Thursday, September 29, 2011

not about crafts!

So. My kids?

They're CUTE! Even when one's borderline choking the other one. Hug, choke, samediff. I ended up going the DIY route on our photo session this year, since A & V have been known not to cooperate with a pro which makes me all agitated and sweaty, and also since I did kindasorta talk my husband into getting me a nice camera by saying "but think how much money we'll SAVE not paying a photographer all the time!" And then I hired a photographer ten times after that. So this time around, I hired (for free) an assistant (my mom) and we took the kids out on a perfect fall day and snapped away. And then I actually took some time to play with that Aperture editing program I've had on my computer for oh, like 10 months. And I'm so, so happy with our results! Of course, I'm only sharing the so-so ones that aren't my super top favorites. Christmas cards and grandparent gifts and such, you know? But trust me. There are some where BOTH of my kids are not only looking in the general direction of my lens but ALSO smiling. I know. It's as miraculous as a sparkly unicorn.

he loves his bubbita

oh, i love her too

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

autumn tree

This is not turning into a craft blog. I sweartodog! It's still a "zomg toddlers be nuts/zomg I'm turning into a cat lady/zomg the Real Housewives did WHA WHAAAT?!?" blog. I promise. But yeah, there's also going to be some craftiness. Unless my crafting venture crashes and burns like some of my other short-lived hobbies (::cough cough running::) (::cough cough piano lessons::) have been known to do.

In today's edition of Crafts On A Blog Not About Crafting, Anderbug and I made my mom a birthday present. And it turned out SO stinking cute that I requested he help me make another for our house. He obliged. This kid likes paint. And glue. And anything else that involves his mother requesting he get himself messy. (Vivi? Not so much into messy hands. She opted out.)

The project....fall hands.
Inspired by the Pinterest "Christmas tree of hands" project you can't throw a rock without hitting.

Canvas, fall colored paints, spongey paint brush for applying paint to hands and painting tree trunk. And a toothpick to paint on the year, si'l vous plait.

I thought the canvas was needing a little something to look complete, so when the paint was nice and dry, I hot glued hemp cord around the sides. I love how it gave it a rustic finishing touch.

(And if you happen to be my kids' other grandparents, no worries, we've got crafty gift making plans for yall as well. Ho ho ho!)

So happy, happy birthday to my lovely mama! You're an inspiration to me every single day. We love you forever and ever!

Monday, September 26, 2011

i like to craft it craft it

I'm having a manic crafting episode. So much so that late last night, as I put the finishing touches on my THIRD project of the day, J started making up songs at my crafty expense. Like: "Look at me now. Look at me now. Look at me now. Oh I'm craftin papers." And also like: "Getcho craft on. Getcho craft on. Getcha Getcha Getcha Getcha Getcha craft on." There were others in his repertoire, and some accompanying dance moves I wish I had on video should I ever need to blackmail him ... but you get it, right? I did some crafts, with a little help from the kids. Want to see one? Okay, then. I'll share. (But not my very favorite one. That's ((literally)) under wraps until my mom's birthday tomorrow.)

I give you .... fall leaves that were once coffee filters. A fine alternative to plastic window clings, if I do say so myself. (And I just did say so. Myself.)
Super simple. We used four things. Coffee filters, watercolor paints, hemp, and glue.
The littles and I painted the coffee filters in an orderly and cooperative fashion (HAHAHAHAHA!), and when they were dry and my kids were locked in the basement in bed, I cut them up into leaf shapes. Then I glued on the stems and hung them with tape on the windows and finished watching the Packers show the Bears how to play football. Easy peasy!

I also attempted this project. Yeah, notsomuch. My leaves had no interest in adhering to a pumpkin and I ended up with Mod Podge in my eye. So instead, I slapped some glitter paint on the gourds and called it a project.
Nothing groundbreaking, obvi, but they're sparkly and I like sparkly things. So, win.

How about you other Pinterest crackbabies? Did you do anything you loved that I might have missed on my jam-packed Pinterest feed? Do share!

Friday, September 23, 2011

OMGWTF?!? plus iphone photo week in review: sixteen and seventeen

This evening, I met my husband at the door with two toddlers, both in their shoes and coats, and shoved them all outside. Then resisted the urge to slam the door, go find my car keys and my Uggs, and FLEE FOR THE BORDER. Instead, I legit sprinted into the kitchen for a Rhinelander Shorty beer (you want some, trust me.) Then got on my laptop to blog, because therapy is expensive and blogging is free, that's why. OMG, IT WAS NOT A GOOD DAY. Why are three year olds certifiably insane? Why must everyone only want the RED watercolor paint when they're offered the ORANGE, then only the ORANGE when they're given the RED and then just throw their paintbrush at the floor in a fit of rage when FINALLY given the color of choice? Why is it fun to kick the back of my car seat over and over and over again? What's with the shoving lately? Who thinks an hour is a serious nap (hint: NOT ME)? Why would anyone think a kitten wanted to go into the toilet? Speaking of toilets, why is it such a big freaking process to POO in one? Why throw a perfectly good lunch on the floor because it wasn't cut up JUST SO? Why is my beer gone already? WHY WHY WHY?

Ahem. In other news, you guys, I love your Pinterest enthusiasm! I'm now following about eleventy billion of you, and I LOVE what I see. And if I'm not following you yet, I will be soon. Just as soon as I get done drinking my beer and going to a movie and taking a much needed morning off tomorrow with my friend Katie. We're going to look at crafty things at some crafty place, she says! I'll be mentally pinning all the livelong morning, I bet.

Okay. Let's all reflect on finer moments from the last few weeks. Mmkay?

bunt beds are here! bunt beds! first swimming lesson. athletic supporters. snugglywugglykittywitty. mister. cowboy treat bags. my very first rosette. throwing rocks. too small to be a bear too big to be a dog omg what is in my yard. not possessed that day. collecting leaves.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

pinterest is crack and i love it

Yeah, go ahead and add Pinterest to the list of 'things that suck my free time down to shards of nothingness'. And also 'things that won't help me fit into a bikini ever ever again'. But. You guys. This Pinterest thing. Despite the time suck/muffin top making attributes ..... is it not, like, the best invention ever? It's making me so crafty. And inspired. And GENIUS. And tired, when I stay up long after my bed time clicking and clicking and clicking JUST ONCE MORE.

I've made a crock pot buffalo chicken that was kind of to die for. I have back to school photos figured out from preschool to senior year (neveryoumind that my kids don't go to school for, uh, years). I've tried new hairstyles and have a winter wardrobe all planned out. The littles and I are spending tomorrow morning making an autumn window mural and painting/modge podging pumpkins (*and by modge podge I did mean MOD podge). I've got rosette making down pat. There are Christmas and Valentines crafts on the docket. I treated A& V to pumpkin cream cheese with their pear slices the other day. Just call me Martha-Freaking-Stewart, yall. And it's all thanks to Pinterest! Which I love even MORE for being so simply lovely, now that Facebook is being ridiculous (no, I don't care what my friends were doing nine hours ago, Facebook, I like my social media chronological. And not dumb.) Anyway. Pinterest. Have I mentioned I love it?

Here's a clicky link to my Pinterest: linktomyPinterest. If I'm not already following you, leave me your link in the comments so I can find you and steal, oh excuse me ... "pin" all of your ideas. You know, because I have SO MUCH TIME on my hands to pin, what with the kids and the pets and the laundry and the house and the job (did I mention I'm working from home again? Oh. I'm working from home again. Yay money! Yay my brain!) If I keep this pace up, and also spend 4 hours a day on Pinterest/implementing ideas that I've pinned like I want to, soon I'll be down to an hour of sleep and start forgetting to feed the kids cats. Meh. They're getting chubby anyway. (The cats! I said the cats, CPS!)

What's your best Pinterest find so far? I want to know so I can craft it/buy it/eat it. TELL ME.

PS: And THEN I found out there's an iPhone app. I'm probably going to need an intervention.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

yee haw, yall!

Let's be real. Part of the appeal of a cowboy party? It's easy. Franks, throwaway tin pans, plaid shirts, a pile of ten gallon hats. Done. The other appeal? The ridiculous adorability of a three year old in a cowboy hat. Like, such as, see above. And also see below for more of the cow/birthday boy and his down home celebration.
We had fun. The boy had fun. He had all the people he loves most packed into his house, a pile of thoughtful gifts, and free reign of the food table. So of course, he passed up the whole wheat pb&js and stuffed his face with potato chips and franks and cake. And then also twenty pieces of candy from the cowboy boot pinata. And then, superbigsurprise, he woke up five times last night dry heaving and complaining of a stomach ache. Yee haw!

So now, he's three. And a calmer week lies ahead. Which we kicked off with the very best kind of late September Sunday - sweatpants, football (WIN!), and a steady, chilly rain giving us an excuse not to budge from the cozy house. Hellllooooo, fall.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

happy birthday, anderson

Oh, sweet boy. I don't know how you've gone from this ....
to this ....
in thirty six teeny tiny months.

But I do know this: you are so amazing, Anderbuggy. You are happy and kind. You're a good, sweet, thoughtful boy. You forget nothing or no one. You're bright, you're adventurous, you're curious. You love your bubbita, your boobankie, your kitties, your paydough. You can't go to bed without one last hug, then one last kiss, then one more last hug. You put your own shoes on, you like your cup with no lid, you do more things "youself" every day and make me both proud and wistful by doing so. You are a dream come true, my boy, and I'm forever grateful for the way you came along and made our hearts whole. Happy third birthday, Anderson. You are so, so loved, forever and ever.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

ooh, cozy

I don't know about you, but if someone took me to a furniture store and let me (help) pick out the cushiest twin mattress of all time, and also ordered me the softest kid bedding of all time, and washed it all up in the freshest smelling detergent of all time, I might .... oh, I don't know ... actually SLEEP ON IT?
Not Bug. This is his first ever "crashed on the floor" episode, and he chooses to do it the very night he graduates into a real bed with real bedding? (That's his blankie around his neck. Not a dashing fall scarf, and also not maxi pads stuck to his chin, you hear me Facebook friends?)

Later today, his actual bed is being delivered and assembled. His four grandparents, in their usual grandparental awesomeness, came together for his third birthday to do this boy's bedroom up right: a cool set of bunk beds, and the most adorable boy bedding I've seen in my life to go along with it. (See it here and here.) I know. Luckyduck.

And the birthday week fun just goes on and on. He starts swimming lessons Thursday. His Mimi, Papaw, and Auntie Lauren are flying in for the weekend. We're celebrating his big oh-three cowboy style on Saturday. After the gloom and doom of last week, it's nice to have so much to smile about this week.

And also, I'm pretty sure he's potty trained for real. Both ways, if you know whati'msaying.

And also, I'm knocking on wood now. And AM SO EXCITED not to be changing man poops anymore.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

iphone photo week in review: fifteen

wausau bound. silly faces. nothing auntie loves more than a balloon in her face. curious kitten. grown up. if you don't like kittens i can't like you. my kids are milkaholics and we're going broke fast. practicing (not her coat, it's not even pink).

a $3 goodwill mirror made us happy. he really loves normy. it's good to be king. winter it's coming omg hold me. car swing. happy faces on a sad day got me by. my coworker. a pony. abbie visited. they're going to give me a heart attack doing that.

Friday, September 9, 2011

don't read this if you don't want to read about pee and poop

Okay, I need to post something so I can stop looking at that picture of GriffyPoo when I open up my blog to blog-stalk my blog lists. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for all the love you've given me this week via the blog and Facebook and emails and calls and cupcakes at 8pm (looking at you, Katie). Means the world to me, yall. It's been a hard week. I miss my Griff.

Anyway. For the sake of posting something not depressing, I'll tell you this ... I think my kid is potty trained. KNOCK ON WOOD TIMES ONE MILLION. A few wise mothers who have walked the toddler path before us have told me that you get an easy pass on on of the following two things: 1) crib to bed transition or 2) potty training. Let's not get me started on the crib to bed transition, right? That wasn't our easy pass. GODHELPUS if it was. But potty training? Just kind of ... happened. Not to pat myself on the back, because we all know that then, all progress will unhappen in the blink of an eye, but I think the "wait until the kid is 100% ready" approach was the way to go. On Monday, faced with the unsavory likelihood of changing 2,592 diapers on what should have been a holiday but was just another working day around here, and ALSO faced with the idea of hauling my behind to Wally World for yet another box of diapers, and ALSO knowing the kid was ready as the day was long ... I told him a little fib. Just to see what would happen. I told Mister A his doctor had called, and she said he was too big for diapers now. He tilted his head and studied my face and I thought I was so busted, but then, THEN, he turned around and ran to the potty. And peed. And said "tell doctor!" Huh. Fluke? I thought so, but get this - it's now Friday, he's been in ElmoPants since Monday, and we've only had one accident. Total. And that happened when he was watching Sesame Street, which he loves like I love RHOBH, and sometimes I'd rather pee MY pants than take a break to use the bathroom. Okay, that accident tally only applies to the number ones, but hello? Go, Bug! No pee in my car, even! We shall not speak of what's going on with the number twos. Oh, who am I kidding, we shall too. Because I won't cough up a diaper no matter pleadingly he begs, he's started pooping outside. But you know what? He's not pooping in a diaper. And eventually (in two days) it's going to be snowy and cold here and I'm guessing the potty will seem a whole lot more enticing than the frozen tundra of a yard. Hopefully we nip the exhibitionist poos before then, but for now I feel pretty good about five entire days of dry underpants (-1).

Though I will say this ... if you're a germaphobe, get over it before your kid starts potty training. Because today alone, I've been in three public restrooms. Including one in ... wait for it ... Wally. And not just IN the bathroom, up close and personal with the toilet. Because how else do you help a three year old balance on a "big potty" and keep an 18 month old away from the potty? You're going to have to get right in there, and then you're going to have to scrub everyone's hands in the questionably clean public bathroom sink. But if it saves me some money on diapers, and by "saves" I do mean leaves me with extra money to spend on Ideeli, bring on the Tour De Public Restrooms.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

goodbye, griffin

rest in peace, sweet griffin
march 23, 2006 - september 7, 2011

It's awful to lose a pet. It's awful when they wander off, never to be seen again, leaving you hoping and wondering and eventually accepting the heartbreaking idea that they're gone. And it's awful when faultless, tragic accidents happen, when one minute there's playing and running and barking and the next there's not. I imagine, also, that it's awfully sad to watch a pet grow old and gray faced and know the time to say goodbye is near .... but oh, how I wish we'd gotten that chance with Griffin, that we'd had the years we thought we'd have with our quirky, simple, often yappy but always sweetly loyal little dog. Tonight, as I mourn the sudden passing of our Griff, I take comfort in all the love we gave him, and the infinite, unconditional love he gave us right back, even when babies came and focuses shifted and his food dish was sometimes left kibbleless until the very end of the day. I think of the days together at the lake, the walks from our first place in Austin to Amy's Ice Cream (and the stops we'd make for him to visit with his admirers), the time the groomer shaved his fluffy Sheltie coat nearly bald and I cried for hours at his misfortune. I remember how he'd walk obediently at our side wherever it was we took him, how we never needed a leash because he never thought to wander from his human pack. I think of the happy days with our dog, and hope their memory lingers more strongly than the ones of this incredibly sad day.

You were loved, sweet Griff. I hope you always knew that.

Monday, September 5, 2011

hi, norman

If I'm going to live in the wooded country, I might as well rescue a(nother) cat. I can't resist the homeless cats. I mean, from now on I HAVE to, because we've got a newly imposed 1:1 rule in this family (1 human family member to 1 animal family member). So we're done with pets now.

Until we have another baby (HAHAHA!)

It's just too bad kittens aren't cute at all, isn't it?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

not so sparkly

Lots of this going on around here this weekend:
Scowling. (And whining and drooling and throwing oneself on the floor over not being allowed to take a lovey outside.) That'll happen when you cut all your eye teeth at once, Princess Sparklepants.

Or maybe she's just irked that we left her in pajamas all day. She did find herself a pretty to dress the look up a bit, at least.

Friday, September 2, 2011

iphone photo week in review: fourteen

i'd be 10 pounds lighter if there were no dq. summer babes. new big boy room bedding arrives. bug and mama likey. klassy digs. groceries for 13. baby fever maker. sweet boy. already happening. long walks. how we roll. neighbor's "park". fresh picked. howdy yall. date night. see it love it. hi norman (oh what the hell). who needs chew toys when mama has feet.

Thursday, September 1, 2011


One year ago today, we were Texans. But not for long.

As my Facebook status said last September 1, "off we go!" To Wisconsin, and our new home in the woods. It's our one year Wisconsin-iversary! In honor of this momentous occasion, I have a story to tell you. One I'm not sure how I never got around to telling. Maybe because I was busy moving across the country with two children so small they were practically fetuses. Or something.

The whole reason we moved was because of Al Roker. Really! Last July, we were considering the move, but we just couldn't make a 100% final decision, so we were still prefacing the idea with "maybe/possibly/perhaps/weather permitting". J had the job lined up, we had my parents scouring the woods for houses with potential, we'd interviewed a realtor in Austin about maybe/possibly/perhaps listing our house there. But we hadn't fully committed to the move yet and kept going back to "are we SURE we can leave Austin/our friends/malls/Mighty Fine french fries?" Life, or at least where to live it, was up in the air. UNTIL. One morning, J was home. I have no idea how that happened, because in my memories of Austin, J's never home. But he WAS home, and we were watching the Today Show. And you know how Al Roker does his pick city of the day, and tells you about the weather in that far-off burg? And it always seems to be some mid-sized city where the weather is nicer than wherever you are, but it's never more off the path places like, say, Rhinelander, Wisconsin? Well, on that day where J and I were feeling like we needed to make a final decision, oh, about ten minutes ago (Austin or Rhinelander? Austin or Rhinelander? WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO WITH OUR LIVES?!?!) .... Al Roker picked Rhinelander, Wisconsin. Not even kidding you. There, in front of our faces on the flatscreen TV, was the undeniable answer. Sent straight from Al Roker (via God). So we called the movers and we moved. And from now on, I'll trust Al Roker (okay, and God) with all of my big life decisions, because those guys knew what they were doing there.