Saturday, December 31, 2011


Being on a 3 week break has some pretty major advantages. Traveling (well, that isn't necessarily and advantage at times), catching up on TV shows, gorging on sweets until you gain 3 pounds, working on the but-shaped dent in the couch. Ah yes, break.

It has also given me an opportunity to craft. So here are some of the projects we've been working on...

These were Christmas gifts for the family - puzzle coasters. The kids drew on 8x8 pieces of paper and I cut them up in fours and mod podged them onto while title. After they dried, I sprayed them with acrylic spray, and super glued cork board onto the back. Voila! A fun set of homemade coasters.

We also made a homemade gift for my Aunt for her birthday. This required less active work on the part of the kids, but it turned out to be SUPER cute.

The trunks are the kids' arms and hands. It's mod podge (again, that stuff is so versatile!). I want to make a larger on to hand on our wall but haven't quite gotten around to it yet. It's actually rather time consuming to cut the leaves and paste them on, but I really love the way it turned out.

I've also gotten back into crochet. I made some beanies, but then tried out an owl hat. Here's my 1st try.

And Bubby's

And Sissy's

I have a few different types of hats/hoods that I want to try before I go back next week, we'll see how many actually get done :)


I have Christmas and traveling blogging to do, but today is our anniversary so I'll start with that and work my way back.

4 years ago tonight Bryan and I were married - we had a wonderful wedding that started at 9pm NYE and ended at 2am New Years Day with only a brief interruption to actually get married shortly after the stroke of midnight.

The day we got married was a pretty nice one. Cold, but sunny and no sign of rain.

Today wasn't too different, just warmer. And so to celebrate, we went to the beach. And now you're jealous. You should be, it was awesome. In fact, it was the only time during the day that Penelope didn't whine, maybe we should go to the beach everyday...

So Happy Anniversary to my wonderful husband - here's hoping for many, many more!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Crafts

I realize that posting this will spoil the surprise for anyone that receives these gifts in a few days, but I am quite proud of them and have a hard time keeping secrets so I will post it anyway.

This year is a "thin" one since for most of the year I was unemployed. I've been trying to figure out a way to give all the people we love meaningful gifts without breaking the bank. A friend of mine posted a link on how to make home-made coasters. The blog post used holiday napkins as the decoration - but I decided to use the kid's artwork instead.

So I gathered up supplies (white 4x4 tile, mod podge, cork backing, acrylic spray) and had the kids color (which was quite the ordeal once we got to the last few pieces of paper - turns out that making two toddlers churn out artwork is harder than it sounds).

I then cute, pasted, layered, sprayed, and glued.

And Viola!

They were pretty easy to make, but rather time consuming.

I have a boat-load of Hod Podge left over and a bunch of craft ideas, so maybe I'll start work on those when we get back from our bi-State holiday tour.

Baking with the babies

For Penelope's birthday we make cupcakes for daycare and cake for our pizza-party. Penelope helped with both (and actually helped). Griffin watched.

It was actually a lot of fun. Prior to this event, Penelope's "helping" has been less than helpful when it comes to cooking. But this time she was able to count out scoops, stir without making a mess, and didn't try and stick her hand into the batter.

Plus, she looked super cute while baking.

The Bubs

So my mom gets off my back :)

For the last two days my mom has been pestering me to post these pictures of our cookie decorating party this weekend. I have a lot of posts to catch up on, so posting this now isn't quite right chronologically, but I'm sure y'all will be able to figure things out.

So yes. Cookies.

It's a tradition in our family to bake an army of cookies around the holidays and invite people over to decorate. My parents recently uncovered a significant amount of video from Christmases past of all of us, plus many other family and friends, decorating oodles of cookies. I have many, many fond memories of cookie decoration parties. In fact, most of my Christmas memories are of cookie parties.

I have learned many things from my years participating in cookie parties.

1. Bake the cookies beforehand.
2. Wax paper the heck out of your decorating surface.
3. Keep sprinkles out of the reach of anyone under the age of 5.
4. Bake about a dozen cookie (or slightly less) per participant.

The reason you "only" bake a dozen cookies per participant is that the younger kids lose interest about 2 cookies in (and eat those anyway), the older kids decorate about 10 before losing interest, and the adults usually end up making a dozen "fancy" cookies before just slathering on some frosting and sprinkling it with whatever is handy. So a dozen per person means less 'grunt' work at the end of the party and you still get enough cookies for everyone to eat a few and take some home.

This year my parents were 3+ hours away and I considered not doing any cookies. It was the end of the semester, I was exhausted, Bryan was busy with work and school, and the parties can be a lot of work. But because I have such fond memories of cookie parties I decided to have one anyway and invite some of my coworkers.

And I am so, so, SO glad I did. We all had a wonderful time - the kids (well, Penelope) still talks about the cookie party, so I know that she's starting to form the same kind of memories I have about the holiday season. And I love that we're establishing traditions for our family. We don't have religious traditions (since we're Atheists) but we still feel that traditions are important, so the cookie parties give us an opportunity to create/maintain some secular holiday traditions that we can enjoy every year.

Also? We have Star Wars cookie cutters. So the party was extra awesome.

And now - finally - here are the pictures:

Star Wars batch

All the baked cookies

Griffin "decorating"

Two of Penelope's cookies and one of mine

With the Bubs

Sissy with her crown (which she got at the $1 bin at Target for being brave and peeing in the bathroom there - which, BTW, is loud and scary)

Apparently I have not learned rule #3 well enough

Heather, Andrew, & Chrissy - A&C teach English at SHS. H is a SPED Aid and is married to A. H&A have two girls (6 & 16 months).

All of us, sitting in the front are Patrice and her son Connor. C came because of the Star Wars cookies ;)

Some of Connor's "masterpieces"

More cookies!

As you can see, we had fun. So much fun that we forgot to take video. This will definitely be a yearly event so next year I promise video.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

"I don't wanna be 3"

Yesterday was Poe's birthday and to celebrate we went out to pizza. I invited a few colleagues from work and we had a small, but very fun, party. Penny had so much fun with her friends Maggie & Sophia (daughter of the Principal & Activities Director, repectively) that in the car on the ride home she said:

"Mommy, I don't wanna be three. I wanna be two."

"Why sissy?"

"I have another birthday party and see my friends!"

So I guess this means I need to be proactive and arrange a playdate.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Getting to Three

I was planning on a picture montage of Penelope from birth to 3... but it was about 30 pictures. So instead I'll TRY and choose just one from birth, 1, 2, & 3. Try.

Happy Third Birthday my Love.

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Penelope's Growth

6 years: 50 inches, 47 lbs
5 years: 48 inches, 42 lbs
4 years: 43.5 inches, 41.0 lbs
28 months: 39 inches, 33.1 lbs
26 months: 38.5 inches, 32.1 lbs
21 months: 37 inches, 31.8 lbs
18 months: 35 inches, 30 lbs
15 months: 34.25 inches, 28.8 lbs
12 months: 32 inches, 27.1 lbs
9 months: 30.5 inches, 25.1 lbs
6 months: 29 inches, 21.2 lbs
4 months: 28.5 inches, 17.13 lbs
2 months: 24.75 inches, 12.12 lbs
At birth: 20.75 inches, 7.15 lbs

Griffin's Growth

5 years - 3 feet 11.25 inches (47.25 inches), 51 lbs
3 years - 3 feet 5.25 inches, 40lbs
18 months - 34.5 inches, 27.13lbs
12 months - 32 inches, 26.5lbs*
10 months - 31.75 inches, 23.4 lbs
7 months - 29.25 inches, 21.4 lbs
5 months - 28.5 inches, 17.9 lbs*
4 months - 28 inches, 15.5 lbs
3 months - 27 inches, 13.10 lbs
2 months - 25.125 inches, ?? lbs
1 month - 24 inches, 10.13 lbs
At birth - 22.5 inches, 9.1 lbs
*with diaper

Izzy's Growth

2 months: 23.25 inches, 10.8 lbs
At Birth: 22 inches, 8.11 lbs

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