Thursday, October 30, 2008

Crafts

Overall for the last two weeks, I'd say we did pretty good. Last week, thanks to some friends we managed one craft before I got sick. A loved making her pumpkin and stuffing it with seeds. M even joined in a painted a little. The week we made monster rocks thanks to a post by Little Birdie Secrets on Crafty Crow and we painted pumpkins. We also, just played with paints, and helped Mimi carve her pumpkin and make pumpkin empanadas.



Too many crafts???

Yeah so even though I slacked off when I had the stomach bug, I have to say that I've very proud of all three of us for being more artistic this month? I've learned to appreciate how thoughtful and creative my children are and I really loved the calmness that came with creativity. Yay for us! Buuuuuuuuut, and you know that has to be one, A is now demanding that we paint or create everyday. I love it and hate it all at the same time. On this day, Mommy said we were not going to be able to paint until our friends came over and A had a different opinion on the order of our activities.



So guess what pops up when you google,

Q:"How to get fabric paint out of fabric?"

Anyone????

A: "You can't!!! It's FABRIC!!!"

Seriously.

They're done!

Ok just a few short posts to catch up. The Halloween costumes are done and ready to party! A and I are going to be Indians ( I know it's Native American, but it sounds better to say cowboys and Indians) and M is going to be a cowboy. Hubby was supposed to dress up too, but true to his nature, he chickened out changed his mind. So here is all my hard work.

A's costume- I made the dress, A made her necklace and headband and the moccasins are second hand.


M's costume - I made the chaps, the boots and pants are vintage, thanks to Uncle Jorge and Uncle Renzo (one from each), the belt is second hand and the hat and shirt are from Target.


My costume is too wide to look cute on camera, although I do think it looks cute on me. You'll just have to wait until tomorrow to see it.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

urgh....

The big, bad stomach bug hit us this past week. No gym, no crafts with the kids... heck I'm amazed we somehow managed to get out of the house.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The challenge review

Last week was great! We did some crafty stuff, but A was also able to let loose and be artistic.
Here are some of my favorites.


Craft stick shape book - I placed a bunch of different size sticks and glue in front of her and she decorated it how she wanted. Then we talked about what she did and she told me they were shapes, so we labeled them.


Pocahontas head band - I asked her to paint things that Pocahontas likes and the results were birds, water and a racoon.


Bird feeder - This was an activity we did in playgroup and M and A LOVED it.


Scarecrow - This was more crafty, but we talked about hay and what it's for, what pretend means, and the parts of the body. Doesn't A look thrilled??? After all the "itchies" and Momma's sneezing fit, they were done with the scarecrow.



So we've one more week to go. I know we're going to paint pumpkins and make monster pet rocks, but I want to go out with a bang, so does anyone have any great ideas??

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Yay HUMMUS


Can we cheer for hummus? I found this simple recipe for hummus by Jonah on her blog The Toby Show. Now I've never made hummus before, so I can't tell you if this recipe is easier than others, but it was super easy for me. It's creamy, fresh and CHEAP!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Nature Table

I saw this wonderfully simple idea on Salt and Chocolate to have a nature table in your home. I thought it would be a perfect way to display our renewed connection with nature. The kids spend tons more time playing out side and the fruits of their labor are little scraps of nature that I usually don't know what to do with. Well now they have a home. We have a nature "table" or in our case bar. A nature bar, where you can kick back, chat with old friends and load up on the good stuff.

The kids love climbing up on the stools and looking at all their treasures. We also keep our library books that M tries to eat special seasonal books on our nature bar too. Do you see Allie's spiders from craft time?

The kids are really into smooth rocks, pine cones and acorns. I love it!! Oh, do you see the dead grasshopper???? Niiiiiiiiice.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

So overwhelmed

I love this feeling and dread it all at the same time. I really have a strong desire to create. Well I know I have, you know being a mom and all. I guess what I really want is to learn a skill; Something that leaves a tangible object in my hands and something I can leave the people in my life that I love.

My grandma Olga made blankets. She made one for every one of her 13 children and one MILLION all of her grandchildren. I still have my blanket and I think of her every winter when I bring it out. I love that. My kids' blankets were bought at Target. They're going to think of that little spotted dog every time they pull out their blankets.

So I'm learning to knit. Good grief, I have no clue what I'm doing. I found a tutorial on youtube (gotta love youtube) and I learned how to cast on and do ONE stitch. Pearl??




I'm going with a friend today to buy some yarn (I think? WOW I'm so clueless) and I think I'm just going to buy whatever she buys. Damn, I should have picked up a book and had a plan before today. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Homemade

The challenge is going pretty good this week. I actually have crafts planned and I'm looking forward to them. Yay! I've also decided what my challenge will be for next month. Well, I wanted to do it this month, but I needed to do some leg work to be successful. I'm going to buy everything from small businesses. I feel that with all the craziness going on in wall street, the one thing I can do to help out is to give our money and business to the people who really need it right now. So what does that mean? NO Target, NO HEB, NO large fast food chains or restaurants. Eeek!! Here's what I've got so far...

Medical stuff - I found an old fashioned pharmacy near buy that I'll check out very soon. I also have to see if they accept our insurance.

Clothes - Will all be from the second hand store. We do have lots of boutiques around here but we don't have the money.

Gifts and toys - I'm sure we'll have at least one birthday and I'm going to try to make most of our gifts, but there is a local toy store that we can support.

Crafting supplies - I'm on the lookout for a small business material and craft store. If all else fails, I'll order my supplies online from a small business.

Toiletries - I'm at a loss here. I can make most of my cleaners and I'm hoping this pharmacy will have toothpaste and stuff, but what about toilet paper??? Who's going to replace Target????

Food - This has been a toughie. We can hit the farmer's market for fruits, veggies, eggs, cheese and even flour and spices. We won't do organic, because what they have is just too limited, so we're doing local instead. Milk is still a big concern. Also any prepackaged stuff is almost non- existent. The market does have a few homemade goods, but stuff like cereal, crackers, chips, pasta, and jam aren't abundant. So, I've been searching for recipes that are simple and can replace all the box stuff we buy. This week I'm trying out a few of my recipes and I have to say that I'm pretty pleased with my honey graham crackers. We might have just booted Honeymaid out the door.


Monday, October 13, 2008

Arts and crafts

Last week went ok. Just ok. I was really grouchy all week so our arts and crafts time didn't get as much time as I want to give.

These were my favorites this week:

Making spiders.
Making a necklace for her PocaNONtas costume.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Reconnecting

I hate to keep bring Ike up, but he really was the "perfect storm" for our household. For about half of my life now, I've had this annoying, unfulfilled feeling that I couldn't name. It was almost like I was disappointed that things were too easy. Sounds insane even as I sit here and type it. I know most people love a good challenge, but it never seemed to be enough for me. In order to fulfill this need, I would submerge myself in "projects", hard ones and when I came out on the other end, I felt satisfied but it faded so soon. Don't get me wrong, I'm still very proud of the things I've accomplished, but it didn't scratch that itch I had. In fact, it was effecting my life in a very negative way. I would get lost in projects and some of them took years so, my loved ones were cast aside while I was on this endless search for fulfillment. Not good for a young marriage. Not good for friendships.

Fast forward a few years, and I have my two lovely babies. The feeling isn't gone! It resurfaces itself in what the people around me call obsessions. It usually starts as something small, like yucky chemicals in diapers and then blazes into something like cloth diapers. Then it's just a wildfire... eating whole, banning China, knitting, making all of our Christmas gifts..... I know part of this is just being a mother and wanting the best for my kids, but the other half of it is me feeding that beast. (Yeah I know, it started as an itch and now it's a beast. Just go with me here) Some of you my mom are probably reading this and thinking, "she's just an over achiever" and I guess I used to agree with that but only because I was told that my whole life. It's more than that, well, really it can't be that at all because for the most part I think I'm kinda lazy. I still don't have words for what I feel, but a recent example would be that I was excited about Ike. Not about people losing their lives and homes, but overall I was really looking forward to the challenge of surviving. That doesn't fall into the category of over achiever. So when Ike was spinning in the Gulf, I was struggling with my strong desire to make my life harder, but only in short bursts because I'm kinda lazy. I KNOW it didn't make sense to me either.

Once Ike moved on, we were left without electricity for twelve days. It was a little stressful, but overall a welcomed break. I loved the surviving aspect of it. Most of our family had power before we did, but we turned down their invitations to stay with them. Home is comfortable and of course I enjoyed the challenge. We played outside most of the day, hung laundry out to dry, read, walked, colored, and just lived. During all of our free time I picked up, Last Child in the Woods, which was recommended by a friend. I fully intended to read this book to gain some insight on how to be a better parent. I never expected to find a name for what was wrong with me. I'm disconnected or in words of Richard Louv I suffer from"nature deficient disorder".

As a child, I spent tons of time outside and connect to my world, thanks to my hippieish parents. The more time that passed, the further away I was from nature and in an attempt to find that void and fill it, I sunk myself into more activities that pulled me even further away. Sitting out on our blanket, while the kids ran around in the backyard, I found the answer that would scratch my itch and calm my beast: simple. Simple would mesh well with lazy but still be enough of a challenge to fulfill that basic need to survive. "A simple life is not an easy task."

So as I type this, I'm taking baby steps to simplify my life, reconnect myself and my family.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

A second life

Just a few things I bought this week at some of our local thrift stores that will get a second life.
Holiday shoes
Fall shoes

A new game



I found this in big trash. Hubby HATES it when I pick up stuff from the trash. WHO would throw this away though??

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The challenge

There are many moments in my life when I have enough time to sit back and reflect on the decisions I've made, what is says about me and the person it makes me. When I was younger, I would reflect on my friend choices and the seriousness of the sins I confessed. In college, I would think about the classes I was taking and events I was participating in and how it would effect my carrer and my mark on the world. In this era of my life, most of my reflecting centers on my role as a mother and the choices I make that effect who my kids will grow up to be. Some days are not so good and other days, I lay down, very proud of the decisions I've made. I know the ups and downs are very normal for motherhood and most every mom I know goes through something like this on a regular basis. I just read Life with Boys this morning and Becca was talking about cherishing the good moments and wanting to erase the not so good ones. I KNOW exactly what she is talking about!

Ok, so the result of all this reflecting is crazy husband a monthly challenge!!

This month (I know it's late) is to do something artistic with my kids everyday. Last week we had a playgroup at our house and a friend of ours brought REAL watercolors! Not the crusty-and-impossible-to-paint-with-dollar-store paints. The kids loved it!! I was inspired so I've made an effort to pull out some sort of craft every day since then and my children's inner artists are flourishing from all the attention.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Fully Recovered

Well I think things are completely back on track now. Ike was a tough one, but we were very blessed. We had lots of limbs down but no major damage. The aftermath, however, was a different story. 2.1 million people were without power and things did get a little difficult at times. We survived 12 days powerless just fine though and come out on the other end of a bad situation with a great new perspective.

Our lives were a little simpler and our appreciation a lot greater. My babies benefited from endless days outdoors exploring the "trash" in nature that is often swept up too quickly. The neighborhood came to life and people shared meals, and sunsets while their kids played in the street. The 4th largest city in our great nation slowed time and lived in friendlier world for about a week and a half. I'm hoping that some of these revelations stick around for my family and friends for a little longer.

Here are some snip-its of our adventure.

This is what we saw and heard for about 5 hours.

video


Camping out in the hallway.





Checking out the winds after the eye passed us.

My plant made it!!! AND she gave a big 'ole HELL YA to Ike with this beautiful bloom the day after.

.... and the clean up. We were lucky because this was the extent of our damage.