Saturday, October 25, 2014

Saturday Scrapbooking


Can I tell you how much that I have missed sharing my scrapbooking pages with you all? Because I totally have. There’s just nothing like getting to share what you love with others, now is there.

This week I got to work with products from several different Sweet Shoppe designers, and best of all – with their 2014 Mystery Grab Bag, a promotion that the store hasn’t done in several years!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Breaking down the inspiration.

Like most people who do creative things (is there anyway to not make that opening sound pretentious…?) Pinterest has become my go-to destination to look for a little inspiration. I mean, hello, isn’t that what the site is for? Actually, I have no idea what the site’s real primary function is – that’s just what I use it for.


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Thirty-four weeks.

SAM_0298 copy

I’m pretty sure Baby’s dropping was just a joke on me. Either that or this baby is going to be going from the right position to breech on and off repeatedly like Bella did.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A morning with Mason.

Just a little post to give you a little chuckle over life with Mason this morning.


Lets start with when he second wakes up (the first time he wakes he gets in bed to nurse and sleep for another hour… or two… ):

“GOOD MORNING MOMMY! I love you, Buttcheeks!” Are you ready to get up and eat some breakfast and start your day? “Nooooo…. I stay Mommy cozy bed. I swee-sie (nurse) BOTH sides boobies all day!” No, why don’t we just get up, Mommy has to go potty and eat. The baby needs food. “No, no baby need food.” Then he jumps out of bed, runs to the bathroom. “I go tee-tee potty first! No Mommy tee-tee potty! MINE POTTY!”

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Cry It Out–We don’t do it.

we dont do cry it out - life as their mom

This isn’t meant to judge any of you who do practice the Cry It Out (CIO) method, it’s to give you a look into why we do not. And don’t worry – this will be long.

It’ 11 pm and a little boy is laying in dark room whimpering.

He looks to be about 6 or 7 and you can see him shifting about in his bed and you can tell that he’s about to wake up. The whimpering gets louder and the boy wakes up. It’s dark and he is alone and scared in his room. He wants his mother or father but he has no way of getting them. He can’t leave his bed so he can’t walk to them. The whimpering is slowly turning into soft crying. He just wants someone to come and tell him that it’s ok, it was just a dream, he isn’t alone. He wants someone to come and give him something to eat to take care of these hunger pangs that were bad enough to wake him up. He wants someone to come soothe this pain he is feeling through his whole body.

His crying gets louder and louder, progressing to wails and screams. Still nobody comes to him. All he wants is someone to come to him and make it better.

Downstairs his mother looks up to the ceiling with a weary look and then turns to her husband, “He’s at it again.” Her husband sighs, looks up at the ceiling, looks at the clock, and then turns back to the TV and turns it up. “Well, he’ll stop in a little bit, if you go and get him now you’ll just be spoiling him and he’ll never learn to comfort himself.”

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The baking of Pollywog #5

14 weeks, 20 weeks, 26 weeks, 30 weeks

I feel like I announced Baby #5 and then just sort of left you all hanging. I mean, I'm in the final stretch of this pregnancy and this is only the second mention of it on the blog. And to think, I was actually worried when I announced the pregnancy on the blog that all of my posts would turn into pregnancy posts.

So, here is what you have missed in the baking of Pollywog #5:

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Zach's Monster

I won’t lie, Zach’s monster felt like a never-ending project. You would think the time consuming parts would have been the body or arms, because really, a 2 round stripe gets tedious. But no, I zoomed through those. The longest most time consuming parts were the legs. I got one done, but it was in his original orange that he picked, and it looked BAD. Like eww. I told him no way, he needed to pick a new color. He stuck with orange, but instead of a neon orange he went with a pumpkiny color that looks surprisingly great with the teal and neon green.

That monster sat around unstuffed and legless for a month while I did nothing to it. Just the thought of starting the legs again (after the original orange) made me think of like 20 other things that I should have been doing instead. I just could not make myself knit those legs.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

You can do a lot of changing in 10 years.

Ten years ago I had just had Zach. I didn’t put much thought at all into parenting stuff, and I didn’t put any thought at all into labor. I didn’t put thought into breastfeeding or circumcision or vaccinations or co-sleeping or, well, anything. I had just been trying to get through my junior year of high school and praying that he stayed in until I was done with the school year and that, please Lord, my water wouldn’t break while I was at school.

After he was born we did breastfeeding and bed sharing. Zach was such a sweet and easy baby and he made my first year as a mom such a breeze. I never put thought into if were going to be breastfeeding or not. I was raised seeing my mom breastfeed my younger siblings and my aunt breastfeed my cousins; it’s what moms did, so, I did. He was exclusively breastfed until I returned to school in the fall, and continued breastfeeding until he was about one. My favorite time of the day was coming home from school and nursing him. It wasn’t until years and years later that someone pointed out how odd it was for a 17 year old high school student to go into breastfeeding so unquestionably and continue doing it for a year. He also continued to sleep in my bed until right before Ryan was born.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Four months away.

I've had breaks from the blog before - generally brought on by not having internet for a weeks or a month. However, I do believe, actually I know, that this is honestly the first time that I have ever been away from the blog for roughly four months.

It isn't like I woke up one morning and decided, "Hey, I don't want to blog. I have nothing to write about." No, it's more like I woke up one morning, days before the boys got out of school, and I no longer had internet (or cable, but I can honestly make due without that most of the time). It was supposed to be a short break, I was promised a week, maybe two. Somehow that week or two has turned into four months. FOUR MONTHS. I die a little each time I think about that. The problem is, for some reason, the company that we go through is expecting us to pay a bit over $500 to get it back on and even paying a little on it at a time (and a few big amounts) we still haven't been able to pay it all down to get it back on. And of course that isn't even the only big huge bulk thing we're paying on. We're also working on paying down the labor/delivery cost for our doctor, paying him for the regular visits, and all of the testing that for some reason our insurance is paying zero to zilch on. Lets just say that right now internet is not the priority.
(No matter how much I wish it was.)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Flats and Handwashing Challenge–So you failed it.


I have to tell you, as much as I hated handwashing the diapers last year, I loved the flats and handwashing challenge. I loved using the flats, but most of all I loved the feeling of accomplishment when I finished it and could say “Hey, I did that, and it wasn’t that bad.” All year long I looked forward to doing it again this year. I still had most of our flats (John took a liking to the red ones for kitchen towels) and I even went and picked up a new package of white ones. I had the fold that works best for Mason perfected since flats were my go to diapers during the summer last year for playing in the hose and on diaper laundry day (so that they could just be handwashed the next day so that I didn’t get stuck with a dirty diaper sitting around until the next wash day).

Monday, May 12, 2014

The only way that I can keep a secret.

I hate secrets. Really. It may be something small and silly that I wouldn’t normally even give two thoughts to, but if you tell me that I can’t talk about it it will be all that I can think about. Big secrets? They KILL me.

One of the things that I have noticed is that when I have something big going on in my own life, and it isn’t something that I can really blog about, it is all that I then want to blog about. I can’t get inspired or motivated to blog about anything else. Thus, I tend to just not blog so that I don’t have to worry about it. As you might have noticed, I haven’t been blogging.

And this is why.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

February 2014 Project Life Pages

2014 PL - February - Life as Their Mom

I’ve been done with February’s pages for weeks, but just never got around to blogging them. Actually, I’m almost done with March’s now too!

For February, like January, I used Traci Reed’s Pocket Life collection to make my pages. I also use her Stitched Grids and Libby Pritchett’s 2014 Calendar 3x4 card templates to create the calendar cards for each month.

Oh, the 2013 Project Life tab at the top of the blog has been replaced with one for this year. If you want to look through my pages for last year there is an icon on the side of the blog that says “2013 Project Life Pages” it takes you to the same place the old tab did.

Now… for the pages!


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Mason Sleep Journals–Nights 1&2

sleep journals - life as their mom

Remember when I said that my goal was to get Mason sleeping through the night, without nursing and in his own bed before he turned two? Yeah… that never happened. I started working on it, but then he decided to cut in all of those pesky eye teeth and, well, it ended up not happening. On his birthday we decided that it was time. It’s time to try this for real – no excuses – and get him out of our bed. Step one is getting him to sleep through the night without nursing. I figure if we take care of that first we’ll have better luck getting him to sleep in a room (or bed) without me.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

signs of spring…

signs of spring main - life as their mom

Last week I got this weird bug in me to clean and rearrange my living room. Call it spring cleaning if you like – I won’t – but the nice weather after the never ending winter had me feeling inspired. After all the cleaning and rearranging was done I realized that there was one sore part left – under the tv. While the pumpkins had all been taken down long before, our fall banner had ended up carrying on from the time we put it up to now. (Hey, the kids liked it, and I never got around to making a winter banner) So the day after the cleaning and rearranging I decided it was time for us to make a new spring banner to replace it.

Continue reading to see the supplies, get directions, and see our banner!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Patterns are scary when you have 4 kids.

Maybe I should clarify that and say that patterns are scary when you already have four kids, and you don’t want any more, and you notice patterns that go the same with your previous times of having kids.
(I’m not overthinking this at all, am I?)

patterns 1 - life as their mom


patterns 2 - life as their mom1. Someone gets potty trained. When I got close to having Ryan the little boy that my mom watched – Jared (also Zach’s best friend) was getting potty trained. Even though Zach was only about 18 months at the time, he too started potty training then. (Though he still wasn’t fully potty trained – daytime – until he was 2.) Then with Bella, Ryan started potty training at about the same time I got pregnant with her and made it out of diapers and pull ups about a month before she was born. Bella first started potty training a few months before I got pregnant with Mason and was fully potty trained right before I had him. Mason has recently started showing a real interest in the potty and has gone to the bathroom several times in the potty.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

March Sketch Inspiration–Part 1

So I am going to tentatively try this idea out. I’ve attempted similar things, mainly in providing templates and offering prizes, without much success. Which makes me wonder why I would even think this would work… especially since I don’t plan on offering any sort of prize. But hey, who knows? Maybe this time you’ll all bite.

Each month I’ll offer a sketch version of one of my more popular recent pages for you to use as inspiration. I will also make a new page – but more than just that, I’ll do a video of me making it (sort of like I did on this post). If there’s ever a particular page of mine that you would like me to do just let me know in the comments, or email me.

sketch inspiration - march - life as their mom

The sketch (you can click on it to get the full 12x12 version to save):

triangle scrapbook page sketch - life as their mom

And I will try to get my page and video up before next Sunday!

The inspiration page is my layout “Swee Sie” made with goodies by Jenn Barrette from Sweet Shoppe Designs.

Friday, March 7, 2014

“Why are his eyelashes white?”

The blog recently got the following email:

“Hey! I was reading today’s post on your blog and realized that your son’s eyelashes are different on one eye from the other. Are they white? If so, do you mind if I ask why?” (post in question)

Yes, his lashes on part of one eye are white, while the rest are all a dark brown/black. The reason for that is because Ryan has vitiligo.

vitiligo - life as their mom

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

This is not what our March – or heck even our winter - usually looks like, but hey, I’ll take a chance to get wintery snow pictures whenever so that I actually have some to work with next winter.

wordless wednesday 0305a - life as their mom

Sunday, March 2, 2014

I was going to blog Saturday.

I was going to blog yesterday, but instead I spent a good chunk of my morning doing this instead:

my boy - life as their mom

I am, like, so totally and completely in love with that. In case you can’t tell, it’s Zach. I did it based on a current favorite picture that I have of him. Only in the picture he has an awesome mustache as well. You can see it at the bottom of the post. But no, in love. I keep coming back and staring at it. It captures him so well. And he loves, loves, loves it too. As I was drawing it he would offer the occasional bit of advice, and he was tickled that I remembered to add his curl between his eyes (he trained it to lay that way). His only request was that I please NOT make him look girly, what with the freckles and the hair and the lashes. He said his lips (which are really light and thin) made it look girly, so I left those off, but kept the lines I did for the boy’s super dry lips.

I did all of that to make this:


And that I made for the March 2nd Think Outside the Box challenge at Sweet Shoppe Designs. I used Studio Basic’s Go To Elements: Art Journal #3 and Beyond Basics Paper Pack #1 digital scrapbooking packs to create the page. I did the drawing, the hair coloring, and the writing all with my tablet and in Art Rage.

And here is the drawing with the original photo.

Untitled-1 copy

Friday, February 28, 2014

I love you a bushel and a… err… monster?

bushel and a monster - life as their mom

As a birthday present to myself I got myself a copy of “Knit a Monster Nursery” by Rebecca Danger. No, I’m not pregnant and secretly hiding the news and letting my purchases hint at it. I’ve been eyeing this lady’s monsters for a long while now, and this was the only one of her pattern books the store had. If you’ve never seen her cute creations you should totally go check her out, and then you will understand why I didn’t care that it was a baby geared book.

I was so excited and just didn’t know where to start first. Ryan solved that by telling me a little after his birthday that he really wanted me to make him a monster after I had told him that it was his turn to have something made next. So I sat down with him and we went through the book, looking at all of the patterns and deciding if he wanted a monster someTHING or an actual monster. He ended up picking out the striped mini-monster (from the monster mobile) as the one that he had to have. To make it a little bigger than the one in the book I went up several needle sizes and double stranded the yarn.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

“… the light in my world …”

my light - life as their mom

For the past almost ten years I have been holding onto a little scrap of paper. And I do mean little. It’s about 1/2 an inch tall and maybe two inches long. About 9 years ago I took the little scrap and taped it into the back of a rather pitiful scrapbook that I had to make for my senior year of high school. Since the scrap was from high school it seemed like a fitting place for it.

When I feel like maybe I’m failing as a wife, or maybe failing as a mom, or just kind of sucking at life in general, I look at the scrap of paper. After all of this time I have it memorized like a favorite part of a poem. I even have the writing memorized. That little scrap is one of my most treasured things.

Monday, February 24, 2014

2014 Project Life!

2014 PL - January - Life as Their Mom

Last week I wrapped up 2013’s Project Life on the blog, so this week I thought I’d go over this year’s.

Before I start sharing my page spreads from January, let me first address a few changes that I’m doing…

First off, I am not breaking it all down by weeks. Instead I am breaking it all down by months instead. This makes it a little easier for me as I just open up a template and stick in my favorite photos from the photos I just uploaded. I make sure I leave blank spots for cards, especially next to photos that I know I’ll want to add a snippet about, and as each template fills up, I just open a new one. At the end of the month I just stick in the cards and add the journaling.

Friday, February 21, 2014

He dreams.

he dreams sample - life as their mom

he dreams.

and there he lay;
his head softly pillowed,
his mind off on adventures.
his dreams taking him off
to lands so far away.

he sleeps and he dreams.
he dreams and he flies.
he dreams
and he builds worlds
and futures
so bright.

he dreams.

(digital scrapbooking supplies from Sweet Shoppe Designs)

Thursday, February 20, 2014

In which we discover the little girl next door.

The little girl (and boy too) next door has been there for quite a while. Actually she has been there since about 7-8 months after Bella got here. The fact that Bella has really just noticed this is rather humorous to me.

neighbors - life as their mom

When we bought our house back in 2008 we had high hopes and dreams of having the sort of friendship and relationship that my parents have with their neighbors. Alas, that has not been the case at all. In the past 6 years we have spoken to the neighbors right next to us less than a handful of times, never to the people in the house behind us (or to the 2 families that lived there before them – it’s a rental), and very rarely to the people across the street. I don’t know any of their names. I don’t know anything about them. And we never have each other over for chats or dinners. As I am a rather social person, I kind of hate it, but not enough to try any harder than I have in the past to get to know them all.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Project Life 2013 Wrap Up!

I am so, so, so happy to announce that I finally finished up all of last year’s Project Life pages. This is such a huge big deal for me since I have NEVER finished any sort of project like this. (This includes A Week in the Life.) This was my third year starting Project Life and the first year that I have ever gotten past the first few weeks.


Sunday, February 16, 2014

It’s sort of amazing.

(image source)

I went into church today and I was not at peace. I mean there is a slew of things going on in my life and family right now that I am just not even a little at peace with. Not to say that I am always a calm and at peace person, but I try put faith in God that He will get us through the bad times in life and that he will always see us through. Generally – the majority of the time actually – I can do this.

Friday, February 14, 2014

It’s the day for hearts full of chocolates.

10101_10201043797200969_1583720648_nBut not like REAL bloody, gooey hearts stuffed with chocolate. And not real looking hearts stuffed full of chocolate.
*though admit it, that sounds cool*

Today is a day full of these odd shaped things that look nothing like hearts to be full of chocolate. And flowers. Because it’s more romantic to pay a ton on flowers out of season. That’s true love, yo. And all of the other traps and frivolities that prove how much you love the person you are sending them to.

190289_1950833974394_6635205_nIf you aren’t picking up on my subtleties, John and I don’t really do Valentine’s Day. Mainly because we are cheap and broke. Also because John’s grandparents taught him that you should prove how much you love and respect your partner everyday, not just one single day that the rest of the world gives you the OK to be a sap on. His grandfather always told him it was better to go all out on days for no reason, other than something that day made you remember just how much you love and respect that person.

5900_1190036234926_6344887_nI won’t lie, the first few years this sort of bugged me. I was like “Dude! Your grandfather ruined the most romantic, loving day of the year! Everyone else gets all this special treatment, and special gifts, and goes and does special things! I’m lucky to get a dang card!!” It didn’t matter that I am not exactly a romantic, card wanting, flower loving, chocolate eating kind of female. It didn’t matter that I actually don’t even like most chocolate. I wanted my something special just like how everyone else around me was getting their something special. It was my due as his girlfriend and then wife. Everyone and everything said so. I was told over and over that if he really loved me he would get me all of these special things to prove it on Valentine’s Day.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Dear Person.

You and I, we have a problem. You frustrate me. You annoy me. You make me want to scream and cuss and wish horrible curses and illness on you. You make me this angry being who I normally am not.

dear person - life as their mom

Before this year I’ve always rocked this scene. Or well, I always did fairly well. However, this year we’ve had lots of changes and shifts in responsibilities and focuses, and I’ll admit, this area has taken a hit. I make sure most things get done; but sometimes some things slip by me, or I think John took care of it, or he thinks I did, and in the end neither of us did. I am by no means perfect and I know, deep down, that you aren’t the evil monster you currently are in my head. You do what you have to do and what you are told do. The fact that I don’t agree with some of it isn’t entirely your fault.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

New Releases–February 1st

new releases 0201 - life as their mom

I am planning to get this blog back on its regularly scheduled program. So here’s to hoping. And first thing first, lets start back with a new edition of the New Releases that I got to work with this week.

Monday, January 27, 2014

The breastfeeding toddler.

breastfeeding logo - life as their momDid you know that last Thursday marked 22 months that Mason and I have been on this breastfeeding adventure? I honestly can’t believe it. This time roughly two years ago (a few weeks off) I wasn’t even sure if I would be breastfeeding Mase, so that the fact that we are quickly approaching the two year mark just blows me away.

I’ve been getting asked, and hinted at, quite a bit lately (well since he was about a year and a half) when will I be weaning him, and honestly, I don’t know. He still nurses a lot. I mean a LOT. We were working on nighttime weaning, but when he started cutting in his top two eyeteeth and a bottom one all at the same time that sort of got thrown out the window. But full on weaning, yeah I don’t see that happening any time in the foreseeable future.

I know so many sites and blogs have covered reasons to breastfeed your baby, but not too many touch on why you should continue on into toddlerhood. So… I thought I’d give you some reasons to keep on and why breastfeeding a toddler (to me) is even better than breastfeeding a baby.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Newsflash–Sometimes you want a little quiet.

a break - life as their momThis morning my head is killing me and I’m having this overwhelming feeling that I just don’t like people. This isn’t by any stretch a first time thing. The amount that I like other people is generally directly effected by how I feel.

Today’s headache is effecting the cuteness of Mason. As in the bigger he makes my headache the less cute that I am finding him. So sometimes my toddler annoys me and I admit it. Sue me. It’s not all his fault, he’s teething and the poor dude is miserable. Right now he’s laying naked on the floor and crying. He’s naked because when I tried to put a diaper on him he screamed and kicked me in the chin (not purposely in the chin mind you, he sort of flailed his legs about and my chin was there). I figured a diaper wasn’t worth the meltdown it was causing. He’s crying because I told him no he couldn’t eat my food, that he needed to go get his own.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Edit like this…

Edit like this… is a set of simple picture only photo editing tutorials. If you need something more clearly explained, or you have a question feel free to comment with it. I used Photoshop CS3 to complete this edit.

As a fun little change of pace, I’m offering this Edit like this… in video format also. It isn’t going to give you that much more than the just picture version, but I do point out why I’m doing what I’m doing as I go. But, for those of you who DO NOT want to use the video, I’m still posting the picture only version as well.


edit like this 10 - life as their mom

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Life in Details: Christmas

Life in Details - Christmas - Life as Their Mom

I know Christmas was like a month ago, but hey, I didn’t have the interweb then, so you get to see our Christmas now. In case you weren’t aware, we tend to forgo internet and cable during the Christmas season as it is the only thing we can cut to be able to better afford the buying of stuff for the holidays.

Anyway, here is our Christmas in the details.

Life in Details - Christmas 1 - Life as Their Mom

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Dear 2014,

I am totally planning to own you, just so you know.

I’m going to lose these last 10-15 pounds. And I am going to get my hot body back.

I’m going to get Mason moved into that bed that is not my bed and sleeping through the night. I’m going to do those two things and not force weaning on Mason to get them done.

I’m going to sell stuff this year. Just watch me; you won’t be able to stop me. I’m not entirely sure what yet, but trust me, I’ll figure it out.

Oh and when August hits I’m going to make dang sure Bella is ready for school. Her speech won’t hold her back. We’re working our butts off to get her academically up to par, so there’s no way I’m going to let her speech delay hold her back.

Do you know how I’m going to do all of this, 2014?

I have hope and I’m going to let this hope carry me through the year.
When things go crappy, because you know that they will, I’ll hold on to that hope and keep it with me. No matter how bad things get this year I won’t let you take away my hope that things will always get better. You can’t hold me back or stop me. (Queue the cheesy Queen music) I will let my faith in God, my hope in a better future, and friends get me through the rough parts. I know going in to this year what some of these rough parts will be, and knowing is part of the reason I can have hope.

Hope is way bigger than you 2014, remember that when you try to break me.