Sunday, September 30, 2012

Dream vs reality

How I imagine my house is:

How it really is:

Saturday, September 29, 2012

1 year of Kittiez

It's been about 1 year since we got our two kitties, Rosie and Cody. Cody is the tubby grey/brown one. Rosie is the cute, shy, grey and white one. They have outgrown kittenhood and settled into sweet cats. Rosie likes to sit in Brian's lap while he's working. Cody likes to be "loved" by the girls.... well, at least he tolerates it. We're happy they're a part of our family. Rosie and Cody Cody Rosie

Friday, September 28, 2012

The new bacon chocolate . . .

Salami dipped in chocolate soy milk.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Project: Silly Putty

I first heard about how to make your own silly putty from my boy's Chuck and Josh*.

2 tbs water
2 tbs white glue (like Elmer's)
Food coloring
1.5-2 tbs borax

Mix the first three ingredients together thoroughly.  Here, Robin wanted white silly putty so we didn't use the food coloring.  But really, one or two drops is enough.

Sprinkle the borax while stirring.  It's a mild irritant, so I did this carefully while the girls stirred slowly.  
It's like magic - you can see the polymerization as soon as the granules touch the liquid.

When it looks like it's almost completely together, knead for a few minutes.  I did this part as I wanted the grains to mix in as much as possible. 

NOTE OF CAUTION: DO NOT get this on fabric or hair.  Or a disposable pull-up.  Also, it's totally not edible so if your kids are kind of orally interested, maybe try a good playdough recipe. 

Then, have fun! The girls played with it for about 1.5 hours.  The silly putty became everything - ropes, necklaces, snakes, even flashlights, dogs, you name it.  They let it ooze on the glass table and poked into it to make faces.  It was really cool to see them so engaged. 

* Seriously, if you aren't already listening to these guys, go to iTunes or whatever you use, and subscribe, free, to Stuff You Should Know. You'll thank me.  Or maybe not when you spend the next week on a binge, getting caught up over the last 450 podcasts.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Back Yard Project Update: SLAB

Today the slab was poured for the new office shed.  It was quite exciting. 

Mixer truck and everything.

The girls watched and ate strawberry and orange juice popsicles. 

Feast or famine

It seems, in the world of blogging it's either too much stuff to post or nothing at all.  Hence the backfill. Not so much stuff end of Aug/early Sept. Lots of stuff in October, which is when I'm going back in time to post this. Enjoy.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Project: Pipe Cleaner Sight Words

I saw this idea on Pinterest (where else).  Set out a bunch of cards with sight words on them.  Put out a fist full of letter beads and some pipe cleaners.  Let the fun begin! 

Robin tested it out first for me. Her favorite letter is, of course "R" so she liked picking them out and lacing them on the pipe cleaners. 

I set out the invitation to Erin starting just with the letter beads and pipe cleaners.  She first made a bracelet with her name on it and some heart beads, for Brian to take when he goes to PDX so he can think of her. 

I then presented her with the list of 30 words they're working on in her kindergarten. (No, not all at the same time. They've covered about 5 so far.)  She got excited and tore through about 10 of them, reading the words with no problem and stringing the beads happily.  A good 15 minutes of focused activity! Then she said she was done.  I'd say it was a success! 

Robin enjoyed some more bead stringing and made a necklace. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012


Our back yard is filled with mud in preparation for the concrete slab to be poured. The girls took every advantage of it. 

The clean up had to be strategic. Thank goodness for oversized beach towels.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Project: Manatee Lollipop

I got these sweet candy molds today. I know it's hard to see what they will be but stick with me. I thought they would be metal or something a bit more durable than a sheet of plastic and that I'd be able to make some hard-candy lollipops.  But chocolate lollipops are just as delicious, no? 

I put the lollipop sticks in (got a huge pack for a few dollars at Michael's)

I also got some melting chocolate wafers there.  They come in just about every color of the rainbow!  Purple seemed nice.

I poured the melted chocolate into the molds.  And kinda sloppily smooshed/smoothed the top.  Have to work on that technique.

Let it harden for a few hours, and voila!  A mama and baby manatee lollipop.  OK, it's not super pretty yet.  But a few more attempts and they'll be lovely! 


Friday, September 21, 2012

Fashion Friday: Blonde

Any guesses what the halloween costume is?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Goodbye, Summer

 A fitting tribute to the last day of Summer, 2012.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Project: Dry Erase Markers on Picture Frames

OK, the title kinda tells the story.  Endless writing surface, kind of a thrill because they get to use "grown up" things such as dry erase markers and picture frames with glass.  Nothing like the element of danger, or the forbidden, to make something extra interesting. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

A Package! A Package!!!!

I got a package in the mail.  A surprise package!!!
Kitty Cody helped me inspect it, lest it be a bomb.  It checked out. 

YAY!   Bunny fruit snacks!!  Oh, wait. . . .

ooooo.... a fancy, perfectly knit, soft cozy cowl.  

Thank you every so much, Ms. Christie!  And now to get my hand made offerings off in the mail. . . 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Kids get into the Cube

Last time Brian returned from PDX the girls got a Rubik's cube as their surprise. 

Erin loved it and immediately set to work solving the puzzles Brian set for her.

 Robin loved it too but didn't quite get it.  She loved laughing at Erin's still antics.  

However, Brian got a little too ambitious just one little time, and one of the cubes ended up thus: 

That's more how I like to solve them.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Lunch Lady Brian

Backyard project progress

The work in the back yard is going smoothly so far (knock on wood) and there's been a ton of progress in 3 days.  

The new terraces: 

The bobcat (just cool.  Wish I had the keys):

The office shed area:

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Did I mention we're redoing our back yard?

Well, half of our back yard.  We have a large space behind our garage that currently is the digging play area for our kids. Don't get me wrong, we've loved having over 1000 square feet of dirt to play pirate, build fairy houses, throw the frisbee, and the like.  But Brian really could use a quieter, more removed, more productive work space, and I could use a vegetable garden.

So, ground broke a few days ago on turning the dirt patch into three outdoor "rooms". Brian's office, a small crushed-gravel patio, and a terraced veggie bed.  So exciting.

Before pictures: looking North from the far south corner:

Looking the opposite way.

We were told the project was to last 9 days.  They've been working hard, but we'll see.  Also, the shed (ahem - outdoor home office) manufacture can't even get the structure to us till end of October, but beginning a project is so much more exciting than mulling over the logistics of finishing it.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

What happens when Robin gets the camera

Oh, and then she drops it and cracks the lens. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Craft: MACRAME!!!!

And you thought people stopped doing Macrame in the early '80's.

So, I found this idea on pinterest, and it was re-enforced through a kid craft book I found at the library.  So easy, and I think any kid about 4 or up can do it.

Take 2 pieces of long yarn, in complimentary colors (this is a good thing to let the child decide).   Fold them in half and tie a loop in the middle.  Tape the loop onto a firm surface.  We used a square plastic picnic plate, turned upside down. Tape down one of each color string to the bottom. Show the child how to make alternating knots.  For Erin here, the white color I showed her to make a "4", then loop the end under, and....

... pull up to make the knot.  The right side will make a "P" shaped loop.  She proudly told Dad that she was making him something full of "4's and P's".  He looked puzzled, but was encouraging. 

Step and repeat until it's long enough for a friendship bracelet.

OK, so Erin hasn't finished the project yet, but she will.  It's a present for Brian so SHHHHHHHH....

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Outsmarted by a 2.5 year old - again

I caught Robin picking off an entire bunch of grapes, throwing them on the ground, then stomping on them.  OK, I know it's really fun for a toddler/preschooler because (1) the grapes bounce and (2) they feel really interesting and squishy under the feet.  But c'mon.

So I asked her to clean them up with me and got a grin and another grape stomp.  Rather than totally loose it, I sent her to her room for a minute.  I told her to stay there for a minute, and I shut the door so I could gather my thoughts.

A few seconds later I hear crying, fake crying, and "Help, help!  There's a fire in here!  Help!  There's a fire!"

Robin 1, Mommy 0.

Friday, September 7, 2012

A future mommy

Why does this:

Remind me so much of this