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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Adam's Art

Adam has recently developed a real interest in drawing. Last week he started drawing step by step "how to draw" illustrations for such important items as cars and the Abominable Snowman from Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer:

(Adam's instructions break with convention by starting in the lower left corner.)

Here are a couple of drawings he did yesterday:
Asher in the Half Pipe

A few weeks ago we introduced Adam to this video and it has proven to be quite an inspiration. He asked for (and got) a skateboard for his birthday, he talks about skateboarding all the time and, during a trip to see the lights at Temple Square last week, he pretended to skateboard on, and jump off, all the planter boxes and fountain borders.

What Mom Wants for Christmas

This is part of a larger work, a collection of drawings of things he's going to get for his family and friends for Christmas. In case you can't tell, this is "Children who share and no noisy children."

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Adam Turned Five

Among other festivities, there was some business with cupcakes.

There were some cousins over to play, and some target practice.

Adam's aim improved later, after he learned that you have to scrunch up your face.

There was a birthday dinner, with Adam's requested menu: artichokes, roasted vegetables (brussels sprouts, carrots, potatoes, and mushrooms), and Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. And chocolate milk.

He wanted to say the blessing on the food. He said, "Thank you for this day, and thank you for this food, and please bless that it will be good for us -- well, actually, I know that the mac and cheese isn't good for us, but please bless that at least the other things will be good for us . . ."

Oh, how I love this kid.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Ellen Gets Herself Ready for Preschool

Green preschool T-shirt, pink floral capris, purple sequined vest (another birthday gift from Grandma Kathe), and two-tone purple patent leather Mary Janes.

It took a while to get that shoe buckled.

Green marker on her cheek to match the shirt.

She latched onto those purple shoes at Old Navy a couple of weeks ago and followed me all around the store begging for me to buy them. I kept telling her sorry, no, can't buy those, sorry, no. But when I went to put them back, I couldn't find any others like them, and they had no tag, which might mean . . .

Me, to salesperson: "Can you tell me how much these shoes ring up at?"
Salesperson: "$2.34."
Me: "Thanks. We'll take them."

Adam had been all ready for preschool, but when I called that it was time to go get in the car, Megatron showed up instead.

*By the way, can you see how Ellen has a few bangs now? She cut those herself a few weeks ago. I'm not kidding. No one has touched them since she took the kid scissors to them. We got lucky -- I'm sure her intention was not to give herself some bangs -- she just went after the part that was hanging in front of her face and happened to get it right. I know one of these days our luck is going to run out, because this girl has taken the scissors to her hair 3 times now ("Ellen! Is it ever OK to cut your own hair?" (Big smile)"No!"), and so far never with disastrous results. I do miss those curls I had to cut off when I eventually decided to even everything up after the last time she played barber to herself and took a chunk off from the back underneath.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Black Suede Baby Shoes

For my cousin's baby.

I thrifted an old suede jacket on 99 cent tag day a long time ago, with projects like baby shoes in mind. It was too thin a suede to use without a lining, otherwise this project would have been easier. It was especially fiddly since you can't really pin leather and it could have used some pinning. The pattern is from this Japanese craft book. Looks like it's out of print now. Sadly, I didn't get a pic of the top I embellished with some flowers to match. (So why am I even telling you about it?) That's what I get for starting projects 10 min. before I'm supposed to leave for the shower.

Also, tonight Jane posted this helpful sign, in verse:

Monday, November 8, 2010

Monkey Zu

In our 2004 family newsletter, we reported:
"Zuzu has developed her native climbing skill impressively over the course of the year, learning to get into and out of her highchair without help at 14 months, out of her crib or playpen at 18 months, and out of any shopping cart, even if buckled in. With the help of a bar stool, even the top of the fridge is not out of her reach."
I thought I'd give you this 2010 update on the situation:

video by Peter

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween 2010

Jane handed me a list a few weeks ago titled "Candy Corn Witch costume," with exact specifications. Her starting point was the candy corn tights I got her from an after-Halloween clearance sale a couple of years ago. All I did was put the appliqué on the shirt and the ruffle band on the hat (exactly according to Jane's instructions, of course).

Zuzu's piratess costume is from our costume box. Grandma Kathe bought it many years ago on after-Halloween clearance, and I added the long skirt under the velour micro-mini skirt it came with and the white neckline insert, 'cause sexpot costumes on sweet little girls are too scary even for Halloween.

Sir Adam the Longlashed.

We were at the dollar store. They had just gotten in their Halloween stuff and I saw the plastic helmet, breastplate, gauntlets, shield, and sword. Me: "Adam, would you like to be a knight for Halloween?" Adam: "YEAH!"

I made the tunic, leggings, and boot spats. So far I've only had to hot glue 3 of the dollar store items back together. That's because I didn't let him play with them until yesterday.

Grandma Kathe made Ellen the green leotard and tutus for her birthday last August, so when I saw green wings and fairy shoes at the dollar store the same day we got Adam's plastic armor, my Cheap! Easy! Costume! alarm was going off like crazy. I made a flower head wreath, put a flower on each shoe, and added elastic to the opening so they'd stay on.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Who Are You, Who Are So Wise in the Ways of Science?

After trying to salvage what was left after some neighbor boys knocked most of our nectarines off the tree, I had a box of fruit on the counter for several days.

Do you know what happens when you have a box of fruit on your kitchen counter for several days?

Fruit flies happen.

After a bit of research on the marvelous interwebs, I had come across three different suggestions for a homemade fruit fly trap. So, thought I, Why not try them all?

My highly scientific conclusion: If you have a fruit fly problem, forget the funnel or soap suds traps, and go straight for the plastic-wrap-with-a-few-tiny-holes-poked-in-it variety. And conventional homilies notwithstanding, you'll actually catch more flies with vinegar than honey.

OK, so I didn't properly control for variables since the middle bottle is the only one that has red wine vinegar and a piece of fruit in it, while the bait in the other jars is just white vinegar. But I'm convinced that it was the plastic wrap that made the difference, since the little guys were all over the drops of white vinegar I spilled on the counter.

If you try this at home, I'd recommend trapping them in a few quicker batches rather than leaving them in the jar for too long. You don't want them to lay eggs and start to breed, a process which takes -- if my recollections from 10th grade biology class genetics experiments with Drosophila serve me correctly -- about 5 minutes.

Sorry if this post grossed you out, but I will not be restrained from furthering the cause of Science.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Look at the beautiful flowers Peter gave me for our anniversary:

Monday, June 21, 2010

On A Positive Note, You Can Entertain Yourself Making Up Definitions for "Archtin," "Inkyloom," and "Trisu"

I didn't want to do it.

I really didn't want to do it.

But the time has come to turn on word verification, because the Chinese porno comment spamming has gotten out of control.

You'll keep leaving comments, right? You don't mind typing 5-10 extra keystrokes, do you?

Thanks. You're the best.

My Summmer Solstice So Far

I took four kids to 9:00 a.m. swim lessons, including the parent and child class with Ellen. I supervised after swim showers. I pulled Adam away screaming from the showers because no matter how long I let him linger, it will never be long enough in the warm water for him. I spent 5 minutes coaxing Ellen into her carseat. I explained, for the 6th time in a week, amid crying and whining, why we can't buy shaved ice before we go home. I explained, for the 6th time in a week, amid crying and whining, why we aren't making shaved ice at home at 10:00 a.m. I corralled them into an in-depth vacuuming clinic. I cajoled them into helping to fold laundry. I picked up toys. I let them help prepare their lunch. I let them have their lunch outside picnic style. I wiped watermelon juice and peanut butter off of hands and faces and furniture and doorknobs. I let them take countless string cheese packages from the fridge. I picked up countless string cheese wrappers from the house and yard. I took the older girls to art classes, making them gather up their art supplies from ours' and our neighbors' front porches beforehand, making us late. I weeded and dead-headed the front flower bed and watered the planters. I let Jane and Zuzu have a "yard sale" of unwanted toys on condition they pick up their room first. I refereed the fighting that accompanies the picking up of their room. I helped Ellen and Adam to change back into their swimsuits to run through the sprinkler. I supervised them and several neighbor kids in the scrubbing of yellow crayon off of the front porch (no, it didn't all come off). I forgot to put sunscreen on Adam and Ellen. I put aloe vera on Adam and Ellen. I gathered up tennis rackets, towels, clothing, shoes, sidewalk chalk, bikes, scooters, strollers, and paintbrushes from around the neighborhood. I wiped cookie residue off of hands and faces and furniture and doorknobs. I did two loads of laundry. I said "Yes" 20 times. I said "No" 40 times. I closed the screen door 50 times.

And now it's 4:30, the time of day when my patience always seems to wear the thinnest.

Movie time?

Happy Summer.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Games for Geeks

You know how at Merriam Webster Online clicking on the little speaker icon next to a word lets you hear how it's pronounced (like this)? 10 years or so ago, I discovered that if you change the word at the end of the pronunciation pop-up box's URL, the link would then display your word of choice along with the original audio.

Recently I remembered about my little trick and was pleased to find that it still works. Click here for an example.

An endless source of amusement, right?

Well, today Jane wanted me to teach her how it's done, so I did, and later, she left this window
open for me on the screen.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Kid Quotes, May 2010 Edition

Ellen (who lives for anything with sugar in it): I want some medicine.
Me: You don't need medicine. You're perfectly well.
Ellen: Yeah I do! I hurt, because I need medicine.

Me, to Ellen, every morning: Would you like some breakfast?
Ellen, every morning: No. I want some candy.

Me: You smell like maple syrup. Your face looks sticky. Were you drinking syrup?
Ellen: Yeah. In a cup I was!

Adam, saying our family prayer: And please bless Sister Lindsey, that she will . . . survive. (Before the prayer, Peter said, "Don't forget to pray for Sister Lindsey. She just had surgery, and it was pretty serious.")

Adam: Could you wash my hands?
Me: OK. Are you sure you don't want any more food?
Adam: I don't want any more. I'm full.
Ellen: Yeah you do! You have to have some more lunch!
Adam: No! I don't! And I know, because it's my body. And I have my body glued to me.
Me: Wow. What kind of glue did you use?
Adam: HEAVENLY FATHER glued my body to me.

Adam: Mom, can you read these poems to me?
Me: Sure.
Adam: 'Cause, I just wrote random letters, so, I'm not really sure what it says.

Adam, to Peter: Well, I just think it's kind of weird that Mother's Day is always on Sunday, 'cause, ya know, not all mothers are born on Sunday.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

From the Workshop

Another "diaper cake" centerpiece. There's a little baby boom going on in my neighborhood. Lots of baby showers.

Blankets for boy & girl twins whose nursery is brown & green:

I put crochet thread in the bobbin and button thread in the top before I stitched around the edge. I like how well-defined it came out:

Some things for a baby girl born a few months ago:

Boy's onesie set. There were pants too like the ones in the girl's set above, made from an old ribbed cotton sweater. With only four seams including the waistband and no hemming since I used the existing finished edge, those pants were easy-peasey:

I wish I'd remembered to take a picture of another girl's set I made, with a convertible gown.

One of four identical aprons for some girls at church that I love very much who are graduating from high school and therefore soon leaving the Young Women organization and moving into Relief Society:

For the record, my house is a mess.

Monday, May 17, 2010

I Love It When They Dress Themselves

For example:

I could never have put this outfit together and I honestly love it.

Me: What are you doing?
Ellen: I'm changing my skirt.
Me: Why?
Ellen: Because the other one was on backwards.

Well, the blue is lovely too.

And here's a little something Adam picked out for himself one day:

Monday, April 19, 2010

Deseret Chamber Singers Spring Concert

As I've mentioned before, I sing with this phenomenal choir. Just doing a little publicity for our concert this Saturday, since it's always nicer to sing to a full house. Admission is free!

Deseret Chamber Singers Spring Concert
Saturday, April 24th, 7:00pm - 8:00pm
First Baptist Church of Salt Lake City
777 S 1300 East, Salt Lake City
Click here for a map. (Enter your own address to get directions.)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Two Related Images

Proud preschooler:

What I found on the computer screen a few weeks ago after Adam had called out to me, "Mom? How do you spell 'the?'" (Guess he didn't hear the 'T.'):

His internet searching skills are improving, even if he still couldn't find what he was looking for.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

It's Made of Diapers

Much to Ellen's dismay.

If you've been to many baby showers, you've probably seen these clever centerpieces made of diapers that the mom can use later. The first I heard of them was the time I was helping out with a shower several years ago and my friend was telling me excitedly about the "diaper cake" she was making for the event. The more she tried to explain, the more confused I became, and the more wrong it sounded. "Well, you roll up diapers, and you put ribbons on it . . ." Once I got the key piece of information that we were not talking about something you eat, everything finally fell into place.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Snow On Snow

It must be spring. My blog seems to be all about the weather again.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Easter Duds 2010

I did it! I got a couple of dresses made in time for Easter baskets last week. My bed missed me.

Before I had a chance to make Ellen's, I came across this beautiful little dress:

Incredibly well made and 70% off. I wanted to make one for her too, and I have yards and yards of the other eyelet left, just not TIME. I can't compete with the third world seamstresses.

The whole crew:

Hurray for warm golden sunshine! Hurray for tulips!

Now for some outtakes.

Ha. I say that like most of the shots weren't "outtakes." Actually, the few that turned out are the ones above, while I got about twenty shots of Zuzu and/or Ellen crying, even though I was promising them cookies in exchange for cooperation the whole time. (Thanks for the cookies, Julie!) The benefit to taking pictures after church? They're already gussied up. The drawbacks? They've been at church for the last 3 hours and are tired and hungry.

(Cause of tears: Jane had the gall to set her on the bench.)

(Cause of tears: Jane and her friend moved the bench. Zuzu wanted to help move the bench.)