Fabulous Friday: Who's there?

Owls are everywhere. At first it was just here and there but now it's a full-on trend. Here's a short list of things I've bookmarked lately ...

Made by Joel

Living Lucado loves owls ... Halloween gift tag

Made by Joel ... Paper owl mobile

My Owl Barn ... Choose from 30 art prints to make your own 2011 Owl lover calendar

Woman's Day magazine ... Okay, I can't find a link to this but if you have the Woman's Day 2010 Best Ideas for Christmas special issue, on page 56 there is the cutest owl ornament made with burlap. I promise to post a picture after I've made a few. Instead, here is a cute owl pinata.

Paper Crave ... Owl favor/treat box

Busy Bees ... Owl treat bag topper

Mini-eco ... Hoot Hoot mobile


We're famous

Strong boys! Bigger hams!

The entire neighborhood was not hit by the storm. Most everyone got hail but the tree damage on our side of the boulevard is contained to a three-block area. So we've had gawkers. And news cameras. 

Links to press coverage:

Yes, I do find it funny that the TV station has an article while the newspaper has two videos. 


Well that train sounds like a tornado

Last night I sat down to write a nice post about Will's yard sale. I got up to ask Chris a question out on the back porch at 11 p.m. when all heck broke loose. Flash of lightening, crack of thunder so loud to make you jump then a sideways pelleting of quarter-sized hail had us running for cover. I didn't hear Chris yell grab the boys so I ran to shut the bedroom window. In just a few seconds, he handed me Will, picked up Joseph and shoved us all in the bathroom. We sat quietly as the wind roared and shook the house for 5-10 minutes.

Here is what we saw when the storm passed ...

Chris gathered up this sample of the hail.
Houses and cars covered in shredded leaves.
It's just crazy how much debris was in our yards and street. 
Trees down in yards, across the alley and on houses.
This is the worst of the damage on our street but thankfully no one was injured. 

Joseph went right back to sleep but Will needed to see the damage and see that everyone was okay. In fact, he wouldn't go to sleep until he talked to our neighbors that had the tree crash into their living room to make sure himself that they were okay. Getting Will to sleep and clean up some of the damage put me in bed at 2 a.m. Chris stayed up even later since more weather was on the way that he wanted to keep an eye on. 

And even though we would have loved to sleep in, kids and chainsaws will wake you up every time. Here is what we saw in the morning ...

Doesn't it look like we took a shotgun to it?
Our alley
Poor magnolia!
Let me stress that our neighbors were not injured thankfully!
Mavis was happy her favorite fall wreath was untouched.
Screened windows, loose siding, flattening the back gate — those things I can understand. But it's the little things that are weird like our house numbers here or the mums picked up out of their planters and laid down next to them. 
Today has been spent picking up branches and watching cranes and bucket trucks. Insurance agents have been called and tree cutters are driving around the neighborhood much like a lawyer chasing an ambulance. We haven't heard yet if the damage was caused by straight line winds or if we can claim to have been in our first tornado. If this was a baby tornado, I hope never to be in a big one's path!


16m going on 17m

Poor Joseph. I knew the second child wouldn't get as much attention as the first, especially since the first child in our house still demands so much attention. We try to take pictures of him, but we have so many more pictures of Will. The first time around, I sent out e-mails to family and friends at three months, six months, nine months and so on. I never sent an e-mail out about Joseph. (Except when he was born; Chris handled that.) With Will, I wrote down everything little thing he did ... first time jumping on one foot, snapping his fingers. Joseph not so much. So here ... here is my little guy. 

We should have named you Linus. You latched on to Will's pillowcase pretty hard a couple of months ago. Thankfully, Will didn't mind. You also love a stuffed monkey named "Kitty."

You have a crazy vocabulary ... cup, night-night, finished, mommy, kitty, woofwoof, bottle, book. Even two- and three-word sentences. "See that?" "What's this?" When you want something, you repeat meme meme. Yesterday I said for him, "thank you Will" and he repeated it so sweetly. It's also very cute when you say no, shaking your head.

We hear "no" a lot when it comes to vegetables and fruits and meat ... not eating much variety these days. Loves spaghetti and pizza and french fries. Lucky you, Will didn't get french fries much when he was little. You and Will seem to be trading taste buds. Will didn't eat bananas for a whole year and now loves them. You loved bananas but now won't eat them. It does make it hard to feed both of you!

You are great at entertaining yourself. One of your favorite activities is to sit and look at brother's Hot Wheels. You pull them out one by one. But one day, you'll have to start putting them back in.

When riding in a shopping cart, instead of looking at what is behind mommy, you turn to look where we are going.

At diaper time, I can't just pull your shorts/pants/PJs down. They have to be off. Maybe winter will change your mind about that.

Easy baby to put to sleep. Will required much, much rocking and holding. You don't care for rocking at all. We just put you down and you go to sleep. Sometimes there are a few minutes of fussing but then you settle down for the night. Lately some teething pain has been waking you up 2/3 a.m. so you come snuggle with mommy and daddy.

Such an easy-going toddler until you don't get what you want. You'll even go all the way to the floor for a tantrum. Will didn't do that so where did you learn it from? You cry for a minute or two and then you're off doing something else. Right now we're starting to learn about sharing. And that includes mommy. You don't like Will to sit in mommy's lap or look at something with her. You try and push him away. We were worried that Will would be jealous of Joseph but we never thought we'd have to worry about it the other way around!

Favorite books right now include "Freight Train," "Big Red Barn," "Goodnight Gorilla," "Big Dog," "Doggies," "That's not my Dinosaur," "Moondance," "Good Dog Carl" and many, many more.

If I tell Will to get socks, you go to get his shoes AND your shoes. You love shoes and will try to walk around in everyone's pairs. You especially want to go wherever brother is going, do whatever he is doing.

And now, I've got to go get you out of Enzo's water bowl ... again!


Fabulous Friday

We live in Birmingham, Ala. Yes, we know our past isn't that great. But we're working on it. Slowly with progress here and there. Right now, that progress is in the form of Railroad Park. One heck of a cool park where people of all types and sizes are gathering to play, watch movies, listen to music and MORE. Even though it took years to build, this park has done more for this city in just a few short weeks than any grant or focus group could. It's brought us together to say look what we can do when we work together. 

And you can watch trains go by. Doesn't get cooler than that for my little boys!

Not one but three play areas to be conquered.

Lots of space to impress folks with our bike-riding abilities.


Letting go

I'm a Virgo. A long time ago I read somewhere that Virgos tend to over analyze things. I've found it to be true of most, if not all, of the Virgos I know. We can talk a lot about a situation, pouring over tone and inflection in a person's voice, how they stood, etc. I do not find this boring.

My husband is not a Virgo. He is not interested in me finishing a sentence let alone wondering out loud if I should have said something different or maybe I should call. Or on the flip side how wrong that other person was, they really were wrong. Over analyzing could also look like having a tough time letting go of things. Poor Chris, because he knows, boy does he know.

Today is a great example. Something happened this morning and I've been chewing on it all day. Or has it been eating at me? Both.

We got two DVDs at the library Tuesday. It was actually very sweet — instead of renting a DVD for himself, Will picked out two Baby Einstein DVDs for Joseph. I put one in the player Wednesday and the machine spit it back out twice. Then I noticed it was broken. Not the first time we've gotten a bad DVD from the library. I returned it today, told them it was broken and walked out. One of the librarians I don't know by name actually ran after me to tell me that we have to pay for it. What? We didn't break it. I'm 99 percent sure. The kids had them in their hands; Will carried them from the car. But it takes an awful lot to break a DVD. He swore his folks would not have given us a broken DVD. Again, not the first time we've had problems with the DVDs that his folks have given us. (Note: I really know his folks would not have liked to be referred to like that.)

There have been books with torn pages and writing. In the past, I've never had a problem saying this is how we got the product. We take care of the things that we are lent from the library. Just as we take care of the things we are lent from a friend. I did not like the implication that we were those people that I'm sure they have to deal with every day ... careless people that don't respect things.

If we had broken it, I would have been the first to ask, "how much do we owe you for this?" And Will would have had to pitch in a dollar or two if he had broken it to teach him to respect things.

We love our library. We go once or twice a week. The librarians in the children's department know my children. They call us to make sure we're coming to family night. Our library system recently had a 50 percent cut in budget. Maybe they have been told that any and all damaged goods must be replaced and to take a hard line with the patrons. I told the guy this morning that we love the library so fine, we'll pay for it. But we didn't break it.

My husband, who has been know to argue with a cop on more than one occasion, was very so what about the whole matter. Our kids, your wife was accused of breaking something and trying to return it without replacing it ...

(let it go)

But it's like last summer when the swim teacher accused Will of pushing the little guy next to him into the water. I was watching and that kid jumped on his own. Swim teacher was just upset that a parent had to jump in and get the kid since swim teacher was busy with another kid. I'll be the first to admit when Will is in the wrong BUT it really bugs me when he (or I) are accused of something we didn't do!

(let it go)

but ...

(let it go!)

but ...


but ...


Birdie for baby

This cute little guy will be winging his way to Milwaukee tomorrow. Hopefully, he will get there before the stork. I hope the new parents-to-be like it and all the other goodies I tucked into the box.

Now, this is in no way an original idea. (Just head over to Etsy, type "felt bird" and I'll see you back in a couple of hours.) One hundred percent saw it and thought, I can do that. Sometimes I can, sometimes I can't. And sometimes, I never get around to the doing. But this, I actually did!

My first birdie was going to be an ornament. But I loved it and attached him to a onesie for Joseph' first birthday instead. When my talented neighbor offered to make the cake, I asked her to match my felt robin. Which matched the invitations

I made cupcakes to match too because you can never have too much cake!

While we are on the subject of birds and onesies, this is the cute onesie Joseph got for his birthday. Made by a local artist. I like the brown/yellow combination and button eye. No, it's not the best picture but he was much more interested in the dishwasher at the time than having his picture taken. 


It's hard out there for an elephant

And finally there was Eloise. Poor Eloise. One day
she said to one of her friends, "You know, they really just
don't want women in the business world. I'm just not
strong enough to fight it."

This page is from the 1972 book "The Day the Animals Left the Zoo" by Donata Delulio. Pictures by John Delulio, her brother. Picked it up at the library book sale for 10 cents. 

The basic plot is all the animals decide to leave the zoo and follow their passions. The giraffe wants to be a movie star, the lion wants to be a hippie in the park, and so on. For various reasons, their dream lives are not as good as the easy-going life of the zoo so they all go back and conform to society's norms.

Really? The book's message is follow your dreams but you're going to fail so you might as well go back to doing nothing? Yep, not reading this one to Will. There's already a likely chance that he'll come home after college anyway. Not to mention the sexist and other stereotypes littered through out the book. 

But poor Eloise. She'd still have it tough today. Easier but still tough.


Would you wear this?

I'd been kicking this idea around in my head for a couple of weeks. Last night I had the felt and thread out anyway so I thought I would give it a go. 

Here's a description: Vintage button layered on orange felt layered on two circles of orange tulle layered on two pieces of red felt held together with a blanket stitch. I needed a reminder on how to do the blanket stitch and found an awesome tutorial at Futuregirl.com. Finished pendant measures a little over 2 1/2 inches in diameter. 

What do you think? Would you wear it? Be honest now, I can take it.

I'm going to wear it all day and see if I get any compliments.

At least one person likes it. Will has it on right now.


Camera FAIL

I know what I'm getting for Christmas ... a new camera. My little powerhouse Canon PowerShot took it's last pictures tonight after one tumble too many. I'll give it rave reviews though. We've had it eight, nine years and it took nice pictures and videos. When Chris upgraded to a fancy, fancy camera the little Canon became mine to take in the diaper bag. Always a good idea to carry a camera.

I had just taken a picture or two tonight when Will picked up the camera and asked if he could take some. He can take a decent picture though most get delated pretty quickly. We enjoy seeing what Will has snapped; it's like peeking into his brain.

Since we were heading out for a walk, a walk Will was not in favor of, I thought it would sweeten the deal if he got to play photographer. In fact, his reply was "I'll be Mr. Photography Man." Mr. Photography Man has slippery fingers. I didn't think anything of the camera being dropped. Not the first time by him or me. It was an accident AND it kept taking pictures ... for a few minutes then it stopped working. When Will brought it to me I noticed the lens case was bent to a funny angle.

When I said we'd be getting a new camera for Christmas, Will added that he would like his own camera. Santa will be notified.

On a completely weird side note, some old lady came up and yanked Joseph's thumb out his mouth while we were shopping today. I didn't see her coming. He didn't cry or anything or I guess I would have had more of a reaction. She didn't lecture me about thumb sucking but she commented that he didn't put it back in. He actually smiled at her. I mumbled something and rolled my shopping cart away. Really, WTF? So, so weird!

Mr. Shoes, our stray. Here you can tell the camera might not be feeling good. 

Last picture ...