Monday, December 29, 2008

Wheeee, Wii!!!

What makes this child shout so enthusiastically?

What makes this one spin with joy?

And what put the giggling grin on the face of this child?

Why, the Wii of course! It's the first "plugged in" toy I've ever purchased my kids, they were beyond thrilled to have received it for Christmas. This weekend was spent bowling, ninja-fighting and battling Lego-to-Lego with Darth Vader, all via the Wii. I actually had to set the timer to remind them to get up and stretch, go the bathroom, and eat!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Sending my holiday blessings to all! Merry Christmas everyone!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Hot Toy

I've never been the Mom who buys the HOT TOYS for Christmas. Fortunately my boys are always pleased with what they do receive, which is usually plenty of board games, crafts and art supplies, books, and yes, even the new toothbrushes in the stocking! I rarely buy them anything that requires a battery or needs to be plugged in. I've never recieved a request for any terribly expensive electrical things...yet. Of course, they are only 5 and 10 and there is still plenty of time for that, right?

This year I bought them their first video game player. Other family members pitched in and have bought some of the accessories and some games. I think that the boys are going to flip out! They would never suspect that I would buy them such a thing. I'm dreaming of all the fun times they will have playing together (ha! I'm just hoping that they won't argue about what games to play and this will actually be something that they will do together!)

Doing the YMCA with Elmo (who I did NOT buy!)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Timing Christmas

For the past three weeks anytime anyone mentions the phrase "Christmas-time", my son goes through the same line of questioning.

"Is it Christmas-time?"


"Tonight? It's Christmas tonight?"

And then I launch into the same explanation, how Christmas-time is the "season" and the days and weeks leading up to and following the actual Christmas DAY are "Christmas-time". I understand his confusion, he doesn't go to school so the day-to-day lapse of time and a calendar isn't conveyed to him. He clocks his Christmas-time by watching the lights appear on neighboring houses, by the number of seasonal shows on Nick Jr and by the sudden appearance of wrapping paper that has just been pulled out of the closet ("What's that for Mom? Whatcha wrapping Mom? Can I just take one teensy little peek Mom?"). He doesn't yet understand that all the festivities account for the time, culminating in one beautiful day. But that it's not just the singular day that creates the Christmas feeling. He is slowly starting to appreciate the joy and warmth of the season, of the "Christmas-time", and not just the build up to that one singular day of gift giving and receiving. I try to keep things low-key and focused on the whole enjoyment of the season and all of the treats that come along with that, including the lights on houses, Rudolph on TV, making cookies and ornaments and of course, all that wrapping paper!

Here he is last year, anticipating the holidays in his darling reindeer jammies!

Monday, December 15, 2008

My Snowflake

Well, no dance recital for my boy, he came down with a cold that flattened him for the night. I'd gotten off work early so that I could get home in time to change and get him there before the doors opened. But when I got home he was snuggled up on my mom's lap, his face pale and forehead hot and he announced, "I don't want to go anywhere!" Poor guy. He fell asleep early and slept heavily all night. He was better the next day, of course, and crabby that I wouldn't let him play outside in the cold air. At least he wasn't sick on his birthday!

Here's my little snowflake a few years ago (oh my goodness those round cheeks!!)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Laugh Track

My son and I were watching one of those silly kid shows on TV the other night. You know the ones, lots of slapstick and corny jokes that kids love. There was some goofy plot that caused the audience to erupt with crazy laughter and my son looks up at me and says, "How come nobody laughs like that when I tell a joke?"

Here he is cracking himself up. He has his first dance recital tonight and I'm not sure how it will go. I know it will be crowded and loud and I'm crossing my fingers that he'll actually get up there. He's not particularly shy or anything but you never know, having not been in that situation before. We'll see! I'll update Monday.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Countdown -364 days

Okay, so he's five now...sigh! It's been a whirlwind 5 years, I can't believe it's gone by so quickly. We went to Disneyland yesterday to celebrate the day. I think he enjoying not having to share me or my mom with anyone and he was a bit opinionated about what rides and events he wanted to do and what he didn't want to do. So I'd expected him to do the Jedi Training show and he said "I'm not in the mood" and then he didn't want to stick around for the parade either so we ended up in California Adventure, riding everything in Bug's Land. He didn't even want a picture with Pluto dressed up like a reindeer! Oh well, he did love It's a Small World Holiday and driving the Autopia cars and he even wanted to go on the Matterhorn (without tears!). Though he did cry after the drop on Pirates of the Caribbean he didn't hold it against us for making him go on it. By the end of the day he was tired and a tad crabby (and so were we, having to wait forever for the tram and then having him announce that he had to pee RIGHT NOW!) In any case, it was still a fun day :)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Countdown - 1 day!

We had a small get-together at home for my son's 5th birthday. There were a few balloons and streamers and the infamous cake that has been much discussed in our house for weeks.

Here he is in a shirt I appliqued:

Opening a gift, so exciting!

With the cake:

The cake itself! I made chocolate, smeared it in cream cheese frosted and coated the outside with coconut. I used a green spray to make it look like grass. Lego Indiana Jones is playing soccer with Darth Vadar and a Stormtrooper is goalkeeper. It's exactly what my son wanted and he was over-the-moon excited about it, I was so glad it turned out well.

Only one more day until the actual birthday. He doesn't know it yet but my mom and I are taking him to Disneyland. He'll be so surprised!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Countdown - 4 days

Went to the grocery yesterday to pick up my birthday boy's favorite foods for his lunch party on Sunday. My brother, sil, nephew, my parents and the neighbor and his little girl are coming over. The plan was to make broccoli cheese soup but my friend convinced me that time is money and to just buy it instead of preparing it myself. I bought tubs of premade soup at the Vons, which will be just fine because it's delicious! I bought cheddar cheese and just need the sourdough bread to make grilled cheese sandwiches. I have chips and soda and there's also a big jar of pickles but frankly, the boy eats so many pickles he's starting to smell like one! Blow up a few balloons, lay out the table decorations he chose, and put out the soon-to-be-created-specially-designed birthday cake and we'll be set to rock! Wonder if I should plan any birthday games for the 3 kids that will be there? They'll probably just run around like nuts anyway.

Here he was on his 3rd birthday, reveling in the joy of a cupcake!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Countdown -6 days

Yesterday I used Priceline for the first time. I was able to get my son's birthday off work (a small miracle during our busiest time of year) and the plan is an overnight stay in Anaheim and a day at Disneyland with my mom. I was able to pick up a room at the newly renovated Anaheim Hilton for $59! The list price on these rooms is $189 (hope we aren't put on a cot in the kitchen for such a bargain LOL).

Here we are on the last Disney trip, hamming it up during our Princess lunch (hey, if the tiara fits...)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Countdown- 7 days

Trip down memory lane this week...Here is my chubby little guy on his first birthday. Oh, how I miss that sweet chick-fuzz hair, so thin and wispy that we could see his scalp through it. He was walking by now, toddling around the house. He dug into the cake with his fingertips, thoroughly enjoying the frosting.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Birthday Countdown - 8 more days!

Boy, oh boy, only 8 more days until my baby boy turns 5! I not particularly sentimental about change but just the anticipation of this has been hard on me. I suppose because short of meeting Mr Right tomorrow, my son will be my one and only child. This will be his last year of being preschool-age and after 5, he'll be another "big boy", getting ready to start school next year (another whole can of worms!) 8 more days...sigh!

My guy at 3 months. You can already tell by that sly smile that he was going to be a stinker!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Italian Imposter

I have a Facebook page, though I don't really have the time to play the games or chat much. Mostly I'm in contact with my cousins, the mothers from my parenting group and a few people I went to high school with. However this morning I received a "friend request" from someone with my same last name. This is my married last name and though I will soon not be married anymore, I will be keeping this last name. It is a nice Italian last name and people joke that I am royalty, as it is the same last name as the Royalty in Monaco (and Grace Kelly!). My father-in-law Vito was from Bari, Italy and he married my mother-in-law, becoming my husband's stepfather and Vito gave my husband his last name.

In any case, the friend request on Facebook today is someone I've never met, not a relative on my (soon to be ex-) husband's side of the family, but just someone with the same last name who happens to be from ITALY. He wrote me a note and said that I had a nice looking family and that he has two children and lives in Napoli. I wrote back thank you, that I live in California and wished him a Happy Birthday (since I noticed it's on Friday). He immediately wrote back and asked if I've ever been to Italy. I said no, but that it's always been a dream of mine. He wrote back, "Sometimes dreams get true!"

How cute is that? I have a little Italian friend. And apparantly I have more than one because two more Italian men who are friends with my new friend added me to their list as well! I think it's funny that I am not one bit Italian, my sons are not one bit Italian, my ex is not one bit Italian, yet we all have this Italian last name. And now because of it, I have a small connection to Italy :)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Planning the big 0-5 birthday

So my son will be turning 5 two weeks from tomorrow. It's hard figuring out birthday stuff when he's right in betwen Thanksgiving and Christmas. I decided not to do a big party but I'll still make a cake and have balloons and a special lunch with the family. I'd like to serve his favorite food (soup!) so I'll make a pot of broccoli cheese and probably sandwiches. For the cake, he's already told me what he'd like to see. He's unsure about the flavor yet, but firm about the decorations on top. He has requested his two favorite things at the moment...Indiana Jones playing soccer. After brainstorming a bit, I've come up with a plan. I'll be sure to post a picture of the cake in a few weeks!

Here is my guy with his cake from last year's Finding Nemo themed party. His big brother drew a picture of Nemo for the top and we used spray coloring and sparkly edible glitter for an ocean look.

Friday, November 21, 2008

A Little White Tooth

A little white tooth had some dirt on her dress
And she cried, for 'twas ugly to see.
Along came a toothbrush with paste on his back
And he said "Do not cry, look at me"
And he brushed and he brushed with his bristles and paste
Until she was bright as could be!
And she said, "Oh, I thank you and please come again,
for I like to be pretty, you see!"

My little guy was headed to the bathroom last night for tooth brushing and my mom spontaneously sang this sweet little tooth brushing song. I'd not heard her sing it in a great many years so I made her sing it three times in a row, enjoying the memory. My mom would sing me that song to me as a child and her mother had sung it to her as a child. I'm sure my 100-year old grandmother would still remember it if I prompted her to sing it! It was so wonderful, how that little song brought back such a wave of happy thoughts and emotion. I was near tears hearing that song again, remembering sitting on my mom's lap as a child while she helped me brush my teeth.

I'm feeling nostalgic I suppose, my little guy will be turning 5 in a few weeks. We noticed that he has one slightly wiggly tooth right in the front so it won't be too long till the Tooth Fairy has her first visit to our house.

Here is a picture of him way-back-when, with his set of brand new pearly whites.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A beautiful thing

I saw it yesterday. I'd heard about it, but hadn't seen it yet. I actually wasn't sure it still existed, but there it was, in my own little city! The sign said $1.99, I can't even remember the last time the price was so low. Gas for under $2 a gallon, it's a beautiful thing!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My first job of the day

Before I go home to my job as a mommy and then to my boutique painting & sewing job, I start my day at Chinaberry, where I've worked full-time for over 11 years.

We have our first blog up and running today, check it out, the link is on the left.

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Walk in the Woods

Saturday, my parents, my brother & his son and my two boys went for a hike in our Cuyamaca mountains. It was a breezy warm day and the sky was clear, a beautiful day to be outside. We drove to our favorite state park, a place my dad camped as a boy and knows like the back of his hand. The last time I'd been there it had been a shady forest, with trees that arched over the paths, fern groves and little bubbling brooks. But 5 years ago a fire ripped through this area and completely destroyed the beautiful green forest. This was the same fire that burnt down the house of my stepson and he lost everything he had.
Even after 5 years the forest is dry and full of burnt out, leafless trees, though the manzanita and some of the brush is beginning to fill in again. It was very sad to see such a well-loved area so completely different than we remembered, eerie to see the bare branched trees stark white and black like skeletons. It would be interesting to see it 100 years from now, to see how the forest will rejuvenate.
Here are a few pictures of the area and of my boys, who thoroughly enjoyed the day.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Happy Hearts

Can't believe it, my first Valentine's listing! This is a three-piece set, so you will get the appliqued jumper dress, appliqued tee and knit leggings. See my Ebay link on the left.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Emptying my thoughts

I can't decide what to write about today. Should I mention to vote, today being the culmination of 18 months of political pummeling? Should I write about how instead of watching the polical race on television tonight we are going to the casino for dinner? (bring on the buffet!) Should I mention that my Gymboree online shopping cart won't let me remove anything? I have to completely log out and start over and can't remove anything once I put it there or have to start all over again, anyone else having this problem? Maybe I should talk about how I'm wearing a sweater for the second day in a row, that it poured rain this morning and how we finally are down in the 70s after having months of 90 degree weather? I'd love to talk about how I want to buy my boys a Wii for Christmas (I mean, Santa wants to bring the boys one...ahem!) but unless I get a bonus or sell like crazy on Ebay, I don't see how I'll be able to swing it, so that's just frustrating. And talk about frustrating, don't get me started about how my divorce paperwork is going!

Well, I guess I didn't have any problem writing once I got started, did I? :)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Friendship warms the heart

Search BOUTIQUE ANGELS CHARITY on Ebay this week to find lots of fantastic listings benefitting the Children of Fallen Soldiers Relief Fund.

I was honored to pair up with the fine designers of this Park Slope collaboration.
I painted the wooden tote to match, see my Ebay link on the left.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Oooh spooky!!!

The tombstones have been pulled from storage, the fog machine is out of its box, the pumpkins are lined up in the living room, everything is awaiting their placement in the front yard tonight...sounds like Halloween! My family has always done it up fun on Halloween from costumes to yard decorations, we have a great time with it. I bought over 300 pieces of candy yesterday in anticipation of the kids. My dad is going to start the yard decorating this afternoon. My mom is putting the pork roast in the crock pot so we can have pulled pork sandwiches and coleslaw for dinner. Can't wait!!

Here is a pic of my boys at Legoland's Brick-or-Treat a few weeks ago.

Monday, October 27, 2008


I've had so many requests for just one more custom tote that I had to do an auction. See the Ebay link on the left!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Christmas Village is back!

This will likely be the one and only time that I will be listing this dress. The main print has been discontinued, so bid while it's still available!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Mommy Guilt

I'm going to the movies with friends after work today. The last movie I saw in the theatre was WALL*E with my 4yo. Today we are seeing The Secret Life of Bees. Though I do leave the house for 9 hours a day to go to work, other than a quick stop at the fabric store or a run to Target on the drive home, for the most part I am in the company of my son. Granted, a portion of that time consists of me behind the sewing machine and him playing in the same room because, well I need to pay the bills! Weekends are commited to him and his brother (my stepson who stays with us on Sat/Sun). Evenings out with friends are few and far between, maybe once every few months. My parents take care of my son while I'm working and when I do make "grown-up plans", they watch him then too. I have no other options for childcare. My husband & I have been separated for over 3 years and he lives out of state, so having my son stay with him is not in the picture. And since I live with my parents, hiring a babysitter would be silly and awkward. My parents have never said anything about my going out. I give them advance notice, call when I'm out, make sure things are taken care of, etc. So why do I feel so guilty going out once in a while? I don't go on dates, I go to work and I go home and I take my son with me most everywhere else. Is this just a single mom thing or do happily married moms who leave the kids home with their husbands get this guilty feeling too?

Monday, October 20, 2008

The proper way to enjoy chocolate

Sitting here, sucking the last of my little Ghiradelli's dark chocolate square off my fingers. I'm not a huge fan of dark chocolate but well, chocolate is chocolate and beggers can't be choosers when they crave something sort-of sweet! My friend offered my one from her stash and since I'm trying to be a good eater, I went for it. Dark chocolate is good for the heart, right? :)

I was reminded of a conversation we had with a coworker a few weeks ago. My officemate friend had received a lovely gift box from a vendor full of wonderful Swiss chocolate he'd brought back from his vacation. We spent the afternoon slowly tasting each different piece, from the hazelnut cream-filled milk chocolate to the flakey little chocolate cookies. One of the men from our warehouse came through our office and caught us savoring the yummy chocolate so my friend offered him one. That darned man, he took the whole piece, tossed it in his mouth, and CHEWED it! I'm sorry, but you do not chew delectible Swiss chocolate. Swiss chocolate must melt at your own body temperature. Swiss chocolate must be slowly sucked on and licked from the fingers. Teeth do not touch Swiss chocolate. Believe me, we let him hear about exactly how Swiss chocolate should be eaten after that! Of course, now he thinks we are a pair of crazies.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Fat vs Sugar vs Taste

In an effort to try and be "good", I decided to try the low-fat version of my breakfast staple, the Cinnamon-Brown Sugar Pop-Tart (yeah, I know... I should be eating egg whites and fruit instead!). The original version is so yummy, rich and flaky but the low-fat version, not so much. It doesn't have the same flavor as the original, it's actually sweeter tasting, blech. And it wasn't just my taste-buds that were detecting an extra sweetness, the low-fat version actually has more sugar. The original Pop-Tart has 7 grams of fat and 16 grams of sugar. The low-fat version has 3 grams of fat and 18 grams of sugar. Now, that's for ONE pastry but who eats just one? They are packaged as a pair and that's how they're goin' down! So double those numbers and that's breakfast...yikes, I think I need to develop a taste for egg whites instead!

Monday, October 13, 2008


My home computer crashed about 2 weeks ago and my brother is fixing it at his work. Unfortunately it's become more of a "back burner" sort-of thing and not a high-priority. But I WANT my computer back!! I have photos sitting in my camera that I've not been able to upload to the computer, I have launches to list but can't because I don't have the pictures uploaded, and I have launch templates to work on but can't because I can't get into Photoshop (are you sensing the trend here?)
Truly, I know that I'm getting more painting and sewing done at night because I don't have the interruption of checking emails 20 times or mindlessly surfing the Web. However, when I need to color match a fabric online to something I'm painting or trying to remember if I used red or white thread to topstitch on a sample, having a computer at hand would be nice!

UPDATE! We ordered a new computer last night, should be here next week, hurray!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Every morning at 6am, my alarm goes off to the twang of the local country music station. Now, I don't listen to country music, particularly what they play on this station but it's the only station that comes in clear!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Sweet & Simple for Fall

Just listed this 3-piece set, see my Ebay link on the left

Monday, October 6, 2008

A puzzle box puzzle

My son got a new puzzle this weekend. In order to open a puzzle box, you have to score along the edge of the underside of the box. Sometimes I run the open scissor's pointed edge right along the ridge and in a cinch, the box opens wonderfully. Not this time...I had a terrible time finding the ridge that separates the top of the box from the bottom and ended up scoring right into the bottom of the box and had to tape the entire mess back together! It was so frustrating. Why do they make puzzle boxes like that? They don't make board games like that! Can you imagine having to slice into a box of Candyland or Chute and Ladders like you do with a puzzle? Or what if your box of rice or cereal came like that, what a mess!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Waiting & refreshing

I emailed someone last Friday and have been waiting on pins and needles for the response. 20 times a day (ha! What am I kidding, more like 50), I refresh my email, hoping and praying for their response. Zip, zilch, nada, nothing, no response at all yet. It was very hard for me to take the leap and even send this email and to not even receive a teensy response, well...that's made me really disappointed. I just wanted some kind of response, a yes, no, maybe, just something to let me know that my email was even received. Instead I sit wondering if my email even went out or perhaps it's lost in space somewhere or it's really been receiving and now I'm driving myself crazy that now I've possibly made myself look like a fool by sending that email in the first place. And so I try to erase it from my mind, pretend that I didn't even send it, all the while checking, refreshing, praying...

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Anniversary Blessings

Today is my parent's 36th wedding anniversary. A few weeks ago I went over to the Hallmark to grab a few birthday cards and decided to pick up an anniversary card too. There I stood in the back of the store, tearing up as I picked up and read each beautiful card. They were all the same, "Congratulations on your's to many more happy years together...may this year together be
the best, etc". Ugh, this was hard. I couldn't buy them a card about wishing them many more happy years together, when that might not be. About 5 cards in, I found the one and that was it...the tears came swiftly now and I got a choke in my throat. I bought the card and high-tailed it, sniffing out the door.
I could have been crying at the thought of my own anniversary, which in two weeks would have been the 8th. But my own marriage is slowly crawling towards the end as we have finished filing all papers to divorce and now just play the waiting game. I certainly could have been crying about all that and the loss of my dream to stay married, though in all honesty I've not cried one tear in all these years about it.
No, I stood there fighting back the sobs in the Hallmark at the thought of what might be my parent's final anniversary. My dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer in May and given a year to live. Every day is like pins and needles, watching and waiting to see how he feels, how he's reacting to the medication that day, looking for any signs of irreversible deterioration. It's been a difficult summer, anticipating the unknown is painful for us all.
Mostly that day, I cried for my mom and the thought of her losing the man she's shared over 36 years with, her best friend, the person she does everything with. I cried for my mom and what might (or might not!) be her last year with Dad. I left the card on the counter for them this morning, wishing them all the happiness on their anniversary but no mentions of the years ahead, keeping those prayers in my heart but not able to talk out loud about what might (or might not!) be.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sharing a very special special-order

I recently listed an auction for the winner to choose a custom design for a handpainted wooden tote. My customer requested a Scotty dog. She sent pics of her family's pet, told me her daughter liked the color pink and then set me on my way to create. I love that so many of my buyers trust my art enough to allow me to just CREATE and see what develops.

In any case, here is what developed:

And this is the lovely (paraphrased) email that I received from my customer:
I have needed to personally THANK YOU for the WONDERFUL
tote you made my DD!!!! She could not have been more thrilled
to see (her dog's) likeness be put on a cute tote! All the beautiful
and intricate little details... I am so impressed with your talent
and customer service! THANK YOU!!! The cute Hello Kitty Pencil,
trinkets, and bracelets were much appreciated by my girl, and I
am much impressed with your kind feedback that you left me
first, which just shows you have the highest of integrity and
servce! I am sorry I forgot to mention how quick your turn-
around was too. I plan to buy from you again, and THANK YOU
ever so much.

I put this back to all of my customers who have allowed me to CREATE special things for your family, whether it be a beautiful dress for Christmas Eve, a set for Western Wear week, outfits for your daughter's first Disney vacation or even a painting of your precious puppy. I thank all of my customers who freely trust in me to create these special moments!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


When I picked up my lunch today I saw a sign advertising "new" homes. Now, this has always been a pet-peeve of mine, using "this" when there is usually a perfectly good word to describe "this" without having to us "these". The sign didn't say why these homes were "new" and not new, but there had to be a better word to describe them, don't you think? Like perhaps, refurbished, renovated or remodeled, rather than "new", which is so vague.

When I got back to work, my office mate was looking through a dictionary, trying to find the meaning of a word I'd used in an email to the entire company. I'd apparantly mistyped the word additionally and when the spell check popped up, I just said OK and it changed the word to spartanly! So I've fielded a handful of goofy emails from my coworkers teasing me about my word "choice".

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Bedtime Prayers

Bedtime prayers overheard by my 4-year old:

"to make me a good listener, to put in my eye drops, for my Angel to talk to Grandma's Angel and tell her to calm down when she's angry, for the sun to shine bright and for the worms don't cry"

Monday, September 22, 2008


I have two auctions up right now that got a lot of bids this weekend. I can't remember the last time I got even one bid on a Saturday, let alone 5! I'm official obsessed, I check my listings every few minutes, refreshing the screen, getting a drink, refreshing the screen, sewing for a few minutes, refreshing the screen... you get the idea! I'm so excited, I hope there is some last minute excitement, I can hardly stand it!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Taking care of Doughnut-Boy

My stepson stays with me on the weekends, it's been that way since he was very small. My boys' dad and I are in the middle of a divorce and now he lives in a different state, so it's important to me that the brothers see each other regularly.
This past weekend, we went to a party and afterwards, I took J back to his mom's house, forgetting that he'd brought over his hampster Doughnut-Boy. When I got home, J called with instructions on feeding and care.
The first night Doughnut-Boy was in J's room, however he pulled a Houdini and my dad discovered him in the bathroom at midnight. Since then I've kept him in his cage inside my bathtub to prevent anymore late-night jaunts. The door has to be kept closed too because the constant whirring of this running wheel would wake the dead.
It's been fun having him greet me in the morning when I'm getting ready for work. He stands and sniffs the air until I give him breakfast, usually an almond, half of a cracker, a grape cut in two and a piece of celery. I love to watch him grab the cracker with his tiny paws and to hear the itty-bitty crunch. He usually stuffs the whole almond in his mouth to save for later and then he gives him a bath.
Not sure why J has named him Doughnut-Boy though, I'll have to ask him. I'm not sure if it's because the hamster likes to eat doughnuts or because he's the caramel color of a maple bar?
Here is J with another one of his hampster, a dwarf named SuperSon (offspring of SuperMan and SuperWoman, of course!)

Updated with cutest picture of Doughnut-Boy, isn't he a sweetie?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I losed!

I went home after work yesterday and the boys were in the front yard again, this time fully dressed (thank goodness!) We went in together and played "Don't Spill the Beans". My nephew is 3 1/2 and like most kids, doesn't like to lose. During most games, he'll melt out of his chair onto the floor and cry, "I losed!" My son, who is 4 1/2 is generally okay if an adult beats him playing a game, but mad and pouty if his younger cousin wins. So it's always a challenge playing with the two of them together, they are very competative with each other. We had fun though and there weren't any tears during the game, though when it was time to clean up the beans off the floor and put everything back into the box, my son made it into a race and we picked them up in record time. When there weren't any more beans to pick up, my nephew did his melting act and cried "I losed!" So apparantly he won the game and lost at clean-up?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I only left them alone for a few minutes!

We have a lovely front yard now. Easy Turf lawn, a huge tree that provides lots of shade, a pretty white fence all around. And my brother and sister-in-law just brought over a fantastic table and chairs set so we can enjoy the outdoors. The boys love running around in the yard so I wasn't surprised to see my son and nephew playing in the front when I drove up after work yesterday. What I was surprised to see was two naked booties! They were bare-butt naked, running on the grass and jumping on the mini-trampoline (for the love of Pete!) I got out of the car and my son, throws up his arms and states the obvious, yelling "We're naked!"
"Yeah, I noticed! Does Grandma know you're naked?" I scan the yard for the kiddie pool, thinking maybe she's just grabbing them a towel or something. Then I look down the street to see if anyone has walked past, but nope, no neighbors thank goodness.
"Let's go inside and see Grandma, okay" I'm trying not to make it a big deal, they are only 3 and 4 and nakedness is no biggie to them.
The boys run in the house ahead of me and I hear my mom squeal, "Where are your CLOTHES?!" The boys explain that they threw them behind a bush. My mom puts her head in her hands and laughs and says, "I just came inside after checking on them! I've only been in a few minutes!"
So we dress them up again in fresh clothing (their abandoned clothes behind the bush were covered in fuzzy things from the tree) and send them out to play again, with instructions not to strip in the yard anymore...Oh, boys! :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Seasonal Outfits

I do love this time of year, lots of activities, holidays and events...more reasons to dress up the kids in theme outfits! I've been a busy bee these past few months, working on holiday outfits like a crazy woman and here are a few that I've made and are on Ebay. Click the link on the left to track them down.

Monday, September 8, 2008

He shoots, he SCORES!

My little guy had his first soccer game on Saturday, which also happened to be my birthday. It was over 100 degrees of course, no shade and those poor kids had the reddest cheeks and sweatiest heads after just a few minutes in the sun. But they also had the times of their lives, at least my guy did, judging from the big smile on his face as he chased the ball around the field!
Here he is in practice:

I love how they look in their baggy uniforms, hardly any skin showing!

Could these uniforms BE any brighter? LOL

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The new bike

My son got his first "big kid" bike last week, given to him by my kindhearted Uncle Tom. I think Tom gets a kick out of my little guy because he's quite personable and a funny character, so Tom promised him a bike when we went to my cousin's wedding the week before. When we showed up at my grandma's house this past weekend for her 100th birthday party, there was Tom with the bike already assembled in his car. It's a cool bike with bright flames, something my son has deemed "sporty", the ultimate compliment in his book! (And I was so proud of my older guy, who showed no jealousy whatsoever at his brother getting a gift)

Here they are, smiling behind the sporty new bike

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Would you like SMORE?

Click the Ebay link on the left side to see these auctions, modeled by the darling Vera and Alanna (vera*lana). The sets feature the darling Moda Smores fabric and each piece mix and match with each other.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Closing Summer

Time to close up summer...
We had our last Disneyland vacation last week, the end of our Annual Passes. We had such a fun year going to Disney every few months, I'm sad to see it end. My oldest went back to school on Monday. The little one is still at home with grandma and grandpa. I'll be working on his alphabet writing and numbers in anticipation of kindergarten next year.
Of course it will still be hot here for another few months so "summer" hasn't really ended for us. Closing with a cool picture of my oldest dunking his head in our water play table.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Mailing List Promotion

There will be a random drawing for new and current mailing list members. Click on the EBAY link to the left and go to my ME page to sign up (or just post your email address in the comment section here and I'll add you!)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Vegas Vacation

It's been nearly a week since we came back from our Vegas went way too fast! Vacations always seem to take forever to arrive and then bam, they're gone :(

Since I like to prepare and plan, I had a daily list of activities to do on the vacation and surprisingly, we did them all!

Highlights from the trip:
Fremont Street Experience and trying to eat ice cream cones before they melted down our arms, while everyone in the street sang along to Don McLean's American Pie lightshow on the rooftop.
Driving down the Strip and getting to see the Bellagio water show while stopped in traffic, then having a giant billboard on the back of a truck with pictures of near-naked ladies and thonged booties right alongside us for half the ride. My mom finally shouted, "Enough booties!!" which sent the boys into a giggling tizzy, of course.
The really-cool water fountain in the Embassy Suites lobby and how cute my little one sounds when he says "let's go in the hot tub again!"
Going to the Ethel M Chocolate Factory and cactus gardens and remembering the last time I was there and the trees were just knee-high sticks in the ground.
Having the lions in the MGM Lion Habitat walk right over the clear tunnel and seeing the excitement on the faces of my boys at being so close to a wild animal.
The thrill of the boys winning their first stuffed animals on the CircusCircus Midway (even if the only person playing against them was me and maybe I just didn't try my hardest to win!).
Losing my oldest in the AdventureDome but keeping my cool because I know that he's really smart and that he's go up to a security guard for help.
The excitement of the Tournament of Kings at Excalibur, eating with our fingers and cheering for the bad guys because that was the section we were seated in. Didn't enjoy the giant explosion at the end of the show though as it resulted in a concussion and instant migrane headache and I forgot my sweater when I left, bummer!

In any case, it was action-packed! Enjoy the pics.
On Fremont Street, waiting for the show to start.

In the Ethel M chocolate lounge (isn't my bow so cute?!)

With the boys in the cactus garden

Monday, August 11, 2008

A WILD Halloween!

Just listed this wild and twirly Halloween dress, click the Ebay link on the left to go to the listing!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

A Sweet Solution

So after I left the resale shop yesterday (see below), I was in tears. I called my mom and told her what happened. Mostly I was upset because I was counting on having money from the sales to use for the weekend. We are going to Las Vegas on a mini-vacation and with making the last payment on my divorce and having my sewing machine repaired, I was out nearly $500 this month and have absolutely no spending money for the trip ("hey kids, you don't really want to EAT on our vacation, do you?")
My mom reasurred me that it would be okay, my dad had set money aside for the trip and they would fill in with whatever we needed for the weekend. So...big sigh, I was feeling wiped out but okay by the time I got home from work that evening.

My little guy saw me pull up and ran to the fence to say hi. "Did you get a ticket Mom?"
What? A ticket? "No, I didn't get a ticket", I tell him laughing.
"Grandma says that lady didn't give you a ticket. You don't have a ticket for Las Vegas?"
Oh, he must have overheard my mom's conversation with me this afternoon. "It's okay, sweetie, we have the tickets for Las Vegas. We're still going."
He smiled coyly and said, "I have a ticket for you Mom, stay right there!" and then ran in the house. He returned a minute later, holding a dollar bill.
"I have this ticket for you for Las Vegas. I took it from my Piggy".

Awww, what a little sweetie pie! My mom told me later that when he heard I was upset about not getting any money from the woman at the shop, he went in his room and took the dollar out and told my mom he was going to give me the "ticket".
"He couldn't wait until you got home Julie", my mom told me, "he was so excited to give you the money".
Well, just that nice little gesture from my son really made a crummy day so much sweeter, that's for sure!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I should have just sold it on Ebay!

If you were a business and had a new store policy, wouldn't you make sure everyone knew about it? Wouldn't you tell people when they called? Wouldn't you post a big sign about the change?
I went to a children's resale shop today on my lunch break to sell a bunch of Ian's Gymbo clothes and shoes he'd outgrown. Everything was in a great shape, I washed everything, scrubbed the shoes with a Magic Eraser, no spots, no stains, all wonderful condition. I called the shop yesterday to verify their store buying times and what they were accepted. No baby clothes under 12 months? No problem, I took those out of my stack. I checked their website this morning and read over the policies again. They take 50% cash, 60% store credit. Sounded good to me! I clocked out from work just after 11am and drove to the shop.
It was packed full of ladies with the same idea. I checked in with the gal behind the counter (the owner I later found out) and she handed me the clipboard with the top two pages folded back and had me sign in and told me it might be a while. I wandered around the store, read the store policies again which were posted on the desk and wandered around some more. I noticed that some people who had come in after me were being taken first so I asked if my name had been skipped and she said that those people were selling equipment which took less time to review than clothes. So...on I waited. Over an hour I stood in that store waiting to be called. Finally! They took my two baskets back and I waited for them to tell me the amount. The owner eventually came out and said they could give me $52 store credit. Credit, no I didn't need the credit, I would rather take the cash. Sorry, she tells me, they aren't buying for cash on clothing right now, only store credit. I said that I'd reviewed their policies posted on the desk and online and it didn't say anything about only accepting clothing for credit. She said that with the economy, blah blah blah they had changed the policy and it was written on the clipboard and she showed me on the first page where it was written at the bottom of the list of sign ups. I said, "You folded that page back when you had me sign in, I never saw the new policy". Of course, by this time, I was getting emotional. When I get angry, I start to cry, darn it, so I was going to lose it big time. I was so mad after waiting all this time and now I was only going to get store credit for a shop with baby clothes (and you can't even use the credit for outdoor toys, probably the only thing I would ever buy there!). I told her, badly holding back my tears, that if she'd told me the new policy upfront I never would have waited so long, nearly two hours by this point. She asked me if I'd called before coming in and I told her yes. She said, "oh, they are supposed to mention the new policy on the phone, sorry I wish there was something I could do". UGH, you can give me the cash, woman!! In any case, I was so disappointed and upset by this time that I just left, my measly $52 credit logged into her system. She said as I was leaving, "Maybe if someone is having a baby shower, you could come in and use your credit that way!" Yeah, just what I want to do lady, give used clothing at a baby shower, humph!!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Last Back to School custom this year!

I listed this whimsical Owls custom, ends this Friday. Set includes the appliqued blouse and double-layer skirt.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Sweet Little Bookworm

I listed this great 3-piece set last night. It's super-twirly, as the darling Emily is showing! My Ebay link is on the left handside of the page.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Kiss the...Bacon?

My little guy and I went to Denny's for dinner last night. He had a postcard for a free meal from the Birthday Club. Thank goodness the waitress didn't ask about his birthday, I've been holding onto that card since he turned 4 in December! LOL
Since Denny's doesn't have his favorite broccoli cheddar soup on the menu anymore he decided upon the French toast sticks with a sausage and bacon slice. I am so very lucky to have been blessed with a fantastic eater. I've never had to cajole or beg him to try anything, he'll eat whatever is put in front of him and has a wonderful appetite. Let's just say he didn't get it from me, the Queen of Picky. But I tried from the start to offer him a wide variety, without fuss or pressure, and he's always at least taken a taste of something. He doesn't care for either baked or mashed potatoes, but that's about the only thing I can think of that I put on his plate that he doesn't really eat. For the most part he enjoys eating and always thanks us for cooking meals and readily cleans his plate.
Back to the breakfast for dinner...he picks up the bacon and declares loudly, "I LOVE bacon!" and proceeds to kiss the crispy slice, so silly! Then onto the French toast, sighing over each syrupy bite. After he was done the waitress told us that with the free meal he could have a sundae. He chose strawberry and when it came, he took the cherry off the top and has a repeat performance the same as the bacon, kissing the cherry, eating the cherry and then kissing the stem! Such a goof-ball! After a few scoops of sundae, he looks across at me and says, "I wish you would share this with me". Sigh! So sweet, and of course I obliged :)
Here is my silly guy, posing at the Sea World tide pools this past weekend. He's wearing a darling outfit from Carol of tictactogs. And yes, he'll eat seafood too!