Friday, March 31, 2006

The Gap

Just a few pictures of my toothless wonder...

Sunday night - no missing teeth, just big gaps around those extremely loose front two, which this picture just does not do justice. You had to see him talking and those teeth moving around to get the full effect.

Tuesday night after the first one came out.

This afternoon. He sometimes looks like a vampire with just those eye teeth showing! LOL I love it! :-D

I'm official!

Thanks so much for the supportive comments about my designs. Y’all had me blushing big time. :-)

So our ScrapDish web goddess, Jen, updated the website design today, including a new very cool interactive header on the front page listing all the designers, with preview images that are linked to their stuff in the store. Mine has one of my Day Old Donuts and doesn’t go anywhere yet, since I don’t have my category set up in the store yet, but I’m on there! How cool is that?! I’m pumped! :-D

Matthew tried so hard to get his other tooth to come out last night, but one corner just wasn’t ready to let go. It came out this morning all on its own while he was eating his cereal. LOL We didn’t have time to take a picture this morning, so I’ll try to get one this afternoon and get it posted tonight or tomorrow. :-)

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

A little announcement

Nick-nick-nick-a-nicka-nicka-nicka-nicka-Nickelodeon.  The Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards are on this coming Saturday.  They’ve been running an ad with host Jack Black doing this little one-man (three-man? it’s three images of him) a cappella number singing that little ditty, and I just cannot get it out of my head.  I often burst out singing it for no apparent reason, much to my kids’ chagrin.  They don’t seem to think I’m quite as talented as Jack Black. :-b

Our annual TOPS banquet was Monday night.  Nothing fancy, just a casual dinner at a local steakhouse.  They pass out a few awards and install the new officers.  One of the little awards was just a fun thing where everyone wrote in people for this huge list of categories.  The leader made little certificates with what everyone was nominated as, and read them off to the group.  They were mostly sweet and supportive and somewhat serious.  As she was reading mine, one of the last ones was “Chatty Kathy”.  The room just roared with laughter.  I am a very quiet person, just more of a listener and a thinker than a speaker, so it was too funny when she read that off.  I think I’m going to be stuck with that nickname for a while. :-b

Matthew lost his first two teeth last summer, but hadn’t lost any more since.  Well, one of his top front teeth started loosening up a couple of months ago, and in that time he has developed positively enormous gaps on either side of both his front teeth.  You’d swear he’d lost those side teeth.  Both front teeth have been extremely loose for the last several days, and last night at dinner the left one finally fell out. He didn’t even notice it had come out.  I just looked up and it was gone.  Mark found it on Matthew’s plate in his ketchup. LOL  The other tooth I’m sure will go in the next day or two.  That kid is going to have one huge adorable 7-year-old gap! :-)

I discovered a new time-sucker thanks to someone on my moms’ board.  Apparently, I have been living under a rock, because I’d never heard of Soduko.  This puzzle is just so “my thing”.  I don’t like it quite as well as my cross sums, but since those aren’t really available online, this is much more of a temptation right now.  I lost count of how many times I told myself  “just one more” yesterday.

I can’t believe April is almost here.  I really need to get cracking on my April CT stuff.  I’ve only done one of my six sponsor layouts, and am supposed to be working on a prize kit.  As the elements team leader, I spend so much time organizing and whip-cracking ;-) that I don’t have as much time to design, so my prize requirement is optional (I think that’s an oxymoron), but it just feels weird to me to tell my team to do it and not do it myself. LOL

So now for the announcement part of this rather random post.  I’ve also been busy getting ready to go commercial with my designs.  Jeanine very generously invited me a while back to sell at ScrapDish.  I hadn’t wanted to say anything about it, since I’m rather nervous about taking this step, but the other day Jeanine outed me to the group there, so I guess I might as well confess. LOL  ScrapDish is such a great site, and I’m really looking forward to working more with this awesome bunch of women, many of whom I already know fairly well through RAKScraps.  I’ve been sloooooowly working on putting my first kit together to go up there, and want to do another before I actually get started selling, so it may be a while before it moves forward, but I’ve been spending so much time lately working on stuff and trying to sort out details (and pestering Jeanine), that I just felt weird to keep pretending it wasn’t happening.  I’m sure I’ll probably be one of the lowest volume designers of the group, but I think it will be a lot of fun.  So wish me luck. :-)

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Slave to sleep

I just hate that I am a slave to sleep.  It is just not fair that I have to give so many hours of my life over to it, and it will not be refused.  

Yesterday I finally just buckled down and pushed through making the first layout draft for Mark’s TAOM program.  It’s one of the group pages.  It turned out pretty well.  Mark just needs to work on a bit more text for it before we show it to the guy in charge of the overall program for approval.  If he likes it, then I will have to spend some time doing some cleanup on it, but at least the major part of it is done.  So last night after I finished it up, I decided to work on a kit for a while to sort of reward myself for having worked on Mark’s stuff.  I think I started at about 9pm.  I looked at the clock at around 10:45.  The next thing I knew it was nearly 1:00, and it was about 1:30 before I got everything shut down, got to bed and went to sleep.

Matthew did good this morning about letting me sleep until 7:30, which is his new rule for non-school days – 7:30 unless there’s something that just cannot wait.  Of course, him remembering was largely due to my heavily reinforcing this point as I was tucking him in last night.  But somehow those six hours of sleep were just not enough.  I got up feeling just awful, and muddled through until after lunch, catching up on blog reading and working on one of the individual feature pages for Mark’s program, and then decided I just had to have more sleep.  So I went and took a nap for about 2-2½ hours until Matthew came and got me up again (Mark had gone outside to do the fertilizer and bug treatments on the yard).  I woke up feeling even worse than before, with the addition of a terrible headache.  I cleaned up the kitchen and am now sitting here waiting and hoping and praying for some Advil and Mountain Dew to kick in.

The worst part of this is that it’s an absolutely gorgeous day, after the ridiculously cold few days we had this week, and I can’t enjoy it.  I sent Mark out with the kids to collect dirt and rocks and “nature treasures” for Matthew’s homework (they had to go to the park to do it, since Mark completely missed my hint that they go do it in our yard before he treated the lawn), so at least the kids got to get out.  It’s supposed to be nice tomorrow too, although much windier, so hopefully I’ll be able to appreciate it more.

By the way, Kaylee’s dental visit went fine.  The Valium tablets were not intended to be chewable, so after checking with the pharmacist, I crushed them up and mixed in a little juice, and Kaylee took them with no problem.  She did great with the fillings and was happy and excited about the whole thing until it came time to go.  We got outside, and she did not want leave.  She planted herself and would not budge.  I had to carry her to the truck.  Very unlike her.  She was very mood-swingy the rest of the afternoon, happy most of the time, but then suddenly getting upset and crying and screaming “no” in response to any request she made that I agreed to.  I’m not sure whether to blame the Valium for that, since she’s had days like that before, but it may have been a contributing factor.  She was still a bit moody on Thursday after school, but has been fine since.

We are still so far lice-free (knocking on wood), and the ants have not returned, but Matthew came home from the park outing just now with a giant goose egg on the top of his head from hitting it on the bridge at the playground.  Poor kiddo.  I gave him an ice pack for his bump, and he and Mark are lying on our bed watching some very loud TV.  So much for my headache. :-b

Monday, March 20, 2006

Buggy. Old kit previews.

So apparently Blogger is having problems with comments today.  Sorry about that.  I’m just going to assume all 3 million of my loyal readers tried to leave glowing comments on my transformation below.  LOL

I’m feeling very buggy right now.  Matthew came home with a note from school saying someone in his class has head lice.  Lovely.  This is only our second time having to watch for them.  The last time was when he was about two and in daycare.  He avoided them then; hopefully he will again.  And then, while we are sitting at the table doing Matthew’s homework, Kaylee noticed an ant on the window seat behind her.  We keep toys on the window seats, not really intentionally, they just sort of accumulate there, and most of the surface is cluttered with them.  I looked over and could tell without even getting up that there was waaaaay more than one ant over there.  So I cleared off the toys, shaking stuff out, and got out the spray.  Ugh.  What a mess.  After all the rain we had this weekend, the ground is completely saturated.  I saw lots of ponds in the yards of the little ranches this morning where there didn’t used to be ponds.  All that water must have driven the ants out of the ground.  Now every little itch or random stray hair that moves on my head makes me feel buggy all over again. {shudder}

I added a section to my website for my kits.  Posting that preview yesterday just got me thinking that it would be nice to have somewhere they were all together.  I didn’t realize I’d made 23 kits since I joined the CT last June.  It was kind of fun to look at them all again as I was putting the pages together.  I just broke them up by year, so, unfortunately, it’s probably not real friendly to dial-up users.  Anyway, you can see that here if you like, or find the link in the “Other Stuff” column on my website’s homepage.

And I know you’re just dying of curiosity to know how the laundry turned out.  :-b  I did a medium load of lightweight shirts and it did just fine.  I’m going to work my way up to the bigger, heavier loads, but so far, so good. (So I guess it doesn’t get me out of doing laundry anymore.  Drat.)

Sunday, March 19, 2006

New & Improved

So, I’ve been whining about how much I need a haircut. The last time I actually had one was last May. I quit cutting my bangs in anticipation of getting a haircut sometime around, oh I don’t know, August or September. I normally just go to this Fantastic Sam’s near my house, but they don’t open until 10:00, which makes it impossible for me to go kid-free during the week, and the weekends just go by too quickly. There’s a relatively new member of my local moms’ group who does hair out of her home, or she’ll come to your house. I went to her place Friday morning while Kaylee was at school.

This is what I looked like before I went. Notice the chin-length bangs.

And here’s after.

It’s not that different from the way I’ve had it cut several times in the past, but it’s such a huge difference from the overgrown mop I was dealing with, that it still surprises me when I catch sight of it in the mirror. :-)

Also in the last few days, I’ve partially completed a kit (no specific purpose yet) and completed my Mega Kit contribution for April. My friend Nat was generous enough to contribute some photos, which provided my inspiration and made the kit go so much quicker, since I had no idea what I wanted to do before that. So be looking for that in April. The March Mega Kit is being released right now. My link hasn’t been posted yet, but I guess since the group preview is up, I can show you my individual one. :-)

It’s raining here. Has been off and on since Friday night. We sooooo needed this.

Mark’s off at some sort of magic workshop thingy. He skipped the Friday night part, but went all day yesterday (got home at 3:30am) and headed back out at about 8:30 this morning. It’s supposed to be getting over shortly, so he should be home within an hour or so.

And I’m psyching myself up. Today’s the day. I’m going to attempt some laundry when Mark gets home, so that he can be here to witness any problems. LOL Wish me luck! :-)

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


Not for me, but for Kaylee.  I took her for her dental checkup this morning.  She has two small cavities.  They are small enough that instead of numbing the teeth, she’ll just get Valium and laughing gas.  The dentist gave me a prescription to get filled.  We’re to give it to her the night before and again one hour before her appointment.  I had a small cavity filled without anything at all myself while I was pregnant, and it honestly hurt a lot less than most of my cleanings, so I’m sure she’ll be fine, and all she’ll need is help relaxing, but I can’t tell you how odd it felt to turn in a prescription for Valium for my almost-4-year-old.

Anyway, Kaylee did really great with her cleaning.  The only part where she got a little nervous was when they first laid the chair back.  She didn’t want to lie down.  I think she felt like she was going to fall.  But once she got comfortable, she was fine, doing exactly what she was told and even laughing and saying it tickled a few times.  She goes back for the fillings on the 22nd.

Kaylee also had her follow-up yesterday for the ear infections she had last month, and both ears are clear. :-)  Just as the nurse was getting started with us, the doctor needed her to go do something else, so he took Kaylee’s vitals himself – something he never does.  It was so funny; he was so pleased with himself when he figured out how to use the thermometer.  In his defense, they’ve only been using this particular kind a short time, and it’s an electronic one with disposable covers that pop out of the case.  He did it under Kaylee’s tongue, which she’s never done before, and it only took a few tries to get her to cooperate.  And then it came time to take her pulse.  He couldn’t find it on her wrist and ended up just using his stethoscope and listening to her chest.  Kaylee does have very small wrists, and the doctor’s hands are much bigger than the nurse’s, but it was just too funny to watch, especially the embarrassed little smile he got on his face. :-D  He joked with Kaylee about her not having a pulse, but it went right over her head.  I really, really like this doctor.  We’ve been with him most of the time since Matthew was born, only switching during our extended unemployment when our insurance ran out, and we had to put the kids in the state aid program.  He has always had kind of an odd demeanor, but I always felt that I could trust him with the health of our kids (something I never really felt confident in when we had to switch).  And now that he’s getting older, he’s developing a sense of humor too. :-D

Over the last couple of days we also worked more on the taxes, and I started work on the TAOM program stuff for Mark, which is not coming easily for me.  There was supposed to be a chairmen’s meeting tomorrow night, and he wanted a rough draft by then, but the meeting got postponed so I got a bit of a reprieve.

I haven’t smelled the smoke from the wildfire again since that first morning.  It seems it is contained now, but there is still a danger of it flaring up again.  It’s not supposed to rain until Friday at the earliest.  :-(

And I still haven’t been brave enough to try the washing machine.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Fire. Magic. Washing machine.

Well, the kids are back in school today.  Matthew had a really hard time getting up this morning, but once he got going, he was fine.  I was surprised at a strong smoky smell when I went out to take him to the bus stop.  A quick check of showed that there was an enormous wildfire in the Texas panhandle and southeastern New Mexico overnight, burning more than 1,000 square miles (two-thirds the size of Rhode Island).  They’re saying it’s probably one of the biggest fire days in Texas history. They don’t know what started it, but conditions were prime for this sort of thing to happen. :-(

On a happier note, another magician has passed through the Jensen B&B. :-b  Shoot Ogawa and his student, Shun Kanamori, arrived Sunday morning, went and did the lecture, came back here to do a small workshop afterwards, and then headed out this morning.  Both are originally from Japan.  Shoot has been in the US about four years, Shun only about six months.  Because of the mentor/student relationship, Shun stayed completely in the background and did not perform at all.  They were both quite charming though, and I was tickled when I heard that they’d excitedly stopped on the road a few blocks from our house to take pictures of cows. ROTFL  We sent them out of town by way of Southfork, and the longhorns were out on its front lawn this morning; I wonder what they thought of that. :-)

Anyway, Shoot’s specialty is linking rings.  Now, I’ve seen linking rings lots of times before, and they’re really just not my thing, but this was something totally different.  The rings he uses are smaller than the typical stage rings, and his routine is designed for close-up viewing.  I sat across the table, inches from those rings, completely entranced.  I know what to look for, as in how linking rings “work”, and never once did I catch even the slightest hint of what was happening.  I could have sworn that those rings were really just melting right through each other.  He’s a truly amazing performer.

On the agenda for this afternoon:  put together a grocery list for tonight, work on ideas for Mark’s TAOM program, work on getting our account info updated to see if we can afford to throw some cash into an IRA to help out our tax bill, and, if I’m brave enough, try to do some laundry.  I neglected to mention that Friday afternoon when I was washing up the sheets and towels for the guest room, the washing machine got off balance during the final spin cycle, knocking the door safety switch wonky and blowing the fuse. I wrung the stuff out by hand (sopping wet towels are heavy!!!!!) and threw it in the dryer. That evening Mark went and got a new fuse, and we finally managed to get the switch back into place, but when we did a short test run, it was making a funny humming/rubbing noise.  I’m afraid the tub is not sitting properly.  Mark said to try a load or two and if it was still making that noise, we could get someone out to look at it.   I’m scared to try, but I probably should before I get another 11 loads accumulated, in case it does need to be fixed or replaced. LOL

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Better now.

Note to self: do not try to catch up on several days’ worth of blogs when you are really tired. It will just be needlessly overwhelming.

So I’m doing much better today than I was last night, other than having done housework ‘til I ached from head to toe. By the way, it’s completely pathetic how very little housework it actually takes to make me ache from head to toe. :-b Anyway, I just got done going through and commenting on my “regular” blogs and found when I reread the entries that had bothered me so much last night, I was mostly reading more into it than was really there, thus the note above.

I didn’t really do much today other than the housework. Mark did his share and then played with the kids while I finished up. His D&D group is here now, sounds like they’re just finishing up, and the magician is due to arrive at any moment.

I did find some time to do a little freebie downloading and file organizing and then got totally sucked into the $1 font sale going on at Lettering Delights. I mean they have ALL of their fonts on sale. I only have 4735 fonts according to my font manager. (Truly. That’s not an exaggeration.) So surely I need more, right? So I went through all 937 fonts on the site and plunked the 150 or so that I really liked into my cart. I went through and eliminated the 30 or so I already have but had forgotten about. (I really shouldn’t take that as a sign of anything, right?) I printed out the remaining list and am in the process of examining those and seeing which I still really like and which are quite similar to ones I already have, and of the ones I’ve picked out that are similar to each other, which I like best. So far I’ve narrowed it down to 96, but I got a quarter of the way through the list and realized that I hadn’t ever finished that font organization I started a while back, and to really make an informed decision that really needs to be done, and… well, you can see where this is going. :-b

But anyway, I am better now. In fact, I think I will treat you to the lyrics of my current favorite song. Sing with me now…

Collective Soul - Better Now

Oh I'm newly calibrated
All shiny and clean
I'm your recent adaptation
Time to redefine me

Let the word out I've got to get out
Oh I'm feeling better now
Break the news out I've got to get out
Oh I'm feeling better now

Oh I'm happy as Christmas
All wrapped to be seen
I'm your recent acquisition
Time to celebrate me

Let the word out I've got to get out
Oh I'm feeling better now
Break the news out I've got to get out
Oh I'm feeling better now

The world's done shaking
The world's done shaking
The world's done shaking me down

The world's done shaking
The world's done shaking
The world's done shaking me down


Feeling disconnected.

The week is still rushing by.  I think the kids not being in school has made the effect a lot stronger.  Most of the normal structure and routine that divides up our days is eliminated without the morning routine to get Matthew out to the bus and Kaylee off to school, pick her up, meet Matthew’s bus, do homework.  We didn’t really do much of anything this week.  Mostly just hung out in the house and played games or read stories together, or the kids did their own thing while I worked on the computer or slowly chipped away at the never-ending housework, and I can’t believe the week is gone already.

I took a day and slammed together a major update of my personal website, uploading just about all the layouts from my 2005 pics that hadn’t made it up there yet. The last time I’d updated it I think was in October, and even then I’d only gotten partway through May, so there was a lot to do. I haven’t scrapped Christmas yet, so since I put the pages up chronologically, but don’t always scrap chronologically because of CT stuff, I’ve got a few more waiting in the wings.  I did upload the rest of my layouts with older photos that I did last year too.

Tonight I finally took the time again to try to catch up on blog reading, and it really depressed me.  A friend got some upsetting news earlier this week, and now the moment has passed where I felt I should offer comfort and support, even though I know I will tomorrow.  Another was frustrated over her commercial design experience, expressing some of the thoughts that are exactly why I have intentionally stayed away from designing commercially, but something happened recently that had made me reconsider, and I was excited about it, but now I don’t know anymore.  Another was expressing dissatisfaction with a part of her life that happens to be a part we share, and that made me even sadder.  And throughout all of them, I felt as if it had been months, rather than a couple of weeks since I had commented on their blogs and just let them know I care.  

In a really truly pathetic and feeble attempt to cheer myself up, I went and switched my desktop wallpaper from this to this, which was a little too much on my big monitor, and then to this.  It was only after I had settled on that one, that I noticed the photographer’s description was “It is the coming of summer, the age of the daisy, the fresh start and the optimism.”  Very appropriate.

So, I am vowing that I will find time to keep up and let those around me know that I’m thinking about them.  But I think I need some sleep first.  And if you’re reading this and it doesn’t make any sense at all, I’m going to point you at the time of the post as I crawl off to bed.  

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Quotable Matthew

Matthew, while watching the deleted scenes feature on one of our Star Wars DVD’s:
“You know, this movie is kind of like a soap opera, without all the operas… and soap.”


Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Monday and Tuesday checklist completion:

  • Tax receipts finished (at least the ones I have).  Check.

  • Sponsor layouts tweaked after I thought I was done with them.  Check.

  • TOPS meeting. Check.

  • Very minor grocery shopping and major prescription refill run.  Check.

  • Sponsor reviews written and sent in with layouts for newsletter.  Check.

  • Remaining sponsor layouts posted – 2 out of 3.  Having technical difficulties trying to get the last one to upload.

  • Completed my part of March Elements Team prize organization.  Check.

  • Started April round of Elements Team prize stuff.  Check.

  • Four or five (I lost count) out of about 11 loads of laundry done.

  • Skimmed blogs on Monday morning. Check. (Hi everyone.)

  • Attempted to complete all of the above with the kids out of school and constantly pestering me.  Check.

  • Took the kids to the park.  Check.

  • Read stories with the kids.  Check.

  • Did electronics experiments with the kids.  Check.

  • Spent a lot of silly time with the kids.  Check.

  • Refereed 18 gazillion squabbles between the kids.  Check.

  • Reminded by Mark that I need to start working on the layout for the talent portion of the TAOM program, which is constantly evolving into something more and more outlandishly complex.  Aaaaaaaaargh!!!

(Notice there is no mention of any cleaning in preparation for our houseguest this weekend. :-b)

Monday, March 06, 2006

The whooshing continues.

The weekend that went whoosh spread into the week and another weekend that went whoosh.  It’s one big blur.  Somewhere in there were my TOPS meeting, grocery shopping, Matthew’s usual homework, getting a leaky tire fixed, a trip to the library, a trip to the bread store, a trip to Costco, doing six sponsor layouts, element team whip-cracking & organization, an open house/conference/book fair at Matthew’s school, Bunco night, catching up on my soap, a minimal amount of housework, and entering seven months worth of sales tax receipts into Quicken for our taxes.  

I’m still not done with the receipts, and I need to write my sponsor reviews and submit/post those layouts, and the kids are on spring break this week. And I’ve got a mountain of laundry to do. And we’ve got another magician coming to stay this weekend, so I’ve got to do a lot more housework.

My apologies to my fellow bloggers.  I’ve not even taken time to do more than glance at any of them all week.  I need the days to be 36 hours.  Sigh.