Tuesday, March 4

So much going on

Freaking out, yes that is what I am doing. I am a freak out kind of person. I pile tons of things on myself. I do not ask for help. I try to do it all and when things do not go my way I freak out.

Amelia is walking these days, she is into everything..which I don't mind if it would keep her entertained for more than 2 minutes. I would be happy for 10 minutes.There is paint tubes everywhere, rolling under foot, under the tables, under the sofa. There are can goods rolling all over the place too. There are wooden Easter eggs in every nook and cranny of my home. There are cups, plates, spoons, paper, blocks, instruments...you name it and I bet it is on my floor. I have to be careful where I step so as not to break another ankle. Did you know that I have broken them both..not once but twice. Yup I'm a klutz.

Now, Papa never really sees what goes on while I am at home and he is at work because I manage to make a mad dash and whisk it all away about 15 minutes before he walks in the door.

Today I am freaking out because I have been packing orders, stamping, painting, sanding, cutting, chopping, cooking and I am tired of doing it ALL.

And...the cheese that I just bought has mold all over it. I have no time to pack up the baby and trudge out to the store to get another one for pheasant tacos that we are having tonight.

Today I feel like I busted my hump and go nothing checked off my to do list. I hate that feeling.
Now it is 4:56 and I have not clean up the whirlwind that is Amelia, dinner is not done and I am just trying to breathe.

Monday, September 9

Sleep- will it ever be good?

  Henry has never been a good sleeper. When he was a baby it would take me about a hour to get him to take a thirty minute nap. That is all I would get- I remember counting down the minutes 5,4,3,2,1, and then a scream, he was awake. At night, the same thing.I  tried everything to no avail. We practiced co-sleeping, we still do in some ways. We tried teething tablets, homeopathic remedies, Rescue Sleep, white noise...everything. I tried the cry-it -out method but after 20 minutes of his screaming, I knew that I could not and would not do that ever again. We used to sit with him, stand in the door, rock him but eventually we would give up and just cuddle with him and go to sleep.

As Henry became a toddler, I found myself going into his bed with him, singing to him until he fell asleep. Most times I would wake up an hour later having fallen asleep myself. If I slept with him only then would he get a decent nap. At night was no different' Papa Joe or I would cuddle up with him, read to him and then sing songs until he fell asleep and then, if we were lucky, we would tip toe out and he would stay asleep for half the night until he climbed into our bed.

Now that Henry is almost six, sleeping has gotten a little better but not by much. When we found out we were pregnant with Amelia, I went to IKEA and purchased a kid sized loft bed. He was so excited but he still wanted to sleep in our bed. We told him he has to start in his bed before coming into our. With a full day of school to tire him out, most nights he stayed in his bed for the entire night. I must be honest, I would miss him in our bed.

But, now that Amelia is here and she is sleeping in bed with me, Henry now gives us a hard time about going to bed. Most nights he says he is scared of ghost, noises, dragons and being alone. He takes this fear of being alone and uses it during the day too. He always asks why he has to be alone in his room when he is playing Lego's ...mind you he went in his room on his own accord and he knows he can bring his toys out into the living room to play. Sometimes he asks if its okay to leave the door open when he is in the bathroom because he doesn't want to be alone. I am not sure if he is jealous of Amelia, maybe this is his way of getting attention. Whatever the reason it has been nagging on me.

Then last night I had an idea. I pulled his mattress into our room and placed it on the floor. Then I put a carpet onto the top part of his loft bed and added all of his Lego's- with Amelia crawling, I can now have some peace of mind that she will not find any Lego pieces on the floor and choke on them. I like  how it turned out- the Lego Cave is a really cool place to hang out. Henry thinks its cool too. We are happy for now but I have to wonder...Did co -sleeping make my child a worse sleeper? Will he always be a bad sleeper? Will he ever figure out how to be alone in his bed and get himself to sleep? What do you think?

Amelia was sleeping good for a while but since May she has been waking up 4 or more times a night. Now she will only get back to sleep if my boob is in her mouth. Naps, although, she is easier to get to sleep, she is starting to only sleep less than a hour. I don't want to repeat another 6 years of terrible sleep but I have a feeling I am already going down that path. We still co-sleep with her and I have no desire to put here anywhere else than in my bed. We will just have to see what happens.

Friday, August 30

Baked not Fried

 It is the end of August. I have loads of zucchini to get rid of and everyone keeps telling me to make fritters.
Bu... I hate frying, I detest it in fact.
 I will do everything in my power to not have to fry.
So, when it came to looking for a fritter recipe, I wanted something that could be baked, but we all know that zucchini is a wet vegetable and I was a little nervous going in because I did not want soggy fritters.

 These fritters, my first time making them by the way, came out GREAT- they were crispy and not soggy at all. The were also really easy and fast to make. I used this recipe from Wishful Chef 
I did not change a thing about the recipe and even Henry at them! I severed them with a soy and garlic concoction I made and a salad. Totally going to make this again!


Grate the zucchini and onion, then squeeze out the liquid with a paper towel.
Place in a bowl, then mix together with flour, salt, pepper, egg and milk.
Bake for about 20 minutes, then flip and bake for another 10 minutes on the other side.
Serve with garlic mayo or your favorite dipping sauce.

2 large zucchini, grated
1 small red onion, grated
1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
a splash of milk
1 egg

Heat oven to 425°F. With a grater, grate zucchini and onion. Place grated zucchini and onion in paper towel or kitchen towel and squeeze out liquid. Add to a bowl and combine whole wheat flour, salt, pepper, milk and egg, mix well.

Drop small to medium-sized rounds on a lightly greased baking sheet or lined with parchment paper. Bake for 16-20 minutes, depending on the size of your fritters. Then flip and bake for another 10 minutes until golden brown on each side. Enjoy with garlic mayonnaise or preferred sauce.


Wednesday, August 29


  Yesterday was the first day of school for Henry. He is 4 and will turn 5 in December. He was lucky enough to win a lottery seat to a terrific magnet school. The school however is about a hour away, which in turns means we get up really early to make a bus that will bring him. This in turn makes me really sad. Sad that he is moving on with a part of life without me. Sad, that after not being without him in four years I give up my baby to a stranger, a stranger driving him away from me on a bus. A bus that goes a long distance, on the highway.
I sit crying while typing this.
I do not know how mama's everywhere do this. It is by far one of the hardest things I have done...just sit back and watch him drive away. I hate not being able to talk to him or to hold him. I hate not being able to make sure he is safe and happy. I hate that he sits in the back of the bus alone. I hate that I do not know if another child was mean to him on the playground today. All of this what if's make me really scared and second guess my choice of sending him to school. I am not ready for this part of life. Maybe being pregnant had made me more emotional I dunno.

He, however is ready for this adventure. He loved the bus..said it was really bumpy in the back and super fun. He loved school, said he can't wait to go to school tomorrow to learn more Spanish
I know that he words should give me some peace but they don't...so I ask you...how did you get through it?

Thursday, March 22

Right Size

  Not to long ago, Papa and I were strolling the aisles at Lowes, when we came across a set of tool for kids. These tools were not just you ordinary plastic pretend tools..this tool set was the real deal. Real steel hammer head, real Phillip screwdriver, flat head and even a hand saw. The were scaled down for kids hands with rubber finger grips on the handles too. A really nice set indeed! Better than the tool set, was the beginner project kits. Bird house kits, bat house kits, tool box kit. So what did Papa Joe and Henry decide to make? A catapult, yuppers, my boys decided to build not one but two catapults. And, what is mama left to do when all of the excitement is going on...pick up the giant tape balls for her boys.

Henry totally enjoys his tools so much, that on beautiful days like this one today, we got outside and set up "tool shop". I bring out some cardboard boxes, nails, screws, hammer and screwdriver. Henry hammers away his nails into the cardboard. Screwing into the cardboard is terrific practice for more building projects to come, but it also helps to reinforce fine motor skills, patience and hand and eye coordination.

Thursday, March 15

Pen Pals

Most days, around 1pm, Henry looks up from whatever he is doing, to announce that he "hears the post mail coming. Most days, he hurries to open the front door in the hopes to see a pile of mail waiting for him. In that pile on most days, he hopes there is a package or envelope for him.
It is in the spirit of receiving mail that had me reaching out to mama friends in the hope of starting a pen pal program.
With Henry not in preschool, I need fun ways to teach him. Letter writing to a friend not only gives him the reason to practice his writing, it also gives my boy a reason to color. Henry is not so big on coloring or when he does colors, he only wants to use one crayon.
With pen pal letters, he draws pictures using lots of colors, practices with scissors, pastes pictures, learns about capitals and lower case, form words and learns about punctuation. All these good things from one letter writing activity. Lastly, with the USPS having hard times, I like the idea of keeping our local post office busy. Henry gets a chance to make a real transaction, with money exchange. The look of pride when he puts his letter into the mailbox is worth it alone.
I think you and your friends should start a Pen Pal program too! I mean who doesn't like to get mail?

Some suggestions to get you started-
Pick a theme a month
Younger kids can get in on it too by simply painting or coloring a picture.
Older kids can write small stories or maybe take some photographs.
Why not write a quick note to other mama's too.
Make homemade greeting cards.
Fast kid meal suggestions or a have your child write a mama and me recipe.

Friday, February 10


   I sit here, at the kitchen table, busy, trying to get the last of my orders ready for shipping before the weekend comes. When, all of a sudden, I am stopped, by the sweet sounds all around me. So sweet are these sounds that I am compelled to really listen to all of them...the sweetest song bird out side my window, his song is so lovely, it is as though I am listening to it for the first time. The sound of Henry and his friend in the next room, quietly chit chatting away immersed in their pretend play....so sweet are their words to each other. The neighbors footsteps up the stairs, the trash truck driving up the hill. I hear the hum of the computer and the clicking of the keys as I type. I hear the wind blow outside my window.
As I sit here, I hear my breath as I sigh..oh that sweet birdsong..sounds like Spring?

Unlike seeing, where one can look away, one cannot 'hear away'
but must listen ... hearing implies already belonging together in
such a manner that one is claimed by what is being said.

-  Hans-Georg Gadamer


Wednesday, January 18

Working Hard

With January being a slow month in the shop, it gives me some time to come up with some new ideas.
Papa Joe bought me a new scroll saw, there are scraps of paper all over the house with all the plans I have been dreaming up for that new toy!
So far I have made this

Wood Stacking puzzles. These are great for babies first puzzle, then your toddler can use them later on for magical pretend play. I am working on some other designs too. Henry is a great help, sharing all his ideas. I may just make a "tunnel" puzzle  he suggested to me one day. "This way trains and cars can go under" indeed!
I am also working on some play scarves, new FLY ME designs and my newest toy, the Classic Toy Tin

 Yo-yo, cup and ball and a flip flop spinning top. Comes to you in a metal tin, perfect for gift giving, party favors or tuck away into a Easter basket. This collection is very special to me because it can be completely personalized with yo-yo design and colored top. I am also going to offer initials and numbers as some of the personalization designs....making this a truly special gift.
Don't forget to check out my shop as I am stocking these soon.

Waiting Away

    Sometimes, life takes you by the hook, casts you out and waits...for a bite. This seems to be my thoughts during the cold month of January...waiting...waiting for snow to come, waiting for the days to warm up, waiting for the ice to melt, waiting for the birds to come back, waiting to plant. I want it all. Winter seems to be frozen in time, not moving forward. This time last year, we had three snow storms, waist deep snow in which to tunnel, slide and build in. But, this year is different, no snow yet, just gray and brown outside. Every morning my little man Henry runs to the window with excitement only to be disappointed when he peeks and still sees no snow.
Seed catalogs are coming in the mail, my mind wanders off ahead to spring, when we can start our seedling. Sometimes we watch the cardinal, he comes to perch on my trellis, eating his seed. I miss the hummingbirds.
I know it is not good to think ahead or think of the past, we should be living in the moment. I find that hard sometimes. When day turns into night and night vanishes for the sun, it all seems to be the same in January.
I am waiting away.

Wednesday, December 28


The hustle and bustle of Christmas is over and I have cleaned up most of the mess. We still have about 50 books that I need to find homes for and I find myself missing the holiday music already. It is so weird to have it all end so abruptly. With all the new toys, books and gadgets, Henry, Papa and I are happily distracted for a little while... slowing down is so nice!

Right now I am really loving:
*My smartwool socks and the fact that my hubby knows me so well
* knitting on really big needles
* listing to Josh Groban holiday album
* cuddling in bed, under the warm covers, reading all the new books to Henry
* enjoying my newly turned four year old like his Kumon workbooks
* super proud of my little man when he puts on his own socks
* that my wonderful mother in law got me some super warm slippers and a vintage looking shawl! Love Her!
* painting the *new* Spring line for the shop...soy paint is so magical
* left over hazelnut and bird seed bark..yummy in my tummy
* new play dates with dear friends, because finally they have some free time thanks to winter break

My dear friends, what are you loving theses days?