Thursday, December 6, 2012

Love is Louder

Keith has been getting teased at school for being twitchy and fidgety. And while I will agree, it does get annoying sometimes (like when he's picking at his fingernails when I am giving him an instruction), it's nothing he should get teased for. So, Avalyn and I took a picture for him while he was in school, and he took one after school.

Please, if you have time, look at this website. Love is Louder. Remember that everyone. Please.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Poncho Giveaway!

It's November which means it's cold! Time to keep the wee ones warm in their car seat. So, I'm giving away a poncho from my shop! It will be custom made for your little guy or gal.

How to wear it in a carseat.

Animals? Sports teams? Characters? Just a pretty pattern? You choose!

My newest poncho, for the fan of princesses. 

Just a sample of the fabric available.

The winner will be randomly chosen by Rafflecopter. Good luck everyone! I'm so excited for this. In the meantime, check out my Etsy shop. Tell your friends!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, November 8, 2012


Last week was a Pinterest Challenge. This month has a "Thankful Challenge." I'm sure you've all seen it on Facebook or Google + or Twitter... or whatever social media you use, people are posting daily the things they are thankful for. I love this idea, but I'm not one for going with the herd.

A while ago I was reading a photography blog about challenging yourself as a photographer and taking pictures of the ABC's, so I'm mixing the Thankful and Photography Challenge together, I love a good mash-up (oh Glee... you are my favorite). I will be taking a picture every day during the month of November of a different letter of the alphabet and stating something I'm thankful for that begins with that letter.

I'm also bringing Keith in on this challenge. For the past few years he's been pretty ungrateful about the things he has, and it's getting worse. He's starting to think that he is owed certain things, rather than being happy with and glad for what he has (it might be the age, it might be his situation and the anger he's holding onto, who knows). The kid's got it pretty darn good as far as I'm concerned. I'm hoping this challenge really makes him stop and realize how lucky he is.

We've already done photo's for A,B,C, D, E, F, and G. I don't have them all ready to post yet. Something about having a shop to run, a two year old to wrangle, and a four month old to keep happy makes things difficult. Add in the ten year old who has been hiding his homework and not eating his lunch and the difficulty multiplies.

Anyway, Keith was having a hard time with A-E, he would take pictures of things starting with those letters but not know why he was thankful for them. Example: He took a picture of the carpet, so I asked him why he was thankful for that. And he got a little upset and said because it started with "C." I thought maybe he liked the warmth or softness on his feet, or he was thankful his grandparents bought him new carpet for his room so he wouldn't be teased for having pink carpet. Nope, he just took a picture of the nearest thing starting with the letter C. He's starting to get it more, but he's kind of lost on why he's thankful for things. Example: I'm thankful for Nicolas because he's my brother. Sounds nice, but I want him to dig a bit deeper, so I asked him why he's glad to have a brother. Enter the blank expression, followed by a heap of whining.

I'll make a new tab, and will add our photos there as we go, along with captions. I am super excited about this. Pray Keith starts to understand and enjoy himself, too!

Here are Keith's photos (he took them on his own), the captions are in his own words. We used the camerabag2 software to spruce up the pictures, and photoshop to make them square and add the wording - he picked everything.
Avalyn: I am thankful for Ava because I like to have a lot of fun with her.

Brother: I'm thankful for my brother because now I'm not the only boy in the family.

Car: I'm thankful for a car because it helps me get to far places like Nana's and Papa's house.

Dinner: I'm thankful for dinner because it makes me healthy.

Earth: I'm thankful for the Earth because if it was not made I would not be alive.

And here are mine. Everything so far has been done in photoshop. And yes, the first picture was taken on November 1st when we got our first snow. *Shudder*

I'm thankful that every day is a new adventure for my children. Even though we have a daily routine, they always have a way of keeping it interesting and never allowing me to be bored.

This one is self explanatory. I'm thankful for my babies. They are my everything. I love them more than words or pictures could possibly express.

I'm thankful for creativity. It's amazing how pieces of chalk, wax, and charcoal can make amazing drawings. But creativity shows in other ways, too. Turning fabric into clothing, ingredients into meals, clay into sculptures... the possibilities are endless. The world would be a colorless, dull place without creativity.

I'm thankful for the downstairs playroom. If this room didn't exist I would be wading through a sea of toys and I would slowly (but surely) go insane. This room allows me to have kids, and play with my kids, but still have a house where I can be an adult.

I'm thankful for having a good education. I'm grateful that I was able to go to a great public school as a kid, and for being able to go to college as an adult. I'm also thankful my kids are in a great school district, and Matt has the opportunity to go to school again this spring.

Nothing too spectacular happening here, but I'm enjoying it. What are you all thankful for? Are you doing the day to day challenge, too?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Fall Pinterest Challenge Fleece Fun!

Pinterest Challenge Time! Woot! Somehow I found time in between my Etsy orders to whip something up. I had scrap fleece just hanging out in a tote begging for some attention. So, I went to Pinterest and searched "fleece." Wow! My "Thread the Needle" board just got a lot bigger. There's so much out there you can do with fleece. I also searched "felt" because I had some leftover from making an owl costume for a friend. I pinned a bunch of felt things, but nothing really struck my fancy as something I had to do RIGHT NOW! Know what I mean?

I had to choose between a lot of neat stuff to make, and most of my fleece was "girly" which meant it had to be something for Avalyn. She's running low on warm weather wear, and being that today's high was 37 degrees, she's going to need some. I settled on a pleated fleece skirt from

I didn't take pictures of the whole process, because let's face it when you have a two year old and four month old those precious ten seconds usually used to take a picture can be better spent finishing the job. Hmmm... can we say run on sentence?

I already sewed the pieces of the skirt together at this point. Look at my shiny new scissors, though! And they have a sheath like a sword! 

Sewing the box pleats.

Oh, so pretty.

Yes, I was watching Nicolas sleep while working.

Oh, no! He woke up before I finished. Drat!

Sorry for the wonky photo. Night time and bad overhead lighting made me have to resort to *gasp* the on camera flash! Oh nos!

Look her hair is long enough for a pony tail! And yes, her boots are on the wrong feet. Crazy kid.

Now you're thinking, "She needed warmer clothes and you made her a skirt? You are beyond crazy." It's true. I am. To make up for the crazy I added my own flare to the outfit. Notice her shirt doesn't match either? The horror!

Long story (I'm lying, there's no story, but this is what people say) short, I made her some pants and a top to go with it.

She's so happy about it, too! Aw. The pony tail has vanished as well. Apparently, half a day is enough before the mess has to reappear. Where the hair tie vanished to, I'll never know.

Also, I moved my sewing room from the laundry/utility room into the office/guest room. The furnace was too loud. Seriously, with the door closed it was like, "Oh, I hear a gentle hum... it means glorious fall has returned and the house will be toasty and smell of baked apples and cinnamon." Not so much, people. In the laundry room it's more like this: "It's so peaceful sewing in here, the kids are playing just outside the open door... it's truly magica- *THUM BANG* OMG IT'S A FREIGHT TRAIN THAT'S BARRELING DOWN ON MY HOUSE! Oh... oh, it's just the furnace. What's that kids? You need me? I'm sorry I've gone deaf!" Which reminds me, I need to bone up on my sign language.

Where was I? Oh, yes, here are the additions to the outfit.

Pink shirt with patterned cuffs and collar. And a pair of pants with ruffled, patterned bottoms.

She could wear it without the pants, too, of course.

I also made her a headband, but she was done with the photo-op, enough to tell me she didn't love me anymore. Ouch. Don't worry she calmed down and came back later and said, "I'm so sorry, Mommy, I love you, too." Collective, "Aw..." Wait... this isn't a Full House rerun?

A few weeks back, I also made her a Rainbow Dash sweat suit. Complete with cutie marks. I need to fix the "hair" on the hood. Yuck. Otherwise I like it.

My next project: Avalyn's Christmas present. I actually bought a pattern for this next thing. Shocker!
Yeah, it's trending. #RainbowDash

Clearly, I need to go to sleep. Hope everyone else had amazing results with their challenges and nothing like this:


Friday, October 19, 2012

Busy As A Bee

I always think I live such a boring life, but tonight I sat down and realized how much is actually going on.

In the world of Matt: He built a railing for our front porch. It looks amazing! I can't wait until we rebuild the steps and add a gate in the spring. He's also getting the garage cleaned and organized. He's working a lot to bring in extra money. He will be starting college again in January.

Matt working hard in the garage.

Keith: He's doing amazingly well in school. He is in his schools Lego League. He actually has had friends over lately. He's eating well again. After a joint parenting decision, he will be spending all of Christmas break with us, and Thanksgiving break with his mom. The way the school has Christmas vacation broken up makes it so one parent gets a really short holiday with the kid, so I asked Domi if she would like to alternate Christmas breaks. She was on board. Her request was that if we get all of Christmas, could she have Thanksgiving, since technically it's Matt's year, that way each parent gets to spend a major family holiday with Keith. It seemed fair to us so we're going to see how it goes. I don't foresee any problems, and it's nice that we're all getting along.

Keith wanted a poncho, too, but he couldn't decide between one for the Detroit Lions, or Michigan State University. So, I gave him both in one. It was a lot of work.

Nicolas: He is my little talker and awesome sleeper. He sleeps 6-10 hours a night. He gave me a heart attack the other night when his Snuza went off. Yikes! He has such a deep voice when he talks to me. He mimics all the sounds I make, and he's so stinkin' cute. He is the most laid back kid on the planet. Avalyn will come over and take something right out of his hand and he'll just frown at her. She lays down on him, and he frowns at her. He doesn't scream or cry, he's just like, "Hey Mom... can you move her please? And get my toy back? Thanks." He's sitting up for a few seconds by himself, he's rolling, he turning himself around when he's on his belly... this kid is ready to move. 

Avalyn took something away from me... Again!

Pinterest inspired pic: Camera around neck + self timer = fun.

Avalyn: She's two. She's testing us every day. She's mean to Nicolas, she tells us no, she throws fits, she yells, she mimics  she laughs, she's bossy, she's helpful (and not so helpful), she wants to make us happy, she wants to make us crazy, and we love her. She's doing great on the potty. We've gone a month with very few accidents. She picked out her big girl undies (My Little Pony), and tells me when she needs to go. We even got toilet seats with built in small person seats (bonus: they're the non slamming seats - I love them). Avalyn loves going to the fabric store with me. Seriously, it's one of her favorite things. She helps me pick fabric, tells me what I can make with it, and then we go home and she screams at me when I try to work with it. Joyous. She is obsessed with My Little Pony. I can't go a day without hearing, "Rainbow Dash is fantastic " Or, "Rainbow Dash is my favorite!" Or, "Rainbow Dash is so fast!" So, what did I do? I made her a Rainbow Dash sweatsuit complete with "cutie marks." She's in love, but is now asking for a matching stuffed Rainbow Dash. I looked on Etsy and those things are going for $150. Looks like I will have a new project for Christmas.

It's Rainbow Dash! I still need to add the wings.

Me: I made enough on Etsy to buy myself something nice. It has been a lot of work, but it's been really fun. I even made a poncho that looks like an animal (I made an owl, unicorn, monkey, and frog so far), and one for Keith's (and my former boss's) favorite sports teams. The Detroit Lions and Michigan State University Spartans. I'm feeling like a bad mom lately though. Avalyn is driving me insane. I love her, but my goodness, the not listening thing is making me what to rip my hair out. Then when I snap at her, she gives me this lip and cries and I feel so bad for not having enough patience. I'm trying to carve out some Avalyn and Mommy time when Nicolas naps. She wants to play with her "corny's" (unicorns) with me so badly, but I never have time. I need to make time. She's only two once, and before I know it she'll be a teenager who would rather hang out with her friends than her mom.

My plans for the next couple of months:
Keep making things for my etsy store
Paint the little bathroom (I'm thinking a pale yellow and lavender)
Make the office/guestroom more user friendly. There's no room to move in there, it's not ideal.
Help Keith make gifts for his other sister's for Christmas
Paint the main floor - I'm so tired of the white.
Make a desk in the living room for a family computer, Keith is that age now and with all of these horrible stories of bullying and suicide rates going up - I am a firm believer in monitoring internet/computer usage
Rebuild the PC so we do have a family computer

Anyone else have big plans, or have a busy life without realizing it?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Life Update

My goodness I have been busy lately! I have sold a few poncho's through Etsy, made an owl costume for a friend, am busy making a sweat suit for Romeo's two-year birthday gift, and have to make a poncho for my former boss. I'm taking a quick break to write an update on how we're all doing.

Keith started 4th Grade and loves it. Avalyn is talking more than ever, and is potty trained (she still wears training pants at night). Nicolas is growing like a weed. He's rolling, and sitting briefly without assistance, he's also talking (baby coos) a lot more and blowing raspberries like there's no tomorrow.

We went from summer to fall up here in a snap. Seriously, one day it was 90 degrees and the next it was 59. What's up with that? I went down to my parents house last month and had a shopping spree at Once Upon A Child, I bought Avalyn so many dresses (easier than pants for potty training), and I made sure to get Nicolas clothes that can come off easily (that kid has so many blow outs), I also found a blue glowing seahorse, a Scout puppy, and a portable swing. The seahorse was $5 ($14 in store) and looked brand new, Scout was $10 ($20 in store) and also looked brand new, and the swing was $25 ($70 in store) and works great. I also had a full punch card so I got 20% off my entire order. Meaning, the swing was (mostly) free. I was so pumped. Sad that that kind of thing gets me excited.

I've been enjoying my new camera. Thanks to my sales for allowing me to buy it. That and some selling on craigslist. I still have a lot more stuff to list. Baby things that aren't being used, furniture that is not baby/kid friendly... so much to do!

Sorry the update is so quick. I'm tired, but felt the need to write something.

EDIT: For some reason I've had this saved in drafts for two weeks. Fail!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Check Out My Newest Creation(s)!

I made the poncho warmer (two layers) and reversible! Please tell me I'm not the only one who thinks this is cool... I also made an infant poncho for wee ones who can't walk yet. It's longer and scoops in the front so it covers Baby's feet in the car seat/stroller/swing/bouncy anywhere really, I'm so excited and proud. I just had to share. :)

If you like them I do sell them! Tell me what fabric you would like (I can find almost anything) and I will make you the perfect poncho for your kiddo! Fall and cooler weather is on the way. Now's the time to order. Sorry, marketing isn't my strong suit. :)

Clisso Crafts

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Why I Share My Bed With My Kids

As the title says, I'm a bed sharing mama. If this bothers you, that's okay. Co-Sleeping isn't for everyone.

My kids are hellions. There are days when Avalyn drives me absolutely batty. I love that girl to the moon and back, but she knows just how to get on Mommy's nerves. She's like her big brother in that way. I will tell her not to touch something and she will stare at me as she slowly touches whatever it is again. Just like Keith, and Keith drove me crazy. So, after a long (long, long, long, long) day we need to recharge. Well, I need to recharge, Avalyn could probably keep going and keep testing long into the night. This probably makes people think, "Okay, so she spends all day with her kids AND she wants to share a bed with them? Is she crazy?" I will admit that I can be goofy at times, and my husband sure thinks I'm nuts, but sharing my bed with my kids actually relaxes me (most days).

It's a really nice feeling to get into bed with Avalyn climbing up behind me with her sippy cup and hear her say, "I want mommy bed! Mommy lay down, too. I want snuggles, Mommy!" Avalyn is not a good sleeper. She was better when she was still breastfeeding - thanks to milk coma's - but she's really bad at it now. If this was a gradable subject she would have a "D-". Not an "F" because she does sleep, but it is a huge struggle. It's even harder if I'm trying to put her to bed in her own room. She doesn't do well by herself. Enter bed sharing. Life became easier when I gave into bed sharing. I was dead set against it in the beginning. I had heard horror stories of babies being suffocated by their parents, parents not being able to transition the kids into big kid beds, parents no longer having a place to be intimate... all of the cons. So, I was terrified.

We started this when we were still living in our teeny tiny house. All four of us in 900 square foot box. It was a pretty tight fit in the "master bedroom" as it was. It was an eleven by ten room. We had a six foot long dresser, a queen bed, a two foot long dresser, and a crib all packed into the place. My biggest concern was our bed would be unsafe. So, I looked up how to co-sleep safely. Dr. McKenna's suggestions were these:

"Infants should sleep on firm surfaces, clean surfaces, in the absence of smoke, under light (but comfortable) blanketing, and their heads should never be covered. The bed should not have any stuffed animals or pillows around the infant and never should an infant be placed to sleep on top of a pillow. Sheepskins or other fluffy material and especially beanbag mattresses should never be used. Water beds can be dangerous, too, and the mattresses should always tightly intersect the bedframe. Infants should never sleep on couches or sofas -- with or without adults -- where they can slip down (face first) into the crevice or get wedged against the back of a couch."

This is what my bed looked like.
I was off to a good start. The bed was clean and firm, we don't smoke, Avalyn was always dressed in footy pajama's (she was a no blanket kind of girl, still is), no stuffed animals (well, not with her anyway... just above her) or pillows, and no crevices she could get wedged into or against. We attached her crib to our bed, since we had a queen sized bed at the time and there wasn't really room for her, and put foam in between the crib mattress and railing. This made sure there were no creases for Avalyn to fall into. I also threw a flannel blanket down that went over the entire crib mattress and half of our mattress. This gave her her own space but she was close enough to mommy to feel secure. Even after she stopped nursing bed-sharing made it easy for her to fall asleep securely. 

When I found out I was pregnant with Nicolas, I told Matt it was time to spring for a king sized mattress. We went with a mattress with a memory foam topper. Avalyn was instantly in love with it. I was fine with that. I assumed she would be out of the crib and could sleep in between Matt and me. This did not happen. When Nicolas showed up I was originally going to put him right in the crib (which is still next to our bed in side car position like the photo above), but Avalyn refused to give it up. In fact, Avalyn had been sleeping wonderfully on a cot in our room for a month by the time Nicolas arrived. But once she saw a baby in her bed, the cot was a thing of the past and the crib was hers again.

So, I ended up putting Nicolas in a co-sleeper in between Matt and me. I have a love/hate relationship with the co-sleeper. I love it because he's nice and protected, but I hate it because I have to move it whenever I feed him.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Crafty Little Me!

I'm actually making sales in my Etsy Shop! I'm so excited! And I love what I'm doing. How amazing is that? I love what I do AND I get to stay at home with my babies. Talk about having a full heart. Now if only I had a full pocket book to go with it. Money is still tight and I know what little I make isn't going to make a big difference, but I feel like I'm at least contributing now. Matt is on call for three weeks in a row, trying to bring in more money to keep us afloat, but it's really hard on him.

Here's what I'm selling, in case anyone is wondering.

Anyone else enjoying craft type activities? I sure am!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A Little Comparison... Or Two.

I took a few photos this week, and I had to share them.

Avalyn at 8 weeks and Nicolas at 7 weeks. Two years apart, same(ish) pose. And people agree, my mom looks younger in the picture with Nicolas. #BenjaminButton 

Avalyn 11 Weeks 

Nicolas 7 Weeks

Clearly, I will have to take the last picture again at 11 weeks and have the blanket facing the right direction... Please tell me I'm not the only one who does this with her children. I won't stop. I know it. At least I promise not to put Nic in a tutu. Unless he asks. ;)