Wednesday, January 28, 2009

She's crafty!

Every year, the kids' preschool has a goods and services auction to raise money. While every year I donate a custom cake, I'm always trying to think of something I could make that I've never done before. Doing various network searches, I got the idea that this year I want to make a set of tutus for a little girl. I've finished one and I think it came out really cute! I'm planning to do a second one in blue and white and silver. And perhaps, if I have the extra supplies for it, make matching doll tutus.

I'm calling this one Chocolate Pink Tutu. It's pink with chocolate swirling through and just a hint of sparkle.

Sierra modeling.

The odd thing is that when Sierra was born I was really routing for her to be more of a tom-boy. I resisted too much pink baby clothes. But I secretly really like the girly-girl and princess stuff, too. (Well, I guess it's not such a secret anymore.) After I'm done with the ones I'm making for the auction, I'll take Sierra to the craft store and let her help me pick out colors and embellishments for her own tutu.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Toot and Puddles?

Have you heard of Toot and Puddle, two cute little pigs created by Holly Hobbie? Well, lately Sierra's been rebelling against using the potty at home, and therefore has a new habit of leaving puddles in various places. The other night, Owen had the toots as he was getting ready for bed. My husband and I were both laughing as they just kept coming out of him as he walked around getting ready for bed. At that point we decided their new nicknames are now "Toot" and "Puddles"!! Let's hope these nicknames don't last!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Newsworthy Dogs?

Like most towns, our town has a little weekly local paper. The writing is not always consistent, as journalists come and go, but that's to be expected in such a small paper. What really shocks me about the paper, though, is their inability to find subject matter that the residents of the town want and need to hear about. There is one story that I always use to illustrate this point. One week the front page top story was a dog wedding. Yes. You read that right. Go back and read it again, if you need to. There was nothing that happened that week that was more important than a dog wedding. It happened to take place in my neighborhood. There were about 200 people invited (not me, though) and it was a real wedding ceremony and reception that took place in the family's yard. People dressed up and everything. Nothing was more important than that. Nothing. They even sent a photographer. (I later learned that there were some Special Olympics events for which there was no coverage, or at least they sent no photographer....)

That was about two years ago. Today's top story, along with adorable full-color photo (see photo) is about another dog in my neighborhood (what is it about my neighborhood?!?) that was attacked and injured by a coyote. I'm sure people want to know about this because they want to protect their pets and small children, but really... top story?? Sheesh.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

When It Rains, It Pours Freezing Rain

I recently blogged about how When It Rains It Pours, but now I need to add some more. (To recap, the dishwasher failed, but needs a new shut-off valve before it can be installed. The hot water heater started to leak just a little and we've been treating it tenderly until we can get a new one installed. Steve's away this week, until tonight, and the plumber came Monday to see if he can install the one Steve wants.) Ok, so it turns out, even though the plumber can install the heater we want, we'd have to wait 3 weeks to get it.

On Monday the heater started making a slightly bigger puddle. So I turned it off for the day and turned it back on before bed so I could take a shower. After my shower, the puddle was actively getting bigger. That scared me, so I decided to turn off the heater and try to drain it. Easier said than done. This, of course, was at 2:00 in the morning and I called Steve in DC and woke him up to help me figure out the best plan. I think I drained some of it and the water seems to have stopped flowing. Steve, in the meantime was working on getting an appointment with the plumber. The plumber is coming tomorrow (when Steve's home) to install the not-really-as-good-as-the-one-Steve-wants water heater. So now we're figuring out how to live without a hot water tank. Other than not being able to take a shower or give the kids a bath, it's not too bad. I boil a pot of water on the Stove and use it to help the kids wash their hands and wash dishes that can't wait.

At least we have electricity and heat. Well... that is... until I came home yesterday evening and discovered we had no heat! I was starting to contemplate putting the kids on air mattresses in the family room where we have a gas fireplace, but Steve helped me troubleshoot over the phone and we discovered that the thermostat wasn't working, probably due to a dead battery. After fiddling with it for a while, the heat kicked on. Phew!

And today the kids are home because of this awful "wintery mix!" I did shovel just enough to get out of the driveway for a neighborhood playgroup, but I almost didn't make it back up. We were supposed to do a gymnastics make-up today, but I don't want to venture out again....

I am so looking forward to having a new hot water heater and dishwasher tomorrow!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Visit from Santa

I know this is overdue, but I wanted to post photos of the kids meeting Santa. One of the parents from their school arranged to have Santa (the real one!) come visit her house, so she invited 10 families (to split the cost) to a cookie decorating party and then Santa showed up to surprise the kids. The bonus for me was that I didn't have to take the kids to the mall and wait in a line to get my Santa pictures this year. Now I just need to get one printed. (That's one thing that the mall does for me....)

Santa appears to be warning Sierra to be good

Sierra telling Santa she wants a toy tiger

Owen telling Santa he wants something Indiana Jones, or, as he says, "Innyanner Jones"

Aren't they cute??

Happy New Year!

Yesterday we went to a kid friendly New Year's party that celebrated the new year at midnight GMT time (that's 7pm Boston time.) It was a fun time, especially for the kids who were all running wild around the house and eating marshmallows dipped in chocolate fondue. Just before "midnight" they handed out paper hats and horns and whatnot and then did the whole countdown. So why is it, when it was time to go, the kids are upset about whether or not they get to bring home the stupid paper hat? Sigh... life is rough for a 3-year-old!

The other thing that happened yesterday was that we hosted a neighborhood playgroup in the morning. It also was snowing hard in the morning. I was up really late cleaning and getting things ready to have a bunch of neighbors in my house. I also baked cookies and made frosting to "paint" on them with new, washed paint brushes. The kids and I had fun with this. We were the only ones. No one else showed up.... Well, at least I get credit for hosting and my house is a bit cleaner. And I have snacks to offer an impromptu play date with some school friends.

So I'm just now starting to think about what I should resolve for the new year. Here's a start:

(1) Go on a backpacking trip.

(2) Participate in at least one triathlon.

(3) Get in shape to do (1) and (2).

(4) Eat with more moderation and stop when full.

(5) Finish some projects around the house:
- plan and start the home expansion project
- buy furniture for Sierra's room
- clean and organize my "office"
- organize and purge toys, and set up the basement as a play area for the kids

I'm sure there's more I should resolve, but I'll stop there so I'm less likely to fail.

Happy, healthy, properous New Year, everyone!