Tuesday, December 30, 2008

From the Workshop



Since it seems to be a tradition for me to NOT take photos of all the Christmas gifts I make (umm...Aunt B? and the other Aunt B? And Aunt Lolo? Could you send photos? Thanks :) here are some photos of a bridal jewelry set I've been working on. I'm sending these to work with Wonder Daddy for the bride and groom-to-be to mull over and send back with suggestions. The bridal party girls will be wearing peridot green jewelry- gorgeous color for the crystals, but I'm just not set on the design yet.

And...if there's any wish for a tutorial, I'll see what I can do. Jewelry making is so much fun!

Family Pictures

What fun! My in-laws had a family friend come over and take some portraits and pictures. She did a great job- here are a few that she's sent over.

We re-took a few photos today, and we had to wake Ernie up for the shoot. Bobby J kept up a steady stream of "You can have a piece of chocolate when you're done. What color do you want? You get a piece of chocolate! Smile! Here it is right here!" The photographer couldn't resist this "after" shot.

Possibly one of my favorite family shots of all-time for my little clan. No, this is my favorite. This is the one we had to wake Ernie up for, and Mimi had just barely opened her eyes. My shirt is fresh out of the washing machine (not dryer), because these were taken the NEXT day, and Mimi had done all kinds of bad things to this shirt the day before. As 3-month-olds will. :o)


I can't tell if this is a yawn or a yell (that lid was COLD!), but this is my adorable, almost-three-week niece, Nora. Isn't this a sweet shot?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Recently Heard


Ernie's first drawing- this is me. Or Emma. Or Daddy. Or Ernie. But probably Emma, my brother's girlfriend and one of Ernie's favorite people (Emma dances with her, and teaches her to draw, and lets Ernie wear her pretty necklaces)



Following in the footsteps of my friend over at Little Adventures, here are some of the things we've been hearing.
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Walking out of church, Ernie tries to open the heavy glass and metal door. She finally turns and tries to *puuush* it open with her backside. Above her head, Daddy reaches past and helps her, which results in a tumble to the floor. Crying ensues.

Mommy "Are you hurt?"

Ernie "Yesssss!"

Mommy "What hurts?"

Ernie *clutching her battered posterior* "Mine BUNNY!"

*************************************************************************************

Walking in to her bathroom during her weekly bath, I smell soap, and see a foamy white child, from shoulders to water-line.

"I clean, Mommy!"

*************************************************************************************
Coming in to check on her as she washes her hands after a potty stop, I find a sink full of soapy water, an empty baby bath bottle (which was new), and 2 rubber duckies floating in the sink, smooching under her command. Oh yeah, and she's buck naked.

"See Mommy? A kiss!"

*************************************************************************************
At lunchtime, before her nap, we promised her something that she LOVES. I heard her waking up, and went in to greet her. She opened her eyes and said...

Ernie: "A do-nut."

*************************************************************************************

And finally, today's installments. We leave tomorrow for Nana and Grandpa's house- we'll ride in Mom-Mom's car, in an airplane, on a people-mover...any ONE of these things would send her into a tizzy, and we're doing all three! Right now, she's been trying to go to sleep for 2 hours.

Mommy "Head on pillow and go to sleep!"
Ernie "That's a bad idea."

later

Daddy "Go to sleep!"
Ernie "Why not sun up?"

later

Daddy goes in for one final tuck-in, after she has managed to pull the curtain tension rod out of her windowsill, checking to see if the sun is up one too many times. It will stay down for the rest of the night, so she doesn't have to get out of bed to check for daylight!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

She's Here!

After much waiting and waiting and WAITING (9 months, actually) Little Nora is here! 7 pounds 12 ounces, 19 inches long. Daughter to Wonder Daddy's brother and his gorgeous little wife, we can't wait to meet her! (Or see pictures but no rush guys, no rush. Kind of.)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Playing Catch Up

'twas the week before Christmas...wait...no?

Sure feels like it!

First off, may I offer my heartiest congratulations to our newest LoLo! Baby Boy (Ernie's name for him...she's quite adamant) arrived this afternoon. He weighed a decent 7 pounds 14 ounces, and measured in a 21 inches. He's cute as a button, and I am SO JEALOUS that the rest of my family is spending Christmas with him! We'll be on the opposite corner of the country...we're so excited to spend Christmas with Nana and Grandpa though. There are just TOO MANY good things in this world, and I want all of them. Now. Thank you. (Especially when it comes to seeing family.)

Are they not the cutest pair? (And what kind of sick woman wears shiny dangling earrings to the hospital? And calls her twin in between contractions to say she's bored? Ah, epidurals. How you have changed things.)

In other news, I won a blog giveaway! Always a little thrill- Lera, over at The Sky is Pink, made up these sweet candy-cane striped leg warmers, and even put on a fluffy cuff at the top. Miss E adores them (although she's convinced they're for her teenaged aunt, so she won't wear them.)

Is the packaging not adorable? She used candy-cane striped string...and even sent along an extra paddle! I'm very serious when I say that I've been looking for this string in all the stores for a few months and couldn't find it. I love it!

Thursday was my first piano recital. Out of my 11 students only 3 could participate (I mean, 5 of them are primer students who started in October- I haven't even got them reading the staff yet!) but we invited everyone to come and listen even if they weren't performing. I think they're all excited for the Spring recital now- a few of them have already started picking out songs.

Friday was our annual caroling party- it's a "win some lose some" gathering every year, and this year we kind of lost. We had POURING rain and HOWLING wind all day long, and in the end it was just myself, Wonder Daddy, Aunt Bert, and my dear high school friend (who has not missed a caroling party in 11 years!) trudging door to door with golf umbrellas while my parents stayed home with the girls. We had a blast, and got a few houses done before we started getting reports of snow farther out, and my friend had to skedaddle home if she wanted to GET home that night.

Ernie enjoyed the leftover cookies though!

Monday night was our Family Night- I think this is my favorite night of the week...well, except date night every Friday (thanks Mom and Dad!!). We went and saw the lights at the local botanical gardens- they make amazing flower and animal displays every year out of Christmas lights- it's always gorgeous. It was so fun to watch Ernie light up just like the lights- I think this is the first year she's gotten really excited about it.





And finally, today SANTA CLAUS came to visit our church this morning! I know, amazing right? We're so lucky! Ernie adored meeting him, and actually spoke to him. We had a lovely ward breakfast, and I was able to sing with the Relief Society choir and accompany a very talented mezzo. My friend took pictures of Ernie with Santa, so I'll share those when she sends them over.

And Mom and Dad- THANK YOU for watching the girls tonight so Wonder Daddy and I could go on a date together. I'm so glad they were good for you- you both have the stamina of line backers :) (I think Mom carried Mimi around for at least an hour, and I'm pretty sure Ernie never stopped talking to Grandpa for the entire evening.)

Whew! So that was our week...I have 2 presents to finish before we exchange presents on Monday with my family, so I better get hopping!

What's on your agenda for this week?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I'm still laughing

Wonder Daddy has always wanted to do a triathlon, and started training this year. Apparently, this entails much Need For Gear. (I think this is a common ailment among men? Anyway, I digress. Good thing MY hobbies don't require special gear *cough*cough*)

ahem

He's been especially drooly over bike trainers recently, and knows all about them. He doesn't want the wind tunnel kind, or the "log rolling for bikes" variety. (He can laugh at my terminology later- I listen, but don't always understand, okay?) Magnetic resistance would be great...and so on. He's put a lot of thought into this, and a lot of hours looking through Craigslist ads.

This morning, he posted a "wanted" ad on Freecycle...and he got a response! He was so excited, he kept trying to hide the phosphorescent grin that wanted to break out when he told me he'd go look at it after dinner.

"What kind is it?"

"The lady didn't know. She bought it last year, and hasn't used it."

OK, that's odd. These things are expensive, and she doesn't remember what kind it is? Address in hand, he drove away to go look at her bike trainer.

He came back an hour later with a bike trailer. Oh what a difference one little letter makes.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Sunday, December 7, 2008

It's SANTA!

We live in the coolest neighborhood. Santa Claus came to visit on Saturday, and sat for pictures in the park. Isn't the lake pretty in the background?

I call Mimi my little Martha. She's not upset. Just concerned. Y'all are so good at naming movies (LoLo) can you name that scripture?



Help! Where's Santa's face?? I had hoped to use these for our Christmas cards- what do you think? Ernie picked out her own outfit. Maybe if I cropped...

Wonder Daddy and Mimi
Mmm....snacks! Think we should have remembered to feed her lunch? (And GOSH her eyes are big! Grandmas were lining my little family up, trying to figure out where her eyes came from.)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Easy to Please


Does anyone remember the movie "Phenomenon"? With the guy who sold chairs for a girl at his store, and she was SO THRILLED that they kept selling, and she kept making them...and then visited his house and found every. single. chair. she'd made stacked up on his porch. Yes, he loved her so much, he bought her chairs. Awww...

So my best customer is my Dad. So far I've sold him 2 eyeglass chains, 4 wash cloths, and 4 embroidered kitchen towels. He keeps saying they're for "all the ladies outside my office or "the girl you used to babysit."

But I never hear a word from these people.

Suspicious???

This morning I got another e-mail: "Breein is having a baby shower! You sell baby stuff, and we need baby stuff. Make something!"

Yes, my dad is the kind of person that goes to a Chinese restaraunt and says to the waitress "Order whatever YOU like. Please." And funny thing, he always gets the most amazing meals!

Heehee...anyway, here's your latest order, Mom and Dad! Hope Breein likes it! (And thanks for spreading the word...) One flannel receiving blanket, one diaper envelope, and 1 minky washcloth/drool cloth/throw in your purse and wipe up whatever comes out of your baby cloth.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Craft Fair Alert!

For anyone in the Pacific Northwest, there is a FANTASTIC craft fair this weekend.

December 6th and 7th, 10-5, at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall, is URBAN CRAFT UPRISING. Seattle goody-blogger Cakespy is part of the line up, and Alicia Paulson, from Posie Gets Cozy, will be signing her new book A Stitch in Time! This is Seattle's largest indie craft/designer fair.

The fourth annual Urban Craft Uprising Holiday show is right around the corner! That's right folks; this year will knock your socks off! We have some of the BEST indie crafters coming to Seattle to strike your fancy for all your holiday needs. Over 100 vendors under one roof for one stop holiday shopping that will make you feel good about the holidays. Support local and independent designers! Shop outside the box!

Date: Saturday, December 6th and Sunday, December 7th
Time: 11 a.m.- 5 p.m.
Where: Seattle Center Exhibition Hall
Admission: Free!

What is Urban Craft Uprising?
- A craft sale by indie designers and crafters throughout the day beginning at 11 a.m.
- Swag bags will be handed out to the first 100 visitors each day with samplings from vendors and sponsors - so be sure to arrive early! Last year a line started before our vendors arrived!
- DIY wrapping station- recycled materials to make your wrapping unique and green
- Free giveaways every hour

DIY Wrapping Station
The Creation Station will be sponsoring our first ever, wrapping station. Make all your holiday presents fun and festive with your own wrap job. Creation Station is an innovative crafts store and art studio located in Lynnwood, Wash. For the past 15 years, they have supplied surplus and recycled materials to teachers, students, artists, inventors, scientists, engineers and all those who love to create and dream and now to Urban Craft Uprising shoppers! For the low cost of $3.00, get all your presents ready for under the tree, stocking, menorah, you name it!

For a preview of whom you might see at this year's UCU please visit us online at www.urbancraftuprising.com.



Mother of the Year? Not so much.


I was WARNED that my oldest might "regress" after the birth of the baby. I watched..and everything seemed cool. Until this week.

No nap Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday.

Three accidents, in front of the toilet (2 just today.)

One accident on the toilet. Yes, she's talented. No, nothing landed IN the large bowl she was sitting on top of.

All four accidents were met with an "Oh no, Mommy!" And then she grinned and asked for a bath. While she stomped around in her puddle.

I've tried saying "I'm disappointed." I've tried ignoring, and just cleaning. I've tried blowing up- I'm sorry, but I did. I haven't had much sleep and well...yeah. I'm sorry. I gave myself a timeout afterward.

Today, I tried something new: no bath or shower, just wet wipes. No more underwear, just pull ups. No big girl vitamin at lunch, just baby Tri-Vi-Sol (she was SHOCKED that anything could taste so bad.) No food for lunch, just a glass of milk. No songs at nap time, babies don't get songs. And finally, a baby lock on the inside of her door.

She happily went to bed- being a baby is fun! Pull ups are great! And princesses on the front! Hooray, milk in a sippy cup and attention from Mom! Then she got out of bed...put underwear and a skirt on...and tried to come show me. Oh dear. The screaming and sobbing. "I a E Mommy! A E!" (Translated: I'm Ernie/a big girl.) "A HEWP ME MOMMY! MOMMMYYYYY!!!" I finished nursing the baby, and went in to give her a tissue and a hug...and tuck her back in bed. She could sleep, she could sing, but she must stay in there until I come get her (5 minutes later, she was asleep.)

Now both my babies are asleep. Am I doing this right? Is it fair that we only get to do each day, each moment once? Am I rising to each occasion appropriately, or am I somehow stunting her progress? She's like a pendulum- one moment INSISTING on helping carry the groceries in. The next, sitting on the toilet for 10 minutes while I nurse, calling for me to come help her put her underwear on.

I know what I pray for each night and morning: Patience. What do you pray for?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Oh Baby Mimi

Because I am absolutely in LOVE with the newest member of our family, here's a short video of her. She smiles, she coos, she DROOLS. What's not to love?


video
Friday morning was a SHOPPING day! Of course, we didn't do much for the economy (sorry guys) but we had fun. Wonder Daddy was given a gift card to a large electronics store, so we wandered there for a while. I took the girls and hit the Joann's sale. We all grabbed a bite to eat, and then hit the big sale at....Goodwill. Everything was 40% off! I found a great shirt (new with tags!) and short trenchcoat, and Ernie got her very first tricycle. She was so excited when she found out that we were going to buy it. She actually did a happy dance in the parking lot as we put it in the trunk :) It's on our deck now, with the gate closed, and she's spent hours out there yesterday and today riding around, and talking to her imaginary friends. And you can't beat the price- $2.40.


By the time we arrive home, we'd been shopping for 4 hours, and Ernie was DONE. She was a sobbing mess. "Why are you crying" "I DON'T KNOOOOOOW" *sob sob* After a good nap, she was up and perky...and ready to do something we'd been promising her all week long.

We had a high school classmate and his cutie-pie wife over for dinner earlier in the week. She works at Costco, and came with a large jar of truffles for Daddy and I, and a gingerbread house kit for Ernie.

Now my whole house smells like a cookie!


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope everyone had a great day.

It was so nice to have a "family morning"- we had a good breakfast together, and Daddy sent Ernie and I out on a long walk while Mimi slept.

Dinner was at my aunt's house- it's always fun to get together with my aunt and uncle's family. Dinner was at 2, and we didn't come home until 8.

Reading everyone else's posts today, I realized that not everyone does dinner like we do- it's POTLUCK all the way.

My dad takes care of the bird (because they have an electric roaster oven!) and the cranberry sauce (because it's fantastic), and Mom takes care of the pies (because she's a fantastic Costco shopper- their pumpkin pie is the BEST :o)

My aunt does Jell-O (because my uncle loves it), green bean casserole (because this might be the only thing her daughter eats), and green salad.

My cousin does the rolls.

My grandpa does the gravy, because he has a whisk, magic flour, and mad gravy skillz.

I was in charge of mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes this year. Unfortunately for us all, I bought heavy cream at Costco. Oh dear. Do you know what happens when you mash red potatoes and garlic cloves, and then gently stir in rosemary-infused cream? And butter? It's amazing, that's what it is. And we're going to spend a long time repenting!

Head over to the Chow Review for the recipes!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Happy Birthday!

Oh folks...thanks for making it such a fantastic day and week. I've had cards, visits, phone calls, and 17 "Happy Birthday" posts on my Facebook wall.

You know, as a twin, a "single" birthday is an odd thing. Really odd. I think this is the second time it's ever happened.

Here are a few shots from tonight's festivities. At one point Ernie grabbed the camera and started snapping away...maybe you can tell which ones are hers?

Dad/Bobby got some quality time with Mimi tonight- she has so little time between "asleep" and "hungry" that it's been hard to get in the past.






Gorgeous Wonder Daddy!


This one was *really* heavy! (Good grief- it turned out to be a Wonder Mill! No more grinding 2 cups of flour at a time in the Vita Mix blender!)




I seem to be opening a gift in this one...which is ridiculous, since Ernie insisted on opening everything by herself...she actually kind of growled at me if I got too close to the process. Considering all the excitement inherent in having grandparents over, and presents, and everything else... I'd say it's pretty good behavior under the circumstances!


My parents went a little nuts on Joanns.com. I am now the proud and happy owner of pinking shears, a huge cutting mat and rotary cutter, and a full complement of embroidery hoops.



Isn't this cake adorable? It was super tasty too- my little sister works at a hoity-toity grocery store in a hoity-toity neighborhood...but man, they make good cakes! Lemon cake with berry filling...yummy...and so cute too!


My mother-in-law sent a beautiful tile with Joshua 24:15 "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."

My parents also found my top-three, must-have crafting books: Sublime Stitching, Sew What! Fleece, and Sew What! Skirts. Oh, my Christmas crafting just got SO much easier!

Oh, and Ernie and my husband found me a great metronome (my current model is rather old...old enough that my brothers (who are both now grown) kind of damaged it during a particularly rambunctious afternoon. But as long as you don't touch it too much, it keeps a steady-ish beat...which hasn't been too great for my piano students. This new one is good and LOUD, and even has the option of accenting the downbeat of each measure. Spiffy!

Oh, and one of the BEST presents: our old house sold! Title transferred this afternoon. I don't think I'll believe it until December 2 comes around, and we haven't paid that mortgage.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Hope you all have plans for tomorrow that involve good food, good friends, and lots of family.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Wow...she was listening


Last night was our weekly Family Night- we have dinner together as a family, and then have a family prayer to start off right, followed by a song (normally Popcorn Popping), and a short scripture lesson and a small activity. If Ernie is really lucky, all this is followed by a treat. It's a great thing, and I think it will make our family stronger if we keep at it.

The past few weeks we've been pulling our lessons from the new nursery manual "Behold Your Little Ones"- it's fantastic! It has great little lessons, with activities, coloring pages, teaching tips....everything you need to get a grasp on how to teach the gospel to your tiny tots. Maybe it's just me, but it's rather daunting to think of everything I know to be true, and try and figure out how to distill that knowledge and pass it on to my children.

Last night's lesson was number 5, "Jesus Christ Showed Us How to Love Others." I told Ernie the story about when Jesus taught 5,000 people and they were hungry. He took the bread and fish he could find, blessed it, and told His disciples to tear it up and fill some baskets to take around to the people. When they came back everyone was full and the leftovers filled more baskets than when they started! He loved the people and so he fed them. We handed Ernie a little basket and she took it around and pretended to "feed" us all until we were full.

I thought it was just a cute little activity for her, but this morning she grabbed the basket, filled it with all her "Cootie" pieces (you know, the build-a-bug game?) and proceeded to feed me and herself until we were both FULL. Then she sat down and told me about Jesus- when he was born, it was sunny. Then he died and went home, and it was dark. Then he came back to his body!

"Behold Your Little Ones" indeed.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Myrnie Is

...grateful

...tired

...overwhelmed, in moments

...in love with her children and husband

...working on an embroidery pattern, 4 stitches a day.

...wishing her toddler didn't follow her around the house, saying "You're mean!"

...glad she got the soup on the stove during the half-hour of "nap overlap"

...looking forward to cooking sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving

...excited to make Bert's present, it's really cool

...glad her visiting teachers came this morning and said "Patience WILL come, over the years"

...still an introvert. Two kids hasn't changed that!

...waiting for her french bread to rise

...listening to her baby sing to no one in particular

...wishes her toddler hadn't learned the word "why."

...wishes her toddler hadn't used the word "why" 75 times today. And it's only 1:30.

Happy Monday, everyone! If anything reaches "completed" stage today, I'll be sure and let you know :)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Happy Saturday!

It was the kind of Saturday I love- we got so much done.

I opened my eyes this morning to find Ernie 2 inches from my face, staring and waiting for me to wake up. Do you know how BIG her eyes can be? And how WHITE her face is? Yeesh.

I rolled out of bed to start the Saturday pancakes- I'm not certain, but I think we've had pancakes most every Saturday for the last 5 years.



Daddy and Ernie spent the morning together running errands- Aunt LoLo, your birthday present is in the mail!


While Ernie and Mimi took their naps, Wonder Daddy got a few hours of studying in while I did some much-needed pruning in the yard. Bamboo, boxwood, blackberry, and italian prune suckers were no match for my Tub Trug, leather gloves, and beat up bypass pruners. I pulled up what the slugs had left behind in the garden, so that's all settled for the winter too.


Wonder Daddy took a few hours in the afternoon to bike up and down a mountain, and run a few miles afterward for fun. Because he felt antsy. (Crazy head.)

And THEN...oh my, Mimi was asleep so I went thrifting alone. I found a small embroidery hoop, a beautiful milk glass candy bowl, a lambswool sweater for some projects I have in my to-do list, and two plain t-shirts for myself. I have this idea that I can take a voluminous t-shirt and make it into something nice. Maybe a gather at the neckline and a few new seams to make a trapeze shirt? Maybe take in the sides, cut off the bottom and re-attach it as an empire waist? (I haven't quite figured out what to do about the sleeves though.) At any rate, even if I make nothing but cleaning rags out of the shirts I'm only out $2. (The floral "arrangement" is from this afternoon's pruning- it's the tops of the bamboo.)



I came home to find Mimi asleep again, dinner in the oven, and Ernie playing quietly downstairs while Daddy studied. Wonder Daddy, you're awesome :)

Happy Saturday, everyone!