Well, my laptop is back, thanks to my Dad, but she is slow and she is hurtin'. A decision will be have to be made soon as to her future. In the meantime, at least I have my blog and google reader.
My love affair with Studio Calico's "Boardwalk" continues. I haven't got a kit in a few months (since I had so much to use up from my Nov-Apr subscription), but this one is just so cute and beachy. I'm so glad I remembered reveal day and picked it up with two add-ons.
First, I finally did some collages of our beach shoot with Heather last summer. (This is two 6X6 collages stuck together):
I used the frame stamp to create a beachy, weathered frame for one of the photos:
I used blue ink to edge the Pink Paislee mistable trim, and also used a cork to stamp circles of grey ink onto the scallops:
The other layout is using a 6x6 Hipstamatic shot of my dressing room table at work. I thought it would be fun to document the tools of the trade, so to speak:
It was fun using the twine as little tethers between each item in the photo and the label I gave it. I love the Cosmo Cricket mini alpha with see-through background.
I'm at work now, writing during intermission, so I should probably stop blogging and start using some of those items on my dressing table! Night, all!
My computer is on the fritz, being nursed back to health by dad, and since I don't have any photos I can post I am going to address a big old myth about me and my blog.
A friend posted on Facebook recently that I write my blog, "to make other moms feel bad". I know she was joking-- she likes reading my blog-- but somehow I thought there was a grain of truth there. Sometimes people read my blog and think, "look at everything she is doing with her kids, look at the homemade bread, and the crafts, and the trips to french bakeries..."
I get it. I can see how it looks. I try to add a heavy dose of reality to my blog, too, but I do like to document the fun things we do for posterity. Those are the things I would like to kids to remember... those are the things that I want to remember, too.
So, just to put the myth to rest-- I am nowhere NEAR a perfect mom. I am flawed in MANY ways, and I strive every day to do better. In about five minutes I put together this list.... this list that I could add to every day for the next year:
Why I am Not a Perfect Mother:
I often skip brushing my kids' hair. In fact, I often have no idea where the brush is. I think ponytails were invented for moms without brushes. When my mother sees my children she often greets them then pulls the brush out of her purse. I have also yet to trim my kids bangs. My mother does that. She no longer asks if I would like them done.
Last month, in an effort to reduce laundry, I went into my kids room while they were watching tv downstairs and removed 50% of their clothes from the armoire. They are in a bin on the top level. I left all the dresses hanging where they were.
I have felt guilty about going back to work. I have also felt not remotely guilty about going back to work. It depends on the day.
I unceremoniously dump 97% of the kids' drawings into the recycling bin. They churn out more artwork than Etsy. I just can't adore it all.
I do not believe in messy crafts. They have played with finger paints twice, and the pastels sent by their aunt are brought down from the top shelf by appointment only. I am marginally more generous with the glitter paints, as long as we are outside and Lily refrains from putting the paintbrush in her mouth.
I make Audrey write cards for any holiday or birthday so that I don't have to buy/make one. I'm not sure about the child labour laws, but I'm willing to risk it.
I've made it known to the children that I do not read books before I have finished my first cup of coffee in the morning. I often make the last few sips last longer than need be.
I have been known to "forget" teeth brushing when it is late and I want them in bed ASAP.
Pancakes, scrambled eggs, and toast with peanut butter have become dinner options when necessary. I just make sure there is either a fruit or vegetable along side.
I once mixed water into cream to put on their breakfast cereal when I was unknowingly out of milk. (Or was it knowingly? I can't remember...) Audrey thought it was brilliant that I can "make" milk.
I hate finding matching socks for them as much as I do for myself. I let them pick and unless there is a glaring mismatch I don't step in. (This rule does not apply to shoes, though, much to the chagrin of Miss Lily.)
I do not own one bottle of hand sanitizer, nor do I have a travel size for my key chain.
I yell sometimes. I try not to. I hate it when I do.
I have been known to deny drinks from the water bottle when we are far from a usable bathroom. I also forget to pack snacks if we're only going to be gone a few hours, leaving the children to beg at the knee of whichever mom did remember snacks.
I lay guilt trips if they don't want to wear the clothes I made them. "Well, if you don't want to wear the dress Mommy made you, I guess that's fine... sniff."
I have no idea where the ear thermometer is, but I do know where the rectal termometer is. For now, I kiss them on the forehead to determine "fever/no fever" with my "Mommy Lip" thermometer and let it be. If I need to find out exactly how hot they are? Well, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.
So, there you go. Not so perfect, right? Not perfect at all. Just trying, and writing it down as I go. You should write it down, too. It doesn't have to be on a blog, just open an e-mail and write to your kids about your day. I think my kids will be happy to know the Mommy I was when they were little, flaws and all. I bet yours will, too.
On Monday night we went out for Q's 35th birthday. We had dinner at a restaurant in Yorkville, where I ordered my new very favourite appetizer: Avocado Frites. That's thick slices of avocado dipped in panko crumbs and deep fried. Yum.
The birthday boy was looking handsome:
and I enjoyed a glass of Gamay while we waited for the entrees:
The restaurant was sandwiched between Bloor St. and the U of T campus, so we got a few shots with the ivy covered buildings:
...then headed up to Bloor St. for a little window shopping. Q didn't want me to bother a complete stranger to take a photo of us, so I embarked on some self portraits:
Take one: blurry
Take two: blurry, but kinda cool.
Take three: Q saw this store window and suggested we try that...
Take four: I took the same idea but made it a little more romantic. ;)
Then between shows yesterday I took the new Studio Calico "Boardwalk" kit, which I just LOVE, and created this layout:
I printed the photo off in 6x8, which is only .39 at my local photo developer. Such a great deal!
I then intertwined the twine with brads around the page. It's fun to see what you can come up with when you're scrapping away from home and don't have all your regular tools about.
It's no secret that I love alphas, and between the main kit and the on add-on there were four alphas! Wee!
So, today is my third blogiversary! I was reading back over my early posts, noticing how the smallest details are so interesting and precious to me now. It reminds me of why I started blogging in the first place: as a journaling tool. Sometimes it has become more about scrapbooking or sewing or cooking-- but my favourite posts looking back are the "Today we..." posts, or the "Yesterday" posts. The posts that I threw up and thought, "Well, this is boring". Now I know that they are not boring at all. They are the posts that the kids and I will love to look back on in years to come.
I also marvelled at how the kids have changed. When I started, Audrey was 22 months old. She was still a baby, still with very little hair, just on the edge of being a little girl:
Now she is 4 3/4, chats from morning to night, always planning a game/craft/show, with lots of hair and growing like a weed:
Lily was just a few weeks old when I started this blog. She was my placid angel baby, wanting nothing more than to nurse, sleep and cuddle:
Now she is three years old, and I am struggling to stop calling her "the baby". She is funny and chatty, she loves her babies and her shopping cart, and she still loves nothing more than to eat, sleep and cuddle:
How quickly it all passes by. I think I always knew that and that's why I scrap/blog/constantly update my Facebook status. I know it is fleeting, and I never want to forget.
I am always an advocate of just picking up some photos you find laying around and doing something pretty with them, just cuz. My one rule is I try to tell a real story along with it.
I found these photos of Lily as I was cleaning up my scrap room, and I new I wanted to use them. I thought about how there was a time when I thought I might only have one baby, as Q didn't want any more, and how much I wanted "just one more". When we found out we were pregnant with Lily, (surprise!), my husband's first reaction was "That's your ONE!" :)
Maya Road sent me these cute library cards with pockets, and I dressed mine up a little with Crate Paper and Cosmo Cricket:
Those Studio Calico "Notions" are so cute, aren't they?
Oh, that baby face and downy, soft hair. I can just smell it now...
I can't believe it's taken me this long to scrap our trip to the Outer Banks in North Carolina. We went to visit Q's brother in Raleigh in May, and we all headed out 3 hours to the Outer Banks (or OBX, as I kept seeing everywhere).
The trip was amazing. We had a beautiful house about a three minute walk to the beach. There was a pool and plenty of space to let the kids play... I would go back in a heartbeat. Seriously, why Canadians go all the way to Florida when North Carolina is so much closer, I have no idea.
It was so hot while we were there, even though it was considered off-season and the rental house was a quarter of the price it rented for just a few weeks later. I would not have wanted it any hotter than it was-- I was practically dipping the children in a vat of sunscreen every few hours, covering them in UV suits and hats, keeping them inside during the heat of the day-- and they STILL got too much sun.
Anyhoo! I used by April Studio Calico kit, "Singin' in the Rain" to create this two page layout:
My local photo developer was having a special on 8X10s-- 5 for $5! I had to take advantage of that, so I created two photo collages using one the templates from this House of Three template package. (For some reason it's not showing this template in the picture, but it's there, and I use these templates all the time.) I used the same template twice, I just flipped it 180 degrees. Can't tell, can you? ;)
A little white Mr. Huey coloured my clouds a lovely hue:
A very simple border with buttons to add some colour:
After pulling out all of my American Crafts to work on my DT submission, I was inspired to create another layout just for fun. I used photos of the girls on their bikes from a few days ago to create this double 8.5x11 layout:
It's been a while since I used mini-brads on a layout -- I love the little hits of hot pink!
Torn ledger paper from a Rhodia pad I had hanging around:
I admit it, I picked the theme of this layout just so I could use this little chipboard bicycle. I customized it with a tag cut from a piece of patterned paper, and a tag cut from another piece from the Confetti line.
Spending my day off with the girls-- bike riding, ice cream sandwiches, painting, and a trip to the Mastermind-- according to Audrey's written schedule. :)