Sunday, June 28, 2015

Cocoa Daisy Bistro Kit Reveal

This was a really fabulous month at Cocoa Daisy.  I got the Main kit, Day in the Life kit, and Corner Cafe Add-on Paper.

Holiday Mini Book | Summer Lists  
The Holidays Mini Book is back!  I love this little project I started in January to document different celebrations and holidays throughout the year.  I have a tendency to start these little books and not always finish.   Getting to the half way mark is a big help.

I love having a transparent pocket on my pages.  I stapled the month cirlces directly on to the plastic for a fun overlapping color effect.

To celebrate the start of summer I added a summer bucket list and reading list.  No photos, just fun ideas to record.

Originally shared on IG, I made this gif to show  how I embellished the library books DITL card. I love to add an extra special card to a pocket page.  I think it keeps thing interesting while allowing the page to not get too cluttered.  


I love all the Crate Paper ephemera in the main kit.  Just perfect for creating a loose grid design.  I love that big yellow tag, it adds so much color to the page.  I used a combination of pop dots and stitching to add depth and texture to the page.  Those wooden buttons from the BYOAO section are really thick and lovely feeling.

Hello Pooh Bear

Lakshman was just the cutest when meeting the characters at Disney World.  I layered the cloud vellum from the Shimelle line, over the dark blue paper to tone down the femininity a bit.

Honeyduke's Sweet Shop

This was such a fun layout to work.  I was going through my photos from the World of Harry Potter trip and found so many delicious little moments.  I printed out a bunch of them and scattered them around the page.  I added journaling with some hand drawn doodling here and there.  Love the how eclectic feel of the page captured the mood I was trying to convey.  It's always fun to try new techniques to add a little variety to my albums.

Thanks for looking!  Check out all of the kits and add-ons over at Cocoa Daisy here. Hope you enjoy this month's Cocoa Daisy kit as much as I did too ;)

You can see my other Cocoa Daisy Projects here.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Around Here | June 2015

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Slowly getting out of the Disney fog.  Nandini asks when we are going back almost daily, with the one notable exception of water day at camp.
"We can go to Di-ney World the next day after water day, ok Mommy?"

Already scrapping about it of course, but not getting enough time as I want to get all these memories down.  It is so much easier when they are fresh!

Going to the movies. I may have cried for over half of it, but it was so good.  Nandini asked for her "movie dress", like dressing up in character is now a given everywhere we go.  I dressed her up like Mindy Kaling's character "disgust" of course.  Avinash was anger in red.

Lakshman was sporting the bow tie like Fear.  People just assumed we wanted to dress up him in formal attire all day. Which makes sense because he's a very formal baby.

Feeling a little better about him.  I can't thank everyone enough for all their kind words here and on facebook after my last post.  Your support means so much!!

Attempting to get out of my yoga pants and T-shirts rut with a ten pieces in ten days type challenge.  Will post about that soon. It's been kind of a success I think.

Going swimming about once a week.  There are so many great pools around Austin.  I love this one because of the huge kiddie pool.  It's great for all of my kids, even the little guy.

Loving Tea's India collection.  I have been stalking it for months and was so excited to see it go on sale finally.  I may have gone a little crazy after that. Check out the sale here: Tea Collection's Summer Sale, 50% off 

Reading all the books.  When we are not at home reading and re-reading The Little Red Caboose, we are out at Book People finding new favorites.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Dear Facebook, I'm feeling a little insecure | Feeding Disorders Are Hard

After gaining two pounds at Disney World, Lakshman has, in protest I think, decided to lose it all back again.  Every day this week his weight has dropped below 17 pounds.  He usually gains back half a pound or so during the day, but the weight can't seem to accumulate.  To say we are feeling stressed about this would be an understatement.

His intake hasn't really changed, so we are a bit stuck.  Objectively he is really really small and not even close to getting back on the growth curve one hospital stay, several feeding tube trials, three different pediatricians, four GI specialists, and two therapists later.

Having this stuff stress us out does nothing to help the situation of course.  We both get nervous about every feeding.  Missed ounces feel like a tragedy.  I become very sensitive to remarks from random strangers.  Probably unnecessarily so.  But why does every part of parenting have to turn into a competition.  The stupid growth chart, with it's grade like percentage points, really isn't helping.

I know, I know, the percentiles are nothing like grades.  Getting a 99 isn't analogous to an A+ or something.  I still can't help feeling a bit jealous though.

The way the facebook comments erupt into a shouting match below an article posted about breastfeeding.  Bottle feeding parents feel slighted and want to let everyone know.  (All of my kids have done both for the record.)  In reality, I think, the articles are often referencing pretty dry study findings.  The judgement and guilt we read into those findings are our own.  '

I spew all my random frustrations about comments on Lakshman's size on facebook too.  It's my favorite place to vent.  I mean, if I never felt insecure I would probably never be on facebook at all. 

Of course I think that other parents should feel proud of their kids and how big they are.  I feel the same way about my one child who actually does willingly eat his food and seems to be growing.

Of course people may comment on his size or ask his age.  It's just small talk.  I pretty much have nothing to say to other kids other than comments about their appearance.  "Hey [kid]!  I like that shirt/pants/dress/shoes."  I don't know.  What do less awkward people talk to other kids about?  Seriously, I have no clue.

I know all this, but the insecurities still find me.  I feel like he is being judged as lacking.  I'm sure he probably isn't. But his weight is all I can think about anymore.  It's hard feeling like I am failing him so badly that random strangers can't help but point it out to me.

With the weight of all this stress on me I was starting to feel underwater.  The facebook comments and support from friends were nice but I needed a big win today.  Or several small ones even.

In the spirit of memory keeping, this is what I need to remember right now.

  • We had therapy this morning.  He eat one shred of cheese total.  But his face.  His face when he was blowing bubbles with the therapist. It was too cute for words.  He pursed his lips and tried to help but didn't actually know that he needed to blow air out.  The therapist and I both died of cuteness for a minute there.
  • Despite the call for a tropical storm in Texas, we actually had a delightfully sunny morning.  Lakshman played on the water table while I sat on the garden steps reading a book!  A book.  A really real book.  Not The Little Red Caboose, not Guess Who Elmo.  Not even Barbie the Bunny. But a real adult fiction book.  This last almost fifteen minutes and it felt awesome. 
  • I took the kids to get pie before taking them to a promised bouncy house visit.  This took almost an hour (one less hour trying to keep Lakshman from jumping into the ball pit that you know is fullllll of old bandaids, ew).  They also completely filled up and forgot to ask me for snacks every ten minutes at said bounce house.  Because they never want the snacks I bring.  They only thing they will eat is the $5 bag of microwave popcorn.  Or pie apparently. 
  • Eating apple pie gave me so much energy I actually ran around the bounce house with them instead of sitting catatonically in a chair like I usually want to do.  
  • At home, Avinash told me to come upstairs because he had a little surprise for me.  I sort of panicked on my way there expecting to see a dried up lizard carcass or something.  Instead he had written out "I love you" with his locker magnets.  The amazing part is that his room was clean too.  I know. Will wonders never cease.  He asked me to watch TV exactly zero times today.  Not exactly normal behavior. 

  • My random decision to make quinoa for dinner tonight actually paid off.  I haven't thought about eating it in at least a year.  Not only did Ryan not complain, he enthusiastically ate it.  Then Lakshman watched Nandini take a spoonful in her mouth and decided he wanted some too.  On a spoon.  Fed by us.  I started getting heart palpitations from joy and the fear that this wouldn't last. It didn't. He only had one or two bites, but he let me hand feed after that.  When he wasn't wildly craning his head in the other direction, he even smiled and seemed to be enjoying the taste.  The kid who wouldn't try pie today.  Not apple, not blueberry, not sweet and salty caramel chocolate.  That kid was enjoying quinoa. I know it wasn't many calories, but I was still thrilled.  For our very stubborn and won't take food from anybody this was huge.  I know that breakthrough is coming.
Maybe try to put some of that cereal in your mouth instead of all over the floor?  That would be great, thanks. 

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Let's Go! | June Cocoa Daisy Projects

The June Cocoa Daisy Kit is here!  It was such a pleasure to work with.  I had plenty of rainy days at home this month to play with paper.  Luckily our house has escaped the flooding here. 
This kit has so many fun bold colors.  I love them paired with the silvery and grey alphas available in the kit.  It matches the nautical and travel theme really well.  Such a fun kit. 

Leap | I love this picture of Avinash.  I always have to sit outside during watch day at Ballet because of my other two little (and loud ones).  I couldn't be happier with the angle of pictures I was able to get.  I tried to emphasize the vertical on this page.
I love the silver thickers in this kit and made a focal point out of the title.
Luckily, this kit is also great for "boy" pages and I layered a lot of blues and neutrals around the picture.  The lime green is a nice pop of contrast while staying in the same color family.

Around Here | This patterned paper with different shipping tags caught my eye, of course.  I am obsessed with shipping tags and have gone through two 1,000 tag bulk boxes in the last two years alone.  So weird, I know.
This paper reminded me of a patchwork so I tried to sort of fit my photos into the pattern.  I like balancing the busy paper with a wide strip of white.  That flair badge was my favorite.  I could use about ten more.

Project Life | It has been a while since I worked on my PL album.  I seem to start a lot of spreads and never finish them.  It has really been bugging me though, so I decided to get back into the swing of things!  This month's DITL kit has so many fun cards, it turned out the spread was a lot easier to put together than I thought.  I even did my journaling.  Yay me.

The kits are on sale now.  The Build Your Own Add-ons options are great this month.  I love how flexible it makes shopping for kits.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Saturdays Are the Greatest

Saturdays are for ...

Sleeping in.  Until 8:45 after being woken up every fifteen minutes since 6am.

Taking Avinash to soccer.  During the only hour of sunlight we've had all week.  The temptation to skip and pretend it was cancelled would probably have been a lot higher knowing what I know now about the sky opening up right after and the flash flood and tornado watch all evening.

Chasing after the baby on the sidelines.  Because he just decided he is walking everywhere now.  Trying to get him to steer clear from all the fire ant hills and poison ivy around the field.  At least the field is well maintained.

Shopping at Target. To pick goldfish crackers since the fridge is down and we need to feed the kids something other than dry cereal and leftover peanut butter cake this weekend.

Going out for doughnuts and Mexican food.  When we realize plan A is a serious failure.  And, life without cheese is basically no life.

Cleaning out our closet.  The cumulative effect of all the decluttering and capsule wardrobes being discussed on the internet has infected my brain like a wifi-borne zombie plague.  I rearrange everything, fill up a huge bag for thred up and still have nothing to wear.  Great.

Building Nandini's Little Mermaid Lego set.  Because she wants to bring it to Disney World when we go in June and that's never gonna happen.  She and I talk about putting the lego lipstick on Ariel while Avinash does most of the building with Ryan.   She's the stereotypical lego friends consumer so reviled by feminists everywhere- verbal and into role playing little characters over construction.

Knowing I get to wake up and do (large parts of it) all over again tomorrow.  Is it September yet? Just kidding. Sort of. Not really.

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Sunday, May 17, 2015

Oh the Places You'll Go | Kindergarten Graduation

Avinash had a great milestone this past week.

He will always be my baby but it is so fun to watch him grow.  He loves school.  He is getting to be a pretty good reader and writer, he is obsessed with animals and did his research project on raptors (hawks, owls, etc).  Don't call them birds please, they are dinosaurs!

We couldn't be prouder of him finishing kindergarten.  A lot of schools around here have a yearly tradition of a kindergarten graduation but Avinash's school is kind of progressive and they tend to shy away from that sort of conventional fan fare.

Lucky for us one of the other moms in the class wasn't afraid to ask and went to the administration and all the parents for approval to hold a scaled back graduation ceremony.  Caps and gowns were forbidden.  Even though I never would have thought of it myself or have had a single clue about getting it all organized, I was totally on board and signed up to help.

We made yearbooks and diplomas together.  I just googled diploma images from UT and we made our version on photoshop.  We got gold foil rimmed paper to print them out on and gold seals from the university shop.  One of the benefits of having our kids at the on campus preschool.

We asked their teacher to write a letter to go in the yearbook and she used a Dr. Seuss theme.  I loved it so much and decided to run with it for the rest of my crafting.

I put all of the diplomas in document covers and they were looking really professional and awesome but not at all childish and fun.  So I pulled out the silhouette and made little cards with their names and different patterned papers to add some color and whimsy to the project.  I found a great Dr. Suess font for free on dafont. I cut out the phrase "Oh the Places You'll Go!" and personalized it for each child.
I tied each card to the the document cover with twine.  We decided that the parents would get the diplomas directly since the kids might be prone to crumpling or otherwise messing with them.

For the actual graduation part we did tie up little scrolls with some red ribbon so the teacher and principal could have something to hand to the kids.

Of course I couldn't resist an opportunity to decorate and brought a few things along with me.  I turned to trusty pinterest for some inspiration.    

I really loved this quote.  I decided to make some chalkboard art with it, just to up the Seuss factor.  

I was so lucky to have my mother in law around that day to watch the baby while I worked on this stuff. 

For the auditorium, I pulled a big book of Maps and a globe from our house to use as well.  That with the basket of red ribbon wrapped diplomas was all it really needed.  Instead of Seuss-themed pom poms, I just hung up a pre made chalkboard banner from Target.  The red and white twine was perfect. 

We had to have food too of course.  People brought cookies and cupcakes and these really good rice krispie treats with pink icing.    

   I have the most talented friends.  I am obsessed with this photo she took of Avinash.  She took photos of all the kids.  We also had a little slideshow of the kids over the years.  I don't know how I didn't start crying right then.  

   The thing that made me tear up the most though was his teacher's speech.  Her last bit of advice really hit me "Behave, as if this is the day [you] will be remembered."   He has learned so much about being a good listener (at school at least), sitting still during circle time and playing well with his friends in class.  
   Of course as soon the formalities ended he and his friends spent the rest of the time grinding cupcake icing into the carpet and running up and down the stairs.  It's their last day of school, and I think they felt like they needed to let loose.  At least he helps me keep things in perspective, after all they are only six. Ha!

I love the sneakers with the suit vest.  Kindgarten fashion at it's finest.   I don't know why I didn't put a tie on him.

The children all did a little questionnaire about school.  The answers to that were read out as they walked to the front of the room to accept their "diplomas".

Here are Avinash's answers:

My favorite memory of lab school is: playing hide and seek outside.

I learned about: a boy that saved all of the eagles and they were endangered.

What I will miss most about school is: learning. There is so much learning you can learn in every classroom.

First grade, here we come! Avinash is excited about his new school having a chess club, a library and getting graded next year.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Day in the Life | May 12, 2015

7 am // The baby is up and thus so am I.  Ryan feeds him his yogurt and I try to catch up on sleep for a few more minutes.  Nandini crawled into bed with me in the middle of the night and she kicks.  It doesn't last long though and pretty soon I am up getting ready.

8 am // Lakshman was playing in the living room but he wanders back into my room and is asking to be picked up.  We snuggle and he falls back asleep.

9 am // Nandini is hungry and I make both us some cereal.   Ryan heads out to work pretty early.  Avinash wants to make a dinosaur book with me but he only does two pages before he wants to look at another book.  It is the second day of summer break and I am not interested in pressing the issue.

10 am // The kids are playing upstairs and reading books.  I start putting together a scrapbook page taking advantage of this rare long morning nap. It's been a while since I scrapped anything and it feels really good to be doing this again.

12 pm // Ryan calls to see if we want to meet him for lunch.  Lakshman wakes up and sits down to eat some cheerios with his uncle and the kids. He has another yogurt which is great because it means we are on track for three in one day. I'm so grateful for his affinity to Anuj.  I think he is really tired of us pushing food on him anyway.

1 pm // We head downtown in through the rain to Counter Cafe.  It's totally crowded like always but we get one table and some seats at the counter and all manage to fit.

2 pm // I drop everyone off at home.  Stop by the post office box to put in a bunch of scrapbooking packages I sold the night before.

3 pm // I head to the doctors office for a checkup.  Nothing serious. It takes almost twenty minutes for them to figure out my insurance and less than five minutes for the doctor to actually talk to me.  I have to get blood drawn as well.

4 pm // Back home and I get a big kiss from Lakshman.  I head upstairs with him and the kids to play but he is ready to nap again and I lay down with him.  He falls asleep very quickly.  This kinda has the side effect of taking all my energy out.

5 pm // The kids are still playing upstairs.  Octonauts and spinner toys.  They are also cutting out shapes from construction paper.  Nandini is totally impressed by Avinash's knowledge and skills.

6 pm // I get some dinner started and put rice in the rice cooker and some lentils on the stove. We all head out to take a walk because the rain has finally, almost stopped but a light trickle doesn't bother us.  Lakshman has a couple apple slices and I give him a few more to munch on in the stroller. Ryan gets home just as we head down the driveway and he joins us.

7 pm // We get home and the rice is fine but the lentils accidentally burned.  I make chickpeas instead with avocado cream on the side.  Ryan takes the  kids upstairs for baths.

8 pm // We finally eat. Lakshman throws all his food on the floor.  Nandini asks for a roti and makes a taco of her food.  Despite the last minute effort it is really delicious.

9 pm // Ryan takes two of the kids out for groceries.  Avinash and I stay home and watch 'our show' (Once Upon a Time).  It's pretty nice to hang out alone together. When Ryan gets back Lakshman jumps in my arms again.  He sees a big stuffed monkey Avi was holding and begins laughing, rolling around and asking for the 'ball' to hold.  He then grabs the monkeys face and gives it a big kiss.  Ryan puts him to sleep in his crib while I enlist everyone's help tidying up before bed.  Nandini puts away the blocks and Avinash very slowly cleans up legos. Then it's off to bed and one chapter of Lemony Snickets (again read by Ryan).  Phew. Why is bedtime always so busy?

All my photos today are iPhone and edited with VSCOcam app again.  I still love that app.  I didn't take anything much after the sun set.  My phone just doesn't do a good job in low light and neither does my camera really.  I am happy to have the words down.

It is always a fun exercise to stop and reflect on life in a one day chunk once in a while.    Looking back is even more fun.  (Here are my previous posts on Day in the Life.)  To see much Lucky has changed.  To see our new house really becoming a home.  To see how we still play a lot on the floor and still take evening walks.  Lakshman got his feeding tube officially out last week and just started feeding therapy on Monday.  We are so pleased with his progress.

Day in the life is a fun little photo taking and scrapbooking exercise I have done for a few years now, playing along with Ali Edwards.  Not exactly sure how I'll scrap the photos this year.  I often do a mini book.  They are great to slip into a project life insert as well.

How was your day?



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