Sunday, June 24, 2012

Camping Adventure

We went camping last week. For me, it was the first time going camping since having children. For the Pixie, it was the first time going camping EVER. We had a blast.
The campground was this little place called Lake Powhatan, right outside of Asheville. A little over 4 hours of driving for us, and about 6 hours of driving for our friend Anne and her family. Another friend, Ellie, was supposed to come as well, but her van broke down - fortunately BEFORE she left town - and she wasn't able to come.
How was the first camping adventure with the kids? It was awesome.
We had campfires
We made s'mores every night.
We played with glow sticks
and rocks
We made ice cream 

And the kids got dirtier than I knew was possible.

It was a blast.
We also learned quite a bit. We learned the value of melatonin after a couple of nights of the Pixie being far too excited about sleeping in a tent to actually go to sleep. We found that silicone hot pads are better over a fire than cotton ones, and that fireplace tools would have been excellent to have around. We learned that Niall would rather run barefoot on gravel than wear shoes, and that Anne can climb a tree in a skirt and flip flops. Anne and I figured out how to hang a huge tarp over most of our site when a sudden rain storm drenched us on our last night there, and we made food with fire all week. 
Another big thing we learned is that our tent is not quite adequate for 5 people, even if one of those people is very small. lol We fit, barely, but the sleeping arrangements were comical.
The brown outline represents the edge of the tent. The boys' mats didn't go all the way to the bottom, so that's where the random flotsam (shoes, clothing, flashlights, glowsticks, etc) accumulated. 
John was on the far left. Eleri insisted on sleeping (when she did sleep) perpendicular to him with her feet in his face. Niall was on the next mat over, with Rowan on the far right. I curled up in the space that was left. I woke up with Niall's booty in my face too many times to count, and got kicked by all three kids often. Once I woke up to find Rowan ON TOP of Niall and had to shove him off. It doesn't really look all that cramped when you look at that drawing, but stick figures are misleading. We take up a little more space than they do.
We all agree that camping was awesome and we are going to go again. Camping with Anne and family needs to be at least an annual event. But we also all agree that before we go again, we're gonna need a bigger boat. I mean, tent.
I took a bunch of pictures not seen here. If you'd like to see the whole set, just go here

Monday, June 11, 2012

Stay put tablecloth!

I've had this idea kicking around in my head for at least 6 months now.  It just took me until today to try it out.
I got a cheap PEVA (vinyl like) table cloth from Walmart last week. I like these table cloths. They wipe up easily, and you can get kooky prints for whatever holiday. But I also knew that in my house, a table cloth would get yanked on and anything sitting on the table would go flying.
Enter scissors and elastic.

I put the table cloth on the table, and trimmed it a bit at the corners so there wasn't a great bunch hanging down. I then zigzag stitched over the edges that I trimmed so they wouldn't get weird and make the table cloth fall apart.

Then, the big idea. I tacked down some elastic, and stretched it as I sewed it down. I used a narrow zigzag set to a long stitch length - I think on my machine I had it set to a width of 2 and a length of 4. The elastic I used was 3.8" wide. I didn't take any pictures of the process because I didn't think of it, and had no idea if it would actually work anyway. But here is what the elastic looks like once it's sewed on.
 If you've never sewed elastic before, it's pretty easy. You just have to stretch it as you go, and use a zigzag stitch so it can spring back tight again. I have no idea how much elastic I used, either.  I had some leftover from another project, and used the rest of that, and then opened the new package and used some of that. I'd be a better tutorial person if I kept track of things like that. But in my experience, you can't ever have too much elastic laying around, so over estimate what you need.
Once you're done, whack it on your table. It looks like this underneath.
And it looks like this from above.

I'm pretty excited about how well it worked and now easy it was to do. I now have plans to collect all sorts of different prints and change them out for seasons and holidays. Why didn't I try this sooner?

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Doggy Dentist

Rowan got his braces off last week, and when the orthodontist took them off he mentioned that he was extra careful not to pull out any of Rowan's loose teeth. Apparently, he has quite a few in there!
Look, Mom! No braces!
Rowan mentioned that his molar was pretty loose this morning. It was, but it seemed like it would be a while yet. Not so! He wiggled it all day, and by this evening he had it loose enough to do something he's been wanting to try for a while - the doggy dentist.
See, we've joked in the past about how we should tie a thread to a loose tooth and tie the other end to one of the dogs, and then tell the dog there was a squirrel or bunny so they would run off, and pull out the tooth in the process.
Rowan wanted to try it out for real.
So, we did! I got a long piece of thread and tied it around Rowan's loose tooth. We put the harness on Bosco, and went outside to tie the other end of the thread to the loops where the leash clips on. Then John held Bosco so I could snap a picture of the setup. I mean, we needed evidence of this.
All hooked up and ready to go.
We started telling Bosco there were squirrels and bunnies, but he wasn't quite buying it. And then, a REAL bunny came out of nowhere and went hopping across the neighbor's yard. That was all it took. Bosco was after it and the tooth was out of there! It was hilarious.
Rowan has quite a few loose teeth. We might let Loki do the next one.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Home improvement

The deck has never been a grand place to sit in the afternoon and evening, because it gets blasted by sun. It's much too hot out there for most of the summer, and very uncomfortable for people who refuse to wear shoes.
This week, they had offset umbrellas at Aldi. SCORE.
However, it came with a large X base, which wanted to be weighted with at least 150lbs. It was a big footprint for our little deck, but we came up with a solution for that.
Bolt it down and add braces. Problem solved.
I'm looking forward to enjoying it out there this summer. We may even eat out there some evening. Crazy!

May 365

I finished putting up the pictures for May's 365. I missed a few days - got hit with a migraine, had to attend a birth, and then those random forgotten days. Still, I got most of them.