Friday, July 31, 2009

I'm a Costume-Making Genius!

Actually, I should say that I am a Sewing-Free Costume-Making Genius. Because my sewing machine is on the fritz. And I'm also really bad at sewing.

Our stake's Pioneer Day celebration was last week, and the kids had the option of dressing up. A gal in my ward, Stephanie, lent me an old pioneer dress from when her daughter was younger, and also a bonnet, so Sadie was set:





Sadie also has some ankle-high brown boots for wearing in cold weather, so her costume was perfect:


For Dylan, I had to get really creative. I pinned black fabric on Ben's fishing hat (I did a really bad job. You can see some green parts peeking out from the black). Then I had Dylan put on a church shirt. And then I cut up an old brown shirt of Dylan's to make it look like a vest, using my handy-dandy 3D glue dots, which I use for scrapbooking, to put on some buttons without having to sew them on. I can do buttons, but I didn't have the time. Then I put on Dylan's long white socks and had him put on his corduroys and roll them up. I didn't have any ankle-high boots for him, so I had him put on his high-top sneakers, and I put some old black socks over them to make them look like boots. Voila:


His costume didn't cost me a cent! I'm proud of myself. He looks less than pleased in these photos. He wasn't mad - I think he was restless to get over to the church. But his frowny face really goes well with the pictures from that era, don't you think?:

You know, how everyone in pictures back then were kind of serious and frowny?
Okay. So we went to the church (it's two doors down. Very convenient), and the kids were supposed to decorate their bikes. Sadie didn't bring hers, because she still can't figure out how to pedal correctly, and I didn't feel like trying to help her pedal while lugging Micah around. In the million-degree heat. But Dylan decorated his bike:

When I read the flyer for this activity, and it said that they would decorate their bikes pioneer-style, I was quizzical. I wondered how they could possibly do that, since bikes weren't even invented in pioneer times. I wondered if they would have, like, brown construction paper to put on the frame or something, to simulate wood? I don't know. It turns out that the decorations were red, white, and blue - stars, stripes, sparkly things.... Are red, white, and blue the official colors of Pioneer Day? That seems kind of weird, since the pioneers were fleeing from an extermination order from the governor of Missouri. To me, Pioneer Day colors should be, like, cream, brown, and, like, forest green. Just my opinion.
Some kids brought their radio flyer wagons and had made little canopies for them, just like the wagons the pioneers rode through the wilderness. I thought that was cute.
Then we went inside for some pioneer stories. The kids couldn't have cared less. Sadie decided she hated her bonnet. At least they sat nicely during the stories:

Then we went back outside to get ready to have our little parade around the block. There is a lady in my ward, Enid, who is just the best. She has kind of taken me under her wing ever since I moved here. When I had Micah, she would always bring over canning jars, overflowing with lilacs, my favorite. That meant a lot to me. She goes on walks and always stops by my house to say hello. I hope I'm like her when I'm her age. She came to the church to watch the kids' parade, which I thought was really cool. She offered to hold Micah and feed him his bottle:

As soon as I walked away, though, Micah threw a fit, so that didn't work out. Sigh. I'm looking forward to him ending this separation anxiety phase.
Here are the kids at the start of their little parade around the block. Dylan is in the middle:


I had big plans to go to the big Stake Pioneer Celebration later that night, because there was free food, but after the heat of the parade, I decided that I would rather stay inside and cook than be outside for one more second. So we missed out on that, but oh well.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Tiny Dancer

Micah loves to dance:

video

Sadie has Nap Hair in the above video. :)

Bikes at the Church

For playgroup last week, we had the kids ride their bikes in the huge parking lot of the church. It was like ten million degrees outside. I put out a bunch of paper cups for the kids to use as cones to swerve around, but the kids, and the moms, spent most of the time in the shade. Just too hot.

This is Lorraine's little boy, Sam, whom I accidentally called Isaac that day:


It was weird that I did that. I've known Lorraine and Sam now for two years. It must have been the heat.

This is Lorraine's daughter, Sariah:


Sariah's been sporting a headband lately, which is really cute. At the beginning of every play group or activity, it looks like the above. As the day goes on, I think she gets sick of it slipping, so she puts her headband on eighties style, like Bret Michaels from Poison:


Have I ever told you guys how much I love Poison? Good memories. Someday I'm going to get an iPod, and I'm going to buy all the Poison songs on iTunes. Angela J. and I used to rollerskate in my basement while listening to "Talk Dirty to Me." Do you remember that, Ang? I had no idea what that song was about at the time. I can't believe my mom didn't freak out!! My old office manager, Jody, had "I Want Action Tonight" in her head constantly. She would sing it all day. It was really funny.

This is Jennifer's son, Jimmy:


Jimmy is HILARIOUS. I was telling the other ladies about how Dylan sometimes drools when he's concentrating on something, and Jimmy overheard me. He came up to me later and said, "I'm sorry to hear about Dylan's drooling problem. He can't join my secret club, because his drool will leave a trail, and people will follow us." I laughed so hard. He is a crack-up.

Jimmy also managed to talk Dylan into getting a helmet from home. Talking Dylan into anything is a noteworthy accomplishment! He's a powerful little boy.

Sadie and her sunscreen-in-the-eyes issue:



Jennifer's daughter, Brenna:


She was so busy - she wouldn't stop and pose for me.

The rest of the photos I took (this is for you, Megan, so you can steal the ones of your kids from off here):


Picnic

I thought it might be fun to have a picnic with the kids, so I called the seesters and the mama, and we met at the park. It was fun, kind of, but mainly, HOT. Really hot. I pushed Sadie on the swings in the sun for awhile, and I felt like I had heat stroke the rest of the day. Blah.

Brock likes him some watermelon:


Lexi is so sweet to let her niblets ride on her wheelchair. I don't know how that doesn't kill her poor knee:


I have sinned, for I have felt extremely covetous of Nat's t-shirt:


That dang Sadie rubbed her sunscreen into her eyes again:

My friend, Megan, just gave me a brand of sunscreen that she swears doesn't hurt her kids' eyes. I have tried it out a few times since then, and so far, so good! (Thanks, Megs.) As I was rubbing it on, I told Sadie it was magic, and that even if it gets into her eyes, it won't hurt. All the other stuff I have ever used is tear-free, but I think because I said it was "magic," she didn't rub her eyes at all. It's Coppertone, I think. In a pink bottle.


Ivy is starting to smile for pictures:


I love it! She is so cute.
Slides:

Monday, July 27, 2009

Ben's B-Day

Sometimes I'm just not in a picture-taking mood. And then later I feel badly about it. I only have three pics from Ben's b-day. He's 33 - yikes! Bikes! He and I went on a double-date with Nat and Pete. We went to Harry Potter, (yes, this was my second time in a week, and I'm itching to go again) and then to dinner at Iggy's. (We had a certificate.) It was alright, but the pizza was nothing to write home about. Then we came back home and ate brownies - Ben's not much of a cake lover:


Unfortunately, he only got one gift from me - and it was jeans! Again!:


Yes, I just got him some jeans for Father's Day. But the boy really needed jeans. So now he has two non-ripped pairs. :)
Happy Birthday, my man. I love you.

Harry Potter, Harry Potter, Oh! Harry Potter, Harry Potter, Yeah!

My post title comes from one of my all-time favorite YouTube videos:

Soooooo funny.

So. I'm 32 years old and I still dress up for midnight movie premieres. :) I went with two of my sisters (we missed you, Beads) to the Harry Potter midnight showing, the first day it came out.

Lexi put a lot of thought into her costume. She was Luna Lovegood:

Note the Spectre Specs in the above photo. Some other noteworthy parts of her costume - her radish earrings:

And a Butter Beer "cork" necklace:

I seriously don't remember any of those details. I must go back and re-read the series. I really should have re-read it before we went to the movie, but I just wasn't in the mood. I think I will be in the mood after I've finished the book I'm currently reading - The Memory Keeper's Daughter. It is soooooooooo depressing. I'll need something lighter when I'm done, that's for sure. I mean, Harry Potter isn't necessarily light fare sometimes, but it has its moments of fun, you know? Stuff to help you overcome the depressing stuff, like Sirius and Dumbledore dying. And that one Weasley twin dying, and the other one losing his ear. *Sniff.*
Nat dressed as Tonks:

She sprayed her hair with pink hairspray. So awesome. I should have taken a closer picture of her t-shirt. It says, "The Weird Sisters" on it - I guess Tonks sometimes wears that t-shirt. The Weird Sisters is a wizarding band in Harry Potter world.
And I dressed as Bellatrix Lestrange:

I had big, cool plans for my costume, but when I went to raid the costume box my mom has always had, I found that it had been tossed. No more old Elvira costume and long, ratty, blag wig to borrow. So I had to rat the crap out of my own hair, and baby powder it. And kind of make due with other clothing. My skirt is a little too pencil-ey for Bellatrix, but at least it was black, right?
And we used wooden spoons as our wands:


Which the movie theater dudes made us take back to the car. I'm trying to figure out why that is. I guess there's a reason for every rule, right? It was weird - we were walking in, and the movie theater workers are like, "You can't bring your wands in."
And we're like, "Seriously?"
And they're like, "Yeah, you may cast a spell. Hahaha!"
And we were like, "Oh, hahaha!" and then we continued to walk in, and they stopped us, and they were like, "No, seriously."
Us: "Oh. Uh... okay..."
Anyways, midnight premieres are soooo fun. There is such a sense of camraderie. People cheer, and clap, and yell, and gasp, and it's a blast. I loved the Twilight premiere. I will definitely be going to the New Moon premiere. I must go and swoon over Taylor Lautner. Yes, I am 32, but inside, I'm still an eighteen-year-old.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Micah's Hutch

This little white hutch that we got a million apartments ago has really come in handy:

We've used it as a linen closet in a couple of places, and now as a kitchen tupperware holder. Sadie has really been into it for the past couple of years, but as she has kind of graduated from plastic bowls to My Little Ponies, Micah is the current King of the Hutch.

We keep the nipples for our bottles in one of the drawers, and Micah is fond of digging in there, grabbing a nipple, and crawling around, sucking on it:




I know it's bad for babies to suck on nipples instead of binkies, because they can swallow air and get gas, but Micah, so far, hasn't seemed to suffer. He's at that stage where we don't have to burp him anymore - he is a good independent burper. So I figure he's all good.

Sadie saw me taking pictures of Micah and wanted in on the picture action:

Friday, July 24, 2009

Kittens!!

Well, our "spayed" cat had kittens last week!!

Yep, one yellow, and five black.
Last Thursday night, I went downstairs to change before t-ball practice, and Ben also went downstairs to change out of his work clothes, and we heard this tiny meowing sound. We went to the "nest" we had made for Xena and looked inside, but no kittens. We finally found Xena and three kittens underneath our bed, on the hard, laminate wood flooring. And it's COLD down in the basement. That floor is dang cold. We retrieved the three and put them in their nest, then put a heating pad underneath the towel, to warm the poor things up. They were freezing. I was so scared that they would die. We also put the space heater at the entrance to the nest, with warm air blowing into it. Xena would NOT come out from under the bed, so Ben had to gently pull her out by her hind leg and stick her in the nest.
I had to get to t-ball practice, and Ben stayed home. He would check on Xena every now and then. While driving to t-ball, I frantically called Beads to ask about animal births. She had a little book with information on birthing different animals (her dog had puppies about a year and a half ago), so she let me know how long between each kitten, and what to expect. And then I called Ben and relayed the info.
Heavenly Father is amazing. That's what this whole thing has taught me. Xena knew exactly what to do. She ate every placenta after every kitten came out. (Ew.) The kittens knew exactly where to find the milk they needed. She knows to eat their poop while she's breast-feeding them. (Ew.) She knows to lick them to stimulate their pooping reflex. (Ew.) Unbelievable. Ben watched her eat one placenta and had to leave. I'm glad humans don't eat placentas. Oh, wait, some do. (Again, ew.)
I felt really badly for Xena when she was all done, because those kittens breast-fed for like 24 hours straight. She was exhausted from birthing six of them, and all they did was whine and cry and crawl all over her. It reminds me a lot of my experience with each of my newborns. It takes them awhile to get into a schedule and to stop feeding off of me every second of the day.
This week has been hilarious, because Xena keeps trying to move the kittens. I've heard that this is normal - some instinct to protect the kittens from the dangers of the world. But there are no dangers in our house. Our kids aren't allowed to hold them unless we're there with them, and we only let them hold them for about five minutes per day:


On Sunday, Ben went into the storage room to get something, and Xena moved all six kittens underneath our stairs, in this dirty old place where part of the wall had been ripped out. I had to crawl in there in my church clothes and retrieve the kittens, putting them back into their nest. Five minutes later, I caught Xena trying to bring one upstairs. I'm pretty sure she was trying to hide the kittens in Micah's room, a favorite spot for her. Monday, she hid the kittens under our bed again, four different times. They were scream-mewing -- they hate it under there, because it's freezing. So I had to get them out. I couldn't reach some of them, so I had to use the broom and kind of sweep them out. She hasn't moved them since Monday, thank goodness. What a silly girl.
It's been a week now, and they have grown so much already:

The yellow one is the biggest whiner. And the biggest kitten. All she wants to do is eat. Lexi says we should call her Cheese, like, "Do you want some cheese with that whine?" Hahaha.
From what we can tell, all six kittens are girls. I may be wrong there, but I've been examining them and it sure looks like they're all girls. And my friend, Rachel, who raises pigs and kills her own chickens, says they're all girls. If she says so, I believe her.

Ben wants to keep a kitten, which is fine with me. We can keep one. Not six. Much to Dylan's chagrin. We'll have to see which one we prefer, when their little personalities become more apparent. I might need to buy some little collars to help me identify them, because they look so much alike. Except for Cheese. :)
And yes, I did call the Humane Society, about a week before the kittens were born. They kindly offered to pay for any complications in the birthing that might need a veterinarian's help. They said they will adopt out any kittens that we can't find homes for, and then they will spay the kittens and Xena (for reals this time). They felt horrible. I guess when they acquired Xena, they took her to the vet, and the vet examined her and said that she had been fixed. The vet also said the same of a dog, apparently, and then the dog went into heat. Hahaha!
The Humane Society also brought over a whopping bag of kitten food. The kittens will be weaned between 3 and 5 weeks, so that's when we'll introduce food to them. That's also when Xena will stop eating their poop. That's when it's going to get stinky. Ugh. I hate, hate, hate the smell of cat poop. I'm going to have to get some kind of little gate contraption to keep them contained, once they start moving around a lot. Right now, they kind of crawl/scoot around. It's pretty stinking cute.
They don't necessarily love being cuddled. They're always like, "Dude, give me back to my mom. Now." Xena is really kind about letting people hold her kittens. We've had many, many visitors of the kid persuasion pay us a visit, and she's been very cool with it.
Four of the six have started opening their eyes. I don't know if they can see much - it's like they're cross-eyed, but opposite. Their pupils go toward the outsides of their eyes. And their eyes are blue, for now:



That was the only decent picture I could get. They will not hold still. I think I can usually identify the little one above, because she has lots of white hairs on her arms, and she is very calm. She's my favorite, so far.
Sooooooo... if you want a kitten, you just let me know! I can give them away when they're eight weeks old. If you want to get them fixed, the Humane Society fixes them for about half the price of any veterinarian - $70. Lex said her friend might want one, Nat might want one, and Ben's boss might want one. And then we want one. So at least two are up for grabs. Would anyone like to take Cheese off our hands??? Hahaha! Just kidding. She has calmed down a lot the last couple of days. They really are all so cute.

"No You Didn't!!"


I took Micah to get his hair cut. My friend, Megan, figured it out from the below post, and she wrote me an e-mail with the title, "No You Didn't!!!" She's sad at me that I cut off Micah's curls. So is my mom. The thing is, we don't live in the 1860s, where you grow your little boys' hair long with ringlets and put them in dresses until they're four years old:

Also, Micah's hair was hanging over his ears. In fact, it reminded me a lot of Gene Wilder:

Have you seen Young Frankenstein? Hilarious. Gene Wilder is hilarious. But I don't like his hair. And I didn't want Micah to have Gene Wilder hair. So it's chopped. But that's not why he was crying in the above picture. He was crying because I wasn't holding him. That kid is driving me INSANE. I cannot hold him all day long!!! Arghhhhh!!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Play Group

Just one of the many things I love about not working anymore is that I get to go to our ward's play group. I missed it, and the kids love it. Two weeks ago, we had a little water party at my friend Lorraine's house. I stole these pics from Emily's blog (I forgot to bring my camera that day).

There are a lot of little one-year-old towheads in our ward:

Including Micah. He's in the background, with the long-sleeved yellow shirt.

Dylan and Sadie are in this picture:


You can see Dylan's huge rib cage (he inherited that from his daddy) and Sadie in her pants and long-sleeved shirt. She was NOT interested in swimming at all.

And the mommies sitting and talking (my favorite part of play group):


I'm on the blanket, with my legs spread out, talking to Holli. We were talking about ADHD.

I love being able to go to play group again. Viva la play group!!!
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