Wednesday, December 22, 2010

"Nigh, Nigh"

Before I forget it. I wanted to record some of what Olivia is saying. She is 11 months old now and trying so hard to say new words all the time.

"Nigh, nigh" - Night, night
"Ti ti" - Kitty
"Ba ba", sometimes comes out as "Bob" - I have not been able to figure out what this means, but she says it a lot to Thomas, so maybe brother?

And she now will shake her head yes and no. The no she just figured out a few days ago.

One of the cutest things she does is if you say to her "aww," she will put her head down on you and give you a big snuggle hug.

These moments pass by so quickly and it is so easy to forget!

2011 Preview

I am one of those people that loves fresh starts. When I was little, the new school year was my favorite. Brand new notebooks with nothing written on them yet, unsharpened full pencils. All of the anticipation of what is to come. I am still like that today. I love getting a new calendar for the year, just open to possibilities. Don't get me wrong, I love to look at the calendar at the end of the year to see all I have done, but there is just something about a new beginning.

Even though it is not yet the new year, I have been reflecting a lot on what this past year has been like and what I hope this new year coming up will bring. And I figured a little over a week head start to doing some resolutions couldn't really hurt. I am also hoping if I type it here in writing where anyone can read it (whether or not anyone actually does) it will hold me accountable to myself!

So here they are in no particular order:

1. Try not to yell.
Sadly, this is going to be a tough one for me. I had always thought once I became a mom I wouldn't yell at my kids. Well, okay, let's be realistic. I didn't think I would never yell, but I didn't really anticipate yelling quite so much as I do. I am a yeller. I hate to admit it. I have to say some of it is because I am just so frazzled. My darling baby girl doesn't sleep so well. She is finally getting better, but sleep deprivation is not good in the pursuit of calmness. And my darling big boy just knows how to push my buttons. So much so in fact that we are going to take him to counseling to check to see what to do about his naughty unruly behavior. But enough with the excuses. No one likes a yeller and it only ever works to elevate the situation to a frenzy. So resolution number one is to try to talk calmly and not yell so much. Granted, I will allow myself the occasional "Hot" or "Don't run out in front of that car" moment.

2. Get some exercise.
This one is pretty straight-forward. I don't exercise. I don't really like to exercise. But I am also not 21 anymore. I need to get on the ball with this one. Maybe literally as I do have an exercise ball! And I am leaving it vague so as not to set my self up for failure. I always get all lofty at the beginning of the year and say, "I will exercise 6 days a week for an hour a day." It is not going to happen. At least not right away.

3. Make some more time for myself.
Now this one actually may include resolution number 2. I know that when you exercise you feel a ton better. I have been so stressed out and tired lately and just am running on fumes. This makes it very hard for me to be a good mom (see resolution #1). I have got to let go of the guilt and make some time to do something to recharge my batteries. I am really hoping I can find some more time this next year to do my crafty stuff I love to do.

4. Get more organized.
Now for those of you who actually read this and know me pretty well, might be surprised by this one. I am a very organized person by nature. I am Type A all the way. But since having kids (and yes that was 4 years ago), I have had a very difficult time managing my time and my household. The hours seem to get away from me. I know I have a facebook problem that probably contributes greatly to that, but there are other things, too. I just can't seem to keep up with everything running a house and taking care of two kids entails. Paperwork piles up, dishes go unwashed and laundry piles up everywhere. And there are many days when I feel like I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off. But when reflecting back on the day, I think, "what did I actually do today." I don't want those days. I want to feel like I have spent quality time with the kids, with my husband, and for myself. And I am ready to feel some calm and order to my day.

5. Get out of debt.
Now this one may not be completely feasible, since we are a family of four living on one income that actually went down at the end of this year. But, I would like to take a crack at it. I am hoping this will alleviate some of the stress I have been feeling.

So here is looking forward to a wonderful new year!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Seasonal Candy Bowl

I got this idea from a friend of mine who had bought one of these, and thought it was just too cute! Super easy to make and so much fun! You could make this in any holiday design, but I was making this one for Halloween to hold my candy corn!

Here are the materials you need:

4" Terra cotta saucer
4" Terra cotta rose pot
Small glass bowl
Small wooden knob
Paint brush
Patterned paper/fabric
Mod podge
Sealer (if not covering completely in mod podge)
Glue gun

First, you paint your pot and saucer in whatever color(s) you want. Allow to dry. You will then use pieces you cut from patterned paper or fabric to place a design on the pot. I used candy corn shapes and some pumpkins. If you are good at free-hand painting, you could paint a design on the sides and/or top. Follow the directions on your mod podge container or similar decoupage medium. This will "glue" your pieces to the painted terra cotta pot.

Allow this to dry. Paint your knob, allow to dry, and attach to the upside down saucer with your glue gun. If you are not going to use a sealer, cover the entire painted surface with mod podge and allow to dry. If you choose to use sealer or varnish, now is the time to do it!

Hot glue the bottom of the glass bowl to the bottom of the painted terra cotta pot. You are ready to fill with candy.

I will post pictures once I have finished my Christmas dish. I am making these for holiday gifts!

P.S. Be sure to check out my new blog: Laura's Crafty Life for more crafty inspiration!

Optimus Prime Pinata

So for Thomas' fourth birthday party he wanted a Transformer's theme. Me, being the over-doer that I am, decided that I would make a pinata from scratch since I wasn't able to find one that I liked. It did turn out very cool, but not sure I will go down this path again!

This was my inspiration for the pinata:

Step one: Find thin cardboard boxes in various sizes to shape Optimus Prime's body. Digging through the recycling turned out to be just the ticket!

Step two: Cut and tape boxes together to shape the body. I used pieces of egg crate to form the "hands". I used the bottom of dixie cups to form the "tires" that are on his sides. You can't see it in this picture, but I made the gun from toilet paper tubes and more egg carton pieces.

Step three: Time to paper mache. I used a mixture of just flour and water. I cut small strips of newspaper about 5 or 6 inches long and about 1 inch wide. Dip the paper into the flour/water mixture. Wipe off excess and place on cardboard body.

Step four: Repeat step 3 until you have two or three layers of paper mache covering the body. I wouldn't do more than that since instead of being completely newspaper, the base is thin cardboard. Be sure to attach a string underneath the paper mache to hang your pinata. This will make it strong, so it doesn't fall once the kids start to whack at it. Allow to dry. This took about a day for it to be completely dry.

Step five: At this point I cut a flap in his back to fill him up with candy. Then, glue on strips of tissue paper or crepe paper streamers. I used silver paint for the metal parts of his body. Here is the finished pinata. Pretty cute if I do say so myself!

Linked up here: So You Think You're Crafty

P.S. Be sure to check out my new blog: Laura's Crafty Life for more crafty inspiration!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Long Time, No Post!

Holy cow! I can't really believe it has been since June since I have posted on here. And that was about what was going on in May! So much has happened since then. I am going to have to play catch up! I really want to start blogging about my craft projects, so those will be updated soon.

And of course, there is the never ending stream of excitement happening in our family! We seem to always be super busy. I can hardly believe Olivia will be one in less than 2 months. Crazy how the times flies.

Not sure why I am deciding to try to start blogging again with the holidays coming up, but the holidays always make me want to reconnect with family and friends. So here we go . . .