Saturday, February 26, 2011

Leaving us in stitches since 2006

This was the conversation last night over dinner:

Daddy: Buddy, how do you feel about Grandma Veda saying you look like Justin Bieber?
Mason: It makes me sad.
Mommy: Me too.
Daddy: It makes you sad?
Mason: yeah. Why does Grandma call me a Beaver?

You can imagine how the rest of that went. Us, laughing hysterically and Mason repeating the phrase till we felt like we'd vomit from all the laughter.

Thank you buddy, for not only giving me endless material for my blog and your very own scrapbook, but for the daily amusement and constant reminder that motherhood is worth every moment. But only as long as you are part of it.

Now I need to make an appointment with Miss Holly to get his haircut.
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Monday, February 21, 2011

A simple reminder

As I stood in the kitchen, Thursday morning, listening to my son coach his sister on how to properly eat her breakfast,

"Don't just eat the raisins sweetie. I know you like those, but you need to eat the whole bagel. There you go, that's how you do it, Soph."

I'm reminded of the other super cute things I've overheard. Like, recently I went to Walmart and picked up the bean bag filler we'd ordered (and really should have done earlier, like before Christmas) so now we finally have usable bean bag chairs for the kiddos! (Thanks Nana. For taking the time to sew these precious jems). So in celebration, we had a movie night.

The kids loved them. Sitting right away in their respective chairs, and like any sibling, getting upset if the other sat in theirs. They sat and watched Transformers, Mason's newest discovery. Their little faces fixated on the screen and wicked cool action.

Now picture, if you can, this scene. The main characters are in a car trying to escape the Decepticon chick. The car gets picked up by one of the Decepticons and they are flying through the air and at some point the car is let go and it falls and crashes. Right at that point, I hear this little voice say, "whoa." It wasn't my hardcore son as I would have expected, it was my little girl. Mason, the four year old who loves to spout big words; while equally excited about this scene, had his most memorable moment by referring to the bad guys as "peptigons." At first I could't figure out what he was talking about. Some new shape I didn't know about similar to a hexagon or pentagon or something? Then, like usual, I eventually figured it out.

My kids are so very awesome.

*Edited to note: My husband argues that Mason actually says it, "pektigons."
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Monday, February 14, 2011

From your Valentine

For part of their Valentine Day celebration Mason's class was asked to bring in a valentine for each child in the class. We got creative and this is what we came up with. Now wouldn't you just love to get that valentine this year?
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Sunday, February 13, 2011

You + Me: a Valentine album

[A set of coasters from the $1 bin at Target, some Basic Grey paper (Figgy Pudding and Oliver, and Maraschino card stock), a Martha Stewart heart punch, giga scalloped circle punch, Autumn Leaves-Katie Pertiet journaling stamps, and Paper Salon tailored tins-love equation stamps]

I made this cute little mini album for my son for Valentines Day. It can be adapted for anyone as a great way to show your love. I got the idea from Ali Edwards and a mini book she made two years ago.

I thought it would be a nice gift for Mason to get it in his little mailbox tomorrow morning, but also to allow him to flip through and see pictures of him and me from his birth to now. He loves to see pictures of himself. But more, it's a simple gesture on my part, to let him know that he is so very much loved. To get it out on paper (or in this case a book) and give him something to look at for years to come, to be reminded that he is my absolute joy.

Here is a peek at some of the pages of his album:
I have to say that I embraced absolute imperfection all over the place with this album. It was such a challenge for me to let the little things go, but I did and I'm happy I did because I have this finished album.

So many things went wrong, or not as planned. The pictures were printed on new paper I was trying out with a new printer and they came out less than stellar and not photo quality at all but I said, it's good enough and kept going. When cutting out the paper, I realized I didn't have a cutter the right size to cover the coasters so I went in search of a new one. Decided upon the Martha Stewart circle cutter. Like all new tools, there is a technique to it that you have to learn and I got frustrated that the paper kept moving but I stuck with it and decided that most of the mishaps could be sanded off after gluing to the coasters.

Next, the patterned paper was meant to alternate sides (left then right) and at some point near the end I wasn't paying attention and they all ended up on the right side and where I normally would have had a panic attack and decided to redo the album all over, I just let it go. I said, it is what it is and moved on. I wasn't thrilled with how I included the journaling (I hadn't thoroughly thought that out when I started the project) and the last was when punching the holes I messed up and punched the hole the wrong way on one page (you can see it above in the photo of us having movie night). That, I couldn't let go. I had to re-punch it because the photos wouldn't match the journaling. And I felt myself start to panic and stress and then I just did it and let it go. I told myself, Mason is four. He won't care that it isn't perfect. He probably won't even notice. All he will care about is that he has this album I made for him that he gets to look at every day.

So glad I did this and got it done. I feel a sense of accomplishment and can't wait to see Mason's reaction tomorrow.

Journaling reads:
From the time I felt you growing in my belly
to the first moments I held you in my arms
to my very first mothers day
and your very first steps
to your first birthday
and your second
to our first trip to the beach
and your third birthday, and our family of four
to your fourth birthday
to today, tomorrow and everyday in between. I love you more than I could express. You are my greatest blessing, my deepest joy- my son.
xoxo, mom

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Friday, February 11, 2011

Create: Valentines Day

Valentine's Day is vastly approaching and I thought I'd give a peak at some of the projects I've been working on.

Home Decor
After having a home filled with festive decorations the whole month of December it seems rather dull in the house until we hit fall once more and the decorations come out again. So this year I decided our home would be filled with seasonal joy throughout the year.

First up, I made the wreath you see above. It was super easy to put together and cost under $10 total.

Then I decided the mantel needed a little sprucing. I created the heart banner using napkins left over from various birthday parties over the years and cute out heart shapes. Punched holes and tied them together with twine. Super simple.
I kept the electric red candle from Christmas, added a white one then used these valentine printables from Rebecca Cooper to decorate them for the season. The Love blocks and picture frames are from the $1 bin at Target. I took random scrapbook paper I have hoarded over the years and cut them to fit the frames. Heart key is from Tim Holtz.

The flowers are from Michaels (I think) from many years ago. Frame from A.C. Moore. I used this Martha Stewart punch for the heart collage from various red, pink and white papers.

Our dinning room table. This picture frame (I think from A.C. Moore) houses pieces of art for each season. Currently it is filled with this Subway Art from Eighteen 25. I love their blog. So many great ideas. I printed it at Costco, but yet somehow the colors came out all monotone and muted. Not at all like the download. And this isn't the first time this has happened when I have tried printing something I downloaded with them. Their color calibration must be off. However, they are super cheap when it comes to printing 8x10 photos. So, I lived with it.

The jar of beads with the white candle, I left out from Christmas. The bunch of flowers were decorations from Sophie's first birthday and river rocks that I had intended for the good behavior jars but ended up using different ones instead. And my favorite. The apothecary jar, from Michaels, filled with conversation hearts. That jar only has half that amount in it now. I have to tell you though, you can only eat so many of those candy hearts before you feel like you want to vomit. Yet, somehow I keep coming back to them.

Despite my extremely busy schedule of late with this Art to Remember project I'm co-heading at Mason's school I still managed to find time to get my room parent duties done. Above is a little shot I took of the centerpieces I made for Mason's classes Valentine Party on monday. Once again that $1 bin at Target was my success. Aren't those buckets just totally adorable? The hearts I punched from pink and red construction paper using this punch and the straws I had on hand (but found a few extra at the dollar store). Super easy to make. I just punched out the hearts and glued them to the straws using glue dots. I filled the buckets with black and white beans and then stuck in the hearts. Super simple and super cute. Can't wait till the kids see them.

Mason and I are currently making the special snack for the party; layered jello hearts. I'll let you know how they come out.

In addition to the party, my son's class is having a mail theme this month. Complete with post office in their dramatic play area as well as making their own mailboxes and requests that we send them one letter a week for the month. Mason is so excited about this. So when we spotted these cute little gems, once again in the $1 bin at Target he begged me and I caved. I thought we could get one for each of us and keep the mail theme going at home.

Not only that, I've been putting together the teacher gifts for Valentine's Day as well. Unable to decide on what container to put it all in till these little cuties lit a spark in my brain.
How cute right? It totally fits their mail theme for the month and they are valentine colors! Each equipped with their names of course, so the mailman knows where to send their mail. These are some really old stickers I found in my stash. Finally putting all those scrapbooking supplies I've collected over the years to good use.
Inside, each teacher has 4 tickets to the movies, a bag of candy hearts and a homemade valentine. Once again, super simple, and I'm so proud I stayed within budget this time! I hope the teachers like them. I keep trying to come up with unique gifts unlike the coffee mugs, apples and school supplies I'm sure they get bombarded with year after year from parents and students alike. It helps that the school provides the room parents with a sheet of each teachers likes and faves. It's been so helpful.

Well that it's for now. Been busy with crafts and valentines and getting inspired. Love it, love it, love it. Hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend!
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Friday, February 4, 2011

A mothers worst fear

The scene yesterday morning. Two kids under the weather, watching Tinkerbell and looking all to adorable doing it.

There are moments in every parents life when they truly get scared, I mean down to the core. I've experienced these moments twice. Once with each child. Mason's you can read about here, which thankfully ended with us figuring out he has my illness, Vaso Vagal Syncope. Sophie's turn was around 4am this morning.

This household has been going through the terrible icky sickies once again. It seems that every winter (or as I perused through my old posts, every January) we go through this. It starts off as a few coughs and stuffy/runny noses. Then it becomes all night coughing fits, followed by lethargic children and a Mom with a really sore throat, that sounds "funny" and is about to lose her voice all together.

So last night it was another sleepless night of coughing, body aches, and little children crying. I was quietly praying to myself that everyone get back to sleep when I heard it. A faint sound of choking and vomit coming from the monitor. I immediately went into mommy mode, jumping out of bed and running to her room. Standing in her crib and looking pathetic was my little girl. I gently picked her up and walked into the bathroom to clean her up. Seemingly better, but tired, I walked back into the nursery and put her down so I could grab the aspirator and suck out the nasty boogers that were clearly making it hard to breathe. Partway through she stumbled backward. Immediately I reached out and caught her just as she fell backward, eyes glassy, limp in my arms and proceeded to shake. That's when I panicked. Looking down at her pale, unresponsive face I screamed. As loud as I could with my loss of voice, "FRED! FRED!"

It only lasted a few seconds, long enough for me to be scared out of my mind and Fred to make it from our bedroom to the nursery. The tears were flowing and I struggled to catch my breath. Shortly after, Mason came walking in, my screams surely having woken him up. Of course he was concerned about Sophie, who at this point began to vomit. Thick, yellow, disgusting mucus. She was burning up and we made the decision to take her to the ER. So I threw some clothes on as fast as I could, packed the diaper bag, and grabbed our coats before rushing out the door, my little baby in arms. Luckily the Hospital is just up the road so it only took a few minutes before I was un-buckleing her from her car seat and running into the empty ER waiting room sometime shortly after 4am.

Sophie is nothing like her brother when it comes to doctor visits. She freaks out over everything. So I had to lay on the bed, holding her as they checked her vitals, took her temperature (102+), and put on the ID bracelet (which she hated worst of all). I tried to show her I had a matching one to calm her down but it was no use. They tested her for RSV, Flu and Strep. After what felt like forever waiting in the small room, t.v. on mute, the results came in. Negative on everything. So it's just a simple virus. The doctor then sat and discussed what he concluded as her having what they refer to as a simple febrile seizure. It was explained that a febrile seizure affects kids between ages 6 months and 3 years and is usually brought on by a high fever, 100.4 or higher and can last up to 15 minutes. It is the bodies way of protecting the brain when a virus hits. He reassured me that she has no brain damage and is not more likely to have epilepsy when she gets older. She does however, have a 25% chance of it happening again.

So around 6:30am, both of us tired out of our minds, we arrive back home and go back to sleep. We are to spend the day monitoring her fever, and making sure her fluid intake (water or pedialyte) is sufficient and she doesn't get dehydrated.

This truly was one of the scariest moments for me and I don't wish it upon anyone. To see your children suffering or in distress and feeling helpless and unknowing what to do to help is a tough place to be as a parent. We all want to believe that we have super powers and can fix any boo-boo and we all want to believe our children will be perfect. As I have learned and seen around me, this is never the case. Things happen that are beyond our control. All we can do is handle them the best way we possibly can, with maturity and composure. And don't forget to embrace the comfort of your family and friends as they only feed our strength in these moments.

For now, Sophia is doing fine. Her fever is down and she is currently napping. My fear has dissipated as I got the chance to sleep it off thanks to my hubby. My voice is worse, though talking with doctors all morning surely didn't help. Mason, well, he still has a fever in the 100's. So yes, he stayed home from school again today. Another week of only having school two days. He is currently napping as well though, can you imagine how hard it is to get a rambunctious little boy to just rest when he is sick? The resilience of these kids astounds me. Their ability to bounce back in the blink of an eye, jus amazing. I pray this is the worst of it for the year and we can all move forward and be healthy. That this weekend will bring with it, much needed rest and family time, to comfort and love and heal. So we can go back to peaceful nights and days filled with tiny laughter and a full week of school becomes the norm once more.

Well there you have it. Just another adventure in icky sicky land at the Briggs household. I think I'll head back to bed now.
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