Friday, June 27, 2008

Hello, from down below.

Do you ever feel like your entire existence is a huge, massive disaster of a mess? Made up of random toys and clothes and books and dishes? Helicopters that are missing their rotor blades, dolls void of their garments? Blocks and toy figures mixed up with cars and trains and all kinds of other goodness only knows what kinds of toys? And they are all strewn everywhere?!!

I do! Yes, yes, I do...

But, I am desperately trying to claw my way back to the top of the ever raging battle for control. So, a thought popped in to my mind. What if I wrote the name of the kind of toys that go in each bucket and drew pictures on them so that Elliott will know what goes where. Well, that is just what I did, as you can see below, and it actually has been incredibly useful. Not only does it help Elliott pick up his toys, but it also helps Daddy know where things go too!

So, if you have been wondering where I have been recently, I've just been here, at home, buried beneath an endless pile of laundry, dishes, toys, and dirt. And it totally seems like as soon as I manage to make a dent, I have to make dinner and mess everything back up again! I know, I know, stop complaining. C'est la vie! That is life! I know. But that is where I have been, and probably will be for the next... inevitable amount of time.

But I did manage to wash the pillows from when Elliott wet the bed, scrub down the bathroom (tub included), straighten the master bedroom, do the dishes (at least twice), bake a cake, bake some mini cakes, make dinner, OH and I shelled fresh peas! Yep, I got inspired to buy fresh peas from this yummy recipe I saw at 101 cookbooks and from Chocolate and Zucchini's post here which shows the best way to "unzip" them from their shells. Now, be honest. Did you know that this is what fresh peas looked like?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Cake is calling my name.

I know there must be something wrong with me when my first thought after every meal (and sometimes during) is "what's for dessert?"  Immediately.  Every single day.  I have to have dessert.  I need it.

But, in my defense, one of my favorite aspects of having dessert is that I make a pot of coffee, get the dessert ready, and we all sit down at the table and fellowship.  Its just so impromptu, informal, yummy, and relaxing.  We have some of our greatest conversations with Elliott over dessert.  I just love spending that kind of time with my family (or friends!).

I usually seem to lean towards a certain genre of dessert:  madelines, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate souffles.  Things that are more rich, maybe.  Usually some sort of cookie or other such single serve dessert will do the trick, but lately...  I've had this weird urge for individual little cakes.   A more bready, wholesome type.  That's an area I haven't ventured in to much.  Luckily, I happen to frequent a lovely blog of an amazing french woman living in Boston who bakes little cakes all the time.  La Tartine Gourmande.  I used her recipe for cinnamon tea cakes as a base/guide. I halved it, did some experimenting and came up with a somewhat gingerbready tasting dessert.  It was fun and yummy and I plan on doing some more experimenting and doing it again.  Making little cakes is addicting.  Much different than regular 'ol cake.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Silhouette Project

I finally started and finished a project that I have been itching to do ever since I saw it posted over at Design*Sponge.  I have always thought framed silhouettes looked rather striking, but never really considered doing it until I saw the DIY project.  It was actually pretty fun and I think it turned out rather well.  

I ended up putting my silhouettes on patterned cardstock-ish paper and then glueing them to designer mats instead of framing them, since I plan on mailing them to my Dad for a very late Father's Day gift (oops!)  Michael's had a lot of really fun patterned paper for like 15 cents each, so I snatched up a whole bunch and plan on making more of these.  (Especially since I am missing my two older siblings!)

First, trace your photo.  Then you staple tracing to black, acid-free paper.  Next, cut out the tracing and black paper together.  Discard tracing, glue black silhouette to your paper of choice, and frame.  Simple!  Make sure to check out the original post at Design*Sponge for more details and lots of other cool projects and ideas.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Sticky Fingers

The heat was unbearable today. Right around the 100 degrees F range. Ugh. We decided that napping in a very hot house would not be as much fun as visiting a local coffee shop that has icecream, kids' books, and air-conditioning...

Elliott decided to buy an orange at the coffee shop. Now usually, Elliott hates being dirty, getting his hands dirty or sticky, or really getting anything on himself. (Actually, we didn't show him the birth mark on his arm until a little while ago, in fear of him freaking out and trying to remove it.) So you can imagine my surprise, today, when Elliott stands up on his chair, clapping his hands, and crys, "Look, Mom, I'm sticky!" with a big smile on his face.

"Is that good?" I ask, surprised.

"Yes. Because now I can CLIMB on things!" he growls, while sticking and un-sticking his hands together and raising his eyebrows...

I had to laugh out loud and record him telling me again about his 'sticky hands' that were such a prize. Thank you, Auntie Heather, for teaching Elliott all about Spiderman and his sticky hands for climbing on things. You have truly made life more interesting and imaginative!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Death Cartoons...

Hey there, bloggies!  I'm so excited for this post...  I'm giddy.  

Well, lets start with a little background recap or what have you.  Back in highschool, I went to a tiny little Christian school with 5 kids in my grade.  Well, as you can imagine, it got very boring over at TCA.  Every Thursday was chapel and it was about the same thing each week (or about whoever had done something naughty that week, like put water balloons in the sewage system.)  So, my friends and I would amuse ourselves during this boring monologue by drawing 'death cartoons'.  Now, I don't know if this is a real thing that regular people do, but TCA can kind of make you nutty.  Anyway, what they were, were little mock comic strips we would draw about each other dying or hurting each other.  Hahahaha.  That sounds awful, I know, but it didn't seem so at the time.  It was rather amusing.  (And it was also before the whole school shooting incidences.)

So, all of that prefacing to tell you that I drew up this little 'death cartoon', if you will, to help cheer my hubby up, who has been suffering from severe allergic reactions to all the pollen floating around.  He's never had allergies before.  And it wasn't until we moved to Santa Rosa that the allergies hit him.  Now, Luther Burbank is a celebrated hero around here in Santa Rosa.  In fact, they have his home and garden on display right down the street from where we live.  Apparently he was some brillant botanist or some such thing and cross pollinated all kinds of different plants--creating a whole new set of pollen and allergy making junk along the way.  He may be a big deal and widely celebrated by some, but around our household his endeavors are usually remembered with ill-will and unkind thoughts.

David's allergies got so bad that he came home Monday night barely able to breathe.  He then got a fever that lasted all night and the next day.  He has been sleeping ever since and I wanted to cheer him up, when all of a sudden the idea for this little cartoon flung itself upon my mind and I've been thinking about it ever since.  

So, without further adieu...

If you can't quite make out the wording, try clicking on the picture to enlarge...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Precious Moments

Its those four seconds out of every twenty-four hours that are so dynamic, so powerful.  Just four precious seconds can make a whole day that had previously been filled with endless hours and toilsome chores melt away.  Those can be the moments that make life and motherhood so precious and worth waking up to.

After a long day of coping with whiny, "trip-lagged" kids and a feverish hubby, all I wanted to do was to sit down with a cup of good strong 'joe' and some madelines and do nothing.  But as I'm sure other parents out there can attest to, its those last few minutes before your longed for break (where all the kids will be in bed and you get a little peace and quiet) that all hell breaks loose.  You can see the finish line, you can almost taste the coffee and cookies, feel the relaxation, but darn it if the little one doesn't wake up crying before the bigger one is asleep.  And when the little one is quiet, the bigger one has to pee or needs a drink of water, or sees a fly, or hears a noise, etc., etc., etc.  Aaagh!  "Would you please just go to sleep!"  I often feel like screaming.  But yet, within all of that chaos can be my precious little nugget of gold, hidden beneath all of the mess and my impatience.  

Tonight, as I put Elliott back in bed for like the fourth time and he was crying about why he can't just have a little sip of orange juice and won't I please lay down with him, we heard a pretty little tweeting outside the bedroom window.  

"Oh!  Elliott, did you hear that?  Maybe if you're quiet that little bird will sing to you again..."

That statement brought on a little discussion about a dead bird we saw on the pathway outside of our favorite Sunday lunch spot, Carmen's, a few months ago.  

"But what happened to that bird that died at Carmen's?  Where is he?"  Elliott asked.

"Probably in Heaven."  I replied a little vaguely.

"No.  But Jesus probably picked him up."  he replied. 

"Yes, He probably did." I replied, a bit shocked.

"But what if he went up into a tree?" he asked, worriedly.

"Jesus always knows where he is."  I assured him.  "And when you die, Jesus will come and pick you up and take you to Heaven."

"But why?" he asked.  And then before I could reply, he continued, "I just want to walk with Him.  How come Jesus won't just let me walk with Him?"

So...  Those were the four precious seconds that made my day.  (And after that, Elliott still got up out of bed at least ten more times!)  Care to share yours?

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Amazing natural occurrence

You gotta give it up to the East Coast when it comes to thunder and
lightening storms. Simply stunning and amazing. It has been so long
since I saw a good lightening storm. I don't know if you can tell
from this low quality photo, but that is lightening. Over here it
lights up the whole sky. Its like the heavens are snapping a photo of
you using a flash. Its not like those skinny little fingers of
lightening you see in books. This is something you have to see... I
love it. I'm so glad we had this storm before we leave tomorrow.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Congrats Lizzie and Dave!

The big day, this is what we came for...

Thanks, everyone, for your prayers...

Verse of the Day

"I will greatly rejoice in the LORD,
My soul shall be joyful in my God;
For He has clothed me with the 
garments of salvation,
He has covered me with the 
robe of righteousness,
As a bridegroom decks himself 
with ornaments,
And as a bride adorns herself 
with her jewels.
For as the earth brings forth its
As the garden causes the things
that are sown in it to spring
So the Lord GOD will cause 
righteousness and praise to 
spring forth before all the

Isaiah 61:10,11

Thursday, June 5, 2008

It was the best of days. It was the worst of days.

Actually, it was mostly just the worst. And not really just today.
This has been one of the worst trips I've ever taken. I loved being
here for your wedding, Liz, but I think I'll have some gray hairs by
the time I get home... Not only have both my kids been up until at
least midnight every night, not only does Caiden scream and scream all
night long, waking up intermittently to realize that she has stopped
and better start up again. Not only are the bridesmaid's dresses all
different lengths, but along with a whole lot of other drama which
this trip to New England has been frothed with, each member of my
family is sick (including me). So not only are we tired, now we are
sick and tired.

But oh wait, here is where it gets exciting... Tonight as I was
driving back from the rehearsal dinner, the trunk of my car caught on

This is a photo I snapped of the state troopers that were there with
me and my infant and my three year old on the side of route 4. A
lonely stretch of road with no light and no stopping points. This was
after we baled out of the car(me, my friend Erica, and the kids) and
were stranded, helplessley, in the middle of nowhere, trying to call
for help. And it was also after some friends found us, as they were
returning from the dinner as well, and pulled the smoking items from
our car. And the police showed up and drenched everything...


Exploring the area around the Webb Barn in Old Wethersfield where Liz
is getting married tomorrow... Beautiful.

Hanging with pops

I got to hang out with my dad, today. We got icecream at Main Street
Creamery in Old Wethersfield. It was delish... Elliott was kind
enough to snap this shot of me and Dad while I held Elliott's dripping
cone. "Gotcha!" he said when he took it. We're missing heads in the
photo, but I kind of like it...

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

What I love

...about Connecticut is that it can be really hot and then just start
raining. Today its raining.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

I think it worked...

He's happy... I think. He's got popcorn from Target, a huge ball, and
he's listening to "One Two Three Four" by Feist. I think that just
about does it... Excuse me while I hit the replay button for the
fifth time!

Trying to keep the troops' spirits up

Lazy Daze

I think we are all a little messed up from the three hour time
difference. Caiden falls asleep every time we get in the car (after
fighting tooth and nail to get her in her car seat). Elliott has been
bouncing off the walls and tossed and turned all night last night.

Over all though, we're holding up pretty well, so far. It has been
good to see our friends and family. Though I think David may have
been forseeing trouble when he gave me his "you're a warrior" speech.
"You will protect our family." I am convinced that I am in actuality
not a warrior at all, but more of a Gumby type. But I have already
had a chance to put the warrior speech into action and have had to
fight for my kids. We've only been here for one day and have already
encountered opposition. Kind of why I limit my visits to this side of
the country... These are the times when I really feel like I need my
husband by my side. What was I thinking to come here by myself?

"Listen to Me, O Jacob,
And Israel, My called:
I am He, I am the First,
I am also the Last.
Indeed My hand has laid the foundation of the earth,
And My right hand has stretched out the heavens;
When I call to them,
They stand up together."
Isaiah 48:12,13

I need your prayers...

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Oh Man...

I have a feeling that this is not going to be fun... Cramped with two
very wide awake children on a 5 hour flight in the middle of the
night. The air in our plane is already dry...

But--look how cute Elliott is with his bag... Little jet-setter.

Verse of the Day

"Listen to Me, O house of Jacob,
And all the remnant of the house of Israel,
Who have been upheld by Me from birth,
Who have been carried from the womb;
Even to your old age, I am He,
And even to gray hairs I will carry you!
I have made, and I will bear;
Even I will carry, and will deliver you."

Isaiah 46:3,4