Thursday, December 31, 2009

Best Christmas Ever

A few days after Christmas we saw a little kid on tv declare "this is the best Christmas ever!" to which Mr. Golden Curls responded with disappointment "I wish I had thought to say that." I must agree, it was the best Christmas ever! We didn't kill ourselves driving all over creation in the matter of a few days. We spent Christmas Eve and Christmas morning at our own house, and the boys are old enough to be fully engrossed in all the Christmas trappings. It was a blast! Santa even brought the boys the coolest Christmas train ever with track that attaches to the middle of the tree!

We were also sucked into the abyss of commercialism, though still modestly, with the purchase of Bendaroos for Golden Curls and a Pillow Pet for Lil' Spitfire. Totally worth it, they loved them!

We all love these little handmade plush robots from Ekioart. They've been the boys' constant companions since Christmas.

Even Mr. Cash got a Christmas gift this year, well sort of. Auntie Kristin sent me some Puggy Christmas tissues. Mr. Cash, being a good reader, obliged.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Boys, Get In Front Of The Christmas Tree!

It looks as though I must have said this to the boys a lot this holiday season!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Holiday Postcard From Mr. Cash

Mr. Cash is dreaming of a white Christmas, hitting the slopes and cuddling up by a fire in the ski lodge. But first he wanted to send out his holiday wishes for a fantastic Christmas and wonderful things to come in the New Year. May your days be merry and bright!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Tastes So Good!

I'm having so much fun with the boys this Christmas! Monday it was paper robots and yesterday was chocolate chip cookies from scratch. They had so much fun making them, I got to use the gorgeous KitchenAid mixer that gets neglected most of the year, and we had some delicious treats. Strike that last part, most of us had delicious treats, Mr. Golden Curls did not agree. I know, there must be something wrong with that kid but, I felt his forehead and he's as well as can be! Even though they loved the experiece it apparently did not fill their true desire, using cookie cutters, so we're making new cookies today. Ugh...I know what my resolution's going to be!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I Am A Robot...Craft Project

Introducing Skippy Bowlingball (made by Lil' Spitfire), Stella (made by me) and the robot who never ended up with a name because Mr. Golden Curls couldn't decide on the perfect one. He was, however, positive that this was "a talking baby robot."

Robot voices abounded yesterday as the boys and I made one of our coolest kid projects to date, paper robots! This idea was even sweeter because it was 100% my 5 year old's idea. He had seen my Skull and Crossbones garland on the tree, asked what held them together and you could see his wheels turning. On the way to school he told Pappa all about the robot he was going to make using brads for joints. He's home all week for Christmas break so every day we're going to do something extra fun. Yesterday was robot making day!

Silly pictures using the timer on the camera have become a tradition in our family, so here you have it, Robot style silly.

I was totally impressed with the boys. Mr. Golden Curls made his completely by himself, punching holes and all. Lil' Spitfire required very little assistance, he's almost four, I had to punch the holes for him and bend the brads but everything else was all him. He even came up with the idea of hole punching the mouth. And how could I miss out on the action? I couldn't! So I made my own robot who currently resides on the Christmas tree.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Happy "Surprise" Birthday Pappa!

A few weeks ago Lil' Spitfire and I were at the grocery store and he asked if we could bake a cake for Pappa's birthday. He has become quite vigilant over Pappa's birthday ever since we had a conversation about when his own birthday was going to happen. To get him to stop talking about what he wanted for his birthday I told him he had to be patient, we still had Pappa's birthday and Christmas and then it would be his birthday. In response to his cake query I told him "Sure, and we can pick out a cake now if you can keep it a secret." He assured me that he could and I decided if he spilled the beans it wouldn't be the end of the world, so we skipped on to the next aisle where he picked out lemon cake with cream cheese frosting. Now, Spitfire is becoming quite the little chef. If someone's cooking he's right by their side wanting to smell, touch and stir. However he has yet to grasp the details involved in keeping surprises secret and when Pappa came home he promptly asked Pappa "You know why I can't tell you about your cake? Because it's a surprise!"

Since Bill's birthday was on a Wednesday, not a great night for a party when you're an employee of the church, I decided we could celebrate Tuesday night and maybe it would even be a bit of a surprise still. That afternoon Spitfire and I got to work in the kitchen baking that cake. No sooner had we plopped it in the oven then the birthday boy arrived the middle of the day...unheard of! Spitfire gasped "NO!" and we rushed around hiding our mess. When Pappa opened the door the tiny baker was there to greet him with an oh-so sly "You can not go into the kitchen!" The whole time Pappa was gathering his stuff Spitfire watched him closely and when he left and the door shut behind him Spitfire's little shoulders relaxed and he sighed "Whew, that was close!" Needless to say the surprise that evening wasn't really a surprise but it was so much fun because they boys loved it. When we heard Pappa pull up we turned off the lights, rushed into the kitchen to hide, and jumped out when he walked in. I wish I could sustain the excitement the boys have in making even small moments events and remember the details are so unimportant, it's the experience that's the good stuff.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Christmas Revelation

Lil' Spitfire and I were walking hand in hand toward brother's school the other day when I learned a very interesting fact about Christmas.

Lil' Spitfire (rather matter of factly): "Santa stands next to your bed at night time and watches you sleep."

Me (A little creeped out and taken aback): "He does? Why does he do that?"

Lil' Spitfire: "So he can see you when you're sleeping."

Me: "Ah, well, naturally."
What a creepy interpretation of some common Christmas lyrics! But, in true Spitfire style, he seemed totally unfazed by the idea that there was a giant, fat, bearded and costumed man making a nightly pilgrimage to his bedside to stare at him while he slept. I'm glad he has yet to share this revelation with his brother who last year expressed some serious concerns about the fact that said bearded man was going to sneak into our house at night to deliver gifts.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Craft Show Notes

The Bizarre Bazaar has come and gone making me a little wiser (that wisdom has not extended to my ability to correctly spell 'bazaar' consistently), the owner of some lovely items that I received in trade but, unfortunately, none the richer. None poorer either so that's a good thing! Note to self: don't do a small craft show unless you have a free babysitter. All that said, if I can break even and have a day with my husband hanging out with a bunch of fantastic artists it's not a loss! The Low Key Arts Building is a super cool space run by super cool people.

My sis-in-law is awesome! She made me this craft show apron from jeans and a really cute pink skulls fabric! It was a nasty, cold, misty day outside and a little chilly inside so I was all bundled up most of the day.

My husband manning The Beehive booth. We were lucky enough to have Doc Ray, the fabulous tie-dye artist, next to us again! We left with shirts for the whole family in exchange for his wife picking out some goodies, what an awesome couple. We definitely got the best end of that deal.

My most favorite thing of all is finally getting a Heather Montgomery pendant! Woo-hoo! These are not just any 'ole slapped together pendants. She crafts her pendants using vintage postage stamps, vintage poker chips and some quality craftsmanship. I had spied this pendant at the Handmade for the Holidays show and was excited to see it hadn't found a home yet. The stamp has an image of a foot painting a rainbow. Another awesome trade!

The Beehive on Etsy is back to stocked with plenty more goodies to be added daily. Until next time, Happy Handmade Holidays!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Smarty Britches

Ugh, I am so behind on all the adorable little boy pictures and stories I have stacking up for this "new" blog. Recently it's been a blur of crafting, craft show prep, being sure to update my other blog and Facebook fan page regularly, it's almost become...gasp...a job. Ok, a really fun job but on top of being a mom full time it can feel like a bit much sometimes, especially when you top all that off with hacking colds all around. But I am feeling greatly in need of some bragging on my boy time so here it goes.

My Mr. Golden Curls is really super smart! I'm constantly amazed by him. He always seems so incredibly distracted but we are realizing somehow in all of that imagination, pretending and distraction he is still incredibly observant. We had his first parent/teacher conference a few weeks ago and she confirmed the suspicions we've had since his birth, he's highly advanced! I know, I sound like every parent, but really and truly she couldn't say enough about him, I think her exact words were "I see maybe one kid like him a year." And she went on to pull out examples of his work and how it's pretty amazing. Even better is the fact that he is loving school! Our little Debbie Downer who threw fits about staying at Vacation Bible school for half the day can't wait to get up and go to school!

Commencing with photographic evidence, you know I love my photos!

He brought this note in to me the other night. He had written it all by himself. It even has a picture of him in his bunk bed. He did inform me however that it was a joke and he didn't actually need to go to bed :)

Mr. Golden Curls has always learned things very quickly and once he gets it he is not at all interested in doing it over and over and over again the same way, he wants to start playing with what he knows. This has proven true with his handwritting. He got the hang of writing really quickly so it was time to move on to creating his own fonts. The first one is what he calls "robot letters" and the second one is his "fancy letters". What 5 year old does this?!

This next one might be my favorite, it stunned me. The words at the top are not bleeding through from the back of the paper. He wrote them like that, perfectly backwards and from bottom to top!

And you know I love the artwork, especially now that there are recognizable things going on in them. Below is his rendition of trick-or-treators. Adorable!

Well, that's it for now!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Craft Show Survivor

Well, I'm no longer a craft show virgin! The Handmade for the Holidays show Saturday was a great success in my book. I have nothing to compare it to but all I'd hoped in a first show was to make back the money that I put in on fees and displays and to get my little craft show feet wet and I think that happened. I was also incredibly blessed to experience so much love and support from friends, family and complete and utter strangers who were all so generous and flattering.

I loved my booth but am afraid it would be way to cumbersome for me to haul anywhere out of town.

I had forgotten how wonderful it is to spend quality time with other artists. My booth neighbors were fantastic, everyone was friendly and roamed around meeting each other and I got to meet several people that I've talked to online for years but never met in person. I could just go on and on about that part of it. The people make it and this was so much fun!

It was interesting to see what sold in person that doesn't sell online and what didn't sell at the show that I expected to. I also see ways I think I can improve for the next one. Overall for a first timer I really like the way my booth turned out.

I really liked my displays, especially the front table and Christmas table. I also liked the unusual shape of my space. I was a little bit crowded on my big table though and am thinking up some ways to give the little goodies some breathing room.

My lovely assistant for the day.

Photo taken by Lisa of Golden Muses on Etsy

I thought the crowds were great for a first time show. It wasn't super jam packed but there was a steady stream of shoppers.

Photo taken by Lisa of Golden Muses on Etsy

I finally got to meet Brandy of Ekioart on Etsy, she's also on my street team, AREtsy. And I adopted two of her robots to give the boys for Christmas. So adorable and incredibly soft. You can get yours here.

Photo taken by Lisa of Golden Muses on Etsy

I made a fantastic trade for one of Briana's lovely bars of vegan eucalyptus spearmint soaps and it is divine! There's a good chance I'm now an addict! Briana was one of the gals who ran this show and you can purchase her soaps online at her shop Nest on Etsy.

Needless to say I will be doing this more in the future. Now that I've been through the process I think it won't be so all consuming like it was this time. Figuring out set-ups, how to take money etc etc really took up some time. Oh and I'm really glad I signed up for Propay to take credit cards. Those transactions added up to about 1/4th of my sales and I can see that growing in the future.

Stay tuned to my shop, The Beehive. I'll be filling it up with all the goodies that didn't sell at the show.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Happy Adoption Day Mr. Cash Pugface!

One year ago today I made the 8 hour trek to get my puggie from the animal shelter. You can read all about that and see more pics here and here. In honor of this day I'm going to get on my soapbox for a minute and say please, if you're considering adding a pet to the family, adopt! There are fantastic animals in need of homes, even breed specific pets! I found Mr. Cash Pugface through and he was a Pug sitting in an in-state animal shelter.

A few more encouragements from my soap box:
  1. Read all you can about the species and breed you think you're interested in and give honest consideration to the breed characteristics, the time and the costs.
  2. Don't ever buy a pet from someone selling on the side of the road, you don't really know what conditions these dogs are bred in and good breeders don't sell their dogs this way and you could be supporting a backyard breader.
  3. Don't acquire a pet on the aww he's so adorable spur of the moment. (I'll admit, I'm guilty of this one!)
If you pick your pet wisely you'll enjoy each other a whole lot more, like I love my Mr. Cash Pugface! Happy One Year Pugaversary!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Happy Fall!

I can hardly believe it's October not to mention a mere 2.5 weeks away from Halloween! For the first time ever we helped the boys carve jack-o-lanterns. Don't worry they haven't been 100% deprived, up to this point we've done a yearly painting of the pumpkins. Pappa wielded the knife but the designs were all boy. Mr. Golden Curls is on the far left. He got to pick it out on his very first field trip at school, they went to a farm. Lil' Spitfire is on the far right. He said he wanted his to be an angry one and I think he succeeded! The center jack-o-lantern was a group effort between the Bohemian and I. Alright, he did it all while I was busily baking apples stuffed with raisins and a sauce made of cinnamon and red wine. Mmmm did it ever smell like fall in our house. We also baked up the pumpkin seeds we some pulled out of the jack-o-lanterns into spicy pumpkin seeds. It was an easy recipe I found on Martha Stewart's website. I know it seems like an oxymoron but I promise Martha Stewart and easy recipe can co-exist in the same sentence, on occasion.

The obligatory silly timer picture.

Yet another piece of pictorial evidence of the vast differences that can exist between brothers.

Mr. Golden Curls was completely grossed out by having to dig out the pumpkin guts and made this "ewww, ew, ew" face the whole time.

Lil' Spitfire, more in a rebellion against brother than anything else, thought digging out the guts was the most glorious thing he'd ever done.

Lil' Spitfire helped with the spiced pumpkin seeds. He loves to cook and has said on several occasions he'd like to be a chef when he grows up. Like all little kids, his future occupation changes on a moment to moment basis and is often completely influenced by whatever wonderful thing he happens to be doing at that very specific point and time. Wasn't it just a few days ago that he was painting and declared "I want to be an artist superhero when I grow up."

I almost never get a good shot of Lil' Spitfire smiling at the camera, awww. Looks a smidge like his mamma don't you think?

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Wake Up And Smell The Mocha

Yep, we're brainwashing them young. The boys recognize Starbucks and Lil' Spitfire requests it. Last week we dropped brother off at school and headed over for a morning mocha. Ok, his is just chocolate milk but it's in that adorable tiny cup, it's hard to tell it's tiny because he is too! I think the reason he likes it so much is it's all about him and being a big kid. It was a fantastic morning.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Walking Stick Of Doom

Let me make one thing perfectly clear, I despise bugs. I do not like them, no way, no how. I don't like this about myself. I like to think I'm more of a toughie than that, but alas I am not. Spiders in particular but any bug can get me squealing. There are a few tolerable versions of bug, lady bugs, butterflies, dragon flies (well all but the airplane sized chunky ones), lightening bugs. Some I can handle alright from a distance, others, well, not so much. I've gotten better with my fears. I've managed to progress enough to smash them unless they're above head level, or too big, or too chunky, or have the ability to jump, or are fast, or they look at me funny. I can also bring myself to spray pretty much anything. When we first moved into this house I found a scorpion. As a mamma I just can't ignore that kind of thing anymore even if I want to. So I frantically shewed the boys into the other room, bravely hopped up on a chair, squealed a lot and sprayed that sucker until the air in our house was more likely to harm us than the scorpion.

As careful as I've tried to be about keeping my bug related squeamishness to myself, Mr. Golden curls has acquired my feelings. Lil' Spitfire on the other hand is an animal lover, bugs included, and walks around the house picking up bugs to take them outside, flipping poor tipped beetles (Kafka's ill fated Gregor Samsa would have appreciated his presence!) and imploring me not to swat flies because "they might have a mamma who will miss them." When our sea monkeys died he was the one who was convinced that a prayer would resurrect them and was unfazed when, a month later, they did. Last week Lil' Spitfire Bug Lover Extraordinaire met his match.

It was a beautiful day and the boys and I went into the backyard to play. I sat under the pergola while the boys played in the sandbox. They were playing so quietly that I was actually able to read and was really getting immersed when Lil' Spitfire's screams pierced the air. I looked up to see him, eyes clenched tightly shut, running through the yard. He acted like he was on fire and I thought for sure sand gotten sand in his eyes...again, though the reaction seemed a little wilder than normal. He was running towards the front of the house and I hollored "I'm over hear!". Without opening his eyes he changed directions and headed straight for me. Me: "Did you get sand in your eyes?" LS: scream scream, incoherent talking/screaming... Me: "Honey you have to calm down a little or I can't help you." I'm starting to get a little nervous about what's causing this volatile reaction when he manages to get enough out that I realize he has a bug on his shoulder. "Ok, it's alright let me brush it off"

Then he turns his shoulder to me and I don't know how I held back the squeal. This was no measly little bug but a walking stick the size of my hand! This bad boy was going to require I take off my water sock and brush him off. No big deal, I'm cool as a cucumber. I calmly remove my shoe, swat at the bug to brush him off and...he doesn't budge! This sends Lil' Spitfire into full on panic and he starts running through the yard again. I swear if anyone had been watching us they'd have thought I was beating my child with my water sock! There I was brandishing it like a weapon chasing down a screaming child yelling "stop running, stop stop stop!!!" I finally get a second swipe and *ack, it gives me chills* the stupid bug not only doesn't fall off, again, but moves to higher ground, my child's face! It filled up the whole side of his head!!!! I felt like I was in that Indiana Jones movie where the chick puts her hand in the hole to open the door, pulls her hand out, thinks she's broken a nail but it's a giant bug...that looks like a walking stick! Well I didn't like it but I knew what had to be done. I threw down the shoe and pushed it off his face with my bare hand, that's right people, my bare hand. Motherhood changes you.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Game Time

I promise I won't spend the rest of the season torturing everyone with Tball pictures that all look more or less the same but today was the first game and we just barely managed to dodge the rain and play a little ball. Ok, it was more like adorable chaos. On the side lines little brother made friends. He came up to me during the game and to tell me "she kissed me." Hmmm, isn't 3.5 a little young for a first kiss? :)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I Need A Ball Playa!

Oh yea, it's tee ball time!!! I loved playing tee ball and softball growing up, it's one of the only things I stuck with through my fickle interests and many moves. Yesterday Mr. Golden Curls had his very first practice and oh my goodness was it adorable. There were boys running every which way, rolling around in the grass, trying to run with ball caps fallen over there eyes, so fun. Their first game is Thursday and I can hardly wait!

Mr. Golden Curls was very excited that he got to have his first baseball "outfit." Guess we need to work on the lingo! Batter Up:

We are having our suspicions that Mr. Golden Curls may be a lefty, at least for sports, he kept trying to throw the ball from his glove. We'll have to test it out.

Near the end Coach had a dad on each base to help the boys know when to run.