Sunday, January 30, 2011

Turtle and Giraffe's Birthday


It can get quite dull in the bitterly cold days of January.

Oscar told me last week that it was Turtle's birthday on Saturday.  I had not known that.

He was turning one.  Apparently Turtle's age similarly as dogs...Turtle only has a birthday every 4 years.


Coincidentally, it was also Giraffe's birthday.  Giraffe was turning 8.  He does not age like a sea turtle.

We had cake, chosen by the animals (this is Giraffe's big lump of yellow cake), hats, horns, and balloons.

But the best part...presents.


The boys thought and thought about presents and with the help of their very amazing mom, the animals, and our two friends, each got a ....wait for it...


...sleeping bag for the pets.

This was so easy and fun.  I used leftover fleece from the Snuggie project for Christmas and stitched them up, stuffed the pillow with all the random bags of half used Poly-Fil and small pieces of batting.  There is also a loop of elastic at the bottom to roll up the bag and keep it secure on the way to Grandma's house.

So easy and so loved.

TurtleCakes were supposed to be brownies, but we donated that last box of brownie mix around Christmas time and O refused to go to the store for more.  So, he got Organic Chocolate Cayenne Cupcakes.  Or TurtleCakes as I will forever call them.  I enjoyed them, but you have to expect the cayenne before you bite into it.  If you are looking for a sweet chocolate cake...this isn't for you.  It was interesting, though.


I can do a tutorial on the bags if anyone needs it...but very basic, just a long fleece fabric folded and stitched.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

New Year, New Results


I'm not very fond of the Pinewood Derby.  I think it is more of a 'Dad' event.  That said, this year, Sam's den worked on their cars together.  I loved that.  Sam and I sanded his car and watched his friends design, cut and sand their cars.  This was the beginning of my change of heart.

Oscar and I arrived late to the Derby due to some preparations for the Stuffy Birthday Party (more on that tomorrow).  The mood was immediately different than the previous year.  There seemed to be less people and more cheering.  The boys were paying just as much attention as their parents.  Yes, you could tell which cars were done mostly by Dad, but it didn't seem so blatant this year.  The Dad's weren't louder than the scouts.

It was refreshing.

Even more refreshing, the results.

Sam's car was winning.  He came in first in several heats.
 Sam's Car is the purple one, second from left

The difference from last year to this year...the wheels.

Tom showed Sam how he was going to sand down the nubs on the nails that act as the axles.  The nubs are small, but nonetheless, obvious.  Sam did all his designing, sanding, and painting.  The wheels are the key.

I was very proud of Sam.  He showed great sportsmanship.

Gratefully accepted his trophy, didn't gloat or jump around.  All the boys were very gracious, all of them surprised at the outcome.



Then he patiently waited in line to pick up his car and his 'participants' trophy (all scouts get one).

And then, in true sportsmanship, he gave his little brother the 'participants' trophy.



LOVE.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Screw You, January!

You got me again, January.

Sometimes it's your buddy February.  But this year, it's you.

You take my Christmas spirit and stomp on it.  You won't allow my joy of the holiday's ride through the winter.

Like making wine, you stomp on my fruit.  Stomp on my core.

I know others get these "January Blues" but mine seems to have hit me like the hardest smack in the face.  I was doing so well.  Happy, looking toward the future.  Then last night it all came crashing down.  This morning wasn't much better.

In fact, it sucked.

One of the worst mornings in a long long time.  Since my medicated days, I haven't felt like this.  Yes.  I am medicated.

I am not ashamed.  I need it.  I used to get the January blues all the time.  For no reason.  It just happened.

I've been taking Zoloft for almost a year and it has helped me immensely.  My family will agree. I should look back on my posts pre-medication and see if I notice a change.

However, today and last night were horrible.  My kids don't listen to me.  I speak to them in serious tone and want them to listen, and they laugh.  Laughing in my face when I am scolding.

It makes me boil over.  I even used the S word this morning.

I know I need to change.  I hope that this is just a tiny little F-You from January, just to test me.  To see how I can bounce back.

I will bounce back.

As soon as I finish my glass of wine.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Homework

I feel like I'm starting to slip.

Another full night with my kids and homework.

Perhaps its the homework.  My eldest can't sit still long enough to focus on the words in front of him.  He gives up and laughs.  Cracks a joke.

Gets up and fiddles around with something. 

Picks up a piece of paper, crumples it up.

Looses his pencil.

I become frustrated.

He doodles a scary monster eating a tree.

I get mad that I can't stay calm for more than 45 minutes of homework.  Yes, it's that long.  Tonight, it was more than an hour. 

My anger and frustration seeps into my son and I can see it crush his confidence.

Homework was never enjoyable for me.  I was so happy when I graduated from college.  I knew I would never go back.

And here I am, almost 40 and sitting at the kitchen table doing homework.

Again.

Something needs to change.  Homework right after school will be number one.  No more TV or playtime until the work is done.  I think a change in the food in our house is necessary as well, for all of us.  I'll make the time to go to the grocery store and buy the vegetables and fresh foods.

One step at a time.

Time to get off the slide and climb the stairs.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My Treat to Me

I've had this little mug on my Universal Wish List (great little tool from Amazon) for over a year.  I think it is just absolutely the cutest thing.

A pin cushion.  Filled with emery.

It's heavy which makes it sturdy and totally adorable.

I'm thinking you may wonder how geeky I really am.

Very geeky.

I like my geek treats.

If you are like me, you can pick one up with your initial in many different beverages from Dorothy right here on that Geeky site...ETSY!

Lastly, I'd like to post here that I will finish either the Silk/Bamboo-Itty-Bitty OR the Owl Bag Zipper by Friday (this is my external motivation, I hope it works).

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Cool Toy to Work with my Really Cool Toy!



Buy the Eye-Fi at the Photojojo Store!

Wow!  This little device not only stores your pictures, but will upload them automatically when camera is idle.  No more cords.

My birthday is in August!!!  hint hint wink wink!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Back on the Horse...ONE Down!


This is what got my double pointed needles clicking this weekend.  I ended up ripping most of it out to fix a little mixed up stitch.  I hate being a perfectionist sometimes.

I can't show you the real finished product as it's a gift, for someone extremely special to me...

Working hard on the Silk Bamboo project, also ripped that out a gazillion times, but I think I'm in the homestretch and almost done with stage 1 of a three stage project.

Am I being too candid?  That really bugs me when blogs tease me with their projects. Sorry.

Loving this adorable heart, thinking a trip to the Dollar Store and Joann's is in my future.  Check it out here!

Stay warm, my friends. 

We are conserving energy by keeping the house at 65 and our groceries in the garage!  AKA:  My husband likes a cold house and our fridge is still on the fritz!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Thing A Day

My brother is doing a massive 100 days of exercise.

He is over half way through.

I'm not my brother.

I will attempt Thing-A-Day, Fifth Edition.

It's more my speed.



I thought taking a picture a day was tough, but that was 30 days, February is two days less.

The DESTROY category might work well for every other day.

GROW...does growing mold and dust bunnies count?

SPIN in circles - heck, I do that every single day!

I invite you to join me here on this blog and also for all the Thing-A-Day projects right here on their blog.

My last 'reading' was heavy on the "you need to be creative all the time to balance out the black and white at work."

This is my attempt at that.

Will you join me?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Back on the Horse


I picked up the knitting needles again.  
Admittedly, I needed a couple YouTube tutorials to refresh my memory.

I do however, remember why I prefer crochet. I get so nervous that I'll mess up or the needles will fall out and I'll have no idea how to fix it.  I already have two mistakes on this 3 inch thing.  

Scored another great yarn.  This one is Organic Cotton...so soft.

As much as I'm enjoying this...I have so many things partially done.  

This pic above.

The little dream in silk bamboo.

A gift for a baby born last year.

PJ pants for my boys, fabric washed and ready since October.

Owl Purse, just needs the zipper.

Another purse base, just waiting for a strap and a ______.

Large work in progress that I started on my last plane trip.

Another white hat on knitting needles (may rip that one out, too tight and tiny).

Eight.
Eight items in progress.

and yet I still spend my time on the computer.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

A List

When I dream of the future, I think of things I could do.  I'm sure we all have lists like this.  The "if I had the time" type lists.  They really aren't items that cost all that much, other than paint, but heavy on time.  The most precious cost.

1.  I so very much want to paint our existing chandelier in the dining room.  I'm thinking of taking it to black.  Changing out the gold findings with silver, maybe adding back the rest of the crystals.

2.  Sand and paint our kitchen table, find some chairs to mix and match and paint them, also.

3.  Paint the trim in the living room and family room (it is still boy's locker room blue).

4.  Heck, let's paint the rest of the house:  front hall, kitchen, stairwell, master bedroom.

5.  Volunteer at the kids' school and our church.

6.  Go to every single rummage sale in town, and out of town.

7. Clean out my closet and the upstairs hall closet.

8.  Move the air hockey table out of my studio and make my studio more efficient.

9.  Add molding to my dining room wall to create a couple panels on the wall.

10.  Be the perfect, always present Mom and Wife.

Okay, let's be honest.  I'll never get 10 done, but I can try.

Do you have a list?  What is your number one?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Snow Play

 Playing in the snow is fun, but eating the snow is much more fun!

My kids love being in the snow.  They are exploring a whole new world with infinite possibilities.


As much fun it is to watch them play, I love to see the remnants of play after a fresh snowfall. 

We had a heatwave (40 degrees) today and it has been raining.  Tomorrow morning will most likely see frozen roads and sliding cars.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Puff

 Perhaps we need no text.

Except that they are Gluten Free.  Yes.


Puff Paste - Again 
from Jessie (that's all I have on my printed email from 12/15/2006)

1 cup water
1/4 c butter
1 tsp sugar
1/2 cup white rice flour
2 eggs

Sift flour and sugar together and put in small bowl.  Heat water and butter in saucepan to boiling point.  Using a wooden spoon quickly stir in the flour and sugar all at once. Remove from heat and continue to stir briskly to make a smooth paste.

It will look like mashed potatoes that need more milk.

Let cool slightly and put in food processor with steel blade.  With processor running ad the eggs one at a time.  Process for several seconds until paste is smooth and shiny.

Set oven for 425 degrees.  Place high spoonfuls on sprayed pan or parchment.  Bake at 425 for 20 minutes.

Remove puffs from oven and turn down to 375.  With sharp knife make a horizontal one inch slit in the side of each puff.  Put back in oven immediately and bake for 10 minutes or so, until lightly brown and crusty.

Remove from oven and let cool on a rack.  Cut tops off and scrape out and discard any uncooked batter.

These are delicate, so be careful.

Fill with whipped cream (or vanilla pudding) and put the top back on each puff.  I pipe chocolate frosting on the tops - Jessie suggest drizzling with hot fudge sauce.

 Then hide them.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Shot

I'm thinking of every so often, just posting a picture simply because there is something about it that I enjoy.  It isn't the print worthy type...just has something about it that makes me want to look and look again.

Here is my first in my (potentially) series "The Shot"

Friday, January 14, 2011

Family on the Couch


Our favorite thing to do lately is to borrow a couple books on CD from the library and pile on the couch in our Snuggies.  This is my original Snuggie.  The boys got some from Grandma and Papa and Tom has the honor of having a 'homemade with love' snuggie.

I wanted to show you something I've been working on, but I don't want to show TOO much, wink wink.  I will say that this yarn is a dream.  Not so much to work with, but to touch and to hold.  If only this yarn came in bigger spools.  It is Silk and Bamboo. 

I have been trying to explain this, sitting here, typing, deleting.  It's so hard to think of a comparison. 

Baby Bottom
Rose Petal
Cloud
Dove wings


Oh, I've got it!  If feels like the fur of a Samoyed Dog that just won best of show at Westminster.  It's that lovely.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Humoring Me

Tom recently had a full beard.  His 'finals' beard.

I love the look, hate the feel on my face at each kiss.

I think he grows a beard just to have fun trimming it into odd looking configurations.  Two trims prior to this was the "Rent is Too Damn High" beard.

Then he moved on to the weird mustached man that hangs out at the corner store admiring all the teenagers.

And then, was this.  The half on, half off.

This one didn't last very long, thank goodness.

Now...freshly shaved in preparation for classes to begin next Tuesday.

For those playing along at home, 3 more semesters for him.

Sixteen Months for me!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Sickee


This is the better side of the sickee.

I came home from an office meeting on Saturday night to find a little boy with a high fever.  That night got worse and Sunday was a whole lot of this.

It completely amazes me how little this child does when sick.  He barely even spoke on Sunday.  Monday was better, a little iffy at times, but I think we are back to normal for tomorrow.

I'm looking forward to a quiet day at work, but I'm going to miss this little guy that's been glued to me for 64 hours straight.

Get well, little dude.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Did You Miss Me? Did You Even Know I Left?

I delayed posting because I didn't feel like I had the right photo.  I got a new toy for Christmas, so you'd think I'd have something cool to post.  I do have some nice photos, but nothing that really pulled me to show you.

Problem is that this season can get a little monotonous.  The gray sky.  The cold air.  The same pink rug. Frankly, I'm a little bored.

I was blessed to have saved enough vacation days to take two weeks off before and after Christmas.  This is when I really got sick of the pink rug.

My days were spent with my kids, preparing for Christmas, attending Holiday concerts, last minute shopping, a noontime matinee and a couple batches of gluten free cookies.  I realized with two weeks away from work how much I miss out with my boys.  I miss the everyday lunches.  I miss the quick trips to the book store.  I miss the "we have the whole day to do whatever we want" days without feeling guilty about not working.

I'm not sure why I use the word "miss".  I never had those days to miss them.

So while I was away, I thought about my future.  I haven't really done this in a long time because I was afraid.  Afraid that future would never come and I'd be stuck in this rut of work.  This need to be the bread winner, the holder of health insurance, the payer of bills.  I don't wish that burden on anyone.

I planned out our summer.  I tentatively scheduled camping trips and day camp weeks.  I thought about how this scheduling might be different in 2012.  I started looking to the future.

And my friends, it looks bright.  I have options.  I have hope.

Hope.

And a big ass party.