Life as Lou

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Cut His Own Damn Hair.

  • December 31, 2006 10:48 am

My son, who is 4, and occasionally more trouble than he’s worth, opted to cut his own hair last night. And it wasn’t just a trim, it was a “how close to the scalp can I cut this?

I took him to the salon – and even trimming it with the #2 clippers, you can STILL see the divets! They would have had to completely shave his head to fix it!



As you can see, he still thinks he’s hot stuff. Now his hair is so short he looks like a scrawny little bootcamp reject.

If my daughter does this I’ll cry! If Jonas does this to Maggie- I’ll string him up by his ankles! We had a huge talk about how ONLY the stylist cuts hair. Mommy doesn’t cut her own hair. Daddy doesn’t cut his own hair. Maggie (heaven forbid) doesn’t cut her own hair- and JONAS doesn’t cut anyone’s hair either! Now I’m holding my breath hoping he gets it!

Have We Met?

  • December 31, 2006 9:23 am

Take my quiz :-)

Create your own friendquiz here

Explosion Boxes

  • December 24, 2006 1:32 pm

This Christmas I’ve been busy making a few explosion boxes as gifts (shh, don’t tell). Here they are in all their radiant glory lol! For those of you who haven’t seen an explosion box before, let me explain.

Explosion boxes are boxes held together by the lid. When you take the lid off, the box falls open to reveal several layers of scrappy goodness. There are many flaps to open and close andtons of space for hidden photos and journaling. When closed- they are compact, just like a regular box. Then have an minimum of 21 places for photos, journaling and embellishments! It’s a great way to capture an event like a birthday or Christmas- and the box dresses up just like a real gift.

Of course, photos are worth 1,000 words, so here we go.

This one is a Cosmo Cricket Holiday line.



that’s an action shot of it “exploding” as you take off the lid.


This one is designed with gorgeous Making Memories holiday papers.


I really love the poinsettias.



Last but not least- Basic Grey Fruitcake box.




Happy Birthday Magpie!

  • December 19, 2006 8:50 am

Maggie is two today. In the midst of all the holiday confusion, and our entire family falling ill over the past few weeks, I didn’t really focus on the birthday. We planned a party for Saturday, but everyone was too sick. Last night, as it was getting later and later, and Maggie was still running around, giggling and being silly, I was really struck with the memory of two years ago, how I was slowly laboring, so excited to finally get her here.

Everyone told me that adjusting to two would be a challenge. I even expected there to be an adjustment phase, time we would need to learn to juggle everyone and to get used to having this new little person in the house. With both my children, that hasn’t been the case. When Maggie showed up, it was as if life had finally gotten to where it was supposed to be in the first place. It was as if the life we had lived without her was the big adjusting space, and now, we were finally as we should be. We needed our Maggie. She brings out the best in all of us. We had no idea Jonas would be such a wonderful, loving big brother. Chris and Maggie have a special relationship as well. Parenting a girl is different than parenting a boy, and Maggie has her daddy wrapped around her little finger, which is as it should be. In many ways, Maggie softened me. She has brought me more peace and contentment over the past two years than any other force. She is a delight.

Maggie was a beautiful, sweet baby. She was an amazing sleeper and champion nurser, and usually had a charming disposition. She morphed into a clever, silly, lovable one year old, and it was beautiful. Now she is two. She is a typical two year old, she has embraced the tantrum throwing, and learned what a time out it. She is climbing up onto everything, and never hesitates to assert her own independence. She is very two. We love her.

Today I will make a cake. We will go to Build-A-Bear and let her pick out a stuffed animal to love on. I will take lots of pictures. We will read the princess books Jonas got her for her birthday. Mostly, we will just enjoy our Maggie, and remember how good we’ve got it, and how lucky we are to have her.

I Won’t Be Looking Into An Early Childhood Education Career Anytime In The Near Future

  • December 12, 2006 5:06 pm


The trouble with this dream, along with my fantasy of having an entire room of my house filled with one hundred hamsters and those massive toob cages all connected throughout, is that it’s just plain impractical. Those hamsters would stink like crazy and those toob cages are wicked hard to sanitize. Likewise, trying to pair my personality with a room filled with four year olds is just a tad on the crazy side.

Today, for the first time, I volunteered at Jonas’ preschool. Now, we are expected to volunteer a few hours each month, but with Chris’ schedule being unpredictable and the fact that I have a one year old who naps at the same time as school, it hasn’t been happening. Today I found a few minutes and decided to give it a go. Let me give you a brief summation of what happened:

A: Ten minutes after arriving I got chewed out by one of the teachers for not having had my TB shot, which I didn’t know I needed. When asked when my last one was I answered, “Uhh, I think I was twelve?” They kept me only because they were seriously understaffed.

B: Twenty minutes in, I get my period, and the cramps and bloating hit hard and fast.

C: Thirty minutes in I sit down at a table for lunch and had every seat at my table filled with a trouble maker, including my own kid. The other teachers looked on in horror at the impending doom, and learned very quickly (as I’m sure these kids picked up on radar the second I walked in the door) that Miss Lou is not an authority figure, even when she’s wearing the khaki teacher apron.

D: One hour into the game my head begins to throb. The children, though given constant reminder to use their inside voice, never reach that level.

E: fifteen minutes later, the family advocate pulls me into her office and makes me go through a bunch of paper work, tries to corral me into hard and fast volunteer hours (unsuccesful), and makes me tell her my personal goals (uhh, publish more of my scrapbook pages? Survive the next three hours here?) I leave with a cookbook because after refusing all of the resources she is paid to dispense, I’ve taken nothing, so she foists it upon me so she can say she did something for me in her records.

F: Hour and a half in I’m manning the sponge painting table, and thinking I’m doing well until I notice that there is a chair full of paint, and who knows how many kids running around with paint on their bums.

G: Two hours in, while making a star of the week crown, I play an integral part in flooding the clean up center sink. They have to call housekeeping staff because there is SO. MUCH. WATER.

H: Two and a half hours in I make a child cry because he as bickering with another kid over a toy and I took the toy away.

I: Three hours in, I have a serious migraine, and nausea is kicking in, on top of severe cramps.

J: Three hours twenty-five minutes in Jonas hits someone for the second time and gets in big trouble.

K: Three hours and forty minutes in, Jonas is being such a pill, I opt to take him home and end everyone’s misery. I get home and literally have to lay down in a quiet, dark room for twenty minutes.

So, uhhh, it was a success because I lived to tell the tale? ]]>

Tonight, Maggie Has Avenged Hundreds Of Sick And Bitter Children, In Only One Squirt

  • December 9, 2006 7:26 pm

It did burn quite a bit, so I left the living room cursing and washed my eyes out in the bathroom sink. The water in my bathroom takes a while to warm up, and I’ve just got to say that rinsing burning cold medicine out your eyes with frigid water actually makes them hurt more. Once the water warmed up a bit I was able to do a better job of it, and the stinging has passed into a weird sensation that I can’t really describe. Just in case this weirdness was the way an eye feels when it’s working on going blind and needs medical attention, I called poison control, where I got to talk to a very nice man, who although he could probably hear me blushing over the phone trying to explain exactly what happened, chose not to mock me to my face, and is, I’m sure laughing to his poison control comrades about the crazy twenty-five year old mother who squirted herself in the eye with baby cold meds.


Not everyone might realize that you can get cloth diapers right on the web and compare prices on diapers right from the comfort of home. Even if you aren’t shopping for cloth diapers you can easily find lots of baby bottles to choose from, or maybe buy one of the many baby bibs you can find online for an upcoming baby shower.]]>

The Art Happens Board Book

  • December 8, 2006 8:08 pm

board book feature at Scrap Village. I took an 8×8 board book and cut it down to 8×3 inches. The inside is really very simple. I used photos that spanned the two page spreads, Basic Grey Romani papers and rub ons, black ink and some rockin’ stamps from Catslife Press. This album is very simple and came together quite quickly. And, yes, Maggie was fast asleep when she got her face painted in Monterey!


A quick tip: Board books get fatter as you add more decoration to the pages. To train mine to stay closed (or at least more closed than wide open) I used a few medium sized clamps to hold the books closed for a few days. Now they maintain their shape on their own.

Thanks for looking!


  • December 7, 2006 11:16 am

I would come to regret these words. The novelty of a cell phone wears off in two phases. The first phase is the unpleasant realization that not only can you connect with the world whenever you want (Need to ask Gramma about a cut of meat at the grocery, no prob. Wondering if your husband would keep the kid out of the house longer, excellent. Asking yourself, where the heck is my husband, he’s four hours late, very useful indeed.) But- the world at large can also connect with you. When you start fielding really unimportant questions about centerpieces at church dinners, and telling total strangers that you would prefer not to donate to the hairless dog society of America, the fun is gone. People can suddenly bug you at their whim and fancy, and on your dime! I’m way too miserly to handle that, and, seriously, isn’t half the point of leaving the house so you don’t have to answer the phone?

The second way in which the charm of the cell phone rapidly disappears is the exorbitant charges in addition to the basic bill. Back when we had Sprint I would routinely check my minutes balance before making a call at the end of the month. The recording would tell me that I had 400 minutes remaining, so I would make a 100 minute phone call and assume all was well until my statement arrived with a $200 charge for being over by 300 minutes. How can this be, I would angrily inquire, only to have them tell me, “Oh. Yeah. The thing that tells you the minutes, well, that’s not always up to date. . .” Which really doesn’t make any sense. I have a vague idea of where I might be on the minutes. I don’t need a machine to give me it’s inaccurate opinion on where my balance may have stood 3.58 days ago. I’ve already got an inaccurate opinion on that matter.

So, we canceled the cell phone. It was becoming much more of a headache than a help. And, after we did the math we discovered that the basic cell phone costs were about the same amount that would take to diaper and clothe Maggie, who was due the next month.

Two years later, Chris is about to leave on a long deployment and he really wants to be able to get a hold of his family (noticing a trend, here?). So I do the math and discover that, yes, with a little self control, we could reasonably afford to both clothe our daughter and have cell phones without going into hock. Now, Chris has been badgering me about this for months, and I have been reluctant and wheedled and needled my way out of every conversation because the thought of another bill quite literally makes the hair on the back on my neck stand up, but I love my husband, so I’ve said yes.

People, I have never seen a man run for the phone faster than I did today when he got on the line with our provider to start checking rates. In a matter of minutes we had a good deal, two free razr phones and six dollars off our regular phone bill (yeah, go us.), and an excited husband who I’m sure is somewhere right now thinking, “It took approximately eight months to win her over. . .if I start now, I could have a puppy by Christmas 2007!”]]>

To Santa Or Not To Santa

  • December 5, 2006 6:03 pm

Despite my strange perspective on the topic as a small child, I never questioned whether or not we would do “the Santa thing” at our house or not. It was simply done. In fact, one could say I’m almost obsessive. Jonas fusses during church and gets a fast reminder that, “Santa doesn’t bring toys to kids who cause grief in church.” And when they want to sit on Santa’s lap eighteen times in one week, I don’t say no. In fact, on Christmas Eve, I’m the family spaz sitting in front of the NORAD Santa tracker, screaming “Look! Look! Santa’s in Egypt! All the kids in Egypt are getting their presents! Do you think the reindeer like the camels?” All the while I’m sure my in-laws are whispering suggestions to my husband about various anti psychotics he may want to slip into my eggnog, preferably before I kill us all with my Santa-hysteria.

So now, I am being bombarded on every end from people worrying that a child’s belief in Santa will somehow disrupt his Christian sensibilities and turn him into a confused little heathen child who has no concept of Christ, gratitude or the true spirit of Christmas. I ask you, if a parent strives to instill a knowledge of religion into their child’s life, don’t you think the child would catch on to those daily reminders of prayer, religious conversation, and weekly Sabbath observation? Is there any reason why a child couldn’t pick up on the Baby Jesus issue if his Christmas included both a nativity and a stocking? I don’t think so. If anything, I think Santa can serve as a powerful tool to help teach our children about the true meaning of Christmas.

Christmas is all about a gift, given in love, to help mankind. During the holiday season, we traditionally give gifts out of our love for special people in our lives, whether or not we remember that what we are doing is actually in similitude of what God the Father gave to us in His Son, is up to us. If this joyful Santa character helps to teach our children about giving of themselves, then Santa is simply reenforcing qualities that most Christians strive to possess.

I think one of the big questions that Santa brings up is that of greed. Will we cause our children to become greedy if Santa is in the picture? I don’t think so. I think parents teach greed much more so than Santa does. I have to shake my head when I hear of the child who gets an ipod, computer, concert tickets and a new wardrobe all in one fell swoop. You spoil your own child, and Santa should not take the heat. Many Americans live in a culture of excess and entitlement, and we not only have the natural desire to give our children everything that we can, which is a good desire, but we feel pressure to give them everything the media and keeping up with the Joneses mentality declares that they most rightfully deserve. This theory is garbage. It breeds a lack of gratitude and a society of selfishness, and it is something that is perpetuated every single day, even by factors of society that cannot afford it, because the pressure is so strong. Santa is not causing this problem at Christmas time. We are causing it.

I think Christmas is an excellent time to have dreams come true and see wishes granted, but beyond that, it’s a time to remember. It’s a time to remember those we love, and those who we ought to be thankful for. We serve each other on a daily basis in so many capacities; Christmas should be a time to love one another, and to feel the love of the Savior in our lives. We have need as a society to remove of focus from that which is of so little worth and to redirect it to that which is of infinite worth. May we all give many gifts this season, from ourselves or under the selfless guise of Old Saint Nick, and my all those gifts reflect love and bring joy.]]>

Board Books: And The Treasures They Can Become!

  • December 4, 2006 6:25 pm








You like? The snowflakes are made using embossing paste. It is reccomended that you use embossing paste with a brass template, however, I couldn’t find the templates I envisioned, and at around ten bucks a pop, brass templates add up. Instead, I used the negatives left from the new Basic Grey holiday chipboard (gave me a great excuse to buy that ha!) and also the negative from a quickutz snowflake die cut. The chipboard was thick enough to give me the thickness that I wanted the snowflakes to be, but the quickutz was very thin, so I layered four negatives n top of each other to make a deeper template. Then I spread the paste over the template with a butter knife, making sure to fill all of the cracks. After that I scraped the excess off and gently lifted my template to reveal the image. The buttons are embedded in the paste. It does take a few hours to dry, but not bad. Once it was dry I dry brushed a thin coating of white acrylic paint over the paste to give it an added level of texture and dimension.

More to come in the next few days!]]>