Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The holidays turned him into a wild thing!

My son is into his second week off from school and I'm realizing now what a benefit putting him on a schedule has been. Since he started school in September, his days have been fairly regulated, starting with rising at 6am, school till 2:30pm, home for a while with Grandma & Grandpa until I come home from work, dinner, school work, reading, brushing teeth and off to bed before 8pm. The schedule has been working, he seems to enjoy the routine actually.

With him off school for two weeks though, we've been a little lax on the routine. He's home with my parents while I go to work so he's not waking until around 8am which of course pushes back the bedtime. Last night he couldn't fall asleep until 9:45pm! He's been playing a lot of video games during the day while I'm at work, lounging a lot inside, watching TV, and as my nephew hasn't been coming over (since his mom is off work), my son hasn't even been going outside to play. I think that the excess energy isn't getting burned off during the day because he's been a bit of a WILD THING come bedtime. He's been back to his old habits, getting goofy, not wanting to brush his teeth, asking for another snack, anything to delay getting into bed really. I mean I'm all for relaxing a bit but when I can see that it's affecting the mood and behavior of a child who is so much better behaved with a little structure, I'm anxious to get him back onto his routine and see my sweet and cooperative kid again!

Here he is, celebrating the holidays (by jumping in front of the tree when I was taking pictures!)

Friday, December 11, 2009


It's been soooo long since I posted on my blog! And do you know WHY? It's not like I neglected to visit, in fact I check my blog every day so that I can go visit my favorite blog sites, so that's not it. And it's not like I haven't had anything to write about either...lots to discuss, including my son starting school, Halloween, his birthday, etc, so that's not it either.

It's a really silly reason....

I forgot my password!!

Seriously! I kept trying to log in and getting rejected. I tried so many different incarnations of my usual password, adding letters and numbers.

Finally today I tried something different...I signed in with my other email address...duh! LOL It worked, so here I am!

And because it's been so long, here I am catching up...

Monday, August 24, 2009

Soaking it all in

Sometimes life just hits you, a surprise slap in the face. Sort of like this waterplay area that my son wandered into completely unaware. It looked like a wide expanse of concrete but then suddenly the water fountain started to spurt and spray out of the ground and caught him by surprise.

And before you know it, you're soaking.

I would not have guessed 5 years ago when my son was born that I would be raising him without help from his father. And 4 years ago when his dad left, I would not have guessed that I would find love, a great love that I have found with the wonderful man that I have in my life now (especially since I found him right next door!). And last year, Kindergarten and that first day of school seemed so far away yet it's currently knocking on our door, a mere two weeks away now. And we are soaking in life, caught unaware but surprised & dripping with His love.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Swimming along

This picture was taken a few weeks ago, when my little guy still insisted that he needed floaties in the swimming pool.

My fiance suggested this weekend that we pick up some pool toys and the kids settled on some dive balls with long tails that stand up in the water. My oldest showed the little one how to dip below the surface of the water. Just a few weeks ago my little guy was very reluctant to even go under the water and get his head wet, but with goggles on tight, floaties off and dive balls to collect, he dipped under the water, kicking his feet to reach the bottom.

And then...suddenly...he was SWIMMING.

He kicked and paddled his way around the shallow end, braving to go across the sides of the pool, even swimming underwater. It was so fun to watch! A few weeks ago he'd been crying because my fiance had taken his floaties off and was attempting to teach him the back float and today here he was, jumping off the edge, swimming under the water and so proud of himself for the giant leap he'd taken with his courage!

In my excitement, I didn't take any pictures :( But I'll be sure to get some soon, probably this weekend. In the meantime, here is my oldest, the very patient teacher.

Taken the Fourth of July

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Feeling nostalgic

Last week my littlest hit the half-birthday mark. We didn't celebrate it or anything but it made me nostalgic for when he was a baby. I recalled him learning to walk at the tiny age of 10 months (too small!), his voracious appetite (he still has that!) and his first words.

Even though the pace has slowed, he still has so many new changes coming. He'll be starting school for the first time this fall after only spending his days with Grandma & Grandpa at home for the first five years. He'll be starting Karate classes, something he's been requesting for years! And of course, the change in his face with the anticipation of more lost teeth (see photo below for the first example!).

I'm nervous, worried and terribly excited for all these changes coming in his life. He's taking it all in stride!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

May, oh May! Where have you gone?

What have I been doing for the past month? Neglecting my blog, that's for sure!

Here is our month in pictures to catch you back up to speed.

We modeled for lovelandavenue. This amazing set made us jump for joy! (search Ebay soon to find it at auction)

We went fishing and caught a catfish (and threw him back).

We lost our first loose tooth while eating an apple! The Tooth Fairy delivered a dollar with a reminder note to keep brushing.

We went to Disneyland and California Adventure and rode a really fast zipline.

Listed this beautiful Elfi dress (find it on Ebay)

We also got registered for Kindergarten and bought uniforms, had a Dance/Gymnastics Recital, got 2 more "Game Balls" for being a good listener during T-ball games, and went camping but haven't uploaded the photos for that yet!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Splish Splash

What is it with kids and water? They want to be in it, they want to be near it, they want to throw things in it, they really just want to get WET!

We recently went to the science museum in Balboa Park and we could hear the fountain before we could see it. Once we rounded the corner and the kids got a glimpse of the fountain they were off like a shot! They ran up and started jumping around the edge, the mist spraying on them as they danced.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Dolly & Me

Just listed for Wisterialane's mini-launch, Dolly & Me! I have this fun little handmade Mermaid dolly and a coordinating sundress using the popular Aqua Divas fabric and bright sherbet-colored solids. See the EBAY link on the left to find the listings.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Gone fishin'

We took a day trip out to Lake Morena for the afternoon. It's only about 45 minutes away and in a beautiful area so it was a pretty drive. The guys staked out a lonely section of lake and spent the day baiting their hooks, casting out their lines and checking occasionally for a bite. They never did get one but they did catch a lot of fun memories!

Fairy Garden

Looking for a sweet and lightweight sundress for the summertime? This one is comfortable, with an elasticized back bodice and adjustable tie-straps and the fabric is darling. Click on the EBAY link on the left to see the auction.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Spring is busting out all over

A few weeks ago, we took the kids to the city's Easter Egg Hunt, or as we nicknamed it the "See and Grab". There was no hunt about it. The plastic eggs were thrown out on the dirt and at the airhorn blast, the kids just ran out and grabbed every egg they could!

It was a chilly day and just as we decided it was time to leave, the sprinkles started and we walked the looong hike back to the car in drizzle.

My oldest hung out on the playground and went on a few of the big-kid carnival rides.

We went back home and the kids colored eggs. My little guy is asking in this picture a very typical question for him, "Can I drink this?" ICK!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Take a hike

It was a beautiful bright day on Saturday, so we hit the trail about 5 minutes from our house for a brief hike. We'd walked about 2 hours on these trails a few weeks ago but this time we were out for less than an hour as seasonal allergies were in full swing and making us feel a bit loopy!

I was surprised to see that there was still quite a bit of water flowing from the river in this section. We crossed a branch that was laid across (The boys walked across with ease while I, of course, slipped and got a shoe full of water!)

Last time we walked there were thousands of fuzzy black caterpillars squiggling their way down the trail. This time we saw many more butterflies! The flowers were growing all around, from bright yellow daisies to tiny purple flowers spread across the ground like a carpet.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Random Blogging

I've had the hardest time trying to collect up anything good to write. Not that anyone reads this blog anyway, but I do enjoy the writing practice! Random thoughts...My bangs are getting a bit long and could use a trim. My son's t-ball practices are way too long and it doesn't help that the coach gets there late. I'm looking forward to spring break since he doesn't have any games or practices for a week and a half. I'm so glad that my dad's health is holding up; you still can't even tell that he's sick. I want to take a day off work and go to Disneyland. I wish the dry skin on the bottom of my feet would go away, scraping it and lotioning doesn't seem to be working yet. The nightly walks with my neighbor are doing me good. I've lost over 16 lbs and I don't even think about food half as much as I used to (I did have a doughnut before lunch today though. Guess I have to treat myself sometimes?). My new lens should be arriving in the mail today so I'm looking forward to taking some fresh photos!

Guess that about does it for a few days. I'll think of something better to write about soon :)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Hip Hip Hurray for the USA!

I have these two customs listed on Ebay, see link on the left.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


After 4 years, countless failed attempts and thousands of dollars, the day has finally come. Today I am a single, divorced woman. I certainly wouldn't have ever thought this to be in the cards for me, I fully expected my marriage to work. And work at it I did, but unfortunately a successful marriage doesn't happen when it's only ONE person doing all the work!

And so today my divorce is finalized and I'm ready to move forward. Today doesn't really seem any different than yesterday, or even four years ago when he left us. Now the separation is just legal, and that's a good thing :)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Ship Ahoy, boy!

Nautical fun for the Caramelo launch today! Click the Ebay link on the left to see the listing.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

He rounds third and heads for home!

For 5 years I've been waiting for this. As a huge baseball fan, I couldn't wait for the day to sign up my son for Little League. He's had practice twice a week for about a month and this Saturday is Opening Day. And I can say without hesitation that HE LOVES IT!

How sweet is he in his knee pants and that gigantic batting helmet, you can barely see his eyes! He is wearing a "vintage" Padres hat (hand-me-down from big brother). I still need to pick up a belt that is small enough for his tiny waist as the one I bought could have wrapped around him twice.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Who am I to complain that business is going well? I've been hoping to find a niche and get orders and boy, am I ever!! I work for a few hours every night, appliquing little birthday shirts, cutting and sewing out letters, digging through my scraps to find just the right combination of prints and colors. I am not a speedy sewer. I like to make sure everything looks "just right" and tend to move a bit slower when I sew. In addition to that I am interrupted every 3 minutes by my five-year old with requests for food and drink (maybe I need to teach him how to run the foot pedel on the sewing machine? hmmmm...) Weekends in the past were spent in the "studio" but are now spent outside, chatting with the neighbor and playing soccer with the boys.

In any case, my calendar is jam-packed and my turnaround is stretching a bit. Though model samples are running behind my orders are still going out on time, I stay up past midnight to make sure of that! So...yawn...things are good, getting things done, staying busy, trying to have a life outside the studio and still keep the business going at the same pace is getting more challenging though.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


CONTEST WINNER ANNOUNCED - Tamra, please contact me and we can discuss your custom shirt!!

It's been a long time since I've had any contests! In celebration of my new group membership into Wisterialane, I've got a little giveaway going on. I am giving away one personalized tee, valued at $30. If your name is chosen, a tee will be customized with your child's name and will feature one special appliqued design (which we will plan out together!).

To get one entry, write a little comment here. Want two entries? Mention my blog on your blog (and then send me your link).

Example of a previously sold personalized shirt:

So, don't you want one? Enter the contest by posting a comment in this thread. Tell me what YOU would like to see appliqued on the shirt. And if you don't win the contest, you can find these and other appliqued shirts in my Etsy store (link on the left).

Monday, February 9, 2009

Exactly the same

This weekend I went to a child's birthday party and another one of the moms came up to me. She recognized me from elementary school! "You haven't changed at all! You look exactly the same!"

I suppose at 35 I should be thankful that someone I played hopscotch at recess with when we were 6 still recognizes me, but I'm not completely sold on the idea. I mean, do I really want to look the same as I did in the late 70s when I had an affinity for plaid bell-bottomed pants and pigtails? Do I still look the same as I did in the 80s when I was rockin' blue mascara and hot pink leggings? And in jr. high, when I was perming my hair and trying to rat out sky-high bangs?

I've been feeling a little melancholy lately after joining the Facebook ranks. While my high school pals have moved across the country, are happily married with children and living the life of the stay-at-home-mom, I still feel stuck in the same place I've been since I was born. Perhaps it's showing on the outside too?

I stared at this other woman, trying to place her and was unable to see what she looked like as a kindergartener, middle-schooler, high-schooler. How was this woman able to look at me and see me exactly the same as when we were 5? Has my face changed so little over the years? If I look the same, perhaps it's time to mix things up a bit. I don't really look the same after all, I certainly don't wear blue mascara anymore and I haven't permed my hair since I was 16. I think I'll just take "you look the same" as a compliment to my good skincare routine!

Little old me at 4 years old:

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Putting it together

My son LOVES Legos. And he's good at creating things with his imagination, like this supercool transporter that features Lego-Man, Indiana Jones and a few Star Wars Stormtroopers. Check out the nifty propeller too!

I have no creativity when it comes to Legos. I can make a building, a nice square little box but that's about where it ends. But I can cut out a pattern, sew the pieces of it together and create something that was once just a square of fabric, so I guess I'm not too bad off!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Male Bonding

We have a very nice neighbor, a young man who has custody of his daughter on the weekends. Since his daughter is the same age as my son, he brings her over to play on Sunday afternoons. The kids are still at an age where "playing" consists of chasing each other around the yard, not-so-patiently taking turns on the swing and my son tattling on his friend, always the "self-appointed cop".

My neighbor is great with his daughter, very engaging and interactive with her. When they visit, he plays soccer with my son, pushes them both on the swing and chases them around the tree in our front yard. Yesterday my heart actually ached inside after seeing my neighbor and son together because it was so obvious that my son is yearning for some male bonding. If my neighbor did something with my daughter, like spin her in the air, lift her into the tree, tickle her or push her on the swing, my son asked him to do the same. And my neighbor very nicely complied as he does every week. He knows that my son's father isn't really in the picture much and that my son is craving some male bonding and rough-housing.

When my neighbor got ready to leave, my son called out to him, "bye, love you!" And my neighbor smiled and said, "love you too, buddy!" *oh, my heart*

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thinking ahead

It has been over a month since my ex has called to talk to the boys. I have told him that it's up to him to call and keep in touch. The last time they talked was at Christmas, when he was here to visit.

In about a month and a half my divorce will be final. After nearly 4 years separated, the final chapter couldn't come soon enough.

In 2 months my son will play in his first Little League game. After how well he played in soccer, I'm looking forward to baseball season!

In 4 months it will be one year since the doctors told my dad that he had a year to live. So far he's doing well on the chemo medication and the side effects are lessening each month he takes the treatment.

In 5 months it will be the day we were supposed to take our big Walt Disney World vacation, cancelled when we got the news about my dad. Can't really plan a fancy vacation across the country when you get the "year-left-to-live" sentence :(

In about 8 months my little boy will be starting kindergarten. I don't even want to think that far ahead!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Birthday Gift

My sister-in-law had her birthday a few weeks ago. I had bought a picture frame that would hold four 4x6 photos and my plan was to take some new photos of her son, my nephew, and give her the framed photos. But then she took the week off work and didn't bring him over for the week so I had no opportunity to photograph him! Yesterday turned out to be perfect weather and I was able to get some nice shots of him. He's a simply adorable boy but he tends to make that frozen smile that so many kids make and I had to catch him being natural to avoid the stiff face! Printed the best shots up on my new photo printer and put them in the frame, voila!

Here is one of the shots, what do you think?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Cough, cough

My poor little guy is sick again. He has a fever that comes and goes, a wet cough, he's a little more subdued (I don't mind that part! LOL) and he really wants to be snuggled (I don't mind that part either!). He's spent the week on the sofa, playing Wii and watching cartoons but not wanting to play outside or eat much. I can tell he's lost some weight and on a small child who is already on the slender side, it's noticable. His collarbone is a bit sharper and his eyes look even larger than usual!
His older stepbrother and I went to a school open house this weekend. It's a private Catholic elementary and I wanted to get the information about tuition and registration since my little one will be starting kindergarten this fall. I just know he's going to love going to school! He's a very clever and smart guy, though I still get nervous about his education since he's not gone to preschool. I think that once he gets into a school situation, he'll pick up the lessons very quickly, he really loves to learn. And I can't wait to see him in his adorable school uniform!

With him sick for so many weeks and us having wetter-than-usual weather, I've not taken new pictures in a while. Here is one from a few years ago (and a few cameras ago too!). You can buy this shirt custom sized on Etsy (see link on left)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Back at WW

After discovering this week that my mom and I weigh exactly the same, we decided the time has come to actually do something about losing weight. No more talking about needing to eat better and get more exercise, we decided to put our money where our mouth is and signed back up for Weight Watchers. We did the program 6 years ago and then I got pregnant and we quit. I was able to get almost all of the baby weight off after my son was born but over the last 5 years, portion sizes have been slowly increasing, exercise has been declining and the weight has been adding up.

Getting back to the meeting this week was great. The program has changed a bit for the better. My mom was shocked to learn that because of her age now she gets fewer Points than she did in the past and now she'll have to better manage her eating. My dad went to the grocery yesterday and picked up some yogurt and lettuce upon my mom's request. He came back with yogurt that has 4 Points! Yikes, I'd rather have a bowl of ice cream. And the lettuce was iceburg, zero nutritional value :( We'll have to show him our Points Finder and how you need to look at fiber, calories and fat, not just if the item says "low fat".

In any case, we're off to a good start...looking forward to losing at least a pound this week!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Peaceful Protest

This weekend my boys & I went to Balboa Park to watch a puppet show at the Marie Hitchcock theater and afterwards we walked over to the botanical gardens. On our way, we encountered a protest that was going on down the esplanade. There was a mixture of American flags and of another country, which I didn't recognize, and hundreds of people carrying banners and posters. Judging from the signs I guessed that they were protesting the war in Gaza. There was someone on a loudspeaker relaying a chant and then the crowd was repeating after her. There were police walking alongside the protesters and officers on horseback as well. My sons and I stood under an archway and watched these families march by as they waved their flags and shook their banners. My oldest asked what this all was and I explained that it was a protest, that when there is something you don't agree with you are able to peacefully protest in a public place. He asked what they were protesting and I said that I think it was the war in Gaza. At that moment I felt so sadly out of touch, not able to give him a more knowledgable answer about exactly why they would be protesting. I mean, I've seen brief bits about this on the news and online but I really don't know enough to explain it. My son wanted to stand and watch the entire protest. After the crowd had passed we went into the botanical garden, the sound of the passing crowd quieting as they kept walking.

Friday, January 16, 2009

A Happy Collaboration

I am over-the-moon to have collaborated with Angela of dandelionavenue on this Bluebird of Happiness set. Angela made the gorgeous smocked outfit, I painted the matching tote and Tracy of creme*de*la*gems made the sweet jewels. You can see everything up close and in detail by clicking my EBAY link on the left.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Boy with the big brown eyes

My grandparents are 100 and 101. Up until August 07, they lived at home alone but after my grandpa had a fall they required 24-hour home care. They live close to us but with all the winter illness we've not been able to see them for about 2 months, we've either had a cold or they have.
Last night my aunt called and mentioned that my grandparents have been asking why my son hasn't been over to see them, referring to my just-turned-5 year old. My aunt said, "they ask everytime I'm there, a few times a week, where is the boy with the big brown eyes? They love him so much, do you think you could go over and see them soon?"
Ever since my son has been a baby, he has happily sat next to his great-grandparents on the couch, chatted with them, and allowed them to kiss him and hug him as much as they want. He's never pulled away from them when they squeeze his arms with their bony hands or kissed them when they didn't even have their teeth in! They don't always remember his proper name, so they call him "the boy with the big brown eyes". And I know they just think that is so sweet that he will sit there with them, as do I! Occasionally he'll say something, like "Wow, Great-Grandma, you sure have a lot of wrinkles!" which just makes my grandma throw her head back and roar with laughter. Sometimes my grandpa will squeeze my son and hold his cheeks tight and just stare at those big brown eyes and my son will patiently wait and smile right back.
And so this weekend we will go over for a visit. My son will sit between the two of them and allow them to snuggle him for a while before he asks if he can go outside to play. And they will be happy, that they were able to share that bit of time with "the boy with the big brown eyes".