Wednesday, February 28, 2007


At CAC, Swampgrrl had this to say on getting to know you Tuesday:
I'm always thinking about these things in my own life and challenging myself to
S-T-R-E-T-C-H beyond what is comfortable. Sometimes I take big leaps. Sometimes I make micro-movements.
Here are questions to play around with micro-movements or big leaps:

1a. What is one thing about your body that you hate, deny, talk trash about? I've grown quite the jelly belly this year.

1b. What can you do to make friends with this part and show it a little love? Treat myself well through good eating and exercise.

2a. What is one thing about your home that doesn't feel good? clutter!

2b. What is one thing you can do to change that? take baby steps, and learn to be ok with not being able to snap your fingers and attain perfection :)

3a. Is there a relationship that you have difficulty with? yes

3b. What is something small you can do to either salvage it or come to terms with the way it is now? continue to read up on and practice good communication skills to help both of us feel less frustrated.

4a. Is there something you are afraid to do, but would like to try it?
One reason I try new things is for the challenge- I figure if I'm scared there is a good opportunity for growth. Creatively, quilting fascinates me but does scare me- I think maybe I don't have the skills for it.
In other arenas, public speaking terrifies me. I will need to improve for a volunteer position I have.

4b. What can you do to begin a plan to try it? I could try a small quilt, or a postcard quilt. For public speaking I am working on it :) I am co-leading a session at a conference with another volunteer, and a few months after that I will try to lead a small session at another conference.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Random Bits of my Brain

* Thank you to the blogger who posted about making place mats out of her children's valentine's day cards! Brilliant! I'm so sorry I can't recall where I read this idea. I'm so thrilled this year not to have those little cards scattered about the house, and the place mats look so pretty to boot!

* My 7yo bought an i pod shuffle with a gift card and some holiday money. He is so adorable, dancing about and singing loudly to the Beatles. Yesterday he was playing some Ben 10 games online, and said "I wish I had an mp3 so I could download the theme song and listen to it all the time." He was thrilled when I explained that his i pod is an mp3 player, and that yes, he could download it and listen to it as often as he liked :)

* I just bought the Spring 2006 Interweave Crochet so that I could have the pattern for this
Never mind that I'm a complete crochet novice, have never even finished a scarf. I have to have this blanket, it is just that gorgeous :)

* I have this lovely remnant of home dec fabric that I just had to have. I think I've finally found a great project for it Now I just need to quit procrastinating at night and get to it : )

* Speaking of procrastinating, I came home after bringing the kids to school in order to take care of a few things. Uhh, I don't think I've done any yet, and I really ought to get to work!

Monday, February 26, 2007


I don't consider myself a dreamer. I've always viewed myself as a logical, rational gal. I think, though, that I have dreams; I'm just too afraid to voice them...

So, since Jana invited us to Dream on CAC, I'm going to go ahead and share some dreams.

Sheesh, I've been writing this post for two days- I'm just having a hard time putting some of this out there. Ok, maybe if I start with the practical side it will be easier for me : )

Goal type dreams:
  • de-clutter house and help us all be more organized
  • do some decorating so that I can feel grown up (and not like a college student who is actually approaching her 10 year reunion)
  • do a better job of saving money and managing finances
  • take better care of myself: lose weight, exercise regularly, have time for journaling and meditation.
Struggling with:
  • I had planned to sit the IBLCE exam this summer. I have viewed earning this credential as a step to another dream (will write that one next), but I'm now wondering if I should bother with it. I'm having a terrible time doing things that I want to do lately. So even though I want to take the online courses I need in order to be able to take the exam, I am somehow lacking the get up and go to do it. The early application needs to be postmarked by April 13th, so I have some serious thinking ahead.
  • I'm still thinking about applying to a Masters of Public Health program. There are many hurdles. I don't have a medical background, and many of these programs are intended for doctors, nurses, dietitians, etc. Having the IBCLC credential would help. I also need to study and take the GRE- can we say ick! The other hurdle is choosing a program- I don't want to move my family in order to do this. Can I do it long distance? Can I drive to Tampa and attend classes there? How do we manage financially?
  • Should I just forget those two ideas and honestly go after becoming a baker?
  • Want to do a better job at being present for my children and my husband. I don't get things done, not because I don't have the time, but because instead of doing them I'm hiding. I need to do a better job managing my time.
  • Trying to be a more peaceful and positive person.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

I *heart* Etsy!

I bought these two prints for my 5 yo's room. She says she wants to be a rockstar when she grows up :) I can't wait till we receive them and she sees them for the first time. The prints are from The Black Apple.

These two are for my mother-in-law's birthday. I can't wait for her to get them either! Check out Sugarloop's shop.

My sister-in-law, along with her husband and their son, left for Africa today. They are meeting the little boy they are adopting! We're so excited for them, and can't wait to meet our new nephew/cousin. I can't wait until we hear from them, they're hoping to be able to email from the hotel, but if not we'll hear from them when they are back in the US.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Book Swap

I got a wonderful package from Laura on Saturday. The book Laura chose for me was The Red Tent by Anita Diamant. I love what she wrote about the book in her note to me. She said that when she read this the first time she was awed by the women's relationships to each other and to their bodies. (I'm paraphrasing Laura, hope that is ok!)

I read this book when my first child was about 1.5. It was the first work of fiction I read since he was born. I was so thrilled to get lost in a book again, and I couldn't believe I'd gone so long without reading for pleasure.

I cannot wait to re-read this book! Although my kids are 7.5 and 5 now, I'm back in a bit of a non-fiction rut. I read so many parenting books it will be great to sit down and read The Red Tent. Thank you Laura!

Wendy hasn't gotten my package yet, so I will wait to share about my book choice until she gets it! I will say that I had several books in mind and had a terrible time finally deciding!

exhilaration, computer style

My laptop showed the blue screen of death last night. Just a moment before it was fine. I put it down just before the bsod, and bumped one corner harder than I would have liked.

I rebooted, and it started to do its thing...until it finally said: operating system not found. Oh my goodness, I think my heart stopped beating momentarily.

I tried to reboot again, and hit f2. I don't understand most of what was on those menus, but I did see that the hardrive did not seem to be present.

Sooo, I made the decision to get a screwdriver and see what I could see. It turns out that when I bumped the corner, I dislodged the harddrive. I was relieved to feel the drive snap back into place, but didn't really let out my breath until I turned it on and it did all the things it was supposed to.

I felt ill the whole time I believed that my computer was broken. After I got it to work again I just felt exhiliarated!

Swampgrlll's Bouillon de Culture


1. What is your favorite word? I don't think I have one favorite in particular!

2. What is your least favorite word? should

3. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? creatively- my kids, art/craft supplies, tutorials!

4. What turns you off? emotionally- when another person doesn't hear what I'm trying to explain- hear not in the sense of hearing the words but in understanding me.

5. What is your favorite curse word? f*ck! And my poor husband despises that word. Fortunately I have friends who tolerate my need to swear like a sailor ; )

6. What sound or noise do you love? water- a spring, a brook, a waterfall, the ocean- all of it. I'm a pisces : )

7. What sound or noise do you hate? repetitive drumming sounds

8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? I'd love to be a bread baker with a wonderful little shop.

9. What profession would you not like to do? would not really enjoy road construction, especially here in Florida!

10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? Welcome!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Photo Day: Family- better late than never, right?

Like most mothers, I love photographing my kids. I especially love to capture moments like this. My children are 2.5 years apart. They have your usual kid squabbles, but I'm constantly in awe of their love and consideration for each other.

I love shots like this one, which capture each of their amazing personalities.

Sometimes I'm even in the pictures! I took this one as we lounged in my bed one day.

My mom took this one. I spend a lot of time lounging!

I don't have many photos of my husband! How awful! I will make sure to take more photos that include him. My son took this one.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Creative Challenge: Yellow


This is what popped into my head after I read Tammy's post. I sketched it right away, and then created it with scrapbooking papers and tools.

There was a companion as well- a simple sun, yellow on yellow paper. Unfortunately it didn't scan very well so I'm not posting it. My moon guy and the moon made of cheese are a lot cuter in person than they are via scan too! Wish you all could see them in person.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Fishy Photos and Sisterly Love

My family has a history of taking photographs with fish. This is one of the first, I was probably about 3 years old. Dad got back from fishing and noticed the fish was about my size...

The tradition continued after my sister was born and went on... we got older, until Dad replaced fishing with bird photography.

I pulled out the third picture (with my sister in the cap) this week. She gave it to me, framed, for my birthday one year. It is one of my favorite gifts ever. We fought as kids--typical pulling hair, pinching, punching. She even knocked the wind out of me with her punches on a few occasions. When I was 17 and she was 13 things started getting a little weird at our home. It turns out my parents were talking about divorce. My sister and I became very close at this time, and we've been close ever since.

She got some upsetting news about her one year old son this week. It has been heartwrenching and one of the most difficult parts is that we're about 1000 miles apart. I so much just want to give her a hug. I'll get to see her and deliver an in-person hug in a few weeks, but for now I'm sending love and support via phone, email, and thoughts.

I love you my sister.

Thursday, February 08, 2007


It's Photo Thursday, and Tammy asked us to think about imagination.

I often go to the beach in my mind in order to relax. We went to this beach on vacation two years ago. It was an amazing vacation; the kids continue to ask when we're going to get to go back to the Bahamas. For me this trip was one of the first times I truly took care of myself--I actually let myself relax and do nothing! When I close my eyes I can feel my skin pressing into the sand, the warm sun on my face, the soothing sound of the ocean, and the scent of the ocean in the wind.

I don't know if we'll ever get back to this beach, but I'm so glad I can 'go' there whenever I need to.

Another place that fills my imagination is Italy. I know that I will go back there again, and that someday I'll fulfill my dream of living there for several months (at least!).

I'm not sure where the love affair with Italy came from. I'm of Jewish/Eastern European stock. Yet when I went to sign up at the middle school in Staten Island after moving from Brooklyn, I had the desire to sign up for Italian as my language. For some reason I talked myself out of it, and signed up for what I'd convinced myself was the more practical Spanish. *

In high school I studied Latin, and went on to major in Classical Languages at NYU. This is when I had my first trip to Italy. I've been back twice with my husband; fortunately he loves it there as much as I do.

I can see us there in a few years, this time returning as a family of four. My children know Italy is a special for us and enjoy looking at our photographs. We've planted a seed in their imaginations, and I can't wait to see this dream sprout.

*At this same school visit I also talked myself out of taking art, which my heart really wanted, in order to take music. I was not viscerally drawn to music or learning an instrument, I just thought it was something I 'should' do. In my third year at middle school I finally quit trying to play the flute and took art! I guess this was a great lesson for me at a young age--in college I stopped trying to do what I thought I should do and followed my heart instead.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Flowery Valentine Goodness

valentine flowery goodness

I saw these flowers in Wondertime magazine here.
We decided to make them for Maya's preschool class. They look so pretty on our table that I think we'll make more for us to keep.


Getting to Know You in a Blink

Swampgrrl is this month's Getting to Know You host at CAC, and came up with these fun questions!
Getting to Know You in a Blink

1. You run into a friend who has just chopped off all her long hair (or suddenly has an Afro). What do you say? Wow! You look great. I like change :)

2. You walk by a well dressed man with manicured hands who smells like a gin martini. He asks you for money. What do you do? Keep walking.

3. Your brother or sister or best friend falls madly in love with someone you think is a jerk. What do you do? Act politely, speak with them privately at a later time, probably only if they asked my opinion.

4. You get a terrible present from your husband, wife, girlfriend or boyfriend. Do you let it show? I accept it gracefully. If it is my husband, I share my feelings about it at a later time.

5. Who's your favorite Beatle? John

6. You walk by a disheveled man wearing soiled & tattered clothes. He politely asks you for money. What do you do? Keep walking.

6. Skinny Elvis or Fat Elvis? Skinny Elvis!

I'm loving CAC so much. I think about the prompts all day, and sometimes don't get to post till a few days later, or not at all. Partially because I'm overthinking them *grin* So today's "Blink" theme was really great for me since overthinking was not allowed :)

One of my favorite parts of participating is reading what everyone else has to share. Sometimes I'm sneaking a peak and don't really have time to comment, then I end up not being able to go back and comment. I am going to try to do better at leaving a note! I love that everyone is from all over the US, Canada, and the world!

Saturday, February 03, 2007

What I accomplished today

This morning I asked my husband to hang up my printer's drawer so I could set my miniatures up in it. We've only lived here for seven and a half years; what drove me to do it today I couldn't tell you!

I'm so glad I did though. It is in the hallway by my little girl's bedroom. Both the kids were excited to see all of the little treasures as I set them up. And it was a fun ride down memory lane for me.


These are my babies. They make me laugh, they make me smile. I have learned so much from them. Most of all to soak up the laughter, smiles, and fun we have together.

Create a Connection: Laughter