Monday, December 27, 2010

Setting the scene

Well, it's been a while since I blogged anything. I've been keeping pretty busy & I really shouldn't even be doing this now!
Thursday will be Amber's first birthday! I can't believe it's been almost a year! Sure, tons has happened & changed, but it still doesn't seem like that much time could have passed! And then, a couple days later, it'll be a new year! My new year's resolution will be to continue to organize & clean the house and hopefully get it functional enough that I can focus even more time on Amber, my crafts & selling online and spending more time with friends & family! I feel like I've neglected a lot of people (and my pet snake, for that matter) this past year. :/
To update... we had another swaperoo! I haven't heard from the lady receiving my package yet, but I'm sure everyone's busy with holiday stuff. I received my package from Kirsti, the lady who organizes the whole thing. She got me a framed picture that says "Unto us a child is born" and is just my shade of green, two bags of goodies for me & my hubby (though I've been eating a lot of his Reeses!) and she made little Christmas trees with fabric and mini ornaments on top. :) Very cute! :)

We went to my mom's for Christmas. All three of my step-brothers were there, along with their grandparents & my grandpa, my half-sister &, of course, our parents, Paul, Amber & me. Oh, & my one step-brother's fiance, so we were an even dozen & a half. ;) My grandpa's not doing well. This will probably be his last Christmas outside of the nursing home. :/
Yesterday, Amber was being extra-cute. Here's the scene... Amber's in her high chair. She's been eating Cheerios. I'm here at my computer nearby. She starts yelling. I look over and see she's eaten/thrown all the Cheerios she had. So I get up and ask her, what do you want? She looks at me and opens her mouth "Ah" and then points at the box of Cheerios. "Ok, what do you say?" I prompt as I pull out a handful of Cheerios. She grins really big. "That's cute, but what do you say?" & she signs "please." so I give her the handful of Cheerios. She pops some in her mouth & says "Num!"
I just love that she's starting to communicate useful information & she's just so darn cute doing it!
I might add some pictures later, but I need to go get some lunch & get ready for Amber to finish her nap!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Crunch time

Well, plans for the craft show I was supposed to be in tomorrow fell through. I'm actually a bit relieved, since I feel so unprepared & have so many other things to do!
Hopefully, I'll get some of my new pieces listed soon... I did make quite a few!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Avail Couture Feature!

Hooray! My friend Rachel featured me & Paul as her first "real wedding" story on her company's blog!
Click here to see the story!

If you hadn't already seen, our wedding was featured once before on the OffBeatBride website back in January: Click here to see that story!

In other news, we've been trying to figure out what to dress Amber up as for Halloween... the main contenders are a strawberry ( Like so ) or a monster, using the hat Naomi made for her! :)
Early on we had considered dressing her up as Gir or an Ewok, but those seem unlikely now...

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Wishes and rainbows

How do I have so much to do and so little time, when other than taking care of Amber, all I have is time?
Well, lately it hasn't helped that my heal1th1 has taken a tu0rn for the worse. I'm losing weight when I don't need to, my blood sugar and iron levels keep dropping... so I have little energy. It's no medical mystery, this is all explained, so it's just annoying and I have to take care of things.
That's enough whining.0 though. When I get back on top of things and caught up a little, I have so many good craft plans and project ideas and items to list at my poo0r neglected Etsy shop! The success tips e-mails are just depressing me lately since I've made little to no effort on it in so long!
Well, I do need to get my house, and particularly my crafting area, in order before I can devote too much time to actually crafting. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!
I'm going to be lazy though & leave the extra numbers and such strewn throughout my post because my daughter was "helping..." ;)

Friday, October 1, 2010

Thanks Naomi!

Got my fall swap gifts today! Yay!
My favorite thing is the hat! Is that not the cutest, funnest thing ever?!
I was a little worried/confused when I first saw the bandanna, but then I read the accompanying letter that explained that it was a bib! :P I may need to work on how to get it on better so it doesn't block her mouth, lol!
I do as little of the cooking in the house as possible, so I'll have to figure out how to personalize the apron for my hubby... it'll have to be awesome! 'cause he's so awesome!
Obviously, the cats think the apron strings were for them! :P
...and the buttons (which Amber seems to really like!) round out a very fun swap gift! ^_^ Now to wait & see what Savannah thinks of all the stuff I sent her! :)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

La dee dah...

Finally got my fall swap package mailed off today! It was supposed to have gone out Monday! >_<
I wonder who has me... I haven't gotten a sneak peek or anything... ?

So, I keep thinking to myself that I have all this time as a stay-at-home mom now, I should be able to do more crafting... but I don't. Amber's part of it, just when I think we've got a bit of a routine & I'll have some time I can do something, she grows & things change. I used to be able to do stuff while she nursed, but now she grabs at everything and/or kicks!
Then, I finally got her to take a longer nap in the afternoon; I'd have at least a half-hour to myself! The last few days, though, she hasn't been as good about it. We drove down to Grandma's yesterday though and ended up spending the whole day there, so that may have thrown things off further than what they were. Amber got to visit my grandpa, her great-grandpa. He was thrilled to see her, but kept forgetting she was a girl, or what her name was & once, even what her relationship to me was! *sigh* Dementia is such a horrible thing to watch someone suffer from!

But I digress... I think the main thing eating up my time, after Amber, is the house. It's not just the usual house cleaning... I have some of the tendencies of a hoarder. My main saving grace is that I don't buy too much, and, for the most part, I don't acquire too much for free (gifts are my only real weakness here)... but when my dad passed away, I inherited all of his Earthly possessions. He, too, had the hoarding tendencies... so his worldly possessions were quite numerous!
To make matters worse, when he passed away, he was going through his second divorce & I had to settle it (I think if you go into my old entries you can find more on that)... but part of that was that I had to clear everything out of his house in a hurry! My family, friends & I got everything out in two weeks flat! The result of that, unfortunately, is that there's not much rhyme or reason to the packing... and so, three years later, I'm still slowly sorting through everything.
I've been making much more progress since I quit my job, with the help of a new therapist, but it's tough... a long process... and it's driving Paul nuts. :(
I wish I could be on one of those clean house TV shows where, for the low price of being potentially publicly humiliated by revealing your mess on national TV, you get free help sorting and organizing your possessions!
A girl can dream...

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Being a bride again... sorta

It's not our anniversary, we're not renewing our vows & we're certainly not leaving the relation ship or anything... no, I get to re-live being a bride as I reminisce for my friend Rachel on her new blog about her dress-making business. She made my bridal gown, my bridesmaids' dresses and one of my prom gowns! She's also made dresses for some of my friends' weddings, proms, etc. as I recommend her to everyone in the area!
I was already featured a while back for OffBeatBride in this article. That was exciting too. :)
So, I have to figure out what I'm going to say.

In other news, I'm already almost done with my package for the Fall Swaperoo (see below) and excited about sending that off!
Here's the sneak peek I gave my recipient:

Amber started crawling on my birthday! (8/27) and she's all over the place now! She certainly keeps me busy!

There are about a zillion other things I could write about, but I'll stop here for now... ;)

Friday, September 3, 2010

It's that time again!

I've been waiting for it, and preparing too... It's time for another Swaperoo!

I felt woefully unprepared for my last one & afterwards felt silly, because it is a seasonal swap, so I should expect one for each season... Why didn't I plan ahead a little? So, now I am planning ahead & have fall AND winter items already set aside for my swaps! Of course, I still will wait & see what my swap partner likes & make some items tailored for her(I think we're all female...) and her family(when applicable)! :)

Monday, August 30, 2010

More "Free" Time?

Doesn't seem like it! I've been a stay-at-home mom now for two weeks, and things seem just as busy as before!
I'm not all that surprised by it. Heck, I'm pretty sure I could keep just as busy without the baby!
I got a commission to make some autism awareness bracelets. I'm having Calindy work with me to make some puzzle-piece and ribbon charms. :) I also am making one with my bead loom. I don't think I'll want to make a bunch of these because they're so time consuming, but it's kinda fun to figure out the pattern.
Well, Amber's awake again.... later!

Later: So, I was kinda wondering how other stay-at-home moms get anything done... and I'm discovering that a big part of it is that other kids nap for more than 30 minutes at a time... we may have to work on that... She's back down for the time being & I'm getting my lunch & wondering if there's anything I can get done before she wakes up again....

Monday, August 2, 2010


Here's my friend in all her jewelry and accessories, ready to get married!

...and getting married!

Paul, Amber & I at the wedding;

First dance!




Amber with the completed bow that goes with that one dress I made & posted before;

Amber with an entirely different sort of bow, standing in for her aunt Lizzie's birthday/welcome to college gift;

In other news... one of our cats is getting sick again. This has been a recurring problem for waay too long now. :/ We don't know what to do.

My mom & sister (afore mentioned aunt Lizzie) are coming up today and are going to watch Amber while I go to work.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Quit Your Day Job

I don't know how many e-mails from Etsy have had something about this, but I don't want to quit my day job. I like it. I'm worried that if I'm a stay-at-home mom I'll be like I was when on maternity leave & stay in PJs all day and still not get much of anything done.
Unfortunately, the choice isn't entirely mine. There are so many circumstantial issues affecting it. I am afraid it's come to that... I'm going to have to quit. I can't afford the daycare with my current pay-rate and hours and I'm looking at getting my hours cut if I stay. I keep thinking I've found another child care solution and then it falls through.
I've started to come to terms with it though, now that I've said it out loud to a few people. I figured out why it bothers me so much to be a stay-at-home mom. I totally respect those who are, but I just never envisioned myself as one. At least not without a master's degree or higher to help guarantee future employment.
I'm not really earning much after paying childcare & everything, so we won't really be hurting without the income, but it's nice to get out of the house and away from Amber for a while. Love her dearly, but, as is intrinsically the case with babies, she's demanding!
On the other hand though, I find the thought of quitting somewhat relieving. I won't have to worry about finding affordable childcare. I won't have to worry about the aspects of work that can be stressful. I'll have more time to get things done at home. Work on my much-neglected Etsy shop more... Won't have to worry about missing any of Amber's milestones. It'll be much easier to schedule dr.'s appointments and such.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


On the craft front: Commission from my mother-in-law to make her a necklace for next 4th of July... (here's the work-in-progress)

... a necklace based off of a pendant my friend Calindy gave me (here's her Etsy shop; that has these colors and a kinda damask pattern in a tear-drop shape:

then I'm also working on jewelry and a hairpiece for my friend Sonja's wedding. Here's the flower that's the centerpiece of the hair thingy:

To go with her wedding gown:

Oh & the necklace style she likes that I'm using as inspiration (but it'll be purples, cream, crystal & silver)

and I made a diaper cover and headband/bow for a dress I made Amber out of one of my skirts (I didn't get the bow done before the pictures) and we had a friend do family portraits for us. These first two are pics I took at home and then a few she took with my camera...

And some of the pics she took with her camera & edited already:

Which brings me to news on the family front... I don't think I shared about our new childcare arrangement. We weren't breaking even with the daycare, so we asked around & ended up working something out with one of my co-workers. She has two kids & one on the way and Amber's loved being at their house! I wish we could keep this up, but she's going to continue working on her master's degree this fall and the baby's due in October, so we're going to need to find something new. Another promising lead seems to have fallen through, so we're pretty much back to square one and I'm getting more and more tempted to just give up & stay at home! I love my job, and there's promising developments, but the emotional roller coaster of trying to find affordable childcare is just about too much. :/
Anyway, in more fun news, my co-worker was sick last Friday (well, that part's not fun) and Amber got to stay with the neighbors while I went to work. When Paul got off work & went to get Amber, their three-year-old son asked "Can we keep her forever?" Awww! They also have a son who's exactly 40 weeks older than Amber and the neighbors on the other side have a son a couple months older than him, so ... we're in trouble! lol!
Our freezer & fridge crapped out the other day, so we got a new one yesterday. Our plan to get Kindles as an anniversary gift to ourselves and a reward for getting the guest room is not going to happen. Between that and the tax audit that's costing us another $1,800, we just can't justify the expense. Maybe for Christmas. :/ ... but yay new fridge! It's black! :D

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Recent tTmes

First, a note from Amber;

bj jbbub uhh , mkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk t jdgtfr v v vfk,,m ,,,j

So, a lot's been going on. Most notably, the recent deaths, birth and anniversaries.

My emotions haven't caught up with me. I've cried, but with my dry eyes, most of my tears didn't even spill over. The part that bothers me most about losing my great aunt & grandma is what my grandpa's going through. He lost his older sister & wife within a week of each other, and with his own increasing dementia, he keeps forgetting. At Grandma's funeral he kept saying "I just had all this dumped on me today, didn't I?"
What do i say to that? No, you just forgot. I just kinda nodded. He did just have it all dumped on him, again, and again, and again. I wonder what's going to happen in the days & weeks to come. If you know my mom, she could use a friendly phone call or note.

Amber's been a joy though. She loves meeting new people and kept spirits up at the funerals. It was hard for me to feel sad for any amount of time with her around. :P

Another joy was Andrea having baby Haley even though she also lost her grandma in the last week. We finally got to meet her when she was one week old.

Paul & I celebrated our 3rd anniversary of our wedding. It was a nice, quiet day. We just took it easy most of the day. Went to Cracker Barrel for dinner and went for a walk in the evening. Walked to our friends' place & visited for a while before walking back.

I've made some new jewelry! Have a couple commissions and a couple other new pieces. I have ideas for a bunch more that I'm anxious to make. I've been reorganizing my beads, but I need to pick it all up from the living room, along with a bunch of other stuff, so that Paul can vacuum and we can get this place more cleaned up. Gotta get going on the babyproofing too, as Amber is scooting now & will be crawling in no time! We're in trouble!

New piece that I'll probably put up for sale

Zipper pull that will be for sale, might make some matching pieces, I have more of those fruit charms. :)

One of my commission pieces

Amber in one of her new dresses!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Too much to do & too little time!!

Stuck at home w/a sick kid. Trying to make the most of it & get some housework done...

A to-do list for myself;
laundry (Amber's, mine, towels & bedding, etc)
Complete closet project in our bedroom
get Amber's clothes & stuff put away
Pick up living & dining rooms
Prep recycling
burn picture CDs for family
Start work on guest bedroom...

That should keep me busy for at least a week!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Summer Swaperoo!

I got a box! Layla has to check out the box... It came from Lyndsey in Utah! :)

As I start to pull out the goodies, both cats have to check things out...

Leela thinks there are some interesting smells in there. I loved that the whole box smelled of cranberry-mandarin candles & mango lotion! :)

Leela thought the box was perfect for sitting in...

Amber tries on her sunglasses... Perfect! This was my favorite part b/c we NEEDED some for her!

Now Layla decides to sit in the box! As you can see, it took me a while to get to the bottom of things!

This cute plaque matched Amber's decor perfectly! How'd she know??

A picnic for two!

Not these two!! :P

So, all in all I got the daughter plaque, the red, white & blue hanging plaque, three wooden blocks that spell USA on one side & SUN on the other, two placemats, four cups & four plates, 16 candles, two magnetic pads of paper for planning, baby sunglasses & a sample lotion! :D

Extra bonus; I'd been looking all over the house for a box the right size to ship my package for JoDell & none were quite right, but this box was just about perfect! So I re-used it! :) I sent it at the last minute :/ but I spent the extra dollar for priority mail, so it should get there in a couple days. :)

In other news, Amber's had a nasty cough, so we went to the dr., but she said it's ok, it's just a cold & that we could use grown-up Vick's on her since all the baby Vick's has lavender in it... which I'm allergic to.
I randomly got sick this morning and then had no other symptoms all day... so, unlikely as it is, I'm going to take a pregnancy test in the morning & another the next morning, just to be sure...
Work is kinda different with no classes going on, but I have plenty to do to prepare for the fall.
I've made a few necklaces lately, hopefully I'll get a chance to post some pics later.
Memorial Day weekend had roleplaying on Friday for Paul, a little birthday celebration for our Egyptian exchange student on Saturday and my baby sister's HS graduation on Sunday! That was a day & a half. My mother-in-law stayed the night & we went out for lunch. Otherwise we spent Monday organizing our closet/setting things aside for our garage sale and relaxing. :)