Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Ready? OK!

Miss N, striking a pose

Woah. Seven?

Its really hard to believe. Seven? Seven years have passed since these babies were trying their hardest to get out of my big ole' belly? Yep, sho nuff.

3am-ish this morning, Elliott came into our room, breathing heavy, waiting for me to acknowledge him, and then said, "I hafta puke." Well by all means!! In the midst of him emptying his dinner, he said, "I...I fink.....I don't fink I can go to school to-mow-woah." Poor pumpkin.

They blew out candles in their requested birthday breakfast of cinnamon rolls (poor Ellie hasn't had his) and then Norah got ready for school.

Its funny...just in the past 6 months or so, they sure have their own style. Elliott with his mohawk....

Norah with her accessories du jour (bracelets, headbands worn 80's style, crazy knee socks, non-matching shirts and bottoms, funky shoes)...

And her recent disdain for him :( Although if they are separated for the day, she misses him like crazy and can't wait to see "Ellie". Go figure.
can you see her leaning away from him? the "don't touch me!" look in her face? ugh.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Esprit Petites-Jump from Glee!

Norah got to perform her first pom routine for us last night :) It was awesome. Its very blurry b/c Chris was zoomed in too much, but she's in the back row w/ pigtails.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

10 Years.

July 25th. That's the date that my husband and I first hooked up. At a U2 concert. In Madison. It was 1997. We had been friends for a year at this point, but I had known of this guy for many years prior. Our paths just never crossed.

December 10, 1999. That's the night he proposed to me. I surprised him by taking him on a trip to New Orleans. He knew we were going on vacation, but that's all and it wasn't till the last minute. I cleared it with his boss. He didn't know where we were headed until we got to the airport. I had no idea he'd propose. He shocked me with that one. He had gone out with our friend Troy and gotten me a ring when he found out we were taking a trip. He proposed while we were out on a carriage ride in the French Quarter.

October 6, 2000. A Friday at 5pm. The day we tied the knot. It all took place in downtown Milwaukee at the Grain Exchange Room. Its a memory that is still very fresh in my mind and it was all perfect.

3 kids, 3 homes, and 10 years later.....

he still makes me laugh

he's still the crazy (maybe a bit toned down. and that's a real good thing) guy i met.

i still like to hold his hand

The awesome photographer responsible for these photos (and many, many more) can be found at www.robynviningphotography.com.

Wanna Skate?

Miss N asked for a rollerskating party for her 7th birthday. What a blast from the past!!! I tried hard, but I could not find rollerskate or 80's themed party goods. So I went a different direction and did Tiffany & Co. Although the party favors included a coloring book that included 80's themed cartoon coloring pages --boy ones for the boys (like He-Man, Dukes of Hazzard, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Fraggle Rock, etc) and girl ones for the girls (like Rainbow Brite, Fraggle Rock, Smurfette, etc). You'll notice the picture on the coloring book cover page. My initial thought was, "oh! I will find smelly stickers!..." Yeah. Not so much. They are like, $1.75 or more per sticker. And they no longer make them. Why?? Why discontinue such a good thing?? Can we start a movement to bring them back? Why deprive our kids of these cool things!! Anyone? Heather, I know you you have to be with me on this....
Anyway....the party was fun. I think the girls all had fun, despite all the falling down!

laughing while skating

Does anyone remember that scratch-and-sniff sticker? I think it smelled like leather!

Girls Trip!

whistling at pigeons on State Street
On Saturday, Norah and I took a day trip to Chicago to enjoy a few hours at American Girl. She's been looking forward to this for a year now. She carefully chose her girl*, her cat she wanted to get with her gift card, and all the accessories she wanted. We also had her photo taken with her girl and cat in the photo studio and ended the day with a 4pm tea time. What a splendid girly day!!!!

*When she first expressed interest in an AG, she wanted Kirsten. However, Kirsten was retired in 2009. Then she chose Josephina, but after reading 2 books, she decided that perhaps, that wasn't her first choice. She chose Lanie, who is the girl of the year and a lover of the outdoors and animals, because Norah loves animals.

My girl and her girl at tea

You know your baby is growing up when...

... he gets up on a Sunday morning and at 7am, walks roughly 5 blocks to the local bakery/coffee/pizza(at night) shop with a neighbor friend, and brings back a big box o' donuts, including mama's favorite, the cruller.

Wasn't it just yesterday that he was my sweet little Aidie? And now he's almost 9.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Keeping them occupied - HELP!

Summer: I had grand plans. However, on Tuesday during a simple gardening moment, I threw out my back and have pretty much been vertical since then. Grrrr. I hear a lot of "I am booooorrrred." Seriously? I mean, come on. Where's the imagination, kids?! What they want is for me to say, "go ahead, play Wii." And I am not going to. This is summer. Wii is not a beautiful outside summertime toy.
Help me! What can I occupy them with?? Crafts they can gather themselves? Ideas?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Babies, Circa June 2005

Click here to view these pictures larger

Wow. This seems like just yesterday. Where did these babies go? I know at the time, I was crazy nuts, just trying to hold onto my sanity with a string that was unravling. But the pictures remind me of happy memories. So it couldn't have been so bad, right? ;)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Little things make you happy

Like fudgesicles. And messy faces with said fudgesicle on them. And happy babies, I mean, kids. And summertime.

I was just playing around with Lightroom. Fun stuff. Another happy.

My girl

Last night when I was tucking Norah in, she said, "Mama? Sometime can you and me go on a vacation, just girls? Can we go on a scrapbooking vacation?"

That was just so freakin' awesome to hear her ask that. I'd take her on any 'just girls' vacation. Ok, well almost any.

Monday, May 31, 2010


Lots to post about, but I need time!!!!

But first....new life for an old door. That's right. I was inspired by this post I saw at the Pleated Poppy, and so yesterday, when I saw a similar (and green!) door parked on the side of the road, I made poor Chris go get it. He complained and said, "what are you going to do with this door??" I wouldn't tell him. I just said that I had a vision, and besides, have I ever let him down?
He said he felt ghetto dumpster diving. lol.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

Um, ok. So 1/3 of my children are missing from this photo. Which means, as usual, I've failed to get a photo of myself with my kids on Mother's Day for the 3rd year in a row, I believe. This is better than nothing, though. So let's just pretend that the ZhuZhu pet is actually Elliott, who was actually with daddy, who went to see his mother. My consolation is that I am told that by 6pm, Elliott was pining for his mama because he missed me so much (although I was with him until 1ish). Makes a mama feel good to be missed. Although I do wish he had chosen to spend the entire day with me. Oh well....

Scrapped Tots

Some are old and some are new, but the ones at the end of the slideshow are the ones I did last weekend :)

Warning:This Family May Contain Traces Of Nuts

So....does it describe it accurately?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Help with paint color!

This weekend, we painted our upstairs hallway Benjamin Moore's Palladian Blue. (the photo I am linking to is a pretty accurate representation of how ours looks).
I really like it - it makes the hall, which has always felt like a cave, more airy and bright. However, because its got a hint of green hue in the blue, it could be construed as an old person's color (ie: the color you'd find in a retirement home in florida )
Its a color I see popping up more and more. But I've never done 'beachy' before. I see lots of this kind of blue, accented with golds and greens, or browns. We'll be painting the trim a white this weekend. But other than that, I don't know WTH to do. The hall is long, so I have lots of room to hang photo frames (which I have a TON of, and was planning on spraypainting all the same color). I also have room for 1 or 2 tables or smaller dressers in the hall upstairs, which I am on the hunt for. I'd like to find somehting I can paint.

WWYD with this color???

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Cool Giveaway!

Now this I can get behind! Super cute! Jen of Tatertotsandjello is hosting a giveaway from DownEast. The clothes are not only super cute, but they are inexpensive. And they come in my size!!
Its going on till Sunday. Check it out!

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Funky Bunnies

Easter cupcakes. They started out as dough. Natch, they are colored...purple, green, yellow, and blue.

But they ended up as funky bunnies. I say funky, because I realized that I really needed some sort of tweezer for decorating. Its too difficult to place individual jimmies and sprinkles on a mountain of frosting.

The ears are made from marshmallows that were cut and dipped in pink sugar. The rest are jimmies/sprinkles.

Hope everyone had a happy Easter!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Egg Wreath

I got this idea over at Frills, Fluff & Trucks. Perfect for us, since I have to have that balance of decor that I like, yet decor the kids really love (like the annoying singing Easter bunny).

I followed her tutorial. Only I had to get my styrofoam wreath from JoAnn, and they didn't have the circular ones left, so I had to grab one of the flat front ones, which made it a bit more difficult to cover up the white spots. In hindsight, I'd have wrapped it in ribbon first. This took 2 bags of eggs, with 48ea, from Target's dollar spot. I think they were each $1.75 or something close to that. I already had the ribbon, and I went through an astronomical amount of glue sticks.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


What's up with all the burlap in blogland lately? I am just not feeling it.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Shake, Rattle & Roll!

Every year, our school has a Sock Hop, complete with a DJ, hula hoop contest, bubble gum blowing contest, and a contest for the best costumes. Its a fun time.
(and a big thank you to a little girl in the Pacific NW for lending Norah her skirt and glasses! i tried to get my daughter to wear a cute white blouse, but she wasn't having it. she was going to be "too sweaty". hence the white t-shirt that is now retired)

Our Chicago Trip

We had a great time. What an awesome city. We went to the Children's Museum, swam in the hotel pool, went out for pizza and southern food, hit the lego store and American Girl, and saw the famous green Chicago River. We ended our trip with a day of the Museum of Science and Industry -- a truly amazing place. We got to see trains, planes, chicks hatching (literally!), a working coal mine, and a U-505 submarine that was captured in WWII.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Do you have a picky eater?

I was relaying a story to my husband last night and it involved telling him what Bean requested for dinner last night. She wanted a salad. This salad was huge...a large soup bowl. And it had on it, a hard boiled egg, black beans, peas, carrot, tomato, and cucumber. He said, "You have to knock that off and feed her normal stuff. She needs more protein. She's starting to become such a picky eater!"
I think I had to pick my jaw up off the floor before I responded to him.
A picky eater?
Huh? More protein? What exactly is the egg and legume then?
What, dare I ask, am I supposed to feed her? Should I instead force her to eat "kid foods"? I am so proud that she is such an adventerous eater. I am so happy that I can take my kids to dinner and Elliott requests catfish instead of anything off the kids menu. Don't get me wrong...they like the occasional macaroni and cheese or french fry (not Aidan. he doesn't like fries), but hands down, they prefer tasteful food over anything else. Ask them what their favorite food is, and among the ones they list, Elliott will tell you pot pie and Norah will tell you gnocchi and Aidan will say crab (the *real* kind from New Orleans, not the imitation crab.)

Buffet Help pt II

Requested photos....

The buffet (with the lamps I returned)
*side note: should I paint that inside area arch (the 'ceiling', if you will) the ceiling color? Or the cream of the arches that separate the rooms?*


Tall grasses?

Vase w/ tall berries?

Smaller uplight lamps?

Something else?
What else....

Monday, March 15, 2010

Buffet Help!

And I don't mean the edible kind. This girl needs some serious decorator help.
A few weeks ago, I yanked down everything that was up on our buffet in the DR and had an idea for lamps. I went out and found these at Kirklands, but they just don't do it for me.
Do I need something more candlestick like (smaller)?
Do I need an uplight-type fixture like that or this?
What do I put in the middle w/ the lights there? Do I leave it naked?
Or do I just skip the lights all together and do something else up there?? Something tall on the sides, but different on each side? And something in the middle?

Two things to keep in mind:
1) This area is a catch-all for my wonderful husband. I hate that he loves to pile carp here and I need to stop that!!
2) Our home is mainly mission style/craftsman-ish.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

sewing help :)

I got me a sewing machine!!! In all actuality, I've owned a sewing machine for roughly 11-12 years now. I last used it in 1999 when I tried to hem some curtains that I made and failed miserably...something to do w/ the damn bobbin. I called my gramma and cried and tried to get her to help me over the phone and finally, I just packed up the machine, put the curtains in a bag, and gave them to her to hem. The machine has not come out of the box (portable machine) since then. Its moved 2 houses w/ a box of accessories I've never opened, too. I inherited the machine from my other grandma, who used to make all of my clothes for me when I was a little girl.

Yesterday, my grandma gave me her machine that she got roughly 7 or so years ago and has used but once to hem a garment. I am afraid to use it. I am a smart girl - I should just open the book and try the darn thing out on a piece of material. But today I am going to pick up the phone and call some stores and see if there's a beginning class I can take.

However...if anyone can give me tips....books or... I don't know? Whatever! I'd appreciate it. All I want to be able to do is simple hemming and making simple patterns for my girl.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Free swag! Free swag!

Yo....check it. Sarah at Frills, Fluff & Trucks is giving away a Marshall's GC in honor of her 200th post.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

On Saturday I had some time and got a chance to organize hundreds of photos and start putting some into an album. Yay - baby steps! (prior to this, all I've done is my scrapbooks)
Tonight, I sat down with the kids and we flipped through the album. We passed several nursing photos without any comment. However, we got to one where the twins were tandem. And Norah stopped my page flipping and says, "what's THAT?!" and Aidan started giggling. I said, "you don't know what that is?" Norah said, "No. What is it?" Aidan said, "they're sucking your KNEES!" [giggle giggle]. I said, ''noooo." This is when daddy chimed in and informed them that they were nursing from mama ... that's how babies get milk. And Norah says, "gross!" (wth?!) and I said, "that's not gross. that's life." Aidan says, "yeah. like a cow. they're on your nipples just like a cow!"


Saturday, March 06, 2010

My baby is eight!

Aidan turned 8!!! He had a baseball themed party and got his first skateboard & had his first sleepover! He even chose not to get gifts and asked for donations for the amur tiger cubs at our zoo. He's growing up!!!

Edited to add: I forgot that you can't see my comments on flickr when I add a slideshow. So.... at the table, there was an armpit noise demonstration, several kids were in awe, and then followed suite. Very "boy". Ugh.
They loved the games, but boy oh boy was it LOUD and chaotic. Very. VERY.
Oh, and of course, pre-party...we gave him a skateboard for his birthday :) He's been asking for one for years, and we always said when he's 8. Well, I guess that time finally came. He got a super cool helmet from his great-grandma, too. I am holding off on kneepads.... for now.

Monday, March 01, 2010

I hate you! ... and cake.

"I hate Mommy!" "I want my daddy!"
I just heard those words coming from upstairs. I had recently scolded Elliott for throwing a football in the living room and knocking down a photo. Dang, they cut through you.

In happier news, Aidan is about to turn 8. EIGHT!

We had a party for family this past Sunday. I had grand visions for his cake. I made a vanilla buttermilk cake and a swiss buttercream frosting, both from Smitten Kitchen. I did the cake like a rainbow cake, but only with blue and gold, for the Brewers. I was going to do the classic Brewers symbol, but apparently, you can't color swiss buttercream the same way you do other frostings. Perhaps its the fact that its made from almost a pound of butter and barely any sugar? (oh, my arteries! but its soooo good.). So my blue? Yeah...purple. All he got was an outline. I had a tub of Duncan Hines in the cupboard, so I broke that open and put some yellow dye in it to make it look a little better (but I wasn't going to color it in w/ Duncan Hines dyed blue. That would taint the flavor of this heavenly buttercream).
He was happy. That's all that matters.
His party with his friends this coming Friday? That will be a box mix and canned frosting, though. And baseball cupcakes. None of this hours of baking stuff.


Arches painted. Check.
Walls touched up. Check.
Frames spray painted. Check.
Fabric ordered for dining room chairs. Check.

I still have to tackle the doors. Bathroom and upstairs kids rooms. Does anyone recall seeing the blogger who posted her 2-toned panel doors? I wish I had bookmarked it. Gah.

I hate those louvered closet doors. I hate that closet. It needs an overhaul. Anyway, I did these. Not sure what I think of them.

I hung some photos that I took. I have one of Jackson Square cathedral that goes w/ this one, but I didn't have it matted yet.

(yeah yeah. bad photos of photos)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Beware....spray paint

I've discovered spray paint. I 've used it before, but I didn't quite master the method until recently. And I am on a rampage, I tell you! No photos yet...I am busy planning a birthday party. Right now, I've had to keep it to photo frames and other small items. However, I have a small night stand/phone stand in the wings waiting for some green, I think, and low and behold, I actually have this chair! Mine was not orangey-red with leopard print, but its that chair. It was my grandma's dining chair (not sure where the others went?), and its in my craft room now and it could use a cute-overhaul. So once the weather is nice and I can take my spray paint outside, I will find me a color I like and a scrap of fabric to reupholster and make myself a new chair!!!

Speaking of reupholstering, I ordered my fabric. Gulp. So there's no going back. And even with a 50% off sale (gotta love that), I was still in for a lovely $100ish. I better not mess up.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Git R Dun!

Paint. Thankfully, 7 year old paint still works once you shake it up! And much to my relief (huge sigh of relief) my walls were not sun faded, so the touch-ups I did don't stand out like a sore thumb. It looks so much nicer. Why didn't I do this sooner?
(here is my plug for Purdy brushes. they are the only brush to buy. don't mess with the cheap ones)

Today I tackle the arches. That will probably be all I have time for after yoga and a run and laundry (the story of my life).

Yesterday I took a field trip to Goodwill. Its not something I do often, because until very recently, there wasn't one that was convienent. Now there is a brand new one next to my brand new Target. Anyway, I also prefer St. Vincent de Paul - they seem to have much lower prices.

I wasn't terribly impressed with what they had, but of course, they don't have much control over that. What they do have control over is price. Sheesh - some things were quite overpriced. I did get a bunch of cute h'ween and v'tine decorations for $.49. Score. I got some 11x14 photo frames to paint. But they were $5 each. I thought that was kind of high. My happiest score was the christmas ornaments, for $.49/box of 15 (I got several). I can make a wreath next year!

Snowboarding Craze

I was shoveling and I heard, "Look mommy! I'm pretending I'm Shaun White! I am snowboarding!" (on his sled. in the yard.)

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Sitting around the house for 3 weeks is a real treat [/sarcasm]. It made me realize that
a) I am sick of looking at the same stuff on the walls, day in and day out, for 6.5 years
b) My walls need serious touching up in places
c) The bathroom door and linen closet door are embarrassing - chipped, dirty. They need painting. Bad.
d) The arches were never painted. And they're nasty dirty. Why did I never notice that?
e) My dining room chairs could use a facelift

So I made a project list. I had Chris dig out the original paint so I can take it to HoDe to get all shook up. I brought home a mountain of fabrics from JoAnn in hopes of finding one we liked for the chairs. And I took stuff off the walls and started moving it around.

Here are some photos:

Chair before

With the fabric we've picked

And since I am a total copy cat, I stole Frills, Fluff, and Trucks artwork display idea and put that up

Then I reframed some embroidered Holly Hobby pictures that my great grandma made for me that hung in my (HH themed) bedroom when I was a little girl.
Since they were not a typical size, I would have had to custom frame them. No thanks. I worked w/ what I had

they were awful. Falling apart and frankly, ugly.
I sanded them while I wore a mask because I was pretty sure they were painted w/ lead paint.

Then I rubbed some wax on them in a few areas, painted them a vanilla color, and once they were dry, I sanded them to distress them. The wax really helped! After that, I took some tea ink and rubbed it over the frame and wiped it off w/ a damp cloth. When that was dry, I sprayed them with a clear coat that crackled, to give it an old look.

I cleaned up the glass, mounted them back in, and voila!

Normally I wouldn't put something like that in my daughter's room (I am not a cross stitch sampler or embroidery on pillows and blankets type of gal). But I always loved these as a child and thought it was neat that she could have something from her great-great-grandma.

And finally, I did this for our room. The rest of our walls will be done with some photos that I took once I blow them up and print them. I saw this on a blog and I wish I could credit the person, but I can't for the life of me recall which blog. I remember the blogger saying that she was inspired by something similar she saw at Restoration Hardware. The skeleton key is mine and its for my hope chest. The frame is a cheap IKEA frame that I spraypainted black. I used grosgrain ribbon to hang it.

Stay tuned....more projects to come this week. AND a baseball themed birthday party this weekend!!