Category Archives: Featured

Lord of the Rings Hobbit House Toddler/Mommy Craft

We went back to the ReSource Warehouse & Gallery to do the make and take today (where you pay $5 an hour to use anything in their special room filled with a gazillion little fun odds and ends to make whatever you want). What started out with “maybe today we should make a house… or maybe a little town out of cardboard” turned into “let’s make a hobbit house!” It’s amazing what you can make with things that are just laying around, in this case an Amazon box, a large tube, some tissue paper and some paint. I love the Resource Warehouse’s weekly arty party! I can’t wait to keep coming back throughout the summer and see what else we can come up with!

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More pictures after the cut, unfortunately no how-to because it was such a whirlwind to make

 

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Toilet Paper Roll Craft – Dinosaurs!

Once again another awesome craft for toddlers that I found on Pinterest! These came out incredibly cute and Rand had a wonderful time drawing the faces & toes, gluing the spikes and spots, and attaching the feet to the body. I did make one adjustment to the tutorial by taping a plastic straw to the back of the dinosaur’s head to keep it from drooping (since I didn’t have thick paper to work with)

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Click through for setup and progress photos!

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Baby Clothes Memory Quilt <3

If you’re anything like me, you probably cry every time you have to go through your baby’s clothes to put away/toss out the clothes that are too small.  No? Ok, maybe it’s just me. =] Anyway, here’s a fun project I was finally able to finish after 3 years.

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Since I finally have some time off and we decided to stay local this year instead of going on vacation, I finally got some time to spend on something that I’ve been wanting to finish for a long time. Three years ago when we left California I was half-way done with getting this quilt together. In one of the two suitcases that we brought here from California, I had all the pieces of the top of this quilt. It would have been a complete waste if I never finished it!

This quilt is made out of pieces of Rand’s clothes from his first year, and fabric from the trip to Hawaii that we took when Rand was 3 months old. The inside is filled with fleece from the leftovers of the Totoro costume that I made for him last year for Halloween. All in all a blanket full of memories.

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Lego Marble Run – with educational upgrades!

We made a lego marble run today, inspired by this one and we ended up adding some upgrades that I wanted to share, since I think they’re super fun =]

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First, we added numbers to this simple marble run to make it a little bit more complex, the goal was to roll the ball over each of the numbers in order. Just took regular scotch tape and a sharpie and presto! A counting toy :) Initially I just had it go from 1-5 but he kept insisting for more numbers and by the end we had 20.IMG_7730

I imagine we can do this again with any number of things, colored dots, alphabet, etc :)

 

After that got too repetitive, we added more interesting places for the ball to go, like a garage, and some extra obstacles

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According to Rand this was a lemon tree
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Once the people were added as obstacles, he inadvertently knocked over one of them while doing the puzzle and, of course, that became a whole new game.

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Bonus, this is the hospital that we took our lego guys to after they got knocked out

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Definitely a very fun, simple, and cheap activity. 10/10 will do again. :)

Hungry Caterpillar Toddler Footprint/Toeprint Craft

After I saw these amazing hungry caterpillar toeprints on Pinterest (don’t know what site they came from :( ) I felt like I had to do it, but instead of just having the toe prints, I decided to take it a little further and make my own version of the book for Rand’s wall. Then, we made prints of his feet in purple/blue/green hues on the yellow paper and put them together to make the butterfly. This was a long project, but so worth it in the end!

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Spontaneous Testimony

Sometimes I hear people express disbelief at how people can keep faith in a church. Sometimes I respond.

I think my belief in the church is somewhat like my 1995 car. I have very little idea beyond the basics how it works — not being a car person I only know about the stuff you need to know to keep the car going — and if you take a look at each of its parts you probably would say it shouldn’t be working because some of the parts are so corrupted that it really should be impossible.

For 15 years (bought it used) my car and I have been together, while none of the parts of my car seem to be right, it still works for me and every time I set foot in my car I have faith that I’ll be able to get where I want to go because it has never let me down.

Maybe one day I’ll get in and I’ll realize it’s not right anymore, I always realize it’s a possibility — but not today, regardless of whether or not people think I should throw away my car I love it and it’s a part of me at this point.

Happiness incline

Some days I think about the rage I seem to naturally harbor all the time and wonder when I became an incessantly angry person. Reminiscing about my days in college, I idealize the idea that I had it easier then — and then I read my blog posts. Then I think, ah, I had things pretty easy in high school — and then I read my blogs and diaries.

To be honest, I think despite the MS, despite the living in the middle of b***f*** nowhere, and despite my waves of irritation and anxiety (possibly caused by the medication I’m taking for aforementioned MS) I might just be the happiest and most content I’ve ever been in my life.

This both pleases me and saddens me at the same time. While I’m happy that I’ve reached a state of peace never before achieved — it’s kind of depressing that I’m the happiest now in my entire life while battling a degenerative disease, its suppression and almost complete isolation for at least 8 hours a day from non-virtual people on a daily basis (and even outside of that 90% of my time is spent with either the nanny, my son, or my husband).

If I were to be an optimist I suppose I could say that at least my happiness has been at an incline since childhood so if trends follow as they have been I’ll be in a complete state of nirvana when I finally kick the bucket. Thanks to modern medicine and hospice care I think I’ll definitely have that going for me.

Ah, there’s so much to look forward to in this life!

15 years

This August will celebrate the 15 year anniversary of my ownership of this domain.  Throughout the years I, and this site, have changed and been remade hundred of times over.  However, the name remains the same.  I feel like I should do something to commemorate this seemingly inconsequential but ultimately momentous event in my life from 15 years ago.

Too bad I have no motivation and no ideas.

A Matter of Perspective

Rights vs. Privileges.  These are always argued, right?  What is a right, what is a privilege?  Is having a roof over my head a right or a privilege I have?  Is having delicious food to eat something I’m entitled to as a human being, or should I just be happy that I’m well fed?

Being a spoiled American, growing up in fairly affluent areas, I tend to think that I’m entitled to a lot of things.

I think that’s why it’s been so hard for me to deal with MS.  Before this, it was my right to do whatever I wanted, go wherever I wanted.  Because of MS, it’s no longer my right to drive to work every morning when I wake up — it’s now my privilege to work from home.   It’s not longer my right to drive to the store to buy a pair of shoes — it’s now my privilege to be driven there.  It’s no longer my right to feel normal — it’s now my privilege to have a day with minimal dizziness and fatigue.

Sure, I should be happy.  I should be grateful that the MS was found before I started to lose my vision… Thankful, that I’m not paralyzed… But a huge part of me is not.  That huge part feels like I should just be able to live life normally without having to choose between not being able to drive right now or paralysis in ten years.  It should have been my right to be able to play with my baby for longer than half an hour at a time without feeling fatigue.  I should have the right to go to work, the right to pick up dinner, the right to run errands, but these stupid brain lesions have stolen that right from me.

The question I have to ask is this:  can I deal with freedom from and let go of my need to have freedom to?  Right now, I have freedom from responsibility, freedom from driving, freedom from blindness, freedom from paralysis.  If I think of it that way it seems pretty great.  What I’ve lost is the freedom to choose, the freedom to drive, the freedom to do strenuous activity.

In conclusion, all in all, despite the list of benefits I listed before, I probably wouldn’t recommend developing multiple sclerosis to anyone.

Top 10 benefits of having MS

Ever since I was diagnosed with MS, I’ve struggled to deal with the impact that it and the treatment have had on my life.  Today I wanted to take a look at things on the bright side.  Here are top 10 things that make MS more bearable.

  1. I’ve lost 17 lbs. Nuff said.
  2. Since my feet are really numb, I can wear any kind of shoe that I want, even 6 inch heels for an entire day at a convention without feeling even a tiny bit of pain afterwards.
  3. I have a Dr’s note that says I can work from home whenever I feel dizzy – which is pretty much all the time in the summer since heat aggravates my symptoms.
  4. I have medication that I have inject weekly — and while that sucks,for the month before I got the injection pen Brent had to inject me in the butt which made a great story.
  5. After my spinal tap I was ordered by the Dr to drink coffee and tea for a week.  This might not be a big deal to you, but I’m a converted Mormon so drinking that expresso felt dangerous to my salvation, but oh-so-delicious.
  6. Since heat aggravates my symptoms I can justify keeping the air condition blasting all the time in this huge house during a heatwave.
  7. I’m participating in a study, so one day I’ll be a part of one of those medical journal articles that say “in a study of X people along the course of 10 years…”
  8. Numb fingers mean that if I one day get diabetes I can check my blood sugar all day without worries.
  9. I got to see the inside of my brain and have 2 CD-roms full of pictures of my insides.
  10. I can blame any stupidity that falls out of my mouth and into the air on brain lesions and not my actual thoughts.

Mascot Monday – How-to: Elephant Ornament (Free Pattern)

In preparation for the holidays, I’m doing a Mascot Monday, where I will post up an instructional PDF once a week on how to do a simple mascot ornament gift.  Last year for Christmas I made one for each of my friends and they were very well received, so this year I’m offering everyone these instructions so that everyone can enjoy them!

This week’s ornament: Elephant

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Project: Handmade Tablet Cover & Stand

My husband gave me a Xoom this year as an early birthday gift.  At that time I was 8 and a half months pregnant (the baby’s birthday is two days before mine!).  In a fit of crazy nesting instinct, I made this tablet cover and stand in less than two hours.  It was super easy to make and to this day I still use it!

This project was very easy and could probably be used for an iPad as well! If there’s any interest, I can probably put up a tutorial, just let me know. :)


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How to: Origami Crane Mobile

There’s something so wonderful about watching a baby watching a mobile.  Maybe it’s the fact that he’s not bothering you, or maybe it’s just great to see simple wonder in their eyes.  Regardless what causes the magic, babies like mobiles so I like them too.

This is one of the easiest projects that I’ve ever worked on.  I actually did this while I was recovering from childbirth and pyelonephritis after Rand was born.

Supplies:

  • Origami paper
  • Thread
  • Pearl beads (or any beads)
  • Tape
  • 1 circle from a cheap wooden embroidery hoop (example) [1 embroidery hoop makes 2 mobiles]

 


Step 1: Make small marking on embroidery hoop.  Then make the same marking directly across the hoop from the first marking.  After that, make markings directly in between the two markings you just made.  You’ve divided your hoop into 4.  Now, make markings in the middle of each of your 4 sections.  Now you should have 8 hatch marks that are equally spaced from each other.

 

Step 2: Fold 8 paper cranes.  Look below for instructions on how to fold a crane.

Step 3: String 20″ thread through pearl and fold thread up at halfway point as shown in picture below.   

Step 4: Thread large needle with doubled thread and poke up through the bottom of crane and up through the middle of crane’s back (where the center of the paper originally was).  Final bird on string should be around 10″ for first bird.

Step 5: Tape the end of the thread to one of the hatch marks on the embroidery hoop.

Step 6: Repeat Steps 3-5, each time making the string about 2″ shorter (final string 1″ shorter).

Step 7: Cut a longish piece of thread, 20-30 inches.  Tie each end on opposite sides of the mobile.  Pull thread up from the middle and knot the piece as far down as you can go.

Step 8: Hang and enjoy!

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