Archive for January, 2011


I am obsessed!  My house needs to be spotless, the baby stuff cleaned and ready and everything, I mean EVERYTHING needs to have a place!  I am normally organized.  Some may say slightly OCD but when I hit a pregnant nesting phase watch out there is no stopping me.  Just look at how much I have blogged this week.  I am determined to get all my drafted articles published and caught up before Ella’s arrival~

I decided that Ava’s former diaper caddy needs to now move upstairs to Ella’s area.  This sent her hair clip and pony tail holders to the land of no home which is unacceptable!  Since I cannot seem to snap out of my creative felt addicted state I came up with the perfect solution!  I LOVE these!!!!!  The ribbons hold all the clips I need them to and the felt leaf pockets at the bottom hold pony tail holders! Not to mention that the flowers are so fun!  Someday when I start an Etsy shop these will definitely be among my products!  I loved the flowers so much that I am currently creating a new flower purse for my little princess.  More to come on that later….

Check out my most recent hair clip organizer here!






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So Ava’s third Christmas gift was meant to be a felt play mat. However, this little elf did not finish in time, despite my very best effort!  Daddy saved the day with his personal gift of a pink princess hat and magic wand!!!

I was surprised to find that play mats are so limited in the market place. They are wonderful tools for imaginative pretend play! The only type I could seem to readily find were road rugs for car play. With Ava’s love for animals I wanted to create play mats that could be used for zoo play or farm play.  Once I began this project I discovered just why even Etsy does not have a selection.  THEY TAKE FOREVER, you could never turn a profit!

Last Christmas my mom gave Ava the Melissa and Doug Wood Farm Set which I complemented with the Anamalz farm animals. This year I planned to give her the Amamalz zoo set along with a two-sided play mat.  It looks like perhaps now a birthday present.  It is not a project I would repeat! It was WAY more work than expected but I LOVE the results.  I hope it will be well loved and used by the imaginations of both my girls!

I included a ribbon to make storage easy!

THE ZOO although I could not get a picture that captured the entire mat

a few of Anamalz wonderful creations


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Green Tea Time

Although I LOVED making felt food when it came to Ava’s second Christmas gift I hit the purchase button on Amazon.

I wanted to get her the matching plate and bowl set to her current Green Toys tea set allowing us to have a more formal tea party.  I love the Green Toys products; recycled, safe for eating on!  Of course, what would plates be without a yummy to accompany them.  Here is where I was lazy.  I am sure given time and more determination I could have created my own tea cakes but why when Haba created their petit fours!  They are adorable and they even fit in her little mini muffin tin perfectly!  I even got a silver candy tin from Michael’s to store them when they are not being baked or enjoyed!  Finally, I added the Haba tin of wood tea bags.  Again something I could have made but minus the adorable tin that sits so cute on the shelf of her kitchen set.

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Why I decided 8 months pregnant would be a good time to make some of Ava’s Christmas presents is a mystery!  I cannot say it has not been fun and I must also add that I am quite proud of the finished products.

Ava’s first gift this year was the Melissa and Doug shopping cart, with two felt grocery bags that I filled with handmade felt food.  I had planned on making the grocery bags as well but will admit that I resorted to buying them from an etsy shop, kiddycouture!

Ava already had quite a selection of wood food from Melissa and Doug and Plan Toys so I made only what I felt was lacking in her kitchen.  I LOVE felt food!  I also love wood food however, especially the cutting sets that allow for more manipulation so a mix of each is perfect!  I took ideas from several sites none of which had patterns which was fine I prefer to create my own.  The most helpful site I found was http://www.homemadebyjill.blogspot.com.  Not only did she share several wonderful examples but also links to several other sites that I found helpful.  Here are my creations:


The banana was a challenge but I LOVE it!

LUNCH: Peanut Butter and Jelly and other sandwich fillings with green beans


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” A two year old is kinda like having a blender, but you don’t have a top for it.” ~ Jerry Seinfeld

“The trouble with having the stubbornness contest with your kids is that they have your stubbornness gene.” ~Robert Brault

I am 37+ weeks pregnant, it has been months since I had a full night sleep, I now have a non-napping toddler, I am uncomfortable beyond words, I am feeling so unsuccessful dealing with Ava’s frustration and tears and I am about to add another one to the mix…

Reality bites…

Currently my toddler is in her room screaming and banging on the door instead of taking a nap.  This is following a total meltdown at Barnes and Noble where I had to be that mom carrying her out screaming. Perhaps locking her in her room is not quite the right decision but my frustration and feelings of failure at this exact moment… I need the time out!  I need to cry!  This does make me feel like a terrible mom… wondering exactly how I am ever going to survive toddlerhood.  Of course in minutes she is back to playing and reading her books meanwhile I am still in desperate need of a break and answers!  I know that I have to keep my emotions in check.  My head level and consequences consistent.  For the most part I do but each time she melts down I feel like I am not teaching her correctly or giving her the coping skills and I try again.  And again. And again.

And yes I have realized it is just the beginning!

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From the Mouth of Ava

When I was teaching I tried to keep a journal on my desk. This journal was meant for one thing; to record those belly laughing quotes that kids say daily. Sometimes they are purposeful and sometimes innocent but always funny. I wish I could say that I kept up on this idea but never was really good about it, life would get too busy and I would think I could remember. Alas, memory is never as good as you count on it being!

As a mom I feel the same way.  Will I forget her little voice and all the things she says and does daily that bring me true happiness and laughter?  This blog is supposed to help with that.  My way, my chance of keeping those memories fresh.  But life happens there are many things I mean to blog about that do not make it to print.  Things I swear I will remember that later are gone.  Time just seems to be passing so quickly.  With Ella arriving soon my brain will be even more overloaded.  I just wish memory could be more than it is, but I guess that is why it is so important to enjoy things as they come.  To be present when they do or say something funny not thinking about the laundry.  The laundry will always be there but that moment comes and then is gone…

So here are some things I would like to remember.  Things that make my Ava my Ava.  Things that made me smile, that made me happy!

  • The first time she came to Larry and said, “come on daddy come play” When he responded with just a minute she said, “YOU PROMISED!” I still am not quite sure when she picked that up but I just about fell over in my seat!
  • Ava singing the ABC’s, LOVE IT!!!
  • We went to a baby boutique where Ava quickly found a beaded necklace.  She walked right over to the sales lady and said, This is so pretty, I want to buy it!” Man am I in trouble!
  • When I asked her to go get something for me she looked right at me and using an army voice, hand to the head and all said, “YES SIR!” Ha!!!  I think we can thank the toy soldiers from Toy Story for this moment
  • When ever we pass the Boing plant she says,  “Ava’s turn to go on a plane, please, please!?” She often will follow it up with, “go on a plane to see Chris.  Chris loves Ava huh?”
  • Thanks to Larry now whenever we are about to do something she will say,  “Let’s DO THIS!”

This list is endless.  Days filled with things that I want to hold on to.  Things that I hope I will remember when she is 16.  I in part hope this for my sake and in part hope this for hers!

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I think I am still writing 2009! Ready or not another year is here!  And it will bring changes to our lives very, very soon!

Is a New Year a time for goals, resolutions, changes? What does a New Year mean to you? A friend and fellow blogger recently posted a challenge… With a lack of goals does life have less meaning? Are you more likely to get swallowed by the everyday instead of searching and growing? Are only big goals such as earning a degree, buying a house, promotion in your job moving you ahead or can little daily tasks/ goals provide as much satisfaction?  That is my paraphrase anyhow!

For me finding balance is my goal.  Of course in order to achieve balance in life there are constant tasks and daily/ weekly achievements to be made and simultaneously sacrificed. With balance I think you find more inner peace, contentment and happiness.  So far the only person that comes to mind is the Dali Lama and his idea of balance would be a bit off balance for me!  I find moments of such peace, minutes of such happiness but I will admit I do not live my life consistently in this state!

Staring my photography business will help me balance motherhood.  Something for me= more for them.  Making and creating things for Ava and Ella allows me to fulfill that creative side of myself.  Reading, knitting, blogging these are things for just me which is balanced by motherhood, wifehood and pet ownership tasks needing to get done for others.  Sometimes I think we create goals for others.  These are things we find adding to our plates that we perceive will make others think highly of us but do not fill our souls.  Sometimes we miss the mark entirely.  If I just get this promotion I will be happy, only to achieve it and feel nothing.  I suppose balance is realizing the difference and learning from our mistakes.  No one will figure this out for you and no one can tell you what the right recipe is.  I guess that is what make life so tricky!

I am an obsessive list maker; grocery list, cleaning list, things to make list, things to blog list, future presents to buy kids list, business to do list, what to do when I have time list… thought I was kidding about the obsessive thing… NO!  The fact is these lists help me provide balance.  I choose things from different lists to accomplish different days.  Some days the kitchen is clean when my head hits the pillow, others is waits for morning while I read or sew.  Eventually most things get done and I am becoming better each year with the fact that there will NEVER be a time when everything is done.  There will never be a list where everything is crossed off.  In life there is no DONE… until we can find excitement and contentment in that fact we will always be searching.

I came across this download and thought it was a fun light hearted way to look at the new year:

Cheers and good luck in achieving what ever goals, changes and tasks bring you the most happiness!

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