The Birds and the Bees...Round 3

Living with a 10 year old boy is...well, much like living with a 42 year old man - just less hairy. They all erupt with stink and sounds at various times of the day, they are obsessed with pooping and broadcast it whenever it happens, they snack constantly, and are naked much of the time.

For some reason, though I'm the lone woman in this equation, I've been chosen to discuss the "birds and the bees" with the boys (actually, I needed to explain a few things to the Big Guy, too).

A friend with 12 year old triplets scared me into broaching the subject with my then 9 year old son back in September. She told horror stories about information passed around the bus and told me I better get in there and do damage control early. Sooooo, I did.

I sat on the edge of his bed one night and asked if he had any questions about anything he wanted to ask me. He answered with a resounding "YES"!!! Okay, I'm not going to lie, my first thought was "oh, s**t, here we go" but I plowed on and soon learned he really wanted to know how many days 'til Christmas and if Santa was me and Dad. (whew...bullet dodged)

Okay, anything else you are wondering, maybe something about your body, or girls? Again he says "YES!!!" (I'm cringing inwardly) "When am I going to get hair on my armpits and balls?" Alrighty, then! This is going to be easier than I thought! I gave him an approximate time frame and he seemed satisfied and rolled over to go to sleep.

Fast forward to November when he comes running down the stairs screaming "I've got a hair on my balls! I've got a hair on my balls! Everyone come see!!!" This is the nice thing about having all one sex, because he dropped trou' right there in the living room and displayed the fine hair he had discovered. He cultivated that lone hair for months, so proud. His brothers would gather around to look, he even broadcast it on the 37 inch TV in the family room with the "Eyeclops" he got for Christmas...ah, memories...

Well, I thought it was time for "the talk" again. I asked, do you have any more questions you've thought of about your body or sex in the last few months? "What's sex?" he answered (good boy, letting Mommy of the hook like this). A smile and kiss goodnight and the topic was closed again.

Finally, about 2 months later we had the "bubes" incident and a screaming announcement of "SIX hairs on my balls" which lead me to try once more. I decided to go old school with it and dived right into "birds and bees" when they asked if they were eating baby chickens for breakfast. I explained about mommy chickens and daddy chickens and fertilization, blah, blah, blah... and how it is the same for humans; a mom and dad need to contribute to make a baby (without all the gory details). I could tell by the expressions that I had laid some groundwork and questions were brewing. Oh, give me strength, because this time all three boys were present and I'm afraid I'm going to get ambushed one night. God only knows what they will come up with together.

Considering it was my youngest who explained to his older brothers how babies got out, (when they tried to argue that babies came out of your bellybutton he announced "They come out of your bum, just like poop" Wouldn't that be lovely painted on a frame?), I think he's the one I need to worry about. That was just last year. I know, I'm embarrassed I let it go on as long as it did.

I think I have some time, though. The Big Guy walked into the room afterwards and said "I never did understand why they called it the birds and the bees" Yes, the man made three kids...I've got my work cut out for me.



I Need a Drink...

Okay, so my 10 year old is obsessed with You Tube. It's a pain in the ass because I have to sit there and watch every click because I found out he'd been Google searching "girls bubes" the other day (thank God he inherited the spelling gene from the Big Guy) so he's on lock down. My husband says he should just look at the Playboys he looked at when he was 10 and keep me out of it, but anyway...

He's obsessed with learning magic tricks online and You Tube completely messes up my computer and causes it to freeze up. I needed to do some work on my taxes (okay, I was crying because I was having trouble with the website while PMS-ing, sue me) and the printer froze and the computer needed to be restarted and the form I was filling out started over (which seemed like the end of the world at the time). I was crying and yelling about "stupid You Tube", and #1 son, and how I was never letting him on the computer AGAIN, "just forget it, never again, you hear???" sniff, sniff, hoooonk!

He was upset and apologizing, saying something about a surprise, but I sent him off to bed and sat down to reboot the computer and this is what popped out of the printer:




Well, finally someone in her family has shown they have a brain and are publicly questioning Nadia Suleman's judgement. Too bad it had to happen with cameras rolling on national TV.

Do you remember the first days with your newborn? Did you cry and sweat and lay awake nights worrying? Did you look at the 19th diaper/bottle that day and feel like you could take no more? Did you stumble to the crib at 3 am with your eyes closed because you had the route memorized?

Do you remember your second child...you had the routine down, but you were doing it with another needy child asking for your attention? No naps, no down time, and you wondered why you thought last time was so difficult??? Stumbling to preschool with mascara smeared under one eye, your shirt marked with spit-up and inside out, your hair in a cockeyed pony. One is like none, two is really hard! Your third...fourth...fourteenth??? How is it humanly possible to do this alone? It is very clear her support system is breaking down. Shame on that doctor.

The rest of us can look back at those days and reminisce, even laugh about the craziness we survived with a stronger bond as the result. This will not be the case for Nadia, I'm afraid. The childhood of these 14 children will go by in a flash with numerous caregivers meeting needs. When will there be time for bonding?

I go between spurts of anger and sympathy for the mother, she seems so clueless. But, the real victims will be these children. Though her heart is big, her resources are small. Good luck babies, it's going to be a long haul.


Help a Girl Out...

I'm enlisting your help. I am preparing my posts for while I'm away (for a week) next month, and one of the ideas I have is a list of FAQ. I have compiled several questions I am asked on a regular basis, and wanted to know the burning questions on your minds.

What would you like included for my upcoming FAQ post? Let 'em rip!


Quick Scarf Tutorial

I saw this idea on Craft Stylish and promptly marched out the door to purchase fleece. I made a 15 minute version, but the original had lots of cool embroidery that took it up a notch. If I wasn't so into instant gratification I'd do it up like the original. But, as it is, I have three kids running around, laundry to fold, dinner to make, a dog dragging her butt on the carpet, and frames to paint. So, here is the quick version.

Here is your list of supplies:

1/2 yard fleece
sewing machine
embroidery thread

I started with a 12x12 inch square of paper (Why do I always use this same brown paper for projects, you ask? It's the scraps of the paper left over from making the dust covers for the back of my frames. Recycle. Reuse. Repurpose. Yeah.)

Anyway, do your string/pencil thing you learned in school to make a circle. (I would be holding the end of the string down at the point, but someone had to hold the camera.)

Cut out your circle then make a smaller circle about 1 1/2 - 2 inches in from the corner and cut out the center.

See? You get a paper donut for a pattern that you will pin to the fleece. I have my fleece doubled to save cuts.

This way I end up with 4 circles with 2 cuts (No, I don't think you're dumb, I'm just trying to be a good teacher.)
Now cut one side of the donut to open up the circle. I forgot to take a picture.

Put the edges together, following the curve, and sew side-by-side with a zig zag stitch on your machine. This will help your scarf lay flat even though you are piecing it together.

See how it falls when it's sewn? It makes that cool ruffle you sometimes see on blouses. I think this ruffle looks mysterious, but it is so easy to create!

Okay, you will need some ordinary embroidery thread. I like to combine unexpected colors like green and orange, but do your thang.

Sew a quick blanket stitch around the edge. (I would have done the inside and outside edge, but the phone was ringing and I was trying to help Helper Munchkin write an apology letter to his teacher for picking up another student during story time...but I digress)

Ta Da! Now, an observation... this shirt and scarf don't match. (Did I really need to tell you that?)



Sunday Funny

Well, it's been proven...Little Girls Will Do Anything for a Stuffed Animal! Not sure if this qualifies as a funny, but since things worked out okay in the end, I'll make an exception.

Have a great Sunday!


This Could Explain So Much...

I think, to really know someone, you need to know where they came from. Let's take a walk in my shoes through the formative years.

I am proud to say that I owe my level-headedness, firm grasp on reality, style, taste in men, and groove to these television shows...

What?!? You watched 'em and you loved 'em! I wish I could just say I only heard of these shows, but I watched them all religiously. I think we should all get some sort of credit for growing up with this and still turning out okay.

Hope Studios This Week

My life has suddenly become more colorful over the past week! I have neglected my Hope Studios posts lately and looking at the rainbow of frames awaiting boxes today, I knew I had to share. Forget the groundhog...my frame and memory box orders are a pretty good predictor of an early spring! Here are the custom orders I will be shipping this week:

This final frame is available for immediate shipment. The color is tuscan red with black antiquing on the edges. I think it would be a lovely shower or wedding gift for a special couple.

If you are interested in purchasing this frame ($90 + shipping) or placing a custom order, you can contact me directly at jsneill@zoominternet.net or visit my Etsy shop.


Remember When I Was a Tree Hugger?

Do you remember this post? Well, the fight continued into the New Year, me against the logging company. I was able to get them to agree to add an additional 10 feet to my buffer by wrapping the trees in question with yellow caution tape. I also stapled DO NOT CUT signs on as many trees as I could justify,AND made a pest of myself by calling the township office several times.

But I realized it was a small victory when we walked down there to examine the aftermath this weekend. I'm so sad! We are actually one of the families who really use these woods. My boys play down there all summer long and they left it such a mess. At least our property was safe and on the bright side, my boys will love climbing on all these logs this summer.

Rumor has it, a new neighborhood will go back there at some point...


A Snowy Ski Weekend

Three great things I did on my weekend vacation...

Road up the ski lift with my son during a snow storm. It looked like we were living inside a snow globe!

Watched my boys attempt tricks and actually catching one on my cell phone camera. Here is Helper Munchkin making a jump out of a one foot bump in the snow.

Marveled at the individual snowflakes landing on my snow pants before they melted. The boys kept saying, they look just like the ones we cut out!!!


Redneck Valentine's Day

My husband and boys joined the rest of the manly men in our neighborhood and spent a Redneck Valentine's Day together at the Monster Truck Jam on Saturday, leaving me at home for some peace and quiet. If that doesn't say "love", then I don't know what does!

They got to sit front row! You know, close enough for the mud from the tires to sprinkle their hair and the Frisbees thrown by the "pit girls" to bounce off their foreheads (true story). It was a rip roarin', noisy, stinky Valentine's Day. What more could a boy ask for?

Close your eyes and imagine me...sitting on the couch with the remote control, in my jammies, eating Betsy Ann truffles from a big gold box...memories...Can't you just feel the love?


Purse Organizer Tutorial

Do you remember this post about my messy purse? Well, I decided to do something about it and came up with a tutorial to make your own organizer.

The added benefit to organizing your "necessities" (aka "junk") is that it makes the transition to another purse in your collection easier if you're running out the door. Really, how many times have to gotten to the check out in Target only to realize your wallet is in your other purse? I like to think of this as my public service (ha!)

Okay, lets gather your suppies:

1/2 yard medium weight fabric
1/2 yard medium weight interfacing
sewing machine
yard stick

Pin your three layers together with the fabric's right sides together and the interfacing on top.

Sew this rectangle together, leaving a space of about 3 inches unsewn. Do you see the space between the zipper foot and the arrow? You will need this opening to turn your sleeve of fabric right side out.

Reach into the opening and grab the other end of the rectangle and pull the sleeve right side out.

Now you will need to press the rectangle of fabric (**side note: this iron shown came into the relationship with my husband...we've been together almost 13 years!)

Now, fold in the edges of the opening and press. Topstitch it closed and continue stitching around all of the edges.

Fold the bottom edge up about 3 1/2 inches and press again.

Sew the edges of the new fold to hold it in place.

Lay the items from your purse onto the strip to determine the width of the pockets and mark.

Sew the pockets at the marked intervals

Here you can see the organizer spread out and filled.

Fold the organizer in thirds and it will easily fit into your purse!

I made my organizer from scrap fabric I had around the house, but we made these at our last girl's coffee and I was able to make 4 organizers out of 1 yard of fabric and one yard of interfacing. So, working out to about $2 apiece, it's an affordable surprise.


Your Sunday Funny

Okay, here is your Sunday funny...I hope coffee doesn't squirt out your nose!

The Day the Penis asked for a Raise

I, the Penis, hereby request a raise in salary for the following reasons:

I do physical labor.
I work 20 at great depths.
I plunge headfirst into everything I do.
I do not get weekends or public holidays off.
I work in a damp environment.
I work in a dark workplace that has poor ventilation.
I work in high temperatures.
My work exposes me to contagious diseases.


P. Niss

The Response

Dear Penis:

After assessing your request, and considering the arguments you have raised, the administration rejects your request for the following reasons:
You do not work 8 hours straight.
You fall asleep after brief work periods.
You do not always follow the orders of the management team. You do not stay in your designated area and are often seen visiting other locations.
You do not take initiative - you need to be pressured and stimulated in order to start working.
You leave the workplace rather messy at the end of your shift.
You don't always observe necessary safety regulations, such as wearing the
Correct protective clothing.
You will retire well before you are 65.
You are unable to work double shifts.
You sometimes leave your designated work area before you have completed the assigned task..
And if that were not all, you have been seen constantly entering and exiting the workplace carrying two suspicious-looking bags.


V. Gina


Soul Sisters Coffee Break

Our monthly get-togethers have gotten off track, what with the winter weather and dealing with three different school districts' schedules. But, I think we're back at it for now and planning future excursions.

Joy hosted and put out a great spread of goodies and the ever-present coffee. She tried to keep us on track since this was to be a "tech" meeting covering several topics, including ebay tips and how to change up your blog background.

We were doing fine until Marzipan walked in with these killer cupcakes for each of us

My photo of the unveiling of the cupcakes isn't great, but it accurately conveys the general commotion at the time. Screams and giggles all around.

Then Treat Girl passed around the cutest red measuring tapes covered in hearts and then all bets were off. There was lots of squealing and sewing at that point.

Why sewing, you ask? Because my offering was a handmade purse organizer for my girls...however, my sewing machine's tension was off. This was creating great tension in me and causing great strings of curse words to erupt from my mouth. So, rather than corrupt Helper Munchkin further, I brought them as a "kit" that everyone had to finish on their own. Do you want to know how to make one??? Better check back on Monday. I'll be skiing, but I've got it all scheduled for you.

There was more sewing, ironing, eating, and laughing. We even got the kids in on the act and they chose the winner of my blog giveaway.
Finally, we did get to the intended topics and tried to get Meg on board the Ebay train and changed up Joy and Treat Girl's blogs a bit. You can do it too, it's so easy! Just check out Aqua Poppy. She can even make you a banner that matches for a reasonable price.

Your Skin Fix, December Edition