Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day, Sweetie...

They didn't have you where I come from
Never knew the best was yet to come

Life began when I saw your face
And I hear your laugh like a serenade
How long do you want to be loved
Is forever enough, is forever enough
How long do you want to be loved
Is forever enough
Cause I'm never, never giving you up

I slip in bed when you're asleep
To hold you close and feel your breath on me
Tomorrow there'll be so much to do
So tonight I'll drift in a dream with you

How long do you want to be loved
Is forever enough, is forever enough
How long do you want to be loved
Is forever enough
Cause I'm never, never giving you up

As you wander through this troubled world
In search of all things beautiful
You can close your eyes when you're miles away
And hear my voice like a serenade

How long do you want to be loved
Is forever enough, is forever enough
How long do you want to be loved
Is forever enough
Cause I'm never, never giving you up

How long do you want to be loved
Is forever enough, is forever enough
How long do you want to be loved
Is forever enough
Cause I'm never, never giving you up
Is forever enough
Cause I'm never, never giving you up

Lullaby by The Dixie Chicks

Monday, January 4, 2010

Survival School Part I

Andy officially started his two-year diesel mechanic program today. I officially started Survival School training. I will have all three boys (ages: 3, almost 2, and five months) by myself for four (possibly five) days a week...from dawn til dusk....every week....until summer.

My survival school training will consist of providing three nutritious meals a day (Andy usually took care of two of those...gotta love swing shift); doing a little blogging; keeping up on the housework (goodbye hulu!); fitting in some gym time; finishing the bathroom remodel; and trying to figure out how to live a great life as a part-time single parent.

Today is good so far. Everyone is clothed (having on underwear and diapers counts as clothes, right?), fed, and even did chores this morning. And its only nine o'clock. Oh boy!

A key part of my survival training is providing nutritious meals. The last thing I want to do upon waking is do any sort of cooking and we usually don't have cereal so I had to find an alternative that was at least a little healthier than Burger King. Woman's Day magazine to the rescue (I know, I can't believe I said that either)! I found a great little recipe for instant oatmeal. Andy and I made a huge batch and everyone in the house is addicted.

Make at Home Instant Oatmeal

18 ounces quick-cooking oats (I used Bob's Red Mill...I got a great price at Cash & Carry)
3 1/4 ounces nonfat dry milk powder
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup raisins

1. In a large bowl combine oats, milk powder, brown sugar and raisins.
2. Transfer to a large airtight container
3. For breakfast: scoop 1/2 cup of oatmeal mix into a bowl, add 1/2 cup of water, and microwave on high for 1 minute. Enjoy!

We made individual servings for Andy to take to school by putting a 1/2 cup of oatmeal in a pint canning jar. When Andy gets to school, he just adds hot water or adds cool water and puts it in the microwave. So easy! I keep a gallon ziploc bag with oatmeal mix in the house for the boys' breakfast.

You could substitute other dried fruit for the raisins like apples, craisins, misc berries, or even a spice mix. Let me know what you've tried.

Monday, December 7, 2009

To Scream or not to Scream...

I want my kids to know how much they are valued and one of the ways I show them how they're valued is to know what is important to them. I know Isaiah likes his pb&j with jelly only served open face. I know Liam has a hard time after nap and likes to be cuddled for awhile. I know Owen looks forward to Mommy time after his brothers are in bed. I know many of my childrens' preferences and demonstrate my grasp of that information on a daily basis. So why do they always act like I have no idea who they are!?

We all know that screaming is a part of being two (and apparently three as well) but it seems impossible to not take it personally. There are times when my kids scream and it is very easy for me to see it for what it is: a tantrum, power struggle, lack of sleep, hunger pangs, etc. But there are other times when their screaming goes straight to my soul.

Sometimes when they scream I hear it as: "you don't know what I like" or "you never remember my favorite things" or "you don't pay attention". I know that they're little. I know that they are not saying those things. I know that I'm an awesome mom ninety percent of the time. So why do I hear hurtful statements sometimes when they scream?

I'm not sure I know the full answer to that question but I think it provides me with a way to spot check myself. When I feel like my kids are telling me I'm a horrible mom, I have to take a moment, look at the situation and figure out if I am being a horrible mom. Sometimes I have to readjust my attitude because I am not modeling appropriate behavior and sometimes my kids are just being kids.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Homemade Shipping Envelopes

The holidays are upon us. Relational gifts are waiting to be sent but it seems strange to put such a thoughtful gift in an ugly commercial mailer. This tutorial will show you how to make your own shipping envelope from a paper grocery bag. You could then decorate it with markers, stamp images, modge podge, stickers or even let your kids have a go at it. For sewers, or people with large fabric stashes, it seems like you could do the same thing with scrap fabric. Let me know if you try it and how it turned out.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Fabric Covered Buttons

Have you ever thought of making your own fabric covered buttons? It never crossed my mind but now I am intrigued. This tutorial shows how to make buttons (duh!), hair clips, rings, and earrings. I'm saving up my allowance to buy some button blanks but first I have to find store that sells them. Have you seen any? Do you know of a good craft/sewing store to try?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Food Gifts for the Holidays

I've always wanted to give food gifts during the holidays but the jars never seemed pretty enough to hand out regardless of the tastiness inside. I stumbled across a canning label template that has finally changed my mind. Merriment Design tells you everything you need and walks you the process step by step.

Why stop with food goods? Glam up your craft closet with decoratively labeled jars, spice up homemade bath salts, tuck in knit goods like gloves and a lacy scarf. There are so many things that can creatively be given inside a glass jar (they come in many different shapes, sizes, and styles) and the labels give it such a personalized touch.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Allen Wrench on Aisle 23

To Whom it may Concern,

First and foremost, let me say, I love IKEA furniture! About 70% of the furniture in my house is IKEA furniture and I plan to buy more in the future.

I know that IKEA wants to take responsibility for the environment and is taking many positive steps in that direction with flat boxes, using waste products, and reducing resources used in production of your goods.

There is one area where your company could improve. With almost every piece of IKEA furniture I've purchased, I have received an allen wrench. I now have dozens of them around my house and in my toolbox. I would love for your store to provide a way to recycle allen wrenches at your store and, ideally, for your store to find a way to reuse them.

I have talked to many other individuals who frequently shop at your store and many of them have shared similar concerns. Almost all of your packing materials are recyclable except for the wrench that comes with many of your products. I would greatly appreciate your business devising a way to make the allen wrench yet another area in which sustainability and concern for resources is a high priority.

Thank you,
Laura M.

PS: For any of you reading this letter on my blog, I would encourage you to send a similar letter to IKEA