Wednesday, December 31, 2008


What were you doing on New Year's Eve?

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Jalie 2806 again

This one was for my sister. She is the stereotypical stay at home mom. Does everything for her kids and nothing for herself. She is forever freezing to death but is drawn to sleeveless tops. Maybe because she's always wishing for the warmth that summer brings. She really needs long sleeved tops, amongst other things. I made this one based on the measurements (wrong) that she sent me. She is 2 sizes smaller than she measured. So this top is a tiny bit big. You can't tell too much here because she's wearing a tank top underneath. This is a size 4 which is the smallest women's size on the Jalie pattern. Next time I'll make her the biggest girl size. I left the bottom band off. I can't remember what kind of fabric this is. It's a knit from Joann's but not ponte roma. The things I really like about this pattern are that they are really easy to make and they are a good length.

Doll Clothes

Almost everything on Omari's Christmas list this year had to do with her doll. She wanted doll clothes and so I set out to make some. I'd actually been wanting to make them for some time, but you know how it goes. I used Simplicity 7083 for the Jacket, Shorts and Unicorn dress and 4364 for the Christmas dress.
This outfit is my favorite. Made from a cut up dress of Omari's and some leftover skulls fabric.

Hood lining

Without the hood

Unicorn Dress

Christmas dress. Made to sorta match Omari's dress.

Christmas is almost over

Almost over because my sister leaves today. Unlike me, my sister is one of those people who likes to be around other people. The more the merrier. Which I'm grateful for because otherwise I'd be a total Grinch. And what about my poor kids? My girls had a fabulous Christmas because of the awesome gifts they got off their wish list and because they got to have tons of fun with their cousins.

Omari got items for her doll: a trundle bed, a wardrobe with vanity that she quickly filled up with clothes and mommy made clothes. Olivia's wearing her Christmas dress in this picture. And daddy got her walkie talkies.

Naiobi got an electronic guitar, a microphone and a dolly. Oh, and daddy got her a really cute pink scooter. Apparently I was all about the doll stuff because I didn't get any pics of Naiobi with her new stuff. Whoops. In the picture above, you can see her new dolly on the couch.

My sister made chicken posole on Christmas Eve. Grandma Lyn and Kiloh (my sister's in-laws) and Margie (Lyn's mom) came over with some Natalee Thai for appetizers. They left around 10 bc Lyn was tired. My BIL and I attempted to watch Tropic Thunder but slept through the entire thing. What I really wanted to watch were the outtakes. I'll have to do that before they go today.

Christmas morning the kids got up around 7:30. Not too bad. And went to town. We went over to Grandma Lyn's around 3pm for Christmas dinner. A delicious buffet of turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans, gravy and stuffing. And desserts of course.

I have eaten and eaten and eaten. My stomach feels expanded to its maximum proportion. There is a max right? I've thrown in some apples and oranges here and there. A couple of glasses of water but have concentrated on eating brownies, gingerbread and Grandma Lyn's handmade chocolates, of which she gave me a big box.

Here they are this morning on Omari's bed. The girls are always really sad when they leave because they've had such a good time together.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Quiz Show

Got this from Natalie at Woolanthropy and decided to play along.

Here's the rule: Bold the things you've done & post on your blog!

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars - backpacking
3. Played in a band, well I sang but I did play the guitar a couple of times.
4. Visited Hawaii and danced on a lava cliff with the roar of the Pacific below.
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity - Does my sister count?
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch -Taught myself to crochet.
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty -in the middle of winter. My eyeballs were freezing!
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill - All. The. Time.
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon- a Half marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset -Who hasn't?
31. Hit a home run- I am not sports inclined
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors -This IS the birthplace of my ancestors!
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke -First time was at my 35th bday party
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant -It was McDonald's and it was a homeless guy outside
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight -Well, we weren't exactly walking
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie -The Three Amigos with Chevy Chase, Steve Martin and Martin Short. I was 12. They needed some Indian looking kids. My sister's in it too.
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching- on my To Do list
63. Got flowers for no reason -from my kids, but anyone who knows me knows I don't like flowers.
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Kissed a stranger at midnight on New Year's Eve
86. Visited the White House -Just the outside. No tour or anything like that.
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating -Helped with a Chicken: twisted it's neck, boiled it and plucked the feathers then my grandma cooked it. I was 9.
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous -Chevy Chase, Steven Martin & Martin Short.
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one- not yet fortunately
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee- ouch!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Aunt Flo Emergency Kits

These are my Christmas gifts this year. The one I carry in my purse holds 3 OB tampons, 2 panty liners and 2 wipes. They hold alot if you know how to work it. However, I was out of OBs and ended up using these candy wrapper tampons. Don't they look like they might be candy? I did actually go to Target to buy OBs but the ones I got were UNIMAGINABLY ENORMOUS! Okay, did you know there is a size after Super Plus?!! Yeah. I could not fathom using one of those much less subject my girlfriends to them. I also don't know if they still make this individual wipes bc Target didn't have any but did carry them in a pack, like baby wipes packs. I'm out of the feminine products loop because I've been using a Diva Cup for a few years now. Those Ultra 'pons were scary. I carefully glue sticked the box shut and will be returning them ASAP.

Fudge It.

Me and chocolate baking have been having some issues. I have had to throw away every single batch of brownies I've made. Five times. I even used a box mix the last time because nothing was working. That didn't work either. When I told Omari my plans of making brownies as gifts for her teachers, she gave me a look that said, "Please don't."

So I decided I'd make fudge. Afterall, I'd made this recipe successfully before. Well, it was a sticky mess. They look like big wet turds. And you know what? I gave it to them anyway. I put them on wax paper, piled them on top of each other in a Christmas bucket and wrote on a label on the top: Lumps of Coal for Mrs. So and So. Oh well.

Last night my girlfriend Irene had her annual Christmas party. I've been wanting to make this cake since I first saw it 2 years ago in Family Fun magazine. So I made it. In order to take it to the party, I inserted toothpicks all over it and covered it with plastic wrap. It worked great. Cute, yes?

Prior to it being cute, it took a little plunge! Shhh, the party goers don't know. I just got a little excited in my frosting and pushed the plate a little too far off the edge and well, it splattered all over the floor. I was ready to give up until I lifted it up off the floor and it was still intact! I inserted 2 wooden skewers down the middle and it worked. Continue frosting.

Of course I needed a new dress for the party and of course, I waited until the last night to actually start working on it. I was up until 3am and was woken up at 6:45 by the girls. Ugh. The dress will look great once I lose like 15 pounds. The arms are SO Freakin' TIGHT! You can't tell from the picture though. It was hard taking it off because the sleeves just suctioned themselves onto me! I used some silky print from Joann. I'm calling it my Key to my Heart dress. Because it has Keys. And Hearts. See?

I've made this dress before and new the armhole was too small. On this one I scooped out about a 1/2" and attempted to compensate on the sleeve but have no idea how to do that and so maybe that's why the sleeve ended up being so tight. I WILL work on this and try to get it right. I also decreased the width of the ruffle by half. It may have been too much. I just new that it was too much ruffle for me and I wouldn't have liked to have it flopping around. Anyway, this fabric worked MUCH better than the linen I used the first time. Now I just need to get the sizing right.

Plans for the next couple of days: CLEAN! My place is a disaster. Crafty stuff all over- (tomorrow I'll post my Christmas gifts for the party_. Laundry, shipping boxes, ANTS ANTS ANTS. I am pretty sure the walls of my home would collapse if it were tented to get rid of the ants. They DO hold the walls up. I am Certain of it. They come in from anywhere and for anything and nothing. Sometimes they are just crawling around, just going back and forth for nothing. Sometimes they decide they want cereal and crawl all up into my boxes. WHY? And why not all the time? Why once every few years do they crawl into my cereal boxes? If they wanted it all the time, then I'd move the cereal into plastic containers permanently. But most of the time they leave it alone. Had to throw my Pops into the trash. The man was the one who always dealt with the ants and he HATED them. I was always pretty chill about it. "Let them be." "Just remove whatever they're after and they'll go away eventually." Okay, but what if they're not after anything? Then what? I'm starting to hate them too. As are the girls. Omari asked if we could move. Seriously.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Greeting Cards and Stuff (picture heavy)

The weekend following Thanksgiving, the girls and I headed down to San Diego specifically to take pictures for our holiday greeting cards. I always make sure my cards do not say Merry Christmas so as to be most inclusive. I figured, that this would be the easiest way to let everyone in my life know of our current family status. Of course, my immediate girlfriends and family new right away. But for those folks that I don't keep in touch with on a regular basis, this would do it and it avoids repeating the story over and over. Everyone should have received their greetings by now and no one has emailed or called so it's all settled.

I mentioned in a previous post that the photography was done by Kate James Photography. Kate is a good friend of a good friend of mine. I absolutely loved the photographs. She's just starting out but I appreciated that she was calm and relaxed and didn't rush at all. She went so far as getting herself all wet and sandy to take a picture. She made some of the pictures in black and white, but I do prefer pictures in color. The first one is the one I used for our cards followed by a few of my favorites, and I had LOTS of favorites!

Here's a picture of our little tree a la Charlie Brown Christmas with a towel wrapped on the bottom. Apparently I need a weighted tree skirt cuz thing topples over when someone just coughs. I haven't but up a tree since Naiobi was an infant, mostly b/c we've spent every year up north and I got kind of Grinchy about dealing with a dry, brittle tree upon our return from the holiday. Omari begged this year and since we're staying put, I decided to indulge her. I got this cheapy little tinsel tree b/c, TREES ARE EXPENSIVE! I'm sure I could have found a deal if I'd waited a little longer. But whatever. It works. Omari was a bit disappointed that it wasn't a real tree but when I told her it was better for the environment she was appeased. I had to buy the little balls too b/c I didn't have any.

My 2 most treasured ornaments were made by friends in college. This little pasta angel was made by my friend Margot. Isn't it just precious?! One year I recreated it and gave them as gifts myself. Very sweet.

And this one was made by a boy named Tony, also in college. I was so surprised by this gift. The fact that he'd taken the time to make it. I don't know. It caught me off guard. I am highly protective of these two, keeping them nicely wrapped and not letting the girls handle them.

And this little lacey angel was made by an adoptive mother I worked with a long time ago. She adopted 2 little girls that I absolutely adored and that I seriously considered keeping as my own despite being only 25 at the time. Don't think my roommate would have appreciated me showing up with 2 kids in tow. Oh, but I wanted to. Every year they send me a Holiday card and these little angel makes me think of them.

And the holidays can't get underway without some kind of baking going on. One level for each of us. My chocolate chip cookies are on the top and have PECANS!!! The girls don't like nuts so we make their sheets first and what's leftover is ALL MINE!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Preschool Assignments

I was informed that there would be a Stocking Decoration Night at my daughter's preschool. After school. No kids. Hmmm.

So I had to bring the stocking home. I didn't get it until the night before the deco night which was a little irritating. I was going to use just glitter glue but those little tubes they sell now are just bogus. They are hard to squeeze and they don't show up very much. At least, not the way I wanted them too.

Costco, many years ago, used to sell a 6 or 8 pack of huge glitter glue bottles that were awesome. Well, the bottles broke last year. They were plastic. But I guess it wasn't the right kind because they just shattered. Granted, the bottles were more than 10 years old.

Anyway, since I have a lot of fabric around, I decided to put it to use and this is what I came up with. The gifts are wrapped with glitter puffy paint. It's the only one I had. I used fabric glue to glue the fabric down. Glued sequins to the tree for decorations. I ended up adding glitter glue all over but forgot to take a picture.

Monday, December 1, 2008

December 1st

(Photo by Kate James Photography).
I found myself being thankful for the same things over and over last month. My health and my girls' health. My job. Housing. All kinds of insurance. The sun. The wind. I am fortunate.

I'm also thankful for new things.

I'm thankful my girls know that their daddy and I loved each other. I'm thankful my girls will learn from this experience, that life isn't a fairytale. I'm thankful their daddy and I aren't the type of people that had fits, rages or tantrums with one another and that my girls had a "happy family life" while we were all together. I'm thankful he and I still care about one another and want each other to succeed and be happy.

I'm thankful, that sometime in the foreseeable future I will have days off.