Friday, April 30, 2010

FFF- Already????

Wow, I'm losing it this spring! It's been so good compared to last year that I'm over doing things a bit. That and every other school and sport commitment has amped up as well!!!!

Just going to post some random pictures as I have no time to organize anything...let alone my thoughts!  Maybe this had something to do with the craziness of this week???? 

Mari thought me crazy when I handed her my camera and told her to run out to the parking lot of the shopping mall we were at to snap this for me. Now she's proud of the picture!

Julia continues to blossom in her new found love of performing! Her school had a Poetry Tea for the families on Thursday...

and she drew quite the audience response! One Mom even approached me and 'warned' me that as a Theater Arts major she 'knows' a talent when she sees it...and she sees it in Julia so I better 'prepare' for the life of an actor. Her teacher was very complimentary as well. It didn't hurt that her poem was funny and had to do with the pitfalls of having your parents help you with homework (:  Peggy has better pictures of the event I'm sure but I've been too busy to check if she's even uploaded them yet!

Tried having an Etsy Mom take pictures of one of my sibling sets on her tots to see if it may help better display my sewing....

gorgeous shot IMHO!!! Hasn't done a thing to move the outfit on Etsy but it is a nice picture.

Been sewing when I haven't been able to sleep because of the coughing.....

More sibling sets to join the ones I've already posted. I'm thinking I'm taking a break on these for awhile because they are not all. Seems that Dora and Pooh are the big movers in my "line" so more Dora and Pooh it is!

Oh, and Disney in general seems to sell well too! Here is an Ariel set I've just listed.

Still plugging away on the Guatemala items as well. 

Off to rejoin the running and racing in circles!!!

Monday, April 26, 2010


Had another typical "Mom" weekend here. You know, the kind where everyone else has 77 commitments but Mom get's to do all the work?!?!? Saturday was a blur. Lucky for me the family photographer [aka Auntie Peggy] was present for part of the day so I actually have some pictures to post. Then came Sunday....which was off to a similar start as Saturday but which took a quick turn...but more on that later in the post!

Soccer season is baaaaack. The storms I prayed for never materialized and yet again I got to sit out in a drizzle.

At least it was only for one game as Mari had/has succumbed to the bad bug that took up residence in our house this spring. Julia [and her team] did great and we left the field in high spirits and on two wheels...because she had ten minutes to be to a birthday party at Build-A-Bear!! While she was partying I had to get home and supervise showers and dressing for a 1st Communion party. [Julia had done a sponge down with baby wipes and dressed in the car on the way to the party!] Trying to be King Solomon I had made arrangements with the birthday party family to pick Julia up a little early and with my cousin to arrive at her son's 1st Communion party a little late.

The 1st Communion party was in a town way out west about an hour from our home so the usual suspects all car my van! Grandma, Auntie Peggy, the BFF/Cousins, and us all piled in and flew out the highway.

The honoree was already in play clothes and waiting for us to arrive so he could dive into the cake!

Lots of playing was involved!

Mari got in touch with her youth again!

Then we all got back in the van to go home...except somehow the BFF/Cousins ended up sleeping over....again! So Sunday morning dawns with a house full of hungry girls and it looks like I'm doomed to another day of chasing all over kingdom come to keep up with the activities of the girls. Many, many chocolate chip pancakes later and I'm hearing the early rumblings of "I'm bored"! It's still drizzling so pushing them out to play is not an option....though puddle jumping is a favorite activity  I just didn't need to give our bug guest an open invitation to spread!!!!! When {cue the music} the FUNNER Aunt Peggy calls...and they convince the FUNNER Aunt Peggy that they needed to go to her house anything. Anything but stay home with the BORING Aunt Suz.....I could hardly take the insult.....NOT!!!!! I had them packed off in a nanosecond and savored the BORING quiet of an empty house.

No playing with food coloring and frosting for me!

No having to watch butter cream turn green...

or pink....

or chocolate brown!

No having to look at crumb filled faces or try and get those crumb filled faces to march into the bathroom for a wash! But most importantly......

NO sink full of dirty dishes to wash!!!!!!  Hmmmm, wonder what the FUNNER Auntie is doing next weekend???

Friday, April 23, 2010

Busy Bad Bug

How such a microscopic bug can cause such major havoc I cannot say?!?!? Timing was horrible...though is there ever a 'good' time to invite the germs in? Spring means the impending close of the school year which means all of the procrastinating principals are suddenly trying to fit us into the schedule. Unfortunately for me, all of the worst offenders are schools at the complete opposite end of the county from where I live and the ones with the students at highest risk!!!! So while I should have been home nursing myself back to health I was on the road every morning to a school FULL of needy children. 

Needless to say I've not been a prolific photographer or blogger during this illness...something had to give?!?!? So, even though the mucous still runs and the couching is incessant, I am back in my weekend cycle of posting.

  Etsy has been very interesting. I'm flattered by the number of sales I've had in such a short time BUT I've also found an annoying negative side to that site! Seems that there are an awful lot of women who do nothing but surf the shops looking for ways to scam free items for themselves!!! I've had every pitch under the sun from people trying to 'convince' me that my shop just NEEDS their 'services' to be successful and in return I should sew outfits for their kids for free....really! Now the fact that my shop banner spells out how I've opened this venture to raise funds to supply Mari's first family with a regular food delivery doesn't seem to mean anything to them. I guess they think the shop keeper in Guatemala gives away the food for nothing??? Any how, I'm making up a standard form letter response to send off to the scammers so I don't have to spend precious sewing time writing to them individually. Here are a few of the items that I've sold recently.

Julia's school had their "Brag Night" last night. It's basically an open house to let the families come in and see what they've been working on in class. Julia's class is now deep in a poetry lesson and I am very impressed!! She had several excellent Haiku and short poems that were (IMHO) excellent! The tweens/teen had fun pretending to be back in 3rd grade.

 Like we're falling for the "I'm reading" line!?!?

 Alyssa 'fit' in a little too well for her liking!!!

Don't you love the loving sisterly look????

But of course Auntie Peggy was there!!!!

Yes, the perky YOUNG teacher was there to answer any questions.

Then we headed out for the first DQ run of the season! Now I know that some of my southern readers are wondering what I mean so I'll explain:

Selling ice cream from a stand during the winter, in Chicago, where it's below freezing for days on like trying to sell firewood in Hades! Our DQ stands close every fall and reopen in the spring so the opening week in the spring has become another one of the signs that summer must be near!!!

Found out my camera doesn't like to work in the cold...or is it the operator?

Rare appearance of cousin Daniel on the blog!!
Sharing AND shivering...see Patrick in the back ground?!?! It was a tad chilly last night I have to admit but c'mon the DQ stand was open again!!!

Time to go find another lozenge to suck on! Forecasting rain/storms for the weekend...sadly I'm hoping for lightening since tomorrow is waaaaay over scheduled and I'd love NOT to have to sit in the rain watching soccer...bad Mom award coming my way, I know!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Blogging Bug

Just thought I''d pop in for a moment and let you know why I've not been back with the series of posts I've promised.

Two words....flu bug!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

No descriptive words necessary, right?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Golden Ticket

Heading off to bed after a very looooong day! Thought I'd just throw a few pictures up so I don't get too far behind in my posting.

This is going to be a series of posts in reverse chronological order! Starting with the most recent event from which we have just come in the door ....the opening night of Mari's acting debut!!! Now, I realize she is starting at the bottom but she is the 'star' in our eyes thus the deficit of other actors in these pictures!

 Oompa Loompa dupati dee look at our Mari!!!!!

 Julia so sweetly took Mari's favorite candy bar and made a 'custom' wrapper...she even slid a golden ticket inside wishing her good luck.

 The crowds gathered....

 but of course the cousins were there too! Mairead was a little camera shy tonight but both she and Deirdre were there to cheer the chocolatier on.

 BFF was also on stage with Mari which made it even sweeter...sick pun, I know (:

There's my baby up in lights!!!!!!

 This girl has always  been able to strut those wigs! Green now joins the orange, pink, and red in the dress up bin.

I'm thinking someone better go check the prop room?!?!?!? Really hard to settle the sugar highs down for bed but an 8:30 am soccer game is the first thing on tomorrow's schedule so now even I'm off to bed!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

On Heritage and Hematomas!

End of the week and I'm getting my groove on finally! Been BUSY and trying to keep up while under the weather. 

So the first topic of today's post is regarding Julia's "heritage" days at school. She never ceases to amaze me at how hard she tries to meet everyone's expectations! Very sweetly the teacher allowed her to have first claim on a country to do her report....duh! All weekend she plugged away at her research and on Monday she started her 'note cards". Now the teacher had not specifically defined 'note cards' so we got creative! We printed off pictures from Google and laminated them with her 'script' on the backside. Then on Tuesday she called in the troops...literally called Auntie Peggy and the cousins over so she could have a "large" audience to practice in front of before having to go before her class.

On Wednesday I went over a little early to help her get on her traje.

Then it was all up to her!

She knocked it out of the park!

The teacher said it gave her 'goosebumps' to hear Julia speak about her birth country and was especially impressed that Julia chose to share her birth name. birth city, and a picture taken of her by her foster mom during Semana Santa showing her in front of an alfombra!

Now all that's left is the International Food Fest which is tomorrow's lunch at school! We tried out our recipes tonight....BANANAS DULCES ROCK!!!! These will be making a return visit! The rice and beans were okay but we're kind of a spuds family.

Now for the hematoma portion of tonight's post! Those of you with squeamish stomachs  need to leave now!! For the rest of you, I've been fighting a sore back lately and in a bid to banish it before a hectic work week I doubled down on the Naprosyn and Motrin...leaving me with one heck of a gastritis!! Feeling absolutely miserable I decided to see if the hot water and whirlpool jets would help.....and ended up more miserable!!!

In trying to stand up from the tub, my feet slipped out from under me and I instinctively put my arms out to flail...and they flailed alright! Right smack against the side of the tub!!!!! Now my stomach is recovered but my sore back has been joined by a sore arm. Oh, and I caught a cold during all of this too so my aching throat and chest congestion aren't appreciated. Something about that darn birthday has made me begin to feel reeeeeeeeeal old. 

Coming soon...lots of sewing pictures!! Added several more outfits to Etsy today! Yes, Lynda I'm working on finding fabric for a shirt for Peter! I'll be on that this weekend!!

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Couldn't let the weekend end without squeezing in one last post!

After finishing the shadow box post I took on a 'new' huipil that Julia wanted to wear as part of her traje. The head openings on those  darn things are NEVER big enough for the girls' heads so I always need to open a seam and place snaps. As I worked on the 'horse' huipil that we found on e-Bay I noticed that it had food debris embedded in the embroidery designs?!?! So as soon as the snaps were in place I put it in the sink with Woolite. GAG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Julia nearly lost it as we watched the water turn MUD BROWN! Thankfully it washed clean without any harm to the garment and Julia can rest assured that none of her allergies will go into hyper-drive from wearing it on Wednesday.

While I was struggling with the huipil, Auntie Peggy was struggling with technology! A batch of pictures she had taken at Deirdre's weekend dance competition never downloaded off her memory card?!?!? Luckily all was saved when Uncle Brian arrived with software to retrieve 'lost' pictures (:

Great balls o' fire it's Deirdre all done up!!!! How very different she looks in her stage make-up.


and acting her little heart out!!

With her BFF/Cousin at her side to cheer her on!!! Dance is definitely not in Julia's comfort zone but when it's her cousin up on stage she is all in!

Especially sweet when your team places!!!!!

Scent Triggers

This week Julia's third grade class is concluding their social studies unit on culture and immigration. Starting tomorrow they can bring items from their assigned country for their class 'museum' while on Wednesday each child will give an oral presentation on their assigned country and finally they are having an International Food Fest on Friday. Seeing as how Julia is the ONLY immigrant in the class she was allowed to have the country of Guatemala as her subject! Today we started prepping for her presentation.

As Julia sat on the computer 'researching' her facts I dug into the closets and brought out all of our Guatemalan treasures. Both girls were drawn to my bed as I open each bag and drew out the many items we had purchased at the markets in Antigua and Chichicastenango.

One bag contains the most special items of all...the outfits and toys that the girls had with them when they were put in our arms for the first time!!! Mari twisted and turned her teddy bear with it's rattle in the tummy as she bemoaned the unfair nature of the clothing. You see, Mari was almost 3 years old when we were finally made a family and her foster family had dressed her in denim overalls and her shoes were clearly left over from her foster brother Benjamin!!! At only 7 months old, Julia was still a tiny baby and her foster family brought her to the hotel all decked out in a traditional traje with adorable baby sandals.

Now I had always planned to make a shadow box of their little outfits so this seemed like a good time to get started! Pouring salt into the wound I started with Julia's for the simple reason that it could get double duty as a 'museum' item for her project as well as a 'memory' item for our family. As I opened the huipil and prepared to iron it I found a tiny little spot where Julia must have burped up some milk....the memories were almost overwhelming!!! How long has it been since I've had to spot clean the neckline of a baby's shirt??? Then the heat of the iron released a strong smell from the falda...the pungent smell of burnt wood filled my nose. In that instant I was standing back in Guatemala!!!! I could so strongly remember that smell of burning wood as we traveled around the country. All afternoon as I worked on the shadow box I relived those precious days in a country that means so much to this family. As I gaze I the finished product I must agree with the scientist who first noted that the sense of smell is the strongest trigger of memories!