Monday, February 28, 2011

a little quilt

It's a miracle, I actually finished something I started!
My neighbor has always crocheted baby blankets for me, and she was having her first girl this week, so I wanted to do something fun for her. Hopefully she won't look too closely at all my crooked seams!

two year old

"Blow drying" her hair with the Tinkerbell play hair dryer.

She loves holding Will, although it makes me a little nervous!

Her Vaseline obsession has led to lots of trouble...

Some of her favorite books.

Painting her nails with a paint brush and water.

She even wears herself out.

In the craziness of the last few months, I skipped writing about Olivia turning two years old back in November! I'm slowly catching up. Here are a few little things about this adorable, sweet, energetic, smart {and mischievous} little girl that I love so very much:

~Every morning she asks for chocolate milk and Mary Poppins, Pippi Longstocking, or Olivia the pig "on the teebee" {tv}.

~Her latest favorite book is "Where's Tumpty?" {an elephant book, of course}. We read it every day before her nap. She also likes this old Mary Poppins book I have, The Snow Children {or as she would say,"Deh So Dijjin"}, and any Charlie and Lola. She can practically read the first page of any Charlie and Lola by herself, "I have this little sister Lola. She is small and very funny."

~She loves fruit and will eat it anytime. Mangoes, oranges, grapes, kiwi, you name it.

~Whenever I've been gone awhile and then walk back into the house, she puts her arms way up, smiles, and exclaims "You home!" Then she gives me a big hug. She even does this after I come out of the bathroom from taking a shower. I feel so loved!

~I thought it was funny when she said, "I wanna watch a Shirley Temple show." Huh? Okay...
{Hannah watches them sometimes, I guess that's where she learned it}

~She's a little meanie to Ben lately. He walks in the room and before he has done anything at all, she yells, "Ben stop it!" When she says this though, it sounds more like she's yelling, "Prince Albert!" So that's a little joke around here, "Has anyone seen Prince Albert?"

~When she's done eating she typically announces, "No monnit" {I don't want it} and "I all done" as she chucks her dishes onto the floor. Arrrgh...I clean the floor A LOT.

~She started sleeping in a toddler bed in January and she absolutely loves it. The first night we set it up, she couldn't wait to get into it. She said goodnight to everyone, then ran down the hall saying, "I hop in bed!" She only comes out of her room sometimes when she's supposed to be napping, and she stays in there all night, no problem. It's perfect because Will needs to move out of my room and into the crib in Olivia's room soon.

~She loves to get her fingernails painted, and she pretends everything is nail polish.

~She loves baby William. She talks in a super high-pitched voice, "Hi Wee-um! Hi buddy!"

~"Dat's bokened"=That's broken

~One day Olivia somehow got into my bedroom while Will was sleeping in there. I have one of those doorknob covers, so I think one of the kids must have opened my door and had forgotten to close it. I heard Will making little noises so I went in to get him up. There in his crib with him was Olivia AND the tub of Vaseline from my bathroom. His big bald head was thickly slathered and shiny, with big blobs on his eyelids. He wasn't crying but he was fluttering his eyelids with all that goop on them! Olivia greased her hair so much that it took a couple days after washing it to finally absorb. A deep conditioning treatment, I guess! I wish I had taken a picture, but at the moment that was the last thing on my mind.

~In the tub with Will she pointed at his "thingy" and asked, "What's that?"
I said, "That's his wee-wee." {We aren't very scientific over here!}
She said, "Oh, hi wee-wee!" and waved at it.

~When I tuck her into bed, she repeats everything I say, "Goodnight! Sweet Dreams! I Wubboo Mom!" I love it.

I love this girl so much, I wish somehow I could keep her from growing up so fast.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

nina's hand art

This crafty little book was spotted at JoAnn just before Nina's birthday. She has had so much fun with it! Each page shows a different way of tracing your hand in order to create an animal drawing. For example, you put two fingers up and trace your hand to make a bunny, etc. It comes complete with googly eyes, pom-poms, crayons and glue...everything a 6-year-old needs for a crafternoon! Nina was so nice to tape the elephant one onto Olivia's bedroom door for her.

Grab your JoAnn coupons and pick up some of these books, they make great gifts for birthday parties!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

a little love & chocolate fondue

Olivia cutting out little cookie dough hearts.

That's Nina, even though the apron says, "Hannah."

Some Valentines we made with lollipops.

Nina's special Valentine she made for her teacher, Mrs. Jackson.

A little project I started last year, and finally finished this year. Tiny felt hearts with button flowers and embroidered stems. I stitched on a loop of ribbon for hanging on dresser drawers or doorknobs, just to spread a little love.

How was your Valentine's Day? Ours was simple and fun. Nina and Olivia helped me make our traditional heart-shaped sugar cookies a few days early, and we packed them for our weekend with friends at the cabin. At the cabin we decorated them with pink frosting, candy hearts and red hots {my favorite on sugar cookies!}. Over the weekend we also had our usual Valentine's breakfast of heart-shaped waffles with strawberries and cream.

The Valentines we made were super easy, super cute, and super inexpensive. I saw some other cute ideas here and here, but we'll just save those for another year.

It wouldn't be Valentine's Day without a little chocolate fondue, would it? Some ideas for dipping are strawberries, bananas, oranges, kiwi, pieces of good french bread, pretzels, marshmallows, graham crackers, Oreos, coconut macaroons, and cinnamon hearts. Here's my favorite {and easy!} recipe.

Chocolate Fondue

1 cup half and half {or cream}
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a small pot, warm the half and half over medium heat until it begins to simmer. Add the chocolate chips and whisk until the chocolate is smooth and fully incorporated. Mmmm....start dipping!

the candy man

The "sweet bean" pancake.

Trevor enjoying his "sweet beans." Haha! This picture is blurry because I was laughing so hard, and holding Will at the same time!

Livi, sneaking a caramel.

Squid bite, anyone?


The squid bites package, I feel, is very misleading.

My brother, Trevor, has THE coolest job. He travels around the world with his camera, making amazing films and taking fabulous photos along the way. Since my job as a mom doesn't include travel benefits, I have to make due by looking at his pictures, watching his movies, or in this case, by eating his candy. Trevor just got back from Japan, and he went overboard on the candy I asked him to bring back for my kids. It was like Santa came to town!

Japanese candy is great. The packaging alone is worth the purchase. It's like a little piece of bright, crazy artwork in your hands. Most of the candy was yummy...strawberries and cream hard candies, grape flavored chewy ones, tiny round lemon thingies. The kids were loving it.

There were some really nasty things in the mix though. First there was a pancake sort of treat, filled with what the Japanese call "sweet bean." We passed that all around so everyone could have a taste. I thought I tasted peanuts, so I spit it out.

Next we ripped open a package that revealed dried, breaded pork, like beef jerky with a crust. So sick! Hannah actually swallowed it, but that's just Hannah.

Last, but definitely not least on the list of disgustingness was the exciting swirly red and white package with the little elf on front, just tempting you to try it. Daring you.

"Guess what these are?" Trev asked.
I had no idea.
"Squid bites!"
You've got to be kidding me. Dried squid, cut into little pieces and died neon red. Japanese kids love this stuff, apparently.

We took a whiff from the package, and burst out laughing. "Ugh! It smells like fish food!" I said.

Trev and I agreed to eat a squid bite at the same time. "One, two, three!" Chew, chew, chew, uh, wait, UGH, OH MY GOSH! Run to the sink! Spit it out, spit it out, spit it out!!! Water! Water! Water! Blech!

Trev says, "Can I have a piece of bread or something?"

That was by far the nastiest thing I have EVER tasted. Something I'll never understand is how Ben actually swallowed a squid bite! He was very proud of himself.

Monday, February 14, 2011

ben's valentine box

Ben made this all on his own, and as you can see he won "Most Creative" in his class!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

nina is 6!

Olivia loved her donut so much that she decided to feed some to her baby doll too.

This little girl is growing up much too quickly.
Where'd my fat little baby Nina go?
I honestly can't believe she is 6 years old!

I asked if she thought it would be fun to do a pajama party, and of course she was super excited about that. Since we don't really do sleepovers, we had everyone come in the morning dressed in their pj's. All her little friends were off track too so it worked out perfectly, even though it was a Thursday.

I was going to make sleep masks for each of the girls, but get this...when I went to JoAnn's to get all the fabric, lo and behold, I stumbled upon a bin of pink satin sleep masks on sale in the very back of the store. I just about clicked my heels right then and there because they were only 50 cents! That saved me a ton of time and money. Then I bought some craft foam stickers so the girls could decorate their sleep masks when they came to the party.

My sister Erika came and helped me run the little manicure station, then we had a rousing game of Bingo, woo! Actually it was a pretty quiet crowd. Erika and I were laughing about how serious and quiet everyone was being. Next came presents, Hannah read the Charlie and Lola book, "I Am Not Sleepy and I Will Not Go To Bed," and then came the towering donut cake! Does it get any easier than that? Sheesh, I used to go crazy with birthday parties when Ben and Hannah were little. We'd invite 25 kids and I'd spend weeks planning and preparing. Then I realized that the kids really don't care if you go over the top. They just love to have their cute little friends over all at once, open a few presents, and eat a bunch of sugar. Simple! So yes, I have drastically simplified over the years.

I simplified so much that after they were done with their donuts and orange juice, we still had 45 minutes of partying to do, and I was totally unprepared, haha! So we cranked up the tunes and played freeze dance, did a few rounds of "hot pillow," played more Bingo, and did Simon Says. They loved it! And they didn't know the difference, right? They all got to "fish" for their goodie bag before they left, and Nina was a happy girl.

That night we went out for smoothies, watched Dennis the Menace {funniest movie of all time} and had popcorn downstairs.

Happy birthday Nina! I love you!