Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Doing my best Sinatra impression

I had a lot of fun doing this layout. There's not really much of a story behind it; Daniel, Joe and I were out for Saturday grocery shopping and stopped for breakfast at Shoney's first. When we got back in the car, Joe was looking so cute in his little blue outfit that I whipped out the camera and got a couple of shots in. Of course, I'm always torturing him this way. lol Actually, he loves to ham it up for the camera, just seconds before he attempts to take it from me and push buttons or pretend it's a cell phone. (sigh) Children. ;)

I probably should have picked a kit that had some good navy blues in it along with the greens, but something about this one hit me as regal and perfect for the look on his face. Then again, maybe I'm a weirdo. After all, I do like to look at single pictures for long periods of time. :P

Live is going fairly well at the moment, just busy. We're gonna get a breather here soon enough, so I think I'll make it to the weekend. Jo, Joe, Daniel, and I are going to the park this weekend, so it's something to hold out for. Park trip! :D

Hope you all have a lovely evening!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I love my dog!

Originally uploaded by mawkinberd
Ok, so I couldn't make a layout with Ike yet. It's gonna take me some time to get there. But I did have this excellent picture from a few days ago when the dog, the baby and I were out playing outside, so I thought I'd give it a shot. I think it turned out pretty cute. :) The kit is Karmatic Impact by RebeccaPSP Designs, and the lovely word art is by Jacquie. :) I think it turned out pretty well. I've been playing with the colors lately for photos to see what sort of new looks I can come up with, so I'm pleased to see that this one worked out okay.

Things are going okay. Slowly but surely, life is evening out again. There's just really too much going on generally. It felt odd and calming to just sit down and do a quick layout again. I've missed it. I've even considered just forgetting about doing the music for Joe's first year album video and just leaving it as is so I can get rid of this sword of Damocles over my head, cuz I just have so many other projects I would rather start scrapping rather than worrying over it. Maybe I should just leave it as is. I don't know. But knowing me, I don't generally like leaving things as is. ;) I've got some new ideas about the music now, so I'm going to try to track them down. Hopefully, something will work well.

Have a lovely evening, everyone!

Monday, March 29, 2010


So, things are getting better. I know I was really sad when last I talked to everyone. Now, well, I'm feeling a bit more nostalgic. I've been looking for cute pictures of Ike and Joe together, and while there aren't many, I really am enjoying them. I have especially been enjoying some of the pictures of Ike when he was more of a puppy. I think I'll have to scan some of them, tonight if I get a chance, and use them for a layout about his life. Jacquie posted the sweetest word art for someone who loves their dog as a freebie on her blog today, and it is perfect for a good look at these pictures. It just reminds me of how grateful I am to have such good friends, both in person and online. It makes the sadness at losing such joy a reminder that the gift is worth that time of mourning.

All of this also reminds me that my son is, as yet, too young to know or understand that he has lost a friend. I know my first instinct is to protect him completely from such things, but knowing that he would miss out on the gift of that relationship to avoid such things completely makes me realize that safety is just another word for loneliness and missing out on opportunities for the greatest heights and depths of experience. And believe me, as a person who is forever worrying about being safe enough, that's a pretty big concession. :P  I'm a bit of a worrier (that was sarcastic understatement, y'all), so while I can't see any reason to let my son risk falling and splitting open his skull because he just *has* to rock on the rocking chair, standing up, not holding the sides or back, I'm trying my best not to coddle him. I don't want him to learn the useless fears that I am fighting. I want him to learn the normal caution found from falling and bumping his knee, and then picking up and trying again.

Ugh, trust me to wax philosophical on a Monday morning. I even made my own brain hurt. lol  Hope all of you have a wonderful week, and hope something like this reminds you (as it did me) of the value of the relationships around you.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

A family loss

Sorry, folks. I was going to post my speed scrap layout from last night, but I don't think it'd fit this post. I got an email from my dad this evening letting me know that he and my stepmother had to make the difficult decision to put down one of our family dogs. Ike was a very good boy. He was a largish golden retriever that showed up on their porch as a puppy. This is more unusual than it sounds on the surface; they live almost a mile away from a small highway on a back road that only sports three houses. Well, four, if you count the one no one was using. My folks were not in the market for a dog, but first impressions are amazing things. Juanita first saw him licking the picture glass windows. On the other side, our terrier mutt Emily was licking back. It was love at first sight. They tried to find out who his owners were, since it was obvious that he was a full bred golden, and such beauties don't just get dumped generally. Once they had given up hope of finding his original family, Emily (and the rest of the family!) were already in love. Ike was home.

Over the years, old Ike has been the sweetheart and protector of the home. He soon found a new love; Tori, our "wild" family dog. Although she will barely let people touch her, she was in love with Ike from the start. Emily may have been alpha, but Tori was his partner. They hunted outside together and made sure the neighborhood was free of danger for everyone. Some of the most touching scenes of devotion I've ever seen were times when Tori and Ike would groom one another. They were always inseparable from the moment Ike stepped out of the house until he returned to the rest of his family.

When Juanita told me they had taken him to the vet, she said that he had a dangerously inflamed stomach lining that had no known cause, and he had a dangerous disease that was causing his spine bones to start fusing, causing serious pain as he moved. It was obvious that he was fighting some kind of mysterious systemic breakdown that it didn't look like time would heal. When the vet told the family it could be treated but not cured, my dad had to make the right decision. We couldn't keep Ike in pain on the off chance that the treatment would keep him from hurting too much for just a little while. My dad said it was one of the hardest decisions he's ever had to make.

I will miss Ike. He became part of the family after I had left home for good, but he quickly became one of my favorite dogs ever. His sweet and loving disposition was unparalleled with just about any other dog I've ever met, and his devotion was timeless. I hate that my son is too young to remember playing with Ike when he gets older, but I know Ike, always the protective and loving one, will still watch over him with everything in him. Good bye, good boy.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Week 10 - My Worst Fear

Week 10 - My Worst Fear
Originally uploaded by mawkinberd
I've been having a tough week, but I'm making it. Things are a little harder at work than usual. It's getting better, but it's going to take some time to get it under control. I know I can do it; just don't like muddling around until a new balance is found.

I did this layout for the MLAS challenge called My Life IN Scrap. In this challenge, everyone does a layout a week about a topic. For week ten, the topic was our greatest fear. I've been having a lot of fun doing the challenges, but this one was difficult for me because I have panic attacks. I couldn't, at first, really figure out what my biggest fear is, because I have so many things that can trigger panic attacks. Then, I realized how much I've just been struggling with panic in general. Thus, this layout was born. I love this kit; it made perfect sense for this layout. It's called Obnoxious (lol), and it was designed by Jenasis Designs. Fun!

I haven't really participated in the challenges in the last week and a half like I normally do. It's mostly because I've had so many things on my mind. Don't worry, I'll get back into the swing of things. Just need a little time to work out the craziness in my head. ;)

Hugs all around!

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Originally uploaded by mawkinberd
I'm sorry I've been MIA this week. Actually, it's partly because I'm making the final edits of my scrapbook video of Joe's first year album. :) I haven't put nearly as much time into the scrapping itself. Today is a good day for finishing small projects, though. It's snowing outside, the baby is snoozing on my lap, and I'm having plenty of cozy time. Makes this layout even nicer to think about, too, since I'm much in a spring flower mood. ;) But all this lounging is making me sleepy. I need to get up and move around. I'd much rather play outside in the nice sun than wonder how many layers I need to add. Louisiana is not the place one would expect to see March snow, even if it isn't sticking. I know, I'm whining. Don't worry, I'll do much the same when it's over 100 degrees Fahrenheit around here.

Ciao, bellissimi!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Sleeping while standing?!

Hehehe... Never had seen a person fall asleep while standing, until now! And yes, as Daniel said, he got attacked by a chocolate milk before nap time.

A challenging post! :)

Font Challenge Forum
Hey, folks! Hope everyone's having a great day! My day has been less than stellar, since I'm still coughing like an old smoker. lol It was kind of fun, hanging out with the baby, but watching him trying not to go to sleep has even been more of a challenge than making this ad. Which, by the way, is what the challenge is about! I am the hostess for the font challenge this time, so I got to make the ad and pick the font! Click on the ad to go to the challenge forum. Tomorrow, I'll have the thread started and the font we're using displayed.

I'm probably going to have to post again today; I got the funniest video of Joe that I've just gotta share. As soon as I can get it up on You Tube, I'll share it. :)

Hope everyone's having a great day!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

RAK for Angi

RAK for Angi
Originally uploaded by mawkinberd
This layout is a bit of a departure for me. For one, I don't think I've ever used characters as big elements in a layout before. Well, kind of. I've used some extractions of Joe as big elements in a layout before, but that's kind of different. Plus, since we didn't do Halloween with Joe last year, I haven't ever done a Halloween layout before this one. It was fun! :) Angi also made a lovely layout of Joe for me. She's obviously a bit more experienced than I am with the wonderful clustering you see in some folks' layouts. It was gorgeous. I just like to look at it. :) But then again, I just like to look at photos in general anyway, so maybe I'm just strange. lol Though this may not look it, the elements are all from Twisted Halloween by Bubblescrap Designs. I know, different from her style now. It's neat to see how her design has changed over the last year. Awesome!

I'm amazed that I got any layouts done today. I'm feeling better than I have for the last couple of days, but I still feel like I may cough up a lung at any moment. I haven't been as tired by it today, though. It's walking around and getting too hot or cold that really get me now. Then, the wheezing starts again. I hope it's just a minor virus, but I'm not holding my breath. Especially not right now, when I can really use any breath I can get. (snort)

Precious (our dog) is looking much better. She is still holding her hind paw high, but she is favoring it much less. I think the saddest moment today was when she ran back to the steps to come in and hit that hind leg kind of hard on the first step. She was so disappointed. I almost thought she'd want me to carry her up the steps again like I did the first night, but she didn't. I was proud of her. We'll probably still need to give her more ibuprofen for a couple of days, but it looks like she'll be ready to run au naturel before the week is out. I'm glad; I was so worried when she first limped home on Friday.

Have a great work week, everyone!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Birthday Party!

Page 83
Originally uploaded by mawkinberd
Yeah, I got there! The birthday party is finally blogged! So... what now? Well, I need to go back and "fix" some of the first few pages. I'm torn about whether or not I need to have a page that tells when he first did this, that, and the other, or if I need to put those things on the month pages that I have interspersed. Regardless, I have to do a bit of editing (and probably a little weeding!) before I start making this into a video. Yeah, I'm gonna make it a video. I'm too broke to print out as many books as there are family, so dvd's are gonna be the way to go for almost everyone. I really only have 1 or 2 people besides us that might get a photo album, and that may be up for negotiation. Regardless, though, I want one! I want it in my hands. I love how it looks, and it feels like a triumph for me. So I really want to make a physical representation of it for myself. (shrugs) We'll see.

I feel like I've learned so much in the last three and a half months of scrapping digitally, but I also feel like I have so much more to learn. I'm still (somewhat) steadily working my way through the GIMP help files, so I'm still learning new things all the time. I keep telling myself that I may start designing, but I don't know about all that. lol I might design for my own things, though. Just learning how to make it happen is pretty cool all on its own. Now, if I could just learn how to make actions.... :P

I hope everyone will keep my dog in their thoughts. Poor thing, she's always been the strongest and baddest around. Now, she's gotten her behind kicked. She came home with several surface bites and a gimpy leg and torn claw this morning. Luckily, Daniel has taken off work today (he's not feeling all that well, either), so he's been able to keep an eye on her. I just hope it doesn't make her too upset. She's usually such a happy dog.

Have a good day, everyone!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

At the Zoo

At the Zoo
Originally uploaded by mawkinberd
Sarah and her husband both worked at the local grocery store when I first met them. I got to watch Sarah grow day by day while she was pregnant, and I watched her husband go to barber school with my sister-in-law. They've both moved on since the baby was born, so this was the first time I had seen him. I've missed a lot of time, apparently! He turned out to be so sweet. :) It was a neat surprise to run into them unexpectedly. I made this layout for the color inspiration challenge at MLAS. The elements are from Yellow Inspiration by Dogs Day Designs and Bubblescrap Designs. It's one of my fav new kits lately. :)

I've really started to get very serious about my health in the last couple of months. Even so, my panic attacks have been getting worse. I am beginning to really think that my blood sugar has some role in this. So, I went to the doctor yesterday to start taking charge. I haven't gotten my test results back yet, but I am already keeping track of my blood sugar on the "vampire," which is what I call my glucose meter. I'm hoping it will help me keep on track. I've got to get out of the grip of this sugar habit! It's killing me in many more ways than one.

Boy, I'm tired. Where's all my energy going? Guess I'll go to bed for now. Ciao! :)

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Prairie Dog Bubble

Prairie Dog Bubble
Originally uploaded by mawkinberd
So, I have really awesome news. I already put something on my sidebar about it, but I wanted to say it, too... Jacquie asked me to be on her CT. Yay! I am absolutely honored to be a part of her team. Not only is she a wonderful artist with words, she also chooses great themes, is generous with her art, and is an all-around wonderful person. How could I say no to being a part of that? Unless, of course, I was crowded to the gills with stuff, which I am, sometimes, but she's absolutely worth the extra effort. Cool.

My LO (which I finished yesterday) actually uses some of her word art for the Scrap Mix challenge at MLAS, now hosted by TJ. Very fun! I've never done a LO quite like this before, so I was pleased with the chance to do something very different. Besides that, I scrapped a picture of myself! I don't do that very often. Guess I need to get in the habit; I'm almost done with Joe's first year album, so my next big project is my wedding album. Yikes! Pictures of me everywhere! lol Suppose I can manage. ;)

In other news, Joe got a bite over the weekend on his knee that started looking alarmingly red and scaly yesterday, so we went to urgent care to get it looked at. Now, I hate the emergency room. They always take too long. I thought urgent care would be better. It was in timing, but apparently people there aren't used to the rambunctiousness of toddlers. He was actually being relatively quiet, pushing a chair around the lobby right next to me, not screaming or crying, when I was told that pushing the chair was far too loud and not permitted. The receptionist thought turning on a cartoon would help things. (shakes head) After pulling him out of the water waste tray on the water cooler for the umpteenth time, I had to get the stroller. Now you could hear some noise. It was somehow more acceptable to have a baby screaming bloody murder because he's bored and cooped up than it was to have him happily pushing a chair around the lobby within a ten foot square area, well away from other patients. Search me, I don't understand it.

After all that stress, it was a relief to find out that he had a mosquito bite that was just a bit worse than usual. At least, that's what the doctor hoped. He had a good antihistamine and some rest last night, so I'm hoping he'll be significantly better when I see him tonight after work. (crossed fingers)

Hope everyone has a lovely Tuesday! :)

Monday, March 08, 2010

RAK for Neissa

So, the last challenge I participated in for the MLAS Birthday challenges was the RAK exchange! :)  My original partner apparently had RL intervene in her plans, so the head of the challenge, Neissa, offered to exchange with me. Isn't her son cute? It's actually the coolest story. His kindergarten teacher had them dress as though they were 100 years old on their 100th day of school. I know my kindergarten teacher was cool, but that's just really an awesome idea! :)  He looks so cute in his little overalls, doesn't he?

I was amazed I was able to have time to do much of anything this weekend, really. With my father-in-law's wedding on Saturday, our weekend was filled with family obligations. Joe and I got to see lots of people and play a lot. Cathy's little Joe had a lot of fun helping out my little Joe, even up to helping him on the couch, stopping him from falling backward, and keeping him from heading out the door. It was really cute watching the 3 year old guard the 15 month old. :) After they left, Josh spent lots of time following in Joe's footsteps. I was almost superfluous! Just kidding; it was nice to know that my little guy was safe in all the hubbub. I was probably more comfortable at this family gathering than I have been in a while. Just watch out, family reunion.... here we come! :D

I did offer to make a scrapbook of my father-in-law's wedding. Not to him, of course, but to his new wife, Judy. She seemed really excited. I am now the depository of most of the family's wedding shots, or, at least, the Creekmore family's shots. After looking at them, I'm sure they'll be enough. There are several hundred, after all. lol  I'll be posting those on Facebook as soon as I start getting them organized.

Wow, lots to do! :) Hope everyone has a great Monday!

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Ready, set, walk!

Ready, set, walk!
Originally uploaded by mawkinberd
One step closer... Every picture I had of Joe when he was eleven months old was of him learning how to walk. Some were better subjects than others; he got some pretty impressive war wounds this month. He didn't seem to mind, though. :) I did this LO for the font challenge at MLAS, and it has elements from the Naughty Little Monster kit by Isabella La Roux and the alpha from Boys Club by Scrappy Kat. It was super fun to do!

Joe is still a little pitiful this evening, but he's doing better. Slowly and surely! I'm just soooo glad he doesn't have that awful fever anymore. On the negative side, though, the dog smells like she rolled in something dead. I am *not* looking forward to that bath. Wish it were warm enough to wash her outside! lol

Park Buddy

Park Buddy
Originally uploaded by mawkinberd
I'm getting so close! For a while, it seemed like I would *never* finish Joe's first year album. Now, I've finished 9 and 10 months old with one page each, and 11 months old looks to be the same deal. After that, I have the 1st birthday, the party, and the wrap-up. I see the light! Now, I get to work on making the video out of the pages, picking out music, burning to dvd... lol. Perhaps I was a bit too ambitious with this project. Then again, you only get to live your first year once! Besides, Joe deserves it. :)

I also have to go back and fix some pages. I started this album when I first started doing digiscrapping, so there are some pages that are so different in quality from the other pages as to make them look like they don't belong. Yeah, my pride is talking here. lol Luckily, it's really only about ten pages, and I only really have to do some embellishment work on most of them. I can handle that.

Joe is doing better today, but he has definitely wanted to be snuggly. I *love* being snuggly with Joe, but I worry when he wants to be with Mommy so much that no one else will do. I have a hard time letting go of him, so I have to watch myself to attempt to keep from holding on too hard. I always make a point to honor when he wants to be let go unless there is a compelling reason not to, like his safety. But it sure is hard to let him go when he's sick. Mommy needs to calm down and let it be. But Mommy doesn't necessarily want to. :D

I think that almost everyone that reads my blog right now is involved, but for anyone who isn't and enjoys digiscrapping, I highly recommend attending the celebrations at MLAS. The birthday stuff right now is really awesome, and everyone is very good to each other. Having taken part in various online groups on different occasions, I can only think of one other time where I was so impressed with the atmosphere of caring, compassion, and friendship that is being fostered there by its owners, designers, and active participants. (Can you tell I love MLAS? LOL!) So come visit!

Ok, gotta get back to it. Hope everyone has a wonderful afternoon!

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

fresh washed angel

fresh washed angel
Originally uploaded by mawkinberd
Joe and I were invited to go with Uncle Jeremy to the zoo on Sunday. We couldn't take a dirty baby Joe for his first visit to the zoo, so we had a nice, fun bath, complete with squirting boat and floating sponge letters. He was in such a good mood afterward, he decided to cheese for the camera. Of course I had to take a few pictures. Then, Aunt Jo said he looked like a fresh washed angel. I couldn't resist scrapping that!

Joe is feeling better now. He hasn't had a fever since yesterday afternoon, and he got to go see Granny and his friends at daycare. He must have had a lot of fun, cuz now he's very, very sleepy. :) I know he looks angelic all the time, but he looks especially sweet when he's asleep.

I haven't had a red letter day; I managed to twist my ankle when I was leaving work today. It feels a little better now, so hopefully it'll be ok tomorrow. We'll see.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

A Busy Month

A Busy Month
Originally uploaded by mawkinberd
Yesterday was a very busy day. Joe was having a terrible time with his fever. It ran over 103 every time his medicine went out of time. I felt so sorry for him! Luckily, his new medicine is helping him somewhat. He's been playing a lot today, even with a low grade fever. I'm proud of him. He's really acting like a big boy throughout the entire thing. Even when he felt his worst, he was still a very good boy.

I really didn't have a lot of time to scrap yesterday or today, but when he started his nap, I was able to get one done. Wow, a whole month on one page?! Didn't know I had it in me! I got inspiration from a page by chrissyw, one of my favorite template makers. :) Poor Joe... he went through a lot that month!

Hopefully, he'll feel up to going back to Granny's tomorrow. I know he misses going, and I know she misses him. The kids there really didn't like him not to be there with them. Turning a trio into a duo makes a big difference. I'll keep everyone posted on how he's doing.