Thursday, December 17, 2009

Happy Birthnuakkmas

Tuesday was a big day for us. We had the fifth night of Hanukkah, celebrated my birthday early at Chili's (Brian will be out of town), and we had our family Christmas early (so Brian could be there for it). Very time efficient! I have to say, it is a relief to have the more commercial and time consuming parts of Christmas over with. Now I can just relax and enjoy crafts with the kids and holiday movies....Oh, and finish all the holiday sewing projects.

So we were on our way to Chili's and I see John goofing around in the backseat. He stole Chloe's beret and jammed it on his head. He looks like one of those mushroom babies from Super Mario Bros.

Another funny pic. I think she might pay me good money to burn this one later in life. We bought the kids several dart tag sets so that we could play as a family. Here is Emma in all her "gear". Oh. My. She is adorable. They have commandeered my dining room chairs for days now building bunkers they can defend.

Pet Grooming Misadventures

Okay so first the good pics. We went to Safari Pets, the groomer's/puppy seller's to drop of Mac for grooming. He was shedding his undercoat horribly, it was coming out in big chunks. The groomer told me she was going to "have to trim his undercoat". I thought that sounded reasonable. Expecting to come back to a dog with slightly less undercoat.

The kids kept themselves entertained begging for a new dog. Ha! No way. So I appeased them by taking pictures of them with the puppies.

So.... Skip down a few pictures. THIS is what I picked up from the groomer. a BALD DOG!!!! And trust me, in this picture the flash is his friend. It bleaches out all the pink skin and the absolute butchery that is the job these folks did. He looks like an underweight piglet, or maybe a grossly overweight rat. My poor. poor. cold. dog. Its bad. Its going to take about a year for his coat to grow back in. Meantime he will have no protection from the cold, or the sun. We are going to have to sunscreen our dog. And we get to moisturize his skin daily. Ugh.

The girls have fussed over him non-stop. Keeping him bundled up. He appreciates the attention. It makes the intense shame he feels abate slightly.

I have just today stopped wincing when I look over at him. The girls and I cried for him when we got him home. Especially when we saw all the wounds the shaver had left behind. Needless to say, we had to go and buy him a small wardrobe of sweaters. That is the bright spot here. The girls are LOVING dressing him up each morning. We got him a dog snuggie so he and Chloe can match!

Space Center

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Bass Pro Shop Winter Wonderland

Before today, I had never been to a "wilderness store". Unless you count Academy. I went there to get John a simple slingshot last year when we studied little house on the prarie. Brian was envisioning a simple split stick with a rubber band. Instead, I upgraded it to the super cool "wrist rocket" model with steel ball bearings to shoot. Brian had one of those "have you lost your mind?" discussions with me. Apparently, grown men use those to fell deer.

I guess I am not a wilderness girl. Every time I mention camping Brian starts laughing hysterically and reminds me that: A. there is no climate control in the great outdoors, B. critters live there too, C. they call it indoor plumbing cause there ain't none outdoors. This has effectively ended all camping related discussions. So I haven't ever had the need for the type of things they sell.

But I have to say, their Winter Wonderland they have set up is a little bit of awesome. These pics are the ones I took, but they provide you with a free little snapshot in a cute frame and they did a cute candy cane craft.

The kids had a blast, they have a little nerf archery/gun target practice area and I had no idea they sold toys there. Its a pretty cool store, I think we have been missing out.

And I managed to resist the urge to buy the boy a BB gun. All my neighbor's windows breathed a sigh of relief.

Beckett the Panda party

We visited Borders books for the Beckett the Panda Party. Chloe had weaseled one out of me when we were there buying school books. I was in the school/adult section when she found me.

Chloe: Mom, can I have this panda? I love him sooooooooo much!!!!

(Chloe jumps up and down frantically)

Me: I don't think so, Christmas is so soon, why don't you put him on your Christmas list?

(Chloe deflates like a sad balloon and does the sad walk back to the kid's area)

About fifteen minutes later I head for the kids section where I find Chloe staging a sit in. Clutching Beckett, rocking herself back and forth, tears streaming down her face. According to the other Mom sitting there, who clearly thought I was abusing the child, she had been in this nearly catatonic state the whole time. (PS, thanks alot ma'am, way to stay strong. Whose side are you on?)

Naturally I caved. By now she had deposited enough body fluids on it we had to buy it.

She has loved this panda to death. So when we found out there was a party for him we HAD to go. Emma brought alexander the horse. They did a great job! They had cake and hot chocolate for the kids and crafts. The girls really enjoyed themselves. John hung near me, unless he was torturing his sisters with his scissor fingers. He would take their crafts and say "snip snip" while doing scissor motions with his fingers. The child has perfected the art of annoying his sisters.

The employees putting on the storytime were super interactive. Apparently, Borders offers storytimes nationwide through the week, if you have one near you, check it out.

Happy Hanukkah or They are a bunch of animals over here

Over here at our house we celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas. So this is the third night of Hanukkah for us. The kids have been enjoying Latkes and jelly doughnuts for dinner. Whats not to like?

The kids each got a wild animal print blanket. They look like some kind of crazy zoo all piled up on the couch. Chloe is in lurve with her zebra print fleecy blanket. They are so crazy. I can't figure out if John's is a giraffe or a leopard. I told him it was giraffe to try and get him to eat his "greens" for dinner.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Family Movie Night: The Marshmallow Edition

Tonight was another cold one. It was in the fifties, I have probably been living down South too long when I define "cold one" as fifty degrees. So we started a fire. For any of you who live in colder climates and are scratching your head now, seriously if I waited for it to be colder our fireplace would never get lit. And by "fire" I mean a lone duralog. We gathered round the fire to roast hot dogs for dinner, and s'mores for dessert. Honestly, this might have had a little something to do with me wanting to have an easy dinner. I mean, how often do my kids cook their own food?
We snuggled under the blankets and vegged out with some holiday movies. Except John, he was in shorts. He and Brian must have sludge for blood it's so thick. They are never cold.

The cat even got in on the snuggling action, and John's foot.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Snow Day 2009

I have never been a terribly linear, engineer sort. Really. Ever. But it was so cold outside and I had just bought John this pirate lego set. Thankfully, Lego directions are alot like Ikea furniture assembly, they give pictures. John kept looking at me. When things weren't looking right he would say, "Its okay Mom, we can wait for Dad to get home." When I finally had it all put together right, he beamed at me. He actually beamed. I felt like I had redeemed myself in the boy toy world. I can play Barbie till the cows come home, but I have been informed that I do not make a good dragon, or dinosaur.

The kids LOVED the snow, it didn't stick much to the ground, but the loved catching it in their mouths.

They loved breathing and making "clouds"

The cat was unimpressed.

And this is what a little girl looks like after romping in the snow all day. Red cheeked and exhausted.

No Sew Easy Old Fashioned Shawls

Since it was so cold down here, when I stumbled onto this tutorial over at wee folk art, I knew I had to make this. We love anything that reeks of little house on the prarie. Plus, I had woven cotton taking up space in my closet. These are so easy, you just cut the fabric into a square, and then fray about 3/4 inch by picking out threads. I made five of them in about an hour real mom time.

The girls were using them as shawls, as lap blankets, and they even wore them as scarves under their jackets. Emma is modeling the sari look. Chloe has gone back to her Polish roots and is wearing it as a head covering!

Ps. Brandy, if you are reading this. Don't make it, I already made one for each of your girls.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Santa's Sweatshop progress so far (and links if you wanna make them)

For Christmas, I like it when a certain percentage of the gifts are handmade. Trust me when I tell you that there is WAY more thought put into them. Crikey! One of these days I will go back to pure retail and get my evenings back. Just in case you find any of this inspiring, I will put the links where I can.

First I painted some Harry Potter peg people for Chloe. You find the bags of peg people at Hobby Lobby or Micheal's for less than 2 dollars for five of them. I have a tone of acrylic paints lying around, so I didn't need to purchase those. I did however have to purchase the finest paint brush imaginable. These are so tiny to begin with. I should have just borrowed a single strand of the hair from my friends newborn. I had great fun painting them. I know not everyone is into Harry Potter, but you can adapt them for what you like. I want to make Emma a Star Wars set. I have seen People create a little mock up of their own families too.

I made little felt tea bags for Emma's tea set Brian brought back from Holland. I am also midway through a felt set of poptarts and cookies. Here is a tutorial I am using.

The TuTu has been one of the quickest and easiest things I have made so far. I made three of them in under an hour (and that is real mom time=with many interruptions from the kiddies). I used Martha's tutorial here.

Next, my friend Terra and I made glass tile pendants and magnets. I am not sure how many of these will make it out as gifts. I love these SO much. I think we are going to be forced to make another batch just for ourselves. I used the same process for both. The glass makes it hard to photograph, but these turned out really well. Here is a tutorial. I bought all my supplies for these on Etsy very inexpensively. If you head out to a Hobby Store, its really pricey.

The last thing I made was Starbucks cup sleeves from fabric. Here is a link with several different designs.

I am in the middle of about eight knitting and sewing projects. As I get them done, I will update here and post the links just in case you are bored in the evening and need something to do while you watch holiday movies!