Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

It was a damp and soggy night this Halloween. Living where we do makes it hard to plan out costumes. It can be in the 30s, in the 90s, or anywhere in between. So we just roll with it.
This year was chilly and rainy. We didn't let that stop us though. There was candy to be had!
Checking the radar to see when the rain will stop
The Pixie learned very quickly what trick or treating was all about. She even got over her stage fright a few times to say a sweet, "Tricka tricka treeeet!" to a lucky few.  I didn't take the camera out with us, because of the rain and all. So a few shots of the group before and after in the living room will have to do for this year.
Happy Halloween! Can we leave already?
Group shot
Rowan is Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox ball player
Niall would not smile. Being a skeleton is serious business.
A very excited candy corn who could not stop jumping up and down.
Spontaneous group shot of cuteness
The aftermath. Nice haul!
Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

And Halloween Costume #3

Rowan slid into home just under the wire. Literally.


I could tell he was feeling pretty down about his costume. Every year up to now, he's figured out what he wanted to be WAY in advance. This year, he was at a loss. No suggestion was good. No idea was great. He picked being a Charlie Brown ghost, and I said fine, but since he kept changing his mind and it was a simple costume, I'd get him the stuff and he could make it.
He cut holes and was pretty happy, and drew a bunch more circles and was coloring them in so it would look like Charlie Brown's ghost costume. And then he found out he couldn't wear it to school because school says no masks. 
And then he saw me making the Pixie's costume, and Niall's costume, and you could tell he was feeling really left out. So I told him that if he could come up with something that we could put together in one day, then I would do my best to help him.
Niall had to work on a project for school, so when I put the Pixie down for her nap, I decided to take Rowan to Walmart with me while I ran some errands. We looked at the costumes, but they were pretty picked over by now, and I had no interest in paying $20 for a Mario costume. No, no, and no some more.
Then we remembered that he already had a Pedrioa jersey in his closet. So we got a long sleeved red shirt to wear under it, some socks, and a pair of baseball pants. Bingo. Instant Red Sox.

Batting stance

Rowan feels a lot better about this costume. And he feels special again. That's what I want for all of my kids every day, but especially at Halloween.
There's that smile!

Yet another harebrained idea

Or we could call it THE PROJECT FROM HELL

We all know this happens from time to time, especially to me. I have a great idea, things go wrong, I have to fix it, they go more wrong, I start crying and wondering how in the world I thought I could pull it off in the first place... Meanwhile John stands there trying to deal with the fallout of an overwrought wife up to her ears in project and PMS.

Sorry, honey. You're awesome.

So, this time the idea was actually pretty simple. Niall wanted to be a skeleton for Halloween. I'd seen articles on how to do freezer paper stencils before. We had a long sleeved black tshirt that fit him. Sweat pants from Walmart were five bucks. (A nice skeleton costume was $$ so I only considered that briefly.) I ordered glow in the dark paint from Dharma for those extra cool mom points.

Measured his shirt. Traced design onto paper. (Bless the people at Apple for having glass screens on their laptops. Makes tracing easy!) Slowly, but surely, cut the design out on freezer paper. It was all going well.
Design cut out. Awesome.
Then I looked up the settings for the iron again, just to make sure. Set iron to medium. Got it. Ironed on the stencil. It was all going so well!
I am the greatest Mom EVAH!

And then I started painting. I had 5 tubes of glow in the dark paint, and used a tube and a half on this part, but that was okay. The rest of the stuff would be long bones and not so hard. This was going to be the most visible part of the costume, so it had to be good. Except then I started to notice... the glow in the dark paint didn't have any color to it. None at all. It glowed - beautifully. But in the daylight it would look like Niall had just spilled random stuff on his shirt.

Insert a little irritation here. 

No worries. I had a 40% off coupon so I could go buy some white paint. I'd just have to check for more glow paint in case I ran out. Got two tubes of white paint - velveteen because that's all they had left and I have no idea what that's even supposed to mean... but it's white. It'll do. And some spray on glow paint. Just in case. With the coupon it was $12, still way under the cost of a costume. 

Came home and painted some white. Let it dry, and painted more. Let that dry and painted one more coat to be sure. And then checked - nope. The glow paint did not have what it took to glow through all that white paint. Gave it a light coat of glow paint. It didn't look very glowy. Decided to spray it with the spray on stuff. The spray on stuff was WET. I started to freak out again. I had never done freezer paper stencils before. How well was it sticking? Was freezer paper even up to what I was putting it through? I mean... that was a lot of painting and moving and stuff and spray on wet and AAAAAARRHEOEONDHWNEONAE!

Insert wailing and gnashing of teeth here. Turn hairdryer on shirt. Notice it starts looking kind of cracky. Retire to couch to regroup. Decide that I am a moron, and I also smell. A bath is in order. And some Mike's cranberry. Booze and a bath. And some leftover birthday cake. 

After all of that, I started to peel up a section of the shirt. It didn't look bad! It didn't look bad at all! I stopped peeling though, because the paint was still kind of dampish and sticking to the freezer paper some.
I may not be a failure after all!
Decided to NOT destroy all that work with impatience and hand wringing and went to bed. That was probably the best decision I made all day. Bed, when you are tired and overcome with failure and doom, is always a good idea.

This morning, I carefully, CAREFULLY started to peel away the rest of the paper. And HOLY MOSES HALLELUIAH YAY GOD LOVES ME! It worked!

Super happy boy with way cool shirt. And cocoa wheats that Daddy made.

And you know what? IT EVEN GLOWS!

I'm so doing this again.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Pixie is THREE!

How can it be that my Pixie is THREE?

 This was just last week, wasn't it?

This child, this precious daughter, has been a joy. Pixies are real... a bit temperamental, but magical all the same.
I'm so glad she came to live with us. She's made our family perfect.
The picture uploading will be ongoing. She's just opened her presents from the family, and then there is dinner and cake. Her birthday play date is in the morning. You can find the full set of Pixie birthday photos here, and check back later because I still have more to put up there.
That tiny bit of a baby has grown into a tiny bit of a little girl. She's still small, but practically perfect in her own way.
It keeps getting better, every single year.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Parent teacher conference - Rowan

We had Rowan's parent teacher conference today. It's always nice to go and have a teacher tell you how highly intelligent your child is. :) He does have some difficulties, mainly with recall when it comes to remembering math facts and spelling rules. He also has slight issues with fine motor skills and handwriting. His handwriting looks just like John's, so he comes by that honestly. His reading is way above grade level, and his storytelling and writing skills are very good, too. His math takes him a while because of the math fact recall issue, but he does it with precision.
We've also noticed that he does a lot better with staying on task if he stands up while writing instead of sitting down. If he's sitting at his desk, he can while away his time doing absolutely nothing if he doesn't have anyone to prod him and keep him on task. Right now, he's sitting next to one of the teachers, so he's doing great. We just need to figure out a way for him to learn to stay on task and get things done on his own.

After that mostly glowing report about the oldest boy, John took us out to lunch. The Pixie had her own cup of ice water. She definitely approves.
iPod Instagram

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Pics from the campout

I went over to where the Cub Scouts were camping at about dinner time tonight, so I could snap a few pictures and score a s'more. Niall kept running off with other scouts, so I don't have as many of him. Here are a few of the better ones. Enjoy!


While the boys are away...

Realistically, I know that there isn't much difference in being at home with the Pixie when the boys are at school, and being at home with the Pixie when they've gone to the cub scout camp out.
But for some reason, having them gone on a Saturday is much more productive than that whole Monday-Friday thing.
Today I've picked up the living room - no mean feat, that!
Made a sleeper for Niall's baby doll, which will be saved for his birthday.
This was way easier than it looks! I used a sleeper that Tori gave me, and instructions from here.

I also finished someone's Christmas present. 
I'm not saying who it's for, and that's the only pic you're going to get on this blog. Wonder what else I can get up to today?

My cub scouts

It's the fall camp out this weekend. Prime chance to catch my guys all uniformed up.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Pithy little status update

There is something extremely precious about sitting in the bath with a book, only to look up to see a tiny naked person standing there with her arms up saying, "hewwo!"
Of course I let her into my bath. These moments are fleeting, and I treasure them.

Happy Friday to you

iPod instagram

Monday, October 17, 2011


Shower done.
Laundry started.
Laundry from this weekend to fold.
Better get to it.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

For prosperity

A song, composed by my children this evening...

Chicken wing chicken wing
hot dog and baloney
chicken and macaroni 
*fart noise*

Yep. That's a mother's pride...

And now... video proof.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

New Toy!

It took 9 months of saving up to get it, but today I bought a DSLR camera. I got it used, off craigslist, from a lady who said that she got it but she never took it off auto, and it was too big to carry around in her pocketbook - just the situation I was looking for.
It was painful, at times, to want something and not be able to get it. We're such a RIGHT NOW kind of society and it would be so easy to walk in to a place and put it on a card and make payments on it. But I'm trying to not live that way. I think the previous generations had a better idea - if you want something, save up for it. You don't get it as fast, but it's cheaper in the long run when you're not paying interest. And that way I had the option of finding a used camera and paying even less. Now I have to apologize to John for all the whining and whinging all this time.
I've been frustrated with my old camera for a while now. I'm so excited to learn a whole new set of skills, and figure out how to take even better pictures with this new one.
As we all know, I name my things. I have yet to name this guy, though. I've only had him for a couple of hours. Yes, he's a boy. Don't you think?
Yes, it's a picture of a thing that takes pictures. Magic!
As of yet, I am still getting used to holding it in my hands. Actually turning the lens to zoom in on something instead of flipping a dial with my thumb. The shutter button is intuitive, so that's good. I have no idea what to do to access menus and such, and have to learn how to read the meter business that it's trying to show me. So, for now, I have it on auto mode. Give me a bit and I will be spreading my wings - although I must say... I already love it more in full auto than I did my old camera in aperture mode. 
First pics!


Friday, October 07, 2011

Today, I went postal

So, last night I completely lost my nut on the boys. This past week I've been doing the seasonal clothing swap out - figure out what is outgrown - try to sell and donate things - madness.
They were quite happy to roll around and stomp on and drag out any pile of clothing they could. And they were also quite happy to ignore the two laundry baskets of clothing I put in their rooms for them to put away.

The rule is: I wash and fold it, you put it away. It's not hard. IF YOU DO IT.

So today I took it all out. All of their clothing. Well, except the socks and undies. I will probably weed through those in a bit, but since I wash them separately from all the other laundry, it can take a little bit for a load to build up, so having more of those around isn't a bad thing.

But all the rest of it? Yeah. Binned. Donated. Put in the attic.

They will have a chance to earn back some variety if they choose. If not... well, I can donate and consign what's in the bin because it's already sorted by season. Bonus.

Each boy has
6 shorts
6 t-shirts
6 long sleeved shirts
5 long pants
2 sets of pjs
1 pair of pj pants
1 pair of sneakers
1 pair of sandals
1 jacket

End of story. That is plenty to see them through. If they don't put it away, I will take it, too. If they end up doing the cartoon character have to wear the same thing every day... so be it. But THEY will be washing it if they take it that far. This mama means war.

There are 2.5 bags of clothing that is about to be too small or it's something I don't like. Those will go to goodwill.

As I was doing all of this, I was thinking about how this is such a first world problem. Even what I left them is kind of excessive. I mean, really. We are so incredibly lucky to have so much. What a problem to have... too much to wear. So much that it's difficult to keep up with. We need to "need" less.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

some things I would have said today

I get to watch Molly! Yay for babies!

Time to go knit at the shop. I don't think Eleri ever really napped. Oh well.

I'm making choc chip banana muffins, and spaghetti. I would not recommend doing both at the same time. There is a clash of fruit and garlic.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

pithy little status update #1

I now have to go in and check on the Pixie about 90mins - 2 hours after I've put her to bed for the night.
Because for the past few nights, I've found her completely naked when I went in to go to bed.
This would not be such a problem if she weren't still in diapers.

Well hi there

I will admit it. I have been an abysmal blogger since I started doing the facebook thing. But I'm irritated with facebook now, and tired of all the "improvements" they have in the works.
See, the thing that made it so appealing was the ability to put pithy little blurbs about my day in as a status update. A few words, hit submit, ta da and done.
Ummm... I can do that here. I SHOULD do that here. And so I will. My blog is going to be my new/old facebook. Sure, it's not set to friends only, but... I don't know. I've never been worried about that with my blog. Maybe I should be. Or maybe I think that no one really visits here who doesn't know me in some form or fashion anyway... so...
Yeah. Not saying much am I?
Here. Have a photo. An instagram. I got a new ipod this summer, and it makes these really easy to do (and share on facebook, but we already went over that. I'm going to be sharing from here now.)

Niall had to do some journal homework. The topic: 5 sentences on anniversary. I like how he capitalized Love.