Friday, July 29, 2011

Bleached T

I've seen some of the neatest bleach designed T-shirts in Blog-Land. Some use a bleach pen, others use a stencil and a spray bottle. Just check out Pinterest for some awesome ideas.

With school approaching I finally decided to give it a try because, well.. bleach is practically FREE and I thought it would be a really fun way to spruce up some plain shirts.

I went for the spray bottle/stencil technique and used contact paper for my stencil because again, practically FREE. There are literally hoards of the stuff in thrift shops. I happen to have some on hand, and I know they have some at the Dollar Tree.

I made a stencil on the computer, piecing together some wings from one site and a guitar from another. It's not perfect, but I knew I could smooth out the lines with the Xacto knife.

You could just find any image online and print it out. I do have a tip now, having done this, that thin lines can get a little tricky, so going bolder will probably be your better bet.

I used a spritz bottle and read that the pump (up and down) spritzers work better than the trigger spray bottles, so I emptied out one that I had (dollar tree perfume gag) and filled it with bleach. I added a little water because my bleach was the thicker splash-proof, but most say to use straight bleach. Your call.

I stuck the stencil in place and sprayed parallel to the shirt, a good distance above, letting the bleach fall onto the fabric. The reaction was fast and I could see it happening right away. I brought it in, rinsed it off in the sink and then washed it. Here it is, still damp before I put it in the drier. (I was impatient to take pics lol)

Not too bad! The shirt is stretched out a bit (old shirt) but I think I put a little life into something boring. I like the simplicity, but part of me wants to add more next time, maybe embellish with some text or with a bleach pen. I think it would have made a bigger impact had I done it in the center, but the pocket made me stick it over in the opposite corner, and I think it looks more trendy there, but I'd love to see it pop more, or go over to the pocket.

The large lighter spots were a result of bigger droplets forming on top of the contact paper and then spilling over when I lifted it. Next time I'll pat it off with a paper towel and I think that will solve the issue. You can see the thinner lines of the guitar almost disappeared, and that is why I suggest going with a bolder/thicker image.

It actually photographed really bright. The overall effect is much more subtle, and even more so now that it's been dried. I will definitely be doing this again. It was really easy and I think tweaking the process will make it that much better.

If you get your T-shirt at Michaels or Hobby Lobby and use an online coupon, this could be a super cheap project.

He loves the shirt but was forced into this photo. I now have to give my undivided attention while he explains the cat trap he just built outside. I'm being rushed this very minute!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Domo Arigato

If you've followed my blog, you know that The Scientist loooves to pick up "treasure". He is always asking me to help him make a robot out of his "precious finds", so today, while it was just us two at home ...

Here is the before, showcasing The Scientist's treasures in their "raw" form. Another man's trash...

The design is all his, and aside from a few structural changes (getting it to stand on it's own was no picnic!) and a little spray paint and glue gun help from yours truly, this creation is straight from the imagination of one (super talented if I do say so myself) 7yr old boy. I'm thinking he won't have to try so hard to talk me into helping with the next one. I LOVE IT!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


I always say I hate drama and I do, but sometimes I find myself creating a "controlled" over-dramatic environment in my own bedroom. Usually around a particular time of the month, when I'm feeling especially vulnerable, and flawed in my own skin.

Please tell me that I'm not the only one, and you have also found yourselves sobbing crocodile tears, declaring that your husbands would be better off without you, in an attempt to get a selfish moment of undivided attention and a refresher course as to why they fell in love with you in the first place and why they continue to love you now.

It's one of those times when I make the small things seem deep, where I am the only soul tormented by demons everyone has, and I'm begging for love when I already have it. Fortunately, Honey has learned this game well, assures me and loves me for the silly girl that I am. Well, most of the time anyway. I may catch an eye roll and a sigh in there, but he humors me lol

Christina Perri catches me in that very moment, putting it into word and singing, better than I could ever explain, in Arms.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Dark secret

Lets go to the beginning....

So about a month ago, Honey and I decided to leave both the younger kids with Ms. Thang (paying her a hefty sum that really worked out well for me since she bought jewelry with most of it and that is the only thing we wear in the same size) and I went to work with him for the very first time. He's a truck driver, so I got to see some neat scenery (deer!) and ate at a little diner I never knew existed ($5 for a plate twice the size of one at Chili's) and I had. a. BLAST!

I rode in his old truck, but this is his brand new one. 120 miles on it and the plastic was still on the seats. He is in heaven!

At first it was really hard for me to let go of my everyday responsibilities. I am never without at least one of my children. I felt odd and out of my element. But soon, the excitement of riding in such a huge truck (bouncy seats on the dirt roads just like the back of a school bus), and the tingle of pride that my man can maneuver such a powerful, complicated machine (backing it up into places I wouldn't try in a car) started to divert my attention from the chores and kids I left behind me.
He has Sirius Radio and we flipped between 80s and 90s, singing what we knew, remembering where we were. I was feeling really nostalgic, and a little flirty and young. Characteristics I'd buried with motherhood and had almost forgotten were there. We talked, we laughed, and in the quiet times I did a little people watching, which was easy because I was at the perfect height to peer into each car we passed, taking guesses at where they were going, their relationships to each other, and hoping to see something I shouldn't (I'd be shocked and disgusted of course) but there wasn't anything worth mentioning lol.

I was feeling free of the children and able to do "adult" things. I am always censored around the kids. No cursing, no edgy jokes, no flamboyant flirting and for the first time in a long time I embraced the un-kid-friendly me and let a little of that trucker mentality take hold.
For those of you imagining that I was flashing my boobs at family filled minivans, getting wasted and watching porn on the TV in the back cab, or smoking cigars, skirt hiked up, with my bare feet propped up on the dashboard, you're 2/3rds wrong.

I used to be a smoker. I started smoking cigarettes around the age of 23 or so. I quit for the pregnancy and birth of my son, embarrassingly starting back up again just after he finished breast-feeding. I quit again to conceive, carry and birth Cutecumber. Now that she is two, I can say I had finally beat it. I rarely craved one (3 times a year-ish) and I hated the smell, the cost and the hold they used to have on me.

Honey smokes small cigars while he is on the road, never bringing them home. He asked if I minded that he smoked a bit of one with the window cracked open while I road with him that day. I told him to go for it and as I watched him puff on it a few times, never really having smoked a cigar, feeling uncensored with no children to see me, nostalgic with Dave Matthews telling me to Crash, an old suppressed part of me asked him to let me try a few puffs.

And I loved it.

It was completely guilt free. I knew it was a one time thing. When would I be away from the children again? I took advantage and I hiked up the knee length skirt I was wearing, showing a bit of leg that hadn't seen the sun in years, threw my bare feet up on that dash board and lived in the moment.
Honey enjoyed it as much as I did. We've become so predictable, it was fun to be someone I hadn't been in a long time. It made me think of our future, when the kids are grown and gone. I'm glad it's him that I will be with. We always have fun together, when we actually have time together. I can't wait to see who we are then.

When we came home, and Ms Thang told me how much she did NOT enjoy my outing, and the younger two told me how much they did NOT enjoy their big sister, and reality of my everyday life came flooding back, I was happy to be me again. As much as I enjoyed my time away from them, I love my time WITH them.

But a few days later, during a rough day (just found out the van AC went out, our impending vacation was on hold) I went out into the shop to look for a repair manual and spotted half of a cigar.
Just one or two puffs, to feel free like I did that day.
Then on our vacation, when the kids are asleep and it's just us two.
And now, I'm going out before the kids are up with my morning coffee, and again after lunch, and again during nap time.
I really need to quit, but I forgot how many chores and errands I can get done on the nicotine/caffeine drug combo. I'm losing weight too. It's already got it's claws in me.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Raising a Boy

Sometimes I find myself pressed to teach my son how to "be a man" because Honey is gone so much in his line of work. I also have to take a more dominate role in the discipline area and then turn around and be the arms that hug and comfort him afterward. Playing the good cop AND the bad cop can be difficult but I think I'm making it work.
I am a major influence in his life (by default) because of the amount of time I spend with him, but his father has a huge impact on him as well. I have to remind myself that my husband is teaching him important lessons even in his absence. Everyday that man goes to work, his son sees him provide for his family, putting his children and wife as a top priority. The Scientist learns that he will earn respect as head of the household, getting the best seat in the house, largest portion on his plate, and even domination of the remote control by leading his family wisely and always with their best interest in mind. He learns by example, how to keep a wife happy, complementing her on her hair if he wants a kiss and praising her cooking skills if he wants to eat again.
He also has a great role model in his grandfather whom he spends an entire day with every week, learning patience in the garden, tenderness for beloved family pets, and the encouragement to experiment and explore his interests in a blanket of praises.
In a house full of girls, he really gets an overdose of the great traits we have to offer, like compassion, affection, and an appreciation for scented candles but I think the Scientist has the perfect balance. I hope he'll be a wonderful man with a few female attributes to make him a tender husband and playful father, yet getting characteristics from the men in his life, making him strong, stable, dependable and even down right rugged. (The rugged part coming after puberty of course!)

Raising this kid and seeing him evolve from boy to man, is (and will be) one of the greatest joys of my life. I love the little baby he was, the amazing boy he is now, and I even love the man he will be. Already <3

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


I know my past few posts were sort of out of place in this blog, and I had planned on leading up to this change I feel in myself. It was posted more for me than anything and the bottom line is, I'm not exactly who I thought I'd be and I'm not at all like I used to be. I'm finally finding my niche in the world and as much as I'd like to think I'm finally who I really am, the truth is, I'm forever changing and growing and that's exactly as it should be. I'm comfortable with who I am now, but what will tomorrow bring? I've been molded by my past. It's something that fascinates me. I'm in awe of how God works in my life. I enjoy looking back and seeing all these lessons that he was teaching me, years in advance, that gave me skills and qualities I needed for today. All this for ME and I am just a needle in the haystack. I sometimes obsess over it and try to figure out what it is he wants me to know TODAY, and although I can clue in a bit, I really have no idea where he is taking me until I am there.
I often find myself at the proverbial "edge" in life and from that view point it is virtually impossible to get a look at the big picture. I've been there for awhile, overwhelmed with my duties as a wife and mom to 3, trying to fit in "me" time and confused as to how I really ended up here as nothing in my life seemed to have pointed me in that direction or trained me to do very well. It felt like I was given a gift that I didn't deserve. I was constantly in fear of messing it up and losing it. I stayed there on that edge with these fears for a long time. I've been almost paralyzed, opting to float from day to day hoping no one finds out I don't deserve what I have and praying I can keep my undeserved treasures.
As our family vacation approached, I felt a lifting of these pressures. The idea of leaving my everyday worries was enough to distract me and actually gave me a chance to take a few steps back from that intense spot on the edge.

"I'm not going to worry about that now, I'll deal with it when we get back from vacation."

This became my new favorite motto. Parts of my big picture started to come into view, things that I hadn't noticed as I stared off into the scary vastness at the edge, scared of what might happen if I slipped and let myself tumble. I let a LOT of stuff go, (things that I'd normally worry myself into a hernia about) and I'm not going to go chasing after them. Good riddance! And now that my vacation is over, not only did I take a few steps back, but I hadn't been that close to the edge at all.

(Going to the edge helped me step away from the edge lol)

I stopped hiding from God, worried he'd realize I had gifts I should have never received and instead found myself asking him "Why have you given me this husband, these children, this home, these second chances?" and it all just came to me in little doses.

My daughter chose to live with me even though she was content with her father. I didn't trick her, or seduce her with lies. I didn't bad mouth anyone to feed my selfish desire of having her here. She forgave me and she picked me. I haven't let myself accept that for fear of gloating and loosing her, but that is the honest to God truth and feels good to forgive myself and humbly accept that gift.

I feared my husband would leave me because I was like a dead weight hanging to him for dear life, silently begging God not to take him away. As I stepped back and even discussed my fears with my husband (revealing my dark secret, that I wasn't good enough for him) He let out a sigh of relief as well, revealing that he needed me just as much as I needed him. He was lost when I met him too and instead of the dead weight I thought I was, we were keeping each other afloat. 50/50 He is my gift, and I am his.

And just like that, the dark abyss beyond the "edge" was illuminated. God truly is the light. My children were given to me because I am the perfect mother for them. My husband was hand picked for me and I was hand picked for him.

With the fears gone, our vacation was MIRACULOUS despite major malfunctions.
-a/c in the van went out and when all was said and done we spent $700 of our vacation $$.
-the title transfer and tags for the camper were estimated at $70 (by us) and ended up around $200.
-We had JUST started putting more into our 401k and the paycheck was lacking.
-We got a flat tire on the way, and our spare had to be replaced asap (10mph for 30 minutes to the next town)
-We were so broke we couldn't make it home on the $$ we had in the bank.
- Not to mention when we returned home our account was frozen and emptied until Monday due to an error on the bank's behalf!

So how did we manage?
-Honey fixed the A/C during a time crunch and within our budget becoming the HERO in the eyes of his family.
-Honey was hero again when he fixed our tire (that 10mph drive was the most beautiful section on the true route 66!) and when he stopped to help an elderly couple fix their flat, the pride beaming from the scientist as he watched his father help just about brought me to tears.
-Payday was only a day away, so we stopped at the next campground ($19 a night!) and used almost all of our cash to buy two nights. It was the most beautiful spot with the prettiest mountains in the world I'd wager.

My honey got to relax and leave the camper up, watch the sun set and not have a plan for 24 hours. I've never seen him look so happy in my life.
With nothing but gas in our tank, we took a drive and saw the most amazing things on the reservation (no pictures allowed but I'll have to dedicate a post to it sometime) and it was something we would have passed up if we had the money, driving on by and shopping for souvenirs in the bigger city.
We had the best vacations of our lives. Honey even played our last $5 (payday was the next day) at a casino on the reservation and won $60, buying us all a steak dinner that night!

It's true what they say, "The best things in life are free."

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