Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Wacky Buttons

It's been so long since I posted & I have so much news: the fabulous fabulous cruise, Christmas projects & festivities, my birthday, etc etc etc. But at the moment I don't have time to tell you all that.

What I am going to tell you about is the great birthday presents our ward Primary is giving to the kids. BUTTONS! We're using WackyButtons.com to produce them, and I did the designs. The prices were really reasonable, too.

So fun...makes me wish I were a kid again.

Friday, December 4, 2009


I'm taking a "too-stressed-to-function" blog break.

Christmas decorations are mostly up, but the boxes are still all over the dining table. Tree is up, with lights (which is a given, since it's a pre-lighted tree), but no decorations.

I've been working on an extra work project--a 56 page phone book that has a lot of ad design work to go with the actual laying out & formatting.

Plus all of the content has arrived for my usual monthly magazine layout, so the work is endless at this point.

I still have to finish shopping, altering, & packing for the cruise. I planned out an early maternity wardrobe based on how much I was showing with the last pregnancy at this point. Now that I'm closer to leaving I see that I was a bit off in my calculations... I can still comfortably button my jeans with no problem. What does that mean? Maybe it's a boy? Maybe it's a malnourished little person who is saying "FEED ME!"

Anyhow, what it means to me is that I won't quite look as smashing as I'd hoped (and to be honest my hopes weren't all that high to begin with). I will have one pair of normal fitting jeans that I could take, and I'll have some maternity clothes that should look good still, but I'll be even more "in-between" than I'd expected.

But Ahhh, the cruise. All of the details of our little life routine are written out for Grandma, and if I can just make it through the next week then I'll be rewarded with warm (maybe even hot at times?!!) weather, and nothing that I HAVE to do besides lounge around and eat a lot & be entertained.

Seven days, thirteen hours, 55 minutes. (actually, since I started this posting, it's changed to 07:13:43...even better).

Monday, November 30, 2009

Monkey's First Birthday!

Well, Monkey is officially a one-year-old. A lot has happened in the past year, but it still seems like just last week or so that she came to join us. We are so lucky to have her! She is always ready for a snuggle, is ever patient with her older sister, and is happy and fun. I am a bit scared that I've been spoiled--aside from a little bit of clinginess & not gaining much weight, she has just been easy & a delight. I look forward to watching her continue to learn!

We had a family party on Saturday, so without further ado...
here are a million pictures.

The table...
(Banana bread with cream cheese frosting & a fondant flower on top)
Playing a toss game (though she didn't want to let go) with Great-G'ma C & Aunt J.

Chick with a Curious George mask onPlaying musical chairs& having fun with blowers

Monkey, with her birthday crown, opening presents with Daddy
one of her favorite gifts, a new stainless steel sippy cup
Chick helped open presents when Monkey was losing interest
A view of the room

The birthday girl with G'ma N.
Playing with streamers after the party

This is actually the next morning. I woke up a little early & was wishing that she could wear her Uno shirt to church (she didn't have any skirts). Since I was up early I decided to make a simple little skirt for her. This fabric was a little remnant from when my Mom or someone had made me an easter dress...I'd guess I was around 6.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

HH Day 09

HH turned 37 this weekend!
On Saturday we arranged a hot date. We NEVER date. I know its supposed to be every week, but whatever. So I arranged for my sister & her kids to babysit (which went fantastically, thanks you guys!!!!! It was SO nice to never have to worry about how things were going). We settled on meeting up with one of HH's old roommates (best man from our wedding), Travis & his wife Diana, & going to the Bodies Exhibition in Seattle. They suggested a little restaurant for a quick bite to eat first. I spent a lot of time getting ready & curled my hair & it looked super cute.

We left on time, but there was terrible, terrible traffic almost the entire way down, and what we thought would be a half hour trip took an hour & a half. Plus parking was hard to find & HH didn't want to park in a garage at first, so we drove around forever before he gave in & paid for parking. (It's times like that when I have to remind myself that I ADMIRE & LOVE his frugality....) and then we had to walk (he walked, I trotted to keep up) several blocks in the rain without an umbrella to meet our friends. Bye bye curls, hello full bladder that doesn't like the running.

So we met them, (with their huge umbrella) and we walk to the restaurant. It closed at 8. So Travis used his GPS & we walked several more blocks to PF Changs, where we waited FOREVER (despite Travis charming the desk girl) to be seated. Of course, by then it was too late to eat AND go to see Bodies, so I told HH he could have a raincheck for it (though honestly I'm not all that sure that I really want to see it... despite reading good reviews).
So thats all the bad stuff. Then the good stuff started. GREAT dinner, which T & D payed for as a gift to HH (Thanks, you guys really ARE super cool!). It was the several course option, so we were there for a long time & just enjoyed visiting and spending time with them & being on a DATE. It was fantastic. The waiter was nice and threw in a free dessert for HH as a birthday gift...he wouldn't sing in Chinese, though.

We got home late, but loved hearing how well things had gone here at home: the girls had a blast with their cousins & Aunt. When we went to check on them, Chick had gotten a picture of HH & me down from the bookshelf & propped it on the side rail of her bed so that we were right there with her as she went to sleep. Kinda funny, since she never acts like she misses us!

Anyhow, on Sunday we had Brownies & Ice Cream with HH's brother & his family. That was really fun too. The picture of HH & Chick is of them blowing out the candles--in reality it was REALLY CUTE but the camera is getting old & had a slow shutter.
Chick enjoyed trying out HH's new cooler.

Us, randomly

It shouldn't be so hard to get a picture of two little girls together.... Monkey wants nothing to do with it, though: she cries as soon as Chick puts her arm around her. And Chick over smiles now... her pictures are starting to be cuter if you tell her to "look _______(insert emotion here)."

Tired Monkey.

Here's a little preview of Monkey's birthday party this coming weekend : ) I copied the idea from Dana at MADE (I feel like I should add "of course" here, since I get so many good ideas from her). We aren't doing an Uno theme like she did (I don't have a theme, just the colors lavender & purple), but I think it's cute anyhow.

Amazon is doing a free $3 toward MP3 downloads. I couldn't think of the songs that I've been wanting to get, so I started looking at Christmas music. I got: "Zat You, Santa Claus?" by Louis Armstrong, "Let it be Christmas" by Alan Jackson, and "Christmas Carol" by Tran-syberian Orchestra. Yup, we're listening to Christmas music. It was several rounds of just those three songs until this morning when I remembered that I had the music that Oprah gave away last year. I think HH will be happy with the variety.

Lastly, here's what is happening here: Monkey is wandering around, playing with blocks and Chick & the rocking chair, and whatever she happens to see. Her hair is crazy right now because she got milk in it at breakfast & I haven't washed it out yet (bad mommy). Chick is playing with a fitted sheet that was washed but not folded & put away yet...it was her coccoon, but now she says its her sleeping bag. I'm wasting time on the computer, and listening to Faith Hill sing "Joy to the World" at the moment. A trip to the grocery store is immenent.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Playing Catch Up

I've been wanting to blog about everything that's going on, but there's been too much going on to blog about it! So here's a quick rundown....

Last weekend we had a delicious dinner at my brother Mike's house (eating there is always gourmet) and then we rushed off to see Disney On Ice. Both girls LOVED it. It started at 7:30, and Chick (stinker that she is) hadn't napped that day. Needless to say, she was tired. But she WILL NOT sleep if there's something to see, so it was fine. Her favorite parts were: seeing Donald Duck, the Cars, and "our fairy cousins" (not sure why the fairies are our cousins....). Monkey liked the show at first & was clapping along. For the second half she was more interested in the family behind us, and the picture of her wearing the hat is when the father let her borrow it from his girls. Anyhow, it was super fun: Thanks Ivonne for the tickets!

On Sunday we had church and then were supposed to have my sister & her kids over for dinner...but her son had the flu. So we invited my Aunt Diana over instead. Here's a little video of the girls at dinnertime.

This week has been busy with layout (of course), but I've also filled in the gaps with Christmas gift planning & crafting!! I honestly think this is my favorite time of year: Not actually Christmas, but right now, when all of our birthdays + Christmas are almost here & I get to make fun things. I love it. It's even better this year because the furnace broke & we have to keep a fire going in the fireplace, which makes it extra cozy. Add in some Jon Schmidt music and spiced cider (recipe link below) and the Thankful Wall (though a bit sparce still) and some cold rainy weather (with occasional gusty wind) outside and you have a little Autumn perfection.

Here's another little perfection: a little video of Monkey with her two favorite things (cell phone & rocking chair).

Anyhow, that was last week. This weekend HH had a scout training overnighter, so rather than being home with the girls by my lonesome I went to my sister Judy's house (which is 10 minutes from his campout) and let the girls run wild with Jude's foster boys while we had a crafty day. Yummy comfort food & productivity with my sister...can't be beat. I got two projects done, and two half done (I may post pictures, but maybe not, since Chick sometimes likes to look at the pictures on my blog).

On Sunday we had the postponed dinner with my sister Melinda & her kids. For both of the Sunday dinner's (with Aunt Diana & with Melinda) I did the same recipes: Apple Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Pumpkin Casserole (I used less sugar the first time & it was better that way). Last night we also had this Pineapple Cider. All of the recipes were a success, but the pumpkin casserole is my favorite-- I could eat an entire pan all by myself. I think Monkey could, too. I'm making it again for Thanksgiving.

I guess that brings me up to date. Oh, and I added a ticker, which you probably already saw. We're due May 27th.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Literary Monkey

Monkey does many signs, but doesn't say many words yet...but one that she signs AND says is "book."

Quilt Poll Results

Looks like I get to be cool like MamaLia and Sarah and make a zigzag quilt. I think it'll be just the right balance between "whimsical & fun" and "orderly enough to not make my child go schitzo" and it'll look awesome with the color palatte that I'll be using.

And Heather is the winner for the giveaway. And speaking of giveaways, some of you have not gotten your giveaways from last time & I just wanted to say that I have not forgotten about you, I just need to get busy and make it!!

Very cute movie

HH and I watched My Life in Ruins last night and we both thought it was cute. I think it's just for adults, but as an adult date movie it's a fun one. Have you seen it? What did you think?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween Highlights (& lots of pictures)

This was such a busy week with Halloween crafting & activities! I made these skeleton sock dolls (found on the Crafty Crow, but the instructions are here). Not sure that I need all 3, but I figured it would be just as easy to make several as it would be to make one....

I also made a black feather wreath. I think I'd eventually like to have scads of Halloween wreaths and have a different one for each of the doors in the hallway, but for now we have this one on the front door. (I also did the cheesecloth this year--tea dyed for aging & then distressed with scissors and ripping).

This is Chick's artwork from preschool this week & I love it! It was painted with a marble.

I had last minute finishing on Chick's costume this week as well. Here are the details on her costume: $1 pipe cleaners, $.65 tank top, $2 bias tape. All else was in my stash (black netting, black stretch cotton, black satin, embroidery thread, & rings from old tomato cages for the wings). I had planned to buy some things (like antennae), but ended up just making everything. I'm thrilled with how it turned out. I think she makes a pretty darn cute bee!! I'm not really thrilled with any of the pictures--we never really had time to just take pictures--I'm considering getting her all dressed & done up AGAIN just to get some really cute pictures..... Is that too crazy?

(during hair & makeup)
Chick with Grandpa N...not sure what she's doing with her hand, though....

Monkey's costume was just a fairy/witch/vampire/what-have-you-Halloween dress that I got at the thrift store a few months ago, and because she was the stepchild of the holiday she didn't get any accessories, but everyone thought she was cute anyhow...and she didn't care in the least whether she was even in a costume at all.
Monkey with Grandma N, who was a colonial woman, but my sister and I both though she should have carried around a dog & been Old Mother Hubbard.

On Friday we went to my Sister & parents' church party. It was lots of fun, and both girls liked having the extra family members around. Here are some of the other costumes:

My neice: Integrity Value Barbie

My brother-in-law: Jack Sparrow My nephew: Captain Borbosa (the two guys hosted one of the rooms for trick-or-treating & had it all decorated in Pirates of the Carribbean style...I didn't get a picture, but it was awesome)

On Saturday we went to our church's Trunk-or-Treat. HH handed out glow bracelets with Monkey (yup, we didn't do candy) while I took Chick around to the other cars. It was raining & cold (pretty typical of this area...I have many memories & pictures of cold, wet Halloweens), so after the trunk-or-treat we skipped going to the town center & just headed home. We went around the neighborhood & then watched 'Monsters vs. Aliens' with HH & Chick doing door duty.

While HH & I were helping finish with clean-up at Trunk or Treat, Chick sat shivering in the back of the jeep. I don't know if you can tell very well in the picture, but she was totally frozen & miserable at this point.

On the drive home Chick was really interested in all of the candy in her pumpkin. HH gets most of it, but I did save some for her (like M&M's...she really likes "Emma M's")