Easy Like Sunday Morning

G-tot and I often take walks in the neighborhood where he rides his bike and I walk—usually a bit behind him because his little legs pedal so fast. This week on one of our walk/rides he stopped his bike at the corner, turned to me and said, “Mom, how do you spell ‘navigation acceleration’?”

I have no idea what prompted that question but fortunately I was able to spell it for him on the spot.

I’m crafting it up this week for the Fourth of July over at the Curvy Girl Guide.

I made a trio each of Patriotic Votive Holders and Rocket Cracker Favors.

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Aren’t they super cute? Better yet, they were really easy to make.

Over at Babble’s Being Pregnant this week I’m waxing over making room for another baby, pining over these ridiculously cute newborn hats from Etsy, giving away some hilarious kid’s books, showing off my baby bump, and contemplating what to drink this 4th of July since margaritas are out of the question for another 11 weeks or so.

The Clothesline

I feel like Laura Ingalls Wilder.

I just spent the last half an hour with wooden clothespins hanging from my mouth and 50 pounds of wet laundry at my feet. For the first time in my life I have hung my laundry from a clothesline to dry.

Over the years I’ve spent countless hours and quarters at the laundry mat. More than once I’ve forgotten about the load I started in the small two machine laundry rooms in apartments I’ve lived in. And more than once I’ve had to put more quarters in those machines because my stuff didn’t get dry the first time through.

When we bought our house nearly six years ago, JQ and I were so excited to be able to do laundry in our own house. It didn’t matter if we didn’t have quarters. It was okay if the load of towels sat in the dryer overnight. The washer and dryer was ours. In our own home. We didn’t have to share it with anybody else if we didn’t want to.

It was wonderful.

This week in a cruel twist of fate our dryer broke. Part of the plastic edging that forms a seal around the drum popped away from the edge awhile back. Every time I put a load of laundry in the dryer I would struggle to pop that piece back in place only to find it popped back away from the edge by the time the load was finished. Sometimes I would find a washcloth dangling in front of the opening, wedged in between the drum and the popped out plastic edge.

Earlier this week the entire plastic edge fell out. It was broken in a few spots and would not go back in place. The light bulb in the dryer broke off with it.

When I tried to dry a load of towels last night the dryer stopped in the middle of the cycle three separate times. Each time there was the corner of a towel caught between the drum and the outside wall of the dryer casing. After the third time I took all of the damp towels and hung them from an old tattered clothesline that has been hanging in our basement since long before we bought the house.

This afternoon JQ hung a new shiny white clothesline in our backyard. One by one I hung the freshly laundered clothes from that new line. Even though it stretched at least ten feet across the lawn it wasn’t long enough to hang the entire load up. So I took down the towels from the basement line and hung more clothes on that one.

I still had wet clothes in the basket so in a last ditch effort I tossed underwear, socks and some tee shirts into the dryer in hopes that they might get dry without anything getting caught between the drum and the outside casing. Nothing got caught. Instead the dryer just completely stopped working. Now I have two clotheslines full of damp laundry hanging to dry and a bunch of undies and stuff sitting damp in a non-functional dryer.

Unlike Laura Ingalls Wilder I also have a credit card. I’m going to need it to buy a new dryer because hanging all that laundry on the line is going to suck come wintertime.

Sunday Sunday

It’s Sunday.
I’m sleepy.
My to-do list is a mile long and refuses to do itself.

Let’s recap the week shall we?

We are still recovering from the robbery. Which basically means I’m still really paranoid once the sun sets but it’s getting better. My Quilled Q was accepted into the Hand Lettered show I entered. I’m super excited about that but still need to finish framing the piece—it’s on my to-do list. Over at the Curvy Girl Guide I’m sharing my must have kitchen gadgets. Seriously, I love these things.

Over at Babble.com I’m talking about failing my glucose test, looking at ridiculously cute retro-style onesies from Etsy, reminiscing about becoming a mother, thinking about names and worrying about my sex life.

Is it any wonder I’m tired?

I Hope Karma Rots Your Genitals You Thieving Bastards

I have this heavy weight sitting in the pit of my stomach right now. I am dumbfounded. Shocked. Pissed off.

I am disgusted with certain members of the human race.

Late Friday night—sometime after one a.m. (so technically early Saturday morning)—we were robbed. My husband’s livelihood was stolen right just yards from where we slept. Thousands of dollars worth of equipment. His entire PA system. Vintage items that cannot be replaced. Pedals, tuners, cables. The list goes on and on.

I am fucking outraged.

So much so that I’m having difficulty putting it into words.

Dear Thieving Bastards,

How dare you steal from us. Your utter disregard for the way society should function has totally fucked us. What you stole from us wasn’t just a little bit of equipment from a guy who likes to play music. What you stole from us was a man’s bread and butter. The way he provides for his family. You stole food from my child’s mouth. I hope you pay dearly for this.

We are far from well-off. As a matter of fact my family are probably some of the poorest people in my circle of friends. I’m not complaining, just stating a fact. A silver platter is not something we were ever handed. A strong work ethic and a respect for others? Those are things we believe in. Things you obviously have no concept of.  We work really hard for everything we have and that equipment was no exception. Thanks to you, my husband had to give up a show on Saturday. He could not go make money to provide for his family because you stole all the stuff that he needs to make that money.

And now we have to figure out a way to replace all that stuff. And once we do we will be digging ourselves out of the hole that your selfish asshole act has put us into.

I hate you for that.

Your lack of respect for other people’s shit makes me sick. Just thinking about what you have done to us makes me want to vomit. And the worst part is you will probably get away with it. I hope I’m wrong.

I hope you rot.

And so here we are. Picking up the pieces of our broken dreams. Wondering how we will replace what has been taken from us. Wondering how we will do it quickly so my husband can play again. Wondering how long it will take us to get back to where we were Friday afternoon—just making it but not defeated.

The insurance company has told us we are not covered in this situation so there’s that. We are fucked.

***Some of you have asked if you could donate a little money to help us buy new equipment. My husband’s pride is keeping him from saying yes. We have a really difficult time accepting money that we don’t feel like we have earned (see work ethic note above). However, I understand that some of you really want to do this and believe in the pay it forward method of living. You are the people that bring tears to my eyes.

It is this sort of kindness that makes me—with much hesitation—put that little button below on this post. Feel free to ignore it but for those you that expressed an interest…all I can say is Thank You. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You have no idea what your desire to help means to us. Seriously. I have shed more tears over your offer than I have over our loss. YOU are what keeps me having faith in humanity.





The Quilled Q

The Toledo Chapter of AIGA—my local chapter—is hosting an awesome exhibition next month at the gallery of one of my favorite design firms in the area, Madhouse. The show revolves around typography that has been strictly created by hand. No computers. Only traditional photography. Any medium as long as it was created off the computer. You get the the idea.

The call for submissions ends today and in my go to fashion I sent my submissions in last night. I submitted two pieces and I’m crossing my fingers that if not both, at least the one I’m going to share with you today gets picked. I put a ridiculous amount of hours into creating this bad boy and I’d really love for it to be hanging in the show next month.

I call it Quilled Q.

It was created from 164 hand quilled pieces of paper that each started out as a 1 inch x 8.5 inch strip. Quilling is a process in which paper is rolled around a quill (traditionally) to form a spiral. I don’t have an actual quill so I used an 8-D Casing nail. Close enough, right?
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Once I rolled all of the quills—or rather once I had a decent amount of pieces rolled I started assembling the Q.

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And then I rolled more. And more. Until it took the shape I was looking for.

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The final piece measures 18 x 24 inches and I’m super pleased with the way it turned out. It still needs to be put in its frame, but one thing at a time, you know?

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What do you think?

No Sex, No Orgasms, Just Anxiety and Fear

I heard the phone ring while I was in a brief work related meeting on Tuesday morning. I ignored it and let it go to voicemail. On the way to the car after the meeting I listened to the message.

Holly, this is Dr. OB’s office, please give us a call.

Shit.

They only leave messages for you to call when something is wrong. If everything was okay she would have said so in the message.

But she didn’t.

So I got in my car and called the office refusing to drive away until I hung the phone back up.

Let me grab your chart.

Fuck.

Now I really knew something was wrong.

We looked at your ultrasound…

Previa…
Placenta is really close to the cervix…
No sex…
No orgasms…
Call anytime if there is spotting or bleeding…

I drove home in a daze. I googled Placenta Previa on the way home and read about it at every stop light.

Bleeding…
Premature Labor…
Potentially serious…

I spent the rest of Tuesday either laying on the couch or in bed wishing that the blinking green light on my phone would have been a message saying everything looked great. Instead it was one that would have me once again hoping there would be no blood on the toilet paper with every trip I made to the bathroom.

The Intimacy Experiment—Day Two

Day two of the K-Y Intimacy Experiment was all about connections. Not just sexual connections but positive connections with your partner outside of the bedroom. Connections they call “transferable” desire that are supposed to “contribute to lasting sexual desire and fulfilling sexual experiences”. Things like holding hands, snuggling into each other when relaxing, ore cooking a meal—and cleaning up—together.

The day started with recognizing how much transferable desire we already have in our relationship. Sadly, I discovered the answer was far too little. JQ and I have become stuck in this habit of living under the same roof but not really interacting enough. We have grossly different work schedules right now and when we are both home we tend to focus on the needs of G-tot instead of on each other. As I left the house yesterday to run G-tot to daycare, JQ tried to give me one of the 30-second hugs we were asked to do throughout the day and I blew him off because I was rushing out the door and didn’t want to take the extra time. What the hell? That is exactly the kind of shit I need to stop doing.

So we touched more. We hugged more. When we settled in last night to watch a family movie I moved to be right next to JQ instead of having G-tot between us so I could lay on his chest and snuggle with him.

And it felt really good.

I realized just how much I missed that part of our lives.
I realized just how much I need that.

And when we went to bed last night we connected on an even deeper level. It was true transferable intimacy.

Disclosure: I wrote this post while participating in a blog campaign on behalf of K-Y Brand and received product samples to help facilitate my review. For more information, visit the K-Y Intimacy Experiment tab on Couples Place.

The Intimacy Experiment—Day One

I have been passed the lube torch by Meredith and am now participating in the K-Y Intimacy Experiment. It’s ten days of intimacy that I get to experience with JQ and then blog about—OMG, parents and friends that really don’t need to read about my bedroom habits, TURN AWAY NOW!

Seriously. WHY ARE YOU STILL HERE DAD?

Anyway.

Day one was actually pretty mild and although it did end with nookie it was more about making your bedroom a blissful place instead of this:

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This is not staged. This is really what our bedroom looked like pre-shake down.

Clean clothes in the basket.
Dirty clothes in a pile on the floor.
Several pairs of shoes tossed in front of the dresser.
Stacks of kid’s books from the library.
Unmade bed.
Too much shit on the dresser that doesn’t belong there.

It’s kind of embarrassing.

It is also not really the kind of environment that screams sexy. AT ALL.

So…I put on my french maid outfit, grabbed my cat ‘o nine tails, and whipped that room into shape.

Okay, maybe not, but it sounds a lot sexier than saying I cleaned up our bedroom wearing leggings and an oversized sweatshirt, right?

This was the result.

IMG_1587A made bed.
No laundry—clean or dirty.
All horizontal surfaces are free of clutter.
Clean.
Inviting.
Wonderful.

Oh, and what’s that on the bed you ask?
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Just a little something from the good folks at K-Y to take us through our intimacy quest over the next ten days and beyond.

Pretty sweet, eh?

Disclosure: I wrote this post while participating in a blog campaign on behalf of K-Y Brand and received product samples to help facilitate my review. For more information, visit the K-Y Intimacy Experiment tab on Couples Place.

Entrees, and Salads, and Sides, Oh My

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That hot mess is just a portion of the many loose recipes I have floating around my kitchen. Entrees, desserts, cocktails, salads and more all mixed together in a pile that mocks me every single time I try to find a recipe. Not to mention the countless recipes in there that I have yet to make. The “oooh, that sounds good, I’ll print that out and make it later” recipes.

The madness must stop.

So…I’ve decided to try and organize that debacle into something a little more manageable. Ideally they end up in a neat 3-ring binder organized by sections. But let’s face it, I’ve been meaning to organize that folder full of recipes since I was pregnant with G-tot and he is four now. I wouldn’t hold your breath that it will be done anytime soon.

I have, however, started the process. Over the last week or so I have sorted every one of those recipes from that raggedy folder into manila folders organized by types of food.

2011-04-09OMG, this was time consuming.

They will probably be in that state for awhile.

Along with organizing them I’m going to try making some of the recipes that have never graced my stove top before. As I was sorting the recipes I was practically drooling over the possibilities my palette has missed out on.

The cocktails section will sadly have to wait until September.

Project Getting Real

I guess you would call it a movement.

We aren’t burning our bras or anything—I actually need the support for my boobs.

What we are doing is getting real. Getting real about who we are.

We are women.

We are gorgeous.

We need to stop tell ourselves anything different.

So we started out by posting  photographs of ourselves along with our height and weight. The real us. We would not hide behind a number. It was empowering. And honestly? Too many would have guessed the wrong number if you would have lined us up and played Guess Your Weight with us like a bunch of carnival monkeys. That’s just how skewed our reality is. The number doesn’t matter. Loving yourself does regardless of whether or not you think that number is the right one.

After that we got real about our beauty and replaced the Pound Book with the Boost Book. It gave everyone—including YOU—a chance to hear about the beauty that we may not see in photographs when we are too busy tearing apart the flaws. You are all so beautiful. Trust me.

Yesterday we stepped out of our comfort zones and into our closets to dig out something that we just never wear. How did it get in there in the first place? We must have loved it in the fitting room so why has it never seen the light of day outside of our closets? So we put it on. And posted our photos—I chose a little strapless dress. It will not be doomed to the back of my closet for all eternity. I will wear it in public.

And this? It’s just the beginning.

I am a Curvy Girl and this is our movement.