Puget Sound Sunset

Puget Sound Sunset

Monday, June 2, 2014

POTD "I Forgot the Ergo"

As I pulled into the parking lot of our local Albertsons it dawned on me: I forgot the Ergo.
I forgot the Ergo. I cannot live without the Ergo. How can I possibly get two weeks of grocery shopping done without Kai happily strapped to my chest in the Ergo????
I have a system. Fin in the cart, Kai on the chest. It works. My system works and I forgot the Ergo.
I almost turned around and headed home. Almost gave up. But I looked at my little guy in the back seat and decided that maybe, just maybe, he was big enough to put IN the shopping cart next to Fin???? Could this work? 
It can and it did. And I'm not sure that I'm happy about it. I cannot believe he is already big enough to sit up like a big boy in the cart. Craziness.  
The first photo was taken a few weeks back during the nookie days. I say days, because it really was only a few days. After a lifetime of protest (literally all of his lifetime), Kai finally allowed a nookie to be shoved into his face... only to give it up about 4 weeks later. 
Nookie or not, Kai is still doing well in the shopping cart. And I'm forgetting the Ergo at home. Intentionally. 



Saturday, May 31, 2014

My First Pinterest Project

As I've told you, Kai has been sleeping better (it comes in spurts so I should knock on some wood) and with sleep comes more energy, more creativity and more time for schtuff. Stuff like Pinterest!
I am constantly pinning aaaaaall sorts of great ideas on Pinterest, but I was YET to make one thing. Hundreds of pins... and NOT ONE THING! All that time pinning, I could have been actually doing something. I needed some validation for all this time I was blowing on this website or I'd have to call it quits.
Then I found it. My first Pinterest project. An adorable sign you can make using hand and foot prints to spell out the word "Love". When I saw it, I knew immediately that it would make an awesome gift for our dear friends Phil and Debbie Cyr. Well, I had to buy the entire 6 foot long piece of wood, so I just had the friendly orange helpers at my favorite store cut it into four pieces. Hmmmm... one for Phil & Deb, one for each of the grandparents and one for me! YES! Mother's Day gifts!
I'd like to say that doing the kids hand/foot prints were fun and easy, but I'd be lying. It was stressful and messy and I found myself growling under my breath and kindly asking Fin to PLEASE KEEP YOUR HAND OPEN. OPEN CHILD! STOP MOVING YOUR FINGERS! DON'T TOUCH THE PAINT! But. It was fun when it was all done. Their little prints were adorable and I couldn't wait to finish the pieces.
Finishing was also... easier said than done. I was on a bit of a time crunch and you don't always run into lots of extra free time when you are a stay at home mom of two kids under the age of three.
So I got creative:
Mumma painted, Fin napped and Kai got plopped in a few different "stations."

All the signs turned out great, and I had so much fun (well, most of it was fun) tackling my first Pinterest project. Oh, and the boys are consistently napping at the same time now which means... MORE TIME FOR PINTEREST!!!


Friday, May 30, 2014

POTD "The Chairs That Started it All"

A couple weekends back I decided to forgo a much needed nap, and instead, while the boys slept, I snuck out and hit a few yard sales. It was a beautiful day and it felt good to get out. Well, as fate would have it, I got very, very lucky at my first stop. I spotted two of these chairs and was immediately drawn to them. (When am I not drawn to old chairs???) I kept looking and looking and touching and going back to them and finally I asked about them. I could NOT believe what the woman told me: The chairs came from Spain. Rota, Spain.
NO WAY. First of all: what are the chances of these coming all the way here from ROTA?! Insane. Second of all: what are the chances of me finding them here all the way across the world during a quick two hour outing?! Crazy. Third: can you believe she was actually parting ways with such precious, invaluable pieces?! And the last unbelievable part: I need Spanish chairs. Not I need them like I need more pieces of pottery or more chocolate chips in my cookie. I actually really do need them.
You see, Matt and I custom designed and purchased a dining room table while we were living in Spain. We really focused on the design, but didn't pay much attention to measurements. We just walked around the dark (and magical) shop in Ronda, found a table that seemed like a good size and just said... "Okay. Like that one. Make it the same size as that one." However, (the big however) we did not purchase any chairs to go with the table. None of the designs were really jumping out at us and custom chairs would have about doubled our already lofty price. So I figured no big deal, I'll find some fun chairs back in the US. WRONGGGGGG. It wasn't until we pulled up a few of our own American chairs to the table that we realized Spanish chairs are taller than American chairs. And it wasn't until I started searching the web and craigslist for taller chairs that I realized they are practically impossible to find. So for over a year now, we've been sitting like little kids at a picnic table, with our plates in our faces. :) So you see, when I tell you that I need Spanish chairs, I mean it.
So I scored these two beautiful boys (with a pile of other small trinkets) for a whopping $40.00. Amazing. And I have to tell you, in a way, these chairs just may have changed my life.
Since finding these, I have discovered that I have a real interest in upholstery that I was basically... unaware of. I have had a ridiculous amount of fun looking for fabric for these, I've started a list of all the other things around the house that I also want to tackle, I took about 10 books out of our local library on my new trade, I have arranged (hopefully) weekly lessons from my neighbor down the street (a former upholsterer) and even worked out a deal with the local upholstery shop so that I can go there a couple times a month on Matt's days off to observe and learn. An unpaid internship of sorts. Today was my first day at Island Upholstery and it was awesome. I arrived there at 7am and dove right in, ripping off fabric and prying out staples: tearing down a chair to its bare bones. I loved it. I worked just until they took lunch at 11:30 and then went back home to all my boys. It was so nice to talk to other adults about something other than children. Moms need a creative outlet and I think I found one. To think... it all goes back... to the chairs. The chairs that started it all. 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

POTD "Too Many Friends"

Finlay has too many "friends." That's right. He calls his stuffed animals his friends. Of course he also uses the term friends for any and all other children, birds and bugs. Well, most bugs. Definitely not ants. He stomps on those any chance he gets. But back to the point... 
Every morning Fin requests that you help him lug all of his "buddies" (another term he likes to throw out there) out to the couch so they can all watch a show. "Get mine teddy. Where's mine cat? Where's mine robots?" As fun as lugging armfuls of stuffing around the house at 5:30 AM sounds, I'd rather not. But I do it because it keeps him quiet and because we all know it's always more fun to watch a movie with friends.
Still. I think we need to draw the line here. Seriously, good luck finding a place to sit in the morning. One chair is full of laundry and the couch looks like this. I don't know how it happened. His little clan of critters was once just Teddy, but now look! Interestingly though: Teddy, Brobie and Little Brobie are musts, but the other friends seem to come and go. One day you're in... and the next... you're left laying upside down in a cold bed while the new cool kid steals your gig. Life's just unfair like that.
So there's also the robots. Yes. Bots too. The Rescue Bots are the super heroes of a transformer spinoff show. When they don't have their "heads popped out" as Fin would say, they are rescue vehicles. (It's actually a pretty tolerable show.) So yeah, he has three robots (and a number of other plastic/metal car things that he insists are also robots) that he totes around too. It got bad for a while. During potty training ... he even insisted that they come in and watch. I REALLY did not want to lengthen the potty process even more by allowing a 5 minute set up and break down of transformers complete with vocal commands and those robot/car sounds that only little boys seem to be able to make. But... it's potty training. And you will say anything and do anything just to get them near the toilet.
Robots come too?
Ummmm... sure... the robots can come too.
Thankfully, we're past the preliminary potty training now. As of a couple weeks ago, we began enforcing a strict no toys in the bathroom policy. It was an adjustment, but so far, so good. 

Now if we can only cut back on the number of friends allowed on the sofa...

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

POTD "Fiddleheads"

Ferns just love it here on Whidbey Island. I successfully transplanted a few last year and they are even happier this year. Oh! And thanks to my neighbor Dick, now I know how to prune them and keep them looking great! 

I remember it was quite an adjustment gardening in Spain! I attempted to plant a bunch of marigolds in my garden, only to stand watering them every night and still end up with brown scortched flowers. After a year there, I conceded and planted a bunch of cacti. They thrived and I just adored them. It too, was an adjustment gardening here: very damp and dark much of the year, and the gardens in the front of my house see pretty much NO sun. I learned my lesson in Spain, and when choosing plants here I zoned in on shade-lovers.

So, the gardens are still works in progress (aren't they always?) but I'll post some more pictures soon. 

I just love my fiddleheads.

Monday, May 12, 2014

POTD "My Beautiful Bush"

Shortly after titling this POTD, I came to the conclusion that the wording could be... misconstrued. I thought to myself "YIKES! This title could make people a little uncomfortable..." And with that thought... I knew it was a keeper. :)
Northwestern Washington is very green. Our backyard is VERY green. So summertime, when my beautiful bush turns almost entirely pink... it's just awesome. It's starting to turn. And I am happy. I will be sure to post another photo of my big, blossoming bush at a later date. Ok. I just need to stop writing now.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

POTD "Something Brown"

*it was just chocolate :) 

POTD "Monkey See Monkey Do"

The dogs dug a hole in the backyard and they're now proceeding to use it as a dirt bath of sorts. My white husky loves to roll around in it and get all dusty and nasty and then come inside and get on my bed. It's pleasant. It really is.

Well on this day, Finlay was apparently a witness to the dirt bathing. How do I know this? See for yourselves...

If only Fin's dog copycatting was limited to rolling in the dirt. Sigh. One of these days I just know I'm going to look out the back window and find him fertilizing the lawn. 

POTD "Family Selfie"

Rarely do we get all four of us in a photo, but the other night after tub we took a few family "selfies." I wonder if the term selfie has made it into the dictionary yet? If it's not there yet, it will be. Anyway, it took a few attempts to get us all looking, but we did it! 
Love all these boys. 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

POTD "Dear Mr. Steak Salesman"

Yesterday I was just putting Kai down in his crib and the doorbell rang. THE DREADED DOORBELL! Typically when the doorbell rings, my husky and his husky-wannabe partner-in-crime start HOWLING and singing to announce the unexpected arrival. In our small house, it is reaaaaallly loud, so 9 times out of 10 it wakes up both kiddos and sends me into a small swearing fit, running to the door to try to silence the dogs.
Thankfully on this day, for some strange reason, the dogs did not start going crazy. Maybe because I kept my cool? (Whatever the reason, they got goodies for it.)
I was greeted by a young man with over processed blond hair who you could just tell thought he was MUCH better looking than he actually is. He was a steak salesman and he wanted to sell me steaks. I tried to quietly, through the crack in the door, while holding the muzzle of my large white dog, let him know that I was interested in hearing more, but that he'd need to come back. It was naptime, and that meant it was not a good time. Well, you'd think he'd have been very excited to hear that someone was interested, but he proceeded to act annoyed and confused as to why I couldn't talk that very moment. He just needed to get rid of "the last 5 steaks" on his truck so he could "get out of the rain" and "go home for the day."
After a short discussion I, again, told him to come back. He asked me to write down my address for him. Really? 
I shut the door and first: praised the dogs. Second: thanked God the boys did not wake up. Third: decided I would not be purchasing steaks from the tool. Fourth: let my facebook world know how annoyed I was at this meat merchant. Fifth: typed up a small note for the guy to find upon his arrival later that afternoon. I did not want to have to talk to him again.
So today's POTD is the note. I basically told him I was no longer interested in his product and gave him a few sales pointers for future cold calls. It read:
 Dear Mr. Steak Salesman that rang my doorbell during naptime,

You must not have children, or if you do, you clearly do not understand how CRITICAL it is that they sleep. If they do not, they turn into gremlins.

I told you that it wasn’t a good time to talk and asked you to come back ANYTIME in the morning or afternoon. That I’d love to hear your sales pitch and compare prices to our local grocery stores. In fact, I even used the words : “Yes, I’m interested.”

Here’s a sales tip: Acting annoyed, or like it’s an inconvenience to you to have to come back at another time (because it’s raining, or because you’re trying to get rid of the steaks on your truck, or because you want to end your day early… or whatever it was you were saying) is not a good selling tactic.

Here’s another sales tip: You seemed to find my house ok. Don’t ask me to write down my address. My babies are sleeping and my dogs are about to start barking.

Maybe next time you can smile. Or, you can try “Oh, ok. Really sorry to interrupt naptime, but I’ve got a few steaks left on the truck and I’d love to sell them to you if I can come back later today.”
Sorry, I’m no longer interested in your product. And I’m sorry you had to come back out in the rain. If I wasn’t so worried about my babies waking up, I would have told you to forget it earlier.

Have a great day

PS. If you don’t like the rain, you should probably move out of WA.
PPS. Before I stayed home with my babies, I sold dental lasers that cost in excess of $100,000. I know a thing or two about cold calling.

Good luck out there.
When he came back, the boys were still sleeping and so I just hid in the back bedroom. :) So brave.  From my covert location, I texted my BFF neighbor, Dick, asking him to tell me when they left. He was a big help and alerted me as soon as the van departed the drive.
They took the note and never made a peep. No knock or doorbell.
Sometimes being a stay-at-home-mom can be adventurous. :) Sort of.