Saturday, February 27, 2010

Yummy day

Took the kids to this cute cupcake and coffee place (restaurant? diner? What do you call an establishment that actually sells frosting shots??) as a spur of the moment treat today. Sorry about the photo quality; I can't seem to remember my camera anymore and the G1 takes really wretched photos.

"I'll take this one and this one and this one ... "

" ... and this one and this one ... "

"Yes, these will do."

"I decree every day to be Cupcake Day!"

And in case you're wondering why all the photos are of Butterfly lately, it's because the Elephant seems unable to smile nicely for the camera now that he's 9. So if you have your heart set on seeing see blurry, weird faces, head to Google. I did manage to sneak this photo:

"If you start yelling right about here like you're having a tantrum, I can sneak in right over here and grab the chocolate ones."

When we left to go to a couple of antique stores (where I discovered Little Blue Books and a new collecting hobby, though I'm sticking with just the first 100), this is what greeted us outside:

Sheesh. Next time, we'll stay inside eating more cupcakes.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

And other days ...

I have so much love for them, I can hardly contain it!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Insane in the mom brain

Some days it gets really, really close to me doing something seriously crazy ... like booking the most expensive room in the most expensive hotel I can find here in Seattle. Then just leaving for the night.

Pronunciation: \ˈtäd-lər, ˈtä-dəl-ər\Function: noun
Date: 1793
: one that toddles; especially : a young child
— tod·dler·hood \-ˌhu̇d\ noun

Sounds so simple, doesn't it? Obviously, Webster and/or Merriam were men.

Some days with my little family are ... the days where I'm finally going pee after six hours of needing to go, and Butterfly's banging on the door while screaming at the top of her lungs because I won't let her in, then when my heart can't take it, I let her in, then I start thinking about how there's no me left in me or I am a woman buried so deeply down I won't ever find myself again, and I don't even have my own room and that's why I get so frustrated when Elephant creatively dissassembles my freshly made bed and I snap at him though I've vowed to be more patient, and so then I'm not only sitting on the pot comforting a snot-coated, red-faced, aggrieved baby, I'm now a snot-coated, red-faced, aggrieved adult ...

And the little scary parts start to surface, those questions, questions, worries. I describe it as akin to patting your pockets before you set out the door, ensuring you haven't forgotten something. Only my pocket-patting is mental and boils down to: "If I think this, does this mean I'm on the way to being like my mother after all?" (Sometimes I worry it means I'm going to be like my dad, but he's still here, he didn't abandon my sister and I when we were babies, so becoming him is a bit more forgiveable.)

I'm always looking for a reason why my mom left, though I don't blame myself like I used to (which is a serious bitch ... a child blaming herself for an adult's actions). While I want to believe it's because she's just insane and stupid, some part of me is on precarious patrol, alert to the emergence of a genetic link. I don't WANT to be like her. So how to explain/justify those days when I want to flee?

But ... As I'm picturing myself in a hot tub miles above my beautiful twinkling-at-night city, lush robe at the ready and a fantastic bed all to myself, room service just a tap on the phone away ... the sweet smell of my daughter's hair rises, pulling me back to my senses. Her little arms are holding me as tightly as they possibly can. My son knocks gently on the door, quietly letting me know he's put the bed back together. And when I finally wipe the last tear away and emerge from the bathroom, he's still there, because he wants to hug me and tell me he's sorry.

So ... I realize how sad I would be to be alone in a stunning hotel above the city.

To be experiencing something so fun without my children.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Upcycled ... A Cricut project!

OK, damn it. I forgot to blog on this project, which recycles one of Earth's most annoying products: old Christmas wrap. So let's look at it this way: ANY wrap will do.

Step 1: (left) Choose your paper. If you're like me and in love with paper, you save the most ridiculous stuff. You know what I mean ... it's just a little snip you're going to scrapbook ... someday ... But it's NOT so much that you've become a candidate for that "Hoarders" show. (Just keep repeating that last sentence and we'll all be fine.)

Step 2: (right) Smooth it nicely onto your sticky mat, ensuring there aren't any ripped bits that could get caught in the machinery. You could theoretically trim the sheets down, but that would verge too dangerously away from the insanity of the creative process. It's all about leaving things to chance and all ... measuring once and cutting twice. You know.

Step 3: (left) After sending it through the Cricut (not shown; you can figure that out, hunh? :) ), catch an end and peel up. This is what I call the magic step, seeing what you got as the little cutouts are revealed. (And as a side note, see that swipe of white paint there on the right? This is my dining room table. That paint has been there since, oh, I'm guessing 1987. That's how often we actually use the dining room table to eat. I'm dedicated to my craft, hunh?)

Step 4: (above) Well ... there really isn't a Step 4. I just had this extra photo.

Think about how cool this would be if, for example, you took some of the birthday wrap from your little girl or boy's birthday presents and cut out cupcakes. I bet THOSE would go in a scrapbook before the kid turns 29, now wouldn't they?

That's what I keep telling myself.

Friday, February 12, 2010

All you need is love ...

That's what the cute little sign hanging from The Butterfly's door says, and I'd like to believe it's true.

This weekend, to coincide with Valentine's Day, animal shelters across the U.S. have "Second Chance at Love"-type adoptathons. The shelter for which I volunteer is no different, and I was asked to make some valentines to hang from the kitty cubby windows. I had some fun with these puppies ... er -- valentines.

So it's probably a no-brainer that I'll end up your neighborhood Crazy Cat Lady, but the stories of the cats I've helped care for might help you understand why.

There was a tortie whose jaw was so misshapen, she had a hard time chewing solid food, so we only gave her soft. She was the sweetest girl you can imagine; she went to a great family. Her deformed mouth wasn't a birth defect. Someone had used her for target practice.

Chuck Norris is one of our current residents. He's 8 years old and huge, a big old Russian blue with the tiniest mew. He's very intimidating looking (only looking) ... which makes it all the more touching when you watch him groom kittens.

Padre is another old boy, only he's 12. He's 21 pounds of pure sweetness, an enormous two-armload of tuxedo-colored purrs. He lived his life with his sister, in the care of someone who just had to surrender them both because this person lost his/her job. It's a very common story lately.

I once saw a ruffled torbie girl. She was brought in by her owner, flea-infested and ravished. Cleaned up, defleaed and two full cans of food later, her joy could not be contained as she gazed that gaze only cats can do, purred loudly enough to be heard a foot away and kneaded her paws. She was 14; the woman who surrendered her said she'd had the kitty her whole life, but now the kitty was "boring." I left that day intending to bring the sweetheart home, damn the number of cats already in my house. Someone else beat me to it, and this doll will have the beauty and love she deserves for the last few years of her life.

Sometimes, it's hard to let their stories go. People can be so unaccountably cruel.

And then you hear the other tales ... Like the one about Stille Nacht. He's a beautiful long-haired black kitten, 8 months old and HUGE. His name comes from the white star on his chest, and the kind woman who finally managed to rescue him from the streets, right at Christmas time. She figured he must've been managing on his own for about two months ... surviving despite coyotes, cougars and cars. A little Christmas boy, gentle as his name: Silent Night.

All these animals need is a second chance. All they need is ... love.