Wednesday, May 26, 2010

ready for summer. thinking about Christmas.

Yep. You read that right. I'm ready for summer and thinking about Christmas.

I spent yesterday printing out all of the calendars for all of the free/cheap summer stuff going on around here. It's amazing how many really cool things there are to do. We're lucky to have a Levitt Pavilion that offers free concerts from now through July 3. There are several free/cheap movie festivals going on. And, of course, all of the Summer Reading Club events at the library.

So, I've gathered all of the info up into a Summer 2010 folder. I went ahead and put all of the regular weekly offerings together onto a weekly planner page, so I'll know what our options are each week, in addition to whatever special stuff is going on. I'm so excited!

Now for the Christmas part. I'm going for a mainly handmade Christmas again this year. I'm scouting the yard sales and thrift stores for crafting supplies and bookmarking tutorial links like a madwoman.

Anyone up for doing a Handmade Christmas with me this year? (Carrie!)

Also Christmas related during the summer:

-Target does a big toy clearance (think 75% off) usually at the end of July/first of August. You'll see them start to gather all the clearance toys onto one or two aisles. They'll do their usual 30%, then 50% off first. If you can catch the 75% off it's a great time to start your Christmas shopping or to stock up on toys for last minute birthday party gifts.

-Back to school sales on school supplies start Julyish, too. It is hands down the best time of year to stock up on art supplies. You can't beat .25 scissors and crayons, and paper, glue, folders, etc for even cheaper. I like to stock up on all of it for craft supplies for my kids and for gifts/party favors for the whole year.

Thank you for joining me for a Random Minute in Wendy's Brain. That's all I got. Hug your babies.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


A little bit of crafting this week.

I experimented with sewing with knits this week. I read somewhere (Angry Chicken, maybe?) that if you're going to sew knits, get a ballpoint needle for your machine. It really did make a huge difference. The last time I tried sewing knits was a disaster!

So, this week I started with some of Kira's too short gymboree leggings. I cut them off to just above her knee and used a zigzag stitch around the bottom edge while stretching the material. It makes a flutter edge that's really cute. No pics - I made three pair and they are all currently in the dirty clothes pile. I'll try to get a pic up of her wearing them, later. They make me think of a 1920's bathing suit bottom.

Next up was my attempt at this wonderful tutorial for making boys' boxer briefs out of tshirts. I've really been wanting to try this. Jackson HATES it when he outgrows favorite t's, so this is a great way to make 'em last a little bit longer. They turned out so cute and they actually fit around his skinny legs!

This picture in no way shows how cute they are on. I actually made three pairs. Jackson is currently wearing Pair #3 and since I'm trying very hard to avoid posting things now that will embarrass him later, I'll refrain from posting a pic. Believe me, though, way cute.

We were invited to a birthday party this weekend that we weren't able to attend. It was for a little boy who goes to Kira's school, though he's not in her class. I was trying to come up with a gift using stuff I already have on hand and am pretty happy with the final gift. I made a tic-tac-toe board with a pocket on the reverse side that holds the checkers. I used the pocket piece off of one of Derek's old shirts for the back. I used shirt scraps and khaki scraps for the squares. I sewed a piece of velcro into the pocket to hold it shut (I did that before sewing the whole thing together). Anywho, here you go:



I also did a real quick recon on a pair of XL pajama pants I bought at a garage sale for a quarter. I took in the sides, cut off the top, and added a new elastic waistband - and presto! Medium jammie bottoms for me. I'll spare you a pic of me modeling them.

A Jackson funny: He was playing guitar and asked me if I'd find him a straw hat. He said, "I need it to help me write a country song about a tumbleweed named Herb."

That's all I got. Hope your weekend was lovely!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

who knew?

Turns out that despite being marketed as a "lullaby" the "sing along opera" of made up superhero names in alphabetical order will, in fact, WAKE UP a certain grouchy girl who really, really, really needed the sleep.


(And for the record: No. I do not want to play another round of "Guess what I'm saying in secret code".)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

we're dang fancy, y'all

Derek rigged up a makeshift swing for the kids. Garden hose, two holes drilled in a piece of wood, and some kind of metal thingy securing it around the pine tree.

I wish I could swing on it. It goes all crazy in huge, swirly circles. The kids LOVE it. (And I'm a worrier, so believe me, it's very safe and secure.)

Jackson - a couple of weeks ago:

J & K - today:

Monday, May 17, 2010

inexpensive teacher's gift idea

I made these little bouquets for Kira's teachers and speech path for Teacher Appreciation Week.

I think I'm going to do the same thing for Jackson's Zoo School teachers for the last day of school.

2 bouquets from Aldi's @ 3.99 ea - 7.98
3 coffee mugs from Salvation Army - 2.50 total (If I'd of been thinking ahead, I could of garage sale'd these for WAY less than that.)
1 large block of floral foam - $1.50 after 40% off coupon at Joann's

$11.98 for 3 gifts - not bad!

Sunday, May 16, 2010


This week's tally:

1 tutu
1 superhero cape
1 pair of scrappy clown pants
1 scrappy twirly clown skirt
1 teeny-tiny amigurumi yoda

Today is devoted to repairing the destruction of my house that occurred during all that crafting!

The clown pants and skirt were for the kids to wear to Vin's 2nd bday party, yesterday. I had the honor of attending my very first late night girls' sewing bee to help Kam sew the clown vests that each child received for a party favor. We had the best time sewing, chatting, and drinking margaritas (it was cinco de mayo after all). Derek had the next morning off, so my Mother's Day gift was getting to spend the night after the sewing bee and have a leisurely morning enjoying Teri's breakfast burritos and coffee before heading home. Sew lovely, I tell ya.

I took the leftover scraps from the vest making and made Jackson's pants and Kira's twirly skirt. Pretty dang cute and perfect for some clownin' around:

Yoda was a gift for my BIL. He said he either wanted Derek to make him a batch of pale ale or me to make him one of these. I've been wanting to try amigurumi, but have been kind of intimidated. So, I was happy to have the chance to try it. I didn't use doll eyes, but instead stitched embroidery floss for the eyes. I was going to harvest eyes from one of the kids' million stuffed animals. Those things are so anthropomorphic that I couldn't bring myself to cut into them! So, here's cutie little 2.5" Yoda:

And here's what Derek's IOU pale ale card looked like:

The best part of this crafting week was my kids showing me how much they pay attention to things. Vin's gifts were the superhero cape and the tutu (real men can rock a tutu. trust.).

I had the tulle spread across my bed while making the tutu. Kira walked in, took a look at the bed, and said, "tutu?". Yep, mommy's making another tutu. Cutie girl.

When I told Jackson that we had to run to Joann's to buy fabric for the cape, he said, "Don't forget to get the velcro.". And when I was cutting out the pattern pieces, he gave me a huge hug and said, "You're the best present maker ever! Anyone can buy a gift, but you like Vin enough to make him one!". I know someday Momma-made will probably embarrass him, but it's so lovely to know that he gets it, now.

Have a good weekend, y'all!

Friday, May 14, 2010

kira speak

some cute vocab I don't want to forget:

"oo turn, Mommy!" - your turn, Mommy. I LOVE this.

"uh oo" - Love you. At first, she said this in answer to us saying "I love you." Now, she'll tell us out of the blue. I'm so thankful.

empty - amazing how many ways she uses "empty" to get her meaning across.

"puler" - computer.

"rah-rahtz" - which is Yo Gabba Gabba. I think it has something to do with "robot". Anyway, rah-rahtz is her fave.

minnow - we have the book Would you rather be a bullfrog? and one of the questions is "Would you rather be a minnow or a whale?". One day, Kira shouted out, "MINNOW!" and it cracked us up. She loved the reaction, apparently, because she now likes to randomly shout it out. She also really likes to add it on when Jackson asks her to say something. Like, "Kira, say Daddy" - "MINNOW DADDY!" She thinks she's huh-larious.

"dat" "dere" "dis" - that, there, this. She uses these to drive me batshit crazy. Great that she knows them. Not so great when I have no idea what she's talking about.

"beh-dy?" - ready? She asks me this right before she does something that she thinks is awesome, like jumping, or dancing, or singing.

"morning!" - she says this about 152 times as she greets everyone walking down the hall to her classroom.

"doh-durt" - yogurt. Absolutely her favorite food.

"duh-ders" - crackers. Sounds almost exactly like doh-durt. She knows the sign for cracker, though, so that's how we figure it out.

And a story:
We were leaving the Dr's office when I realized that I locked my keys in the car. We had to call Derek to come rescue us (how he got to spend his lunch break on his birthday). So, Jackson, Kira, and I were waiting in the Dr's waiting room.

Kira: Mommy. rah-ratz puler? (Mommy, can we watch Yo Gabba Gabba on the computer?)
Me: No, baby. There's no computer here.
Kira (pointing to the TV): dere?
Me: No, baby. I'm sorry. We can't watch it there.
She thought for a sec and then her eyes lit up and she said: Mommy! Come on. Car. Home. Rah-rahtz puler.

Cracked me up! She was like, "I've totally got this figured out. We don't have to sit here. We can just get in the car, go home, and watch it there. Silly Mommy."

I don't know if I'd call her vocabulary approximations or not. I have to translate most of what she says, but sounds are getting clearer. Like "bed-dy" for ready was "belly" until very recently. She'll be having tubes put in and her tonsils (and maybe adenoids) removed soon, so it will be interesting to see how all of that plays into her language/speech. We still use lots of sign language, and she constantly has me asking her teacher what this or that new sign she's using is.

Sometimes she'll really surprise me with how she's able to communicate her thought processes to me, like with the Yo Gabba Gabba puler story.

The other day, I was getting her a drink while I was holding her. I put the lid on the cup and said, "Now what do we need?" and she said, "Straw." I need to remember to ask things like that more often. To give her the chance to show me what she knows.

I'm also starting to get little bits of communication that show me that she understands past/present/future. The other day, Jackson was off for a day of fun with his Beeka. I treated Kira and I to pizza for lunch. When Derek got home that evening, I said, "Daddy, Kira and I went to lunch today." and she said "Pizza" without any prompting. That was very cool. Jackson and I were able to talk about his day, etc, so very early. It's one of the things that I'm so ready for with Kira. We're getting there.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


I've had these pics trapped in my camera for about two months, I think. The kids were outside playing and Jackson was trying to teach Kira how to ride the tricycle. I was able to get some shots without them seeing me, a little blurry with all of the trying to hide while doing it. Such a sweet moment between them. And at 5 and 3, it's nice to catch a sweet moment between the squabbles!

A note on the "outfits": This was one of those days when they steadily added to their jammies all morning. Stuff from the dress-up box? check. Random shoes pulled from the closet? check. Hand-me-downs from Bubba? check. Shirt on backwards? check. (And Jackson has had a major haircut since then, too.)

Just makes my heart fill up and pour out all over.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010