if we want to be stronger than strong… we always get back up, and that everything would be okay.
“I don’t WANT this!” She cried, “I want to GO BACK and NOT DO THIS!”
I coaxed her back up and we slowly made another lap around the rink. One of the rink staff took pity on us and offered us what turned out to be our ice skating saving grace.
Miniature walkers, complete with helmets.
Again… so adorable!

They are the ice skating equivalents of gutter bumpers. Hallelujah!

They weren’t completely fool-proof:

But they worked miracles for our kids. By that time, I was starting to get my feet under me. All of the hours I spent roller-blading as a kid were coming back in my favor, and I was able to break away from my little walker-equipped kids and do a little skating. I thought to grab my husband’s hand and take him for a lap, but I realized something… he was actually TRAILING behind the kids. And he was still holding onto the wall!

I couldn’t believe it! My husband has always been much-more-the-jock in our relationship. I grabbed his hand anyway and taught him just like my brother Mike had taught me on Christmas morning ALL THOSE YEARS AGO when we were given in-line skates from Santa.
“Keep your feet sort of angled. You don’t take a straight step forward, you kind of go out at a little angle… see?”
He didn’t see.
He put up with me for ALMOST one lap before throwing me off.
Lacy, on the other hand, was doing JUST fine. Once she had that walker, this was all we saw of her:

Trenton fell time after time, and every time he did he would say, “Dat’s okay. Dat’s okay.” He would scramble to get back up and if we tried to help him, we were brandished with, “I can DO IT! I can DO IT!”

I was thoroughly impressed with my daughter’s fearlessness. After five years, it still impresses me. She certainly doesn’t get it from me.

And finally, for your viewing pleasure… my son and I and a quick shot of the girl racing by. with her infantile walker.

I now know my true Native American name… Baby Deer.
*wobble, wobble, wobble*

The kids enjoyed themselves so much that my husband nearly signed them up for ice skating lessons. But I’ll be danged if I’m going to drive to the city once a week so the kids can learn an art that they can’t use on account of our living in the middle of the DESERT.
On the other hand, I’d pay good money just to see them in those cute little skates again…

And after an afternoon of skating, I was able to get a little shopping.  I spent some Christmas money and got (among other things) a painter’s drop cloth -soon to be curtains, knobs -endless possibilities for those babies!, and candlesticks from World Market at 90% off!  That’s right!  Those babies put me back about a buck each.  I wanted to die from sheer happiness.


Thanks to ALL of you for entering the little giveaway -I wish I could all send you home with a pair of earrings AND a hot pad.
But as it stands…

CASSY B. will be going home with the earrings and

JULIE S. will be going home with the hot pad!

Cassy, email me at and we’ll get the earrings to you ASAP. Julie, text me :)

I’ve made a goal for myself to make one hot pad a day (Sundays excepting) until the boutique. They’ve all turned out okay so far, but last night… oh my goodness. Let me start out by saying that I went a little crazy yesterday. I started my day off by letting Jillian Michaels rant at me about how there IS NO MODIFICATION of a crunch and that IF I WANTED flat abs I would have to WORK for them. It’s not my favorite thing to do, but it’s the price I have to pay for the holidays. Then I pulled my hair back and set to cleaning my house. I don’t know what it was, but something in me really pushed me to finish. Maybe it was Remnants o’ Jillian, but I’m thinking it was more just me REALLY wanting to be done. The second I finished, I went a little craft crazy. As I cleaned my house, it felt so naked. It needed something… and since I took down all of Christmas last week, my house has felt a little barren.
So I started making Valentine’s Day decor.

When I took the trash out, I noticed a bunch of pieces of wood sitting in the back of my husband’s truck. It was all a little burned in places, so I hauled a piece inside and asked him if I could have it. He said “yeah, it’s just trash.”
I primed it.
I pained it white.
I sanded it.
And with a little help from clip art and mod podge…

When I was done, it didn’t look like trash anymore. Well, at least not to me. My husband might have still thrown it away.
But I just love it.

There’s bubbles in it because I was in such a rush, but I kind of like them. I usually don’t, but it somehow works with this project. In the middle of making the little valentine board, I started hacking away at the burlap I used for Lacy’s party. I cut the two pieces down to about the same size, cut a piece of a sheet I keep around for scraps down a little smaller, free-handed the word “LOVE” with a sharpie on the sheet piece, and then I made a pillow.

Oh yeah, and I bent a wire hanger into a heart. I was going to cover it and use it to make a wreath, but gosh darn it if I didn’t just fall in love with it just the way it is.
The set up isn’t complete, mind you. I’m painting a big board for the wire heart to hang on, and I crocheting a few heart garlands and such.
In the middle of all this ruckus, I also hacked up my Halloween costume and made it into an apron for The Jane Collection. I took a few liberties and titled yesterday’s apron “The Jane Cleaver.”
Her name was JANE, right? *wink*
No pictures of this baby, but let me just say: she’s rearry cute if you’re into clothes from the early 60s.

As the day wore into late afternoon and then evening, I put everything away and started boiling potatoes for dinner. My husband had some steaks to grill, and I went outside to take down our Christmas lights which were supposed to have come down earlier yesterday, but Senor PS3 was invited to stay… and wore out his welcome with the little wife.
Okay, the BIG wife. But let’s not quibble over terminology.

Half the lights were taken down, three crafts were started and completed, the house was deep cleaned, dinner was made, Family Home Evening was had, and by the time we all gathered on the couch to watch The Smurfs, I had reached my limit… my own fault, really.
But I HAD to make a hot pad.
I promised myself.
So I did, and thanks to my exhaustion, I kicked out the UGLIEST hot pad you have EVAH seen. Yellow center, forest green around, purple backing… in my head it was much more adorable. But how much of a head did I have left last night? Answer: nothing worth anything.
Never trust a tired head.
Here’s hoping today’s hot pad can redeem the two hours I wasted last night making one I’ll PAY someone to take home.

Also: here’s hoping I don’t fall and crack my head open today while we go ice skating. It’s Lacy’s birthday wish come true.
The ice skating.
Not the Mom cracking her head open. Although…

Cleaning Day

Today is the LAST day to enter the giveaway! If you have already shared the giveaway on your facebook page and want to use it to enter the giveaway PLEASE LET ME KNOW in the comments section of my blog! If you don’t, you’ll miss out! Good luck -I’ll be drawing 2 winners tonight!

The Girl has always ALWAYS been big on helping. The older she gets, the more able she gets. Yesterday was no different. As I sat and watched (first) a 44 minute silent movie starring Buster Keaton that made me laugh out loud and (second) a black and white horror movie made in the 50’s about gigantic mutant ANTS that kill people and have the potential to TAKE OVER THE HUMAN RACE, my daughter kept appearing by my side.
“Mom, what can I clean?” She would ask with eager eyes.
“Nothing, baby. It’s Sunday. Come rest with me…” I’d say, patting the couch next to me.
She’d just take off. Apparently, mutant ants aren’t a 5-year old’s cup of tea. Lacy has never needed much encouragement OR PERMISSION, for that matter, from anyone before doing things her own way. The next time she appeared near my side, it was to announce that she had CLEANED my room.
I went in to find that she had taken what she could find from the floor and put it all away… on my headboard.

Isn’t that sweeeeeeet? All that headboard had on it before was a nice little oil lamp given to us on our wedding. It was probably lonely.
Today I’ll be cleaning up what’s already been “cleaned up.”
Today I’ll be rewarding myself with the next episode of “Downton Abbey.”
Today will be a day of Loretta Lynn songs, sweeping, mopping, sweating, scrubbing, and praising the heavens that we live in 2012.
That’s right! There’s actually IS a huge part of me that prefers the present to the past. Want to know why? Segregation is one BIG reason why.
Happy MLK day!