Monday, January 14, 2013

Thank you

Thank you so much for visiting Tales from the Crib!  It was an absolute joy writing this blog, and sharing a little slice of my family's life with you! I can now be found blogging on my photography website - Crib Tales Photography. I hope you will stop by and say hi!

Cheers!
Amy

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Yep, I made something

It has been a LONG long time since I was crafty for the sake of just being crafty. Not something for my business. Not something for the kids' school.  Not for holiday or birthday gifts.  Just "over indulgent hey I wanna make something funky" crafty.  As it happens every January business slows down a bit, I find time to breathe, I feel a need to write, organize, read good books, cook, and craft.  I find the need to put some me back into my life.  Now don't get me wrong, I'm the luckiest woman alive in what I get to do with my every day life - I'm home with my boys and have a career that I created and can tailor to our family needs, and have a husband who supports all of the above.  So yeah, I'm a lucky duck.  But August through December is brutal around here. Work and the boys pretty much take over and doesn't leave a lot of time for me to explore my crafty side.

So here's my latest craft.  We drink a lot of wine in this house, and with that comes lots of corks.  I save the corks in a large vase just for looks.  But I was wanting a new jewelry box (my past jewelry box was a shoebox covered with fabric), but I didn't want to pay for it.  I scoured pinterest (my new addiction) for some fun ideas and threw a few ideas together to come up with the below project which uses up some of our many corks AND creates jewelry storage as well.  I'm so happy with how it turned out, and best of all it was FREE!  Gotta love free!

Supplies:
Drawer (this was from the boys' dismantled train table)
Corks (lots of them)
Jenga blocks (I took 10 of them  -they'll never miss 'em)
Black paint
Glue Sticks

I first painted the drawer black.  After it dried I created a cork pattern, putting the champagne corks upright to I could hang necklaces, and the other corks were laid flat in a random pattern.  I then used the Jenga blocks to create little cubbies at the bottom of the drawer. Glued everything into place with hot glue. Turned the drawer upright and loaded up my jewelry collection. Earrings can stick into the cork or go into the little cubbies.  Necklaces and bracelets can hang from the champagne corks.  Rings can go on top or in the cubbies.  You could hang it from a wall but I just put it on a shelf in our closet.  I don't have a ton of jewelry so it doesn't take up much room - you could go with a bigger drawer if you had a lot of gems.

Forgive the quality. I just grabbed my iPhone for these captures.  Maybe this whole thing will inspire me to pay a little bit more attention to this blog vs. my business one (which is undergoing a transformation this month, too!)!




Wednesday, January 18, 2012

You are unique and special and are going to become something amazing one day.

I was chatting with T on the phone the other night.  We hadn't caught up in months.  T's my Seattle BFF -  she brought me out to Seattle in 1997. She introduced me to my husband. She's the first person (after Shawn) to meet my son.  She threw me wedding and baby showers whilst very pregnant with her first two children.  She introduced me to cosmos and brie and all things sophisticated and adult.  She's the bees knees and I miss her something awful.

So anyway, after a quick catch up on each of us, T says - "So what's new with the boys? What's going on with them?"

I lamented the tantrums, the whining, the hard parts of being a mama to two little boys.  I was whiney and juvenile.

I said "How are the girls?"  She then proceeded to tell me what was special about each.  Gracie is funny and loves a good joke "Did you see the picture I sent where she's flipping off her sisters because they won't let her play with them? Where does she get that stuff?? Hysterical!"  Sydney was off on her first away from home trip and she told me how sincere and kind she is.  About Mia - "Mia loves to write stories and I don't know what it is about that girl but she's going to BE something one day I can tell."

T wasn't saying any of this to put me in my place. That is SO not her.  She was genuinely excited to tell me about her girls.  Sure, she sprinkled in a bit about sassy mouths, the one who will not give love and hugs, etc.  But overall it was just so positive and loving.

After we hung up I was struck by how negative I sounded.  About my own children.  My boys who ARE funny, and sweet, and smart and are definitely going places in this world.  I focused on the bad.  Shame on me.  T's had her share of ups and downs over the  past few years, both professionally and personally, and yet her UP is always up. She tells me she has her moments, her breakdowns, but in the 17 years that I've known her she's always been very positive and up no matter what journey life takes her on.  I admire it greatly about her.

So as I went to tuck in my boys her words stuck with me. I kissed Holden good night - he was already drowsy with sleep, but I whispered "I love you to the moon and back my little man - you are amazing and dear and I'm so glad you are in my life!" and he smiled his largest grin and rolled over into happy dreams. Jackson was still awake.  I hugged him tightly and told him "YOU are a special and unique boy, and I know you are going to do amazing things in this world. I don't know 'what' you are going to do but whatever it is it is going to be fantabulous!"  He grinned the biggest grin I'd seen in a long while.  "What do you think it will be mom?"  "Something amazing." I responded.  And with that he rolled over with a smile and went to sleep.

It was something special to see them both cheered just by words.  I always tell them good night and that I love them, but to lift them up just a bit higher brought me UP just a bit higher.  I don't think there's anything wrong with lamenting and venting about our children.  Don't get me wrong.  Parenthood is the hardest job in the world.  But I hope this realization also helps me put my boys up a little higher, whenever the opportunity arises.  A lesson learned.   hopefully one I won't forget anytime soon.  Thanks T.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

GIving thanks...


I know, I know, I've fallen off the face of the earth.  Lest you think I'm not grateful on this, the day that is designated for thanks, I am. I am thankful for these people above who make my every day worthwhile.  Who make me smile, and laugh, and love, and who allow me to be grumpy now and again, too.  Happy Thanksgiving!  May your blessings overflow!

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Phinneus and Ferb

Phinneus and Ferb is a very funny show.  It is also very, very loud.

ps - Jackson did this to his brother:

Holden started it.  Jackson ended it.  Mommy and Daddy finished it with early bed time for everyone involved.  This picture is 3 days post-pop.  Sigh...life with boys...

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Anatomy of our day..

7:15 wake, breakfast for little ones and coffee for me.  Shower, dress everyone for school, argue wardrobe choices, brush teeth, sort out shoes and backpacks and snacks, hit the road
8:30 drop off J at REMS
9:00 drop off H at Pre-K
9:15 receive text asking for volunteer help at J's school
9:20 Starbucks iced grande Americano with room
9:26 REMS volunteer hours for fundraising committee
9:55 Take client call while breaking from fundraising group
11:30 Leave fundraising group to pick up H
12:00 Take H to lunch with 7 of his buddies...slightly chaotic
12:50 Race out of lunch to pick up J from his Wednesday 1/2 day at REMS
1:15 Boys at home, work on homework with J.  Be thankful he's a quick learn and doesn't need a ton of help with his homework
1:30 Prep pot roast and veggies for dinner; make dessert, too... not a typical dinner but wanted to try a new recipe for all of the above
2:15 Return client calls, emails, curse my iPhone for an unfortunate auto-correct fail and be thankful for a client who can laugh when my phone autocorrects  poorly.
2:55 Take boys to Lisa's to play and finish up a session edit and packaging, return client emails
4:00 Take J and his buddy to Karate
4:30 Get gas while boys at Karate ($58 for gas, ugh)
4:50 Do a little Photoshop editing / work while boys are Karate-chopping
5:20 Bring boys home, prep for mini-dinner party, pop some Proseco
5:30 Dinner with the Weik's.  Killer pot roast
7:30 Clean up dinner, wish our guests well, send kids to get ready for bed with Daddy.
8:00 Kisses all around and overall thanks for a relatively stress and drama-free bedtime
8:15 More work emails, facebook check in for work and personal
8:38 Write this blog post
Stick a fork in me. I'm done.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Never easy

Tonight Jackson and I fought.  This isn't something new.  We have fought since birth, really, in some way or another.  Fighting sleep.  Fighting breastfeeding.  Fighting going to bed, staying in bed, jumping on the bed.  We have fought big and we have fought small.  It's words.  Arguments.  Heated discussions.  Talking back.  Sass mouthing.  Refusing to cooperate.  He has taken to calling me "Weirdo!" when he's angry -the only words he can seem to summon that will strike at my core.  I tell him he has no respect.  I become angrier, he pounds the wall, I storm off.  Mature? no.  And I'm talking about me.  We are too much alike, truth be told.  I can be just as stubborn as he is.  He can be just as dramatic as I am.  His eyes flame with frustration and so do mine.  I tell him "you are reading alone tonight!" because it is all I can flounder to come up with as a form of consequence.  He cries and yells louder.  I fell on the verge of tears, my frustration at a boiling point.  We both go off to our separate corners to cool down, take deep breaths, and remember what's at heart.  Our love for each other.  He takes to his book and I finish up some work.  Still a rule follower at heart, he yells down to me at 8:15 that he's going to bed.  I yell up to him goodnight. Our anger is forgotten.  I head upstairs to kiss and hug.  We nuzzle and hug and I tell him I'm sorry we fought.  He says the same.  I tell him I love him so much.  He says the same. I tell him he has to respect me, that he can't call me names or be ugly.  He nods his head - he knows this.  He's a good kid...no, a great kid.  Truly.  I tell him I know it isn't easy being 7-1/2.  He agrees. I tell him sometimes it isn't easy being 37-1/2 either.  He agrees.  I tell him no matter how much we may argue I'll always be his mama. I'll always love him.  And I'll always kiss him good night.  He agrees.  Our hearts are mended.

It is never easy.  Parenting is hard. I often wonder how people who are younger do it.  Or people who may not have coping skills.  I wonder and hope and pray that my boys grow up happy, secure, comfortable.  This boy, my Jackson, he is the first human being that I immediately and completely adored from the moment we met with absolute unconditional love.  I hope he always feels that.

Friday, September 09, 2011

So this happened...


A helicopter came by Jackson's school yesterday and dropped several hundred bandanas down to the kids for their bootcamp fundraiser today.  We didn't have to sell cookies or wrapping paper or magazines or anything else, the kids just asked their family and closest friends to sponsor them for 1 solid hour of physical activity.  Another reason I'm so glad he is at school where he is.  It is unique, fun, and has the motto of "no child left inside."  The kids learn by doing, and there is a sense of pride and accomplishment with everything they do...even fundraising.

When Jackson was a baby we used to visit the park across he street from REMS.  He was about 15 months old as they were building it and he would watch the bulldozers and cranes working away.  He loved anything construction.  Little did I know that 4 years later I'd be jumping for joy when he made the lottery into this public choice school.  It is not our neighborhood school. I drive 10 minutes to get him there each morning.  But there's more sense of "crew" in this school than any other school I've seen.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

School!


This kid started school today.  Pre-K to be exact.  It was a morning of mixed emotions.  He didn't want to get out of bed.  He didn't want to get dressed.  He did both begrudgingly.  Then he ate dry cereal and brushed his toofers.  He sweetly and happily posed for pictures in front of the house (a tradition).  He waved good-bye to his brother who kindly wished him a good day.  I then commented that it was chilly out and he proceeded to whine that he didn't like chili as a snack and school was not going to be fun, especially if he had to eat chili.  I tried to explain chilly as the weather, not the food.  He was beyond it.  He cried.  He whined.  Then his buddy Cullen showed up.  Holden's face lit up.  He happily walked into Ms Mindy's colorful classroom with his favorite buddy and all was right with the world.  He didn't even say goodbye to me.  Seriously, not a passing glance.  Neither of us weeped.  In fact, no mama or daddy there was weeping.  We all congregated for a few minutes discussing our summers and who had who for a teacher.  Then Cullen's mama Leslie and I went for coffee and a shopping date at our favorite antique store.  We had a morning off for the first time in a long while.  It was delightful.  And when I picked little man up he was all smiles and oh so grown up looking.  Life is pretty sweet if you're 4-almost-5 and your best friend is in your class at school and your teacher is pretty and you get to have rainbow goldfish crackers and pretzels (and NOT chili) for snack.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Elitches-2011


For the 2nd year in a row we hit up Elitch Gardens in downtown Denver for a labor day extravaganza.  Ok, maybe not "extravaganza" but a whole lotta fun!  It wasn't crowded, it wasn't hot, there was hardly any time spent in lines, no one fought or argued, everyone got to ride whatever they wanted (and let me say, Jackson is a complete dare-devil!), and eat what they wanted.  At one point I turned to Shawn and proclaimed: "This is better than Christmas!"  And you know, it was.





Thursday, August 25, 2011


I love this boy so very much.  He gets left behind a lot.  Not literally of course, he's always with me, but he's always dragged from one place to the next -- taking Jackson to school or karate or to a playmate; with me to the post office, the thrift store to search for props, meetings at school, coffee dates with friends, etc.  He's so affable most of the time, too.  In 2 weeks he starts Pre-K and I'm so ready for him to have his "thing" to go to.  I was blessed by his calm and his sweetness and his ease at adapting.  I hope the same holds true when school starts up.  In a blink he's a big boy and ready to forge his own way.  Bring it on little man!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

This kid started 2nd grade last week.  Seriously.  2nd Grade!  
His teacher is Ms. Hanni (his school calls everyone by first name), and she is sweet and smart and beautiful and kind.  The perfect combination for a teacher if you ask me!  He thinks she's the bees-knees (my words, not his), and he's thrilled to be back with his friends paling around and having fun and learning.  Apparently he thinks the spelling homework for 2nd grade is for the birds (my words, not his -- what's with the animal analogies?), but he's a smarty-pants so I don't think spelling is going to give him a problem anyway.  His biggest dilemma so far is -- buying lunch or taking lunch in his transformers lunchbox.  Ahhh, to be 7.




And just for the record, it wasn't so long ago when this was his first day of daycare...


...man, who IS that girl?? She looks about 12.  A 12 year old with a baby.  And baby weight.  But still, 12 I tell ya.  Oh yeah, and I sure do miss that house...

Thursday, August 04, 2011

The Gift

So our 10 year anniversary isn't the only anniversary going on in our house - Shawn just rounded out his 5th year at his job.  I'm beyond proud of him, and honestly, I admire his every day for going out to work while I'm home with our children.  It's a tough, long day for him, and then he's home to yelling children, messy house and more often than not uncooked dinner.  He takes it all in stride.  As a "thank you!" for 5 years his company offers a 5 Year Gift to employees.  The gift is their choice; they choose from a catalogue of items.  He mentioned it briefly last week, and may have thrown out the idea that he could choose a watch or a really kick-ass flashlight... 'cause nothing says "thanks!" like a flashlight!

Last night the doorbell rang around 7pm.  We figured it was the nearby neighbor kid who is ALWAYS ringing our doorbell, day and night, Christmas and holidays included, even though it was raining cats and dogs last night.  It wasn't him.  It was Fed Ex delivering Shawn's 5 year gift.  I didn't even notice him open it.  Then he walks over to me with a jewelry box and says "do you like these?" He holds out a beautiful pair of silver double-hoop earrings.  He chose a gift for me for his 5 year gift.  I was flabbergasted.  It was a terribly sweet gesture, and I felt like I had to share with my general reading public because it was too kind of an act not to shout out over the blogosphere.  How amazing is that fella, I ask you?!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Full

I am full...

My heart is full...

10 years ago today I married this guy...


It's not always easy.  We work hard on our marriage.  We also play, laugh, love and share.  All those things together are what make it work.  Here's to a continued lifetime together my love...

Also...
This past week I've had my youngest niece in town visiting with my beautiful baby sister.  There are few things more beautiful than watching your baby sister excel at motherhood. I wish I could have had half the calm she possesses as a new Mama...


Seriously, how adorable is she?!?!

Also, these two boys ...

they surprised me with their sweetness to their baby cousin.  Especially Jackson. I did NOT see that coming.  He was attentive, sweet and caring.  Knocked my socks off.  We have one week of summer left (ONE WEEK!!) before J goes back to school.  I want to soak it all in.  Also, yes, I do feed that baby boy of mine.  Good grief he looks emaciated!  I love them so.


(ps -thank you for the sweet card BJ...I promise I'll try and be a better blogger!  We love you!)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Mexico

oh yeah, Shawn and I went to Mexico - Cabo to be exact - to celebrate 10 years of weddedness.  How crazy is that??? Honestly, it was the best vacation of our lives and here's why:

  1. All inclusive resort on a gorgeous, pristine beach
  2. I didn't have to get juice or milk or water (or snacks or lunch or wipe bottoms or answer 20 questions or wake up at the crack of dawn) for 5 beautiful full days (ok, except the morning we left when my alarm went off at 5:02 am)!
  3. All inclusive means ALL INCLUSIVE.  We ate amazing meals, drank fabulous drinks, and over indulged in everything!
  4. Parasailing for the first time, and definitely not the last
  5. Couples massage in their incredibly posh spa
  6. Exclusive dinner for two on the beach - I mean, seriously, doesn't get more pampering than that.  Did I mention the full moon?!
  7. Cabo Wabo and The Office
  8. Peace. Quiet. Solitude.
  9. Sleeping in
  10. Napping
  11. Did I mention it was all inclusive?
  12. Dirty Monkeys, and I don't mean primates (it's a beverage, look it up)
  13. Drink service, on the beach
  14. Napping
  15. One bedroom suite bigger than our first 2 apartments in Seattle
  16. International data charges meant no phones or email or internet - utter peace
  17. Seafood!
  18. Pina Coladas
  19. Jacuzzi bath for two (hush yo' mouth!)
  20. Little treats on our pillows every evening
  21. Oh yeah and uninterrupted conversations with my sweetheart from the minute we left home (5:43AM) to the minute we returned home (12:57AM).  Snuggling.  Laughing.  Remembering why it is we are "we" in the first place.
I love you Schmoop.  Thank you for an incredible 10(+) years together, and the trip of a lifetime.  And thank you for those all too sweet little boys I couldn't wait to smoosh on as soon as we got home, too! 
xox!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Empathy

That's the buzz word - empathy.  Kids who show empathy.  Teaching empathy.  Being empathetic.  It's not an easy thing to teach, or to learn.  It is far easier to be a wee bit selfish and focus within rather on those around us.  Even harder when you are 4 or 7.

Today I didn't feel so hot.  We spent the morning at the park playing in the fountains, eating less than healthy food, and probably getting less than an adequate supply of water.  Add to that my late night's editing, a little guy who woke me at 3am due to a bad dream, and a smidgen of hormones, and you have a cranky mommy.  I had a killer headache -something that comes upon me about once every month or two since giving birth for the first time 7 years ago.  Blame the epidural, or hormones, or mommy-hood, but they are this side of debilitating for me.  It is hard to move past them, especially when I'm simply expected to be "on" 24/7.  Today it hit rock bottom.  During "personal time" (what I have renamed quiet time to  make it sound more appealing) I felt the absolute need to lie down.  Despite piles of work, both home and professional, I just couldn't move past it.  I got little rest - the phone rang, texts came through, I thought of another thing to add to my to-do list, and then 50 minutes into it, without truly a wink having been had, the kids started the inevitable: can we come out yet??  I finally acquiesced and let them play. On the one condition that they give mommy a little more time to rest.  The did.  Which was lovely.  And a few minutes into it I felt the pad of little feet, and the quiet that comes only from the stare of little eyes...

"Mommy?  Are you ok?"  -- Jackson staring at me with slightly concerned eyes.  Mommy rarely lies down anymore.  If ever...

"Yeah buddy, just not feeling so great.  Think I'll rest a bit more."

The quiet continued.  Then I felt the bed heave.  And Jackson's wee little body snuggle up to mind.  I felt a kiss more tender than anything he's given me in at least 4 years.  And then, his warm little body snuggling up to mine, and his arm around me.  He was snuggling me.  It gave me the greatest sense of comfort and warmth.  He snuggled me for at least 20 minutes, alternating kisses and hugs and pats.  My headache didn't really subside, but in all honesty, I felt better than I had in a long time.  My son showed an empathy I hadn't felt from him in a long while.  It was honest and genuine, and without desire of reward or praise (so common for 7 year olds).  It was, in a word, true bliss.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Best. Daddy. Ever.


Thank you my love. For always being there for me, and for our boys.  Thank you for always alternating diaper changes (whew, aren't you glad those days are behind us?).  And midnight feedings.  Thank you for playing Pokemon, and Star Wars, and pretend camp outs.  Thank you for showing our boys respect.  Thank you for being the calm when I'm a storm.  Thank you for sharing in everything, and often times taking on more than your share.  Thank you for giving me my Pentax and helping me realize my future.  Thank you for encouraging me and supporting me and never doubting me.  Thank you for the up times and the down times.  There's always both, with any partnership, but thank you for making the ups outweigh the downs, and always making sure we can laugh.  Thank you for giving me the softer pillows when we travel.  Thank you for travel. Thank you for mowed lawns, repaired computers, washed dishes, and a million other things that make life complicated.  Thank you for Jackson.  And Holden.  And the one we lost.  Thank you for letting our boys have a full time parent with them always.  Thank you for being a wonderful son to your parents.  And a wonderful son-in-law to mine.  Thank you for knowing lots and lots of things.  Thank you for saying thank you.  Thank you for respecting my full time job and my part time job.  Thank you for loving me.  Thank you for being fair, honest, and trustworthy.  Thank you for showing our boys what a good father is.  Happy Father's Day to the best one I know.  It is corny and cliche but it is true - YOU make me a better Mama.  I love you.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

My joy...

This has brought me immense joy this summer.  Tending my perennials in their 2nd summer.  They are fuller and more lovely than last year.  They are only 2 years old - this yard was a barren wasteland when we moved in.  But it has been a true joy to nurture and watch them grow.  I've lost a few, I can't take claim to being the greenest of thumbs.  But overall I'm thrilled with how well they have all flourished.  Many were drastically reduced plans purchased in the fall after their growing period - .50c for a shrub?! You betcha!  Or little buds from my friend Gidget's amazing garden (she has the true green thumb and has passed along not just her plants to me but her love of gardening, too).  I love seeing these guys bloom the most because they start so small and bloom so full.  This year also brought on our first Colorado veggie garden.  It too is flourishing! I can't wait to taste my first snap pea, or a salad made with fresh greens, ripe tomatoes, juicy cucumbers and crunchy carrots.  Fingers crossed that it continues to do well...



















...and just so I don't get too cocky...the grass is a mess and is being reseeded next week.  Can't win them all!


Friday, June 10, 2011

Did I Tell You?

My hubs rode his first century ride last weekend.  He was supposed to do his first one last year but there were major fires near Boulder, where the ride was to be held, so they had to cancel it.  He had trained for months for that ride.  So he registered this year for the Castle Rock Subaru Elephant Rock ride.  He hadn't intended to do a full 100 miles when he registered, or even when he left the house at 5 am that morning.  He planned to do 62 miles (which let's be clear, is a whole helluva lot of miles to ride), but then called me from the road and said "Hey hon, decided to go ahead and  do the 100 - won't be done until 4!" oooookkkkkkk....that's a major butt kicking if you ask me.  And he hardly trained, for reals. He rode his bike to work twice the week prior - that was his training.  Insane.  We went  out to the fairground to cheer him on as he crossed the finish line.  My camera totally fritzed out on me (dammit, that has NEVER happened to me before!), so I missed capturing the finish, but I gotta tell you, I totally choked up as he rode across the line.  I have never been more proud of him - ever.  He rode a HUNDRED MILES!!!  On his bike! (not in a car!)  That is seriously major stuff.

So honey, just know, as I proclaim it to the entire world wide web - I AM SO FREAKING PROUD OF YOU!!!  And I love you.  Positively, absolutely, indubitably...


Wednesday, June 08, 2011

What I Did on Day 3 of Summer...


Played with the Mac's Photo Booth ap...