Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Inspiring Blog Post...

Book_cover_250 


Amanda over at Soule Mama wrote a great post today...

She normally writes posts about her lovely family and their sweet life together. I've always envied her that. She seems so put-together and her kids seem so mellow and happy. I have wondered: 'why am I such a mess when other moms are doing such a good job?'  

This is always a dangerous path because I have WONDERFUL days with my boys where everyone is happy and things just flow but...I also have hideous days when I can't wait til bedtime and a small reprieve from the demands of parenthood and running a household. And...

I'm not alone. That's what parenting is about, that's what life is about. For everyone.

Spring Cleaning: Pantry!

How boring is it to see pictures of my mundane housewifery? But--it's immensely satisfying for me to see my newly organized pantry so I'm posting it! I only cleaned it yesterday, even though I had planned on doing it last week. Oh, well! :) Next up is my bathroom cabinets. I want to go through all my products and beauty stuff next, believe me--there's a LOT!

How's YOUR spring cleaning going? 



Finished Embroidery!

Over the weekend I started this project. It was fun and not too hard, I think my embroidering skills are coming right along. I traced the pattern onto the fabric with a disappearing ink fabric pen and got right to work. I did LeeLee's first:

Then Moomers: I tried to make a yellow ringer t, but it kind of looks like Mr. T gold chains!
There are, of course some mistakes but overall I'm happy with the way it turned out! Now I just need to figure out if I'm going to go forward with the original project and turn these into pillows or stitch them onto something else.

Pictures From the Weekend

In no particular order, here are some pictures from our weekend! We had a nice, mellow weekend. I worked on Saturday which kind of threw me off since I usually work on Sundays, but it turned out to be fine. S had some nice alone time with the boys and surprised me by picking me up a bluetooth headset and a webcam. Two things I didn't think I needed but--wow, how handy it's been to have them around! 

With the webcam I was able to Skype with my bff, Kelly and "meet" her new baby. It was great! And having a wireless hands-free headset for my phone is awesome too!

My Sweet boys..they can't stay in their clothes for long!



My chicken-girl, Monkey finally grew back her butt feathers!


SO much better!!


She definitely protects her backside much more than before. It seems to be working, the other girls are leaving her alone more or less. She used to hang out with the rest of them but now she keeps to herself. 


Sad Moomers...


Poor little guy! I'm not sure what he was upset about...is it wrong that I think his sad face is so adorable?

Me


And my shadow...


LeeLee cherub face


My tattoo...


Looking up into my favorite oak tree while lying in my backyard...


Take that!


Fun with Uncle Pete


They all wore each other ragged!


Uncle Pete got you, LeeLee!


Isn't Moomers' pointy finger super cute? How can he bend it like that?!

My Mooms


My Lee


Poor Moomers was bit by a GOOSE! :(  He came home from the computer store crying with a cut and bruised leg. Apparently they stopped by a park and a goose ran up and bit his leg. Poor guy had nightmares two nights in a row after that...






Cute Project!

Love this!

I have lots of mens' shirts laying around, just begging for a makeover!

Happy Birthday, Bubba!!!!


Today is my little brother, Bubba's birthday and it just occurred to me that it's the BIG 3-0!!!! He lives in Dallas so I don't see him as often as I would like (um, every day!) but I'm glad to at least be in the same state!  I hope you have a great day, Bubba--we love you!!!

ps: Your present's gonna be late...sorry! :(  But have a piece of this virtual (I'm sure it's vegan! ;) cake while you wait! xoxoxo

Happy Birthday Guitar Pictures, Images and Photos

Monday, March 30, 2009

Scabby Robot on About.com!

                * Photo courtesy of www.scabbyrobot.comGo check out this interview with my friend and former roomie, Jill of Scabby Robot! And while you're at it check out her website and Etsy shop!

Monday Morning Gratitude

I am feeling cranky this morning. The boys woke up last night when S and I were watching a movie together. I wasn't in the mood to be yanked back into motherhood yet--but, of course I dragged myself out of my husband's warm embrace to go to my boys, who needed me. 

They have woken up two nights in a row screaming, bad dreams I guess. Their little voices are indistinguishable as they call for their mama. I could have sent S in to comfort them but when they are in that state, it just makes it worse. 

I woke up tired, the boys didn't want S to leave for work this morning so they woke up immediately when they heard his footsteps in the hallway. It was earlier than I wanted to be up and I tried to burrow back into my little cocoon. Every morning S makes tea for me. It's always waiting when I wake up, and I guess I've come to rely on it. This morning he forgot and it bummed me out immensely. 

I have end-of-month work reports and bills to pay and I am in a funk. I'm feeling cranky and not at all in the mood to be warm and fuzzy. So when I received an email in my Facebook inbox from the "Gratitude" group that I belong to reminding me to post something I am grateful for today I took it as a sign to drag myself out of my crappy mood. 

Here is what I am grateful for this morning:

1. Two sweet boys who, after I served them breakfast played quietly and did not hurt themselves, each other or our house while I slept for an extra hour--a first. Usually I have to get up when they do, like it or not. 

2. My silly cackling chickens. It's hard to be cranky when I watch them play and listen to their silly chicken talk. It's especially great to know that the sound they are making means they are laying eggs for us!

3. My husband, who will watch chick flicks with me and get choked up at the end when the girl gets the guy or vice versa. 

4. A brand new jar of peanut butter (hiding in the pantry I still haven't organized yet) when I was craving a pb&j and thought I was out of peanut butter. 

5. The opportunity to be at home with my boys and watch their curiosity and skills grow. Today they brought our their crayons and markers and paper and asked me to help them learn letters, so amazing.


Well, I have to say I do feel better after writing that list and thinking happy thoughts. I do enjoy my life and am grateful for everything and everyone in it. Now, to eat my pb&j and take care of my (unpleasant) end-of-the month tasks. 

Happy Monday!

New Issue of Snippets Magazine is Out!

photo from www.cutoutandkeep.net

Check out the new issue of Cut Out & Keep's Snippets magazine, including my new article on gift-giving for men!  

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Happy Birthday Jhanell!!!!!

Bonham with my little nephew Elliott!!! Adorable boys!



Today is my sweet friend Jhanell's birthday!!! (my boys call her Nellie) 

She is my baby brother's baby mama's best friend (are you following that?! ;) and used to live in the same town in Arizona that I did. We didn't meet until she and her boyfriend (I was friends with him when I lived in AZ) moved here to Austin. And even then it took us forever to hang out! 

But--I'm so glad we did, she's a sweet girl and a fantastic mama to her little man. I can't wait to have a birthday playdate this week to celebrate!!!!!

Happy Blog-a-Versary to Meeeeeeeee!!!!

Celebration Cake & cupcake set Pictures, Images and Photos

Well, I made it. Here we are at post number 1,000 on the second anniverary of Mama Sings the Blues!!!!
 Whew !I just browsed through my earlier entries and I am amused by my little journey. There is a definite pattern. It goes a little something like this.

  1. I run myself ragged and don't take care of myself. 
  2. I start to get to the point where I can't function.
  3. I argue with S and get cranky in general.
  4. I vow to not do that anymore and do yoga, take vitamins and exercise more.
  5. I feel much better.
  6. I do some crafts and/or bake something.
  7. Life is good.
Anyway, this blog has been such a lifeline for me. To anyone who is reading this: thank you from the bottom of my heart. I have been able to process so much stuff on this blog and meet/commincate with so many amazing people from all over the world. 

What have I been up to the past two years? Well--here is my very first entry and here was my entry from this time last year. (Last year I thought my blog-a-versary was March 27th but I was mistaken...) I went from sporadically blogging in 2007 (109 posts) to hyper-blogging last year. (674 posts) 

Last Spring I picked up a copy of Artful Blogging and that really inspired me. I dropped the boring blogger template and changed the name of the blog...twice. Out of the clear blue sky the name Mama Sings the Blues came to me. My other blog is named Skin Rhythm so maybe there was a subconscious Rhythm & Blues kind of thing going on. I was surprised that no one else was using it. 

I loved it so much that I bought the URL this year so now and forever (or until I keep paying Google $9.95 a year ;) this name is mine! 

I am also so thankful to have had a place to chronicle my life at home with the boys. They have grown so much and there is so much I have forgotten already. I love re-reading old entries and seeing older pictures. I can't tell you how happy I am to not be a "new mother" anymore. I have officially earned my Mama Merit Badge--two of them--and it feels great!

I have also really been able to step up my craftiness. I went from only sporadically knitting in 2007 to learning decoupage, and jewelry making in '08. This year I have expanded to embroidery, sewing and stenciling and feel confident enough to attempt anything that interests me. What a great feeling!

So now to the fun part: THE GIVEAWAY!

I decided to give you, dear reader the gift of stress relief because that is what this blog has been for me. So--all you have to do is leave me a comment telling me how you found my blog and why you read it (come out lurkers, it's a special occasion!) and you will be entered to win this:



"Promotes health & well being of body organism, harmonizes connections amongst physical, mental & emotional senses,embraces skin with a super feeling..."


Dr. Hauschka is one of my very favorite holistic skincare companies and this oil is amazing. I will draw one name at random on April 5th. Good luck and be sure to leave me your email address! And again, thank you so much for reading and connecting with me. I really enjoy blogging and reading comments!


Saturday, March 28, 2009

Pictures From My Camera: Last Week

Rainy days mean muddy boys...




Silly sulky solvy stuff...


Mmmm....afternoon tea & snack time!

Linen closet after...trust me, it's an improvement!

Inspired by this, I decided to hang up one of my favorite but rarely worn dresses!

Pretty!

I HAVE to do this project! So cute!

I'm feeling pretty good about embroidering...I'm still a bit shaky but have the general hang of it I think. I had fun doing silly things like trying to attach stabilizer to my fabric but...well, look I can just trace the design directly onto the fabric with my best friend the disappearing ink fabric pen! See how I like to do things the hard way?! ;)  I think I will make two boys instead and save the girl idea for a gift later on...

Check it out!

I haven't thought much about Easter but these may be great in the boys' baskets. I've never given them an official Easter basket but now they're at the perfect age for one!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Fitness

Kyra won the 100 hurdles Pictures, Images and Photos
from www.photobucket.com

I have always taken fitness for granted. I have the type of body/temperment that NEEDS excercise. But I haven't really been getting any AT ALL. I do yoga sporadically, maybe 3 times per month but aside from that I've chosen to glue my ass to the chair in which in currently sits. 

I posted over 600 blog entries last year. That's a lot of sitting. I also did a lot of crafting...also from my chair. I do chase the boys around but not far--our house is 1,200 square feet! 

I've been taking 6 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar (2 tsp. 3x daily) for a week or so now and it seems to be stabilizing my blood sugar (hypoglycemic) because I have been experiencing far fewer fuzzy brain moments. 

Today I popped in one of my all time favorite exercise tapes thinking I'd just do a quick workout. I barely made it through the first segment--legs, which is sad because my legs have always been the strongest part of my body. 

After that I took a walk around my neighborhood with 70 lbs. worth of boys in the double stroller. It was raining hard today--I woke up thinking I would get a long, lazy day of cleaning and baking (like the one I had yesterday) but then the clouds cleared and the sun came out and I realized it was time to start taking better care of myself. 

I ran into an old neighbor (she used to live a few houses down but moved, she still visits because her in-laws still live there) and we got to talking about fitness and parenting. She has three boys and is around my age. S and I always wanted to be better friends with them but we were all too sealed in our little house bubbles. 

She urged me to join her gym and meet her and her boys for exercise. They have a "Kid's Club" and will watch your children while you work out. They have lots of good classes and a hot tub. I admit, thinking about doing a yoga or kickboxing class followed by a soak in the hot tub while someone else took care of my boys sounded tempting. 

I just signed up for a free 7 day pass. We'll see. I do have lots of videos at home, but the problem is the boys take that time to jump on me and cause me to bump into them when I'm trying to do a lunge. 

As I was walking I felt sad that I have neglected myself so much. I have connected to the internet but disconnected from myself. I fall asleep every night, my head swimming with other people's thoughts and opinions. I have dreams about whether or not I responded to a particular email. I have zero connection to my body aside from getting mad when it doesn't look the way I want it to. 

I'm trying not to get discouraged or be too hard on myself. I know how I am, I'm tempted to go whole hog in the other direction and that's not the right way to approach it. I know how to take care of myself and I do have some good habits, I just need to be more physically active before I am 20 pounds heavier than I would like as opposed to five. 

I realized that I've been avoiding anything that takes real physical effort. If I have to struggle I don't do it. Yesterday I took a short bike ride and it was glorious. When I lived in San Francisco it took a huge effort just to walk up my steep street. I didn't drive the whole time I lived there so I walked everywhere. I did take the bus but I did a LOT of walking. In Berkeley where I lived next I rode my bike everywhere including five miles to work each way. I loved it and really miss being able to do that here.

Why can't I? Well, because in the Bay Area there are bike lanes on the streets and drivers are more aware of cyclists. Here it is dangerous to ride, I know loads of people who have been seriously injured by negligent motorists. Plus, the weather here is just not the same as it is there. I could ride my bike to work and not be a sweaty mess the way I would be here. And now I have two kids so that makes it more challenging too. But I love my bikes and wish I had more time with them. I guess I have to make more time. 

I'm eating a salad and the birds are chirping. I wish I could say I felt like running a marathon or something but really, I would love a nap...

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Sweet Video: Art

Rainy Day Creating

The rain has been terrible on the one hand because the boys get cranky and wound up and I get irritated and short tempered. We have a small house and sometimes it feels suffocatingly so.

But--on the plus side, we have lots of projects we can work on. Here are some recent ones:


Finished freezer stencils, waiting to be used for...something!

I'm big on birds lately...must be the inspiration in my own backyard!

Yesterday was S's mom's birthday (Nana) Here's the card I made for her:

And the card Moomers made:

And the card LeeLee made:

I really can't explain how happy and content I am to be in my little craft corner, surrounded my my projects and supplies..

I'm trying to learn how to embroider and so far it's been a lot of fun. I found some patterns online and printed them out but then...didn't know how to get them onto my fabric. I had some stabilizer but no tracing paper so I decided to see if I could use it. It was really great for tracing since it's clear:

But then I wasn't sure what to do with it. I taped it on top...but that was kind of janky/slid around a lot. So I used a small paintbrush to wet the edges. It's a dissolvable stabilizer so it melted into the fabric. Then I ironed the back to dry the water and stop it from spreading to the rest of the template. (if you notice, there are two of each little design: mushrooms, cowboy hats and little squid things--there was only one originally but since I have twins it didn't feel right to not have both represented!)

I love learning a new craft because right now I have no clue what I am doing, I'm just noodling around. I know I am not doing anything in the "correct" way and that's ok. I feel comfortable with a few different stitches thanks to Jenny Hart (I am eternally grateful to her for posting a guide for LEFT HANDED stitchers! It has helped immensely!)

I'm not quite ready for anything too intricate but these cute little simple designs are a fun way to continue to practice. I know through making mistakes and messing around I'll eventually learn the "right" way to do things but now I'm just having fun and exploring.