What Not to Wear

You’ll never mistake me for a fashionista. The fact that I even know what a fashionista is, will surprise some. I dress for comfort. To some extent I dress for the occasion: a dress for church, pants and blouse for work, some variation of jeans and tee shirt for home etc. Probably 90% of my wardrobe is cotton or a cotton blend. I lean toward solid colors. I haven’t consciously followed a “trend” in years.

This past Sunday, it quickly became clear that Little Guy was not feeling well, and that we would therefore be home bound for the day. Knowing that I didn’t need to go anywhere, I grabbed the first “around the house” outfit I found in my closet (peachy orange Capri pants covered in big white flowers and a plain white tee shirt) and put it on. Once dressed, I promptly forgot that I was wearing.

When Little Guy woke from his late morning nap with a fever, I suggested we take him to the Urgent Care clinic, in hopes of getting his ailment identified as quickly as possible. We’ve both missed quite a bit of work this year with how sick Little Guy has been, and we wanted to nip this round (of whatever it was) in the bud.

We grabbed the diaper bag. I slipped my feet into old Birkenstocks (remember, I dress for comfort) and headed to the doctor’s office. We were almost there when Little Guy began to throw up the little bit of breakfast he’d eaten. We pulled over and I got in the back to make sure he didn’t choke. We continued on.

When we got to the clinic, the nurse said that there was only one doctor on duty and we were facing a wait time of an hour and a half. I settled into a chair and changed Will’s outfit. When I noticed it was the only spare in our bag, I asked Hubby to run home and get an extra change of clothes for Little Guy just in case he had another accident.

My little Sweetie was so miserable. He was curled up against me with his little face nuzzled into my neck. Mostly he slept while we waited, but after a little while he began to cough, and then to throw up again. This time, he didn’t get a lot on himself, but I was drenched. I cleaned us both up the best I could with wet wipes and I comforted him. He fell asleep fairly quickly, and I called Hubby. He was still at our house. “Could you bring me a tee shirt too? Just grab one from my closet, please?” He said sure and we disconnected.

It was at that moment that I remembered I was wearing floral Capri pants – instead of my usual blue jeans. I debated calling Hubby back to ask him to rummage for a plain white tee shirt, but decided that wouldn’t work. He’s not one to be matchy-matchy anyway and it might fluster him if he thought he had to choose something specific. I sighed, and reminded myself that any shirt would be better than the wet and smelly one I was currently wearing.

The doctor called our name just as Hubby came through the doors – my water bottle in one hand, a fabric bag full of clean clothes in the other. Yay! We went into the exam room, and were told the doctor would be “right with us”. Knowing that could mean anything, I quickly traded our sleepy toddler for the bag of clothes. I rummaged through tiny boy clothes until I found a tee shirt. And then I reached deeper, because surely that wasn’t the only one he’d brought?

Though it had indeed been hanging in my closet, the shirt he grabbed for me that day was one I’d only ever worn around the house. It was comfy (a size too big), and had a little more graphics than I typically prefer. In enormous letters on the front of the shirt, it said “HEARST FOOTBALL”. Below those letters was the image of a menacing skull and crossbones (all in black and yellow). On the back it said, “Kill them ALL!”

I helplessly looked down at my floral Capri pants… my orange-peach floral Capri pants… and then I looked at the skull and crossbones tee shirt. And even I (who has no fashion sense whatsoever) knew this was going to look bad. The new shirt didn’t smell like throw up though, so I pulled it on.

As the doctor came in moments later, I envisioned my photo in the back page of a fashion magazine, a big black box covering my face and the word “Don’t” typed below in bold letters.

I quickly pushed such thoughts to the back of my mind, because I’m a Mom and Moms will do whatever is necessary to help their children. If it means getting thrown up on in a public waiting room – so be it. If it means wearing a wildly mis-matched outfit – so be it.

We asked and answered all the right questions. The doctor examined Little Guy, and diagnosed him with (yet another) ear infection and a cold. We were given a prescription, and off we went.

As we left through the waiting room, I held my head high. In a way, my weird uniform felt like a visual metaphor for being a Mom. There’s some soft flowery aspect to the way we each love and nurture our children, but there’s also a fierce protective mama bear in all of us… a mama bear who doesn’t mind wearing a skull and crossbones shirt if it means she can give her Little One a warm, dry shoulder to snuggle into.


After a few doses of his new antibiotic, Little Guy is already feeling much better. In fact, one dose brought him out of his funk and we are once again chasing around our funny little firecracker. We didn’t have to miss any work, thanks to the fast acting antibiotic and life is back to normal in our house. Back to normal, with one exception – I am now packing a plain white tee shirt (for myself) in Little Guy’s diaper bag, just in case.


A Peek Into the "Big Boy" Room

It's not fancy, but it is pretty much finished.  In decorating his "Big Boy Room", my goal was to display a lot of different things Little Guy is interested in.  He loves sports and planes and trains and dinosaurs.  We put a little of each of those elements (as well as several others) in his new room.  I didn't take pictures of every corner or picture on the wall, but the photos below do show some of my favorite bits and pieces.

Come on in:
We've put a Cowboy themed welcome sign on the door and a horse shoe for good luck hanging above.

This is a little collection in honor of Little Guy's first professional baseball game which was between the Reds and the Pirates.  We are Red Sox fans, but the game was so fun - it deserved it's own display even if it is showcasing the wrong teams.  A family pic of us at the game is sitting on the little shelf, along with baseball cards of the one player whose signature we got (on the big "P").  He also received an official "first game certificate" which is hanging here.  The framed picture of the baseball player is one I picked up at a garage sale for fifty cents.

I put this children's road map in a poster frame.  We found it at a rest stop on vacation this year, and I think it's fun.  The rocking chair is one of the remnants of the nursery and will go when the crib does.  The cowboy blanket is one we've had since Willie was a tiny baby, and I love it.

I purchased several Norman Rockwell calendars on eBay and framed a few of my favorites with frames we had on hand.  This collection hangs above his bed.  I picked images that showed a boy's life... getting into trouble, playing with friends, making new discoveries.  Just for fun, but I like them.

The items on these shelves are a hodge podge of things Will loves and things that are dear to us.  The Pooh Bear was hubby's when he was a child.  The train lamp was a gift from my parents.  The sock monkey was made by a dear family member.  Several of the books are from my own childhood collection.
Little Guy's closet, and the hooks where his Red Sox jersey and hat & his cowboy hat hang.  Also you can see his cherished Buzz Lightyear backpack.  It goes on road trips with us everywhere - filled with toys and books.

Look closely, and you'll see Little Guy peeking around the corner.  He does love his new room!!


{this moment}

Inspired by SouleMama to share one moment.... via a single photo – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember…”


Kitchen Help

Little Guy has become quite interested in all things kitchen-related, so we’ve started letting him “help” us to prepare food. So far, he’s made toast (dropped the bread in the toaster and pushed down the lever), and muffins (emptied the pre-measured ingredients into a bowl and stirred), and pizza (spread cheese and pepperonis on a pan of dough).

Our young Chef enjoys helping his folks and I see many enjoyable hours of cooking in our future.

Our Boy LOVES pizza!!!

The "tattoo" was left over from the State Fair.  It's temporary, I assure you.  :)


Waiting for the Fall

Yesterday I could smell it in the air. Autumn is coming. Even though it’s still very much Summer in our neck of the woods (the heat index does not lie) the promise of Fall is everywhere.

It’s in the leaves that are ever so slightly beginning to turn. It’s in the occasional cool breeze. It’s in every “back to school” sale at the mall.

It won’t be long.

Soon we’ll be wearing sweatshirts and raking leaves. Soon we’ll be watching football and sipping hot chocolate. Soon I’ll roll the windows down as I drive to work – the fragrant wind whipping through my hair. Soon we’ll shop for pumpkins and apples at roadside stands. Soon Little Guy will be wearing boots and jeans and tiny flannel shirts to pull his red wagon around in the yard.


You might have guessed (and you’d be right)….Autumn is my favorite time of year. It revives me. The crisp air and cooler temps make me feel more alive than any other time of year. The anticipation I’m feeling is sweet. The rakes are hanging on their pegs in the garage. The football schedule is stuck to the refrigerator with a big chicken magnet. My “Fall” playlist is already in the iPod (yes, I do build season specific playlists – just one of my weird little quirks, I assure you).

I’m ready, whenever Mother Nature is.

I’m not trying to wish away what’s left of my summer though. I’m really not. I do love summer, but the older I get, the less I enjoy the intense heat it brings. The sweat, the sunburns, the humidity. Yuck. And the years of lounging around on the beach in a bikini are far FAR behind me. Now, the Summer makes me just want to be inside, surrounded by the false cool of the AC. I find myself longing for an October “staycation” and lazy days spent napping in a hammock. Not that hammock napping will be on my schedule. With a two year old, that nap would last maybe 1 minute. Oh, but one can dream, right?

So our plans for this Fall? The big festival in my home-town…. The “Big Game” at Hubby’s college Home Coming… A trip to the local orchard so Little Guy can pick some apples and go on a hayride… Homemade chili in big ceramic mugs… Popcorn balls and caramel apples….. Costumes and candy for Halloween… Hanging out on the back deck - a hefty mystery novel in one hand, warm cider in the other…. Little Guy jumping into piles of leaves…. Windows open to let the cool air rejuvenate our home…. We’ll delve into the deep recesses of our closets and pull out warmer clothes. My favorite Fall uniform of worn jeans and soft sweater will be back in heavy rotation…

In other words, we’ve got simple plans. Plans to live every day to it’s fullest. We’re going to embrace the awesomeness of the season ahead so that when the next one rolls around, we’ll have some warm memories to comfort our chilly Winter selves.

Note: All photos via Bing! Images


Room Sign (52 Week Challenge - Week 4)

Throughout the next week or so, I’ll slowly unveil our Little Guy’s “Big Boy Room”. I’m pleased with how it’s all turned out, and he seems to be happy about it too. He’s been sleeping in his new room for four nights now, and is adjusting.

For the moment, his crib, rocking chair and changing table are present, but when the time comes those last vestiges of the nursery will be replaced with a twin bed and a little dresser.

I wanted to have a sign on the door that designated the space as his. I looked around but found no ‘pre-made’ signs that really worked.

I took an old wooden sign that was a gift from a long-ago co-worker…

And painted it….

Yes, I know the "after" pic is awful.  The letters are a bright red (thought its hard to tell that here), but I couldn't get a pic that didn't have a glare.  sigh.   Anyway...

I recently joined the challenge put forth by the Thrify Mrs. She and a friend concocted a goal of making 52 things in 52 weeks. The guidelines are pretty open. You just need to make things you enjoy, and which aren’t part of your usual repertoire.

I’m counting this for my 52 week project, though technically that’s probably quite a stretch. It’s been a busy couple of weeks and I just haven’t been keeping up with that like I should. I’m not even sure what week I’m supposed to be in, but this is what I will call my fourth project for the challenge.

Challenge Summary: Week Four
Ever done this before? Not exactly, but have I painted wood before? Sure.
Do I love it? I like it
Material Cost: $1.96 worth of craft paint. Everything else was on hand
Time Spent: an hour plus drying time
Success - Yes or No? Willie likes it, so Yes


{this moment}

Inspired by SouleMama to share one moment.... via a single photo – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember…”


Catching Up

Where oh where has that blogger gone? Where oh where could she be?

I’m still here. Obviously I’ve not been posting as much this week as usual. We are all doing very well, but we just haven’t had a lot of spare time. Both Hubby and I have had pretty busy weeks at our respective day jobs. Though obviously that shouldn’t really have an impact on our evenings – truth be told, it does.

After a hectic day at work (sitting in front of a computer), sometimes the honest to goodness last thing I want to do with my evening is….sit in front of a computer!

This post will likely be brief, but I wanted to touch base and fill you in on the lovely weekend we had and how we’ve been filling our spare time this week. So here’s a “quick” recap…

• Little Guy and I spent the weekend with my folks so hubby could paint Little Guy’s new “Big Boy” room without the help of said Big Boy.

• We had Little Guy’s 2 year photos taken by a professional photographer. The results were fabulous. Each picture melted my heart. And then my melted heart broke right in half when I had to narrow down my favorites to place an order. **sigh** Looking forward to getting them soon!

• Little Guy took his first ever “outside bath” in his Grandpa’s washtub. That same washtub was one I splashed around in as a child myself. He was squealing with delight the whole time. It was very sweet, and a nice way for him to cool off. I don’t know about where you are, but here it’s been down-right muggy.
• My parents took Little Guy and I to see a small animal auction. Our little sweetie was thrilled to be in such close proximity to goats, chickens, bunnies and donkeys. I think he’d have gladly stayed for days.

• Upon our return home, we inspected hubby's handiwork.  Little Guy approved completely with the new paint.  He fell in love with his “NOOMROOM” right off the bat. We haven’t totally moved him in yet, but are slowly getting his things settled in their new home. We’re saving his bed for last. Hopefully, he’ll be 100% moved by week’s end. He already loves to go in and play with his toys and just look around.

• These evenings in which I should have been blogging (or a million other things), I’ve instead been watching old episodes of Veronica Mars (a tv series which was cancelled a few years ago, but which I never watched until I picked it up on NetFlix). It’s fun, and brings to mind a cross between Nancy Drew and another old tv series favorite of mine, My So-Called Life. Veronica Mars is full of teen angst and mystery – nothing at all like reality of course, but it’s been a fun diversion which has allowed me some much needed relaxation.

Hope you are having a wonderful day.  I promise to be more diligent with my blogging - soon.


My First Swap!

A while back, I signed up for my first ever "swap".  This particular one was fabric themed, and hosted by the sweet Crafty Helen.  I was paired up with S. from Different Randomness.  Because we live in different countries, our packages have taken a little while to find their way home.  In fact, I don't think she's received mine yet (I promise - it's coming!).

Yesterday, I was very excited to see that there was a package in my mailbox from S.  I know I'm supposed to take pictures of the packaging and etc, but honestly I just couldn't wait long enough for that.  I greedily ripped open the big envelope, and found the following goodies:  a lovely handmade card, two adorable little felt decorations, lots of yummy looking fabric, some sweet little hand-made soaps and a loofah.  I have some ideas for the fabric and am looking forward to using all of my new gifts.

Thanks so much, Miss S for being my partner!  This experience was truly a pleasure.  I hope you will enjoy your package as much as I have mine!  And Miss Helen - thanks to you too, for hosting such a fun swap!

A peek at my goodies!



As I type this, Little Guy's "Big Boy Room" is being painted a lovely shade of blue (called "Shallow Pond").  My head is swimming with ideas.  I want the room to be fun for him.  I want him to be surrounded by things he loves.  I don't want an overbearing theme, though I'm working on a cowboy quilt for when he graduates to a twin size bed, so there will be a bit of a cowboy element.  But he also loves planes and baseball and stars and tractors and super heroes and trains.  I suppose the theme I'm looking for is "ALL BOY". 

I'm not a huge fan of modern design.  Instead, I find that I'm most enchanted by things that would have looked right at home in a little boy's room circa 1950.  Here are a few items which I feel inspired by at the moment (all images from Bing!) 

Nothing may come from these early inspirations, but right now I like...

What do you think?


{this moment}

Inspired by SouleMama to share one moment.... via a single photo – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember…”


Trading Spaces

My Little Guy is getting bigger every day. We’ve recently been discussing moving him from his nursery into what has (until now) been the “spare bedroom”. It’s roomier, has a much larger closet and a door which shuts. You may think all bedrooms have doors, but you would be wrong.

Our little house is fun and quirky. One of its many quirks is that former owners wanted to turn what had been a perfectly normal (albeit small) third bedroom into a sitting room of sorts for the master bedroom. To achieve this, they cut a huge arch doorway into the wall that had separated the two rooms. For whatever reason, they also removed the door to the hallway from the smaller of the two rooms. That is, you can still walk through the door. There’s just nothing to close behind you. We looked all over for the missing door when we first moved in, assuming it might be stashed in the attic or basement. No luck. And its narrower than your average door, which means we need to order a custom replacement.

Not exactly the door we need, but close...

Since our earliest days in this house, we’ve made plans to do something about this. At some point we’ll probably wall up that arch and order a door. For now though, it’s served perfectly as a nursery. We hung a set of curtains over the archway, and another where a door normally would lead into the hallway. When the curtains are pulled aside, Little guy loves running round the round-about that the arch between the two rooms (and the two regular doors into the hall) creates.

Right now, he’s satisfied to stay in his crib when he wakes at 4am. He yells for me until I arrive at his side, all blurry-eyed and catatonic. We fear that he’ll soon learn to climb out though, and that we might not wake up right away. After all, we don’t particularly enjoy getting up before dawn like he does, and if it weren’t for his insistent yelling, we’d probably sleep till 5:30 or later.

Our thought is that if we have a door we can close, we can hang a bell on it or rig an alarm or do something to alert us when he leaves the room.  That way, we can follow him or heard him back to bed or whatever.

So, the other day I asked Little Guy, “What would you think if we moved your bed and your toys and your books into that room?” I pointed to the room across the hall and he stroked his little chin with his thumb and forefinger (new thing he does when he’s “thinking”… it’s utterly adorable).

“My Bed?” he asked.

“Yes, we’d put your bed in there and all of your other things too.”

He wriggled out of my arms and ran into the spare bedroom. He vaulted up to the top of the queen bed that we keep there, got under the covers so that only his little face was peeking out and said, “My bed!”

Okay, so clearly we have some more explaining to do, but I feel good about the fact that he’s at least open to change. In the coming weeks, I’ll keep you up to date as we re-do his new room. I’m pretty excited to get him into a bigger space, and also to do something with his old room. We might have another baby someday (and would use the little doorless room as a nursery again), but until then…. I’m thinking that room would make a wonderful sewing/craft space! 

Must finish this off as we're off to the local hardware store to look at paint swatches.  Don't you just love paint swatches? 
Yay.  I heart redecorating!


Simple Pleasures & Time Well Spent

Where does the time go? I can’t believe my baby is two! The days are passing too quickly. The weeks fly by. The years evaporate into the mist. How can I slow down and enjoy the wonder and the beauty that surrounds me?

Sometimes I worry about my priorities. Do I spend enough quality time with my hubby? Do I play with my Little Guy enough? Do I pray enough?  Do I dedicate the right amount of time to my parents, my brother, my in-laws, my friends etc? Do they all know just how much they mean to me?

I sure hope so.

This idea of “time” vs. “time well spent”, has been on my mind a lot lately. How can I shape my life into one which isn’t wasted on unimportant bits of this and that? How do I focus on those things in life which I hold most dear? I want to make every moment count. For the most part, I think we do a pretty good job most of the time. It’s just my nature to want to do more, I guess. (one of many faults for which I probably need therapy).

So anyway, last night was really kind of perfect. I want more nights like that one. It’s been so hot and humid lately, we haven’t spent a lot of time outside. Last night wasn’t bad though, so the three of us played in the back yard. Willie rode his little trike around and then we got out the sprinkler. At first he was a little hesitant, but soon he was jumping through the water and giggling. After a bit he started to say, “C’mon Mom” and “C’mon Dad” so we joined him. The three of us took turns jumping through the sprinkler and laughing. We were quickly soaked to the bone, but oh were we happy! It was pure joy. After we were back inside and changed into dry clothes, we pulled out the play-doh and played with it on the kitchen table. Little Guy loved making shapes with cookie cutters and poking the dough with a fork. When he got tired of that, we played with his new choo choo train. When it was time for bed, I read him a stack of books, sang him some songs and then tucked him in. He was worn out and went to sleep quickly. He was content and so were we.

After Will was asleep hubby and I curled up on the couch like the old days.  We turned on the tv and watched a long forgotten episode of Buck Rogers (thank you NetFlix instant watch), and just enjoyed being there in the moment. 

It was a sweet evening. It was full of the simple pleasures in life. We didn’t have to spend a lot of money or even put forth a lot of effort. We just had fun. We made memories and maybe, set a precedent for more fun-filled evenings to come. This was definitely time well spent.

Tonight, we break out the finger paint…

Photos via Bing Images


Birthday Bash Recap

Our Little Guy celebrated his 2nd birthday on Saturday, surrounded by family and friends.  We had cake and presents and cards and lots and lots of fun!  We were all pretty tired when it was over, but we had an amazing day.  It was a lot of work, and there was a bit of a mess to clean up afterward; but it was so worth it!  My mind is already swirling with ideas for next year!! 

But until then...  Here are a few pictures from W's big day:

Some of these photos are a bit dark, but here you can see the cakes & bunting I made for the party.  I felt that it all worked out nicely.
This was the cutest of the three cakes, I thought.  It was French Vanilla with vanilla filling and frosting.
Another one of the cakes - this one was lemon w/ lemon filling and vanilla frosting.  The best flavor of the three in my opinion.

The Main cake - Chocolate w/ chocolate filling and vanilla frosting.

It's a bit dark...but here is the Guest of Honor in front of his cakes.  Moments after this was taken, he reached over and swiped some frosting.  "Mmmmmm" he said. 
Here I am helping him to open one of his birthday gifts (Mr. Potato Head)
He spilled punch all over his first outfit, so after a quick change, he got down to eating some of that cake.  He loved it, and would have eaten much more if we'd let him.

Party Bunting (52 Week Challenge - Week 2)

I recently joined the challenge put forth by the Thrify Mrs. She and a friend concocted a goal of making 52 things in 52 weeks. The guidelines are pretty open. You just need to make things you enjoy, and which aren’t part of your usual repertoire.

The reason I'm posting week 2 out of order, is that I didn't want to show the party decorations before the actual party (might have spoiled some of the fun for the folks who came on Saturday).

I had originally planned to make fabric bunting, but never found just the right fabric.  Instead I made a paper version.  I purchased some sheets of solid color scrapbook paper, and cut out the shapes I needed to make several each of Elmo, Cookie Monster, Bert and Ernie.  I cut the paper free-hand, so that bit took a little while.  Once I had my pieces I glued them to triangles cut from stiff white poster board.  I strung them up with white yarn.  Pretty simple really, but I like the overall look of it:

Now that the party is behind us, I've hung one strand of the bunting on his bedroom window so that he can enjoy them long after the other decorations have been stashed away.

Challenge Summary: Week Two
Ever done this before? Nope
Do I love it? Yes
Material Cost: scrapbook paper from local craft store: $4.00 total - everything else from my cupboard
Time Spent: under 2 hours
Success - Yes or No? Yes


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