Thursday, July 31, 2008

Notes on our daily commute

There are a few surprising positive elements of our daily commute. It's summertime, and because of the daily heat index, a lot of people walk their dogs early in the morning. The kids have seen so many different kinds of dogs! Today we saw an Irish Wolfhound--the biggest dog there is. The one we saw was about the size of a Shetland pony. We see a few Jack Russell Terriers (remember "Eddie" from Frasier? His real name was Moose), all three colors of Labrador retrievers, and a particularly pretty Cocker Spaniel that we've nicknamed Polly - as in, "Polly-in-Peril" from the movie Underdog. It's nice to be out early enough to see our friends of the canine persuasion.

After I drop the kids at their daycare, I have a few minutes to toodle quietly to my job, and if the planets are aligned just right, I have about 5 minutes to quickly browse through the newspaper before being the first one at the office. Just those few minutes have gotten to be one of my favorite things.

I've made a point to notice some of the beauty of the City Beautiful. There are colorful flowers and plants all along the route. I was going to do a layout for my Masters entry entitled "Colorful Commute." I'd taken some of the photos below to use for it.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Blog counter

I just noticed that with a few more "views" of my blog, I will have 1,000 on the counter! Wahoooooo!

I won't point out that like, 400+ are probably me. And me. And, um, me again. LMAO~

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Surf's Up!

With the new job comes certain tasks that had long been forgotten. When I got out my old ironing board, I asked the kids if they had any idea what it was. "A surfboard?" asked John Sam.

Well, it DOES look like one. ;)

But the more important question was - can I do a triple whip like Pablo on Backyardigans?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sunday 7.27.08

Here are a few things I've finished and finally got time to photograph. Charlotte is the lady who referred me to the law firm where I got the new job. The layout about Caroline was a scraplift of a "Pea" from one of the message boards I post on. After I finish reading the newspaper, I plan on straightening up Scrapbook Center (a/k/a my desk).

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Lazy or productive - it's all relative

I feel lazy today. Back still hurting, house is a total pit, clutter and junk laying everywhere, and don't even ask how much laundry there is to be done!

The kids, however, have been quite productive while I've been out of commission. They devoured an entire pack of gum from my purse, emptied a family-sized bag of pretzels into Caroline's pink straw hat, shared a can of Sprite that they snuck into their bedroom, and tied Tokyo to a bedpost with her walking leash. All before 10:00 a.m, too.

At least someone in the house is on a roll~~

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Today was a very good day. We are getting in the groove of commuting, brown bag lunches, and very little time for anything except day care and working. My scrapping mojo has left the building. I really was looking forward to entering the Memory Makers "Masters" contest, but the deadline is 7/31 and unless some time warp envelopes me over this coming weekend and I get multiple creative injections, I'm going to have to let it go until next year. I threw out my lower back last weekend cleaning & scrubbing their water slide, and it still hasn't come out of spasm, so I'm sure that's contributing to the exhaustion level for me. The kids are totally loving their time at day care, except in the morning when I drop them off, Caroline gets a little teary-eyed. I hate for her to cry because it makes me cry! We are all dragging a little and still trying to tweak the routines. Here's hoping that this weekend will give us some rest, down time, and maybe we'll sneak some fun in also.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Right before I turn in, I have to blog a bit about how much I love my new job. The commute has been alarmingly short - LOL. The attorneys are so very nice, and today I saw a small glimpse of the real people inside my coworkers. The office is lovely! Even though it's small, it has hardwood floors and lots of windows, plus I've got a permanent parking spot. Doing my best "Niles Crane" imitation, I took in my trusty Swiffer duster and fixed up my little desk. I feel blessed to have been put in such a nice place, and I know 100% that it was all in The Man's plan. I lift up thanks and feel a renewed faith about where my life is traveling. ~WOW~

The kids are doing so well at their day care - much to my delight and surprise. I was totally fretting about how John Sam would get along with "typical" kids his own age and it seems I underestimated my little man. He has endeared himself to all the teachers and staff, as well as other kids. Caroline was so proud that her brother was going to HER SCHOOL. She looked like an old pro showing him the ropes; she was so cute telling him which classroom was his and where he should put his lunchbox. Today when I picked them up, one of the teacher assistants took me aside and told me that my kids were the most polite, well-behaved, and helpful kids there at the center. "It's always yes, ma'am and please and thank you," she said. She certainly didn't have to share that with me, but she made the time to tell me. What a feeling I got when I heard that. I was so proud & happy I could barely get out the door with my very large head. They got Sprite with their dinner as an unexpected but much deserved reward.

I am quite tired in the good way.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Comfort of Old Routines

Today marks the last day of my seven year career as a SAHM (stay at home mom). Or, if I wanna get really corny, when I get up tomorrow, I'll say, "Today is the first day of the rest of your life." Either way, I know my work week routine is going to be fluid for a while. I'm letting myself run through all the scenarios today. Later I'm going to organize the outfits, shoes, accessories, and possibly sneak in a trip to Burlington Coat Factory to see what they have on sale. Watching a movie and going to bed early are also on the agenda.

Knowing my weekend routine can stay somewhat the same brings me a lot of comfort. This day is Pancake Day, and after the last drop of syrup has disappeared and the dishes are done, I'll sit and read the newspaper. Those are some Sunday things we can count on.

Good thing Caroline remembered that she's supposed to put sunblock on her ears!

Friday, July 18, 2008

The most hated chore

is emptying the dishwasher of its clean dishes. When I wake up and come in the kitchen, first it's make the coffee, and then empty the dishes. Ugh. I just hate to do it, but if I don't do it straight away, it seems like the rest of the day, the kitchen is trashed and I'm behind schedule. It's not like it's anything exhausting or taxing, and I'm not sure exactly why it bugs me so much. I think I'll blame it on my friend Val, who told me once that it was her most hated chore, too. If I think back on it, it never really bothered me until she said that....... ha!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

In the middle

Yesterday Granny and I took the kids to see the new Pixar movie "Wall-E." I wasn't sure John Sam would sit through it, and I had doubts any movie could hold his or Caroline's interest as much as "Finding Nemo" and "The Incredibles." Sometimes, I'm glad to be wrong! A lot of fidgeting in the beginning soon gave way to their being engrossed in the story. (Okay, the root beer, Skittles and Nerds helped - A LOT.) Not all movies are so adorable and ring so true as "Wall-E" did - if you have kids and haven't seen it yet, it's definitely on the list of things you simply must do with your kids. Don't miss it!

As a mother, I love observing the kids when they don't know I'm watching. Making mental videos of them as they learn, or fall in love with cartoon characters, or engage each other as only siblings can, is a talent I'm sure all moms have. During the movie, I turned my head to sneak a look at them . . . and I caught my own mom watching ME. I realized the same gush of fierce mommy love that I have for my children is the same love she has for me and my sister. Not only does she have the pleasure of doting on her big brood of grandchildren, after all these years, she's still observing and loving me with the same amount of pride, love & devotion I feel for my own babies. With the hustle and bustle of living our lives, we forget that we were once the center of our parents' worlds. How fortunate I am to get such a lovely reminder by taking a simple trip to the movies.

Thanks, Wall-E.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Harvest . . .

White scallop squash from Sam's garden, and pineapple from the patch in the front (4 more to be picked shortly):

Saturday, July 12, 2008


As far as increasing the numbers of my blog posts, I'm slacking hard. But - I've been very busy in the good way! I can happily say I've got a J-O-B!

-- * -- gasp!! -- * --

I report to work for my first day on July 21. The law firm is a small one, 5 attorneys with supporting paralegals/staff. The office is an old two-story house which has been converted. The administrator tells me they are reaching maximum capacity and looking for a larger space. I've got parking, a lunch hour, and sweet benefits, not to mention that the firm is literally down the street (about 4 blocks) from my last job. I send a semi-fond farewell to my 60 mile per day commute--may it rest in peace. ;=D I'm excited to have an opportunity to prove that becoming a mother makes me a better employee. When I was younger and single, if the truth be known, I took good jobs for granted. I won't make that mistake again.

Yesterday I registered the kids at their new elementary school. I was happily impressed with the lady who assisted me with all the paperwork and questions. Everything is in order so far (pending a few items), and while we're still not exactly sure if the kids will go there or another nearby school, we'll finalize everything next week. For the four weeks before school starts, the kids will go to Caroline's old school. John Sam needs practice playing with other kids his age, and Caroline will be able to see some of her old friends that she's missed while we've enjoyed summer vacation.

If you know me well, you know I really don't like changes. I've never been one to "wing it." I like to make a plan, ponder my plan, and then do everything pretty much in accordance with the plan. A lot of changes are going to be coming my way, but this time around, I'm gonna let the benefits of hindsight guide me. Instead of letting my anxiety magnify the stresses that changes will bring, I'm going to look for a better way to do things. If it didn't work in the past, it's history.

I feel like I've been given a fresh start, a clean slate, a brand new sketch pad with nothing but crisp, white pages. I'm the most thankful for that.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


"There should be fences even between friends. But they should have great holes in them." -Sahabib

We love Tokyo no matter what, but it's become painfully obvious that she doesn't take a lot of pride in her listening skills. Or her self-control. Her recent little jaunt into Sam's garden was the last.

Who knew sod palettes could make such a good fence? ;-D

Sunday, July 6, 2008

We have a tomato!

And soon, we'll have some squash, too! Veggies, veggies, veggies everywhere! Let us know if you'd like some on layaway . . .

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Fast as lightning

The kids are fast as lightning, or should I say fireworks? Last night, John Sam & Caroline used up their stash of pop-its and Sparklers before the night was all the way dark. They are so fast that I couldn't get a picture of them together, so I had to settle for cute ones of them separately in their festive t-shirts. For the 3rd year in a row, our neighbors a few streets over treated us to a great (free!) fireworks display. I did want to try to get some tripod pictures, but the mosquitoes were so bad, we had to go in early.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th of July 2008 . . .

Seen near our home in Orlando, Florida, U.S.A.

~God Bless America~

Thursday, July 3, 2008

The banner that won't post

Let's see if I can insert a picture of the digi kit I can't use yet! It was created by the very talented Rhonna Farrer, from her "Urban Junque Journalers" collection (buy it here )
Isn't it beautiful? Wouldn't it look so very lovely at the top of my blog? Alas, operator error comes into play. Visualizing just isn't working for this task, I'm learning. More digital scrapping tutorials are in my future, I can definitely see that ;)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

July 2

At the end of June, I was so tickled to see that each month I've increased my number of blog posts. Trying to be more consistent, ha. I wanted to update the blog's top banner for July, and I got a cute little digital kit to put on, and thought I was Miss Thang. Problem is, Miss Thang can't work the digi kit. I've spent a couple of days trying to figure it out - and can't so far! It'll be right, or I won't put it up. So tomorrow I'll try again and even if it doesn't work, I'm going to blog anyway!