Monday, November 30, 2009

Scrapbooking family stories

I've been a bit of a blog slacker. And not for any good reason. I've had things to blog about, I just haven't gotten around to it. I've got a lot planned for December, though!

Tomorrow is December 1st, which means the new Write.Click.Scrapbook. gallery goes up. Make sure you check it out! November's gallery theme was family stories. I did a layout and started mini-album. If somehow you missed it, make sure you take a look. There are some great ideas for capturing your family stories.

It Always Comes Up...
These are the stories that seem to come up whenever I’m with my mom and sister. At least, the ones pertaining to me. There are also quite a few about my sister (losing her car at Blossom) and mom (eating a Whopper) so I’m going to do a page like this for each of us in the mini-album I've started. I like that I have these stories down, but didn’t have to devote a whole page to each one. While not every single detail of these is here, it’s enough to tell the story, and also prompt me (or my mom or sister) to fill in the blanks if I ever forget.

(Basic Grey papers; AC Thickers; 7 Gypsies sticker)

The Stories That Always Come Up (title page)
After I did the above layout, I realized it was the basis for a fun mini-album. Each individual page will be titled based on whom or what the stories are about. This will be a great way to get down all the stories that you don’t necessarily need an entire layout to tell, ones that you do not have pictures for or those where you might be a bit fuzzy on the details. I’m planning on pages devoted to vacations, childhood, Sweeney family (stories that always come up when I’m with my in-laws), my parents, sister, school-related, stories about my ancestors and more. This can easily be added to as more stories are remembered. I’m keeping the album simple, and the design is based on my “It always comes up” layout. All the pages will consist of strips of patterned paper, a border punch and sometimes ribbon. A great way to use scraps! The uniform design will keep the focus on the stories and will make it easy to add to later.

Ray and Althea (filler page)
All the filler pages will have the names of whom the stories are about on the left, place on the patterned paper. I haven’t filled up this page yet, as you can see. But since I always have kraft paper on hand, I can easily go back and add more stories. I just need to print the story, cut it out and attach it with pop dots. No one would think it wasn’t originally meant to be like that, plus pop dots are always fun.

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I really like the idea of mini-albums that are on-going. They evolve. They can be added to. I've actually got a few going right now and a couple more planned. I'll be sharing them over the next couple months. If you're interested in the concept or have any questions, let me know in the comments. :)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Scrapbook Sunday

I was going to blog about this, because it still makes me laugh. And maybe one day I will, but for now, I've got it scrapped.

(Basic Grey papers, AC Thickers, 7 Gypsies stickers; Fiskars punch)

Fastest I've ever scrapbooked Halloween. Less than a month later, this is done. One more to go, though.

(KI papers; Making Memories clear photo corner; 7 Gypsies sticker; Lil Davis letter stickers; Fiskars punch)

This was for Ella Publishing's October issue of Scrapbook Ellaments. Really cheesy photo, I know. But it was perfect for this layout.

(KI, Basic Grey and Making Memories papers; AC Thickers)
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Friday, November 20, 2009

Since I've been gone...

Emma and I played with play-doh Wednesday. Meet Mackenzie (whose name is so long it was broken in two), Emma and her friend Cody. Cody is my friend Kelly's son and lately Emma's been all about Cody. When we left the fitness center the other day they were going to their car and Emma yelled very loudly, "Bye Cody!!!" and he yelled back "Bye Emma!!!" And it was very cute. But I think you had to be there.

Emma after school last week. She's very cute. And even kept her headband in.

Mackenzie is very loving. The other day she was holding her monkey up in front of her face saying, "I love you monkey. Kiss. Hug. Kiss. I love you Monkey. Hug." Very sweet.

Stocked up on cardstock at Hobby Lobby.

Mackenzie ate broccoli tonight. This is big because previously, every piece of broccoli I put on her piece was immediately put aside. Of course, with each bite I had to sing, "chew it up chew it up chew it up. woo hoo!" x3, then "swallow it! yay!!!" And if I forgot to clap, she would remind me, then wait for me to start it again, with clapping. But - she ate 3 (small) servings of broccoli and I was a very happy mama. Oh, and she called it ockli, which was cute.

I've lost track of the times I've said this to Emma in the last week - "When I say no, it means no. Do not argue or ask again. Just obey." Yet, she still doesn't seem to have grasped the concept.

Scrapped with Felicia last Sunday. Did four pages...okay, so started four pages. Working on journaling right now.

Still looking for American Crafts new Letterbox line. I really want those patterned chipboard frames. And the paper. Loving the paper.

Only got two workouts in this week as Mackenzie has a cold. Stinks. For both of us.

Going to the outlets this weekend because I have a $10 coupon with $10 purchase at both Carter's and OshKosh. Free money. Love it.

Made chicken and dumplings last night. Yum. Very good. Last night, they didn't eat too many, which was weird because last time they couldn't get enough. Which meant leftovers tonight. And of course tonight was the night they couldn't get enough (along with the previously mentioned broccoli) so there almost wasn't enough to go around. Now, if I were to make more the next time, they totally wouldn't eat them and they'd be wasted.

Cleaned out my closet and got rid of a bunch of jeans that don't fit - too small or too low a waistband for my post-babies body. Plus shirts and sweaters I hadn't worn in some cases for years. Had kept them "just in case" and this was very liberating. I'd felt like if my closet was full I had more choices, but if I never chose to actually wear any of those items, what was the point? They'll be donated shortly.

Glee was good this week. Awkward, the whole Schu/Rachel thing. But good. Oh, and I'll Stand By You is one of my favorite songs, and well, I wasn't all that impressed by Finn's cover. Was it just me?

Michael's school's football team is still in the play-offs. And tomorrow they're playing here. Nice and convenient. Not that I'm going. We'll be having a play date with friends instead while the boys go to the game.

Went to church play and lean. Girls had fun. Mackenzie likes to make an entrance though. Walked in the door, "Ta Da!" Back from the bathroom, "Ta Da!" Tonight, she comes out of the bathroom in just a shirt, no diaper (she's all about sitting on the potty right now) and yells, Ta Da!"

Mackenzie can count to 13. She's 2. Newly 2. Back in August when Emma was 3 1/2 we finally got her to count past 10. Seriously. And she sings the ABC song. Doesn't know all the letters, but she knows quite a few and knows the tune. It's amazing what she picks up from Emma.

Mackenzie's also discovered pulling hair. Emma's not enjoying that. Either am I.

She's staying in her crib though! Most nights she stays in until the morning. Then she cries at the door and asked to be let out. So glad we didn't have to go through weeks of putting her back in bed over and over. Or just listening to her scream for an hour before she fell asleep on the floor. Only a couple days.

And that's about all I can remember. Happy weekend!
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Friday, November 13, 2009

So I got these new shoes...

and I love them. Meet my new Mizuno Inspire 5s.

They have magical superpowers.

Yes, these are running shoes. And yes, I have a neglected blog called Erin Hates Running. And yes, I bought these in a specialty running store (Fleet Feet) where I had to tell the man fitting me that I don't actually care for running when he asked me if I was training for anything.

But, that being said. I love them! And they must have superpowers, because Monday night at the ab camp class I took I ran 8 laps. Me, who prior to this could only run 4 laps in a row without a break, ran 8 without stopping. 8 laps happens to be a mile on the indoor track at the fitness center. My goal was to run 8 laps by January 1st, gradually working up to it by adding a lap each week or two. Oh, and I did it without my ipod. I had only my very labored breathing for company. And then on Thursday, I ran 9. And today? 8. Combined that's more laps than I ran all of last month.

But back to Monday night. When class started we had to run two warm-up laps. But then after that, the instructor told us we were starting with a 1-mile run. Um, seriously? That's exactly what I asked him. I told him I don't run in miles. I run in laps. As in 4 of them at a time. Then I started to run. Well, jog. I only have one speed when I run, a slow and steady jog. Lap 4 is usually when I start to struggle (which is an improvement, b/c it used to be around lap 2) but this time instead of struggling, I was just trying to figure out what lap I was on, I'd lost count. Crap. So I started to looking around to see if anyone else in the class was near me. Two laps later, a girl in my class that I'd started out running next to passed me just before the start mark. I asked and she was on lap 7, which meant I was on lap 6! Six! I couldn't believe it. How did I get to six? Well, I couldn't quit then, I only had two more to go and I did it. When I finished it almost seemed too easy (although it wasn't) and I felt like I'd cheated or miscounted but a guy who started when I did finished right after me, so I really did run 8 laps!

For me, this was huge. I was so excited that after class I immediately called my husband and then my friend Lisa to tell them. They hear me complain about running enough I had to share some actual good news about the activity.

Now about the shoes. Over the last couple months we've been doing a lot more running in boot camp. We've had classes where we run up to 16 or 20 laps (non-consecutive) in a class. My right knee had started to hurt. This wasn't new, it bothered me in college when I was a server but until I started running more often, I'd forgotten about it. But now it hurt. It ached. It felt weak. I was getting shin splints. And my right foot hurt. I don't have a strong arch and my foot sort of falls in because of it. (When I was in middle school, my mom bought me leather arch support inserts for my shoes because of this. But I kept losing them. So she stopped buying them.) After talking with one of my instructors and some of the girls I work out with, I decided to try getting fitted for running shoes. Until now, I bought workout shoes at Kohl's based on how cute they were. This time, I bought shoes that fit, and the color wasn't a priority, because really, if it were up to me, they'd be pink. Or orange. I like orange. What a difference a good, supportive running shoe with an added arch support makes. After those 8 laps my knee didn't hurt, my feet felt good and no shin splits.

In case you're wondering about getting fitted for running shoes, let me tell you about it. I felt a bit weird going in, knowing I'm not a runner and being completely unfamiliar with anything in that store. I felt out of place. But the guy who helped me was great. First he measured my foot (Shoes and socks off. I should've had a pedicure. Lisa had. She had cute pink toes. I didn't.) both sitting and standing plus the width. Then I had to walk the length of the store so he could see my arch and gait. He asked about any injuries or problems. Then he brought out three different shoes for me to try. This isn't like at Kohl's or Dicks where you look at the wall of shoes and choose which to try on. Instead they choose shoes for you based on your foot and needs. He brought me a pair of Asics, Sauconys and the Mizunos. Once you tried the shoes on, you had to run in them to see how the fit and felt. That was kind of weird. I had a narrow foot, and the Mizunos are a narrower shoe compared to the others and fit my foot the snuggest. Because of my lacking arch, he suggested arch supports. I got a medium support (in pink!) that was custom cut to fit my shoes. This replaced the support that came with the shoe. What a difference that made. I had Nikes before, but they never felt as good as these Mizunos felt. I highly recommend getting fitted for a really good running/work out shoe. It makes such a difference.

While I work out a lot, and enjoy doing so, I have never liked running. (Hence the workout/lose weight blog titled Erin Hates Running.) It's always been hard and the one thing I dreaded. But maybe, just maybe, my magical shoes will make it a little easier and maybe just a tad enjoyable. Maybe.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Week You Turned One (aka A Late Scrapbook Sunday)

I had the idea for this album back before Mackenzie turned one in 2008. I wanted to capture the week she turned one - everything we did, her sleep schedule, what she ate, with lots of pictures. I took my camera with me all week, taking pictures pretty much everywhere we went. Each night before bed I wrote down in chronological order all the details of Mackenzie's day. Then I didn't do anything with it. A few months later I put together all the papers and products I wanted to use and then again, I did nothing with it.

Until last week. Mackenzie turning two prompted me to make the album about her turning one. It's very simple. I used a 7 Gypsies album I'd been saving for just the right project. I typed up my journaling with little editing, it's pretty much exactly as I wrote it a year ago. I made the photo collages in PSE, adding text to some of the photos. Minimal product usage - Sandylion papers, 7 Gypsies and Making Memories stickers; EK Success and Fiskars border punches and AC Thickers.

You can click on the images to see them bigger, but then they'll probably be too big. But did you know you can shrink them by clicking on the 100% icon on the bottom right of your screen? I had no idea what that was for until recently. Very helpful for when I want to enlarge an image but then it's so big I have to scroll to see it all.

Yes, that should say "one" not "on" but I ran out of e's. So until I get more, "on" it is. It's like I have a robot child. I just flipped the on switch. Sadly, she does not come with a "do not climb" or "quiet please" button.

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It'll be neat to look back on this years from now; seeing what we did that week, what Mackenzie was doing, eating, wearing. As it was, there are already so many changes from the napping to what she was eating then. Although her personality has certainly not changed in the last year! She was already a little daredevil with a sneaky look on her face all too often. The journaling isn't anything exciting, and probably nothing anyone but me would want to read but I love that I have this part of her life documented.

I think it'd be so great to have one of these from when I was a child, I'd love to know what stores my mom took me too, what we did during the day, who we saw and played with that week, etc. Of course, I'm lucky if my mom put dates and names on the back of photos! My mom and I were just discussing this tonight because I was pulling old photos out of albums and there were so many without dates, we just kept laughing. But she had a good point, she said, "at least I took the pictures!" and that is so very true. Even though my mom wasn't a scrapbooker, she took many photos and I'm so thankful for that.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Ten on Tuesday

1. Love the look on her face. (On Sunday)

2. And here, too.

3. Monday night Mackenzie fell asleep at her door, calling for me to come get her out. Gotta love that she's climbing out of her crib. Last night she got out again and this time Emma opened the door for her, then they both came down giggling. She eventually fell asleep on the floor by her door. I wonder how many more nights of this are to come.

4. My EK Success notebook paper border punch broke last night. That was annoying. I've only used a few times, too.

5. So I went to a jewelry party last week. I've been invited to them before but have never gone because I'm not really a jewelry girl. I wear my diamond earrings, my wedding ring and my necklace with my girls' birthstones. But Kelly had a babysitter so we could take our kids (a big play date for them, Emma and Mackenzie loved it) so I went. And I bought a necklace and booked a party for January. Seriously. Apparently, I'm turning into a jewelry girl.

6. Emma posed and wanted me to take her picture after church Sunday.

7. Emma finished up this last session of swim lessons last week - and she was promoted! Next session will be Preschool Advanced. Very exciting. For me. She has no idea what that means and really doesn't care.

8. Got Emma's school picture today. And it's so good! She has such a nice smile in it. Not the cheesy grin I usually get.
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9. After dropping Emma off at preschool this morning Mac and I went to the fitness center then to the grocery store. I thought I had plenty of time. But after getting in a very slow and long line it was finally my turn to put my items on the belt. I had about half on and was still waiting and waiting and waiting when I realized there was no way I was going to make it to pick Emma up on time. So I put what was on the belt back in my cart and had to ask someone to hold my cart until I came back. Yep, I had to go back and pay for everything after picking Emma up. Never had to do that before.

10. Scrapbook Sunday will be Scrapbook Wednesday this week. I finished a mini-album one year in the making and will post it tomorrow.
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Escape Artist

So early Sunday morning, around 6:30, Mackenzie started crying. And crying. And yelling Mommy. She really wanted out of her crib. But that was way too early for her to be up. We had nursery duty at church so it was going to be a long morning and she'd be napping late so she needed her sleep. About 45 minutes in to it, she got quiet. I fell back asleep thinking she had too.

Then around 7:30 she started yelling for me again. And this time it was louder. Strange. So I got up and went to her door and discovered just why she was so much louder - because she was out of her crib and shouting for me at her door! I opened it and there she was. Happy to see me and very excited to be out of her crib. I started laughing and brought her in to our room and as I sat her on the bed I noticed something and said, "Michael! She has her shoes on!" And she did. She had her brown shoes on, velcroed and on the right feet at that. It was hysterical.

All day I was hoping it was a one-time thing but knowing there was no chance she was going to stay in bed last night. Sure enough, before too long we heard a small thump and then her at the door saying, "Mommy, let me out!" We went upstairs and put her back in her crib so she could show us just how she gets out. Oh my, she was fast! Up and over just like that. So I got my camera and she was kind enough to show us once again how she did it.

Crib Climber from Erin Sweeney on Vimeo.

Of course, this meant she wasn't staying in bed. She was up with me until 11:30 last night and slept until I woke her up at 9:45 this morning. Looks like she needs a bed. This is going to be awesome. I remember just how fun it was with Emma, putting her back in bed over and over and over...

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Ten on Tuesday

1. Yesterday Emma put this box on and ran in the room yelling "Look Mom! I'm a box for Halloween!" Except of course it was November 2nd. She wore for at least a half hour. And when Michael asked her to take it off so he could put it out with the trash/recycling, she told him no, she needed it for her costume. Somehow she hid it from him, because she had it on again today.

2. Lately, this one has been all about suckers. She always manages to find them wherever I've hidden them, unwrap them and get a lick or two in before I catch her. Or, before she comes to show me what she's done, because she's awfully proud of herself.

3. This morning before leaving to go workout, I found the two of them in the kitchen with suckers. Mackenzie with two of the three she unwrapped.

4. My niece Shelby and I often attempt to take a self-portrait when we're together. This was the best of four from Sunday. Of course, we could always just ask someone to take it, but where's the fun in that?

5. Mackenzie always thinks this window at the fitness center is a door. Hence the pushing.

6. I voted today. And there were no "I voted" stickers. I was a little let down.

7. For some reason I'm not impressed yet with SYTYCD. I do like Russell. And Nathan. And that's about it so far. I wish Billy Bell was still in it.

8. Any soap watchers? General Hospital has finally gotten good again. The last couple months stunk and were boring but the last few days have been great.

9. Only four three more caramel pumpkins left.

10. My girls are still off schedule. Thanks, Daylight Savings Time. I am not a fan of waking up in the 6:00 hour. I prefer to not get up until the first number on the clock is an 8. Until two days ago, that was working perfectly since they also did not wake up until there was an 8 on the clock. Then Sunday morning came. Please let it end soon. I'm so not a morning person.
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Sunday, November 01, 2009

She's two today.

And definitely a toddler. Oh my, she's so funny. So cute. So silly. And sweet and loving. And a bit rotten, too! She's talking so much. It amazes me. Hearing her talk, it's hard to believe we ever worried about her speech. New words every day. 2, 3 and 4 word sentences. She's so smart. She counts every day. Not always in order, and not every number. She tries to sing the ABCs, but doesn't know them all. She still takes great naps, 2 - 3 hours a day. Is a picky eater. She's partial to french fries, pancakes, bananas, Kix, mashed potatoes, green beans, corn and rolls/biscuits. Favorite phrases are "I find it!" and "I want that" and just started saying, "I do-od it" instead of "I did it." Very cute. She'll tell you "thank you" over and over until you say "thank you" back to her. Then she'll do the same with "You're welcome." She loves her big sister. They're so close. Whatever Emma does, Mac does. We love her so much.

We started the day off with church. She was very excited to go play in the nursery, and was just as excited when she saw us at pick-up time.

After church we picked up her cake and ordered the pizza then put her down for a nap as soon as we got home. Unfortunately, it was only an hour and when I woke her up she did not like it at all. When I was putting her hair it pigtails she started to cry and didn't stop for at least 15 minutes. She was going nuts. She finally calmed down with some help from Aunt Abby.

After lunch, Emma, Mackenzie and Claire all dressed up and stayed that way for pretty much the entire time. Of course, Mackenzie was Minnie again.

She was really into the present opening this year. I loved the look on her face as she saw each gift, she was so excited. First gift was ours, which included Diego. She loved him.

Emma really wanted to help (and by help, I mean open by herself) Mackenzie with every present. I got a lot of shots like this one. I also said, "Emma, no. Emma, let her do it. Emma, get back!" many times.

More Diego. She really likes Diego. She got quite a few Diego items: the Diego doll, the Diego rescue jeep, Diego books, Diego movie and Click the Camera.

And a Diego cake, too. She was a bit timid with the candles, so I helped. She wouldn't do it alone.

She really enjoyed it though. We moved the girls' picnic table in to the kitchen for the kids to eat at - great idea my husband had and we will be doing it for every party from now on.

My niece Rachel and her friend Cassie raked leaves for them to play in. Rachel had them all lined up for their turn to jump. Of course, this did not last and before long it was a free-for-all.

Grandma Sweeney makes each grandchild a pillow and gives it to them along with a sleeping bag. Mackenzie's got hers today - a pretty striped sparkly pillow with her name on it and a Disney princess sleeping bag. She was so excited about the pillow and couldn't wait to sleep with it. Turned her crib in to a bed for the first time tonight.

Night-night, munchkin. We love you!