Friday, September 30, 2011

see ya September

It's the last day of September and it's Friday, woohoo! This week has been rather quiet. But long. We did our usual library and park outings, plus plenty of painting + playdoh creations. I hit a happy stopping point with my scrapbook space. I worked on my second bite. Mark spent a long day in Chicago for work, so we spent last night snuggled in front of the TV catching up on the shows we missed. We are watching our old favorites - Parenthood and The Office (and House begins again next week), plus Up All Night. What are you watching?

I've been looking over my lists of things I want to get done and I'm feeling satisfied with September. Oddly enough, October's list is looking pretty slim. I'm going to consider this the calm before the holiday storm and enjoy it!

Today + beyond : I've been up since 5:30 and I'm out of coffee so I think we might just need to take a trip to Target for shopping + a Pumpkin Spice Latte (love my Target has a Starbucks inside). We've been printing lots of coloring pages + school worksheets and now I'm in dire need of a new black printer cartridge. Good excuse, huh? The orchid in our bathroom has dropped it's last bloom with no new flowers in sight, so I need to do a little research on how to clip this little guy's stem down and cross my fingers for new growth.

This weekend will be busy with friends + baseball, football and we're going to see our nephews!! It's been too long and Morgan is very excited about seeing her Aunt Kristin. Right now, I need to dig around in the refrigerator and hope there is some chai in there to hold me over. Yawn...

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

20 Questions : Birthday Q + A Album

Back in June, I shared a little annual project I came up with for Morgan (and Parker once he turns 3) that I called 20 Questions. Over the last few weeks, I've been working on the base of a simple album to hold 9 years worth of questions.

I used a SEI 8x8 Preservation Album (pink for Morgan, blue for Parker). The little accent tag on the cover above is a Jenni Bowlin scalloped tag with American Crafts chipboard and alphabet rub-on's.

First, a little note on the opening page :
And the first two-page spread :
The left side is simply an 8x8 photo from her birthday party that I cropped down in Photoshop Elements, then added her name and age before uploading to Persnickety Prints. The right side is the list of 20 questions I asked Morgan just before her birthday. I typed it up in Microsoft Word and added dotted lines for me to handwrite in her answers. I actually printed enough pages for the whole album, so in future years, I just have to fill in her answers and print an 8x8 photo. I also punched all of the pink circles and added the age number stickers already too. There should be no excuses with keeping up with this little album, right? Click to enlarge any of the above photos, or you can read the questions + answers in this post. The scrapbook style albums that I was selling in my Etsy shop have been reformatted + replaced with a new softcover bound book!

I don't need it for 2 more years, but Parker's album is ready to go too! Is that overkill? :)
It's going to be many, many years before these albums are complete, but it will be fun to read how their favorite things have changed over the years. It's only been 3 months since she originally answered these questions and I already think Morgan would have a different response to most of the questions!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

preschool fun : apple theme

This month, Morgan and I have been following bits + pieces of the preschool curriculum at Preschool Palace. Their website is full of free printables and project ideas to do with your preschool aged children and we especially loved the craft projects. Here are pictures of our apple-themed favorites from September :
Apple smiles : apple slices (lips) with peanut butter (gums) + mini marshmellows (teeth). Morgan LOVES these!
Stamping with apple halves
Making edible jewelry with Apple Jacks : great for fine motor skills and teaching about patterns
Orange, orange, green. Orange, orange, green. Morgan insisted on counting them too. We've been practicing the teens. She made (and ate) a necklace + bracelet.
And Mommy made her a fancy ring. :)
Painted apple tree : the trunk is her arm (elbow to wrist). She made the leaves with her hand, the grass with her fingers and the apples with her fingertips.

I am looking forward to seeing the activities for October. Plus, I'm hoping to make some fun Halloween themed crafts + snacks for Morgan + Parker next month. Any ideas to share?

Monday, September 26, 2011


about how much I love my new breakfast obsession - oatmeal with lots of toppings. My new fave is real, not instant, oatmeal with banana, almonds + a drizzle of honey. It's nice to finally feel full until lunch.

about how to tweak the pumpkin spice syrup I made last weekend. It's good, but I feel like I'm using too much in my coffee to get that true PSL taste. It's definitely worth trying though.

about how nice it was to visit with some friends we haven't seen in too long (hi Sara + Jared!) ;) I was so excited to hear they are expecting a baby girl in February!!

about how to wean Parker off his pacifier. I was up 3 times with him last night (and then once with Morgan after I'm guessing she woke up from his cries ear-piercing screams) so I know he depends on it now. I know, my bad. Plus he is drooling like crazy so I'm sure we have more teeth coming. I hate this.

about Christmas and wish lists. We went to IKEA on Saturday and ended up picking up part of Parker's gift from Santa. If you spend $100 or more, you can get your entire meal recipe deducted and you end up eating for free, so we had a quickie dinner there too. I have a feeling Christmas is gonna come up quick. It always does. First, I need to get through Halloween. It's not even October yet.

about how important communication is to happy friendships + marriages. And how much I love Mark. Mwah babe!

Today : the rain is going to keep us inside today, but that's okay because I have laundry to do and a sticky kitchen floor to mop. My prima ballerina is obsessed with coloring so I better get on printing some clean pages for her before she runs out.

Friday, September 23, 2011

lazy Friday ahead

All I have is some list-worthy randomness today :

It's gloomy + rainy this morning. Happy freakin' first day of fall. Morgan is singing "Rain, rain, go away. Come again another day. The marching band wants to play. Rain, rain, go away."

My lower back is killing me + sleeping did not help. Nor Tylenol. Need to try some ibuprofen. I soaked up every bit of quiet snuggle time this morning before Morgan + Parker woke up. Today was definitely not a wake before the kids day.

Needless to say, we are all still in our jammies.

Parker is wearing Morgan's bike helmet + attacking my computer screen with gusto after playing with Kevin's iPad last night.

We are thinking about having some evening get togethers soon. Detroit Lions are on Monday Night Football in a couple weeks and the Tigers are going to the playoffs!! And I think the Red Wings pre-season starts tonight? Don't quote me on that.

If you love Kal's brush script as much as I do, she is giving away a set of the prints I linked to a few weeks ago on her blog. Click here to read more and leave your comment.

I'm on the fence about all the new things that are going on on Facebook. Apparently I am one of the lucky ones that hasn't been bombarded with the "stalker ticker" and the new profile page (or Timeline I guess it's called) looks pretty cool. Almost blog-like.

I have plenty to do + zero motivation to do it. I guess it's still early... 

This weekend : there are so many options. I for sure am getting a hair cut. And making this pumpkin spice coffee syrup. We might go to ArtPrize in Grand Rapids. We might go to IKEA. We might go to the cider mill. We might be lazy and do nothing. Are you doing anything fun or cool that would motivate me to get up and move?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Parker's first year album : ready or not

Parker's first year scrapbook is coming along nicely. I probably only have a handful of layouts that need to be added or completed. It's a good feeling to get such a big project finished! Today I want to share the opening page to his scrapbook. I was sitting on this one for a long time because I wanted to add a zigzag stitch between the photo and journaling. I finally tackled it on Tuesday. Not too bad for my first try.
Portions of the journaling are taken from this post-Parker blog post. You can click the layout to enlarge or read here below : 

I waited as long as I could for you to come all on you own, but at 5 days past your due date, Daddy and I walked into Providence Park Hospital in Novi on Monday, June 7, 2010 at 10am to begin preparing for your arrival. Everyone at the hospital was incredibly nice - answering all of my questions and explaining how everything was going to go down in the next few hours. They started me on IV fluids and Daddy and I tried to relax in our room. Soon, Grandma Frahm and Aunt Kristin arrived. Grandma Goulding was there. And later, Grandpa Reaves. Nurses and doctors were in and out for the next couple hours and around noon we got the go ahead to start getting ready to move down to the hall to the operating room.

I'll always remember the time we entered the operating room. One of the nurses announced '12:17' as we passed through the double doors. I watched everyone prepare for the surgery - dressing in double layers of scrubs, counting clamps and laying out blankets in the bassinet for your arrival. It was nice to be so alert and rested. I even scooted over onto the operating table all on my own. I felt like I was watching from the outside in. They weren't about to slice me open. It was surreal, but very exciting.

In came the anesthesiologist and his nurses to give me a spinal. Shortly after, the sheet went up between my head and my chest and the doctors started doing their thing. Mommy's belly was pretty big and they started making bets on your size. I remember saying I hope you aren't 10 pounds. Oh my! I was very happy to not have my arms tied down this time too. I was so anxious to hold you and touch you. Then, Daddy came into the operating room and sat at my head and we waited.

Not long after that, all I heard was "oh my gosh", "wow!" and several other exclamations of shock. At 12:47pm, you arrived and the doctors said you were huge! Big head, big feet and big hands. And boy did you have a big cry. Grandma Goulding told me later that she could hear you all the way down the hall in the waiting room. Your Apgar scores were 9 and 9. And best of all, my only request was made and I got to hold you and kiss you almost right away.

Thanks for looking! More layouts to come.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Pinterest favorites : funny stuff

I follow some women on Pinterest that find the most hilarious sayings. Maybe it's just my sarcastic mood, but reading these (especially after a long day) have produced several much-needed laughs. These are a few of my recent favorites :
Are you on Pinterest? You can follow me here. Or add your name in the comments below so I can check out your boards and follow you!

Today : we actually have a whole lot of nothing planned. Yesterday was fun and wonderfully productive at the same time. My little craft space is coming along and I ended up finally setting up my Grandma's old sewing machine so I could add some stitching to a couple of Parker's baby layouts. She gave it to me at least two years ago. It's about time. And, our mudroom and master bedroom closet doors are painted + in place (we went with practical white). Need to find the time and good lighting to take photos of all of the good stuff that is going on around here. Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

my quotable kid : Morgan : 01

Over the summer, I found these blank journals on Amazon called My Quotable Kid and right away I purchased two of them - one for Morgan and one for Parker. Obviously, Parker isn't saying much right now so his is packed away, but I keep Morgan's on our kitchen counter since that seems like the best place to write down funny things she says.

Last week, this was a story I recorded :
Details : Morgan : September 15, 2011 : 3 years, 3 months old : said at breakfast at home with Mommy + Parker :

Quote reads : "I love Daddy so much! Why do we need money to buy things?"

The story behind the quote : Whenever Mark is getting ready for work, (if Morgan is awake) she almost always asks him why he has to go. Other than explaining to her that he enjoys his job as an architect, we try to tell her that Daddy's job helps him earn money for things we need, like the house, our cars and food. Today she was REALLY missing her Daddy. :(

I am amazed at how she is starting to put bits + pieces of conversations together. She understands, as much as a three-year-old can, and man, can she remember the simplest things. Things that happened weeks, even months ago. "Why do we need money to buy things?" Wow. I get a lot of "why?" questions every day, but nothing quite as complex as this. She is going to give me a run for my money trying to think of short simple explanations that she'll comprehend.

I'm not sure that stories like this would make it into her scrapbook, but I think documenting them in this little journal is perfect. To me, just getting the words written down in some form, is good enough.

Today : I am going to find joy in the simple things. This morning we are going to start with sunshine, a trip to the library, a box of Timbits and lots of lovin' on my little people because they are growing up too fast.

Monday, September 19, 2011

last weekend :

I wrote.
I opened my heart.
I drank wine.
I practiced my brush script.
I scrapbooked.
I spent time with my two favorite ladies.
I talked.
I listened.
I laughed.
I vented.
I hugged my babies.
I cried.
I didn't sleep well.
I didn't have the last word.
I bit my tongue.
I thinned the herd.
I felt loved by those who really matter.

I am happy to welcome a new week. Task number one this morning : oatmeal + a warm cup of chai + a much needed brain dump before the kiddies wake.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

show + tell : brush script

My first stab at writing words / quotes / sayings / phrases.
Yesterday I went through 30+ practice pages.
These two were my favorites :

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

practice makes better

First of all, thank you for ALL of the sweet comments on my Scrapbook on the Road yesterday! You are too kind.
I am love love loving Kal's SCRIPTschool class. Sad that today is the last day but I'm so excited to get time to sit and practice some more. 'Practice makes better', Kal says. You can say that again. Morgan sat with me yesterday for 2 hours, coloring and painting and talking about making art. I love that she enjoys crafts and projects as much as her mama!
Yesterday morning we went out into the backyard to check out our tomatoes and cucumbers. We have an insane number of cherry tomatoes but these are the only ones that have turned red. I don't know if we are just going to have really late tomatoes or if they are going to pitter out and not ripen.
Parker is such a little stinker. He will hardly go near their little kiddie pool when we are outside to play in the water. He just likes to hang out around it and dip his hands in. But, if he is fully clothed, well then he feels the need to dunk his arms in, scoop water out and stomp in the puddles. Then he saw me picking tomatoes and came over, picked a few green ones and tossed them in the pool. Along with a few big rocks for good measure.
In the meantime, Morgan was busy constructing a 'bunny nest.' In her pajamas. :)
I've been getting really lucky with selling what remains of our big baby gear on Craigslist. We've been teased in the past by friends who thought it was insane that we spent $500 on a stroller but - at over 3 years old - I sold it a few weeks ago for $350! Sweet huh? A super nice stay-at-home mom came over yesterday to snag up what was left from my listings and her little girl played with Parker while her and I chatted. Not the typical Craigslist transaction, that's for sure. It's not so freaky scary when you are dealing with other moms.

This weekend, I'm getting together with my mom and Kristin for our monthly craft + chat session. I feel like it's been forever since we've talked/I've seen them. I'm not sure I'm going to get much done this time - the longer we are apart, there tends to be more chatting than crafting! Maybe I'll look ambitious and pack what is left to complete of Parker's baby album. Excited nonetheless!

Today : the to-do list is light. We need to make a run to The Depot, as Morgan says, for paint rollers and hooks so I can work on my craft area. Maybe tonight? Other than that, we are just flying by the seat of our pants. Happy times ahead!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Completed Scrapbook on the Road : Port Crescent State Park 2011

Once I mentally pressed my reset button yesterday morning, all was golden and I was ready to move on with my day. It was a beautiful day, so I took Morgan + Parker to the zoo, complete with a picnic lunch and lots of energy burning in the playground. There was one big mommy brain 'uh-oh' in the parking lot while I was loading up the stroller. I left my wallet at home. Nice! I didn't need any money because we have a zoo membership (and I had that card in the diaper bag), but I needed my license as photo identification. (forehead slap) After reciting our address and every other piece of vital information that I could think of (and promising not to do it again), they let us in. Phew! That could've sucked. We had the best time together, and not one, but both children were fast asleep upon arriving home (I don't think Parker even made it to the freeway) and I got some quiet time to watch my SCRIPTschool videos and sit down. ((angels singing)) Awesome, right?

So anyways, today, I'd like to share my completed Scrapbook on the Road from our first family vacation - camping at Port Crescent State Park - last month. Feel free to enlarge the images if you want a closer look, or to read the journaling.

Beware : it's photo heavy. Every page is shown.

You can also see the entire album on Flickr here. It's kinda fun to look at it as a slideshow too.
I really loved putting this album together and couldn't wait to get the developed prints in the mail so I could get to work. It was nice to have the base of the album complete and ready to receive photos and words. Truthfully, I didn't do much work with the album while we were camping. There wasn't much free time with two littles always at our feet. Or when there was, it was dark and we were enjoying our adult company. No biggie though. Instead, I was kept lots of notes in Evernote on my iPhone and printed them out when we got home so I would remember what stories I wanted to tell. The album ended up being a pretty decent size for just a 3+ day trip. That is another nice thing about this mini because you can move your pages around, or completely take them out if you want. If you missed it, you can see my album shell here.

If you made it this far, thank you for looking + reading! I'd love to read your questions + comments below. Are you ready to make a Scrapbook on the Road?