I love the smell of new school supplies in the morning. (and allusions to films that have nothing whatsoever to do with this particular blog post)
Today was the first day of the new school year--full of fresh, shiny, eager new freshmen faces. I love beginnings. Everything is new and full of hope. I've always connected this sense of rejuvenation and beginning with the fall season rather than spring; I guess because I've always loved school. I loved being a student and I love being a teacher. There's nothing that screams potential to me louder than freshly sharpened pencils and blank lined paper. I even love the smell of pencil shavings and book bindings. Yum!
One of my top all-time favorite romantic lines in a movie is when Tom Hanks tells Meg Ryan in You've Got Mail that if he knew where she lived he'd send her a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils. Ah, bliss! :-)
Yeah, I'm a nerd. So what?
This year my mom sent me, not a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils, exactly, but pretty close. She got me these pencils made of recycled denim. What could be sweeter than your mom still buying you new school supplies when you're nearly thirty years old? hehehe. She said she saw them and thought of me. I knew there was a reason I loved that woman. Besides that she lent me space in her womb for nine months, of course. There's always that.
So here's to a brand new semester, with all its untapped potential!
Some pages have photos of her, and some are just paper and embellishments.
The last page says "favorite sister," and I've taken the liberty of filling that one out for her! ;-)
I used a chipboard album and covered it with "RockStar" papers from Die Cuts With a View. I've had this 8x8 stack of papers for a long time and have been wanting to use them on something, but just hadn't gotten inspired yet. Everything else I used was also from my way-too extensive stash of goodies. I keep saying I've got to use up some of the stuff I've got before I buy anything else, so I did that here. It was cool to go through all my stuff and pull out products I was excited about and then put away and never did anything with.
I think this album turned out really well. I always like the results when I just play around. It ends up being a great stress reliever and it seems like I come up with my favorite designs when I'm just messing around. :-)
Before we finished, I think she was beginning to get bored. Her facial expressions and poses started to get crazier and crazier. Here's one of my favorite shots. She's showcasing a Christmas peppermint garland:
Lovely, isn't it?!
When she and Elecia were leaving last night, I thanked Zayda for helping me, and she replied, "You're welcome, my buddy!"
His linguistic repertoire also includes car, cat, dog, yes, no, bubble, cracker, nana (banana), go, and out. He also went through a brief phase where he was saying "I love you," but I haven't heard that out of him in awhile. Most of the time he keeps up a string of unintelligible gibberish, and every once in awhile Eli and I will look at each other and say, "Wait...did he just say_____?" Yep. He did. He's an amazing little guy. Who still refuses to walk.
Another first this weekend is kisses. He started giving big, slobbery, open-mouthed kisses at about six months old, which I think most babies do, but yesterday he gave his first puckered, lip-smacking kiss to MaMa. And then repeated it this morning for me and Eli. So funny and adorable! We'll have to get it on video.
He also watched some of the Olympics at MaMa's house and LOVED the synchronized diving. He laughed every time the athletes entered the water. He just sat right on the couch and watched like, "Dude, this is even better than Mickey Mouse Clubhouse!"
On Saturday, I made a doll for Eliot. His name is Johnny. And when I say "I" made him, what I really mean is I cut out the pattern and the fabric pieces, sewed his arms and legs and head together under Mom's tutelage, and embroidered his face, all while inwardly swearing and spitting and flailing around. Then I got Mom to sew all his various parts together so that he would look nice and not like...well, like I had made him.
I bought the pattern from this adorable etsy shop, Bit of Whimsy Dolls. I really like how he turned out. I made him to look a bit more like Eliot, with the hair falling over his eyes. And I adore his cowlick, too. That part was already in the pattern.
Eliot seems to like him--he's given him several hugs and MaMa showed him how to clap Johnny's hands together for applause (or pat-a-cake, I guess)! I showed him how the doll's shorts come off (because he's always taking his baby dolls' clothes off), and then he stuck his little finger up Johnny's sleeve and pulled and pulled on his shirt. hehehe.
I asked if he wanted to take Johnny with him to daycare today, but he said no, so here Johnny is relaxing on the wicker porch furniture, waiting patiently for Eliot to get home.
I'm waiting too.
One thing I've figured out about this crazy journey of parenthood is that my relationship with my son alternates between severe frustration and exhaustion and heart-wrenching bouts of love. Sometimes I just want to get away from him, desperately need to get away from him to get my head back on straight and be able to breathe again. And other times I swell up so full of love for him that I feel like I might burst. And I just want to hold him close to me and kiss his little cheeks all day. This weekend was definitely more of the aching, loving madness. He's such an awesome little boy. Did I say that already?
He's such an awesome little boy.
But at least I got to scrapbook about it. hahaha.
This is the one project that I've started and actually finished in ages. I have a ridiculous amount of projects and ideas and half-starts lying around here, and very few of them ever end up as finished products. So I thought I'd share this one that did.
I made this album out of cut up cereal boxes, and it's held together by a single jump ring (kind of like a keychain ring) in the top left corner. I used Photoshop Elements to create the photo collages and just printed everything on my home printer. Rather than giving the album a formal title page, I used this little journaling card and a postcard that I picked up in the hotel giftshop.
One of the things I really like about this album (other than that it's finished) is that it's a messy little informal creation. I stuck in postcards, a receipt, a hotel room key, and other little bits. I just punched through everything with Mom's Crop-a-Dile, which is one of my new favorite tools. It will punch through nearly anything.
I used the "eat, sleep, play, Indy" title to give the album a little bit of cohesiveness, to make all those little bits feel unified. (And to tell the story of our weekend getting hijacked by Eli's flu bug.)
I adore photobooths. We took these shots in a mall in Terre Haute on the way home Sunday. Eli perked up enough for us to stop and shop and have a quick lunch there. He really was trying to be a trooper.
The "play" page shows pictures of our horse-drawn carriage ride through downtown Indianapolis, which turned out to be the highlight of the trip (this was before Eli got sick). It was so romantic, and such a relaxing way to see the city.
The memorial had a penny squisher machine, so I got to add another squished penny to my collection. I used to pick these up all the time on the trips I took with my youth group years ago. I had all but forgotten about squished pennies until I saw the machine in the monument vestibule. Score!
Even sick, my husband is the hottest man I've ever met. Whew!
In this last picture, he's getting ready to go out to dinner because he doesn't want to disappoint me, but then he's sitting on the edge of the bed going, ughhhh....I don't think I can do it. I'm gonna puke.
And I'm like, that's cool. We'll just stay here in the hotel room and I'll take pictures of you and post them on the Internet.
And that was our trip.
A good time was had by all. (Especially Eliot, who had a blast hanging out with Grandma & Grandpa!) :-)
"Your young child is busy learning many things about her world. She is eager to take control. She wants to be independent and may try to do more than her skills will allow. She wants to make her own choices and often may not cope well with not getting her way. She is even less able to cope when she is tired, hungry,
frustrated, or frightened."
Umm...okay...who wrote this? Do you live in my household? Possibly inside my head? I've gotta go now, because I need to eat a bunch of chocolate chips cookies and take a nap.
First off, I don't like surprises. Not really. I mean, I like when Eli brings me home unexpected chocolate chip cookies...but anything more substantial than that, I want to know about in advance. So that I can prepare. Mentally.
I don't handle change well. I'm 29, and I just realized this today. I don't. I have a continuously running, film-like progression happening in my mind of the way my life is going to unfold day by day, minute by minute, and when reality doesn't conform to this prearranged mental image, I get pissy. ("Oh," those of you who know me well are saying, "So THAT'S why she's so pissy all the time." Mystery solved.) Thus, being surprised is not a part of my gameplan; it screws with my head and often makes me angry.
Like at the gas station a couple of weeks ago. I was filling Eli's truck up with gas (for the first time ever--I rarely drive the truck), and I swiped my debit card, started the pump going, and then turned around to peek at Eliot through the window and make faces at him. Three years later, the pump clicked off, and I turned around to face the digital readout which said, "$92.07." My face fell off and broke into thirty hundred pieces on the oil-stained asphalt. "Ninety-two fucking dollars and seven fucking cents! WHaaa????" I screamed aloud. I could get a gently used kidney off ebay for that! With shipping! More obscenities followed as I hauled myself back up into the truck and gingerly pulled away, being careful not to gun it and burn $3.00 worth of that precious liquid gold I had just pumped into the tank. By the time I got home I was feeling stupid, thinking I was probably the only person in the country who had yet to smack up against the realization that gasoline is expensive. If you didn't know this yet, I'm telling you now, folks. Gasoline is expensive. Yessir. It is. This is not just a viscious rumor.
So the point is, yesterday my face fell off again, and when I put it back on, I was slightly uglier than before. Which is to say that I wasn't as nice as I should have been to someone whom I love very much, and who deserved the nicest of my niceness. And my only excuse is that I was surprised, and I am immature.
I did, after all, enjoy a DQ thin mint blizzard a few nights ago over webcam while IMing Libby. And I was totally licking my chops and falling on the floor in ecstacy on purpose, simply because I knew that poor Libby Lou, living as she does in my old hometown (indeed, my old bedroom), had no chance of procuring such a delicious treat at that hour. My hometown, The Middle of Nowhere, USA, has zero commerce after 9 p.m. Zero. (Well, unless you count scoring a dimebag off your cousin Jim Bob Daryll in exchange for a handjob. And you only might could get that if'n his momma ain't done smoked it up already.) So yeah, I purposely revelled in ice cream, knowing that my little sister was sitting jealous and ice cream-less on the other end of all the 0's and 1's. I was all, na-na-na-na-na-na. MMmmm. mmm. mmm.
Libby are you reading this? Did I mention I'm drinking a jamocha shake right now? A cold, delicious jamocha shake?
Ahem, where was I? Oh yeah, immaturity. Selfishness. Childish behavior. And extreme over-indulgence in ice cream treats, apparently.
And all of this pointless meandering is just to berate myself publicly for being an ass. It may not have looked like I was being an ass, but I was. Because I was pouting and not wanting anyone but myself to be happy. Sheer selfishness. I have to learn that other people's happiness doesn't have to subtract from my own. I should wish others well more often, and more sincerely.
And I should stop eating so much damn ice cream.