Thursday, November 24, 2011

Neat New Website - Craftgawker

I was perusing the time suck that is Pinterest, and my friend In the Yellow House, Jennifer, pinned a cute felt flower from the website Craftgawker.  So, I clicked over and it is a neat photo gallery of crafty ideas.  Click the photo and you are directed to the artist's website.  Check out the site if you are looking for some inspiration. 

And, hopefully, I will treat you to another rendition of What I Am Not Thankful For.  It seems I forgot to not be thankful last year.  This year, I will try not to disappoint. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Lazy Monday in November

Sunday, we celebrated my nephews 23rd birthday.   So weird, I cannot believe he is so grown.  Anyway, B also had a mate's birthday party to attend.  Here is what she wore:
Can you believe it?  The pose too?  I swear, she never want me to take her photo.  Anyway, she is cute.  These kids, they make  me crazy.  They make me want to leave for Miraval and only come home when I forget why they make me crazy.  But then this morning, when I was running errands, I thought about squeezing them and loving them and wishing they were with me to sing Christmas songs.  (And yes, I am already listening to Christmas music.  I have a love hate relationship with it.  I love the zippiness of it, but like I told Mike, it depresses me at the same time.  Crazy right?  That's my middle name, don't you know.) I think if I got a bit more time to make things, and a little more sleep I would be a good Mom instead of the sub-par one I am right now.  

**(Cue the paragraph where we skipped swimming lessons - bad mom, bad mom.)**

Yesterday morning, we were supposed to go to swimming, but with the lack of sleep and the last couple of nights being late, we skipped it and stayed in our pjs all day (well, the kids did - I showered and dressed).  We ate breakfast, turned on a movie we half-watched, made art, cleaned up.

While Charley slept, I worked in my office/craft room.  What do you think about the word "craft?"  Does it have a good connotation?  You say "craft show" to my husband, and he equates it with an afternoon that will age him 30 years.  Another way to look at it is a craft is something learned, be it knitting, welding or wood-working.  So, segue into B wanting to learn to knit.  She found a set of knitting needles in my craft room and asked if I would teach her.  "OK, let em find some yarn and needles,"  I said.  I found the stuff, and tried to cast on.  HA!  I didn't remember.  It has been at least two years since I have picked up knitting needles.  So, I pulled out my trusty Stitch and Bitch book, with illustrations, and cast on.   I showed B how to knit, but it is hard when your hands and fingers are little. So, we worked together.  This is how far we got before it got boring to her.

So, I picked up the yarn and B found some books to occupy herself.

Charley took a nice nap and afterward we played in the toy room.  The only bad thing about a playroom upstairs?  I have to go up with them.   They want to be around me (us).  So, up I went.  We played tea party and cars and dolls.  YEAH!  or not.  I am not much of a player.   I am a puzzle doer, or a book reader, or I do Teach me Toddler on the iPad with Charley (who, by the way, knows her shapes, colors, some letters by site, one or two by sound, and her numbers).  She is working on counting, using three and four repeatedly.  She is also talking a lot more.  Lots of new words.  Some she just says, without a prompt.  It is great.  Some two word statements too.  She says "read book," "ready set," "love you," "thank you," and she said something else this morning, but we were super late, and my mind was elsewhere.  I remember congratulating her on her language (I hate the saying "use your words") but I cannot remember what she said. However, we had school conferences today, and Charley's teachers let me know that she should be able to dress herself - including her shoes.  Whoops.  Funny, I potty trained her, well almost a year ago, and I never even thought that she could be dressing herself. 

Charley's does have excellent fine motor skills.  I love to watch her use a pencil or paint brush.   Charley loves to paint.  

And sometimes she even paints paper instead of herself.  I would have never let B paint herself.  Poor B.  Back when she was little, I know a woman with a child B's age who's kid always had dirty finger nails.  I hated seeing that kid's fingernails.  If B's nails got dirty, it was straight to soak in the bath.  I never wanted her digging in the dirt.  Now?  I still hate dirty fingernails, but kids learn so much by touching and digging and getting dirty.  Charley gets a lot of joy painting her hands and stamping them on the paper.  Same with stamp pads.  These days, my kids have stained hands almost all the time.  Sometimes even though they've had a bath.

B was making little impressions in paper with an embosser, then cutting them out.  I had B's conferences today too.  Turns out, she likes things her way.  HA!  That and she doesn't like to work on things that challenge her.  Great.  Total underachiever coming our way.  Doesn't get that from me or her father. Double HA!  Still, they say she is a good girl.  Polite and everything.  So, I did something right.

Then B wanted to paint with Charley.  Then are playing more and more together.  Not so much toys, but they chase each other around, jump around.  Wear each other out.  And they hug and kiss and worry if the other is crying (unless B made Charley cry).

The nice thing about the art room is the lack of carpet.  Mike and I knew we were not carpet people before we moved in, but it has been beat into our head this last couple of weeks.  I cannot imagine the type of people who have carpet everywhere (they must be so neat without kids and pets).  I was worried about the dogs dragging mud onto the carpet.  That hasn't happened - yet.  But everything else has happened.  It is crazy.  I cannot wait until it is all gone.  It is bad enough it stains, but it also holds smell.  And even if it isn't smelling like cat urine, it still smells like the cleaner, which is almost as bad.  YUCK!

Life in the Brady house is becoming a little more "regular."  You know, just in time for the Holiday revelry.  Charley is spending more and more time in her own bed.  Mike went and bought a mattress, so she will be in a twin bed as opposed to a toddler bed.  Isabel, our cat, had another round of radioactive iodine for her thyroid, so she is also keeping us up all night.  Since she is radioactive, she cannot sleep with us - for another week and a half.  She meows all night long.  Tries to open the door.  Arg!  I am hoping sleep comes to our house soon.  I am an angry mother to begin with, add a lack of sleep and I am a beast.  It would only be worse if I ran out of green tea and chocolate.

Well, this post reads wonky, since I have been writing it for the last 24hrs.  Oh well, you get the jist.   I should go back and edit and move around, but dinner is almost ready.  It is chicken noodle soup.  Perfect for the rainy day we are having.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Brady House Pictures

I took a couple of pictures of the house. 

This is the view from the family room door.  I was trying
to capture the snow the other day.  It was really
coming down!

This is the front courtyard, right outside the dining room.

Here is the art room.  It is supposed to be the kitchen
eating area.  But really, who needs more than one place
to eat? We have a dining room, we'll eat there. 

The kids love it.  We got the shelves (Ikea) Thursday and finished putting them together on Saturday.  Mike and I unpacked the supplies and the girls got right to work.  Stamping, play doh, painting, markers and clay.  Just since Saturday.  Isn't the light cute?  Ikea too.  The space is nice because there is a lot of light.  In the photo above, you can see the screen porch.  So there are windows on two sides of the room.  Hard to arrange furniture, but nice and light.

B is having a great time in the Brady House.  She has made some new friends.  Friends who run around outside!  B played outside with them yesterday and today.  They are older than her, but very sweet.  The oldest is 12, so I feel comfortable with B playing without constant supervision (that and I can see the yards across the street from the kitchen and laundry room window (which I also got put away this weekend.  Mud room/laundry room. Mike hung up these cute little racks for me to hang my clothes.)   Back to B, the girls are great.  They taught her how to jump rope!  I am glad for her.  The kids on James Street were younger and didn't play outside in the front like B did - plus the Brady House is on a street that is way less busy with traffic.  Mostly people walking their dogs (we are in the minority  - we never walk Shadow and Layla.  Mostly because of Shadow.  Since she is over a 100 in people years, just running around the house and yard with Layla are enough to wear her out and make her ache).

As I get more stuff put away, I will through up more pictures.  You'll never see the basement.  It is box city.  Next up, it the play room, my office and if I ever get a mattress, the girls room.  How scary can it be to buy a mattress?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Life In The Brady House

So far, life in the Brady House is good. There are still boxes to unpack.  Stuff to organize and put away.  Mattresses to buy.  Leaves to rake.  Shelves to put together.  Snow clothes to find (because my Brady House readers, snow fell from the sky this afternoon). 

 Below is the front of the house. 

And that is the only picture you are getting until, you know, I unpack the boxes and organize and put stuff away.  Because there is still at least one unpacked box in each room.

But other than a plethora of boxes, I LOVE OUR NEW HOUSE.  Love it.  I drove past the James Street house last night (a house which I also loved) and I just felt a little bad for leaving it.  The Brady House has a great feeling.  I don't know what it is, but I am actually calmer in this house.  Now, this still means I yell at the kids and animals, but I do it less often.  Unless, like yesterday, we were late (later than usual) for school, B wouldn't go to the bathroom and get dressed and Shadow couldn't find me (I was in the bathroom harassing B to go) to let her out and went both numbers on the carpet.  Yes, the carpet, which as God as my witness will be history soon.  You know where everyone goes to make a mess, be it urine, poop or puke?  Or mud or leaves or MARKER (the second day we were here)?  No, no, no, not the hardwood floor, not the tile, NOT OUTSIDE, but the very light colored carpet.  We've lived in Bradyville for 2 weeks today and we have stains and, uhem, smells already.   But, as usual, I digress. 

I LOVE our new house.  Well, until I get the Nicor bill.  About 65%% of the outside walls are giant windows with sliders.  Beautiful light coming in, along with a nice chill.  I just ordered blankets for the girl's beds.  Girl's beds, you ask.  Yes, Charley is in B's old toddler bed.  Not sleeping with me.  (Who is, you ask?  Mike.  Very weird.  Two years he slept in the other room.  How long do you think he'll last with my snoring?)  How is it going with Charley in her own room/bed?  Well, let me tell you, the bags and circles under my eyes are substantial.  The past couple of nights Mike has gone to calm her, but when she rouses at 3 am, HE is sawing logs, so I go and lay with her.  In. A. Toddler. Bed.  OK, OK, I am not as tall as some people, but a toddler bed is really too small for Charley and I to share.   I ordered her the same bed as B's (there are sharing a room right now) but I forgot to get a mattress.  It has been over a week and I still haven't gotten a mattress.  Mike said I need to negotiate.  Then I looked a the Back to Bed website.  There are a lot of mattresses out there.  Which is the right one?  I am very intimidated.  I don't want to get a bad one.  So, because of my lack of mattress confidence, I am still sleeping part of the night in a bed to small for even Mike. 

So, back to how much I love our new house.  It is still close to everything.  I still see people from our old neighborhood (namely Marci, Markus, Max and Madison).    Layla seems to love the larger fenced in yard.  Shadow, well, Shadow loves the carpet - to POOP on.  She is old, almost 15 (this January), I suppose it is a lot for a dog that is over a 100 in people years.  The cats are doing well, too.  Isabel has taken up residence in my bedroom.  Anna, well, let's hope wherever Anna is, she isn't urinating on something I want to keep.  (I say, there is a lot of excrement in our house, isn't there?)

We have had some issue getting TV, internet and phone service.  We aren't having luck with Uverse, so we are trying Comcast this weekend.  I just want our old phone number, HD TV and internet that works in more than half the house.  

So, despite all the mess, the Brady House is great.  And in a couple of years, when I am finally unpacked, we have more furniture, and maybe some window blinds, the house will be fabulous.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Halloween at the Brady House

We've moved to our new home, the Brady House, as we call it. Ok, I will explain quickly. We each saw the house on the internet and when we told each other about it, we both called it the Brady House. The house is from the early 60's and is an A-frame.

Should I get to the important part? Pictures of the girls in their costumes?

B and Charley had a fun time. They went to a couple of houses around us, then we went to our old hood for a party. B went out trick or treating with all the kids. Charley stayed with me and ate soup. It was a great party. Good food, lots of kids and fun friends. Mike and I didn't dress up. We were the only ones. Our friends Marci and Markus had the best costumes. Marci was Flo from then progressive commercials and Markus was Mayhem from the Allstate ads. Marci had the winged eye liner and teased hair bump (and the white clothes and Progressive apron) and Markus had on a pink headband and a butterfly band aid at his temple. Cracked me up!

When we got home, it took a bit for the kids to chill. Even though they really didn't eat a ton of candy. We, I mean B, is slowly working through her bag of candy. Snickers and Milk Duds are mine!

We finally got Internet. So, I will take some proper photos of the house and post a post. I need to do some fancy change of address cards. Or not. My craft room (yes, a craft room. Yeah!) will be the last to get set up, so
I think I will do a combo Christmas card/moving announcement.

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