Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Not a Whore Giveaway and a Summer Monster Sale!

Right now Rose is screaming at Maxine to leave her alone, Olive is on the home computer downstairs endlessly using to find all of our dog counterparts and Elijah is pacing back and forth in front of my desk in my office telling me how hungry he is. Ahhhh the joys of summer.

After I finish my work for the day we will clean the house and take a walk to the store and the library, which will also be excellent and relaxing, I am sure.

In other news Trista is doing a Giveaway for a tee from my shop Dork Designs over at her newly designed site: Tristachio: Just a Family of Nuts

In further even more complicated and involved news I have more stuffies available! A job really complicates stuffed creature making, doesn't it?

I am offering these two monsters to you for a discounted price before I put them up on my website so be sure to tweet this or share this on facebook!
You can buy one for $28 or both for $50! If you would like to custom order a monster with your own colors and input it will be $40. All monsters are made with all natural supplies and vintage buttons. Maxine sleeps with hers every night (photo of her with said monster below)! If you are interested in either one that is currently available or in ordering a custom monster, you can contact me one of many ways. Email me at, use the custom order form on my actual site or you can comment here with your email and I'll get back to you! I make things so easy for my loved ones, don't I?

Maxine with her birthday monster, it has fangs and a black soul...just like her!

Monday, June 27, 2011

A Brave Hair Cutting Act

I am by no stretch of the imagination a brave person. I am incredibly afraid of spiders, brake the whole time I'm riding down a hill on my bike, I stand on the sidewalk and motion all the drivers to keep going and wait till the road is clear before I cross...the list is practically endless.

I get my hair cut very, very rarely and when I do it's usually the same medium length, just above the shoulders bob that I've been getting since high school. Under the influence of a very pushy friend I decided to do something I considered brave, I chopped off all of my hair and got the first 'hair style' I've ever had in 30 years. This might not seem like a big deal to most of you out there, but to me it was rather huge. I took in a recent-ish photo of Michelle Williams and told the girl to do to me as she saw fit.

This is the result:

To those of you who are my Facebook friends, forgive the over use of this photo, I haven't taken any others yet!

What do you think?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Maxine, Scarier than Audition

Some of you might know that the now six year old Maxine Jane is a huge Hayao Miyazaki (Studio Ghibli)fan and a fan of a lot of other kid friendly animation and characters from Japan as well.

But what you and I both didn't know is that when Maxine Jane is alone with a camera she becomes a feared creature straight from Japanese Horror movies!

Steel thyself!

Okay, so this one is not so scary...

Monday, June 13, 2011

In Memoriam: The End

Thanks to everyone for sticking with all of my sad and morbid posts regarding my Grandmother and her decision to discontinue the transfusion treatments that were keeping her alive. She passed away on Tuesday June 7th around 6 pm with all of her daughters and two of my cousins with her. Her memorial ceremony was emotional and I overcame the urge (somehow) to grab her urn and run out of the church and hide them somewhere so I could keep her all to myself forever and ever. I'm sure my kids and everyone else there (except for maybe Jeremiah) would have been pretty shocked to see me run headlong out of a very crowded church into the neighboring fields in my funeral garb clutching the urn against my chest.

I had the honor of speaking at the memorial service, 'honor' meaning my Grandma asked me to do while on her death bed, so how could I really say no? It went better than I thought, I didn't blubber through it and I hope she would have enjoyed it very much. I'll share it with you today and then I promise, no more depressing death posts!

Thank you everybody for joining our family today to celebrate my Grandma Bert’s life and the fact that she has a new life in heaven with God, something she’s been looking forward to and talking about all of my life. My Momma tells me that this eulogy is supposed to be more than about my own personal relationship with my Grandma, but it’s hard to see beyond that for me. She was a big part, one of the biggest parts of my life and I feel like most everything I do is contingent on something she taught me, or taught my Mother to teach me.

I have compiled a list of things that your Mother, your Wife, your Aunt, your Cousin, your Friend, your Grandmother, my Grandmother was the best at.

Painting nails. She always had this magical collection of nail polishes on her dresser, flanking the perfumes and the powder compacts, like pawns marching in a perfect colorful order.

Putting up/Taking down wall paper. If anyone in our family, extended family or hell, anyone we knew at all needed help with their wall paper, my Grandma was on hand.

Putting together the perfect outfit. My grandma was always dressed impeccably, she took such pride in her appearance she would usually change into a housecoat as soon as she came home from whatever she was doing to properly preserve her clothes. I’ve seen all of my aunts do this. I know that my grandparents didn’t have much money when their children were small, but if you see photos of my aunts, my uncle and my mother, you would have thought they were very rich. New socks and shoes, ironed smocks and dresses, coordinating church outfits. Pappy Jack’s hair was always cut right, Grandma probably spent more money on her hair and her shoes than I could ever in two or three of my lives.

Act like a lady. She might have been loud and crass with us kids or when she was mad at Pappy Jack, but she was always a lady. “Sit like a lady!” she told me so many times at church or out visiting on our weekends together. I say it at least once a day to any of my three daughters and sometimes to my baby sister.

One of the best things you can do as a person is make people feel good by waiting on them, taking care of them. My Grandma loved my Pappy with a fierceness and loyalty that was unmatched. She might have swore at him, given him a little swack, argued with him more times than I can count, but she still made his breakfast, lunch and dinner, cleaned his clothes, took care of his house and raised his children to the best of her ability so that they became the excellent people who raised their own children with the lessons she taught them. One time when I was pregnant with my youngest child, my son Elijah, Jeremiah and I went to the store and left my youngest girl Maxine Jane with Grandma and Pappy. I was nervous to do this because Max is considered a difficult or spirited child, but Grandma was insistent. We came home a short time later and Max had been bathed and perfumed and was laying in a sea of sheets in front of the TV, one arm propped up on a pile of pillows so that her hand could reach the bowl of cheese crackers next to the pillows with the smallest possible effort. (mimick the scene) The woman fed me till I was 13. She rocked me in her lap until I was too big to hold. I’m sure a lot of people in this room, especially all of my many cousins, know what it is like to be loved unconditionally because of the adoration and attention she gave us all.

Babies are God’s gift to us, take care of them. She taught us all how to swaddle a baby, how to rock a baby, how to bathe a baby. Can I see a raise of hands if Grandma has bathed your baby? She gave my two oldest daughters their first baths and even bathed Katelynn in the hospital because there was a baby boom and they were short on nurses. The doc handed Kate to Grandma and said “Do you know how to bathe a baby?” I can only imagine the brightness on her face at that moment. “Of course I know how to bathe a baby!”

So it’s obvious to anyone who knew her that she was the type of person who could make you feel so special, so unique that you felt like you had her all to yourself, that she was just yours for however long you had to spend with her. I thought this until I would go to church with her, or when we were visiting Great Aunt Lula in the nursing home and it dawned on me that she was the type of person that everyone loved, that everyone wanted in their life, that everyone remembered and set apart as someone special. I learned that I would have to share her with the world and now we all with have to share her with God.

She’s told all of us here that God has been building a giant beautiful house in heaven for her with rooms enough for Pappy Jack all of her children and grandchildren to share someday. I’m thinking of her right now in heaven hanging out with God in the giant kitchen she always wanted, drinking coffee at the kitchen table, making pecan tasseys for me, halupki for everyone and liver and onions for Pappy Jack. It will be a wonderful day when we can all share that house together and get to be with her forever.

Thank you for coming and before you leave, give my Mom, my Aunt Pam, my Aunt Lori, my Aunt Robin, my Uncle Dubby and my Pappy a big hug. My grandma was a loving, hugging person and would greatly appreciate this gesture. Just go up to one of them and squeeze the crap out of them, it be well worth it, considering she taught each one of them how to hug just right.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Straight A Students!

Well she's not dead yet and it sucks and it's painful. That's my Grandma update.

In other happier and less completely demoralizing news, my three school aged children have finished their 4th, 2nd and Kindergarten years of school with a fabulous splash of success.

All three got straight A's (or the Kindergarten equivalent of 'secure') and I couldn't be more proud.

Rose's teacher was a first year teacher and was more then complimentary in the comments section of Rose's report card:

Your work ethic is just one reason why the rest of the students look up to you. You were an absolute joy to have in class and I am extremely proud of you. Have an awesome summer!

Rose and I were reading this together and gloating over how wonderful it was of the teacher to say those nice things when we both look up to a crying Olivia. The only comment anywhere on her year end report card or papers was:

Have a great summer!

I did my best to cheer her up, but was very conscious of the fact that her teacher had problems with her from the very start of school. I had a few phone calls and notes and finally a conference about the fact that Olivia had a hard time concentrating, listening and following directions. "She's just always off in her own world." I laughed when I heard that, because I feel like Olivia has a mark of an awesome person, a day dreamer...I suppose what might help would be a change in her work ethic and I suppose I'll have to work on that with her. I would just hate to change her any. She's maddening at times, but she's just Olive and that's awesome.

Maxine could have cared less what her teacher said about her and that's kind of a good thing. Her teacher has sent many notes home to me that Max is talking too much, not listening and being too bossy with the other kids in her class. After countless talks with Max about this, I've come to the realization that there is nothing I can do about it. She has no idea what the teacher is talking about at all. Her teacher's end of the year comment was:

Thank you for being a unique and exceptional child. Please work on your bossiness and make me proud in first grade by being nicer and quieter during the school day and by not getting in trouble with your teacher!

I read this to Maxine and she just shrugged her shoulders.

"Momma, I think that note is for another kid. Maybe Brianna. She's the bossy one."

Oy vey.

I used to ask my Grandmother in times of panic about something Max had done or when she wouldn't eat for days or when she would cry for hours for no apparent reason: "What am I going to do with her?!" And my Grandma would say, "Love her, Erin. That's all you can do."