Interview with Sarah (almost Kindergarten!)

What if your favorite color:  Pink
What is your favorite TV show:  My Little Pony
What is your favorite food: Chocolate Chip Cookies
Who is your best friend: Daddy
What is your favorite book: Clifford
What is your favorite toy: Puppy
What is your favorite thing to do: Make crafts
What is your favorite letter:  S as my name Sarah
What do you want to be when you grow up:   Singer
Anything else you’d like to add?:  I like to make cats.  I like to eat healthy snacks like apples.  And my favorite princess is Cinderella.  My favorite animal is cute sheeps.   My favorite sound is Baaaaaaaah (like a sheep).  And I love my family a lot.  And I love my pet Loki and guinea pigs.  I love doing donkey kicks.  I like to drink milk.  That’s all I would like to say.

Posted in kids | Leave a comment

Random August update

Oooookay,  nobody ever accused me of being a great blogger,  so it should come as no surprise that I’ve not posted here in the past year!  I do post a bit on my commercial site at Clementine Digitals though.   THAT,  by the way,  has been going fantastically.   I have been amazed at the success I’ve had on Etsy,  and I’m so happy to be able to have found this niche for myself,  it’s incredibly rewarding!

But the updates that matter most are the ones that concern the kids.  They change so much,  so being able to write down little snapshots in time is great,  I just wish I remembered to do it more often!

Sarah will be starting Kindergarten in a few weeks.  She was scared at first,  she’s going into french immersion and she’s scared that she won’t know how to speak it,  but she’s attending an english school so I’ve reassured her that the other children will be in the same boat!    She will do VERY well in school I’m sure,  she’s a smart girl.  She can navigate the internet pretty easily and find funny cat videos and play games (on a kid browser of course,  there are plenty of sites out there that I wouldn’t want her to stumble upon yet!).   She still carries her puppy around EVERYWHERE and gets teary eyed at the thought of having to be separated from him for school.    She loves My Little Pony,   the Care Bears,  Strawberry Shortcake…  strange that all of MY favorite 80s cartoons are in again!   She’ll be joining the Girl Guides again this year,  last year she was a member of the local Sparks troupe and she loved it,  so she’ll be a Spark again!

Sam,  he has 3 television shows that he absolutely adores.  Dora,  Diego,  and Superwhy.   He will tolerate Blue’s Clues,  In the Night Garden,  and Yo Gabba Gabba.   Anything else,  and he’s not interested.   He’s a much different toddler than Sarah was.   He doesn’t take no for an answer.  He will smile as he defies you.   He’s a tough kid too,  he’ll fall down and get right back up with a minimum of fuss.  (His sister on the other hand,  will lightly scrape something and it’s the end of the world!).   This year he got his first broken bone from falling off of the couch.   He flipped over the couch and landed on his shoulder and broke his clavicle.   Of course we didn’t really realize it was broken until 3 days later,  poor little one.   Thankfully he healed fast and is as good as new :)   He loves playing with his sister,  stealing her toys and chucking them over the gate,  tormenting her… I think probably normal little brother activities!   He’s starting to talk more and more,  in 3-4 word sentences now.   It warms my heart to hear him say “I love you too mommy!”   Bedtime for him consists of grabbing his minou-nuk (he says it as if it’s one word,  his pacifier and his grey stuffed kitty) and turning on Doo-Dah.   I’ve never understood why he calls it Doo-Dah but that’s his Fisher Price aquarium (on his crib).  He’ll be moving into his big boy bed at the end of the summer,  I’m not sure how well that will work out considering he’s a much bigger handful than his sister was,  telling him to stay in bed isn’t likely to work on HIM!     He’ll be starting daycare in September so I hope that goes well with him,   I can certainly put the 6 or so hours of kid-free time per day to good use with Clementine Digitals!

Last month Ethan and I spent a weekend in Quebec City and saw Roger Waters perform the Wall live (last night of his tour!).  It was great and a dream come true for Ethan.    Next month we’re heading back to Vegas,  I’m really looking forward to that too!



Posted in kids | Leave a comment

Interview with Sarah at almost 5 years:

An interview with an almost-5-year-old:

What if your favorite color:  Pink and Purple
What is your favorite TV show: Backyardigans
What is your favorite food: Apple
Who is your best friend: Daddy and mommy and Sam
What is your favorite book:Hunny Bunny
What is your favorite toy: my Puppy, I love him
What is your favorite thing to do: Read a book at bedtime
What is your favorite letter:  My favorite letter is F
What do you want to be when you grow up:  I want to be a doctor when I grow up all the way to 30.
Anything else you’d like to add?:   Yes,  I love Daddy the bestest.  I love my brithday also.  I love you mommy.   I love sleeping in my bed comfy.  That’s it.


Posted in kids | Leave a comment

Time for an update!

It’s 11:30pm and I’m not sleepy yet,  so it’s time for a random update since I haven’t posted in a while.

Well Sam is of course solid on his feet now and running all over the place.  He still points to his belly all the time,   still yells “Mommeeee Mommeeeeee”,  but now also added to his word repertoire:  Puppy,  Ball, Book,  Bye… he also says “naw naw” jokes (instead of knock knock).  He doesn’t really get the point of them but he understands they are supposed to be funny so he laughs.

Sam: Naw naw
Me: Who’s there?
Sam: …. hahahah.

Sarah is also big time into jokes.   Her favorite:

Sarah:   Why did the chicken cross the road?
To get to the other side of the walk street!  HAHAHAHA!

I’ve corrected her a few times and told her it was a sidewalk,  but it’s endearing,  so walk street it is.   (I think she figures surely the chicken would not walk IN THE ROAD since we have told her that is very bad!)

She is still pretty obsessive over her bedtime rituals… we are still stuck saying “No bump!  Good night!  I love you!  Sweet dreams!” a few times every night.  Followed by a little mini tantrum (But what if the bad dreams come?  but what if I get itchy?… what if what if…).   Oh a new ritual is that she must have “bad dream spray” to keep the bad dreams away,  which is just a water spritzer bottle we keep on her desk.    She also still carries Puppy around everywhere!

Back to Sam,  he’s on one nap a day,  he’s sleeping from about 1pm to 4pm!  During Sam’s nap Sarah either plays on the computer or she does some “homework” out of the preschool curriculum books I have.

And here are some random photos:




Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

March madness?

We’re all mad here.

February came and went, Sarah dropped her first F bomb,   which shocked me and probably shouldn’t have made me laugh, but it just sounded ridiculous from the mouth of a 4 year old.  Had a stern talk with her about how it’s a very very naughty word and she shouldn’t say it,  her father feels it’s his fault as he lets the word slip out pretty often,  but I think we’re both guilty of doing it.   We are probably inappropriate parents by many peoples standards… but yeah,  it’s a milestone right?

Sam started WALKING this month.   Early in the month he started taking a few steps at a time… he had been cruising for a long time,  but finally got the courage to take a step on his own without hanging on to anything.  Now he’s walking from one end of the house to the other without falling,  he’s still not super solid on his feet,  and he still gets places quicker with his fast crawl (you wouldn’t believe how fast!),  but I think soon the baby crawl will be gone.  My baby is growing up so fast :(   He’s an incredibly happy baby toddler,  he loves pointing at his belly while saying BABY! over and over again.  He also loves to yell MOMMEEEE MOMMEEEEE,  awww,  melts your heart doesn’t it?     ALSO,  he’s started hating car rides, which makes the drive to my parents nearly unbearable.  About 15 minutes in he’s screaming and he doesn’t let up until we get there,  and it’s a 45 min – 1 hour drive.  Ugh!

What else… business in february was a bit slower than it had been on Etsy,  but did pretty well at MyGrafico.  Well considering the amount of products I had up.   I need to put more things up!  As Sam gets more demanding it’s pretty hard to find the time to do the clip art,  and when evening comes around I’m just brain dead.   He’s still taking two naps a day but the 2nd nap is really just him in his crib calling to me,  so I think he’s ready to transition to one nap a day.    Sarah’s favorite sentence these days seems to be “BE QUIET SAM!  BE QUIEEEEEEET!”  because he’s always babbling when she’s trying to watch TV.

Back to Sarah,  she is down to no naps during the day,  she sleeps well at night… she went through a phase where she didn’t want to be alone at all,  and she would throw a tantrum at bedtime.  That seems to be settled now,  though she still believes in her own personal boogey man, Mr. Bump.    I’m not sure why she thinks Mr. Bump will come to her at night and scare her,  but she does.  Every night we have to do the ritual,  we both HAVE to say “No bump” or she won’t go to bed.  She also needs her Iggle Piggle light on,  and her ladybugs music box running.   And I love yous.  And another No bump to be safe.  She sleeps through until morning and then plays quietly in her room until we’re up with Sam.  She’s always the first awake.

Weight loss wise,  bleh,  it’s a struggle,  always.  I’m trying something new, will see how it goes.

Posted in kids | Leave a comment

Back from vacation

Just got back from a wonderful vacation!   It started out pretty stressful but everything was fine in the end!

I had been tracking a snow storm in the northeast that was going to potentially impact our flights to New Orleans… our original plan was to drive into Burlington VT on tuesday Jan 11th,  sleep at one of the park and fly hotels,  and then take a shuttle to the airport the next morning for our flights to New Orleans.   We packed monday night and had a list of things still to do on tuesday morning before dropping the kids off at my parents.  Tuesday morning I woke up and noticed that our wednesday flights were cancelled due to the coming storm,  full on panic mode at that point!  I knew that if we didn’t fly out right away it would be at least thursday before we would be able to fly again, and of course our New Orleans hotel reservations were non refundable.   I called Continental and they were great about it,  quickly booking me into a flight leaving THAT SAME DAY at 3pm.  The next hour is a huge blur,  running around throwing everything into the car,  called my parents to let them know we’d be there early,  cancelled our reservations for the Burlington hotel that night,  and just really really hoped that our flights wouldn’t get cancelled when we got to Burlington.    We dropped the kids off (I wasn’t ready,  we really thought we’d have all day with them,  it seemed like such an abrupt goodbye) and drove to Burlington,  made good time,  got there at about 1pm.   Sat around still very stressed,  waiting for the other shoe to drop.  Our connection was in Newark,  and the snow storm was headed straight for it…  we were half convinced that our flight would get cancelled at the last minute,  or at the very least that we’d get stuck in Newark instead of Burlington…  Noticed on the flight monitors that other airlines that were flying from Burlington to Newark that day had already cancelled THEIR flights,  Continental’s were still showing on time.   Finally,  flight time rolled around and our flight was a go.  We took off,  and were a tiny bit relieved… at least we were moving forward.  If we had to stay in Newark for a day or two,  we’d make the best of it.    We landed in Newark,  had supper,  and headed over to our gate to see how things were going.  At this point we weren’t too stressed anymore as a lot of flights were going out.   Our flight wasn’t cancelled but was one of the very last flights to leave the airport before the snow storm shut down the rest of the flights,  we cut it VERY close.  The pilot was telling everyone to sit down and buckle up because we had to leave NOW or we’d not make it out ahead of the storm.   Once we were airborne I was finally able to relax!  New Orleans here we come!

We had reservations at the Roosevelt hotel for wed/thur/fri nights, and were relieved that they had room for us when we landed at 11pm on tuesday night,  at least we wouldn’t have to switch hotels!  The hotel was absolutely beautiful… the shower was to die for,  multiple jets.  There was even a television in the bathroom!

That night Ethan and I went out onto Bourbon street and had a beer at Howl at the Moon.   We went back to the hotel to sleep after,  it was a very long day!

The next morning we went shopping in the french quarter,  discovered Jamie Hayes gallery,  what a wonderful place… we bought a little stuffed voodoo doll there and a few wooden baubles,  we could have easily bought lots more but we were on a budget.  Also bought the greatest pair of jeans ever at the Voluptuous Vixen.   Amy and Barry’s flight arrived shortly after so we returned to the hotel to meet up with them.   They had had some flight issues as well but the ended up getting into New Orleans only a little later than they were originally scheduled.   They decided to be smart about things and mail their luggage through UPS guaranteed 2 day delivery so they wouldn’t have to worry about the airline losing their luggage.   Anyways… they got to the hotel and checked in,  and then we headed out for supper.  Ate at the Acme Oyster House,  I had a ham po’boy,  very good.  After supper we went back to Bourbon street for some drinking,  heading to Pat O’Briens for some hurricanes,  sat in the freezing cold on their terrace and had a few each.   We then headed to Howl at the Moon where I proceeded to get entirely too drunk (had a few long island iced teas) and wrote some lovely comments on the song request cards.   We also were a bit confused over the use of bathroom attendants,  surely I don’t need someone to squirt soap in my hand and hand me a towel… awkward!      We headed back to the hotel after,  surprisingly it was only about 10pm but we were pretty much done,  having been drinking since about 5pm!

The next morning I woke up to the worst hangover of my life,  and we went to IHOP for breakfast.   I managed to eat some toast and some eggs,  I don’t remember much of what we did that day… I know we hit up happy hour at Domenica’s and had some great pizza,  and Barry ordered the most awesome pumpkin fritter things with frothed egg nog dip or something like that.   They were great though!   We also found out that Barry and Amy’s luggage was not in New Orleans yet and that in fact it wasn’t even in Atlanta yet,  and that the 2 day delivery guarantee from UPS basically meant nothing.  The person they spoke to said that the luggage should be there on friday.

On friday,  Amy called UPS again and this time was told that there was no chance at all that their luggage would get there before our cruise left.   So basically they shipped their luggage UPS because they were afraid the airlines would delay it or lose it,  and instead UPS just totally screwed them over.    Emergency mode,  we located a likely shopping spot 10 miles away and hopped in a cab.   We spent a few hours finding warm weather clothing for them to wear on the cruise,  though bathing suits were an issue,  nobody had any in stock that were suitable.    Finally we headed back to the hotel to meet up with Tanya and Brent,  whose flights had arrived.   I know we did supper at Margaritaville ,  had beignets at Cafe du Monde,  and some more hurricanes at Pat O’Briens.  We also went to the Cat’s Meow karaoke bar,  though none of us sang (not that Tanya didn’t try to convince us!)  I know the boys tried hand grenades,  but I wasn’t about to try drinking those,  the monster hangover was still fresh in my mind.   We finished the night at Domenica’s,  had some pizza and those yummy pumpkin fritters again… and Brent told us an interesting story about his 20 minute trip to the bathroom and something about a zip gun.

Saturday morning we headed to the cruise terminal for embarkation… embarkation is not the greatest process,  it took 1.5 hours or so this time.  Love this pic of us 3 girls right after boarding:

View of New Orleans from our balcony right after sail away:

The cruise was a ton of fun.  I didn’t take that many pictures of the ship itself,  I never carried my camera around while we were in the ship.  I really enjoyed both of the big ship shows (Wonderful World and The Big Easy),  didn’t spend any time in the piano bar or the hollywood dance club… Tried seeing a comedy show one night but was too tired.  The rest of the time was spent eating yummy yummy food and gambling in the casino.  We spent a ton of time at the blackjack tables!  Tanya was the lucky one at the slots,  Brent seemed to have the best luck at the Blackjack tables,  Ethan and Barry preferred to just drinking and not gamble… I think I did OK,  I didn’t win a lot of money at the tables but I played for hours and hours on the same chips,  winning some and then losing some and then winning some more.   I also won 80$ on a slot machine,  and probably lost about 40 bucks in the stupid quarter pushing machines,  they are my kryptonite.    The only formal night we participated in was on sunday or monday night,  I forget which… here we are all dressed up!

Our first port was supposed to be Belize but they were having some disputes with the local tender operators,  and so we got Grand Cayman instead.  I was quite excited about this change,  we had been scheduled to stop in Grand Cayman on our 2005 Carnival Valor cruise,  but a hurricane had diverted us to the East caribbean itinerary back then.   I had long wanted to swim with the stingrays there,  so booking the excursions was a complete no brainer,  Ethan and I opted to do Stingray City and Coral Gardens snorkel.  It was awesome!

Our second port was Roatan,  Honduras… here we opted to do a private tour by Bodden Tours,  this turned out to be a GREAT idea,  it was just awesome.  Our tour guide Channon was great and told us all about the many many aphrodisiacs found on the island :P  He even made us smell the most disgusting one (noni fruit),  isn’t he so nice?  We did some shopping,  toured the island,  took some nice photographs… it was HOT that day.  We also visited the monkey house where we got to hold real monkeys,  it was great,  Ethan was quite excited about MONKEYS!

Our final port day was Cozumel,  Mexico.  I had done research online prior to our trip and found Nachi Cocom,  an all inclusive beach club where we could spend the day.  It was really awesome!  Waiters bringing us free drinks,  beautiful ocean spread out before us,  white sand beaches,  shade and sun… cold refreshing water on our bare feet in the bathroom (hah!),  it was seriously great.

Finally our last day at sea,  time to say goodbye to all the memorable characters we met on our cruise…  we’ll remember you fondly,  Dumptruck D (Amy and Barry’s neighbour),  Cooter (thanks for the tips on the quarter pushing machine,  and so glad you finally scored),  and Blackjack sugar daddy (Pinky played a long time with your money,  and you must have given Tanya at least 30-40$ that night… I hope you really are rich and weren’t just drunk!)

Sad that vacation is over,  but we made a lot of memories!

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Name change – new directions!

Sorry I haven’t been by here lately,  life has been really hectic lately!   But basically what you need to know is that I am no longer selling under the name Digital Alchemy,  and so I am no longer going to be updating this blog with scrapbooking designs.  I am now selling under the name Clementine Digitals,  and am going in a new direction.   Illustrator had always been a mystery to me,  I didn’t understand it’s use,  and I can’t draw with pencil and paper and so I never really pursued it any further.   Plus,  the pen tool confused the heck out of me!   Over the past few months though I’ve learned to appreciate Illustrator,  and also learned that even if I can’t draw with a pencil,  it doesn’t mean that I can’t “draw” with the tools that Illustrator provides!  And so I started drawing clip art,  and as an experiment I put up some pieces on Etsy… and they sold.  And that’s been going on for a month now and I just passed 50 sales,  so I think I’ve found my niche!   I’ve been spending a LOT of time getting inventory into the store there.

What does this mean for my store at Zig Zag Scrap?  It’s still open!  I have rebranded myself there and will mostly be offering layered templates created from my clip art,  this should appeal more to digital scrapbook designers who would like to shadow and create more of a “paper pieced” look than just my plain old flat colored clip art!    Both stores (Etsy and ZZS) will offer commercial use items,  though hopefully still priced at a pricepoint that is affordable for personal use as well.

On the more personal side of things,  we are gearing up to go on vacation soon… in 3 weeks I’ll be on a plane headed to New Orleans,  where we’ll spend 3 nights before boarding our 7 day western caribbean cruise!  I absolutely CAN’T WAIT,  it’ll be so much fun!  Planning on being lazy on the beach in Mexico,  seeing monkeys in Honduras,  and maybe scuba diving in Belize… mm :)

I’ve also been doing couch to 5k for the past 6 weeks to varying levels of success…  The first week was hard,  I lived through it,  though at week 6 now,  I am unable to do the 20 minute run… I’m up to 12.5 minutes running in a row though,  which is a HUGE improvement over the 1 minute and then wanting to die feeling of week 1 :)

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

New release this week at Zig Zag Scrap!

I have a new kit available this week… I was trying for a neutral or boy themed kit and was inspired by a collection of old toys,  Spirograph,  sock monkeys,  tin robots,  meccano play sets… fun stuff!

It’s available here,  and 20% off this weekend!

Posted in design | 1 Comment

Weight loss update

I figure I’m overdue for an update on how the weight loss is going! I’m now down 68 pounds so far this year.  I’m really NOT going to make my 100 pound goal by my January cruise,  but that’s ok!   I’m hoping to lose 15-20 more before then but we’ll see how it goes,  as long as the scale goes DOWN I’m happy!  I plot my weight every day on a graph,  and it’s pretty cool to see the cycles.  It seems that every month I’m only losing weight about one week per month,  the other 3 are spent retaining a lot of water I think!  Then whoosh,  5-10 pounds in a one week period.  It would be easy to get discouraged seeing the scale climbing up for 3 weeks at a time,  but I think that’s just the way my hormones are affecting me.  Pre pregnancy it seems that it was a more consistent weight loss and not in chunks like this.

I also started Couch to 5k this week,  I am sooo not a runner.  At all.    But I AM determined.  And so I went all out… bought a treadmill and some fancy running shoes (which I bought at a  running store to make sure they were right for me,  safety first!),  I figure the purchase guilt alone will ensure that I make good use out of them,  hah!   The first day was a disaster.  I think I set my speeds too high,  and it was more like a high intensity interval training… my walk was fast,  my jogging was TOO fast,  I couldn’t even do it,  I climbed off the treadmill after 20 minutes completely and totally spent and discouraged.  Then some forum people told me to SLOW DOWN,  that the goal was to complete the workout,  not go fast.  So I did,  and I completed the next workout!  It’ll keep getting harder week after week,  but I’m excited at the thought of being able to run 5k some day!

Posted in weight loss | Leave a comment

Zig Zag Scrap blog train!

Welcome to the  Zig Zag Scrap blog train!    You’ve just arrived from  Arumrose.

Here’s my contribution:

Sorry, the download link has expired.

Your next stop is Jenny!

Did you miss anyone along the way?  Get the full listing at the Zig Zag Scrap blog!  And have a great international Digital Scrapbooking Day – don’t forget that we have a 30% off sale at the store,  great time to stock up on lots of wonderful scrapping supplies!

Posted in design, Freebies | 8 Comments