Friday, September 30, 2011

{this moment} 09/30/11

{this moment} - a Friday ritual. Some photos capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

A fun Halloween craft Kylie and I completed together. Have a great weekend everyone!

This moment posts are inspired by SouleMama's Friday posts

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Scrapbook pages

Karen has been away on a business trip since last Sunday. Thank heavens she is coming home today! While she was gone, I made the following scrapbook pages. Click on the page to see the credits.



all clean.jpg



Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Here in Florida it still gets to 85-90 degrees in the afternoon. There are lots of swimmers and surfers at the beach, including me and Kylie.

See that mischievous look in her eye...this was right before she...

kicked a whole bunch of water on me.



There was a little tide pool forming here. I love this shot.

She found a few more larger tide pools.


Kylie had a meltdown on the trek back to the house. When we got home she had finally stopped crying. I gave her two baths (one to wash off the sand, then clean the bathtub, and another bath to wash her body and hair). As I washed off in my shower, Kylie was banging on my shower door telling me she was starving and thirsty. I was completely tired and discouraged thinking, "Why the heck do we go to the ocean when we both feel tired and grumpy when we get back?"

Then I look at my photographs. I can feel her joy when I look at them. I can remember how much fun I had shooting over 100 pictures. I can remember how I put the camera down and chased her up and down the beach. And how we waded out and jumped the waves, sometimes with her holding my hand and sometimes with her in my arms. I think about how we both smile the whole time we are there. It's worth it. At the end of the day, I feel so lucky to live close to the ocean.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The things Kylie says

I made a point to write down some of the things Kylie said this week. Here’s a small sample:

Make the “hang loose” sign with your hand. Now put it up to your ear—it’s a telephone!

I want to learn to throw a strawberry in the air and catch it in my mouth.

I love my family more than anything else.

Dear God, thank you for my stuffed animals. I love them all.

When a vampire is scared, he turns himself into a bat so he can be protected.
(She said the boys at the playground talked about vampires and bats).

A volcano spits out lava, fire and smoke. There are a lot of volcanoes in Hawaii. I don’t want to go there because I don’t want to get burned.


I have something important to tell you. A boy on the playground pointed his finger at me and shot me and said “Fire, fire, fire”. I ran away from him; I told him to stop. He kept doing it and I didn’t want him to shoot me. I’m going to try to play nice with him tomorrow so that maybe he won’t shoot anyone. After talking about the “shooting”, she said, “Telling bad stuff to you makes it better.”

I did two new things today even though I was scared. Actually I was excited. I counted pumpkin erasers with a new friend. And I did an earth puzzle. My friend left the earth puzzle but I stayed and finished it and did the coloring sheet for my folder so that I could show it to you.

I’m not covering up my artwork so that you can’t see it. I just like laying on the table like this.

Today at school, I matched the entire alphabet with an object.

Dear God, Please tell Mommy to take me back to Build-a-Bear. I want the purple bear with swirls. Dear God, you tell her because I don’t want to be annoying.


Friday, September 23, 2011

{this moment} 09/22/11

{this moment} - a Friday ritual. Some photos capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Kylie laughing as I shouted, "Hey! You're cheating!" when she picked up the cards from our Spot It game. Cracked her up.



This moment posts are inspired by SouleMama's Friday posts

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Thursday, September 22, 2011


This is new. There is segregation in her bathtub. Boys on the left and girls on the right. My girl likes to sort and organize.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Project Life -week 3 & 4

Week of 9/5 - 9/11 starts out with the story I blogged about perfection. I used Ali Edwards Remember Outline Word Overlays.

On the back was a counting worksheet from school. I love how Kylie repeated her color pattern here.

Then the pictures of Kylie on the tires. I used two cards from the Project Life kit--one date card and one pretty little art card.

On the back are pictures of Karen's parents' visit. I blanked out names on the photo. The sun and fish stitches are from this digital template that I had in my stash. I used a long Project Life journaler to write about their stay with us. I still feel a bit awkward using my own handwriting for scrapbooking but I liked how I tucked the story in a small space and can pull the card out and read it in the future. I downloaded a ten-year 9/11 graphic from online because it felt weird to not acknowledge it in some way. The bit of writing on the photo in the lower left corner is from this brush pack.

Then on a 12 x 12 sheet of white cardstock, I glued one of Kylie's artwork pieces. I liked this one because she drew a butterfly life cycle with a caterpillar in the right corner, a cocoon in the tree and then the red butterfly in the sky. I included a bit of journaling and used a stamp I bought from my local craft store to create the journal lines.

On the back, I glued a school worksheet about ants that Kylie colored and a small booklet that Kylie created (lots of cutting practice) from her Highlights magazine. Thanks Granna for the Highlights! Kylie really loves getting them in the mail and she just pours over them.

I love that I had a pile of about 12-20 different art things from the week but that I pick just a few to put in her scrapbook. It really helps take the pressure off what to do with all that stuff that piles up during the week!

Week 9/12 - 9/18 includes more family pictures and another Project Life date card. I used a small picture of the hotel they stayed at along with check-in and check-out dates. I really use my scrapbooking to remember important dates so I always try to get those dates on my pages. Karen and I were laughing last week that she remembers her folks visiting us in Virginia last year. For some strange reason, I don't have any pictures of their visit. No pictures meant no scrapbook page which meant I didn't remember it at all. I put up a fight that Karen was wrong and that they hadn't come. Karen was right of course...they had come and when she told me details of it I finally remembered. But it just goes to show me how much I rely on pictures and scrapbook pages to remember things.

On the back are a few pictures you haven't seen. Kylie got to work in the edible garden at her school. The little journal card describes how she got to plant something and water it with a yellow watering can. The journaling also describes how I downloaded the garden and friend picture from the school's Facebook page. The upper right picture of Kylie waiting at school drop-off has the word explore printed around it. I used this brush pack and this digital cutie pie tag. Karen and I saw a movie on Saturday so I did a little write-up about that and used some elements from this digital kit that I had in my stash. I love that I now have a place to put movie stubs. I think it will be cool in the future to look back to remember how much movie tickets cost.

The work from Kylie's school the week was pretty simple--just some poking and gluing.

And on the back, some completed pretend grocery sheets that Kylie played with at home and a little journaling about how she played with them.

So that's it! Two more weeks of Project Life!

Friday, September 16, 2011


Kylie had a big time doling out which stickers I could use and instructing me on where to put everything. But it's funny that when I let her bossy side go wild for a bit, she's far less bossy for the rest of the day.

Kiddo did marble painting last week at school and begged me for days to get her some marbles so she could do it again at home. She was so tickled when I brought home marbles. We had a blissfully quiet hour while she worked on her marble painting.

I look forward to getting her school work today. She brings it home in a green folder on Fridays.

Hope all of you have a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Karen's Parents

Karen's parents stayed with us for a few days. This was their first visit to our Florida home. We all had a wonderful time. We wish they could have stayed longer!



Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Scrapbook pages

In addition to my Project Life scrapbooking, I'm also working on catching up on my digital scrapbooking. Here are a few recent pages. Click on the pictures for details.




Monday, September 12, 2011


Kylie traced her dolls on pieces of paper and then colored her drawings. Pretty clever!

And if you thought these looked like crime scene read a lot of mysteries...just like me.


Sunday, September 11, 2011



Perfection has been on my mind this week.

On Tuesday, when I picked Kylie up from school, she told me that she had worked a lot on a particular drawing but then she had made a mistake on it and thrown it away.

This bothered me. But I had a hard time wrapping my thoughts around why it bothered me. I think I said something like, "All your work means something to me, Kylie. I like to see how you are learning. I like to see all of your artwork even when you think there is a mistake." Kylie shrugged and I didn't blame her. It was a pretty wordy response.

That afternoon, we went to the park and Kylie played on these tires. If she fell off a tire, she would go back to the "beginning" and start over. Then she came to one tire that was a big leap for her. She just couldn't quite get it. Instead of moving on, she kept starting at the beginning. She would get to the same tire, fall off, and start at the beginning. Again and again. On one hand I thought, "Well, she is gaining confidence by walking across the tires she knows she can do and then is using that confidence to try this harder one".

She kept trying again and again and was getting so frustrated with herself. I suggested that when she fell off the one troublesome tire that she get back on the previous one and try for that one tire again. Just that one. I offered to help by giving her hand to balance.

She wasn't having it. She kept starting at the beginning, over and over.



"Strong-willed", I thought. "Determined."

But again there was something about it that bothered me. It was confirmed that after an hour of watching her play at only the tires, I told her it was time to go home.

Meltdown. Huge meltdown.

She only calmed down when I told her we could come back to the park tomorrow.

The next morning after breakfast and before school, she threw away three of her drawings. And as soon as I picked her up from school she said, "I want to go to the park. You said I could."

So we went back to the park and she walked right up to the tires again.


She kept trying again and again, each time starting over at the beginning. She was getting really frustrated. And it was making me anxious too. So I started telling her jokes, getting her to laugh at me and lured her away to another part of the playground. When she asked me, "When will I be able to do all the tires?" I told her "It just takes time and practice. You'll get it. And remember, the tires and the playground are here for you to have fun."

After pondering it all week, this is what I think. I think she might be experiencing "fish out of water" feelings with her first weeks at school. She has three new teachers and she has to make new friends because her two best friends moved away. I imagine she might feel bewildered and nervous. So when she sees something she can "master" she grabs it with all her might.

I think her "perfectionism" made me nervous because I can see myself in her. And I worry, "Have I done this to her somehow?" I don't think I have but I still worry about it. There have been times this week when I thought, "Wow. A "Tiger Mom" would love this. She's not going to quit until she does it perfectly." But then I think, "She can't do it perfectly. There is no "perfect"; it doesn't really exist."

I let it simmer in the back of my brain even more and finally hit bottom with this thought: I'm afraid that if she continues to drive herself this hard without taking time to acknowledge her progress or to take the time to see beauty in her work, that she will feel like a failure. I think it's far too easy to say to one's self, I've failed and to quickly make the jump to "I'm a failure."

Now, do I honestly think my four-year-old is going to make this leap of logic. Nope.

But I have been saying things like,
"Life is messy and full of mistakes. And life is awesome, sweetheart." and
"It's a process of experimenting and learning. You learned that magic marker colors run together (which she didn't want and threw her picture away) but that crayons don't run together."
"Your picture is very nice. Did you have fun coloring it?"
and so forth.

I also lightened up and let her throw away as many pictures as she wanted to. I stopped making any sort of fuss.

Sigh. It was one of those weeks where she taught me as much I taught her.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Project Life

I've found a new way to scrapbook. It's called Project Life and I'm so excited about it. I love digital scrapbooking and I plan on making lots more digital pages. But I'm scrapping events from April 2010; I'm about 16 months behind. So I thought it would be fun to scrapbook Kylie's 2011 school year as each week goes by using the Project Life method and using Ali Edwards' pages as inspiration.

The Project Life album and supplies for 2011 should be available in October/November. I didn't want to wait, so I bought last year's kit off Ebay. If you are interested, you can buy a binder and page protectors here.

Project Life- Week 1
This page shows the page setup that I prefer with room for 4 4x6 horizontal pictures and room for 4 other small pictures or cards or whatever. For the smaller pictures, I simply create a 4x6 photo in Photoshop and load the two pictures I want. After the picture is printed, I simply cut it in half and tuck it into the sleeves. Easy Peasy. This page documents our recent zoo trip including the armband we purchased to get into the stingray exhibit. The journaling overlay is from this story pack from Ali Edwards.

Pictures and journaling about Kylie's first day of school. The writing is from this brush pack.

Then on a simple 8 1/2 x 11 sheet protector, I tucked in the schedule of Kylie's day that we were given.

For the back, on another sheet of paper, I put two of Kylie's recent sticker puzzles as well as a note. I used a simple journaling stamp with ink that I bought at my local craft store. Then there is another letter-sized sheet protector with some of Kylie's artwork from her first week (both front and back).

Since the first two pages were about 2 specific days, for the third page I used one of the Project Life week cards to signify that the rest of the pictures were for the week 8/22. I journaled a bit about Kylie seeing her first rainbow and about Kylie finding the free sugar cookies at the grocery store. I did the journaling in Photoshop but in the future, I'll use one of the Project Life journaling cards.

For the second week, the week of 8/29, I used another Project Life week cards and bunches of pictures of Kylie.

I had a lot I wanted to write about these pictures, so I created the letter-sized document.

And on the back, I put some of Kylie's arwork. On the other page, I included pictures and journaling about Kylie and the waterslides, a quick trip we made to the beach and how snuggling Kylie is when she wakes up from a nap. The "favorite moments" script is from this brush pack.

The next page was all about Granna's recent visit. On the facing page, I'll include the digital page about our beach trip once it is printed. The artwork on the next page will flip over to the back of that page.

Poking exercises and artwork Kylie brought home from school.

These last two pages show some work Kylie has done at home. The journaling explains how Kylie will ask me or Karen to write out different sayings for her like "Kylie's book about mermaids and princesses." Kylie takes it and reprints it on her own paper, making little books.

This back page has Kylie's pretend restaurant juice menu complete with juice pictures on the inside.

So there you have it! My first two weeks of Project Life! I know a lot of this is repetitive of some of my blog entries. I don't want to bore you. So let me know if you are at all interested in seeing each week's Project Life scrapbook pages. And feel free to ask questions because heaven knows I love passing on the scrapbooking bug.