Friday, November 26, 2010

Deck the ... bowls?

D had just finished going to the bathroom the other day when I glanced at the potty.

Me:  "Eww.  There's pee on the rim.  Let's clean that off."

D:  "That's not pee.  It means that Christmas is coming."

Me (not even trying to hide the 'are-you-crazy' look):  "Um, no, it's drops of pee and I'm cleaning it."

D:  "I really don't want you to clean it.  It's a sign.  A sign that Christmas is coming."

It seems like at this point a caring mother might have probed farther. How on earth did he get to that point?  Dried pee drops = Christmas?  Huh, seems like he's thought this out.  Maybe I should try to be sensitive to the fact that he finds this pee valuable.

Or think, think, what in the holy advent story could possibly remind the boy of pee?  Stars are vaguely like yellow circles.  

Do you think it's a bad sign that none of that even crossed my mind?  I just thought, "Eww, pee spots."

Me: "Well, I'm afraid that's too bad.  You'll have to find a new sign that Christmas is coming."  Wipe, flush.

D: ""Nooo!"  (then sadly) "ok....  HEY!  We have DONUTS!"   and off he ran.

So I guess my insensitivity didn't scar him. 

The other night when D was supposed to be up putting pajamas on we heard the "thump thump thump THUMP!" of something falling down the stairs.

Me:  What was that?

D:  A book.

Me:  What??? Do we throw books down the stairs?

D:  Um...I'm afraid I don't want to answer that question. (sound of feet running down hall and door closing.)

I have this thing against talking about my Etsy shop to family and friends.  I know, I know,  not exactly a good entrepreneurial practice, but I hate people to think I'm bugging them and I certainly don't want any sympathy sales.  So, with that disclaimer, any of you who have the slightest inclination, could you pop over to my shop and poke around in it?

My shop was picked to be in this online boutique next week through UCreate , which I'm super excited about.  The dilemma comes from the fact that Belle has had some rough sleeping nights in the past couple weeks so I have found myself up at 2 am making listings for my shop while I wait for her to go back to sleep.  This does not always lead to coherent writing.  So if you would, dear friend, stop by and spend a minute or two glancing at anything that catches your eye and make sure the descriptions make sense and that the photos are good, I'd really appreciate it.  I've looked at them all so many times that they all mush together in my mind!

And those of you who could care less about Etsy and jewelry in general, well, just pretend that this post ended 3 paragraphs ago. 

Oh, and Etsy has finally made it possible for people to use coupon codes, so if you ever do want to order anything, use the coupon code FRIEND and you will get 20% off your order.  

Thanks!  Hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Sweet relief!

My house is not neat.  At least not everywhere.  There are pockets of neatness that wander around the house, but they leave trails of messiness in their wake.

I clean the kitchen counter and the piles move to the desk upstairs.  I get the laundry room emptied of clean laundry and the pile plops down in my bedroom.  I straighten up the living room by tossing all toys down the playroom steps.

This is a constant, nagging source of guilt.  I admit that there is this pressure to have a neat house.  Especially since I'm home all day and 'not doing anything else'.  But really people, when everyone who lives in a house are not in it for 8-10 hours out of every day, that's 8-10 hours less of mess-making time.  And my house wasn't perfectly neat when I did leave it for a chunk of each day.  It's definitely worse now.  I'd like to blame it on the rug rats, but Medman and I do our share.  We are especially good at our own particular pockets of messiness.  Medman keeps his in the basement (the Med Cave) or hidden on his side of the bed.  Mine are my night stand, my entire craft room and unfortunately in everyone's way on the kitchen counter.

BUT, my friend Karen posted a link to the most wonderful article called "Saying Yes to the Mess."  Here are some of my favorite quotes:

It is a truism of American life that we’re too darn messy, or we think we are, and we feel really bad about it....But contrarian voices can be heard in the wilderness. An anti-anticlutter movement is afoot, one that says yes to mess and urges you to embrace your disorder. Studies are piling up that show that messy desks are the vivid signatures of people with creative, limber minds (who reap higher salaries than those with neat “office landscapes”) and that messy closet owners are probably better parents and nicer and cooler than their tidier counterparts. It’s a movement that confirms what you have known, deep down, all along: really neat people are not avatars of the good life; they are humorless and inflexible prigs, and have way too much time on their hands.

(sorry you neat people, but I have suspected this for awhile...)

"It’s chasing an illusion to think that any organization — be it a family unit or a corporation — can be completely rid of disorder on any consistent basis,” said Jerrold Pollak, a neuropsychologist at Seacoast Mental Health Center in Portsmouth, N.H., whose work involves helping people tolerate the inherent disorder in their lives. “And if it could, should it be? Total organization is a futile attempt to deny and control the unpredictability of life."
It was the overall scumminess of Alexander Fleming’s laboratory that led to his discovery of penicillin, from a moldy bloom in a petri dish he had forgotten on his desk.
"Stop feeling bad," say the mess apologists. "There are more urgent things to worry about."
It’s a flippant remark, but if you’ve never had a messy kitchen, you’ve probably never had a home-cooked meal.
Mess is robust and adaptable, like Mr. Schwarzenegger’s open calendar, as opposed to brittle, like a parent’s rigid schedule that doesn’t allow for a small child’s wool-gathering or balkiness. 
Mess tells a story: you can learn a lot about people from their detritus, whereas neat — well, neat is a closed book. Neat has no narrative and no personality.
[Studies] linked messy desks to higher salaries (and neat ones to salaries under $35,000), answer Einstein’s oft-quoted remark, “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk?”

So there you go, everyone.  Don't waste your Saturday cleaning.  Relish your messes!   And think, that mess makes you more interesting, more real and it should raise your salary.

Happily Ever After

I FINALLY got around to painting Belle's room this week.  Only 4 months after the rest of the house was painted.  Besides my natural procrastination, there is a good reason for this.  She's ONE.  Before I've mostly painted while she naps.

How do you keep a one-year-old from touching the wall, looking at their hands, saying, "Blech!" while you look on in horror from your perch as you trim above her window?  Turns out I can't get down from a chair with a loaded paint brush both quickly and neatly.  Has to be one or the other.  And then how do you stop said one-year-old from tottering out of her room, bracing herself all the way down the hall with the painted hand?  My hall was like some ancient cave with petroglyphs of partial hand prints.  Tiny partial smeared handprints. 

The answer is you don't.  Or at least I don't.  I just run after her hoping I find all the lavender smudges in the hallway. 

I had been under the impression that the light green walls "weren't too bad".  But they must have been because when I see her pretty lavender walls now I just LOVE them.

Of course, painted walls bring out the fact that her room was barely decorated.  I found this really cute "Happily Ever After" scrapbooking dimensional sticker at the local Wally-world.  So, after seeing so many talented people in blog-land reusing canvases, I pulled out the dollar store canvas I bought months ago in the hopes that one day inspiration would strike.   Here's the before:

My apologies to whomever painted this lovely picnic scene (and to all of you who think I should know who painted this lovely picnic scene) but I painted it pink!  And added clouds with highlights of gold to match my sticker!  And finally the sticker!

Oh, and I added glittery paint to the clouds, because what is a fairy tale ending without sparkles?

And now it hangs on the purple wall above her crib.  I actually think it looks sort of little and lonely there.  I think I'm going to look for a nice, fancy, over sized frame to hang on the wall around it.  But we'll see.

I'm not 100% happy with it.  It's not balanced right or something.  But it's pink and has fluffy, sparkly clouds, so it pretty much oozes happiness, which is what I was going for.  And the sticker ($3) was by far the most expensive part.  Which makes me like it even more. 

I'm going to try to link this up to Mural Maker's linky party, but I've never done that before, so we'll see!

 MuralMaker and More 

Monday, November 1, 2010

Fall and Halloween

Some recent pictures:

D wanted to be Thomas the Tank Engine for Halloween.  So I designed a little costume for him and thought it was pretty cool.

Uuntil I saw what other people have done...

But try to forget that image when you see Dalton's...

I'm quite proud of the fact that anyone who knows Thomas could recognize his costume as such.

And Belle refused to tell me what she wanted to be, so she was a princess.  Mostly because I had princessy material. 

Thomas is supposed to have a #1 on his side, but since D's costume didn't have sides, it got plopped on the back.  He didn't seem to mind the discrepancy.  I was actually afraid he would. 
And lest you make some complimentary comment about my sewing skills, here is the first fitting for Belle's dress.  Seems that during a mid-production design change I miscalculated the circumference of her chest just a bit.... Yup, that's EIGHT extra inches.  Around an 18" chest.  Oops.

Kinda hard to see since she is in perpetual motion.  But it was....billowy.

The kiddos, of course, thought that Trick or Treating was the greatest tradition ever invented.  Belle very quickly picked up on the concept and dove enthusiastically into any bowl of candy offered to her.

Other fall things we've gotten to do....

Jump in the leaves

and have our first fire in the fire place of our new house.  So lovely!

Hope everyone else is having as beautiful of a fall!