Monday, February 28, 2011

Ramen Noodle Parfait

He loves wearing his dad's hats, especially when you can see through them, because what fun is a hat if you can't wear it on your face?
This makes my stomach turn...blegh! I made him Ramen Noodles for lunch because two weeks ago it was the only thing he would eat and lately he will eat nothing but potato chips. This kid is going to give me ulcers! I stress so much about him not eating, about how to keep him alive since the little stubborn stinker refuses to eat anything I put in front of him. In this pic, he decided he didn't want his Ramen Noodles or his pears, so he dumped his Ramen Noodles into his pear cup and made a messy parfait. Upon completing this task, he announced: "All done!" and jumped down from the table. I love that boy! I know my life will never be boring with him around:)


It's been awhile friends and mainly because I've been stressing A LOT over something that I've wanted to keep private in the event that things didn't work out....but I'm at a point where I'm having trouble knowing what to do.

Let me start at the beginning. You remember forever ago when I entered that design contest for Shabby Apple? Well I didn't win, didn't even come close to it. My hopes weren't shattered however and I continued to work on my dress sketches for the next two months. One day as I was reading the fine print on Shabby Apple's website, I discovered a link for an Emerging Designers Program. I thought I'd discovered a way to still get my dress designs out there, so I submitted my designs for the approval of the Shabby Apple design team. I was on pins and needles for a week waiting for a reply. My whole take on the deal was at least I can say I tried and not regret not turning my designs in. About a week later I got a reply back from one of the owners of Shabby Apple and the news was more than good: they liked my designs and thought they would fit in perfectly with Shabby Apple. I was sooooo excited. I couldn't believe that they'd actually liked my designs, especially since they looked like kindergarten drawings compared to a real designer's sketches.

The next step for me was to find a pattern and sample maker, which I did and she's fabulous because so far she's been able to turn my sketches into real dresses. She also happens to be the production manager for Shabby Apple too, so I feel like I got the best of the best. I've learned so much about the clothing business from her so far and it's been great for me to have a mentor through this process.

So what's the problem you all ask? Well my biggest hang up is financing. I went in to this knowing that I'd be responsible for manufacturing costs of my dress line. It's part of the terms of the Emerging Designers Program. The part I didn't know was how much it was actually going to cost me and then I fell flat on my face. It is a substantial amount of money. I don't want to go to the bank for a loan because I know I would have a high interest rate and IF my dresses sold well with Shabby Apple, I would make little to no profit on account of having to repay the loan and the interest. The other problem is what IF my dresses didn't sell well because of the way the economy is going right now. It would be too much stress to try to pay back a loan with my husband's income because we just don't have that much extra left over, especially since the cost of living is sky rocketing through the roof.

My other plan was to go to family and see if I might be able to get funding there, patient money, but I think most everyone is holding on tight to what they have because the costs of living are going up and there is much turmoil in the world that is affecting all of our pocketbooks.

So my question is: where do I go from here? I will have six sample dresses completed by mid-March and if I can't work something out with Shabby Apple, I'm not sure what to do. I just don't want this to be a waste of time, effort, and money not only on my part, but on the part of the people at Shabby Apple too. The only reason I am posting this on the blog is because I thought that maybe some outside eyes would have a perspective that I've failed to see thus far. I am going to talk with the Shabby Apple people this week. I am hoping and praying with all my heart that if this is meant to be that a way will be opened to me.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Another Grease Incident

Taj: Obviously loving his Valentine's present from Grandma Nielson. He walked around making the lion kiss everything and then he requested that I kiss puppy-eyed lion too.
Newest best thing ever! He falls asleep on his own for naps now!
His latest trick, which he would have been willing to show off the rest of the night if I would have let him. Now that I think about it, I don't think he knew how to get the shirt back on the right way you can see in the pic below:)
p.s. I know you can see his ribs! I hate it too! The kid is the pickiest eater on the planet, but don't worry, I keep him pumped up on whole milk and chocolate flavored meal replacement powder. Thank goodness he loves it!

Anyone recall the Vaseline Incident of 2010, involving a one and a half year old...MY one and a half year old in particular??? Well, he's done it again! I hope he doesn't make this an annual ritual...I'm sure my bedspread won't survive another grease drenching! You want to know what kind of grease he dumped all over my bed this time? (Disclaimer: my dignity is on vacation...) Has anyone ever heard of a product called "Astro Glide"? If you don't know what it is, look it up. This particular event occurred on a nice, sunny afternoon this week. We were about two minutes from being out the door and on our way to the park to enjoy the rare appearance of the sun when the unthinkable happened. I heard the little stinker rummaging around in my room (which he does on a daily basis) as I was finishing the last of my lunch and thought I'd better investigate. The first thing I blurted out when I walked in my room and saw what had happened was, "Oh Taj, you just ruined my lunch!" To my horror, he had unscrewed the cap off a NEW bottle of Astro Glide and I witnessed the last two drops coming out on my sheets and his lap. Upon further investigation, I discovered a large pool of oil on the floor, on my comforter, on my sheets, and all over Taj's pants. When I asked him what he was doing, he replied by rubbing his greasy little hands together with a big grin on his face and then by rubbing the said grease through his hair. To make a long story short: I took quick action and mopped the grease off the floor, then I scrubbed the grease out of my comforter with a wet wash cloth as best I could, I then stripped the sheets from the bed and Taj's pants from his bottom and threw everything in the washer. I washed everything on hot! Guess what? Astro Glide actually comes out in the wash or at least it did for me and I can't see a grease stain anywhere on my comforter. So, he lucked out this time, or rather I lucked out this time. It just goes to show that you can't underestimate a toddler in any way! They will find ways to do thing you never thought possible!
p.s. We went to the park anyway and yes, Taj still had Astro Glide in his hair:)

Treadmill Child Safety Sensor

This post is actually a follow-up to the "Treadmill" post that was done last week. For those of you who have treadmills and have youngsters that try to hop on with you and end up getting hurt, a fellow blogger notified me of a website that sells a Child Safety Sensor. Apparently, you attach the device to the back of your treadmill and when it senses any movement approaching the rear of the treadmill, an alarm sounds. It sells for $65.00, but perhaps it can be found cheaper elsewhere.
I think this device may work well for crawling babies and perhaps a few quiet toddlers, but other than that most people (at least I can) hear their toddler approaching from a mile away! I think the biggest precaution that treadmill users with children can do to prevent injuries to their children is to just be aware of where their kids are at and what they are doing. Nothing can take the place of parental supervision:) However, it may be wise to remove the key that allows the treadmill to start and hide it in a safe place so that busy toddlers can't fire up the treadmill on their own, which is what my son did. If anyone out there has actually tried this device, please do share!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


My sweet great grandma Dorothy Nielson passed away last week. She was 93 years old! I want to be like her when I get old someday. I know she had no regrets at the end of her life. She suffered through many unbearable trials and still always managed to keep a smile on her face. We used to visit her quite often when I was a little girl and I always remember raiding her old-fashioned candy that she kept in a crystal dish. She was always an optimist, even when her health was failing. She lived a good life and as my dad put it, "She was an ordinary hero" to many.
Bluff Cemetery

My dad paying his last respects to a woman who helped him get through life without a father.
Leave it to Taj to find the mop bucket to race down the handicap ramp.

My dad grew up in this house. He told us that when he lived here when he was a little boy, that they had a horse and when they fried eggs in the morning, the horse would stick its head through the window and they'd feed him eggs too:)

Treadmill Warning

Those of you who have treadmills around the house, this is what it can do to your child's fingers. Taj turned the treadmill on a low setting and thought it would be fun to lay on his stomach and slide off the back of it. Once he fell off the end of it, he put his hand on the end of the treadmill where the tread wraps around and it sucked his hand up into the treadmill. Besides giving him a really bad sandpaper-like burn/hole on his finger, we think it broke his pinkie because it was so swollen and still is. Exercise equipment is just NOT safe for kids to play on. I can't tell you how sad it was:( He was in sooo much pain! I'm just so thankful it didn't do anything worse!