Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The latest from Sycamore Street Press

For stationery designers, this time of the year is sort of like tax season is for accountants because it's time for the National Stationery Show, and this is the time of the year when Sycamore Street Press releases their new additions.

It's sort of funny for me to see these just being released because I've already finished designing another collection since then that will be released in the fall, and I have another project that's already printed and will be released soon (I cannot wait to share it with you!).  Even though I worked on these designs a while ago, it's still so exciting to see them in print.

So here are my latest designs, which are all available on the Sycamore Street Press site.  I had five new cards.

 And we rolled out a new fortune teller to predict your baby's future career.  You should take a look at it, because it's pretty funny.
 And I have two new 11" x 14" prints.  I can't wait to hang this first one in Ollie's room that I'm in the middle of putting together.  Figuring out how to make the text with one continuous line was tricky, but I love how it turned out.

I am so lucky to work with this group.  Kirk and Eva are the best printmakers out there and did you see Eva's new prints with gold foil? Swoon! And Kristin and Amy have the best new series of flight prints. Really, if you have a second, you should head over to check out all the new products.  I heart them all!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Living a Colorful Life

When I asked Creed what kind of birthday party he wanted to have, he said he wanted a party where you throw colored powder all over each other (he saw it in a Regina Spector music video). As luck would have it, just two days after his birthday there was a Holi Festival of Colors at the Hari Krishna Temple in Spanish Fork so we were able to easily make his dream come true.

Larry and I have been to the festival before and it is crazy and fun, but we wouldn't have been able to take Creed without help from Larry Uncle and Aunt who live nearby.  They let us park at their house and shuttled us over to the festival and they watched Ollie, and they let us use their air compressor to clean off afterwards (which was amazing).  

The festival is huge.  This year they had 80,000 people attend so we went as early as possible with our friends Wendy and Joseph and we met up with a few of Larry's cousins just in time for the first color throw (they do it several times a day, but it gets more and more crowded so we were glad to leave as things were getting too crowded).  Creed was so excited.  We went up to the top of the temple to get at good look at the crowd and then we met up with our little group on the edge of the crowd to throw colors.
 We brought goggles for Creed, but he refused to wear them.
 He had the time of his life.

 Ollie thought the colors on everyone were hilarious
 And Creed went home looking like a happy little zombie, and talking about how we HAVE to go every year!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

It's so fun celebrating Creed's birthday now that he really gets what a birthday is.  I love seeing him bursting with excitement of the tiniest birthday details.  I wanted him to have a surprise right off the bat so I picked up twelve star-shaped balloons and stuck them all over his room at different heights (a trick I learned from Candice when we decorated with tons of balloons for New Year's Eve)

 Creed was so cute when I woke him up for preschool
 He asked if he could keep the balloons up forever, and when I explained that would not work, he said we should at least do this every year for his birthday because he loved it.  I'm pretty sure he actually woke up before I came in to wake him for preschool and he pretended to be asleep so he wouldn't spoil the surprise.
 HE got the be the helper at preschool which is a pretty big deal.
 My friend Wendy offered to stay with Ollie during his nap so I could take Creed to see a movie.  He chose The Lorax in 3-D and I knew who he'd picked when I told him he could bring a friend.
 When Lydia's mom dropped her off, she joked that Lydia's dad said this was like a chaperoned first date.  It turns out Creed and Lydia took this date seriously.  I looked over during the movie and Creed had lifted up the armrest, slid over, and slipped his arm around Lydia. They watched the whole movie like this
We went to get cupcakes afterward. They sat down while I was paying, and when I tried to join them, Creed whispered, "Ummm, Mom, we're on a real date here so can you just take that extra chair away so we can sit by ourselves?"  Haha!
 Then they walked to the car like this, and he even insisted on walking her to the door when we dropped her off.  How does he even know to do that?
 Larry got home shortly after the movie and it was time for presents.  I picked out a magic set for him.
 He got the Mother Gothel Doll he's been asking about for ages (Seriously, I don't know another kid out there who would beg for that)
 And the thing he wanted more than anything else in the world?  A Rapunzel doll soft enough to cuddle with at night.
 It is his prize possession!
 We slipped a Wii game in there too, and he seems pretty happy about it.
 And then, the Grande Finale: With a little late night help from my dad, we put a pulley up in the living room.  It is without a doubt the most played with item in out house.
 I bought this pulley over a year ago, and we've been waiting for just the right moment to give it to the kids. I just wish I'd thought to spend that year looking for a pretty plastic bucket that wouldn't scratch our wall. So far, it hasn't been a problem though.

I know the whole setup looks a little crazy in our living room, but when it's hoisted up, you don't even notice it in the room, and it's on a hook so we can easily take it down if our kids ever stopped playing with it long enough for us to take a break from it.
As you might expect, we now have a permanent pile of random odds and ends up in the loft. It's amazing what you can find to send up in that bucket.

Larry had plans to take the boys to Mr. Cheese's while I was out that night, but Creed just wanted to stay home and play with his pulley and the swing we surprised him with in the basement so our evil plan to put Chuck E Cheese out of business is working.
Oh boy, we adore this kid!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Mr. Danger Turns Two and Lives up to His Name

 Oh, where to start with an update on this boy at the age of two?  He is an adventurer and he fills my days with joy and stress.  He is so smart and charming. He loves everyone, including strangers and is happy to wander off on his own to explore and scale any tall, precarious item he can find.  He'll say with glee as he's hopping on whatever he's climbed, "Momma, I gonna fall!" I feel like I spend all day trying to prevent him from an accidental suicide, but it's hard to be mad when he's so innocent and takes such joy in everything.
 And yes, he's speaking in sentences, which always shocks strangers who probably assume he's younger than he is because he's so small. I regularly get stopped in public by people who've heard him chatting away and want to know how old he is.
 He loves to sing the alphabet and recognizes about half the letters, which is a little alarming because we haven't tried to teach him. He also annoys Creed by counting higher than Creed can.
 He never sits still.  Creed still doesn't like to be alone and follows me from room to room, but Ollie is always trying to sneak off on his own, and I have to track him all over the house.  He loves Mickey Mouse, Curious George, and Pocoyo, but won't sit through a full episode of anything, which I guess is just the way a toddler should be.

 He still loves his blanket. Before we went to Mexico, I found more of the same fabric and my mom made six more little blankets in case the real one was lost, but Ollie will have nothing to do with them.  If we try to sneak him a new one, he'll sniff it and rub it on his face and then throw it on the floor shouting, "No! Blanket Two! No!" and then he'll just keep asking, "Where my blanket?" We've tried washing the new ones with each load of laundry to wear them out, but he is not fooled. He cries and stands at the washing machine anytime we have to wash the real blanket.

Last month, I had to leave Hobby Lobby in a rush because Larry's car broke down on the freeway and blanket was accidently left behind.  When we realized, the store was already closed so none of us got sleep that night, but they were happily reunited the next day and Ollie took the longest nap he's ever taken.
 His seizures have not improved. Our neurologist doubted how much his medication is helping so we tried taking him off of it and he hit rock bottom.  He was up to four seizures a day, and I couldn't leave the house or do anything when we put him back on.  Right now, he has one or two just about everyday and they wipe him out so I see him like this more often than I wish. Most kids grow out of provoked seizures between the age of two and three, so we have high hopes, but we don't see signs of any changes so far.

I didn't realize how much his seizures would affect all of our lives at this age: his friend is signed up for a preschool playgroup and we decided that it wouldn't be safe to send him, at play dates at the park I follow him like a shadow and probably seem totally overprotective while I'm wishing I could sit and talk with the other moms and I leave the park exhausted, most Sundays I take him home after sacrament meeting to nap because nursery is during his naptime, and when he's tired he's so much more likely to have a seizure (he has had a seizure almost every time we've decided to try to stay), we can't hire teenage babysitters so we rarely go on dates, I can't accomplish much during the day because he'll wander off and I'll have to abandon whatever I'm doing to chase him so even trying to do the dishes can be a struggle, we used to skip Creed's naps to go on adventures but that is not an option with Ollie, any time he stumbles I wince and our world freezes while we wait to see if he will have a seizure, I'm constantly canceling plans because he's had a seizure and is just not up for anything but sleep. Like I've said before, it hurts to watch him struggle daily and feel like I'm doing all I can and it's just not enough. I remind myself daily that things could be so much worse and we have so much to be grateful for, but I'll admit when I'm watching him suffocate and then holding him through a seizure, it can be hard to keep that perspective.
He loves to cuddle, and he loves it when Larry comes home from work. He bullets to the door the moment he knows Larry is home.
He loves to make us laugh and he'll wear just about anything that he can get his hands on, on his head.
He still has a deep love of dinosaurs and can often be heard roaming the house and roaring at things.
He has a way of repeatedly screaming "No!" at the top of his lungs when we are in public places that makes me feel like a little bit of my soul is being crushed. Larry actually thinks it is cute. I hope he grows out of that one soon!
He loves to explore every nook and cranny that he can get into.  Luckily, when you callout, "Ollie!" where ever he is, whatever he is doing, he will yell back, "Ollie!" It's like playing an eternal game of Marco Polo.
He has a sweet tooth. Since we're still trying to pack weight on him so he has more of a reserve to draw from when he doesn't have enough glycogen I let him eat things that I never would have let Creed touch at this age.  You want to eat that pad of butter by itself?  Sure thing.  You want to drink that cup of ranch dressing instead of dipping things in it? Go for it.

After he came to from a seizure  a few days ago, he was crying for a donut.  The crying did not stop so we went straight to the store and got one.  Now any time I ask him what he wants to eat, he says, "A donut!!!!" I have created a monster.
He loves to get kisses and will point out pretend owies to get you to kiss them.  He also will hurt you on purpose so he can give you a kiss. Watch out for his pinches.

He's so skinny that we still struggle to keep pants on him.  In fact I was ordering at a restaurant today and I turned around to see him in his diaper because his shorts had fallen off and he just stepped over them and kept going.
He's an I-phone addict. I try to keep my phone hidden from him, but he has a way of always finding it. It's probably the number one thing I find myself arguing with him about
He is sweet and cuddly, and we love watching him grow.