Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The journey of 1,950 miles begins...

in the middle of the night so that the little girlies sleep for more of the trip.

(Chick loved these bears that were at one of the bathroom stops)

The trip to Utah was fun. The ride was good, actually! Chick and Babe were good little troopers--HH had to hold Babe's hand & drive one-handed, but whatever works, right?!

We spent Tuesday night at a resort in Eden. Everything was clear when we drove in (the view was spectacular--contrary to many of my previous notions of UT, it really has it's own beauty). The next morning, however, the heavens were dumping snow on us & there was about a 6" covering on everything. In the picture: the white expanse at the top is actually a mountain that wasn't all that far away....
On Wednesday we bummed around a bit and then headed to American Fork to stay with my brother's family (he has 6 kids). That was fun-- Chick had a playmate and Babe had a babysitter (though they don't babysit there, they TEND). It was nice to see my brother's family...I haven't been to that part of UT for about 11 years, so visits are rare.
On Thursday we went up to SLC for the actual wedding, and my SIL Stef tended the girls. That was really nice, since otherwise I would have had to miss the wedding to stay outside with them. It was beautiful and very exciting to see them get married. Later that day we went to the luncheon. We weren't planning to go to the reception there, but ended up staying to decorate their car (Travis and HH decorated many cars together & evidently Travis was a master at it...).

When we got back to my brother's house we got to visit with my nieces (Rachel & Megan/James/Koby who live in the area. We all stayed up talking until 1:30. It was really fun, and I'm glad that we got to do it on such a whirlwind trip.

Friday we drove back home. The ride home was a bit rougher than going down (the girls were tired of the car), but still pretty good.

A little rest on Saturday, and we headed back down south to the Washington reception. That was really fun for HH, since he got to see all sorts of old friends & celebrate the marriage of the final single friend. I was a little bit lame about forgetting my camera (even in UT when I had it I forgot to use it much), but go to Erin's blog to see pics and get more details. She did the WA cakes and they were awesome.

That reception is a bit of a bad memory for me, though, because at the end when there were just a few people left cleaning up Chick got ahold of the cake topper from their first reception--a glass sculpture of the SLC temple--and it got broken. So that was horrible & embarrassing and all that (not to mention expensive, since we are replacing it). Thankfully people have been nice about it and didn't make me feel like a horrible parent for letting it happen (so if that's what you are thinking then DON'T leave a comment, because I feel bad enough already).

Anyhow, the trip was fun. I liked spending time with HH around--that's always my favorite part of vacation. I even thought that Idaho was lovely, which has never happened before : ) We have a beautiful Earth.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Beautiful Baby Girls!

I just remembered that I wanted to write about this, so I'm taking a quick break from packing & cleaning : )

The month of March has brought us 3 beautiful baby girls!

The first is my good friend, Ivonne's. I got to meet Natalia in the hospital a couple of weeks ago and she was so sweet with big chubby cheeks.

The second (a week later) is my SIL Jeanne's. Alexa is gorgeous, and I can't wait to meet her.

The third (another week later) is my brother Evan's. Kaitlyn was 23.25 inches long! I've never heard of a baby being that long! My SIL is tall, but not amazon...

Anyhow, we're excited to have these little girlies here safely. Congrats to all the parents.

(Sorry, only one picture, because I forgot to post the others at the time...this is Kaitlyn).

And the green grass grows all around

I'm writing, not packing.

I'll get to it in a minute. We're leaving for a trip to Utah at midnight (Travis, Dave's friend and ex-roommate, is getting married). I've picked out the girls' clothes, and some goodies (I made granola bars & selected a few magazines from my ever growing pile of reading material). Still have a lot left to do, though.

On Thursday I made a little change purse for my aunt's birthday. She collects them, so this one is homemade & has pictures of the girls. Chick calls her Nana (the two Grandma's are called Grandma, but my aunt is an honorary grandma, so the name is fitting). Anyhow, not the greatest photos.

On Friday I used some scrap material & ribbon and made the Lazy day skirt from Oliver+S. Here it is. I totally think it's the cutest...I'll be making more for sure--especially since Chick is growing out of her clothes & skirts are especially great for summer. I improvised the pocket & lining. The top fabric is because I fell in love with a scrap of fabric that wasn't actually big enough. (She's licking her lips because I bribed her to do the picture by giving her lip gloss...which obviously backfired on me. Doggie slippers from thrift store--new Childrens Place, for $3, I think).

Anyhow, this weekend we borrowed a rototiller (thanks M&J) and worked on our garden. The seeds that I started indoors are starting to go a little crazy, and I don't know what to do since we're leaving for a few days and I won't get to tending them today.... Anyhow, at least part of the garden will be raised beds. We're using wooden crates that HH picks up from the scrap pile at work--they are shipping crates for airplane/helicopter parts, and I'd guess it's about 4x6? I got the first one in on Saturday. We probably don't have enough soil to do all raised beds this year, but I'll put at least one more in. No pics yet.

I totally overdid it on Saturday with the gardening, because I was sick and all of that hard work didn't help. Sunday I stayed home from church with Babe and we slept a lot : )

Uh, so I saw a link on Nikko's blog for the Wardrobe ReFashion blog, and I'm thinking of taking the pledge. I saw this skirt at the thrift store the other day & am going to make it into two summer dresses. I love the fabric. Stay tuned.

Ok, now I'm really going to go pack. Talk to ya'll in a few days.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

What can I say?

She dresses herself.

She sings her own songs.
"Tinkle tinkle star, tinkle tinkle are."

Its so fun to watch her continue to learn. She used to spend hours learning to dress herself. Now that she's got that down, she spends her time practicing buttoning. Her favorite buttons are Babe's coat buttons, and when I took it to wash it she got upset and said, "My buttons!"

She's our independent little Chick.

Follow up to Thrifty Thursday

I wanted to follow up on what I got when I returned 3 items from last week's shopping trip. I returned 2 skirts & 1 sweater, total $10. I exchanged it for: 2 skirts, 2 sheets for fabric (yes, I'm obsessed), 2 sewing patterns, and a bumbo seat.

By the way, this week is "skirt week". I'm wearing only skirts, because for 3 months now I've been wearing either my snow pants or my maternity yoga pants paired with either a fleece zip-up or a hooded sweatshirt. It's bad for moral to dress like a bum all the time, you know?!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A little Craigslist Heartache

In an effort to clear out the backyard a little, I asked HH if I could give away the old canoe that has never moved a millimeter in at least 6 years. He said yes.

Last night I took this picture...

and today I posted it for free on C-list. Then I stepped away from the computer for a couple of hours.

When I returned I had about 26 responses. HH wasn't thrilled to hear that I was GIVING it away, since even as a fixer-upper it's still worth some money.

I wasn't thrilled to have to give to the first person, when #23 on the list said "please" and clearly wanted it SO BADLY. And #25 really really wanted it for her 14 yr old son to fix up.

In a quandry about whether to honor the "free" or to repost it for a price...and if for free, then do I have to do the "first come, first serve"? I called Mom. Her response to my dilemma?

"I hate these moral questions! Call J, she's taking psychology, she should know the answer."

(lol, thanks Mom.)

So I called J. She suggested that I donate the canoe to their scout troop and use it as a tax write-off...she said their troop has been trying to find a fixer-upper.

So that's what I did. And I do feel good to be donating to BSA & passing the torch to a new group of boys.

HH's comment?

"Well what about OUR troop? Don't you think our boys want to go canoeing?"

Too late, HH.

I just emailed all the other people who so badly wanted a fixer-upper canoe. I'm heartbroken. I never want to list again.

I'm sorry Kathy & Seth. I wish I had 2 more canoes to give to you.

Thrifty Thursday, Finished Project Friday...

I've seen "theme" days, and thought I'd try to live up to them. First of all, on Thursday I finished layout a day early & celebrated by GETTING OUT OF THE HOUSE and going to the fabric store & thrift store : )

This picture is from during layout...HH with the girls while I worked at the computer. He really is an awesome dad, and I'm glad that I was able to catch this picture, because he doesn't cooperate most of the time.

The fabric store was uneventful--felt & misc for the quiet book & other sundry projects.

The thrift store was nothing short of MAGICAL, though. I pretty much decided (when I decided to take a snotty 2-yr-old shopping) that I was going to go ALL OUT. That said, I didn't expect to use the "$10 off $30 or $25 off $50" coupon that I took. I did, though. I found lots of yellow tags (50% off), so I already was getting some good deals, but then I had so much that I spent just over $50, and got to take $25 off! So it ended up that I spent $27 and got TONS of great deals. 3 of the items were clothing items for me that didn't fit (a whole other story that I DON'T want to discuss) so on Monday I'll take them back and get to respend $10. Not everything is pictured here, but I got several sewing notions, a green jersey sheet and a velvet curtain to use as fabric, GARDEN BOOTS for me (I've been yearning for some for a while now & they're just in time for garden season!), and the most fabulous watering can Elephant (Also something that I've been trying to find for Chick to use in her little garden, and this one is so awesome & funky! and was only 50 cents!!).

I also got several packages of buttons to cover, so that I can copy Sarah and her friend in this adorable project.Chick got 2 outfits, since she's grown out of more clothes lately than she's grown into...jeans & this super cute (and appropriate) t-shirt, and a white tee & beige cords.

Speaking of Chick--she whined (snot nosed & bleary eyed) for most of the time at the thrift store, and I really felt bad for taking her out. Especially when she kept wailing, "Ready a go. Ready a go!" It was totally selfish of me.

Then, since I start more than I finish, I liked the idea of "Finished Project Friday" and took the challenge. I finished the soda bottle birdfeeder (HH says I also started it, but I say if the bottle has sat around in the kitchen for a week then it was STARTED already). I also finished some recycled denim rice bags (which do double duty--not only are they a finished project by making toe warmers, but also it's one less pair of jeans for me to mend for HH!). And lastly, since it was gorgeous outside, I did a little yardwork. It was a great day overall.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

this and that

I made this sorting board a couple of days ago. Chick and I took turns putting things on the corresponding color circle yesterday, and it went pretty well. Here and here are the originals.

Also, I think Babe looks a little bit Gerber in this picture.....

Monday, March 9, 2009

Goodies in the Mail!

The past couple of days have been very exciting mail days!

First I got a fun package from Lia! It had an awesome apron with a cute wavy hemline! And a skirt & matching do-rag for Chick (you can't see them so great in the pic, but you can see that she likes them : ) and a little zipper bag with wrist strap, and a scripture size bag. Everything is SO CUTE! And by the way, Lia, where did you get the velvet ricrac? I love that!

I also got a package of vintage patterns from my Aunt! They are so cute, I can't wait to get sewing! There are a lot of them, but here are a few of my favorites (looks like HH is getting a cool homemade tie for fathers day!...but I'll do the "thin" one, not the "fat vintage" one).

So thank you, Aunt Leslie & MamaLia...the packages made my day!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Outraged mad ranting

So I know I wrote about the new lead law before. I still don't know the exact ramifications, but I've learned a little more about possibilities.

Not only will it have an impact on small homemade toy makers, thrift stores (which as you know are my favorite places to shop), but also LIBRARIES!

I really am having trouble believing it...who would write such a ridiculous law?! So libraries are actually kind of in limbo, but there's a chance that if they don't test their books then they will have to either remove all children's books published prior to 1985, or ban children. Ok, some kids do eat books, but they aren't supposed to be eaten! That's kind of parental negligence and in against library policies anyhow.

Some thrift stores have already pulled children's toys from the shelves. Here are some other links: here, and here. There are a lot more articles, of course, so I'd encourage you to look into it yourself. Tomorrow I plan to call a local thrift store and our library to see what they know about it.

I feel very uninformed on the whole issue, and I'm actually a little conflicted. I think that we're a little too sheltering of our children in the wrong ways (read this posting from Sew Liberated--the comments are all very interesting too) and people need to calm down a bit. But at the same time, I'm distrustful of most things that are new to our culture--and if thrift stores switch to selling 100% natural fabrics, is that really so bad? Life was probably better in some ways before plastic dishes and polyester clothing....

Here are some interesting links about over-protecting kids: here, and here.

Anyhow, as always, I am interested to hear what your thoughts are. Like I said, I feel uninformed, and would like to hear more opinions and facts before I write a bunch of letters to my congressmen!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

10 things I love about him...

Thanks for the "challenge," Sarah!
1. He's handy. I always liked the idea of marrying someone that could work with his hands, and he definitely can. He can do anything.

2. He's knowledgeable. He seems to know about everything and likes to learn new things.

3. He's a wonderful dad--patient and fun. The girls love Daddy.

4. He always supports me. After working hard all day & having a long commute, he comes home and plays with Chick, or holds the baby, or takes out the composting, etc so that I can have a breather. And he doesn't complain if I "need" to go out shopping or wherever by myself. He doesn't ever say, "You're starting another project? What about the 10 that you have going on the dining table?" He doesn't even HINT that he's THINKING that : )

5. He's laid back. HH doesn't get ruffled about things, but just takes it all in stride. This is something that I love more and more about him as time goes by. Especially when the house is a mess and I don't know what we're having for dinner and it looks like tuna melts...again. He doesn't care and doesn't make me feel bad about it.

6. He's dependable. If he says he's going to do it, then he's going to do it.
7. He's nice to be around. I remember thinking that it was a good sign that I didn't ever get tired of being with him when we were dating. Now, married almost 6 years, I still feel the same way. I don't get tired of being with him. I prefer to spend time in his company than with anyone else.

8. He provides well for his family. Things are sometimes a little tight, but that's actually because he's too nice of a landlord ("Those kids need a stable home environment.... I'll talk to her about the back rent later. After the holidays.").

9. He's nice. (see #8). He doesn't say bad things about people. He doesn't gossip. He treats everyone equally. I don't know many people that are better at treating people equally than he is.

10. This one is so obvious that I don't even need to write it, but he's dang sexy.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

My child is a genius

I would like to preface this by saying that I am partial to my children. I think they are the cutest, smartest, funnest kids around. That doesn't mean that I don't think other kids are cute, smart, or fun...I'm just partial to mine. I also realize that other parents are partial to THEIR kids. I think it's a nice set up, since all kids need someone in their corner. I feel bad for kids who don't have parents thinking that they are the coolest kids ever...hopefully they are able to find other mentors.

Ok, so all kids are brilliant. To say that my child is brilliant is really saying, "she's a normal kid."

THAT SAID, first of all, the pictures are from her playing yesterday. She needed a bit of help actually getting the stroller strapped to the backpack, but the idea was hers.

Second of all, I peeked in on Chick when she was in her room for naptime (but not really napping, because what fun is being well-rested & happy?). What did I find? She had taken off her diaper, gone poo in the potty seat, and put the diaper back on.

Genius, I tell you!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Ok, really, this is the last one...

I know, I know. Another giveaway link. But wouldn't Chick have so much FUN in this?!!

Blushing Buttercream Pettiskirt GIVEAWAY!!!!

another apron?!

Honestly, I'm not getting fanatical about aprons, but this one is really cute too. What a great idea to have a Little Black Apron for parties (or whenever)...AND it's a giveaway. I don't usually post about other people's giveaways on my blog, but I'd love to win this, so I'm going to do it...just this once : )

Here's the link to the giveaway on The Apronista's blog.

Monday, March 2, 2009

A Special Kind of Magic and other Random Thoughts

Babies are just so magical. I could sit and snuggle and coo back to Babe for hours. I could get high from the smell of her head.

Chick is pretty magical too. A couple of months ago (end of December) Chick started to say family prayers (meaning that she would repeat what I told her to say). At the time she could only repeat back one word at a time. Last night she said the prayer and was repeating whole phrases. "Tay-tu" is thank you said quickly.

Right now she's "Tuck tuck. Tuck tuck. tuck tuck"-ing her baby into a play baby carrier. Actually, I think it's Babe's little rattle baby this time. Tchaikovski is playing in the background, but Chick is singing something wholly unrelated.

The picture above cracks me up: shirt with panties and play socks with pink Sunday shoes, and a nervous looking Babe at Chick's mercy!

My aunt is cleaning out her storage unit and brought over these two crates full of fabric for me! It makes me happy every time I look at them! I'll be putting some of the fabrics to good use this week, working on a giveaway item or two. I wish I could put pictures on of what I've been working on, but that would ruin the surprise. But Heather's is done, Mom's is almost done, Sarah's is started, and Nikko's & Katie's are still just ideas on paper. All are things that I've never made before, so it's been fun to learn some new projects!

Speaking of ideas on paper, I stayed up until midnight last night sketching out Chick's Easter gift: a homemade quiet book. It's going to be awesome, if I can execute as well as I can dream. It's my main craft project for March...I hope to get it all cut out before layout starts on Thursday. That and the copycat dress that I want to make for Chick's Easter dress.

Do you know what's worse than having a bad headache? Having it seep into your dreams so that you have a headache in your dream. bah.

HH screwed up his back on Saturday while doing a side job for friends. He's been hobbling around like an old man ever since. Poor Handsome Handyman....

I stopped in a the thrift store on Saturday to look for something that I needed for part of a project (it was there, new & for a great price!). I also found 5 yards of black fabric for also a great price (that was on my list to get at JoAnns), and a great little wooden abacus for Chick that only cost 69 cents! I've been looking for one of those online! Oh, and a roll of sheet crafting plastic for a dollar.

I'm still on the lookout for a girls coat pattern.... And a bookshelf like this one, so that we don't have to make it ourselves (do you know how many stinking projects we have lined up?!)

Lastly, and totally unrelated to anything--here is a picture of the Emmeline apron from Sew Liberated. I am so in love with this apron!