Thursday, March 24, 2011

How To Grow To Hate Felt

Several posts ago, I mentioned that I was working on a felt play mat for Vivi's nursery school's silent auction.  This is an annual fundraiser for her small co-operative school and each family is responsible for submitting two donations.  They can be handmade items or things you solicit from local businesses.  Because I am a glutton for punishment crafty gal, I decided I was going to go handmade.

Big Mistake.

You may recall that I said I liked doing something like this in the evening after the kiddos are in bed.  Yeah, that feeling lasted about three days. After that, this project (combined with my perfectionism) became the bane of my existence.  Nonetheless, I got the sucker finished after about 25+ hours of work.  Now let's hope it brings in more than $10 otherwise I am setting my felt collection on fire.

Hell, I just might do that anyway.

The finished product

Have I mentioned my girls are obsessed with car washes?  That's how this one made the cut.

Free advertising for Daddy... and Target.

Vivi's teachers are incarnated in felt.  A lifelong dream realized, I'm sure.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

An Added Bonus

Around the holidays, I discovered a wonderful organization called Donor's Choose.  Through the website, public school teachers from around the country post project ideas and anyone can donate to them.  Once a project reaches its funding goal, Donor's Choose delivers the  materials to the school and you get e-mails and photos showing you how the money was spent.

What makes this organization so wonderful is that you can give as little or as much as you want and really make a difference.  Last year I gave about $80 (most of which was sitting in a paypal account from random stuff I sold on Ebay) and I was able to complete the funding of four different projects. One of these projects provided garden tools for a garden club at an elementary school in a high poverty area of California.  

From Donor's Choose

Besides all the good feelings you get by giving, I got an added bonus.  While we were away in California, I received a package of handwritten notes from the children in the garden club.  This is what one of the letters said:

"...I sincerely thank you for donating these items to a club that has less than 20 members- even in this poor economy caused by George Bush."

After a thank you note like that, I've never been more convinced that my money was well-spent.

Friday, March 18, 2011

I've Got Nothing.

Today is my day to wax poetic about the time I spent doing something for myself this week. Well, I've got nothing.  

With all the travel and stomach viruses, I didn't have much time to think about myself.  I spent some time getting caught up on my internet pursuits which sounds far dirtier than it actually is. Somehow wasting time on the internet doesn't make me feel all sparkly and hot mama-ish.  It just makes me a hot, boring mess.

Can you even be a hot mess without eye liner?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

You Heard It Here First. My Family Is a Security Threat.

We are back from California and settling into our permanent home again.  As our first vacation as a family of five, it was fairly successful.  There were some bumps and bugs and very little sleep but overall, I am not so completely traumatized by it that we will likely consider doing it again next year.  That's the best possible outcome, I think.

Nonetheless, a few things became glaringly clear to me while we were on vacation in California. Want to hear my revelations?  Sure, you do.

The first is that no matter how much space you have on a plane, there is never enough room. We were very lucky to have had three rows to ourselves in the back of the plane on our trip to San Francisco but the girls somehow managed to sprawl out all over the place.  My husband and I made it through with lots of legs in the lap and elbows in the face.

The second is that if one plane trip is relatively painless, the other will not be.  Our return home on Tuesday was marked by one snafu after another.  We were somehow labeled as a security issue at SFO airport which resulted in all of our carry-ons being unpacked and searched.  There were diapers, snacks, books, and assorted other items strewn all over the security area. My husband's box of fifty or so homeopathic remedies was dumped and the girls were running wild in their stocking feet since our stroller and shoes were also sequestered.  My husband and I were then frisked publicly which has to be one of the most humiliating experiences of my life. It also was not a comforting sight for Ellie who was sobbing uncontrollably during the whole thing.  By the time we were deemed harmless and sent on our merry way, the plane was boarding.  That's when Jude decided to puke in the waiting area. Ellie at least had the patience to wait until we were strapped in and taking off.  Unfortunately, her patience did not mitigate the fact that she covered me and herself in vomit.  Oh, and did I mention that Vivi vomits at the mere sound of another person upchucking? There you have it.

The third revelation is that I am really a California person trapped on  the East Coast.  I truly believe that I was meant to live in a place where there is virtually no humidity, where even summer nights cool down, where composting is a way of life, and where strawberries actually taste like strawberries.... even in March!

In light of all this, I think our trip can best be summed up by this photo of our little rascal Ellie in Muir Woods.

It's my Glimpse Into Motherhood this week. (Thanks to Simply Modern Mom who featured my photo from last week!)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Happy Birthday Turtles! Happy Family Trip!!!

On Sunday, the terrific Turtle twosome turned two and we celebrated by taking a family trip to California!

Good Morning Birthday Girls!

I'll just borrow my big sister's shoes to get gussied up for my party.  I am two after all.

Ellie's pretty impressed with this "birthday" pretzel.

Being two means that you get bigger bibs and glass plates (because that's all Aunt Annie had!)

Smile everyone and try not to look massively jet-lagged and sleep-deprived!

I love that chubby little two-year-old hand that snuck into the picture.

That was delicious!

Time to open some birthday books that mommy smuggled in her suitcase.

Thank goodness Mama forgot to clip my nails.

Breakfast for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

Off to have more California adventures!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Felt and Solitude

As noted in a recent post, I've been bogged down by sickness.  Not my own, of course, but by that of my family.  I am sure that I will get sick as soon as we hop on the plane for San Francisco tomorrow.  Our first family vacation since the Turtles were born is no doubt a good time for the dreaded stomach bug to come and bite me in the ass.

Normally, I am not such a pessimist but given all the illness that surrounds me and our lack of decent options for school (we won no charter school lottery), I am feeling like I am living a little less on the bright side these days.

Since it is Friday, it is also time to report what I have done for my me time.  Well, there isn't much to report.  I realized this morning that I have not been to the Y all week, haven't prepared one decent meal, and the last time I showered was Monday.  (The dry brushing felt great, however!)  I gross myself out sometimes.

The upshot of my week was that once all the sickies were in bed, I sat down at my dining room table and worked on this:

It's a felt car mat for my daughter's nursery school's silent auction.  I'm not doing this for me, per se, but I've liked the quiet solitude that comes with working on this project.  It's not close to finished but with a deadline looming, I'm going to have to get it gussied up right quick.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Why Motherhood Sucks

About once a year, someone in this house gets really sick. Within a day, someone else will get it. Then another person goes out of commission. Before we know it, Mama is the only one left standing.  

Welcome to my week.

I've been wiping goopy, pink eyes since last Friday.  I've been a walking handkerchief  for my children's boogers and sneezes.  I've force fed applesauce and pedialyte only to have it vomited up all over my floors.   I've settled babies who call out for our cleaning lady in the middle of the night because they are stuck in some sort of feverish, dream-like state.  I've made my husband tea to help soothe his laryngitis.  I've snuggled and watched more television than I ever thought possible.  And because I am participating in the Glimpse Into Motherhood Project, I documented the whole nasty week. 

Ellie snuggling with Daddy on Saturday afternoon.  Never a good sign.

Vivi was the first to get sick.  Here she has passed out on the couch.  Illness will never prevent her from being fancy, however.  Notice the high heels.

Sleeping Vivi means an opportunity for Ellie to get her greedy little paws on those shoes!

Not 24 hours later, this is how I discovered my feverish Jude.  All snuggled with Panda Bayah asleep on the couch.

Since Jude got a snuggly place to sleep, Ellie made her own bed on the floor next to her.

And less than 24 hours after THAT, guess who has taken Jude's place on the couch?  It's the high heel thief!

Of course, Jude still wasn't feeling better.

That's when Ellie rescinded the couch to Jude and fell asleep hanging off the chair.

Now, who wants to come over???