Thursday, September 27, 2012

My New Cell Phone

Made by Izzy
While I was out at a meeting...
My altoids case turned cell phone

Inside, "Wishes To Mom, Love Izzy"

Six little flowers with beads glued on.
She's quite good with a glue gun.
She asked me this morning if I'd made my wishes yet.
Love this kid.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Patio Update

If you stopped by in early June,
You would have seen a pile of sand and a pile of bricks.
Here's a shot of it today from the iphone.
I pulled a few muscles and may have broken two fingers,
But phase one has been done for a few months now.
The "outdoor kitchen" constructed by Mark is almost done.
I'm contemplating pulling out a brick tomorrow in the second level.
And then the fun would begin again...

Monday, September 24, 2012

My Little Pumpkin

"Hey Mom, don't I look like a little pumpkin?"

"Yes Sofi, you do!"
3rd grade, age 8

Love that her favorite color is still "construction cone orange."
That's even what she calls it.  :)

She's looking more and more like her big sis.
Linnea's about the same age in the pic behind Sofi's head.

She still plays teacher every day.
She still has to sleep with bun bun, boo boo and blue bear.
She still loves to cuddle.
She'll always be my little pumpkin.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Remix- the Clothing Version

At 16,  I wanted a degree in fashion merchandising.
I took a class my Senior year of high school.
I'd sketch clothes.
Create outfits.
Make huge messes in my bedroom.
Purchase more clothes.
I loved it.
I became a teacher instead.

It was safer.
The school I went to didn't have the degree.
I loved kids.
I loved reading.
I wanted to major in Children's Literature, but it wasn't an option.
So I got a teaching degree.

The profession has changed- a lot.
My mentor used to say the pendulum swings...
and it's swung very far from where it was 19 years ago.
As much as I love teaching, I sometimes think it would be fun to go into fashion.
The teaching market is tough.
I interviewed this Summer.
180 applicants.
A local district had 1400 applicants for a kindergarten job.

 My outfits are a little "out there" at times.
I don't care.
They make me happy.
I like to shop.
And I'm very good at thrifting.

I'm often asked where I shop.
My response usually surprises people.
My closet?
It's my little haven away from the chaos of four kids.
I mix and match to my hearts content.
With four kids, I don't shop too often.

If you're local,
"Community Thrift" on Indian Trail is one of my favorite places.
I've been known to spend five hours there at a time.
Just digging.
If you stay long enough, it's a new inventory!

A newer option is "Plato's Closet."
It's a little pricier than a thrift store, but the digging has been done for you.

My favorite store?
Hands down, "Anthropologie."
I can dig in the sales room and find decent prices...
but shopping there is usually a huge splurge.

Instead I go back to my closet, and remix.
Case in point:  Hollister gray knit ruffle tank dress with polka dot skirted bottom.
I wear it with a ribbed tank from Menards.
Yep, the hardware store sells clothes.
Add my Target mustard cardigan and black leggings.
End with my Born boots.
I wear them almost every day Sept.- April
I can change this outfit and wear it with jean capris, or a shrug, or a white jean jacket.

In a future life, I'd love to style people's clothes...
be the "What not to wear" lady.
Or the window designer for a local store.
I did that once.
I was 16.
I designed the lingerie store windows.
For reals.
If they let me do it at 16, I think it's time to give it a try at 41.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Dumb Things I Do

in effort to be frugal...

Go in for an eyebrow wax.
And leave with no hair on my face.
After my run with my friend, I decided I'd "treat" myself to a wax.
It's been awhile.
My eyebrows are unruly.
The feel of the wax and the pull of the gauze feels pretty relaxing to me.
Really, it does.
I remember Oprah saying it was the cheapest face lift available.
I guess I have her to thank for my stupidity?
To save $, I thought I'd give a local place a try that was cheaper...$6 cheaper.
I'd heard they do a good job, but speak little English.
No problem.
I walked in the room.
Another person was lying in there taking a nap.
That should have been my first clue.
She waxed my brows.
Not as fancy and soothing as the salon down the street.
But hey, I was saving some $, right?
Then she touched above my lip.
"This too?"
"You need it."
Oh boy.  
Next thing I know I have wax cooking in lines across my face.
There seemed to be no rhyme or reason.
It was no longer relaxing.
It was no longer $6 cheaper.
She told me to go look in the mirror.
Nice, hairless, red, blotchy face.
"Red go down in few hours."
I'm still waiting.
Thank goodness it's sunny and windy outside.
I'll just tell people I've been enjoying the breeze.
But hey, my brows look better!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Happy Almost Gotcha Day Izzy!

Here's Izzy on "Gotcha Day"- Sept. 20, 2004
-8 months old-

And last night, our "Gotcha Day" celebration, 
3 days early...thank you crazy schedules.
Just as special to our family as a birthday.
Sofia (8), Izzy (8), Linnea (13), Carl (15)

My 4 babies the moment they met at O'Hare airport, 8 years ago.

Linnea & I had arranged the matching outfits before hand.  :)
Sofi (9 1/2 months old), Izzy (8 1/2 months old), Linnea (5), Carl (7)

And the moment we met our little girl at the Civil Affairs Office in Chongqing, China.

Some things in life you will never forget.

Monday, September 17, 2012

I'm Back- For Good, I Promise

Yikes, it's been a few months...

I contemplated quitting the blogging thing.
For about 999 reasons.
I chose to stick with it.
For good.
It came down to three big reasons.
I've missed this little corner on the internet.
I've missed the friends I've made around the world through it.
I've missed using my voice in this way.

I've been busy "staying home" again- such an oxymoron.
It seems I'm seldom home and spend a lot of time in the minivan.
Time to figure out how to blog in my "mobile office."
I'm not working right now, but in the world of subbing, that can change in a moment.
I'm at peace with being home again.
It's taken awhile to get there.
The monotony, the quiet, the cleaning, the chauffeuring, lots of volunteering, home repair stuff.  
It's all good...just very different from last year.
Kids are happier having me home, esp. child #2.

Izzy surprised me by making dark chocolate covered strawberries for my birthday.
The big 4-1.
I took a "personal day"for myself.
Mark had the car downtown, so I hoofed it around Batavia.
Hit a garage sale, then Target.

I bought myself a pumpkin spice soy latte.
 some pumpkin scented candles...
 some "Fallish" napkins for wine and entertaining...

 My new favorite beauty tool...not sure if it works, but it sure feels good under my puffy allergy eyes! :)
 -and the big exciting supplies for the big Fall deep clean.
Exciting stuff.
Went for a run, worked in the garden, worked on an art piece, and enjoyed the day.

Time to find my "voice" again on here.
Be patient with me.