Saturday, January 23, 2010

Purple is My Favorite Color

About 3 weeks ago, Sara came up to me and said, "Mommy, Laura's room is pink. Eliza's room is green. My room is tan. Tan is not my favorite color. Purple is my favorite color." With that kind of logic from a 2.5 yr old, how could I say no?!
We were waiting to paint her room until she knew what color she wanted. And, since it hasn't changed and she has been asking us for a purple room every day for the last 3 weeks, we painted her room today. It went quickly and I love the shade and tone of purple we used.
Sara was thrilled. When she first saw it she squealed with delight and said, "Purple everywhere. This is fantastic. Thank you. You da best." Then there was much dancing. I'm happy to do something for her when I get a response like that. We hope you love your purple room, Princess Sara!

Bunco Hosting #3

I hosted Bunco on the 19th of this month. I used beautiful tablecloths handed down from my Mom which were given to her by her Mom. Then I used cranberry plastic plates and cups (ease was necessary) with my silver chargers - I wish I had gold chargers to go with the tablecloths, but silver still looked good. I think they turned out nicely.
For dinner I served the two kinds of quiche that I tried out on Christmas morning along with croissants, a light salad, homemade chocolate chip cookies, and 2-liters of soda. I think all women like quiche, but very few men do. So, I thought it was a good choice for a ladies party. And, in case someone didn't like quiche, I had salad and croissants...thank you Mama for raising me right and teaching me to always have options and plenty of food!
My favorite part of the month were the prizes. I did paper products. I mean, how hilarious is it to go home toting a HUGE (size wise) prize?! And, who doesn't have a need for paper products in their storage - especially after the expensive December budget?! It was also nice to be able to customize easily and get prizes at the EXACT price for each winner.
My big effort for the month was that I made felt table covers for us to play on because of various table surfaces - "squishy, rough, sticky, hard, dirty", etc. - and I thought they would be super nice. I loved the felt covers (as does Jason when we play Farkle/Hot Dice), and thought that they made the surfaces all uniform and fixed all the abovementioned problems. However, from all I heard, I think I may have been one of the only ones who enjoyed them for Bunco. Glad that we like them at home!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


After an awful night of pain, little sleep following an unsuccessful - at least it felt that way to me - Bunco hosting, I decided to spend the day indulgently. The house is spotless, dinner is made, and a load of laundry is finished, so I felt okay abandoning my typical homemaker duties. I briefly considered some retail therapy (had a Walmart return anyway) but quickly realized that Walmart, two children, and snow would not be therapeutic. So, I began my indulgent day by taking ridiculous amounts of pictures of my littler girls.

Look at how high this head is!
This grin can turn anyone's attitude to positive!
Yep, she still fake and happy!
Loving to sit and all the new things she can check out.

Getting good at that sitting business.
"Hey Mommy, I covered Liza with all the blankets and a binky on top"
Sara doing a twirl for me in her skirt and enjoying uncooked spaghetti.
Looking bling-tastic in her daily outfit. "Ariel dress - purple"
Sara and I also spent an hour snuggling and reading books while Eliza was sleeping. And, I got my 5 miles done on the bike - some exercise endorphines do a body good. Now, I feel much better and seem to have my priorities back in order. Time to go get Laura from school!

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Going Soft

It's amazing what I will allow to happen after this long without a hubby and very little sleep. Yep, I just needed some peace. I got all the laundry folded and the baby fed while Sara was playing in the sink. It began with her sleeves pulled up and progressed to what you see below and eventually she ended up completely in the sink. It only took two minutes to clean up and man, it was worth it. Sara had a GREAT time!

Thursday, January 07, 2010


New Year's Day was sunny and had piles of snow on the ground. So, we bundled the girls up like crazy and sent them outside to play. Yes, after over an hour of playing outside, their heads were sweaty when I removed their hats. I have a thing about making sure my kids are never cold.
The girls had a great time working with their kitchen items and even built a snowman. Unfortunately, he was not too stable and kept falling down to poor Laura's extreme frustration.
Mommy to the rescue. I went outside and we built a serious snowman (he is still standing days later despite sun and rain) and I taught Laura the techniques of filling in gaps between the snowballs with snow, and compacting. Since we didn't have a carrot or coal, we went for non-traditional snowman. We turned him into a snow Mickey Mouse. Though, I kinda think he looks a little more like a snow bear - polar bear? The girls were (and still are) very proud of him and I had a great time playing with them.

Laura had a friend (McKay) come over to join her outside, so Sara got "berd" and came inside. She asked to make cookie dough. So we did. And, she sure has enjoyed it!
After filling her belly and taking a bath, Sara spent some special snuggle time with Daddy and Eliza. Yes, it was a wonderful day of relaxing, playing and all of it family time. Pure heaven!!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

New Year's Eve

I realized a few days before that we had no New Year's Eve plans. So, I called Andrea and we made super casual plans for the night. They came over at 8:00 pm and we all ate pizza and soda and played games until midnight. It turned out wonderfully. I did make another Buttermilk pie for the night because I couldn't stop thinking about the one from Christmas Eve.
I had a very simple craft for the kids to do. They made New Year's Hats. It took them quite a while and they all were very proud of their work which I think makes for a successful activity. Aren't they all so cute?! (Unfortunately, I took the picture before Ashton had put "Captain" on his hat)
We then played the Wii and the kids played downstairs some until we banged on pans to wake up the neighbors - I mean ring in the new year. Yes, all of the kids made it until midnight! It was great fun to be with Andrea, Mike and Family. Thanks for coming over and helping start our new year off right!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Christmas Day 2009

Our Christmas Day this year was wonderful. Santa came and filled the big girls stockings with all of their favorite candies, "lapstick" and a new toothbrush. They loved checking it all out and were thrilled with how well Santa knew what they liked.
Santa even filled Eliza's stocking. He brought her ding-a-lings for her carseat - which she already loves to bat about. And he also brought her some new binkies. The big girls generously helped her unwrap all her gifts.
Santa also brought one big present for the two bigger girls to share - a Hot Wheels Tune-Up shop. It has been wonderfully fun and added some great diversity to all our girl-centric toys.
Mommy and Daddy got the girls each one fun present as well. Laura received Toy Story for the Wii. This game comes with high recommendations as one of the best family games we've found for the Wii. All of us from Sara up to Jason love playing it together.
Sara received a big set of princess shoes and a crown. She has worn them EVERY SINGLE DAY since Christmas. She is going to be a master of walking in heels when it comes to school dance time, but man those things are loud on the tile! (Note that we dressed the girls in their Mickey Shirts for the day to remind them of the big thing we did for Christmas)
Jason and I jointly got surround sound, which J hooked up beautifully, though terrifyingly on our 14 ft ceilings. He got a few Wii games and I got a new, bigger digital picture frame. We have been loving all our technology!

Jason's parents joined us for our traditional breakfast with them. I made two quiches for the occasion - Spinach Bacon Swiss (new) and Ham Potato Cheese (tried and true) along with fruit and juice. They were super yummy, and by abusing my grocery store they were also super easy, so I will be serving them for Bunco that I am hosting in January.

At this time J's folks opened their stockings from us and the girls opened their presents from Grandma and Grandpa. The girls looked precious in their Christmas Dresses the next Sunday and Jason and I have used and abused the remote caddy and earrings.
An hour after Jason's parents first came, his brother Todd joined us with his kiddos so J's parents could open our joint gift - a new camera. It was great to see him and his kids on Christmas and we appreciated his effort to include us in his day.
After Jason's parents and Todd's fam left to all be with Bret's and Keri's families, J and I saw one of our favorite Christmas moments. Yep, the girls made time in all the craziness of Christmas to go and read on Sara's bed together - and they did it on their own initiative. (All of the girls received the books I purchased at the scholastic sale as a good portion of their Christmas gifts.) I love how much these girls love to read.
As an aside, and something I really want to remember, I learned the greatest advice about Christmas gifts this year from Jen, my sis-in-law. She said you should get each kid "Something to wear, something to read, something you want, and something you need." File away for subsequent Christmases...LOVE IT!

Later that day my mom had all of us over to her house for a late lunch/early dinner. It was super casual and such a great time. I loved just being with everyone, watching the kids, chatting with the adults/teens and just chilling out and enjoying the family aspect - the best aspect - of Christmas. (Oddly, I took no pics of Tana's fam at the event, but they were there :)
Laura snuggling into Grandma

Sara dancing with Prince Steve (who looks uncannily like Aladdin in this awesome hat)

Sara "helping"Joey play the piano

Eliza snuggling on Jeff - I have adorable pictures of Jeff with all my girls when they were about this age

Eliza learning the importance of texting from a super awesome teenage girl, Becca

Monday, January 04, 2010

Christmas 2009: Christmas Eve

We continued the tradition of the theme based Christmas Eve this year. "Little House" was the theme we chose. And, once again, Christmas Eve was my favorite experience of the season.

To keep Laura entertained throughout the cooking earlier in the day, I gave her a stack of paper and cookie cutters. She made wonderful place settings out of them. My parents gushed over them as well as Jason and I and she was deservedly proud.
Dinner is typically the best part of the "theme", and it was again. We ground the wheat and made homemade rolls to go along with our turkey, mashed potatoes and beans. The rolls were definitely the highlight of the entire meal.
We then strung some popcorn. I learned that it is all about a small needle and patience. So, well, we didn't string too much. But, it was fun to try and the little string turned out really pretty.
I was surprised to discover that the thing the girls were looking to the very most was the nativity. It was definitely the highlight of the night - yes, I cried. Though, we have now tasted the beginnings of role sharing issues. Yep, we had two Marys briefly.
Laura "Great With Child" and riding the donkey
(thankfully, not Daddy Donkey this year)
Sara taking a turn as Mary
The real nativity scene with a live (though fat and not amenable to swaddling) baby Jesus, a Shepherd, and Joseph and Mary
A multitude of the heavenly host
We sang "Happy Birthday" to baby Jesus over buttermilk pie (oh so delicious) because I just couldn't stomach the thought of vinegar pie. We were also intending to do Maple Candy on Snow from Maple Syrup (Karyn the Vermont native gave us wonderful instructions) and to have apple pie, but we were all so stuffed that we just couldn't do it.
Laura arranged a plate for Santa and was particularly thoughtful this year. She decided Santa would've had enough sweets, so she left him a roll to go with his eggnog. The reindeer were left extra apple slices from dinner as variety to the traditional carrots. At this point in the night she was REALLY wound up. 6 yrs old is a magical age for Christmas. But, the girls all went to sleep beautifully.
My parents spoiled us with presents. The girls have loved their gifts (Sara wears her apron daily and Laura rearranges her snowglobes nearly as often), ornaments (totally personalized, thoughtful and fun) and really loved helping grandma and grandpa open the presents in their stockings. And, I have ADORED the exercise bike they got for Jason and I. (More on that later.)