31 December 2012

Sending out 2012

I woke up this morning thinking tomorrow was the 31st and so here I am having lost an entire day of my life.  Good thing we do absolutely nothing for New Year's Eve.  Part of me is sad about that, but the part of me who gets up early with the kids is fine with being asleep by 10 P.M.  I'm just glad that David is home tonight, because it is always sadder to be at home on New Year's when David isn't here with the kids and I. 

Our last day of 2012 was spent running some morning errands, watching the few snowflakes that fell and wishing they would stick around, and playing football at the park with the neighbors.

he said 'football' today for the first time

I'm trying to think of the 2012 memories that stick out in my mind and basically I've got nothing.  I think I'm distracted by the fact that Daphne has every battery operated candle that we own turned on and lined up on the couch and today's mail is on the floor and there is random Christmas paraphernalia on the fainting couch...and since David is giving the kids a bath and my cleaning fairy hasn't shown up for the day I feel like I need to tidy.  I have a hard time concentrating when my house isn't clean.  That means I always have a hard time concentrating. 

My New Year's Resolution for 2013 is to get a cleaning fairy. 

(Actually, I have real resolution-type things for this next year.  Maybe at some point when I can concentrate I will share them.)

29 December 2012

Christmas in Review

I've started and erased this post about a million times, so apparently it is very difficult for me to record our Christmas week?

It was a wonderful week.  We decided that with how busy it is going from Christmas party to Christmas party that we would save our little family celebration for once we were finished with our visiting and back home again. 

We got home Thursday, so yesterday was like Christmas day all over again.  I think we'll keep doing our Christmas this way.  It was a slow, relaxing day and the kids had a blast opening gifts and spending hours playing with their new things. 

Christian is becoming such a ham.  Daphne was posing in front of the tree when he rushed over and plopped himself in her lap with a big grin on his face.

Daphne's gifts from us were the Melissa & Doug wooden pizza and doughnuts.  She also got the sandwich set from her cousin.  Those kitchen toys are the best; she has spent the past two days serving us plates of wooden food.

Christian got the Little People Garage that I found on super clearance for about $6 last March.  We like to give our kids a fun Christmas but I sure am cheap about it.  Hence the finding a great gift and keeping it hidden away in the closet for 9 months.

Daphne got the movie Tangled from Christian.  She said "thank you for shopping with Christian and getting me this show!"
serving Eyeore some pizza

David let the kids pick out some bracelets for me and I had to take a picture of their writing on the tags.  Sweetness.  (I don't know why David used Valentine's paper.)
Daph did the top two

David also got me the movie October Baby.  Have you seen it?  You need to.  It is so, so, so good.  We watched it last night

David got this travel Scrabble that he is so excited about.  We are kind of nerdy in that sometimes we'll set up a Scrabble game in the guest bedroom and spend a couple of days playing our turn when we get a chance.  This game's board has little grooves so the pieces don't move.  Pretty classy in the Scrabble world. 

Christian is pretty thrilled with all the new trucks and airplanes he got at all our parties.  This is how we usually see him:

Poor Daphne asks at night if when she wakes up her stocking will be full again.  She wouldn't mind some more Christmas parties. 

It's hard to leave the fun months of fall and Christmas behind, so I'm trying to get myself excited about some January projects.  I have curtains for the front window to hang (finally, after 8 years of wanting some) and I think I'm going to make some new pillow covers for the living room.  I would LOVE to paint the trim in the living room white and do this neat trick to make the trim look wider than it is but I know how much work it would be and am not sure I want to tackle it with the kids.  We have some kitchen ideas, too, which means I really need to be talking myself into wanting to paint.  Blah. 

Our December was wonderful, with both kids being at great ages to enjoy the fun.  Daphne is going to be heartbroken when the lights and trees come down.   I guess she needs to get excited about painting, too.

24 December 2012

Two Posts in One!

Our little Daphne turns four today.

Four will be a big year for her, I can tell.  She already talks about what she will do at school when she starts next fall.

She told me yesterday that Christian is her best friend.  And when given the chance to pick a Christmas carol to sing at church, she first chose 'Hark the Herald Angels Sing,' since it's her favorite, but quickly changed her request to 'Away in a Manger,' since it's Christian's favorite.     

As David says, Daphne comes alive at Christmas.  She's like a little jukebox, always, always singing Christmas songs. 

When she knows that we're having company, she finds toys that her friends will like to play with and she gets out our spare chairs and sets them up in the living room.  When we bake, she loves delivering plates of goodies to our neighbors.

I love that she recognizes people's needs and desires to make life easier for them.  She is a helper, a tender heart, a kind soul.

And she is pleased as punch to be the birthday girl.  

P.S.  When I asked her what she wanted to do today, she said she wanted to wash dishes.  And when I said OK, she was thrilled.  She's a rockstar. 


Last night was our big slumber party, and while I don't think anyone got much sleep, we did have a really good time.

It's been many, many, meany years since this group of people has all been together (we were just missing one) and we're glad the AK people stopped through for a little visit.  

(Half the folks in this photo are headed to Mexico right now.  I am not one of those people.)

This morning we had a birthday breakfast with all the non-Mexicans, and now we're putting our house back together before continuing on with the day's events.

Christian is a non-sleeping mess.  I think he should have gone to Mexico. 

Happy Christmas Eve!

21 December 2012

The Santa that Wasn't

In order to accomplish all we've needed to accomplish this week, we've basically had our week mapped out to the hour to make sure we can fit it all in.

That's why when today we went to the mall and waited in line for an hour only to have Santa not show up at all, we were very sad. 

So this year, instead of photos on Santa's lap, we just have photos. 
hugs while waiting in line

I'm actually really disappointed.  One of my favorite Christmas keepsakes is a box I have that I put two photos in every year: our Christmas card and the picture with Santa.  Someday we'll have a box full of photos to look through, and 2012, the year of no Santa, will be a blight in our box. 
this is what happens when you're in line too long

Did I mention we were first in line?  We were, because of having our days mapped out so well.  I went hunting for mall management, only to have a security guy say he would call Santa to see where he was, only to have the security guy disappear as well.

Maybe it really was the end of the world, but only for a few people?  Like Santas and security guys?  
calling up Santa

a little too much Christmas cheer in this picture

I really don't think there is time to try to visit Santa again, so I guess this year will just have to be the year that Santa wasn't. 


20 December 2012

Christmas Projects

Nothing brings out the crafty in us all quite like Christmas.

Daphne is SO into projects right now so I do my best to come up with fun things for her to do.  She's also very into decorating, meaning many things we've made now adorn her bedroom and fill it with Christmas spirit.

(FYI, Daph is usually belting out Christmas carols as she works.)

(Also FYI: most, if not all, of these projects were inspired by Pinterest.  I do not have the creativity to come up with anything on my own.)

She had fun gluing cotton balls to paper plates to make a snowman.  I loved that Christian wanted to join in as well, and while he didn't get glue, he picked up cotton balls one by one and set them on his plate, just like his big sister was doing.  I didn't even realize he had been watching her that attentively. 

Of course as all good projects go, mere seconds after that first photo was taken, we had this situation going on:

But then Daph was back at work, this time with Christian (whoa, for a second there I couldn't remember how to spell his name.  AN or IAN at the end?  weird) just watching and getting into the fruit bowl and maybe yelling?

She painted these lovely canvases for her bedroom.  I put tape on the canvases and she painted over them, then she added the fake snow to the tree later.  Beautiful.

We also used the fake snow to make these fun snow globes out of mason jars.  Fake snow sure does leave a snowy and sparkly mess all over the place.  At least it's sparkly, which is kind of nice.  It's hard to get mad at a mess of sparkles.
I don't know why she makes such weird faces for the camera

Christian looks angry here, which is strange since it's his favorite to ferociously tear all the felt ornaments off this felt tree.  This was an easy project I made that both the kids have loved.
note all ornaments in a pile on the floor

I got to make this little felt nativity ornament for an event at our church.  I just love it so much and Daphne loves it so much.  Because of that it became her ornament from me this year and it is displayed prominently in her bedroom (because we know, thanks to the mini pumpkin incident, how she steals her favorite decorations and keeps them for herself).

David cannot be left out of the projects, either.  He built this little stable for the Playmobil nativity.  Daphne plays with it daily.

Also he and Daphne decorated marshmallows with Sharpies.  Nothing says Merry Christmas like a decorated marshmallow.
please don't tell Daph that I recently threw those away

My personal favorite for this year is my little empty frame collage thing that I've got going on in the dining room.  I spray painted these old frames several months ago and have been having a great time filling them each season.  So far Christmas has been my favorite:

Last year since Christian was still so tiny and sleepless we weren't too creative in our Christmas decorating or craftiness.  I feel like we're making up for lost time this year. My right shin has cramped up several times thanks to hovering too much over the pedal thing that runs my sewing machine.  What is that thing called?  Anyways, who knew working it too much could cause actual physical pain. And just wait til some of you see what I made you for Christmas.  'Amazing' would be a good word to describe it.

If you can even believe it, we've still got much craftiness to fit in this coming weekend.

So much crafting, so little time. 

19 December 2012

Another Birthday

Daphne had her second birthday party on Sunday and I would say it was one of the best days of her life.
happy about the food

She requested hamburgers, hotdogs, french fries, cupcakes, cake, ice cream, presents and balloons.  I am pleased to say each of her requests were granted.  We made sliders and of course couldn't find slider buns anywhere, so we made our own buns.  Here's the recipe in case you need to try making buns for yourself.  They are quite good and surprisingly easy to make.

happy about the presents

Christian borrowing presents

"is this a guitar for me?" she asked when she opened it

She got some lovely gifts and has been carrying them all around in a gift bag since we got home Monday night (including a surprise gift from the Schweitzer's!  What a treat).

feeding Addie Mae candles

This is the first year Daphne really anticipated her birthday and she wanted a party so badly (she thought Christian's birthday was pretty amazing).  We're very thankful for Auntie Erin opening her house for us and for everyone taking time to come celebrate.

Now we're working on getting ready for our next big event: the largest slumber party of all time.  Get this:  We're having 15 people over for a Christmas party on the 23rd, and of those 15, 11 are staying the night.  Here.  At our house.  (Plus our family of 4.)  Have you every heard such wonderful news?  For reals, this will be the best slumber party ever.  Also, it will give us a taste of what it would be like should we decide to have 13 kids. 

(I can't imagine why those final 4 don't want to stay also.  I mean, we still have some room in the playhouse outside to cram a few more folks in.)

(And I'm guessing we'll decide against the 13 kids idea.  Just guessing.)

14 December 2012

I kissed a lot of squishy cheeks today. 

Those mamas who are missing their babies tonight...I ache for them. 

12 December 2012

What Not To Do While Adressing Cards, And a Few Other Things

I'm coming down with what I'm sure is scarlet fever, since that is the only logical explanation for how I'm feeling.  Today I took a mommy sick day, meaning absolutely no cleaning was done as the kids tore the house apart.  I kept them fed and happy and that's it.  Hopefully no one will unexpectedly stop by our house and see its disastrous state, not to mention if someone does stop by they will probably also contract scarlet fever. 

This past weekend David went down to San Fransisco with a couple of friends for the 49ers game.  He came home quite pleased with the weather, his seats at the game, and of course the Niners win.
Kaepernick throwing the ball.  He has huge arms.

The kids and I went down to Albany to keep us from being alone and depressed while he was gone.  David took the camera meaning I didn't have it with me to take pictures of anything, but we had a good time visiting people and attending Fairview.  We'll be down again next weekend for a party for Daph and the Fairview Christmas Program, and then the next week for Christmas.  Hopefully all the Albany-ites won't get tired of us, but we'll give them all a break in January just in case.

Last year at about this time I was concerned about making mistakes on our Christmas cards as I was less than alert while addressing them in the middle of a sleepless night with Christian.  Tonight I've worked on them while being distracted by a cancer-baby-Christmas movie that I'm watching on Netflix.  If the movie theme sounds depressing it's because it is.  It makes for terrible card addressing company. 

P.S. I enjoyed watching this little ABC blurb that shares the sweet story from one member of our church who was at the Town Center during the shootings. 

11 December 2012

Sorry, I Just Keep Forgetting to Blog

Once again I've been leaving the poor blog in the dust as time flies by.  One small problem is that Blogger is telling me I'm out of storage, a problem I've been hearing from a number of Blogger users, and I'm not really sure what to do about that.  Buy storage?  Erase things?  Research a new domain and move the blog?  Way too many difficult things for me to think about when I would rather be making Christmas cookies and watching Christian rock out to Christmas music.  He is an amazing dancer.

My blog goal for 2012 was to blog at least 10 times every month.  I've made it this far, so there is no way I'm going to fail in the home stretch.  

Right now our house is just sick about what happened at the Town Center.  I don't want to trivialize the experience of those who were actually there, so I hate to be the type who says "we shop there all the time!  It could have been us!"  because obviously it wasn't us.  We see these types of things happen in other states and feel a certain distance from it, but when it happens in our backyard, in a place where we are on a regular basis, it makes it possible to imagine how horrible it would be for those who were there.  I'm thankful today was David's day off and that he didn't need to be called to the Town Center, and I'm thankful that we took our shopping downtown to Pioneer Square today and missed the chaos. 

Otherwise we're being as Christmassy as you can imagine, and the kids seem to be loving every minute of it. Lola too, even though she had accidents all over the family room last night while we slept so innocently in our beds. 

She's a stinker.  Literally. 

04 December 2012

Zoo Lights

Last night we finally got around to going to Zoo Lights.

Despite talking about it every year, we'd never been before last night, but it would appear that going at 4 P.M. on a Monday is a very good idea as far as avoiding the crowds go. 

We didn't get to see the baby elephant because they have her hiding away, but we got to see a few other animals before we headed to the train. 
Besides real animals and a delightful train ride, there were also these people-dressed-as-animals walking around.  Daphne thought they were wonderful.  David also thought they were wonderful, but I wouldn't take photos of him with them, much to his dismay.   

We ended the night with a little trip to Burgerville where the kids got to sit at the little kid table. They were so cute and good. 
It was a really, really good night.  Zoo Lights are good.  Christmas fun is good. 

02 December 2012

1st Birthday of the Season

Here is Daphne, just a teeny bit excited about having a birthday party:

Last night was the first of her parties and she was loving every minute of it.  

We made an ice cream cake (you should have seen her face when I told her the cake was going to be made of ice cream...it's like she never imagined there could be anything more wonderful).  I had never made an ice cream cake before, but after making this recipe I decided two important things.  One, making an ice cream cake is so, so, so easy.  Two, I love throwing parties, but I love the planning/making decorations/decorating more than the cooking.  Basically if you show up at my house for some sort of festive gathering, I might just say "here's a box of frozen corn dogs, but look at all the pretty decorations!"  Ice cream cakes fit perfectly with that frame of thinking since they are so ridiculously easy to make. 

Daphne is very aware of presents this year.  In the days leading up to the party she would ask me if anyone was going to bring her presents, and like I mentioned, she's a little worried about whether there will be any presents for her at Christmas.  Part of me thinks I need to take every opportunity to tell her that it's rude to ask for presents, or she shouldn't expect presents, that it's better to give than to receive, or whatever all the 'right' things are to teach about presents.  But then I realize she has no idea what I'm talking about and she just really, REALLY wants a present.  I mean, we all wants presents, right?  She just doesn't have the filter yet to realize it's not so great to ask for them, nor the life experience to have learned about giving gifts to others.  Some things you just want to teach immediately, when in reality it takes time and some very awkward moments before these important life lessons are learned.  So if she says something crazy to you about where her present is, I'm sorry.  We're working on it.  Maybe next year we'll be a bit better.  (I imagine that a 5 year old is much more mature than a 4 year old.)

She did get lovely presents, including a hand-sewn bathrobe that she is wearing right now as she plays with her new Hello Kitty Mega Bloks and My Little Ponies.  Both kids were up past their bedtimes, and for some miraculous reason Christian is actually sleeping in after a late night and now Daph is getting to play with her new things without worrying about the baby stuffing Mega Blok pieces into his mouth. 

Except I hear him waking up, so it's about time for the big-sister-yelling-at-the-bothersome-baby-brother to begin.