Archives – December, 2006

holiday update

 Just stopping in to say hello to you all, so "hello!" Here's what we've been up to…
We had a nice little family dinner together on the solstice. We ate in the dining room by candlelight and had Keely's wooden animals running about the table and in-between the pinecones. It was a quiet and slightly festive way start out all our holiday socializing-really, the only time a year when we see so many people.   
You can tell how thrilled Keely was with it all, huh? Then on Christmas Eve Eve we watched The Sound of Music and baked (and ate) cookies while singing loudly and yodeling. We are going to definitely make that an annual event. Later that night, while in the middle of another Keely clothing crisis, Keely went running down our bedroom hall and tripped on her pants which she was trying to remove. Words to live by-Do not try to take off your pants while running. It does not work well. She fell face first into the leg/side shelf thingie of our monster piano. I tried to catch her, but I was two steps behind. She really scraped up her cheek and throat. It was a scary moment. I saw her fall. I saw her hit the wood. Her throat (yikes!) and then her cheek. There was blood and much screaming. Thankfully, after a lot of loving, rocking, and ice cubes she was alright…save for the battle wounds.
Christmas Eve we had our big family dinner. 
That night after everyone had left and we were getting ready for bed, I was trying to sneak out all Keely's "Santa" presents. Hubby was trying to keep her distracted in another room, but she will not be contained under normal circumstances, so there is really no hope when she is jacked-up on sugar and impending presents. I would come tip-toeing out of our room with boxes stacked in my arms and then I'd hear Keely coming back my way, so I'd run backwards into our bedroom, presents falling off my pile. I'm kicking them out of her sight and still holding on to the ones in my arms. I'd make it to my closet and quickly dump the rest of the stack in my closet. Oy. It was really comical. I was laughing at myself. It happened three times before I actually got the gifts out there without her seeing. All of us going to bed at the same time does have its downsides I guess. Then, Keely was up until midnight saying things like, "Listen. I think I hear Santa." "Is that him?" "What was that?" "Can I go pet a reindeer." "Oh, I am so worried about Santa." and on and on and on. We were cracking up.  When she got up on Christmas morning she discovered that Santa was a messy guy… 
he had trailed leaves and snow (melted) all over the floor and that he enjoyed his cookies and had fed his reindeer the puppy food she had left for them. She then sat upon her throne and opened her gifts. 
She liked all of her goodies, especially her little buddha that daddy gave her (Have I mentioned how much this little girl loves buddhas?). We drank coffee and played with our toys for most of the day.
Now the festivities are over and we are spending time at home, together. Sadly, Keely was quite ill yesterday, but today we are all better and I am going to continue on the blog break until after New Year's. I look forward to catching up with you all then. I hope you are enjoying some quiet times together too. 

8 Comments December 28, 2006

a little holiday break

Groovy or freaky? The jury is still out. Keely HAD to get this rope reindeer while we were thrifting. It was a whopping .75, so no big deal. Alright, how about these guys?
I love these two. I'm calling them elves, although I don't know how accurate that is. They've been named Gunther and Gunhilde.
Well my friends, Happy first day of Winter and Happy Solstice.
I'm off the blog until after Christmas. I hope you all have a safe, warm, and joyous holiday.

11 Comments December 21, 2006


So, I'm feeling a bit stressed and I thought,"Hey let's drop everything and go for a quick thrifting trip!" Great thinking, no?  Yesterday, Keely did this too. I was vacuuming, doing laundry and baking when she said, "We need to go to the park." We dropped everything and went for almost 2 hours. Anywho, thrifting was good. We got a big bag of strung chenille pom-poms for $2. Very cool. Then, I caved and bought an old quilt. It was time.
Click it for a better view. I love all these fabrics. It is all hand sewn-each little, tiny piece. There are only a few tears and I think I can fix them. I think I can. I think I can. I can not imagine how long that took. Merry Christmas to me! I got a quilt. Yippee-skippy.
Here is a shot of our tree. I'm digging the .75 star on the top.
And speaking of trees…everytime I go to water the tree, I knock off all the ornaments that Keely has so lovingly placed in clusters on the bottom branches. Poing, boing, schwack, go all the balls and needles as they attack me! Then, when we put some gifts under it, there's no way to get to the tree base without scooting military style on my belly, moving the gifts as I go. The hubby and I said, "Hmmmm. We should get some tube and run it along the trunk, down to the tree stand, and put a funnel at the top. Then, we could stand up and do the watering." What would the holidays be without a great invention, huh? So, here is the proto-type.
Alright, so we didn't have a funnel. We used a little pvc bit and some clear vinyl tubing and the ever so festive Taco Bell plastic cup. This was mostly successful, but still needs a little tweaking. We all tend to find random, unnecessary, little tasks to occupy ourselves with when there are millions of other high-priority deeds that are lined-up and waiting to be tended to. Side-tracked by stressed or just procrastinating, who can say? At least, Keely got to play at the park, I got a well-loved quilt and the tree gets water. 

12 Comments December 19, 2006

A very red post~

"Mommy will you try to use a quiet voice please? I am pe-tending to sleep here." Absolutely my little love! 
And there's how I spent my weekend-wrapping,wrapping, & wrapping. I always have color themed wrapping. I am a dork that way. This year is obviously red & white. I ran out of good sized boxes, so I started to sew up little linen bags to put gifts in-just sew, tie and tag. They look quite nice. I think I am almost done with the wrapping. We can then move on to the best part…baking! Cookies and gingerbread are up first.
We put together this kindling gift. The idea is from Martha, but Ali made one recently and reminded me of it. 
It has pine, starter sticks, twigs, fresh rosemary, cinnamon sticks, and pinecones in it. I so wish I had a fireplace.
Hope all your holiday plans are going well friends. Remember to take time to relax and snuggle some. Oh yes and solstice is this week!  

13 Comments December 18, 2006

a warm, fuzzy thank you to you and you and you and…

Today, instead of my planned post (consider yourself lucky), I must make it a thank you post.  Good golly have I gotten some mail goodies lately. Let us have a look-see, shall we?

A few weeks ago, I received some thank you homemade soap from Lera along with a charming little ornament. Then, a fabric bundle from Soulemama came my way with a sweet card included.

Oh yes, I also won some Tord-olini paper garland (not shown) from Sara+h. Awesome.

This week I got a surprise package from Manda of TreeFall…look how lovely it was all packaged up!

Keely and I loved her fabric/initial tags. They are on our tree now. Inside was this fun stuff!
Books, stripy tights and socks, a bitty stocking and a lovely snowflake card. 

And today we got this from Alicia.

A sweet little bench made of branches and an beautiful bag for Miss Keely. She is using it to cart around matchbox cars.  
So to all of you wonderful surprise gift-givers, past and present, a big warm hug and a sincere thank you! You are all too kind. There is such generosity and care put into these gifts from people whom I've never met from all over the globe. It is just…wow! I really appreciate your thoughtfulness. Thank you
I hope you all have a delightful weekend.
(*Please note Keely's outfit in the above photo. It is all she would peacefully agree to wear. It is one of our many issues of late. All clothes are evil, actually everything that touches her body for any length of time is straight from the underworld.)


11 Comments December 15, 2006


Heidi-ho there all. Just so you know~I've named all of our wreaths, Aretha (Aretha Franklin if it fits). This is really funny to me.  You'd expect to see a photo of a wreath here right? wrong. I've got no time for my beloved camera baby. sniffle. I have so much to say but no time to say it all. There are many things I'd like to blab about, journal about, whine about, take photos of, but no can do. sigh. I've got most of my gifts made and the rest of them ordered, or bought. Christmas cards are all stuffed, written, and mailed. Now it is time to move on to finding boxes and wrapping the goods. I can't show all I've made because I don't want any recipients to see them. I can show you this set of weirdness though. I KNOW my mom doesn't read here.

My mother does daycare in her home for mostly toddlers. They use a hand towel that's hanging on the stove to dry their hands. It always falls off and they can't put it back on, so my mom wanted me to make her some with a loop & button so they would stay on. She also wanted them kiddie and/or seasonal since they like that-definately not my style, but I think she will be pleased. After I figured out how to make them and went about sewing them- they broke 4 of my machine needles from being so thick. I'm glad they are done. I made 6 of them.
Christmas plans are rolling along. Then, we have to start planning our annual Christmas Eve dinner, ya know one week before it. Gah! We also usually give out a Christmas CD. Each year it has a theme: beachy, oldies/classics, jazz etc. We've got nothing to do for this year though so… 
Look! I took a photo today. I haven't held my camera in almost a week! Eeeegads. So sad. I miss you FlickR.
I have much to write about Keely but I just can't do it right now, maybe tomorrow. Too busy, too overwhelmed by her. I have no time for blogging it seems-between holiday stuff and stepping up my parenting yet another notch. The blog is going to remain a little more neglected than normal in the near future I think. Double sniffle. I do hope to catch up with all of you this weekend though. How many times did I write "no time" here? Invest in a thesaurus woman.


7 Comments December 14, 2006

wishful thinking ~

I got nothing done this weekend, or last week either for that matter. Nothing. I was sort of in a stand still mode for several reasons. And how you ladies with more than one child ever get anything done I'll never know. I'm going to make this a quiet blog week in hopes of working on the monster holiday to-do list–but before I go chain myself to the sewing machine…
Keely, being calm and quiet on a Saturday morning. I had to take a photo so that I could remember that she is like this sometimes.

Also, I promised Amy that I'd show some of our Christmas/Winter books.
Keely really likes The Snowy Day, Bears Stays Up For Christmas, and this year the Robert Sabuda pop-up books. We look at those together a lot.  Sabuda has a nice website and also templates for printing and making your own pop-ups here.

Slightly unrelated: We've got a collection of Childcraft books that I recently found for .45 each. She is in love with reading all the short nursery rhymes in a few of them. Every night we have to sit together and read them, over and over.  The illustrations are quite cute and most of the stories/rhymes are your traditional ones, but there are a few that are just odd. 

"This is the story of Freddie my friend. Who ran into traffic and that is the end."             Ha. My hubby and I are still chuckling over that one.

I've always thought a lot of nursery rhymes were mean and a little inappropriate for small children-not having messages I'd want to teach my babe. You know, like The Old Woman Who Lived In a Shoe– She had so many children she didn't know what to do, so she whipped them all soundly and sent them to bed. Sweet.  I know that many were written to warn children of what would happen to them if they dared to disobey and all, but sheesh. Another nice one- "Goosey, Goosey Gander, wither shall I wander. Blah, blah, blah,…I met a man who wouldn't say his prayers. I took him by the left leg and threw him down the stairs." Okaaaay then. That's great. Nice message there. 

See now, I sit here to type a couple lines and there I go blathering away. I'm leaving now. Hope you all have a bright week. I'm not going to post again until I accomplish something!

10 Comments December 10, 2006

Favorite toys

O.k. As I've said before most of Keely's toys are from thrift stores. We don't generally buy things with batteries or flashing lights. No thank you. A lot of her toys are rotated so she becomes interested in them again when we drag them out. We have most of the toys that Katurah listed the other day, except the Waldorf style dolls-someday I'll make one of them. Someday.  I, too, would recommend all of her children's favorites and they would be the top things on my list. However, since that would be silly for me to post the same things, here are my additions:

1. Nesting town blocks. (can't fix this weird spacing here)


This is a set of 10 blocks. Each one is painted like a town store or building and they all stack inside of the largest one for easy storage. You can find this set here and I'm sure there are others out there. Luckily, I got our set for .99 because I don't spend $25. for any toy.

2. The doll house.

It is made by Plan and again I found hers second hand for cheap. It is currently decorated with mostly cheap plastic stuff since she is still young and destructive. I have dreams of fully decking the place out with cute Plan-made furnishings in the future.

3. Puppets

We have a basket filled with them. They are fun to use when acting out a story or letting them vigorously chew on play food. You can always get creative and make your own or buy cheap sets from Oriental Trading Co.

4. Tea Sets.

We have a large plastic set that usually resides in the bath, a set in her play kitchen for cooking, and a miniature porcelain set that belongs to the stuffed animals. All sets get used a lot.

5. A dress-up box and a costume jewelry box/bag/basket whatever.

Her box has old things of ours (clothing, purses, cell phones, ties) and also children's costumes from thrift stores, especially from Halloween time. There is also scarves, hats, and wands. Oh yes, and TONS of shoes.

6. Chalkboard and/or dry-erase boards. You don't need a photo for that, right? right.

7.And the hodge-podge shot:

Musical instruments: maracas, tamborines, recorders, a drum, kazoos. 

Wood stacking blocks. Melissa & Doug offer lots of these things. We have several different sets and she has almost outgrown them all, but I still like them dangit! so they make the list!

The doctor kit! She loves, loves her doctor kit (and also, not shown, her cash register).

Letter tiles. They aren't just for me! You can find these at teacher supply stores or just use the pieces from your old games-scrabble, boggle, etc. We've made up lots of games using our sets.

Tangrams. I posted on these before.

and lastly, magnets. We have a container filled with all different kinds of magnets-animals, farm sets, alphabets, and all the other random kinds that seem to collect in our house.She fills her magnetic dry-erase board with every magnet we own and then takes them down again. Fun. Of course, there is also the standard alphabet magnets to spell out things or line up in abc order. She is also enjoying hanging up her artwork using tons of magnets.

Alrighty, that's my contribution. I hope it is helpful to someone.  This gal has so many awesome toys I have no idea what to do for Christmas. Shall I make some red peppermint scented playdough? ha. What a lame mom. I'm stumped on this.

20 Comments December 7, 2006

Decked and good things.

Twinkling lights at night are so nice. The house is cleaned up-some things are crammed back in the attic, other things were dropped off as donations. The tree is decorated (shoved in a corner, but still decorated), as is the rest of the house.
The husband and I are in a running for "weirdest person in our home." He is leading the race.
And now for some other good things.
I am so relieved that 3 of the Kim family members have been found. I've been thinking of them endlessly. I cried with relief when I read that they'd been rescued. I so hope that Mr. Kim will soon be found safe too. I never watch the news, so the only way I've heard about them is from other concerned bloggers in their area. I'm thankful to them for keeping us non-cable having east coasters updated and to see that so many people were praying, thinking, and hoping for that family.
I am thankful for our small whacky family. No matter how kooky we are or how stressful life is at times, I know that we have it good. We are safe, warm, sheltered, fed and loved. We are together in our home.
My girl climbed up next to me yesterday and and held my face in her hands. She said, "Listen mommy.  I haven't seen your eyes in a long, long time." She just quietly looked at my face very closely for awhile. Then she kissed me and said, "Yeah, I pretty much love you mommy." and walked away. 
I am thankful for music. I love music, usually weird music. I always have. There is an occassional pop song that appeals to me, but usually it's world music that gets me. When I'm losing my mind it does me wonders to listen to my favorite music or find some new stuff. The sounds seem to overtake my busy head, hush my inner-voices and calm me down. Currently, I'm really enjoying Ali Farka's, Kaira,-so beautiful and mellow. Also, Sara+H linked to some videos by Regina Spektor and Keely and I are hooked on the song, Fidelty, and the beginning of the Us video is just awesome to watch. I don't listen to the radio (itunes or bust) so she is new to me.  Keely made me play them on YouTube at least 20 times for her. Then, she ran into our dining room to bang on ours. Bang away. Music is good.
 I was planning on adding my top ten favorite toys to my dear pal, Katurah of Luckybeans, tomorrow but she posted most of the things I would have, so I'm going to have another look around and I'll post our picks soon. Well, 20 days until Christmas. Eek! Much to do. I'd better stop procrastinating here and get to it. 

14 Comments December 5, 2006

Weekend with the Humbugs


I tried the christmas card photo shoot again this weekend. I got no cooperation.  She just pulled the santa hat down over her eyes or turned her back to me. Nice. I gave up for and then she wanted to wear her "Rapunzel" hat to play in outside.
I seized that opportunity and chased her with the camera while she played. Some shots turned out cute. Not what I had in mind, but what can you do?  
Now she has a cold, so I know I won't be getting any better ones. "You gotta know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away etc…" Give up on the perfection. I think I'll direct people to my flickR site in the Christmas cards. If you want to see better photos, go here-or something like that. I was not in a good mood this weekend and neither was anyone else in our home, including our animals. Is it the current planetary alignments or just the things we get ourselves into? Who can say? The hubby is pulling out his hair over his gi-normous paper that is due way too soon. He's feeling overwhelmed with his job, his classes, his house projects, and probably by his crazy women folk.
Keely is just Keely ('nuf said.) and I am my normal whacky self. The hubby has been trying to make us a bed platform for several weeks now, but either it rains or he has too much work to due and can't get to it-ditto for the screened-in porch.  Back story: We HAD a bed frame and a weird water mattress that was his mother's but we didn't like it anymore, so we gave it back to her and then had to buy a new mattress and it's been on our bedroom floor for many weeks now. Grand 'ole King-sized bed flopped in the middle of our bedroom. Really purty.  The hubby decided he was finishing the bed this weekend. So, while he was writing a paper and building a bed I decided, "What a perfect time to decorate for Christmas." I'm such a genius. So, …Oh yes, we had also JUST cleaned up our disastrous study/craft room because it was beyond awful…so, I go in the attic and start dragging down box after box of merry stuff and piling it in the study. Now, the study is back to being a mess. The day goes on, Keely is cranky, I've hurt my neck carrying boxes down stairs and the hubby is sanding and painting and quoting meaningless jabber from his academic reading.  I'm going through the jingle bells and pulling out stuff that has been handed down to us that I know we'll never use. I decide I am getting rid of everything that I don't want in our home. So, I'll just start a pile of that stuff over here, and here, and one more over there. You should see our study. Help me. Help us. Then, the hubby runs out of sandpaper. We all load up to go to the hardware store. Where we go one, we go all. I (we) only went along because I needed rescuing from playing baby animals. Can. not. play. any. longer. Then, how long does it take to get a toddler dressed? My god child. She insists on wearing her pajamas all day long, day after day. I think she wore them for four straight days last week. They are looking rough. Finally, I have us looking like we are not homeless people and we make it to the store 4 score and 20 years later.  "Hey, let's buy a tree while we're out." I have SO many good ideas, no? We do. Come home. He goes back to the bed work. I stare at the piles of stuff that are now in every room of the house.  We realize our tree is not going to fit where we normally put it because we now have a 1,000 pound piano there. Interesting. Who's idea was that piano?  So, we shove the piano down and smoosh the tree in the corner. That looks ridiculous. Move the tree all over the living room. Hubby carries the dancing tree to this corner, now that corner. It doesn't fit anywhere. "Can we just move now? We have too much stuff." sigh. It starts to rain. Husband runs outside to save his freshly painted bed boards. He's running in, carrying them. He hurts his back. This weekend sucked.

  Good news is we now have a finished bed. It's so nice to not be on the floor anymore. Well done husband. 

I've got a mountain of stuff to sew up for christmas, some gifts to buy, photos to get printed, cards to mail… AND I realize I have nothing to buy/give to our daughter for Christmas! I can't think of a thing that she needs. But it's Christmas! We have to have something for her! Oy. But first things first, I must get our house back in order. I can't function in this chaos. Next post will be much less complain-y. Promise.

9 Comments December 4, 2006

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December 2006
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