Wednesday, November 30, 2011

30.a The Sound of Music

I'm very excited to be taking Dahlia to her first ever live stage show tonight! The Sound of Music! I know (okay, I hope) that she will love it! I know (pretty much) that she will fall asleep because I expect nothing less than a 3 hour production. I hope it creates lasting memories for her of the first time she saw live theater. I hope it entrances & inspires her. I cannot wait!

30. The End

I was hoping to end the NaBloPoMo with an entry exclaiming that we were going to Sundance in January with THE LIFE OF RILEY.

Well, we're not.


Stupid dream. I hate getting sucked into hope every time I submit...but  considering the notify date is next Monday, that little glimmer of hope kept popping up. Until their automated email-bot sent me my rejection at 4:11am this morning.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

29. November Pinterest Challenge

This month's Pinterest Challenge was to recreate the piece of artwork featured on this blog.  That entry was an attempt to re-create a piece of artwork found at Cost Plus World Market. I liked both of them & when I saw it on Pinterest the colors really caught my eye & I thought - yeah, hey. I could do that. And since I mostly think of doing things with paper, cloth, recycled whatever, I thought this would be fun. And then Michelle (my Pinterest buddy) challenged me to it and voila!


Started off with the tree branches. I used a paint pen - but couldn't find brown. This is actually a metallic gold. I wasn't too sure at first but I really liked how it turned out. Of course when all is said & finished I think from afar a brown would look better as the gold sort of washes out.

I also prepped a canvas for Dahlia & my mother-in-law, Carolyn. (If you don't remember, Carolyn is recovering from a devastating brain hemmorhage that happened back in June). I thought it might be fun to do some kind of "art therapy" - well, not technically of course, but something that would be *different,* to get her brain to work in a new way, to use her arms & fingers, to think artistically (sort of) and something that Dahlia could work on too. This was a great project for that!

In the end I am quite pleased with how this turned out. And it only cost me about $13 (the canvases are 16x20 and I bought a 2 pack and got a 2 pack free - yes! paints were 89 cents each; brushes were 89 cents for a pack of them -I bought two; paint pen was about $2 or so.  Not too shabby!

Here is my finished product....which I may end up hanging on the living room wall!

This one is Carolyn & Dahlia's (I did the stems & added a few leaves). Carolyn mostly did blue, & I love that because blue is a color which means hope. 

December is a terribly busy month! Hopefully I am up for another challenge!

Monday, November 28, 2011

28. Memory Failure

Why can't I remember to post something during the day when my brain works better & I supposedly have more time for thinking?

Gah...sometimes NaBloPoMo kicks my butt.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

27. Home Again the words of Dahlia "doesn't it feel soooo good to be home?" She immediately began playing with her toys that she missed while we were gone (although Grandma & Grandpa  had PLENTY of toys that kept her busy!). It was a great weekend. Got to see (some of) my family, got to do some sewing, got to relax. Ate WAY too much. Enjoyed listening to my folks talk about their Puerto Rico days last night. It was good.

Now back to the routine! (oh and getting ready for Christmas!)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

26. Mah-nah-ma-nah

Doo dooo do do doot

Yeah! We saw the Muppet Movie today - hooray! I loved it but it feel a wee bit short of the mark I was expecting. Probably only because everyone who had seen it RAVED about it, and that's what usually happens. My Mom & I took Dahlia. Her second movie in a theater. She loved it! I loved seeing LA & Hollywood - the "Muppet Studios" is actually the Jim Henson lot that I spent a fair amount of time on when I lived out there (friends worked there). I lived mere blocks from the "Muppet theater" (in reality the El Capitan conveniently owned by Disney - who now owns the Muppets).

It was great to see "the old gang" getting back together again. I wish the Muppet Show could make a weekly return. What a great series that was. Amazing. When they tried to bring back a show in the late 90's it failed, but I think that was because it was on Friday night & they weren't given their due. I'd love to see it try to return to the small screen. Wonderful variety, wholesome family entertainment!

Anyway - I won't spoil anything, but if you dig the Muppets you should check out this movie. I can't wait to show Dahlia the other Muppet movies I have just waiting at home on DVD. I think The Muppet Christmas Carol will be next!

Friday, November 25, 2011

25. Stuffed

Just a relaxing day in Austin. Food, food, more food. Two kids who weren't feeling great - one who started throwing up & um, exploding elsewhere; one who was generally crabby & wouldn't nap. A lot of bodily fluids happening. But I did manage to get a lot of sewing done. My Mom's new machine ROCKS and thankfully she doesn't read this on a regular basis because I might try to smuggle it out with me when we leave. She won't mind....right? (yeah, right).

An evening spent with my Grandma & Aunt. More Zip-pee-dee-doo-dah, more "shows" put on my Snow White/Rapunzel girl. It's been a good change from the routine.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

24. Zip-ee-de-do-da

Ahhh, Thanksgiving. Another feast is under my belt. Literally & figuratlively. What a beautiful day to drive to Austin. 60 degrees outside & sunshine. Wonderful driving conditions. Traffic was okay. But the best - seeing the kiddos play with Grandma & Grandpa. Seeing Dahlia put on her "shows" for all of us (Great-Grandma too!). Eating such deliciousness. Drinking a glass of wine. And watching the Zip-ee-dee-doo-dah singalong video. I must say it's pretty darn nice.

Happy Thanksgiving all! I hope you are all having a wonderful day filled with many blessings!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

23. Cork Art

We tried another project I found on Pinterest with the kids the other day. I have oodles of corks (for crafting purposes, oh it's a shame when I have to drink some wine JUST so I can get some corks...I jest...). Unfortunately I didn't have brown paint, so I had to mix some with mixed reviews (ha!) but I think it worked out okay. Even August got into the action!

Like Sarah's potato stamping, I was hoping this would last a WHOLE lot longer than it did. Ah well. Ya win some, ya lose some....

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

22. Better Late...

...than never. Something better to wrote tomorrow. I'm sure!

Monday, November 21, 2011

21. Breakfast at Tiffany's

Steve & I are going to a private screening of the film 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' tonight. It's part of a package that his aunt 'won' at a silent auction. (I hate the word "won" in association with buying something....that's like "winning" nominations - blech). Anyway- it should be fun. It's a free evening - except if we want to eat or drink anything. Oh and the babysitter. So yeah, it'll actually be rather expensive to see a free movie. Oh well. Maybe we'll get to have a conversation or something. That'd be nice. And priceless.

In other news, I took my sewing machine in today. Gah. 2 weeks til it's ready. Of course.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

20. So Close...

Today Steve was really jazzed about making dinner. Stop the presses! I was so excited. He wanted to make something with a creamy sauce. Sign me up! Visions of dinner that I didn't cook danced in my head.

But then we discovered we didn't have any chicken. Or any meat, really. Except tuna and neither one of us was feeling that.

I did unearth some meatballs - so we're having Swedish meatballs which will be great. But I will be cooking them & mashing the potatoes, etc.


So close and yet so far....

Saturday, November 19, 2011

19. Saturday

Nothing too exciting to report today - much like man of my days! It was really fun to just have August this morning (Dahlia had a sleepover at Grandma & Grandpa's house last night while we had our CRAZY rocking party- that last part I typed with sarcasm). He is a much calmer, mellower boy (mostly) when his big sis isn't around. it's fun to watch him explore & play with whatever toy he wants. He loves to bring us things (toys, shoes, random pantry items) and doesn't get distracted like he often does when Dahlia is around. He is much more content. I think that's because she' just not bugging him!

We just ran errands today, putzed around the house. I was desperately tired as August was up for a couple solid hours in the night, but of course neither one really napped. ARGH. So frustrating.

Just unwinding now with a silly movie on Netflix, a glass of wine & some knitting. I am very exciting & glamourous....I know....

Friday, November 18, 2011

18. Party

I just want to have a lot of friends over. Cook for them. Booze them up a bit. Play some games, enjoy conversation. Is that so much to ask?

I guess so.

My guest list for tonight was 17. Total coming (hopefully): 2.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

17. So Bad

Gosh I have been doing so poorly at this NaBloPoMo thing. Blah. I mean, yeah, I've technically posted every day but they have been lame. There is just so much going on right now that I can't even take time to sit down and compose a decent sentence in my head.

So many (bad) things that I can't even write about. So much heart break & devastation to come in the near future. So many questions unanswered. Things we never have had to ponder we are pondering. And while most of them are not super-directly related to us, they do hit pretty close to home. Things happening that make you grateful for what you have while all the time wondering how tenuous can things in life actually be (answer: very). Wondering how & why things have gotten to be how they are. If there are any solutions? What will things look like a year from now?

It's overwhelming at the least.

And then there are stupid financial things that we're dealing with. Too many bills. Not enough money. Wondering how I"m going to find a job that pays enough to put two kids in daycare + gives us enough left over to make it to the end of the month. Wondering if me working nights is feasible or if both Steve & I would both immediately go insane. Wishing that I could win the lotto (sadly, I guess you have to play!). Wishing I could come up with some way to work from home so the daycare thing isn't an issue PLUS I could still escape for an evening or two now & then. OH and my stupid car was broken, and that was expensive...and it's further broken & needs to be fixed. Argh. And my fillings need to be replaced. And I haven't gotten new glasses since 2001. Blah blah blah....

Lots of stuff on my mind.

But I am determined to be cheerful this holiday season. I'm looking for ways that we can celebrate & enjoy without spending a lot of money. Steve & I are going to "give" ourselves a new cabinet that we've been wanting with the money we saved from selling things. I'm trying to come up with creative & not totally lame gifts for others - utilizing what I have & my skills to do so (don't worry folks, my gifts aren't all coming from the House of Carrie). I want to sing Christmas carols with my kids & set up the Nativity scene with Dahlia; I want to bake cookies & take them to our neighbors; I want to sled down the hill at the end of our block & come in with rosy cheeks & introduce August to hot (warm) chocolate. I want to have TIME for Steve & I to relax with each other now & then...even if it's just for a couple of hours on the couch for a "date."

As the past 6 months have well demonstrated, things could always be worse. Truly. Things are bad, but things could get take what you have, scoop it up, love it, squeeze it & be grateful everyday. That's what I'm trying to do.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

15. As if

Not to ruin my streak, I am posting before midnight. Will write more tomorrow. Blah

Monday, November 14, 2011

14. Money Saving Tips

I sure wish that someone would write an article about simple money saving tips that are not the obvious! Or at least not the things that I already do -

* Give up your designer coffee - check, don't drink coffee anyway...
* Pack a lunch for work - I almost always did this; Steve does this daily
* Meal plan - do it
* Cut your cable - already done
* Limit your "going out" or "out to eat" expenses - we do this
* Eat vegetarian dinner options once or twice a week - do it
* Go to the library instead of buying books/music/movies - yeah, we do this too...

You get the idea. I would really like some tips that would actually help me. I'm down to iPhones, home internet (not giving THAT up), Netflix (streaming only) & I'm trying to sell things that are laying around the house that we don't use &/or take up space....I also am bartering/trading these items for other things that other people may have/ get the idea.

So what about me? How can I save this household more money?!?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

13. Kerchooo

What the heck. I've been sneezing ALL. DAY.  LONG. It doesn't feel like a cold. It feels like allergies. Isn't everything frozen yet? If this is another cold I am going to be seriously TICKED OFF.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

12. Argh

Not having a wonderful day. Annoyed at many things - I broke my sewing machine...well, I think I just 'put it back together' incorrectly & I have a lot of projects I'd like to be working on; I cannot find my wallet which I think August removed from my purse back on Wednesday (lovely); I cannot find my sewing machine manual; I need a bunch of car repairs - some of which because a certain someone who I live with (not to name names) happened to run over one of our little patio tables with it the other night & now I have no capacity to retain windshield wiper fluid. Oh and I need to have my fillings replaced. Wheeeeeee!

** To top it off, our babysitter that we had lined up for tonight so that we could just go out & get a burger & a drink in peace, cancelled about 45 minutes before we were supposed to pick her up. This set Dahlia OFF - she was sad & mad & "frustrated" & "angry" that she wasn't going to get to play with our babysitter. I felt bad for her. She had been asking when we were going to pick her up from about 2pm on! :( So we took the kids with us which was fine...but not exactly the same experience...*sigh*

Friday, November 11, 2011

11. Glow Bath

No,  it's not a nuclear bath - it's a bath with glow sticks! Yet another idea from Play at Home Mom. Since the evenings now come SO quickly and it's dark dark dark so much of the time, why not spice up bath time a little bit by throwing some glow sticks in? It was pretty dang cool, if I do say so myself. I kind of want to take a bath like that! I left the light off (except for a nightlight) & the kids LOVED it! Something we will likely do again during these long winter nights.

Sarah had given me these glow sticks in a box of stuff for the kids when she moved to Scotland- I think we put them to good use! Thanks, Sarah!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

10. 10 November

The wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald is always on my mind on a day like today. Hard to even believe that in the not too distant past (1975), a large (729 ft) ship SANK on a LAKE. All 29 aboard lost their lives. The theories out there about "what happened" are abundant. I've seen the lake angry in November, I'm pretty sure THAT'S what happened (but the alien theories are intriguing)(maybe I've been watching too much X-Files....).

Today is gray. Cold. Calm. Nothing like that day 36 years ago.

Time to play some Gordon Lightfoot.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

9. Wordless Wednesday

It's been a glorious autumn.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

8. Testing 1, 2, 3....

 Finally! I was able to update my photos from Sunday (Blogger was/is being weird). Here's a shot from my solo hike back up to the parking lot. Peaceful. Ahhhh. The sun was just peeking out a little bit (right before it set- ah daylight savings time!).

Monday, November 07, 2011

7. Gooseberry Falls

Daddy, Dahlia & August at the main falls- August was trying to get away!
Yesterday started off iffy. I was feeling really lousy from my cold. Our house is a disaster- I can barely keep up with the laundry & dishes, let alone tackle anything else. The toys are every where (we have yet to buy a storage cabinet with our rummage sale money); the kids were being crazy monkeys. Steve & I were getting really crabby with each other. It could've turned out poorly (to say the least).
Mama &Dahlia at the Upper Falls
August exploring the rocky shore.
We tossed around the idea of driving up the shore; then we nixed that...then talked about going to Park Point (me - not enough energy for hiking in the sand); Brighton Beach (but we had just gone there last week); nothing - stay home work on projects & cleaning (blah). Finally we decided to go ahead & drive up the shore. Thank goodness we did! It seems to be the only place where & when both kids will nap at the same time & Steve & I can actually have a conversation. It was a dull & dreary day, but the temps were warm so it didn't seem to matter. We went to Gooseberry Falls State Park. August's first visit! (I think...). I hadn't been there since April when the waters were RUSHING. This time things were flowing, but quite low. Also there were virtually NO PEOPLE. In the summer this place is CRAWLING with visitors. It was fun to have the place to ourselves to explore. Dahlia didn't want to go. At. All. But once we got there she finally 'warmed up' and had so much fun. August thought it was great to run around too. I was happy that we were all out in the fresh air & relaxed!
Sun finally hitting the shoreline

Lovely & Calm Gooseberry River

Dahlia was pretending to be "Alice in Wonderland" in the tall grass.

Beautiful grassy picnic area.
We hiked a bit, we had a 'picnic' in the CCC picnic shelter - which was great because it was wide open, enclosed & the kids were free to just RUN! Yay! Plus we were out of the wind. Bonus. I even hiked back to the main parking lot - BY MYSELF which was just incredible. No people. Sun peeking through. Shimmers on the river. QUIET. I wasn't carrying a heavy pack or dragging a kid with was really really great. No bugs either! Sometimes I think it's just important for us to remember to get out of the routine. To take the extra effort to put together a spontaneous day at the park, even if at first we don't FEEL like it. This day went from being on the road to crapsville to quite pleasant. I'm glad we did it.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

6. Sick

Day ?? of this stupid cold. I'm crabby & tired. But we managed to spend the day up at Gooseberry Falls State Park. It was really nice & I have some great photos, but right now I'm going to bed. Good night.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

5. Window Art

Taking a cue from Play at Home Mom, we did an art project in October. It was a gift for Steve for his birthday. Dahlia loved it! I guided her (trying to let her run the show when it's appropriate more lately). I showed her how to dump out the glue & spread it around. She was in charge of picking the gems & adding whatever fashion she liked. For the 2nd one we did, I brought out some beads that I had stashed away. She LOVED those. "Her" creation (not the one she's giving away) consists mostly of beads. It actually looks pretty cool. I did have to prompt her a bit with the glue - the 2nd one we tried to do just sections of glue at a time so that it would dry before it was 'be-gemmed.'
August wasn't really into it, although he did add a couple all on his own. He did, however, absolutely LOVE playing with the glass beads. I was right there to make sure he didn't eat any of them. I think he loved the smooth texture & I gave him a metal bucket to dump them into & out of - that kept him occupied for probably 20 minutes! Speaking of which, I should get those out again!
This was a really fun project. I spent $2 on frames, $2 on gems & $6 or so on glue - obviously I have gems & glue left over! The dollar store rocks for these types of projects! I have yet to figure out how to hang them up. PAHM suggests using suction cups, but I think Dahlia's creation might be a bit heavy for that. They do look cool in the window (although if we do it again, I would like to get the "clear" drying Elmer's instead of the white school glue.). Oh - And Steve loved his birthday present!

Friday, November 04, 2011

4. More Etsy

A couple more items listed in my Etsy shop:

Thursday, November 03, 2011

3. November Pinterest Challenge

Last month, my cousin-in-law Michelle & I participated in our own little 2nd Monthly PInterest Challenge. My challenge was to make as many cloth napkins as I could. Varied styles. Hers was to create a pumpkin wreath:
She kicked ass. She did hers so fast & it turned out so cute. She added the sign "Unless you're selling Thin Mints, no soliciting." It turned out great. Well, I only managed to make 4 napkins. Lame. SUPER lame. I did cut two more but I got distracted by making necklaces & card wallets for my Etsy Shop!. Ah well, it'll be an ongoing process for me & I'll make them here & there when I can.
On to the next challenge! We haven't picked them yet, but it'll be another fun month of crafting, I'm sure!

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

2. My Halloween Cuties

A little Halloween fun at Dahlia's school last week. Snow White & the Little Pumpkin were a hit! Dahlia is mostly excited about being able to wear the Snow White dress EVERY DAY NOW that Halloween is over. *sigh*

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

1. November

It's hard to believe that it's November already. I feel like it should at least still be September - where the heck did October go? We had a busy Halloween yesterday (pics to follow) - it is Steve's birthday so we're always trying to celebrate that, carve pumpkins, get the kids ready for trick-or-treating, show the kids off to grandparents, eat supper, celebrate birthday, gifts, etc. Whew. It's a lot. Too much. We went to Steve's Dad's house for a little Halloween/Birthday celebration on Sunday so we wouldn't have to go there with the kids yesterday. That worked out pretty good. Then yesterday up to his Mom's. His Mom is at home now but unable to eat or drink anything! She is fed through a tube (directly into her stomach) but you feel a bit weird having any sort of food or drink around her. She wants it SO BADLY (the problem is anything she consumes by mouth is aspirated into her lungs - *sigh*). We got up there, I had to make dinner (with everything we brought), frost cupcakes, wrangle monkeys, go trick-or-treating, get the cupcakes/ice cream ready (all while not making FOOD or DRINK a big deal). It was stressful! The kids were pretty good. August walked for a lot of the trick-or-treating. He didn't quite understand holding his bag (he'd just let it fall on the ground) or putting candy in it (he'd try to give it back) but he was getting into going up to each door. Dahlia was a charmer as usual. Everyone up in Carolyn's neighborhood seemed to really enjoy seeing them. August would try to go INTO people's houses - no fear there, kid! Yikes! We were the last trick-or-treaters out up there as we didn't get out the door with everyone til 7pm. Yuck. I am going to plan differently for next year. Sheesh. So what does November hold in store for us? Well....? The usual, I guess. Trying to survive the days with kids that are wound up & not enough room for them to burn off their energy inside. Thank goodness for the Children's Museum! I think we'll be there (& the library) a lot this winter). I have some "Crafterhours" evenings with friends planned. A new book for our book club. Making lots of inventory for CraftyCarrster. Making, buying, wrapping Christmas gifts. Planning Dahlia's birthday party. Getting ready for Thanksgiving & Christmas. It'll be busy. It'll go fast. In a month I'll be wondering what in the heck happened to November!