Friday, November 30, 2007

Christmas projects

I told Alli I was going to post a picture of the apron I made, and she said, "It wasn't ALL you."
True enough.

Yesterday I made this apron and oven mitt for my niece for Christmas... with the help of Alli and Ruby. I die-cut the felt flowers with my QuicKutz tools and sewed them on and embellished them with buttons (hand-picked by Alli and Ruby). The apron is reversible (sparkly pink with a big green felt heart on the back).

This project wouldn't have been the same without their help. I had to pick up all the straight pins twice and all the buttons once... then they mixed them together so I had to sort them out when I was done. Fun.

Little Monsters

Rubyzilla the monster came to exact revenge on her arch nemesis Allizilla. It was payback time for all the tough love.

Rubyzilla attacked Allizilla, who tried to protect herself with an oven mitt, but it was no use. The gloves of fury tickled the big monster relentlessly.
The little monster won this time, but clearly there will always be a score to settle. Tune in next time...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Those aren't rose colored glasses!

We have a new guest in our house.
Hello Pink Eye. Make yourself comfortable. Can I get you anything?
The bad news is that everybody got it. I guess the good news is that everybody got it, so it will be gone soon. But it has been a long week as one by one we caught it.
Ruby and I are better now, but we are staying in until all eyes look normal. I can't wait for this one to work its way out of here.
(Doesn't that picture make your eyes water? Yikes.)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Sweet Ruby

She is so sweet that she needs a little sour lime to balance things out. Ruby sucked this lime dry and asked for more.

Ruby also likes raw onion and garlic. Yum.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! We celebrated by sleeping in a little, going to the park during the first snow, watching a little bit of the Macy's parade (while I worked out on the elliptical), and shaking the turkey shaker (see above picture). Alli picked five hair bows on Thanksgiving Day and she requested five pigtails to put them in. It was a very festive hairdo, and I regret not having a better picture of it. Ruby sported two pigtails.
I only made one pie (plus crust-leftover apple cinnamon tiny pies). I think this was my best pie crust ever (thanks to Pam's coaching)...this is in the middle of baking, it did get a little more golden than this.

The mixed berry filling was good too.
We had a delicious dinner with our friends, the Malli's. They sent us home with lots of leftovers, so we enjoyed the meal many times over this week.
A tradition from my family is to name three things we are thankful for (usually done before dinner while all tummys growl), so here goes:
1. I am thankful for my family. Alli and Ruby are the best kids ever (sorry everybody else, it's true). Andy is the love of my life. I am blessed to have such wonderful people I can hold close and say "I love you" to everyday.
2. I am thankful for my eyebrows. Not that they are that great, but a friend of ours lost hers to cancer chemo/radiation. I guess what I am really thankful for is my health. But I would really miss my brows if they fell out.
3. I am thankful for music. I love to twirl with my ballerinas or make silly musical instruments or sing songs with them. I love the way it can change the mood, or rev me up. Music is powerful, and I am glad for the music in my life.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

This is gross.

Fear Factor has nothing on motherhood.

Ruby, Alli and I were eating dinner tonight when Alli announced that she needed to go to the bathroom right away. And she wanted my assistance. She and I ran to the bathroom where she had a nasty case of diarrhea. Most of it made it into the toilet. Poor Alli.

After a quick clean-up and wardrobe change, Alli and I went back to the dinner table. Moments later, Alli began to heave up the contents of her stomach. She seemed like a never-ending spout. Alli was covered. So was the table, chair and floor.

What would you do? Alli is sick and covered in nastiness. Ruby is climbing up on the table. Vomit is running across the table and dripping down to the floor. Think fast. Act faster.

It was like a disgusting juggling act. I got Ruby off of the table. Covered the floor mess with paper towels. Called Andy. Stripped Alli down. Got Ruby off the table again. Wiped off table with paper towels. Wiped off Alli. Moved Ruby away from mess. Gagged. Disinfected table...

I finally got the kitchen to a point where I could walk out with the girls and put them in the tub. The bath was uneventful.

I put jammies on the girls and doubled up the sheets and mattress pads on Alli's bed [if you layer (from top to bottom) sheet, waterproof mattress pad, sheet, waterproof mattress pad on the bed, the 2am barf clean-up only takes a minute, just peel off the top two layers and put her back to bed]. Alli fell asleep as soon as her head hit the pillow.

Ruby and I went back downstairs to scrub the kitchen down. I mopped and wiped and scrubbed until the kitchen was sparkling... and germ-free. I wasn't especially hungry for the rest of my dinner. Seeing the food all chewed up takes so much of the mystery out of it, I really wasn't interested.

Andy came home just in time for round two of the vomit adventure. This time Alli was working the toilet and the bucket at the same time. No fun.

The barf and poop is gross, but the worst part is that Alli just isn't herself. I hate to see her miserable. Keep Alli in your prayers for a quick recovery. And I'm praying that the rest of the family dodges the bullet on this one.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Thank you Lifetouch

Drumroll please... This morning when I dropped Alli off at school, there was a definite buzz by the cubbies. The school pictures were waiting in the cubbies, and moms were pulling them out and comparing and chuckling. With much anticipation I opened the envelope and pulled out the photo sheet. It was just the picture I was expecting. Off-center, awkward, stiff. Classic.

I love it.

I look forward to strange school pictures as she grows. This is a great start to the collection.

Monday, November 12, 2007

More visitors, American Girls, and Photoshop

My brother Dan and his daughter Katheryn came for a short visit last weekend. Dan makes custom mahogany doors, and he was delivering a few to Chicago, so he came for a quick visit. Katheryn and Alli enjoyed some quality cousin time. They put together a toy nativity set, played dress-up and ponies, raked leaves, and helped make cookies.
Katheryn wanted most-of-all to go to the American Girl Place while she was in Chicago. So Dan and I took Alli, Ruby and Katheryn to AGP on Saturday night. (We only have five seats in the car, so Andy took the train and met us downtown once we were finished at AGP... lucky him.) Katheryn and Alli enjoyed the store. They collected the wish list tags from around the store and tucked them into doll-sized shopping bags. Katheryn made a video of the store so she could show her sister Sarah when she got home. The girls wandered around the store with big eyes and jaws agape. Dan and I were like that too, but for different reasons ($$$$$).
We made it through the store without spending a dime. Hopefully Alli will always think of AGP as a museum rather than a retail store.
I have been playing with Photoshop quite a bit lately. Here is Katheryn playing in the leaves. I made the colors a little bit richer....or more rich.
What a cute girl.
Dan made a bookshelf/dollhouse for the girls that is adorable. He has skills. I need to finish painting it, but I will post a picture when it is all prettied-up. Thanks Dan.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Help in the Kitchen

Alli and Ruby have been very helpful in the kitchen lately. I found Ruby helping herself to some cider-- straight from the jug. Alli patiently waited for her turn. I had to mop the floor after that one.

Alli and Ruby decided to help with the dishes. Alli washed some bowls and spoons. Ruby just splashed in the water. I had to mop after this too.

I'm glad these two love to help in the kitchen. Maybe they will learn to mop up their helpful messes. Wouldn't that be nice?
They are darling.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Sunday Fun

Andy has to be at church early on Sundays for meetings. So I have to get myself and the girls all ready for church and get us there on time. Sounds easy enough, but it is quite a tricky task. There are last-minute hijinks's nearly every Sunday which threaten to make us late or make me crazy (or both). This week was no exception.

Today I was doing my hair (usually I give it some extra effort on Sunday) with about 15 minutes until go-time and I heard a sploosh sploosh sound. I turned around and found Ruby straddling the toilet seat with one foot in the toilet water and one foot dangling outside the bowl. (Gasp!) She seemed to be using her foot like a plunger, and she was delighted with the splashes and funny sounds. We do keep the lid shut, but she can open it now, and she is apparently sneaky about it.

I whisked her from the toilet seat to the sink where she had a quick leg-bath. She really enjoyed that too and did not want to get out. She liked the sink so much that I probably reinforced some bad toilet behavior.

Ruby got a new outfit and fresh diaper. I helped Alli finish getting dressed and we ran out the door.

The girls had PB&J sandwiches in the car on our way to church. Ruby fell asleep in the car, so I carried her and my purse and Alli's backpack while dragging Alli behind me, and we made it into the chapel during the opening hymn.

Alli was an angel during Sacrament meeting. She sat quietly and played with some small toys she brought in her backpack. Ruby slept for about half of the meeting. Then she woke up. At first she was okay. Then she saw Daddy sitting up front and she wanted to get down and run to him. It only took a few minutes to go from wiggly and irritated to an all-out tantrum. I rushed Ruby to the foyer and waited out there for the rest of the meeting. Ruby ran in circles and used up some of her excess energy.

Andy has been serving as a counselor to our Bishop for a year and a half, and I still haven't figured out how to do Sunday mornings well on my own. A sense of humor helps.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Art in Chicago

My sister Janis came to Chicago this week. She has some artwork at SOFA Chicago, so this was a great excuse to come visit us for a few days.

Janis and I went to the opening reception at Navy Pier on Thursday. I always get a kick out of seeing the art crowd. The people-watching is almost as good as the art. People wear the strangest things that they have paid loads of money for... things you could only wear to artsy events (ie- a handmade magenta vest made of wool felt that looked like it was pulled from a Sesame Street shower drain, broaches that stick out 6-8 inches, necklace pendants that would make Flavor Flave's look like a tiny trinket). I guess it is fun to dress up though.

Janis has eight pieces in the show. As of this morning, two have red dots (sold). This piece is called Mother Load (this one is sold). It is about the trade-offs of motherhood and the beauty in it... and chaos. (Janis' explanation was much better, so ask her if you get the chance.) Click on the picture to see the details. This is a very intricate sculpture. Beautiful.

If you are in Chicago, check out SOFA at the Navy Pier. Sunday is the last day. And congratulations Janis for participating in this prestigious show!