Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ribbon Organizer

I will absolutely not take any credit for this creation. I saw this on Martha Stewart a couple months back and recently had a chance to give it a whirl.

I had a lot of ribbon accumulating all over my craft room and I was in desperate need to get it organized. I had hoped to somehow put up a long post across the top of my work space to slide them all along, but the room (which I share with my two square friends, the washer and the dryer) is just not set up for this. So I grabbed an empty shoe box and punched some holes through each side so I could slide a narrow post through. I then punched holes in the front panel of the box through which I strung each strand of different coloured ribbon.

In Martha's example (which I cannot through any searching find) she had the holes nicely decorated with eyelets . . . I didn't get that fancy but my box is still very useful in its purpose. I would have liked a larger box, because I have several more rolls of ribbon I need to organize.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Maybe Karma is a Bitch

O.K. universe.


This is where the story starts.

One Saturday evening in late January, Paul and I went out to dinner with our friends Jenny and Denis. We had a fabulous time, dined at an amazing restaurant, drank great wine, and engaged in sparkling conversation. We laughed. We gossiped. We spoke of the economy and the state of jobs in Ottawa. They asked Paul if he felt his job was secure. We both agreed that we felt it was, given information we had and recent happenings at the company.

On that very same night Jenny and Denis also mentioned their Christmas vacation, and highlighted a nasty stomach bug that they and their family had contracted while out of town visiting relatives. I nodded sympathetically . . . having dealt with the stomach flu on more than numerous occasions in my own household I could relate and understand how unfortunate this would have been . . . and explained that we were so fortunate not to have had such a pesky virus since last summer. We left our good friends on that cold, blustery winter evening and went about our lives.

In less than a week, Paul lost his job and the FIVE of us contracted a nasty, grueling stomach virus.

You'd think I'd learned my lesson.

In the month that followed we dealt with the fallout from five of us being sick with the stomach bug, and then moved on to develop several horrible colds, chest coughs, and Thing 3 even managed to come down with pneumonia and get rushed to the hospital. By mid-March, however, things were looking up and we were all on the mend. It was around that time that my mother, who was vacationing in Florida, called me one evening over the school break to "check in" and see how we were all doing.

"Are any of you sick?" she asked. Because that is a question you pose to all mothers of small, germ-infested children in the winter. Praying that the answer is not "yes".

"NO. NO. NO. We are all doing well, we are healthy and happy and our winter blahs and illnesses are a thing of the past," I proudly proclaimed.

In less than six hours from that phone conversation, Thing 1 woke up in the middle of the night - sick as a dog - and proceeded to spend the next twelve hours vomiting non-stop. Yes, speaking of us being well had seemingly brought the curse of the flu back upon us. Thankfully it was over in about 48 hours, and the rest of us escaped relatively unscathed.

Fast forward to exactly 28 days later. I was at a craft night with some friends on Friday and the discussion evolved into stories of sick children (what a freaking exciting life I lead). The hostess mentioned that her son had the stomach flu, and that she had cleaned everything carefully so that no germs would be left on any surfaces around her home. I laughed, delving into my story of woe and how we'd already been SO sick this winter that it was virtually impossible for us to get sick again.


Thirty days - almost to the hour - from the last time Thing 1 was sick, he woke up in the middle of the night with another stomach bug. Yes, the dreaded "moooooommmmmmyyyy, my stomach hurts" to which I respond by hurdling out of bed like an Olympic athlete so that I might make it to him in time before a big mess ensues. And here we are at close to almost 24 hours of diarrhea and vomiting. Add to this the fact that Thing 2 woke up with a horrible cold and Thing 3 was a teething, screaming banshee today, and you may begin to realize that this is one mama who is close to losing her mind.

Universe : 100
Crafty Mom : -25

Thursday, April 16, 2009

PSF - Life Outside

There is nothing particularly spectacular about this photo, but for some reason I was really drawn to it yesterday. Thing 2 is intently watching a rabbit scamper through the grass in our backyard. The sun was shining and a beautiful, vivid blue sky filled our kitchen window and outlined the gigantic hundred-year-old oak tree in the backyard behind us. Thing 2 and I have a brief quiet time together each day when the babies nap and when Thing 1 is off to kindergarten each afternoon. Yesterday we shared an Easter egg and pondered life in our backyard.

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

WW - Now That's Fresh

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Our Long Weekend

Having been struck with a crazy and exhausting sore throat virus, the blog has been heavily neglected over the past week. Every time I get sick my to-do list scales way back and I lower my daily goals to items like "make sure children have a pulse" and "throw food in general direction of small people".

Regardless of me feeling like an ant who had been trampled by Big Foot, we managed to have a lovely Easter weekend. However, I took very few pictures and missed all the crucially important and cute Easter egg hunt and chocolate-covered face shots . . . so you'll have to take my word for it. Eggs were hunted. Chocolate was consumed. I pulled together a fantastic Easter dinner. Friends and family were visited. Smiles abounded.

I managed to snap a few shots on Saturday while we were out of town visiting our friends K&J who live "out in the country".

Their son is the same age as Thing 1 . . . and at one point they became a little competitive about who could do a better job lifting Thing 3.

She, as always, was an incredibly good sport.

Thing 2 has taken particular distaste in being left out of pictures. Thus I make sure he is in many of them. It cuts back on the incessant yelling. You wouldn't believe the set of lungs on this cute little face.

My good friend K and her sweet baby R.

Thing 3 and R hangin' together. They are only 8 months apart but R is still very much in her "baby" phase and Thing 3 has most definitely graduated to full-fledged toddler.

Check out the look on her face!! "I'm *so* over this mom!"

Since this was my first ever effort at cooking a ham, we thought it would be a nice treat to let Rudy chew on the ham bone after we were done. It seemed big enough that he would not possibly choke on it. Choke, no, but vomit the next morning, yes. Lesson learned.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Wipe it Green

For those of you not on the environmental bandwagon, this month is Earth Month. On April 22, Canada will celebrate Earth Day. I've begun to read a number of blog posts related to the environment and I thought I'd join in and share some of the small but important things that our family does to lessen our impact on the earth.

On occasion I've mentioned that we use cloth diapers. It's not nearly as difficult, as time-consuming, or as gross as you might think. You get used to it and it becomes a way of life. A couple years ago I also switched our regime to use cloth wipes, figuring I was still tossing away a great deal of unnecessary waste using disposable ones. I still use disposable wipes in my diaper bag, when we're out, or when absolutely necessary (ya know the kind of poop I'm talkin' about), but most of the time I use our cloth wipes. You can buy gorgeous, soft and completely absorbent cloth wipes on Etsy, or in a lot of stores that sell cloth diapers. You know my fav is The Extraordinary Baby Shoppe here in Ottawa.

Trying to be frugal and use what I had on hand, I gathered a bunch of cheap baby washcloths I wasn't using anymore (they were too flimsy to really "cut it" in the bathtub) and figured they'd be perfect to use as wipes.

I took an old empty wipe container and poured a couple inches of warm water in the bottom . . . I then mixed in a few drops of Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap (Lavender Hemp Pure-Castile) and swirled it around. I then add my folded-in-half washcloths and VOILA . . . all natural baby wipes!

They obviously don't stay warm for an incredibly long period of time, but they stay damp enough to make it perfectly easy to wipe a little bum clean (or a large one, for that matter). I throw them in the diaper pail with the diapers when I am done "wiping" and wash them when I do a load of diapers.

No "waste".

(No pun intended.)

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Ramblings of a Crafty Mom

I've seen various bloggers post random facts and information on their blogs occasionally. I have resisted doing this for years because I personally like to put together carefully thought out posts on specific topics. I'm kinda anal-retentive that way. I like to be organized.

But, now I have a husband who just recently started a new job and I am adjusting to life back at home without him. The sore throat I am fighting off and eyelids like lead that afflict me each night around 10:00 p.m. are gentle reminders that caring for three young Things (and one extra during weekdays) is beyond imaginably exhausting.

So, here I am, tail hanging between my legs in defeat, posting some random information for you all.

- Thing 1 received an award at school last week. He received a certificate that thanks Thing 1 "for having a positive sense of self, for caring for the welfare of others and for respecting the dignity of persons". Being a teacher, I recognize that jargon and I know that is some good stuff there on that piece of paper. The award ceremony was ironically on Daddy's last day of unemployment, so we were both able to attend the event and watch our five-year-old sensation breeze up to the front of the school gymnasium - with the entire school population present - to accept his award. Well, shucks, if we weren't proud . . .

- I bravely ventured out on this fine but rainy Ottawa weekend to participate in an activity to which I have not been bestowed much luck in the past. That's right, I took Things 1 and 2 to a MOVIE. I have not set foot in a movie theater with my children since our meager attempt to view Kung Fu Panda last spring. (That being said, Daddy actually was courageous enough to accompany his little men to see Madagascar 2 last fall, and I was told the entire event went off without a hitch.) I took the boys to see Monsters vs Aliens on Saturday afternoon and the whole adventure was successful. We showed up fairly early because I knew the movie was supposed to be a big hit and was very popular . . . it totally worked in our favour as we had no issues getting our tickets and got fabulous seats. Nobody had to pee, spilled their drink, cried out embarrassingly during the film - it was like an image straight out of what one might imagine as their perfect day. Movie - funny and entertaining. Things - full of popcorn, happy and in good spirits. Two thumbs up.

- I'm completely disappointed in my eating habits over the past couple months. I've given myself a lot of leeway too, acknowledging how much stress I've been under and the hurdles I've had to mount in the past little while. I have not been hard on myself. Until now. You know what? Stress can't always be an excuse for poor eating and I've gained at least five pounds since Christmas vacation. What is worse to me is the ridiculously poor shape I'm in. I feel lethargic and slothy, and I really can't stand that. I'd heard fabulous reviews about Jillian Michael's 30-Day Shred and so I bought her book this weekend and ordered the DVD online (because I couldn't for the life of me find the bloody thing anywhere in Ottawa). I feel encouraged and hopeful. And after reading dozens of reviews and blogs by women who have done her 30 Day Shred . . . I do not dare utter, "HOW hard can it be?"!!

- as a veteren ER watcher who hasn't missed a season (or an episode, for that matter) in 15 years, I thought the series finale was fantastic. Few others seem to feel this way. I didn't think it was a let down at all, I thought it left us feeling as if life at County General would go on exactly as it should . . . we just wouldn't be watching it on Thursday nights anymore. I had goosebumps and tears welling up in my eyes (fine, fine, POURING down my cheeks and soaking my pyjamas) as the theme music came on at the end and the staff conglomorated in the ambulance bay. But I'm a a strong woman. I said goodbye to George Clooney. I made my peace with it. And, thus, I will now say goodbye to John Stamos . . . or maybe just a "see you later" in hopes that he gets picked up by some completely fabulous new show.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

WW - Craft Time . . . Finally

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