Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Just one of the wonderful parent approved toys in my house

Look!!! They made a magnetic building set that doesn't have removeable, connectable magnets! These are the coolest things ever! They came in simple brown boxes in 2 shapes. Triangle and Square.

They also came with an instruction booklet for ideas on what and how to build something with them. Here's Dunn who's oh, so proud {if you couldn't tell}.

On a side note...can I just say...Isn't he the cutest you ever saw?! Well, ok, next to your very own cuties...
Here it is close up. The magnets are incased inside the frames. These are some powerful little guys!! If you can't tell from looking they are also dual colored. The purple have red on the other side and the blue are a chartreuse color on the other side.
These definately meet with parent approval and I'm not concerned in the slightest over the swallowing factor. These have no small tiny parts, not even ones that can be removed. WooHoo! Way to go toy makers. It seems you were actually thinking of the safety of the child and consumer.


Sunday, December 28, 2008

My Christmas Ambition

Our Christmas Tradition is we always have some kind of Roasted beef.
This year my ambition was to make some yorkshire pudding to go with it. When I was growing up, that was our favorite part of the meal. We only had it once a year at Christmas dinner, and my brothers and I couldn't wait!! It rose up like magic, and when it was brought to the table it deflated into a crusty on the outside and soft on the inside delectable treat. We loaded it with butter and gobbled it down.

So went to my handy dandy Joy of Cooking and looked it up. It seemed relatively easy enough.

Preheat the oven to 450. Place a glass 9 x 13 baking dish into the oven and heat for 10 mins.

Measure 1 cup {less 1 tbsp.} flour and a pinch of salt into a bowl.

Mix up 2 eggs and 1 cup milk in a seperate bowl.

Combine flour mixture and whisk together.

Melt 1/4 cup butter and pour into hot pan. Pour batter into pan and bake for 15 mins. That's it. Really, that's all there is. Pull it out and look at what you've got.

Traditionally you're supposed to use the drippings from the roast instead of butter, but I didn't have enough drippings. Actually I like the butter version better. It has that buttery taste already, so you don't have to add any more on it. Not that you couldn't mind you. I wouldn't want to take that away from all you butter lovers out there :)
I hope all your Christmas ambitions and traditions were as wonderful as ours!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Did I mention I'm from Maryland?

If you're not familiar with the Maryland State slogan, let me enlighten you.

"Maryland is for crabs"

Now please don't be offended. We are known for our blue crabs. It's what all Marylanders love. If you live in Maryland and don't like crabs, may I please ask you kindly to leave or just lie and say you're from Virginia. (P.S. That's the place we send all our traitors).

I leave you with this. Hopefully I've explained why this song is even around. Here's to all those Marylander's who can't wait for the summer, crab pots, old bay, melted butter and vinegar :)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I'm talking the big "D"

The “D” word. Yup. The big “D”. No, not divorce. Depression. I’ve got it. No real shocker you say. After all you lost a baby, of course you’re depressed. Well, according to some they may think it’s all just part of the grief cycle.

I just want to say…Bull. When you know yourself, and how you feel normally everyday (good and bad), you know when something isn’t right. I knew I was sad and grieving the loss of our baby, but the way I had been feeling lately was much, much more than that.

My symptoms: I cried all the time. At least, whenever I could be alone. I tried really hard not to cry too much in front of the kids. I didn’t want to scare them. Also, I completely withdrew. From everyone and everything! This included the people who loved me most, my hubby and my kids. I just didn’t even want to be around them. How horrible is that?!?! I couldn’t enjoy the Christmas season with them. I didn’t decorate the house, make cookies, sing carols…nothing! Luckily hubby is so involved with the kids he picked up all the slack. Have I mentioned I’m married to the best guy in the world?

The clincher symptom for me was when I started wanting to live a completely different life. I mean totally different from where I was at the time. I live near the city…I wanted to live far out in the country, I mean really, really rural! I didn’t want to be married anymore. Well, c’mon that’s just not right. I mean, sure there are days when I say he’s a stinkin’ you know what, but you work that out. Married 15 years, now. I didn’t want my kids to go to the school they were in, I didn’t want to drive the car I had. I had a fantasy life building up in my head.

I knew I needed help when I decided I couldn’t live like this anymore and actually asked my husband to leave. He was smart. He didn’t cave. He knew it wasn’t “me” talking. He talked me through it, and I realized that I was literally out of my mind. That was the final straw for me. The “lightbulb” moment when I knew I would probably need some kind of medication to help me. So, I went to a Psychiatrist, who did a long analysis of what I had been going through, how long I had been feeling this way, and made some suggestions. Medication. Therapy. Both. I asked for medication. We went through the list of drugs, and decided on Wellbutrin SR. This is a slow release drug that did a world of wonders for me.

I started it right away. A small dose, and started to feel better within just a few days. WOW!! I couldn’t believe the difference. All those negative thoughts that had been rushing around in my head, had completely disappeared. It was almost too good to be true. But, it wasn’t. It was real, and for the first time I felt like my “real” self.

I’m not embarrassed that I need this. I don’t feel ashamed. I’m proud to tell anyone my experience in hopes of it helping someone else. So riddle me this? Why is there still such a stigma associated with mental health? No one whispers in hushed tones if they have diabetes, or low cholesterol. For crying out loud…how many erectile dysfunction commercials do I have to see on TV and no one’s snickering at them?

So my point is don’t be worried about taking a medication for your health problems. Even if health insurance and all those people out there have got it all wrong!!! Eventually I think this sector of health will become as widely covered as fertility (which may not be saying much, but at least it would be a start).

Crazy in the head,

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A usable picture...

This is the one we used for our Christmas card this year. Printed it actually looks better. The red is more vibrant and the kids really don't look so ummm, uhhh, sick. It's a nice contrast and worked wonderfully with our black background and gold lettering on the card.
Now, how many pictures did I go through to get just one photo of 4 children, with smiles, all looking at the camera, not looking at each other, not making funny hand gestures above someones head, no tongues sticking out, everyones eyes are open? Hmm...this year it went relatively well. I only shot about 183 pictures before I felt that I got something I could use.

This was the original before a little photoshop magic.

Must say I love this gang of Hooligans! They're pretty darn cute.

xoxo ~ Onegirliegirl

Friday, December 19, 2008

Just one junk drawer

My junk drawers bother me!!! It's all the clutter. I think I'm hiding it until you see this.
How do I let it get to this point? Oh, it's easy...a little something to pick up off the floor...throw it in the drawer.
This is only one of the many "junk" drawers in my house. I'm just too embarrased to say how many I have.
My junk is always in the kitchen. How about you? Where is your junk drawer, and don't pretend you don't have one. You have to. At least just to make me feel better.

I feel imensely better about myself. I feel organized and complete as a person. Why does this little drawer make me so happy?
xoxo ~Onegirliegirl

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

House Tour for Christmas

The DINing room

Just keeping I t real...Clutter
The Nutcrackers
ONE OF MY FAVORITE DECORATIONS...A SIMPLE WINE BOTTLE hand painted and then a colorful string of lights stuffed inside.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Our new angel

Really needed something quick and easy for the top of our smaller tree this year. We have 2 trees. A big 14 footer in the foyer and then our regular size 8 footer in the family room. I was perusing the aisle's at Michaels the other day and saw this unfinished wooden scroll cut out angel and thought it would work for the top of our tree.

So we painted it white, spread some glue and sprinkled liberally with glitter. TaDa...new angel. Not my most preferred, but it will do for this year.
xoxo ~ Onegirliegirl

Monday, December 15, 2008

Angels we have heard on high...

There's just something about having a little girl that's shifted my craft drive into overdrive. I have been scouring the family craft sites to find fun ornaments to do with Kelly. She has collected a ton of old Christmas cards over the years. That girl is such a hoarder :) So I went in search of something to do with them. I found this great craft that helped me recycle all the cards with such beautiful pictures. It was easy and they turned out beautifully.

I did have to improvise with some of the items. You may notice that the halo's aren't actually the gold chenille stems (pipe cleaners), but are a tan color with glue and glitter. Hey, it works! Also we couldn't quite figure out what we wanted to do with faces and hair. So we tried a few different looks. We have the shag cut angel, the long paper hair angel and my personal (and easiest) favorite the no hair/no face angel. I think the mystery of what angels look like is totally embodied by this. I am soooo deep.

Stay tuned for even more crafts. Seriously, I can't stop. Somebody, Anybody...Help me please!

xoxo ~Onegirliegirl

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Why is there a dead fish in my backyard?

Not long ago, well a few months back, I was outside chatting with a neighbor when we saw a couple of birds flying around. Not too unusual until I noticed one was carrying something in it's claws. When I was able to shield the sun out of my face and focus in a little better, I realized it was a carrying a fish, and the 2 birds were BALD EAGLES!!

Let me just state for the record, I love living where we do. We're just outside of Washington, D.C. (only 15 miles) and yet my house backs to a huge state park. Wildlife sighting on a regular basis. But a Bald Eagle. Uh, hello weren't they endangered?

So I started yelling at everyone in the house "Get outside, there's a couple of Bald Eagle's out here, hurry!!!" I managed to get my camera and just as I was bringing it to my eye one Eagle knocked the fish out of the other Eagle's talons. As I watched this amazing sight the fish fell behind my house. Now, I don't really have a backyard to speak of. It's pretty much all woods, yup, right up to the house. So I'm thingking there's no way we're going to be able to find this fish. But my oldest (Jack) and I were so excited, we just had to look.

Just as we reached the back of the house we saw the fish. I couldn't believe our luck! He had managed to drop it right between what little green space we call the backyard and where the woods were. So that's what I got a picture of.

We all wondered if the Eagle(s) would come back for the fish. Now, I didn't know this but evidently their not really picky about their food. They could care less if it's no longer fresh from the river and all covered with leaves. Mmmmmm, says the Eagle. They are scavengers.

He did come back and to make this long story a little shorter we missed the descension and retrieval of the fish. Jack had to go to Lacrosse practice, Kelly and Dunn were napping and Finn and I got distracted after waiting and looking out the window for 1 1/2 hrs. (Very patiently, I might add) and didn't even get to see the swoop in! Darn!

BTW, I'm wondering where the heck thisfish came from, and why the Eagle was flying near my house. I don't live that close to a big body of water. The Potomac River is at least 10 miles away, and the huge park that we live near had a lake, but that's over 5 miles away.....hmmmmm.

But I have my photo of the fish. It's obvious that it was carried in and dropped by a Bald Eagle. I think that says enough.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Thrift shopping at it's best!

Ever since I made this wool sweater for Kelly, I have been obsessed on finding more wool sweaters. So I went to my local thrift store on the weekly day when ALL clothing is 1/2 price and scoured every rack for good deals on wool sweaters.

At first I thought there wouldn't be too many because it's winter and everyone would be looking for warm clothing, but nooooo. I had plenty to choose from! Take a look at all the sweaters I got. 9 sweaters in all, and I only paid $31. That's right $31. So if things are a little tight with your purse strings, like they are with mine don't be afraid to thrift. You can find lots of great deals.

As it turns out a number of these are actually being worn (unaltered) by Jack. He's gotten so big at 12 1/2 he can wear mens size clothing. I don't know how many of these will get a new look, but I can't wait to do at least one more for Kelly.

xoxo ~L

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Mini Reese Brownie Bites

MMMMMM! Reese's Brownie Bites! These are the most delicious and easy item I've done so far for all my Christmas Baking. The best Christmas cookie ever!!!(if you want to call it that, I'm ok with it)
It's 2 ingredient "baking" at it's best. I just love seeing a recipe with 2 ingredients, don't you! Well, you add egg, oil and water and I'll just pretend you have those on hand, OK?!

You mix up your brownie mix and spoon in one really big Tablespoon. It's a thick batter, so you can easily spoon it into your mini paper liners. You definately want to use paper liners. I tried baking these with and without liners, and they stuck like my thighs to vinyl in the summer. Trust me you don't want to see either of these scenarios! So use the paper liners!! Spoon in some chocolate goodness.

Now some may tell you to cook the brownie mix a little while before you add in the mini reese's cup. Let me just tell ya...DON'T!! Load that reese cup right on into your uncooked brownie batter.

Have your oven set to 350 and bake for about 15 - 18 mins. Watch them closely or the chocolate on the reese's will start to burn. You'll know it's burning when it's no longer smooth on the top. I had 2 batches turn out that way. They don't taste bad, in fact they taste the same. They just don't look as pretty!

I forgot to take the picture right after they came out of the oven so these are straight out of the fridge, where I keep all my baked goods to keep them from becoming dry and stale.

These Reese's brownie bites are delicious and sooooo easy!! MMMMMMMMM!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Santa is coming, Santa is coming!!!

One of my favorite scenes from the movie ELF with Will Farrell is when he is working in the Department Store as what else, an elf, and they announce that Santa is coming tomorrow and
Will Farrell goes wild. He starts jumping up and down screaming so joyously and with such enthusiasm "Santa, I know him!!! Santa!!" In typical overblown style he makes me laugh outloud every time I see it!

So here's my little Dunn holding his letter for Santa! I think he's even more excited than Will Farrell.

He actually got to hand his letter to Santa the other day. He and Kelly both got to visit with Santa. It was the highlight of their year! (And Mine)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Christmas Cookies

Today Kelly's note from her Advent Calendar said "Make Christmas Cookies". So that's what we did! We donned our aprons and got to work!

Here's what the kitchen looked like after making the cookies and icing.

Here's my bestest helper saying TaaaDaaa

After reading all about cookie decorating I tried to do my best. Using the "flooding" method (see the Christmas trees smooth appearance?) and the "piping" all over the cookie method (well, front and center is the bell and the candy cane. All I can say is it's a lot of work mixing all those different colors, loading them into bags, piping them, and in some cases spreading the icing.

I think they're pretty. Too bad they'll all be gone by tomorrow. Cookies don't last long at my house!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Miscarriage: Part 3, The emotional damage

I promise this one won't be as gory as the last one, but it will have a few details in it. I had foolishly been thinking just a few days before all the bleeding, how my losing the baby never felt "real" because there didn't seem to be any discomfort, pain, or real bleeding. HaHaHaHa!

What I didn't realize after the bleeding had stopped was the emotions that I would be facing. I had already come to understand that I was no longer growing this tiny being inside my body. Before the dispeling incident of "chicken parts" out of my body, it didn't seem like the baby was gone. But during my time in the shower with huge clots passing thru me, to the point of feeling like afterbirth over and over, I understood that there was no more baby.

This was when my depression really set in. I had trouble getting these visions out of my head. The emotional pain of it all was more than I could bear. I completely withdrew. From. Everyone.

Try to imagine a Christmas with 4 young children and you could care less what's going on around you. I couldn't focus on anything. I cried all the time (or at least whenever I was alone...the shower, the car, in bed). I didn't want to be in my house. I didn't want to talk to anyone, see anyone, really even be anyone. Not that I was suicidal, I wasn't. I just didn't want my life. Plain and simple. I wanted to be Alice, working at Mel's diner with friends who totally understood me, and a son who always did the right thing. I didn't want the stress of real life, so I left it behind. I started to live in a fantasy world where everything was the complete opposite of where I was at that moment.

I didn't want to be married, I didn't want to live where I lived, didn't want the car I drove, didn't even want my kids. Man, that's hard to admit. I hadn't stopped loving them, I just didn't want what I had. I couldn't appreciate anything.

I don't remember Christmas last year. Not at all, really. I couldn't tell you what big items the kids got, or even who I saw. Actually I'm pretty sure I didn't see anyone, because I couldn't face people. I knew if they saw me, they'd want to acknowledge the loss of the baby and I just didn't want to talk about it. I couldn't even talk to my girlfriends whom I've known forever. They were no longer the light at the end of my tunnel. I couldn't see thru my tunnel, it had become so dark. After weeks of these feelings I realized that this was not the normal grieving process. I was prepared to give myself "some time", but this definately wasn't right. I knew I needed help and quickly. I just couldn't go on like this.

So I did. I got help. I am on medication and it has made a world of difference. I hope this testament will help someone who is suffering and may not know if they need help. Read this story and open yourself up to the option that you are not just grieving (as my OBGYN thought). I knew myself and listened to my inner self. Go with your gut and know you are not alone. Your suffering does not need to go on indefinately. Don't be embarrased as so many are today.

Next: Why is there such a stigmatism with mental health and medication?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Advent Calendar

As I mentioned before I really wanted to make an Advent Calendar similar to this beautiful one from Allsorts. Me...I like color. So I gathered up all my felt (yes, I still have a lot left, just planning ahead), and quickly got to work. When I say quickly, I mean quickly for me. I finished all my felt envelopes just in time for December 1st.

I didn't have a good idea of how to string them, much less a good place to put it. Very limited wall space around here, plus I knew little hands would just be pulling it down.

So here was my solution:

I took a plain basket that had just been gathering dust in my basement. Yes, yes I wiped it down first. I hung an adorable big wooden snowflake ornament on the handle, stuck all the envelopes in (in no particular order since Kelly doesn't know her numbers anyway) and Voila! My new handmade advent calendar.

The hardest part was finding little things to put in the envelopes. I made some notes with crafts to do, but wanted Kelly to find little things to play with. Well, now she doesn't understand why she can't open them all at once so she can play with her toys. Yesterday was a little pocket puppy, and today was a note for a craft and a little horsie. Today she showed a little more patience. Ahhhhh!!!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Happy Birthday Lovebug

Here's my "lovebug". This is my nickname for the guy who laughs like Woody from Toy Story, always has a smile, plays with his little sister and brother as if he were their age and will always give me a snuggly, cuddly kiss. It doesn't matter that he's 9. He is not embarrased to show his love with every member of our family!

Happy Birthday Lovebug!!!

Please stop growing now. I'm not sure I'm ready for another year to go by watching you grow up to be such a wonderful young man! Please? Please? Please?

xoxo ~Mom

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I have CADD

I promised myself last year that I would make an advent calendar for Christmas this year. It's not finished yet. Not that it's a difficult project. I was inspired by this advent calendar tutorial from allsorts and since I love felt and have so much of it laying around the house, this was what I wanted to do. It's almost finished.

My biggest problem is me! I get so excited to do a project that I have to start it right away. But then I put aside the project I'm working on. But anticipating that I will finish soon (plus, I'm a sucker for tutorials) I start looking for other projects to do. Clear as mud? What I'm saying here is that I think I have CADD (Craft Attention Deficit Disorder). Does anyone know what I can do about this? Is there a special medication? Therapy? Do I simply stay off my computer? Anyone?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

My felted wool sweater!

After reading this post over at The Sky is Pink, it reminded me that I had seen this episode of Martha, and always wanted to try and make a sweater. First take a felted wool sweater (mine was $2.50 after the 1/2 off discount on Wednesdays only at my local thrift store), some felting needles, and a foam or bristle brush pad.
I forgot to take a picture, but it was a man's large, before I felted it. So I cut up the felted sweater, sewed it into Kelly size and ordered some roving from my good friend Lindsay at Etsy. I had the felting needles and backing because I have a thing for felt, as some of you may know.

So this is how it turned out. It took some time, but was so much fun to do!! The supplies aren't all that expensive if you want to try it! I bought mine here.

Let me know if you try it!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Physical Trauma

Warning: This episode of my story is not for those who do not want to hear all about “female things”, it’s not pretty…You’ve been warned.

Conveniently, the procedure had happened on a Thursday, so by Sunday I was feeling fine and was able to do my regular routine. Oddly on Monday, in the very early hours I was having some really heavy cramping and the bleeding had increased….hmmmm. I told hubby about it and he said he would go get some pads for me (of course I was out) after I took the kids to school (I figured I could handle the 10 min. roundtrip to get the kids there).

Our usual morning routine for school, was eat, brush teeth and drive 10 mins. down the road to school. I went to the bathroom before leaving…just to check on the bleeding…it was heavier, hmmm strange. BTW, I was totally out of pads, but didn’t think I’d need anymore, since all the bleeding had stopped. By the time I got in the car to drive the kids to school. I could tell I was having a problem after we had driven about a mile. There was this huge pressure in my nether region. You know, when something wants to come out, but you’re desperately trying to hold it in, wink, wink. I get to school and drop the boys off…it’s car to door service, so I don’t ever have to get out of the car.

I call hubby and tell him, I can’t wait until later for him to go get something, I’ll just swing by the grocery store on my way home. I get to the parking lot, park and get out of my car. Standing up was my mistake! Everything comes out. Note to the men: graphic language here, sorry. I figure the store’s empty I can run in, pay self serve and run out. I walk into the store and feeling a big gush I look down to see I’m leaving a trail of blood on the floor behind me. Now let me just state that I am not dizzy, light headed or pale. So I know I’m not hemorrhaging. I’m just completely embarrassed. I turn around quickly and leave the store. I call hubby and catch him up on what’s going on. Now try to understand that I can tell this isn’t just a “flow”, there are clots releasing themselves from me to come out. It only takes me 4 mins. to get home. By this time I have bled through my pants, onto the car seat cover (get ‘em) and need to get in the shower immediately!

Meanwhile, I tell hubby call my Dr.s office to report what is going on, because I have no idea WHY this is happening. As I get undressed I see these large clots and have to dump them. I jump in the shower and can feel more things coming! I have to yell at hubby to bring me a bowl so I have a way to collect and dump all the “chicken innards” coming out of me. That’s what it looks like, and I have to say, I’m getting a little freaked out! What the fuck is going on. Everything was fine. I can tell there’s no baby in this stuff, but seriously WTF!!!

The nurse gets on the phone with me, and I explain what’s been happening for the last hour, now. She says come in right away and they’ll look. Oh great, I get to pick new pants to bleed through. So quickly I get dressed, wrap a beach towel around me, and drive to the office. Oh get over it, of course I could drive. Remember, there are 2 little one’s home still.

To make this long story a little shorter…the clots have stopped at this point, and the bleeding goes back to it’s very minimal amount that it had been prior to this morning.

It turns out fibroids are tricky little suckers. They can bleed on you. So after my DNC the fibroid had bled, pooled because I was lying down for a couple days, and then needed to expel itself.

Next time: The emotional damage.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Deer, Park...that's good pumpkin

The last few years I have taken to chopping up my Jack-o-lanterns, cooking, purreeing and freezing them. I grew up doing this and we always had wonderful pumpkin pie and pumpkin bread anytime we wanted. I cannot tell you the difference between canned pumpkin and fresh. Oh. My. Lord!! Once you have it you'll never go back! Just passing the cans in the grocery aisle make me a little queasy. I feel bad if I see someone buying it. I want to tell them "Hey, it's not too hard, try and do some fresh pumpkin."

If you want to try it and not spend a whole day in the kitchen, try cooking up just a quarter of your pumpkin. They hold a lot of water, so your yield will go down after it's cooked. But try it and see. Make some bread with your fresh pumpkin and tell me how wonderful it really is! One large pumpkin will usually give out about 8 quarts of puree.

This year, after speaking with my dad who informed me he broke a knife just cutting up his pumpkin, I decided not to do it. I checked my freezer and realized I still have enough to make pumpkin bread a number of times throughout the next year. Besides, if I run out I'll know where to go :)

So this year we played bowling with our pumpkins. We back to parkland so it was easy. We just rolled them out back so the deer could enjoy them. And they are!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Recyclying her clothes

May I present for your pleasure (well, really Kelly's) Ms. Pennypig. As I was spring cleaning and changing out the summer clothes for winter, I came across some of Kelly's old clothes that were just too small for her. I could've gone the old give-away route, but I wanted to do something different. I was just in the mood :)

So I got my scissors, sewing machine and some buttons out. Here is my humble result of Kelly's new "friend". It's nice to see her play with something that I can look at and remember the shirt, jacket and pants that helped create Pennypig. Each part of her is composed from something different. So Kelly and I both got something special.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

I want my mummy

How on earth did it get to be the middle of November and I didn't share anything about Halloween? I guess I've been a litle preoccupied with my memories lately. We had a blast at Halloween this year. Kelly was a butterfly, Dunn was Frankenstein, Finn was a mummy and Jack went as Indiana Jones (seriously, what else is a 12 yr. old cool boy gonna do?).

Familyfun.com saved me this year. I always wanted to make some Halloween costumes for my kids, but never got started early enough. So this year I planned ahead. The first week of October, I let the kids peruse the list of costumes at Family Fun and pick out something (within my doable range), and I'd try and make it for them.

Dunn did "monster", Finn did "mummy". Check them out, they really were pretty easy.

Sure, Dunn's green face was a little darker, but at night you couldn't really tell and he looked fantastic! The whole thing was easy to put together. A quick trip to the thrift sore for a $5 blazer, $2 old jeans (fringed the bottom) and $3 big black clunky shoes. Finn's was really a lot of fun to do. After searching for plain white/off white thermal underwear (Walmart) and buying about 4 yards of muslin, we ripped the muslin into 3 in. wide strips and hot glued them to the underwear. White and black face makeup and we were done.

Maybe next year I'll try something a little more challenging :)

Okay not this challenging:

Nordic Bo Peep and Long Lost Sheep Costume GIVEAWAY!!!!

Friday, November 14, 2008


As I drove home, don’t worry I waited until the hysteria had stopped, all I could think about was that the baby inside me was no longer living! That is about the craziest thing I’ve ever had to wrap my mind around. Let me start by explaining that even though the baby’s heart had stopped beating nearly 10 days prior, I still felt pregnant. I was still having my morning (evening) sickness, had already gained a ton of weight (yeah, weird), major league gas (clear the room) and was extremely tired. Oh yes, the cruel irony is that I had been able to enjoy that morning sickness and not being able to eat for 10 days even though technically, I wasn’t pregnant. Evidently the body still makes all those pregnancy hormones leading you into a false sense of security. My false sense of security! Believe me, I had thought about the possibilities of the pregnancy not going full term. After all, I was 40 years old and no spring chicken. But I didn’t REALLY think that it would happen to me. I was thinking like a foolish teenager who thought they could drive home after having one too many beers…Yeah, it happens, but not to me. Crash!!! Fatality - 1.

The next day was my birthday (Oh Joy!). Since I’d had no cramping or bleeding, my Dr. wanted to do a DNC as soon as possible. I let him know I just couldn’t do it on my birthday, so we scheduled it for 2 days later. I didn’t make a cake.

After I got home, hubby and I had the unpleasant task of telling our children. Yes, we are one of those couples that can’t wait to share our news and pretty much call everyone from the bathroom, after the stick shows us the plus sign. Now I know plenty of you are saying, “See, that’s why you should always wait”. Honestly, I just can’t do it. For one, I’m a terrible liar, I am always just ridiculously happy, I can’t keep something like that from my BFF and after waiting so long to have children and all the troubles we had gone through just to have our first, this is who we are. Don’t be hatin’.

The 2 oldest, Jack and Finn took it especially hard. They remember what it's like having babies and look forward to it every time. Dunn and Kelly really didn’t get it and were pretty much like “ok”. I didn't make a cake.

So we get to the day of “the procedure”. I’m nervous and don’t want to talk, even in the car when it’s just me and hubby. We arrive and everything goes “smoothly”. I get home and stay in bed for the rest of the day, and half of the next. No real pain, and some very slight, I mean slight bleeding. At this point I’m thankful that it didn’t have to be a big physical and painful reminder. Until the next day... which changed me forever!

To be continued.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Not a Celebratory Anniversary

I’m coming up on an Anniversary. It isn’t one I’ll celebrate, but it is one that I’ll always hold in my heart. November 26th is the one year Anniversary of my one and only lost (as in no longer pregnant) baby.

I was 12 weeks along and was going in for a diagnostic sonogram because I was measuring 4 wks. larger than my gestational period. This was normal for me ever since I became pregnant with baby #2 when I developed a fibroid. Fibroids will enlarge due to hormones during pregnancy, and shrink back down after birth. For me, it never caused any problems except the oh-look-she’s-4 months-pregnant (when in reality I was only 3) stares, and necessary early maternity clothes. To top it all off I carry big anyway. Go ahead, laugh.

So to me this was just another sonogram to see how large the fibroid was, and make sure everything was fine. I had had a previous sonogram the month before, just to date the pregnancy officially, and due to my AMA (advanced maternal age), see how everything looked.

Yes, just 4 weeks prior, the baby’s heartbeat was “strong” and we looked good to go!! But, on November 26th after I hop up on the table, and she turned the machine on – with sound- I saw and heard a flat-line, under the picture of the baby. I can’t explain it but even though I knew what it meant, I instantaneously pushed that thought away and rationalized that she was checking the blood flow in the cord, or something like that. I didn’t say anything. She didn’t say anything. I didn’t look at her. She quickly turned the sound off. But I knew. I waited. I waited for her to tell me everything was fine. I waited for her to start taking measurements. I waited for something, anything.

After about 3 minutes I just looked at her and said “There’s no heartbeat is there?” She said “No Sweetie, there isn’t.”

I laid there quietly. Still. Hardly breathing. I still thought the baby would suddenly move around…like it had been holding it’s breath. Not dead. It couldn’t be. I’ve never lost a baby. 4 pregnancies…4 babies. This was number 5, why would it be any different? But it was.

I managed to hold it together, throught the measuring and chronicling of the baby. All I really wanted to do was run out of there screaming No, No, No.

Luckily my preferred Dr. was in that office on that day. I got to see him, which was some comfort since we have a history. We talked about the options of what to do, why it happened and how to proceed.

Mind you, I’m still holding it together. My Dr. handles everything, and I am free to go. Until I see him in another 2 days for the DNC. I get in the parking lot, pull out my cell and call hubby. Instantly, this is when I lose it. Completely. I’m amazed he understood anything I said. Although, when your wife is calling you after a sonogram appt. and she’s hysterical, you pretty much know it’s not good.

Come back as I share more of the details on what went wrong…so very wrong.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Mean Nasty Antivirus 2009

Warning, Warning, Warning...Antivirus is NOT a real spyware from Microsoft. In fact it is just the opposite. I'm telling you this so you will not get into the computer trouble that I got into a few weeks ago.

Innocently it will pop up on your computer telling you that there are dangerous items on your computer and to run Antivirus 2009. Do not click on it. DO NOT CLICK ON IT!!! I clicked on it and followed the prompt, but when it asked me for $49.95 to download I thought skip it.

Well, the next thing I know...Everytime I go to Google, there's a box telling me I have unregistered Antivirus 2009, and I should register it. I realized this was a virus when I couldn't access my email site, much less account. It was constantly redirecting me on many sites I had previously gone to with no trouble.

So don't be like me. Naive. Stupid. Dumb. Blind. Follower. BUT, if you are like me, and are looking for a solution to get rid of Antivirus 2009 follow these easy steps.

1.Click on your control panel
2. Click on Performance and Maintenance icon. If you don't see performance and maintenance switch to "category view" in your control panel...look for it on the top left.
3. Click on System Restore
4. A calendar will present itself to you. Go back and pick a date that you know you didn't have Antivirus 2009 on your computer. And restore to that date.
5. Relax. Breathe. Tape your hair back onto your head. Problem solved.

Now, wasn't that easy?!

xoxo ~L

Monday, September 29, 2008

Caramel Candy Corn...Love - Hate

So I'm at the local grocery store, minding my own business, when I walk up to the express line, and what do they have there? They have CARAMEL CANDY CORN. I can't stand candy corn, it's so sugary and over the top with sweetness. But this, this could be a whole new thing. Never mind that I just made the most incredible caramel, chocolate, oatmeal bars. So I had caramel on the brain. This caramel corn was speaking to me, it said "just try me, I'll change your mind about candy corn...I have a caramel flavor". So I bought it. I really wanted to say...Oh thank the candy gods, they've come up with a solution to the grainy sugary taste of candy corn by adding caramel. But noooooooo! It's still grainy, sweet and just too much. At least for me. So goes my love-hate relationship with cand corn. I really want to love it, but I just can't seem to get the tastebuds on board with this.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Goodbye summer

This is the old, old, very old summer house our family gets to use on vacation. Don't let it's looks decieve you. The kitchen is as big as the average large area rug. Approximately 12' x 14'. No dishwasher or kitchen cabinets, and the stove...well let's just say we grill a lot!

There is also no air conditioning. But where we are, there's always a breeze to waft through the screens, and keep us cool. Yes, the house is old, buggy, and just plain dirty, but me and the family wouldn't trade it for nothin'.

So goodbye summer house...we'll be back next year to dust, sweep, vacuum and grill :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Playing just got a whole lot greener

Ok....is this not the cutest homemade kitchen you've ever seen?! Wondering what makes it so "green". I made it out of cardboard!!! Yes, ladies and gents, cardboard. Thanks to a wonderful pattern from Laura at fortytworoads who seems to be inventing all kinds of things lately! Check out her blog to find out all her latest plans. FYI, she just got featured in Craft magazine for this. Anyway, I'm just glad I happened across her shop on etsy, while looking for a play kitchen for the Kellster.

So here's my version. The instructions were easy to follow. Getting the cardboard, not so difficult with all the big box stores around. For some reason it was scary to cut the cardboard. I had been dumpster diving for the morning, and didn't want to mess anything up. But once I got going...man was it fun!!!

I'd say overall this was a weekend project. One morning to gather supplies. One afternoon to cut and glue together the cardboard. One morning to cover it in contact paper, and put together. Then voila...

Now you're not only going green, but you've made something sturdy that will last, and is so much more attractive than those big plastic kitchens :)

xoxo ~L

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Need a hip new phone

So, I have this really, really, really old cell phone. Seriously! Believe it or not, I didn't even own a cell phone until just a few years ago. This is about what my current model looks like. I'm thinking of something a little smaller?! But I want to keep the fancy features of this one. Displays the number I'm calling and...well that's about it. Now I don't even own an mp3 player either. So I've narrowed it down to these 2 phones:

The LG vu


The Sony Ericsson 580i

I really like the feel and look (hey it's pink!!!) of the Sony. But I know how "hot" the LG vu is right now, what with the cool touchpad screen (Think iphone). Personally, for me, if I have to hold that phone to the side of my face it's just going to be a simulation of what Tammy Faye's (May she Rest In Peace) pillow, surely looked like. My makeup will be all over that screen ;) BTW, this will have to double as an mp3 player. You didn't really think I had one of those, now did you?

Anyone? Ideas? Pros or cons? Have one of these?

xoxo ~L

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