Sunday, April 27, 2008

I suck...

...for going weeks without posting stuff. That's what you were thinking, right?

Sunday, April 13, 2008

New Blankets

As I mentioned in the last post, Tom's kids are staying with me over the weekend (Tom, Katie, and Atticus are in New Orleans, helping victims of Katrina or something like that), and I've been trying to think of things to do with all these the kids. On Friday, I got this brilliant idea to take the kids to the fabric store, let them pick out their own fabric, and make blankets. I had this vision in my head of us all sitting in a circle, threading needles and sewing while we chit-chatted about life. Being the mother of three, I should know that kids can't sew. At all.

So instead I ended up with six blankets to sew by myself, and six kids in various states of distress, telling me to "hurry up" "I want my blanket" "make my blanket" "When are you going to make mine" "Are you almost done" "Are you done yet" "Are you done yet" The stress level went through the roof when they informed me I had a deadline to meet. See, they had planned a "blanket party" with their new blankets that was to start at 8:00PM sharp! (That's when the premiere of the new Sponge Bob episode started) All six of them insisted on sitting right next to me and counting down the minutes, no matter how many times I told them to go away. Anyway, I'm proud to say that I made the deadline, by a few minutes, meaning that I was able to make six blankets in three hours. Not too shabby.

When you see the pictures of the final result, keep in mind that I let the kids pick their own material, and no matter how hard I tried to explain that bright yellow and purple make a hideous combination, or that Snoopy is so 1980s, I couldn't get any of them to budge on their decisions. (My original vision also included aesthetically pleasing blankets--didn't completely happen) But they are crazy about them blankets, and it's probably because they picked out their own material.

Here's Violet with her "Bayers" blanket. She started bawling when I gave her the finished blanket because she found a few crooked seems. Geez. From then on, I had to exercise precision.


Here's Thomas' "fire" blanket. He could not get over how cool he is that he picked it. (He refused to be in the picture, though, because his foot hurt)


Ha! Got him.

Here's Hazel with her "Mermaids and Rainbows" blanket.


Here's Homer with his "Noopy" blanket. (It's impossible to get a clear picture of this kid)


Here's Gus with his "Pirate" blanket.


Here's Cord with his "Sharks" blanket.


Anyway, they had tons of fun wrestling around and playing with their blankets. Static hair flying everywhere.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Wanted: Ants

We have three of Tom and Katie's kids staying with us this weekend (Hazel, Thomas, and Violet) while they enjoy a much-needed vacation. We wanted some fun/cheap entertainment to do with the kids, so we took them to the Lowe's "Build and Grow" kid's workshop. We take our kids to the Home Depot kid's workshop occasionally, but we had never been to the Lowe's one before. They do their kid's workshop twice a month (second and forth Saturday). The project was a little more challenging than the Home Depot one, but the kids had fun. And best of all... IT'S FREE! You can't beat that.

They made Ant Farms this week:



They gave the kids their own work aprons, just like the Home Depot workshop. Unlike the Home Depot workshop, they gave them each a pair of safety goggles and made the parents sign a "can't sue us if your kid dies" wavier. Paranoid. Anyway, they all survived.



When the kid's complete their project, they give them a badge to sew on their apron--really cute. Some kids at the workshop had their aprons covered in badges. Gus and Hazel were impressed and can't wait to get more.



The Home Depot has their workshop once a month (first Saturday) and gives the kids a pin when they complete the project. The badges are cuter, but you don't have to sew the pins on so I guess some parents would prefer the pins. I sewed everyone's badges on right when we got home--kind of a pain.

I recommend both workshops, but the Home Depot projects are probably better for 2-4 year-olds because they use sturdier wood and bigger pieces. The Lowe's projects have smaller pieces that are kind-of hard for really little kids. Hazel and Gus (both 6 years-old) did it almost entirely on their own. Thomas (4 years-old) needed a little help. Violet and Homer (3 and 2.5 years-old) needed a lot of help. BUT, at the Home Depot workshop last week, Homer hammered his planter box together by himself--I just held the wood. Not bad for a 2.5 year-old.

Oh, I kind-of did a review. Your welcome.

By the way, the reason Cord wasn't with us is because he's at Scout Day Camp all day today.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Office Birthday

So it was one of my co-worker's birthdays on March 21st, Katie Morgan, and we finally celebrated her birthday last weekend--two weeks after the fact. (That's what happens when you're workin' for The Man.) Anyway, we went to PF Chang's and Golden Spoon and then we took pictures of ourselves because nobody else was with us to take the pictures. Don't you hate that?

Here's Katie. She was forced to take her own picture, but she got a nice, long shot.


Here's me. I was forced to take my own picture, but I didn't let that stop me from getting the perfect angle (after 4 tries).


Here's Katie. This time she took her own picture with her feet, so her arms wouldn't be in the way. She was like, "whatever."


Here's me. I took the picture with my feet so my arms wouldn't be in the shot. I look so coy here--it would be perfect for a MySpace page, I think.



Here's a picture we took together. We didn't even care. We were like "whatever." Again, this would make an excellent MySpace picture, and people would think that we didn't even care.



Anyway, happy birthday Katie! You are the second coolest person I know (me being the first coolest, and not counting anybody who might be offended when I say that). Thanks for agreeing to hang out with me from time to time. I have so much fun with you!
As for the rest of you... What? Are you jealous?

Monday, April 7, 2008

Family Home Video Day: Beach Bunnies

video

Creepy!

I just visited Emily’s blog (my cousin) and found out that we did exactly same thing this weekend. Creepy. Our garden is much skinnier and will probably die since Anthony didn't finish setting up the water system. The sun is beating down on it. I might go hose it down if I can find the strength. Here are the boys with their Home Depot planters.



My FHVD post should be up soon. It's processing now.


Saturday, April 5, 2008

Free Home Makeover

We've been doing some serious spring cleaning this past week. For those of you who are not familiar with our house, in the upstairs "south-wing" (we live in a mansion, BTW), we have the kids' bedrooms, the bonus room, and a junk room (similar to the junk drawer you might have in your kitchen). We don't clean this wing of the house, we make the kids do it. Lately, the contents of the junk room have been spilling out into other areas of the house, so Anthony and I decided it was time to step in and help. We threw out countless trash bags of old toys and junky stuff, rearranged the furniture, and was shocked to uncover so much space! Our bonus room seems twice as big. I wish I would have taken before pictures, but I didn't think about it. Here are the afters:



We took apart Homer's toddler bed and packed it away in the garage, and then we unburied an old bed from beneath a pile of junk in the junk room and set it up in Homer's room. The bed was Cord and Gus's when they were little, about 5 years ago, and it matches Homer's "babyish" room perfectly. He looks so small on such a tall bed. He loves it!



Cord and Gus's room is pretty much the same. I push their beds together when we have company stay with us and they decided they like it that way so we left it. (Usually the beds are against opposite walls with the window and night stand between). It's a very plain room. Next project will be painting it.



Two pictures hang on the wall that you can't see in that picture. My niece, Maddie Beck, who is a natural artist, drew the first one for me when she was about four-years-old and it's one of my favorites. (Those are Ninja Turtles, BTW) Cord drew the second picture when he was about the same age. (It's an alien)



Below are pictures of what used to be the "junk room," and is now the "playroom." This room was wall to wall, floor to ceiling filled with junk. I'm only slightly exaggerating. We took all the toys out of the bonus room and moved them in here. I still have a huge pile of toys to sort through, most of which will be thrown out or given to goodwill, but you would be impressed if you saw how big the pile was when we started. Eventually, all the toys will fit in that closet. All that will be in this room is the kids' computer, a shelf, and an open area to play.



The End

Friday, April 4, 2008

Family Home Video Day: My Humble, No-Excuses Apology



So, I've been really bad about consistently posting my FHVD clips lately. I'm not going to go back and count how many I missed because I believe it's best to move forward. I only missed three, though.

I have no excuses. I was out-of-town for a few of them. My computer monitor broke. And the truth of the matter is that sometimes I can put the video together really quick, and sometimes it takes forever for me to do it (technical problems, searching for a good clip, etc.). Some Mondays, I have had to spend my time on other important matters, such as googling J-Lo's babies. I have no regrets, but if I could go back in time and post just one of my missing FHVDs, I would do it in a heartbeat, even if it meant reliving my near-death experience at sea.

Anyway, this is my humble, no-excuses apology to all my loyal fan(s). Screwing around with pictures/video/music is still one of my favorite pastimes, so rest assured that FHVD will be back next Monday. It will be groovy, and we will laugh at/with you/me/us.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Lemon:

Not that this is an excuse or anything, but I've been having problems with my monitor and that's exactly the reason why I haven't been updating my blog.

21st Century computer monitor that doesn't work:


My monitor is barely over a year old. It was a lemon when we bought it--we had to constantly unplug then plug it back in to get the screen to come on. Well, now it's completely dead. I ran all over town in a panic, trying to find a place to fix it, trying to return it to Cost-co (which is where I bought it), and finally contacting the manufacturer to see if it's still under warranty. What a shock to learn that it IS still under warranty--it really was a lemon. That has never happened to me! Usually it breaks a few days after the warranty expires. They are sending me a brand spankin' new one (in 15-20 business days)!

In the mean time, I had to steal the kids' computer monitor, and they are hanging out in my office, whining to use the computer. "Kids! I have important mom stuff to do! Go play with your blocks."
20th Century computer monitor that works (despite being sticky):


I've been getting some really random stuff done since I haven't been able to access my computer, and I had this creepy feeling that I was supposed to get all this stuff done and that's why my monitor broke.

Giant Shoe exhibit I was destined to visit: