Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I've come down with a case of the winter time blues. You know, when you look out the window and instead of thinking "Oh how beautiful, all that white lovely snow!" you think "What? Snow? Still? Isn't it time for spring yet?" Or when the piles of laundry, dishes, toys, dust, dirt, etc., etc. seem to grow bigger and bigger while the house seems to get smaller and smaller. And worst of all when you go to mark a day off the calendar and realize...that you already have and yes, it really is still January and warm weather and sunshine are months and months away. Yeah, that's where I'm at right now.
So, I'm pulling out all the little girl summer dress patterns I have and hoping that if I keep my hands busy and my eyes focused on something summery, maybe the next few weeks will be that much brighter and pass by that much quicker.
Other things that are succeeding in brightening my day...

..these potted herbs (even if the dill looks a rough right now.) The green herbs and bright colored fruit are a welcome spot of color with all that white surrounding us.

These smiling faces. They're everywhere. The girls have set up interesting little Playmobil scenes on just about every surface in the house. I'm not always sure what they're doing, but they sure look happy doing it.

And, lastly, the two little teeth suddenly making an appearance in Little Peach's smile. I love it!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

One of my New Year's resolutions was to try and get the girls outdoors every day. I managed to keep that resolution up until the "Arctic freeze" hit. Temperatures are ranging between the single digits and low teens here, which isn't that bad (really, it feels kinda refreshing...at first anyway) but is horrible if you're a toddler and immediately upon exiting the house you get snow down your boot or fall into a snow bank without your mittens on. After two days of thirty minutes spent getting everyone in their snow clothes, followed by only five minutes outdoors....we opted for some indoor imaginary cold weather adventures instead.
Or at least I think they're having a cold weather adventure. They are hanging out in their ladybug tent, covered in blankets, drinking hot chocolate and looking at seals, polar bears, penguins, sharks, whales and...panda bears. Yeah, panda bears--I have no idea where they came from.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Making vegetable soup took a fun twist today when I gave the girls the leftover vegetables to do...
...some stamping with.
(The celery "roses" in the background there--those were a big hit).
So our day was nice, relaxing and fun. The girls happily stamped and questioned (do dogs like celery? do potatoes come from seeds? do carrots grow on trees? how do plants come out of seeds?) while I cooked and answered...as best as I was able to.
I'm enjoying cooking again, now that Little Peach has discovered the joys of a biter biscuit and is content to spend some time in her high chair rather than be constantly held.
Although clean up now takes....
...twice as long.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

After seeing this adorable skirt (made from the free pattern available at Oliver + S) I knew I had to raid my fabric stash and try one out. I found a plain red cotton and after some discussion with Pookie we settled on some ladybugs being drawn on it.
So, I went to town with my black fabric marker drawing countless ladybugs until about a quarter of the fabric was covered. Somehow or other I didn't put that fabric marker far enough out of the way though. During after dinner clean-up I discovered the girls had gotten a hold of the marker and decided to add their own designs to the fabric. Upset? Yeah...definetly, but I'm trying to keep in mind that they're just learning by imitating, frustrating as that can be at times... I made the best of the fabric disaster that I could (turning smiley faces into ladybugs and such), but, obviouly, the ladybug pattern is a little messy looking now. It'll be alright for just a play skirt though I guess...
I haven't finished drawing in all the ladybugs, but I did finish stitching up the skirt (minus the hem ribbon.) It is incredibly fast, very cute, and much to Pookie's satisfaction very poofy. She declared it the perfect dancing skirt and immediatley turned on some music to dance to.
Fig is persistently asking where her dancing skirt is. I think I need to get some more elastic and make a BUNCH more of these!

Friday, January 09, 2009

And now the last round of Christmas gifts...
My girls love their Aunt's drawings so I was thrilled that the girls received these shirts for Christmas.
There are three shirts, one for each girl, but Pookie was the only one awake when it came time for pictures. (And I wish I could have gotten a better picture of it, but Pookie is the queen of a million poses in under a minute...) They are pink, glittery, sequin-y and most importantly princess-y which means they're perfect.
For me there were these earrings...
...from the etsy shop tinyleaves. I'm absolutely in love with those flying sparrows...so is Little Peach at this moment, which is slightly problematic, but I'm getting good at quickly dodging her curious fingers.
Also for me, some bookplates from the etsy shop of Diana Sudyka . The perfect gift for a bibliophile, don't you think?
I'm having fun matching up book plates with books. Like this polar bear seems just perfect with "Giants in the Earth"--that book always makes me think of long cold winters.

And a Narwhal with "Kidnapped" might be a good combination.
I really need to do more etsy shopping next Christmas...in fact I might have to start with some etsy shopping for Valentine's, Saint Patrick's, Easter and...

Thursday, January 08, 2009

This is one of those "I love it!" and then forgot about it kind of Christmas gifts.
I saw this little girl, back in the fall, at an antique store. I loved her, but was intent on my search to find a nice serving platter and consequently left the store without her. Of course once the store was closed I remembered her and lamented the fact I hadn't bought her. Thankfully my parents were paying attention and much to my suprise there she was under the Christmas tree
I had originally thought of putting a little plant in her, but that face...
...is just too cute to have hidden. So currently she's keeping me company in the kitchen, hopefully out of the reach of very curious toddler fingers.
Oh, and those yellow mixing bowls behind her were another Christmas gift. I love how cheery and bright the yellow looks in my otherwise incredibly drab kitchen. They are from Stonewall Kitchen --a store you could buy me anything from and I'd be very happy!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

I'm horrible at picking out Christmas gifts, really. Every once in awhile I'll run across something think "perfect!", buy it, give it, and it is perfect. However, most of the time it's more or less something like "perfect!...or maybe not...maybe they already have something similar...maybe they won't use it...maybe they'd rather have cash instead..." Really I'm that bad--I begged everyone to make wish lists for me just to make my Christmas shopping easier.
Now the rest of my family, they amaze me, they get my family and I things that either A. I've always REALLY REALLY wanted (but forgot I wanted) or B. I never thought of, but wow do I love it! So I thought I'd share a few of those Christmas gifts here over the next few days.
First up, passes to the local Children's Museum. Until we had children, I had no idea how pricey family museum visits can be. And I quickly discovered that the more kid friendly the museum the pricier it is (kids as young as 1 year are charged admssion, ouch!)

(Fig playing drums)

(Pookie the paleontologist.)

The passes to the children museum were great because A. it was something we wouldn't normally have spent the money on B. it didn't clutter up the house, and C. it was a fun experience for the whole family.
(Fig in the osprey nest.)
(Pookie stamping.)
Museum passes for Christmas gifts--highly recommended!
And secondly Sophie the giraffe. This was a gift for Little Peach and she's been chewing on it (she's teething) since she got it. I've never seen her chew on anything like she chews on this!
I'm seriously thinking of buying a bunch to save as future baby shower gifts. Not only is it cute, but it's functional, and has a cute little history which you can read about here.
And now back to the cooking and cleaning....

Thursday, January 01, 2009

I'm still here...I'm just hanging out lazing around though. My husband has been on vacation so we've been taking it easy, enjoying some family time, and playing with all those new Christmas gifts.
And speaking of Christmas gifts, the weather has been very conducive to getting some use out of them. First there was lots and lots of snow and then warm weather and rain which means....
...you can wear your new snow boots, new spring coats, and carry your new pink-polka-dot-ruffly umbrella all at the same time!
I'll be back next week with lots to share!