Saturday, December 31, 2011

Who needs Hallmark? ;-)

Thanks Mom for my Lalaloopsy dolls! They look so cute on my window sill!
What do mean, you got them for the girls??
Vivian "why my loopsie doll up dere?"
"Um, she's fine. She's resting! Who wants a cookie?!" 
I guess Mama needs to shop for some for herself now. :)

The girls loved the ring pops they found in their stockings from Grama.
Shiloh's was pretty cool, red and white striped.

Shiloh drew a birthday card for her Daddy today.
Those aren't squashed bugs.
She drew lines around everything to show everything is glowing!
Glowing candles, glowing letters that read "From: Shiloh" and lots of glowing balloons.
She had to draw balloons since we couldn't pick up any for her Daddy yesterday. It was windy and bitter cold and I had my hands full with both girls walking across an ice covered parking lot.
Both girls kept slipping but somehow I managed to keep us all upright.
But add balloons to the mix and who knows what the end result would have been.

I am picturing the three of us flat on our backs in the parking lot, discounted Christmas decorations scattered around us and blowing in the wind and Daddy's precious balloons floating high up into the sky.
But...that's just a guess. lol
I'm sure Shiloh's balloons will make up for lack of helium-filled ones. :)

Then Shiloh went on to draw a birthday card for her Uncle Jon (who shares Daddy's birthday)...
And a card for her Great-Grandma (whose birthday is the 2nd).
I love how she made number candles to represent Great-Grandma's 89th birthday. :)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Fire fighting potholders

I hope everyone had a nice Christmas. :)
We had a great one!
We even had just enough Christmas snow.
The girls loved everything (minus the scary baby dolls, lol).
I gave them my Barbie car that I had from when I was a kid. It's in perfect shape and they love it just as much as I ever did! :)
They also love their Princess tent (Thank you, Aunt Heather!)
Vivi was thrilled to get her own "Mr. Putter & Tabby" books.
She loves them and as many times as I've already read them to her, I'm pretty sure she'll have them memorized soon. lol
DH's Aunt bought Shiloh one of those potholder weaving kits.
So today we made potholders.
Shiloh's first potholder!

She let Vivi make one too, though Mama had to do all the work. ;-)
After helping make two potholders, my hands were aching!
Vivi has been carrying her potholder around the house. She told me
"Dis helps you have no fire in you house.
If I see fire, I dis shake it like dis and den der be no more fire."

Ohhh. Hmm...

Saturday, December 24, 2011

'Twas the night before Christmas...

...and in our house it's
Mama on her laptop and Dada at work.
"White Christmas" on the TV and the children playing with a train track and nativity set under the tree. :)
At least that was the scene until suddenly Mama remembered that she needed to make Cranberry Apple Jello for Christmas day and she hadn't even started it yet! ;-)

I didn't sleep well last night. :(
I woke up early this morning with my stomach growling and growling.
I think it was thinking about these....
....or maybe dreaming of these.
Ooh, maybe I was smelling these...
Nope, the culprit was definitely these ones. Mmm.
Oh, and I found a new holiday chocolate that I love.
It's Limited edition so I'll have to see if I can stockpile more before they're gone!
Oh, who am I kidding? They won't last long! ;)
Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark with Dark Chocolate.
Oh yum, yum, yum!

The girls were playing with their nativity set earlier today.
Most entertaining retelling of Jesus' birth that I've seen.

The wisemen flew, yes flew in on flying camels and donkeys.
A giant stuffed reindeer watched over the baby.
The shepherds laughed at the reindeer...they weren't very nice.
In the end they all shouted "It's Jesus! It's Jesus! Let's have a party!"  :)

Merry Christmas Everyone!!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Countdown to Christmas

After I finished knitting for the girls, I decided to make myself a hat since I needed one.
I used leftover yarn from when I made Shiloh's sweater.
I wore it for the first time yesterday. :)
As soon as I finished the hat, I needed to sew up a hole in a stuffed Reindeer, while Vivian patted his head and reassured him that it would be okay.
She kept telling me "He's dis a baby, be bery careful 'kay cause he's dis a baby." :)

We did a little running around yesterday, but surprisingly the stores weren't really too bad.
Then we came back home and made cookies, and made cookies, and made more cookies!
I laid Vivian down for her nap, then Shiloh and I started with Cheesecake brownies.
She was in charge of stirring. :)
Then Spritz cookies. Vivian thinks Spritz is a funny, funny word. lol
The cookie press was such a pain.
I battled it for awhile, then DH battled it.
The plastic handle cut into your hand and then often popped off in the middle of pressing out a cookie!
In the end, it won the battle...but we won the war I guess as it is now in the bottom of the trash can!
I ended up hand-molding tiny candy canes from the dough instead, which came out pretty cute actually.
But I'm scratching those cookies off the list for next year, for sure!

I also made a triple batch of Peanut Butter Kiss cookies.
It was almost more than my mixer could handle or hold but we made it through without spattering peanut butter on the it's all good. :)
DH was watching a movie so I handed him a couple bags of Kisses and a bowl and he unwrapped all the candies for me.
(He's trust-worthy for this task since he doesn't care for chocolate. lol)
All those cookies though were even tempting for him. :)

Remember when our neighbor gave us the demon baby dolls last year?
Well, this is this year's doll! (scary music)
Press its tummy! I dare you!
Pay no attention to the gleaming white chompers!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Early morning shopping

Early this morning, DH woke me up with "Remember, you were going to go out early and do your grocery shopping?"
When I am all snuggled up toasty warm and deep in my comforters and blankets, it does not seem like the brilliant idea it was the night before.
Especially when it is all of 21 degrees outside.
I grabbed a piece of bread with peanut butter spread on it for breakfast, filled up my thermos with coffee and headed out the door.
It was much faster to shop so early and by myself though.
I had gone through my cupboards the night before, (which is a good idea for anyone, I mean they just might find out that their Worcestershire sauce expired in 2007...just saying) and had my shopping list ready.
I was even together enough to say "Merry Christmas!" first to several people. :)
Which is much nicer than my usual inattentive reply of "Uh? Oh yes, you too!"
"Where is your boot?! What's that in your hair? Watch out! That's why we don't dance in stores. There is enough room, you both can push the cart." ;)

When I got home the girls were up.
DH had gotten them ready for the day and Shiloh greeted me with a serious face.
"Look at my hair, Mom"
DH said "Vivi wanted me to do her hair, then she saw me do Shiloh's...Then Vivi told me I don't know how to do hair." lol

My Christmas cactus is blooming so prettily that I just had to share a picture. :)
The girls both had coloring puzzles in their schoolwork today.
Shiloh's consisted of coloring the spaces where the word has an "unk" sound, yellow, or an "oo" sound, pink and so on.
Vivian's page was coloring spaces with the letter "A", purple and the letter "C", orange and so on.
She was a little confused though and starting writing purple "A" on all the A spaces instead.
Then Vivi was writing some numbers and I started to erase a "2" that she had written so we could rewrite it properly and she stopped me.
"No Mom, the 2 is singing!" that's why he looks like that, of course! ;)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

'Tis the season for popsicle stick crafts

I made an apple crumb pie this past week.
The girls sat at the counter eating apple cores and watching me.
Then Vivi asked if she could lick the bowl.
She wanted the bowl that the apples had been in.
And boy, did she enjoy it! :)
I made some simple star ornaments for the tree.

Then it was the girls' craft time.
They carefully chose their popsicle sticks.
(That's a summer's worth of popsicle sticks there!)
Then we glued them and after the glue dried, the girls got busy painting.

The finished sled ornaments! They came out really cute. :)
The week ahead looks to be a little crazy.
Especially with some iffy weather in the forecast, I want to make sure I'm able to get my errands done.
I'm also trying to plan my cookie baking list and figure out which days I have available to actually bake them on.
We will be delivering them on certain days so I want them to be fresh too.

DH played games with the girls so I was able to get about half of my wrapping done this morning.
I finished up some rolls of wrapping paper, now I have some really long tubes for the hamsters to enjoy....either that or I can use them for a craft project.
They can make some amazing crafts.
But, speaking of hamsters...I've really gotta go clean their bins now. :)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Rubbermaid Reveal Mop Review

**Update 12/14 - We bought a second Reveal mop today using our replacement offer and this one does not work and DH was unable to get it to work either. Two Reveal mops in a row with problems?
Not okay with me.
It's having the same problem..the spray does not work.

As I mentioned earlier, I purchased the "Rubbermaid Reveal Mop" but then it wouldn't work.
I hadn't researched the mop before then, but now I did and found that most people either loved the mop...or the mop wouldn't work.
I tried the company's advice for fixing the problem before contacting them, but nothing helped.
The customer service was great.
Within two business days, I had an email reply and a replacement offer on its way. :)

This review is based on the original mop.
Once I knew we'd be able to replace the mop, I let DH take a crack at repairing it.
What could it hurt?
He got it working!
(His repair method might affect the spray performance...I'm not sure. See below.)

This is the mop...and the nemesis to my knees, the hardwood floor.
This is the microfiber pad. It's washable and reusable.
I love it!
I swept all my floors and mopped, and then along the edge of the pad was all this gray fuzz that it picked up.
I normally wash the kitchen floor by hand, but seeing all that extra fuzz that was caught made me feel like using this mop might even be cleaner.

This is the water bottle. You can see why they need to note "Do not use the bottle for drinking" lol.
You can fill it with whatever cleaner you like.
I prefer to simply use a little mild dish soap and water.
Fill the bottle and snap it in here.
The spray nozzle.
This was the part that was not working for us.
I guess it was sealed shut because DH shoved a small screwdriver in there and it started working.
This photo is to show the spray.
It's a bit more "stream" and a less "spray" than I expected and I don't know if that is due to our home repair or not.
I was spraying the cupboards, and rugs, and it had the added amusement factor.
I could chase them out of the kitchen with the mop! ;-)
The mop cleaned the floors well.
I had a streak on my floor. The path from the sink to the trash can seems to always boast of drips and smears, ick!
The mop cleaned it up and my knees feel great! :)

It was so fast too in comparison to hands and knees washing, plus the floors dried so quickly!
It always was a big ordeal to clean the kitchen floor, but the Reveal mop really did make it easier.

And Tada! I found they make a dusting pad too.
Hmm, maybe I could get two and wear them on my feet to sweep the floor.
That's me..always thinking!

In summary, this mop has made washing my hardwood floor much easier...which in turn means they'll be washed more and be cleaner.

I am still sticking to my Wondermop for my regular floors because I often bleach those floors and you can't use bleach with the Reveal mop. (spraying bleach?! eek!)

I just hope the Reveal mop holds up as well as my Libman Wondermop has!
I just noticed that my Libman needs a new mop head....I've had it since 2006!
I was trying to figure out how to take off the mop head and some big pieces of paint chipped off the pole base into my hand.
I found it's quite rusted and eroded underneath the paint (I had no clue!) so I think a new Wondermop may need find its way under my Christmas tree.
"Santa Baby, I want a mop and really that's not a lot..."

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Barbie, Chelsea, Kelly knitting

I took a little break from knitting and pulled out my sewing machine instead.
Whipped up some sleeping bags and blankets for Barbie and her sisters.
They were very simple to make.
Then back to my knitting needles to finish blankets and pillows.
Then tackle outfits for Barbie's sisters.
I've not found any patterns for them so I had to wing it.
This doll is really hard because of her one bent arm.
They are so small though that they come together really fast.
The orange dress I just made tonight while catching up on some shows. :)

Tonight while I was washing dishes, Vivi lay on the floor beside me and sang "Tomorrow" from Annie for me.
So cute!
I wish I could videotape it but she gets all camera shy. :)

Shiloh was so happy today that some of her math work "clicked".
She suddenly could figure out her counting by 2 work by herself. They give her a number, like "10" and want her to write the number that is ahead of and behind it, by twos.
She also was able to count her 10's and 1's groupings.
She started singing "I'm the winner! I'm the winner!" lol

Then I was checking over her math work and I asked her what answer she had written to a simple addition problem.
Shiloh: "That's a "B"."
Me: "Hmm, that's what I thought."
Ha! Keeping me on my toes...

Monday, December 05, 2011

Batman and...

One effect of my injured finger is that I can't really knit until it heals but I can type...albeit two-fingered!
The first night was really hard to sleep, it was so sore and I was afraid that I would bump it.
It's healing well now but it's a balancing act of letting it get air (because my skin hates bandaids) and keeping it protected so it doesn't start bleeding again.

I am quickly growing tired of our power going out...however briefly!
It went out yesterday morning, but fortunately I was heading over to my parents' anyways.
Then it went out again today for over an hour!
What in the world?
When it came back on it was weird. Only the coffeepot came on at first and was very faintly lit, then eventually the power came on fully.
It such a pain because we have timers for a lot of things and then they all have to be reset...not to mention all the clocks.
Yesterday my parents' were talking about how many comments Dad gets that he looks like Robin Williams.
I didn't think there was a resemblance now that my Dad has grown a beard, but here is the side-by-side comparison! :)

Dad was supposed to make the same face as Robin Williams but he was cracking up too hard! lol

I gave Shiloh a little extra writing work today...some of her favorite things. :)


Saturday, December 03, 2011

Why none of Santa's reindeer are named Rover...

I took the girls to a Petsmart Grand opening. It was crowded but fun.
The girls liked watching some dogs get their pictures taken by a terrified
 young Santa whose beard kept falling off.
He kept casting nervous looks at the line of dogs waiting to see him, before yanking his white glove out of the snapping teeth of his current canine visitor.
The dogs were not any happier than many young children at the idea of sitting on a bearded strangers lap...and the dogs bite! (well, hopefully the kids don't anyways)
Poor, poor, Santa!

There were kittens there that the girls got to pet, including an adorable and feisty Siamese baby. Awww!
They also had quite a few giveaways but most were ones that I can't use, like a free year of dog grooming.

Hmm, unless I could convince them that Cinderella is actually a dwarf chihuahua?
Ooh, maybe then she could get her picture taken with Santa?! lol

We were just heading for the door when person dressed in a giant inflatable dog costume appeared.
It scared Vivian, she let out a whimper wanted me to pick her up immediately!
Shiloh couldn't understand it and was full of questions.
"Why is it a giant dog?"
"It's a costume, dear."
"Why is it so big?"
"Well, it's full of air."
"Why do they put a dog in there? A dog can't reach the top."
"There's not a dog in there, it's a person."
"And why is he dressed like a dog?"

After we got home I was warming up some pizza in the microwave.
It was making a lot of noise and Vivian giggled.
"That pizza is silly, it thinks it's popcorn!" lol

Then while I was getting the girls ready for their baths tonight, I cut my finger.
It was dumb but bled like crazy.
(Cut one of my other fingers earlier this I'm on a roll!)
I couldn't get it to stop bleeding so I finally just put a bandaid on tightly and grabbed
some rubber gloves so I could wash the girls before their water cooled.
Shiloh did a lot of it though and even helped with washing Vivi's hair. :)

Um, well then I lifted my hand to reach for something and blood just poured out of my glove.
I'm not exaggerating.
All over my clothes, towels, the tub.
Poor Vivian freaked. Sobbing.
Everything I touched looked like another scene from a Wes Craven film.
I'm trying to calm her down but I'm pretty sure that I'm white as a sheet...which probably canceled out any calming effect that my words might have held.
I got the girls out of the tub and drying off.
Vivian is keeping a wary eye on my hand and says she wants Dada to come home from work, poor baby.
The girls get dressed while I rummaged through my medicine box and found some liquid bandage.
So I applied a few layers of that and then put a regular bandaid over top.
I think that finally worked, now if I could just not bump it!

Poor Vivi, I just hope she doesn't have any nightmares!

BTW: I was planning on writing a review of my new mop "The Rubbermaid Reveal"!
Moved all my rugs, took pictures of my dirty floor so I could see how well the mop worked...and it doesn't. :-P
The mop is broken so I've written to the company and I'm waiting for a response.
Meanwhile, I had to wash my floors the old way...on my hands and knees! ugh!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

More Barbie knitting

A week since I blogged! Ugh!
It's too bad my fingers can't knit and type at the same time.
I tried eating and typing today and ended up with a lapful of fried I obviously not multi-talented in that way!

Anyways, just a photo update of what's been keeping my fingers busy.
The Barbie wardrobe so far...
(Sorry they are not modeled, Vivian reclaimed her Barbie and I couldn't find it.)
Clockwise from top: Three dresses, a pink skirt, two ponchos, and two stoles.
The solid pink dress also works as a long skirt (gotta love the flexibility of ribbing!)
Lol, just realized I put one of the dresses upside down!

I just found my old doll bed tonight so I am working on a blanket for that.
I think I'll need to find something to substitute for a mattress too.
Busy, busy...

I need to switch to sewing, a machine will go much faster than knitting.
Shi has asked me to make clothes for her and Vivi's tiny "Chelsea" and "Kelly" dolls too. (Barbie's younger sisters)
She thinks I'm an elf.

It doesn't help that I got the girls a Christmas song dvd that they watch a lot and now I keep singing "We are Santa's elves, filling Santa's shelves."
Ugh, it's in my head again!...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wreck the Halls

I had to make an unexpected trip to Wal-Mart this week.
The girls were playing in their room and decided to wrap the curtains around themselves.
They totally bent the curtain rod...and no curtains would mean they'd be up even earlier than normal the next morning so off we went to the store.

My Mom said they must have been trying to dress like Scarlett O'Hara...
Or make that the Carol Burnett's version. :)

After our stop at Wal-Mart we decided to head over to Target...and saw that Petsmart had just opened up!
It actually was their very first day and it was fun.
All the employees and people shopping were so excited and cheerful. :)
It's much smaller than the Petsmart I'm used to, but it's still a very nice store.
I was shopping for bathing sand/dust for my hamsters.
I must have had five employees ask if they could help me, lol.
The first employee to approach us was a bubbly girl with a tongue piercing.
That was fascinating and distracting...what did you say? I was too busy watching that jewel flick all over your mouth. Does my tongue really move that much? Is that a blue jewel or a bruise from a piercing being removed?
Ahem! Focus!
She got me to the right aisle but then couldn't find the sand and didn't know if they had it.
So then I found it on the shelf myself and she thanked me because now if anyone else asks her, she'll know where it is. ;-)

Cinderella loves her bathing sand and bath.
(They sell hamster baths, but I just use a small jelly jar on its side).
I give them their bath jars for about 15 minutes each morning, then take them out so they don't soil up the baths.
Cinderella has been much less stinky since I started lining her bin with cardboard but now that she has a bath, she looks so fluffy. :)
Rory runs into the bath, and out of the bath, and into the bath, and out of the bath, and into the bath, and out of the bath....tracking sand everywhere. 
Then she eats the sand (which is okay).
Rory's fur is still a little punky looking so I'm pretty sure she hasn't used the bath when I'm not looking either, she just hasn't figured it out yet.

Shiloh has been a bit...mischievous lately.
Notice the pencil in her hair?
Something about the holidays makes kids crazy.
Maybe because their parents are so preoccupied?
I was teasing Shiloh after cleaning up another one of her mischief-resulting messes.
(like when she took a pen and purposefully drew on my countertops...totally out of character and frustrating!)
"Ugh, Shiloh. I might have to have to send you back.
Where did you come from?"
Shiloh replied "From God."
"Ohhh...alright, I'll keep you then."
I'll have to hold on that thought when they're jumping on my last nerve, to remember where they came from...

Most of the Barbie knitting patterns that I found online were quite old.
But I didn't really think anything of it, and I totally forgot the fact that newer Barbies have been completely remodeled...
Until I started knitting a pattern and found it wasn't going to fit on any of the girls' Barbies...not even close.
If the new Barbies could see the old clothes size...they would cry.
I even checked the gauge before I started, which I hate to do.
(Checking the gauge involves knitting a useless square to make sure that the size needles you're using and yarn type will make the right knitting. Too big or too small really messes up a garment)
There was no way the outfits were going to fit on these Barbies so I had to completely redo the pattern.
Add on stitches and hold them up to Barbie to see if it was a good size....not to mention adding length to the pattern.
If I'm going to knit for Barbie, then she's going to be decently covered.
Fun Fur is not fun to work with either.
At all.
But once I got the pattern figured out it went quite fast.
And the resulting dresses are quite cute I think. :)

Now to tackle another pattern...