Thursday, April 30, 2009

Welcome to Cafe Jackson

Right this way

Have a seat. Please feel free to play with toys while you wait and be sure to visit with your lovely table companion.

Are you ready to order?

Jackson asked if we could "have a restaurant" today. He was inspired by the Cafe Blue episode of Blue's Clues. I had just read this post on SouleMama and loved how she went all in on the project. So, when he asked, I thought, "Why not?". (Our little project in no way compares to their's, though!)

We cut out pictures from magazines for the menu - they also determined the menu. When Derek came home for lunch, he was served:

Appetizer - raw carrots with almonds

Main course - scrambled eggs with cheese, toast (sweet potato, orange, raisin bread -yum!) with peanut butter

Dessert - vanilla ice cream
You know you're going to make that for dinner tonight.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

The world according to Jackson (last Wednesday - inside and in the backyard):

Monday, April 27, 2009


Lisa really has me thinking, as she usually does. She writes about an incident she and her kids observed while out shopping. Here's my takeaway:

Because the bottom line is: no matter what kind of stress or rotten deal we're dealt as a parent, it's our job - our sacred responsibility - to do our best to ensure the happiness and emotional well-being of our kids. One day, when they are adults, it will be up to them to make their own happiness, but right now, when they are mere children, it's all on our shoulders - as it should be.

So instead of expending a lot of energy judging that woman, in the end it's made me feel a little more motivated to behave better as a parent myself. The question that needs to be addressed every day is: "Am I building them up, or tearing them down?"

Lisa gave me a much needed reminder. I need to cherish these babies of mine - mindfully, purposefully, deliberately.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


My new blog!


I've decided to do a separate blog for couponing/grocery shopping/money-saving deals. I've had a handful of people ask about how I shop. I know couponing isn't for everyone, so I thought it would be better to go ahead with the new blog. I hope you'll check it out!

I just have one post over there, so far. I hope that if you visit, you'll let me know what kind of info you need. I'll try my best to help!

Zip - Perdue - Dee - Dah will stay the same - just minus the couponing.

Woo-hoo, I'm excited!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Actual conversation

I just had in the car with Jackson.

Jackson: "Mom, could you just bump into that?"

Me: "That fire truck???"

Jackson: "Yes."

Me: "No!"

Jackson: "Why not?"

Me: "Because then our car would be broken and we wouldn't be able to drive it."

Jackson: "Good point."

Look what I made!

Ok, technically I made that foot, too - but I had help. ;)

I had a pair of jammie bottoms that I LOVED. Unfortunately, I loved them so much that I ended up with a big rip in the top of them. So, I repurposed them into jammie bottoms for Jackson! I found the general directions in The Creative Family by Amanda Blake Soule - It was so easy and took 30 minutes from start to finish. That includes getting out/putting away my sewing machine and answering 117 requests from the kids. More pics (my model insisted on action shots):

I love crafting, but I always seem to put it off until "everything is done." There's always more to do, though. I've decided to start grabbing 15-20 minutes here and there to feed my soul.
My MIL bought Kira the dress she's wearing in my Wordless Wednesday post. I think I can figure out how to make something close. We'll see!

Wordless Wednesday

Sunday, April 19, 2009

this 'n that

Mainly just some stuff I don't want to forget.

I was tucking Jackson into bed the other night. I had my hair in a bun and he asked me take it down. I did and he said, "You look more like a Wendy like that."

His new thing is to request an appetizer before dinner, "something like goldfish crackers". He also likes to ask me for a snack and when I say, "what would you like?", he usually replies, "something that's not good for me."

Kira has started calling me "Mommy." She's been calling me Mama for quite awhile. So, now it's Mama - just day to day. Mommy when she's being sweet or sad (very staged). And sometimes, I get to hear "MOM!!!" screamed at the top of her lungs - when she wants something or when she's had all she can take of her brother.

She's really into make-believe play, lately. She was playing in Jackson's police car. She got out and came over to me and did the sign for work. I said, "Oh, are you going to work?". She nodded yes, got back in the car and said "Bye -bye!".

She rarely uses her big high chair. (She usually sits in our Ikea chair that pulls right up to the table.) I have the high chair set really low, because she likes to climb into it. She put her baby into it the other day and started saying, "bites? bites!". So, I ran and got a baby spoon and bowl from the kitchen. She fed that baby bites for 10 minutes.

On Friday, I was working in the kitchen and heard Kira singing, "row, row, row." I looked over the edge of the bar and she had her new bunny, a duck, and her baby all lined up. She would sing and then clap and shout "YAY!!" and then hug them all. It also sounded like she was trying to say "good job" which is what I always say to her.

She has also mastered the art of "please." She LOVES Blue's clues. We don't have cable, so we check "bloo bloo" out from the library. The other morning she wanted to "atch bloo bloo." I didn't know that Derek had taken the dvd back to the library. So, first she says "atch bloo bloo." I go to check the spot, no bloo bloo. "I'm sorry, baby. I don't have Blue." Then she points to the spot on the shelf where it SHOULD be - "atch bloo bloo atch bloo bloo". "Baby, I don't have it." Then she just throws her head back, "P-e-e-e-e-e-ase!"

Luckily it was a storytime day, so we headed straight for the dvd shelf at the Library. I handed her the dvd and she said, "Ah bloo bloo!". Crisis averted.

Kira is also now saying, "NO." And she means it, believe me.

Jackson just blew through all of his milestones so quickly. It is so much fun to watch Kira's skills develop, especially her language skills. Jackson went from babbling to complete sentences in 2.5 seconds. Actually getting to appreciate each little unfolding piece of a new skill is such a blessing.

And finally, some pics just because. (Super windy day at the park a couple of weeks ago)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

In the spirit of sisterhood

Alright, y'all asked for it! I checked in on the blogosphere before getting everyone ready for zoo school this morning, and saw Lisa's post about Tricia's tag.

Here's the deal: Essentially the idea was: take a picture of yourself right now, no touch ups, no primping,! Before you change your mind.

I followed the instructions and took the picture while I was waiting for my coffee this morning. I didn't have time to post then, so here it is now.

Note to self: Do not fall asleep with hair wet ever again. Poor Derek should not have to wake up to that hair.

So, if you're reading this - TAG! Go, now, do it and let me know that you did! (Or I guess I really do have bigger ovaries than you do!)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Thank you, Cheryl!

Cheryl, supermom to 11 including the lovely Ruby, has bestowed upon me the Lemons to Lemonade award. Thank you so much!

Here are the rules for the award:1) Put the logo on your blog or post.2) Nominate at least 10 blogs that show great attitude or gratitude.3) Link to your nominees within your post.4) Let the nominees know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.5) Share the love and link to the person from who you received your award.

I'm sharing the lemonade with:

Lovin Mama @ Livin for the Love
Linda @ Lila's Miracle Life
Jessica @ Ten Squares, Three Squiggles
Melissa @ Banana Migraine
Sonia @ A Hapa Girl and her Hapa Family
Chrystal @ One More, More than One
Laurie @ Days with Dylan
Kim @ Rees's Pieces
Karly @ Our Normal Life
Nicole @ Sweet M & M

Thanks again, Cheryl! (I'm sorry it took me so long to accept!)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter - ahhh sugar sugar

Our Easter weekend was lovely. We spent Saturday and Sunday at my in-laws. The bunny hopped as expected and the kids were pleased with their haul. We weren't able to get one decent shot of the kids in their Easter clothes though. I hope my FIL had better luck.

The kids wore comfy clothes while they waited for dinner. They changed into their finery before we ate.

Here's Jackson munching on candy.
We call this look "stink face."
Kira signing "candy."
Closest thing to a decent shot
Sweet Feet
Little girl
Handsome boy
Kira after falling on her bottom trying to get off of the window seat.
I love how she daintily sucks her thumb.
(The random foot belongs to my niece - her parents don't want her all over the internet, though. Can you imagine?)
I know how you feel, son.

If my FIL ends up with some decent shots, I'll post those later. Hope everyone had a wonderful day!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

couponing - quick tip

More money saving than couponing really. The days after a holiday are a great time to get awesome deals on meat. The grocery stores stock up on premium cuts for celebrating (hams, roasts, steaks, etc.). So, starting Sunday evening and for the next couple of days, watch your store's meat markdown area for those cuts to go 30-50% off or sometimes more. Stock up and freeze them and you'll be set for your next couple of holiday gatherings (or just some really great weekday or Sunday meals!).

Happy Easter, Y'all!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


That's where my mind is these days. So's my home. Obviously the two are related. I don't know if it's spring, or what, but I'm feeling the need to get rid of, clean out, start over.

Mary Ellen had a post awhile back that mentioned Down to Earth, a blog about simple living by a couple in their 60s living in Australia. I am enjoying exploring their site and it's really getting me thinking.

Some quotes that are resonating with me right now:

It is often thought that the person who goes out to work has the important job in the family and will be the deciding factor in how well the family lives. And while that bread winner role is still vitally important, the stay at home partner is equally important. It is the person in the home who will feed the family, manage the money and pinch every penny until it hurts. It is an exciting time for homemakers. Our jobs have always been significant, more so than we were ever given credit for, but now we have the added responsibility of stretching our dollars to get the maximum value from them and helping our family get through the next few years while who knows what will happen. And if we come out of this quickly and unscathed, well, we'll have those skills to help us in the future. It's a win/win situation. (The Frugal Home)

Your life will be different to your friends lives, so don't model yourself on them. You and your family are unique, so create a unique life and piece-by-piece, slowly but surely, new possibilities will open up before you. It won't be easy, you'll work harder at first, but the rewards will be there for the taking. (That first step)

I feel like I'm doing a poor job valuing the many blessings we have in this life and, as a result, I'm doing a poor job teaching my children to value their blessings. I need to make some changes.

Some things knocking around in my head:

1. Sign up for the organic produce co-op a good friend belongs to. I've been mulling this over quite a bit lately. It works out to about $100 a month. That will leave me $150 a month for everything else. I think I can make this work, but I'm nervous. I think putting the bulk of our food money toward organic, local produce is a good thing, though.

2. Cancel my newspaper subscription. The main reason I subscribe is for the coupon inserts. I always end up with inserts from other sources, though. The newspaper itself is a huge part of the clutter that overtakes my house (dining room table, mainly).

3. Re-commit to the TMMO. We've been working the Total Money Makeover for a little over a year. We've made pretty good headway, but I think our gazelle is actually a moose/gazelle hybrid. I'm going to sit down with Derek this week and discuss seriously getting back on board.

4. Set a date for a big 'ol garage sale. Make a schedule for decluttering in preparation for said garage sale. Set up a pick-up time for the Mission to come get whatever doesn't sell. Send proceeds from sale directly to debt.

So, kind of minor things, I guess. It feels good writing them down. I'm hoping that blogging about everything will help me have some accountability. And if you're reading this, thank you for sticking with me!

One final quote from Down to Earth:

So wake up, dive in, be bold, find beauty, slow down, give more, expect less, breathe deeply, take pride, value yourself, respect your work, do good, learn, grow, develop, lead, teach and become your true self, whatever that may be. Unravel the mystery of what your life can become by starting on that journey today. That first step is the hardest, but it's also the most important. (That first step)

here I go.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Ted revisited - this one's for Kam

My friend Kam thinks that last post didn't do Ted justice.

Ted is an unusual kitty. He's about 23 lbs. His eyes occasionally cross and he has kind of a nervous tic where he chews on the inside of his cheek.

It doesn't matter if we feed him diet food or not, he remains a consistent 23 lbs. He does, however, have a sensitive stomach. If he gets hold of people food, he usually pukes it up a couple of hours later.

He is rather demanding. If I am sleeping and he believes himself to be hungry, he will lay on my face until I wake up. That takes about 2 seconds. If we're awake, he'll follow us around meowing until we feed him. If that doesn't work, the destruction begins. He knocks over glasses, shoves things off of tables, and so on.

He almost killed me once. My ex and I were re-doing the floors in our apartment. Everything was rearranged and the couch was shoved up under the bar. I fell asleep on the couch and woke up when the HEAVY pottery pitcher that was on the bar shattered on the floor. It missed my head by 5 inches. But, hey, he was hungry.

He is very gentle and patient with the children. He's quite the character and we love him. Here's more of Ted, so you can appreciate his full-on fluffiness.

Ted in Box

Princess Ted

Ted with Kira

(she's about 18 lbs in this picture - so Ted outweighs her by about 5 lbs here)

Ted and Rocco Jones (RIP sweet Rocco)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Have y'all met Ted?

Just wondering.