Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year

Another year come and gone.

I was thinking in the car today that I honestly do not even remember very much of 2013. Its all a blur of health problems and sick kids and the sheer exhaustion of my health problems and caring for two very small people.

Every year I try to choose a one word resolution. I started it  a few years ago when it was the *thing* to do. I have no idea what my word was for 2013. 

For 2014 it's going to be cultivate! Cultivate time for myself. Cultivate a garden again. Cultivate some normalcy for the kids again. (Man this year was rough.)

But most importantly - cultivate some more friendships for myself. I lost my BFF in 2012 just weeks before Grant was born and I still feel the absence of that relationship in many ways.

Onward and upwards always, eh?

I needed a new skillet so we hit homegoods this morning.  I fell crazy, madly in love with this weird, glittery, rubber (made in Germany of all places) taxidermy head. Like L O V E. Even at 1/2 off it was still WAY more than I would pay for this type of thing ($22, what the what?), but I am going to love it for a long time, so it's mine now.

Be warned, you have not seen it for the last time. LOL
We took a family portrait selfie and it turned out great. Except for the glare on my glasses I would also be in L O V E with this picture of us. (I swore last year on New Years that we would try and take a self portrait every year for New Years since I am NEVER in the pictures and I want the kids to have at least one photo of me. It is kind of a fun tradition.)
Compared to this one in 2012. Where Jackson was screaming and crying and Sammi had just had a HUGE tantrum and wouldn't stop hitting Jack and Grant was a tiny hungry newborn baby who needed nursing constantly...dude. We are lucky we are all alive! (However looking back on those is funny because Grant? yea, still makes the same grumpy faces.)

And my littles! My shorties! So much more awesome this year. 

Grant cannot resist ripping off that star. And he is only good for approximately two photos before this:
starts to happen.
But still.

Getting easier every day.

With that, Happy New Year to you and yours.

Thank you for visiting us here. For supporting us through the fun stuff, the ugly stuff, the hard stuff, the joyous stuff and all of the stuff in between.

Monday, December 30, 2013

2013, a year of the kids

I am not the least bit sorry to see 2013 go.  2014 will HOPEFULLY bring me:
Another child who walks
Another child who uses the potty
Another child who continues to make great strides in self control and awareness
More time to breathe
Some time for myself
And hopefully (mostly) continued relief from the darn arthritis pain.

This past year, the kid version:

Cheeks turned 2.
We did photo shoots at nearly every opportunity. This one for Valentines day.
The leprechaun version.
The Easter version.

Father's Day. (Man Ginty looks H O T.)

Fancy new camera arrived in July.
Sammi started one day of school a week in August. (Must find enough money to send her two days a week. She LOVES that place. She is completely unlike my boys who do not like to be separate from us for any reason.)
September and my Ginty turned the big ONE~!
October and Jack turned the even bigger 9. (Last single digit!)
More theme shots of course. Pumpkin patch version.
Turkey version.
Christmas version.

Back tomorrow with the New Years version. :-)

Heart to heart sign ups will open on Thursday too.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

A little New Year's Party to combat the echo in here.

 When I took down the Christmas stuff I was too lazy to put anything else on the mantel. But it was so empty and echoey in the dining room I felt like we were moving out again.

I had some party hats in the sewing area I had just bought. And I made the stars for a photo shoot yesterday.
 So I just started piling some sparkly stuff up until it felt less empty. (I would like a tall something right in that empty spot to the bottom corners of the donkey, but eh, too lazy.)
 Then I got the BRILLIANT idea to put that vintage pin the tail on the donkey up there. Now, that thing just hangs out loose in my storage area and I swear to you I see it every.single.day.

Except yesterday when I wanted it. I made four trips to the basement on my darn creaky arthritic knees determined to find that thing. When I finally did find I realized it was too small for that space!

Oh well, it stays. (Jack would like me to take it down so they could actually play pin the tail on the donkey.)
One of the benefits of not going all out for Christmas has meant enjoying the fall d├ęcor and the new year's stuff I have been hoarding for years.

I realized after I had already hauled a 4 ft silver tree my brother brought me to the basement the other day that I should have left it in the hallway and decorated it with the many,  many party horns I have. Maybe I will get it back out and put them on it anyway for Sammi's birthday.

You know that birthday that is in 2 weeks that I have not even thought about at all?


(I want her to have a friend party this year but I think that requires warm weather. A spring ice cream party. Outside! But it's also Dave's 40th birthday this spring. Her birthday is just so close to Christmas. Last year we had her party around Valentine's day. What to do, what to do...)

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Ho Ho Ho (or thank you Baby Jesus for letting me live beyond Christmas)

Thank God that is over. For reals.

I had those trees down by 10 am this morning so we could get back to our regular drive me crazy days.

We did make it to church on Christmas Eve, which was important to me, but damn hard to pull off since Sammi does not nap anymore and is so exhausted by 5 pm that she literally gets delusional. (She starts crying and mumbling in jibberish and the whole nine yards. Fun.) Our church did a special service for kids this year that was only 30 minutes long and included nothing other than singing and them being to participate in the Christmas story. PERFECT.
Grant just sat there stunned for a good twenty minutes. He was probably awake at 4 am and never went back to sleep. But I, too, am delusional at this point and can barely remember.

(Why didn't I think of buying her costumes?? I found this in the cabinet with the other presents and realized D'OH! She would love this. In this picture she is saying "What does the fox say?" Annoying, I know. Thank you Aunt Kristin. LOL)

I didn't even try a Christmas morning matching jammies photo. This is close enough.
Love my little chubby, isn't he sweet?
This chaos pretty much sums them up. ALL DAY LONG.

Now that it's done and dusted I am relieved. I bought a lot fewer presents (and it feels like the right amount, the kids are enjoying each and every one of them for the most part). I recognize that a huge part me of is fairly OCD about messes and the chaos of yesterday was just so.much.for me on top of the usual chaos of diapers and feeding them and referring and so forth.

I went to Target this morning to score some more of these raspberry pink (they also have red) trees in preparation for the Heart to Heart swap. Just in case you want to join in and need a tree to hang your lovelies on. The one on the left I trimmed to make it more sparse for ornament display. I will soon chop the other one up too, but it takes a long time. (They are $4.)

I will start opening sign ups on Jan 2.

I have also been loading the etsy shop and have a lot more to come. I really am enjoying having something that I can start and finish to keep me occupied.

With that I am looking forward to a new year.  PLEASE let it bring a baby who walks (any day now, he is 15 months old today and I do not want to go back to physical therapy with him) and a soon to be three year old who uses the potty. PLEASE? The downhill side of this mountain might be lovely.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Grinchmas

I am feeling so super grinchy this year.

The two little kids mean I have very, very little Christmas stuff around the house.

The budget this year means I have had to very, very carefully plan for everything and there is nothing for any extras. And it means I have had to wait until the last minute to get it all done since I needed every paycheck to do it.

Other than the star tree, I only decorated the mantel.

I put up the stockings and some of the village.

Way back before the herd of kids, Dave and I always used to go buy a live tree on December 23rd at this deli near the house. We waited until the last minute because the trees are dirt cheap before they become landfill. 

We haven't done it for a few years now, but yesterday I noticed that the produce stand guy had a sign up saying he was closing today until Feb and everything was going at blow out prices today. I decided it was a sign to get a live tree again. I was having a hard time figuring out where the kids were going to open presents since our tree is in the hallway (LOL) anyway.

When I went by there at 11 am the whole tree lot was empty already! Bah humbug. Tried several places in town and no cheap trees.

In desperation we went to home depot where they have loads of trees left. I tell the kid at home depot I need him to mark the tree for me (sweetly of course) and after some blah blah about how they can't do that, he marked down the tree for me and off we went. I was starting to feel less Grinchy! A tree! in the house!
And then ten minutes later Sammi did this.

Sigh. I had just told her to NOT TOUCH THE TREE OR THE WATER!
So Dave had to screw my tree down to a huge ugly plywood base which is on top of nasty, ratty old blankets to keep it from ruining the floor.

Merry Grinchmas to me.
This is a craptacular photo, but it is pretty.
I used the (non breakable since I am sure the tree will tip over again any moment now) snowflakes from our first Christmas here and some silver garland. They have actually painted the tree white so its sort of a frosty green color.

I think of our first Christmas here every year. The simplicity of the roses and the snowflakes when the house was clean! LOL

I know this is ALL TEMPORARY but it really does not feel like Christmas to me at all this year.

Bring on the new year.


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Flea Market Sundays

Grant and I have been thrifting a lot the past two weeks looking for things to stock Etsy with and hunting for vintage Christmas (of course!).

I was getting a little hung up on the Christmas thing and overlooking a few good things, silly me.

Here's the last few weeks worth of treasures for me:

A small Tonka truck. Should I put a tree in it? (I kid, put a tree in it is apparently like putting a bird on it in the craft world right now. I like these for the kids.)
An elf BUNNY? Shut.the.front.door.
Tavern not gurly.

A pair of these bell wreaths (will show you the Christmas mantle tomorrow I think).

This was just as big roll of quilt pieces when I bought it. I didn't even inspect it, just said I'll take it please. Before I showed it to you I pieced those strips together. Once I had it done I noticed that there was some rhyme and reason and I have put the dotted rows and the striped rows together in the wrong order. D'oh. I won't be taking it apart though. It was SO SO SO musty and stinky and I had to get it together before I could wash it at all. I have my fingers crossed it will survive a gentle bath.
Because it is amazing.
She hand pieced all those tiny squares!
She also hand pieced these but I am not sure what to do with them. They are an odd size and if there were 4 I would have been sure they were meant to be a quilt together. But with only three of them there are  not enough for a quilt top. Hmmmmm.
They are no less amazing though.

Merry Christmas to me!