Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Time-Out Twins

It's no secret that I have two little troublemakers for daughters. Anyone who has followed my blog for longer than one week is, without a doubt, familiar with the posts in which Annelie clobbers her big sister or Gracie smears sand in her baby sister's hair.

Such is life in the Hopkins household.

Naughty moments don't go unpunished, though it is usually Will who has to dole them out (remember: I'm the Pushover Mom). The one punishment I am good at passing out is time-out for Gracie, who has to sit in the kitchen, facing the wall until the timer goes off after 3 minutes.

But what I find so completely hilarious that I just can't go without sharing, is the fact that Annelie makes herself a little martyr and sits down next to Gracie, her face to the wall, tears streaming down her cheeks. Every. Single. Time.

Why? I have no idea. Even when she has been nothing but good (well, that's a stretch, but you know what I mean) and it is Gracie who is in big trouble... Annelie sits down next to her and cries her eyes out until the timer goes off, despite me saying over and over, "Annelie, you aren't in trouble. Come here. You don't have to sit on time out."

In fact, at 22 months old, I don't even put Annelie on time out when she is in trouble. The only time she suffers through it is when Gracie is the one in trouble.

Personally, I think she just likes being on time-out. Why else would she smile through her tears, once the buzzer has gone off?


Kids are strange little creatures, aren't they?



Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Party for Charlie

This past weekend, I went to a baby shower for the fabulous Tia of Hey Lady and Christopher and Tia, and I was super excited for three reasons.Reason #1: Spoiling itty bitty little babies is just about my most favorite thing in the world (second only to eating Butterfinger Brownie Blast brownies from A Sugar Affair).

Reason #2: Tia's baby shower was a dressy-uppy party and I finally had an excuse to wear my tacky-fabulous faux crystal chandelier earrings and holographic eye glitter.

Reason #3: Tia is well known across the Etsy forums and blog circuit as being the most food allergy-ridden person on the planet and I couldn't wait to try her intensely complicated - though surprisingly delicious - allergy free food.

I was not disappointed.

Gracie was quite excited to help me get ready for the baby shower. Besides artfully gift wrapping Charlie's present, in which Gracie drew a lovely picture to attach to the bag, she also helped me with my make-up, though I suspected that she was mostly excited to cover herself in my eye glitter and shimmering lipstick.
The party was fun. It was also nice to get out of the house for some chatting, snacking on allergy-free chocolate chip cookies, grasshopper cookies and pumpkin maple bars, and ooohing and aaahhhing over tiny baby boy things.

And I got to pull out my sewing machine and decorate little baby onesies for the first time since shutting down my old Etsy baby boutique. I missed that!

Here are the little embroidered felt appliqued onesies I made for Charlie. I wont lie - they are completely adorable.

I also had fun with some artwork just for Charlie and his big sister Eleanore. I'm really into classic tattoo art and got to play around with some illustrations.

Thanks for the invite, Tia and good luck in the next 5 weeks while you wait for Charlie to come.


Monday, November 24, 2008

MUST HAVE MOOOOORE! Another NaNoWriMo Update

The month of November is coming to an end a little quicker than I am ready for. Last week, I was all pumped with my book and how far I was coming along...

This week, I find that I spend more time procrastinating with endless sheets of virtual bubble wrap (oh my, this stuff is so addicting!!!) and just when I think I'm ready to work on more of my story, I press the 'Fresh Sheet' button, hear the breathy and fanatical voice say "Must have mooooore," and I'm off, furiously popping another sheet.

Yes, I am sleep deprived, hyped up on coffee, and pulling all of my hair out, just as I predicted {in this post} last month. I do still have a shot at getting my 50,000 word goal met... if I write close to 2,500 words a day for the next 6 days.


Okay, back to bubble wrap popping. Must have MOOOOORE!

Monday, November 17, 2008

MIA - A NaNoWriMo Update

Vintage Typewriter Back Space Key Pendant

Whoooo boy, I'm exhausted.

I haven't been blogging quite as often as usual in the past two weeks. Besides being sick for a week, I have been type, type, typing away as I try to reach my goal of 50,000 words for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

Last night, I was bent over my lap top until 3 am, only to be woken up this morning by the girls at 7 am -- about an hour or two earlier than they usually wake me. Thank goodness for coffee. I'm pretty stinkin' lucky to have girls that sleep in most days, not to mention a hubby who let me snooze until noon yesterday, as I recuperated from another typing-until-3 am jag. I love Sundays!

At the moment, I'm at 31,625 words. Only 18,375 more to go before I reach the goal, which is not too shabby, considering that I didn't type at all while I was sick last week.

Unfortunately, even if I reach my goal in the next two weeks, I don't get the coveted NaNoWriMo certificate. Why? you ask

Because in my excitement to get started, I began 3 days early and had 8,000 words under my belt by the 1st of November.

Ah, well, that's fine. I'm just proud of myself for actually getting this done. Not to mention LOVING IT!

Other NaNoWriMo-ers out there, good luck as you reach your goal! Half a month left, and it is definitely do-able!


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Annelie Gave Gracie a Black Eye

You know that sweet little saying:

Sugar and Spice,
And Everything Nice;
That's What Little Girls are Made Of.


Not my girls.

After putting the girls down for bed the other night, I expected to hear the usual.

  • Annelie smacking her bottle against the bedroom door while shouting, "Let me out!"
  • Crying from Gracie because Annelie is in her bed and laying on her pillow.
  • Gracie shouting, "Come get Annelie! She is pulling the pictures off the wall!"
  • Annelie shrieking, "No! My GINKET (blanket)!" while pulling all of Gracie's covers off her.
  • Gracie calling out, "Annelie climbed the bookshelf!"
  • Gracie yelling out, "Ow! Mom, help me! Annelie is hitting me!"
  • Gracie screaming out, "Annelie is doing something NAUGHTY!"
You know, the usual.

But we didn't expect to hear Gracie suddenly begin screaming and crying at the top of her lungs. Moms, you know that sound. There is only one cry that kids make that is of genuine, hideous pain.

The reason for the cry? Annelie smacked Gracie in the face with the spine of a hardback book, resulting in Gracie's first shiner. I didn't get very good pictures of the black eye, unfortunately. I figured it would be a bit insensitive of me to pull out the camera, and coax Gracie to smile through her tears while holding ice on her face, so I waited a few days. But you can sort of see it in the picture up top.

We are hiding out in the house for the next few days until the black eye goes away, as a three year old with a black eye looks pretty suspicious. How would I ever explain that to the neighbors? Of course, no one would ever suspect the adorable, cheeky little 22 month old as the culprit.

Because little girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice, remember?

Sure they are.


Monday, November 10, 2008

To Do List a Mile Long... *sigh* And some WINNERS!

As much as I love not being sick anymore... the pile up of things to do is just about as impossible to handle.

Luckily, Will was more than happy to get the girls out of my hair all day yesterday, so I got to sleep in and then clean and clean and clean some more. His job is to empty the dishwasher - my least favorite of all household duties for some reason I don't quite know - but other than that, the cleaning and laundry are all mine.

I, of course, would be more than happy to share the responsibilities with my lovely hubby, but Will (bless his heart) is completely incompetent when it comes to cleaning and I find it even more stressful trying to figure out the method to his madness when I see the clean up job he has done (remember how helpful he was with the laundry??). And I, without a doubt, would rather hibernate all winter long than clean clean clean. Ah, well, it will all be done eventually. In the meantime....

LETS GET TO THE CONTEST WINNERS!! I was actually supposed to announce these three days ago... *sigh* I promise I will catch up to my hectic life eventually!!

Okay, let me just say I had soooooo many fabulous ideas for lovely little dream cupcakes... and it was not an easy task picking two winners.

So I decided to pick three, though I wish I could pick a whole lot more. But I was struck by the idea of a trio of fruity cupcakes... and three cupcake designs tickled my fancy.

1.) Anne aka Casserole for her Orange Dreamsicle Cupcake with orange frosting and a sugared orange slice on top

2.) Lorissa aka LJDesignPhoto for her Vanilla cupcake with vanilla frosting and a strawberry on top.

3.) Kim aka Regal Beads for her Lemon Raspberry cupcake with lemon frosting and a raspberry on top.

Mmmmm.... Now I'm hungry.

Thank you so much, everyone who participated! I'm keeping all the other wonderful ideas in mind... and if I do end up using one of your ideas for a cupcake in the future... I will most definitely be sure to let you know with a print and a gift tags set as an inspiration thank-you!

Now I can't wait to get to work on these cupcakes. I'll be sure to show them off when I'm done, later this month.



Saturday, November 8, 2008

Locks of Love

Tonight I grabbed a pair of scissors and chopped all my hair off.

Now don't be alarmed. I've been growing my hair out for the last two years with the plan of donating it to Locks of Love once it hit 10 inches. Let me just tell you now, the wait has been agony.

You see, I'm not the long hair type. I'm really not. Especially not while living in Texas, which is sickeningly, sweltering hot. But I have lovely hair, if I do say so myself, and I figured that I might as well grow it super long, then donate it to a non-profit organization that makes hair prosthesis for young girls who have lost their hair from medical conditions.

The problem with my plan.... my hair just does not grow! Even with only the tiniest of tiny trims every four months or so, it has taken a full two years to grow my hair to what it was before I hacked it off tonight. I'm very proud to say that my longest bits were 13 inches, and the shorter layers were 10 inches. Woot woot!

All the rest, the layers under 10 inches will be sold off by Locks of Love to off set the manufacturing costs. Waste not, want not!

You know how doctors say not to mix prescription medicine with operating heavy machinery? Well, they say nothing about mixing prescription medicines with household scissors. And while most people would take their 10-13 inch ponytail to the hairdressers, the impulsive side of me decided to do it myself.

Let me just tell you, it was a lot of fun. Therapeutic, to say the least! It made me feel 16 and reckless all over again, only now my mom can't ground me - not that she'd ground me for donating my hair... just the reckless part.

Tomorrow, I plan on going one step further by going to the hairdressers and turning this jagged bob into a shaggy pixie cut. In the meantime, I'm having fun with my new do.

And my 13 inch ponytail is already in an envelope with the address to Locks of Love on the front, ready to go to a little girl who needs hair a little more than I do.

If you are interested in donating your hair to Locks of Love, be sure to visit their website at They don't have a lot of rules when it comes to the hair they accept, but make sure it is clean, at least 10 inches, and held together in a pony tail.



Friday, November 7, 2008


I have come to the conclusion that all stay-at-home parents who have survived a cold, flu, or nasty bout of tonsillitis, deserve the highest medal, the most exalted honor that could ever be bestowed upon a person.

I've been battling a revolting throat infection the last few days, and it has not been one speck of fun. Before kids, I used to enjoy getting sick. My mom used to make pots and pots of homemade chicken soup and, besides gargling saltwater (ugh), my sick days consisted of lounging in bed and watching My Blue Heaven - my sick-day movie of choice - until I felt strong enough to go back to school. I wasn't in much of a rush, to be sure.

Now there is nothing enjoyable about being sick. Not only do I look like a corpse, as my olive skin turns a sickening shade of puce when the golden tan is replaced by the deathly pallor of tonsillitis, but instead of getting to curl up and die, I get to change endless diapers, fetch non-stop bottles of juice, and watch the ever-so-talented Gracie balance plastic plates on her head while shouting, "Lookit me, lookit me!" - all through a fever induced haze.

Cold and flu season is just around the bend, and other moms out there - I'm telling you now that if you survive it GOOD FOR YOU! You might not get a medal to prove that you survived the worst kind of torture, but just know that you have my utmost respect and understanding if you do happen to pull through.

And, of course, be sure to print out the official certificate:

You can have this fabulous certificate framed and proudly posted on your wall for all to see. Go ahead. You deserve it.

Okay, now I'm going back to bed, as I'm still in the "I just want to die" stage of my illness. Hopefully these kids will let me take a 5 minute nap before the next round of demands begin.


Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I'm not a political person. In truth, I hate politics. Everything about politics. Everyone just always seems so crooked in my opinion. Everyone is so ruthless. And all my memories of Mr. Davey and Mr. Abe's high school government classes have left me sputtering over the whole electoral college and whether my tiny, insignificant voice matters at all.

I still exercise my right to vote. Not because I feel my vote matters in the grand scheme of things, but because I've always been moved by the stories of the National Woman Suffrage Association, and all the hard work put forth by strong women like Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, resulting in the 19th Amendment in 1920, giving women the right to vote.

This is my third election since I turned 18 and registered. I've voted each time. Will has been sitting back, anxiously waiting for months, annoyed that he can't do anything to contribute his voice, since he is a British citizen. He, unlike me, loves everything about politics, has watched every single debate, watched political documentary after political documentary, and has read candidate biographies, wanting to know everything about everyone.

Even the girls know who the candidates are, and Gracie is equally excited today, though she confuses the word "president" with "present" so her excitement is a little different than ours.

Fingers crossed that this day ends with us having a wonderful, intelligent leader, a good example for Americans across the country. I've done my voting, got my 'I VOTED' sticker, and now I'm just sitting back and waiting. I do have say that this has been the first year that I've actually had butterflies in my stomach come Election Day. I'm pretty nervous, as I wait for the outcome of this election.

May the best leader win!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

A Contest For A Cupcake

I told you all that I had a great November giveaway planned, and here it is... but it is really more of a contest. Yup, I am putting you to work if you want to win this one.

I've been craving cupcakes again. But what to draw, what to draw... I'll let you tell me that!

How do you enter? Simple. Just think about a lovely little cupcake, the cupcake of your dreams. Think up colors, think up flavors, think up all the little toppings that go on top... and be sure to let me know all about it in the comments of this post.

On Saturday, November 8th, I'll pick two winners and illustrate their lovely little cupcakes. It might take me a few days to do it, but I'll be sure to show the cupcakes off when I'm done.

What do the two winners get? An 8 x 8 print of their cupcake design, as well as a set of 8 matching gift tags.

So come on, everyone! Get thinking and dreaming and be sure to leave a comment!



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