Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Cleaning, Cleaning, Cleaning

There's just something about this time of year. After all the holiday hooplah is over I get in super-clean mode. I need for things to be put away and sparse. No extra decor. Nothing sitting around getting kicked on the floor (with the exception of Jane's toys). I never understood spring cleaning. I could never wait that long. So that's me. Cleaning out closets. Wiping baseboards. Fighting off a cold. My next book should be called "My Not So Exciting Life." :)

Monday, January 30, 2012

There Are Toys. Everywhere.

Our house has become Jane's playground. It was only a matter of time.

I just didn't know it would happen so quick. This morning I tried so hard to clean every last inch of the house. I put all the toys away, stacked books, folded laundry.

Nothing escaped my watchful eye. Or so I thought.
Then I found this little guy. Carefully tucked on top of my magazines. No idea how he got there. No idea who put him there. But it's official. There are toys everywhere.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Dear Bulbs

Dear Bulbs,

Stop growing. It's January. Duh.



Sponsor/St. Jude Thanks

Thanks to Laura for supporting St. Jude, and don't miss her adorable baby accessories at her etsy shop, Ruby Red Handmade. She has a coupon code that when entered during check-out will give you 15% off your whole purchase. The code is "mabel" and the discount will run until the end of February.

Another big thanks to Stone Tree! Check them out here. I seriously covet their leather bags. And when I say covet, I mean if I saw a woman carrying one on the street I would stop her and say, "Hey, can I have that?" And she would be all, "POLICE, HELP." And then I'd get a ticket or go to jail or something. Anyway, the point is they make awesome leather bags and purses, so check it out.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Some Things (8 To Be Exact)

*these crack me up every time. found here.

1. While driving this week I passed by a, um, ahem, Women's Undergarment Specialty Store and the electronic sign out front was advertising for C-Strings. I'm guessing that was a typo.

2. I renewed my license and spent a good part of a morning at the main DMV. I sat between two seemingly homeless men named Walt and Boo. We discussed how Chicken McNuggets were made of eyeballs and chicken bones.

3. Jane is practicing drinking from a cup. But so far she just blows bubbles and creates a cauldron-like hot tub in her plastic pink cup. She thinks this is perhaps the cleverest of all her endeavors and laughs at herself afterward. She is her father's child.

4. Mabel is very sulky whenever we play with Jane. She slings her toys into the middle of us and barks. Actually, it's more of a scream. Either way, she needs medication.

5. Someone needs to tell my yard it's not spring. The bulbs are confused. Maybe they need medication too.

6. Matt and I are waist deep in total chaos. It's a life event I'm not at liberty to share publicly just yet, which feels weird because I share most everything with you guys. It's not a bad thing. And no, I'm not pregnant. But keep us in your prayers. Mabel's House is experiencing a bit of an upheaval.

7. I've been sucked into the world of Downton Abbey.

8. I've been trying to keep my nails painted on a weekly basis for perhaps the first time since high school. I both love and loath this process. I love the first three days. But now my nails are just red chippy messes and I find myself whispering, "Why can't you guys get it together? You're making us look bad." But they don't care. I have selfish nails.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

My Sister's Mind

This is the stuffed octopus that Rachel made for Jane as a Christmas present.

Of everything Jane recieved (and let me tell you folks, it was a lot thanks to four crazy grandparents), this is her absolute favorite.
One side of the octopus is happy, the other mad.
I'd love to spend a day inside Rachel's mind. I'd love to know where in the world she comes up with her art and projects.

Anyway. It's Jane's favorite. We need to name him. I vote for Ollie.

Sick Baby, Sweet Baby

It makes me sad when she's sick.
She tries so hard to sing, despite her raspy voice.
But I love how sweet she is.

She's so cuddly when she doesn't feel good.
So we're cuddling a lot.
It totally makes up for the moments when she slaps food out of my hand.
And gives me the stink eye for trying to make her use a sippy cup.
I asked Mom, "Is it normal to be intimidated by a 9 month old?"
She said, "Yep."
But I love Jane's spirit.
It's not milk toast.
That's for sure.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Odd Winter

We've having an odd winter. Springtime weather one day, below freezing the next. The moss growing on our back patio wall doesn't know what to do. And I certainly don't have the heart to power wash it off. Right now it's the only thing bright and cheerful in our backyard.

I try to enjoy the flip flopping. I try to get outside and take pictures and soak up the sun. It's better than sleet, that's for sure. But at the same time, it's like, "Can we just skip ahead to the end of March? K. Thanks."

Monday, January 23, 2012

Quiet in the Kitchen

It's quiet in my kitchen this morning. Jane is not feeling well, which means her normal chirping is silent. Teething has changed my sweet, good natured baby into a crying one. She cries when I leave the room. She cries at night until I put her in bed with me. But in the mornings she's quiet. It's almost as if she's taking a breather, trying to collect herself. I wish I knew how to make it better for her.

So for now, at this moment, we're both quiet. I'm eating a pear and she's playing with her toys. It's nice to be quiet together. I might not be able to fix it, but I can hold her.

And as a side note, in the spirit of full disclosure, my spending fast fell off the wagon this weekend. When Matt pointed at my new pink sweater and ruffled silk top from Target, I blustered out the super intelligent excuse: "But... everything was on clearance for 75% off. Plus, they look like clothes from Anthropologie, and they were only $13. Do you know how much that would have been at Anthro? Like $125 and..." He started to laugh and I realized how preposterous I sounded. Sigh. I'm not as strong as I thought I was. But I am re-vowing (is that even a word?) to get back on the wagon today. Deep breath. Try again.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Loving Where I Live On A Cold Winter Night

Winter Duds

There's just something sad about this span of time that stretches between Christmas and spring. It's dreary. It's long. It's cold. But I've figured out a way to combat it. Pink coats.

No matter how dead the grass is, or how hard the wind blows, or how icy your windshield... a pink coat makes everything better.

Or maybe it's just me.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Some Things (8 Things To Be Exact)

*this picture has nothing to do with this post. but fairies live there. and i don't. humph.

1. Today I discovered that the honey crisp apple I brought for a snack has a tumor on it. At the very least it's a cyst. Either way, I'm not eating it. Which means I'm not eating. Which means the Apocalypse is near.

2. Some random guy waved at me and yelled, "Yeah! Thirsty Thursday huh?" I don't know what Thirsty Thursday is. And it's Wednesday.

3. Our entire office is moving and I'm trying to organize and pack boxes. I ended up in a storage room with enough white dust coating my nose and face to qualify me for the "Don Johnson in the 80's Look Alike" contest. You know. If there was such a thing.

4. I don't understand the hype about The Real Housewives of shows. Seriously. Acrylic nails and ridiculously long hair (ahem* extensions *ahem) give me hives.

5. I do, however, loooove Once Upon a Time. Watch it. Watch it. WATCH IT.

6. I've been working on a new book idea. I've got writer's block, which for some reason makes me really want to pick my nose.

7. Jane and I had our first official fight this week. I wanted her to eat supper. She didn't. She smacked the spoon out of my hand and blew food in my face. I got my feelings hurt. Mom said, "It just means she's smart." It still hurt my feelings.

8. I've sworn off heels, and by "sworn off" I mean I'm only going to wear them a couple of times a month if the outfit absolutely calls for it. I've decided that since I gestated and pushed a human being out of my body, I'm allowed to wear flat shoes all the time. I use this line of reasoning a lot now. See also:

"I pushed a baby out of my body, I'm eating this entire pie."

"I pushed a baby out of my body, I'm not shaving my legs."

"I pushed a baby out of my body, I want you to watch Glitter, Matt."

Just kidding about that last one.

I wouldn't want him to claw out his own eyes.

P.S. I'd like to make an addendum to number 8. The "I Pushed a Baby Out of My Body" argument can be substituted by a number of female related experiences. See also:

"I live with a husband who refuses to pick up his underwear *insert thing you want to do here*"

"I take weekly phone calls from my sister who takes half an hour to tell me about her cute neighbor and his car every single time *insert thing you want to do here*"

"I walk my dog every morning even though he insists on taking a poop at the busiest intersection in town with everyone watching *insert thing you want to do here*"

As you can see, this line of reasoning is infinite. Enjoy.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Sponsor/St. Jude Thanks

I wanted to give a shout out to all the sponsors who donated to St. Jude this month! For more info about this, click here.

Thanks so much to Missi! She has an adorable blog, and an adorable little baby. Lots of good stuff here.

Another big thanks to Gerda's Garden where you can find all kinds of original watercolor paintings. Check it out here.

And finally, thanks to Loubird's Nest. It's a great site to find vintage inspired jewelry (you had me at vintage). Click here to find something cute!

Teething is the Pits

Jane makes this sound when she's hungry. It's kind of a cross between a pitiful baby cat and a semi-rabid goat. You'd just have to hear it. And I'd like to say I would record it, but when "it" happens I'm gathering food too fast to bother.

She sprouted her first tooth this week. She's a cranky little bird.

Last night nothing made her happy. She kept arching her back and glaring at me. I was eating pizza. Yep. You know where this story is going. I gave her a tiny piece of soft crust with cheese on it. She gulped it down. And then another. And then another. And then I became one of those mothers who gives a 9 month old pizza. I can't believe it either. And NOW I'm one of those mothers that blogs about teething. Sheesh.

Teething is the pits.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Our Little Operatic Falcon

I'm pretty sure a career in opera singing (soprano 1) may be in Jane's future for several reasons.

1. She freezes when she hears music. Every muscle in her body grows very still and her head starts whipping around trying to find the source. She loves it. When she was a baby and had colic the only thing that quieted her was Aretha Franklin and Debussy. Go figure.

2. She has the highest pitched voice I've ever heard. It's melodic and song-like. Our house is full of "lalalalalalalalababababab" baby songs every moment she's awake. Sometimes the pitch is so high it actually hurts. The sound travels straight through my right eyeball and embeds itself into the back of my brain. But even then it makes me smile.

Living with Jane is like living with an operatic Falcon on helium.
I love her so.

Friday, January 13, 2012

"Pinterest Is Like Fantasy Football For Girls" Friday

As my husband Matt so aptly put it, "Pinterest is like fantasy football for girls." So every Friday I'll be sharing some things I found throughout the week. Nothing beats the late night blue glow of the computer screen on my face as I whisper to my sleeping husband, "Wow... look at this painted dresser, no wait, look at this tutorial on making tank top dresses, no wait..."



Thursday, January 12, 2012

Guest Post: Custom Pillows

*Today's guest post is brought to you by Sarah from sohldesign.blogspot.com . Enjoy!

An easy way to change up your home decor is by adding new pillows. However, shopping for pillows can be a bit pricy, especially if you need a few of them. It's easier and more affordable than you think to make some of your own. You can customize the size and color, and change them later if you need to.

I made a pair of decorative monogram pillows for my brother-in-law David ("D") and his girlfriend Alex ("A), for Christmas. Earlier in the year, we screen printed initial letters onto pieces of burlap. I know not everyone has screen printing supplies (I don't), but these letters can be made using stencils and paint or even black permanent marker.

I purchased two 16x16 inch pillow forms from JoAnn Fabrics. Using 40% off coupons, I got them for around $8 each.

Select your fabric, and cut two 18x18 inch squares (this gives you a very generous seam allowance), one for the back and one for the front. If you would like two different patterns on the front (like I did), cut the fabric to the width you want and sew them together to make an 18 inch square.

Place wrong sides together and pin fabric together. Start sewing (with a 1 inch seam allowance) at the BOTTOM of your pillow fabric, about 2 inches from the end. You will want to leave a large enough opening at the bottom to be able to insert the pillow form. You can use a sewing machine or sew by hand.

Sew all three sides until you reach the bottom of the fabric again. Sew the bottom side about two inches in. Snip the corners of fabric so they turn right-side out easily. Turn your fabric right-side out. Insert your pillow form. If it fits perfectly snug, pin the opening together and sew it closed. If it's a little loose, you can always turn the fabric wrong-side out again and sew up the sides a little more.

I used brown corduroy, a pretty pattern and burlap to make these, but the color combinations are endless. You could even make them seasonal.

Decorative pillows are a quick and easy way to change your decor and add customized style to any room. And they make great gifts!