Hoo Are You?

1. Do you sing in the shower or car when no one else is listening?
I sing all the time.  In the shower, in the car, in the store…where ever.  It is easier now that I have a little kid cause I can pretend I am singing to him.  I have never been one of those who sings into a hairbrush, but I sing all the time.

2.  Do you have a nickname you go by now or growing up?
My mommy called me Big D.  Some of my high school friends called me Dawnothan and some of my college friends called me Dawnald.

3. Do you speak another language?
I studied French for 3 and a half years in high school and 2 years in college, so no.  I can fake it in Montreal, reading not speaking though.  Right now I wish I spoke Baby.

4. Where is you favorite vacation spot?
Star Island.  In 4 days I will be sitting in a rocking chair smelling ocean breezes, drinking lime rickeys, thinking of nothing.

5. What do you cook the most for dinner?
I don’t cook much of anything for dinner.  The thing I cook the most part is homemade macaroni and cheese.


What I wish I had said

Not long ago, although before I had my baby, we had a substitute at our school who I wish I could have put in her place.

I work in a school that is nearly all women.  We have had nearly every female medical problem you can name.  At one point we had 4 women of childbearing years wishing to be pregnant.  Three had about a dozen miscarriages and 3 babies between them.  And 1 (um…me) couldn’t do the thing you have to do in order to get pregnant.  It had been a very traumatic few years for my three friends and a stressful time for me as well.  Our coworkers knew some of what was going on, although not a lot of details about my condition.  People were very sensitive to what was going on.

One day we had a substitute who had never been to our school before.  She didn’t know anyone at the school.  She was eating lunch at the same time as 2 of the women who had had multiple (3-5 each) miscarriages in the past couple years.  Both yearned to have children and had serious complications several times.  She looks at the younger of the two, sitting next to her, and says, “Do you have any kids?”  And when the answer was negative the substitute starts lecturing her about how she shouldn’t wait to have kids and how great they are.  Both of my friends just sat there not knowing what to say but getting more and more upset by the minute.  I wish I had been there, because I would have said,

I am so happy for you that you have had such a perfect healthy life.  You must be so blessed.  Although you have clearly missed a few lessons in manners over the years.

Do you know what it is like to be unable to be intimate with your husband?  Have you heard of vulvodynia?  Have you ever had stabbing excruciating pain when touched in your most sensitive of area?  I have been on several antidepressants – each with their own really fun side effects, been through physical therapy and biofeedback – $3000 out of my own pocket, shots in my “down there”, therapy, breakdowns, and extreme pain.    And yet after 6 years of marriage (and 8 years since diagnosis) I am still struggling every day.

What a blessing it must have been for you to get, and stay, pregnant so easily.  Do you know that up to 40% of conceptions end in miscarriage?  However, after one miscarriage your chances of having another are only 25%.  On the other hand, 1% of women have what they call recurrent miscarriages which is 3 or more in a row.  Do you know how many women in this room have suffered miscarriages?  No, you don’t, because you just shot your mouth off without considering that you don’t know anyone here.  1% in the world is actually 10% here at our school.  So the next time you decide to lecture someone about their life choices maybe you should consider not everything in life is a choice.

The upside is two of us have each had a boy, one had 2 girls, and one adopted a preschooler from Haiti.  And as far as I know, that sub never came back.

Hoo Are You Tuesday

1. Have you ever broke a bone or anything on your body?

When I was in my twenties, I had a terrible cough for weeks.  One day I was playing with my daughter’s 4 year old, picking her up and swinging her around.  The next day I could barely get out of bed.  I coughed, my chest hurt and I could barely roll over.  I suffered for about three weeks before I finally went to the doctor.  The cough had subsided, but the pain was still there.  As she pressed on my chest she confirmed what I feared: broken rib.  And of course there is nothing you can do about broken ribs.  All told I think I lived with it for over 2 months.

2. What is your favorite drink?

Drink-drink?  amaretto sour, light on the ice
Soda? root beer and ginger ale
Juice? fresh squeezed orange juice

3. When is your birthday! You don’t have to tell the year you were born!

I was born on May 16.  I turned 34 this year.  My 33rd birthday present was my son, born nearly 10 hours after the moment of my birthday.

4. Do you have an allergies?

I learned a few years ago that I am allergic to amoxicillin.  I had a sinus infection and the doctor gave me a scrip.  After 24 hours I was covered with hives.  They were worse than the sinus infection.  I also think I have seasonal allergies, but I have no medical confirmation.

5. What is one of your all time favorite movies?

As a little kid I would have said The Muppet Movie.
As a preteen I would have said Girls Just Want to Have Fun.
As a teen I would have said Say Anything.
In college I would have said Jerry Maguire.
As an adult I could watch just about anything with Reece Witherspoon over and over.


Upcycled finger paintings

This spring my little guy started finger painting at school.  We have 2 big paintings from the first time he ever finger painted and we are going to have them framed, but he came home with several other sheets of paper covered with his cute little handprints and I couldn’t throw them away.  Then my husband’s grandmother moved into a nursing home near us.  All the other doors on her hall are covered with pictures and art, and I wanted (Great)Gramma’s door to look pretty too.  I spied the paintings and project was born.

I needed:

  • finger painted picture with mostly handprints
  • scissors
  • green paper, it’s Crayola printer paper, but any green paper would do
  • tape (I couldn’t find a glue stick)

Look at those cute little handprints!

I carefully cut around the handprints so they looked a little like mittens and a large piece became a vase.

I think they look a little like tulips.

Then I grabbed my green paper and cut some random strips for stems.  I didn’t want them all to be perfect so I used the scissors instead of a paper cutter.  I also freehand cut leaves out of the rest of the paper.  I tried to do varying sizes.

I cut out way too many leaves, but that part was fun.

The whole time Bug was watching me from his holding pen.  I knew what would happen if I let him “help”.

"Please Momma, I won't eat the paper."

For me, the last part was the hardest.  I matched stems to flowers and then had to figure out how to arrange them in the vase.  I wanted some over lap, but not too much.  Once I got them arranged I taped them to the back of the vase and added the leaves.

I had some help picking the leaves.

Our beautiful bouquet.

They were a big hit with (Great) Gramma and now her door looks a little more welcoming.

Blooming bouquet

Thankful Sunday

I have so many things to be thankful for this weekend.

  • old friends who pop up out of no where
  • eating breakfast at a local diner where everyone knows you
  • real Vermont maple syrup
  • a syrupy sticky baby
  • bright beautiful sunshine
  • my sister getting married
  • to someone nice
  • my parents’  great friends
  • they also have access to a great pool
  • my son’s joy in the swimming pool
  • new friends
  • turkey burgers
  • frosted cookies
  • sandboxes
  • big kids and little kids
  • swings
  • feeling comfortable with people you’ve only just met
  • a sandy chocolately baby
  • a clean fresh baby
  • a sleeping worn out baby
  • a busy day that was crazy fun


Hoo are you Tuesday


1. Do you prefer sweet or salty foods?

It really depends on my mood, but mostly sweet. I love French Fries, but I would rather have cake or cookies.  In fact right now I am eating Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal for breakfast.

2. Name your 3 BEST personality traits!

I am a patient with others.  I am persistent, I will keep trying something until I get it.

3. Name your 3 worst personality traits!

I am a terrible procrastinator.  I would rather put things off and be stressed at the last minute than do them now.  I am always running late.  About the only thing I am not late for is theater.  I hate late-comers at performances.  I am a hoarder.  I hate getting rid of things.  I am a “what if I need it later” kind of person.  Looking at all those things together, I suspect they are all related.

4. Do you collect anything?

Yarn.  I have so much cotton dishcloth yarn I could make a dishcloth for every day of the month.  I also have a large collection of postcards of my town, college, and vacation spot.  I try to get a squashed penny whenever I have the chance.

5. What is your favorite season of the year?

Spring, no question.  My birthday is in May.  The grass is green.  Flowers are blooming.  It smells nice.  It means the end of school is coming.  Second best is fall.

Now you:

Here are this weeks questions!
1. Do you prefer sweet or salty foods?
2. Name your 3 BEST personality traits!
3. Name your 3 worst personality traits!
4. Do you collect anything?
5. What is your favorite season of the year?

Color photo book

This is my first tutorial.  Please go easy on me.

My son is in a Early Head Start classroom that serves children 6 weeks to 3 years.  He has 3 awesome teachers.  His teacher has made several photo books for the kids this year: each of kid in a different hat, the cars they come to school in, etc.  I decided I wanted to make one for them, too.  Then I thought it would make a great tutorial for the one other crafter who reads my blog.


  • digital photos of single, or mostly one, color items
  • colored printer paper
  • adhesive
  • laminator, I bought it just for this project!
  • hole punch, single or 3-hole
  • binder rings
  • collage making software, I used Shape Collage, but you could do it in Photoshop or even a word processor

I took pictures of items all over my son’s classroom.  Toys, furniture, bags…
Then I cropped the pictures, in Photoshop, down to just the object size, but left the background.  **They are only squares here because they are thumbnail images.**

Next I added them by color to Shape College and played around until I liked it.  Shape Collage was really easy to figure out how to use and once I paid for registration I could export .psd files that I could play with in PhotoShop.  I was able to move, rotate, and resize the pictures in the collage.  I could also add the color name in Photoshop.  I chose a fun, but easy to read font and added a black stroke.  **In PhotoShop Elements you must add a style (drop shadow, outer glow, etc…) and then turn it off and turn on stroke.**

When I was done editing them I saved them as photo size jpgs and printed them through my favorite big box store.

I decided I wanted the book to be bigger than a photo.  The laminating sleeves I bought fit 5″ x 7″ paper so I trimmed colored paper to that size and used adhesive tabs to glue the pictures on.  **I left a little more room at the top for hole punching.**

Then I got to bust out my new laminator.  It was pretty cool.  I centered the pages in the laminating sleeve and sent it through the machine.  It came out really hot, but was stiff and sealed just right.

I punched 2 holes in the top and then stuck binder rings though them.  And then didn’t take any pictures of the book.

So far, the kids are fighting over it, so I am glad I printed a second copy of the pictures.

Lessons learned:

  • tell people what you are doing so they don’t think you are taking creepy pictures of the kids
  • objects don’t always photograph in their true color
  • make your shape collage 4″ by 6″ not 5.5″ x 8.5″ so the sides don’t get cut off when you print the pictures (I started with a different idea)
  • toddlers are very concrete -they expect books to open on the left, not the top, on the other hand, this shows they are learning concepts of print
  • kids love books about things they see every day