Saturday, December 31, 2011

twenty eleven. in closing.

2011, a year of good and happy.  And a little sad, here and there, but even the sad was marked with fond memories and growth and new beginnings.  But mostly?  There was just a whole lot of contentment, laughter, and happiness.  My babies grew and grew (and grew).  I turned 30.  I dragged my feet all the way there and held back kicks and screams as I bid my 20s adieu (with a bucket filled with beer and great friends on hand), but found that 30?  It's a seriously good place to be.  I'm grown up.  I'm strong.  I know what I want, and I'm not ashamed to be who I am, say what I think, ask questions when I don't understand.  To let bygones be bygones.  To dream, to try, to take leaps of faith and hold my head high doing so.  To fail with grace, to learn some lesson from it all.  To appreciate our families for their steadfast presence, for the way we grow closer through time and changes and occasional strife - but come out stronger, more understood.  To hold tight to girlfriends.  Old girlfriends, new girlfriends, somewhere-in-the-middle girlfriends.  Because those good friends, be they old or new?  Those ones that support you and hug you and bring a smile to your face when their name pops up in your inbox and who understand when the response is harried or delayed or ends with akjnvs;jknfdvkajnsdvknasdv because a toddler got ahold of your laptop?  They're priceless.  I'm so thankful for my friends.  And that includes you, people who read my blog and leave an encouraging comment or send a Facebook message saying hi or thanks or "here's what worked at our house...."

I go into 2012 optimistic.  Encouraged.  Blessed.  Inspired.  Loved.  Happy.

(And excited to be an auntie!  To a niece!)

Enough words.

Our year, snapshot style.

my babies are actually babies.  it's cold.  we hibernate.  I zumba.





the littlest little is one.  a cupcake party with loved ones all around.  it's cold.  we get colds.  green bay wins the bowl.  tahoe takes a licking, keeps on ticking.





our first family mini-vacation.  the dells.  tub jets are a petrifying fail.  it's still very cold.  we get more colds.  vivi steps.





easter baskets.  the easter bunny terrifies vivi.  mama turns 30.  good friends come together to party.  anderson speaks more every day, fears subside.  wahm becomes sahm.





spring arrives.  we plant on mother's day.  then it snows.  we're cold.  we get another round of colds.  sun comes out.  memorial weekend bbq with friends.





mommo arrives and brings summer with her.  funfest at the long awaited robbie/jackie wedding.  seven years married.  we boat.  auntie megs moves north.  my dot visits from austin with her babe.





mimi and papaw stay in the brown house.  we boat.  we're warm.  a madison trip for ma & pa.  we ooh and ahh the fireworks display from our front porch.  the princess embraces the pretties. 





we boat.  we meet goats at the zoo.  rhigtg is a smashing success, nobody eaten by bears.  big boy bed struggles drive me to drink.  i start a new job, i love a new job.  learn to believe the one door closes, one door opens bit.  cali with my best girls.





our boy is three.  cowboy party.  happy hello to norman.  hard goodbye to griffin.  bunk beds.  we sleep well again.  the boy halfway potty trained. 





go pack go.  mommo and grandpa head west.  halloween is too scary to celebrate.  chester comes home.  we pretty much die of cuteness attack.





it snows.  i craft.  i photograph much.  thanksgiving in california.  kids travel beautifully.  santa terrifies vivian.  chester triples in size.





holiday music 24/7 and that's no lie.  glitter on everything.  vivi speaks in sentences, cuts molars, goes diva.  the boy fully potty trained.  cozy christmas at home.  we say goodbye to 2011 on the west coast (around 10pm, I'm sure, because we're old.) 




Happy New Year to all.  May this be the year you make your dreams happen.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

good mail

I loooooove getting the mail this time of year.  So much that it's worth trudging all the way across the yard, through the snow, uphill both ways, to see what's waiting in my frozen ice block of a mailbox.  Instead of the usual (bills, bills, bills, can you pay my telephone bills....) I find a whole lot of these:


Lovely, right?  And that's not even all of them!  I ran out of Scotch tape.  And room.  But every day, from Black Friday to Christmas Eve, we'd find these cards in our mailbox.  The kids like to stand at the patio doors and point at cute babies and cute dogs and cute friends they know by name.  And when it's all over, I save the picture cards.  For what, I don't yet know (maybe to make into books like THESE?), but I've got stacks from each year in a box in the basement for my kids to one day look over.  (Or use in the Hoarders submission tape they'll send in.  "A third cousin's Christmas card from the ancient year twenty eleven!  OH EM GEE MOM YOU'RE CRAZY!")  I don't know.  I just think Christmas cards are very special, is all I'm saying.

So with Christmas officially behind us on the calendar, my enthusiastic stalking of the mail lady dwindles some.  Okay, a lot, I barely even look up from my laptop when she pulls onto our road.  I usually just let the mail sit there until the next day when I can pick it up by car on our way off to the gym get coffee.  Yesterday, though, I went to get the mail.  I thought we might get a few straggler Christmas cards or something.  And the mailbox?  It surprised me with quite possibly the most touching piece of correspondence I've received this entire season.  I found this in my box:

You see, I didn't know what to buy MIL for Christmas this year.  Oh, I did the usual little things you do for grandmas who love their grandbabies so - pictures of the kids, a few things they made.  But MIL didn't need anything gifty that I could think of.  So I started thinking about MIL.  If there's one thing I've known about my MIL since the day I met her, it's that she's a gold-hearted giver.  She gives her time, her money, and her heart.  And recently, a lot of her time has been going to the Zion Project.  It's a faith-based organization helping young women and girls who face unspeakable hardship in Uganda.  (Go read up on that HERE.)  So this year, as a gift in MIL's name, we signed up to sponsor a girl in Uganda.  For $35 each month, we're helping to provide her with shelter, health care, food, counseling, and safety.  For $35.  Think of the miscellany we all spend $35 on each month.  Coffees?  A dinner out with friends?  A  movie date with the hubs?  Luxuries, and all the while, there are girls dying - for lack of medical care or food, or from disease or conflict.  So it's an honor, this year, to be a part of an organization using that miscellaneous cash to do good for those who need it most.

Check it out for yourself.  Do you have a little extra left over at the end of the month?  Or maybe you're looking for a last minute tax deductible donation to show the tax man?  Consider it, friends.  And if it's not this worthy organization, find another that touches your heart.  It feels good to do good.

All right.  The laundry room beckons.  As do the dishes and the suitcases and the three year old with a fake tummy ache.  I asked him what would help this "tummy ache" and he told me "maybe cookies".  Fakey faker who fakes.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

'twas merry. and bright.

It was a merry little Christmas, indeed.  Just we four, plus auntie, plus loved ones Skyping in from the south and the west to talk food and football and show off the cutest little baby bump in all of east Texas (I'm going to be an auntie!)  The big holiday funfest shindig is yet to come, when we fly to California later this week to be with mommo and grandpa and auntie (again) and uncle Michael.  But our cozy at home Christmas in the woods was just perfect, too.  The usual merriment went on - cookies with more frosting than cookie, snowflakes, candlelit singing in church, kids in jammies ripping into wrapped packages, Christmas day food comas on the couch.  Half naked toddler boys busting out of their room and into their (sleeping) sister's room (and then, crib) in a late night, post-bedtime sugar cookie fueled craze.  So when I heard noises upstairs, and went to investigate, I found a pantless Mister A standing in the corner of (now awake) (and not happy about it) Vivi's crib.  My "WHAT are you DOING?" was answered in a super no-duh tone with "reading to Bubbita, mommy."  I mean, doesn't everyone's Christmas include a pantless reading from one's brother?  (Dear God, I hope not.)

These Christmas morning pictures are more for the blog book than anything, because you and I both know you're sick to death of looking at everyone else's Christmas morning pictures that look just like everyone else's Christmas morning pictures.  Right?  Right.  (Please excuse the purple pajamas.  Let the record show that Vivian did have a pair of Christmas jammies that perfectly coordinated with her brother's.  There was an incident.  A smelly, leaky, incident.  Hence, the purple snowman getup.)  (That her daddy chose.)


My gift to you.  A super special edition of the weekly iPhone thingy.  You are so welcome.







Friday, December 23, 2011

merry christmas

Merry Christmas, y'all.  
Lots of love from Bug & Bee.  
And me, too.  
xoxo

Thursday, December 22, 2011

week thirty + thirty one

Well, hellllllooooo there.  Excuse my absence, would you?  I had a little pre-Christmas mini meltdown of sorts.  I'd been speeding along, so on top of everything holiday related - decorating and crafting and photographing and Christmas carding and blogging it all like a machine.  And then it was like I just straight up ran out of Christmassing energy and just wanted to lay in my bed eating ice cream and watching TLC.  Which, not going to lie, is totally what I'm doing right this very second.  But I'm also feeling back into the Christmas spirit.  Thank you, thank you, peppermint mochas and Mariah Carey!

Randomness from the week.  
#1: I mentioned to the kids as we got out of the car at Wally that their mother had to use the facilities.  Okay whatever it was more like "mommy has to pee pee, okay?"  We get into the store and into the cart and as we made our way to the family restroom at the verrrrrry back of the store, Anderson shouted OVER AND OVER again, "Don't pee on the floor, mommy!  Don't pee on the floor!"
#2: I told the cable guy, who looked 20-ish and cool-ish, to use his inside voice.  Somebody just go ahead and shoot me.

RHOBH is calling my name from the magical DVR machine.  But first, a little iPhone week in review catch-up.
coffee makers.  we're very into dinos these days.  skyping.  my goodwill dresser find.  accessorized.  puppy eyes.  she refused to remove the christmas jammies to go to wally.  guess who dressed himself to play in the garage.  besties.

glamming up for a family date night.  totally shredded.  recovering from a family date night.  christmas cookie time.  mmmm frosting.  for the teachers.  sprinkles are a girl's best friend.  you just never know where you'll find jesus.  stinkerface.

more cookies at the museum.  more sprinkles.  fireman.  that's one posh firefighter.  i'm disturbed by how much she loves riding in that wheelchair.  now that's what mama likes to come home to.  ooh chairs.  hands off bishes he's mine.  christmas sprinkle pretzels.

Friday, December 16, 2011

chester sparklepants mcglitterface

Guess who's looking less and less like a puppy every day and more and more like a GINORMOUS BEAST?
the correct answer is chester.
chester sparklepants mcglitterface.
or as the kids call him "NO CHESSAH, NOOOOO EAT MY DOLL/TRUCK/FACE!"


Now, guess who got scored big at Goodwill yesterday morning and hauled out not only that perfectly scuffed chair (as seen above) but ALSO a vintage-style dresser just begging to be refinished for Vivi's room, all for a whopping $21?  That would be me.  Thrifty McAwesomeface.  Whose husband almost threw up when I told him I bought two pieces of furniture at Goodwill, one of which was likely going to require hours (and hours) of his time to strip/paint/re-knob/etc.  Poor, poor J.

Now, guess who got Photoshop Elements 10 and has NO idea what she's doing but sure has stayed up past bedtime the past few nights trying to figure it all out?  Me, again.  This picture-taking hobby is like a black hole of obsession, you guys. Yikes.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

flushed

Oh, Bug.  You didn't quite outdo your sister's death-defying poison puke playdate of yesterday (or the after-effect gym daycare barfing act of this morning) .... but this was a solid runner-up performance.  Ten minutes with the plumber and $66 later, your pajama pants returned from their journey to the depths of our plumbing system.


WHY ARE TODDLERS SO INSANE?

ARE THEY IN KINDERGARTEN YET?

DOES ANYONE DELIVER WINE?

(Just kidding.  I'm not ready for my babies to leave me for kindergarten.  But I would take on a part time nanny, if I were to find one who would work for free.  And who wasn't Swedish and/or prettier than me.  And I wasn't kidding about the insanity.  Or the wine.  I don't kid about wine.)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

aint no party like a poison control party

PSA: toddlers are insane.  Oh, what, that's not news to you?  It's not news to my new friend Sharon at Poison Control, either.  She told me earlier, as she reassured me that these things happen to even the best of moms, that they'd be out of business without two year olds.  And almost-two year olds, apparently.

Let me back up.  We were at a perfectly nice playdate with friends this morning.  Well, perfect except for my poop-challenged child luring me into the bathroom 87 times to do nothing.  But otherwise?  Fun!  Coffee!  Chatting!  A snuggly baby to snuggle!  All very nice.  Until the very end.  The moms were cleaning up and discussing mom things in the living room.  The kids were in eye-and-earshot just down the hall.  Suddenly, I see Vivi running panicked down the hallway, gagging.  I ran to her, scooped her up, and immediately smelled something chemical on her breath.  My heart just DROPPED, you guys.  Your baby shouldn't ever smell chemicalish, you know?  I ran down to the room they'd been in, gaggy Vivi my arms, trying not to lose my cool as I asked Anderson to tell me what his sister had gotten into.  Just as he held up a (now cap-less) bottle of liquid hand sanitizer, the barf shower started.  On the (clean, pretty) carpet.  On Vivi.  On me.  And it just kept on coming as I ran to the bathroom and climbed into the tub with her, trying to spare future damage to my friend's house, and also because I was straight up fuh-reaking and needed to just sit there and hold her close and figure out what the hell we were supposed to do next.

I'm grateful tonight.  Grateful my baby is okay.  Grateful for quick-thinking friends, friends who clean my daughter's vomit off the carpet and the tub without blinking an eye and send us off with clean (borrowed) clothes and warm hugs.  And who send messages throughout the afternoon to check up on us.  And grateful for the reminder that even if you THINK you're being cautious and careful, you need to be MORE cautious and careful because TODDLERS ARE INSANE.

Oh and then?  We came home, ate lunch, and the bigger little chose this day to crap his pants for the first time.  And by pants I DO mean footie pajamas (yeah, he wore that to the playdate, SO?)  And no undies (because I've got one unworking toilet killed off by flushed Elmopants, so NO MORE ELMOPANTS).  So use your imagination about how fantastic THAT mess was.  Gag, barf, omg, etc.

TM2 and wine?  Oh yes, they will be mine.  Because hey, my day might have been about poison and barf and poop in the foot of footies .... but at least my mom never threw my underpants out on the curb in a laundry basket!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

zomg interwebs + week twenty nine

The interwebs done blew my mind this week, you guys.  First, there was the MODG thing.  I like MODG.  I like her snappy humor and I like that she stopped talking about boiling animal hooves for eating, because let's be real, guh-ross.  But after last week, I LOVE her for restoring my faith in internet humankind.  Are you following this whole needing and giving thing?  If you're not, you should be.  Go read up.  Right HERE.  And help, if you're so inclined.  Because I tell you what, taking your kids to the store to choose gifts for other kids and willingly handing over the baby dolls and dinos come check out time with not a single tear?  And then, at bedtime, having your sweet boy hand you one of his very favorite books and say softly "give to udder kids?  Wiff no books?"  Will make you warm and fuzzy like no glass(es) of pinot ever even could.  Or at least, it won't make you puke the next morning.

Thenalso, there's the friend of mine from middle school whose adoption fundraiser exploded on Facebook.  Kristen and her family, (blog HERE) happen to be about the most beautiful family I've ever seen, inside and out.  They are working (and praying) hard to bring home their daughter from Ethiopia.  A friend of hers organized a Kindle Fire raffle as a fundraiser (HERE) and it's been pretty amazing to watch the numbers grow and grow with each passing Facebook status update.  What a weight off their shoulders those numbers must be!

And then there was the much (much much) more frivolous matter of FIVE FREAKING THOUSAND (plus!) people looking at my last post.  The Christmas pictures born of having nothing better to do one Wednesday night than play with the camera and burn through half a giant bag of M&Ms.  Um, I almost died when I saw those pins and repins and the resulting stats.  And now I feel a little stage frighty.  Pinterest is no joke, yall.  Those of you clicking back over here for more such photographic feats ... my apologies.  This blog is more often about poop, craft projects (with glitter!), cats, and over-caffienated ramblings about reality TV.  If you're into that kind of thing, welcome!  

So anyway.  Big couple of days on the worldwideweb.  And now, off to enjoy an internet-free pajama clad Sunday afternoon.  Football, sugar cookies, and not getting tipsy before noon like yesterday.  And Shredding.  Eff.

OH!  Not internet related, but I'd be amiss not to share this little tidbit.  Mister A and his sister were "cooking" breakfast.  Melty ice cubes, spoons, a strainer, and muffin pans.  Really, it was just buying me time to finish my coffee before I had to function.  Well, the hubs comes in and goes all "GAH!  MESS!  WHY?  NO!" on us and I was all "dude, you're being a buzzkill!" and Bug was all "yeah, daddy!  Buzzlightyearkill!"  Mwahaha.

I leave you with the week in review.
butt paste head.  i love me some stickgrams.  when good puppies go bad.  that's what a conference call cost me.  bean table.  i'm pretty sure that's not even legal.  look we're all dressed in reallife clothes.  studmuffin.  party girl.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

it's magical, this little tree

It's not the prettiest tree, this Christmas tree of ours.  Not the fullest, or the tallest, or the greenest.  Blame it on my second grade music teacher, who cast me as the "Littlest Christmas Tree" in our school Christmas play.  A role that had me standing in a cardboard tree costume with a hole cut out for my face while my classmates, playing townspeople on a tree lot, pointed and laughed at my scrawniness, passing me over time and time again.  I was not, my teacher assured me, chosen because I was the tiniest second grader to ever do second grade, but because she thought I had the most talent.  I knew, even then as I held my (tiny) chin high, that she was just being nice.  I was the littlest.  I could see that.  It was okay.  I was special, too, even if I was the size of the baby kindergartners in the lunch line and got my younger cousin's hand-me-downs.  So this year, when my husband turned up  his nose at the skinny, stumpy, picked-over trees at our local hardware store, and turned to me impatiently and said "come on, let's go somewhere else and find better trees" ... I lingered, chewing my lip.  Those poor scraggly trees!  They were pretty, too, just in their own special kind of way.  I picked the one that looked the most hopeful, knowing I could pull off the dead branches at the bottom and wrap it with a million white twinkly lights and make it shine.  Sure, it's a little crooked, and sure, the branches could be more evenly spaced.  But it's our tree.  And last night?  With two little littles wiggling giddily in their zipped up holiday jammies as they danced around that tree and I snapped away?  It was magical, that tree of ours.



Shine on, little tree.

Shot these at night with every light in the house off.  Except the one million on the tree, obvi.  I've got a Nikon D60 with a Tamron 28-75mm lens that I'm juuuuust barely learning to shoot in manual.  To get these pics I cranked the ISO as high as it would go (1600), set the aperture at f 2.8, and shutter speed at 1/30.  I propped the camera on a bar stool to make sure I didn't get any blur from movement (since I don't have a tripod).  Then I told the kids to be good or they wouldn't get any M&Ms.  I did the teensiest bit of editing in Aperture, just to up the exposure a tiny bit.  I have no idea if I'm using technically correct terms here, yall.  I'm just a newbie.  :)

A shout out to my friend Beth B (now very Pinterest-famous!) and one of my new favorite bloggers, Little Blue Boo for the great inspiration picture/setting info I used to get these photos.  Isn't the internet the best?  Yes.  Yes, it is.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

more on the poop

You guys.  I love blogging.  I really, really do.  I mean, to think I can post some nonsense about poop and not only have other moms not judge me for diapering my 3.25 year old so he'll just shaddup and poop already, but make me feel BETTER about it?  And I tell you what, I feel about a bajillion times better after reading through the previous poopy post comments.  Because, for real, here I was thinking I was the only one with a half-trained kid!  I appreciate every one of your comments - both the commiserating ones and the helpful tip ones.

Now for the big (huge stinky gross) news .... I WON!  This round, anyway.  If you want to actually call it winning when the prize is, well, a turd.  The kids and I were taking Christmas tree pictures tonight when Mister A suddenly got this panicky look on his face that I just KNEW meant the poo was a'coming, one way/place or another, so it was time to MOVE.  I tossed my camera on the couch, grabbed the boy up, thanked God he was in easy-to-remove zippy pajamas as I stripped them off mid-run, and plunked him on the potty.  Where he POOPED.  You better believe there were some major festivities right there in that powder room.  Sister, puppy, mommy .... we made him feel like a very big special man.

We'll see what tomorrow (and the next day and the next) bring.  I will confess that I spiked a glass of apple juice with laxative this afternoon, so I'm sure that helped get things moving and upped his urgency a bit.  But hey, still, he did it!  We'll be sticking with the diaper ban 'round these parts, I think.

Thanks, friends.  I love you all for making me feel better about stressing over poop.

wednesday miscellany

So here's what's going on this Wednesday, tidbit style because that's what I have the time and mental capacity to string together, okay?

Stuff my puppy ate/mauled during my half hour conference call: catnip cat toy, dryer sheet, cough drop wrapper, tampon (unused), hair roller.  He's an unstoppable beast lately.  

30 Day Shred.  Doing it.  On day 3.  Hasta la NEVER, muffin top.

Cheese curds.  All I can think about while Shredding.  I want cheese curds.  Smothered in ranch.

Christmas cards.  Out.  Not glittered or crafty, but done.  Whoop!

Cold.  Oh so inhumanely old.

Teen Mom 2.  Last night.  Kind of ho-hum, no?  I mean, Barbarasaurus did her best, but if you read UsWeekly you already know how this whole season is going to play out.  At least there's always the IBBB recap to live for!

Vivian is in mega diva mode this week.  All she wants to wear is her favorite pair of pink pony fleecy pajamas and two long strands of pink (play) pearls.  I mean, at least she's accessorizing creatively but hello, not going to work for the gym day care (read: the only public place we've gone this week) because a) you can't wear shoes with footie pajamas and b) choking hazards likesuchas long strands of pearls are frowned upon at the gym day care (party poopers).  Removal of these items is punishable by a half hour of kicking and screaming and wrestling her into her car seat WWF style and Anderson covering his ears all the way to the gym daycare yelling "NO!  BUBBITA!  TOO LOUD HURTINGMYEARS!  NO!  BUBBITA!  TOOLOUD!"  So peaceful and doesn't make me want to drop them both off at Goodwill and go hide in a coffee shop AT ALL.

((Stop reading now if you're not the parent of a toddler, have an aversion to poop, or are eating or drinking anything you want to enjoy.))

Poop.  OMG, the poop.  I put the poo-smack down on Bug.  Remember how he pee trained in, like, a day back in September?  A single easy-peasy day, and done.  Maybe four pee accidents since then.  Yay for Anderson, awesomes.  Not as awesomes?  The Poop.  Gawd, you guys, the poop drama.  He went a few times on the potty that first week of no-diapers, and has not pooped even ONCE on the potty since then.  He doesn't do it in his pants, either, thank my lucky stars.  What possible pooping options remain, you ask?  A diaper, duh.  Why not just NOT give him a diaper?  Oh, well well well.  Do you know what happens when I withhold the diaper he begs me for come big-job time?  He just won't shit.  For DAYS.  He'll go into his sister's room, grab a diaper, then roll around on the floor wailing when I refuse to stick it on him.  He'll just hold it and hold it until he's got a five pound poo-baby sticking out his belly and he's crying in pain.  After a few failed attempts to encourage him along (bribery, DVD in the bathroom, potty chair in the room of his choice, etc.), we just went with the diaper poos for awhile.  He'd eat his lunch, he'd start in about needing a diaper, and I'd put one on him because hello, that's nap time and mama needs nap time and he figured out the pee on his own, so surely he'd give up on the poo-stand-off sooner or later.  But over the weekend J and I had a poopie-pow-wow and agreed enough was enough already, he's 3.25 now, he understands the potty concept, we're being enablers.  So no diaper on demand since then.  He does require a diaper for overnight sleep, and did fill that one right on up with a special surprise the first morning .... but nothing since.  And his naps the past few days, now that he's not relieving himself of the post-lunch pre-nap poo?  Suckville.  Yesterday he slept an hour, then woke crying for a diaper.  Today, same.  He's up there waiting for green light time talking to his teddy about what an evil monster his mommy is, I'm sure, but I'm standing my ground here.  Or should I not be? I was pretty hands-off with the pee and it happened on its own .... but I'm starting to fear he'd be happy crapping in a diaper forever.  What do I DO, people?

Is it summer yet?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

iphone photo week in review: twenty eight

A semi-quick word about these 'iphone photo week in review' posts.  I've been asked a time or two or ten how I do these.  I don't have some super secret sophisticated method of assembling the phone dump to share with you, unfortunately.  (Do you?  Tell me if you do, por favor.)  But I keep doing these every week not because I think all of you really care about some random picture of Vivian in her pajamas with bed head at 4pm on a Thursday, but because I've got the blog book in the back of my mind, and I know these little here-and-there candid shots are going to come together to paint a very big picture one day in a way no super special family portrait even could.  You know?  So do it.  It's not hard at all, just a little slow.  Here's how I do mine using my iPhone, the Instagram app, iPhoto on my MacBook, and picnik.com.

one: i take pictures with my iphone throughout the week
two: once a week, using my iphone, i upload my favorite shots from the week to instagram one by one
three: i apply my favorite filter to each picture (i like earlybird for the coloring and rounded edges)
four: i email each finished image to myself
five: i repeat that about 10-20 times, depending on how many pics i took that week
six: from my laptop, i follow the link in my email to the full size image in my instagram account
seven: i drag each picture from the instagram site into iphoto
eight: i upload the pictures from iphoto into my picnik account 
nine: i make a collage in picnik
ten: i save the collage to my desktop
eleven: i upload the collage to my blog

That sounds like more work than it is, actually.  It's not that bad.  I can do it and watch RHO-wherever and drink wine at the same time, and I'm no genius.

I hope that helped!  

Now, on with the photos.  

sprinkles.  moty.  one last beach trip.  toesies.  cfa.  still waiting for that cfa.  megan and michael at sunset.  park after dark.  me and my bug.
 sleepy bug.  blastoff time again.  play-doh for the win.  thank heavens for airport valet.  asleep before we left the parking garage.  if i leave my j it's going to be for that hot nugget.  festivity.  never mind about the chainsaw.  this one right here.



Saturday, December 3, 2011

sparkly ornaments

Sparkly ornaments!  That don't shed glitter like mo-fos!  And are cheap as dirt, or at least about $18 cheaper than your average Pottery Barn pretty.  Obviously, I found this idea in the newspaper.  HAHAHAHA I'M SO FUNNY.  I found it on Pinterest, where the world begins and ends as far as sparkly things are concerned.  Anyway, here's my Pin.  But between you and me and the world wide web, I found that post a little difficult to read.  ell oh ell and dot dot dot and such.  So to make your life easier, I'll give you the low down right here.

It's a super quick and easy project that doesn't require any focus at all, moms.  I did it this morning while talking to my mom and sister on the phone (not like I saw my sister just last night and will be seeing her again tonight or anything),  drinking coffee, listening to Christmas music, keeping  my cats from climbing the Christmas tree, and baking cookies.  My kids watched Little Einsteins (oh fine, twice) and were none the wiser that I was playing with glitter, thank baby Jesus, because otherwise you KNOW they would've been all up in that and it wouldn't have ended prettily for anyone.

Anyway.  SPARKLY THINGS!  Here's what you're going to need:

Pull the tops off of each ornament.  One by one, fill ornament with the floor polish (I filled my ornaments about 1/4 full).  Swirl it around gently, making sure all glass is covered.  Now drain the leftover wax back into the bottle (I let mine sit for a minute or so.)  If you've got bubbles inside of your ornament, use a q-tip to get those out.  Now insert the funnel into the ornament and dump glitter inside.  Use a LOT, only some will stick but the more you put in there, the better coverage you'll get.  Turn your ornament every which way to get the glitter on evenly.  When it's sufficiently sparkled, tap the leftover glitter back into your glitter container.  Let the ornaments dry for a bit, then stick the ornament tops back on.  That's it!  You've got sparklefied ornaments to pretty up your tree or give out as gifts or whatever else it is you might want to do with a sparkly ornament.  (Is there something else you might do with it?  If there is, tell me, because I want to make MORE.)

Happy Saturday, friends!

ps: I totally considered spraying that un-festive yellow funnel from the auto parts department with sparkly spray paint.  I think I have a problem.

Friday, December 2, 2011

on the beasts

Because a 12 week old baby golden just wasn't cute enough.....
I added a sweater.
he's all "what?  i'm wearing a sweater?" then all "oh, fiiiiiiine i'll wear the sweater."







I will now tell you a story about why you should sometimes listen to your three year old, even when it IS an hour past bedtime and you just want him to SLEEP and you're pretty sure he's just making up excuses to get you up to his room (fake poops, monsters, invisible boo boos).  Wednesday night, Anderson would. not. go. to. bed.  The last hurrah was him standing at his gate saying "kitty!  kitty in woom!  kitty in MY woom!"  Except, Rodger was sitting by me, and he's the typically the only one who goes into A's room looking to snuggle (desperate times, desperate measures).  Normy was in the living room with me as well, so he definitely wasn't up there, either.  And George wouldn't go near Anderson if he were covered in tuna flavored catnip, for reals.  So no, kid, there is NOT a kitty in your room.  Except he kept saying it.  And saying it.  And after fifteen minutes of this insistence, J lost the match of paper-rock-scissors and went up to go put Anderson back to bed.  Except when he got up there, the boy led him to the closet, held shut by a childproof lock he hasn't yet mastered.  And there, peeking through the crack between the closet doors?  Yeah, there was George.  Who, I guess, went for a snooze inside the open closet after lunch time (my last recollection of a George sighting), then I locked the closet at nap time without looking inside, and he slept in there all through nap time and all afternoon and well into the evening before being discovered by Bug.  So, oops.

Cats.

Oh, speaking of cats.  This one?  WILL NOT STAY OFF THE COUNTERS!  Help me!  (Tin foil, spray bottle, fail, fail.)
"oh, what?  you no want me on no counter?  why you not just say so?"
I DID SAY SO ELEVENTY BILLION TIMES!
GAH!



Thursday, December 1, 2011

getting twiggy with it

Na na na na na nana, na na na na nana.

This post has nothing to do with Will Smith.  Or jiggyness of any sort, but just try to tell me you're not jigging around right now in your chair like it's 1998.  (You're welcome!)  What this post DOES have to do with is how I emptied the forest of twigs yesterday to, you guessed it, get mah craft on.  The kids even helped.  And by helped I do mean peddled a Spiderman "motorcycle" (aka big wheel looking bike thing) all the way out to the very far end of the road as I gathered twigs, then somehow nosedived over the handlebars and face planted in some gravel, taking out baby sister who was unfortunate enough to be in his path, so then they screamed their sad little faces off all the way home.  Leaving me to transport two screaming sad faced toddlers, one rambunctious runaway wannabe puppy, a bigass bundle of twigs, and a Spiderman "motorcycle" all the way back down the road.  It was so scenic and special, you guys!  I wasn't sweating or saying swear words in my head AT ALL!  Fa la la la effing la!

Where was I?  Oh, yes.  So I did many Christmassy things with twigs yesterday.  And some Christmassy things without twigs. The tree is still forthcoming.  We're entertaining thoughts of trekking into the woods and chopping one of our own.  Seems silly to spend $50 on something we could have for free, right?  And think of the photo ops!  And the quaint memories they'd hold!  (And the sap and frozen limbs and ER bill for the chainsaw injury!)

Anyway.  I give you Christmas in progress at our house in the woods.  With twigs aplenty.

pinterest inspiration HERE.
i added star ornaments to give it more flair.
more flair, more better.

a craft so simple i don't think it's actually a craft.
it's a 'break up twigs, throw 'em in a jar, add a votive' thing.
but oh so pretty lining the windowsills of my dining room, no?

more pinterest inspiration HERE, though i know you've already seen it.
(who hasn't?)
little hands christmas tree.
i added a button i glitter painted to act as a star.
and the littles also fingertip painted "tree lights".


my tree!
with twigs instead of my hands.
glitter spray painted the canvas, glued on twigs and bark.
and of course, some buttons for the top.
loosely based on THIS pin.
(but i like mine better.)
for teresa, who questioned my lack of glitter.
glitter rolled pillars.
with glitter stars from pottery barn about a hundred years ago.
no worries, my friends, many glittery plans in the making.