Saturday, December 15, 2012

A Tour of the Unfinished Nursery

A couple of months ago my sister suggested that I should take pictures of the nursery and post them, since waiting until I FINISHED the nursery would probably be too long.

I, of course, was offended.

Now, 2+ months later, I am humble enough to share the unfinished pictures with you.

I repainted this rocking chair, and sewed the pillow.  I still need to do a larger cushion for the seat. {Fox put in carpet and base trim, and did the basic white paint, as well as putting in a new light fixture.}

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I repainted the hook strip, frame, and shelf.  I also photoshopped the picture of the temple so that it would match the color scheme more.  I still need other things for the shelf...I want an {unbreakable} owl and otter.  The sign is from when Chick was first born.  I made the bracelets.  {They are still WAY too big}

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I made this diaper stacker using an online tutorial, but the ruffle and front pintucks were my own ideas.  It hangs on a tension rod on one side of the closet...which works double duty by keeping the older kids out of the closet.

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A framed picture of the babies.  I repainted the dresser, but you can't see it in this picture.  Next to this is a changing pad.

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I modpodged paper onto letters, and hung them using velcro.  And I made a fabric flower.  It's about two feet in diameter.  It's still a little can see the pin that I added for stability "until I can sew it."  This grouping is over the dresser.

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This is a picture grouping that will be next to the door (the little shelf and hooks are on the other side).  My sister Melinda gave me the letter hooks and they are perfect.  The pictures aren't final...I was just figuring out the frames.  The top left frame is a magnet board and I made a set of magnet pebbles.  I also made the crib sheet underneath.
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And finally, my favorite part: the squiggly wall.  My sister Judy helped paint the stripes while my Mom watched the kids, and later I freehanded the squigglies while my sister Laura watched the kids.  Eventually I'll put up a large black and white print on canvas of the baby girls on this wall.

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I still want to make curtains and bedding...the fabrics have been in a neat little pile in my room for months.
This post was typed one handed...please excuse any typos.  I have two sweet little girls sleeping on my lap. : )

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Birthdays and Misc.

We had two birthdays at the end of November.

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The first was my Foxy husband, who turned 40!  His birthday fell on Thanksgiving this year, so we celebrated at my sister's house.  It was pretty relaxed, as far as birthdays go (and as far as 40th! birthdays go).  He didn't even get a cake-- he requested apple crisp instead.  Plus he'd cut his finger at work the day before (8 stitches...but he was back to work on Monday as if nothing happened...crazy guy) and was nursing that a bit.  But it was a lovely day anyhow.  Happy birthday, Love.

Next up was Monkey, who turned 4!! 

She requested a vanilla cake with strawberry frosting, in the shape of the number 4, pink, with butterflies on top : )  I loved her choice, because she wasn't afraid to ask for what she wanted and to be her own person.  Monkey is a little on the shy side, and I worry sometimes about her being overshadowed by some of her siblings (sometimes I worry about her being overshadowed by ALL of her siblings, for that matter) I love when she lets her personality shine.

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For the cake I used this recipe, which was a little pickier to make than I usually do, but fantastic!  And this recipe for the frosting, which melted in your mouth and was very strawberry and very pink, despite being a small amount of strawberries (I used frozen strawberries rather than preserves).  Melted starburst candies for the butterflies.  Monkey loved it, and it was really delicious.

She got really awesome presents-- an Olivia doll and books from Fox and me, a doll house from Aunt Diana, a mermaid for the bathtub from Arizona, a matchbox car (red with stars; she's named it "Starry"...from Moose). And an umbrella and book from my parents who came to dinner (pizza, Monkey's choice).

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(By the way, I did haircuts this weekend, and I'm happy to say that Monkey's hair is now LONGER than Moose's!)

She's been going through a phase...I guess since she was easy as a two-year-old it was her right to start being a little more "difficult" as a three-year-old...but anyhow, even with all that, she's still one of the sweetest little souls that I know.  She has a sweet little pixie face and aura.  (But I do hope that the phase will mellow out now that she's a four-year-old.)

She's always been the most naturally artistic of the kids, and now that she's learning her letters she LOVES to write them.  She does quite good, too.  She also loves screen,  watching shows, playing games on the ipod, looking at people's pictures on their phones.... 
And she has a great sense of location.  I think because she's visual.  The other day we were driving somewhere and she told me five different things that we would get to if we turned on the streets that we were passing.  Some were places that we haven't been to for quite a while.

Anyhow, I'm so grateful for that spunky, sweet little girl!! 

Other news:
Owl and Otter got their ears pierced (a separate blog post to come).  Monkey was going to do it too, but chickened out (fine by me).

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This was taken a week or two before the piercing.  Owl, Otter.
The baby girls are also are batting at toys and rolling over like pros.  Otter was first (within days of their five-month birthday), and Owl was about a week after that.  Monkey started crawling at five months (she was my earliest...the others were within a month after that), so it's kinda weird to have these girls be so different from their older siblings.  But adjusted for being early, they are 3.5 months, which is right on track for rolling over.  They are still very small, so people think that they are just super strong newborns : )  It's nice for me, since carrying two babies is a challenge enough...I don't want them to be too heavy!

Moose is coming into his own lately.  He's talking in more complex sentences, and is able to express his ideas now.  And of course, this is the age when the kids start to really crack me up.  He's hilarious.

A little while ago I was in the kitchen and he was in the living room with Mr. Fox.  He was standing on a stepstool and fell down.  I heard him start to cry-- the kind of cry that says, "I have suffered an injustice or indignity, and I want it acknowledged, but I'm not actually hurt."  So he comes in to me, and says in a cry sort of voice,
"Mama, I fell down... (throws himself to the ground dramatically) that!"

Another time the babies were crying and he came to me to say,
"The babies are crying.  Waaaaa (in a falsetto).  Like that."

He's switched from clinging to my leg as I drag him to nursery class at church, to bounding in on his own without a backward glance.  And at the ward Christmas party this past weekend he was Mr. Social going around to say hi and give hugs to all of the people he knows.

Chick is improving by LEAPS AND BOUNDS on her reading.  She has matured a lot since the babies were born, and she likes to help with them.  She still pretty headstrong...but that probably will never change.  She's been like that since birth.

Me.  Hmm.  I've finished my Christmas shopping, but still have things to sew and make. 

I got all of the Christmas decorations up, except for lights in the yard and a few more strands in the house. 

I spend a lot of my time sitting on the couch.  It's just easiest, since I have to feed babies fairly frequently, and if one or both of them are crying then I can't get anything else done anyhow.  But I need to find some new solutions because I've gained a couple of pounds lately. 

Anyhow, during feedings I've been watching Dr. Who.  I started with season 2, and am almost done with season 5.  I'm still mourning the regeneration...I really really liked David Tennant as the Doctor.  But it's still fun to watch, and the kids love it too.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Celebrating Autumn

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I get super grumpy when Fox works overtime on Saturdays. 
Which he's done a few times lately.

To combat it one week we had some friends over to make wax-dipped leaves. 

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It was just the thing to turn my mood around.

Dipping leaves in wax is strangely addictive, and definitely helps you stop and appreciate how truly beautiful nature is.  And how each leaf is different.  And how vibrant the colors are.
Loved it.

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Kendra took this picture, and I love it!

We had hot cocoa and cookies.

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And I felt like a rockstar Mom for doing a fun activity, rather than just planning to do it someday. yay me.

Family Pictures 2012

In October we had our family pictures taken. 
We swapped with our friends the Streadbecks... Heidi took our pictures, and I took their pictures. 

We went to the University of Washington for the photoshoot.  I loved the setting, and plan to go back there for more pictures sometime.  Everytime we passed a doorway I thought, "Oh!  Look at that one!"

At any rate, we were short on time, and it was cold and windy (but not rainy, so that was nice), and we had a million kids (8), so it was a bit rushed.  But I'm still happy with how they turned out.

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I kinda need a creative that day-to-day mothering doesn't wear me out. 
Planning the outfits for these pics was a happy diversion.
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Nothing like a family photo to remind me how adorable I think my kids are!
(but seriously, look at them! they melt my heart!)

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Love that each child posed differently (on their own)

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One of my absolute faves...especially of Mr. Foxy and Me.

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Another fave.  I bought the glasses at the thrift store (except mine, which were my great-grandma's)
Getting out the books and glasses seemed like too much worksince all were tired, cold, and hungry...but I'm really glad we did it now.The books were...
Fox: Creating Wealth By Investing in Real Estate
Me: These Is My Words
Chick: Cinderella
Monkey: Fancy Nancy
Moose: Dumpy the Dumptruck (which he threw aside because I'd brought the wrong book)
Owl: The Real Mother Goose
Otter: Eloise

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Thank you, Heidi!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Trying to Catch up: Halloween stuff.

Last Halloween we went down to Arizona to visit Mr. Fox's family.  We had a fabulous time, but I never got the pictures sorted through and blogged!  Oops.  I'll try to do a little catching up soon... but in the meantime, here are the kids in their costumes from last year.

Chick as a ballerina

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Cute Sir Cousin in the background

Monkey as a bee
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Moose as a homeless bum.
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This year, despite the poor job economy situation, I'm happy to report that Moose got a job as a builder and is no longer homeless.
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To continue the trend, his costume next year will be Bill Gates ; )

Monkey was a monkey.  It's funny that what originated as a funny little nickname to use on this blog has become rather a defining thing in her life.  She likes all things "monkey" and took her monkey collection to preschool for show-and-tell.
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Chick was Fancy Nancy.  It was a fun costume...but Chick is all about comfort and was not happy to wear an itchy wig (and mean Mama that I am, I insisted that if she wanted to get any candy or go to any parties she had to be wearing that wig!).  This is her "but it's ITCHY" face.
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Owl was a zebra.
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Otter was an elephant.

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We did a group pumpkin (mostly the two bigger girls and me), and I thought he turned out pretty darn cute.
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I dressed as a pirate for the ward Trunk or Treat, and had fun putting together stuff for our trunk decorations.  I made a fabric sign that said, "Ye must first walk the plank, lest ye be cursed" and Fox made a little platform plank that the kids had to walk to get to candy.  I had a full-sized Jolly Roger hanging, and a "treasure" with the bowl of candy in the middle.  When I hung the flag up, Moose said, "oh, pretty!" 
1. probably the first time the Jolly Roger flag has been called pretty.
2. that boy has too many sisters!
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The last time I dressed as a pirate was 2002...the year that Fox and I were getting flirty
but had yet to go on a date/engagement/marriage. 
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Anything shiny, gold, or silver that we own got put into the trunk.

By the time the kids came out for the trunk or treat it was dark and cold, and the parking lot was poorly lit.  So really my efforts were for nothing, but it gave me a creative outlet for the day I guess.  I do so like doing that kind of thing.

Before we carved the pumpkin we played around with putting the babies into it.  Otter was fascinated, but Owl was not amused.  at all.
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Anyhow, it was a fun holiday.  I have always loved costumes.  This year I had to keep everything pretty simple (because I'm still in survival mode) but enjoyed it anyhow.  On the actual day I was sick, so I stayed home with the babies and passed out the candies.  I prepared jack-o-lantern quesodillas and sent Mr. Fox and the older three out for trick-or-treating and to our friends' house for a party. 
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I thought I'd have a nice relaxing time watching old episodes of Bewitched, but two hungry babies and a bunch of trick-or-treaters thwarted that plan.  The kids came home happy and excited...and then Moose had a meltdown because I didn't let him start eating candy (or something...I don't remember exactly now) and peed in his clothes.  good times.

Have I mentioned that we abandoned potty training?  I can't keep up with laundry that comes with willfully wetting one's clothes.  When everyone has settled down and are not showing signs of new-baby-stress (including especially me) then we can resume.  You know, when he's not such a two-year-old.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Double the Blessings

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(the coordinated pacifiers were just a happy coincidence)
Owl and Otter were blessed at the end of September.
To be honest, I was pretty stressed leading up to it, because I'd procrastinated making the dresses mostly.  I also had planned to have a housecleaning service come clean the house for me, and then wasn't able to get them scheduled in time.  Also I got sick the week before.
All that said, I think that it was the nicest blessing day of all of the kids.  The stress continued up until we got to church ...late... and they had to switch around the meeting to do the blessing after the passing of the sacrament rather than before (with all of our visiting family looking around anxiously..."where are they?!"). 
But then the blessings were beautiful, and after that I enjoyed everything.
A funny thing about the blessings.  First of all, I can hardly remember any of either one...trying to remember one blessing is sometimes hard enough...two is too much for my tired brain!  But I had my sister tape it for me (hopefully she hasn't taped over it, since I haven't gotten it from her yet).  I know some feel that taping a blessing is taboo, but I'm ok with it in this situation.  Anyhow, the funny thing is that during Owl's blessing Fox called her Julia.  It's her middle name, but there's never been any discussion about CALLING her that, and he's never called her that before or since.  He denied it and says he doesn't remember calling her that...I think he just likes to give people something to wonder about ; )

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When Mr. Fox saw this he said that he looks old and tired. 
I will admit that these few months have helped us both to FEEL old and tired,
but I still think he's a handsome devil.

Anyhow, then we finished out the meetings and everyone headed to our house for a luncheon.  There were Grandma and Grandpa J, Grandma and Grandpa N, my sister Laura, Fox's uncle Mark, and my sister Judy + family.  It was a much smaller group than for the others, but the food was delicious, the conversation interesting, and the happiness abundant (at least for me).

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LOVE this picture of Owl with my goofy nephew Ben : )
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Grandpa and Grandma N
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Grandpa and Grandma J

Anyhow, the dresses.  I completely revised my plans for the dresses, because I'd procrastinated sewing them.  I decided to go with a simple shirred-top dress style.  I didn't use a pattern, and I made the dresses from an eyelet bedskirt that I'd bought at a yard sale for $1.  I love repurposing : )  Anyhow, I am happy with how they turned out, though they weren't as quick and easy as I'd expected.  And they aren't even the same, because I did one and then tried to improve upon it for the second.  There are things that I like better in one, and things that I like better in the other.  But I am happy with how both turned out.

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Dresses with matching headbands and booties.

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matching booties that didn't stay on well,
but were super adorable anyhow.

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I know this isn't the best picture, but it shows Otter in her dress.
I love the sweet, innocent feel of white eyelet.

A note about the colors for the dresses:  I love both colors.  I kind of felt like the peachy color was more "Otter" and the bluer one was more "Owl"...but I don't want to type cast the babies before they've even had a chance to say what they when it was time to get them dressed I just grabbed a baby without looking to see who it was, and I grabbed a dress, and that was that.  But it was contrary to how I had originally thought to do I was confused for a lot of the day trying to remember.
It's enough to have to identify someone based on their clothing, but to have to go through the thought process of "that one is wearing peach, which I had in mind for Otter but today they are switched, so that is Owl" ...well, it's exhausting.  And I'd stayed up late making baby booties and headbands, and was recovering from being sick, so my thought process was a bit sluggish anyhow!  Long story short, I need to hurry up and get the babies' ears pierced, and when I do it, I need to make sure the earrings are what I really think fits that baby and not worry about it! sheesh.

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I suppose it fits that Otter had the more watery color
and Owl had the more tree-ish color.  Right?
How much can I read into things?
wanna come over-analyse things with me?
Anyhow,  lunch was very nice and low-key, and then it was over and everyone left and I got to take a nap : )  and we ate leftovers for dinner.

the end.

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Otter Pop.
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