Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

On Sunday I hosted an impromptu mini Halloween shindig for my family. It wasn't much.... just some of my famous caramel apple dip, our family tradition of mummy dogs (Hottie's Mom started that and the kids LOVE them!), spicy cider, some silly smile suckers, and pumpkin carving. The kids had so much fun and I really didn't have to put in that much effort to make it special, so it's a win-win.

Here's what it looked like...

His day was made when he saw the dip he'd been waiting for all year....

 I love that Aidan & I are giving the same eyes here... trying to convey how spoooooky we look. ;)

 Someone was VERY excited for this party..... candy and doritos? SCORE!

Eventually Dezi joined the party too, kinda....


 Mummy Dogs... hot dogs wrapped in crescent rolls and baked.... mustard for eyes....

Kiah insisted I take a photo with the pumpkins to show the "holiday spirit"....
Almost every family member made it into this photo.... SO close!

So we are ready for the holiday. Tonight should be interesting though... it is supposed to be in the 30's temperature wise... and my kids are still under the impression that a hooded sweatshirt is in fact a jacket (silly Californians).... so, yeah. We are going to freeze our tootsies off! We'll see how long we last. I am predicting a short evening. Hope you all have a happy and safe Halloween!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Halloween Now and Then

Seized a chance to whip together a couple of Halloween layouts last week.... These are current photos of Ev from the day I decorated. She was all up in my business, but it was super cute because she was brimming over with excitement and asking about every single ghost, frankenstein, and pumpkin. She is so super excited about Halloween.... which should raise exponentially once she realizes she is actually going to get candy. I'm pretty certain she forgot that little detail from last year (maybe because the candy mysteriously disappeared?) Her mind is about to be blown.

And this is us from last year... all dressed up with somewhere to go.... Dr. Evil and Austin Powers. SO much fun taking on the characters... I hit on all the ladies, it was highly inappropriate.

Nakiah behind the mask (lucking Ev is not scared of anything in skeleton form... not sure why, she just calls them pirates.)...

Aidan the sorcerer. I'm guessing since he is knocking on 16's door he won't be trick or treating this year.... then again.... he does like candy.... we'll see what happens. The days of us buying him costumes are over so if he dresses up he'll have to be creative.

Ev was a Mickey Pumpkin... super cute to see her with her two grandparents, who are pumpkins every single year.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

This Is Halloween

I love decorating for the holidays and Halloween is no exception. Since I have little kids that I don't want to scare I tend to stay clear of spooky decor. Here are a few of my favorite things...

 I have so much fun with this holiday. I'd love to have been able to throw a kids halloween party. I did that a few years back for all of our friends and family and it was the most fun I've ever had throwing a party. It was themed out to the max! Thinking about that made me decide to throw a little mini surprise pumpkin carving party for the kids today. Hope they like it!

P.S.... it is supposed to be cold enough to snow here on Halloween! These Californians should have a VERY interesting time trick or treating!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Babies First Layout

Last week I printed out a majority of the zillions of photos I've already taken of our little Mr. I just couldn't wait to scrapbook them anymore! Here is a look at a couple of quick layouts I created....

I don't own many "baby" themed scrapbook products.... although I do LOVE Crate Paper's two new baby lines (Little Boy Blue and Little Bo Peep) and used some bits & pieces. Typically, for one reason or another, I tend to stay clear of most themed lines... so it was interesting coming up with a combinations of supplies that fit baby layout ideas. Really, I just pulled the photos and then some colors that made me feel good while creating the pages. Seemed to work.

...and speaking of babies Dez genuinely smiled at me for the first time. I know it was real because as I was talking to him he cooed and smiled and cooed and smiled.... & then my heart almost exploded with love & happiness. These are the moments I live for as a Mom, and I am so happy to be sharing them with another bundle of joy.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Wheels Came Off

Sometimes parenting can be tough. (hahahaha. sometimes. that is hilarious.) I think as scrapbookers and bloggers we inadvertantly make it look like we have it all together, all the time.... we are in the business of preserving memories, and who wants to remember the bad times? But that doesn't mean they don't happen. While I'm sure you wouldn't want to read about my problems every single time you visit the blog you can still appreciate that every once in awhile I genuinely can't cut it in the parenting department.... it's real life, and I am sure it happens to everyone. (If you disagree, then you are totally full of it!)

Last night the wheels came off.

All the stars aligned... but in the worst possible way.

It's amazing how as a parent your evening can unravel at the drop of a hat. One minute I was giving myself a mental pat on the back for how well I was doing with the dinner routine and four kids all on my own... an hour later I was coming unglued... shouting and losing my mind.

I felt like a failure, the worst parent ever. Why couldn't I be more calm while trying to coax Evareaux out of the bath and into bed so that I could feed her baby brother? Why did I have to be so hard on Nakiah? After all, it wasn't his fault he had so much homework. Why did I lose my temper after I had such a great day with the kids?

I don't have the answers. I can't take the yelling back. If I could do it over again I would. I would take a deep breath, I would let things go, I would speak calmly and patiently and just do my best to get through the night.... but I can't do any of that now.

What I can do is forgive myself for losing my patience and understand that I am only human... only a Mom.... Make sure that I show my kids that I love them with my actions and words, especially over the next few days... try to be less emotional and more calm in the future. I am a work in progress. This parenting four kids thing is still new. We are learning how to co-exist.... and I am trying to be the glue that holds it all together..... (sometimes I feel like someone left the cap off and I'm all dried up and ineffective..... or maybe someone squeezed it too hard and now it's dripping in gobs down the side of the bottle and no one wants to clean it up cuz it it's too sticky and gross. Maybe we should just throw this glue away?)----  I digress.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Big One- Project Life

An important week for Project Life... My last days of pregnancy and, of course, Dezmond's birth on Thursday, September 27th....

Since I had so many photos and so much journaling I allowed space for a page insert.... it was important to tell the story of his birth and bringing him home to meet his siblings....

This week is the reason I started Project Life back in February of this year. I imagined how great it would be to have a way to document the arrival of our new addition. His birth story, his introduction, his first days, the changes in our routine and so on. I'm still so happy that I took on this project. It felt surreal to be putting this spread together.... where has the time gone?--- Well, at least I can look back and find out!

Here is the week after his birthday. We are adjusting to having a newborn, and I am taking advantage of Hottie being home from work.... which was how I was able to actually complete these pages. :)

Friday, October 19, 2012

You Better Work It, Girl

This week I decided to get back into the groove of making healthy choices and moving my body daily. Time to drop this baby (and, lets be serious, some chunkiness from pre-baby) weight! It's never too early or too late! Gotta work it out. What better time to start then three weeks postpartum? Hottie went back to work so I am starting with a fresh routine and healthy habits. Then once I get the ok from doc I'll start running (probably mostly walking until I get my endurance back up) again. I'm so ready to get where I want to be....

Wish me luck! Here is my starting point....

This little guy deserves to have a healthy, happy Mommy....

Don't you think?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

It's A Wrap

Do you have a baby? (Or need a gift for someone who does?)
Do you need a way to carry that baby?
Do you have $13?
Do you have 1/2 hour?

Well, I have a big surprise for you. You can make your very own baby carrier/wrap (think Moby knock off) for less that 13 bucks. Whaaaaaaaaat?

(This is what it looks like when your infant is trying to escape the wrap because he is hungry and smelled a boob.)

What's that? You say you're not much of a DIY-er? -don't you worry.

All you need is 5 yards of jersey knit fabric. (This sounds like a S-ton of fabric, and it is.. but trust me that is the length you need... don't be a cheap skate like I was tempted to be and think, "hey, if I get a yard less I can save 3 more dollars....")

(this is what a s***-ton of fabric looks like)

So once you get the fabric (mine was $6.99 per yard at Hobb to the Lobb and then I used a 40% off coupon. With a width of 48" you actually get two wraps out of this 5 yards... thus the $13 per wrap. Holla!)  You take it home and fold it in half length wise and cut that beast right down the middle. Now it's 5 yards by 24" wide. If your fabric is 60" then -bonus- you get 3 wraps! Cut it into 3 long pieces-- They only need to be 20 inches wide to fit the babe. So, give one to a knocked up friend,  keep one in your car, give one to Grandma and she can wonder what the heck this thing is for....

(this is what it looks like folded in half length wise after cutting.)

Ok. What you do next is....... strap the thing on and throw your kid inside! Seriously, you are done. Whaaaaaaaaa? I know, it's ridiculous. It probably took you less than 30 minutes from the time you hit the craft store to the time you first tucked your baby in like a little kangaroo.

Here is a tutorial on how to tie this wrap, so your wee one doesn't fall out. (Please make sure you place them in securely and that they have plenty of space to breath freely.)

Surprisingly comfy and easy to put on... 

Enjoy! I wonder what other baby items I can make myself for a fraction of the cost?....

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Two Page Layouts

It's been awhile since I created a two page layout.... well, without being prodded by a call for submission. Ever since my i-phone became the main way I take photos it seems like I don't take quite as  many as I used to. Plus with my Instagram addiction (follow me at Elz10.... I try not to post obsessively, but it really is tempting) I edit one or two photos and then those are my go to for layouts. Obviously if there are less to choose from there is almost no need to have 2 pages......

But I really should make it more of a priority. I do love including lots of photos and having plenty of space for journaling to tell the story..... 

I made this one using a sketch put out by Creating Keepsakes while they were looking for submissions recently. Needless to say it did not get chosen. But I have this cool layout, so I still count it as a win. :)

Hey, with as many baby photos as I have taken lately (both on my phone and with Niko the Nikon) I'll surely have enough for quite a few two page layouts.

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Around here....
We've got one perfect little two week old. I say little, but he is actually back to his birthweight (9lbs. 6 oz.) and 23inches already..... newborn clothes are very snug (good thing I only bought 3 outfits that size). The doc says he is doing great and that the funky smell coming from his cord (Y.U.C.K.) is totally normal..... seriously icky, ya'll. I might do a happy dance when it finally falls off!

This stage always makes me laugh. Hottie gets mad (ok, only slightly annoyed) when I say our baby looks like an alien and has acne.... I don't think babies are all that adorable at this stage.... faces only mothers could love is how I put it (harsh?) But I do still fawn over him as if he is the most gorgeous being ever created... stern facial expressions and all. (He may look mad here but really he is just intently staring at the ceiling fan.)

Around here...
Nakiah continues to request time to hold Dezmond each day. Sometimes he is lucky enough to witness one of his brothers epic farts.... man my kids are stinkers!

He was surprised to learn that he is above average in Math and Reading according to the national standards.... it's a relief because he had been struggling with a new school in a new state that does things totally different from what he is used to. He's found some neighborhood buddies (after some much needed prodding). I spent some time playing with him one on one outside the other day and it ended up with lots of giggling and tickling and it made my heart happy....

Around here...
I have a teenager that spends 90% of his day in his room. It's the reason you don't see many photos of him on this here blog.... but I have to understand that it's just what (almost) 16 year olds do... and we have created a space for him that is pretty comfy. With your computer, xbox, flatscreen, 2 guitars, and a bathroom complete with shower, why leave? He is doing amazing in school. AMAZING. This kid is so smart! And he is thinking a lot about things on the horizon like a drivers license, a part time job, and a career path.

Around Here....
This little girl had minor surgery on the top of her right ear... a suspicious mole was removed. It killed me not to be able to be there (I was home nursing the baby). It was my first big view into life with four & not being able to be there for everything you'd like to.... I felt nervous and scared for her. But she did incredibly well, and of course her Daddy was there for comfort. He said she was calm and brave and she's healing very well....

She's back down to having just 0-1 accident a day (thank goodness). This girl loves her brothers... she lights up for Aidan & wants to watch movies in his room (I guess no one wants to leave there!), she copies everything Nakiah does, and giggles at every single noise Dezmond makes.

Around Here.....
Hottie is enjoying his time off of work. (He will go back on Tuesday.)(AH!) Helping out a ton with Evareaux (she's really gonna be bummed when he starts work again). Has been encouraging me to scrapbook or get out of the house a bit. Is loving the fact that we have such an easy baby and coworkers that bring dinner to the house.... with desert.

Around here....
I've been staring at every single inch of Dezi's tiny little face, and kissing him a million times a day.  Prepping myself mentally for Hottie working (oh man am I gonna be tired!). Having brutal headaches and dizziness and hoping it's not from the epidural problems I had. Enjoying Sons of Anarchy, Dexter, and Modern Family. Coveting the hour nap I sneak away for each day. Taking, editing, and sending a ton of photos to the printer... and because I perpetually have a camera in his little alien face..... catching moments like this......

A sleep smile (I know he's just probably peeing), a glimpse into the future that makes me swoon.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

45 Minutes or Less

Can't believe I actually squeezed in some scrapping this weekend! Yes, I swapped much needed nap and cleaning time.... but a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do. Sometimes I thank my lucky stars that I am a fast scrapper. Maybe it's all those years I spent being a professional artist for TJ's.... I am so used to completing projects and moving onto the next one lickety-split.

These two layouts were done in 30-45 minutes. Using kits like these two from Studio Calico helps speed up the process. Everything is already color co-ordianted and ready to go. I just choose a photo and start placing paper and embellishments....

For this one I wanted to use ink (My favorite is Sprinklers by October Afternoon) to play with the idea of paint splatters, like the subject of the photo...

using the Roller Rink Kit

So glad I made time to create a couple of layouts (even if I messed up on the journaling on one-- sleep deprived, anyone?). I HAVE to print out some new photos asap though, because I have so many ideas for scrapping Dez.... be forewarned, my other kids may start to seem like chopped liver... it's only natural when you have a newborn, right? He's inspiring me............ to go get some sleep.