Feb 2010

Flashback Friday part two:

A favorite (not necessarily the favorite) of February 2010:


Flashback Friday

I decided yesterday that I was going to make a photo book of 2010.  Very last minute, I know.  I'm crazy. 

Photo albums are becoming something of the past.  At least in my house.  I sort of miss it.  You can't just grab a book and flip through it.  I have so many photos I rarely go back a year and look through them.  So... photo book should be awesome!

Here are my two favorites from January 2010.  It's crazy how much is forgotten until you see a picture.

Almost one year ago exactly... Connor is still in a toddler bed.  He's still struggling with potty training (so still in diapers).  He's still wearing some 3T things.  Like this ultra cute sleeper.

Some things haven't changed.  We still haven't painted his room (this is how it was when we moved in).  He still plays with bottle caps for Mr. Nezzer's hat.

My next favorite photo of January 2010?

I was 18 weeks 6 days pregnant with my tiny Riverdancer.  We weren't completely sure we were having a girl yet.  She was very modest and evasive with the ultrasound technician. 

How fast a year goes by!



So much to edit! 

I am so backed up on editing my photos.  But I wanted to share this photo that Santa took before sneaking back out of our house, and what Connor said in the morning.

Normally Connor comes down the stairs and heads for the basement door to find us.  Today he came downstairs and found me in the kitchen.  He said good morning and then merrily ran off to the basement door where he said, "Lets go find Dadd- ... ohhh wow!  Is this for me!??"  He had spied the presents and promptly forgot his hand on the door knob and didn't even complete the word 'Daddy'.

I told him he had to wait for Daddy to "rib" open the presents.  (Connor pronounces rip, rib).  Daddy was throwing a load of laundry in the washer.  Connor kept staring and staring at each present and had to be reminded numerous times to wait.

After several minutes he spotted the stocking.  "How did Santa do it!?!? "

Merry Christmas!

I have been SO busy scrambling to get things clean and in order before Christmas, deciding on where we're going for Christmas, and dealing with a sick baby girl.  She is still battling a cough, 2 weeks later.  We're taking her back to the doctor after the holidays.  Her cough keeps waking her up and something needs to be done.  I am happy that the doc says her lungs sound fine though.  But still.  I worry.

I have tons of photos and stories to share, but so little time.  So before we head out I will share one quick thing.

This isn't my idea, I got it from a magazine, or somewhere.  I can't remember.  But I wanted to share for others that haven't seen it before. 

If you're like me you hate all the waste of Christmas.  Wrapping paper (which at least can be composted), bags... loads and loads of plastic gift bags.  Twisty ties.  Tape.  And so on.  I save all the bags, and some tissue papers, and ribbons to be used later.  Can't recycle it, but I can re-use it right!?

But what if you could make a bag that's almost entirely compostable or recyclable?  I'm in!

You save a cardboard box, and cut of the top flaps.

Then you take this box and wrap it.  Tuck in the wrapping paper at the top of the box, tape it down.  Then you punch holes where string, yarn or ribbon can go.  It'd probably look even better if you punch two holes each side like a "traditional" gift bag.  But, I only punched one on each side.

Is it cute or what!?  The ribbon I had saved from a baby blanket I bought for Emma before she was born.  I was going to use it for scrapbooking, but it works perfect for this too. 

A totally eco-friendly gift bag!  Well, besides the tape.  I suppose I could have used glue.  As an added plus, this gift box is much more sturdy than the plastic gift bags!

It looks even cuter with the tissue paper sticking out of the top, but I didn't take a final photo. 

Hope you all have a Merry Christmas!

Wintery Time!

I wanted to share my newest photo, I just took about an hour ago:

I used to collect little erasers when I was in school.  I don't know why other than the sheer cuteness.  I could never actually use them, for fear of messing them up.  I completely forgot about my small collection until Connor snooped around in my stationary drawer and found them.  Score!  I think I need to take up eraser collecting again.

This next one I'm entering in Paper Mama's "Winter" Photo Challenge:

Connor gives sledding a thumbs up

Winter is not winter unless you can sled.

This was Connor's very first time sledding.  And it also happens to be the closest I think I ever came to having a heart attack.  Allan pulled little baby Connor up this huge hill, and then pushed him down, where upon I panicked wondering what the heck I was ever thinking sending him down.  He flew down so fast.  I don't know why I was so surprised with how fast he went... I mean... it's sledding.. it's fast.  I guess I just wasn't as fully prepared as I thought I was, to see my first born baby flying by me at mach speed.

He cracked up laughing the entire time.

The Paper Mama

Wintertime Blues

Every year I get the winter blues.  Skies are grey, nearly everyday.  Most days are too cold to go outside, and even when we do we can't stay out long, and it's a huge event.  Boots, hats, gloves, snow pants, scarves.  I rarely can take my camera since there's no place to set it down while I play with Connor.  Then we come in with extremities numb and glasses fogged. 

By the time April rolls around it's hard to remember why anyone lives in this environment.  Even more hard to remember why we wanted a white Christmas.

Sure, it looks pretty at first, but within a few hours it's yucky.  White roads turn to brown muck.  Snow gets "crisp" and we can't even make one snowball, let alone an entire snowman.

early morning and it's already on it's way to turning brown

Viewed from a far there is little to enjoy from yucky mucky crispy snow. 

But then I turned around and happened to glance in my backyard, where the sun was brightly shining.

It looks pretty, sparkling in the sun, doesn't it?  Then I took an even closer look:

I don't have a macro lens, so can't show it like I wanted to... but you could see tons of individual snowflakes!  Just sitting right there, in plain sight, back lit by the sun.

It was all melting together fast, in the direct sunlight.  I'm glad I took a moment to see it, up close, not from afar.

So, there are things to enjoy about winter.  There's still beauty to be found, it you take the time to look.

Just remind me of this in March.  And maybe remind me in February.  January too, to be safe.

30 Days of Me Photo Challenge: Day Twenty

Day Twenty: Post a photo of somewhere you would like to travel. Why this location? Is there something special you would like to do there? Describe for me what you imagine your perfect day there would be like.

This post took a long time in the making.  Eight days.  I've known for eight days what I wanted to say, but didn't want to "cheat" anymore and just grab a photo off the Internet.  But.... how do you post a photo that is yours of a place you've never been?  Hard, I know.  I started snapping photos of  a map.  I edited those photos and they turned out terrible.  I nearly posted anyways, because I wanted to move on.  Then I remembered... I do have a photo that is mine and I've never been there!  Awesomeness!

Back in November 2009 my in-laws paid for a cruise for us and other members of the family, for their 35th anniversary.  It was great!  We had tons of fun.

Only, we sailed right by a place that pained me to see from a distance, because I want to be there.  To be honest it made me sick to my stomach to eat that night.  Filling up my belly, floating by a country where little children go to bed hungry.  The next time I see Haiti I hope it won't be from a distance, on a luxury cruise liner where my hair is let down and my feet are up.  I want my hair to be up, and my feet planted firmly on the ground, hard at work.  I want to be feeding and showing love to children.   Making a difference and saving lives.  Physically and spiritually.

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My Dirty Little Secret

I have a dirty little secret.  No, seriously, it's dirty - literally.

Before Emma was born I would tidy each room, daily.  Then at least once a week I'd do a "big" clean, of all the major things, like toilet and floors, and dusting.

The daily thing is of the past.  Since Emma's birth I have tidied up the bedrooms... oh... maybe 5 times in 6 months?

It bothers me because I like things clean, for our health.  I used to watch "How Clean is Your House" for weekly motivation to clean.  Hearing what diseases and ailments you can get from an unclean carpet, or a neglected bathtub, or even a dusty corner would have me scrambling to mop up the filth of my house.

Cleaning helps keep your family (and guests) healthy.  What better reason to clean when all you want to do it be lazy, right?  And really, it doesn't take that long.  I could clean my whole house on a "big" clean day in about an hour.  Then I have the rest of the day to do what I want!

I can not even begin to say how happy I am that today I ignored my laziness quality and tidied up Connor's room.  SO.  THANKFUL.

He loves to wear hats.  Loves it.  So, it's a given that when I dug out his Santa hat they became new best friends.  Except that... for about a week now the hat has been missing.  It's been sort of nagging in the back of my head to find it.  But I kept getting distracted, and it didn't seem that big of a deal.

However, there was something else that had an "urgent" nag feeling in my head.  Fire.  I kept finding myself dwelling on what would happened if our house caught fire.  What if it started in one of the kids' rooms??  I couldn't shake my uneasiness over a house fire, particularly in one of the kids' bedroom.  I kept going thru the steps I would take to ensure I got my kids out, or die trying.

Then today came.  Connor was happily playing in the bath and I decided to attach the jumper to his bedroom frame, for Emma, while I tidied up his neglected room.  It never takes long.  I picked up the toys, straightened up his bed, put away his clean clothes, and then got on the floor for the usual cleaning up fallen toys under his bed.

That's were I found it.

The Santa hat.  There is was, resting on top of the baseboard heater, burnt!!!  The whole hat was hot.  I don't know if it would have caught fire.... but I am so thankful I will never find out!

If it would have caught fire.... it would have caught his bed on fire!  Right near his head!  How freakin' scary is that!?  He may have died from smoke inhalation before we would have even known there was a fire!!

So, I urge you all to tidy up your house.  For the health of your family, and who knows - maybe for the very life of your family!

I look at his sweet happy little face and I can not help but say a prayer of thanks.  Thanks for the nagging urge to clean.  Am I ever glad I listened.

Holiday Colors Photo Challenge

My entry for the Holiday Photo Challenge over at Paper Mama:

The Paper Mama

Fix-it Friday


This is my first time participating in something like this.  Looks fun!

The orginal photo:

A minor edit:

My final edit:

30 Days of Me Photo Challenge: Day Nineteen

Day Nineteen: Post a photo of someone close to you who has passed. Write a letter to them.

January 1998

I miss my Grandpa everyday.  I think of him often.  I have many regrets.  I have many happy memories that I cherish.

One of my biggest regrets is this:  I lived one mile down the road from my Grandpa.  I drove by his house almost daily.  I rarely stopped.   I was too caught up in my teen/young adult life.  I loved him, don't get me wrong.  I just always chose to visit with my friends instead.

I won't be doing this challenge, in that, I won't be writing a letter to him.  I don't feel it's appropriate, and doesn't serve a purpose.  If I wrote a letter to him, it would be private.  To him.  Not whomever reads my blog.

However, I will write a letter.  I will write a letter to everyone else that does have a Grandparent here on this Earth.  I have two particular people in mind when I write this, but it should apply to everyone.

Dear _____,

Grandpa will not always be here.  You are never too busy to visit your Grandpa.  Your friends and girlfriend/boyfriend will still be here when he is gone.  There will always be parties to attend.  You can skip them.  You should remember that he gets lonely too.  He can't just up and visit friends, as he sees fit, for most are gone or in homes.  He loves you.  He wants to see you.  Take the time now to visit, before he is gone.

When he asks for help, it's because he needs help.  Yes, he's also helping you and tying to guide you in life, but really, it's because he needs help.  Besides, Grandpa is wise.  Welcome his guidance.

Visit.  Even if for one hour a week.  Visit.  Sit and get to know your Grandpa.  Cherish the little time you have left, for that time will not always be there.

Love always,

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30 Days of Me Photo Challenge - Day Eighteen

Day Eighteen: Post a photo of your biggest insecurity. Why are you insecure about this particular thing? What can you do to change it? Do you want to change it?

If you asked any of my family or friends for a quality of me, no one would say secure and confident.  If they did, they'd be lying, or don't know me at all.  That being said, this challenge was.... well... challenging.  I do have insecurities.  I don't want to broadcast them publicly, because then I'd feel as if they'd for sure stick out the next time I see someone.  Neon signs pointing to my imperfections.

I don't really have anything that feels like that, anymore, to me.  You know.. the pimple on your face in highschool that you swear has fireworks and neon signs pointing right at it, for all to see.  You feel as if everyone is staring at it all the time.  Like it's whispering "hey!  look at me!" all day long.  As if everyone in the world don't have better things to do then stare at a pimple.

I don't really care anymore, that much, about any imperfection that I have.  We all have them.  I mean, I could talk about my ginormous forehead.  The scar near my chin.  How my teeth don't line up perfect with my nose.  My fat toes.  But really, the neon signs are gone.  I'm not in high school anymore.  (shocking, I know).  Sure they bother me, sometimes, but they don't consume my every thought when I'm out in public.  It's more like.. seeing a picture of myself and thinking "hey, I should lose some of that baby fat"... as I shove another piece of chocolate in my mouth.

However.  There is one thing that consumes my every thought, when I'm doing it.  Public speaking.  Huge insecurity.  Huge.  It so frustrates me too!  There is no solid good reason to be so insecure about it.  And I just draw more attention to myself, rather than the words I'm speaking, by being so insecure!  So annoying!

My lips suddenly become odd feeling.  Like I haven't been talking for the past 30 years.  I start stumbling over words, talking really fast and I sound anything but smooth.  I end up sounding like a moron.  How do morons sound?  Like me, public speaking.

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Aspire Photo Challenge

Aspire Photo Challenge

This is for Aspire's Beginning to look a lot like Christmas photo challenge:

30 Days of Me Photo Challenge: Day Seventeen

Day Seventeen: Post a photo of something that has made an impact on your life recently. Why did this impact you? Was it negatively or positively? What did it make you change in yourself?

Day Seventeen.  I've been postponing this blog, because what I originally thought as impacting my life I didn't want to publicly talk about, not yet.  It's something I'm reading for personal growth, and I'm not done with it yet.  I should have talked about it, as it's better than the most "recent" impacting thing.  However, I don't have a photo to share, of my own, as it's not something you can photograph.

Al's co-worker and friend was diagnosed 10 short weeks ago with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer.  He was an immigrant to Canada and had a wife and infant daughter.  He just lost his short battle yesterday.

This has impacted me so much.  It seems so random.  So fast.  One day here, healthy and happy.  The next day ill then gone.

His life puts back into sight, for me, what is important. 

Enjoy each day to the fullest.  Don't take things for granted.  You never know when your time is up. 

Would I be ready?

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Etsy and Facebook

I was reading The Paper Mama's blog about the Etsy app for Facebook.  Naturally, I was curious and hurried on over to try it out on my friends. 

Every person I was most interested in, for gift ideas, didn't show up, I guess because they don't list "likes" under their user info.  However, my cousin Holly, showed up!  Her gift ideas had me literally laughing out loud.

1st column, 3rd down ... bahhhahaaa!
 Holly loves Target.  I love Target.  According to Etsy we should proudly display our love by prancing around in spandex red tights with a target underwear.  h-i-l-a-r-i-o-u-s

I could even buy the "lol" stationary and write to her about how I laughed when I seen this.  Then maybe she could use the "wtf" stationary to write me personal letters in lieu of livejournal.  ??  ha!  But really, it would be sort of funny to get a letter from a friend with the heading "wtf".  That set would come in handy; sets the mood of the letter before the reader even begins.  Forgot to include something in your letter?  Forgo the traditional "p.s." and just send a whole brand new letter with the title "btw". 

Brilliant.  haha.

Cookies on Etsy though?  I don't think I'd go for that.  However, if she had  a little girl, the smores slippers would be a must buy.  Too cute!

Overall, the app is fun, but I didn't find one thing I would actually buy for any of the friends I looked at, and I wish it had the option to choose myself.

Advent Garland

I struggled all last month trying to think of something unique for Connor to do in December, in the way of an advent, but not the traditional 'chocolate santa' one.

Then the other day I happened upon this blog where a photographer is doing what she calls "photovent".  Each day you can download one of her images and then you laminate it, punch holes, attach a ring and in the end you have a beautiful garland to hang - at any time of year!


Only, I wanted to do my own photos.  Problem being:  it was already Dec 1st and I wanted to start asap!  There was no way I could choose so fast!  I thought about picking photos of the kids, but Emma is only 5 months so I feared it would be a shine/garland to Connor.

So I decided I'd do a craft with Connor instead.  I'd laminate them, punch holes, and hang it with pipe cleaners (I found some nice glittery ones).  I'd have this cute garland to hang on our tree each year and always remember my kids at this age.

Only..... I seem to have forgotten he's only three and can't do crafts with me very well.  I mean... he can draw and color and write letters, but he can't trace a cookie cutter, cut out the shape, laminate or hole punch ..... hmmm.

Good thing I have superbly awesome skills as a crafter!  I totally made it look like Connor did it all by himself! 

Ok, ok.  So I tried really hard to make it look not so childish, but I'm no artist.  So I went just went with the flow.  ha!

How cute are the hands though!?  I think over the years I'll replace the ... um..... totally awesome Christmas shapes ..... and replace them with the kids' hand prints.  It'll be neat to see all the different sizes, I think.

Connor loves it.  But, he doesn't quite get the one a day thing yet.  He wants to put it all together right now.

To make it even more special, I used my some of my Grandma's old Christmas cookie cutters, like the angel one shown above.

We won't win the most chic decorating award, but that's ok.  I like our homemade homeiness.  =p
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