Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thinking Warm Thoughts

I have been so out of it this week! I blame the cold. Just because I may not be eating ice cream, doesn't mean I can't claim brain freeze. I'm determined to think of warmer things so I thought I'd share some past vacation photos. We don't go on vacations very often, and as a family we've only been on one in eight years. Since we've lived in Chicago I've taken the kids to the beach (not Lake Michigan) twice. When we first moved here I packed the kids into the car and drove them to visit my sister in D.C. with a side trip to Ocean City, M.D. It was July and very hot.

This was the first trip that my older boys actually remember taking. We had such a great time and I keep promising to take them back someday. Todd doesn't remember any of it and insists that he needs to go again soon before he's "too big".
A trip that Todd does remember is our first family trip to North Topsail Beach, N.C. Everyone had a great time, and even Rose was running fearlessly into the waves by the end of the week.

All the kids agree that if we move anywhere we have to live close to a beach because they all love it. What about all of you? What do you think about to keep warm when it's so very cold outside?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Where did the week go?

What a busy week it's been. Short weeks always seem just wrong. Not that I mind having Monday's off, or having the kids home, but I never know what day it is for the rest of the week. I even forgot to put the trash to the curb this week! Days off always mean more work for me at home, and in the end never really seem like a day off (for some reason Rose likes to get up extra early on the days when I can sleep in). So today I am taking a day off. The weather is warm (okay so it's like 20 outside but after last weeks -20 it's like a heat wave), and what do we do when the weather turns warm? We go to the mall, of course! Hey! It's not like it's park weather, but thankfully the mall has a great indoor play area and it's warm enough to walk from the car to the door. I have been looking forward to this all week. A trip to the mall with Rose. We are going to hit the Bath & Body semi-annual sale, and just hang out. Is there anything better than a girl day? Rose is very excited.

What about any of you? Big plans for the weekend?? Have you read Sam's story yet? I've added chapters 2-6. He tells me he's got the next chapter all planned out, too. I can hardly wait to see what he's got planned for his characters.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

All About Sam

As most of you know, by now, I have four children. Yes, I know that mostly you only hear about the youngest (and only girl). Today I'm gonna talk about my oldest, Sam. Sam is 14yo and a freshman in highschool. He's full of imagination and great ideas and sarcasm (as any good teenage boy should be). I may be biased, but he really is an amazing big brother. All of his siblings adore him all the time, and even though he may be at an age that he annoys more easily, he loves his siblings too. He's thoughtful and a big help with cooking, and helping with the youngest of the kids. He's a big reader, loves to draw, watch horror movies (and talk about how fake they look), listen to obscure music, and watch anime. I think it's safe to say that his favorite anime character is one named, simply, L. He's a huge Death Note fan.
In the last year he's become very interested in writing short stories. First he played around with writing horror stories, but lately he's been working on something that resembles fan fiction. Onlne he's often found hanging out at a place called "the World Forum". Last week he started his story and has been adding a chapter almost every day. He asks for people to give him suggestions for characters and story lines and he's been having a ball. He's gotten great support from his online friends. He insisted on asking the permission of the people who've been giving him character ideas before allowing me to post links to his story, on my blog.
Try to ignore spelling and grammar, ect.. I think his story is coming along nicely and he's so very proud of it himself.
Have a read. You can read his story here. As I add more of his chapters I'll let ya'll know.

I hope you enjoy his imagination as much as I do!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A Day Without Snow

We got the much anticipated 5am phone call this morning! Hooray! We got a snow day, and what was the first order of business? I went downstairs to ask my oldest how to turn his alarm off so he didn't have to get up, of course. Then I went back to bed. I was up most of the night with Rose. She was just having one of those nights. She got up at 1am and didn't go back to sleep until around 5am. It's a good thing I didn't have to get up to get kids to school today, I slept til 9am.

What defines a snow day? Like earlier this week, we found out that a blizzard isn't about the amount of snow that falls, snow days don't require snow. Unlike yesterday, where we woke up to another 4-8 inches of snow, today it was just TOO COLD to go to school. Our high today is going to be -2 but most of the day it's only supposed to be -10. I may have to reconsider wanting to live in a warmer climate. Where else do you get a day off because it's too cold? That would never happen somewhere like Florida. What does a day that is too cold for school look like you ask? Have a look.

Notice how the snow is piled up to keep people from coming to knock on our front door.

I love our icicles!
And, a shot of the top of the back deck. Maybe before the whole system of snow is finished the chair will be completely covered.

How is your Thursday shaping up? Do you have snow where you live, freezing temperatures, or is it warm and sunny?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


We were under a "Blizzard Watch", last night. The kids and I were so excited because we thought it meant a snow day today, for sure. I mean isn't a blizzard a large amount of snow that falls in a short time, or in any time? The school district web pages even reminded parents that there might be a snow day today. How much more anticipatory can ya get?
Well....apparently a blizzard isn't categorized by the amount of snow that falls during it. It's about wind. Wind?!
Here's a little bit about what Wikipedia has to say about blizzards:

A blizzard is a severe winter storm condition characterized by low temperatures, strong winds, and heavy blowing snow.
My kids were so disappointed not to get that 5:30am phone call saying that there would be no school today. That's right, no watching the news or listening to the radio here. The school makes automated calls at the crack of dawn to say "don't get up and go to school, because we're not gonna be there". So, this being my first experience with blizzards of the meteorological variety (as opposed to the video game kind), I have to say I'm disappointed. No large amounts of snow, and no day off.

Monday, January 12, 2009

It's Monday...and yes, there's snow on the ground.

Over the weekend we had snow. Okay, okay...I know. I live in Chicago-land and we ALWAYS have snow. Usually when the sky opens up and bird dandruff (that's what my dad always calls it) falls from the sky I stay inside. I mean who wants to play in the freezer after they've been living in the freezer for so long? Saturday morning I woke up to this site (as taken from my living room window).

Notice the sidewalk has already been shoveled? Yes, I have neighbors who were actually up before 8am with their snow blowers. The guy who lives behind us snow blows the sidewalk for the entire cul de sac and all the way down our street. It's actually pretty awesome! Saturday we ended up with 8+ inches of snow. It was so pretty!! I couldn't help it. I bundled Rose up and took her out to play. The older kids were shoveling snow (I even talked my 12yo into shoveling our neighbor's driveway out of the kindness of his heart--and he did), and it was just really nice. Rose found out that she like the taste of snow. I wonder if she'd like sno-cones? What do you think?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Save Handmade

Save Handmade Toys

Have you seen this logo on some body's blog lately? Do you know what it's about? In short it's about the Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act . Still lost? I'm sure most of you remember the Thomas the Tank Engine fiasco, or the Dora the Explora incident. Lead in the paint, clothes, jewelry, backpacks, ect.... ? Ringing some bells now? If your a parent I'm sure you know about all the past recalls. Do you know that congress has put together a law (the before mentioned Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act or CPSIA) to help make toys and other items meant for children 12 years and younger safe? This new law goes into effect in February 2009. Next month!!!

Still don't know what all of this means or how it effects you? How many of you buy anything from ETSY, or Ebay,, or a 2nd hand shop (Once Upon a Child is one of my favorite places), a craft fair, ect...? Do you have a favorite small toy company? How about that little boutique in town that sells local made dresses or hair bows that you love going into? The CPSIA will effect all of that. According to the new act all of these sorts of places won't be able to sell their goods without a lot of very expensive, very extensive third party testing and labeling. In short they will have to prove that they aren't selling you anything that contains toxins like phthalates and lead.

Being a part of a great SITStahood like the Secret is in the Sauce I've met some other great moms who craft things and sell them online. Like Kacee, at My Life as a Mom at 22, she's got a great boutique called Prissy Miss that she sells her beautiful hair accessories out of. Another great one is from the gals over at Bugs'n'bees. They have the most adorable clothes for little girls. Then of course there is myself. I am a vendor over at and have my own little website too. I make fabulous tutus under the name the Flower girls. If the law passed by the CPSIA goes into effect we will all have to stop selling our amazing products, unless we can afford the cost of testing.

What can you do? You can grab the bear button at the top of the post from here. You'll also find a lot of really great resources at that page. It's the Cool Mom Picks site- another great place to hang out online. You'll also see links to places like The Handmade Toy Alliance.
Sign petitions to amend this law, write your congress person. Blog about it. Talk about it. Help save handmade.