Monday, October 31, 2011

Hello Monday/Hello Halloween!

Hello Monday!  I'm linking up with Lisa again this week...

The pumpkin has been carved...

The costume has been selected...
Do you like his super serious pose?
The candy has been purchased...
Don't worry!  We have more.
And finally!  Today is the day that C has been anticipating for about 364 days!
We'll be saying hello to a Kindergarten Halloween party, trick-or-treating downtown, a Tumble Express Halloween party, and neighborhood trick-or-treating.

We'll possibly be saying hello to candy-and-excitement-overload, as well!

I hope that everyone has a safe and happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Happy Pins: Week Two.

Good Morning!  I hope that everyone is having a great weekend.  No complaints here.  For once, it seems, that we are all feeling pretty healthy and I am so, so happy about that!  I thought I'd share some more inspiration from Pinterest, so here goes...
via Dana Kaar Bolyard from
via Michelle Espinoza from
via Marcia VanTassel from
via Marnie Fisher-Ingram from
via Stephanie Crane from
via Bev McCullough {Flamingo Toes} from

Friday, October 28, 2011

Lonely Only!

I just saw that Kelly is showcasing families of "only children"  on her blog today and I thought that I would join in...

I am the mom of "C," a six-year-old boy who is currently in kindergarten.  He is awesome and squirrely and loud and sweet and obsessive about all things Lego and creative and a million other things.  As I sit typing this post, C is busy decorating his room for Halloween and dressing up in a self-made pirate costume while he should be getting ready for a little trip to town.

I never planned to have only one child, but my husband and I joined the parenting game a little later than most people.  I was 33 and J was 35 when C was born.  We were so excited about the little guy and totally clueless about he would change our lives.  See, J and I had gone to school for decades in order to become school psychologists and the plan was to have a baby, return to work, and live happily ever after.

Except...our original daycare option fell through and the back-up was a nightmare.  Throw in a baby who couldn't stay well for more than three days at a time, a mama who worried about her sick baby constantly, and you suddenly have a family living on one income and a slightly crazed stay-at-home mom.

Did we choose to have only one?  I'm not sure.  It just never felt like it was the right time to have a second one and then I had to have a hysterectomy when I was 37 so the decision was made.

Are we happy with our little family of three?  Absolutely.

Awesome things about having only one child:  You get to focus on the needs of only one child, you have only one college education to plan for, there's no need to store old toys and clothes in the attic "just in case," it's easier to schedule things because you only have one set of activities to plan things around...

Not-so-great things about having only one child:  Many people treat you like you're not really a mom because you only have one child, you worry about your child turning into a selfish tyrant who is incapable of co-existing with other people, you have to work especially hard to stay on his good side because he's the only one who will have a say regarding which nursing home we end up in someday (teehee), you don't get any second chances to redeem your parenting mis-steps...

Seriously, though, I am very thankful for my little guy and I would love to hear from any other moms out there who are traveling this particular parenting path.  What do you like best?  What are your biggest concerns?

Linking up to Show us your life at Kelly's Korner...

Good Morning!  I went to bed thinking about the sympathy email I was going to write to my Dad about the Cardinal's loss...and then I got up to find that they had won the game!  That's what I get for going to bed early like an old lady!

C's first parent/teacher conference was...Awesome!  He's doing great and his teacher said that "everyone loves him."  Could a mom ask for anything more?  His "report card" indicates that he is doing everything at the "Satisfactory" (highest) level except "following directions the first time" and " working neatly and carefully."  Those areas are "Improving."

His teacher said that the reason that he sometimes doesn't follow directions the first time is because he's too busy talking and laughing and doesn't hear the direction.   What???   I cannot imagine.  (Haha!)   I'm just so thankful that everything is going so well for him.

C is out of school today and we are planning a trip to town.  C is hoping to eat some popcorn and I'm just hoping to get through the day without hearing "I'm bored" more than 245 times. Wish us luck!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Good Morning!

Good Morning Everyone!  It's cold and rainy and gloomy here, but I'm feeling happy with my first cup of coffee and the peace and quiet.  I have to clean today:  Dusting, vacuuming, sweeping, etc. 

I'll be honest, I'd rather go to the dentist.  Or have extensive blood work.  Or attend a really long parade in the rain without an umbrella. 

But, I'll clean because today... Today, people are coming to my house.  That's right.  I'm hard pressed to find the motivation to clean for my little family, but tell me that someone is coming over and I suddenly see dust everywhere!  Kindof sad, isn't it? 

It's just that I would rather be crafting or cozy-ing up with a good book.  Wouldn't you? 

In other news, today is our first parent/teacher conference.  I'm amazed by how quickly C's first quarter of school passed by and I'm excited to hear that I have the most perfect child this teacher has ever had the honor of teaching.  : )  Or some such...

I hope that you all have a great day! 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Vegetarian Taco Soup

Have you ever had one of those days that flew by so quickly that you just couldn't believe that your clock was working correctly?  That's how yesterday was for me.  I had so many things that I wanted to do, but the day just evaporated!  One thing that I did accomplish was cooking up a pot of my vegetarian taco soup.  I know that there are a million versions of this floating around out there, but I thought that I would post mine just to add to the confusion. : ) 

Do you have a favorite soup recipe?

Vegetarian Taco Soup
  • Cooking oil (1 teaspoon)
  • Onion (1, diced)
  • Water (1.5 cups)
  • Diced tomatoes (1 can)
  • Tomato sauce (1 can)
  • Black beans (1 can)
  • Mexican-style chili beans (1 can)
  • Corn (2/3 cup)
  • Taco seasoning (1 Tbsp)
  • Shredded Cheddar cheese
  • Sour cream
  1. Cook onion in oil in your soup pot until tender.
  2. Mix in all other ingredients; bring to a boil.
  3. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Top with cheese and sour cream (optional, but why wouldn't you?) : )

P.S.  I was going to take a picture, but I was so hungry I scarfed it all down before I remembered!  Sorry!
Linking up with Alissa at 33 Shades of Green today...

Monday, October 24, 2011

Hello Monday.

I'm linking up with Lisa Leonard today.

Hello to a week of feeling better!  I don't think I've coughed at all in the last hour!!!

Hello to our first Parent/Teacher Conference on Thursday...

Hello to trick-or-treating on the town square this Friday...

Hello to getting creative...

Happy Monday everyone! 

Have a great week!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Happy Pins.

I thought that I would share a few of the great things that I found on Pinterest this week.  Enjoy!
From via  Lyndsay Budge; originally posted by  Michelle DuPuis
From via Destiny Perkins

From via Destiny Perkins

From via EdnaMae Fisher

From via Destiny Perkins
From via Destiny Perkins

from via Lisa Leonard
From via Destiny Perkins

Can  you believe that this is the last week of October??? 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Mug Rug.

My Mother-in-Law had a birthday last week so I decided to try my hand at a new project.  I made a mug rug...

I thought that it turned out pretty well, but my boys were a bit, dare I say, underwhelmed.  The conversation went a little something like this:

Me:  Do you like the mug rug I made for your Mom's birthday?
J:  Um.  It's cute, but what did you call it?
Me:  A mug rug.
J:  I don't get it.
C:  Mom, that's a coaster.
Me:  I know it's a coaster, but it sounds cuter if I call it a mug rug.
C:  I don't get it.
I think that it's pretty cute, but...
it's definitely better when you add a festive mug filled with candy!

I think the equation works like this:  Red mug + Candy = Cute Mug Rug. 

Hope my Mother-in-Law likes it!

Friday, October 21, 2011

{Atypical} Bronchitis.

Today I caved to peer (husband) pressure and went to the Germ Clinic.

I have Atypical Bronchitis.
"What is that?" you ask.  I'm not sure. 

I think it's what they call it when you don't have {real} bronchitis, but still look pathetic enough to warrant cough syrup.

My husband predicted that they would give me an antibiotic and they did so I was forced to admit that he was r.i.g.h.t.  I really hate that. 

I'm looking forward to feeling better and actually having the energy to brush my teeth.   
(Don't worry, Dad, I've been doing it--just not enthusiastically!)  : )

I hope that you all have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sick of Sick.

I'm sick.  Like lay-on-the-couch-in-the-middle-of-the-day-and-not-even-feel-guilty-sick.
I've tried Robitussin. 
I've tried Zyrtec.
I've tried cough drops, humidifiers, rest, lots of liquids...
I've though about going to the doctor and rejected that idea because I've lost faith in the medical community. 

I'm thinking that there might be one last trick to try before I give up: 
Cheesecake!  I think I'll try the "Cheesecake Cure." 

I'll let you know whether or not it works.

But I won't share...  : )

Monday, October 17, 2011

Homework: Living Room Edition.

Remember the other day when I was trying to figure out how to decorate that wall in my living room?  You don't?  Well, anywho, I finally finished it.  I won't go into detail about how long it took me to decide on an arrangement (an embarrassingly long time) and I won't talk about the fact that I'm still not 100% sold on it (because I'm done, done, done with it).  I will just show some pictures and resign myself to the fact that home decor might not be (definitely isn't) my cup of tea.

This view shows the whole wall and table.  Historically, this table has been a dumping ground.  To the right of the table is our garage entry and to the left is our front door.  This table sees its share of keys, cell phones, school papers (Oh!  The school papers!  Elementary schools certainly do their share of deforestation, don't they?) and lunch bags.  Trying to pretty it up certainly has my husband confused.


I used what I had and I tried to use only the things that I really, really love.  This little house is one of my favorite things.  I got it several years ago on a trip to Iowa. 

I also really love this little pomegranate picture.  I found it at a flea market about a year ago and I wish that I could find more little original artworks like this.

The "family" definition is likely to be changed out for something more interesting, but I really like the polka dot background for now. 


Paper patchy goodness...I'm liking neutral colors right now, can you tell?

Both of the plates on this wall came from Iowa.  I seem to find the most interesting things there.  I have a favorite antique store in Kalona that I look forward to visiting every summer.

Who can resist a tiny little plate?

The butterfly print was a gift from my husband.  I finally found just the right spot for it and it only took me 15 months or so.  Can you see that I spruced up my lampshade?  Hot glue gun and ribbon = One of my favorite activities.

Here is my spot for stashing my keys, sunglasses, and phone.  Please note the "old school" phone.  It's a sad day when your parents are more technologically advanced than you are.  Yes, I said it Mom and Dad.  It's a sad day!  I can just imagine you, sitting all smug there reading this blog post on your smart phones...But, I digress.

One chore checked off the old October to do list.  Looking at the calendar makes me think that I need to get hopping if I'm going to be able to check off any others...

Have a great Monday!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Firefighter C.

This week has been "Fire Safety" week at C's elementary school and yesterday the firefighters came to visit. The kids got to explore the fire truck and watch the firefighters put on their outfits (C was amazed that they can get everything on in less than a minute!).  Fortunately for C, they did not turn on the siren.  That tends to freak him out a little.  Too loud!

Last night, C disappeared into his room for a bit.  When he came out, he was halfway to this:
He needed some help with putting on the mask, "breathing tube," backpack, and hat.
He searched the house for people who were trapped.  Fortunately, no one was found under the pillows, in the kitchen cabinets, or under the sofa cushions.  He put out the flames he found amongst the old newspapers and magazines.
Let's count the layers that he stripped off once the fire was out: 
  1. Underpants
  2. Socks
  3. Shorts
  4. Corduroy pants
  5. Tshirt
  6. Long sleeve tshirt
  7. Hooded sweatshirt
  8. Firefighter's coat
  9. Boots
  10. Breathing mask (aka Darth Vadar mask)
  11. Firefighter's hat
  12. Gloves
  13. Backpack
He was one hot tamale when all was said and done! 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thrifty Finds.

Another week, almost finished, and it's been 50/50 on the Misery Meter. 
Today, the sun is shining so my mood is automatically better.
Yesterday, the sun was not shining so it took retail therapy to make me happy.  : )

I made it to two antique malls and here is what I found:
  • A funky little picture to add to my collection of funky little pictures.
  • A little green planter to add to my collection of little green planters.
  • A book recommended by a great blogger.
It's all good! 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Not Good, All Around Bad Day {Almost}.

Today was not great.
Not even good.

But one thing went right:  I passed my School Psychologist Certification Exam!  

So, so, so, so, so, so, so, so glad glad glad glad glad glad!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, October 6, 2011


There was a time in my life where I was capable of making snap decisions: 
Buy the tan car.
Cut my hair short (& then buy a new hat).
Paint my entire house yellow.
Name my son C-----.

Now, I'm... Indecisive.  Irresolute.  Vacillating.  Wavering.  Hesitant.  Uncertain.  Unsure.  Faltering.  The simple process of hanging things on one wall has turned my house into:
I wish that I was...Strong-minded.  Clear-thinking.  Resolute.  Earnest.  Certain.  Positive.  Determined.   Sure.  Confident.  Maybe a bit more like my helper, Molly:
She knows just what she wants.  A nap.  A snack.  Just a tiny bit of attention.  Someone to clean up the mess that is currently cluttering up her house!!!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Lovely Day.

I spent part of today "in town" on my own.
It was lovely.

I did a lot of window shopping and imagining.  I saw many things that made me think "Ooh, I want that" and "Ahh, I could make that."

I only made it to half the places I wanted to get to because I ran out of time and, as I was rushing around, I realized:

I should do this more often.  I should get out of the house every now and again.  Buy a coffee, enjoy the lovely weather, take in the sights...

And I think I will.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Sewing and Sickness.

Okay.  I didn't clean my bathroom or go to the library yesterday, but I did buy groceries, straighten my house, and sew.  I sewed!  I sewed!  I sewed!  Can you see the silly thing I made? 

It is a bit crazy, but I just used fabrics that I already had and went with the craziness.

This is another Halloween craft I made the other day.  I love the colors, though I'm afraid my photos are a bit lacking!
This is my first attempt at making a table runner and I have to say that it was a lot of fun!  Do you think that this will keep us from piling things onto this table everyday? 

I have a "sick" child at home.  He was stuffy on Sunday and feverish last night, but now he seems fine.  What do you call this?  Is it Worry-the-parents-for-no-reason-Flu?  I was seriously tempted to send him to school this morning because he seems fine and I was hoping for a perfect attendance star (do they still do that?), but there are a million other illnesses floating around his school right now and I don't want a weakened immune system to invite any of those things home.

We've been doing "Home Kindergarten."  Apparently I am no where near as cool as his real teacher.  He's mad at me right now because I'm doing "Writer's Workshop" wrong. 

Grumpy child + A long day at home = Crazy Mama! 

Before I get back to teaching, I have to share one more thing (from The Scenic Route by Binnie Kirshenbaum).  It so fits me today:
"For me, cooking falls apart in the planning stage.  I'll go to the store to buy food for dinner and come back with fresh pasta, and Idaho potato, and a jar of orange marmalade."
I did almost the same thing yesterday, except I bought yogurt instead of marmalade.  I have spent the day trying to come up with a meal that will satisfy a slightly picky six-year-old, a super-picky husband, and me--a woman who enjoys food that has "taste."  Why is this such a chore every single day???  I have decided on spaghetti and meat sauce.  One third of the people in my house will enjoy this.  Can you guess which third?

Monday, October 3, 2011

My Monday Plan.

Good Morning!  How is your Monday going?  I have a list of things to do today and I thought I'd post them here to keep me motivated:
  1. Take my kiddo to school and try to get him to stop crying before he walks in the building. (We're doing better with this, but Mondays are still hard). (done!)
  2. Clean the fish bowl.
  3. Clean our bedroom.
  4. Clean our bathroom.
  5. Work on classes.
  6. Go to the library.
  7. Go to the grocery store.
  8. Straighten every room in our house!
  9. Enjoy the beautiful weather without turning into a sneezing, coughing mess.
  10. Sew something!
My day sounds exciting, doesn't it?  Try not to be too jealous!   : )

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Halloween Ideas.

Halloween is upon us. Can you smell the candy corn in the air? I'm trying to get into the Halloween spirit as it seems to be expected by a certain six-year-old around here.

I spent some time searching for cute ideas and I thought I'd share a few here... 




I'm not sure that any of these will make it to my to-do list this week, but it's fun to look! 
So many good ideas, so little time.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

October Things to Do...

Today is the first day of October and I'm excited to make the most of this month.  Here are a few things I'd like to do:

#1:  Hang pictures here (and figure out a way to keep that table from being a dumping ground):
#2:  Paint this:
#3:  Finish these:
#4:  Re-read this:
#5:  Get busy with this:

What are you planning this month?