1/31/13

Kiss Me Wreath Tutorial

While we were picking out a flower for Lovebug to give to his friend's Mom (that sentence would be super weird if he were 17)... I grabbed one for myself to use on a wreath I wanted to make.

If I had my way, I'd just buy every Holiday wreath that Target sells.... if they sell it, I'd buy it.

Even if it was for Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa, or something we don't celebrate... I really love having something on our front door, so I'd probably buy 'em all....

I'd walk through the aisles waving my arms like: Come with me... all the wreaths; I will give you a warm basement to hang in.

That sounds weird too.

Anyway... I can't buy a million wreaths at Target because they cost like 20 bucks a pop.

And 20 bucks times however many holidays there are in a year, equals.... well... I have no clue what it equals, but it's more than I can afford.

So I make my own.


This one cost me less than 3 bucks to make, because I had most of it on hand... even if I didn't the materials would have been less than 10 bananas... so, score.

I am not a craft blogger... if I post anything DIY, it's because it is easy and if I can do it, so can you.

So bear with me while I give you the world's worst tutorial, in pictures.

I started with this:


At this point I thought I was going for all reds and pinks, so I ended up swapping the fleece out for different colors.

I started by cutting the pink gingham into long strips of about 2 1/2 wide and 15 inch long strips.

Then I just used my glue gun to glue, wrap, glue, wrap.


I know... I am practically inventing the light bulb over here... this is tricky stuff.

Once I had my wreath wrapped I started in on the felt flowers.

If you have felt with a sticky back, I'd recommend using that because you then you can avoid using the glue gun so much (not that I have 3rd degree burns or anything).

Cut yourself a piece of felt that is longer than it is thick...add a line of glue, and fold in half.

Then cut fringe on the non-glued edge of the felt, all the way to the end.

Add a drop of hot glue onto the folded seamy part, and then start rolling, like you would a fruit roll up.

Glue it at the end so that it stays rolled up like the cute little flower that it is.

Then cut a piece of scrap to glue on the bottom, to keep all that flowery goodness in place.... trim it to look pretty and then bam, your flower is complete.

I am aware that this is the worst tutorial in the world and I am probably making no sense... so for all you visual types out there... all that nonsense I just said looks like this:

Roll. Glue. Glue scrap on bottom. Trim scrap on bottom. Pat yo'self on the back.
I had my handy dandy Husband cut the stem off my metal, "Kiss Me," flower (which I found at Walgreen's for $0.99).

I hot glued the flower to the wreath first, and then I shoved my felt flowers all up in it's bidness... wherever I thought they would look good, I added some hot glue, and placed a flower.

Twenty seven burns later... I had a new wreath.


All it took was two hours, becoming a burn victim, saying, "Shit, mother effer, crap, ow, fuckkkkk!" 100 times, and three bucks.

How's that for a tutorial?







He Told His Class....

Lovebug told his class that his Dad looks just like the troll in Three Billy Goats Gruff.

I said... "Hmm... is the troll Italian?"

And he said..."No! But he has a big head!"

Adorable rain gear found here.

Guess we shouldn't plan on anyone wanting to come over for a play date any time soon.






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1/29/13

Like Him

Girlfriend idolizes her brother, and tries to do everything he does... in moments like this, it's sweet:


And in moments like last night... when she climbed out of her crib... AT SEVENTEEN MONTHS OLD... it is not even a little bit adorable.

All she did was watch her brother throw one leg up over the side, and she threw hers up too... and that was that... out she rolled.

Literally.

I caught her in the act and she was all:

"Schorry, Schorry, Schorry..."

While she crazy white girl walked around the room, not looking the least bit "schorry," and was instead like:

CAN'T NOBODY HOOLLLD ME DOWN! OH NO! I GOT TO KEEP ON MOVVVIN'!

And that... is why I am off to buy one of those crib tents.

I am pretty sure if I am buying a tent today... I will probably be buying a leash tomorrow.

And you know what?

I am not ashamed. I am tired.

And if a leash will hold that child down.. then I'm buying one.

Schorry I'm not schorry.

1/28/13

He Said....

He was babbling away like a three year old does.

I didn't catch every word, because it sounded a lot like nonsense... but when I heard, "Poop,"... my ears perked up.

"Hey!" I piped up, scaring him out of his thoughts... "I don't like when you talk like that!"

"Well..." he said, looking me square in the face..."You're not my target market."



Update: Lovebug heard me telling my mom this story and saying...
"I have no idea where he got it from..."

When he said:

"Mom. I got it from the Lorax."

And there you have it.

1/24/13

Raising People

This story actually begins 14 years ago... when Husband was just a scrawny 15 year old, that got completely shit faced hammered at a 16th Birthday Party.

Husband can't remember too many of the details, thanks to a large bottle of Gin and Juice that he drank in the woods right before the party... classy, right?

Anyway, Husband basically got rip roaring drunk, and had to leave the party early when my Father in Law picked him up, and drove him home to sleep it off.

The next day, my In Laws took Husband to buy some flowers, and then drove him across town to the home of the girl whose party he had gotten so shit faced at.

Husband knocked on the door, and handed the flowers to the girl's Mother, before apologizing for being such a mess at their party.

This story has stuck with me for more than a decade, because I just love how my In Laws handled it.

They knew that this behavior was out of Husband's character, and saw it as an opportunity to teach him a lesson about being a good person, and acting accordingly.

Well... last week history repeated itself up in Our Tiny Place. Minus the Gin & Juice.

I took Lovebug to a large playgroup with kids and parents from his school.

For such a well behaved boy, he pretty much acted like a brat the entire time.

It is so rare that Lovebug acts out, that I honestly took personal offense to his attitude.

I know for sure that we are spoiled with his good behavior, to the point where when he acted out... I wasn't embarrassed, I was caught off guard... and MAD.

We hold our children to a very high standard behavior wise... we just more or less explain that this is how we behave, and that's that.

I know that he is only three, and that these things happen... and if I'm going to be honest, for as mad as I was that he misbehaved in front of all those people; he wasn't actually THAT bad.

I have for sure seen other children act much worse, but Husband and I decided to turn this into a teaching moment, rather than compare bad to badder, and let it roll.

The first thing we did was take his toys away, all of them, for one day.

We had a, "Books Only," home for an entire afternoon, evening, and following morning.


At first he was sad about the toys, and then he forgot because he has ninety billion books, and got tons of one on one time while we read every last one in the house.

He also knew that he would get all of his toys back, AFTER he gave a flower and apologized to the Mother who hosted playgroup.

Yup... we went there.

We bought her a metal flower that said, "Be Mine," (the alternative was, "Kiss Me,"... which is weird)... we rehearsed and role played 100 times before the big apology happened at preschool drop off the next day.

I was trying to be discreet, but couldn't let a moment like this pass us by, so I snagged a quick picture of Lovebug and his flower right before his big moment.


Walking into school he kept telling me, "It's the right thing to do Mom... when you mess up, you say you're sorry."

It took everything I had to not plaster his face with kisses right then and there for being so freaking cute.

Boyfriend was super excited to hand over the goods, and marched right up to that Mom as soon as he saw her...

He thrust the flower into her face and said, "I'm sorry I misbehaved at your house."

She promptly crumpled into a ball of, "OMG this is so damn cute," and squished him in a giant bear hug.

Her kids were like, "What the WHAT is happening right now?"

I was THRILLED that he didn't turn around and ask me for all of his toys back... and more importantly, that he had learned his lesson.

Boyfriend told both teachers about what had happened, and about how important it is to, "Make things right by saying sorry."

When we got home, he got all his toys back, plus 1,000 hugs and kisses for doing the right thing.

I don't think we were too hard on him, and I am super proud of him for understanding that he had done wrong, and needed to fix it.

Because at that end of the day... we are doing more than just wiping noses, and giving baths.

We are trying to raise more than just good kids... we want to raise good people; that know the importance of right and wrong, consequences, and putting your best foot forward.

People than can look others in the eye and know that they have acted appropriately, and accordingly... with kindness, respect, and love.

Even if we had to muddle through a bad day to get to a good one... it was worth it... and we are so proud.


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1/23/13

Kidney Cards

Last week my Father received a kidney transplant, thanks to my very generous Uncle... who was all:

"Sure... take my organ, no big dee."

Long before surgery day I started searching online for kidney themed cards that would make the guys smile, and maybe even laugh a little bit, after they traded body parts like a couple of bosses.

I found nothing that wasn't super corny, and didn't say, "Urine," on it somewhere.

Lame.

I knew I could do better than that...

And only because my Father asked me to, I am posting the pictures here...

If I was on Pinterest, I believe these would be Pin-worthy for the right audience....

But since I am not... here you go:

This one was for my Dad:


He was born with one small kidney that never grew, and since I will do ANYTHING to avoid putting laundry away...

I dumped out an entire bag of Trail Mix and measured every single raisin until I found the smallest one before hot gluing it next to a slightly bigger one (which of course represents the one that has been doing double duty for 60 years).

I need a life... clearly.

My Uncle's card didn't take quite so much digging... but really tested my stick figure drawing skills:


Obviously I am better at coming up with ideas than I am at executing them into beautiful forms of art... but you get the idea.

These cards... in all of their simplistic glory, were a big hit.

And only because I know what the kidney-card-selection looks like out there... I'm gonna go ahead and say, I can see why.

I mean... if you have a choice between a card with food stuck to it, or a card that says, "Urine My Thoughts..."

The food is gonna win every time.

And, because this is my blog, and I am super proud of my Dad for looking so great after his surgery...

And equally as proud of my Mom, for being his nurse every step of the way...

Here they are right before leaving the Hospital this past Monday:


Now that... is a happy looking pair.







1/22/13

Valentine's Day Pictures

Since we had so much fun taking 400 pictures for our 2012 Christmas Card, I thought why not take some for Valentine's Day too??

The goal behind these shots was NOT to get two smiling children in one picture (which we failed miserably at for Christmas)...

I just really wanted some cute pictures of them being together, and being natural.

Taking the, "Please for the love of GOD will you both look at the camera and SMILE," stress out of the situation made for a much quicker, and more pleasant event.

It also didn't hurt that I dumped an entire bag of candy hearts on the blanket and let them go to town...

A little bribery goes a long way... ya know?


This little photo shoot was the perfect mid morning activity for our dolls, who tend to get restless right around 11 am every day....

Plus it cost us less than 5 bucks;

The antennas and the candy were all four quarters each at the Dollar Store, the boa we borrowed from friends, and the rest of it is stuff we already had (I made the garland last week).


The Hooligans sat calmly nomming away on pure sugar while I snapped a few shots to be sent to the Aunts, Uncles, and Grandparents for Valentine's Day (sorry guys, spoiled the surprise).

Usually they get fussy and fidgety after like... one minute... but this time they just chilled, wore their holiday colors, and let me get all paparazzi up in their faces.

 
It got a little weird when they started looking like twins in shots like this one...


Seriously, is that the same profile twice in one picture or is it just me??

I somehow snagged two semi decent (read: no one is picking their nose, crying, or bleeding....) shots of each of them individually:


 Okay, so those pictures barely make the "half way decent," scale... but at least they are sitting still.

After fifteen minutes they were over it.

The pictures were coming out blurry and the kids started to look like they had been in a fight, or a thunderstorm, or something...

Their hair was messy, the antennas were thrown across the room...

You are probably familiar with the point of no return, and that is where we were:


This wasn't my first rodeo, so I obviously knew that melt down city was going to happen at some point.

I was super proud of them for giving me 15 minutes or their semi-undivided attention, which is like... IMPOSSIBLE for our little energizer bunnies.

Especially after someone gave them an entire bag of heart shaped candy, like WOOO FREE CANDY GO, GO, GO...

Who would do such a thing?!!






1/21/13

Ya Just Can't Make This Stuff Up

You know those stories your Mom tells you, about when you were little and you're like:

"Geez, parenting is freaking crazy... the weirdest shit happens."

Well, that would pertain to what happened here tonight.

Just as I was covering myself up and getting ready to turn on some trashy TV I heard a thump, and then footsteps from Lovebug's room.

"Mom? Mommmmm.... I'm gonna need you to come here for a minute please."

I sighed...  

"What do you need, Doll?" I asked, grumbling to myself, throwing off the blankets, and climbing out of bed.

"Well you see... " he began, calling down the hall to me....

"I shoved my super hero cape as far as I could down my throat...

And then I puked.

And it went EVERYWHERE. It is on my BLANKETS, MY CLOTHES, ANNNND MY FACE."

Apparently, there are two magic words that will make me run even when it is past my bedtime... and they are PUKE and EVERYWHERE.

It was after 5 pm 9 pm, so you know I wasn't wearing a bra..

Which means sprinting just should not happen (not for me, not for you, not for anyone) ...

But when you yell PUKE and EVERYWHERE... forget the bra... I ran like my ass was on fire.

I was at his door in 2 seconds flat (okay, maybe it was 3 seconds).

He was standing at his gate, with puke on his jammies, smiling at me.

"Mom... my cape does not fit down my throat. I tried to turn it into an airplane and then I puked everywhere."

"You what?" I asked... surveying the yak that was indeed, "everywhere".

The whole room smelled like vom.

I was trying not to gag.

"You tried to make your cape into an airplane by shoving it down your throat??" I asked... as if saying it out loud myself would make that sentence make sense.

"Yes Mom... You just don't understand," he sighed and shook his head at me, as he yanked off his pajama shirt and grabbed a book to read.

I looked at him, my eyes bugging out of my head, like...

REALLY, you're gonna play the parents don't understand card NOW? At 3 years old? When you just ate polyester!?

Kids are insane.

I grabbed the disgusting blankets and headed to the washing machine... wondering, seriously, is this real life?

I went back to Lovebug's room, made his bed and put him in some fresh jammies before tucking him in.

"Do you feel okay?" I asked... still not really understanding what the frig just happened.

"Yeh Mom... I feel great, how do you feel?"

"I feel good...but does your belly hurt? Because you puked, and sometimes when you puke, it's because your belly hurts."

"No Mom. My belly does not hurt. I puked because I put my cape in my mouth and tried to swallow it."

I laughed before handing him a toothbrush... his breath was 100% offending me it smelled so bad.

We had a few hugs and kisses, read a quick story, and then had a long talk about not eating our capes when we are supposed to be sleeping.

For real... what is with our kids and eating non-edible things??

I am starting to wonder if it's my cooking.

She Got Stuck

Again.

And this time I couldn't help myself... I got the camera before helping her out.

I needed some sort of visual proof, to prove to her when she is older that she did in fact get stuck in strange places on a daily basis.

At this point we know for sure that she did NOT get Husband's claustrophobic gene.

Judging by the fact that she was saying, "Cheese," while I took these pictures... I'd say she is getting pretty used to this stuff.


Oh, and if you guessed that she was climbing for food when she got stuck... you guessed right.



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1/18/13

Recycled Parts



A little more than eighteen months ago, my Father had a failed kidney transplant via a recently deceased donor.

Surgeries like this happen very quickly; a call at 6 am, and into a Hospital bed by 10, to be implanted with a new organ before noon. 

It often has an amazing end result, but for my Father, this was not the case.

 If you have been reading long enough to remember when I wrote this, this, and this… then wow… color me impressed.

The failed transplant was very traumatic for our family; it was terrifying, and so sad for all of us.

The good news is… no, scratch that…. The GREAT news is; my Uncle Brian decided to offer my father his kidney after the first transplant failed.

A live donor is the very best kind of organ donor, because it gives you time to prepare your body to accept the “recycled part,” so to speak.

And that is exactly what my Father’s body did yesterday, when he had a successful  kidney transplant, thanks to my Uncle’s organ donation.

There is still a lot of testing to be done, and time that needs to pass before the Doctors will call this transplant "perfect", but for our family, so far so good, as they say.

My Dad and his brother are laughing, walking, and healing just as they should be. 

It is incredible to think that just yesterday they were having operations just hours apart, and today they look amazing!!

I sat with them this morning and we talked about how strange it is that a part of my Uncle, is now in my Dad.

We wondered who even thought to do such a thing, how did the first transplant even come about?

We were laughing, and marveling at how simply AWESOME modern technology and science really are.

There have been a lot of times in the past few months that I have thought about how scary this world really is.

It often seems like you shouldn’t trust anyone anymore… 

That life should be spent looking backwards over your shoulder, instead of in front of you, towards to the future.

And then I am given a moment like this:


When I am blessed to watch my Dad laugh with his younger brother... his Hero.

 And I am reminded that at the end of the day, when nothing in the whole world makes sense, if we are lucky enough to have family…. 

Then we are lucky enough.

1/17/13

Questionable Coloring

Did you use those smelly markers from Elementary School??

The purple smelled like Grape and the green smelled like Mint??

I used to like straight huff them up my nose when I was in 3rd grade because they smelled so damn delicious.

Remember these??


Good thing that box says, "Nontoxic," on it... cause like I said... I took those things to the head.

Anyway, this is kind of like that... excepting there was no sniffing involved.

I broke out some washable (note I said washable... not edible) markers the other day for the Bugs and I to do some coloring before nap time.

You think you know where this is going, but do you really??

Because I didn't.

I had no clue it was even possible to DRINK a freaking marker... just slurp that shit right down like a slurpee.


It was a real case of whodunit... clearly:


I'm not really sure what kind of look Girlfriend was goin' for... but I think she nailed it.


Don't worry, Poison Control and I go way back; and they said it was alright as long as she didn't start barfing... oh, and to give her massive amounts of water, just in case.

Lucky for me... only one of my children decided to get drunk on Crayola... the other one kept his face nice and cute, no crazy clown mouth and beard combo here:



Although, that measuring cup is slightly suspicious....

One's drinking it, the other one's... selling it??

1/16/13

Free & Easy Valentine's Day Crafts

I know everyone always knocks Valentine's Day as a Hallmark Holiday, and blah, blah...

But I really like to amp up the hearts for February every year, it's fun!

Except here's the thing... I am super cheap; so DIY / homemade / cutesy is the only way for me to go.

This past weekend, I made three Valentine's Day crafts for the price of nothing:

The great thing about having kids is that your decorations are supposed to look young, homemade, and happy... which means there is no effing these up... the cuter the better.

I started with the birthday candle, "You light my fire," jobbie.

It took about 4 minutes.

The only snag I ran into was when I tried to attach the candles to card stock with Krazy Glue.

Krazy fail.

If you're going to do this; go for the glue gun.

The method I used was; squeeze a line of glue, place a candle, press down, repeat.

If you squeeze all three lines first, the glue will harden before you get to push down your candles... which will eff your shit up... so remember, squeeze, place, press, repeat.

Once it was done, I popped it into a spare Target frame I had on hand (it cost $2 last year)... and called it a day.


The next thing I did was make heart garland out of paint chips.

I got them from the Paint Section at Wal-Mart; where I casually pretended to be interested in a bunch of colors that I would never, EVER, EVER paint in my house... and then shoved them all in my purse.

Why I thought I would get in trouble for taking twenty seven paint chips is beyond me... but I def felt like a thief on the way out.

Once I got my stash home, I took it waaaay back, old school style.

You know, fold in half and cut half a heart?? That technique was like my third grade LIFE.


Then I just taped them up onto some twine we already had, and I was in business.


I suppose if someone wanted to, they could go up to the garland and point out the letters on the back, since they are paint chips and there is some sort of paint chip info on the back of them.

But let's just hope no one acts that douchey in our house.

I love that the hearts are all slightly different sizes and the overall look is exactly what I was going for... plus, hello... it was free.

The last free craft I tackled was these adorable, "I Love You," hand prints by the kids.


In case you live under a rock, which would be weird, but not unheard of... the symbol above is the universal sign for, "I love you,"... it is also the American Sign Language sign for, "I love you..."

This craft is pretty self explanatory, I traced the kids hands, cut them out, and glued down the two middle fingers.

Again with this craft, you are going to want to skip the Krazy Glue... which will seep right through the paper, and look like nail polish on the other side.

Plain old Elmer's worked for me.

I folded over the two middle fingertips, and held them in place for like thirty seconds while they dried.

Then I popped it in a frame and placed it next to last year's super easy Valentine's Day craft.


And there you have it... three crafts for the price of none... four weeks before Valentine's Day.

That means you have plenty of time, and no monetary excuse not to make one, or all of them, yourself.

Ready, go!







1/15/13

Soccer

Being on a team was a huge part of my life... like... ginormous.

My parents made us play a sport every season.

Not because they were some crazy, over achieving, drill sergeant parents; but so that we wouldn't be stuck in the house all the time like: "I'm bored, I'm bored, watch me play with my face, I'm bored, I'm bored...."

Ya know?

Last week I decided it was time to introduce Lovebug to a team sport; (translation: there was a free soccer clinic, and I needed a before nap time activity).

I should also mention that I played on a travel league for a good portion of my childhood (before converting to a cheerleader, because that makes sense)...

So I was more than a little excited to see my main man get after it... or, do whatever it is three year olds do when they play soccer.


 Which as it turns out... is not a lot of actual soccer.

There were kids laying on the floor, kids crying, kids dancing, kids moving the goals and cones... it was kiddie soccer and non-soccer mayhem.


Lovebug loved every minute of the chaos and had a freaking ball (no pun intended).
 
I really enjoyed being a fly on the wall, too... I learned that:

A) He does not understand that no hands, means no hands.

NOT: run, pick up the ball, run across the gym, put it down in front of the goal, and kick it as hard as you can.
B) When he finally started just kicking the ball around... he actually had some natural talent!


I was super proud.

Not like: "Sign him up for a scholarship, he is mini Pele"....

But; you know, I was happy to see him doing well at something that had been such a big part of my youth.

Truth is, I had to try really hard to be good at soccer, not like my sister, who was just naturally freaking awesome at it...

So seeing Lovebug kick the ball correctly, and even dribbling a little bit without anyone teaching him how; really got me excited for him.
The only problem was that he kept asking the Coach if he could, "PUHLLLEEEEASE GO PLAY BASKETBALL! PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE!!"

I wasn't the least bit surprised that he had a hard time focusing, I mean he is three, after all.

I was actually really happy that he kept getting side tracked thinking about basketball; the more things that he is interested in, the better my chances are of being able to coach one of his teams...

Or ALL of his teams!!

(((Can't. Cut. The. Cord.)))








1/14/13

Life Is Expensive....

Like the rest of the world, we noticed the hit in Husband's pay check as soon as the new year / new taxes era began.

Ouch.

Sometimes I feel guilty for having such a wonderful (cough, unpaid) job... while Husband is stuck traveling and paying the bills.

Every so often I think about my unused college degree, and then I feel bad for my dad... who paid for it....

And Husband, who paid to have it framed, and hung it on the wall, where it gathers dust and sure as shit doesn't pay any friggin' bills.

It is a never ending battle in my brain of wanting to stay home with our Dolls, but wanting to be able to help Husband pay for all the things in all the land, too.

Seriously... have you guys noticed? Life is expensive!!

Lucky for me though, and you too... love is free.


And love is what makes staying home with our babies so, so worth it;

I am so fortunate to never miss a juicy moment, good or bad... every moment is mine (cue the psycho mom... "I'll never cut the cord," laugh).

The chaos, the singing, the dancing...

The tantrums, the messes...

The bad days, the good days...

In our house, all days begin, and end, in hugs and kisses.

And when Lovebug squeezes me tight before bed, and tells me I am beautiful, and I am going to be his wife when he gets older...

Well it just doesn't get any more lovable than that.

And I am reminded that even though there will always be bills to be paid, and things to be fixed...

We have each other... and that, is enough.








1/11/13

Happy Weekend!

We've got nothing planned this weekend! Yay!!!

It is so rare that we aren't running across the state to visit family, or to some play date, or a party... it's a good problem to have, but sometimes... oh man do we just want to relax.

Do nothing...

And hang around!



Wishing you a weekend full of nothing but feetie jammies and smiles!
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