the mother of invention.

 so i mentioned that we moved aaron to a toddler bed ON his second birthday.  
his no fear tumbles out of his crib made it necessary. 
well...the second night in it he fell out.  
i went to his room and found him asleep on the floor...he stayed asleep as i picked him up and put him back in his bed. 
the next day i managed to figure out how to make a full size bed rail work for this little bed and that worked well for a while. 
until...he started using that railing as a balance beam.  for real. 
so i took it off and thought for sure he would "get" it now and not fall out of the bed. 
i thought wrong.
 clearly he needed something...just enough to keep him in, but enough to let him get out safely.
because he fell out again. 
 it also needed to be something that would NOT let him practice his parkour.
 this is what i came up's basically a very sturdy canvas bed rail...with pockets.
 i used sturdy ties because i thought they would be stronger than buttons or velcro or anything else i could think of....
i added pockets on each side to hold books or some of the million and one animals he insists on sleeping with.

seems to be working great.  no more falling out of the bed, he can get out safely and no more parkour in his bed. 

if only that would fix all of his naughty.  yesterday he had to learn the hard way that having light bulbs in your room is a privilege NOT a right. 

in other news...i have completed day eight of the shred!! once again, this is HUGE for me.  and i feel GREAT.  as crazy as it sounds, i feel like i can start to feel the body of my 20's (pre-kids) coming back to me...i have more energy and TONS more endurance.  how are you doing?

in other other news...we still have a LOT of question marks for our future.  house, job, life, etc.  i would appreciate your continued prayers...overall i seem to be much better at "handling things" but at the same time my hopes are SOARING once more...i know that God is good and He is going to work it all out...and if it's not all worked out...then He's not done. 

happy friday to you!

and this...

is the reason why we have a child lock on our fridge.  
and probably why we are on our second one.

this child takes mischief to a whole new level.
but look at how much he enjoys it. 


make this for dinner.

 this is one of my new favorite go-to meals.  
the best part is that it is finished in a matter of minutes...and it's super tasty. 
i call them french dip sandwiches...but there may be a different name for them out there. 

all you need is:
a 1-1 1/2lb roast
one packet of french onion soup mix
one can of beef broth

a loaf of french bread
mozzarella cheese 
(i used a shredded mozz/provolone blend)
 put the broth and soup mix in your crock pot...stir it around to mix it up. 
add your roast, put on the lid, set the crock pot on high and walk away for 6-8 hours.
yessss...i love having dinner technically done before lunch, right?
 30 minutes before you are ready to eat take the roast out of the crock pot and shred or slice it.
i cut mine in thirds and was able to put a third away for dinner the next day.
keep the broth in the pot on low for now.
 slice your french bread in half length wise and pile on the meat and cheese.
 wrap it all in foil and put it in a 325 oven for 25 minutes.
 get it out of the oven and slice it into individual sandwiches...i make mine about 2in wide each. 
serve with a couple of sides...i did corn and a big salad. put some of the "juice"  or au jus from the crock pot into little bowls to dip the sandwiches in...

with just the two of us eating these there were not only leftover sandwiches for lunch but the next day but i was able to use the other third of the roast...add some mashed potatoes and rolls and dinner was a cinch the next day too!

i'll be making these for years i'm sure. :)

in other news.  i just finished day six of the shred.  and i am happy to report that i am almost over all of the soreness...i can move freely and i was able to do more the the entire workout than i have been able to do to date.  

results i have seen so far:  increased endurance, more shapely arms and more firmness in my middle...especially the love handle area. :) 

i had started with 10lb weights but today i did it with 5lb ones and it seemed like a much better fit for me. :) 

and is it just me or do you expect her to say different things everyday...even if it is the same  just me?  ok...that's cool.  

how are you doing?  i am thrilled that SO many of you are suffering working hard along with me. :)


just so you know...

i just finished up day four of the shred!  i am super proud of myself...and am already seeing results!!

i know that some of you more athletic types are thinking..."big deal, it's been four days, what a wuss".  

yes, i am a wuss.  four days in a row of exercise that is kicking my booty is big for me.  
allow me to present some evidence.  

article number one: these are my "athletic shoes".  i wear them any time i am going to exercise or do anything remotely athletic.  i have dutifully worn them each and every time they were deemed appropriate.  aren't they in great shape?  no stains, minimal scuffs, 100% tread on the bottom. 

know what's wrong with this photo?  i bought them in 1997!!!  
they are 14 years old and in excellent shape.  i could lend them out without fear of embarrassment on their condition or smell.  need i say more?

article number two:  in high school i ALWAYS offered to sweep the gym floor in lieu of participating in class.  always. 

so you IS a big deal to me. :) it IS getting easier and I am finding it less and less necessary to concentrate hard on my walking to avoid looking like a clobbering camel due to muscle pain.

I've gotten several emails from some of you who have decided to do this with me...that makes me so happy!! yay us!!!

tell me why you aren't doing it?

thanks to you. :)

thanks to all you lovely people who have encouraged my 30 day shred challenge.  i'm happy to report that i did day two this morning...and i plan on getting day three done before church in the morning.  if you are thinking of trying it...start now!  we can encourage each other!  i got a little extra motivation (on top of all of you) from googling "30 day shred results" and scanning the pages for body types similar to mine...enough motivation for me!  and really, if i can do it, anyone can.  i promise that i hate exercise more than you and i plan on pushing through twice over before going to Florida in may. 

i currently can't raise my arms to wash my hair...but i'm sure that's a temporary condition.

join me? 
if you follow my facebook page you have seen this cute shirt...i have gotten lots of emails asking for one but at the moment i am not taking orders for them, this was for a family member, BUT...i am willing to put together a few DIY kits for you to do them...the kit would contain no-sew iron on backing with letters pre-traced on, squares of fabric, two buttons and embroidery floss.  
you just iron the backing onto the fabric, cut out the letters, peel the paper, iron onto your shirt. 
the only sewing you would have to do is to sew on the buttons.  the kit will be $5 with $1.50 shipping.  you can put it on any shirt, tote, pillow, etc. 

email me at ricracandpompoms @ if you would like a kit...can also be made for big brother, little brother, little sister, etc. 
i've also been having a lot of fun with a couple of these orders...i never get tired of these happy, happy pieces of art. :)

hope your weekend is a happy one!

omg. who am i?, i hate exercise.  
like really hate.  
mostly because i have zero coordination.
i took a class once at a local rec center...kept to the back of the class and still managed to be the center of the instructors attention.  he seemed to enjoy my dysfunction.
that was at least six years ago.  since then the only exercise i get is long walks in nice weather and bending over to fetch the things that have fallen under the couch.

but somehow i have managed to talk myself into this.  30 day shred. 

cause lately something has stirred in me.  i can't get the thought of turning 32 this year OUT of my head.  how in the world am i turning thirty two? 

so there is that part.  and the other part is stress.  i need somewhere to channel it. 

and i am counting the days to our Florida trip. 

and i don't want to look good "for having two kids"...i'm not overweight...just eh.  
i'd prefer wow.  just saying.  is that lame?

and the stress.  yeah.  there is that.  
i treated myself to new swim suits as motivation. 
(from Lime Ricki). 

i just finished my first day.  oh. my. word.  killmenow. 
i thought my heart was going to stop.  
and i kind of hate jillian right now. 
but i'm trying not to take it personally.  

have you done it?  are you awesome now? please feel free to cheer me on. :) 

20 minute crafter: fabric covered photo mat

i had this adorable print from modmemento and just knew it needed a frame and mat with a little spunk...i bought the frame ($5 from micheals) and it came with a BLAND off white mat...i thought for a minute and came up with this fun and funky alternative...and the the best part is that i had everything on just may too...
you will need:
a mat
a piece of fabric a couple inches taller and wider than your mat
heat and bond no-sew variety.
cut your piece of fabric a bit bigger than your mat...i used about an inch on each the same thing with your heat and bond...iron the heat and bond onto the back of your fabric and peel off the paper backing...
center your mat under the fabric and cery carefully use your iron to tack the fabric in sure to not go crazy or you will iron your fabric onto your ironing this point you are just trying to hold it in place...
flip over...cut a triangle off of each corner...fold in and iron in wrapping a gift...
once you get the outside finished...cut out the center rectangle of your sure to stay an inch or so away from the edge...cut from the corner of the fabric to the corner of your mat...fold in each as before and iron down...
this photo shows a little better what i meant by cutting to the corner.  fold each side in and iron flat...when done with that you can turn it over and iron the front flat down...
add your print and pop it in a frame...unique and colorful cuteness. :) 

sorry the photos aren't super...we are having a dreary wet day here with minimal sun...i'll answer any questions in the comments. :) 

roller coasters.

a few weeks ago we took a little road trip to a nearby city.  we ended up in one of those little amazingly, overpriced arcade type of places.  inside was a little version of a roller coaster.  possibly one of the most tame ones that i have ever been on...and back in the day there was none that i wouldn't go on.  

growing up we lived near kings dominion and there was always some new and daring rollercoaster to try...backwards ones, upside down ones, ones where you dangled and dipped and went straight up in the air.  i could take them all.  i enjoyed them.  i waited in line for them.  it was fun.  

fast forward to this tiny little roller coaster.  a roller coaster that went around in a small oval and up and down in the most tame of ways.  a roller coaster that moses was excited to ride.  that he couldn't ride alone.  someone had to go with him and doug was not going to do it.  so i did.  i didn't think anything of it because i have been on countless roller coasters 1000's of times more crazy than this little rinky dink thing.  and let me tell you kicked my butt.  i went from complete roller coaster tolerance to zero roller coaster tolerance.  i was dizzy.  i was sick.  i was ill.  i did not like it. 

it's the same for me now with the roller coaster known as life.  back in the day i seemed much more equipped for the crazy ups and downs that came with life.  maybe it was because i was just focused on survival and not really learning...and now learning is the most important to me.  

i'm on the verge of losing track of the ups and downs we have gone through in the last few months...we'd have a dream then have it dashed...mourn, breathe, recoup...dream, dash, mourn, recoup, dream, dash, mourn,'s a cycle we are in at the moment...this last weekend was no exception.  
in the midst of a celebration, surrounded by family we had more dreams dashed.  we pushed through.  i had my cry and the party went on.  

hope has never been so hard.  i never knew it to be such a painful thing to endure.  but it is.  it's wonderful and cutting all at the same time.  

all the while these things are happening, we know that we know that God's plan is best, that He knows our path and route and has it all planned out.  we are both very ready to accept His choices for us.  but figuring them out has been tough.  

the valleys and peaks have been not so drastic as they once were.  i'd like to think that is part of our growth...that when you are hanging on to Him, He keeps you from the depths and manic highs that the world throws at you and keeps you on a more even path instead.   

He keeps us dreaming at the slightest sign of hope.  even though i am so wearied by the hands of hope.  and even though i promised to give it up to save heartache.  here we are again at it's door.  
and the cycle begins again.

party uno.

 we had a mini party for aaron on his birthday...
 ...with many VIP's...
 and special guests...
 ...there were cupcakes...
 ...and singing...and blowing out candles...
 ...a happy two year old...
 ...and a surprise at the bottom of each cupcake...
 ...that the birthday boy enjoyed...
to the best of his ability.  :) 



the first bunny hoho!

this one is in the shop with more to come!
contact me if you want a custom order! :) 


he made us do it.

someone made it impossible to allow him to sleep in his crib any longer and he ended his birthday in his happy new toddler bed.  getting him to stay there tonight may or may not have required me holding the door closed from the other side until he gave up and finally went to bed.   
and here is moses at the same stage (four months older than hoho is now).  getting this one to stay in his new bed took all of me saying "stay in your bed". 
thus proving that two kids, 
parented the same way, 
by the same parents, 
can be completely different.
but equally wonderful. 


we HAVE a two year old!

happy birthday hoho!!
today you are two!!
i know every mom says this but really...didn't we just come home from the hospital with you? 

you are the naughtiest baby i have ever known.  you prowl around looking for things to get into like a predator hunting his prey.  and you are dynamic at it.  your best move is something we call the "bait and switch".  to successfully pull of this maneuver you start by doing naughty thing A...while we are dealing with the havoc of naughty thing run to naughty thing B while we are busy cleaning up A.  we believe that naughty item B is what you really wanted to do in the first place anyway. 

your favorite word is "no". and you will sometimes sing it to us in response to a request like a choir boy practicing scales "no, no, nooooooooooooooo".  

you have to sleep with a onesie on because otherwise you will strip naked.  this has resulted in legendary messes that we didn't know where to start cleaning up. 

you regularly stick things up your nose.  you did this once and we didn't even know it was up there until you sneezed. 
your favorite shows include yo gabba gabba, little bill and olivia.  yes, olivia. 

you are going through a biting phase.  no one is safe.  
you are also the sweetest baby i've ever known.  

as shown above, you are excellent at relaxing...we're pretty sure this is one of your gifted areas.  

you love a good cuddle in the morning...or any time of day really.  you are always good for a hug and a sloppy kiss.  

you adore your daddy.  

we hardly ever get a bad report on you from sunday school or any childcare setting...usually people can't believe how sweet you are.  and you really are.  
you love to color and play play-doh.  you also love legos and any kind of ball.  

you love anything soft or cuddly...also known in our home as "giggles". 

you are our sweet baby boy and we love you so much.  you bring a lot of fun and sunshine into our family and we are so very blessed to be your parents. 

we want you to know that you are loved and that we think you are wonderful.  your sassy sweet personality brings a lot of goodness into our lives.  we want you to know that we pray for you daily...that your walk with Jesus would always bring you closer to Him and never farther away. 

we pray that you grow up as a great friend to your brother and that you always love and enjoy your family who love you and support you.

happy birthday sweet boy!!

love, your mommy

a good day.

 i'm sorry you have already seen these photos...but the story behind the day that these were taken was a fun one that i wanted to document.  winter has been loooooong.  and cold.  we've watched more TV than we are proud of...but with no basement or playroom or ability to go outside it kinda limits what we can do in a day to occupy ourselves.  plus we have had sickness on top of sickness.  each member of the family being kind enough to get well JUST before the next one falls ill. 
 so last week...we had one glorious day of 72 degree weather.  it was heaven sent.  no really.  we celebrated by having chocolate milkshakes for dinner and going to the playground at a school nearby.  we were out there for a long time...a good time...where the boys played hard and ran and ran...that good kind of fun..the kind where both boys were quiet on the ride home because they were so worn out.  it was a really good afternoon.    
 doug and moses played a game that they made up that involved this pine cone.
 i bribed moses with a gumball to do this.  because i thought it was funny.  and it is.
 aaron was a huge fan of the milkshake.  his first ever.  he ran from thing to thing on the playground carrying his little shake, putting it down while he did what he wanted...picking it up and running it to the next thing.  this shirt cracks me up...why does a short sleeved shirt make him look so much bigger? 
 aaron is fearless on the playground.  he will try anything he see's.  he fell through one of those metal bar arch ladder things...bonked his head, looked annoyed, got back up and kept going.  
he's always been a tough kid.  i can't believe he will be two in two days. 
he needs a haircut in this photo...we took care of that tonight.  moses has been a bit of a crazy child lately.  not crazy really, i's just sometimes i really wonder if all of the hearing screenings have been right.  how can this child really have perfect hearing?   please tell me that it is normal to lose count of how many times you have to tell a four year old to do something? 

lucky for him he comes with a good share of funny.  tonight at dinner he informed us that his imaginary friend clark, also goes by garg.  that garg has a baby named happer.  and that his mom is a cat fairy.  

and every single time he (moses not garg)goes to the bathroom...he feels the need to shout.  or sing.  loudly.  it happens often enough that we have dubbed it "bathroom turrets"...

so even though he makes us crazy sometimes...he is pretty wonderful.  please feel free to reassure me that he is a perfectly normal four year old boy. :) 


another version.

 we've been watching a lot of movies lately...and this is what i do. 
 i have some neurological problem that won't just let me sit there and watch a movie. 
i HAVE to feel like i am getting something done.
 so this week it was a boy version of my rainbow blanket.  it's made from super soft yarns...a mix of cotton, wool and bamboo.  all soft and all awesome.
i'm going to put it in the shop right now.  it's a tad bigger than the last one...less ruffled but still perfect for wrapping a sweet bundled baby in...or using as a lap blanket...or being a lovey.  

and my home is pet and smoke free.

and right now, in case you don't follow little bit funky on facebook, can enter coupon code:
HEYPRES20 to get 20% off of your order of anything in the shop. 
the coupon code will be good until friday.
and i''m get aaron off of the kitchen counter for the nth time today.  
and p.s.  my good friends jeremy and aaron over at Enigma photography are giving away an iPad when they reach 2,000 fans on face book.  Click HERE to get to their page and enter for your chance to win. 
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