Thursday, February 28, 2008

KONG Kones and other stuff.

I took the kids to the local Macey's, which is a grocery store here. They sell gigantuous ice cream cones. I thought it would be a good time. The kids hadn't been here before. And when they saw the size of these puppies, they were simultaneously amazed at the size and giddy at the possibility of a major afternoon sugar buzz.
Look how huge they are!

And I am happy to report they were not wasted. Each kid put their cone down. Mikayla got a regular sized cone. I don't know that she could have held that KONG kone on her own.

And since I could not for the life of me get the color right on this picture, I did what any good scrapbooker does...convert it to black and white.

The best thing about the KONG kones? They are $1.29. Cheapest entertainment around.

I am off to Home Depot to get paint. Thank you for all the suggestions!
I haven't set foot in Walmart since that post. I don't plan on it either.
Hopefully I will have room pictures by this weekend.

In scrappy news:
I am guest designing for a class designed and taught by Debbie Hodge over at NYC scraps. I have never taken an online class before. Let's be honest. The first official scrapbooking class I had attended was the one that I TAUGHT for Paperkuts Magazine in Ontario. Yep. Never taken a class.

I got to "take" the first online class that I helped Debbie with a few months ago. I just have to say, it was awesome. I didn't know that I could learn something from a class, I have been designing for so long, but Debbie combines design elements into her classes, with ideas for themes, and sketches for layouts. That girl is the whole package deal. I really enjoyed the class last time, and I am looking forward to this one. Last class I completed four! two-page layouts while following the class. I scrapped a huge stack of photos.

If you are interested, check it out.

I also have some home decor crud I have done for Quickutz that I need to just take pictures of and post. My Silhouette cuts vinyl, and I have been going nuts making my own monograms and quotes.

Fun stuff!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Dear Internet-
Where did I put my keys?

Monday, February 25, 2008

I'm alive-

Just slammed with projects for a bit.
No, not PAINTING projects.

Thanks for the e-mails.
I will be back to blog hopefully really soon.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

On Walmart.

I went to buy a couple gallons of paint last night.
I am in between projects and figured I could kick out a good portion of the girls room today.
I had them mix up a celery/limey green color, and it was good.
Then I had them mix a pepto bismol pink.
It turned out purpley.
I walked around the store wondering if my eyes were buggy.
I even stopped and asked another lady if the paint on the top of the can and my paint swatch matched.
She was like "Not even close."
So I marched it back to the paint dude.
He rolled his eyes at me (really he did) and said "Well, I mixed it up right." (arms folded into his chest-chest puffed out)
I was like "Dude. It's wrong. Something is wrong with your machine then."
He was like "It looks right to me."
He kept putting the paint chip in the machine that matches paint.
I was like "Why don't you just read the information on the back of the chip to mix it, instead of trying to match it in the machine. That machine seems to be off."
I sat and argued with him for like ten minutes.

My kids are running amok in the store.
I told my older boys to watch the four year old.
They are all in Heeleys, pert near knocking displays over.
Then in the middle of waiting for the stupid paint I hear:
"attention walmart shoppers, there is a lost little girl....blah, blah"
Yeah, its mine.
I retrieve Mikayla from the smug front desk girl.
I find the boys oblivious to life playing the video games in electronics.
Rip them a hole.
Make all the kids stand there (skating in obnoxious circles around me like fruit flies) while I get the paint issue resolved.

He finally mixed up another gallon. Matching the chip (again) in the MACHINE!
It was too purpley too.
I was like "Can anyone else try?"
My hell. It was THEIR paint chip!!
He said "I pretty much trained everyone in this store." (on mixing paint.)
I left the pink there.
I go up to buy the green.
The rang me up in the check-out and I didn't have enough cash? What?
He had picked the wrong kind of paint.
He grabbed the can of some ultra exterior expensive crap.
It was like $30.00 a gallon!
I left it too.
I am NOT paying that for Walmart crap.
So now I have no paint.

The last time I went in to get paint some dude had a seizure right in the middle of the floor in front of the paint counter.
So the paint dude hops the counter and goes over to look important, and place several pillows underneath him from domestics.
(Which incidentally, post-seizure, they just threw those pillows back into the wire cage to be sold to some unsuspecting customer)
Don't get me wrong. I felt incredibly bad for the guy having a seizure.
I really did.
And I was glad paint guy went over there. But...

My paint was literally ready to go in that mixer machine.

Paintman is over helping seizureman, the ambulance people come, and take over.
Where does the paint guy go?
Who the hell knows?
He never came back.

I waited 45 minutes!
I left.

You would think I would learn, but no.
Like an abusive relationship...I keep going back.

I am going to go somewhere else tomorrow.
Not there.
I am still ticked today.

Any recommendations?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Too mad to elaborate.

I hate Walmart.
The end.

trouble brewing

I graduated Weight Watchers just in time for:


Crap. Those suckers are like crack to me. I saw them at Walmart last night, and I didn't dare buy any. I am afraid to have them in the house. Calling me. Taunting me. In fact, just from simply fondling the bag in the store, my waistband is tighter today.

I have no willpower. There. I said it.
None at all.

They don't hand out willpower at WW like they do the little key-chain charms.

Monday, February 18, 2008

lazy day

The kids are out of school for, um, is it Presidents Day?
February is such a weird month for holidays around here.

We are all hanging out in our PJ's snacking on this:

Pumpkin Pie Cake

1 white cake mix (or yellow, or french vanilla...whatever you have that is close)
(reserve 1 c. of cake mix, set aside)
2 T. flour
1 egg
1/2 c. melted butter

Mix all ingredients. Press into the bottom of a greased 9x13 pan.

1 large can pumpkin
2 eggs
1/3 c. brown sugar
1 c. white sugar
2/3 c. evaporated milk
2 t. pumpkin pie spice

Mix thoroughly, and pour over the top of the crust.

1 c. (reserved) cake mix
1/4 c. sugar
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 c. softened butter

Cut together until crumbs. Sprinkle over the top of filling.

Bake at 350 degress for 45-50 minutes. Delicious if served warm with vanilla ice cream.

I think it is healthy, right? I mean, with all the pumpkin, it is practically a vegetable. Try it, you will love it.

I think I will throw some laundry in just for some anti-guilt. That plus my favorite velour lounge suit is dirty. A girl needs her comfy lounge suit. Especially when she has been snacking on cake all weekend.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Today I graduated from Weight Watchers.

And right after class, the manager of this location (I am standing next to in the photo)said "I am sooooo glad you finally earned your Lifetime goal."

"Thanks." I said, putting my coat on to leave.

"Really, I am so happy" she said "we would really love to have you come work for us."


So she explained everything, and asked me to please think about it.

I am still laughing.

I don't know why I am laughing. I guess I should be flattered. You have to have gone through the program to work there. I should be feeling something like honored or excited or something. I just feel, well, hysterical.

I just can't see myself being a fat farm motivational speaker. Or the scale lady.

I need to get a grip.

PS. the pants I am wearing are new. I finally went out and got some that fit me. They are a (comfortable) size SIX! Don't be hatin'. When I am not wearing them, I like to leave them inside out, with the size SIX! tag out in plain sight draped over the living room couch right where the front door is.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentines Day

Top Ten reasons that I love this guy:
10- I don't do well when I am tired. He is the official "put the kids to bed guy" I have usually lost all patience by that point, and he makes it fun for the kids. He is also the "get the kids up" guy, when he hasn't worked graveyards the night before. Same reason. I am grumpy. He isn't.

9- He eats everything I cook. Without complaint. Even that recent weight watcher friendly garbanzo bean thing. (shudder)

8- He has been known to fold laundry after I have gone to bed, when he is staying up watching TV. Nothing is prettier than folded laundry early the next morning.

7- He has always taken care of the trash. Or at least assigns the kids to take it out to the curb.

6- He is the official lawn mower. Or again, pays the boys to do it.

5- I handed all the bills off to him a few years ago when we had a "where did all the money go" arguement. He has done the bills ever since. Very nice for me.

4- He is handy with tools. He can fix most anything, be it electrical or motorized, or computer based, or in need of a screw or nail or bracket. <---hope that doesn't throw me into the p*rn category again. (snicker)

3- He gives awesome back rubs. And foot rubs. Knowing that I don't usually reciprocate. Feet kinda skeeve me.

2- There have been mornings where I have gone to bed not feeling well, and have woken up to a quiet house. He had woken the kids, gotten them ready for school (and even braided Shianne's hair) set Mikayla up with a movie, and let me sleep in. THAT, my friends, right worth keeping him around. :)

1- He always makes me laugh.

He lets me put my cold feet on him in bed.
He always gets the door for me.
He will run to the store whenever I ask.
He knows directions. I can be lost, and call him, and he is better than GPS.
He knows when I just need a nap. Or chocolate. Or both.

I am a lucky girl!

Happy Valentines Babe!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Some trade show layouts

New stuff from Bo Bunny Press. A different look for them, this new line...I like it. The ad they ran for this line was tagged "This ain't your momma's Bo Bunny." They like to use stock photography, so that is why there are no photos on these layouts.

And then they have their regular style, that they are more known for.

Here is some new Karen Foster.

And here is some new stuff from Quickutz.
These are some Revolution Sports dies.

And these are the brand new 12" border dies. I had so much fun with these! I used the grass die on this one.

So there is some sampling of some of the work I busted out last month.

And also, Blogger seems to be working. All except spell check.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

cleaning house

My friend called me from work today to give me the public service announcement that she could no longer access my blog from work. They have filters on their system, and my blog was kicked out. Reason: PORN.

I have been scanning my blog to see which words triggered that?

Or maybe, the internet world has caught onto the fact that I have lost weight, and I am gearing up to post some gratuitous photos.

Speaking of...thank you for the kind words. Some have commented or e-mailed me after the van picture. I have lost 27 pounds. In fact, I graduate from Weight Watchers this Saturday! I am in a comfortable size 8, tight size 6. I would still like to lose about 8 pounds. But I have hit a dread weight loss plateau.

I think my body is just saying, "Enough."

Pretty frusterating considering I am still exercising and watching points. I was hoping that at some point I would lose this "fat belt" I have going on where my waist once was. Something about having five kids, all c-section does a number to that area of the body.

I heard it described best in a book I once read. I am paraphrasing, cause I can't remember the name of the book.

"I never thought I would end up this way. Now, whenever I lay down on my side, my stomach lies beside me like an obedient puppy."

****<---that means new subject.

I wrapped up all my deadlines, and most of my manufacturers are in a holding pattern post CHA. I have been bored, so I took to watching some home decorating shows and got the bug.

I want to re-do all the kids rooms. Right now, the decor in all the rooms is "Junky." We were so busy with the remodel, and the rest of the house, that the kids rooms got last priority.

I started with Jayden's room. We did it in sort-of a skateboardy-sports theme.
And look at me being all artsy...I painted a canvas!
Man, I have talent oozing out of my pores! Okay, it might be lame. I haven't picked up a brush since I was a junior in high school. He likes it. That is all that matters.

Next up is cleaning the studio.
And then if I have any energy left, I am starting on my girls room.

PS Blogger is even more broken. No spell check still. And today, no photo upload. I am linking from Photobucket, and I am not even sure if it is going to work. I am hitting Publish Post....I am so nervous...

Monday, February 11, 2008


I am too darn lazy to edit these pictures, so they are pretty bad, but tell the story anyway.

One of the things I can't stand buying is adhesive. Designing for a few scrapbook companies, and getting a butt-ton of paper, stickers, embellishments, chipboard, ribbon...etc, leaves me buying my own adhesive, and pretty much that's it. Sometimes I have to verbally beat myself for being so ungrateful.

It still leaves me buying lots of adhesive.

There is a local chain here called Roberts Crafts that routinely runs a 40 percent off of one item deal. I have been known to load up all the kids, give them a few bills and have them 40 percent me up some adhesive refills. They are trained well.

I go through a lot of refills.

I finally caved, and bought THE BIG! GUN. The ATG gun was made for framing folks. The folks who take artwork and custom frame it with decorative mats.

It was a whole lot cheaper to go this way. The refills are less than three bucks a roll, and have roughly a billion times more adhesive than the craft store refills I have been blowing through.

I bought my gun at framing supplies. (<---blogger won't let me link for some reason.

Apparently they don't believe in BOXES at "Framing Supplies." Cause this is how my BIG! GUN came packaged:

There was a mailing label slapped on a huge old glob of plastic bubble wrap.
We unwrapped enough bubble wrap to safely enclose our van, and here is what was inside.

THE BIG! GUN and a case of adhesive. I am good to go now. And Mikayla has bubbles to pop.


Blogger is being a poop. I can't link, italicize like I like, or even spell check. I have so much more to say, but I am going to wait until at least spell check works, and I can look 37% more intelligent.


Wednesday, February 06, 2008

the hot seat

Tomorrow is Parent-Teacher conferences at the school.
The only thing I hate worse is the dentist.

Nothing is more intimidating...than sitting in those tiny chairs, across from a teacher, and going over all the homework your child has missed. You know, the homework they should have done ALL THOSE DAY WHEN THEY CAME HOME AND TOLD YOU THEY HAD NO HOMEWORK, and then gleefully skipped off to play.

And the teachers try to be all nice about it. That false hope that somehow it is not my son's fault.

"I may have missed giving him proper credit, if he didn't put his name on it..."

I think I am going to save us all some time and just put it right out there.

Hey, I am aware that my kid is a lazy turd.
You can't get him to turn stuff in, I can't get him to clean his room. Or hit the hamper with his socks. Or, let's be honest...he is incapable of even wiping thoroughly, no matter how many times I have pointed out his own personal skidded undies.

I don't see any of this changing in this lifetime.

He takes after his Dad.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Things I Have Driven (Part Five, Six and Seven)

Once again car-less.

Sam metioned to his Dad that he was looking for a vehicle for us. His Dad didn't skip a beat, and said "Well, why don't you just take the van?"

Sams parents had been driving an Astro van for a while. It was great for going on bowling trips where they could pack everyone, and all the bowling equipment. However, they only did the whole bowling trip thing once a year. To Bowling Nationals. Yes, Bowling Nationals is a real thing, that is why I linked it. And to expand on the whole bowling thing would be another really long post in itself, so I am choosing to skip it for now. Anyway, the van...

My FIL had wanted to get my MIL something smaller to drive around in, and trade in the van. Well, they weren't sure if the trade in would be worth much. So they gave us the van.

We were so happy! My in-laws rock.

Well, the Astro was great for all the kids. I put them all in the back, and it felt far enough away that I could periodically block them out. As the van aged, it took on some rust. And then more rust. And then one day...

I was driving into town with my neighbor and all of our kids. We stopped at a stop sign, and got rear-ended. The van lurched forward slightly. I started driving away. My neighbor said "Dude! You just got rear-ended."
I said "I know."
"Don't you think you should get out, and call the police?"

As luck would have it, there was a police officer two cars back who saw the whole thing. He flipped on his lights and came over. Crap.

"Ma'am, do you want to assess the damage."
"Nah, that's okay."
"But, you were just hit by that car."
"Yep. this van has cancer anyway...look at it! I just don't care."

So I didn't exchange insurance or anything. The bumper got a little dent in it. In the grand scheme of things a new bumper wasn't going to be any sort of improvement.

The officer kind of chuckled and walked off. I honked and waved at the other car, and took off. I figure Karma owes me one.

Eventually we traded the Astro in for our Suburban.

Sam picked it. He wanted something that would allow him to be able to tow his Jeep down to Moab for Jeep Safari weekend. (He did that a total of two times, I believe) I wanted another van. I am short, and a Suburban was a little big for me.

One day, he called me on his cell phone. It was April Fools Day to be exact.
"Hey honey, guess what? I bought you a car!"
"Oh, riiiiight. Nice April Fools..."
"No! Really, I, listen (fiddles with something and then some country song comes on) Would I have MY RADIO pre-set to THAT?"
I said "????"
"Wait...listen...(honks horn) that is our NEW HORN!!"

Really. How did I luck out and marry this guy? His genious is staggering....

"Never mind," he said "I am almost home."

And true to his word, he was driving our blue Suburban.
We got it in 2001, and she lasted (with only a couple minor mis-haps) until well...two weeks ago. I CAN'T WAIT ANYMORE...(this is so exciting...)

It rocks. I mean, it's still a van, but now that you have read the long saga of things that I have driven, you can be excited with me.

It has a DVD player which had already paid for itself.
The kids....well, WHAT KIDS???!
I don't hear a peep out of them as long at the electronic babysitter is engaged.
Sanity for me.
Sweet, sweet sanity.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Things I Have Driven (Part Four)

Alternately titled: "The moment I lost every remaining ounce of my PRIDE."

After I had Jayden, he was so much fun...we decided to have another. So Brendan joined the family 18 months later. He was so fun too, so nine months later I got pregnant again, this time with twins. They came a month early, and our little family consisted of a (barely) three year old, an 18 month old, and newborn twins! Doesn't that sound fun!

What can I say about the Dynasty? Sam found it for me. I was so grateful! I had been without a car for months. I walked where I could. But mostly I was just trapped and at the mercy of Sam coming home from work early, or bumming a ride with someone who happened to have enough car seats.

When you drove the Dynasty, you just felt old. You wanted to pop in 8-tracks of Frank Sinatra, and eat fruitcake. It had crushed velvet seats. And cup-holders big enough for icy cold cans ofEnsure.

I need to back track a bit...we bought the Dynasty right before we had the twins. I remember driving it to the hospital, and then literally filling it with car seats. We had Jayden in the middle with us (it was a bench seat, with no air bags) and then the back seat was car seat row. Brendan was in the middle, front facing, and the twins were on both sides of him, rear facing. That was the only way the car seats would fit. There wasn't even enough room in that car for someone to fart.

We finally resigned ourselves to the fact that we would need something else. We were tossing the idea around when out of the blue, this um, senior citizen came into Sam's work one day inquiring about the owner of the blue Dynasty. Sam thought he left his lights on, or the um, not-so-young fellow had hit the car or something. Well it was a miracle! The elderly gentleman wanted to BUY IT. He said he has been looking for one for a long time. He had CASH! So Sam sold it, right there on the spot.

I was car-less again.
With four babies.
And slowly going mental.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

It's all lies.

Sometimes as a paid scrapbooker, you have to rely on stock photography. Or more often for me, since I am cheap, I have to shoot my own stock photography. Like this:

I actually liked this one. I thought it was artistic. I have used it about six times now.

I needed photos of THE SUPERBOWL. For a Super Bowl product line. Now truth be told...we are not football fans. Sam played football in high school and college. I don't give a flying fig about football. I watched it occasionally when I was a teen, in segments, only because football players look pretty good in their tighty little spandex pants...with their calf muscles all bulged out. And the shoulder pads. But that soon lost its novelty, and besides that games were so incredibly long. And now, as a mom, I just look at the grass stains on the tighty little spandex pants,and all the knee injuries and shudder.

Needless to say, I had to shoot some posed and completely fake photos. I have resorted to this quite a few times, which makes me wonder if my kids are going to eventually need some sort of therapy when they lovingly peruse the family memory books later on in life. Full of fake memories.

"Hey, mom... when did we go to Disneyland?"
"Oh honey, we didn't."
"But, look! Here I am standing by Mickey Mouse!"
"Um, yeah...that is you at the video store, standing in front of a cardboard cut-out. Mommy needed Disney pictures."
"HEY! I don't remember that I used to play Lacrosse..."

Another lie.

So, here are all my boys and husband "watching" the big game. I believe it was July. Scrapbooking, as you know is all about "preserving our memories and traditions" whether they be fake or not. Right? Okay, more like creating layouts for the sake of a company that pays me to display product that I really have no personal interest in.
Besides the money.
I do have personal interest in the money. Especially when it takes me far, far away from the 1,000 inches of snow we got just last night.

And here they are lamenting a bad play/ref. call/player injury/grass stain/whatever. The director (me) told them to "pretend like something bad happened." They are pretty good little actors, no?

And here is one of the many layouts I did using my stock photography:

So there you have it.

The Superbowl at our house.
I don't even know who is playing.
But I am looking forward to a nap.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Things I have Driven (Part Three)

When I got over the sinking/regret feeling that I had just put a tangible price tag on my youth by selling the Storm, I settled into the used Honda Accord that we bought soon after.

It was a nice solid car. Not flashy, but sensible and reliable (much like Orthopedic shoes or Bending Easy pants), and heavy--did much better in the snow.

I gave birth to Jayden, took my six weeks maternity leave, and made plans to go back to work. My boss called me on my last week to see what I had decided. I wanted to stay home. I was so in love with that little eight pound boy, I couldn't bear the thought of leaving him. My boss sweetened the deal, and told me he would be fine with me bringing the baby with me to work. What? So I totally went back. With one of those Pack and Play crib thingies. For the first few weeks, it was an awesome deal! My co-workers were in love with baby Jayden. He was such a good baby. Still slept a lot. Most of the day, really.

Then he got older, and more active. And a little fussier. My boss didn't say anything, but I knew I wasn't as productive at work, trying to take care of Jayden too. I knew I needed to quit working, but now we had a car payment on the Accord. It would be really tight with just Sam's income alone.

So we put the car up for sale, thinking I could quit working if we didn't have that extra payment. My mom started tending Jayden for us, while we anxiously waited for the ad we placed in the paper for the car to work its magic.

We got a call the first day the paper came out. They came and test-drove it, and then didn't call back. Again it happened. And a third time. And it went on for a couple of weeks like that. And finally, the last person to call and test drive the Accord called back the next day to me at work.

"Hi. This is Mr. Anal-Retentive Test-Driver Guy."
"Yeah, about the car...I just wanted to let you know:
*The passenger side door weather stripping is loose.
*I think there is a small leak in the trunk.
*The brakes will need to have new pads soon.
*There is a small chip in the windshield that doesn't look like it has been fixed.
*The floor mats really need to be replaced.
*I noticed a slight hum when you reach highway speeds.

Blah blah blah BLAH...he went ON AND ON, meanwhile I am at WORK, and clients are waiting, and this crack head was monopolizing my time, listing every stinking flaw with a USED CAR.

Finally I cut him off.

"Look, are you INTERESTED in buying the car, or not?"
"Well, no...(and he started re-listing the crap)"

At which point I hung up on him.

I was so frustrated. I don't like dropping everything I have going on to accommodate test drives. I don't like selling stuff. And I did not like being away from my baby because I had to make a payment on a used car that apparently now had a TRUNK LEAK. I wondered if we would ever sell the car.

The next morning, I strapped Jayden into his car seat, and started in to work. I had a ton of stuff to do that day. We had back to back closings, there were things to fax, and checks to cut, and documents to overnight for additional signatures, and Jayden was teething and fussy, and I was just not happy about life in general.

I got off the freeway and headed up the road to work...when WHAM! We got broadsided by a car in the middle of an intersection. I saw the car coming, turning into us, but it was like one of those movies, where everything is in slow-motion. There was nothing I could have done.

We were hit so hard, it pushed our car over to the side of the road.

I remember seeing my bumper in the middle of the intersection, and wondering if I needed to go get it...or leave it...

I sat in the car. Jayden was screaming. I just sat there. Finally a really nice lady came to the door and asked if we were okay. She was on her cell phone to 911.

I told her I didn't want to undo my seatbelt cause I wanted the police officer to know that I was wearing it. HA! I think I was in shock...

She said "Oh honey, he's definitely going to know you were wearing your seat belt."

I told her I was too afraid to pick up the baby in case he had back injury. HA! (shock again)

She said "He is just scared. His car seat did the trick, he is fine."
Then she picked him up, and wrapped him in a blanket, and he fell asleep on her shoulder. She was such a nice lady. I never even got her name.

I called Sam, and he came out to get us. I called work and told them. The police came out, and wrote up all the reports. The other driver was so upset and very apologetic. It was weird day.

Funny how things that seem so important thirty minutes ago are so trivial when you realize how quickly life can change.

We were not hurt. We were safe. So blessed.

A couple of days later, I got the call at work from the insurance company. The Accord would cost more than it was worth to fix it. They wrote it up as a total loss. They were sending us a check for more money than we even owed on old Leaky Trunk. A blessing in disguise.

I went straight away into my Boss' office and gave my two week notice.

We were debt free! And I was car-less. But I didn't care.

For a while.