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Thursday, April 30, 2009


IMG_1943 I get asked all the time if Caleb and Eva are siblings.  I know that those asking  the question really want to know if they had the same birthmother.  Even though they don't, I'm always tempted to say, "yes, they're siblings". 

You can find me guest posting today about autism over at Make and Takes

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Reversal of Fortune


I went to the eye doctor YESTERDAY for my annual check up.  My prescription hadn't changed too much so he said I could get by with what I have.  I was feeling great about my good fortune.  No new glasses this year!

Then Caleb came home today in a foul mood. 


Looks like I'm getting some new glasses after all. 

Silver lining: Carl is coming home early so I can go.

Irony: Caleb is acting like a total angel right now---it's a total Jekyll/Hyde transformation with him.

Flat Trisha

For the past several days, I've been entertaining Flat Trisha from MomDot.comIMG_1955I met "real" Trisha at the Mom 2.0 Summit and we share a love for all things reality TV.  She's also one of the funniest people you'll ever meet. 

Flat Trisha?  Not so much.  She spent the majority of her time here In Nebraska staring me down.   I wanted to take her out to see the sights of Lincoln but all she wanted to do was sit in front of the TV and watch For the Love of Ray J. 



Flat Trisha has some local fans.  Lucky for her, one of them took the time to visit her at my house.  Deb from Fresh Nest Designs says hi! 




She wouldn't leave the house until I told her that our state capitol building here in Nebraska is often referred to as "The Penis of the Prairie".  She hopped right into my purse and we were off! 

She thinks it could be bigger.

Here you can take a look at some of the other adventures I had with Flat Trisha!  Where will she go next?

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IMG_1954 IMG_1948

These adventures would not have been possible without Flat Trisha's sponsor.  Get your own flat picture here.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Flip Side

Yesterday I wrote about the sweet thing Caleb says to me and how it melts my heart.  It reminded me of something else he's been doing lately. 

You know how they love The Wizard of Oz?  When Caleb is mad at me he throws cupfuls of water on me to try to get me to melt.  I have to tell him after I scream with rage and get totally peeved that he just threw water on me that good witches don't melt.  He remains unconvinced I'm a good witch and so I get a cupful of water tossed at me on a regular basis. 

This is NOT the way to melt my heart.

You can see the cuter side of Caleb over at today.  I finished up a sweater vest I knit for him and he looks pretty darn handsome.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

I Love You Crescendo

We're a little OCD around these parts with our hugs and kisses for the kids.  We get a kiss, then a hug, and then an eskimo kiss.  It has to be in that order.  I've been trying to spice things up a bit and I've added telling the kids how much I love them during the hug and we squeeze each other as hard as we can.  Sometimes I put my arms out to tell them I love them.  I say, "Look how big this is!  I love you bigger than that!". 

Caleb has started telling me that he loves me crescendo.  For his musical mind, this is infinity.  It seriously melts my heart.  I love him crescendo, too.

Friday, April 24, 2009

No Whining Today

Usually when Carl is gone I whine and complain about how my life is horrible and I get no respect and I just need a break and you get the point.  Carl has been in Phoenix since Wednesday and so far, things have been great.  Granted, Caleb is in his normal school routine and his meds are back to normal.  That wasn't the case on the last business trip.  It doesn't really matter, things have been great! 

Eva has been super fun and helpful except when Caleb's school secretary had to help me drag her out of the building kicking and screaming today.  Caleb has been extremely well behaved today because he came home with a really horrible, allergy eye and has been asleep off and on since 3:3opm.

I had a great day!  We made it to the dentist practically on time.  Eva needs to go back in a few weeks to do something to one of her fused monster teeth.  They were both well behaved and the hygienists love them, of course! 

I got to meet some friends for lunch today!  We were celebrating my birthday a little late.  Apparently, I'm a busy person.  I guess it is true. is kind of taking over my life lately.  Lunch at Applebee's was courtesy of Shannon.  Babysitting courtesy of Sarah.  Movie courtesy of Audra.  Thanks, ladies!  It was an amazing afternoon.

17 Again

We went to see 17 Again.  I know I'm probably in the minority, but who needs Edward when you've got Troy Bolton?  The movie was really cute.  Predictable, but cute.  Unless you have an unhealthy obsession with Zac Efron, you can probably save some cash and see it on DVD.  I, on the other hand, enjoyed it immensely!  Nothing like a wholesome, feel-good movie to make your day.

After the movie I came back home to get Caleb off the bus.  The nurse called me to warn me about his eye.  I gave him some allergy medicine and called the doctor's office to see if there was anything else I could do for him.  I put a washcloth on it and he fell asleep.  He slept off and on all afternoon.  I may be regretting that in the middle of the night but he just wouldn't stay awake!  Sarah brought back Eva and stayed to play.  Eva had a blast playing with Sarah's kids.  My teenage helper came over this afternoon as well.  I had her sort some of my fabric into colors.  Busy work, but I think she enjoyed it. 

A friend of Caleb's from school stopped by with her mom today.  It was such a pleasant surprise.  I discovered they live just a few houses down so we set up a play date for tomorrow.  I'm pretty excited about it. 

Eva and I ate some leftovers for dinner and then watched Aladdin while we were knitting.  Eva got some needles and yarn and messed around with them during the whole movie.  She kept telling me she loves to knit and she wouldn't let me take the needles away when she went to bed.  She's my little mini-crafter.  I love it.

This is turning out to be a longer post than I had anticipated.  It is probably because I don't have Carl here to tell all of these things.  Anyway, just had to blog for posterity that we're having a great week!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A Little Lighter

For months I've had something I needed to do.  I neglected it.  I pretended it wasn't very pressing.  It continued to nag at me.  It was a giant weight on my shoulder. 


I had overdue library books. 


Not just overdue library books.  Fines.  We had fines on every library card in my wallet (3). 

Today I paid them all.  I turned in every overdue book.  I'm free.

IMG_1936 I turned over a new leaf because I appliqued a simple word on a simple bag. 

What did you do today?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009



The *ONE* concert I couldn't go to with Wendy.  I'm sure she'll tell about it all in her own words when she gets back from her amazing week.  But, for now, we can enjoy this screen shot from American Idol last night.  The sheer awesomeness of this can't be quantified. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Just Call Me OctoMom

I bought a new lipstick on Friday morning.  I'm almost out of my most beloved MAC Retro and I needed some new blush, too.  There was a buy one get one free deal at CVS this week so I went ahead and got some lipstick and blush.  I didn't pay close attention to the specific kind of lipstick I was purchasing.  I was mainly focused on the colors.  Plus, I had Eva with me so it was a quick trip. 

I didn't open my new lipstick until yesterday morning.  I was surprised to have my lips tingle and they plumped up quite significantly.  I thought I might be having an allergic reaction or something.  Then, I looked at the case.  It is VolumeXL Seduction Plumping Lip Color.  I got Petal Attraction, which I thought would be a bit darker.  Oh well.

I updated my facebook yesterday and generated so many comments about my new plump lips, I decided to do a comparison for the blog.  I took these this morning.  I tried to get the same distance from my lips as possible so you can see the difference.

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Can you tell a difference?

Monday, April 20, 2009



Taken on the way to Kansas City, just after we crossed the river into Iowa on Hwy 2. 

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Follow the Yellow Brick Road

IMG_1897 Our trip to Kansas City was so much fun!  The kids had such a blast meeting the characters from The Wizard of Oz and playing in the exhibit they had set up.  Dorothy was so great with the kids and made Eva feel so great about her dress and shoes!  IMG_1898 For days before the trip they kept asking to go to Emerald City to see the Wizard.  I was so glad we could oblige! 

The exhibit will be at the Crown Center for just one more week and the characters are only there on Saturdays, so if you're in the area and your kids love the Wizard of Oz, it is definitely worth going to!  IMG_1901

The exhibit itself was a trip through Oz.  It is definitely geared towards kids.  You can follow the yellow brick road, meet up with the scarecrow, tin man, and lion, and make your way towards Emerald City.  IMG_1908 You can go behind the curtain and push some buttons to make the wizard speak.  Then you can go into the witch's castle (Caleb's favorite), see some flying monkeys, and watch the witch melt. 

It was really crowded when we were there.  I was nervous Caleb wouldn't be able to handle the crowds but it just goes to show you, if he's interested enough in something, he can do it! 

We would have like to stay longer in Kansas City and visit more with our friends, but in the end we decided that there's no place like home.

IMG_1893Thanks to Wendy for the last minute use of the ruby slippers.  Eva's broke on Friday and I didn't have time to fix them.  They are all better now.  Good thing Eva has big feet and can fit into a size 12.  Scary, since she just barely turned 4. 

Friday, April 17, 2009

We're Off To See the Wizard

Carl and I are taking the kids to the Emerald City this weekend.  We'll be checking out the exhibit at the Crown Center Plaza in Kansas City and taking some time to hang out with our friends, the Blacks.  If you want a preview of Eva's outfit, you can check out the tutorial over on my craft website.  We made some fabric covered buttons and they are now ponytails.  It's going to be so much fun!  I'll try to post as many pictures this weekend as I can.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Eva Being Silly

Mary Ann has a blog that is private so I won't even bother linking to it.  As much as I try to convince her to make it public, she won't.  Anyway, this video won't be as funny since you haven't seen Tori's.  But, Eva begged me to videotape her doing this.  Caleb makes an appearance as well. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Crafting Autism

autismswakKris over at JesseKate Designs wrote a lovely post about autism awareness.  In honor of her nephew, she made a couple different appliques that can be downloaded at her site, , for free! 

It has been really difficult for me to get into autism awareness month this year.  Because I live it every single day, I forget that there are still people that don't know a lot about it.


We had a rough Feb/March with Caleb.  It took some time to work through a few issues and get his medication regulated.  These past two weeks have been so much better.  He's able to focus more and is less apt to lash out and be physically aggressive.  I try not to be embarrassed when he melts down in public.  We do the best that we can.  The other day we saw a kid having a hard time in a store and Eva spoke up and said, "He needs a big squeeze and a wrap like a taco!".  Wrapping Caleb up in a blanket like a taco and squeezing him really calms him down. 

This post is kind of all over the place today.  I guess the point I want to make is that even though I'm not blogging about autism every day this month, doesn't mean I don't hope that you seek out as much information about it as you can.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Egg Hunt

Here are some of the photos I took during Saturday's Easter Egg Hunt.  We've lived in Lincoln for almost 4 years now and this was the best weather we've had for the hunt since we've lived here.  The kids had fun and it was a great way to spend the morning.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me by Eva

Eva came to my bed this morning to sing Happy Birthday to me. Sweetest thing, ever.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Birthday Calculator

My mom forwarded me an email with a birthday calculator.  Since my birthday is tomorrow, I thought I would check it out and see if there was anything cool it had to say about my birthday.

What I found most interesting was the information on my Life Path.  It is based on numerology.  I'm a one.  This is what it has to say about me and frankly, it is pretty darn accurate.

The Life Path 1 suggests that you entered this plane with skills allowing you to become a leader type rather easily. Your nature is charged with individualistic desires, a demand for independence, and the need for personal attainment. Many of our military generals, corporate leaders, and political leaders are men and women having the Life Path 1. When you display positive 1 traits your mind is capable of significant creative inspiration, and it possesses the enthusiasm and drive to accomplish a great deal. You are very good at getting the ball rolling; initiating new projects is your forte. You are at your best when confronted with obstacles and challenges, as you combat these with strength and daring. This is both the physical and inner varieties of strength. With this strength comes utter determination and the capability to lead. As a natural leader you have a flair for taking charge of any situation. You have a tendency to do this, even if, at times, it is not appropriate for you to do so.

Highly original, you may have talents as an inventor or innovator of some sort. In any work that you choose, your independent attitude can show through. You have very strong personal needs and desires, and you feel it is always necessary to follow your own convictions. You tire of routine and highly detailed tasks rather quickly.

You are ambitious and assertive in promoting yourself. Although you may hide the fact for social reasons, you can be self-centered and demand to have your way in many circumstances. That said, for the most part, you are considered very good company, friendly, good-natured, and a wonderful conversationalist. People like you and are drawn to you. It is a good thing they are, because you are very sensitive to disapproval and you don't handle it very well.

There are several ways that the negative side of the 1 can show up. The 1 always has the potential for greatness as a leader, but they may fail as a follower. Unfortunately, sometimes you have to follow for a while before you are allowed to lead and this can be a difficult time. When the 1 Life Path person is not fully developed and expressing the negative side of this number, the demeanor may appear very dependent rather than independent, particularly in the early years. If you are expressing this negative trait of the number 1, you are likely to be very dissatisfied with your circumstances, and long for self-sufficiency. This might be defined as the weak or dependent side of the negative 1 Life Path. On the strong side of this negative curve, the 1 energy can become too self-serving, selfish and egotistical. Avoid being too bossy and demanding.

Did you try the birthday calculator out yourself?  What does it say about you?  Are we compatible?

I love you, iPod.

I've had my iPod Touch for a few weeks now and I can't even begin to tell you how much I love it.  I seriously don't know how I functioned without it.  I am attached and there is no getting over it.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Windows Live Writer

I've received a few emails lately asking me about my blog posts and I thought I'd let you in on a little secret. 


I've ditched blogger.


Not really, but I don't use blogger to write or publish my blog posts anymore.  I use Windows Live Writer.  It is fast, easy, and best of all—I can publish to almost all of my blogs using just one interface. 

I can upload photos, tables, videos, and maps.  I can even crop, tilt, frame, resize and watermark those pictures.  IMG_1826

If you blog as much as I do, a program like this saves me lots of time.  I love it.  Why don't you try it out?  While you're at it, go and check out the blog post about this awesome play smock Eva is wearing.  There's even a discount code you can use.  

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

This Post Brought To You By Pillows. Awesome Pillows.

Last month, some pillows arrived at my house via UPS.  I was in contact with a rep from Natura World and was in the market for a new pillow.  Three pillows arrived at my house and just in time.  My mom was coming to visit.Aloe Dream Mate Pillow

My mom won't travel without her own pillow.  She's had that pillow for as long as I can remember.  We don't like to think about what is inside that pillow but for her, it worked.  Or so she thought.  I let her try out one of the new pillows.  She chose the Aloe Dream Mate Pillow

In her own words, this is what she had to say about the new pillow:

I ALWAYS take my own pillow with me when I travel.  I have had a favorite for years.  It is a down pillow that I can manipulate to support my neck. I have arthritis and it is very hard for me to get comfortable at night. Not long ago I spent the weekend at my daughter's house in Lincoln NE. We really look forward to our visits there but know we will be sleeping on a blow up mattress in the basement.  When we arrived Christy showed me some pillows that she was reviewing and asked me if I would like to try one.  I was concerned that I would not be able to really know if I like it or not considering that I was sleeping on the air mattress. The pillow was feather like and said the outside fiber kept you cool.  At
my age wow..I needed that.  But again I was not too optimistic because I am really stuck on the pillow I take everywhere.  Well I really liked the pillow!  Christy sprayed it with the freshener that was included.  It was like a fine hotel touch!  It really helped me not notice that I was sleeping on an air mattress.  It was firmer than what I was used to, but still pliable so that I could have it nestled in my neck.  Christy gave me the pillow to take home and I have continued to use it.  My husband's comment was that I am not tossing and turning and pounding my pillow like I used to do! It is true that it does not heat up as you lay on it.  To sum it up,  I love it!

Ultimate PillowThe first couple of nights, I tried out a Dream Mate, too.  I liked it but wanted to give the other pillow a try as well.  When I switched to the Ultimate Pillow, I knew this was the one for me!   It has a latex core that is anti-microbial and is covered in terrycloth.   It is true when they say the smart wool layer wicks away moisture.  Before using these pillows there were times I would wake up and one side of my face would be all sweaty and gross.  That hasn't happened since I've started using these pillows.  I also wake up feeling well rested and my neck has been thanking me.  This pillow conforms to my neck and back but doesn't fold in on itself so I'm constantly having to rearrange it through the night. 

NaturaWorld has all sorts of sleep products including organic crib sets, mattresses, and even pet beds.  I definitely value my sleep time and my bedding, mattress, and pillows aren't things I will normally skimp on.  I spend more time there than almost anywhere else and when I'm well rested, everyone is happy! 

If you'd like to keep up with this company on twitter, you can  follow them here

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Eva Goes to the State Capitol

I took Eva to the Nebraska State Capitol building yesterday so we could go on a tour with Grandma and Grandpa Nelson.  Eva thought it was a castle.  She had a great time.  IMG_1822

Monday, April 06, 2009

Chicks Who Click

Deb and I are going to be speaking at the Chicks Who Click conference in Kansas City in May.  We are really excited about it and would love to see some of you there! 

From their webpage, here's the overview:

We are Chicks who Click -- Minds that are creative, connected and looking to collaborate – with dynamic women- to be the best in our fields through social media. Chicks Who Click not only know tools such as blogging, social networks, conversations and communities, but understand the smartest ways to use them to achieve personal and career goals.  We are also educating our communities on the importance of encouraging girls and young women to pursue careers in technology.
At every Chicks Who Click event, we will share how to make your relationships count, we will empower you to use your social toolbox and we will help you refine your personal brand.

Registration opens today!

Friday, April 03, 2009

Carl Went to NASA and All I Got Was This

For years I've been trying to tell Carl that my love language is Receiving Gifts.  They don't have to be expensive or even cost money at all.  I just appreciate it when someone has thought enough of me to get me a little something special. 

Carl had to work for just over a week at NASA.  This happened to fall during Caleb's Spring Break.  It wouldn't have been so bad except we've been having to adjust Caleb's medications and things haven't been so fun around here.  He's difficult anyway, but add in no school, change of schedule, one less parent, etc… and you have a recipe for disaster.

The kids did not disappoint.  I talked with Carl every night and I said, "You better bring me back something really good".  He said, "Don't worry".  He always says that and I always worry.  I knew he had the whole weekend off.  They had cars.  It wasn't like he was stuck at a hotel all week.  I was hoping for the best. 

This is what I got:

a keychain!  Isn't is amazing!  It is solar powered. 


It gets even better!  Here's the other side.  It blinks thanks to the power of the sun. 



And on.  Isn't that so romantic?  It's a blinking keychain all the way from NASA! 


But wait!  Even better… it came all the way from CHINA!


This present is EVEN BETTER than the pack of cards he got for me from some conference vendor when he went to Las Vegas.  He has to go to Phoenix for a week at the end of April.  Maybe I'll just have to give him some suggestions.

Thursday, April 02, 2009


Every six months in April and October, our church holds a worldwide conference.  It is always inspiring and I look forward to it each time.  Last conference there was one talk that stood out to me more than any other.  I've watched it and read it many times.  I can't imagine there being another talk that resonates more with me, but we shall see. 

There is a short 2 minute video featuring some of this talk that I've watched at least once a day since I found it.  I imagine most of you will enjoy it too. 

CREATE- Dieter F. Uchtdorf

World Autism Awareness Day

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Coming Home

Carl will be home in about 8 hours.  This is good news.  I could use some backup around here.  And, I really want to do this

Autism Awareness Month

It is that time of year again.  For the past two years I've used this blog as a platform during the month of April to raise money and awareness for autism.  I'll still be blogging about autism this month.  I just won't be asking for donations….YET.  Our Nebraska Walk for Autism isn't going to be held until September so I didn't feel like soliciting donations this early.  We might just need to make August the crafty conservative's Autism Awareness Month.  Save your pennies for Caleb's Team and Autism Speaks!