Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The joys of motherhood

are often few and far between. But this is the exchange that took place between my son Mason (almost 4) and my daughter, Jane (almost 6).

Jane: "Mason, look, I made you something."

This something she made was a "card" on an 8.5x11 sheet of paper. Blue paper that my MIL gave us for them to draw on, make paper airplanes out of, whatever.

It was folded in 3rds. And she said, "Open it."

Mason: "Jane! You did a good job on this! Is this for ME?"

Jane: "Yes, I made it for you."

Mason: "Wow, Jane. It's really great! Did you make this for me?"

Jane: "Yes, Mason, it's for you."

Mason: "Jane, this is really good work! I am SO proud of you!"

Jane: "Thanks, Mason."

This was the exchange between my two youngest children today in the van after we got Jane from the bus stop. It was SO sweet and sincere. And it doesn't happen that often. So, I wanted to write it down before I forgot. :)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Cupcakes anyone?

I know I've said it before, but I must say it again.

Lilly Jane's cupcakes ROCK.

I took a few friends in there on Saturday during a scrapbook retreat. To try the Hannahbelle. I met Hannah that day. I'd seen her before (several times) but didn't know what her name was. In fact there was only one girl there I HADN'T seen before... Anyway...

You have just a few days left. Hannahbelle is the flavor of the month for May. In simpler terms, it is a raspberry pink champagne cupcake with a raspberry cream cheese frosting. YUM!

So, their website has all the details: http://www.lillyjanescupcakes.com/

But in their store is where the truth is: It said, "you can almost taste the bubbles"

Now, I have never had champagne. I have had wine, and occasionally I still cook with it. But never had champagne. But I have to say that this cupcake is to DIE for. Seriously.

I have always been a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting kind of gal. Especially when LJ's came out with their "hot chocolate"frosting. I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. It's actually a whipped Italian butter cream made with a simple syrup base, as opposed to the heavy butter cream that adorns a lot of their creations. So, you know how every once in a while you will get that PERFECT cup of cocoa that has the whipped cream that's kind of melted into it and cooled it down a little while making it even creamier tasting? Well, imagine that in a frosting form on top of a moist, delicious, chocolate cupcake. Good, huh?

I am not typically a fruit on cake person. Don't like fruit in ice cream or shakes either. I love fruit, so don't get me wrong, here. I just don't usually like it on cake, or in cake. Or ice cream. But anyway, I went into LJ's because I was on my way to pick up a card swap from a friend who was in Eagle. And pick up a stereo from her for another friend who was moving. So, I decided since I was going to be driving right by, it would be the perfect time to stop. I went in and bought two cupcakes. I was planning on buying one, but when I saw these Hannahbelles, I was VERY intrigued. Mostly I was intrigued by the description about you being almost able to taste the bubbles. And I thought, "you know, I love raspberries, and my understanding about champagne is that it's not too sweet, and I definitely love it in the Teuscher truffles my dh brings me when he is near a shop, so... I am going to try these!"

So, I bought one. Now, I also bought a caramel apple cupcake, which I've had before and is also one of my favorites... It has also been voted one of America's best cupcakes by AOL. So, I started with the Hannahbelle, because I was worried I may not like it, and wanted to have the yummy caramel apple to fall back on.

Silly SILLY W! I practically shrieked with delight over this delicious (and STILL WARM) cupcake. I am pretty sure that I'm going to hell for the lusty thoughts I've had over this perfectly portioned piece of heaven. The funniest piece of irony here is that I actually was disappointed to have to have the caramel apple cupcake after this. Because THAT was the one I'd bought to console myself had there been disappointment over the Hannahbelle. So, the following week when I had to go in to Eagle (ok, I didn't HAVE to go, but I wanted to) I stopped again. And I bought 6 of the Hannahbelles. I ate 3 of them. I had to give the rest to my friend Frank to save me from myself or I'd have eaten the whole half dozen. I was planning on giving her one anyway.

I WAS! Anyway, GO! GO TO LILLY JANE'S. You can special order them, but otherwise, they will be gone after the 31st of May. Who knows when they will be back??? GO TRY ONE! TODAY!

And, enjoy it. But please, enjoy it responsibly. Don't eat it while driving in your vehicle. You may eat while riding in someone else's vehicle, but until you know how you will respond to the Hannahbelle, it is recommended that you use caution when driving or operating heavy machinery.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Card Candy, anyone?

OK, if you are in one of my card candy groups, and you don't want a spoiler, DON'T LOOK!

So, the one with four pieces of card candy now has five.

My friend Nej suggested a hot pink VW Bug charm done on shrinky dink. Well, I was too lazy and tired to take a picture of them, and they turned out darker than planned. I forgot to account that shrinkage makes the colors darker.

Sadly, mine didn't make it, but the other gals in the group will get them... WHOO HOO.

Anyway... Here is my card candy.

Group 2

What you can't tell from this picture is that the frogs, snail and dragonfly have diamond glaze on the eyes for a 3D effect. I also used a Sakura Stardust pen for the wings of the dragonfly, and the legs on the frogs with an overlay with Sakura Glaze pens. This enabled me to keep the glittery effect from the Stardust pen without the mess (the glitter rubs off onto fingertips and whatever else it touches). It also allowed me to change the color slightly, which I really loved. I used just a plain glaze pen on the snail body.

Group 3

This is the one that I was talking about when I said there is now a 5th piece of candy. It's a little VW Bug drawn on shrink plastic, and then shrunk. They turned out cute, but it's late, and I've been in my girl cave all day, and I am ready to go to bed and not dream about card candy anymore. I seriously have been dreaming about these. UGH. So, anyway, maybe tomorrow I will take a picture of the car charms... and then again, maybe not... :)

Group 5

This was done mostly with glaze pens and stamps. The sun is stamped in yellow with a yellow glaze pen edging. I used a button in the center tied with a pale yellow fiber.

The piece with multiple drinks are all colored with glaze pens in different colors. I then punched a hole with my ribbon thread punch and put yellow ribbon through it before backing it on the pink cardstock.
The drink with the umbrella is quite interesting. It looks like the glass is "sweating" due to the clear embossing powder on it. I then colored over the blue umbrella with a clear glaze pen. It didn't look quite complete to me, so I used my watercolor brush in SU! Bordering Blue to create a "puddle" under the glass, which I then covered over with the clear glaze pen.
The sand castle was stamped with VersaMark and I then used Yellow Ochre embossing powder on it. I heated it with a heat tool, and the finished effect was a sort of "sandy" look. I found out while working on this swap that I can't emboss worth crap.

Group 6
So, this one was done with the SU set Eat Cake. I LOVE this set, because, well, I am a cake whore. I did add the quote about so many candles, so little cake, because it is true, and because the stamp I have with that on it is an ugly font, and I didn't want to use it. So, I printed it on my computer. The red for the happy birthday didn't turn out as dark as I would have liked, but I tried to emboss, and it turned out looking like sh**. SO, I scrapped that idea. Can you believe I don't have a SINGLE red stamp pad?? I can't either, but it's true. I need one. Anyway. Notice on that happy birthday piece the tiny tag with the red ribbon in the corner. It says eat cake! Isn't that CUTE??? I LOVE how that turned out. Paper pieced the cake, and used stickles on the candle tips. The base of the cake is also paper pieced, and let me tell you what a pain in the butt that was. This set is NOT symmetrical, so it's not like you can stamp on the back of the paper and cut it out. I used a metallic silver from DCWV metallic stack, stamped in black Staz On, cut that out, and then turned it over and traced on the back side of the silver paper. Then I cut them out and ran them through my Xyron X (which I call the X Box) and also put the cake pieces through. Then I stamped the cake image in black on white cardstock, and my friend Jenalih stuck them on while I was doing something else... what was I doing??? I can't even remember now... Anyway. Here they are... This is what I've been doing in my girl cave for the last 72 hours... Sad thing is, I was mostly done with two of the groups before I started. Now to the post office! :D


I purchased a little wood painted sign for my bathroom that says, "My aim is to keep this bathroom clean. Your aim will help"

Perhaps it should say, "Your aim is NOT helping." Or your lack of aim... UGH...

I just went in to use my bathroom. And I lifted the lid, and there was pee all over the seat.



I wonder if there is a way to electrify the seat so that if they pee on it, it will deliver a small reminder...

Thank goodness I've trained myself to look before I sit.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Shaped cards...

OK, I can't remember if I posted the first two or not, so here they are together.

My three groups for the shaped card swap on Card Cafe group.

The cake slice and cupcake are similar to what I'd done before, but a little different. Enjoy :)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Today is

Mother's day... and my MIL said she wanted us to take the money we would have spent on a gift, and use it to buy food storage instead. So... we did the next best thing. Made her a gift from stuff we already had. :)

So... I am going to show it to you. I am also going to say that we are going to buy something for our food storage too. Just as soon as we get some stimulus money. :)

So, this started out as an ordinary 12 x 12 floor tile. It was a plain, kind of beige colored ceramic tile. Add Tim Holtz Adirondack Alcohol ink! First, I dribbled a bunch of ink on the tile directly from the bottle, and spread it out with a foam paint brush. Then I used the applicator and just dabbed over it a bunch of times. Cut some white vinyl with my cutter, and after a severe amount of painstaking effort and swearing, I finished it at their house. It was mostly done. I just had to mod podge over the top to give it kind of a glossy look. So, here it is. I like it so much, I think I will do it for myself. :)

Thursday, May 8, 2008

I'm a mom...

And today, I am a mom in mourning... As I listen to the feet running on the floor upstairs, I am painfully aware of the pair that is missing.

Yes. There are 12 feet in this house that belong to children. And yes, even with those feet that can sound louder than the stampede of elephants, I hear the silence of the missing ones.

A beautiful child of seven is what Monday would have brought. A party with grandparents, and Barbies and birthday cake.

The problem is, if you have ever been pregnant, you know the things you wonder about. Whose eyes will the baby have? Whose nose? What will she look like? And when you deliver a stillborn, you can see those features as they are, but then you can only speculate from there...

What color would her eyes have been? Her hair? Blonde? Brown? Curly? Straight? Would she have walked and talked early? Or Late?

I spent a LOT of years being angry at God for taking her away from me. It was only the last few that I've been able to let go of that, and realize it may have been the catalyst for change. He knew I needed to be somewhere else... and that is what it took to make me know it, too.

I will never forget lying there in a delivery suite while a nurse looked at my baby on ultrasound. It was nothing new, really, since she was my 3rd baby, and there had been complications, so I'd had ultrasounds twice a week for the last 7 weeks or so... They were supposed to induce me the Monday before this. And here I was, because I hadn't felt the baby move... And there with me was my mom, and my friend who is more like a sister, and the nurse. And she was looking for the heart. She found it. Perfect, tiny, four chambered heart... It looked exactly the same as every other time I had seen it from the time I was 10 weeks along, except for one thing...

This time, it was still.

I can't remember if there was an audible gasp by me or my friend, but we caught each others' eyes. She wasn't sure if I'd seen what she'd just seen. She asked, "What?"
and I said, "Nothing."
My mom said, "what are we looking at? I can't tell what we're looking at!"
And I couldn't bear to tell her that we both had just seen my baby's heart not beating. "Mom, I don't know either," was all I could muster. And the nurse then said, "I can't tell what I am looking at, let me get another nurse in here to take a look."

And she left the room...

Now, a nurse can't tell you that your baby has died. A doctor has to. And my OB/GYN was out of town on a camping trip. So, the other nurse came in and scanned, and sort of told us that she didn't know for sure, but that it didn't look good. What more could she say?

And then the doctor on call came in. I'd never met her before. I can't even remember her name. She was about to go off call, and she probably wished I'd come an hour later. And she came in, and did a third ultrasound.

"I'm so sorry."

I hardly heard anything after that, until I was told that I could go home and "let nature take it's course".


I guess some people do choose that... I wanted a c-section. But she told me no. She told me, you don't want to have a c-section and then go home without a baby. I was so angry with her when she said that. What did she know? I know what I wanted, and it was to get that baby out right away so I could have as much time with her as possible, since it was going to be short. I knew what happens to babies when they are left in the womb after they have died, and it is NOT pretty. I also knew the last time I could definitively say I'd felt her move was around 3 a.m. that morning. It was now almost 11 p.m. So we were already going on close to 24 hours. And damn them for not inducing me the night before when I'd been there BEGGING them to, and she was still alive. I still think that somehow I knew there was something wrong, and that's why I was so desperate for them to induce. But of course, they didn't. My cervix wasn't ready, they said.
And 24 hours, it was no different. But induce they did...

18 hours later, I gave birth to a perfectly beautiful little girl. 8 lbs 8 oz. She had the same mousey brown hair as her brothers. She was perfect. Except she was gone. My heart was broken. Sometimes it still is.

That day was a Saturday. The following day was Mother's day.

This year, Mother's day is this Sunday. Monday would have been her birthday. We will probably have a small cake with just our immediate family. I will cry. I may let off some balloons. Some years I have, some, I haven't.

But, I am a mom in mourning. And when I say I have six kids, it isn't because I've forgotten, or because I am trying to forget. It's because I don't share my angel with just anyone. Some people don't get the right to know about her.

So, when you are thinking of your mothers this weekend, remember that there are mothers, like me, who are missing someone. We have empty arms. We ache for them to be filled. And we could have a hundred more babies and still not be able to get rid of the hurt. Remember us, too, and say a little prayer for us. Yours might be the one that gets me through.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Birthday cards

So, I hosted a birthday card on the Stamped group I am on. Here are my cards. The first one, I LOVE, and apparently it sapped my creativity, because the other two are SNOOZEVILLE. OH well. They are done, and they are ok. On to my shaped card swap for Card Cafe. :) I am doing a piece of cake, a cupcake, and a frog. I know... original... but they are different than my last ones. So, there you have it. I am working on it. And after the frog cards, Card Candy... I am SCARED to death about that one, but it should be fun, and will force me to come out of my box a little.