Tuesday, April 5, 2011

We have all been fighting colds for about three weeks! the boys had minor ear infections and were put on amoxycillin, and then I had a disgusting sinus infection that WOULD. NOT. GO. AWAY. so our doctor put us on amoxycillin too. We are all finally feeling better and now I'm stressed out. In a moment of manic frenzy I signed up for my first craft fair on April 9. I've been plugging away but not as much as I should be. My friend Erin made a bunch of yummy candles, and I have been making peg dolls. We collaborated on these adorable fabric-clothed dolls that I hope everyone will want, and I'm making a bunch of animals to sell as well.

for my photography class we are doing black and white photography. I am struggling with this a lot because I am shooting in black and white and not converting it, and the pictures are all turning out kind of the same bland color. I've been successful in editing, but still it's frustrating.

this is what I want the sky to look like always, but for some reason it has only worked ONCE.



i was trying my new wide-angle macro lens... meh.

cropped kids playgroup
this was my first black and white. I really liked it :)

in home news, we broke our bandsaw (thanks for warranties!) and we need a shop BAD. i found and bought plans for a cute little 12x12 cottage and I really hope it works out that we can build it.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

when I grow up...

We have been incredibly busy but I can't think of why at the moment... it's just felt so busy! Maybe I'm running on a hamster wheel or something.

We have been trying to spring clean and get a lot of time outdoors. I'm taking a photography class every other week in Chapel Hill and that was the majority of our week last week, working on the assignment. I had to find the alphabet in nature -- we couldn't use any letters that were ACTUAL letters.

This was mine:
alphabet final

I'm particularly proud of the I because it's the markings on a pot-bellied pig.

I've been thinking a lot about what I want to do when I grow up. (if?) part of me will always want to be a children's librarian (well, YA) but I realize that this isn't exactly easy to get into right now. I was thinking about all the reasons why I'd like to do it and came up with something else I truly enjoy : preschoolers. You are probably thinking right now how much I'm crazy. I get so frustrated sometimes with my own kids, but I love having a ton of kids running crazy all over my house. This led me to thinking that I could get a certification in preschool education, but I don't think I'm brave enough to run a preschool from my house -- it's just not big enough. So I started thinking about one of my favorite bloggers EVER - Pink and Green Mama and how she runs all these super fun art camps for her neighborhood kids and stuff. I started thinking about this around Christmas time and haven't stopped. This is something I want to do. I've kind of mentioned it in passing to a few friends but no one has really said anything, so maybe they realize something I don't? I know that when preschool lets out a few of my friends aren't going to be thrilled to have their kids around with no break, and I'd rather not be left alone with my two kids so it's a win-win. I'd only charge for the art supplies and other things we would use(a blanket fee of $20 dollars probably).

What do you think?

I'm hoping that by the end of March I will have the house in order. I'm going to have the craft room organized so things are easy to find. THEN I'm moving on to the bedroom and re-decorating in there. that should be by the end of April. Next will be the living room, by the end of May. within that time I should be tossing and cleaning and organizing and getting the house ready to really live in (we've been here for almost 6 years... it's time)

What I really need is a studio in the back that doesn't care if there is finger paint on the walls. not that I care here all the time, but maybe it would be nice to live in a grown-up house.

NOW to show you some pictures :

the boys dressed up like pirates and we took the pirate ship to the Science Museum on Monday. I made Oliver's costume, fixed the mast on the ship and made two wooden swords in under a half hour. I have a Phd in Awesome.

I want DESPERATELY for this owl to come deliver my mail and get a few neck scritches.


We also did a mini impromptu photoshoot over the weekend... my only sad is that the rock we sat on was shaped like this \ so the pictures look funny.




Thursday, February 24, 2011

hello is it me you're looking for?

I wish I wasn't failing so badly at blogging lately!

last night I whipped up this ingenious little marker holder a friend told me about from the book First Art. basically it's plaster of paris in a bucket with marker tops shoved in there.

What I'm amazed at is that ... it seems to work! Even the little demon who LOVES to destroy seems to be putting the markers back into the bucket! no little tops to lose and hopefully a reduced amount of dried out markers.

marker keeper

I've bought a ton of organizing things but still trying to figure out how I want to organize our stash of craft supplies. I saw a rolling cart someone made out of some IKEA closet organizers and I'm honestly leaning towards that so much.

Yesterday we also did something amazing! We played with a salad spinner and put paper at the bottom, dropped some tempera in it and then spun it out to make cool designs. I neglected to take pictures because I am completely unused to being able to take pictures again and need to get back in the habit. My blogging is much more interesting when there are pictures of cute little boys :)

Monday, January 31, 2011

Birthday Roundup!

Boy has it been a busy week! I am now the proud mother of a 4 & 2 year old! I can't believe how fast babies grow. They had nice birthdays and then my dad showed up on Thursday for a nice visit!

We had a big birthday party on Saturday! it was a glow-in-the-dark party. We completely emptied Landon's bedroom and relieved our living room of most of it's furniture. I painted black sheets with neon paint and hung blacklights everywhere. I found blacklight reactive plates and bowls and cups, and served a ton of kid food and had the most delicious cake made by a dear friend. I'd hoped that the white frosting would glow in the blacklight but it didn't. We told all the kids to wear white tshirts and I covered my hallway in white paper and gave them tons of highlighters. they drew all over themselves and the wall for fun effects and ran around screaming for a few hours. I bought 300 glowsticks and used 100 of them, and passed out a lot of the last bit to some of the kids to go home with. It was so much fun we may have to have a reprise in the next few weeks... potluck style!

it has been so busy I'm just now settling down to continue this post!

We had my dad here until Sunday and we started building these Helping Towers for the boys to help in the kitchen easier.

We also went to IKEA and I spent so much money I can't even tell you. I will say that I bought some very exciting storage things and a new couch that converts to a bed (we've used it every single night to watch TV :) ) an ottoman and a few other things. The most exciting thing is the transformation of our office to a craft/school room! I will reveal later, I haven't taken pictures yet!

BUT! here are some pictures in no particular order:

Oliver at the park

one of my new obsessions - light writing! SO FUN!

neighbor gave his old race car to my dad! it was quite a trip trying to get it off it's rotted trailer and onto my dad's.


Landon playing hockey :)




Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Looking forward...


Today's post has a theme. I've been really under the weather emotionally lately and I know it's the season and the weather and all that stuff but anyways. my theme for today is "looking ahead"

I think that it may come as a shock to a lot of people but I'm a planner. I can't handle not knowing what the week will look like, or what we are going to do on any given day. The days that we have the most problems are the day where there is no plan. It is no surprise then that my kids, who are very into being spontaneous, are also way better behaviorally when we have a plan and we all know what to expect from the day.

That being said, I think it's no surprise that I've just been overwhelmed and feeling so blah. Our schedule was majorly messed up by the month of December and we haven't recovered. I've realized that it's a bit late for New Years Resolutions, but after meditating about my resolutions I've decided that they need to be refined and added to.

I've really been struggling with the idea that I could possibly homeschool my kids and it would work and we would all LOVE IT. I'm amazing when it comes to creating a fun environment for kids, but I'm not so good with discipline when we really need it and I don't always recognize when to have something STOP before it gets out of control until it's too late and into crisis mode. I have a HIGH CHAOS threshold too, so at least I can handle them with a cool head generally. On the flip side, I really really want to send them to 3 day preschool so I have a break in the mornings to clean and organize. but that wouldn't be until the fall and I'd hope hope hope that my house would be clean by then. The idea of running around town childless three times a week is very alluring. BUT I'd want to send them to a co-op preschool and I can't afford that and they are all kind of a drive (which means I'd be spending my mornings in a different town NOT getting things done)

What I need is to have my house organized FIRST. once that is organized we can work on our life. but the house NEEDS to be clean and orderly or I may kill myself. it sounds dramatic but I feel like I'm trapped. Not only do I feel trapped but it is semi-panic inducing just how much I need the order restored in our home. I feel utterly overwhelmed and crazy right now and being stuck in my stupid house is one of them. I know that I should be grateful I have a home, but I just feel like it's crushing in on me. We will never get a bigger house, the house will always never have enough room, etc etc.

I've also come to the conclusion that once my house is organized and I can re-organize the basic parts of our life and schedule and begin losing weight again, we can start considering adding #3. This is another complication. We'd love to have another child (or 100 whatever) but we don't know if we have the room. We'd have to get Oliver out of our room and into Landon's room so that the new baby could live in our room, but then what? I guess we have room for another. but after that... this house is too small for 4, let alone 5. It's really awhile before we can consider this, I have to lose weight. A LOT of weight. My scale broke and so I don't even know how much I gained over Christmas but I've been eating as much as I want and stress eating so you know that's just bad.

So the plan:
get the house CLEAN (by next weekend)
get the house organized (by end of February)
schedule (by end of March)
and then we will see and re-evaluate THE PLAN.


Monday, January 3, 2011

New Years Resolutions

New year, new goals, new ways to procrastinate on a post about my hopes and dreams for 2011.

I'll just lay it out here. I'm not very organized with blogging anymore and I'm jealous of my friends who have amazing blogs. I want to work on that, because I'm amazing and awesome and you know you want to read more about how I work.

My life is chaos. Generally I enjoy it, but sometimes I get buried under a pile of crap and I can't make my way out. December was my pile of crap. I just opened an Etsy and then panicked as people asked me to make them things. Don't think for a minute I was sad that people wanted stuff, I loved every single minute of crafting for other people. I think the part that was frustrating was that my house was sorely neglected for about 6 weeks and I just have to reorganize everything. Good thing there are time limits! I'm planning on throwing the boys a double birthday party (best idea I never planned) and I'm planning on having it here. *gasp* the **PLAN** will be to empty out the living room of everything except the table/bench and couch, clean out the hallway and empty Landon's room into our bedroom and guest room. Landon has decided he wants a glow-in-the-dark party and I'm bursting at the seams with ideas. The best part is that I have to clean up, sure, but if there is finger paint on my walls, as long as it isn't black light reactive, it's not going to be seen! Anyways, other than my belated Christmas presents to my poor nephews and niece, I'm putting myself on a crafting hiatus. This is hard, because I have about 100 ideas of things to get going on. I'll have to write all about how I can't do them or something over at that other blog of mine.

After I dig myself out of hurricane Sara I will be moving on towards a super strict organizational style that I will hate until I grow to love it. I have a list of stuff I have to do each day and I don't get to do fun things until I do it. that's a good reward right?

Another thing that will happen relatively soon is a chore chart. I plan on making a super crafty one (duh) but for now I've printed one off for each of the boys and will pick up stickers tomorrow. Landon is STOKED. If I can keep them motivated, perhaps I can keep myself motivated. I did well at the beginning of last year, but since I didn't blog about it it didn't happen.

I need to lose weight. I'm stuck here at about 25lbs more to lose, and I have been floundering. My scale broke last week so I won't know how much I gained over Christmas (FATE!?) so I think that I will be winging it for the time being. I plan on doing a few classes at the gym and a lot of treadmilling. Landon can't wait, he LOVES going to the gym.

I need to lose weight, and the goal is to lose it all by March. it's a lofty goal, but I think I can probably reach it. that gives me some stretch for bathing suit season and then I think in the fall we are going to start considering adding another family member. It has been on both of our minds since I had such...interesting pregnancies in the past. With Oliver reaching towards 2, we are being flooded with memories of how Landon was at this age, when I was pregnant, in the hospital on bed rest and the adorable little things Landon would do for me (like bring me a cup to pee in while I was in the bathroom and measuring his tummy like they do at prenatal appointments). There is actually a lot of work that goes a long with this idea, and so I need to be in good shape, low weight and some other tricks up my sleeve for a safe and healthy pregnancy.

I'm going to ramp up my vegetable and fruit servings by a LOT. more eating those and less carbs. I'm not giving up coffee. I'm not eating after 8pm.

I'd like to blog more. I'd like to craft more. I'd like to clean more. I'd like to eat better. I'd like a stricter schedule. I'd like to begin testing the homeschooling waters with Landon. I want to be a better friend, better wife and mother and overall better person. I want to put my family first and work on my temper.

/word vomit

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Sunset in Emerald Isle

Our family is enjoying time spent at a friend's house (while they are away!) in Emerald Isle, NC. We have romanticized the beach and made it sort of our main goal in life to be able to move out here somewhere near the coast. Emerald Isle is really pretty and there is an awesome bridge that Landon and Oliver enjoy traveling over to get here. I went on the bridge last night and took some pictures. probably 300 of them, deleted half of them and still have a ridiculous amount. I am so happy with how some of them turned out. At some point this weekend I need to chronicle my New Year's resolutions but what I want to do now is show you my pictures :)

Sunset pictures I like










I tried a ton of settings on the camera and I didn't have my tripod so I'm glad that they turned out so well! This makes me itch for a few more lenses and for my photography class to start in a few weeks!