Monday, March 30, 2009

The rest of Monday...

Sigh... Tuesday is in sight and all is better with the world.

Apologies to those reading my blog through Google Reader and ventured upon my Monday rant. Today started badly and progressed badly, with grumpiness abounding. But we pulled it together and salvaged the evening. My husband became unlost and found his way home (no thanks to Mapquest that time around). My MIL stopped shrieking at anyone nearby about her phone bill. They changed the format, she was confused - about the phone bill and about me making a good whipping girl. I straightened her out on both accounts and we are still speaking even.

My daughter's piano and violin teachers (mother/daughter combo) came for spontaneous lessons and I actually cleaned the house to an acceptable level without throwing it all in the kids room! Yay! So now my house is mostly clean for tomorrow. Double yay! My art room/office, is a very different story. I didn't add mess to the pile, but I didn't remove any either. Still, it didn't matter. We had a blast. They stayed for dinner and then after and finally we all realized WOW! It was 10pm! Time flies when you're having fun and all that stuff. And the beauty of that statement is we really were. After a terrible beginning to the day, the end proved to be very fun and fulfilling.

Looking back at the day it is really astonishing how many odd badly timed, frustrating things happened. Much more than my initial rant covered and that I am willing to give any more energy discussing anymore. But I feel pretty good about it all actually. We had some good opportunities to really lose it and we just kept plodding along, knowing that most days weren't like today was behaving. Phew... I am very glad to put this day to bed however!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Dollhouse Contest

I received my dollhouse for the Greenleaf Spring Fling Contest! Now I need to come up with a theme and build it. The pictures below are what it will look like when built. The contest is based on a themed house photographed in a scene. Any ideas?

Not Spring Yet!

Remember this?

I woke up to this...

So in protest, I bought these... (On Sale!)
(The gardening books, not the child.)

Grow Your Own Pizza, which looks like a fun way to start gardening, by planning a garden based around favorite meals. This was on sale at our local bookstore for only $3.99.

And a little set Gardeners Book Box. This was on sale for $9.99. Now that I've seen the Amazon prices, I am even happier with my purchases.

We are all cabin feverish. The kids have a cold so we don't have the oomph to play outside. This weekend, my girl has completed 60 lessons on a cool math website I found, Dreambox. (Shhh... don't tell her she's learning.) I can't say enough good things about this website, it is awesome. I've been trying to figure out a way to go back and review some of the earlier stuff my girl might have missed in math, and this is doing exactly that for her and more. It has been fun for my son too. We are using the two week free trial right now and I plan on purchasing it for my son for sure. I have a feeling my daughter will finish all the lessons within that time and I am not sure if she'll want to keep playing it after she has it completed. But if she wants to play math games, I will buy her math games. Hey, it is better than webkinz.

How cute is this little dinosaur world my kids set up? The middle shape is a volcano complete with lava made from a small scarf. Well, I found it all so cute until they told me they were trying to find the perfect meteor to destroy the dinosaurs with. Wow! That is some heartless play! I need to get my creatures outside to run off some of that aggressive energy. Hear that, weather? I need to get these kids outside! I have my gardening books. I have an odd desire for manual labor going on. Let's get this spring thing going, k?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Couldn't Resist!

They had so much fun playing with the camera the other day. Then I couldn't resist playing with iMovie because this little movie clip had to be put to music. It repeats a lot, but it doesn't take much to please us here. We embrace silly.

Me = Old Dog

New Tricks.

But I refuse to give up even in the face of several past gardening failures! This year will be different. Mostly because my daughter isn't taking no for an answer and she's so darn cute when she talks about 'her garden', and the fact that the kids are big enough to actually help out. So I am posting it here to try to guilt myself into action.

You know how people show their 'before' picture before dieting to hold themselves accountable to others? Well, this is the 'before' picture of what will be my garden.

Pretty sad, isn't it?

Right now it is actually a messed up drivewayish sort of place. Notice the ugly grey building that is supposed to be a garage? Yeah, that needs a facade. Anyway. That is the raw material, folks. Check back over the summer to see my progress. Feel free to heckle. I've lived here for ten years and every winter I dream of starting 'the garden'.
This year it will. be. done.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

My daughter the magician

My kids discovered something my new computer can do. The little photo booth thing takes short movie clips and offers some fun effects. The one below is my daughter acting like a serious magician or something. I haven't asked her what it is about yet, as I sat down to enjoy their creative efforts after they went to bed. The only problem is, I worry my laughter might wake them up. They are funny little people.

Edited to add: She told me she is 'shape bending'. Like from Avatar: The Last Airbender, where the different tribes can bend different elements, air, fire, earth and water. Here she is the first 'shape bender'. Oh, to be a kid in the computer age :)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Super Mario's double hip spica cast.


Ever need to comfort a child that is about to get a cast? I wanted to do something for my nephew when I found out he was going to spend some time casted. I thought I would cast his favorite video game character to keep him company during his confinement. It turns out it isn't hard to cast a stuffed animal, so I wanted to share what I did here, to maybe help out someone else who is looking for a little something to give a casted child in their life. You just need a stuffed animal/character, some plaster gauze, water and something to protect the toy while the plaster is wet, like plastic gloves or saran wrap.

This is my sweet little nephew Aidan when he had his second spica cast. This was a couple years ago. The poor little dude has had several surgeries on his wacky little hip and on his last check up it was determined there was still work to be done. In fact, some major work. So it is back to spica land for one of my favorite little people. Only this time around it might be a bit more difficult, because what active three year old boy wants to sit around for a couple months in a near body cast?

When a kid goes through this kind of thing I am always at a loss for wanting to do something, anything to help. So I came up with a little project to merge Aidan's love of video games (Mario specifically) and his upcoming surgery. That is when I decided, Mario also had a bum hip. Who knew? And also needed to have surgery that involved a long spica confinement. The two can keep each other company. It was a really easy project actually and something to keep in mind if a little one you care for ends up in a cast.

First I bought some plaster gauze at Hobby Lobby. A nice big roll was only $3.00. You just cut this up in strips and dip it in water, smooth it out and go ahead and smooth it onto the item you want to 'cast'.


Notice I protected Mario top and bottom with plastic gloves as the wet plaster gauze can be rather messy. I will trim the gloves off later with scissors. I also used a little regular tape to hold Mario's legs in the spica cast shape. Just a few pieces, not a ton. Then just started to cover his legs with little strips of plaster gauze.


It was a pretty quick project and even though it was a little messy, it was really easy to clean up. I want to make sure he is good and dry so there will be no mildew issues later, so I am letting him sit for a day or two before I seal the cast. I will seal the cast with Modpodge to give it a surface that is easier to clean since he will be in a hospital. That might make the cast look less realistic, but it the ability to clean it far outweighs any aesthetics for something like this.

Here he sits drying out. Sort of looking like a freaky bondage Mario in this picture actually. Yikes. Hopefully, he will make my nephew deal with the process a little bit better. If anything the project helped me feel I could contribute a small something.

If you have the inclination to do such things, I am sure my sister would love any prayers, good vibes or healing thoughts sent out their way next Friday for a successful hip reconstruction surgery and fast healing for Aidan.

A picture worth a thousand words.


She is much, much better now. Sunday finds us all healthy and rested, a much different place than where we were at the beginning of this weekend!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Blah and Aak!

It is Friday and supposed to be the day to celebrate life and leisure. Not so during this Friday of my life. Not so.

My boy child has had this wacky little habit of staying up all night and then at some point in the wee morning hours having a sort of anxiety ridden overstimulated moment, where I find myself rocking him like he is a baby again. Not sure what is going on there. Maybe nightmares? Afraid of the dark? Upcoming virus? A one time random awake night that lead to a bad habit? Whatever it is, I am DRAGGING today. Not showered, half asleep, dragging.

My girl child is sick. Suddenly, without warning she started vomiting and told me her throat hurt. No fever, no half sick day leading up to it. I set her up next to her little tiny video game tv on a portable mattress so she can watch movies. Our regular tv broke about a month ago and we are saving up cash to replace it. The break from constant tv chatter has been nice, but today it would have helped to have some mindless shows for sick girl to veg to. She has some cute movies lined up though. She is an interesting little soul. She has me keep up a rotation of clean buckets to use if she gets sick so she doesn't have to run into the bathroom. She says being sick in the bathroom is boring. Okaaaay... But, if it makes her happy to watch Tinkerbell while she throws up, then who am I to judge?

My internet is spotty today. I can't seem to get to half of my favorite places with any regularity. Typically a day where I am weary and stuck with zoned sick kids, would find me indulging in major internet surfing.

I know there are worse things in the world. This mind frame seems rather indulgent in the face of world news, doesn't it? Sigh... I just needed a bit of a tantrum moment to get it all out of my system. I am better now, thanks internet. You are always there for me, except when you aren't. But hey. Who's perfect? Wishing everyone a happy, healthy and relaxing weekend filled with loved ones who sleep during the expected hours.

Sunday, March 1, 2009



I finally finished my felted tile project that I started here. I just let myself kick back and have fun with this, so it turned out very different from what I had originally visualized. It was much more structured in my head. But I like how it turned out. Really informal and cozy. Like family hugs should be.