31 October 2010

Halloween Carnival and Trunk or Treat



Did you catch the "myrtle the fyrtle turtle" face on Amelia in the collage above? Crack me up!





I am still tired after yesterday! Phew-ey! I was able to photograph the cutest little newborn girl yesterday morning. She only weighed 5 pounds something. She let me play with her for two whole hours! I think she slept over half that time no problem. I am itching to show you the photos from that shoot. Right after the shoot the kids and I went over to the church to help decorate for our Primary activity. We planned to have each auxiliary man a booth/activity (fishing, apple bobbing, face painting, marshmallow guns, balloon animals, cake walk, a hay ride and racing cars). Becky (the president) showed up super early Saturday morning and had most of it set up by herself. The little stinker! With a couple extra hands we had the place decorated by 4 pm. It was pretty cool!

Once the kids arrived we were all busy keeping the activities under control and the kids amused. I took a moment to go on a hayride with the kids. Phillip found a blue ring pop, which he now wants to substitute for his normal binky. Amelia and Ella were cracking me up with their silly antics. Justin was busy manning the marshmallow gun activity. After the kids went through each activity several times we set out chili, hot dogs, and chips for dinner. Then the adults ran outside to get their trunks decorated or opened for the trunk or treat. I don't like Halloween much. Dressing up the kids is fun but me? the house? Nah! I guess we are sorta boring. I did wear my pumpkin earrings. LOL. By the time we cleaned up it was nearly 8 and time for bed. Justin manned the mondo-sized vacuum during the clean up. He said he'd vacuum our house if we had a vacuum like that...I may need to invest in one of those babies. Amelia has no idea that she missed trick or treating today. Yesterday was our Halloween, perfect for our little ones.

Now we are in the throes of practicing for the Primary Program. It was chaos, less than last week but still chaos. Our program is on the 14th of November. Next week we can practice in the chapel for the duration of classes, which will help lessen the confusion. Phillip was so tired he actually fell asleep in my arms during the practice. He looks so innocent when asleep. Watch out for that curious, determined look. I love how he says, "MOM, mamama!" I called him a stinker yesterday after the sugar and water incident. He proceeded to call himself a stinker, quite clearly. Here comes the mimicking stage. Hooray!

Uh-ohhhhhh!


Phillip enjoyed a couple bites of spaghetti for lunch. Then he gave himself a facial and hair treatment. I caught him saying, "uh-ohhhh!" I ran into the diningroom to find this sight....

Halloween at Cabela's






Each Halloween Cabela's throws a pretty big party for the kid's of their employees. Amelia hardly slept this entire week out of sheer excitement over Halloween. She spent Thursday night in a lot of discomfort due to pain or itching down south. I was completely flummoxed over possible answers because she did not have any other symptoms. We snuggled until 3 am when she finally fell into a deep sleep. The next day nothing was wrong. I took the kids out to breakfast to say goodbye to a friend moving to Kemmerer, WY. Amelia was too excited to take a nap so after lunch we dolled her up for the Cabela's party.

I must say, that spray-on hair color is nasty stuff. I used it to dye her hair red, the rest of the bathroom also got a good coating of red dye. After the party I had to wipe down the entire bathroom, walls, floor, ceiling, everything. Yuck! Then the spray flaked off and coated her costume with red dust. Never using that vile stuff again. Phillip went as a very cute monkey. He is a monkey lately! That kid climbs up on everything. Yesterday I found him on the table pouring sugar and water over the table, chairs, floor, and himself. He is a regular curious George.

Justin met us in the parking lot at his "work house." The HR division did an excellent job planning and hosting the event. Amelia talked and talked to anyone with an ear about her costume. She waggled her eyelashes and did funny little poses for the folks. Each division was in charge of decorating a room to pass out candy and treats in. Our favorite was the CandyLand room. Justin took us upstairs to show off the kids to his coworkers. Then back downstairs for cookies, juice, and a fun photo. Amelia was super excited to have a strawberry purse full of candy and toys. Phillip was not so sure about all the commotion. He sucked on a lollipop ending up a super sticky, kissable mess.

27 October 2010

Pumpkin Carving



 

We enjoyed a relaxing Saturday. Justin went out duck hunting with a buddy all morning. The kids and I worked on laundry and lazing about. That was about the sum total of our Saturday. Phillip contracted the flu on Friday. He threw up sporadically Saturday and Sunday as well. I stayed home from church with him, we both got a nice nap. He is still really congested and not feeling well. This cold has been lingering for over 10 days now. Amelia's ear is leaking gross fluids as the ear drops work their magic. She says her ears just tickle and buzz, that is better than pain!

I just finished reading the Hunger Games and Catching Fire by Suzanne Colins. The series is strangely captivating considering the story line. I will leave you in suspense hoping you will read the series too. I have the last book on hold, can't wait to finish it.

Tuesday morning Ella came over for the day. Alison was visiting her family in Washington for a couple days since her youngest brother returned from his mission a couple weeks ago. Ella and Amelia helped me bake a carrot cake for a lady in our ward who just had a baby boy. The girls played all day and into the late evening. Matt came to pick up Ella half hour early only to find both girls dripping wet in the tub. I think they bathed for over an hour. The squeals of delight and laughter were so fun to listen to. The wind is keeping everyone in doors. We went to Walmart this afternoon. I had to hold Amelia because the wind knocked her down. Geesh!

We held FHE a couple hours ago. One of Amelia's favorite books is, Too Many Pumpkins. We read it year round. Finally, after 18 months of reading this book she got to carve a pumpkin. She grabbed her book and showed me which pumpkin to carve, except she wanted a star eye. She was scared of touching the slimey pumpkin guts. However, naming her pumpkin was no problem. Meet her pumpkin: wriggle-snack. LOL, I honestly have no idea where she comes up with these names. Phillip sat on the table and help bang things and gag on pumpkin seeds. He is sporting a fun little boo-boo gained while trying to scale my fake studio floor and falling onto a wooden basket. That kid always smells like food, has boogers in his eyebrows, and sports some bruise of a kind. Amelia was all ready to put on her costume and go trick or treating. She is very, very excited for Halloween.

22 October 2010

Splish Splash




Ummmm, what a lazy week so far! We literally are just keeping a low profile this week. Amelia had a fun time in preschool this week (check out this blog for photos and a run down). She gets really excited when the time comes to trek to preschool. I love that she calls her preschool friends, her people. Alison had the kids dance on Wednesday much to Amelia's delight. She keeps asking me to turn on some boogey music and dance. Monday Sidney FINALLY received some rain after a long drought of no rain. It took me an hour to find Amelia's rainboots, which ended up being stuffed in the bottom of the bike trailer (strange?). She donned butterfly wings and her boots to dance in the water. Her enthusasium is quite infectious.

Wednesday the missionaries came over for dinner. I rarely make a meat and potatoes dinner. Boy, did I make a yummy pot roast dinner. I used fresh carrots, onions, and store bought potatoes with a not so tender pot roast. It cooked in the garage all day. For some reason I still cannot stand the smell of crock pot meals stewing in my house. Ever since I got sick while pregnant with Amelia and a crock pot meal the idea grosses me out. So the garage smelled awesome! I rounded out the meal with Miekka's recipe for Rosemary Bread, Macaroni Grill style. Super yum. The kids and I spent a happy couple hours at Deb's house crocheting with the crocheting club. Anyone is invited! Phillip and the twins had a rousing time wrestling. The twins tried to teach Phillip how to walk. He is getting closer to walking. Wednesday evening I gave him to markers to hold on to and he took a couple wobbly steps on his own. So cute to see his bandy-legged knees balancing.

Amelia contracted her first ear infection since she got her tubes at 10 months old. The Dr said her left ear tube is miracously still intact, not sure about the right tube. Her ear canal was so swollen and gunky she could not see her ear drum. We are putting drops in her ears for an ear canal infection. Both kids are dealing with yucky colds so are sleeping very poorly. Tuesday night both kids ended up sleeping in our bed for a couple hours. Phillip was estatic to sleep snuggled up with me.

I finished sewing Amelia's halloween costume. The Strawberry Shortcake hat gave me a run for my money, but I nailed that sucker down. I cannot WAIT to reveal it! Other than the costume I whipped up three more newborn outfits for babies born in our ward this week and one for an order. At Deb's I finished two hats for myself.


Amelia started taking care of a baby rotini noodle yesterday. She found the noodle in my craft room. Soon the little noodle was wrapped in a blanket and she was crooning lovingly to this noodle. She named it, frofin-o-ie. I have no idea where she thinks up those names. Ella and Amelia love to play house together at the library. They boss each other around with total confidence that the other will obey. I tried to be the Beast yesterday while Amelia was Belle. Apparently, I make a terrible Beast and prince.

This morning I photographed my visiting teaching companion's family. We noticed a grove of yellow trees while out visiting on Monday. The weather was gray and overcast, rain threatening to fall at any moment. It was magical. I could not help sighing with pleasure. Phillip accompanied me in the baby backpack while Amelia watched a movie in our warm car. Phillip ended up being amazing because he captured the kid's attention. They were looking at him which made it seem they were looking at my camera. Perfect. Course he looked uber silly in his new warm outfit:


17 October 2010

Feelin' Like Autumn




 

This collage reminded me of a scene from Nacho Libre

Sister Encarnación: Where are your robes, Ignacio?
Nacho: They were... stinky. These are my recreational clothes.
Sister Encarnación: They look expensive.
Nacho: Thank you. I mean... they might have the appearance of riches, but beneath the clothes, we find a man... and beneath the man we find... his... nucleus.
Sister Encarnación: Nucleus?


The weather is finally turning the leaves gorgeous fall colors. We are still getting tomatoes, carrots, chard, peas, lettuce, spinach, and herbs, from our little garden due to the warmish weather. Wednesday the RS hosted a fun picnic at the park. I took Ella along to give Alison some time alone to clean and paint. The girls played for three hours at the park! The weather was perfection adding to the charm. Thursday I helped Alison clean her home in preparation of getting it on the market. Phillip cried nearly the entire time, clinging to my leg. Still, I wiped down all the baseboards and steamed the couch. I am so glad Alison FINALLY allowed folks to help her. Amelia and Ella played to their heart's content!

Friday afternoon I had a photoshoot scheduled. The kids came with me for the first little while. My clients were a little late showing up so I photographed my little ones for fun. Amelia cracks me up with her inventive posing. "Mom try taking a picture with me like this...or like that." Justin came and swapped cars with me so we could finish the session out in the country. I found a cool location with old wooden snow breakers, yellow trees, and the railroad in the distance.

Saturday we got up early and drove to Denver. The YW watched the kids at a nearby church down in Denver. I was so glad this was arranged because leaving Phillip for an extended period of time is not feasible. Leaving him for a couple hours was totally doable. Justin and I enjoyed a small, quiet session at the Denver Temple. Heaven! Phillip cried the first hour, following Amelia around like a little puppy. He did not cry as much the second hour. Phew! We had a nice lunch at the Corner Bakery then took the kids back to the temple. They loved the fountain and all the pretty flowers. I tried to make a quick stop at JoAnn's for some fabric but the cutting table waiting line took about an hour. I think we arrived home after 8 pm. With all the dedicated driving I crocheted six and a half hats! That was awesome.




Sunday is not my favorite day of the week. I hate to admit this. Focusing and paying attention in church is really difficult with small kids. Phillip constantly tried to escape, Amelia would not sit still, and finally Phillip spit up nasty stuff all over himself and Justin. Missing nap time is no fun. I get more out of reading my scriptures and the Ensign then church most days. Still the spirit comes in small ways, like a particular song in Primary or a testimony. The snatches of cognizance in church keep me going. It will get better as we teach our kids but time is the key. Justin had a meeting in Cheyenne this evening so was gone from 3 until 9. While wrestling with Phillip I noticed he sprouted two more top teeth! Four on top and two on bottom! Way to go little buddy. He also learned how to do "Shhhhh," though he nearly sticks his finger up his nose with the effort. I can't wait to finish some orders so I can get Amelia's Halloween costume finished. It will be cute and functional.

12 October 2010

Meager




Justin bagged a duck on Saturday. He got home around 3 pm, 12 hours after leaving. The duck action was not so great, so Justin bringing one out of two ducks killed was, well, a miracle. LOL. He put the dead duck in our family fridge in the kitchen (disgusto) just to freak me out. Well, he did. He usually puts his dead animals in the garage fridge. While he was taking a nap I showed Amelia the duck. It was a pretty little bird with really soft feathers. Amelia stroked the duck for a few moments. I asked her what the duck's name was. She immediately said, "His name is Meager." Seriously?! The next moment she stared poor Meager in the eye and declared, "Meager, you are a DEAD duck." I about died laughing. I took these photos a couple days later. In the collage she is relating the story to Alison about how Daddy shot poor Meager out of the sky with his big gun.

We are having a down week. Just taking it easy! I am plagued with nasty migraines lately making it difficult to do more than just sit and stare at the wall. Grrrr. Regardless, I am busy crocheting four hats folks ordered last week and sewed up three infant monogrammed onesies. I actually finished three of the hats while watching Karate Kid (the new one) Friday evening. The next morning I noticed that the black yarn remnants I used all came from different yarn lots. That means I have to crochet them all again with new yarn. That is what I get for trying to use the leftover skeins.

Phillip is desperately trying to walk. He loves, loves, loves to walk along with me clutching one of my fingers. He is venturing to let go and try to balance for a couple seconds. If he really wants something (like food) he will do a funny little walk, fall, crawl move. It seems he is quite clingy and worried about losing mom whenever we go outside our home. At least he is comfortable at home. The YW are going to babysit down in Denver this weekend while the adults attend a temple session. I am excited because we can attend. I don't feel comfortable leaving a clingy baby for at least 10 hours with a sitter at home. Yipee!

A couple weeks ago I bought a new tube of mascara, Last Blast by Cover Girl. In small print it read waterproof. I did not notice that part. Next day I excitedly applied my new mascara. FIVE days later I was wearing the same mascara. That stuff was so waterproof that soap, baby oil, water, more mascara would not remove it. I was too cheap to buy eye makeup remover so wore it until it flaked off. I have new mascara, not waterproof.

08 October 2010

Fuzzy Lumpkins





Phillip received his first buzz cut last night. I nearly cried afterwards because he looked so grown up. He looks more like Justin now! His expressions as I buzzed his hair were priceless. He looks and feels like a fuzzy lumpkin. Such a big boy! Phillip was in an amiable mood this morning so we took some photos while my studio lights are still assembled. He really liked playing with the wooden car, especially when I filled it with smarties.

Amelia and I got haircuts this morning. Amelia's bangs are nearly the same length as the rest of her hair, hopefully by the next haircut we can do a real a-line then grow it out. I went short again since my bangs are short and growing it out was not looking so kosher. I am excited that my hats look cute again with little whisps of hair escaping from underneath. Justin is off duck hunting all day tomorrow. I want to do something "fun" but can't come up with anything. Maybe we will, ummmm, go to the library (again).

It finally rained this afternoon! We are enjoying having a slow day of crocheting, snuggling, and watching Phineas and Ferb. Maybe later I will freeze some carrots, if I can light the fire of motivation under me bum. If you want to check out my latest photography work click here.

06 October 2010

Butterfly Kisses





Amelia really, really enjoyed preschool this week at Bryn's home. Jeremee taught the kids about the letter D and the color yellow. Amelia brought home a leaf rubbing on Monday and today she came home with playdough (salty kind), yellow snacks, and her name baked from cookie dough. We stole Ella this afternoon to play with Mia for a couple hours. Alison is elbow deep in paint. I tried to help her prime the bathroom and halls on Tuesday but Phillip was too heavy to carry and too curious about the wet paint. Sometimes I feel helpless when it comes to helping! Small children do not make service very convenient!

Phillip is a climber. He loves to climb into the dishwasher, climb up cabinets, climb into the fridge, etc. His favorite place to climb is in the bathroom. If the bathroom door is closed he throws a mini tantrum, which is quite amusing at this time. I often walk by the bathroom and notice a small nose poking up over the counter searching for toothbrushes and whatever is within reach. What a silly fellow.

I started some projects last week and finished them this week. My friend Natalie made me a super cute hat (the one on the bottom right) for a photo prop. I made another one a size larger and one for Amelia. The bonnet pictured is the one I made following an antique crochet pattern with revisions. I made Phillip some cute pants from a pair I found at Salvation Army then added another tie shirt for that outfit. He also has a handsome submarine shirt. Amelia's outfit was also inspired by Natalie. She found DIY pillowcase kits in our Walmart clearance aisle. One of the kits had super cute fabric, which became a skirt and appliqued shirt. I love the owl!

Yesterday and today I finished painting a couple items. I repainted my new false studio floor for the fourth time finally achieving the right hue and gloss. I had to repaint the little table I just refurbished two months ago because Amelia's waterpaints soaked through all the new layers of paint. Tomorrow I am adding a couple layers of polyurethane to seal the paint this time. I may even add a decoupage border before sealing it.

All summer Amelia and I tried and tried to catch a butterfly. Amelia's greatest wish was to hold a butterfly on her finger. I found a butterfly close to demise while on a photoshoot this evening. It was so lethargic that Amelia was able to hold it and give it a kiss. She was enraptured...me too! The poor thing clung to a metal chicken on our counter during dinner. We eventually retired the poor butterfly to our butterfly bush before going to bed. It seemed to revive licking flower nectar. We enjoyed watching our small miracle butterfly realize a little girl's dream.

03 October 2010

Oktoberfest








Friday we met up with some ladies at the fairgrounds to peruse the craft show and farmer's market. Amelia was so excited to visit the craft party at the fair. I did not buy anything, not much was my style or if it was I could easily whip the item up. I was sorely tempted by a cute little wooden bench, alas I ignored it's siren cry. Amelia thought the pay phones were so amazing. We met up with Justin at Cabela's for lunch after our little outing. Usually I adore Kung Fu movies, except for the one we watched Friday evening. Jackie Chan is one of my favorites. This movie was horrible. The only redeeming fact was that I crocheted an order for a diaper cover during the movie.

Saturday morning Amelia woke up pretty early around 7:30 am ready to see the parade and get candy. The parade started the same time as General Conference, a huge bummer. The delight of Sidney's once a year parade merited our absence. Thanks to Justin's phone we learned a couple minutes after conference started about the new temples announced. FINALLY, Portugal will have a temple. Oh man, my eyes teared up and I was transported back to Lisbon sitting over the dedication site for the temple 12 years ago. Words seem so inadequate to describe how amazing that announcement is. Fulfillment of a vision and dedication prayer given decades and decades ago. The parade lost it's glow for me...until Amelia started clapping and chasing candy. She was a hoot! Phillip loved sucking his way through 3 lollipops. His eyes were larger than saucers when the huge tractors rattled by and the motorcycle gang rumbled by. I caught him with a dumb look on his face more than once, or maybe it was a look of complete awe. Amelia filled her little pumpkin purse 3/4 full with candy. I think we should now cancel Halloween.

Afternoon conference was amazing. I crocheted a bonnet from a vintage pattern dated from the 1860's. It turned out okay for the effort of trying to decipher old English. Justin made a run for pizza at Walmart. Walmart has the best pizza in Sidney, sad I know! While Justin went to his session the kids and I visited Alison for a moment, returned some DVDs, and got an ice cream cone. My favorite quote came from Elder Uchtdorf: " Strength comes not from frantic activity but from being settled on a firm foundation of truth and light. It comes from placing our attention and efforts on the basics of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. It comes from paying attention to the divine things that matter most." The cincher quote was: ...If we do not simply our lives "Milestones can become millstones - ambitions can become albatrosses." Simplification, simplification, simplification is on the horizon!

Today we enjoyed watching conference. We took a short walk in between sessions to enjoy the wonderful weather. I tried for 4 hours to knit a hat. I started over 6 times and never made it past the third row. Grrrrr. I will triumph! I went to our other garden to pick some carrots, celery, lisbon onions, squash, and zucchini. My squash plants had quite a few blossoms, enough to try fried squash blossoms. I thought the blossoms were pretty tasty! I stuffed the blossoms with sour cream, cheese, and marjoram then rolled them in an egg wash then a flour mixture (with corn starch, cumin, and salt) and then fried the tasty little buggers. Yep, I liked them. Nope, Justin did not. He is a nerd. We passed the evening quite pleasantly with the Haley family.

**I had a fun photo shoot the other day with a gaggle of little girls. We danced, made silly faces, and had a magical tea party. Check it out here.