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Monday, January 30, 2012

The Problems of Pinterest

 You may or may not have heard of Pinterest...it's the new social networking site based on making virtual "pinboards" of all great ideas available on the interwebs.

It really is a lot of fun, you could spend hours perusing the site for new ideas, and for a crafter like me, always on the look out for fun new things I can make myself, it can be truly addicting.  For instance, I recently found this great tutorial for "The Perfect Corner Blanket."  I've made several for our upcoming craft show and I love love love them!

However, there are a couple of potential "problems" I see just about every time I log on, and I felt it might be fun to share a little tongue-in-cheek critique of Pinterest.

Problem #1- oversimplifying.  I think this is often done because people see something, get excited thinking it looks so easy, and then want to share the idea as the first one to come up with it.  Exhibit A: The Button Bowl
The description beneath this cute little bowl on most Pinterest boards says something to the effect: "Oh my word, this would be soooo easy to make!  Just glue buttons to a balloon, let dry, and pop the balloon- voila!  Button bowl!"....
  Does anyone else see the flaw in this idea??  Gluing the buttons to the bowl will in no way make them stick together.  Meaning, when you giddily take that needle to your cute little be-buttoned balloon, you'll experience instant disappointment when you end up with a rubbery little clump of buttons OR a firing range of plastic as you are pelted by the flying buttons releasing the grip of the tacky glue on your balloon. 
Beware Novice Crafters- someone is trying to fool you.

Problem #2: The Forever Young Complex.
Just because something is cute does not mean you should make it and wear it.  See the "cute crocheted flower hat" below.  

 You've all probably seen the picture of Evelyn at oh, 6 months, wearing the purple crocheted hat with giant purple flower?  After the age of, I dunno...5, a flower that is almost as big as your head is no longer "cute."  Now you're just that girl that everyone looks at funny because "she looks 30 but she's dressed like a pre-teen...is she un-naturally old-looking or trying to look young?!"

Problem #3: Grandmas Gettin' Crafty for Their Tween Grandkids.

This is a duct tape purse.  The person who pinned it was at least 60, probably more like 70.  Lest you think- what an awesome way to use up duct tape and keep it out of a landfill!  This is not your run of the mill duct tape that is lying around your house- it's pre-colored and very expensive.  Grandma, buy her the leather purse she saw at Target, I know it sounds crazy but it's MUCH more practical than the $50 in duct tape you'll spend on this purse that will never see the light of day once it leaves that chair...Besides, is it just me, or does duct tape already have enough uses?
Problem #4: Bringing Back Ideas That Weren't That Cool To Begin With. 
Does anyone remember these candles?  I think they were popular in the mid 90's.  They were not that cool then, and just because you can make a rainbow of colors now does not mean that you should and then gift them to all of your friends.

Problem #5 (And my personal favorite) Becoming a Hoarder.
I'm serious people, does anyone else worry that Pinterest and the upcycling generation is going to turn us all into hoarders?  Trust me, TLC has enough people whose homes are in dire need of cleaning and organizing without adding a bunch of Pinterest-happy crafters to the mix.

Can't you just see how all these great ideas for reusing items could lead to waaaay too many rubbermaid totes full of stuff?  As in: "You threw out my collection of old balloons and used plastic spoons?!  I was two birthday parties away of completing my balloon wreath complete with spoon-rose embellishments!"

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for finding new uses for old things.  I think the idea is wonderful and I have definitely taken part in my own upcycling via pinterest crafts.  I'm just afraid some of us might be tempted to get carried away.  Case in point- as I read through a tutorial on how to make watercolors out of old markers (apparently water colors sell for $40 for a box of 8?! not sure I believe that but I'm all for saving money), the blogger mentioned that she had thrown away the now drained-out markers she had used but had stashed the marker caps because she has something else planned for "those little beauties."  I'm not sure the world needs another kindergarten teacher wearing a necklace made of pen caps and marker tops...  Just sayin'.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Sad State of Affairs

I admit it.  I have to pee really badly right now, but there is no way, not one tiny iota of a way, that I am stepping foot in the back part of my house before the end of naptime today.  Usually, I would attempt it- but I'd be tiptoeing, holding onto the wall for support, and not flushing unless absolutely necessary, but today has been a restless nap day and those babies must sleep.

Also, my kids have binkies in their mouths alot.  I take them away when I can, as often as I notice it hanging out of their mouths, but I've given up on fighting it for now.  My new plan is to wait until they understand what "only at bedtime" means.  Sure, they might "get" the idea now, but since our list of words stops after "ball, mama, dada, hi, and more," I'm just not fighting it until I have to.

I make separate meals for my kids and my husband and I to eat.  Partly because I prefer eating after they've gone to bed, but also because we only have about 15 foods that we choose from on a regular basis.  Those foods are: hot dogs, chicken nuggets, toast, pb&j, spinach and chickpea patties, nutrigrain bars, bananas, grapes, yogurt, oatmeal, animal crackers, graham crackers, and some form of salty cracker.  Elijah in particular is picky and eats very few veggies unless I hide them in his food.  I've resolved to stop fighting this (at least fighting it hard, we still introduce new foods as often as possible and I sneak pureed veggies in as often as possible) for now, until they can understand the phrase "eat it or starve" and the consequences that come with it.

I ask my kids if they want their diapers changed and if I have time/they aren't stinking up the house, wait until they give me the ok (which is usually before I have to ask more than twice and is generally less than 10 minutes).  I'm just tired.  Tired of fighting 8 limbs that flail and lash out and twist until I'm certain I'm going to end up accidentally hurting one of them if I try to restrain them any longer.  And so I wait until they are ready, even asking permission to do so.  It's not ideal, but it saves me from accidentally hurting myself or them so it's ok for now!

And finally, I invent errands, beg and plead for playdates, and generally over schedule our lives to avoid long days at home.  That's just where we're at right now, and let me be the first to admit- 2 years ago I would have adamantly sworn to NEVER do most of these things.

Ah, live and learn :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

When Andy "Cleans"

 Since moving into the basement, Andy has been reminded several times by his loving wife (me, in case you were confused), that he needs to go through his stuff in the basement and get some organizing going.  Or purging...purging is always good.

However, in four + years of marriage, I have learned a couple things about my hubby.  In no particular order they are: 1- Most of the stuff he holds on to is a toy in some form of the word, and 2-He always says he has a lot of "stuff" he can get rid of until he actually goes through it and realizes that he still likes his toys.

 A month or so ago it was the playstation.  We had it all set to go get listed on Craigslist...until we gave Guitar Hero III one last shot.  The Playstation is now a permanent fixture in my living room again.  Yippee.
 Today my sweet hubby spent some time in the basement going through old toys while I was at the gym.  He dug out these GI Joes (and friends, and gear, and forms of transportation).  He has spent most of the day researching their value online, making calls to see about selling them, checking out the cost of replacement parts he would need to make them more valuable, and...playing with them.  He broke one.

These pictures are the ones he took to help him list them on ebay or craiglist.
However just before dinner tonight he said: "I forgot how much I like these things, they're kinda cool."

Do you think they are going to ever actually leave the house?  I'll let you know in a couple weeks:)

Pretty, huh?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


In October you got to see some great pics of Elijah and Evelyn at "the farm" aka the home of my good friends Kim and Troy Galloway in Big Rapids.  They got to meet the horses, chickens, dogs, kitties, and...piggies.  These were not pet pigs, they were being raised for...ahem...food: just as God intended!

Come Christmas time we recieved a gift from Kim and Troy- a selection of pork from the same little piggies we got to meet this fall.  We've been enjoying the meat (thank you Galloways!) and last night had some fantastic chops ala "Harry Plopper," which is what we've been calling the pig as it's the only given name I remember.

That brings me to this series of pictures.  See, eating little cubes of meat just is not as fun as chewing it off the bone, especially if you've gotten to meet your meat (heehee) in person.  So, morbid as it may seem, I just couldn't help but snag a few pics.  Plus, as Andy pointed out, one day we can show these to Evelyn if she ever decides to go all-veggie.  Enjoy!

 "Mom, pork is good."  (I should add that Evelyn is particularly fond of bacon-surprise surprise)

"What do you mean pork is pig?  Is this that big, hairy, dirty thing I met last October?  Oh my goodness!  Oh who am I kidding...I really don't care.  Nom nom nom."

And now for another type of meat: sister-meat.  Elijah thinks Evelyn might be tasty too.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Two Bedrooms? Make that Three

We have a two bedroom house.  I believe it would be called a "bungalow."  Four years ago we absolutely fell in love with it, it was one of the first homes we looked at!  We even made an offer, walked away, then came back a couple months later because we just couldn't get it off our minds.  Back then, we figured we'd live here for a couple years as a newlywed couple before adding Baby #1.  We'd turn the back room into a lovely little nursery, then wait another year or two before trying for Baby #2.  With the arrival of Baby #2 a move would be imminent, but not urgent.  If need be we could keep Baby #2 in our room for awhile and possibly even move Baby #1 into the basement for a little bit until we could sell this house and purchase House #2.

Well...it's been 4 years.  We did live here happily as a newlywed couple for 2 1/2 years...however, that is where life stopped going according to plan. (Well, maybe it happened sooner when we found out we were infertile but that's another story)...  Suddenly we had twins on the way and a new plan emerged- the lovely little nursery for one became an efficient little nursery for two, twins share a room, right?  It's a given...or so we thought.

Fast forward 15 months.  We've tried lots of things to get Things 1 and 2 to sleep well and still share a room- white noise, binky tethers, bottles long past when I thought they'd still be getting them, even separated nap times with Evelyn sleeping behind the bar in a pack 'n play in the basement.  Well, this week we've reached a new level of unplanned chaos in our home. Mom and Dad are now bunking up in the basement.  We share our space with the dog, a bar, a guest bed, a set of snow tires, Andy's weight bench, and the laundry chute.  Our bed is tucked under the stairs and my "closet" is actually a pipe that runs along the ceiling in the storage area with two Rubbermaid drawer towers underneath.

Honestly, lest I sound disappointed with this situation I could not be happier with this option for our current home.  No, it's not the master bedroom I thought I'd have entering my fifth year of marriage, but my family is happy, warm, and getting sleep that is disrupted much less than when our bed resided in our bright and airy "master" with the dove gray (I love that color) walls.

My babies have their own rooms.  Evelyn has taken over our old room, but it's not overly girly just as Elijah's is not overly boyish (we aren't doing the true remodel here folks, it just doesn't seem necessary).  Her sweet little white crib takes up just one corner of the room and over it hangs a favorite mirror I picked up at a garage sale several years ago complete with a bunny resting in a hammock that suction-cups to the mirror- a beloved stuffed animal from my childhood.  The rest of it gives them both room to play, play, PLAY!  We were able to pull my grandmother's old dresser out of it's storage spot and fill it with little girl things.  We are finally using the great orange lamp I bought that never fit in the jam-packed nursery.  There are no longer toys covering every inch of my living room floor and when the kids walk into their bedrooms they can clearly see exactly what they can play with and all the parts for each toy are in one spot!  I am also finally going to be able to pull out the doll cradle my grandpa made and grandma painted.  I've wanted to show it to Evelyn for quite awhile but there has never been room.

Best of all, I now know that when one of my babies is sick, teething, has a nightmare, wakes up early from a nap, or just plain wants to play, the other one can continue sleeping peacefully while Mommy and Daddy calm (or honestly, sometimes ignore) the other baby.  In truth, that peace of mind is priceless. It's a little weird to think that our kids have the true bedrooms in the house while we sort of feel like we are still in college living in our parent's basement, but this is where we are right now and truthfully I always liked college.  The economy hasn't been kind to any of us and I am just so thankful that we are healthy and happy in our little two (make that three) bedroom bungalow :)

(Pictures to come but not until Andy organizes his clothes in the basement and the carpets get cleaned!  I'm honest but not THAT honest...)