Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Just a reminder

Don't put your almost but not quite potty trained toddler to bed without a diaper on.

Because if you do, then at 1:30 am, you will be woken up by the toddler screaming, "Mommy, there's pee-pee in my pants." When you go to check on him, you realize that you forgot the diaper and it is everywhere. Then you have to give the child a quick sponge bath with wetwipes because a bath at 1:30 am will just wake him up and keep him up forever. After the sponge bath, you have to dig for warm pajamas since a cold front came through, it is almost freezing outside, and the furnaces wouldn't light the night before. Once you convince the child that the mismatched tractor bottoms are perfectly fine with the dinosaur top, then you have to deal with the bed. Once you remove the 40 stuffed animals and strip the sheet off, you realize that all the sheets are in the washing machine still wet and now very cold because the furnace isn't working. Luckily, you find another old threadbare sheet at the bottom of a drawer but you realize that all the blankies are in the washer too. So you run through the house looking for a blankie and find not one but two in the pile of his brother's unfolded clothes. Then you have to convince the child that the teddy bear quilt is just as good as the blue plaid quilt and that even though he wants to have a monster truck bed, he has to go back to sleep in his crib.

Eventually you will get back to sleep around 3 am. But trust me, next time, it is easier just to put a diaper on the toddler before he goes to bed.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Weekend in Pictures

Old 97's REM concert
I took pictures with my cell phone but I can't download them
Flickr video substitute

Soccer game #1

Soccer game #2

We were way too busy to take pictures but we all had tons of fun, 6 hours of fun. We won a dollar raffle prize. We only put one ticket in the box. Anna drew for the raffle and picked the ticket with John's name. I got to keep the prize.

Birthday party
The present seemed to go over well. Cousin L carried it around with her pens in her purse.

Neighborhood Halloween parade
Two Cleopatras

Post Parade Meltdown
He actually cried, "Mommy, I'm tired of parades!"

He was right

Friday, October 24, 2008

On a roll

Since I had the sewing machine out, I got motivated to finish a long neglected project, J's quilt. It only took me 6 months to bind it. The binding is pretty darn sloppy but I'll take it.


We had another cousin birthday this week and the party is on Sunday. I decided to make something instead of buy more plastic junk. Last year Cousin L got a headband & a little purse. This year she's getting a handmade notebook and colored pencils.

I found this tutorial on how make your own journal. It uses photographs as the covers. Since we didn't have any photographs my 4 year old neice would really appreciate, the kids and I decided to make some. A dressed her Barbies up and we went outside for a photo shoot. The pictures came out cute.

Front cover
Back cover picture

The journal isn't perfect. First of all, I accidentally ordered the pictures with a border. I would skip that next time. I also need a jig for my paper cutter. The paper sizes were all slightly different. Normally that wouldn't bother me, but the cover photographs were slighter shorter than 6" and the pages stick out. I need to work on my technique getting the binding straight and folding the binding cover nicely. It was fun & easy project and I'll probably make some more. I want to get a perforated disk for my paper cutter and make journals with tear out pages. I'm imagining really cute notebooks for grocery & to-do lists.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sunday at the dump

This Sunday we found ourselves with a free afternoon. It isn't a common thing around here so we decided to take advantage of the nice weather and go do something.

We were lucky enough that this free Sunday coincided with the opening weekend of the Trinity River Audubon Center. The Center is located just south of downtown in the Great Trinity Forest. It is actually located on what was once an illegal dumping site.

It is an amazing place to see and imagine that once it had been a true dump. There are trees and grasslands and ponds with tadpoles & damselflies. It is quite pretty. The education center is beautiful. (Well, it is in my opinion. I told DH I wanted to build a house like it someday and I think he cringed.)

The back wing of the education center

I wish I had taken more pictures of the building. The front wing is covered in beautiful cypress siding. The administration wing is made green stained concrete (I think) with a green grass roof. Very cool building. Plus all the kids had fun with the activities they have inside the center.

There are several hiking paths. They are flat & short, maybe a 1/2 mile or so long. They are perfect for our family with the 5 yo & 2 yo. The boys made it on 2 treks then we headed back into the education center to play in the sand some more. DH & A went off on one more path by themselves.

DH & A up the path

They are planning on opening campgrounds and hopefully with access to the Trinity River, they will offer kayaking & canoeing. Our family is looking forward to visiting again soon.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

My Own Project Runway

A debated Halloween costumes for weeks. She was for sure going to be a fairy. I was all for that. The costume consists of her pink ballet leotard & the fairy wings and skirt I bought at the dollar store last year.

Somehow last week, she changed her mind. She was waffling between a gypsy, a genie, a revolutionary girl (a la Felicity the American Girl doll) and an Egyptian princess. I told her last weekend she needed to pick and pick soon if it involved me sewing. She decided on an Egyptian princess & I asked my mother if she would sew. I went shopping at Joann's, bought the pattern & fabric and had everything ready except I never quite made it over to her house. My mother dropped by on Thursday night and mentioned she was going away quilting the next day. Uh-oh, that meant mom would not be sewing the costume.

Friday afternoon, I picked up the kids and came home to sew the dress. I soon discovered mistake number one. I picked up a pattern sized 12-14-16. It was way too big and although I had delusions of using my mathematical powers and downsizing the pattern, it soon became apparent the only ruler I could find was too short. I packed the kids up and headed back to the store.

By the time we got home we had to head to soccer practice. Then feed the children. Then put children to bed. It was 8:30 before I started on the dress. Luckily, my replacement pattern (they didn't have the original one in the 6-8-10 size) was See 'n Sew pattern. It was suppose to be another 1 hour design. I think 4 hours is a better estimate.

By 10:30, I had the dress 80% complete. I had to hem it & slip stitch the shoulders.

This is where it felt like I was on project runway. I only had about an hour between soccer games and the party to finish the costume. I had several little things I needed to do on the dress plus I still had to figure out how to make a collar. I used a tupperware lid, a pen, a piece of thread & finally my mathematical powers can came up with this.


I made six wedges and sewed them into a circle. The gold fabric was fraying so I backed it with extra material from the dress. It was like the show when Tim Gunn tells them he's just not sure about the outfit an hour before runway and they remake the whole thing. I worked it out.


I need to sew the bottom edge of the collar to make it neater. Overall both A & I were pleased with the result. There were several other Egyptian princesses at the party and A has already requested a belt and wrist cuffs to complete the outfit. The party was a blast too. Here is DH (in his groovy disco shirt & wig) holding up B to hit the pinata at the party.


And here's J taking his turn

Thursday, October 16, 2008

State Fair

The 3rd grade went on a field trip to the State Fair today. We started off with heifer judging, moved to cow milking demonstration, farm critters, children's petting zoo, lunch, Moo U (learning about all the animals shown at the fair), Creative arts exhibit to see all the award winning items and finally the dog show.

It was a long day but a lot of fun. I had to chaperone 5 kids with another mom, so it wasn't too crazy. There was only once where I lost track of child and thought "Oh, s*$&#(%, where is she?"

Funniest/awkwardest moment of the day. During the Moo U tour, the guide was describing all the different types of cattle that are shown at the fair. A bull stood up.

(More than once, DH gave me a hard time because I didn't know difference between a bull and a steer. If you've ever eaten calf fries, then you know the difference.)

Well, this one was definitely a bull with a long full scrotum hanging quite close to the ground. One of the girls in our group turned to me and asked what that "hangy thing under the cow was." I'm sure I blushed and didn't know what to say. After a second of panic, I told her that it was the testes. She looked at me funny and dropped the subject. I don't know if she knows what that is, but at least her mother is the one who has to explain, not me!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Camping Out Part 2

Well, they proved me wrong. We settled them in last night and said good night. I think DH and I both got up twice to check on them through the window. Sure enough around 9:40 we heard the back door open. We waited for the kids to come in and tell us they had enough. They never came in. DH went to go check. It was just A. She had forgotten her bookmark for her book and she didn't want to lose her place. J was already asleep. She found her bookmark and headed back out to the tent. And that was the last we heard from them.

We woke up around 6:45. Still no kids. We turned on the tv and waited. Finally around 7:15 they came in. Well sort of. They came in to use the bathroom and get a deck of cards and they headed back out to the tent to play.

I guess camping out in the backyard was a big success.


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Camping Out

Yesterday I took 9 Brownies to Camp Skills day. There were two other moms there so I'm not a total glutton for punishment. They learned how to start a fire, pitch a tent, how to clean dishes and set up a wash station, what to pack for camping and what to do in bad weather. They all loved starting the fire. I don't do well with fire, especially with 9 eight year olds shoving little bits of sticks and blowing to get their fires going. The girls had a great time and I survived.

The day of camping inspired A. She came home and immediately got her dad to pull out his old Boy Scout tent and she helped him pitch it in the backyard. She asked if she could sleep in the tent last night and I said "Sure." DH looked at me like I was crazy. I told him it was fine. I could say yes, but she won't do it. Sure enough around bedtime, she decided to sleep in her bed.

Well, tonight she and J decided that they wanted to sleep in the tent. I said yes again because there was no way they would actually do it. But after getting ready for bed, they gathered all the essentials (pillows, blankets, books, flashlight, blankies, animals) and headed out to the tent. They have been out there for at least 30 minutes. I keep waiting to hear the door open. Part of me is starting to panic because what if they actually make it. What if a homicidal maniac realizes that my children are sleeping in a tent in my backyard???? The other part of me is hoping they just fall asleep and stay asleep because I don't want to move children to their beds at 2 in the morning.

So sleep tight my little campers. I'll see you in the morning.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

comfy pants

I've got way too much to do. I've got husband/children/house/work, plus organizing the class raffle basket for Autumnfest and trying to put together a first aid kit for the Brownie camp skills day that lasts all day on Saturday. I've got one sock knit that is still waiting for the other one. I've got 1/4 of a bag sewn waiting to be finished. I've got 1/3 of a scarf knit for J and a ball of yarn waiting to be a scarf for A.

I do not care to work on any of this stuff. I want to do something else. I want to make sheet pants.

I'm not sure why I want to make sheet pants. Maybe it is because I don't feel well. I've got some sort of allergy/sinus/cold thing going on. Maybe the pants would help me feel better while I lie in my sick bed.

Once the idea of sheet pants got into my head I couldn't think of anything else this afternoon. I went to the library website and found the book at the new library that just opened up. Cool, two birds with one stone. I packed up the boys (A was at basketball & DH was at Dad's club) and off we went. New library was cool and crowded. It is good to see it being used.

I got home all excited to read all about making my new pants. Oh, my, what disappointment. I got the wrong book. I picked up Bend the rules instead of In Stitches. The Bend the rules still has many cute projects in it but no comfy sheet pants. At least I've got a library book to read before I crash tonight.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

the 2 year old is trained

No, not potty training. We're still working on that, he's actually doing okay. He's using the potty at school. I haven't cried since the last incident. He's made Daddy curse, but that a story for another blog post on another day.

Nope, our 2 year old is a trained beer getter.

DH took A to soccer practice. J wasn't feeling well and fell asleep on the couch. I was making dinner. B asked me questions about what I was doing. I told him I was making dinner and all about what I was making and why I was stirring and why I was chopping.

He jumped down off his bench and started yelling, "I'll get it, I'll get it." I said okay not sure what he was going to bring me. I thought it was going to be a tool from the play kitchen.

No, he returned with a beer. He handed it to me and said, "You need this. I'll get 'nother one for Daddy when he comes home."

You gotta love him.