Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Nora's preschool holiday concert

Okay, so it wasn't exactly a concert, but it was still super cute. :) She misplaces gloves left and right and lost her new ones that I bought her the day after Thanksgiving. They were all supposed to wear gloves (not sure why the girl next to her isn't) so I whipped her up some matching gloves, scarf and hat this morning.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Fabric and my completed swap apron

Nora and I headed to the JoAnn Fabrics again today. Sean thinks she makes a great shopping partner, but I'm not sure how much I believe that. :p She is cute and talks about all the things that she wants to make, but it's harder to shop with her. :) She's decided that she's asking Santa for a sewing machine for Christmas. Now, before you all worry, it's a)cheap and b)somewhat childproof. It does say for kids six and up, but I'm considering getting my 3.5 year old the machine. I know, I know, but I want to instill the love early! Despite having a step mom who sewed, I did not begin to sew until I was a senior in high school - when I took a sewing class! The lovely Mrs Stoner gets all the credit for teaching me to sew. :)


Looking at the ad on joann's site, I now see that it says not for under three, though the box still says 6+. So, at least if I get it, we'll only be breaking one rule. ;) If I waited until she was six, I'd probably just get her a regular machine, but since she's so young, I figure this is a good start. Plus, I must admit that I'm in love with the fact that it has a cover for the needle - no oopsie accidents!

Okay, so fabric:

for a Christmas apron:

stupid shadow. this is really pretty though:

the shadows make this look more red, but it's more purples with lighter pink flowers.

And finally, an apron that I made for the latest swap that I participated in:

Christmas party

Last weekend we had the pleasure of going to Sean's cousins annual Christmas party. I wish I'd have found enough material cheaply to make a nice wrap, but I didn't, so I tried to make a cheap ring sling work instead. It wasn't comfortable and Josh was having very little to do with it. I'd have been better off using our MT or the fleece pouch sling. Josh gets rather sleepy around 8 pm each night and although he will go to sleep, there was just far too much stimulation going on for him. I know I could have gotten him to sleep, but I'm afraid that because of the action and lack of good wrap (that would make a nice, cozy spot for him) we decided to leave around 8:45. I wish we could have stayed longer, but I know it'll get better each year with littles. Nora had an awesome time and could have stayed longer.

Here are some pictures. Nora had just eaten chocolate, can you tell?

Santa arrives!

Gifts from Santa:

Thursday, November 19, 2009

White Christmas apron swap!

I'm so excited to be participating in a Christmas apron swap. We're swapping based upon favorite Christmas carols, and I think I forgot to put on my form that I love almost all Christmas carols. So, if you've got me and you're here trying to find hints about me, I'll say that I love Harry Connick Jr's Christmas albums. I love Rocking Around the Christmas Tree, Silent Night, O Holy Night, Jingle Bells, White Christmas, I'll Be Home For Christmas, Silver Bells, Let it Snow, It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year, Joy to the World....LOL, I love almost all Christmas music. It'll be playing non stop starting the day after Thanksgiving for me. :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Ah, I failed...

Tuesdays are my busy days and I completely forgot to make a post for yesterday. Bummer. Oh well, I'll continue to try and make a post the rest of the week.

So, for the moms out there - how do you organize your kids toys? Seems like several storage solutions need employed - some smaller bins for smaller toys and then larger toy boxes for the larger items? I'm looking for ideas - preferably cheap! :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Monday so soon?

Seems like Mondays just come way too quickly!

Yesterday I did a ton of cleaning and decluttering in the kitchen. It looks so much better and I feel so much better about it. Now to conquer the toys! Doing a bit each day, hopefully by early next week I'll be able to declare victory on the toys. ;)

Off to study for my last weekly A&P lab quiz!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sunday and I'm still going...

Just wanted to wish my sister and her hubby a very happy and safe trip to Ireland. She just texted me a lovely picture of the two of them on the airplane, here it is:

Hope you have an awesome time and I can't wait to see some lovely pictures when you get home!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Aw, Saturday....

Well, I did not get everything done on my list yesterday. Oh well, hopefully today I'll manage to cross some things off of my list.

Sean is out cutting wood right now, but when he gets home (if he gets home on time), I'll be heading to work out. Then home for studying for both of us as well as to continue cleaning and organizing in preparation of hosting Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Busy, busy

I've got a bunch of things to do today - volunteer stuff for the Lorain County Breastfeeding Coalition, work for a few hours and I really, really need to get to the gym today. And then there's the laundry that all needs folding and put away. Plenty more to be done around the house as well - I need to run the vacuum, change the sheets, sweep and mop everywhere that I can't vacuum and then I need to start doing some extra cleaning in leading up to Thanksgiving. Things like windows and extra dusting...you know the stuff that doesn't get done very often.

No clue how I'll get it all done, probably late in the evening I'll get to working on the cleaning stuff.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Lots of spam

I'm getting a lot of spam on one post that's super old. What would you do? Delete the post? I hate to make it harder for legit people to reply on my posts, but it's getting ridiculous the last few days. Apparently elastic, thread and dress are hitting the spambot radars.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Warm Wednesday

It was fairly warm today, so I took the kids to the Carlisle Reservation. We walked the trail there (I am going to post Halloween walk pics today), and right now they are converting it to a Christmas trail of lights or something like that. I'm excited to take the kids later in the season when all the displays are up. As it is, they had some cute santas and snowmen decorating the trunks of the trees.

And, as should be noted, these are all from my sister - casacaudill




pumpkin pond

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Flirty Apron Swap: White Christmas Swap - Christmas Carol Creations

Flirty Apron Swap: White Christmas Swap - Christmas Carol Creations

Yay! So excited for a Christmas apron swap! I'm probably crazy for signing up, as I'll have finals to work on too, but I can sew during Thanksgiving break, right? :P

Busy day today

Studying, school and then more studying. Somehow I need to get the kids and myself out of the house in the next half hour. Did I mention that we need showers yet? Yeah, fun times. :P

I love when my sister comes to visit, because she always takes awesome pics (for the record, I like going to her house as well). :)

So, here she is today (and I took this picture!) with her husband. :)


Monday, November 9, 2009

Monday, Monday....

Today is supposed to be 70! In November! In Ohio! The leaves that remain are quickly falling, but I consider fall to be until Thanksgiving, and then it becomes winter (who cares that there are actual dates determining these things?). In honor of my favorite holiday, I give you some of the fall scenes from when Becky and Alan were here in October.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


I had a coupon and a gift card for Joann's so I went today. Took the kids and the husband, which meant I couldn't stay all day. I did find some more of this material, plus the same in blues. Awesome, for $2.50 per yard (plus 20% off!) I got four yards of the blue and a little over a yard of the pink. I can add a pocket to my apron now. :) I used every last bit of fabric to make this apron, and didn't have any left for a pocket. Now I can add a pocket, plus make something else. Might be a bag. Might be another cute apron.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Blogging, blogging

It's been a rather tiring day for me. Sean has been outside most of the day, leaving me with a snotty Josh who is cranky today. He must be cutting a tooth. He's miserable and so am I. And, I'm trying to finish up my Algebra work. Finished the homework, and the pretest. Just need to take the test now, but I can't hear myself think, so that won't be happening any time soon.

Here are some more pictures to tide ya over. ;)

Ah, heck, they all loaded too big except for my boy laughing.

Friday, November 6, 2009

visiting family

We had the great pleasure of hosting family the last few months. Becky and Alan were here most recently, she took some great photos. Here's a teaser:

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Nov 5 - day 5

So, I just remembered that I needed to blog today. I immediately feared that I had forgotten to blog yesterday. I thought I had failed by day 5, haha!

Alas, that is not the case. Lots of Algebra homework to do, along with a pretest and test in Algebra this weekend (you have to get 1n 80% to even take the test). Plus, I need to study for A&P since I have an exam next Thursday. So, busy weekend. In between that studying, we need to begin getting ready for hosting Thanksgiving. Hopefully, Sean will also hang my shelf and laminate the new counter in the bay window in the kitchen.

Posts are boring without pictures, huh? Here's Nora's school picture for something to look at. :) She's not one who easily smiles with the camera in front of her. She's giving stink eye to the photographer. :p

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

November 4th

Okay, so, I think I'm out of things to write about. :P

My camera doesn't work, so I can't just do some cute pics of the kids. :( My cell broke and I am not eligible for an upgrade yet, so I hooked up my fil's old phone. His cell camera is way worse than mine was. So, the pictures are super, super blurry. I always thought my cell pictures weren't that great, but this gives a whole new meaning to blurry.

I have breastfeeding support group (I volunteer at the hospital, helping to weigh the babies and such) tonight. It should be a quick meet as the hospital canceled our support groups going further at the last minute tonight, but who knows how many people we actually got in touch with via email and facebook. We have to find a new location off site now, so hopefully, we can get that figured out ASAP. Tomorrow I have class, and I have a test this weekend in Algebra, so once I get home it'll be time for homework and studying.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Day 3 - check

I voted today - did you?

Hoping that the things I voted for pass, but I'm worried about Issue 2 - needs to go NO! I worry that it's going to hurt the small farmers, even though big ag wrapped it up with a nice bow. :(

Missed two on my lab quiz. Not entirely happy, as I prefer to get 100s, but I guess I should be happy with a 94%. :P

Looking forward to hearing more election results and have been desperately searching for my popcorn pan as I'm craving some fresh popped popcorn.

DH installed a shelf by his desk and has been slacking on installing mine. MIL said that FIL would do it on Friday when they watch the kids, so I keep throwing that out there for DH. ;) I'm hopeful that it'll be done before Friday as that would go a LONG way to clearing off my desk.

Nov 2/Day 2 posting

Okay, so I don't really have much to say today. I've got a quiz tomorrow in A&P lab on the nervous system, so I am busy working on that right now. I'm home with the kids tonight, as it's bowling night for Sean.

Do you ever watch HGTV House Hunter's? I do. I even have it record on my DVR. Can I just say that I find most of the people searching to be PITAs? They annoy me when they're like "this kitchen is small." And my LR/DR combo is about the size of the kitchen. Or they'll complain about a bath being too small and I'm like "but it's a BR! At least there is more than one!". It's amazing how we all have different priorities in house buying. Admittedly, I would love a huge kitchen - it sucks being stuck in the kitchen on the holidays when maybe one other person can fit with you.

Off to study the sheep's brain!

eta - well, looks like this didn't post last night, but I'm going to still hit enter and call it my Nov 2nd post. Stupid errors!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A blog a day for November

I'm going to attempt to blog every day this month along with others in NaBloPoMo

I will probably only make it until the middle of this week. :P

DH is still laid off. We're both still going to school full time. The kids are doing great. Nora was Little Red Riding Hood for Halloween and Josh was a Browns fan. I made Nora's red cape a while back - it's very effective as a car seat cape, as it does not interfere with the straps of the car seat. I made her an apron the other night to go with her get up. She had a party at preschool on Friday and then went Trick Or Treating at Grandma and Grandpa's on Saturday - we didn't venture further than that, it was enough excitement for both kids.

And now it's November. We're hosting Thanksgiving as the self professed "old fogey's" decided that they are done hosting (never mind that we've been through this twice before, only to have them change their minds and get all huffy when you claim a holiday, but whatever) and that they were going out to eat (mind you, we weren't invited). We already have a turkey in the freezer, so it won't cost us too much. Not sure how many people are coming but hopefully, we'll have a nice turnout. Asked the ILs if they were still going out to eat or if they were coming here and they said they were still going out. I'll be ticked if I find out that they're going with evil sil and bil. Pissed. I already know that we'll be alone on Christmas Eve and told the ILs that we weren't attending Christmas Eve at their house this year b/c evil sil will be there. They didn't like that much, but whatever. I knew that they wouldn't not invite them, so I wanted them to know that if they were coming, we weren't. Period. Ah, holidays. Aren't they lovely? :) Seriously though, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and I was very disappointed that the older generation was just going out to eat without inviting any of us. That's just sucky. Or maybe we just weren't going to be invited.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Nora's first day at preschool

Nora loved preschool! She has been super excited to go for months and it's how we convinced her to pee on the potty. Which might be a little wrong, but it was the truth. Here she is after her first day.

She's definitely a leader, and did not enjoy following with the rest of the class. Can't say that I blame her - so many cool toys! Handling Nora definitely takes a bit of finesse, and not everyone has that finesse. I usually give her two choices and if she doesn't take one of those, well, she doesn't get either. That has worked great at home, keeping tantrums to a minimum. I can understand how that wouldn't work out so well with a bunch of other students. So, today, I didn't really give her a choice on what I was making for lunch. She ate it, but it's not as if she will not eat what you give her....she's a great eater.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Back to school...

Fall term has started. Busy, busy, busy here.

Today is my super busy day, as I have a class, a small break and then a lab today.

I am taking a Lifetime Fitness class this term. After 13 credits, you don't pay anymore for tuition, only lab fees. For $40, I'll get to work out for the entire term....sounds good to me. Perhaps I can lose some of this baby weight and get back to my cute clothes that I wore after Nora was born. I got rid of all my fat clothes after I lost a bunch of weight after Nora was born. As a result, I now only have a handful of clothes that fit over my boobs and belly. Of those, only like two have no stains. Such is the life of a poor momma, lol. The stains are all from dirty hands and my lovely husband who does not think to check to make sure that stains have come out before he tosses things into the dryer.

I'm excited to go to college this semester. I have a combination of internet courses and on campus, but this will be my first venture to campus on a regular basis, even though I took classes over the summer. But, I feel frumpy. Today I have to go to class for A&P I and lab. I'm excited to start but scared too. Hopefully I will do well!

In other back to school news, Nora starts pre-school at the end of August. Such a big girl!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Still here....picture at the end.. :)

It's been a bit since I posted last. I just wanted to update. :)

Summer session for school is over. I'm happy to report that I got a 4.0! I breezed through my Basic Algebra and Intro to College class, while really sweating over my Intro to Psych. I really thought Psych was going to be easy, but turns out it was really tough - mainly the professor. I don't think he likes internet classes. Why he teaches them, I have no idea. Anyways, I sweated it out and ended up with a 91.something % - fantastic. I did learn a LOT in that class, lest you think I was just being lazy - it wasn't the homework that bothered me, or the reading. In fact, I probably had more homework in my Basic Algebra and Intro to College class, it was the lack of teaching - we read the book, played with a CD and that was it. My Basic Algebra and Intro to College class both used online videos of the lessons, plus they encouraged (and Intro to College required) class participation. My Psych professor disabled the web forums so that we could not communicate with other class members. I'm still a bit bitter, lol, but I at least made and A, so I should just move on. :P I will - but I won't take my next Psych class with him that I have to take in the spring. ;)

Sean also took classes - an Intro to Web Design and an Operating Systems class. He too got a 4.0 for the semester. :)

We're both signed up for a full load for fall. And, we're each taking a fitness class - which enables (and requires) us to use the college gym. So, maybe I can finally work off some of this baby weight!

Nora is three tomorrow. I can not believe how big my little girl has gotten. She's so ready to start pre-school. She is only having an occasional accident. Unless she gets mad, then she'll purposely go - so not cool. She definitely has her own mind on things. She's a spitfire, and if she doesn't like something, she's not afraid to say so. She's a leader - she even tries to lead older kids around and tell them what to do.

Josh will be one next month. The year has gone by quickly! He's a momma's boy all the way - I love it. He completely lights up when I come into the room. Of course, maybe it's the milkies that come with me? :P I'm enjoying it, that's for sure.

Here's a picture of them both at the zoo last Monday (we went for World Breastfeeding Week). Nora is giving her fake smile and Josh is just giving his usual smiles. :) They're both comfy in the double jogging stroller that we borrowed. I so need to buy our own - stalking Craigslist for one now. :)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Healthcare in the US

I've seen a few posts on this topic recently from other bloggers - including the "mommy blogger" bunch. This post is in response to those.

1) Do you see other governments who provide nationalized healthcare controlling them through pills? No, enough said.

2)Those that use the argument that it's not the right of the government to provide healthcare, um, you realize that we ARE already providing this service, right? Does your mom get Medicare (or maybe her mom?)? Yeah, that's nationalized healthcare. How about poor people? Ever hear of Medicaid? We as a country have already decided that people need health care, or we wouldn't be providing these vital health options for so many. Most people that I hear use this argument are people that are priviledged. Sure, maybe you think you struggle. I've got news for you, if you don't receive Medicaid as an adult, you probably don't. Hear in Ohio, you have to be 90% of the FPG in order to receive Medicaid (at least in Ohio, and I'd guess it's similar in all states) as a non-pregnant adult. The FPG for a family of four is $22,050.

3)The taxation issue. Yeah, I understand no one wants their taxes raised. But, how much are you and your employer already spending per month on your healthcare? At my husband's last job we were paying over $200 per month for our health insurance, plus a $500 deductible and $20/$40 copay. Oh, and 10% of all costs. The company was paying over $1000 per month. I understand that some are more priviledged and don't pay this amount. I remember being a county worker and paying $16 a pay for my family coverage and only having to pay 10% of my costs and never paying a copay. Yeah, that was nice. But, the cities and counties that are doing this are now struggling to keep up with the employer end because of the fact that the employees pay so little.

4)Wait times. Yes, in Canada, you'll wait longer than here to have an non-emergency surgery. If it's an emergency, you'll go straight to the top of the line. Interestingly, none of my friends in Canada complain about their healthcare (well, they might complain about a specific Dr, but not about the comprehensive care), whereas I often hear my American friends complaining about costs of health insurance, deductibles, etc.

5)National health care would not eliminate Dr/patient confidentiality. Guess what? Your Dr shares information with other people about you right now! Shocked? You shouldn't be. Do you think that the people that work at the Dr's office don't know why you're there? How about the billing office? Did you know many Dr's office are outsourcing this? Oh, and everyone at your insurance company knows your record as well. They won't pay without a diagnosis code (or sometimes codes) and a CPT code that shows what the Dr did. But, there are HIPPA laws to protect you - basically, only people involved in your care know things about you, including your insurance company, people at the doctor's office and any billing offices. It wouldn't be any different with nationalized healthcare. Oh, and did you know that your Dr is required to report certain things to the local health department? Yeah, required.

6)Nationalized healthcare would waste money? Um, yeah right. Medicare is one of the best run programs that the government has - they are cost concious, while also trying to provide the best care for the patient.

7)The only one benefiting from our current system is the insurance companies and the pharmaceutical companies. Especially the insurance companies. They make money on all ends. They cut reimbursement for doctors/pharmacies/DME companies and yet they're continually raising deductibles, copays, coinsurance and the premiums of our insurance.

8)More businesses would thrive with nationalized healthcare. Think about it. Over $1k per person working at their company per month, for healthcare, with costs rising each and every year.

9)The people would not be subjected to petty things like prior existing conditions. Guess what, even if you continue to take your medication and continue to follow your Dr's advice, heck, you may even pay out of pocket to see your Dr, if you lapse on healthcare, if you have any pre-existing condition and finally do get insurance again, you'll be unable to attain care for that pre-existing condition until a certain amount of time elapses.

10)We should want our nation to be a strong, healthy one. Preventitive care will help with this. Expecting people to use the emergency room for free care, or to wait all day at a free clinic does NOT help with preventitive care. By the way, who do you think ends up paying for the ER healthcare that the ERs have to write off? Yeah, that would be us anyways! So, instead of paying for pricey healthcare for our fellow citizens, why not provide quality, accessible healthcare to all Americans?

We are currently without healthcare. The kids are on Medicaid. It's a horrible run program, they made us choose a managed health care program and the limits on Dr's was horrible. We had to leave the pediatrician that we've used for three years, who knows my kids and knows me (I do most of the check ups, since I'm the one home). But, I'm very thankful to have anything for them. I'm terrified of my husband or myself getting sick. And there seems to be no jobs out there. Well, there are some, but with thousands of other people applying for the same job, it's hard to get your foot in the door. :(

So, did I simply decide nationalized healthcare was a good thing when we fell on hard times? No, I've always thought that we need to take care of everyone. It amazes me when Christians say that we shouldn't be involved in healthcare - I believe that God takes care of the least among us, and while yes, churches should be helping too, the fact of the matter is, a lot of them can't afford to do so either. I think the increase in taxes would be non-existent when you look at all the health insurance fees that we'd no longer be responsible for. Sometimes, and I'm guilty of this too at times, we see more taxes and become greedy. Yes, greedy. Are there times when a government (local, state or national) does not deserve to get more in taxes. Yes. But are there times, like now, where we won't really end up paying any more? Yes. And when those taxes will benefit the common good without really hurting anyone, why wouldn't we do it?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Freebies and the FTC

First, I apologize for another long absence. I'm busy, busy, busy studying during my summer session, then there's the two cases of chicken pox that our house has endured, plus it's summer and we've got the garden going and all that jazz, I'm volunteering and well, I'm busy. :) I promise to be back soon, including with pictures of the kiddos. :)

Anyways, I came by because I read an article about blogging and how mommy bloggers are going to take a week off of all PR - here, I'm just going to link. Okay, so while I think it's great to take a break and maybe focus on other things, I don't understand the outrage of some mommy bloggers (and really, all bloggers in general). Look, I (and others, I'm sure) read your blog because you have something going for it - perhaps I strive to be more like you in my parenting style, maybe I like your photography, maybe I like your decorating style, etc - if you're getting free products, there's nothing wrong with being honest and upfront about it. I, as a reader won't be upset if you are honest about it. In fact, maybe I'd be posting more on my own blog all sorts of the cool things that we do if I knew just what cool swag was being passed out.

So, if you happen to read this (and I think I have like a whopping eight readers, lol) and you get free stuff for blogging about it, just tell us! Maybe only blog about the ones that you like? Your honesty is sort of on the line, if you continually steer people in the direction of products that just suck, people will know. If you tell the truth and are honest, people will appreciate that and continue to love their favorite bloggers.

Friday, May 29, 2009

I've been a slacking blogger....

Of course, I don't really have a ton of projects to show off either. I think I have another apron and a nursing cover to show off. I need to make a few more nursing covers for about to pop or just popped cousins.

I'm officially a student again - I started my first class the other night. It's the generic college 101 that you might find on any college class. I've taken my first quiz and got an A! :) Go me! My other two courses, Intro to Psych and Basic Algebra start in June. I know those two will be much tougher, but hopefully I can pull out some A's in those classes as well. My fall semester is shaping up to be a busy one - I'll be taking Chem, A & P, Intermediate Algebra and Intro to Soc. Right now, I'm trying to take everything online - so all my summer courses are online. My fall courses are online, except my A&P, A&P lab and Chem lab.

I'm hoping that I'll be able to finish all my required courses so that I can apply for the nursing program after next summer. Hopefully, I'll only then have to wait a semester - which is what the wait is currently rumored to be.

The kids are great! Nora is looking forward to turning three and going to pre-school in the fall. To that end, she's been doing some potty learning (I am not so into calling it training, since I train dogs, but I teach my kids). Most days we have just one accident and she's getting really good about telling us when she needs to go. She's so proud of herself when she sees how proud we are of her. And who wouldn't be proud? And thrilled - she's been just in disposables for some time as she outgrew the cloth diapers she was in and I didn't want to have to invest in the next size up. News flash: I probably could have outfitted her in the expensive Goodmammas for how long it took to get to this point. Ooops.

Along the way, we have learned that diapers are expensive! We therefore, do not buy name brand. Walmart generic diapers are not good for movers. They're okay for little babies that do not move though. Walmart then had a brand called White Cloud that were good and cheap. Only, they discontinued them. :( One week I noticed Walgreen's had a sale on their diapers - BOGO, which was 2/$9! Holy moly, that was a good price, way under Walmart's cheapies that suck. So, we bought some, and we like them! We now stock up on them whenever they're on sale. :) Which is often - so that's another bonus to them. We also tried Target's new generics in there - they're awful. First, we bought them for Josh (we do have cloth for him but we use disposibles for nighttime, and when we just can't keep up with the laundry). So, we bought him some size 3's. He's a perfect fit in size 3's in every diaper, except Target's. They're HUGE. And they have no elastic in the back, so I'm sure you can imagine how blowouts happen with my mostly BF (we've introduced some solids) little baby? Yeah, not good. Anyways, they're so huge that we noticed that they were as big as Nora's Walgreen's diapers. So, yes, they were both wearing the size 3s (though, admittedly, they were a little snug on Nora). I hate diaper shopping at Target - no matter which kid I'm shopping for, they don't have that size diapers. Seriously, they only had the size 3 in a BOX (I buy the smaller packs as they're usually cheaper). They didn't even have luvs (though, who likes those that smell like baby powder? NOT us.).

As for Josh, he's close to twenty pounds now and has begun to enjoy some fine foods. He's had several mommy approved foods and I'm sure some Nora approved as well. Bananas seem to bother him, so we're holding out on those for now. He's been crawling like a professional for about a month or so now, probably closer to two. He's pulls himself up with ease along anything with an edge and couch cruises. He finally, finally cut his first two teeth - bottoms. He's been drooling and chewing on anything since three months, so we thought he'd cut them early like his sister (she cut her first one around five months). Nope, 8.5 months for him!

Sean has a second interview next week, so wish him luck! :)

Monday, May 11, 2009

National Wear Y our Apron Day

This is the apron that I wore today. I really like it - the print is great. :)

I'm leaning on the door because the sun was shining brightly through the three little windows and was washing everything out otherwise.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

a tale of two aprons

This first apron was made with some scraps that I have on hand. I love, love, love the print. One of the local JA's still has it and I should think about gobbling it up before it's all gone.

The next apron is a swap that I participated in. I found this great sheet that was screaming to be made into an apron, so here it is:

This is a close up of the sheet, before I cut into it....

I really need a new camera - these cell phone pictures just don't do justice to these fabrics and aprons!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Fun at the park

Spring is finally here and we were able to use some of our tax return to get a new (to me) van. It's actually a 2001, which I know most people don't think of as new these days, but I'm thrilled to have transportation again. :)

So, in honor of it being nice (it's 64 today), I took the kids to the park. Josh slept - which isn't unusual for him, he is a great napper and sleeper! Here's Nora on the swings - she loves the swings:

Friday, May 1, 2009

Another long absence

Sorry about the long absence....I really need to update my blog more often. :)

I'm working on kitchen curtains, here's one all done and hung:

And, a closeup of the material:

Sorry too for the crappy cell phone pictures.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The zoo

The kids and I went to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo on St Patrick's Day. It was half price (off winter rates!) day if you wore green - so Nora and I only had to pay $6 for our admission and Josh was free. :)

Oh, and it was a beautiful day out - high 60s! 60s, in mid march, in Cleveland. Hello, spring! :D Of course, now that spring is actually here, the temperature dropped, but apparently, it's supposed to go back up. Yay!

So, here are some crappy cell phone pictures from our day at the zoo. I totally forgot my camera, and since it can't hold a charge anyways, it's not like I would have been able to capture a ton of shots anyways.

Nora wasn't all that happy about smiling with the fake monkey on the bench.

Nora called these the pink birds on sticks.

Finally, can you believe how close this is? Remember, this is a cell phone, no zoom. The zebra was right next to us. Very cool. :)

The giraffes were way far away though. Oh, and major bummer is that the elephants are gone. GONE! Until they finish redoing their area, I heard some girl say 2010 or 2011. Boo, we like the elephants. :( We also couldn't see the wolves and bears - the area was closed off due to some construction. Actually, it makes sense that they have winter rates because there are a lot of exhibits that aren't open. Still, it was a fun day and great exercise pushing Nora and carrying Josh in the MT!

Finally, here's my drooling little guy (he's totally teething, but none have popped through yet) and my adorable husband.

Monday, March 2, 2009

My poor little blog

Has been neglected! Almost a month since I posted last. Let's see, how about a little update? :)

Let me show off a project or two that I have finished lately.

First an apron that I made for my doula as a thank you gift:

A mommy and me apron set. I decide to use my new snap pliers on the child's apron (really pre-schoolish age, more than child). Anyways, I put them on the neck strap and waist strap so that it could be a good fit depending upon the size of the child.

That's all I have right now. My aunt did remind me that I have an apron that I'm finishing for her, so I do need to finish that one up and mail it out for her soon. Just need to change my thread color - why is it that sometimes the little things that take just a few minutes prevent us from finishing things? I think for me I think, oh one of the kids will need me and I won't even get to sew by the time that I finish threading the machine. Although possible, how long does it really take to thread a machine? Even though I have to make a new bobbin for it, it's still probably only a few minutes.

DH is still looking for work. No bites on his resume yet. Here's to hoping the stimulus package helps soon. Already, I think it will for COBRA. COBRA would cost us $1200 per month for family coverage, but with the stimulus it would take care of 60 (or was it 65)% of the cost. Unfortunately, no one seems to know exactly when we might get some answers on this. Even still, we would not be able to pay for family coverage, but I'm healthy and the kids would qualify for coverage the the state, but DH has some pre-existing conditions that I'd rather be continually covered under a health care plan. The COBRA amount for just him is still too costly, until you add in the stimulus amount, then somehow, some way, we'll make that work out for us. Because, in the longer run, it'll be worth it I think.

I had a food stamp and medicaid (just for the littles) today. I think I'll refrain from typing up my opinions on that for another day - suffice it to say that when a friend (whose husband is also laid off right now) told me that you have to jump through hoops for help, she was certainly right. She said that WIC is definitely an easier process to go through. Of course, you only have to wait a few WEEKS to even be seen by those folks. I waited until we found out how much DH was going to qualify for before I called those folks, and turns out I should have made the appointment much earlier. Eh, maybe DH will get a job before then and I won't have to worry about that after all? One can hope! :)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Sewing and jobs

I've lost my sewing mojo, lol....someone, quick, send it back! I have an apron pretty much done, and then I realized that I didn't cut any neck straps. And, I don't have any extra material. So, off it goes as a UFO (that's unfinished object for you that don't know) for now. I'll take a scrap of the material and try to find something that will compliment it well.

I've also decided that I need more bias tape for more aprons, but the cost really adds up quickly! Instead, I think I'm going to buy a bias tape maker. Fairly cheap, but a lot more work on my part.

Sean's been looking for jobs. He actually has found a few in the area that interest him - most about 40 minutes to an hour away (sometimes worse with traffic/snow conditions). His last job was five minutes from home. It was nice, he came home for lunch almost every day. Having a long commute again would be a bummer, but, a job is a job, eh? Especially in this economy.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Snap pliers and the kids

The week before Sean got laid off, I ordered a pair of snap pliers - lookee the package that I got! Looks like I'll be a snapping fool soon. :)

Josh got his first hair cut this weekend - and, yes, I did it. I took a little off the back and around his ears.

Finally, Nora. LOL, Josh and I were out and about most of the day. When I got home, she was napping. I got her out of bed and this is what she was wearing. Guess this is what happens when you spend the day with Daddy. And, while you might not think this is such an odd look if you live in say, California or Texas, this is quite the outfit today in the Cleveland area since Buckeye Chuck saw his shadow today. ;) Doesn't she look cute, lol, with her wild hair and all. ;) Ignore the fact that the baseboards are missing. They another incomplete, er work in progress out in the garage. I think they've been completely sanded and primed - I should add those to the honeydo list that I have posted on the fridge. All items are things that Sean can do while he's laid off that do not require any materials - since we've already bought the materials for these projects.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Craptastic Economy

My husband was laid off on Thursday. I spent a lot of time crying on Thursday. Fear, mainly. How will we make it? How will we manage to pay our bills if we are not fortunate enough for him to find another job before his one severance pay comes along? The job market in NE Ohio has not been great for some time, especially in the area of IT. He was laid off after 9/11 and it took him 10 months to find a job. He had known of the impending layoff, so he had stashed up a decent sized emergency fund. That, combined with the fact that as his emergency fund was being depleted, I was fortunate to find a great job. So, those ten months weren't all that bad - in fact, I don't think our lifestyles changed much at all.

This time, though, things are different. I'm basically a stay at home mom. I mean, I work one day per week, for just a few hours (2-3) for my mother in law's business, filing insurance claims and billing people for things like their copays and deductibles. Still, it's not like I can just increase my hours there - her business is hurting right now too. She shared with me yesterday that she wasn't able to pay herself for about four months in 2008. Wow. So, I basically stay home. And, we have two young children.

We've been following Dave Ramsey since last year, so we do have a very small baby emergency fund. Still, it's not enough to keep us going for any length of time - the whole point of that BEF was not to prepare us if Sean lost his job, rather it was our barrier against Murphy (Murphy's law) in case the truck broke, an emergency repair of some sort was needed, etc.

So, here we are, with my husband out of work. Scary times. And, yet, I have a peace about it all. No matter what - we'll make it. I'll be organizing my coupons and really starting to make those work. I'll be doing a lot of cooking from scratch - which we do often enough that it's not a horrible endeavor anyways. We have one more pay coming, on the 15th. We'll get our regular grocery amount for our envelopes, but we'll be paying way more mind to where the money is going - and stocking up on essentials. We've already implemented this during our weekly grocery trip this weekend. Butter was fairly cheap (under $2 for four sticks) so we bought enough to stick in the freezer plus get us through the week. Even though we had half a container of oatmeal, we went ahead and bought two more. Why? Because it's a really, really cheap breakfast - and it's super nice on cold mornings too.

The thing that was most worrisome to me are having enough to feed our family, have health insurance of some kind and keeping a roof over our head with utilities on. Beyond that, well, that's all just a bonus. Thankfully, we live in a country that does have some help for those that are going through a rough time. DH will file for unemployment right after he receives his last check (at least, that's when we think he's allowed to follow, which he'll be clarifying this week). We have health insurance through the end of February. Which, admittedly, still rather sucks - we haven't had any claims filed for 2009, so we'll have to meet our entire deductible if we go for anything other than a yearly (or wbv for Josh) visit. So, yeah, we're not exactly planning on trips to the Dr for everyone. Josh will go tomorrow for his WBV and get those shots that we were planning on anyways. DH and I will make appointments for eye exams. Hopefully, his eyes will continue to be good. Mine suck, but we already knew that. ;) I simply need a new prescription so that I can order some $8 glasses. And, if he doesn't get a job, we'll have to look into some state aid for health benefits. Food stamps might be in order as well.

Somehow, we'll make it.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

CPSIA - revisited

Well, it's not a perfect solution, but at least it gives a year for them to change it again!

So, yay, we can still sell things that we make for kiddos, so long as we know and take caution that our items are lead free - so we can hold the manufacturer responsible for this.

Linky, linky to the CPSIA.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A new apron

A new apron:

and the view from my front window:


So, for those of you who have not heard the news, Congress passed a piece of legislation last summer. It goes into effect on February 10th.

It's bad news for parents and grandparents who love sites like etsy. Why is it bad news? Because the law is requiring testing on items to make sure they don't have any lead or some other stuff that most of us can't even pronounce. And it's expensive. And it's on each piece that is used to construct the toy or garment, actually anything intended for those under 12. That's thread, buttons, snap, fabrics, etc. Reach the end of the spool? Time for more testing.

In a law that was intended to keep our kids safe from the big name toy manufacturers like Fisher Price and Mattel, it's actually rewarded them. No longer will mom and pop type places be able to compete with the money that the big fish have. It's a sad. sad day.

In somewhat hopeful news, originally, this was going to effect even resale of used items. Thankfully, the letter writing that many have done to the Senators and Congressional Representatives did not fall on deaf ears and they have clarified part of the law to say that we can still buy and sell used goods. They also said that if the items were made from natural, undyed materials you can use that. Great, here's a ball of undyed wool - have fun with it. But, the hopeful news is that the flood of emails and calls to our Senators and Representatives spurred them into some kind of action.

Please, join me today in contacting your Senators and Congressional Representatives - perhaps a flood of emails and phone calls will enable us to get the change that we need so that we can still keep selling products intended for children under the age of 12, products that are made in America. After all, this is goign to effect everything - towels, bedding, etc.

For my local readers, only Senator Sherrod Brown responded to me. Senator Voinovich and Representative Marcy Kaptur, shame on you for not responding to your constituents!

As for me, if this law goes on, I'll know longer be able to make mommy and me apron sets, crayon rolls, etc. I'll just have to concentrate on my aprons for adults.

Oh, and this also effects schools and libraries - they'll need to have their products tested. Wonder how that's going to go over?

Please check out this blog for more information. Thanks for doing your part!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Just a quick update

I haven't posted since shortly before I left for CA and now it's been well over a month. There are a bunch of pictures at the end of this long winded post, if you want to just skip to the pictures. ;) We stayed in CA for a month - well the kids and I did. DH came out for 10 days over Christmas and then came home. Someone has to work afterall. ;)

I've been sewing still - in fact, I got a serger for Christmas from my DH. It was bartered - so it's mil's old machine. It's beautiful. I've been playing with it for the last few days though I haven't really made much with it yet.

It's been super cold here - which is a shock to the system when you spend a month in CA. Especially when the last two or so weeks were warm there. Warm, as in, I was wearing flip flops. Sure, they all thought I was crazy, but I really wasn't! Especially when you consider that when I came home I returned to about a foot of snow. And, it just keeps coming. And then, the blustery 20 some degrees turned to negative temperatures. Yesterday it was like negative 12, with a negative 36 wind chill factor - that's just craziness!

I'm starting to get a bit of cabin fever. Right before I left, my car broke. Again. With a full tank of gas. I should never put a full tank in, that's like giving it an excuse to break. And, what can you ask of a 15 year old car....I guess? The plan is to hopefully get a return this year in our taxes and put that towards a newer vehicle for me. Oh, and the truck will be paid off, so that will be an extra $350 we can save towards a newer vehicle. I'm looking at mini vans. Of course, the Focus gets excellent gas mileage, so perhaps I should stick with a wagon? Of course, I think a mini van is essential - especially if, at some point (like when I can convince DH and Josh is about 2) we think about having another baby. But, I need something that is reliable, that's for sure. Afterall, I could at least be going to the mall play area - the one a bit farther (but way nicer) from our house has a Starbuck's right next to the play area and I have a gift card!

Oh, and my camera is acting up. It won't even turn on, so no pictures for you right now (of my own, I shall steal some from my sister for your viewing pleasure.

My mom and Josh:

Nora passing out gifts on Christmas morning:

Lookee what I got for Christmas!

Nora and I on Christmas morning:

Josh and Daddy:

Aunt Becky and Nora:


Nora at the playground, with appearances by Uncle Alan and Grandma Laura: