Thursday, October 18, 2012

I had a lot of felt, OK?

Smitty baby is not old enough to have developed opinions about his Halloween costume (unlike the zombie-hunting, scary-fairy other two). Since he can be whatever I want him to be, this year he wants to be an owl.

The costume was sort of based on this tutorial (at least the wing template) but the feathers and mask were different. Because lets all pretend that a 21-month-old is going to leave felt goggles on his face, no matter how adorable mom thinks they look. 

If anyone actually wants a template for the footies, say so in the comments and I'll make one.

A few notes - the wings were heavy so I put suspenders on underneath his owl shirt and safety-pinned the wings to the suspenders to keep the neck of the shirt from stretching out too much.

I stitched a bit of ribbon to the underside of the wings and then tied it to his arm - this made the wings move with him instead of hanging behind like a cape.

Black girl's leggings made the perfect bottoms.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Why Miss Janae is the best

Dash got lost while we were on vacation.

It's one of those scenarios that keeps me awake at night. We're walking along Downtown Disney, at night, with  maybe 500,000 other people and I stopped to check the park map. It probably took me 45 seconds. I looked up, reached for Dash's hand... no Dash.

I turned in circles for a minute looking for him but he was nowhere. Joe ran off in one direction, Braden and Grandpa in another. I closed my eyes, said a prayer and opened them. Still no Dash. But there WAS a Disney police guy. Good enough for me. He took a description and radioed in a lost child.

This is where Miss Janae comes in. Miss Janae was the kids' preschool teacher. We all love her. In addition to the normal preschool things that they learn (letters, numbers, sounds, etc) they also learn valuable life skills. Playground rules, mom's phone number and yes, What To Do If One Becomes Lost.

So when Dash realized he was lost, he knew what to do. He didn't keep walking. He didn't wander off looking for us on his own. He didn't hide. He just went up to someone working in one of the booths and said "excuse me, I'm lost." The shop girl called security. As soon as my security guy had put out his call, Dash was found. He had gotten about 100 yards away from me and was enjoying being fussed over and covered with stickers.

 So the dual morals of this story are:
1. teach your child what to do if they get separated from you and
2. Miss Janae is one of my favoritest people on the planet

Also we have Disneyland pictures on our family blog. You know, if you are invited to it.

Draw Something

Possibly one of the most entertaining games ever. Stick figures are hilarious.

 Violet plays on her own account and her drawings are amazing.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Fashion and babies and Bleu

World, meet Bleu. I'm pretty sure he's going to be Baboo II.

This was one of those 'kill two birds with one stone' moments. The baby did not want clothes on. He wanted to hold his blanket and run at the same time. He wanted to smell his Bleu but did not have time to sit down with it. He wanted to chew on the blanket corners. He also wanted the fuzzy side facing him and not the silky. He wanted to be running AND playing hide-n-seek AND being silly.

In fact, this was like killing a whole herd of birds with that stone!

I didn't say he'd be easy to catch.
Only that he'd be happy.

The science of a birthday

You too can have a fabulous Mad Science birthday party by following these simple instructions.

1. The birthday girl. Find a daughter who turns up her nose at boring store-bought princess-themed parties (read: parties that are easy to pull off) and instead turns her crazy brain to thoughts of secret lairs and crazy potions and things that explode.

2. The invitation.We went with old-fashioned cartooney fun.

3. The decorations. I'll admit that it really really really helped that Joe spends half his day in a chemical lab (testing drinking water) and that the lab director is the nicest of human beings and let us borrow most of this stuff. Monica is the best!! But we found some educational science stores and websites where you can get most of this inexpensively.

The decorations were all safe and edible - candies and colored water and a Poison Your Neighbor's Drink station where you could put test tubes of punch into beakers of soda. Except that then the girls started putting the candies in their drinks and it really was poison.

4. The cake. Mad scientists love bright colors. It's a known fact.

5. The entertainment. We found the craziest of scientists to entertain a herd of sugared-up 2nd graders.

They explored the science of the digestive system and made ooey gooey slime blobs.

6. The explosions. We went with Diet Coke/Mento cannons.

In which we share a donut

It is one of those mornings. We bailed on our run for a previous engagement only to have the engagement cancel on us at the last minute. So instead of running in the chilly, sprinkly April outdoors, we shared a donut. And a tater tot.

Maybe it was two tater tots. You don't count those sorts of things. Either way, everything was crunchy and warm and tasty and not April outdoors.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Can you hear me now?

Dad? It's me, Smitty. I can't hear you very well. I'll squish it harder against my head.
What's wrong with this thing. Dad! Are you there? Shaking stuff usually fixes it. Also tasting it.
It's true. I'm hilarious. Smitty's out. Peace!

Davy Crockett birthday party

Two birthdays down and one to go! Dash wanted a Davy Crockett-themed party. The invite:
The cake:

Why oh why did I not take pictures of the inside? It was dark chocolate cake with ooey gooey marshmallow buttercream (supposed to be like a campfire s'more, idea from Pintrest) and the milk chocolate frosting on the outside. Delicious. Totally delicious. And Bear Tracks ice cream. Keep the theme alive!

I told Joe he was in charge of the actual party and I would do food. He came through in a big way. We had a good old-fashioned mountain man rendezvous, complete with hatchet toss....
bow-and-arrow shooting...
and cute babies underfoot. Is that not what a real mountain man rendezvous is made of?
With each event they won pelts which they strung on a leather strap and turned in at the trading post for drinks and candy and stick-on mustaches. They also got to wrestle a barr (attack an angry-bear pinata) for candy.
It was hard to find a real angry bear at the party store.

Finally, when everyone went home, this is what they got for a thank-you.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Solving his own problems

Step 1. find a MUCH bigger container for your milky bedtime drink

Step 2. fit container with delivery nozzle of your choice.

Step 3. be pleased with your own genius.

Step 4. get super mad when there's no actual milky bedtime drink in the container, have a right little tantrum and throw all the parts down the heat vent.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Burlap wreath

My sister asked me to make a wreath for her door. Her door is not blue. But I keep telling her it should be.

This was really easy and quick. Unlike that ruffled wreath that required 4,305,975 (or thereabouts) felt circles and shriveled my hands into cramped tyrannosaur claws. It was worth it though.

I cut the burlap into strips. Then I held the center fiber tight and pulled the fabric down along it, making a loose ruffle (but without the hassle of a basting stitch!) I took these ruffled strips and wound them around the wreath, pinning them as I went. If the wreath base and the fabric had contrasted more, I think I would have wound the wreath in non-ruffled burlap first. But I didn't.

True story: my sister and I came out of totally different aisles of the store with the exact same feather thing in our hands. Hers was black. She said "I love this but I would like it more in red."

Mine was red.

Friday, February 10, 2012

World... meet Fang

Violet's teacher is having a Valentine box decorating contest and told them to go nuts.

I guess he's not totally nuts. He could have had moving parts or said things like "feed me candy!" But he did involve sewing.

And that's something.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Sicky sicky sick

Smitty McSickly is ill. He has some sort of RSV-like virus with a really long and ominous-sounding name that I can't remember. Basically he has a nasty cold and is too little to blow his nose so he is all stuffy and boogery and congested-in-his-chest-ery. Food tastes icky to him, sleeping in his lonely crib is not nice and people keep suctioning his nose and testing his blood O2 and touching and poking and pestering him when he just wants mom-snuggles, thank you. I keep telling him we're trying to keep him out of the hospital. He says to leave the dinosaur socks ON and stop pinching his pudgy feet.

Also today he crawled into the laundry room, industriously dug around in a basket until he found a particular sock, clutched it to his chest and said "oooooohDOboh!" He hugged it a minute more before crawling off, special sock in hand.

I have no idea.

Today's checkup involved too much of the poking and listening and pestering. Now he has two angry-looking infected ears and the doctor suggested 3 days of antibiotic injections and I just couldn't do it. We'll try the liquid.

You've definitely had too much of the doctor's office when sleeping in your sibling's trash-pile room is the best alternative.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

February decisions

Remember how February makes me go crazy? Like that one February when I up and decided that we needed to move to a different house as in right now this minute? And the time that a fist through the wall started a years-long remodel of our entire upstairs (totally worth it!) And that other February when we sold our beloved Pathfinder because there was not enough room for the carseat of the third baby that I could not possibly continue life without.

February. It's a problem.

I gave last February a pass because sweet baby Smitty had rearranged our lives pretty well on his own. My major decisions last year were scaled-down decisions.

Will baby look more snuggly in his Valentine pajama suit or his hooded sweater suit?
Should we both have a little nap in our bed, or in this delicious patch of sunshine?
Do you suppose another diet Dr. Pepper before lunch will keep him awake?

February again! Change is in the air. Joe's recently replaced the red jeep with a black one. Supposedly he'll sell the red one later. The driveway is getting crowded. Also Big Blue had some ignition problems, because he was feeling left out. Blue decided that using a key in the ignition is Lame and Common and something that Other Cars Do, and that keys were no longer for him. So instead of a boring metal ignition key, Joe fashioned one from a bit of Trex decking that he found on the ground and this little notched bit of wood is how we have to start the truck.


But hey! Swapping one jeep and repairing one truck is boring. It's been done. It's February! Joe also decided that if the Tahoe needed to be registered and I really couldn't stop complaining about it, then it was probably time to sell it too. Normally I think I'm not a complainer. I would like to think so. And maybe if we hadn't purchased the Tahoe from criminals, maybe I would have felt like I could trust and love the car. The little things would not have bothered me. But every minute of its life, I felt like I was waiting for something to go wrong. It made me worry. The heat only worked at 3 and 4. The keyless entry worked some of the time. The tachometer worked most of the time. The speedometer came and went. The CD player only played at certain temperatures. It squeaked. It rattled. And I worried.

It sold. I watched it lumber off it its new life in Idaho without any regrets. Actually we left it in the bank parking lot where the buyer was supposed to go back for it, except he called the next day to ask where was that bank again? Because he couldn't remember. I hope he found it.

And because Joe's brother is borrowing one of our cars and another is parked at his mom's house for no particular reason, our driveway was suddenly, strangely empty.

The neighbors commented on the new look.

So today, hooray! we officially joined the Nissan team again, with Nissan #5 and Pathfinder #2. And little Violet exacted a promise from all parties to not switch any of the cars for a year at least.