Monday, April 26, 2010

Why Do I Try So Hard

Apparently I'm on the activities committee at church. I did not know this for a year and a half. That big Christmas party a couple years back must've pooped the old activity leaders right out into inactivity. But the new ones are gung ho and Saturday was our first event. What do they assign this sewaholic with basic skills? Kids games. What do I do all week? Sew a fishing game and bean bags. Last minute I drew the line at making my own bubble solution, only after buying glycerine, which is aparently the secret ingredient for long-lived bubbles. (Just in case you were worried, there was more to do thanks to my partner, an elementary school teacher, who raided the recess closet at school.)

Anyway. The bean bags, with my first attempt at embroidery, went untouched. The fish were a HUGE hit for kids of all ages. One boy was so enthused he decided they needed some water (i.e. bubble solution) in the empty kiddie pool. Right now Eli's happily washing and squishing them out in the sink for me.

I know I'm crazy about homemade, but I only went to all this trouble since I could keep them and have fun kid games on hand for future family home evenings or birthday parties.

I'm already brainstorming carnival games for the summer activity in 3 months.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day

Darn reflection, bottom "O" is an earth

Some people think I'm crazy. Only the ones that know me the best, actually. So I'll let you all in on my quirkiness, but quickly, since I can hear Esme kicking away in her crib up there. I have mentioned my extreme conscience before; I'll list how it reminds me to be more earth friendly.

  • I try to bring tupperware to restaurants for the leftovers. (I've only encountered two places that use biodegradable to-go boxes around here.)
  • I keep a fork and spoon in my bag (and my water bottle of course) for those more quality fast food joints like Kneaders, Cafe Rio, etc.
  • If I have a pot that needs to soak, I put it in the sink and THEN wash, rinse other dishes to use the water twice. Last night Eli made me proud. Brian was washing dishes and he left the water on while he turned away from the sink and Eli yelled at him-out of urgency, not anger-to turn it off.
  • I avoid using ziplock bags (tupperware instead), foil and plastic wrap (using a plate to cover a bowl), but when I must, I reuse it, flipping the last two over to use the clean side and washing out ziplock bags.

  • I can't throw glass away since I haven't found a way to recycle it. It was building up until I found a way. I was also wanting to go out and buy a bunch of storage containers when I realized I could use old bottles for storing all the grains and such that I love to get in the self-serve bulk section at the grocery store.
  • I often visit this website since I feel a twinge of guilt every time I throw something away. Although I haven't yet wondered how to reuse dryer lint.
Okay, I'll stop. In honor of this day I also wanted to sew a couple of lucky people re-usable produce bags. I've even been thinking of adding a clear vinyl patch so you can write the codes for bulk stuff. Deluxe. If you can see yourself using them, leave a comment. Been thinking and still can't decide if I'll pick randomly or by whose most deserving. Who knows, maybe I won't even get two comments. (I've already promised Anna and Esther, so you're set).

Man, I can't believe she's not crying yet. What a patient girl. Oh ya. I have an awesome shirt for her. I suppose I should have sewn it myself out of scraps or re purposed material to be green. But at least it's good for two holidays and any other day. Have I mentioned that I'm as cheap as I am earth conscious? I don't even shop for clothes much, but I only buy from the clearance rack when it's an extra 50% off. Although, this shirt is so great I probably would have paid full price instead of the $1 it was.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Double The Fun

Last night we got back from another trip to Arches, but this time we went with friends, Curt and his family. It worked really well since they also have a 3 year old boy and baby. We broke up the drive with halfway stops each way at a dinosaur museum and a visit to Brian's grandma and a playground nearby. We parents even squeezed in a babysitting swap and went on quick dates to a restaurant with the best view. But it was arches we were there to see.

The boys played, the moms talked, and the dads got intense about climbing.

Even the baby girls socialized.

For Brian, the highlight was getting Eli ready for backpacking this summer, as soon as these mountains thaw out. I was surprised by his patience, he had Eli walk as much of the 1.5 miles as he wanted to Delicate Arch, which was the whole way except for a steep area over bare rock where Brian insisted on carrying him. Here they are reaching the top. We were really impressed, not one of the four kids had a melt down, like all the others around us. The boys looked for lizards and the girls took naps along the way.

We realized just how much Eli loves climbing at Double Arch. Brian did like the Swissers and tied a rope to the boy so he could climb on his own but still be connected to dad in case he slipped. I felt pretty outdoorsie going to REI for good rope and a carabiner and then studying up on rock climbing knots. It was nice not to have to worry, especially about Curt, who is much more adventurous than Eli. We were surprised that our boy who is too scared to go down a slide, climbs fearlessly like a little mountain goat while Curt was almost frozen with fear.

Eli was downright giddy when he reached the top. Grinning with pride. As we drove around later, he pointed out the window and bragged about how he had climbed the red mountains.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Esme's First Fishing Trip

That's a big deal in this house. The city conveniently built a new park with a small fishing pond just a couple of blocks away. The perfect way to spend last Saturday afternoon. The boys both reeled in fish, at the same time! I wish I'd seen it, but Bri gave me the play by play. Eli was just excited to get home and play with his catch.

Ferocious, For A Vegetarian

She has quite the grip

A while back, I would venture to say months, Esme started eying my cup whenever I drank as she sat on my lap during dinner. I thought it was the colorful fishes on the glass, but weeks later realized she wanted to drink. Poor baby.

Lately she's more demanding, its food she needs and she doesn't gaze longingly, she fusses until its in her hand. She does that cute head shake as she prepares to chomp down. I was planning on waiting to feed her for another month since it's so much work and causes messes that are the stuff of nightmares. With Eli we were so excited to feed him and I had all the time in the world to steam and bake organic veggies and run them through a food mill and pump to add milk for the right consistency, patiently feed while all the food comes right back out and then clean up the big mess on baby, table, chair, and floor (and then wash all the dishes I just dirtied). I only have two kids, but somehow it seems too daunting. Poor Esme, again.

Up to now I've only fed her a few times, finding that a slice of ripe peeled pear is perfect, big enough to hold on and dissolves when she sucks on it. A good way to teach her to actually swallow and not spit out food.

She must've gotten hungry watching me throw dinner together tonight. And for some reason I thought she would be patient since she's just nursed and put an acorn squash in the oven for her dinner. Too slow. So I got a carrot steaming. Too slow. Banana it was.

Imagine her head shaking as she goes for the first bite

Pretty good for no teeth

I don't know what it is. I feel like every first must be documented. I get sentimental thinking this is her first carrot, pickle, or chocolate chip. Silly, huh? Well, speaking of documenting:

Friday, April 9, 2010

Personalized Felt Memory Game

So last night I stayed up late making this (more cards inside the bag). Tonight is Eli's buddy's birthday party. A couple of days ago I looked on my new favorite blog for ideas. A Make Your Own Memory Game was perfect, especially since I'm always taking pictures. After some online and craft store searching, I came up empty-handed, so I had to invent my own version. With some wallet-sized prints, picasa to add words to the cover photo, heavy weight interfacing, felt ( love you felt), pinking shears, and two hours of sewing and cutting, Curt will have a memory game that brings back memories. How tender.

I was so excited I had to bring it up to Brian to see when I finished, whether I had to wake him or not. He's learning to be impressed by my creations and numerous uses for the snap machine I asked for. I'm just glad I finally came up with something on my own rather than needing a tutorial. I searched around this morning and found someone else had done something similar, except with the expense and trouble of printing photos on fabric. Ha!

I'm already brainstorming a churchy one to keep the boy occupied on Sundays, even going to temple square to take my own pictures. It would be convenient to run into the prophet.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter 2010 Play-by-Play

First we ate, of course. And Brian dutifully and masterfully grilled a tri-tip for Carrol because you must always cook what a pregnant woman wants, especially since she's still in the sick phase.

Then Eli and Emi dyed the eggs (I love you magic eraser) that the adults skillfully decorated with electrical tape and hot glue while listening to the afternoon session. No wonder the directions say to use rubber cement, hot glue takes the shell too when you go to peel it off.

Seth is so skilled! Chinese characters with a glue gun. No wonder PhD schools are clamoring for him.

The stickers go on the egg, boy.

Then the kids hunted for their creations that we planted at a nearby playground. Eli got competitive, pushing Emi back when he saw an egg and tagging along when her dad tried to show her where to look.


Esme patiently watched. (I'd be pretty content in that seat too.)

Back at home the kids played on while we devoured the best ice cream ever. Who needs the legos when they come in a boat.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

5 Months

Man, I had a hard time putting her to bed tonight. How could I walk away from such sweetness looking up at me and holding my finger? But I had to post today's photoshoot on her 5 month birthday. She's getting more fun with all the blabbering with her raspy little voice and kicking. Sometimes she's downright hyper. And opinions. At dinner she must always drink from my glass of water if I want any peace. And the fee for anyone to hold her holding her... your finger to suck on. She's also crazy about her brother. All he has to do is stand in front of her, not even smile, and she smiles. I, on the other hand, have to figure out a new comedy act every day.

Why don't I throw in a couple from Eli's 5 month birthday. Exciting day, he got to taste his first pickle (very slobbery situation) and dip his feet in the water under Bridal Veil Falls in Provo Canyon. I was also in mourning because his first tooth came through that day. For some reason it hit me hard that he was growing up. And a baby growing up is always sad.

I can't believe people were always telling us he had lots of hair. Esme makes him look like Mr. Clean.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Sickness Should Start With A "T"

I wish it was an April fools trick

It has been two days of tissue, tea, and tylenol. Eli's got two personalities- medicine working and medicine wearing off. Extreme sweetness and whininess switching off. I'm trying to apply more of that patience you hear about when becoming a parent.

You see, if you asked Brian to change one thing about me (I know, this is getting serious), making me more long-suffering and cheerful while caring for those actually suffering would top the short list. His mother's past pampering is making me look bad. I'm actually quite sympathetic, but the whining gets to me. And since it is impossible for children and men (my only housemates) to not complain while sick, I must be the one to change.

I do feel bad for the little guy. I'm also sad about the timing. Right now I should be at the opening of the new, closer Food Co-Op. Tomorrow is Brian's mission reunion. Saturday is easter egg hunt day AND when 3 of our favorite people are supposed to be coming over, including Emi, for fun and fabulous food. And this morning, we finally got some substantial snow. Just after moving here I decided it was my favorite, walking to class in the morning after a good snow, before the sun comes and it still delicately blankets the trees. I've always wanted to take pictures of it. And Eli forgot about his aversion to the cold and actually requested to go outside. So much for snowballs and snow shots.

Okay, I'll stop with the alliteration and complaining.

On a positive note. Esme hasn't shown any signs of sickness, Eli's finally learned to sneeze into his elbow, we have yummy chili to warm up with, and even loads of chocolate cookie dough in the fridge. My Swiss grandma believed whole-heartedly in the healing properties of chocolate.