28 January 2010

Defying the laws of nature.

Should it be possible that
this eyesore of a coif
 be attached to the head of...

this angel?

27 January 2010

Bowls and more Spongebob.

Latte bowls.

Who doesn't love 'em?

We all know of her admiration for them.

And, I agree.

They are pretty wonderful.

Perfect size for the palm of your hand.

Soup, cereal, oats.

But, alas, I love the minis more.

They are great for little snacks; pretzels, cheerios, cheez-its, raisins.

And, the kids go nutty over them for ketchup or honey mustard.

Keeps the dip separate from all the other food, see?


Anthroplogie only carries them in the store.

But, I HIGHLY recommend them.

In other, completely unrelated, news...

Tiny*Prints delivers once again.

The invitations for Rosie's party are great.

I straight stiched some hot pink tulle on Bob, and voila!

Spongebob pink tutu party!

Couldn't be happier.

26 January 2010

Dance Machine

Have I ever told you that I love to dance?

Well, I do.

Love, love, love, love, love.

Saturday night, I will get to dance on a REAL dance floor.

Not the family room, not the shower, not the aisles at Target.

A bonafide dance floor.

Surrounded by the friends that I love.

(Except my sister because she is stooooopid,
and that makes me sad.
But that's a different story, for a different day.
Love ya, Jilly.)

We will be celebrating all of the birthdays in February.

Our gang has lots.

Mine included.  Wink, wink.

My only hope, my one desire...

 is that my dancing gene was passed on.

I'm thinkin' I don't have a thing to worry about.

25 January 2010

The narcissistic blogger...that's me!

I stumbled upon this book the other day.  I am thinking about ordering it. 

I've been thinking a lot about narcissism, lately.  I've been pondering the idea that blogging is quite a narcissistic act.  Thanks to the movie 'Julie & Julia', (the big arguement scene between Julie and her husband). 

Which led me to think about how narcissism isn't necessarily a BAD thing.  If exhibited in moderation. 

Shall I explain?


Yes, our society has definitely seen an unhealthy inflation of the self-image, even to the point of sinfull pride, destroying families and relationships.  The 'me, me, me' sydrome.  'I deserve it', 'I'm entitled to it', 'I work hard, so I should be able to get it'.  I've heard it all, I've seen it all. 

Mothers who put themselves and their own entertaining endeavors above everyone else, including their children, fathers who are more interested in feeding their already inflated egos rather than spending time with their families, people running amuck only worried about their own gratification and desires, never thinking about consequences. 

But, that's not me.

I blog.  I guess that makes me narcissistic...to a degree.  Actually, let's not beat around the bush.  It DOES make me narcissistic. 

One portion of my life is self-involved.  A tiny part.  It started as a means to get a grip on a life that I found to be suddenly very out of control.  To organize my thoughts, reach out to others like me.  NEVER to toot my own horn. 

Has it evolved into something else?


Should I feel ashamed?


Here's why...

For 10-20 minutes of my 24 hour day I think what I have to say, or share is pretty great.  Important, even.  A craft project, a political opinion, an accomplishment of my children, feeling sad or happy.  No one has to read it or like it or care.  But, I think it's pretty darn fabulous. 

I don't buy myself a lot of things, maybe a couple of shirts and a pair of jeans a year or a couple of pairs of shorts in the summer (the 75% off Target rack is my favorite resource), and only after the kids are outfitted.  I waited, patiently, for 5 years (until they could be reasonably paid for) for a laptop, cable TV, and a camera.  I don't drive a fancy car, just a van that's paid off.  I don't 'go out' a lot.  I don't get my hair or nails done.   I rarely go out to eat.  I never feel entitled to a vacation.  I don't take the easy way out.  And, I firmly believe that you should work your tail off for the life you want. 

In real life, I'm self-conscious of my height (but, I do stand up straight, always stand up straight).  I never thought I was super attractive or funny.  I'm shy.  Yes, I'm shy.  I think I'm an 'okay' mother, wife, and friend.  I could always do better and be better.  ALWAYS!  I'm a pretty terrible Catholic Christian woman.  I never seem to measure up in that department, no matter how hard I try.  I have a hard time keeping my mouth shut at times.  But, mostly, in REAL life, I don't think I'm super fantastic.  I hurt people's feelings sometimes, burn the pot roast occasionally, more than once have lost my patience with my kids, and love some harmless gossip over coffee.  Just a woman trying to make it in this sad, broken world.

But, under the blanket of the internet, I'm a bit more immodest.  Less insecure.  Sure, even here, like in real life, I make mistakes. Say or write things that, although I may stand behind 100%, in hindsight could have been articulated better.  I am only human, afterall.  But, in my blogging adventure, I have come to have a new appreciation for myself, and what I DO have to offer the world.   In my quest to become the person people perceive me to be on the blog, I have become a better mother, wife, and friend.  Even if it's just a little.  I bounce back quicker from sad or bad times.  I feel happier, and am more thankful than ever for everything gracious God has entrusted me with. 

If that makes me narcissistic,

well, then,

guilty as charged.

23 January 2010

Are you doing YOUR best?

This was
quite inspiring,
and just what I needed today...
after feeling a bit sorry for myself for not being able to
sleep 'til
on this dreary Saturday.
Have I ever mentioned how much I {heart} sleep?
Who knew this self-professed sleep fiend would have 4 kids.

day by day...
my goal is to
do right by those
4 darling faces up there.

21 January 2010

15 tutus.

I am up to my eyeballs
in tulle.
3 tutus down...
12 to go.

20 January 2010

a day in my life.

I've begun the weekly menus. 
(An item from my 'list'.)
And, in true Grebe fashion, our week will begin on Wednesday.
I mean, why not?
The more confusing, the better around here.
Do you like my menu plan?
I think it has a certain je ne sais quoi.
I am sure it makes NO sense to you,
but to me it couldn't be more clear.
Personally, my favortie part is the random machine stitch down the middle.
It does have someting to do with what else I did yesterday.
But, when I see it there it makes me laugh.
So random.

When I got back from the grocery store
(from purchasing items for the weekly menu),
I came home to a cleaned out and oraganized pantry.
Sure, it's full to the brim and cramped, but everything is in it's place.
That's what you call one awesome, fantabulous husband.
Such a typical gesture from him.
What a blessed gift he is.

I whipped up this super sweet birthday banner for Rosie in 30 minutes.
I think it's super cute.
Bonus: it cost approx. $2.50.
I am loving this Spongebob pink tutu party business.
Pink and yellow is a very underrated color combo.

It was my first time sewing paper.
Are you understanding the stitch down the menu plan, now?
I will definitely tweek some things the next go round.
But, overall, I think it turned out fabo.

The girls and I, also, went to Target & Hobby Lobby in the morning.
Don't get me started on their sticky fingers.
I think there were 6,783 extra items in my cart at both places by the time we made it to the checkout.
For reals.
At one point, Betsy had 6 pairs of the exact same shorts in the cart.
How did I miss that?
Do I love putting everything back?

Ahhhh, a day in my life.

if you want to check out some of my writing from a not so happy day in my life...
go here.
I hope you find the positive in it,
and find it uplifting.
Because I felt soooo much better after having written it.

19 January 2010

The Blues, the Ego, and the Mail.

I was down and out this weekend. 

A stupid arguement between friends. 

Both parties guilty.

Blown out of proportion by inflated egos giving into the id, pleasurable survival.

Feels right at the moment, but is so short lived. 

Ah, modern philosophy.

In a more ancient, biblical sense (one I prefer)...pride to the point of sin.

Sure, we might feel better if, in the end, we were right.

But, at what cost?

Things are resolved, now. 

The healing can begin

But, over the weekend, I felt like I'd always imagined it would feel to be dumped by a high school boyfriend. 

Really el crappo.

Briefly, on Saturday, I felt half-way happy. 

Okay, maybe a quarter happy.

'Cause the mail was beautiful.

Oh, how I love beautiful mail.

these clippies for my girls for Rosie's birthday party from here

this fabric for Ro's birthday shirt from here

something for said friend from here

the poster form 'The Swell Season' show I went to in December from here

I'm framing that bad boy to hang near the basement stairs. 

I love that print.

I love that I met Glen that night.

I love that this friend and others were there to share that moment with me.

I love that it matches my decor.

I love that I love it. 

And, even if it didn't match anything...I love it so much, I'd still hang it with a song in my heart.

So, for 2.2 seconds, I felt good. 

And, now, after we hashed it out...I feel even better. 

Almost normal.

Because I am convinced, I will never be normal.

Oh, yeah...and I love that friend even more than beautiful mail.


18 January 2010

MLK Day.

I think this would have made Dr.King proud. 
Don't ya think?
Because it sure made me proud.

15 January 2010

Making it work.

I am a walking contradiction. 

About a lot of things, really.

Mostly, because I'm a big believer in 'exceptions'. 

To keep it light, I'll focus on my conflicts in home design aesthetics.

I LOVE this...

But,  I, also, really LOVE this...

image via Country Living

I LOVE this...

image via House to Home

But, I LOVE this, too...

image via Country Living

It all comes down to this...

You should surround yourself with things you love. 

People, objects, thoughts, ideas, food, decor.

If one contradicts the other, that's okay.

If at the core of 'you' is a strong person rooted in a firm value system based on good ethics and morals, it's okay to have a crazy, fun, fly by the seat of her pants kind of friend, AND a more introverted, intellectual, let's talk philosophy kind of friend.

It's cool to have a country, cottage, farm house table surrounded by mid-century, Eames style, dining chairs.

Because if all of it reflects who you are, your contradictions and all, then it will work.  Things will click.  Fall into place. 

Life doesn't match.  It is full of opposites, paradoxical contrasts. 

That's why it's interesting, and FUN.

I hope all areas of my life reflect this belief. 

Including my home.

14 January 2010

A Tale of 2 Kiddies.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...

Jake has a problem with self-discipline.  Buckling down, if you will.  The kid is smart as a whip.  A whip who prefers not to study his multiplication tables.  You should have seen his report card.  It was insanely impressive.  All As, and a B in math.  So, why am I miffed?  Why am I befuddled?  Because I know without a shadow of a doubt that B could have been an A. 

I'm surprised Betsy's brain hasn't exploded based on the amount of effort she puts into everything.  I'm waiting for the day that streams of steam shoot out her ears.  The amount of signs she's learned in the last couple of months is mind blowing.  Her overall communication abilities are still lacking in the verbal department, but this girl is an innovator in the field of creative compensation.

Jake had a tween style, over-emotional break down last night when we had him take 3 practice time's tables tests.  If it were a test on football plays, or basketball strategy, he would have asked for more.  Time's tables, not so much.  How can you get it to register with an 8 1/2-year-old that multiplication is a huge component to all other math?  I tried explaining to him that I use it all the time.  In almost every recipe I make, everything I sew.  He just doesn't seem to care. 

Betsy brought me the Pops the other day. The whole box.  She physically put the box in my hand and pointed to it when I had it securely in my grasp.  She had just eaten lunch.  I told her maybe later.  Five minutes later my mom called.  I was happily engaged in one of the  mulitple conversations we have daily when Betsy brought me a baggy (her favorite snack receptacle).  Then, she took my hand, led me to the pantry, had me open it, and shook her head 'no' to everything I pointed to (purposely avoiding the Pops) until I, reluctanly put my hand on that big, yellow box.  We had a winner!  Effective communication, I'd say.

Do I need Jake to get stratight As?  Certainly not.  Although, I cannot lie, it's always been a dream of mine to have National Merit Scholars.  But what burns my biscuits is the lack of effort.  If that math grade was a D and I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that he tried his hardest, that would be good enough for me.  It's 3rd grade, the ground floor, the foundation of scholarly habits from here on out.  When the going gets tough you can't avoid it and stick your head under the pillow.  It's 3rd grade.

She trotted off with her baggy of Pops in hand as happy as a lark.  I was beaming, I thought my mom was going to start crying.  So many emotions wrapped up in the fact that she 'told' me in one way or another that she wanted Pops.  For any other kid, such a small task.  For her, monumental.  Don't even get me started on how insanely cute her sign for 'bus' is.

Tonight we start militant style flashcards with Jake.  I wanted him to take the reins on this one (with a little help from me or the dad), but enough is enough.  Now, he's going to have all this negative emotion attached to math and studying.  Ugh!  Just what I was wanting to avoid.  Maybe, I'll offer him a baggy of Pops as a reward for a successful study session. 

This was a tale of two very different kiddies.  One puts everything she has into the smallest of tasks (physically and cognitively), the other the bare minimum into his mathematical endeavors just to get by.  Balance, I suppose.  Either way, they are both so loved, and cherished.  Both extraordinary, both incredible, both so full of potential.  Both present different parenting challenges, both make me smile.   At their best or their worst.

13 January 2010

And a shot rang out.

That is the man.
He's the best salt-n-peppery son with fur a girl could ask for.
he is high maintenance.
He didn't used to be.
It's only been the last week or so.
Because, you see, he has diabetes.
You heard right.
Who knew?
He had been acting increasingly miserable for a few weeks.
Fast forward to vet appointment, and BAM!
The big diagnosis. 
His blood sugar was almost 8 times the normal limit.
Poor guy!
I am smart enough to know that dogs are, indeed, not humans.
However, with pet ownership comes some serious responsibilities.
I'm not as quick on my feet with his care as I used to be.
My four little humans deplete most of my energy.
But, we finally got him to see the doc, and we have him on the rode to recovery.
Dog diabetes means 2 insulin shots a day, after doggy mealtime.
And, yes, you have to pick up the insulin at a human pharmacy.
That's just wacky.
So, now we're talkin' shots.
Who knew I'd be giving my dog shots?
He hasn't flinched, yet, but I sure have.
Good news is, after less than a week, I'm an old pro.
The upside of all of this...
that we will, with any luck, have another fun-filled 6+ years with our 6 1/2 year old boy.
Chopper, you have accomplished what I thought to be impossible.
You are officially a bigger pain-in-the-@$$ than your human siblings.
And, just like them, we love you to bits.

12 January 2010

Riddle me this...

Q:  Why did my oldest eat just about every vegetable in existance since infancy, and then one day...bam...he became uber picky?  And, now, the youngest is following suit, even though they're exposed to many vegetables?  (I'm not going to lie, it's always been a dream of mine to raise foodies.)

Q:  Why is it when you have to take more than half of your offspring to the grocery store, you always, ALWAYS leave without something you need or with something you didn't?

Q:  Why is it that after you spend a great portion of the day cooking a big, wonderful meal for the loves of your life is everyone in one of those, 'I'm not hungry' kind of moods?

Q:  Why is it when you DVR your favorite show and settle down to watch it after all the kiddies are in bed, do one of them inevitably wake up with a fever or better yet puke all over?

Q:  Why, after all this (and more) do I love these little pain-in-the-rumpuses so darn much?

Do you have any unanswerable riddles?  I'd love to hear them...

11 January 2010

Change of plans.

Sometimes,  if you embrace a change in your plan, it works out for the better. 

Originally, I was taking the girls to Chicago for Rosie's 3rd birthday to do the whole 'American Girl' thing.  My sister and niece were going to join us, too.  After careful consideration, I decided to scratch that idea.  It would end up costing around $500, and I just want to be able to do it when they will actually remember it.  That, and, I don't feel like walking the streets of Chi-town in subzero temps with 2 little ones, one of which, is still a bit on the slow end. 

Okay, so...we are doing the at-home-party thing.   Just some girls and some fun thrown in for good measure. 

me: Hey, Ro, what kind of birthday party do you want?

Rosie:  Pink!

me:  M'kay...what else?

Rosie:  Pink with tutus!

me:  (sigh, not being a girly-girl myself)  M'kay...anything else?  {throw me a bone, here, Ro}

Rosie:  A Spongebob tutu party...with pink...and cake. 


I'm not sure where I'll go with that, but I already found some invites from Tiny*Prints that I'll order today. I figure I'll stitch on a strip of pink tulle across his pant line to look like a tutu.   The 3D effect will be all kinds of cuteness.  The menu will definitely have 'krabby patties' (mini burgers), sweet potato fries, and, of course, cake.  Also, I've scoured Etsy and have plenty of other ideas in store.  With only a handful of girls on the guest list I can go nuts with favors, too.  Yipee!

close up of invitation detail, invititation form Tiny*Prints

I know these are not life-altering plan changes (or ones even I'll care about anymore in 6 weeks time), but I was really stuggling with whether or not to do the Chicago thing, and I am so glad she is so estatic about her pink Spongebob tutu party.   Honestly, I'm thinking I'm pretty blessed that this is all I have to worry myself about these days. 

row 1 from left: cake Art EatsBakery, birthday crown Better Than Normal,  mini burgers The Dead Poet
row2 from left: bow Lanie Bug Bowtique, pink lemonade tutu Hannah's Tutus, necklace PWS Desings
row 3 from left: pink gift boxes Martha Stewart, magnet clips Bippity Boppity Glue, tissue poms Cococupcakes 

Oh, that, and the fact that our dog just got diagnosed with diabetes.  Seriously?!?!  Add 2 insulin shots a day to my repertoire.  Because I really need something else, right?  (But, we are super happy he's going to be okay, because he's only 6, and we lurv him. Thanks, JC.  You answered our prayers.)

08 January 2010

My favorite things on this 0 degree Friday.


I mean, c'mon...it's like a train wreck.  I dare you to look away.  Here's the part that has me stumped...I love them.  Sure they're dysfuntional, binge drinkers with big crunchy hair.  And, no, I haven't heard mouths that dirty in my almost 32 years.  And, yes, their fashion sense is lacking a certain je ne sais quoi.  But there is something entirely endearing about the lot of them. 


Sure, we all wished these groups really cured cancer, or ended world hunger.  But, they don't.  Chances are they never will.  But, it's fun, and harmless, and they're probably so popular because aside from joining or becoming a fan, it doesn't require a monetary contribution or any more follow-up work on your part.  If only we all took it a step further, maybe we could help cure cancer or make a dent in world hunger.  I think I'm going to start an "I'm passive aggressive" group on Facebook.  Anyone want to join? 

Incidentally, my two new favorite groups today...
"Where in the hell are Max & Ruby's parents?"
"Why is Caillou 4 and still bald?"


Finding this x-ray of Pete's innards from back in 2006.  It really made me laugh.

When he was 4, Pete swallowd a military style button.  Good times.  At least, the x-ray tech had a good laugh.  Seriously, this could have been BAD.  He was coughing blood, and it was scary.  Don't even get me started on the fact that my husband INSISTED on recovering this button post digestion.  Ironically, I've never seen it before it had journeyed through my son's intestines, but it did have a small letter 'p' engraved on it.  Crazy, huh?


The fact that I married a man who is more of a sucker for romantic comedies than me.  And, teeny bopper movies.  I could do without the teeny bopper movies, but I do love a good romantic comedy.  AND Amy Adams, and Matthew Goode even more.  Yum! 

Anywho, we're going on a date tonight to see 'Leap Year'.  A romance filmed in Ireland starring those two lovely people?  Yes, please.  Am I the only one who loves 'The Matchmaker''P.S. I Love You', and 'Once'?   Ahhhh, the Emerald Isle. 


This photo.  For lots of reasons.  Aside from the fact that it's of my dear, sweet, spit-fire, Rosie, it's a really good photo.  No, I did not take it.  I wish.  The lovely & talented Brenda Shelton did.

What do I love the most about it? 

How her darling beauty mark above her lip pops, AND the fact that Rosie's kickin' Bert uni-brow was totally photoshopped out.  It makes me laugh every time I see it.  Every.  Time. 

Happy snow day numero dos to us and happy weekend to you!