Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thrifted and first words

Even though all my pottery is safely stored in the basement right now away from Sammi the Shark, I couldn't resist these two tiny pots at the thrift.
A quilted McCoy.
And a mystery.

Samantha Dear is telling you about her "kitty cat" in this photo. Right now she says mama (or mom or my ma) and cat and kitty cat. And some version of "shhh shhh" which I think is because her father is trying to teach her "shiny".

She also is VERY into nodding her head no no no. Particularly when she is busy eating something she knows she shouldn't be eating. LOL

Still no progress on sign language though! I am still working diligently on milk, eat, more, and the sign for cat (even though she already knows that word). (It's interesting to see the difference in the kids. Jack was a very proficient signer by this point.)

At least she isn't saying "shit" yet, which was one of the first five words that Jack knew. LOL

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

From thrift store garland to new front door wreath

Lately I have been admiring these rugs on pinterest that are made from felt balls.

There is something about their perfect round shape that appeals to me I suppose.
Yesterday when Sammi and I were attempting to thrift up a fake green Christmas tree* I spotted a bag full of this garland for $1.50. I snatched it right up because it reminded me so much of those felt balls. (These are actually thread covered balls, like those old satin ornaments, but not satin.)
Then I cut the garlands apart and set about hot gluing a million of them to a wreath.
Et voila! A new front door wreath.

It wasn't working out as I had planned, and I had serious fears of another craft fail.

But this?

This is no craft fail.


*We usually buy a live tree for our "family" ornaments on Christmas Eve. But since I have no tree in the windows for other people to see this year, I decided I would just put the green tree up here in the office window so it could be seen from the street. (Jack INSISTS that the white trees are not "real" and we MUST have a green one.) But I don't want to try and keep a live tree alive that long. Holy SMOKES fake green trees are 1) ugly (to me) 2) all prelit (aka pain in the rumpus) 3) EXPENSIVE. I have no clue what I am going to do about this problem. LOL

** The white tree is already up and done!

Monday, November 28, 2011

No foolin'

I saw these tights on pinterest this morning and decided to whip some up for Sam before Jack gets off the bus.

I had a pair of socks I bought on clearance I was going to make baby legs from so I just used those.
She wasn't foolin' when she said these take 5 minutes - start to finish.

Sammi, aka the baby who never stops moving, is rockin' them old school style with a denim jumper.

Sweet! I love dressing a girl. So many options. :)

P.S. My sewing machine has a stretchy zig zag stitch, I used that instead of a regular zig zag. I have a serger, but in general I cannot be bothered to get it out and use it.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A craft disaster

I had this great idea that Jack and I could turn pinecones into "porcelain" pinecones for my parents for Christmas by dipping them in plaster.

I am pretty sure I got this crazy idea when I saw some silk flowers dipped in plaster in a magazine.

They were lovely.

Pinecones dipped in plaster?

Lovely until they dry.
This one isn't so bad yet.
This one was the *very best* one in the bunch, but as you can see the plaster is pulling away from each "petal".
This is what it will look like in a few days.
We tried different kinds of pine cones - this one is delicate and papery - same result.
This one was the last one I dipped. For some reason by this point the plaster kept seizing, no matter how much water you added, and there was no way to make it thin.

The bonus of THAT disaster is that the plaster is so thick there is no way in hades it is going to chip off.

What I am left with is one hot mess, NOT a pile of Christmas pretties.

I am still trying to sort out a way to make this a viable plan, but it's entirely possible I should just give up!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Choo Choo

(Blogger has gone loco and is putting all sorts of weird spacing in my posts!)
We took the kids to the big train show this morning.

Among other things, we saw this AMAZING Lego layout (It was a monorail, apparently discontinued in 1993, but all his own designs, not a kit).

And none of it was glued together.

That's brave!

It has reignited Jack's love of all things train and he is downstairs driving Dave insane pushing him to get our trains up and running in the blink of an eye.

No adventure is complete with a stop for mom, which yielded ornaments! This black one is huge.
These bells are fun, they have a glass ball inside of them that makes them ring.
A pile of standard pretties.
Fun indents.
A kitschy elf.
A cute printed putz house.

And a captive elf.

'Tis the season!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Helper Elf

I am still on a mission to get as much of the Christmas stuff done in November as possible. So I decided yesterday was a good time to start putting up the tree. (It takes me more than a week to hand wire 500 vintage ornaments on it!)

But when I pulled out the tree I saw this. YUCK! The entire top half had turned khaki colored. (And I think this was my sort of pricey Martha Stewart tree I got when we got married.)

It is totally unsuitable now for my precious ornaments, so off to freecycle it went.

But first cheeks had to crawl in the bag and check things out. My little helper elf!

She is the most curious baby!

I spent today pushing 700 twinkling lights into submission.

And we are almost ready for lift off, a k a, ornament wiring time!

*I had to put the tree in the dining room this year, which is sort of a bummer. No movies by the Christmas tree and no twinkle can be seen from the street. But cheeks is way, way, way too curious for it to be in here.

Monday, November 21, 2011


(Yes, the cheeky monkey is looking for trouble in the trash can!)

A local grocery store runs this crazy $10 off a $50 purchase on Thursdays occasionally.

It happened to fall on last Thursday, the Thursday before Thanksgiving.

Being the completely insane person I am, I took both the children there. We waited in the craziest lines I have ever seen at the supermarket.

As we were waiting the woman in front of me says, "How old is your baby"? I reply that she is 10 months. "How old is your older child?" Seven, I say.

And then out of her mouth comes something that made me want to go a little bit postal.

"Oh, she is one of THOSE."

Imagine my mouth hanging open here.

And then my brain working furiously to remind myself that Jack is standing right there.

So, loudly, and bluntly I said "SHE IS NOT ONE OF 'THOSE'".

That's the thing about infertility. You think everything is okay, and you are cruising along in life forgetting about much of it and then one day you are standing there buying some stuffing for your seven year old (who can only think about stuffing) and WHAMO! it smacks you right in the f*ing face.

And before you know you are in the middle of the supermarket - eye to eye with some broad you don't even know - and you want to tell her that she might be a lot of things that are yet to be determined, but what she most certainly is not is an accident.

That what she is a miracle.

That she is two of the hardest, most gut wrenching years of your life. That she is lost babies. And a lost twin. And standing up in your driveway hemorrhaging after going to get an ice cream with your kid. And trips to the ER. And fertility drugs. And many, many visits to doctors.

That she is the most loved little girl in our little world.

And my "older child?"

He is exceptional too, thank you very much.

He is, without a doubt in the world, one of the brightest little boys I have ever known. And I have to fight a lot for him too right now. I have to call the school every single day and argue that he is NOT going to sit in a desk day after day wasting away. He is not a test score. And I don't care if it is a challenge for all of us (because trust me, it's a challenge for me too, Jack is way smarter than I am).

But you know what? He is NOT one of "those" kids either. It's a different kind of "those," but if the shoe doesn't fit...

So, Dear Woman in the Shop N Save, you should consider yourself lucky that my older child was standing there.

But next time?

Keep your opinions on other's reproductive "habits" to yourself.

Because my kids are NOT one of "those."

Sunday, November 20, 2011

An adventure

Yesterday was one of the worst days with Jack we have had since he was three years old. He started having tantrums at about 11 am and he was still carrying on at 7 30, with the last one lasting from 4 30 to 7 30.

I will only say this - I was moments from taking him to the hospital, because something must be seriously wrong with a child for him to scream for 3 hours.

(And I don't know what the answer to our current issue is but I am pretty sure there is a big change on our horizon for Jack.)

Anyway, I was left feeling completely and utterly burned out, so off to grandma's house he went today.

We went to a global food market and our favorite Indian restaurant and then off to an Asian dollar store that I *just* learned about this week from my best girlfriend.

These photos are utter crap because it is nighttime and rainy, but you get the idea.

We popped into an estate sale in a very, very, very fancy neighborhood where I picked up a roll of foil wallpaper from 1979. I have seen a few wallpaper art type projects on pinterest and I think it might be fun for that, even if it is way more 1970 than anything else I ever buy.

The dollar store was loads of fun (but nothing is a dollar! LOL it's all $2). Rice ball molds;
Gingham bento/cupcake/whatever (will be crafty in my house) papers;
The cutest sponges ever;
No wait, maybe these are the cutest sponges ever;
Or are these the cutest sponges ever?;
A cloth "lunch sack";
A very cute notebook;
And another;
And even cute trash cans!;
A cute plastic box.

I love Japanese cute so very much. It totally made up for a bad, bad Saturday.

Now if only I could find a bookstore in town that sold the Japanese books and magazines I love. I tried asking around in "chinatown*", but no one there spoke english. When I asked the man in the dollar store he replied "oh, I get a new door soon!" Umm, great? LOL

*I had no idea we even had a chinatown until this week, but we do indeed.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

You'll shoot your eye out

Jack had early release from school today (that is all the rage around these parts, they are letting these kids out of school at least one day a month now for staff development), so I decided to take the kids to the "dead animal zoo", aka Bass Pro.

Directv made me do it. Did you know that right now they have an entire channel dedicated to the Santa stuff at Bass Pro? LOL

Anyway. Late one night I spotted said channel and when I saw that they had GUNS GUNS for the kids I knew Jack would love it.

You see, Jack is obsessed with guns. His favorite tv show? Top Shot. (Featuring the oh so hot Colby from Survivor fame. Ahem.)

Me? So NOT obsessed with guns. How did a pacifist like me get a gun loving child?

I am trying not to make a big deal of it. My dad is a hunter and card toting NRA man, so I am just going with it.

So off to the dead animal zoo we went.

And you know what? It was fun. Awesome for little boys actually. (And blissfully not crowded at 2 in the afternoon on a Thursday.)
There were trains to drive.

And slot cars to race. (I actually won once.) And RC cars too.
Bows and arrows to try out.
And Red Ryder BB guns to shoot. (Not really, it was an arcade game type thing. And actually Jack loved the bow and arrow a lot more than this.)
There were pretty babies to admire while they lounged in your lap watching the action.
And photo ops that seemed to be going okay...
until you are suddenly convinced that JACK IS GOING TO DROP THE BABY! (Which he wasn't).
And then the baby decides that there are plenty of interesting things she could be eating while we are just sitting here.

And it was all FREE.

I am totally not being paid to say this, but if you have little boys and a bass pro, you should really go shoot your eye out* for the holidays. :-)

But go on a week DAY. The elves** told me that place is insane at night.

* Everyone knows that movie, right?

**Peter the elf was awesome with Jack. He played with him while I was doing some baby juggling at a lot of the stations.

/Bass Pro should feel free to send me my paycheck now!