lots o' scrappin' going on

i've been productive on one front :: scrapbooking. i can't tell you exactly why but i have the scrappin' bug and i've been fairly preoccupied with making pages. as usual, not all of them are completed at this point but i wanted to showcase them ... [click on each picture to see a bigger image]





new + improved 7 random facts


i'm going for fairly simple designs (i.e., not too time consuming) that use what i have at home. i'm really trying to use up my ginormous stash of scrapbooking supplies.

i have a few more layouts that are not ready to be seen so i'll upload those once they're done. thanks for looking. :)


here's what we'll be doing tonight

we'll be sitting in the dark for one hour tonight, from 8 to 9pm, to support lights out la.

rupert often rolls his eyes (not to my face, though) when i hear about eco-friendly ideas for us to do. he's not completely happy with my composting (it attracts fruit flies), he sighs when i yell at him to recycle every last scrap of paper that passes through his hands, and he worries about our bank account when i pledge to buy more organic and local foods.

but i think it's important to do what we can and to teach the kids how easily we can adopt eco-living. we can't, and we won't, go completely green; however, it's crucial that we take action in the areas we're willing to make changes.

from what i can tell rupert has that "what can one family do?" mindset. and that is clearly the very first thing we can change. by making an effort to change the future, i am attempting to make the world not so bleak for the kids. and if i instill that mindset and way of living into ian and maya, hopefully they will do their part to make my grandkids' world a better place. i am hoping that rupert understands why i want us to be proactive on this front. when we change our lives, we change the lives of others. when we show others how easy it is to make changes, and they adopt those changes, even one family can make a difference.

anyway, back to lights out la :: it's only one hour on one night. it really isn't a huge sacrifice (although rupert did ask if the tv counted as "light"!). if we throw away that "what can one family do?" mentality and just do it we're well on our way to helping our community.

so, flip that switch at 8pm ... go for a night walk, light some candles for a romantic evening, turn in early, tell ghost stories. do something different for 60 minutes. it may very well be the first hour of the rest of your eco-friendly lifetime.


blast from the past

i ran into the mom of my best friend from 6th grade today. she's a teacher at the middle school across the street from my house. i'd been keeping an eye out for her on my walks to ian's school and, sure enough, i saw her directing traffic this afternoon.

i had to stop and say hello; i probably hadn't seen her in 15 years but she remembered me. she gave me a quick update about my friend, which has prompted me to get back in touch with her. rupert's not much for reminiscing but i can't help but want to know what's happened to the people who were so integral to me in my younger days.


blog action day :: think globally, eat locally

okay, so i had this long-ish post for blog action day. the theme this year is the environment, not surprisingly. but i was really unhappy with where the post was going and the writing was just not coming to me. so here's a quick recap of what i was trying to say ::

agribusiness farming methods = bad
transporting food from all over = bad
organic food = good
local + organic foods = better

how does that relate to the environment? read about local foods here and here. [i got the idea for this post from reading animal, vegetable, miracle by barbara kingsolver. thanks to my bil's girlfriend for recommending i read it.]

p.s. i enjoyed where ali edwards took her blog action day post :: can scrapbooking be green? being a paper whore i'm starting to feel extremely guilty about the amount of paper and packaging that goes into my hobby.

[10.17.07 update :: you have to check out the statistics from blog action day. over 23,000 posts were written specifically for the day. amazing.]

goody-two-shoes just like his mama

gawd, i hate to admit this, but i'm tickled pink that ian received the first student success award of the year for his class ... for the third year in a row. isn't that the shallowest thing to be proud of?

but it makes me smile to think that his teacher recognizes his citizenship + academic achievements so early on in the year, and that he is a good role model for the rest of the kids in his class.

yay ian!

maya's first "job"

trying to get just the right shot

a friend and neighbor of ours works at tag toys, an educational toy company. she asked me if maya can come to take some pictures for their catalog since they were looking for a cover shot. all the kids in the neighborhood have been in the catalog but they're all in elementary school (or older) now so she needed a little one.

maya seemed comfortable when we got there since she was surrounded by toys but when it came to actually taking a shot she was either too concentrated on playing (serious look) or gave us her fake smile (which actually made her look sort of angry).

after taking a few dozen photos i think they decided on using the first shot they took ... go figure!

[edited 11.16.07 :: the catalog's ready! maya's on the cover and page 41]

this is where i realized she can sort of count to 2. she was playing with a toy that you had to insert the number of rods the card displays, and she was counting, "one and two" as she put the rods into the hole.


changes, yes. fresh start, not so much.

i was purposely vague in one of my previous posts about making october fresh start month. mainly because i have no clue as to what kind of changes i should be making.

i know for certain that rupert needs quiet time alone to get his schoolwork done. i also need to understand that sometimes he'll come home late from school or work. but other than that what can i do to make our family life better without sacrificing my own sanity?

here are some things on my "i really have to put effort into this" list ::
  • saving money + not spending what we have :: this is going to be really hard for me; i'm the spender of the family.
  • purging unwanted + un-needed items :: giving them a second life by donating them.
  • making more meals at home with fresh ingredients :: including the kids in our food choices + preparation.
  • work first, play second :: getting my priorities straight and taking care of business first.

i shouldn't have to make a list and remind myself of these things; they should come naturally to me as a stay-at-home mom. however, i foresee having to come back to this list daily to make sure i'm putting my family first.

he had me convinced

ian's new talent :: losing things that aren't lost.

on wednesday we went to the park after school. on the way home, i asked him if he had his lunch box and he answered in the affirmative. but when we got home he couldn't find it. i was annoyed, for obvious reasons, but we went back to the park to look for it.

ian remembered that he threw it under a tree when we first got to the park. "why would you throw it under a tree when you left your backpack with me?!" i asked him. "i don't know," was the reply. "are you sure you left it under the tree?" i asked him a couple more times just to be sure because i didn't remember seeing him with a lunchbox in his hands on the walk to the park. "yes, i'm sure," he said with conviction.

so, off he goes looking for the lunchbox under the tree. it's nowhere to be seen. he runs around and around the park looking for it to no avail. from a distance i can see the worried look he's getting, and he's almost on the verge of tears.

to be honest, at that point i was super-annoyed. and i can get pretty nasty when i'm super-annoyed. but i held my tongue; if i have nothing nice to say don't say anything at all. i knew he felt bad about it, so we could talk about it when i was less annoyed. but i knew i was going to make him pay for the new lunchbox if it came to that.

but, lo and behold, the next day after school ian comes up to me and says, "oh yeah, about that lunchbox. it turns out i left it at school ..." after all that drama he didn't even have the lunchbox at the park. it's one thing to think that you left it somewhere at the park, but he was so sure that he threw it under a tree. he "lost" it at such a specific place how could i not have believed he left if there??

he's a (book) smart kid but sometimes he's such a space cadet. so now i have to add "forgets something in one place and thinks he lost it somewhere else" to the list of absentminded things he does.

someone's showing me they're ready for a dog


not that i'm going to let her get a dog, but it's more effort than i've seen either of the boys show!

last week maya got into our plastic bag drawer and pulled out a produce bag. the first thing she did with it? went straight to her wooden dog toy and pretended to pick up poop! she must've been really paying attention during her walks with my mother-in-law and her dog.

i noticed today that the "poop" she picked up was a little brown stuffed animal kitten. how appropriate.

(and, don't worry, she's always supervised when she has the plastic bag and we take it away from her after she's done picking up "dog poop.")


remember how i said rupert cannot seem to find anything in front of his face? i just needed to give you an example :: for the last two nights, at maya's bedtime, he comes out of her room looking for daisy. daisy is another hand-me-down stuffie from ian; it's a duck from the jane simmons series of picture books.

both nights he claims to have looked in maya's crib before coming out of her room. and both nights guess where i found daisy? in the crib! how is it even possible that two nights in a row he cannot find a duck in a crib that measures no more than 2x4 feet?? i just don't get it!

effer dare :: 7 random facts


this one came from the effer dares book; it's also part of the last scrapper standing challenge this week. i'm not participating in the challenge, but i thought i would make the layout anyway.

my challenge to myself was to use a larger piece of patterned paper. i'm usually really stingy with my patterned paper and i can only bear to part with a small portion of a 12x12 sheet. this time around i used a 6.5x9 piece of the red patterned paper ... although i must admit i cut out portions of the patterned paper under the 7 card and photo so i can use them for something else.

cardstock :: bazzill
patterned paper :: cosmo cricket
7 card :: target
stickers :: ki memories, ek success, k&co
stamps :: autumn leaves (numbers and bracket), purple onion (decorative)
wooden 6 :: lil davis
other :: labels, label maker (dymo), ledger paper (making memories), graph paper, elmo rubon, stamping ink

knott's berry farm mini album

knott's berry farm mini album

my second mini album :: done! and i think i like it better than my first one.

it's 6x6 in size with a transparency cover. i held it together with four 10mm jump rings, which i probably have to close better since the transparency page keeps slipping out.

there's very minimal journaling on this one since it's just pictures from a day at knott's berry farm. but it was our first outing as a family to an amusement park and i had too many pictures for a regular layout.

i also wanted to keep practicing my sticker layering technique, which i did on the front cover. and i really like that i finally used one of the calendar pages from real simple magazine, which i've been stealing from my mil's issues for the last year.


you know you've made it when the simpsons parody you

we love the simpsons at our house. and tonight's episode, midnight towboy, really hit home :: marge hires a c.r.i.e. method counselor to help maggie become an independent baby. um, hello ... that's totally a parody of rie, the class i take maya to!

of course, the c.r.i.e. counselor wasn't exactly like a rie educarer, but it was pretty darn funny, especially since rie isn't very mainstream and not a lot of people know about it.

p.s. rie doesn't believe that "hugs are drugs" ... just so you know, we're okay with hugging our children!

p.p.s. i'm a pretty firm believer in the rie method (although i don't subscribe to everything); it's the way i'm raising both ian and maya. if you're in the los angeles area and have an infant, i highly recommend checking out our rie associate, karen, or reading your self-confident baby (which, i must admit, i haven't read).

if your kid is impressionable ...

... don't watch nacho libre.

we rented it from the library yesterday and while we were watching it maya was going crazy :: laughing at the two furry little people, saying, "ow!" during the wrestling scenes, and practicing her moves on rupert.

to top it all off, i wasn't particularly amused. it was no school of rock.


23 months.

nap time :: 10.04.07

maya @ 23 months :: 10.04.2007

  • her affirmative "yeah" has turned into an emphatic "yes" or a very polite "yes mama". she also says, "otay" instead of "okay."
  • has fallen on her head multiple times this month, mainly due to her attempts at going up and down stairs unassisted.
  • we're finally potty training ... wait, is that the un-pc term? um, she's becoming toilet aware?? most of the time she sits on it and nothing happens, but she's peed in it a few times (the first time was on september 19). funny story :: after grandma took maya off the toilet because she didn't pee, and then went off to find a diaper for her, maya peed in the hallway and then proceeded to slip in her own pee, fall down in her pee, and hit her head.
  • when she really wants something she will say, "peeze" (please).
  • this month she's gotten to be more conversational :: "where ____ go?"; "wadoin? (what are you doing?)"; "what dat?"; "all gone"; and her absolute favorite, "i did it!"
  • the little girls she sees at ian's school always want to pick her up or drag her around, but because she's in such an independent phase she absolutely hates it.
  • she's obsessed with watching ian's old blues clues videos (with steve); no more watching sesame street, unfortunately. at this rate her birthday party theme will be blues clues, just like it was for ian's 2nd birthday ... but she's not having a birthday party, is she?
  • she's always liked blankets but lately she's constantly dragging around her dog and monkey baby gap blankets (also hand-me-downs from ian).
  • knows the way to jiji+baba's house :: when we drive towards their house she yells out, "baba! jiji!"
  • loves having banana snack time at rie class :: five minutes into the class she goes up to the teacher and asks, "nana?"
  • she loves her baby doll, hannah. she's been carrying her around and sleeping with her for awhile but now she pretend plays with her, giving her milk from a small wooden milk carton.
  • she brings her plate into the kitchen after she's done eating ... ian won't even do that.
  • she learned to say "au revoir" on her own when we leave ian's french class.


changes are a-brewin'

today is rupert's first day of school; he starts his phd program at ucla in social research methodology. doesn't it sound riveting? it's in the education department but i don't know what exactly he'll be studying (much like his job at the school district).

being the worrier that he is, he's already stressed out about it ... and he still has four or five more years to go! the first day of school for me was always exciting, even in graduate school. new school supplies, the syllabus, making new friends (and enemies) -- it was always a fresh start.

so i've decided to make october our fresh start month. the plan is to implement small changes around here to make this transitional time easier for everyone. i think this will mean a huge effort on my part but i'm hoping, at the same time, that it will be a motivator for me :: to get off my ass and do whatever is necessary to support rupert as he starts a new chapter in his life.

let's see how things progress, shall we?

[no picture today because rupert absolutely refused to let me take a picture of him before he left for campus. he's a party-pooper.]