Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Death of the Soother

This was a common scene at our house from basically the time Kaitlyn was born until a few weeks ago:

By the time Kate reached a year old I started putting rules on the soother sucking. She could have it in her bed or if we were out and it was nap-time (really for the sanity of those around us...).

Well, then she started the crazy drooling and it got to the point that unless she had a soother in her mouth she would soak (and I'm talking, it could be wrung out) 3-4 shirts a day. So then I got lazy and let her have it.
notice the drool ring. This is very fresh shirt. I think she had been dressed for 10 minutes.

Then she stopped drooling and I decided I was going back to the rules. One day, it was still clipped to her jacket from the day before when she found it. I walked around the corner to this scene:
Mady was so kind as to stick her name tag onto my banister. We won't talk about how long that took to peel off.

Then one day in late November (maybe early December), she had it for her nap, and upon waking managed to smuggle it out of her bed. And by bed time it was lost.

I searched everywhere and she was no help in finding it. At 2 in the morning when she was crying for it, Mark searched the house and also couldn't it.

For three days she cried herself to sleep, taking about an hour to do so, mourning the loss of her beloved "suckie."

Then Mark took out the garbage and saw something that looked like a fork poking through the side of the bag. He opened the bag and sure enough one of Kate's little forks had been thrown out. Along with her suckie. I'm pretty sure she knew she did it too. We washed it and put it in the closet, but she doesn't know it's there and so we are now soother free! Yea!

Which is good because I was afraid she'd still have that thing when she was 3.

Now to work on the thumb sucker...

And I kind of wonder what else has gone out in the garbage??

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Aralynn's Birthday Party

The beginning of the month Mark took the girls to a birthday party for a sweet friend of ours, Aralynn. I wasn't able to attend so he had strict instructions to take lots of pictures.

His idea of lots of pictures is clearly different than mine.

He took 20 pictures (of about 5 things) and 2 videos.

I can't blame him. I have very high picture-taking standards. :) So I have no idea what the cake looked like or anything. Katie, you must post pictures!

Since I wasn't at the party, I don't know exactly what all is happening in these pictures (I think most are just free-play), but I do know that it was a Puppy and Kitty themed party and there were some live Puppies that showed up. Kate was so excited she was almost in tears.

That girl and her love of puppies...

Enjoy the pictures:

Kate and the Birthday Girl

Mady and Makenna

Hey this scene looks familiar... I think this exactly where Kate spent the majority of Makenna's party.
Mady working hard on a puppy ornament

All the kids working on ornaments

Opening our gift
We love you Aralynn! Thanks for inviting us to your party!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Crafts

Are you ready for some Christmas crafts? I'm ready to show you! This is some of the stuff that has taken up a bunch of my time. These things have actually been given away or are on display, the rest are gifts, so you have to wait another week. :)

This wreath is made 100% out of paper with the exception of the bow and the wood ornament that is covered in paper. Even the form is paper. I twisted kraft paper and spray painted it black to make the form. It used to be a better circle. But then at some point during the drying, it turned kind of heart shaped. The rest of the paper strips, dipped in (a lot of) modpodge, and twisted and then glued to the form. I got the idea from Whipperberry.

 These silver and pearl napkin rings are something else I made to give away. I love them, so I'm going to have to make a set for myself. I got the idea here.

These ornaments are some of the many I made this year. The back one is filled with part of a red feather boa (I need to make some like this for myself, because I really like the look), I wish you could see it better in the picture, but I was dealing with night light. Then there is, going down clockwise, the music ones with a jingle bell. I made a bunch of these. One for each of the girls, as well as one for each of my students. The last one, is done with paint. It's red and white (you can kind of see the white stripe on the left), but the pinkish side is showing more. Mady and I made an ornament for her using the same technique. I really should take a picture of it. But if you're at my house, it's the only coloured ornament on my entire tree. :)

All of these crafts I gave away to a special friend, surprising her with little care packages. Which crosses another item off the list. But I didn't do it to cross off the item, I just noticed it was on the list and that technically I completed it. :)

Those are a couple of my craft efforts this year. What have you made?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Birthday Card for my Brother

So the end of November my baby brother had a birthday (he's not a baby. He's 22. But he'll always be my baby brother). He's the last birthday of the calendar year, which means in sending him a card, I finished my goal to make birthday cards for each member of my immediate family. Yeah for finished goals! Another one to cross off my list.

I liked the design of his card in my head, but I think, maybe due to colour choices that it came out more feminine than I imagined. Sorry, Ian.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Mady's Final Dance Class

Well, it's official. I have a Tiny Dancer.

Mady LOVES dance class. The beginning of December she had her final dance class for this term and we got to go in and watch. They went through a typical class and then ended it with a little dance they had been working on. I have some videos of it, but since blogger doesn't like my videos, I'll just post the pictures for now.

Miss Lindsey is the sweetest teacher. Mady adores her. I'm really hoping she's the same teacher she gets in January in the next session, that we quickly signed her up for.

Let's all look closely at this next picture and all admire Miss Lindsey's shoes. I know they're dance shoes, but I love them and want a pair. Somehow in my mind I think that if I have them I will automatically become as graceful as she is. Phfff!

On the last day we brought Miss Lindsey a little thank you gift that Mady helped me make (her job was to scrunch the paper and insert the straw). I had seen the idea on pinterest (and was thankful I still had some brown tissue paper from the cookies and milk baby shower since it's such a bear to find!).

Cute huh? Inside was a gift card to Starbucks.

Thank-you Miss Lindsey for being such a great dance teacher!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Hey, this wasn't on my 30 before 30 list!

So did I ever tell you that I was 26 before I started driving? Ya, I know, totally lame. Don't do it, kids. Get your license in High School. It's so much harder to get it done after the fact.

Anyway, on Sunday I had my first accident. Oops.

I hit a pedestrian sign.

A sign. Not a person.

Don't freak out.

We had a huge dump of snow and I was on the way to church. Calgary is located in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, which means we have some hills. Actually quite a few. Which are kind of annoying when it snows because that means there is ice, and sliding and such. But typically if the stop sign at the end of my street doesn't cause my car to slip then the rest of the drive will be fine. Not so on Sunday. I took the big twisty hill that I shouldn't have. And then we weaved back and forth down the road avoiding all the cars that were parked on the side of street and opted to hit the sign (I was aiming for the lawn...) instead of a vehicle.

Another reason to go to the 9am service, people: There were no cars on the road, which meant I didn't meet anyone coming UP as I totally made use of their side of the road in my sweet little ricochet pattern.

Thankfully I didn't hurt my car. Just a little scratch on the bumper. And I plan for this to be the end of my driving accidents.

Mady thought it was kind of fun: "Whoooaaaa!!!" as we went down the hill.

At least she didn't ask to do it again. Ha!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Apple Cider Caramels

So you know how some things are so good looking you just have to make them RIGHT. THIS. INSTANT??

Well, that's kind of how I felt about these caramels that I found on Pinterest.

Except I didn't own a candy thermometer.

And I couldn't run out that day and get one because it was on my Christmas list and I hate people who put things on their Christmas list and then buy it for themselves. Thank goodness my mother-in-law got me one for Christmas. AND we had Christmas with that side of the family early so I could make these in time for Christmas (not like I couldn't make them after. And don't take THAT to mean I'm not going to make a 3rd or 4th batch -because that will be the batch number by then- after Christmas). It's more just about the joy that I can make them sooner rather than later.

So yesterday I opened up my fridge and saw a jug of apple cider. AND a jug of whipping cream. And I actually had corn syrup in my cupboard. I had a free afternoon and my candy thermometer. Which meant I was set to make these. So I did.

This is her picture. Mine are still cooling in the pan as I write this. And it's dark here. Her picture does them justice much more than my flash-induced, still-in-the-pan, not-so-creative-that-I-would-pose-it-with-cinnamon picture would ever give you.
Goodness Gracious me.

Please go make these right now. The recipe is here.

The only tip I have for you is when you reduce the apple cider, don't just set the timer for 20 minutes and walk away. I tested mine (poured it into a measuring cup) at 12 minutes in and was at 1/2 cup. Put it back in the pot and 2-3 minutes later was at just under 1/4 cup (it had gone almost syrupy). I cheated and poured in some more cider to make 1/3 and stirred it around. Seemed to work well enough.

oh hey, and guess what? I successfully made something with a candy thermometer. Check another thing off the list!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Jen G, Jen F, Christina, Mel H, Chandra, this one is for you...

Alright, alright.  Though I'm trying to no longer let guilt rule my life, it finally caught up with me about ignoring all of you and I'm FINALLY posting to my blog. I might even get TWO posts written today so you'll have something to read tomorrow. Amazing, I know.

It's not that I haven't had things to blog about. I still write in blog posts in my head while doing activities, but Kate has started this thing where she likes to climb into my lap when I'm on the computer. Which, I guess wouldn't be a big deal if I had a desktop, but I have a lap top. So that makes it difficult to actually get things written up. That's not the only reason, of course, that I haven't been around. I've been busy working getting ready for Christmas! And I'm proud to say that save for a couple of bows, I'm DONE and am now just enjoying the season!

So I'm ready to tell you all about some things I've been up to since my last post.
Here are some things I'll try to remember to talk about:
-Some fabulous Christmas crafts I've made (yea for actually making some things I've pinned on pinterest!)
-Some cute Christmas gifts I've made (some you'll still have to wait a few weeks to see due to the "gift" part...)
-The story behind Kate giving up her suckie
-Some fun stuff I got in the mail
-A birthday party the girls went to
-I'm sure some "crazy me" type things
-Our first of two Christmases
-Some items I have crossed off my 30 before 30 list (yes I'm still working on it.)

And probably some other things I'm forgetting about.

So, I promise I'll be back more. Maybe not every day yet, but more! I've missed you!

And hey in the meantime, check out my new way of getting in a semi-quiet phone conversation. Yea for Photo Booth.


Monday, November 21, 2011

Rating The Christmas Lights

So remember how I love Christmas?? Well I also love silly little traditions that I have.

Look! A perfect 10!!

One of them is rating the Christmas lights when I'm out and about.  Yup that's right, I give them a judges score. It's a pretty simple formula. And it goes like this.

Displays are rated on a scale of 0-10. Everyone starts at 10 and for each infraction they lose a point. But then if there is someone next to them that is even worse, they can't both be 0, so you might get a bit of a curve grade and receive a higher mark. So the moral of the story, if you can't do it perfect, at least do it better than the neighbour.

Infractions include:
-Burned out bulbs
-Crooked lights (with command clips there is NO excuse for this)
-Weathered bulbs (how hard is it to take down lights???)
-Only one section is blinking when everything should be
-Crazy fast blinking patterns that are sure to cause seizures of those walking past. There is no need!
-Patterned lights not following the pattern (this happens when lights are replaced, how hard is it to replace blue with blue?)
-Lights that are draped from one location to the next that shouldn't be (say from the eaves to the window, or worse, right across a window! -take out those bulbs or get two strands!).
-Blow-up things. I hate them. How un-christmas like when they're sitting melted in the yard all day.
-Bad colour combos (I like green, but I hate all green. Yellow and red just doesn't feel festive. Orange halloween lights just look like you're lazy. White is always safe)
-Ill-placed icicle lights. They are supposed to mimic icicles. So therefore they should not be "growing" straight up from the fence. Or on the front wall of your house between your windows. They have to be hanging from something!
-Those sheets of lights meant for covering bushes that are used too sparingly so that only a big square in the front of the bush is covered, with bush pouring out all around. I know lights are expensive, but save up to get more lights, or don't put them out until you have enough.
-Just the bottoms of trees covered in lights. If you can't do it right, don't do it at all.

It's possible to get a 10 (and actually I dish out quite a few), less done well always gets more points than lots haphazardly.  And I give extra points for creativity!

And Mark always feels sorry for those that I grade low and will give them 10's, so at least it averages out.

 You might be wondering what sort of lights I put up. Well the truth is I don't. Why? Because I'm much too picky and would be annoyed at trying to get a perfect score. And I hate the cold. So I just enjoy those that do it right and have fun mocking those that don't (which is the only way I can enjoy them).

Do you have Christmas light pet-peeves?