Our first Music Together class!

For Christmas, Marsha, my mother-in-law, gave us a session of Music Together classes at our local chapter.

Will and I postponed signing up with the excuse that we were going to transition from one nap to two and had no idea when that would happen and thus could not commit to a time.

Marsha reported back to me that the woman she had spoken to had said earnestly, “oh, they should come sooner.”

And she was totally right.

If you know me very well, you likely know that I have a history of crying at such mundane banalities as long-distance phone call commercials (woah, dated reference!), soap operas, the Great British Baking Show, virtually all movies… You get the idea.

I didn’t have a chance to put on my eye makeup before we headed over and within the first five minutes, I was so glad. It was all I could do to stifle my tears. My mascara would have been all over.

The kids were soooo cute. The songs were soooo fun. It was such a relief to just be and forget my busy week and weekend. And watching Quinn become comfortable and then boogie his little butt off during free dance… Well, my heart warms and tears spring just thinking about it.

When Will and I put off signing up, we were seeing these classes as another weekend obligation.

But, I can’t wait to go back. I had just as much fun as he did. I’m excited to hear him add some of the songs we are learning to his repertoire that currently consists of mainly a slurred “Twinkle, Twinkle” (or is it the “ABCs”?? I can’t wait to figure that out!).

Our teacher in the class made a distinction between making music and consuming music; a distinction that I hadn’t considered before. We listen to a lot of music as a family, and we have a lot of silly songs that we sing already. After Sunday’s class, our daily activities have become even more musical. Will actually got out the guitar the other night. Instead of singing along to music on the stereo, I’m more likely to sing a song and invite Quinn to join. And I downloaded the Music Together app so we can sing the songs we sang in class on our way to and from daycare.

We are making more music as a family and it is the best ever.

In class, we are making music with our neighbors and that’s pretty cool too. No cell phones are allowed so you are forced to be present, musical and silly. I can’t think of a better way to spend forty-five minutes a week.

First Friday Giveaway! Win a Canvas Print from Easy Canvas Prints

Not too many months ago, my office was my home, and my absolute favorite thing to do all day was to stare out the window at the rooftops. Not particularly good for productivity. It was such a relief to move out and into our office space (part one, two), but I was sure going to miss those rooftops.

To commemorate that view, I ordered a canvas print of a photograph from Easy Canvas Prints.

I have to say it’s awesome. Super easy to order, and the color is vibrant. I chose to have the photo stretched on the sides of the canvas and it looks great.

Did we mention that Father's Day is coming up? It would be a great gift for a dad with a sentimental nature. One time I gave my dad some magnets of some photos that I had taken over the years that I thought he'd like. He gave them back a few years later.

Easy Canvas Prints is so awesome, they offered to let me give away a free 8×10″ print!

Enter Now with blog code: JENNIFER2012.  Please note that you need to live in the US, and they don’t ship free prints to Hawaii or Alaska so if you live there you’re out of luck. Poop.

We’ll accept entries until 5pm next Friday, June 6th.  I get to pick the winner!  I’m going to draw a name out of a hat!  I might even put a rabbit in there too mix things up. Continue Reading

Countdown to Mad Men

I’ve been obsessed with Mad Men since my mom and her sisters got in a big fight about why her sisters wouldn’t watch it in October of 2010. See, my mom was a working lady in that era much like Peggy, and she took offense at the fact that her sisters didn’t like the show. They got it sorted out eventually and then all of us sat down to watch an episode.

I came home and spent the next two weeks doing nothing but watching every Mad Men episode there was. Since then, Mad Men has caused us to get cable (grrr…Comcast) and many a discussion about Don, Peggy, Pete, Roger…

In fact, when our downstairs neighbors moved and we got a Pete in their place we made jokes about keeping him away from our non-existent nanny. Oh yeah, we’re hilarious.

Like so many of my fellow Mad Men fans, I’ve been riding the stages of grief over the fact that AMC has taken the better part of two years getting the new season going. What’s up with that??

Well, AMC FINALLY announced the date of the premiere of Season 5.  To commemorate this occasion (and anxiously wait for it), I — with the help of my most favorite graphic designer Lindsay and the web development skillz of my web shop, Artsy Geek — created Countdown to Mad Men, the second-to-second update about how long we have to wait for our next fix.

So, join me at CountdowntoMadMen.com and let’s wait with baited breath for the return of our favorite drunks, chauvinists and philanderers.  And if you like it, help me spread the word.  We all need something to look forward to. Continue Reading

I just sat there. Silently watching as she robbed us of another thing. OUr family’s love, which is a lot of times all we have to go on.

Mom’s friend Celestra was staying with us for a few days. This morn she slept in my bed after I got up. Mom got her to leave after Dad threatened to call the police if she wasn’t gone. With her she took: the strength our family has a whole, my Santa bear Em gave me; the fake blue flower I bought; a washcloth; and an ashtray. Not to mention the peace.

Mom had to yell at her in order for her to leave. I wasn’t home then, but when I was home she asked if she could “borrow” my Santa bear and the flower. Now I’ll never see them again.

This is one MESSED UP lady. When she arrived on our door step Thursday during the day, Mom said that she just shoved herself in. She took advantage of our hospitality and ours too. When mom asked her to leave this afternoon, Mom said she just ignored her and wouldn’t leave. Dad says she’s crazy. Just a little bit.

After Mom yelled at her to get out she got mad and decided to get Mom back. So she took our stuff that I mentioned before and burnt one of our pans. A good pan.

The point is not that she took our stuff or burnt our pan but that she stayed in my room. She went through my drawers. She took my Santa bear and flower. That sick lady robbed me of my well-being. I don’t feel as though my stuff is mine anymore. She played my tapes. She watched my TV. She probably used my deoderent for all I know. When she used those things she took posession of them. Now the only thing I know in my heart is mine is the locket around my neck. And of corse my family. But Celestra caused a major fight between my parents and I just sat there connected to the fight but not connected to the fight. I just sat there. Silently watching as she robbed us of another thing. OUr family’s love, which is a lot of times all we have to go on. One things for sure tonight’s been as close to hell as I ever want to be. I just pray Celestra never comes back. Continue Reading

$5 Lego Stop Motion

Our new roommate (we found one! and he’s awesome) alerted me to what has to be the BEST WEBSITE EVER, fiverr.com.

At fiverr.com you can pay a mere $5 and get all sorts of amazing stuff…a British young lady will videotape herself shouting your message in a banana suit, an aging hippie will sing your message and play the accordion, a terrifying dude in a green suit will dance with your message on his chest.  That last one is pretty weird.  I don’t recommend that.

And they do stuff beyond making awesome videos.  I even saw someone who will design two logos for your company for $5.  That’s just plain ridiculous.

The first $5 I plunked down was for this video as a present for my father, the Great Arno.

LOVE IT!  What an affordable gift that he’ll treasure forever!  Or for the day.  But it’s the thought that counts, right?