Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Bring it on, Santa

Since our fireplace is not in working order right now, we have our entertainment center in front of it. This created the problem of where to hang the stockings. Daddy and the kids found a great solution, make your own fireplace out of construction paper. Don't worry, it was well before Christmas!

What a team

Isn't this a great structure Olivia and Noah built together? I was in shock when I witnessed them in the hallway making it as a team. Of course, 5 minutes later one of them was screaming at the other, but you take the small victories.

He's back

We're dogsitting Murphy again this week. He's a model house guest, except that he smells. But that's our fault for letting him run around in the rain in our backyard and sit in the inflatable pool which is filled with filthy water. The amount of mess I allow my kids to make should have been a clear warning sign for Murphy's owners, but I think he's having a good time.

Blow wind, blow

The wind blew our fence down last night, part of it anyway. It was on it's last leg already, like much of our house and property. The rumor has it homeowners insurance might pay to have it replaced, which would be nice.


Uncle J. gave the kids gift certificates to Build-a-Bear for Christmas. We braved the mall crowds today to go. We waited in line over 30 minutes to get our bears stuffed. But it was fun. Olivia picked a pink cat which she dressed like Ariel and named Princess Mermaid. Noah slept on my shoulder while in line, so I picked a puppy with a cowboy outfit. When he woke up he wanted nothing to do with dressing the puppy, so we picked a surfboard and sunglasses instead. We named him Gingerbread. The only holiday baking I did this year was making gingerbread cookies, and Noah loves them, so there is actually a reason for the name, other than I thought it was cute.

Once we got home and Olivia got playing with Grandma R., Gingerbread very quickly turned into Eric, Princess Mermaid's love and betrothed. Poor Noah.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


At playgroup yesterday the kids decorated gingerbread. Thankfully, this was not at my house due to a twist in fate which included a sick child last time. It was a mess, but lots of fun. Much more fun at someone else's house.

Olivia decorated a house and Noah decorated a gingerbread man. Actually, Olivia and I gooped on as much frosting as we could to try to get the house to not fall, and eventually resorted to masking tape while Noah ate 99% of his candy and generously shared a few pieces on his cookie. Did I mention it was fun though?

Here they are with their proud creations. Luckily the playgroup host had lots of coffee, and I brought my much requested gingerbread syrup to dress it up with.

Please note that Noah is still in his jammies, he prefers to wear them all day, and I prefer not to engage in a battle with a 2-year-old over his wardrobe.

The Bubble Bearded Lady

Travis was telling Olivia she looked like the bearded lady from the circus in the bathtub. Of course, this started a half an hour conversation about the topic. But, it was worth it, because at the end she declared she was "the bubble bearded lady," which we thought had a certain ring to it.

From Kool-aid to Calorimetry

I made Calorimety from Knitty with my kool-aid dyed wool yarn. I was pretty sure I would never wear it as I was knitting it due to the bright colors. I figured maybe my family could spot me on the ski slopes with it, but I don't ski. But now that it's done, I kinda like it. My hair stays back and my ears stay warm anyway.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Today's silliness

Wearing things in the wrong way. Appearing on Olivia's head is her dance outfit and a gift bag. And Noah is showing off the new style in baskets.

Movie night with daddy

Nothing like watching Snow White snuggled up with daddy. Ah, how life has changed. For the better, I'd say. :-)

Adventures in Kool-Aid dying

Yes, another crazy craftser ida. After reading this mammoth thread about dying animal fibers with kool-aid, I decided to give it a go. Fortunately I already had a skein of natural color wool yarn. I bought 4 packets of kool-aid from the dollar store for 25 cents each. Add some white vinegar and that's all you need. The wine is optional.

This is what I ended up with. Not exactly perfect color changes, but I like the rough, unique look. I think I'm going to try to make this pattern with it to keep my hair back and ears warm the next few months.

When I was done with that little ball, I had a LOT of yarn left and only a little kool-aid, so I decided to water it way down so I could dye all that was left a light pink. It came out a little more peachy than I'd like, but I still like the color variations. This just calls out for me to make something for Olivia.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Go for the gold, girl

Olivia received a medal today from school for her participation in gymnastics. So did every other child in her class. But, it's still very rewarding for her, especially considering what she has gone through this year with the experience.

I was thrilled to find out that gymnastics was offered this year in her pre-school once a week this year. It's included in the tuition and her whole class goes together while in school. It's something she's never done, but I always considered, and now it's combined in school. Two bird with one stone, right?

However, after a few times she became very scared of it. I didn't even realize it until one day I was helping her go potty at school before dropping her off and mentioned that today was Wednesday and she would go to gymnastics that day and she immediately got agitated and asked if we could "skip school" and go home. We sat down and talked and she finally agreed she would try it, but if it was too scary she could sit out with her teacher during that time. I asked her teacher what was going on and she wasn't sure either, but did notice that Olivia was sad the week before. Her teacher agreed it was good not to push her but encourage her to try and she would do the same.

After a few weeks of encouraging and talking and praying a lot about it, she does great now. One day before school Olivia and I were praying together, and when I looked up she had tears rolling down her check. :-( But a few weeks later I was praising her for being so brave and she said, "it's because we prayed that one time before school!" We talk a lot about David being so brave even when he was little and how God told Moses He would be with him even though Moses said he wasn't a good speaker and how God is with her and helping her be brave.

Her teacher said one week it was so sad, Olivia was going up each time it was her turn and doing everything, upside down, somersaults, everything, and would finish and wipe her little tears as she went back in line. Poor girl! But she now says it's fun. I think the whole thing is a great experience for her to learn that things that seem scary are worthwhile to try. I'm very proud of her for being brave. But I'm also happy that it didn't require me to push her harshly and she did so well while still having the option to sit out if she wanted to. Whew. One parenting milestone successfully behind me!

So, here's to you, my big, brave girl. I couldn't be any prouder! (Although, I do wish you would have given me at least a little smile with the medal...)

It's a sickness

I was uncontrollably drawn to Goodwill to find more sweaters to reincarnate. It must have been fate because they had 50% off all clothes. I restrained myself to ONE sweater. (Unfortunately, I got some other great deals on clothes for me, Noah, and Olivia.) I'm finding something very satisfying about buying an 100% wool sweater from J. Crew for $2.50 that says "dry clean only" and throwing it in the wash multiple times. This time I will use the 85 cent mu-mu for lining.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Right side up?

I just walked by Olivia's room after hearing some banging noises (this is a daily occurance) and saw this.

Upon Olivia seeing me in the doorway she said, "Isn't this the best idea we ever had?" Um, probably not. But, it looks fun, so I carried on along my way. Probably not what Grandma L. had in mind when she bought Olivia her toy kitchen for her 2nd birthday. We even rearranged the room so that the window would be functional.

Now I hear phrases coming from that room like "trap door" and "your turn." Probably not a good thing?

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Aren't kids supposed to eat?

Lately I've been making melted cheese and sausage crackers for the kids. They seems to like them, although sometimes it's only the sausage part, sometimes only the cheese and crackers. Sometimes they'll beg for sausage slices while I'm making it and then not eat any of the final product. You just never know.

Well, tonight, Noah seemed to think they were train cars and lined them up all the while saying "choo-choo" over and over. Olivia was telling Noah "they're not trains, they're food!" while she was scrapping the cheese off and eating only that part leaving sausage and gross looking crackers on the plate. I wanted to tell her that I would have gotten her only cheese if I knew she was going to do that.

I think Noah ate some of the sausage pieces, but I'm not positive about it.

Tomatos in December

Travis has been itching to clean up the garden now that it's the rainy season. I told him not to touch the flower beds though, those are mine. So I decided to finally clean out the wild tomato plants that sprung up there. Since they were wild we never staked them and they were quite a mess. After cutting them back these are all the tomatos I found.

A bit past their prime, but still yummy. They are tiny ones, but delicious, like little pieces of candy. I'm trying to decide if we are going to eat them in the next few days raw, or should I cook them in something, or freeze them; if they are worth the effort.

Mama has a brand new bag

I finished it last night. It looks just about the same as yesterday's post from the outisde, but most of the work was hand sewing the straps on and the lining in since my sewing machine could barely handle 2 layers of the sweater fabric.

I sewed the sleeves together for the strap, and got the idea from Travis to sew them together so that the cable pattern makes the top look symmetrical.

The lining has 3 pockets that are centered around the strap on the left side. This might seem random, but the way it will be worn the pockets will be at the backmost of my body and thus farthest away from Noah when I carry him on my hip. Perfect for keeping my sunglasses, cellphone, and other delicate things off the bottom of the purse getting banged up.

It was a fun and challenging project. It cost just over one day and one dollar. I'm proud of it and plan on wearing it everywhere.

Saturday, December 09, 2006


I started my purse experiment last night. I like how it's coming along. Although, the sweater fabric is really thick and hard to get under the sewing maching foot. I've only done about 5 seams, the strap is still pined to the body, I can't sew it on until I make the lining, but here it is so far.

The strap (formerly the sleeve) has this weird crease in it that is still there after washing and drying a bazillion times. I wonder if I should try to iron it out, or wet it and try to dry it in the shape I want?

And now I've decided that I don't like the mu-mu for the lining. (Which means I'll need to do another project with it later. Travis suggested a beach tote, which I thought was a great idea.) So, I raided my fabric stash for potential liners. Let me know which you think will go best from the below selections. It won't show at all unless you are looking inside the bag, but I want it to be something I love, you know?

As always, you can click on the pictures for larger versions.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Honey, I shrunk the sweater

I found this 70% merino wool, 30% cashmere sweater, designed in France, made in Italy for $1 at Salvation Army. Yep, ONE dollar. Talk about score! It's a soft baby blue with a lovely cable design.

So what do I do? Immediately put it through the wash on the hardest, hottest cycle I can about 4 times. This is what happened to it.

Why would I do something like that? Firstly it has a gapping hole in the underarm and secondly, I'm not a baby blue sweater kind of person. Fortunatly, I found from reading at craftster that's it's a legitimate process called felting which binds the fibers together and makes them stronger, along with strinking it. My plan is to cut it up and make a purse out of it. Wish me luck! Worse case, it's a relly cheap experiment.

This is the mu-mu I got for 85 cents I'm going to use for lining fabric. Make it a little more funky to off-set the baby-blueness. Noah picked it out due to the "fishy" print.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Rainy season

Being cooped up in the house is no good.

I stewed over this all day before I could bring myself to take a picture of it. Daddy wasn't happy I was getting the kids to pose with an "uh oh" look next to it.

And when I let them out

I know fresh air is always good for the kids, but playing outside during the rainy season is definately not good for keeping the house clean. Obviously, the instructions "don't touch anything until you wash your hands" are harder than it appears to follow.

Noah knows exactly what to use to clean up though, or is it just make a mess with something else?

And I couldn't resist a dirty feet picture. Yep, he was outside, in his jammies, with no shoes, playing in the mud. Gotta love California.

Shoe man

Noah has always been a bit taken with shoes. Usually it's trying on various differnt kinds of other people's shoes on his hands and feet. But now he has a new hobby, shoe art on the kitchen floor.

And then there were 2

Proof that I finished the other sock. Even though they are not perfect, I love them and refuse to take them off quite yet. They even went on a trip to Safeway today. They are a bit loose, but I don't know if it's the type of yarn, the pattern, my small feet, or too big needles. I think I will try another pair with smaller needles, make them a bit longer, and maybe even try adding some mock cables. I can't wait to try them under boots.