Sunday, October 31, 2010

Word Up!

Finally, the Halloween costume reveal! I started out trying to convince the kids to be Thing 1 and Thing 2 because I thought the costumes would be super easy. My oldest went along with that idea at first, but then she started having ideas of her own. After changing her mind a few times, she decided she wanted to be Word Girl. I decided that wouldn’t be too difficult as long as I didn’t have to try to actually sew the clothing. As I’ve mentioned before, this is my first year attempting to do homemade costumes. I found some solid colored clothes at Children’s Place (after removing a few embellishments), and I made the rest. All our festivities were on Saturday, so I got the costumes done in the nick of time on Friday.

Straight from the planet Lexicon, I present to you . . . Word Girl!

101029_0019-1aShe just LOVED shouting out Word Girl’s catch phrase: Word up!

101029_0010-1aAnd we couldn’t have Word Girl without Captain Huggy Face!

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If you’re not familiar with these beloved PBS Kids characters, this is what they’re supposed to look like:

wordgirlimage source

101029_0001-1aI think my main frustration with these costumes was their headbands. I didn’t think I had the skills to try to create my own pattern for hats that would look like the characters’ hats, so I decided to try to make wide headbands. The only problem with that is that since they go under the chin and they’re made of satin, they kept wanting to slip forward. You can see Word Girl’s is clipped to her in the picture above. Captain Huggy Face’s stayed on pretty well, except for when I tried to take her picture and she kept yanking it off, saying, “No dank you,” and handing it to me. When we went to the church carnival and trunk-or-treating the next day, I found some red bobby pins to pin on both of their headbands. Much better.101030_0033-1aI don’t think I’ve ever seen a cuter dynamic duo!101030_0034-1aBy the time I was finished with the costumes, I felt like saying, “never again.” I was having a hard time convincing myself one day of fun was worth all that work when I could have dragged them to the store and convinced them to conform to what I could purchase. But then we got to the carnival, and each time we finished at one station, Word Girl ran a loop around the gym floor. She was more excited about flying in her costume than playing games and winning prizes. She happily exclaimed “Word up!” for anyone who stopped and said, “Hey, it’s Word Girl!”

Both my girls were so excited and happy to be all dressed up and showing off their finished costumes. I soaked up their enthusiasm, and it made me feel giddy like I had been waiting for this holiday with the same eagerness they had. And at the end of the day, I told myself that maybe, just maybe, I could be persuaded to do this again.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!

Jenny at The Southern Institute for Domestic Arts and Crafts is hosting a blog hop so we can all share our Halloween costumes, and I thought I’d join in. Here it is, my first blog hop ever! Please add a link below to your blog post (not your main blog page) that shows off your kids’ costumes. Then, if you’d like to, you can add this blog hop to your own blog. This will be fun!

I’m sharing this post with (a whole bunch of link parties) . . .

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

I Just Can’t Resist

I guess I haven’t really gotten into the Halloween spirit this year, if there is such a thing. My main focus has been dealing with the costumes.

But I was supposed to go visiting teaching this week, and the appointment fell through (learn more about visiting teaching HERE). So, I started thinking about stopping by her house to drop off some sort of treat.

Then I found these adorable cupcakes via One Charming Party:halloween-food-collage

image source

I decided I just have to make these. They are too cute and too easy! They are the perfect thing to drop off for visiting teaching. But that would leave me with quite a few cupcakes left over . . .

And then I found this adorable printable for the Halloween Phantom over at This Little Life of Mine, and I remembered being visited by the Halloween Phantom when I was a kid. It was always so exciting. I think my girls would really have fun trying to sneak goodies onto our neighbors’ porches. So I can’t hold out anymore. I can’t resist getting into Halloween a little bit more. I know what we’re doing as a family tomorrow evening.

Uhhh . . . and if you happen to read my blog and you happen to have some adorable owl cupcakes show up on your doorstep . . . pretend you didn’t see this. Nnnkay?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Getting Closer

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I’ve been preoccupied. On the bright side, this is the first year I’ve been able to work it out so my girls are in coordinated Halloween costumes. The difficult part is that means this is the first year I have to try to make costumes (or portions of the costumes, as you can see in the picture that I purchased what I could make work).

I’m really a beginner when it comes to sewing, and this has been a whole different realm. I’ve been winging it on these costumes, sketching things out (and I really don’t draw), and hoping it will all work. I’m finally nearing the end. I don’t want anything to do with satin for a long time after this. There are just a few more details that I hope to have done in the next couple days. I hope it will turn out. There are already spots that look pretty wonky from my sewing. Oh well. As long as the kids have fun and the costumes hold out for one day, right?

I’ll take pictures once things are finished. What are you/your kids going to be for Halloween?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

My First Feature(s)!

(This is late getting up here. I was having trouble publishing, and then I forgot to try again until now.)

My wee little blog was featured over at What Allie’s Making Now! She added me to her “Making it with Allie” features this week for my post about my daughter’s dog party. I’m so glad people liked my ideas. I was so worried about that party! Check out her blog for all sorts of crafty ideas.

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Whoops! I guess I spoke too soon. Revision: I have been featured for the dog party on not one, but two blogs. I just wandered over to Lamb Around recently and found that I’ve been featured there, too!Not_Baaad_Sundays_Featured_1I never thought that party would be such a hit. I’m so flattered.

Monday, October 11, 2010

cm crafts

I spent last week admiring all sorts of lovely handmade items during Blessed Little Nest’s Handmade and Vintage Market Week. (And I even won a giveaway –yippee!) And I decided I want to share one of my favorite shops for handmade and vintage items with you. Allow me to introduce you to cm crafts.iusb_760x100_6523394

At cm crafts, you can find a variety of treasures. I love these vintage fabric buntings.

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And how cute are these little baby bloomers?bloomers 

I just love this matching mommy/daughter skirt set.skirts

Looking for a fun fashion accessory? Try this fringe necklace.necklace

I’m lucky enough to know Carolyn in real life, so I can tell you that her taste is superb and anything she makes is of excellent quality.

Want to see what has caught Carolyn’s eye lately? Check out her blog, Care’s Finds.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Perfect 10!

Today is a day that doesn’t come along very often. Today is 10/10/10. So just for fun, I thought I’d share 10 favorite photos I have taken. These aren’t my only favorite photos (believe me, it was hard to narrow it down). And actually, these are only some of my favorites from the last 2 years because I didn’t want to go through my photo archives; the choices were hard enough with just the photos on my computer. Anyways, in no particular order, here you go.

DSC_0646-1aMy youngest. January 2010

100306_0081-1bMy brother-in-law. March 2010.

He was modeling for me for portraits for my photography class, and we were also trying to get some decent senior photos at the same time. After I snapped this one, he said, “Wait. Did you just take a picture?”

100220_0057-1aMy father-in-law. February 2010.

I love this one. I’m so glad my photography class gave me a reason to take it.

100528_0020-1bMy daughters. May 2010. One of our favorite places.

DSC_0621-1aMy oldest daughter and my sweetie. May 2009.

09-08-20-24-1aMy daughter’s friend. August 2009.

DSC_0447aMy oldest. October 2009.

100202_016-1cMy sweet girls in their bare feet. February 2010.

100228_0022My oldest. February 2010.

09-07-02-61aMy youngest (10 months old). July 2009. 

101010_0012-1aAnd here’s what my sweet girls looked like today, 10/10/10. (Right after church.)

I hope you all had a memorable Perfect 10 day!

Friday, October 8, 2010

It’s a Dog Party!

It took me a few days to get to this because I realized I needed a few more pictures. I still haven’t figured out how to interact with a birthday party and take photos documenting all of it at the same time. I didn’t have time to lay everything out and take photos before the party started. I barely had everything ready to go before kids were showing up, and I still had to throw a few things together while the kids were there. So some of these pictures were taken after the fact. Here are the details of the party.

I like to do themes that will be relevant to my kids and their current interests. My oldest loves to pretend she’s a dog and has been doing so for months. She especially likes to pretend she is Bolt or Martha from Martha Speaks. So the theme this year was a no-brainer.

For decorations, I printed out a bunch of paw prints and dog sounds in dialogue bubbles on different colored paper. I let my girls tape them all over the walls randomly. Maybe they would have been a bit more evenly dispersed if I had done it myself, but oh well. The girls sure had fun helping. The decorations have since been ripped off the walls, but here is a group of examples of what they looked like:101007_0028-1a

I also just had to make this wreath that I found on How Does She? 101007_0024-1aWhat a great idea! I love how mine turned out. This was probably one of the most spendy projects I did for the party because I ended up using 200 balloons (8 packs at the dollar store), packing them in really tight. But the thing is, I don’t think I’ll ever buy balloons again! I’m just going to bring this baby out every time we have a birthday and skip having balloons floating around the house until they shrivel up or someone pops them (and inevitably cries their eyes out). I love it! I was thinking maybe I’d figure out a way to temporarily hang a number on it for the age each time.

Okay, on to the party itself. When the kids arrived, I let them choose a collar. Then I asked them what they wanted their dog name to be—anything they wanted. My girls, of course, were Martha and Skits. I made collars from grosgrain ribbon with adhesive velcro so they would be somewhat adjustable without any form of cinching.101007_0007-1aThese were the three options of colors (chosen by “Martha”). I had to take a photo of the pink ribbon since all the pink collars were taken at the party. A party full of girls and all the pink gets used up. Go figure! The collars were already made except for the names. Once they had their collar and name chosen, we handed the collar off to my hubby to put the letters on with a hot glue gun. The letters are just letter beads; the colored ones are foam.

While he did that, we drew a nose and whiskers on faces and let the girls choose a pair of ears. I wanted to make some ears they could wear. After considering different options, it really came down to what I already had on hand, so I made them dog ear hair clips.

101007_0012-1a101002_0016-1aLook at these adorable doggies!

Once they were all dressed up as doggies, we had to practice being dogs. I gave them all sorts of commands, and they were very obedient little dogs. We practiced barking and howling. Then it was getting time for lunch, so we had to practice eating like dogs.

101002_0045-1a I had to set up a bit, so I told them to chase their tails for a minute, and they did. It was hilarious! They also played a little “Doggie says” (Simon says) while they waited.

101002_0028 I kept the food pretty simple. We had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches cut like dog bones, dog kibble (chex mix), and sticks (carrots). They sat on a table cloth I laid out on the floor. I put their food in large paper bowls and let them choose if they wanted to eat like a dog or use their paws. Most chose to eat like a dog, and they drank from a separate bowl for water.101002_0110 They colored pictures of dogs while everyone finished eating, and then it was time for cake.

101002_0114-1a“Martha” wanted pink cupcakes, so that’s what we did. I used M&Ms and Mini M&Ms to make paw prints.

After that, we did a “dog walk,” which was actually a cake walk for prizes. The prizes were just silly bracelets in animal shapes. We made sure everyone had a turn winning, so no one went home disappointed.

Then we opened presents and sent them home with a bag of dog treats as a party favor:

101002_0106-1a webThe bags say, “Woof Woof, Arf, Yelp. Translation: It was a Treat to have you at “Martha’s” 5th Birthday.”

Some other ideas I had for the day were playing “dog, dog, cat” (duck, duck, goose). Or if I could have counted on the weather, we could have done some agility training and fetching outside. Also, if I had to do it over again, I would have tried to make some sort of tail they could wear for the party. But most of all, if I had ended up with a little extra money, I would have found a cat piƱata :)

I’m sharing this post with . . .

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Sunday, October 3, 2010

I Survived!

This week was a very crazy week. My husband, who we have enjoyed having home every evening during the summer, started grad school classes again this week. He goes straight from work to class those days and doesn’t get home until the kids are in bed.

My daughters went through some serious withdrawals this week in his absence: bickering, tantrums, and irrational DRAMA.

I wasn’t in much better shape. I was scrambling to get all the shopping, prep work, and cleaning done in time for this:bdayE2[1][1]web

My oldest loves to pretend to be a dog, so the theme for this birthday was a no-brainer.

This is the second friend party we’ve ever done. I wish I could say I get as excited for the party as my daughter does. I wish I could say I don’t deal with a certain amount of anxiety over having everything ready to keep a group of sugar-charged, excited little girls happy and entertained. But I can’t. I stress over birthday parties.

So all week long, I was dragging the girls on errands, which inevitably turned into another errand and another and another. I was stressing over every penny I spent because we quite literally needed to throw this birthday party on a dime, and it just wasn’t turning out that way.

Top that off with the fact that my 2yr old seems to be giving up on naps, but I’m still in denial and keep trying to get her to nap. If I have to admit she’s officially done, I’ll be heartbroken.

On the last night before the party, while my husband was working late (yet another night that he would get home after the kids were in bed), I still had so much to do. It seemed like everything was working against me. I still had cleaning and baking and crafting that needed done. I was forced to go to the store one last time for a few food items for the party. When we got home, I took a loaf of bread out of the grocery bag so it wouldn’t get smashed by the other groceries. I set it on the nearest surface when I walked in the door, my entertainment center. When I put the other groceries away, I forgot about the bread. A few minutes later, I look up to see my 2yr old wrestling with the bread bag to get it open, and as if in slow motion, her bottom plopped right down on the entire loaf. I had a loaf of completely misshapen bread, and there was no way I was going back to the store with all the things I had to get done.

I fell apart at that point and went in my room for a little cry. I’m a crier. I do that. Often.

I don’t blog about it now for sympathy because the further in time I get away from the event, the more I can see its comic value. I want to record this so I can really chuckle over it when I remember it a year from now. But wait, there’s more! The fun didn’t stop there. Life is always an adventure when you’re a mother.

Later, when I finally had the cupcakes in the oven, I sat down to change my 2yr-old’s stinky diaper. I realized her bottom was looking sore, and I was going to have to go to the other room to get some diaper cream. The oven started to beep; the cupcakes were done. I had taken off the dirty diaper and cleaned her off, but I didn’t want to put on the new diaper until I put on the diaper cream. I told her very sternly that she should stay there, don’t move. She agreed to comply (hey, don’t judge, this has actually worked in the past). I ran to get the cream and ran back only to find that she had not kept her promise. She was sitting on the family room couch, peeing on the cushion just as I came in the room. I yanked her off the couch, administered the cream, put on her diaper, washed my hands, and got the cupcakes out of the oven before they burned. Then I had a mess to clean up on the couch.

Funny thing is, the next morning, my husband got up with the kids while I slept just a few extra minutes before getting up to get things ready for the party. He forgot to change the little one’s diaper when he first got her up, so her diaper leaked as she sat on the couch. This puddle was on the other couch cushion, so at least they are even now. She has claimed both sides of the couch as her territory.

But it’s all over now. The party went quite well. I had help from my hubby and his mother, without which, this post might have a different title. Maybe something like “The Great Birthday Party Debacle?” All the kids seemed to have fun. No one got hurt or had a crying fit (not even me). My house wasn’t torn apart, and I think we made some fun memories. Most of all, I think my daughter really enjoyed it, which is the one thing that makes it all worthwhile for me. I’ve spent the rest of my weekend relaxing and soaking up every bit of comfort I get from actually having my husband here and watching the girls enjoy him, too.

As soon as I can sort through the hundreds of pictures we took, I’ll try to share the party details. I hope you all have had a wonderful weekend.

Thanks for stopping by!