Thursday, December 30, 2010

Getting The Crafty Urge

I have been checking out craft inspired blogs for quite some time now...ok, since about November when I suggested to my mom that we do some crafts and put a table in at the 2011 Keene Pumpkin Festival.  So, I started out looking for Fall/Halloween crafts, which then merged into Christmas crafts and other fun stuff.

Here is my custom made Christmas Card holder

I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED, this when completed.  And so simple.  I went to the local Re-Use store and picked up this frame for $2.00  I liked the rustic, peeled paint look (plus, I was so eager to do this, I didn't want to take the time to sand and paint...I'm lazy like that, just ask my mom)  Then, I went to Michael's, picked up some garland and holiday craft picks.  I stapled fishing line on the back of the frame, 3 rows per section.  Then, I stapled and hammered the garland on, inserted craft picks, dug out some old bells and added ribbon.  The skate was my favorite addition.  Mom gave it to me last Christmas and I wasn't sure where to put it, but this is perfect.  I just added some mechanic's wire (my husband's profession does come in handy for more than just fixing cars on the cheap) and VOILA!!!  In total, it took me less than an hour to complete and then I just had to wait for the cards to start pouring in.

For the new year, I have a number of crafting ideas on my mind, but I will wait to post info when I get started!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A Twinkle In His Eye

I love my kids and Hayden is going to make Christmas a blast this year, because this is the first year that he really "gets it".  He has been talking about Santa and actually, the threat of calling Santa and letting him know that Hayden is not being a good listener works wonders.

Last Sunday, we wrote our letter to Santa, which consisted of cutting out pictures of toys and more glue than one letter could ever need!  But he loved it.  So, earlier in the week, I stumbled across a website that lets you create a personalized message to your children from Santa, including details and photos you upload.  We e-mailed it to the house and let Hayden watch it.  You should have seen the "wowed" expression on his face every time Santa said his name or he saw the pictures from things we did this year.  It was so cute!

(this is the link to his video)

He was also excited about the first big snowfall yesterday. It took me a while to convince him to go outside and play in the snow.  But while he was out there, he made his very own snowman, with no help from mom or dad.  He came to the door..."Mom, I need a carrot"  Well, the problem is, we are a non-veggie eating family and carrots are not a staple in our fridge, unless I plan on making cake out of them.  We settled on an orange Popsicle stick, because the craft bin is well stocked!  Then he needed eyes and mouth, again to the craft bucket....pom poms and a pipe cleaner. 

I know as I get out the decorations this weekend, that smile will grow larger and I will remember the true meaning the holidays!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Getting Itchy To Decorate

Every year about this time, I start to get all itchy to start decorating for Christmas.  I have been like this for as long as I can remember.   My mom would always make me wait until the first weekend in December. 

And there were rules to follow before you could even think about getting the boxes out.


It was the worst rule and it is still in place to this day.  I should know, I offered to put up her tree last Sunday, but had to vacuum and mop the floors before I could.  However, I must admit, I stick to that rule before I decorate in my house. 

I can't wait to get the decorations out, but I am making myself wait until the first full weekend in December.  The main reason is because Abby's birthday is November 30 and I don't want her birthday to be overshadowed by Christmas.  Now, it's not like she would notice this year, but it's our new tradition and new habits are hard to establish.

Now that I have children, decorating brings a whole new level to the's the magic on the kids faces when the house is dark and just the decorations are lit up.  I remember that excitement so clearly.  I wanted the lights on the tree plugged in for every moment of darkness.

I have quite a few decorations, but my favorite ones are the ones my mom has painted for me.  They are unique and fun looking.  They make me smile each time.

So, as the days creep closer, the excitement is starting to build....and hey, perhaps I will even take some photos and post them to show you how great the decorations are.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Holiday Season Is Fast Approaching

I love Christmas and all the fond memories that come with it.  I am going to spend time on my next few blogs talking about this, so bare with me.

As a kid at Christmas, I loved everything that went with it.  At that time, I'm sure it was getting presents that I loved, but now that I am older, that part doesn't matter.  It's the time and memories with family I recall.

For my first 12 years, every Christmas, with the exception of 1, was spent in Peterborough at my Gramma and Grampa's.  I could hardly sleep each Christmas eve with the excitment of Santa arriving.  My aunt and I would huddle by the radio to hear where Santa was and when he got close to our area, we would run to bed. 

One of my favorite memories is from when I was probably about 4.  I got up, feeling like I had been in bed for HOURS, and snuck out to the living room.  Well, what do you know...Santa had been! and Gramma were sitting at the kitchen table, talking and smoking.  They were shocked to see me!

"Hey, Santa's already been here and you guys didn't see him?!?!  You were sitting in the kitchen and didn't see him?!?!"

They were positive that they didn't, which I just couldn't believe, mostly because the kitchen table was right in front of the archway for the living room and my presents were in the chair directly across from it.  But who am I to question the magic of Santa.  I didn't go back to bed after that.  What a long night.

But I remember the excitement...the shaking, teeth chattering cold that came with the excitement, and honestly, I still felt like that as a teenager and now that I have my own children, I get the same sensation with the idea of Santa visiting them and watching their enjoyment.

I am such a sucker for the old days and wish nothing ever had to change.  I miss the entire family getting together with the feeling of love and Christmas.  Well, now the family is getting bigger and bigger, people have jobs that require them to work over the holidays.  And it's harder to get together. 

We hosted Christmas in our new house last year, and we decided to have our gathering about a week before Christmas, on the 19th, to accomodate people who had to work or had plans on Boxing Day.  For me, it was about the family getting together to celebrate.  But as with any large family, the idea of family was lost on a couple people.  It was disappointing to hear it and the slight complaints, but I didn't let it damper the day.  For  me, I knew what was the most important.   I know the dynamics of Christmas has changed since my Gramma's passing in 2003 and I do worry that come the day my Grammpa passes, it will stop altogether.  I will do my best to not let that happen, but sometimes, when the glue fails.....

Here is to tradition and family!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Towel Room

My husband reminded me last night of this funny conversation.

Let me start off by saying, anyone who knows me well, knows all the great stories about my in-laws.  For anyone who doesn't, let me give you a mental image....the Beverly Hillbilies BEFORE they hit oil...only difference, the Clampets only had 1 dog, not 30!  So it goes without saying, my husband's upbringing was not very family oriented or "classy" for lack of a better word.

We moved into our new home last year.  Compared to our previous abode, it's a mansion.  All the basic things most homes have, including storage space in the form of a linen closest.  We moved during the end of my pregnancy and the bulk of packing and unpacking rested on Brian's shoulders.  I remember trying to find something he had unpacked and he told me is was in the towel room! 
"Yeah, in the hall" 
"Oh, you mean the linen closet?"
"Is that what it is called?"
"Yup, it's called linen closet, not a towel room"

Officially, it's a linen closet, but in our house, it's the Towel Room!

Gotta love my husband and the smiles and laughs he gives me

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Purge

I love my children and if money and space would allow it...I would have dozens.   Much to my husbands' chagrin.  BUT..I am getting tired of the "stuff" around the house.  Both closets in the kids rooms are full of diaper boxes of clothes, downstairs has toys, highchairs, bouncers, etc. 
I am having a real hard time with the notion of getting rid of it....the pack rat in me says "what if I need it?"  I am going to work on slowly getting rid of things, just one item at a time.  I just posted the change table of Kijiji for free and have a couple people interested. 
So, the purge is starting slowly....make room for more stuff!!

Who wouldn't love these cute kids!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

For The Love Of Cross Stitch

Cross stitch is one of my hobbies.  I think the reason I love it so much is because of the memory of who taught me.  My late Aunt Phil taught me when I was about 13 or so.  She came home from a trip to the States with a couple little kits and lots of floss.
Since then, I have been doing it off and on.  I did a few items as gifts with lots of love.  As I got older, I realized that people appreciated the hard work, but it wasn't something that got displayed for a long time.  It felt a bit defeating that my hard work got put into a closet, etc.  Just let me stress again, I'm not saying it wasn't wanted, but it outgrew it's purpose.  I am the same way, I don't actually have any of my work displayed.  I have a drawer full and will likely never do anything with it.
About 5 years ago, I discovered a website that makes quilts for terminally/critically ill children using cross stitch squares.  This was the perfect plan for me.  I could stitch all I wanted, and then send the pieces off to help brighten a child's day.

I had to quit stitching when I was pregnant with my son in 2006.  A side effect to pregnancy can be Carpel Tunnel Syndrome and I of course had it.  I could barely hold the phone to talk without my hands going numb.  I honsetly put away all I was working on and haven't even looked at it until this year.  I needed something to do at night and had all the supplies around.   I started stitching again for Love Quilts.   I am just doing random squares I like and will send them in and they can use them on any quilt they need to.  It's fun and I am loving it.  I forgot how addicting it can be.

This is the first of many squares I hope to complete
My girlfriend Bonnie is quite the avid stitcher and even gets together with a bunch of women to stitch the day away.  I have looked at their work and think mine look so small and "childish", but then I remember, it doesn't matter, I love what I am doing. 

Monday, November 8, 2010

It Feels Like Home To Me

I had a few hours to myself with just Abby at home yesterday.  I was tidying up and organizing a few things in the kitchen, when all of the sudden, my house felt like home!
We moved into our house a year ago in August.  At that time, I was very pregnant and tired and the thought of unpacking was depressing.  I must say, I haven't done anything to the house.  Pictures were hung on nails that already existed and aside from the kids rooms, no painting or personal touches.  I was organizing my recipe books on the bakers rack and putting out a couple knick knacks that have been shoved in a cupboard when an overwhelming feeling of home hit.  Now I just want to get out the paint and make it mine.  But that will have to wait until after Christmas.  :-)  I know what colours I want and they are going to be bold and bright!  Just have to find a sitter for the kids for a day or so.

Friday, November 5, 2010

I Want To Go To Heaven

Just by the name of this post, you could think many things.  Is she planning on giving up her evil ways!  Not a chance, they provide too much entertainment in my everyday life. 
Nope, this is what my son said to me last night.  Hayden's experience with death is fairly limited, as is rightfully should be at the tender age of 4.  However, within the last year, we have lost 2 pets and countless fish.  Last year we put down our dog Banchee and then about 2 months ago, our rabbit Max died.  This one affected him the most.  I think it's because it was the first "dead animal", the dog just wasn't there one day.  But Max, he gave her a kiss goodbye and helped to bury her in the yard.
He was downstairs with dad and he said " I miss Max, where is she?"  Brian told him that we miss Max too and she is in Heaven.  " With Banchee and Holly (gramma's cat)?"  " Where is Heaven?"  Way up in the sky, daddy told him.  He came upstairs and I had him sit with me on the couch.  We talked about what he had just said, and his final words to me before he hopped off the couch and ran off to continue pretending to be Woody from Toy Story was,  " I want to go to Heaven!"  I said to him, " You will, but not just yet, we all have to wait for our turn to go there and it's not your turn yet"
Inside, my parental panic set in.  He can't go to Heaven until I am there to meet him. Just the thought of it breaks my heart.  But I wish I could have the same perspective on life as a 4 year old some days, the world is not scary, everyone loves you and mom's kiss makes it all better.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

My Secret Addiction To The Baby Monitor

The baby monitor....a wonderful invention really.  I remember clearly and with a slight chuckle, when we picked one up before our son was born.  Brian was so excited to get them set up and test them out.  We put the base in the nursery and one receiver went in our bedroom upstairs.  Brian is upstairs and I hear...."Amy, can you hear me?  Testing 1, 2, 3!"  I can clearly hear him...but not through the monitor.  "Hun, the monitor doesn't work that way, you need to talk into the base!"
I also clearly remember when our son was first brought home, we slept upstairs and his bedroom was downstairs.  Overprotective and panicky like most new parents..."can you hear him breathing?"  I also remember hearing the first fart while he was sleeping, and it made us roar with laughter.
The baby monitor became a constant routine each night at bed...turn it on and make sure he's fine.  Our first night away from Hayden....boy, did we miss the sound of his breathing over the was really quiet.
I used it for Hayden until Abby came along.  Now it's her turn for it.  Again, I turn it on every night, but I'm not quite so panicky about hearing her breath.  I'm starting to loath the monitor.  Abby is NOT a sleeper and has me up at least once a night.  I'm sure if I didn't have the monitor, her little whimper cry would not wake me up.  I try and turn it off, but then I lay there thinking I hear her, switching the monitor on and off for an hour, just to check on her.  Tonight, I am going to try and not turn that darn monitor on at all.  Let's hope my addiction doesn't get the better of me :-)

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Meyham Called Halloween

It's now November 1st, and Hayden is going to hopped up on candy for days.  This was the first year that he really "got it" regarding Halloween. 
We had been trying to figure out what he was going to be for a bit and for the longest time he wanted to be a monster truck.  My creative juices starting flowing as I mentally tried to figure out what he would wear.  I figured he would be a monster truck driver and he was ok with that.  Then Gramma, the life saver she is, bought him a Thomas the Train costume.  It was a big hit and he wore it for days.
It was cold last night, but the costume allowed for easy wear of a snow suit underneath.  They did about 20 homes or so and he told dad he had had enough.  They got home around 8:30 and he was SO tired. He asked me to tuck him in bed RIGHT NOW!
I remember the thrill of Halloween.  Dumping out the candy, putting it in piles, seeing just what loot you got.  I hope my kids get the same thrills.
But I must say, I do have a couple Halloween pet peeves, but my biggest one last night was a couple that have a baby not much older than Abby.  They were collecting candy for her, and dad was even going to the door while the baby was in the stroller.  Come on, don't try and tell me you let your 1 year old eat candy!  Get off your wallet and buy your own.   Some people.
Well, now that Halloween is over for another year, it's time to start thinking about Christmas....hmmm...have I been naughty or nice this year ;-)

Friday, October 29, 2010

First Day of Bloggin

Well, my girlfriend Bonnie has a page and it inspired me to try one out.  I make no promises to keep it updated, but I thought it might be a fun way to chronicle things in my everyday life.

A bit about me....My name is Amy and I am a wife and mother of 2 adorable children.  I was born in Bramption, Ontario but spent countless time near Peterborough at my Grandparents house.  At the age of 12, we moved to the villiage of Keene.  Aside from a few years away from home, I have been there every since and have chosen to raise my own family there.

I met my husband through an online dating site in 2003 and I can tell you the exact moment I fell in love with him.  My grandmother was in the hospital, and the end of her life was very near.  I was very upset and had just spent countless hours at the hospital.  Brian lived in Port Perry at the time.  After work, he drove to Keene, delivered a dozen roses and went back home.  He had me hook, line and sinker!  If someone would drive that way just to bring me flowers, how could I go wrong?

We were married in 2005 and welcomed our son, Hayden Stanley Bickmore, on December 19, 2006.  Our daughter, Abigail (Abby) Marjorie Lynne Bickmore was born November 30, 2009.  We live in a beautiful home in Keene, with 2 cats and one very drooly Saint Bernard.  My parents still live in Keene and we are lucky to have them close by and involved with the kids.  I count myself blessed everyday for the love of family, because I have come to the end, family is all you have!