last day of March

Today is the last day of March. Hooray! Perhaps Mother Nature will allow spring to come now that it is almost April.

Jeff's parents are leaving first thing tomorrow morning, and wouldn't you know it, it's supposed to be warm tomorrow - in the 60's! I am telling you, when they come, it gets cold, and when they leave, it warms up.

Right now they are at the movies with 'A' - they took her to see her first real movie-theater movie, Horton Hears a Who. It is an exciting moment in her young life. I reviewed with her the need to stay close to her grandparents in the theater because it's dark. Why do I worry so much? When I'm with her, I never let her out of my sight. I'm sure they won't either, and I'm sure she'll be fine, but I still worry.

'H' is supposed to be upstairs in her crib taking a nap, but she woke up after 30 minutes and has decided to cry instead of sleep. I gave her some orajel, maalox, and toys, thinking that it could be her teeth, her stomach, or she just wants to stay up and play, but she's still upset. Maybe I need to read Baby Danced the Polka to her...

March: in like a lion, out like a lion

It snowed today. I'm not surprised because Jeff's parents are here for a visit and whenever they come, the weather is unusually cold. It's almost like Mother Nature is making up for the fact that they moved to sunny Florida by giving them all the misery of winter condensed into a few short days.

Jeff and his parents brought 'A' to preschool today and she was thrilled. They have been very busy playing with 'A' and 'H' this afternoon while I've done some computer work. 'A' set up the Candyland board and she and grandma had a quick game. She has been waiting all week for them to come and play Candyland with her!


this was dinner last night

This is what your kitchen floor will look like if you spend the weekend prepping and freezing meals for the week, then you decide on Tuesday to preheat the oven and pop in a frozen root veggie tart, and when you open the freezer door to get the tart (which is in a glass pie plate), it falls to the floor and the plate shatters in a million little pieces.

Thank goodness I had an extra one in the freezer! Still, it was a waste of a good dinner and pie plate.

May you have an uneventful cooking experience tonight!


more projects from yesterday

Here are two more things we (I) finished up yesterday -

This was quick and easy. It's just fabric stapled to a canvas and I used acrylic paint to make the letter A.

Below is the distressed mirror project. This mirror is made of of 3 separate mirrors that came into our lives about 3 years ago. Chris and Sue had just bought their apartment in White Plains and while Jeff and I were on the grand tour, they showed off the nursery and talked about taking down the 3 mirrors and getting rid of them. As you can imagine, I wasted no time in loading them into my car. Dick, my stepfather, made the frame for them, and we painted it with a coat of white spray paint. The mirror hung over 'A's changing table when she was a baby. When we moved here, it became a transient wall hanging, going from wall to wall, until a few days ago, when we decided it would look good in the kitchen.

We decided to give it a weathered look -- I started it off by accidentally dropping it on Saturday, cracking the frame. We then applied a light, rough coat of black/brown paint.

Then we applied a coat of light yellow and sanded it.

We weren't crazy about that look, so we added a coat of yellow to match the walls and sanded some more:

I'm not sure it's finished. I'm going to put some plants up around it and then decide if I like it. Actually, it's not the mirror I'm questioning, it's the color of the wall behind it!

Happy Easter Sunday

We don't do much to celebrate Easter. I'm a recovering Protestant and Jeff is Jewish. The Easter bunny came to our house last night and hid some eggs, and that's the extent of our holiday celebration.

We do appreciate the fact that it's a holiday for everyone else, though. You know how sometimes you want the world to stop so that you can get stuff done? That's what Easter is for us. I have no social or work commitments today, so I'm practicing my form of relaxation: I'm using the day to finish a number of projects.

Today I finished the pinecone wreath that I started last fall. Finally some pinecones are starting to appear in the yard and today I collected enough to finish it. I don't know if the pinecones are appearing because the snow is melting and they are starting to surface or because it's been windy again and they are falling down. Whatever the reason, I'm just happy that I found them!

I found something else in the yard today - little crocuses poking through the cold winter ground!

This is particularly exciting because the rest of our yard looks like this:

To celebrate the start of spring, Jeff took down our Christmas tree. We keep it outside on the deck all winter in the tree stand. It's nice to look at, and it's such a shame to throw out a tree after just a few weeks of having it up! We prefer to keep it up all winter.

I'm also working on a painting project to make a mirror we hung in the kitchen look colorful and distressed. I'll show it to you when I finish!

And here is a quick look at the lavender-scented rice pillow I made this morning. I used Blair's "recipe" for it. I had scented the rice a while ago and just needed to sit down at the sewing machine to make the pillow case for it. I got this fabric in the clearance section at JoAnn Fabrics for $1 a yard and I just love it.

finally.... spring?

So, is the weather "springy" where you live? Not here, not yet. Maybe we might be ready for it... soon. Jeff and I packed the girls into the stroller today and went for a walk around the neighborhood. We saw lots of crisp, blue sky and we saw buds on the trees!

We did some house projects today, mostly moving around wall hangings.
2+ years here and it feels like we're finally moving in. I didn't take any photos. Do you know what I really want to show you a photo of? The strawberry-banana-orange martini I'm drinking, but by the time I get the camera out and take a photo of it, it'll be gone. :)

'A' and I worked on some origami yesterday:

at home today

we're hanging out at home today. These photos were taken around the house.

This morning we ran a few errands and now I'm *trying* to get some work done. 'H' woke up from her nap because 'A' was downstairs whining loudly about her lunch options (she wanted cookies, and that wasn't one of the options). So now 'H' is whimpering in her crib and 'A' is playing quietly in her room until I decide I'm calm enough to have her come out.

I've been working on painting letters to hang in 'H's room, and mid-way through the process, Jeff and I noticed that one of the letters is smaller than the rest. I went to exchange it today but found out that all of the other letters like it are the same size. Apparently it's supposed to be small? I dunno, I will just keep plugging along with the project.

I also took the girls to Learning Express, a neat toy store near us. They are going to give a portion of their sales from this week to a group called FANS for the new playground at Kelley Park in Ballston Spa. Yay!!!

Last night we had a Mom's Night Out foot spa party. The Body Shop came and got all of our feet in warm tubs of water, then we scrubbed and massaged our feet until they felt heavenly. I have a photo to post but I have to clear it with the ladies first!

OK, 'H' has escalated and it's time to get her up. This should be a fun afternoon.

ladies in waiting

hard at work

'A' is always busy. Always. Here are some photos of her today, hard at work:

questions of the day...

Question #1: Do you think I killed it? It is/was a rosemary plant from my herb garden. I brought it in for the winter, thinking it would over-winter better with me than with Mother Nature. Hmmm....

Question #2: Should I let her in? Where the heck has she been playing? She is so dirty!!!

pretty things

This is my little collection of stationery and note cards. I keep most of my note cards in the box that is covered with printed paper. I keep boring white envelopes in the paper bag printed with pink and orange flowers. When I was younger, I was an avid letter-writer and I had a much larger assortment of printed papers. Now that the email age is here, I don't write as much. But I still love paper as much as ever. Paper is my weakness. I love to feel it and I love the way ink interacts with it.

My grandfather was a printer. I'm sure the paper fascination is in our genes.

I like to look at pretty things. Jeff and I actually had a disagreement once when I said that. He probably doesn't remember it. We were living in New York City at the time and we were walking up one of the Avenues. We were walking for exercise and we had a long way to go, so I asked if we could cross over and walk up 5th Avenue because I preferred to look at pretty things while I walked. He misunderstood me a little and thought I was being elitist, but really, I just wanted to look at pretty store windows while we walked. We did cross over and walk up 5th and it was as nice as I had expected it to be.


Nope, don't count on it. Not yet. Just because it's 45 degrees today, that doesn't mean it's going to continue to get nicer. Mother Nature is like my pilates instructor. If you show weakness, she'll make you hurt. I'm not trusting Mother Nature until June.


Well, things got busy here and I took about 3 weeks off from my pilates classes. You can imagine what that means - I have absolutely no motivation to start again! I went today and I was more out of shape than I thought I would be. Right now I have a lot of evil thoughts about exercise. I signed up for classes next week though, so I guess I'm going to plug along and get through this slump!


(this list is in chronological order. songs are not listed but are sung periodically. i am also spending some time today thinking of how disappointed i am with our governor, eliot spitzer)

bathe and dress
children's museum
nap for 'H'
make cookies for 'A's' preschool party
exchange the too-small letter I am painting for 'H's' room at the store
stuff 6 plastic eggs with small treats for 'A's' preschool party
make dinner
go to MOMS Club board meeting
finish installing ASP.NET platform on my laptop
tv: CSI:NY

"real life" is returning...

... and I'm coming back with it. I've spent three years doing full-time parenting, child rearing and housekeeping. Now that 'H' is a year old and is starting to sleep through the night, I can feel the "old me" coming back. You know, the one who used to laugh more at my husband's jokes, the one who used to care what she looked like, and the one who used to use her brain for paid employment.

I started working on a database-driven website for a client and I finally decided that it's time to update my skill set. I've been out of the loop for too long, doing what I know and what works, but not necessarily what is on the cutting edge.

I'm tinkering with AJAX. If I use it, I can't use my good ole friend ASP too - at least not very easily. It's time for me to brush up on some new technology.

I can tell that I'm ready to learn because I am so excited and energized about it!

Strawberries are on sale this week at the grocery store. That must mean that somewhere it's warming up!


This is our cat Grace. She's actually my cat - she likes me, and only me. She's a princess, and has been since the day I met her. I got her 8 years ago at a vet in Enfield, Connecticut. Distemper had swept through a local animal shelter and almost all of the animals, including Grace's mother and baby siblings, died. Grace was one of the lone survivors. I went to the vet's office because I was interested in getting a kitten and they had a few for sale. When I met Grace, she immediately snuggled into my neck and I knew we were meant for each other.

Eight years later, she still snuggles into my neck when I hold her.

BTW, the reason I wanted a kitten was because I thought Erma, my fat cat (who is almost 15!) would lose some weight if she had a playmate. I was wrong. So I instead of 2 fit, active cats, I ended up with a princess and an obese, reclusive cat. Oh well, you can't win everything!

Cheers to my dad and Marilyn who got a cat from their local animal shelter over the weekend. Her name is Katie and she's 5 years old. They enjoy having cats, so she will like it at their home.

happy birthday!

Happy Birthday, little girl!

We had a very small party for 'H' yesterday - just me, Jeff and her big sister, 'A', and our longtime friends Chris and Sue came with their boys. I'm having trouble accepting the fact that we don't have a baby living with us anymore - now we have a 1 year old little girl and 2 and 11/12 year old big little girl, or little big girl, depending on the day.

She was the neatest cake eater we've ever seen. She put every small crumb in her mouth.

We go back and forth on having more children. If money weren't an issue, we would have as many as we could. But since money is an issue, I think we've decided that 2 is a nice number of children. That means that we just celebrated the last first birthday in our family.

play things

I'll be the first to say it: my life is good, really good. I have a great husband and two wonderful daughters. I am fortunate that I get to spend all day, every day with my girls. I love to cook, and I am able to use my creativity every day in the kitchen. I love to live in a clean and organized home, and lucky me, I have a home that I spend a lot of time cleaning and organizing.

But wait a second, does all of that really sound like a heavenly, delightful existence? Not all the time. I mean, who wants to fold laundry, scrub bathtubs, make several meals, wash dishes, etc, etc... every single day? And as much as I love my children, it's a lot of work to be with them all day, every day. There comes a point when it's just too much to ask me to sing Wheels on the Bus one more time.

Every once in a while I get bogged down by reality and I start feeling really sorry for myself. I feel overwhelmed by all there is to do. In addition to my life as a mom, home organizer and wife, I am on the board of my local MOMS Club and I am working part time for my 2 separate companies - designing websites and clothing. 'H' still wakes up at night, and I feel like I haven't slept in years. Actually, that's a true statement. I haven't slept in years.

It's helpful for me to spend a little time being the queen of my pity party, and then I regroup and remember how wonderful my life is. I really do love it, dirty dishes, piles of laundry and all.


...babies are delicious, aren't they?

Above is 'Baby S', the happy little boy born to Sue and Chris in January. It's amazing how in a flash they go from infant to this:

'H' will be 1 year old on Saturday!

I couldn't ask for more

Every so often I get overwhelmed with the sheer volume of daily household tasks that need my attention. To deal with it, I do a few things:
1. Drink more wine
2. Ignore it
3. Teach 'A' how to do some of the things that need to be done

Recently I taught her the importance of lining up her shoes when she takes them off. Lining them up in one place is important because it means that I don't trip over them all day, and when it's time to go somewhere, we know exactly where they are.

Today I found that she had lined up 3 pairs by the door. What joy! My message got through. I couldn't ask for more.

About Me

My name is Jillian. I started this blog as a way to experiment with my camera and it's a become a nice little spot where I enjoy spending time. I'm a mother to 6 and 4 year old daughters, wife to a cool computer guy, and mama to a cuddly cat. We enjoy eating local, organic food; managing several food allergies; homeschooling with love; spending time in nature; and we love to take time each day to be creative. You can also find me over at From Scratch Club from time to time. Welcome!