Thursday, February 26, 2009

Ever seen what a glass shower door does when it breaks???
Take it from me... you DON'T want to try this with yours....
It's a ROYAL MESS to clean up!
And yes... I DO need to get the Melalueca after my shower.... it's been a BUSY week though you know?

Just another day in paradise here.... how about you?

P.S..... Do you think that the shop vac full of broken glass can get dumped in the Recycling Bin??? I mean it's glass right??

This is going to be one of THOSE posts...
I am so stressed out already, and NOW everyone and everything else decides to dump on me???? What the heck is it with that? Seriously...
So, see, here's the thing. I am one of those "strong" people that wear the masks well... and when life gets stressful I put on my "feel pretty" clothes, make sure I LOOK good (cuz I sure the heck don't FEEL good..) and walk forward! I firmly believe in making the best of it, and keep on keeping.... But then life sucker punches me!
I am so sick of the sucker punches right now! And I want to know when I get to hit back???
I know that God teaches us that He won't give us more than we can handle, and that he gives us the tools to deal with what we are dealt. But I have two simple questions....
Who the heck does He have me confused with?
And where the heck is my tool belt??!!
As I sit here writing this today I KNOW that the only reason I am posting is that I don't have a CLUE what else to do to untangle this messy web. Nor do I really know WHAT I really want to do about it.... aren't some messes just supposed to go in the garbage can, while others are worth piecing back together? I think so.... but I have forgotten how to tell the difference....
Yep.. .this is one of those REAL posts...
I am heading back onto my knees to see if I can discern that still quiet voice and align my will with His...
Be Blessed Today!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Little Girls....

Why MUST little girls do things to make their mommies CRAZY????

It has been an awful day. Now I am not one to bemoan bad days too much... what's the good. But it's been one of those days that it has taken ALL of my power not to sit down on the floor and BAWL my eyes out every time I turned around!!! You know the kind... the ones that you know you shouldn't bother with the second you step foot out of bed in the morning, but go ahead with because there's no hiding from it? Yea... that is the kind of day that I have had!

So I have ALMOST made it through the day.... and so far the only one who knows about the tears is me. Success to me, you know wearing the mask, looking like you are surviving... I made it home from work and am unloading the groceries from my car. I am trying to get everything sorted and put away while there is still light out, so the kids can be outside shooting hoops while I am getting this chore done..That is when my Darling Daughter decided to do it...
She decided that she needed a haircut... By herself..... Using finger nail clippers to cut it!
UGHH!!!! Notice the CHUNK missing off of the side, and the creative bang style?
Yea... me too :(
Of course to truly understand HOW frustrated I am, you have to know that Audrey is a dancer. Every time I turn around the dance teacher is asking for her hair to be up in a bun... ALL of her hair, bangs included. So Audrey and I struck a deal... I would keep paying her dance tuition if she agreed to grow her bangs out. It's a daily thing in our house.
"My bangs are too long."
"Remember, we are growing them out for dance?"
AND just this week they had gotten long enough to clip back out of her face and look pretty cute. If only she would leave the clip in....
So I guess she decided to take matters in her own hands tonight, and clip clip clip
went her hair.
Being the type of mom that I am, I couldn't deal with leaving it for a few days... so out came the HAIRCUTTING scissors... and....

This is the new do that mommy created out of what she left...

It's a good thing she *loves* it... I might have strangled her if she dared to say she didn't like it!!

But this mommy IS going to miss those long curls...
*sniff, sniff*

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Funny things you might hear in our house...

So today has been a great day! And the kids have kept me in fits of giggles these last few days so I thought I would share some with you!
The other evening I was getting ready to go to a memorial service for a dear friend. It had been a long day, and I was running like crazy after work to get ready and get there on time. (yes, if you know me, then you know I am always running late!) I was running around the house trying to get the kids settled and trying to get dressed at the same time. Bri & Jo were being a HUGE help with the little kids.
At one point I walked into the living room in my black slacks, black boots and a bra. Josie looks at me and says "Do you know what shirt you are wearing?" I would like to think that she was trying to helpful and wanted to go get it for me.... (dream on I know...)
So, Brianna, dear child that she is, looks at me and says "It doesn't matter, she can close her eyes and reach into her closet and end up with a black shirt."
Hmmm..... Thanks! NOT!!!
I am not sure if this is a statement on my consistency... or a slam on the lack of creativity in my wardrobe!
A little background for this one.... with 4 kids around all the time we tend to hear "I want" a great deal from them... whenever they are driving me crazy with the "I wants" I tell them, "That's nice... I want world peace and a million dollars, then you can have what you want". This usually shuts them up since they know they can't get me those two things... and that is the point of me saying it!
So the other morning Nat, Audrey and I were trying to get ourselves together to go on an outing. Nathaniel was having a difficult morning and only wanted to watch a movie. Being as it was my only day off I really wanted to do something fun (like puddle stomping... see below).
I kept saying to Nathaniel, "I know you want to watch a movie, but what does Mommy want you to do?" Obviously I repeated this a little too often because a little while latter Audrey pops off with... "Nathaniel, don't you know that Mommy wants world peace and a million dollars, then you can watch your movie?"
Seriously? I only wanted him to pick up one pile of toys and get dressed! But I guess she is programed well...
Another Audrey....
First, for this one to make sense you have to understand that my daughter has a thing against wearing her panties....Don't know where she got that from, but it's a constant battle with her...
So yesterday I go to do a pantie check (yes, I have to check daily to make sure she has them on) and I notice that she has on three pairs.... WHAT the heck? So silly me asks her' "Audrey, why do you have three pairs of panties on?"
Her answer was, "If I wear three pairs today then I don't have to wear any for the next 3 days!" And the scary thing... in her little mind she believed it!
Nat is not crazy about waking up in the mornings..... So yesterday was late start Monday (in our school district Mondays start an hour latter than any other day of the week... stupid I know, but it's what we have to deal with) I went in to wake him up.
"Nathaniel, time to get up honey."
"Not yet mom."
"Yes, it's time for school."
"No, it's late start Monday..."
"Yes, I know. I already let you sleep in... Time to get up now."
"Well since it's already late and I am not ready to get up can't we just make it LATTER start Monday??"
????? Like 930 am isn't late enough? But how do you fight with that logic???
Ahhh.... the joys of children! What would we do without them???

Monday, February 23, 2009


I wanted to let you know about a great blog that I read daily AND she is having a giveaway too!

I *love* April's blog.. it's actually one of the things that got me started on mine. She is funny, stylish, sassy and real! Oh yea, and another endearing fact about her is that she too has a son with Spina Bifida! It's nice to read about someone else who goes through some of the same stuff I do! Check her out.... I am sure you will love her blog as much as I do! Oh yea, and if you enter her giveaway be sure to tell her you read about it here :)
so .. this is what she's giving away.. Cute hu? Check it out!!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

I love rainy days... And even more, I love the beach on rainy days!! As long as I can remember one of my all time favorite things to do on a rainy day has been to go to the beach. Now some of my friends seem to think I am weird for this, and my husband TOTALLY does not get it.. but I hope to teach my passion to my children so I will always have someone to go to the beach with on rainy days! If today was any indication, I think I might convert them yet :)
Nathaniel and Audrey on the beach walk today in Morro Bay

We even played on the swings at the park on the bay today... I love playing on swings too! My all time favorite date has always been to go play on the swings at night :)
I guess I just enjoy the simple pleasures!

Doesn't she look like she is having fun?
Such a cutie pie!

And I finally got Nathaniel to stop making funny faces long enough to get this great pic of him!

Audrey truly is my daughter.... if there was ever any doubt of it this picture proves it! Another one of my simple pleasures is writing messages on the beach... to God, to friends, to loves ones who have passes on... or just for the heck of it!

So we enjoyed this rainy day at the beach....What did you do today?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

How is she old enough already??

So what I want to know is HOW IS SHE OLD ENOUGH ALREADY??!!
Seriously... It seems like she was just a little kid yesterday, and today she is old enough to have a boyfriend and be going to formals at school?? NO WAY! But, alas, it's true.... Brianna has her first boyfriend.. And this past weekend she went to her first formal dance at school. So bitter sweet really.. but she is growing up!
We did get to have fun helping her get ready... after all that is the best part of having girls, dressing them up all pretty!

Here they are getting ready to leave... Brianna and Andrew.
I even got to pick her dress and alter it for her! Lucky Aunta :)
Some day we Bri will learn to be natural and take pretty pictures...

And the group of friends she went with. Oh how they try to seem so grown up... but we know the truth!

And Andrew has good taste in flowers... her corsage was very pretty!

So much fun....

Wow.. was it a hectic morning, after an unbelievably crazy day yesterday... could you please explain to me WHY the schools think that it is ok to take so many 3 day weekends this month?? The kids at the shop with me all day make me a little..... CRAZYYYY!!!! So anyways, I decided I needed a little "time out" this morning.

So I decided that I needed to go on a little trip this morning... down a VERY twisty, tree lined road.....

To drink my coffee, read some scripture and find my sanity again...

At my favorite place in the WORLD!

I think God gave me a little piece of heaven right in my back yard with this beautiful place... Montana de Oro...

Isn't it wonderful? These were this morning... we had a little break from the winter storms and everything is so peaceful yet so strong and stormy too...hmmm.... I am feeling much better now..

I *love* this ranger station.. I has remained the same for as long as I can remember...

So here's my question to you today... do you have a life verse? And if so what is it? I took the time to reread mine today and meditate on it some. I think this will help me focus in these days of trial and tribulation.. at least I hope so, because the stress is getting to me!

I also hope that this little trip will help me keep my peace and strength for our LONG trip this Friday to UCSF for Nathaniel's most recent surgical procedure... there is no need for him to know how much these trips freak mommy out!

Please keep us in your prayers for safe travel, successful procedure and that this stupid budget in CA will get signed so I get a pay check and NOT LAID OFF!!!!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Yummy! The bread pudding is finally done! Looking at a nice bowl of it with vanilla ice cream right now... would take a picture for you to enjoy too, but I left the camera at work today!
Man I must be depressed or something.. .all of this comfort food today and the call of the bed... but with Nathaniel's procedure coming up Friday and all of the uncertainty with my job and pay check I am feeling REALLY stressed.... so comfort food here I come... I will do make up time on the treadmill next week for it! :)
Have a restful night for me won't you? I know I won't be able to sleep!

I *Love* my bed!!

Oh man, I love my bed so much... I am snuggled up here in my nice comfortable bed listening to the beautiful wind and rain storm we are having and I DON'T WANT TO GET UP!!! Ever have days that you just want to sit in bed with a good book and a cup of Chai and forget that the world exists outside? That's me today! Thank goodness I have such a wonderfully cozy bed topped with lots of handmade quilts.
Since the kids don't have school today and I don't have to be at the shop for a few hours yet, I think I am going to go make a Chai Latte and grab my book to snuggle back up here for a little while longer...

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Ballerina Party Time

So Audrey turned six last week... I might have mentioned that a time or few since I am so astounded by the fact that my "baby" is 6 already... and we had a "Ballerina Party" for her. This was Audrey's choice, and it was pretty fitting beings as much as Audrey loves to dance! So I thought it might be fun to show you how much fun we had :)
So any of you who know Faline and I know that we *LOVE* to decorate cakes! So this was our creation for Audrey's party. I was actually somewhat of a record for us... the cake was done, decorated and we were in bed by 10 pm! Amazing really.

And here is the Birthday Ballerina, Audrey. She had so much fun!

Princess Audrey holding court while opening her presents!

Brianna & Audrey, deep in negotiations about something...

Audrey and her cousin DJ, having a good time during dance class

Josie taught a ballet class for Audrey and all of her friends. Fun was had by all, the kids enjoyed the class and the adults enjoyed watching them all! It is really great having one that has been in dance classes for over 7 years, I saved a bundle not having to "hire" a teacher for this... just make the teenager (almost) do it!

Ballerina Audrey again!

Such serious little Ballerinas!
I think the most fun was watching Josie teach Hip Hop in her tutu! One of Audrey's cousins didn't want to do ballet, but really wanted to do Hip Hop so we convinced Josie to show off some of her newest moves, in a tutu no less!

Don't you just love the outfit that Faline and I created for Audrey?
We had so much fun making that tutu for her after I bought her the leotard. It was great adding color after color until we had just the right blend to match her leo!

Over all it was a really fun party, and so easy on me too! I loved setting up the studio and having the party there... so much better than dealing with getting the house clean enough for a party, only to have it destroyed during the party and have to deal with aftermath! I just cleaned the studio back up and went home to a perfect house! Just the way I left it. I like parties were the kids are entertained and don't get into too much trouble and this really fit that bill. And The extra great bonus? My kids were all so tired afterwards that we went home and had such a mellow evening! That was great for ms since we had the party on my only day of the week off and I wanted some down time!
Hope you enjoyed the pics as much as we enjoyed the party!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Happy Valentine's Day!!
Hope your day is filled with wonder and love!!

These are the beautifuls that all four of our kids made and gave to their friends.
What did you do that was fun and crafty??

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Final Introduction!!!!

Did you think this would ever end???? Well I thought I was done with the last one.. but Nathaniel informed me that I have to introduce the Butterfly Family :)

So here is the Butterfly Family, the people that you could find at Butterfly Boutique on any given day. This is also the *family* that my children consider their "normal" family. These four cousins are closer than most siblings and spend their days together as most siblings would. So from top left around are: Faline (my sister in law, and co-owner of Butterfly Boutique, Josie (Faline's 12 year old daughter), Brianna (Faline's 14 year old daughter), myself, Nathaniel and Audrey!
Make sure to say "hi" to us when you stop in at Butterfly Boutique!!

Introductions ...Step 4

Introductions... Step 4
This is my Prince Nathaniel! I will try not to make this volumes long.... but Nathaniel has a very unique, very long story, so we will see what happens! Nathaniel is my wonderful 8 year old son and there are many great things about him. Part of what defines Nathaniel is also what makes him very special in many ways.... you see Nathaniel was born with a congenital birth defect commonly known as Spina Bifida.

taken in the NICU when Nathaniel was 4 days old!
Nathaniel's story actually begins LONG before he was born! He has an entire scrapbook of his life before his birthday! When I was just 16 weeks pregnant with Nathaniel doctors told me that he had a birth defect commonly know as Spina Bifida. I feel that our family was blessed to know this early on because it gave us choices and power. At the time of Nathaniel's birth most doctors were preaching termination to us, by Mark & I couldn't and wouldn't consider that as an option. After loosing our first daughter, Taylor, at birth there was NO WAY we could terminate this pregnancy. Plus our pastors kept telling us that God knew what He was doing when he gave us Nathaniel. I am pretty sure God was confusing me with a much stronger woman at the time, but I love my son to death! At the time there were a very few hospitals starting an experimental surgery for children with Spina Bifida done in the mother's womb many weeks before the child is born. With much prayer and studying we decided to give this experimental procedure a try. When I was just 21 weeks pregnant with Nathaniel, a team of many exceptional doctors at University of California San Francisco Medical Center operated on Nathaniel and myself. At the time Nathaniel was less that one pound and one of the doctors compared his size to the of a Snickers bar! Through this new procedure, the doctors were able to go in intrauterine and close Nathaniel's lesions caused by Spina Bifida. Nathaniel was born at 32 weeks gestation (8 weeks premature) weighing 3 lbs. 15 oz. He was so tiny and already had scars on his little body, but he was a strong willed child and his will was for life to the fullest!

Nathaniel in his short casts, he wore these for the first year of his life, two weeks on and two weeks off!

Being born so early only added to the adventure of Nathaniel's life. His first year was a year of many changes for Mark & I, as we learned how to parent a special needs child, and all about the challenges that came with that! During his first year we were taking trips north to San Francisco on a regular basis, as often as every 6 weeks. We had monthly pediatrician appointments, when we were lucky! Often it was more often than that. Nathaniel started therapy when he was only 6 weeks old, and we had those appointments as often as twice a week! We also learned just how many doctors it takes for one child withe Spina Bifida! We had Neurologist at UCSF, Urologist also at UCSF, Pediatricians, both at home and UCSF, Orthopedist in Ventura and UCSF, Physical therapist, both at home and UCSF, Occupational Therapists, again at home and UCSF, and of course all the support teams. We are SO BLESSED to live in a country where we have such wonderful health care available to us!!

the day of Nathaniel's first birthday...and his new casts!
After a full year of casts on for two weeks, and then off for two weeks, Mark & I decided to give Nathaniel the gift of straight feet for his first birthday! On the day of his first Birthday he underwent surgery to straighten his feet out. He went on to wear full leg casts on his legs for the next 6-8 weeks! He had JUST learned to crawl when this happened.... so he promptly forgot how to crawl with these huge casts on! He would get around by sitting up on his little bottom and using one arm behind him to push himself around where ever he went! So creative, and just a sample of what was to come in years ahead. Nathaniel does NOT let his disability slow him down at all!

Nathaniel in his para podium walker

When Nathaniel was diagnosed we were told that he would never walk on his own. For the first two years of his life this was true. In his second year we started using adaptive equipment to teach him what it was like to see the world from an upright position. This para podium walker was his first taste of "standing" on his own. Through the years Nathaniel has used many adaptive devices such as this walker, a push walker, a reverse walker and arm crutches, all in addition to his wheelchair that he has used since the time he was 2!

When Nathaniel was 3 1/2 years old God answered one of our most heartfelt prayer, and Nathaniel began to walk on HIS OWN with NO ASSITIVE DEVICES!!! Oh our Lord is a mightily and faithful Lord!! What a blessing it is to watch this spirited little boy walk and run around when doctors told us that would never happen!!

By the time that Nathaniel entered school at 4 things seemed to get a bit more stable. Or at least we were learning what our new *normal* looks like :) Nathaniel began school in a class for disabled children, and eventually transitioned to our local elementary school in a special day class. Once we were able to have him at the local school he began to get involved in local activities too!

Nov 2007

Through the last 8 years life has not been without challenges, but it also hasn't been without victories! Nathaniel has many of the traditional complications related to Spina Bifida, such as bowel and bladder complications, reduced gross and fine motor skills, and attention and behavioral issues. But he is also blessed with the ability to walk unassisted, and escaped the need for a shunt, which I truly dreaded. Nathaniel is able to run and play sports, which is a blessing considering his love of them :)

Nathaniel at TOPSoccer in Oct 2008

And that is your little introduction to Prince Nathaniel!

Introductions ... Step 3

Introductions... Step 3...
This is Audrey! Audrey is my youngest daughter. She is 6 years old (however that happened!) She has MANY personalities and you are about to meet all of them..
The Princess.....
Audrey is all around princess right now. She loves anything girly, frilly and fun. She is completely into everything ballet too. She *loves* her dance class at Central Coast Dance (check it out here if you are local!!) and is becoming quiet the little dancer. The above photo is one we had done in Nov 2008 as a promotional photo for Butterfly Boutique. We make the tutus (order from our etsy site if you are interested) and one of our local suppliers makes the great crowns she is wearing! Audrey loves to refer to herself as Princess Audrey, but doesn't like ti if you call her Princess Sassy Pants, which I think is much more fitting at times!
The Cutie Pie.....

Audrey can be especially sweet, and very empathetic! She cracks me up sometimes at how incredibly sweet she is. Are your kids into High School Musical like mine are? Well, if they are then you will know the part of the movies in the second one where Gabriella leaves to follow her own heart? EVERY TIME that scene comes on, even if it's the third time in one day, Audrey cries! It's almost comical! When I ask her why she's crying she always tells me, "Because I FEEL her pain, we have the same name you know?" (Audrey's middle name is Gabriella)
The Sweetheart...

Audrey is my sweetest child. My heart just melts when she is in her sweet mood. My favorite "sweet thing" about her right now is my nightly love song. Every night, before she goes to bed, Audrey sings me a love song. It is so sweet.... it varies a little from night to night, but it always follows along these lines....
"I love my Queen Mommy,
I love my Queen Mommy so much,
My Queen Mommy is the Sweetest Mommy ever..."
ahhh... to melt a mommy's heart! And of course I answer her,
"And I love my Princess Audrey"
Or the Diva....

Of all of Audrey's personalities, I think the DIVA is the most fitting on a regular basis! We love to say that she is 6 going on 16! Audrey spends most of her days with her cousins, Brianna (14) and Josie (12), so she is constantly picking up on teenager behaviors. Ugh! Such fun. While she is the youngest and loves to be sweet, she also has the sassiest way ever about her, second only to Josie! (I love you too Jo Jo Bear :) )
And that is Audrey in a nut shell!
Stay tuned for the last two introductions to come, very soon! (As soon as I price 100 items for the sales floor! After all Blogging is my reward for crossing things off of my To Do List today! And I want to get the Introductions done so I can post the pics from Audrey's Birthday party this weekend!!)