Friday, January 29, 2010

Flashback Friday: My First Email Address

Every Sunday and Wednesday I get to spend time with the Young Women in my ward. When I'm with them, I generally feel like I'm maybe five years away from where they are. Sometimes I feel like I'm their age. But every once in awhile I'm get a jolt of "oh erin, how foolish are you? You could be their mother!" (We have mostly Beehives so at my age of 32, yes, I could certainly be their mother.)

One thing that really ages me is the fact that I didn't have an email address until college. That's right: college. The girls think this is hysterical. Never mind that most of these girls don't even check their email that often; they're too busy with Facebook (the main reason I joined) and other stuff to bother. But still. They at least have email addresses.

Let's remember my first email address...Picture it: the University of Utah, Fall 1995. I had just moved into the dorms and my floor mates and I were quickly getting acquainted. I think it was the Saturday before classes were to begin when we all decided to trek to the library to get our email addresses. I was so proud of that email address, in all its awkward glory. Seriously: Can you believe that domain name?! What a mess! And we had to telnet to Pine in order to access our email. No web-browser-enabled email back then. And if it were web-based, it would be accessed using Netscape. Awesome. My Young Women have probably never heard of Netscape.

The best thing about this new-fangled email was the fact that we floormates just forwarded dumb forwards back and forth between each other. Jessica would send something to all of us, then all of us would forward it back to all of us, including Jessica. It was great.

We had a great year, that freshman year. I met Carrie, who introduced me to Gina and Lori, who would become my roommates for the next three years or four years. Good times.

Seriously, when I look at my graduating Laurels, I am so jealous of the fun times they have in front of them! They are just so lucky to already have those email addresses.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Made by e: Latest Projects

I needed something to organize all the loose papers on my fridge. I think this will work. Bonus that it matches my oven mitts.

These bags. Oh, these bags. I intended them to fit my church binder but they're about one inch too small. Now what am I supposed to do with them?!

Cute little boy tees with appliqued ties for my oldest, dearest "Virginia Mormon friend," Tamara, and her brand new lovely boys.

We had the most hideous doorbell chime cover and I knew it must be replaced. Can you tell that it's our house?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Freezer Paper Stencil Tutorial

I know that there are many, many tutorials out there for this type of thing, most of which better written and better photographed. But my dear sister-in-law Linda seemed to not believe them. I want to show her that not only can I do them without making a mess, but so can her brother!

Step 1: Find an image you like. Trace it onto freezer paper. As long as you put the waxy side down when tracing, there is no need to reverse the image. (And since you can only trace onto the non-waxy side, this is a no-brainer.) You can do a Google images search and narrow the search by black and white, or even outline. Freezer paper should be findable in most grocery stores; if not there, check your mother-in-law's house (that's where I get mine, but not because I can't find it in stores, only because I'm lazy).

Step 2: Cut out the pieces that you want to be painted onto the shirt. I used an X-acto knife and it was easy, tho maybe a bit time-consuming. Make sure you put something underneath your knife since it will cut your kitchen table! (Thankfully I didn't learn this the hard way.) Also, if you ever want to use the cut-outs and do a negative-style job (see here for an example), then make sure you only cut on your lines.

Step 3: Iron the stencil onto the shirt. Do this by putting the waxy-side on the shirt, covering with a pressing cloth, and then ironing. I do mine with the cotton setting and spend about 30 seconds pressing. And then because I am a freak and I get nervous, I take off the pressing cloth and just iron directly onto the freezer paper! Whoa--living on the edge. But not for too long.

Step 3 1/2: Insert some cardboard between the layers of shirt. If not, paint might bleed in the next step. I found cereal boxes work great.

Step 4: Paint! I bought my fabric paints at Michael's and they were about $1.75. Make sure they say "fabric paint." (At my store, these paints were by the t-shirts, not with the regular acrylic paints.) And feel free to paint onto the freezer paper. If you want to do two coats, read the bottle's instructions on how long before it's dry and ready for that second coat.

See how messy we were! This is about as messy as this project gets. (See the name stencils in the background?)

Step 5: After drying (again, look at the bottle for an estimate on time), peel off the stencil. It should come off fairly easily.

Voila! Isn't it great?! The lines are so sharp and stay that way after washing!

Step 6: If your design requires more than one color, wait until the first color is dry before applying the next stencil. But don't worry: the stencil will iron on top of the paint, no problem. It will then peel off fine too, without taking paint 1 with it. (You didn't think we were making shirts that encourage puking, did you?!) And then repeat the whole process.

Your final project will be, no doubt, equally as great as this! (Seriously, how great is this shirt for running a race in which we run two miles, eat a dozen donuts, and then run the two miles back?! It's perfect!)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Flashback Friday: Rhett's Picks

Rhett loves this picture of me, asking me for "boo mama" whenever he wants to see it. Emily at least looks cute!

And I like this one because it has nearly every friend I had from elementary school, with the only missing person being my BFF for third, fourth, and fifth grades. (And yes, we were truly BFFs in that we have the necklaces to prove it.) I'm in the very front (I think it's my birthday) with Emily just behind me. (What is in your mouth Emily? Gum I'm sure. And by gum, I mean probably six pieces of gum.) Anyway, I am proud to say that I am friends with all but one of these ladies on Facebook (as well as a couple in blog-topia) and we regularly keep in touch. In fact, some of us recently discussed having a reunion.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I Want To Go There

If I haven't outted myself enough as a Nerd with a capital "N," then I do so now. I want to go to the Sudoku National Championship this year. As in, I really really want to go. I know it's in far-away October, and I know they haven't made any announcements about it even happening this year. But some day, I will go there and compete. Even if it's just me competing against Chuck.

P.S. That container of caramel popcorn? 19 servings. NINETEEN. Seriously? Try three Trader Joe's. Good job Alyssa! And thanks to everyone who made me feel better about my three.

P.P.S. Remember this contest? Well, yesterday the snow finally disappeared! The person closest to the bid was emily. However, she's my sister and she always gets my stuff. In fact, I have a package in the works for her right now. So she's eliminated. That means Shauna and Aaron win! I'll get your free crap stuff to you soon. Thanks for playing!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Does Anyone Want These? I'll Give Them to You. I'm Not Kidding.

This is a set of monthly cross-stitched pillows. They have ribbons so you can hang them from something. They're about 3" finished size.
And this is a set of pillow cases (with zippers) for the most-decorative months of the year. They fit a 12" pillow form (not included). Serious inquiries only.

Can I file this post under un-crafting? Seriously, a little tacky, yes? Just makes me wonder what I'll think of my current projects in twenty years.

Friday, January 15, 2010

I Just Can't Get Enough

I feel like my blog has been a bit Rhett-heavy recently. This is because myriad things: first, we haven't traveled anywhere since Thanksgiving, and we won't be until February. Second, it's winter and therefore cold. Not many terribly fun things going on inside. Third, after a rush to get Christmas gifts done, I am on hiatus for crafting (this stops this weekend with the arrival of TWO sets of new fabrics! woo hoo!) Finally, I am utterly in love with the boy and want to talk about him all the time.

He's nearing 22 months old (we've advanced to saying, "He'll be two in March" when asked that pesky age question). And this age, this 22 month age, is hands down my favorite time with him to date. He's absolutely hysterical and I can't wait to see what he'll say and do next.

I love that he's learning relatives sizes. Everything that is BIG is called "mama." (Yes, it helps the self-esteem, thanks for asking), and everything that is little is called "baby." We have "baby bowls" as well as "mama bowls," etc. The best part about this way of distinguishing sizes is that sometimes when he's talking about something BIG, his voice gets very deep and drawn out when saying the adjective "mama." Can you picture it? And what do you think he calls this little person? That's right: "baby mama" (a little version of me). Love it.

I love that when he goes to bed, he isn't just happy with "elmo baby" (the combination of elmo and a thrifted baby doll my jogging stroller once ran over; the twain are ne'er apart). Oh no, he needs more companionship than just one "elmo baby." He wants his "doggie." And by doggie, I mean every doggie he has (which I think is four). He also requires "oo oo" (monkey). Of course, this isn't just one monkey, it's "baby oo oo," "mama oo oo," and the general sock monkey "oo oo." And when he wants "baa" he doesn't want one sheep, it's both. Now, not every day requires every set, but every day requires at least one set. The other day I was laughing too hard to tell him no and his crib ended up like this. Love it.

I love that he's such a yes-child. With all of the words that currently make up his vocabulary, "no" is simply not included. (If you think you've heard him say it, I'd bet $100 that he was saying "snow" or "milk" instead.) In place of no is the far-more-preferential "Yeah!" For example, "Hey Rhett, want to go to the store?" "YEAH!" "Hey Rhett, want to help feed Bruno?" "YEAH!" "Hey Rhett, want to take a nap?" "YEAH!" as he runs to his room. Every once in a while we'll get a head shake to indicate he really doesn't want something (like being put in a grocery cart). But for the most part, the kid is up for anything we put out there. Including blind sliding on the "wheeee." Love it.

I love that at this age, he's still part baby, as evidenced by this shot. He found his hidden pacifier but could barely remember how to use it. He put it in for a second until he took it out (at which point it was conveniently re-hidden). In so many ways, he's still my baby. But in so many other ways, he's such a little boy! Love it.

I love that he's obsessed with the idea of being happy. Whenever we're reading books and he sees people smiling he'll point and say "happy." Or if he's being particularly sweet and I'm beaming at him I'll get a "happy mama." At which point he'll say "happy baby" while pointing at himself. The best, though, is when he's throwing a fit and I say, "I'm sorry you're so mad right now," he'll start insisting that he's happy. So picture this: a sobbing child screaming "happy" over and over. Love it.

Of course there are hard times. Like yesterday when he was mad that Bruno ate his cracker. Or whenever I make him come inside after being outside. Or any time he gets woken up rather than letting him wake up on his own. Not happy times. But most of the time, I am overwhelmed by how much I love this little dude.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Another Poll

So yes, I agree with all of you in that the picture (in this post) on Rhett's shirt is indeed a monkey. Case closed. (Except for Chuck who totally lost that one. A mouse? Really, Chuck? Teehee.)

Now tell me, how many servings do you think are contained in this container of yumminess?

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Pugs are Back!

And Rhett is going to tell you all about them...

Friday, January 8, 2010

Best Calling EVER

I had another crazy dream. In this one, I was back in college living in the dorms. One of my roommates was my dear friend, Camie (with whom I was never college roommates, but you know dreams). Our dorms were uber-cool metallic-y lofts. However, Camie and I felt quite out of place as we were easily 15 years old than the freshmen. Oh well, we thought. We'd enjoy laughing at the travails of the younger crowd.

When I went to church the first Sunday and was invited to speak with a member of the bishopric, I knew a calling was in my forecast. He asked me about my interest in music. Sensing a call to ward choir or something equally horrifying, I told him that while I enjoy music, I know nothing about it. Which is totally true--phew. I hate lying to bishopric members.

I could tell that he was struggling to find a place for me and didn't want me to be calling-free (which, of course, would have been totally fine with me). But then he said these magic words, "The only thing we have left is the barometer reader." WHAT the WHAT!? Uh, hello!? It's geography (close enough) and math (measurement) and something totally un-churchy. It was perfect for me! I couldn't believe my luck.

Of course I woke up to my awake-life calling, which is totally fine. It did get me thinking about what my favorite calling would be, though. I think I'd make a great ward statistician (I've heard reports of some wards having them). But since that doesn't feel real enough, I'd love to be the finance clerk. Alas, while that calling is real, it's a male-only one. Sigh. And I'm not exactly sure what my church status would be were I to turn myself into a male, thus making the gender-reassignment surgery pointless.
And just in case you were wondering, the current barometric pressure is at 30.24 (768 mm) and rising.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A Post in Which I Learn a Parenting Lesson

It started out so innocently. While I was busy making cinnamon rolls, I gave Rhett his own little bowl and two measuring spoons to play with. I expected him to make a mess, but that was okay because I knew I'd sweep later. What a fun mom I am!

I put a small amount of granulated sugar in his little bowl, but apparently it was not enough. He'd like to get the sugar into his spoons, and didn't quite have the necessary dexterity to do so with the initial amount. I said, okay, let's put some powdered sugar into that bowl, and hey--fill 'er up!

I'm sure anyone with a kid can tell me what happened next. He started to eat it. And I'm not talking just dipping in the finger and licking; I'm talking spoonsful of sugar. Awesome.

And by now, it's all over the place. Still, I found it endearing. What a sweet, funny boy is he! But really, that's probably enough sugar. Time to take it away! Say, "Bye bye sugar!" Should be easy, right?

And what you don't see is the temper tantrum that I'm sure every other parent saw coming. Probably even non-parents saw it coming. Yet somehow I missed it. What we had was the biggest meltdown this kid ever had. I mean, cries where I didn't think he'd start breathing again. It was great.

Lesson learned: next time I'll give him flour.

P.S. Settle a dispute by filling in the blank: The character on Rhett's shirt in the above pictures is a __________.

Monday, January 4, 2010

This Kid is WEIRD

We used to think his casual, laid back attitude was pretty funny. I mean, what child sits in his high chair with both arms behind his head like this? Where did he learn this, anyway?

Then he started saying "Go Dog, Go" into anything and everything: socks, bowls, shoes, hats, his hands. Everything. Oh my. Should we be worried?

Friday, January 1, 2010

Flashback Friday

To ring in the new year, how about this beauty? Don't we look nice and sparkly?