A Grace "Funny"

I had to take a toy box to UPS to be packed and shipped out this week. Grace was out of school so she came along as my assistant.

"Mom, what's that sign say?"

It says, "The Pack and Ship Promise. We Pack It. We Ship It. We Guarantee it."

Grace looked up at me and said, "We Pack it. We Ship It. We Break It."

I cracked up. And of course she said it right there IN THE STORE!!!

Thankfully (fingers crossed) we haven't had any more shipping disaster stories since the three in December. (fingers double crossed)



(N, G and Me 2004)

I was thinking a lot about Oprah today. Not sure why but I was remembering one episode where she has stay-at-home moms and working moms as her guests and subjects. Both sets were interviewed and both sets gave their "side" as to why their way of life was better for them/children/world. I found it intriguing because there is and has always been such a war between the two groups. And it's obvious why. That's not where I'm going with this.

Here's where I'm going with this...I know a lot of my generation (mid-30 somethings) climbed the ladder, got MBAs, had kids, and after a good 10 years of high-paying, high-stress jobs, decided to stay home to raise the kids. But then what? Did you miss your corporate/working life? Was it hard to adjust to being home?

I found it's something that isn't talked about very much among Moms. I find when I say to someone that the first year at home with my then 4-year-old and 5-month old after working my ad sales job for A&E was tough, I either get a sigh of relief or a tiny almost inaudible gasp. It's like admitting you don't like your kids sometimes. The truth of the matter is it took me A LOT of getting used to not having time to myself, not being able to schedule everything exactly the way I wanted, just generally having to be pretty selfless 24/7. The good part was I didn't have the pressure to be "on" and creative at a moment's notice.

Of course, I adjusted ( and love it most of the time) and don't regret jumping off the corporate ladder but I'll always remember that first year at home after being a corporate working mom.
Maybe someone should write a book. Like "what to expect when you've left your job to stay home with your kids....and not go for Starbucks runs...and never shower....and miss client lunches." Is that too long of a title??



Sorry I haven't been so good with keeping up the blog the last few days. I've been helping out at my daughter's school as a pre-k/preschool helper from 9-3. I've had a blast with the kids and was honored to be asked to help out but I can also say a little bit of garage time and some country music sounds REALLY good right about now.

The highlight of the three days was when Grace said to the class, after I acted as if I would forget the song and dance they're learing to perform for the parents on Valentine's Day, "My mom doesn't remember anything unless it's written on her hand."

I can't say she doesn't know me, that's for sure.

NOTE: I had to write on my hand this morning to remember to post a blog message today. I can just cross that off my hand now. :)


Fear Factor

Today is one of those days where, for whatever reason, I'm slightly more scared of the table saw than usual. Sometimes I psych myself out thinking "it's a sign" and then others, I just ignore and push through. I have to make some cuts with large scale ply today that can go wrong quickly because my table saw is too small and the wood too large.

When I went into woodworking I did it with complete fearlessness but sometimes the realization of what the blade can do creeps in. And the fact that I did a number on my finger back in the summer makes it all a reality I guess.

I jokingly tell my husband that maybe I'll just have a beer to relax before firing up the table saw. I do love woodworking and won't give it up anytime soon just need to keep finding ways to not freak myself out when I'm cutting...by myself....alone...in the garage. Oh, crap. Maybe I'll just clean the house today.



I'm about to do what I said I wouldn't do. Here goes....LOOK AT THIS POST ABOUT MOD MOM FURNITURE. Sorry....Frankly, I'm crazy busy with building this very toy box today so aside from this link, I have little interesting stuff to share. I'm just building, staining, dragging Grace to Lowes, and building some more.

This post was from December's Babble/Droolicious blog. Check out the author's personal blog Notes from the Trenches. It's hilarious.

Thanks to Chris for such a nice post!


A New Item For Sale

This is a photo of the toy storage piece I designed and built for the Still Thankful Still Giving charity event in Hollywood. And I'm thinking about putting it up on my shop to sell made to order. I like the tree/bird appliqué but am open to other types of "scenes". I've been thinking hard on other organic-type shapes that I could cut out and attach to the piece. Any suggestions? I'd love to hear ideas!!

I think I'll offer it with or without a veneer appliqué "scene". What do you think?


Happy Friday!

Things that made me happy today:

  1. I found a new, less complicated lid-support to use on the toy boxes! I was so excited I called my Dad to tell him. It sounds crazy but I'm normally cussing when I have to install the hardware.

  2. I worked out today at my new gym AND took a shower. What a day! Although, while I was there, I sat down on the lateral raise machine to work my all powerful shoulders and was motioned by a very kind, very ripped man with loads of tattoos that I needed to turn around to use the machine properly. And instead of waving thank you in a very discreet way, I yelled "thank you" across the gym to the tattooed guy doing his dead lifts because I had my earphones on and my IPOD music was apparently louder than I thought.

  3. I didn't cut anything off using the table saw today. :) (See above photos my hubby took of me SHOWERED and working. It felt so weird.)

  4. I learned that v-necks are the way to go when you're being photographed while using the table saw. :)


Design Milk

I was so excited to find out about a post that ran today on a VERY COOL site called Design Milk!

I've been visiting Design Milk (quietly without posting comments) for awhile now because the finds are so fantastic! And not just about modern kid's stuff. It highlights all kinds of cool modern things for the home.

Anyhow, I was thrilled to see the Gracie Mid-Century Style Toy Box featured on it today! Click the Design Milk link above for the post.

Now that I have a big head and think way too much of myself, let me say that I WON'T be posting about another blog posting about Mod Mom Furniture tomorrow. I'm afraid I won't be able to be in the same room with my big head if I do. Rest easy knowing that my big head will deflate quickly when I bend a nail, smash my thumb with my hammer, cut a side panel a wee bit too short, and botch a stain job. All those things to look forward to tomorrow!!

(NOTE: Tomorrow will undoubtedly be the day when Oprah calls to have me on her show and The New York Times wants to do an in-depth article but I stand by my promise not to talk about how much other people are liking my work right now. That is, unless I hear from Oprah or The New York Times. :))


A Trendy Tots Post About The Owyn Toy Box

Just when I'm feeling overwhelmed and tired, a nice post will come along and help keep me motivated! Trendy Tots posted a very kind review of The Owyn Toy Box. Click here to check it out.
Gotta get back to cleaning the house (this one's for you, Scott :)) and working in the garage...


Mod Mom Changes

If you've checked out the etsy site, there are a few changes. First off, my production schedule has changed a bit. I went from turning a piece around in about 3weeks to now turning it around in 6-8. I didn't get slower, just busier. I've received a ton of orders (thank you!) and will be busy building one a week (or more) until April.

Also, you may have noticed slight price changes. I've raised prices due to the rise in the price of plywood. Ouch.

The things that haven't changed are as follows:

1. I still don't shower as much as I should.
2. I'm wearing my new clothes to stain and cut wood in even when I said I wouldn't.
3. I don't feel like cooking dinner tonight.
4. My fridge has nothing good in it.
5. There's laundry to do.


Candy Land

Yesterday was my official first day back. And what did I do? I dragged my kids (who are STILL out of school) to the lumber yard and promised them candy afterwards if they wouldn't hug each other at the yard, which then turns into a fight because the 9-year-old gets irritated by his 5-year-old little sister hanging on him. We're off to a good start, right? Mom: 0, Carpenter: 1. Bribery is the not talked about staple of any mom-run business where the kids have to continually come along on work errands. So is the promise of some crappy kid movie that we all watch together and Scott and I act like we're just "resting our eyes" during the viewing.

Off to the garage to not do laundry, listen to some good country radio, and bang out a toy box! Where are the kids, you ask? Eating candy and watching some crappy kid movie in the living room. Did you really have to ask?

Side Note: I will be making homemade playdough later today so I think that should bring the score up to Mom: 1 and Carpenter: 1.