Living life in the carpool lane..

Archive for August 2015

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The stories are all over social media.  Someone does a good deed.  Those stories show that there are still good people in this world.  Despite all the negativity in the news and in this world, there is a glimmer of hope that good still exists.

I never thought it would happen to me.

I never thought I’d be the recipient of a random act of kindness.

But on August 6th, I was.

It was my second attempt at going to the DMV to renew my license.  The first time, I didn’t realize that the DMV opened an hour later than normal and since Hubby was on vacation, we had places to go.  So, I decided to try again two days later.  Two days later, I find myself in line again for the DMV.

While in line, a DMV employee was going down the morning line making sure everyone had the proper paperwork.  I was given a clipboard to fill out some last minute information and noticed a sign on the clipboard.

“CASH OR CHECK ONLY. NO CREDIT CARDS.”

Cash?  Not enough in my wallet.  Check book?  In my other purse.  ATM Card?  I forgot my PIN# so I couldn’t withdraw any cash.

I call up Hubby again to tell him that I was going home AGAIN because I didn’t have the money to complete the renewal.

The gentleman behind me heard that this was my second attempt to visit the DMV and said he would hold my place in line while I went to the ATM.  I told him that I didn’t know my PIN#.

Then, he shocked me.

He offered to pay for my driver’s license renewal.

I was shocked.  I told him that I wanted to get his mailing address or email address or some sort of information so that I could pay him back.

He told me not to worry.  He said he did stuff like this all the time.  He liked helping people.  He told me the only thing he would like me to do was pay it forward.  He wanted to me to do something nice for someone else in need.

Cue the tears.

I cried.  Tears streamed down my face.  I was so grateful.

My faith in humanity was restored.  It was a great remember that there is still good in this world.

I received my new driver’s license in the mail the other day.  I owe it all to the kindness of one man in line with me at the DMV.  Every time I see my license, I will be reminded that there are still good people out there and that I have to be good to others as well.

Chevron Quilt Part 1

Progress on this quilt is a lot slower than I’d like to admit.  Ideally, this quilt should come together quickly.  It’s finding the time to get it done that is proving to be difficult.  I am determined to get this quilt completed before the weather starts to cool off.  Plus, posting progress on the blog gives me a bit of accountability.

Ok.. so here we go..

When we last left off, I was cutting fabric into triangles.  I finished that and began arranging the triangles into the chevron pattern I love so much.

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I laid out the entire quilt.  It gave me an idea of how big the quilt might be and how many triangles I really needed to create the quilt.

Then, I started putting the half-square triangles together.

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After sewing them together, I took them to the ironing board to set the seam on press it flat…

I learned a very important lesson from doing this…

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The final half-square triangles are smaller than the original square!  Ok.. maybe I should have known this, but I didn’t.  On the left is the 5in square I created all the triangles with.  On the right is the completed half-square triangle that is now a 4.5in square.

It changes things.  My original layout of the quilt showed how big the quilt will approximately be.  Now, I might have to add extra rows and columns to make it the size I desire.

Good thing I have a lot of extra triangles to play with.

I have to finish sewing all the half-square triangles together before I can decide if I need more.  I’m hoping at the next update, I’ll have a better idea of what I’m doing!

The one difference I’ve noticed between my two girls is that K is NOT a sleeper.

M is a great sleeper.  She can easily sleep 11-12 hours a night.  Although she doesn’t nap as often anymore, when she did, she could easily do 2-3 hours.

K is the last one to sleep, first one to wake up.  Her naps are cat naps compared to her sister.  It’s very rare that she nap for more than 30 minutes.

I’m pretty sure M spoiled us with the whole sleeping thing.  K just brought us back down to reality.

The bottom line is… I’m tired.

We have been watching Masha and The Bear for a long time.  Click here for my first blog post about this super cute animated series.

We’ve been watching it in Russian and on Youtube for years now.

Earlier this month, Masha and The Bear joined Netflix… IN ENGLISH!

Now, M had been watching Masha in English for awhile now since they started showing the English versions on Youtube.  But when we discovered that Masha was joining Netflix, it’s like we’ve fallen in love with the series all over again!

There are nine episodes on Netflix.  Each episode contains 3 different stories, all of which we have seen in Russian and loved.

While we always were able to pull the storyline from each show based on what we were seeing, it’s great to actually understand the dialogue now that it’s in English.  So super cute!While M used to sing the songs from the show in Russian, M thinks it’s great that she can finally sing along and understand the lyrics in English.I can’t wait for them to release more episodes!  We’ve seriously been watching it every day!

It’s been non-stop ‘on the go’ since K learned how to pull herself up on to anything that can hold her weight.

Her favorite thing to do in the playpen is pull herself up and side-step around the perimeter while holding on to the rail.

She’s done it so many times that she’s starting to get daring.

She’s starting to experiment with how big her steps and her reach can take her.  Sometimes, she tries to let go and just get from end to end with the least amount of steps possible.  This usually leads to her falling.  She falls.  She falls a lot.  Luckily, the bottom of the playpen isn’t too hard.  She also is learning how to catch herself if she falls forward.  She also falls on her diaper-bootie.

She falls so much because of her determination to walk without support.

She’s incredibly determined.

There are times where she will pull herself up to standing, then turn her body so her back is against the mesh of the playpen.  She will then let go of the railing and allow the mesh to support her.

There are times where she just lets go of the railing completely and finds her balance for over 10 seconds.  During that time of perfect balance, she either tries to lean for a different location, or she grabs on to the railing again for more support.

I love watching her development.  I love watching her try.  I love watching her face when she feels like she’s succeeded in what she was planning on doing.  I love her determined spirit when she falls and just picks herself up again.

The drive in her is just so strong.  Her personality simply shines through.

What else does she have in store for us?  I can’t wait to find out!

There are some techniques I have just learned to fall in love with.  Heat embossing and water color resisting is one of them.

I love the resulting look of this technique so much that I decided to create a card set around it.

That’s how the Birthday Stars Card Set was born.

UntitledBirthday cards!  Everyone needs birthday cards, right?

UntitledThere are people born everyday, hence, a birthday is celebrated everyday!  What better way to be prepared by having a card set of birthday cards on hand?!

UntitledDon’t be caught without a birthday card on someone’s birthday.  By owning this card set, you won’t have to drive out to the closest store to buy a birthday card at the last minute.

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Every card is handmade.  That means that the card set you receive may not look exactly like you see in the photos.  But that’s the beauty of handmade.  Give the gift of a one of a kind, handmade birthday card to someone special.

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This card set is $20 + $6.50 shipping. These cards are made to order.  Please allow approximately 1 week after receipt of payment for the card to be shipped out to you.

Please visit the Etsy listing here for more information.

I love my Day Designer Today & To Do.  Click here read more about my thoughts on this planner.

I love that the planner is a daily spread.  It’s a day a page.

Perfect for memory keeping.

Some days are more interesting than others, but I feel like every day has a story.  Every day is full of memories.

I just wish I was doing this sooner.

UntitledI love looking back on the day before and then seeing the blank page of the new day.  Every day is a blank slate waiting to be filled.  It’s a refreshing and reviving thought to have, especially if I had an exhausting day before.

I like to find little pieces of memorabilia from our day to stick into the planner.  When I look back, I can see what kind of things we actually used or visited.  It’s like a time capsule in a book.

UntitledI also love recording days that are just filled with so many fun memories.  On our first trip to Legoland as passholders, I made sure to grab a map so I could cut out all the fun places we went to in the park.  M loves looking at this page and talking about all the fun things she did at Legoland that day.  I will always make sure to grab a map or other forms of simple memorabilia when we go to the park to help document our days there.

UntitledThe good and the bad.  The triumphs and failures.  I want to remember it all.  I want to remember that my life was always interesting and so far from perfect.  It would be fun for M or K to read back on these days and see what sort of shenanigans they would get into.

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I simply am in love with this form of memory keeping.  I’ve had no time to scrapbook lately and this has been a great alternative.  I also think that this form of memory keeping is a great supplement to scrapbooking.  I will be able to look at the photos and look for the day the photo was taken revive some memory for the journaling on the layout.

This form of memory keeping is also a great way to exercise some creativity.  Every night, when the kids go to bed, I sit at the table with my planner and just doodle and play with various styles of hand lettering for the day’s entries.  I find it so relaxing and helps me unwind after a busy day of wrangling two busy girls.

M starts preschool this week.

I’ve been trying so hard to avoid thinking about it, but I’ve got a parent meeting/orientation with the teacher tomorrow, so there is really no avoiding it.

I just can’t believe that my little girl is old enough for school.

Watching all the little babies around me, I’ve always felt that once the kid starts school, time flies at this crazy speed and before you know it, they are grown up.  I’ve seen it happen so many times before.

I don’t feel like I’m ready to accept that my little M is growing up.

I mean, I’m very happy for her.  I’m happy that she’s growing up.  I’m happy that she’s getting these opportunities to learn and grow. I’m happy to watch her blossom.

I just don’t want to let go of the “baby” in her.  I don’t want to let go of the “little” in her.

She looks up to me.  She seeks me out for cuddles.  She loves me and it shows.

As she gets older, things will change.  Hormones will take over.  We’ll fight.  We’ll disagree.  The hugs and the cuddles will slowly disappear.  She won’t be that little girl that calls me her ‘best friend.’  She won’t be that little girl that will just cover my face in sloppy kisses.  Those sloppy kisses will turn into hurried pecks on the cheek.  I’ll embarrass her.  Instead of hearing her sweet voice calling me “mommy,”  I’ll get exasperated and annoyed “mom!”

I’m not ready for that.

I’m not ready to let go of my baby.

I just feel like starting school is like opening the door to all these changes.

I’m just not ready.

We are officially Legoland passholders.

Yes.  One full year of unlimited access to Legoland.

We were so excited to be passholders we went to Legoland TWICE last week.

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We spent TONS of time in their new Heartlake City area where the Lego Friends perform on stage.

UntitledWe’ve seen the show three times already and she’s loved being able to get up and dance with the girls!

UntitledThe great thing about Legoland is the water.  Not only do they have that awesome water park, but they have splash pads scattered through out the park.  If you know M, you know that she LOVES the water and getting wet.

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K got to spend time in the water park too.  She played in the baby/toddler wading pool and got to crawl around a small area of the baby/toddler splash pad.  I wish I could have taken photos, but I didn’t want to risk ruining my phone!

M also got to ride rollercoasters for the very first time.  She went with Hubby on her first coaster.  She LOVED it so much.  She was so excited to ride another one.  We reached another rollercoaster and we were very surprised that she easily reached the 40in height requirement.  I got to go on that other roller coaster with her.  When we asked her which coaster she liked better she said, “Both!”  I love how brave she is!

I’m sure there will be plenty of Legoland stories to come.  I’m so happy we get to have these passes and create these wonderful memories for our girls.

It’s tough.

There are days that I feel like I’m being pulled in opposite directions.

K is at that age where the attention is constant.  Not only does she crave personal contact, she’s also very active and needs to be hovered over to make sure she doesn’t hurt herself.  Even in the playpen, an enclosed space, she needs to be carefully watched since she has learned how to stand and grip her way around the perimeter.  But she’s also trying to let go, stand on her own, and trying to take shortcuts from one corner of the playpen to the other.  This results in constant falling if I’m not there to catch her.

M just wants my attention.  It’s totally understandable.  It’s sad.

If I had to break it down, I feel like I spend 85% of my time dealing with K and only a mere 15% dealing with M.

It makes me feel bad because I know M misses me.

She tries to steal moments every once and awhile.  More often than not, it’s when I’m in the middle of watching her little sister.

It breaks my heart when she tries to sit on my lap while her sister is playing on the floor and crawling away somewhere.  I constantly have to ask her (nicely and apologetically) to get off my lap so I can make sure K is safe.

Bedtime was always my time to catch up with M.  However, K is going through an extremely clingy stage and will not allow Hubby to put her to bed at all.  If M and I go upstairs for bed, K will cry and cry until I have no choice but to go take care of her.

I know it’s a phase K is going through and everything will work itself out, but I just feel so terrible about how uneven my attention is.

Luckily, Hubby had the week off last week (hence, no blogs) and I was able to take M on a little ‘mommy and me’ date.  We went out to Michael’s to go craft shopping and then we had a milkshake.  I could tell she loved spending that time with me and it seemed to refresh her when we got home.

I’m hoping to find more time alone with her every so often so she doesn’t feel so neglected.

How did you deal with the difference of attention between your children?  I’d love to hear how you deal with this in the comments below!


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