Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Elephants Make Everything Taste Better

Below is one of our favorite snacks- quesadilla with cookie cutters on the side in order to make animal and leaf shapes, and sometimes letters. Elephant shapes are a firm favorite and will turn nearly anything cookie-cuttable into something that will at least be tasted, and often enjoyed, when otherwise the food would have been refused.

At Jamies birthday (this was back in April, but we just pulled up the pictures again and he's STILL delighted with the elephant strawberries) I made a strawberry cake and cut little elephants out of sliced strawberries. He informed me that he wants this same decoration next year. Maybe I'll go with that, but NOT the cake I made this last year. Uck- that was terrible. I am not one who usuallly has baking flops, but this was strawberry yuck, not strawberry cake. At any rate James liked it and was thrilled witht the elephants. Much like ketchup, elephants just make everything taste better.

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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Art on the Walls

Sometimes coloring is more interesting when done in a new way, like with paper taped to the walls.

I visited a house once where the bottom half of the kids room was papered with news print so they had bedroom had walls that could be drawn on. I thought that was great, but there isn't space in the boys room. I think we'll do this again though, for what ever reason I hadn't thought before to just tape up the paper just for the art session.

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Friday, October 24, 2008

Welcome Scott Jeremiah!

Here's my brother with his new son

Waiting to hear more details. For now, Hooray!!!

Baking While Waiting for Baby

My niece is here tonight because her mama (my brothers wife) is having a baby! We don't know if she'll have a new brother or a new sister. Well, I don't think Elizabeth's quite aware that's she'll have a new anything, but I'm sure excited. We baked mini pizzas for a fun dinner. The kids helped put on the toppings (while also helping themselves to generous handfuls of grated cheese.)

After they were cooked I think Leland is the only one who actually ate more than the toppings.

For James and Elizabeth I might as well have just left them little piles of cheese and pepperoni to eat. Oh well.

They were tasty (just italian bread with left over marinara pepperonis and bell peppers), and a fun way to pass some time this evening. Now all the kids are asleep. I just know I'm going to be waking up all night hoping for a text on my phone about the baby. !!!

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A Tail of Cuddle Kitty

**Note- If you 'd like to make your very own Cuddle Kitty you can find a tutorial HERE. My Sister-In-Law made CK for James last Christmas.

Last month, when we went to Oregon, we accidentally LEFT Cuddle Kitty at Grammy's house. Oh no! We hemmed and hawed at bed time for a couple nights and then told James the sad truth. Luckily, by that time, we had established CK's whereabouts and knew Grammy would be sending her home. Naturally James was concerned, seeing as how "Post men don't like to have animals in their trucks!" I reassured him that Cuddle Kitty would be traveling in, "a kitty carrier box." (AKA a shoe box....)

He asked me to draw him some pictures about what would be happening. So I drew them on the calendar showing when she'd be arriving.

Then we waited...
And waited...
And waited...

Finally the day came (three days is a pretty long time for a three year old) that Cuddle Kitty came home! She was better than ever! Grammy had even given her a new tail to replace the one that had fallen off!

James showed off her new tail for the camera.

He took Cuddle Kitty to the calendar and showed her the pictures of her journey. He wanted me to go back and draw in her new tail on all of the pictures.

Having Cuddle Kitty home was so nice he just wanted to take a nap with her, and they snuggled into bed.

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Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Way to Spend a Fall Day

We've been hanging out with neighbors on their front drive all day. Impromptu jam session and cribbage followed a successful yardsale. This sort of spontaneous neighborly get together is one thing that makes me love where we live. Jodi there in the sunglasses, says she'll teach me guitar.

Friday, October 17, 2008

A Sick Shnoog

Poor Leland, this is all he wants to do- cuddle nurse and sleep. So that's what we're doing. He's very persuasive.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wardrobe Refashion: The Pledge

I'm signing up for the six month Wardrobe Refashion Pledge. I'm not too worried about not buying any new clothes, as I made a commitment at the beginning of the year to stick to recycled and thrifted clothing, and have been able to stick to it. Now I'm excited to get into embellishing and decorating more of the kids and my wardrobe! Here's the pledge. Choose 2, 4, or 6 months. It actually starts on November first.

I Alissa pledge that I shall abstain from the purchase of "new" manufactured items of clothing, for the period of 6 months. I pledge that i shall refashion, renovate, recycle preloved items for myself with my own hands in fabric, yarn or other medium for the term of my contract. I pledge that I will share the love and post a photo of my refashioned, renovated, recycled, crafted or created item of clothing on the Wardrobe Refashion blog, so that others may share the joy that thy thriftiness brings! Signed me.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Instead of a Snappi

Out of necessity I am continuing my cloth diapering creativity. With all the 'first choice' diapers in the wash, all we have left are prefold and these really big covers that require the prefold be fastened around the baby in some manner. Usually that means a Snappi, but those must have a hang out next to the missing sock pile, because we're down to one, and I can't find it lately either. Instead I wound up cutting a length of the hook side of velcro to go around Leland's back (the hook sort of helps hold onto the diaper.) Then I cut a shorter length of loop velcro to go across the front.  
The system's not perfect, but in a pinch- hey, it holds on the diaper! I had to share since I was feeling a little clever about my ingenuity, but I didn't want to suffer my husband looking at me with that LOOK if I tried to explain it to him. You know that look, right?

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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Jeans Leg Apron

Probably I should come up with a better name than, "Jeans Leg Apron." That just sounds odd. I'm happy with how these are coming out though. I had a hard enough time getting a picture of the front, so I have none of the back to show, but it goes over your shoulders and criss-crosses and then ties at the waist. I think it winds up looking flirty and fun.

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Friday, October 10, 2008

Converting Pocket Dipes to Pass-Thru Pocket Dipes

YAY!! No more standing over the diaper pail shaking out diaper innards from my pocket diapers! Even better, no more having to fish them out with my fingers if they're being stubborn. I am not squeemish, but still, I am not so fond of standing over a dirty diaper pail.

Well, now I've solved my problem. I'd seen pocket diapers online that have an opening at each end so the insert just comes out in the wash. I've sewn a few of these even, and they work great. But I already had a collection of only-one-end-opening diapers and figured I just had to deal with those. I didn't want to spend the time to make a whole new diaper stash. Then the other day it occurred to me that it would be really easy to just make a second opening in the dipes I already have and sure enough it IS super easy and it works! Now I can just toss these in the wash without removing the insert and they wash up just fine. Here's what I did (I have some dipes with a front opening and some with a back opening, I think most diapers have the back opening, so I'll show that):

First I sewed down the fleece across the front. ( In my diaper shown it was not already top stitched and I didn't want the inner fabric popping up out once it was cut.) I just sewed across the velcro strip. If it had snaps I think I would have sewn it down below the snaps line.

Then I snipped open about a 5 inch cut just below the stitching line. Fleece won't unravel so I didn't have to finish this edge. I was feeling paranoid about all the washing these get though, so to help the strength I zigzagged back and forth at each end of the cut, just to reinforce where it might get the most tugging.

And there you have it. Done. It looked just the same as before once I had it on him.

Here's one that has a front opening. For this I had to stretch out the elastic in the back as I sewed down the fleece. Other than that the process was just the same. You can see in this picture where I reinforced the opening with zigzags- that thicker stitching at each end of the stitched line.

If you have any questions just leave a comment and I'll answer them in the comment section!
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Thursday, October 9, 2008

Last of Summer's Treasures

We've had our first freeze and have said goodbuy to our garden until next year. This summer was very sweet because each time we'd pick a tomato James would exclaim, "Oh! The FIRST Tomato!!" Not accurate exactly, but the enthusiasm was wonderful.



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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Cute Cuffs

We, in this family, have no claim to height. But if we're gonna have to shorten everything it might as well be cute right?

Digger Pants for James

I really like the way the cement mixer looks on the back of the one leg.

I get to walk with the fishes.

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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Must. Sew. For Craft Show.

One 10 x 10 craft booth, one mom of small children, one sewing machine...lots and lots of fabric and luckily one babysitter. But I've only got her one morning per week! I am doing a craft fair in November and I really have nearly nothing ready for it. The good thing is having to sew enough for the booth will allow me to stock an Etsy site, which I've been wanting to do for a long time. The trick is fitting in time to sew. I wind up with time at night, but eventually my brain just starts shutting down. During the day James always wants to press the pedal for me- an adventure in sewing when the three year old is controlling the speed. I'll post more photos as I sew thing up. I'm really glad to have this little push to sew sew sew- and I better go do more of just that!

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