Friday, August 19, 2011

Well, Hello There

A very wonderful and smart woman, whom I love and admire very much, told me that I need to post. I said I was feeling sheepish about posting after so long; that its like when you don't call your friend for long time... after awhile you get anxious about calling (even though you want to and know you should) because you'll have to explain how super-lame you are and then apologize profusely for being such a lame-o.  She said to just get on here and pick up where we left off as if I'd just posted yesterday.  So... here I am!

Wasn't that a lovely post yesterday?  Ok, I'm not good at playing pretend.  I know this, and now so do you.  I'm pretty sure that Punkin believes this to be my biggest flaw. But I'll fake it for you cause I love you, and I miss you, and gosh-darnit I'm awesome like that!

This summer has just flown by!  The girls and I have spent our days in the garden tending to the vegetables or hunting for bugs.

Punkin had her first swim lessons while Bunny and I lounged by the pool or, more accurately, had splashing contests and spun around like crazy people on inner-tubes.

I'm sure she did *some* lounging... I mean, it probably took a few seconds to take this picture

Punkin's first swim lesson! 

We've taken trips to the park, and walked (but more often driven) to visit Cherry Mash and the Boynado and splash around in their pool with them let the kids splash around while the Mama's drink cocktails and take turns bitching about all things Mothering.

We've been on adventures to Fairytale Town, ArtBeast, and Funderland.  We've had icecream for dinner (where Punkin lectured me on the importance of eating healthy foods before eating "fun foods."),  lunch (no such lecture was required this time because we ate sandwiches first), and snack (because its summer, duh).

Kyla takes a trip down The Old Woman's Shoe (slide) at Fairytale Town

Bunny driving the Pumpkin Carriage 

We've visited with family...

Bunny goofing around with Aunt Dix

The girls all giddy from a weekend visit from Auntie Amber & Uncle Brian

...and had friends over for a tea-party.


We've stayed home, too.

Where I've parked the girls in front the the TV for appalling stretches of time so that I could work on the master-bed/bath-remodel-that-is-taking-far-too-long-and-occasionally-makes-me-want-to-burn-down-the-house-to-start-fresh, and so that I could sew-things-that-will-likely-stay-in-the-sewing-closet-unfinished-forever.  But we still managed to have a little fun.

PB&Js at the campsite (aka: the dining room)

All things told, its been an awesome summer... the last two months have flown by and I'm starting to feel the onset of the End of Summer Blues.  Thankfully, I have you all to get me through it.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Props where they are due

I know I was supposed to do a guest blog here, talk about our shared birth experience etc. but you know what, I will be the first to admit, I put things off, it happens. So instead, I just wanted to do a small post about an amazing person. I have no idea how she does what she does. She juggles being a Mommy, cook, house keeper, student and life partner. I know it's not always easy for her. Life for us these days is crazy, from corralling kids in the morning to staying up late studying for things that give me a headache when I read them, she does it all with style. She manages to keep a smile on her face...most of the time. I know it's hard for her especially when she wants to do nothing more than just sit with me and the girls to relax, but can't. I know things will slow down eventually and be better than they are now.

I love you Mama, Papa. :)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Well, Hello There

Good Morning!

Ok, its morning here at least.  And the sun is shining for the first time in days.  Its a beautiful morning!  And, no, I haven't forgotten about you.

I walked away last month expecting to take a few days off; needing a few days off.  Then days turned in to weeks and weeks became a month, and here we are.  It was nice to have a break from Small Things.  I needed some time to gather myself and figure some things out.  And during that time I discovered some things that I didn't really expect to discover.

1) I realized that I had started blogging for the wrong reasons.  I started this as a way to share my experiences along this journey through life and Motherhood with family and friends.  And, somewhere along the way, I shifted my focus.  I started writing things not to share, not from my heart, but as a way to get more people here.  I'm not going to lie... it'd be absolutely wonderful to do something I love (like blog) AND bring a bit of (much needed) extra income in to the house.  But that shouldn't be the focus here, so, from now on, I promise to keep it real (as they say).

2) Along those same lines, I realized that Mindful Mondays hasn't become what I hoped it would - A place where I get to reflect and have a chance to hear (ok, read) other people's thoughts and reflections as well.  Turns out, it was just a designated time for me to ramble on about my own thoughts.  The thing is, though, I'm one of those people who is painfully aware (at times) of her own thoughts already.  So... without further ado, I have decided to kill Mindful Mondays as a "thing" and just continue rambling on as usual on whichever day it strikes my fancy!

3) By nature, I am not a horribly consistent person.  I don't do laundry every, say, Thursday.  Or clean the bathrooms Saturday morning.  So, it wasn't realistic of me to expect me to blog certain days or times. So, here's the deal... I'll post what I want, when I want, and if you don't like that then, just go ahead and click on that X.  And I hope you find what you're looking for out there on the interwebs (I mean that with love, and write it with a smile on my face).

4) I think about you guys all. the. time.  Seriously.  Its bordering on obsessive.  I write at least half a dozen posts to you all every day.  In my head.  But, my time is outrageously full right now.  So, sadly, those posts go unwritten. 

For those of you who are still here, HEY!  I'd love to sit here and say there will be some dramatic and wonderful changes here at Small Things.  But the truth is, even though I love you, I'm probably going to be a little neglectful over the next 13 weeks.  I hope to see you soon!  :)

~  Mama

Monday, January 17, 2011

Land of the Free(ish)

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."~ Martin Luther King Jr.

Today is the day our country celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. and as I sit around eating pancakes with my family (Papa makes delicious pancakes!), I find myself thinking about the man who told the world of his dreams.  I admire him.  Its hard not to.  What he did in America, for America, was amazing.  But what is even more amazing to me is how relevant so much of his message is STILL.

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."  ~ MLK

While we can choose on this day to read (or listen to) some of his words and take  them at face-value, feeling smug and proud that some of his dreams have come true, it would be failing his memory and our country if we fail to acknowledge that so much of what Martin Luther King, Jr. fought for has failed to come to fruition.

Racism, hatred, discrimination are still very much alive and well.  A black man may now drink from the same fountain as a white man, or sit next to a white man on a bus.  But Americans everywhere are loosing freedoms First1, Fourth 2, Fifth 3, Sixth4, Eighth5 and Fourteenth 6 Amendment rights are increasingly sacrificed in the name of anti-terrorism.

Homosexual, Trans-gender, and Bisexual Americans are discriminated against everywhere, every day.

Arabs and Muslims are profiled, held and deported with no or little cause; they suffer the effects of racism continuously; even from our government. 

"The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education."   ~ MLK

The education our youngest citizens receive fails them more each minute as programs are cut, teachers are restricted, and fear, hate and ignorance over-power the ideas of intelligence and character.

"Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him." ~MLK

And the idea of nonviolence, of loving our fellow human beings, has been replaced with fear.  Good people continue to remain quiet in the face of injustice, and ignorance is still very much alive.

So, today, I choose to speak out against injustice, violence, hatred and fear.  Because that check promised to us by our Founding Fathers is still marked insufficient funds. Because the dream did not, and should not, die with the man.  Because America should be the land of the free; not the land of the free-ish.

1. First Amendment: Gives citizens the rights of free speech, peaceable assembly, and freedom of religion.
2. Fourth Amendment:  Protects citizens from unreasonable search and seizure
3. Fifth Amendment: Says we shall not be "deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law" and protects citizens from being held without charge
4.  Sixth Amendment: Provides the right to a speedy and public trial, the right to know the nature of accusations against him/her, the right to be confronted with any witnesses, and the right to defense.  
5.  Eighth Amendment: Protects us from excessive, bail and fines.  And protects us from cruel and unusual punishments. 
6.  Fourteenth Amendment:  Interpreted as protecting the rights of all citizens providing equal protection to minority citizens. 

**The transcript and video of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s I Have A Dream speech, delivered August 28th, 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC can be found here.

** A thoughtful account of the rights and freedoms being infringed upon can be found here.


Thursday, January 13, 2011


Yesterday, I dropped the girls off at the local KidsPark so that I could peruse my favorite store in peace.  I love Habitat's ReStore.  Its super awesome!  They have funky, fun, different stuff.  Most can be salvaged easily by a little T.L.C. and I get to feel like I'm doing something good when I spend Papa's hard-earned cash on something that would otherwise be called "junk."

I went in search of a light fixture.  Something to replace the awesome ceiling fan we had in the master bedroom since it decided to crap-out on me.  We don't have an extra couple hundred bucks to plop down on a pretty new light fixture.  While I was searching the store for hidden treasure, I came across this awesomeness.


Aren't they pretty?!?  And there are two of them.  And they are the most precious shade of blue.  I l.o.v.e. these lockers! But at $200 each, they are a bit out of my price-range.  So, I continued my search for a light and I found this beauty.

humble beginings

Ok, yeah, I know, its not really beautiful.  But look at all that potential!  No, seriously.  Ok, well, I'm not a big fan of the 90s tract home brass either (in fact I removed it all from this home just 7 years ago).  But, bear with me, it'll be awesome, I swear!  All it needs is a little of my favorite thing - spray paint.

I started by cleaning it really well.  Then I lightly sanded the whole thing with some fine-grit sandpaper.  Next, I crumpled up little pieces of paper and shoved them (gently) in to the light-screwy parts.  Finally, I grabbed a can of Rust-oleum's American Accents Aqua in Smooth Satin Finish {because it matches my gorgeous quilt (made with love by Leesy-Lou) featuring some beautiful Amy Butler fabric.}

I tested the spray on a different surface (the drop cloth would work) to make sure it was spraying well, and started in an inconspicuous area of the lamp to see how it held (the top of the chandelier, where the chord comes out and goes to the ceiling).  I liked what I saw so I did the arms and small areas using short bursts and making sure to coat it lightly and evenly.  For the larger portions (like the big ball on the bottom) I used longer bursts and even movements to ensure the same.

half painted
About half-way through the first coat
I let the first coat dry and then hit it with a second coat using the same techniques; hanging it up to get the very bottom of the ball-y part (yes that's a technical term) smooth and even.  Then let it dry for a few hours before bringing it in the house and commanding the tall, manly person to install it.

aqua chandy

Here's what it looked like before installation.  Just chilling outside getting its "dry" on.

The best part?  All things told, this cost me exactly $21 and only took about an hour (plus installation time)!

{You'll have to wait for future posts to see it in all its glory because this beauty has inspired a little bedroom makeover - so stay tuned!}

Monday, January 10, 2011

MM #13: Yeah, I got nothing

Oh. Em. GEE!  Its Monday again already?!?  I just can't believe how quickly time is passing.  I had forgotten.  I had forgotten that being a SAHM is a job that never ends.  I had forgotten how much time laundry, food prep, child care, cleaning and errands can eat up.  I had forgotten the part where you work from before sunrise to well after sunset without breaks, or thanks, or even a moment of peace.

I had forgotten how wild and crazy and mostly wonderful this ride is!  My Punkin-Pie-Baby-Girl has turned 5!  And something about 5 seems SO MUCH OLDER than 4.  (I have no idea why).  My Bunny-Boo is turning 3 this week.  THREE years since my baby was born, and I'm starting to feel like one of those Mom's;  you know, the ones without infants in her arms, or toddlers hanging from her legs.  I'm starting to feel, like, well, ME again.  Its weird.  Mostly because the last time I really remember seeing ME, I was younger and thinner and much more clever.  But, here I am, recognizable.

Its wonderful.  And scary.  To remember Who I Am.  To realize how lost I was.  I know there are Moms out there who manage to keep themselves intact even after they have kids - even with infants.  I admire them.  I have been known to analyze them in an effort to figure out just what it is they do.  But, I've found nothing - no secrets to Hanging On To Yourself Whilst A Baby is Hanging On You.

There are no words of wisdom, or questions for reflection today.  Just some ramblings.  You see, usually, by the time you-all see these words here, I've been working on them for a bit.  But, this week, nothing I had prepared, nothing I had thought of; nothing seemed to reflect where I am right now.  And so, I'm left with only this to say:

Hello World, its me - Amie!

balloons away

Monday, January 3, 2011

MM #12: Social Networking

I love the interwebs!  I love Twitter, I love Facebook, I love blogs.  I love (virtually) meeting new people, I love having access to so many awesome people and their awesome thoughts.  You may say, I'm a fan.

But is Social Networking the same as socializing?  

Sure, it fills a void that some of us feel; but only a little bit.  And as we are busy half-filling our Yearning for Connection Glasses, what are the opportunity costs?

Friday, December 31, 2010

Year-end Review in Photos and Posts

To say that this year was difficult for me (us) would be a gross understatement.  There have been problems with the mortgage company (thanks a lot California property values), Papa and I have struggled through problems in our relationship (the mortgage company may, in hindsight, have had a lot to do with this), I started taking 12+ units per semester, the list goes on. So the girls and Papa and I have spent a good part of this year adjusting and struggling to get through it.

2010 has been a year of struggle, friendship, mindfulness and growth.  It has taken a lot of hard work to get to this place, here, at the end of the year, where I can reflect on the year and say: "We made it through, and we're better for it."

I have a lot of hope for what 2011 will bring to us.  I hope for many Small Things to cherish.  I hope for peace, love and simplicity.  I hope for a house filled with joy and laughter, and I hope our friendships will continue to blossom.

There are a few people who deserve special mention.  These people were beacons in the dark, and without them, I'm certain that I would not be sitting here thankful (in part) for the experiences I've had.

Cherry Mash took me under her wing and taught me how to laugh, and how to suck it up with style and grace.

Uncle Sharles grew on my heart like a tumor... he appeared in my home one Saturday and just. kept. coming back.  I love him deeply and am eternally grateful for what he has done for my girls, Papa and me over the last year.

My parents supported me with exceptional tenderness and stamina when I most needed it, and continue to support my family in wonderful ways not the least of which is taking our girls in to their home once a week and spending valuable time with them.

And over the last year Papa has loved me when it was hardest, worked his butt off to make our home a better place to live, and shown me that, sometimes, people do change.

Our year in Photos and Posts:


open presents with kampa 2010
{Opening Birthday presents with Kampa}

arrr matey
{Livingroom Pirate Ship ala diningroom chairs and newspaper hats}

{Licking the beater is the best part of baking cookies}

easter hunt
{Hunting for eggs at "Ms. Michelle's School}

{Dining table giggles for no apparent reason}

{First blossoms of the summer - Bell Pepper plant}

smell the roses
{A Sunny Day Stroll - stopping to smell the roses}

{Treasure bags for collecting beach-side goodies}

z sept
{Bunny Boo after swimming at the Boynado's 3rd(!) Birthday}

sos oct
{The Set up for S.O.S}

z fairytale train2
{Conducting the train at Fairytale Town}
November was a big month for Mindful Mondays...

{Christmas meets the fireplace}

I started this blog in March of 2008 as a way to share our life, our photos and our experiences with family and friends who we don't see often.  In April of 2009, I disappeared from here and it took me a full year and three months to find my way back.  I've very glad I have.  Thank you for following us along our journey.

(a special thanks to Scary Mommy for the idea.  For more links to year-end reviews, visit her site and click on the links at the bottom of the post)


Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Tomorrow morning I will wake up and have my cup of coffee.  Somewhere between sips 3 and 4, Punkin’ will wake up and wander out of her room all bleary-eyed.  I’ll say (as I always do) “Good morning Angel!”  and I’ll set her up on the couch: pillow, bear, blanket.  Then I’ll turn on the TV.  Zoe will wander out of our room and join her sister on the couch: pillow, baby, blanket.  They’ll sit and watch TV until they feel that burst of energy that will carry them through the day seemingly without wavering.  I’ll make breakfast while they are both cozy on the couch.  I’ll get a goofy smile on my face as I listen to the sounds of Papa in the shower because it comforts me to hear him in there and I always think that’s silly. 

In short, tomorrow morning will be just like every other morning. 


Tomorrow morning is the 5 year anniversary of the day I became a Mama.  Five years ago tomorrow, I heard her cry for the first time.  I smelled her head, I watched Papa cry tears of joy, I saw my own Mother transformed into a Kamma.  Five years ago tomorrow, I fell in love with a beautiful, crazy, bundle of awesome and started on this wild ride. 


Four and a half years ago tomorrow, my sweet bundle of awesome did her twelve millionth totally amazing thing:  she rolled over.  It was truly remarkable:  you should have seen her form!


babies at window2

Four years ago my baby became a toddler.  That moment I had waited for (with bated breath) finally arrived.  She took her first tentative steps and I was floating. on. air.  Three minutes later (I swear!), she was doing laps around the house, and getting in to everything!  Thirty seconds later, the word “No” was cemented in to my daily vocabulary.

Three years ago tomorrow I got to watch her personality blossom.  Her sense of humor, her wonder and excitement, her incredibly loving heart… each amaze me more every day. 


Two years ago tomorrow the horrible I-Kinda-Want-To-Return-You-To-Sender Threes hit us hard.  She did all the things I was sure she wouldn’t do… she tantrumed and refused to listen.  She wrote on the walls with pens, pencils, sharpies and crayons.  She destroyed furniture, carpets, clothes, cabinets, counters, toys, blankets, and my sanity.  She and I walked through the trenches of toddlerhood together and survived.  (Amazingly)  

disney tongue 

One year ago tomorrow, she became obsessed with Arts and Craps (no that’s not a typo), she potty trained herself and she started becoming this {gulp} KID.  Its cool and scary and wonderful.  Four is a fun age. 

infront garage k

Tomorrow my baby will be FIVE.  Five years old.  Five years old.  (Nope, doesn’t stop looking weird if I type it more)

So, tomorrow morning, after coffee is consumed and girls are settled (pillow, lovey, blanket), I will make my baby {5 years old} a big-girl birthday breakfast (which is apparently dry Cheerios and cheese crackers).   And I will sit at the table and watch her eat it and think to myself  “How on earth have I been so blessed?!”

{My Punkin-Pie Angel Girl was born December 28th, 2005 at 8:01pm.  She weighed 7lbs 6.4oz and was 20 inches long}

Monday, December 27, 2010

Mindful Mondays (holiday break)

Mindful Mondays is taking a break for the holidays.  If you need some mindfulness in your life, head on over to Reverb10 and reflect on the daily prompt(s).

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season.




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