Monday, January 30, 2012

Planning the Girls Room

With the husband and I getting a larger mattress (it's coming Thursday! eee!) we waffled what to do with the old queen mattress.  Put it in the basement, for guests, to replace the current hide-a-bed?  Or, let the girls sleep in it?  (And then let them have a slumber party, and give up their room, when guests come?)

In the end, we decided to let the girls sleep in it.  I'm not sure, but a large part of that decision MIGHT have been because the bed itself is one solid piece, built by my husband: we are going to stand it on its side, and just slide it directly across the hall.  I don't know that it could actually go anywhere else??  Certainly not easily....SO...yes!  That is exactly where we want it, and we'll just move the girls into that bedroom.  Easy peasy, boss!  We have a thin, foam, Ikea mattress that our youngest daughter sleeps on- it will be stored underneath the bed.  Anyone who is feeling grumpy about sharing a bed can sleep on the trundle!  The girls always sleep well on vacations in queen beds, and I hope that this will help meet some un-met "cuddle" needs on Mimi's part, while still giving Ernie enough space to unwind.  They both love napping in our bed when we give them the chance, so they're excited to call it their own!  

The walls are a few shades of green, with stripes and such.  It's really pretty- I plan on adding pink touches to make the girls happy, and blue to make me happy.  

Something like this bed canopy would help girly it up in there- I like the blue touches.
Source: via Myrnie on Pinterest

These are just plastic cups, mod podged with great fabric, and stuck over Christmas lights.  The girls would get a kick out of this!  

Something like this, near the bed, would keep both girls happy.  We actually had to create a "library" in the master closet, and let the girls each pick out 10 books to keep on their shelf at a time.  They have a TON of books, and both love to read.  Problem is, the books are currently in the night stand between their beds- we'll have to choose a side for that stand to be on.  A pair of these might help smooth things over, and hopefully prevent one girl crawling over the other to get her books!

I've loved this fabric for years- maybe now I can find an excuse to use it in the girls' room? It would be great for book slings, yeah?
Source: via Myrnie on Pinterest

This girls and I went over the green room (their new room) and the yellow room (their current room) with a measuring tape and a checklist today, to dream about where furniture and pictures will go, and where clothes will go in new dressers (we're not moving dressers.)  So much fun!  I'm understanding why I used to come home from school and find my bed and all my stuff in a new room of the house.  Mom, I get it now!  Too fun.

For plans for the Master Bedroom see here

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Planning the Master Bedroom

We're getting a new mattress for our master bedroom soon (woot woot for King size bed!) and this...will create a whole domino of changes.  I'm kind of really excited.

We'll get the King bed, the girls will get the queen bed with a trundle (and the baby's room), Cocoa will move into their old room (and one of the old twin beds will stay there for later) and I really....REALLY...want to make this the point in time that I finally make our bedrooms look nice.  I am a completely utilitarian person, generally.  I stick books where I need them, I staple posters to the wall if they'll come in handy for school, and all my furniture is either from Freecycle or hand-me-downs.

These are some ideas for the Master- what do you think?  Do you have "nice" bedrooms?

I love the branches in the corner of the room- goodness knows we have lots of those lying around the yard.  I could totally do this.

I'm kind of obsessed with this bed and bedroom.  I love the plain walls, the off center and chunky art, the low bed, and the perfect and messy and oversized coverlet.

This platform bed and headboard are from Ana White (follow the pin.)  If you DON'T know her, she posts furniture building plans that are just amazing, and she's opened it up to users to upload their own plans too.  Lots of stuff over there- Wonder Daddy loves wood working, this bed was actually his idea.  We'll have a steel frame for the mattress, so this project is definitely down at the bottom of the to-do pile, but what a great bed!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Digging Out

So.  Snow.  It happened.

We don't get much snow here, so when the reports started coming in that something BIG was coming, I didn't pay much attention.  OK, yeah.  We might get some snow, and it will be here a day or two, and melt, and fine.  Snow is coming, got it.

I'm up a lot at night nursing Cocoa, so at 5:30 am, two Sundays ago, I didn't see any snow.  I went back to bed.

By 7:30 am, there was a 1/4", the girls were ecstatic, and we got FOUR messages making sure we knew that church was cancelled.  (We live in the foothills of the Cascade mountains, most neighborhoods around here are on mountains, or called ________ Heights, or __________ Highlands.  Slippery is really, really bad.  Plus, we hardly have any snow plows, sanding trucks, etc.)  It kept on snowing, we bundled up and had a quiet Sunday, and all was well.

Monday through Wednesday, we were totally snowed in.  The nearest mountain neighborhood (my parents') got about 8 inches, roads were terrible, there was no way my husband was going in to Seattle to work (hello, they have crazy hills in that city!) and he didn't want to leave me here with three kids and no working experience driving in the snow.  He grew up in South Dakota, getting a car unstuck is no big deal for him.  It's a big deal for me, with three kids in the car.  Not that I intended to go anywhere, but still- I appreciated the gesture!

Wednesday, the ice storm hit.  Thursday was supposed to warm up, with rain in the 40's.  We got the rain, but it froze into a 1/4" sheet of ice over everything.  The kids were walking on top of the snow, all the bushes and trees were bowed over under the weight of all that ice-encased snow.  Then the trees started falling OVER, branches started breaking off (we're the Evergreen State- those trees are old and huge!)  By Thursday afternoon 250,000 homes were without power, us included.  Unfortunately, we lost power early in the morning, the heat had only been on for a little while.  Our house quickly cooled to about 55, as soon as we heard that roads were at least passable in the afternoon, we called my brother and sister to let them know we were moving in (my parents were out of the country, there was lots of room at home!  That was a fun e-mail to write.  Dad: "Hi!  We're in Guatemala today!"  Me: "Hi!  We're at your house today!  And we're not leaving!"  Friday and Saturday brought a wind storm (yes, that's three major weather storms in one week) and continued to knock down trees and branches, and taking out power for those that had just been turned back on.  Even now, power isn't expected to be restored to everyone till Wednesday at the latest- we have extra teams working, from as far away as Arizona!  Those guys are heroes.

M in a window

(Me, cheering on the kids while they bowled on the Kinect)

I am so grateful to have family close by, but especially in times like this!  We were so stir crazy at this point- my husband and I REALLY don't fight much, if ever.  There's just not that many things worth getting upset about, you know?  But...I was getting cabin fever, storming around the house.  "Where are you going, Myrnie?"  "I DON'T KNOW!  I'M GOING TO GET SOMETHING DONE!  ANYTHING!  AUGH!!"  And I'd stomp off to do some trivial task, and come shuffling back to the space heater we plugged into the neighbor's was sad.  BUT, getting out of the house was marvelous!  The kids and I spent Friday at my sister's house- she dolled me up and took some fun photos, I can't wait to show you guys!


(My eye.  We were having trouble taking some self portraits, and getting the camera far enough away ;)

Power came back on Saturday, we came home and blitzed through the house work, and the week was over.  There are still mounds of snow in the medians, and all our yards are still covered.  But we've dug out.  And now, my children thank Heavenly Father for electricity in every prayer they give.  

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Organized Simplicity

Tsh Oxenreider, the geniusly calm voice behind the Simple network of blogs (!!!), has this amazing book called Organized Simplicity.  It's been on my wish list for a while, but right now it is free as an ebook in both the Kindle and Nook online stores.  If you don't have an e-reader, you can download the kindle reader to your computer or smart phone.  I've just only begun reading the book, and plan on working my way through her suggestions for having an organized and simple life (who doesn't want that??)

I thought it would be fun to do a blog-along/read-along.  As I work my way through her book, I'll be posting about our efforts and would love if anyone wanted to join us!


Monday, January 16, 2012

No Photo

First off, my camera battery is drained, and I keep forgetting to charge it.

Second off, doesn't it seem like MOST of life is completely un-photographable?

My baby falls asleep in my lap most nights, cuddled up against my chest, head turned up toward my face.  I love his sweet little baby breath on my chin, and how at 11 months old he still just smells milky and sweet.  I love how his little lips are parted, and his cheeks are flushed.  Try and take a photo of that, without making him look like a fluke worm- I dare you.  I certainly can't do it!

We went to IHOP tonight.  Let me back up- my Ernie LOVES eating at restaurants.  There have been times when she's asked daily (multiple times each day, even) if we could eat at such and such, or here, or there....we promised her that WHEN DADDY FOUND A NEW JOB, we would all go out for dinner.  Some place nice.  "Like IHOP?!?!?!"  Umm.  Sure.  Yes.  IHOP is exactly what I had in mind.

So.  Sunday we got our first snow of the season- the city ground to a halt after the first 1/4".  (Yes, we got three messages from church folks that church was cancelled.)  It's now Monday night, it's colder than snot outside, and we are at IHOP.  The restaraunt is deserted except for one lone man, but the hostess seats us way in the back corner.  My girls have snagged two of the (nasty, grody, I can't believe they're touching that before eating) toys from the toy table.  Our coats are a mountain in one corner of the booth.  Cocoa is making his terrific "aaaaaaAAAAAA......aaaaaAAAAAAAAAAA" noise while head banging in his high chair.  Mimi is wearing pants a full five inches too short, and a purple dress up dress that's more hole than dress at this point.  Oh, and her hair is a mess.  Ernie sits down and announces she's ill, so she's laying prostrate on her part of the bench.  I'm in velour sweat pants that refuse to ever stay where I put them on my waist, so I keep convulsively pulling up my waist band and tugging down my t-shirt.  Oh yeah, and I'm wearing a tank top, a t-shirt, a cropped cable knit cardigan, and an oversized (shapeless) tunic length wool cardigan.  And it's missing buttons.  (I thought we were snowed in today!  My one pair of jeans is in the wash.)  The girls keep announcing they need to go use the bathroom, so we parade out and back through the dining area, repeatedly.

The food arrives, hooray!  The girls both ordered chocolate pancakes that are nearly bigger than their dinner plates, with cheery whipped cream faces.  Mimi takes five bites and declares she's done, Ernie eats hers with gusto, then downs Mimi's.  Cocoa takes a few nibbles of my pancake, then starts screeching to get out of his chair.  By this time, Ernie's face is kind of alarming in its wildness: the sugar and excitement of being at a restaurant are catching up with her.

The next time we see the waitress, we beg for our check- just let us pay you now, because as soon as we're done with our food, we are RUNNING out that door.  She laughs, and brings us the check- Wonder Daddy throws his credit card at her before she can leave again.

I know my kids can be angels at restaurants- Cocoa always comes with Wonder Daddy and I when we go out together, and it's never a problem.  I know the girls can be just fine.  But tonight?  Oh no.  Tonight was not fine.

We all finish up our dinners, and head home- I run the bath water before the girls even finish coming up the stairs.  Bath time!  Cocoa is happy not taking a bath, but soon coughs his way into needing a costume change, and I throw him in the tub with the girls.

We all read scriptures and hear the girls prayers, and Wonder Daddy reads them another few pages of Harry Potter (we've been at it for a few years now, and I'm not sure they're past chapter 4.  I'm not too concerned about reading anything too scary while they're still young ;)

The girls are in bed, and Cocoa keeps wandering to the front room and crying.  Sobbing.  We realize it's because we've blocked access to Daddy's guitars- the boy is desperate to  play on the strings, like his daddy lets him do sometimes.  Sorry bud.  Wonder if we should get him a ukulele for his upcoming birthday?

Now it's 9:30, all the kids are asleep, and still I know- I never want to forget these days, but we might not have many photographs to prove it!

Sunday, January 15, 2012


I've realized that I am afraid to be blessed.

Once, when I was a young teen, I told my mom that something awful was going to happen to me, because God had blessed me so much.  She was appalled at this notion- didn't I know that God doesn't give us blessings to make up for awful things that will happen later?

I've been married 8 years.  I spent nearly 6 of those years convinced that my husband was going to die, and I'd be a widow, or that I would die, and he'd need to re-marry, and my children would forget all about me.  Because, really, who gets blessed enough to have a husband and kids as great as mine?

When I started home schooling Ernie, I had a terrible, glum feeling- it was too good, it couldn't last.  When people asked if I was planning on home schooling long-term, I'd say I didn't know.  Because, really, who gets blessed enough to be able to teach their brilliant daughter, at home?

My husband was hired to do some Excel work for a former client this past week- he did a good job, and on a whim the client pulled him aside to interview him for an open position they had.

They offered.  If we decide we like the offer, on Tuesday we could be employed.  So why do I have this terrible feeling that it can't be real?  Consider this post as me batting away that old notion that we can't be blessed THAT much.  Because we are, and God is so good.


Monday, January 9, 2012

Grunge is Back

I had to laugh (after I kind of sort of swooned) when I saw my husband leave the house on Saturday- faded jeans, flannel shirt, t-shirt, ripped up hat, and driving a Ford F-150.  (What is it about guys in trucks?  Seriously. And can YOU sit in a huge truck without grinning like a fool, because I sure can't.)

We got rid of my little electric organ recently, and decided it made plenty of room to bring up Wonder Daddy's instruments- he favors the Takamine electric acoustic guitar, but sometimes a guy's just gotta get out Big Red and turn up the amp, you know?


He made that guitar in high school wood shop- every one else made sensible things.  Thing like gun racks.  (What?  It was South Dakota!)

The kids had fun playing and dancing along.

(Self portrait)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Find the Sunshine and Dance in It






I rearranged our school room again.  Do you know what the result is of clearing off any swath of flooring in this house?  Yes.  The girls dance.

Guess who started crawling over the weekend?  Yup.  He looks just like a little wind up toy...isn't there a little dog that takes mincing steps, and stops every so often to wave his head and "yip yip!"  Because that's just what Cocoa does.

The Farmers Market isn't accepting application until February, so I won't know if I get a chance at a slot (or what that chance would cost me) but I pulled out the wire and beads last night.  I love them all!  The small silver nests are so dainty, which I love.  The brown nest with orange eggs is just yummy, isn't it?  And the big is BIG.  It took me three times as long to wrap as the petite nests (which makes sense, because it was three times as much wire!!)  and it weighs a ton.  I've had a handful of ladies ask me why I don't make anything bigger, chunkier, flashier...because that's totally their style.  Well, now I know it can be done!  I'm not totally, totally in love- the beads are just SO big, it was hard to make the nest come up around the sides of them.  But irregardless, it felt wonderful to be making something again after a few weeks' break.

nest pendants

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2012 Creative To-Do List

mama and baby doll

Sewing:  I really enjoyed making my big mama doll over the holidays, I definitely want to get back into sewing this year.  My to-do list from Growing Up Sew Liberated:

  • envelope tees for Cocoa
  • bubble pants for Cocoa
  • cross over tees for the girls
  • play capes for EVERYONE!  (Say that in a bravado voice, please.)
  • play tent (this would make a serious dent in my too-big stash of solid, neutral, fabrics!)
From Bend the Rules Sewing:
  • Woodland Elf hat for Cocoa (soon!)
  • Mixy-Matchy napkins (it's time.  Ours are TRASHED.  And, again, need to deflate my fabric stash!)  
Blogging:  I really feel like it helps me focus my thoughts, and find the positive in our lives.  No, not everything in our life is always positive (see: dirty laundry, messy rooms, and other stuff that comes from active, growing, learning kids) but I can't stand focusing on the negatives when I write!  I'll try and be in my various spaces more often this year, to keep a record of what we're doing.  I keep wondering if I should bring everything together- I have the cooking blog, the homesteading blog, and this creative musings blog with lots of kid stuff thrown in...what do you think?  

gold nest with pink beads

Etsy/Selling:  I don't know.  I really don't.  I LOVE making jewelry.  I love giving it as gifts, which is why I re-opened my shop last year.  I knew that if I got busy in the summer and fall stocking that little shop, I'd be high on the hog when it came time to send out Christmas gifts...I'd be done!  And yeah, it worked a treat.  Everyone got beautiful gifts, and my shop is empty again :)  I'd like to keep creating this year, and who knows- if I have extras lying around, I'll list them.  I set a goal last year of doing a craft show in 2012, or a week or two at the Farmers Market.  It could be an expensive experiment if my wares don't sell, tables don't come cheap around here!  I'd only need to sell 4 or 5 to break even on a Farmers Market table for a week, but add to that the seed cost of the supplies....but I have enough on hand to get going...I really, really, really want to though.  We'll see!

(I should throw something in here...have I mentioned that I love bartering?  Really??  Let's not be shy about possible bartering opportunities, mkay?  Like, if you want necklaces for all your sisters....and make a really neat dooohickey.... chat me up!)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Year in Review

(CoCo and Myrnie, Christmas Day 2012)

Hello, 2012!

I've decided that the week between Christmas and New Years is possibly the best of the year- there are no plans, no major holiday to plan for, and no rush.  But alas, real life must start again- school and piano lessons start in the morning.

The year in review:

January: I was hugely pregnant.  The kids and I did some really enormous craft projects, I organized a bit, and we waited.  I made the most of my last baby-free weeks, helping the girls at church by recording this song.

February: He came.  10 pounds, and completely drug free.  Pretty sure I deserve a cookie for that one.  My MIL came to save the day while I recuperated (bless you!)

March:  We started planting seeds for the garden.  I started baking our bread again, after a 3 month break.  My mom and sister came to help build a green house.  My husband's family came to meet the baby (yay!)  We started the doctor visits to figure out the reason behind Ernie's on-going gut issues.

April: We had our yearly Spring Event.  After losing 10% of her body weight, we finally got some answers for Ernie from the amazing doctors at Children's.  Then, we started down the medical and dietary road of healing her guts.

May:  We took our first family vacation that didn't involve visiting other family.  We were still in the throes of healing Ernie, body and mind.

June: We had Ernie's symptoms under control, and we celebrated a year of Wonder Daddy working at his own firm, with a partner.  CoCo found out he could blow raspberries.  Ernie found out that being six is a wonderful thing.

July:  Ernie started first grade, with me.  Wonder Daddy rode a bike race.  We had the flu, and the chest cold, and just a lot of laundry!

August:  I learned how to make nest pendants.  The girls started drawing with thread.

September:  Mimi turned three.  I had my first guest poster (Ernie!)  I started processing apples...and apples...and MORE apples!  Ernie started reading "Big Books" from the library- Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, and Magic School Bus.

October:  Still kept busy making nest pendants, and teaching other folks how to make them.  Lots of fun with Halloween.  A surprise visit to the aquarium with Wonder Daddy.

November:  Handled the food for a big, fat, fancy, wedding reception.  Showed my pendants to a friend at her shop, where my daughter peed on her floor, and then LICKED THE GLASS DOORS when I put her outside.  I, umm, never went back.  I made a LOT of salsa verde out of the rest of the tomatillos.  My husband stopped working at his joint firm, and his partner made plans to purchase our share.

December:  Lots of Christmas preparations, lots of music, and lots of having Wonder Daddy at home.  I finished an order for a really big, pregnant, doll.  A beautiful Christmas season. Lots of Christmas lights.  Lots of learning to trust the Lord, and lots of learning to stretch the budget.  Lots and lots and lots of prayer.  Oh, and a friendly note on the door from the water company, wondering why we'd used nearly 40,000 extra gallons of water the past two months?  (We were losing 50 gallons an hour, SOMEWHERE, by the time we found out- two days of our water shut off, lots of ditch digging, some emergency labor help from home-from-college neighbor boys and my family, and some shiny new pipe.  I said all I wanted for Christmas was running water, and a job- I'm settling for having running water!  I think Wonder Daddy had fun with the rented tools though- a ditch digger?  A pneumatic drill?  Cutting holes in the house foundation?  YES PLEASE!)