Thursday, November 30, 2006

good memories

Thanksgiving was monumental this year. For the first time in a long time Dave's family gathered around the table with all the siblings complete. We were only missing one grandchild due to military service -- and we missed him so -- but to have that many people in one place was a milestone for us. We had a nephew from Arizona come to visit with his family (Since when did my nephews get old enough to have kids? I'm getting old!). Dave's sister came home from Kansas for the first time in four years. The last time she was here it was for the sad occassion of her mother's funeral. Another nephew came home from grad school in Wisconsin. Needless to say, last week was busy, but happy. We had kids everywhere, food galore, and a few moments to sit and enjoy each other. Dave even found the opportunity to take a crew golfing.

Thanksgiving night the women finally had time to linger around the dining room table telling funny stories:

Here are my kids with Simon's (my nephew) kids at the park together:

We had a night to eat BBQ and then we on a little tour of Marietta, which included a funny stop at this tavern. Simon is actually a Border Patrol officer so this sign was a lot of fun for us to share. Simon went inside and found out that he was the first Border Patrol officer to stop and say hello to the owner. The kitchen was closed and we were stuffed with BBQ or we would have taken advantage of the freebies involved. No comment on the Walmart greeter portion of the sign. ;-)

Monday, November 13, 2006

it was a beginning

Well, Friday was the big day for the vendor sale. A neighbor of mine held it in her home. (Brave!?!) There were around 20 vendors who sold everything from jewelry to pampered chef and tupperware. Interspersed were people like me who sold custom artwork or stationary, monograming. Apparently the traffic was much slower than last year due to conflicting events at the school. The other vendors who made a killing last year were sitting around bored this year. Maybe that was better for me though...I stayed up all night on Thursday night to finish getting ready for the sale and might not have been able to speak coherantly to more than one person at a time. We did have lots of people in the afternoon. Now the good news -- while I did not sell astronomical amounts I did make a few sales. Those will help cover my cost and I actually think the word got out that I did special things for baby gifts and bedrooms. I've gotten lots of comments since the sale indicating that I may have future business. I have no illusions about making a fortune off of my doodles, but I do know that not everyone is creative. Sometimes creativity sells.

Here is what the booth looked like. Dave helped me cut a half sheet of plywood and then cover it with a remnant that I bought. I nailed the picture hangers into the board and then hung the samples up on those. I also had some of Dave's hand turned "Southern Baby Rattles" and snowman ornaments on the table. I would have loved to have more items for people to pay for and carry home, but the sales I did make all wanted customization. You have to take orders on things like that.

This was the biggest seller of the day. I tried a very loose and happy style and most people seemed attracted to it.

Here is the mermaid painting. All the little girls commented on it. The final size of these pieces once matted was 16 " X 20 ".

On Friday night I was beat, but we managed to take advantage of free babysitting by the church teenagers. We went to dinner at a favorite cajun place with some of our best friends. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. Maybe I was just delirious from the loss of sleep, but I laughed so hard that it hurt. It was great fun. I hope to be better rested next time. It was a rare weekend because we had another social engagement on Saturday night. Our neighbors hosted a "Totally 80's" night and we had a blast. Everyone dressed the part so it was that much more fun. It was a potluck so there was lots of good food. I'll have to post more about it tomorrow (photos, too) because there were some great neighborhood moments. Everyone submitted 80's photos to the hosts and they created a big collage for everyone to look over. Honestly the 80's don't seem that long ago, but that was high school and college years for me. Our babysitter was rolling in the floor laughing when we left so I guess we did look ridiculous in the 80's after all.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

call me crazy

Well, I've committed the ultimate overcommittment sin in the mothering handbook. I'm not sorry I did it. I am enjoying the moments required for this special project, but I really wish I had a few more weeks to complete everything. On Friday I will be selling some artwork -- mostly watercolors of children's art for their bedrooms and playrooms -- at a school fundraiser. I've already paid for the booth and now I am at the crisis point of completing the work in my distracted life. You'd think this would be easy considering I am stay at home right now...ah, that would be the assumption an outsider would make. But if you are a Mom you know that little ones fill up every nook and cranny of your life leaving you with few quiet moments which equate a nap or bedtime.

Grace is really at the stage where she cannot be trusted for an extended period of time. Case in point occurred yesterday. She went upstairs to fetch her big doll for play. She goes into the bedroom she shares with Jordan. I hear basically normal sounds...and then little footsteps in the adjoining bathroom. And then nothing. More nothing. I go upstairs and find her sitting fully clothed in the bathtub with the bath toys all around her, quietly pouring a strawberry smelling shampoo up and down her legs. And she looks so peaceful doing it that I mute my scream and simply utter an, "Oh no." It could have been worse, right?

So back to this project. I'm loving every precious minute I can spare on it. Watercolor is my first love. We were taught to use it excessively in architectural school on our projects. There is nothing more calming than humming along on a project. I dare to say my work is art...more like doodles. Still I think I'll sell enough to cover my expenses. I should give a big THANK YOU to my husband who bravely offered to take all three children to Chuck E Cheese for an extended amount of time last night during a school fundraiser. On a night when the whole elementary school descended on that zoo he managed to have a little fun and provide them dinner. A brave and wonderful gesture indeed.

Dave is also in the midst of reworking our island base with beadboard and trim. He's worked wonders already in just a few days and I'm excited. It looks much more like a piece of furniture instead of a rough box. One day I'll rant about the people who left this house to us. For now, I'll just tell you that I wish my poor husband had more down time to do projects like this because he is really a great craftsman. I think we both fear that retirement will be our only hope to be creative. I guess my little project is an attempt to force creativity back into my life...and an island handyman project will have to be his.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

i holdin' on tight mamma!

This is what big brothers are good for:

Thursday, November 02, 2006

halloween 2006

Halloween is big fun in our neighborhood. The events start at 5 pm and keep going until 9 pm. A lot of the cul-de-sacs plan block parties where the adults hang out and take turns shuttling the kids around from street to street. There is always plenty to eat and enjoy. It's a great time to reconnect with everyone. This year our neighborhood association had a policeman hired for the front of the neighborhood to encourage outsiders to park their cars in one place and walk. In the past people would follow their kids from house to house in the cars and it would be so difficult to walk around with little ones. Our neighborhood is full of kids and so the streets were just filled with people. It was nice to have the outsider cars limited so the kids could play.

My pictures are not award winning this year. All the kids wanted to do was get candy and TOT around the neighborhood. Grace was Snow White, Jordan was Hannah Montana (thanks Alia!), and William was a Pirate. William looks like he lost his best friend in this photo. In actuality he was just tolerating me so he could go to the party.

We didn't quite get to the pumpkin carving, but our porch looked seasonal with the pumpkins the kids selected.

Here is Hannah Montana hanging out with her girlfriends. I think we are past the point of cute (aka Mom influenced) outfits for Halloween.

After returning home we got the kids headed toward a decent bedtime after sorting the candy into seperate ziploc bags. Needless to say, our pantry is stocked with candy. Things were going well until Grace fell off of William's bed and nearly bit her tongue through from the fall. I was reading them a Dr. Suess story when Grace decided that she wanted to turn around to see my face. She was sitting upright on William's bed when she suddenly just got sleepy and fell backwards. The bed is only a foot off the floor, but I could tell from her cry that she was hurt. I kept looking at all the obvious spots and could not tell what was wrong. I picked her up and then she opened her mouth and blood began pouring out of it. It was horrible. I searched for the wound initially thinking a tooth had come loose, but then saw the mini-grand canyon created by her sharp little teeth on the right side of her tongue. The cut was about 3/4ths of an inch and deep enough that I thought it had completely punctured the tongue. Fortunately it didn't. Poor little girl. It took us a while to stop the wound from bleeding and then it still hurt horribly. We ended up letting her sleep in the crib for the night so that we could hear her if anything happened. I took her to the doctor on Wednesday and after a peroxide wash of the tongue (yech) she declared the tongue to be healing beautifully. The canyon had already sealed and we are only looking for signs of infection and eating a lot of applesauce. I tell her that candy will hurt her wound. Is that lying???

In other news, my Father-in law got a good report from the doctor yesterday and went back to his home after dinner last night. The kids missed him horribly this morning. Grace kept looking for him. Don is still in recovery mode, but after having the staples removed he in on to stage 2 of the recovery. He cannot drive for several more weeks and also has to be very careful. His therapist will visit him there in the home.

Tell me how everyone else's Halloween went? Even though the holiday is a lot of work, it's loads of fun to be a parent that night. Definately a top three holiday in my book.