Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Worthy Cause

My local friends and followers have most likely heard about the tragic house fire that claimed the lives of 6 children between the ages of 1 and 12 this last weekend. Now I have learned that the Mother, Samantha is in critical condition and has recently developed a fever and possibly an infection. Friends of the family are organizing a benefit and silent auction to help this family in anyway they can. Imagine not only losing your most precious possessions (your children) but your material possessions as well. This family has suffered more devestation than any of us can ever imagine.

I have been putting feelers out to my wonderful Etsy contacts hoping to rally some donations for the silent auction they are holding in a few weeks. I myself am donating a gift certificate and have already received a donation from fellow Sneak Attacker Beadsoul (www.beadsoul.etsy.com) and my new EtsyMom teammate Mimi Marie Designs (www.mimimarie573.etsy.com). Please show these shops some love for helping out this family.

If you would like to donate towards this silent auction you can either email me at bbauer612@gmail.com or the host of the benefit Robin Beagle-Renaud via the benefit page on facebook (see links below).



Saturday, June 26, 2010


Andy and Cecilia -A Girl and her Daddy
Collin's Park June 2010

I love to work. I like getting out of the house, doing something productive and I love my profession, teaching. It is what I do, and I am good at it. I have always said that while I admire stay-at-home mom's I could never do it, that I would go crazy with bordem.

Becoming unexpectedly unemployed has been a huge stress on my family and especially me personally, but it has also been an unexpected pleasure too. It has allowed me to slow down and really enjoy mommy-hood which is something I have never really been able to do.

When I was working full time I would jump out of bed at 5:30, shower, get ready, get Celie ready, pack our bags, jump in the car to be to work by 6:45-7, give Celie breakfast at work while I prepared my room, worked till 5:30, home by 6, quick dinner, clean up, bath for Celie, some TV, bed for Celie and then pretty much bed for me not long after. Weekends were lost doing all the things there was no time for during the week, chores, visiting, housework, homework. GO, GO, GO, MOVE, MOVE, MOVE!!!

Now-a-days while Celie still gets up at 6 (would you expect anything less from a 5 year old), we cuddle in bed till we feel like getting up, or till Charlie starts screaming for food. We do things WE want to do. If we want to stop by the park, we stop at the park. We stay at home in our pajamas if the mood strikes us. We have re-discovered arts and crafts, quality time and each other. I became a teacher because I love working with kids, now I have the time to work with my own.

I am not going to say that I don't miss working. I do, I like the challenges and changes of work and I enjoy being productive in that way. I'm also not saying that I won't be going back to work because we could never afford that. What I am saying is that when I do go back, I will make sure that I don't lose what I have learned about myself and my family this summer. I won't run through life rushed and flustered, I will continue to take the time to enjoy these precious years with my babies. I will make sure the memories they have are not of nothing but work and school
but quality time with us.

Friday, June 25, 2010

{this moment}

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see. [Inspired by SouleMama]

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

How Does My Garden Grow

Purple and Regular Basil

Sage, Pineapple Sage and Thyme

Green Peppers

Yellow Squash

Green and Yellow Beans

Thursday, June 17, 2010

{this moment}

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see. [Inspired by SouleMama]

Etsy Sneak Attack Team

Last week I had the pleasure of having my new little project featured by a extra special group on Etsy. The Sneak Attack team is a group of handcrafter's on Etsy that pick a few shops on Monday's and Thursdays and bombard them with sales and hearts (the equivalent of FB like's for my non-etsians). On Thursday I received an email from one of these wonderful ladies explaining to me that my shop was going to be featured in an extra large sneak attack that was happening that night. When I went on my shop page to check I had doubled the amount of views my items had received, gotten numerous hearts on my items and even made my first sale. It was overwhelming and wonderful, I had always known and said that there were some of the nicest people in the Etsy community and this proved it.

Today, while hanging out in the Sneak Attack thread waiting for the next attack to begin I read that one of these wonderful ladies had blogged about last weeks attack and included all the shops featured on her blog. Again, overwhelming and wonderful news for all of us "novice" shops.

If your already an Etsian please take the time to check out this group of fantastic people and support their movement to give novice shops some exposure. If you are not an Etsian already WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

The Handmade Movement - Brains behind Sneak Attack, check it out at
http://www.handmademovement.com/ or their shop at http://www.etsy.com/shop/sneakteam

The T-shirt Lady - Thanks for the feature, check out her blog and become a follower at

Make sure to give these special people some love!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Newborn Quirks

There are so many things I forgot about newborns. This quite shocks me because it's not like I didn't work with them all the time at the daycare. I mean I spend tons of time with babies but it isn't the same as living and breathing one 24/7.

Things I forgot about newborns:

-They have an uncanny ability to spit up on the only inch of your body and/or theirs not covered by a burp cloth or bib

-Their need to poop minutes after you have just changed their diaper

-The wonderfully fun experience of how the bath relaxes them tooooo much, and then your stuck re-bathing them....experienced Mom's do not need me to go farther into detail than that.

-How after said bath they only stay clean for about 10 minutes because something is always coming out of some orifice

-How after YOUR bath/shower YOU only stay clean for about 10 minutes because something is always coming out of their orifices

-Their smile can make you beam with joy and cry with amazement at the same time

-That adorable little stretch thing they do where they stick their neck out as far as they can while clenching those fists tight

-They can sleep all day, anywhere EXCEPT for those times when you have to make a really important phone call or are in a crowded store

-No toy will ever be as totally engrossing as a ceiling fan

-you find that you have lost an hour or sometimes more because you couldn't stop staring at them

Leave your "newborn quirk" in the comments box for all to share in.

Monday, June 14, 2010

No Kissing Allowed

Since the birth of Charlie my husband Andy has had a renewed since of family. It's not that he hasn't always been a wonderful husband and father but watching Charlie's birth reminded him how precious his family is. The same thing happened after the birth of Cecilia.

Andy is not much of a PDA (public display of affection) kinda person. He has been this way ever since I met him. He will not spontaneously kiss or hug or even hold hands unless initiated by me or Cecilia but recently he has made it a point to kiss the entire family goodbye each time he leaves the house. You know the kind, a quick peck kind of kiss. Well this has begun to stress my daughter out something fierce.

It's not the fact that he kisses her and Charlie goodbye. That seems to be alright in her book, it's the fact that he kisses me goodbye that has gotten her shorts in a twist. This protest of our kissing was originally brought to my Mother's attention Saturday night when Celie voiced her disgust over it and even decided that a NO KISSING sign needed to be made for our living room. Of course Andy and I have found this absolutely hilarious and take every opportunity to torture the child. Announcing things like "Don't look now Celie - I'm gonna kiss Mommy goodbye" or other obnoxious announcements that bring a smile to her face but also that not again look.

This morning I was told that kissing in the living room is disgusting and that we were only allowed to go into the bedroom if we wanted to kiss. Of course all this attention has stressed my poor NO PDA husband and we are now back to our old "see you later, love you" routine. Well, it was nice while it lasted.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A Few of My Favorite Things

Miss Celie is heading to the big times this year, Kindergarten. I love this time in a child's life because it is the only time ever that they are over-the-top excited to attend school...if they only knew.

We received our "new student" paperwork this week with all our directions on uniform purchases, schedules and even summer homework. School has not even started and the kid already has homework and she couldn't be happier about it. Again, if only she knew.

So our homework for the summer is reading at least 10 books off of a pre-determined list and drawing pictures of her favorite part of each book. She is required to bring this homework with her on her first day. Now for anyone who doesn't know me well, I am a children's book fanatic. I own over 1000 children's books that I have collected over the years. This is an extremely expensive habit that I finally put a cap on a little under a year ago (and withdrawl has been wicked). So needless-to-say I own more than half of the books on this predetermined list given to us by the school.

But the point of this post is not about how many books I own but about the wonderful children's books that are out there that are not known by most parents. When I read this list I found that it was filled with the usual suspects; Eric Carle, Leo Lionni, Dr. Seuss, Jan Brett. While I am a humongous fan of these wonderful artists of the written word I also feel that so many wonderful new authors are not represented here. Many parents have these staples already in their collection. Almost every child has been exposed to our favorite Hungry Caterpillar or Sam-I-Am but what about the Leonardo that Terrible Monster, Stephanie and her ponytail, Grandma and her feather bed or even Marsupial Sue.

I don't think anyone should go through life without experiencing the brilliance of Robert Munsch. The man is a storytelling genius. His stories are written to be read out loud with feeling and humor. His characters are children that are always smarter than the adults and characters around them. The adults are hysterical and over dramatic and are always great for a laugh. If you have not ever experienced Robert Munsch please, please do. While your at it, experience his books in his own voice by listening to him read them himself http://robertmunsch.com/books/ I have everyone of these downloaded on CD's that Celie listens to all the time while flipping along in the books. Of course I own every Robert Munsch book ever written and couldn't even begin to decide which is my favorite story.

Another wonderful author that is meant to be read out loud is Mo Willems. Many people are familiar with that hysterical Pigeon and his love of buses but what about poor Leonardo the Terrible Monster, Edwina the Dinosaur that Didn't Know She was Extinct, Trixie and dear ol' Knufflebunny or poor wired Gerald the Elephant and his more down to earth friend Piggy. These characters are destined to become your child's best friends. They are loveable, funny and relate able. I highly recommend these becoming a staple in your library, you will love reading them as much as your child loves hearing them but if you can't make a fool of yourself don't bother. These books are only meant for adults who don't care about screaming while reading, making funny voices and taking on the high strung characters with feeling.

I could go on for hours about all my favorite friends. Like I said, I own two bookshelves full of great and wonderful books but always go back to my favorites. The ones that are the most fun to read out loud, to share with a group or just my daughter.

My Top 20 Favorite Kids Books (in no particular order)
(this was originally a list of 10 but I just couldn't get rid of any)

1. Paper Bag Princess - Robert Munsch
2. Leonardo the Terrible Monster - Mo Willems
3. Skippyjon Jones - Judy Schachner
4. Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon - Patty Lovell
5. Take Me Out of the Bathtub - Alan Katz
6. Owl Babies - Martin Waddell
7. Little Pea/Little Hoot/Little Pig - Amy Krouse Rosenthal
8. Stella Queen of the Snow - Marie-Louise Gay
9. Good Boy Fergus - David Shannon
10. Gossie - Olivier Dunrea
11. The Kiss that Missed - David Melling
12. Grandma's Feather Bed - Christopher Canyon - John Denver
13. The Daddy Mountain - Jules Feiffer
14. Llama, Llama Red Pajama/ Mad at Mama/ Misses Mama - Anna Dewdney
15. Looking for a Moose - Phyllis Root
16. Moose Tracks - Karma Wilson - Jack E. Davis
17. My Friend is Sad - Mo Willems
18. Alice the Fairy - David Shannon
19. Millicient and the Wind - Robert Munsch
20. Marsupial Sue - John Lithgow

I invite you to comment with one or some of YOUR favorites.

Friday, June 11, 2010

{this moment}

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see. [Inspired by SouleMama]

Monday, June 7, 2010

Smart sAss Baby

So when I said this was the Summer of Self Improvement I wasn't kidding. I have decided to overload myself with tons of new projects and pretty much cram everything I have ever wanted to do into the shortest amount of time possible. I'm also loving every minute of it!

I am so excited about my newest endeavor, please give a round of applause for

Smart sAss Baby - attitude tee's for kids with attitude

I have taken my love for amature graphic design, mixed it with my love of children's clothing and added my desire to craft and created a new pet project.

Each design has been created unique by me, some of the sayings are my originals, some are good ol' favorites but each shirt has been designed for Smart sAss Baby by lil 'ol me. The greatest part is...if I don't end up selling anything I will still have fun and it will all be stuff Charlie and Celie can use and wear! Win/Win

I have about 19 designs already done and uploaded into the shop and I am working on more each night. I have tons of ideas and am so motivated to keep creating!

Hope you all browse the shop and give me your feedback. Anything you'd like to see created. All ideas welcome. Facebook page to come with coupons and special offers!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Is this really mine?

Have you ever stood back and wondered, did I get the wrong kid?

Now don't get me wrong I love my daughter and all but if she didn't look just like my husband I would really think she was switched at birth. She is nothing like me.

I am a teacher, it is my passion and my drive in life. The arts and literacy has always been things that I had a passion for. When I teach I teach through books and art. I have more children's books in my collection than most people have adult books (I have 10 shelves full and bags and bags of overflow). When I used to walk into my classrooms the kids would look for my books first and acknowledge me later. Reading out loud has been called my talent. Most children love to have me read to them, except my own.

Ever since Cecilia was born she would rather do anything than sit down with me and a book. She loves to look at books herself. She has a basket full in her room and is constantly strewing them across the floor but goddess forbid I try to read her one. "No thanks Mommy."

It's not just the reading either, she is a small fashionista (I can't even match an outfit together), she wears nail polish and likes mani-pedi's (the only time my nails get painted is when I actually paint something and get it all over myself), she stares at herself in every mirror she passes (if I had my way there wouldn't even be a mirror in the house), and the worst of all - brace yourself - she wants to be a cheerleader! A CHEERLEADER for goddess sake, in high school I used to throw gum in the cheerleader's hair during those damn pep rally things and now my own flesh and blood wants to be one. It's like punishment for something I did in a past life.

I have started this whole Summer of Self Improvement as not only a self-reflection project but a mother-daughter bonding project as well. I know being shoved into a "sibling" role when you have been an only child for 5 years is rough. Cecilia loves her baby brother but there is definitely an attention competition starting. She has gone through a lot of transitions in the last few months. Some we were preparing for and others were a bit of a surprise. I thought this would be a great way to spend some quality time together that was only for us. Yeah, Cecilia doesn't feel we need this time I guess.

Not only was my cooperative garden shot down for reruns of ICarly and my plant signs a total chore for her but the puzzle project she has been pestering me to do is a total bust. We started tonight so gung-ho to begin this great big project, agreed we would do a little each night and keep it all organized in our new puzzle roll up thingy. We opened the box and decided to sort the pieces and work on the frame. Of course the damn TV was so much more important than finding the yellow frame pieces. Thought I was outsmarting her by not letting her change the channel to Spongebob or some other Nickeloden show. Comes to find out Top Chef is as interesting to her as ICarly, that or she is such a junkie she doesn't care what she watches.

After a painful hour of separating inside from outside pieces I mistakenly got excited that now we could actually start the fun part of this project and that maybe she would begin to get into this with me. WRONG! The minute I suggested we start by finding the pieces with writing on them I got the huge obnoxious sigh and "we REALLY have to keep going." Another project bites the dust. I'm learning a lot this summer. I think maybe Kindergarten can't come fast enough, this bonding thing might kill me.