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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Mini Makeovers

I'm slowly making progress on my girls room.  Bit by bit it's coming together, and here's a couple befores and afters.

First, the  nightstand.  Inherited from my sister.  Love the lines; the fake gold leafing  not so much.  I sanded it down, primed it, then painted (the same paint I used for her walls) and distressed it.  J made fun of me ('okay, so you're making it the 'right' kind of old and beat up.  Gotcha.')

Before

After


Next, this darling lamp was another hand me down.  It didn't have a shade when I got it, but I fixed that problem by buying just the right shade for Girlie's little nightstand,



 and following this tutorial for making rosettes, using this stuff:







came up with about 18 of these:





to make the finished lamp! 




Love mini makeovers!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sometimes words are worth a thousand words, too.

One of the best things about my kids is the notes I find all over the place.  They love to write things--conversations they overhear, lists of rules for their 'clubs', name tags, books, scripts for plays.  It's really delightful to see what they've got going on in their minds, as well as really funny spelling. 

One time they were playing hospital and brought me a doll to examine.  They have some old medical forms from my dad that they like to play with, and they handed me the doll's medical chart.  She suffered from anxiety attacks, meningitis, and chronic constipation.  Apparently.

And if pictures are worth a thousand words, then these pictures of words are surely priceless.  They tell you that:

we've been drinking the kool-aid,


 
Sammy is resigning from trash duty ("Dirty l job l is l over l for l [Sammy]"),

Girlie's got a future in event planning and advertising,



and Sammy still believes. 
(He was very concerned Santa wouldn't know 'we're not going to be here for Christmas')

Friday, December 3, 2010

Merry, Merry (& Christmas Mantel How-to)

Christmas decorating this year has been fast and furious.  I made a big push the Saturday after Thanksgiving (after a rest from Black Friday), and haven't done anything since.  But, all is merry and bright here anyway.



I added some vinyl lettering above the archway.  J was thrilled. ;)


You'd think considering my background I'd have a nice, orderly, tastefully coordinated tree. You'd be wrong.  We've got all kinds of ornaments from preschool hand deer to Strawberry Shortcake on there; souvenirs from vacation, and--my favorite--ornaments from the annual Christmas party.  It's full of great memories.


I wanted the mantel to look really abundant this year even though it's very shallow; here's how I did it:

I attached a large garland to the front of the mantel by tying loops of jewelry hemp (you could use yarn) to the garland, and taping the loops to the mantel using white artist tape.


Then I wove in white lights and berry garlands, hung giant red jingle bells and snuggled pine cones in to it.

 Then I hung the stockings behind the garland.



Then I added a second, thinner garland against the wall.  Between the garlands I added candles (some flameless, on a timer).


And taller candles.


And a berry topiary.


The finished mantel!


Click here for ideas from last year.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Dec. 2, 2010

Today was a bad mommy morning, which was unfortunate for all involved.  No sleep, baby fussing, Buddy screaming during his diaper change because he's had some wicked diaper rash and I would totally scream too if I were him, Girlie was dressed head to toe in solid RED (boots included), and about the 80th time Sammy whined, "But I reaaaaalllly want to wear this {summer} shirt to preschool {in 39 degree weather}!" I snapped and hollered--hollered--"NO, okay???"

He burst into tears.

I felt awful.

It was all me, and I knew it.  I should be able to keep it all together, but I can't sometimes.  Wracked with Mommy Guilt I apologized and hugged him.  He was still sad.  I think it cheered him up on the way to school when he and Girlie came up with the brilliant plan to buy a litter of puppies to wake them up in the morning instead of me.  And also when they read in a book flap that the author now "worked in New York City as a tutor." (Wait for it...)  Talk about hysterical laughter.  Even I snickered a little.

The holidays are so busy, and hard as I try to simplify, I think basic life maintenance requires so much that anything extra (like having friends over Sat) creates a bit of a crunch.  Bless his heart, J (the man who has programmed himself into my phone as "Lova Lova") tried to help me out by buying the "2 hours, 2 house cleaners" groupon.  When they didn't show up yesterday, as planned, I realized that it probably wasn't going to work out (long story) and the whole "clean the house" bit was tossed carelessly back onto my To Do list.

I had a few things to get for Saturday so I ran to Costco, which we all know is the best place to drop $200 without meaning to on oversized stuff that you probably didn't need.  I passed by the pink Barbie convertible (the driveable kind) on display and wondered if I could fit in it and what J would say if I showed up with it.  I'm sure I'd be the talk of the neighborhood, buzzing around in my shiny pink wheels.  I think I'd feel pretty carefree with the wind blowing through my ponytail, which I could use right now. 

When I got home from Costco, both of my babies were asleep.  So I put away the cold food, grabbed my laptop and climbed back into the van to wait the 1/2 hour before preschool pickup.  So here I am blogging.  In about two minutes I'm going to take off.  Wish me a better mommy day.  I think I'm going to need it.

(1:32 p.m.  After I picked up Sam Sam from preschool, he came home and threw up.  A lot.  So, I spent half an hour cleaning up vomit--and trying not to myself.  Awesome.)

Monday, November 29, 2010

A couple random pics and the best snow day ever.

Here are a few photo updates.  I also plan to do a real post sometime soon.  We were sick a couple weeks ago and I have a few things to say about sick men.  Stay tuned.

A true Seattle baby. 100% organic.


J's 34th birthday.  Yes, one of his gifts is French lavender cleaner from Williams Sonoma.  It's kind of a long story.

Why is Sammy dressed in a ninja costume and writhing around on the kitchen floor?  He's a diver.  Obviously.

The first Seattle snow in 2 years.  The kids scraped it off the patio furniture to have a snowball fight.  Later we had a conversation and Sammy thought it would be funny if we called snow "squishy" instead.  So we talked about squishy ball fights, making squishy angels, and "hey, look, it's squishing outside."


The next day we had some 'serious' snowfall.  It became a family snow day, and we met five other families (dads too!) in our neighborhood for some sledding down our street.  Even parents went! 
Can you say 'wa-hoo'???

J made fun of me for buying snowpants last year.  Ha.



This was the best snow day ever.  We had wintery fun all day.

The fun continued indoors.  Like tortilla masks, for instance.


Apple crisp and vanilla steamers.  I ordered 30 lbs of apples and I'm trying to get out of canning by eating them all instead.




Jelly bracelet braces.  Cheaper than the alternative, slightly less effective.

Girlie sewed a blanket and pillow that she gave to Sweetie. I think she likes it.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Just Call Me Bag Lady

I knew it was time to clean out my purse when it started hurting my shoulder because it was so heavy.  In it I found

3-size 3 diapers
2-size 4 diapers
travel size container of wipes
info sheets on Dtap, MMR, and Polio vaccines
a 10 pack of oatmeal raisin granola bars
4 Nutrigrain bars
an ad for Hancock Fabric
a sample of 'all free clear' laundry detergent
a tube of Target brand diaper rash ointment
3 pens
a notebook
5 million receipts
a Williams Sonoma gift card
a King Arthur Flour pastry scraper
1 piece of gum
a silver bracelet from Greece
the extra shoulder strap for my purse
4 cents
enough coupons to choke a horse

So stick with me.  I'm like a Boy Scout, and if we get stranded, rest assured you'll still have snack time with some gum to freshen your breath afterward, and some clean clothes.  Your wrist will look stylish while you write love notes, make a wish (or 4) in a fountain, consider returning some things, change a diaper (or 5).  You'll be able to peruse Hancock's offerings, or buy something kitchen-y at Williams Sonoma to go with your pastry scraper, or brush up on the possible side effect of vaccinations.  You can switch up the look of the purse (not to mention freeing up your hands to sort through coupons).  And you'll never have diaper rash.

What's the weirdest thing in your purse?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Next Stop: Project Runway

So I think I've got a little seamstress on my hands.  Today we started Mommy-Girlie sewing lessons.  She made a fleece scarf for her teacher's Christmas gift and this is how it went down.

She picked out three colors of fleece that she thought Mrs. Carter would like.


I helped her cut them into 6" wide lengths (we used 60" fleece) and she laid them carefully on top of each other.


Then she sewed a very straight, very long, very s-l-o-w seam down the middle.


Lovin' her new skills!


Then she cut the fleece into a thick fringe. (We took turns on this part--cutting three layers of fleece makes little hands tired).  She did this on each side.


The finished scarf!  I was so proud of her.  She loved making it, and I think her teacher will love being so stylish this winter!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Complete randomness, fall pics, and a big event.

I love acorns.  Totally love them.  And I forgot how much I love them until recently, when we went hunting for them as part of a co-op preschool project.  I mean, seriously, look at how cute they are!!  The delicious brown color, the textures, the HATS!!  For goodness sakes, the HATS!!  Kind of makes you want to paint little faces on them and keep them for pets.  Which is sort of what we did.

I also did this with the acorns.  Still cute, and no painting of faces required.

I hauled the kids over to a spacious field by the Seattle Times for a good romp in the fall leaves, something I consider a requirement for childhood autumns.



Yes, I know my kid is losing his drawers.  Look how happy he is about it, though.

Even Sweetie was fully on board with the leaf thing.

Yes, my 2-yr old is covered in mud.  Because that's what he likes to do.  And while, in this picture he appears to not like it, he really does.  He's sad that I made him take a break from it so I could photographically capture what fun he was having.

I want to eat this baby.  I can't love her enough sometimes, and I just want to eat her.  She is so delicious and delightful, so chubby and soft, and smells so heavenly.  Can't get enough of her.

Speaking of 33, that's my age now.  I'm okay with it.  Probably because it's not a milestone year (like 30) and because I can still claim "early 30's".  Because "early" implies young, which 33 is, clearly.  It also sounds like "early", which I am rarely, so I feel a little more punctual than I really am.  It was a splendid birthday filled with sweet friends who spoiled me, a family who makes me feel like a big deal, and a bunch of obligatory facebook shoutouts.

In lieu of hot chocolate this year, I'm replacing my traditional drink with caramel apple cider from Starbucks and vanilla steamers.  If you haven't tried these...you should.  Then you should figure out how to make them at home for a fraction of the cost.  Then you should share your secret recipe with me.

My kids make me laugh--really belly laugh--every day.  I don't know if every mom thinks their kids are so stinkin' hilarious, but I hope so.  I need to write down more of what they say because, man, their material is golden.  My mom still laughs at me.  That's the great thing about families.  They make you feel really funny, even if maybe you're not.  Oh, and they love you despite you.  That too.

The Big Event.
Monday November 8, 2010:  I wasn't tired.  DID YOU HEAR ME?  For the first time in years, or at least--very literally--14 pre-pregnancy months ago I wasn't tired.  We rolled Sweetie's bassinet{very lovingly} into the playroom for the night.  And she SLEPT.  And so did I.  All. night. long.  In the morning when I woke up (due to a rested body and not an alarm/crying child) I blinked a couple times. I'm...not...tired.  OH MY GOSH, OH MY GOSH, I'M NOT TIRED!!!!!  Cue crazy-energetic version of me.  I redid the mantel, rehung the dining room window panels, finished decorating for fall (I only recently made my peace that summer is over), switched out family room window treatments for their winter counterparts, covered up the patio chairs for the season, did laundry, cleaned the kitchen.  I bounded around the house, sprinted up the stairs, danced around the kitchen. 

I felt like me again. I remembered me!  Me was fun!  I miss me.

This was a b-i-g deal for me.

Today was different.  My sleep was interrupted 6 times last night.  I'm back to yawning and winding my way through the bouncy seat, walker, baby gym, car seat, and swing that 'decorate' my floor.  But now I have a shining beacon of hope that someday, just maybe, Me will be back.