Friday, December 28, 2012

A Black and White Christmas

None of our pictures turned out very well from Christmas--there wasn't enough light and then I turned on the flash and got red eye.  So thank god for black and white photos, they look so much better!

 Our Christmas eve was very mellow, we just got Chinese food and the kids hadn't taken naps so they were in bed pretty early.  Brendan and I put Christmas presents under the tree, filled stockings, and watched TV.  I was in bed by ten. 

The next morning we slept in until 7!!  Brendan and I were actually up before the kids were, which NEVER happens.  Ingrid was all excited to see presents from Santa, even though they were wrapped in our wrapping paper and she watched me put them under the tree.  That girl WANTS to believe!  She opened her stocking and was like "Santa has our same wrapping paper!  Cool!"  Even though I've told her many times that Santa's not real, this year she has chosen to believe.  There is apparently nothing I can do about it.

The kids played with their toys and we ate cinammon rolls and lounged the morning away.  I cleaned, getting ready for our family to come.  It was definitely the last party we will have until Ingrid's birthday in May.  We had three big get togethers the past month, which was just too much!  I was pretty glad when everyone left, I just sighed a huge sigh, poured a huge glass of wine, and said hooray for Christmas being over.

We took down our tree the next day.

Now we are back to normal, except both kids have pink eye.  We generously gave it to our neighbor's kids, too, so at least they can come over and play without us worrying too much about spreading it around.  We have another long weekend and then back to for real normal on Wednesday when Brendan goes back to work and Ingrid is back in school.  Ahhhh, new year!  What will it bring?

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Getaway

First of all, IT SNOWED!!  I was thinking it probably would never snow around here, we always seem to be just out of the range of wherever it is snowing...But it snowed the other day, and Ingrid was so excited!  We had to go out and play in it while Otis slept.
When Otis woke up, he wanted to join in the fun, so we made a snowman.  I have no idea why Otis is pouting here, though!
Anyway, the snow was the perfect backdrop for our Christmas getaway.  Brendan had some vacation time left so we got a suite at a hotel about an hour north of here.  It was awesome!  They have a waterpark so we got to go swimming and the kids went down little water slides.  The place was all decked out for the holidays,  it was gorgeous!
 Our room had a little bunk house for the kids, with bunk beds and a boat-shaped bed.  They loved it!  I loved the fireplace!  We had such a good time, it was really relaxing and fun.  We went to the local children's museum one day and had the place to ourselves.  It was super fun, so much to explore and play with!  Ingrid loved the grocery store and the doctor's office, which always makes me laugh.  "Come play store with me, Mama."  Uh, no thanks, I actually have to do real grocery shopping every damn week--it's not that fun.  They had a cool net thing to walk out over the whole first floor.  Ingrid was a scaredy cat but Otis ran full speed onto it!
 We stayed for two nights and it was perfect.  Just enough time to go swimming, eat out a couple times, and best of all, the last night we were there, guess who showed up??
Ingrid was beyond excited.  The cool thing was they had a group of carolers on the balcony singing holiday songs for awhile before Santa showed up.  We just sat in the lobby dancing to music, then went up to put pjs on and when we came back down, there he was!  Otis was more into Mrs. Claus, the little flirt!

We had a great time, this is definitely going to have to become one of our holiday traditions!


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Pinterest and My Make Believe Mud Room.

I know some people don't like Pinterest because it makes them feel inadequate, but I am a realist.  I know I will  not do the ten million crafts I have pinned for the kids, I know I will probably not make half the recipes I see on there.  I know for sure I will never get a slide staircase, even though I would LOVE one!  But I love to sit and waste my time after the kids go to bed and daydream about what we can do with our house.  Since it's our house and we can do whatever we want!
Lately I have been daydreaming about putting on a tiny addition to the side of our house, where the side door is.  I would love to someday add just enough space to have a little mud-room/laundry room combo.  It would free up some more space down in the basement, and give us a space to put our coats and shoes, which really pile up quickly...
Tonight I found these two pins that made me really want to do this!  The first is the exact idea I had--a small addition, just large enough for some storage of coats, mittens, boots.  A little bench.  Also a washer and dryer in there somewhere, too, so I don't have to go to the basement.  How cute is this?  It really doesn't look that huge, either, which is great.  We don't have a ton of space between houses, but we'd have enough for this.
 And this one shows the absolute cuteness I could bring to a muddy room with good fabric choices!  And flooring.  And maybe some cool vintage things scattered about on little shelves.  My mind is filling with ideas!  Now we just have to see how do-able something like this would even be...

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Mustache Party!

Yesterday was Otis' second birthday party.  And since he's such a little man, we had a little man/mustache party for him!  They are so trendy right now, really, so it was easy to find fun things to add to our party.  All I had to do was peruse Etsy and type in "mustache party" and I found a million fun things!

I chose mustache crayons as party favors.  I got them from this etsy shop, she was so kind and shipped very quickly!  And they were a hit!  (Although honestly most kids thought they were candy and tried to eat them...)
 I also got some mustache cupcake toppers for our ridiculously red and green cupcakes, from this etsy shop.  We also got some thank you stickers from them for the favors.  My mom and I found this cute snowman cake with cupcakes around it, so we got them, never really thinking about how messy the frosting would be with a bunch of littles running around!
 Otis was a very lucky little boy and got many fine new toys for his birthday!  We got him a wooden camera from Little Sapling Toys, which ended up being SO CUTE!  I just love it!  I think it might be my new go-to present for kids 2 or 3 years old.
 Since we had a breakfast party, we had tons of yummy breakfasty foods like quiche, cheesy potatoes, coffee cake, apple bread, and, of course, bloody maries!  The kids were in good pre-nap moods, and once everyone left, all of us crashed and took naps.  I say that is the perfect time for a two year old's party!  I can't believe Otis is TWO! 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Shows, Trees and Cookies: Our Traditions

Last weekend was full of Christmasy things.  Saturday I had a show at the local Waldorf school.  It was a HUGE difference from my country club show a couple weeks ago!  The people were all pretty much hippies and actually buying for other people, not gaudy baubles for themselves.  I did really well and had so much fun, I will definitely be doing it again next year!

The day was so fun in part because I was with my friend Melanie.  She has helped at shows before, and I love to spend the day, sans kids, with her!  She is a great salesperson and always helps so much!  Another thing that made it fun was the music that was playing on the stage behind us.  A couple ren-faire looking guys were playing strange Turkish instruments and there was a belly dancer.  Again, completely different than my experience at the country club, lol! 

Sunday Brendan went out and got our Christmas tree.  I was upstairs napping with the kids, and I heard some commotion but didn't think too much about it.  When I came downstairs, there it was, our wet and cold tree!  After letting it dry, we started decorating.  The kids were in heaven, they just thought it was so cool to hang the ornaments!
 I had to laugh because the tree looks like it's about to burst through our ceiling.  It was a bit taller than Brendan had expected, so he had to cut off the top and now it looks jammed in there.  There are also some nice streaks on the ceiling from the branches scraping!  It wouldn't be a real tree without a little bit of sawing and cutting to make it fit in the room, right?
 After the tree was trimmed, we sat down (at our new dining room table found at the thrifts!!) to decorate our cookies.  This year I went the easy route and bought a bag of sugar cookie mix and a can of frosting.  Usually I do things from scratch but after seeing how well they turned out, I think I am going to be a mix cookie gal from now on!  I let the kids have two cookies at a time, gave them a hunk of frosting and a knife, and then we had sprinkles and colored icing to finish them off.  Otis just wanted to eat everything, and Ingrid was very meticulous with her sprinkles. 
 And now we have a couple more exciting weeks ahead!  My mom comes in on Thursday for Otis' birthday, which we will have a party for on Saturday.  Then next week we are headed off to a resort an hour up north.  They were having a "Santa Special" where all their suites were super cheap, and they have an indoor water park, too!  So we get to put the kids in bunk beds in a separate room and enjoy the fireplace after having fun at the waterpark.  I think this will also turn into another holiday tradition for us!

Friday, November 30, 2012

The Mice in Our Garage

The other night I drove Brendan's car, which we park in our garage.  I never ever go in our garage since I never ever drive his car.  So I had no idea we had critters in the garage.  When I came home, the headlights showed me lots of little ones running and hiding.  I didn't really think too much about it, it's a garage.  Then Ingrid wanted to get the Christmas stuff out.
One box made it inside when we moved, but somehow one got left in the garage.  I opened it up and found a bunch of red fluff, which I couldn't figure out what it was.  It was everywhere!!  And then I saw the poo.  And then I saw the holes in the stockings.  Those little f'ers chewed through five stockings, a vintage tablecloth, and some tissue paper.  Ingrid was a bit upset she didn't have a stocking to hang up.  Luckily she knew we have time to get more.
Luckily she has a mom that sews stuff :) 
That night I set out to make some new stockings.  These are the ones I made when she was small.  These are the ones I made this week.
I like them so much I think I might make some to sell at the show I have next weekend!
Speaking of shows, the one I did this week was at a country club and it totally made me laugh to be there.  It was just kind of fancy and not really my style.  Oh well, I like how my table turned out and it's always good to get another show under my belt.
 Holidays are so busy, it's nice to keep doing things but I think I will like the chance to breathe after they are done!!


Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Just a few pictures from Thanksgiving.  Not many, we didn't do much other than sit and eat.  Ingrid was all alone at the kids' table because Otis napped through dinner.  She looked sort of lonely but we honestly didn't have any room for her at the big table!  Cody kept her company, and was well rewarded for his service...
 The day after Thanksgiving was all about making the chain.  When I was growing up, the day after Thanksgiving meant my mom would sit us down with paper, scissors, and markers and we made our paper chain.  Each link represents one day until Christmas, and each morning we would take turns ripping off a link.  This year was the first year we did this with Ingrid and Otis and they seem to love the idea!  Ingrid helped me tape the paper together and both kids love to go and look at how many more days there are until Christmas!
 My brother sent me a nearly identical picture of his kids by their paper chain right after we made this!  I love traditions that last.
And what was Otis doing all this time?  Sitting around with a fever, snotting everywhere.  That poor kid just gets a cold and it gets worse and worse and just lingers.  Ingrid was sniffly for a few days and Otis has been full on sick for over a week.  Blah.  Poor kid.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Mr. Gobbler Day

Yesterday Ingrid drew a picture of a turkey and labeled it Mr. Gobbler.  (Actually it was Mr. Goobler but she had tried so hard to write her own letters I couldn't really tell her she'd misspelled it.)  So today, this day of Thanksgiving, shall be hereby named Mr. Gobbler day. 

We have a turkey in the oven, we had homemade cinnamon rolls for breakfast, the kids are watching the Macy's parade with Brendan, and I am about to finish up some napkins that will adorn our table later today. 

Wanna see what the kids and I will look like come dinner time? 

Yep, just like that...

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Night Driving

Last weekend we went to Michigan to celebrate my neice's tenth birthday.  It was a crazy time of night driving, as we left on a Friday night and came home on a Sunday  night.  Instead of sleeping peacefully, the kids were up most of the four hour drive and went kind of bonkers from sitting in the car too long.  Blah.

But the trip was fun, they love to see their cousins.  I like to see my mom and sister.  It was gorgeous out and we got to spend lots of time outside. 

We even went to Tunnel Park, which is a lovely park on Lake Michigan that has a big huge sand dune.  And going right through the dune is a tunnel, hence the name.  I have memories from when I was little running through the tunnel screaming at the top of my lungs to hear it echo!  It was fun to see my kids do that, too!
 Our sleep was all off and everyone took amazing naps!  Otis in the stroller after a walk with Grandma, and Brendan and Ingrid passed out on the couch.  All that fresh air and chasing balls with cousins really wears you out.


Monday, November 5, 2012

Family Photos

My friend Melanie's husband is an amazing photographer, so I asked if he would take a family shot we could use for our holiday cards.  And also, Brendan has been begging for a picture to put in his office at work and I have none to give him.  The last family picture we have that looks good is from when Otis was 3mo old.  Yesterday was bright and sunny, so we met Jack and his family at an old train trestle in the Third Ward.  It was the perfect urban backdrop for some fun family pictures!

 Pretty cool, huh??  I love having talented friends!!  Go visit his site here