Friday, June 29, 2007

generosity & good causes

I have found the scrapbooking community to be so generous, and they rally like no other group when one of them is in need. I have seen many donations made to Make A Wish, Autism organizations, cancer organizations--all just so worthy. And today on Jessica Sprague's blog I saw this....a new digital website that will feature a new digital kit each month and all proceeds will go to that month's charitable organization. It is called Songbird Avenue. Wow, that is cool. So it might be the awesome digi kits that motivate you, or it might be that a particular cause has more meaning to you...either way, everybody wins.
As for scrapbooking, I am working on what I hope to be my Memory Makers Masters entry. I need 4 never before seen layouts, and then another new layout with the theme of "I wish". I have entered before (I care not to admit how many times) and received no accolades but I just cannot seem to let it go! I need everything to be complete and to their office by July 31. The hard part for me is not sharing online, I just love instant gratification! Right now, I have 10 lifetimes worth of photos and stories to go along with them, but I just cannot wait to get my hands on some of my vacation photos. I tend to be most motivated by what is new: newest pics, newest supplies, newest techniques!!
Have a great weekend. Only 5.5 days until Olivia's 6th Birthday!! That would be Olivia, who is currently gracing the pages of Simple Scrapbooks magazine. Just so you know... Pin It

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

cute t's

A mom at Olivia's old pre-school began making these two years ago. I got one for Olivia back then, but since, I saw that her business has really boomed. I just ordered these 3 shirts for my friends' children who all have June Birthdays and they were adorable. Simple and cute.
Her business is called La-las. If you are looking for a unique gift, I recommend them. In fact, I think I may just need a "t" shirt for myself!
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Monday, June 25, 2007

some days, being a mom is tough

If you are faint of heart, have a queasy stomach or just plain don't like poop talk, do NOT read on.

So, we are about 50/50 today on the cold turkey no more diapers-only undies experiment. By that I mean, we have had 3 successful tinkles in the potty, 4 tinkles that landed elsewhere. Defining elsewhere as: the dining room floor, and 3 times outside by the pool. Those, were easy. And honestly, I was losing hope until she asked to get out of the pool, and then promptly stood there and peed. I felt like it was a breakthrough, afterall, she could have tinkled from the comfy confines of her innertube.

FF to one hour ago. I left her downstairs with strict instructions not to poop in her pants. Heck, it was worth a try! When she called me, she said: "mom, I tinkled." I was on my way, but asked where, to which she said: "the floor". Only, it was not wet on the floor b/c it was poop, a lump, in her pants. I am out of practice on tackling this so I put a towel on the floor and laid her on that and tried to daintily pry down the undies. Well, it was not dainty and "it" ended up on the towel. I nearly bare-handed knocked the thing into a bag and began cleaning her up. You just know you are a MOM, a great one, if you pick up poop barehanded. I was feeling good at taking care of business, and in an effort to boost confidence, I even thanked her for telling me she pooped. Folks, had she sat in it, it would have been worse.

I go on about my business, outside, talking when I notice something brown on my forearm. Yep. It was "it".

Tomorrow will be better, right?! Pin It

Sunday, June 24, 2007

dolphin cruise

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Here is a little collage made with Picasa. I took way too many photos during this 1.5 hour cruise, but I thought I would share a good laugh with the actual dolphin shots. As you can see, the parts and pieces of the dolphins are like tiny specks in the sea...and this is with a decent camera, that is fast. I was snapping away like there was no tomorrow. Hopefully a little cropping will make them more scrapbook worthy. As for the people shots, I love those. We had a great time on the Vagabond, and I highly recommend this if you visit Harbour Town in Hilton Head. I loved HH as a whole. The beach was nice, except for the one day of severe crab invasion surrounding our rented chairs and umbrella, the restaruants were many and the food delicious, and the shopping was great too. Island Girl was my favorite. I got some adorable Eliza B flip flops, and 3 Lilly Collection bracelets, one for me, my mom and my sister. I got us the palm tree pattern, but I cannot find that online.
Today was back to reality, and mounds of laundry and general house cleaning. Tomorrow, I have vowed to begin potty training Shelby. The plan is to go cold turkey, and wear only undies. Heaven help us.
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Monday, June 18, 2007

Hilton Head Island

What a great place! I got a few snapshots, yesterday, Sunday. Today, the beach was loaded with shells but with that came alot of other debris, along with something brown that momentarily attached itself to my toe. I am not a nature lover, so to pull it off, and look anything close to normal instead of the panicked ass I really felt like, was a feat! The girls are LOVING the beach. So far it has been just great. Tonight we hope to head to Sea Pines for a waterfront dinner, and maybe a bit of shopping.
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Thursday, June 14, 2007

I am a reader...

I always have been but with two kids, I don't read quite as much as I used to, or would like to. I tend toward mysteries, lighter novels, I like recurring characters...Stephanie Plum, Alex Delaware but I saw a little write up for Summer Beach Reads, and one was Sister Mine. I guess I thought that was going to be a recurring character type of thing, so I got Tawni O' Dells first novel to start there. Turns out it had been an Oprah pick too. Well, Back Roads is captivating but hardcore too. It is like a train wreck, I cannot look away or put it down, but it is haunting at the same time. I bought it to read at the beach, I do not even leave until the weekend, and I am nearly done. I suggest it, but caution you.
I also read Confessions of a Shopaholic last week. That was a quick, fun read, and I am all about reading the remainder of those and following the life of Rebecca. Only, I waited too long to request part 2 at the library, and neither Target or Walmart have it tonight. But they do have the 3rd or 4th in the series, which is so tempting, but I resisted. Oh well, I will have to read the others I bought a few weeks ago, and catch those once I return.
If it were not for having to actually get in the pool with my little darlings, I could probably finish a book every third day. That day will come, right? And then I will be crying that I do not have any babies!
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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

in preparation

for Vacation, I am not doing much else but running errands and stacking things around my house, for their final destination of being crammed into our mini van. And then onto the beach! Hooray. However, one of our more major home/outdoor projects is about to commence before we leave: getting a new pool liner. This sounds like a huge (and expensive) undertaking, huh? Somehow, all that water needs to get OUT, the new liner in, and then the pool must be refilled. Our hope is for all this to happen before Thursday, so we can leave with things intact, and the solar cover on top of all that new COLD water (have I mentioned expensive?). So, most of our concentration (Dave's) will be on that from tonight forward. So dutifully, I am taking my kids for one last looooong dip today, heck, it is going to be near 90. I know I make a lot of sacrafices for them but it is my job as their mother. And really, it is not all fun b/c when Dave is at work, I have to do all the tedious things, like remove the soloar cover, fight with the automatic pool cleaner, skim the bugs off the top....
But in exciting news, Miss Olivia's face can be found in the pages (page 112 to be exact) of the July/August issue of Simple Scrapbooks. This can be found NOW in bookstores and craft stores. I do not expect you to buy it if you are not a scrapbooker, but for gosh sakes, go open one up and look at her, please :) And you can read the kitschy little bio they wrote about me.

The cover looks like this:
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Friday, June 8, 2007

look what I did today...

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This is just for starters. I took more pics than I will EVER admit but at this age, these kids are fast movers. I was so pleasantly surprised by the number of what I think are good ones. I sure hope their mom thinks so too! Only, I am spending my whole day taking them, then uploading, then tweaking, then putting hers on a disk. Criminal really but I just like it :) I took a few of my own kiddos today too but here more of the "L" and "B".

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Wednesday, June 6, 2007

see this beautiful girl?

Well, her face is about to be published in Layout Blueprints 2, a scrapbooking publication based on sketches. I was actually in the first one a few years ago, well, my kids were. Heck, maybe it was just Olivia, I better go back and look! Anyway, the thrill of having a layout requested just NEVER gets old. I love to scrapbook to tell my story, the story of our family, but it is so rewarding when someone else recognizes my stuff. And it keeps me motivated to always do better, and definitely has spurred me on to become a better photographer. Ok, YEA me. YEA world of scrapbooking. Thanks for letting me be an eeensy weensy part of your world.
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Tuesday, June 5, 2007

a first grader

I am the mom of one! Today was her Kindergarten picnic, she did not receive a diploma, although there were darling certificates, works of art, and pictures in this envelope. Treasures. True treasures. Two very cute things: one was her writing her name each month and you can see how it progresses. The final few months are the first and last name. Second, and best, was a self portrait from the start and finish of the year. Wow, that difference was HUGE! The funniest, how much better she got at drawing her plaid school uniform! Look for those on a scrapbook page soon, I just adore them. She had a great year and I am so proud.

This guy is our neighbors' grandson. They are buddies. This year were they not in the same class but they may be next year!!

And on a totally different note, I made the banana bread again yesterday b/c I had so many overripe bananas. It is so easy and so delicious. Make it.

Recipe from Everyday Food Magazine
Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
Serves 12; Prep time: 15 minutes; Total time: 1 hour 20 minutes
This classic quick bread, from reader Raymond Forker in Savannah, Georgia. is a great way to use bananas that are just past their prime. There is no need to cut out the brown spots—just mash them in with the rest.
cup vegetable oil, plus more for pan
1 1/2
cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan
cup sugar
teaspoon baking soda
teaspoon grated orange zest
teaspoon salt
large eggs, lightly beaten
cup mashed bananas (about 3 medium)
cup semisweet chocolate chips
cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour an 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch (6-cup) loaf pan. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, zest, and salt. Mix in oil, eggs, and bananas. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Pour into pan.
2. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 70 to 80 minutes (tent loosely with foil if loaf browns too quickly). Cool loaf 10 minutes in pan; then turn out of pan and cool completely, right side up, on a rack.

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Monday, June 4, 2007

a day at Kings Island

Living in Cincinnati, has at least one advantage...being near a great Amusement Park: Kings Island. There are other perks too, but let's focus on that for today. We went yesterday, the 4 of us, plus some extended family. Big win for my kids to go with their grandparents b/c they spring for things like elaborate face painting, unlimited snacks, MORE stuffed animals. And then you have teenage cousins who can win you MORE stuffed animals by playing the games. It is also rare for Dad to come along, as he does not have a Season's Pass like the girls and I do. So most of the day was spent saying: I want to ride xxx with DADDY. And you know what, as mad as I was Friday about his late return from the Memorial golf tourney in Columbus, this cute little picture of the 3 of them on the blue ride (they are seated on 4-5-6) and holding Shelby's hand, well it makes me all of full of forgiveness. Darn it, I might even be misty over it. Nah!
And funny, years ago King's Island had all kinds of live shows with singers and dancers doing top 40 medleys, Barry Manilow medleys, Summertime medleys... and then, those disappeared. This year they are returning. I guess with the popularity of American Idol and the like, this is back in vogue. So yesterday, we caught one in front of the Eiffel Tower and afterward, Olivia got her photo with singers/dancers. Shelby chickened out. They had given them both leis during the performance which was super special to Olivia. And handy too, b/c today was Hawaii day at school!
That is Olivia with her hands up in the front car of the yellow coaster. And words are not enough for the sweetness factor of the photo of Shelby, Olivia and PaPa. Olivia's hand on his shoulder is too much! And if you know her, public displays of affection are often in short supply so this is a BIG deal. Note to self, pay lots of $$ for face painting...receive one handed hug.

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