19 May 2017

Fancy Dress Re-do

Cute dress, right?  I thought so too.  When it comes to dressing my girl, I pretty much give her full control of the reigns as long as what she's wearing is modest and decent.  After all, she IS eight years old and knows absolutely everything about everything.

I had found this super cute daisy dress at a consignment sale, and since blue was the related color I was using in coordinating clothes for the photo shoot I wanted to do with them, I thought this would be perfect.  Especially since it's got daisies all over it and my daughter's name is Daisy.

When I showed it to her she was clearly underwhelmed.  She told me it was "ok".  Ok?  It's gorgeous!  The problem?  She didn't like the sheer white overlay.  She said if the deep blue color popped more (my words) that she would like it better.

So, with a bit of an eye roll I set about examining the dress to see if there was a way for me to fix it to her liking.  Since the overlay was sewn together with the blue fabric, there wasn't any way for me to take it off without ripping the dress apart and then putting it back together.  Quite a bit bigger of a project than I was willing to take on at the moment.

So here's what I did instead:

I cut straight up the middle of the overlay, right up to the waistline.  I did this on both the front and the back of the dress.

Then I just folded over the edge and sewed so that it won't fray.

Starting at the front I folded it under...

...both sides...

Then just tied them into a bow at the back.

So she still had the overlay on the top, but I was hoping having the blue pop on the bottom would be good enough.

And it seemed to be!  This girl likes color.  Bright, bold, beautiful color.  I should have known to get a dress with an overlay that tried to stifle the vibrant blue.  Silly me.  I'm glad this worked.  Crisis averted.

18 May 2017

Screen Time Sticks

The famously coveted "screen time".  My kids are like most kids.  They love tv...video games...ipads...phones...if left unchecked they would probably NEVER put them down or turn off the tv.  While these things are fun and I do want my kids to experience them, I don't want them glued to it to the point where they are missing out on other things or more likely, their brains are turning to mush.  So.  Something had to change because leaving the regulating up to me while I'm also trying to run a household, homeschool, and mother an infant - just wasn't working out too well.

I came up with this idea for the screen time sticks from a few different ideas I saw online and then mashed together.

A really fun part of this project was that I already had most of this stuff:

  • scrapbook paper
  • scrapbook stickers
  • store bought icing containers
  • hot glue gun
  • sharpie marker
  • jumbo craft sticks
  • easy to stick/remove wall hook things
  • hole punch (not pictured)

I covered the icing containers with scrapbook paper, using the hot glue to attach it.  Applied some fun stickers, and wrote their names with a Sharpie.

I color coded the sticks, assigning a color to each kid.  The number on top is how much screen time they get for that stick.

Then I wrote the task for each one on them.

This frame is something that I had on hand that I wasn't currently using.  It's one of my past projects.  It's a simple black picture frame that I took the glass out of, glued scrapbook paper and cork board to it, and then for this project I added the hook things to it (which I found at Dollar General).

I used a hole punch to put a hole in the back side of each cup.

Then hung up the cups and put the sticks in!  I also started a couple lists of suggestions for things they can do for the "Be Creative" stick and the "Do Something Kind" stick that I will hopefully add more to soon.  So far I think the system is working out pretty good.  We still have days that are worse than others where the kids would rather have screen time than do anything else, but for the most part, this works out quite well.  I like how it puts the responsibility on them and not on me to make sure they're not watching too much.  I also tried to do things that weren't just chores.  It helps them to use more of their brain and to think of someone other than themselves.

Do you have a system for regulating screen time that works for you?  Please share!

15 September 2014

Battle of the Mind today: See who won

Photo Credit and AWESOME post!!

A stream of thoughts that went through my head on my run this morning at any given time between 5:15 and 5:50 am:

Oh my gosh I've never been this tired.
Yes you have, that's stupid.
Man, I really am tired though.
Just get through this - then go to bed early for once tonight.

Gosh I'm slow.  I'm barely jogging, really.
But you're moving.
Might as well be walking.
Just keep it above a walk.  You can do this.
Seriously though, I might as well be walking.
Don't you dare.

Holy cow I've only done two laps?  I feel like I should be done by now!
Don't look at your phone.  Don't look at your phone. Just run. Don't worry about time today.
Wish I didn't have to carry it.....wait, what is this?.......there's a pocket in these pants for my phone?  GET. OUT!  My pants just got a whole lot cooler.  I have cool pants.

My race is going to kill me on Saturday, I can't believe it's been so long since I've been out here.
Your race will only make you stronger, and prove that you haven't lost as much traction as you thought.
Yeah, but I'm going to DIE.
That's dumb, you will not.
Seriously though, there's hills.  My last races didn't have hills.  I'm doomed.
Worst that will happen is you have to walk some of it.
I don't want to walk some of it.  I want to run the whole thing.
Yeah, but if you *have* to walk..
I'm not walking.

I can do this.  I know I can do this.  I KNOW I can do this!  I'm DOING this!!

The battle of the mind is REAL!  I may have thrown some funny stuff in there because, well, that really is how my mind goes but in all seriousness, I don't think people give enough credit to the strength and power that their mind holds.

One of my favorite quotes that I think I've posted here before is, 

"Whether you think you can or you think you can't - you are right." -Henry Ford

What we tell ourselves is extremely important.  Make sure it's positive.  Positivity breeds success.  And I think we all would like some of that.  :)

06 August 2014

Why a girl called me pregnant and why I didn't punch her in the face

This morning as I was lapping my neighborhood at 5:30 am, the mental war that was waging was even more intense than usual.  I kept thinking about how if I was in this same physical situation ten years ago I would bounce back in no less than a couple weeks.  I'm older now.  My muscles take longer to recover.  I'm bigger.  My body feels different.  My frame of balance is not what it used to be.  And it's hard.  So hard.  Then the defeat started sinking in.  Why not quit?  Not forever, just for today.  Just quit.  Stop running.  Walk back home.  Who cares?  Who freaking cares.

I do.

Because giving in just this once starts a downward spiral that I have sworn to never fall into again.  Because quitting today means a reason to quit tomorrow.

Everyone goes through it.  You start something new, be it a new exercise regimen, a new diet, a new habit, etc.  You start out all fired up and nothing can stop you.  Then hard days start to creep in here and there.  All of a sudden you don't feel so strong or sure of yourself.  You start questioning your reasons for starting in the first place and whether or not it's really that worth it.

Then it hit.  A memory.  One I had pushed aside soon after it happened because I had deemed it unworthy to ponder (and rightly so).  This memory was the final blow.  As I was forcing one foot in front of the other over and over again, I remembered something.

It was my first 5k, almost exactly three months ago.  I was happy.  I was determined.  I was a little nervous.  I was about halfway through the course, huffing and puffing my way along at a much faster speed than I had ever done in my preparation for this race.  I was proud of myself.  I was excited, and yet very close to tears (happy ones) as I thought about what I was doing and what it meant for not only me, but also my family.

There were two girls in front of me, running at a slightly slower pace than I was, so I decided to run around them.  Just as I got to about 2-3 paces ahead, I overheard the one girl tell the other,

"See?  It's when I see someone like that who is pregnant and doing this race that it gives me hope that I won't ever have to quit!"

I looked around.  There were women of all shapes and sizes joining me in this race, but at this particular moment in time (of course) not one single girl around me was higher than a size 5.

It was me.  I was the "pregnant (one) doing this race and giving her hope that she won't ever have to quit".  Awesome.  Glad I could help.

The comment really didn't bother me at the time.  I knew it was true.  I knew to someone that didn't know any better I looked to be about 4-5 months pregnant.  That's part of the reason I was out here.  I wanted to change.  I wanted my pre-baby body back.  So that was it.  I didn't even turn around.  I let it slide right off and hardly blinked an eye.

But that comment didn't go away.  It was filed deep into my brain so that on really hard days when I can barely push on it can come back to haunt me.  Or fuel me.

Today it haunted...AND fueled.

After I was finished feeling sorry for myself I revisited all the reasons why I was doing this in the first place and came to the conclusion that YES, it is most definitely worth it.

There are hard days.  Days where I can barely move faster than a walk.  Days where nothing I wear fits right.  Days where a complete stranger makes wrong assumptions about me.  Days where the pain and hurt force out the joy and triumph.  These hard days, I have found, are absolutely worth it.

Because for all the hard days, there are also good, excellent, AMAZING days!  The days where I blow my own best out of the water.  The days when I can keep up with my kids without stopping to rest.  The days where I feel good about myself and what I am teaching my kids through my own trials and victories.

So to the girl who thought I was pregnant, I thank you.  May you never quit.  May whatever comments that come back to haunt you on your hard days never get the best of you.  May they fuel your fire to keep going, to never give up.

27 May 2014

Backpacking To The Library

Since being down to one car, I miss being able to just up and go somewhere with the kids during the day since the Hubs has the car at work.  Today we didn't let it stop us!  Trip to the library!  

One thing is for sure, I was prepared.  I can't believe I forgot to take a picture of the boys in the bike trailer/stroller.  Ice water, bag of books to return, diaper bag with essentials of diapers, wipes, and a change of clothes for the potty training dude.  Daisy rode her scooter, I jogged while pushing the stroller.  It really wasn't that far - just over a mile - but quite a hike for little ones.  One the way back, Daisy wanted to ride so her and Jesse switched out.  We hung the scooter over the stroller and Jesse jogged beside me.  When he got tired about 1/4 of the way from home, I put him on my shoulders and pushed the stroller.  If only the paparazzi had come along just then.  They're always just missing me, it seems.

Daisy was such a trooper!  We walked into the library, hot, sweaty, and red as beets.  I'm sure we were a sight.  People just smiled.  We freshened up in the bathroom and fully enjoyed our library play time. 

Our library has an awesome kids section.  Not only great books but also toddler appropriate computer games as well as oodles of learning toys.  My kids could stay busy there for several hours.  Unfortunately we only had about 30 minutes before we had to head back so we could get lunch and get into nap time.

Okay, let me just be a proud Momma and brag for a minute.  Jesse is currently potty training and has been doing so good.  Today was his first time "out" without a pull up.  Completely dry the whole time.  AND he jogged almost the whole way back home.  He just might be my athlete.  

Now nap time!  Kid tip #354: If you want kids to take a good nap, drag them around town for a couple miles in the hot sun.  Works every time.

11 May 2014

First 5k: Complete

Pre-race. Apprehensive. Excited. Nervous.

I did it!  While my family and friends never questioned my ability to meet this goal, I had my doubts.
I thought I would probably be walking half of it, throwing myself across the finish line dead last, after the awards were handed out and three quarters of everyone had gone home.

But that's not what happened.
I'm not really sure that I can adequately put into words what this experience has been.  I feel like I accomplished what I set out to do.  I feel like reaching the next goal is possible.  

I ran with 3,999 other women/girls today.  All with a goal.  All with a purpose.  All on their own, individual journey.

My Cheering Section

There are so many reasons why I run, but these three miracles are a huge part of it!


I started out this race thinking if I can just finish in under an hour I would be happy.  I finished in 39:45.  One of the reasons I was worried is because I have done most of my training on the treadmill, which is a world of a different track than running outside.  I ran outside a handful of times the last two weeks before the race, attempting to adjust my body to outside running.  It didn't go very well for the most part.  It discouraged me more than anything except for maybe one or two days.  I ran around my neighborhood, which also has hills.  The course today was flat except for one hill.  I think that made the difference.

Next up?
The Color Run on May 31st!

I think I might be hooked.  I told Josh as we were getting in the car to come home that I think I just might be a runner for life.  

My post-run, Mother's Day roses - nothing ever smelled so sweet!

I feel like my running posts have hijacked my blog.  Hopefully we can get back to our regularly scheduled crafting program very soon!  I've been a little busy.  :)

09 May 2014

The Countdown Begins

In a mere 41 hours I will have started my first 5k.

I'm excited.

I'm nervous.

I already have to pee every 5 minutes.

I mentioned before that this is a Mother's Day Run.  There was a time where I struggled with the realization that I may never be a mother.  Something I have always known I wanted to be.

This run represents never forgetting that time in my life.  It celebrates the three little rugrats that are now in my life.  It is the start of my journey to health and hopefully many more 5ks to come.  It is about meeting a goal, striving to be better and stronger.

It is all of these things and more.
So, as I go out now on my last run before race day, I am more than grateful.
And I think I have to pee again....