Wednesday, September 28, 2011

It's a Star, it's a Meteor, it's a Bolide!

I was looking out the window the other night because it was oddly bright out.
I'm still not sure what (or why) lights were on that were making it so bright.
While I was looking out the window, suddenly a huge shooting star went across the sky.
I have never seen one so big or so seemingly close. I could actually see the blue around the white of it as it fell. So amazing!

So it got me curious to look up shooting stars/meteoroids.
From Wikipedia "The visible path of a meteoroid that enters Earth's (or another body's) atmosphere is called a meteor, or colloquially a shooting star or falling star."
They have some amazing pictures out there.
I also found that it looks like what I saw would be called a "Bolide" which is an especially bright meteoroid. :)

The girls have been trading bikes so Vivi is getting some practice riding Shi's two-wheeler. It's wearing me out though following her and pushing her and racing to catch her as she wobbles. :)

We've been trying to enjoy each nice day we have before it starts getting colder.
The girls love to check out the hydrangeas each time we go out, they love the different colored blossoms.
I also found out that Home Depot was selling my hydrangeas...same brand, same pot, everything. But one cost more than what I paid for all three of my clearance hydrangeas!
I'm pretty happy about my savings there! :)

I also was able to get two more zucchini from the garden. They are a little small but the squirrels were starting to get to them so it was either pick them now or lose them.
It's always a battle with the squirrels!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

I love Pie...

DH wanted to run to Home Depot.
They had a sale going with several things that he wanted/needed.
They have Car carts there so the girls were golden. :)

We also came home with these three bushes.
(the bare spot on the lawn is from the girls' pool)
Blueberry bushes!
Hopefully three is enough. In researching I found a lot of varied information how many I needed.
These are certainly the biggest blueberry bushes I've found for sale.
DH put some landscaping stones around and they look so nice. :)
I'm so excited, I hope they produce well!

It was quite humid this morning and the sun was hot so Daddy gave the girls umbrellas.
They loved carrying umbrellas around. :)

I made a meat pie for a late dinner tonight.
I added green peppers...just because I had them on hand, to the ground turkey, potatoes, carrots and onions.
Oh, so good!
Vivi seems to like it too. :)

Her cold is better today and she even slept through the night! yay!
Vivi's favorite story from the library this past trip is "May Belle and the Ogre"

It's so cute to hear her sing the little song from the book.
"Mix it, Mix it, Oh my
Roll it, Roll it, By and by
Bake it, Bake it, Blueberry Pie
I - LOVE- PIE!"

Yum, maybe I need to get a few more Blueberry bushes....

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Cold bug, learning bug

I've been catching up on some sewing these past couple days.
I finally finished the rest of the pillows for the couch. :)

I love the pattern on the pillowcases.
They are so soft now and much more nap and kid friendly.
I didn't have quite enough fabric to cover the entire body pillow.
Then when I was checking it over I found the end seam of the pillow was coming all undone.
I was tempted to just remove the stuffing and remake a whole new pillow, but instead I decided to repair the seam and make a protective matching "sleeve" instead.
Another kid-friendly design, that micro-fiber is annoying.
Then I made eight scrunchies for the girls using some different colored scraps of material I had on hand.
Hmm, is weird that my daughter's hair ties will match the couch? lol

The cold bug has hit my house.
Shiloh had it for like one day, then she was fine.
Last night and today, Vivian was quite miserable.
Add cold misery on top of the eczema flare-up that's been bothering her lately and she had me up a LOT last night.
Giving her medicine, rubbing cream on her itchy body, putting Vicks on her nose, getting her another tissue, getting her a drink and just rocking and comforting her.
I told her this morning "Oh Vivi, I'm so tired. You kept me up way too much!"
She hopped around "I slept good! I not sleepy at all! I not tired!"
How is that possible?
Really?

DH also woke up with the cold, but his hasn't been too bad so far.
So the Cheese stands alone.
I'm taking Multi-vitamins and Ester-C (which I so conveniently have on hand) ;-) and washing my hands like crazy!

Today I was throwing some things away and Vivi looked in the trash can and said "Look there's a "W" in the trash can!" :)
(The can was lined with a Walmart bag)
It's so thrilling to me when they learn these things and get excited to discover they can actually use what you're teaching them....especially when learning "W" was a hard one for her. :)

We play "The Flashcard Game" every day and that has helped her immensely.
We have 52 cards with uppercase and lowercase letters on them.
If she says the letter right, she gets the card and "wins".
If she says it wrong, I get the card.
The other day I only had 4 cards at the end of the game. :)
I have to really listen to her though to make sure of what she's saying because she adds an "uh" to most letters.
"A-uh, B-uh, C-uh, D-uh"...and so on.

Numbers are more of a challenge for her.
But the other day I was helping Shiloh with counting.
"20...21...22...what comes next, Shi?"
And Vivian shouts out "23!"
I couldn't believe it. ;-)

Hmm, I thought I'd have a problem with Shiloh shouting answers out for Vivian...not the other way around!







Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Preparing for Fall

The Hydrangea covers that DH made have worked really well.
We tuck covering inside the lattice when we have frost (or snow).
We've had to cover the Hydrangeas twice already for a threat of frost during the night and they still have beautiful buds and blossoms. :)
One of the many reasons I love Hydrangeas...both blue/purple blossoms and pink blossoms on the same bush!

I've been looking for a Fall/Autumn craft for the girls to do this week.
(Since Fall officially starts on Friday...where did the Summer go?)

I finally found this tree craft, and I just love it.
I love crafts that capture their little hand or foot prints anyways...children just grow too quickly so I love anything that commemorates them at this exact age. :)
I traced their hands and arm(s) on brown construction paper for the tree trunk.
I did two trees for Vivi, both of her arms, since her arms are so small.
(BTW: I used extra-long construction paper.)

Then I gave the girls the option of using paints & making thumbprints for the leaves or cutting out bits of construction paper. They both opted for cutting paper.
I've just started letting Vivian use safety scissors as part of her Preschool work.
I'm not nearly as nervous as I was (or still am) with Shiloh and scissors. lol

Vivian's adorable trees. :)

Shiloh's beautiful tree.
I love how she has the leaves falling. :)

Tada! My beautiful Autumn decorations!

The Rainbow Barbie Cake

Shiloh had such a nice birthday party....even her 88 year old Great-Grandma was able to attend! :)
I took some pictures of the Rainbow Barbie Cake.
This is before frosting, after I had cut of the "mound" on the 2nd layer to level it.

So pretty. :)

Barbie Cake #2!

I added Almond extract to frosting to add a slight cherry flavor.

Yum!



Saturday, September 17, 2011

Have our cake...

I finished Barbie Cake #2 this evening.
I think it looks better than the first one, now that I've had some practice. ;-)
Pictures to come!
Both girls were really interested in the decorating, Shi wants to practice cake decorating too now so I think a cupcake decorating "craft" is on our agenda. :)
Well...once we start wanting cake again. Two cakes in one week is enough to last us awhile!

I had just finished dressing the girls in their Princess costumes for Shi's birthday when Vivi said to me "Mama, Shiloh and I will be the Princesses and you can wear brown and then you can be The Beast!"
So sweet when they include me in their play. lol

Some of Shiloh's schoolwork this week had her looking at a picture and then writing the word down. Like "bat" or "sun".
One picture of a Doctor and Patient had her confused as to what word they wanted so I was helping her.
"Yes, it's a Doctor and a Boy but those aren't the words they want. What is the boy getting?"
 "A shot?"
"Yes, shot is the word that they want you to write."
"But, he's happy!" Shi said pointing to the boy "He's getting a shot and he's happy??"
Oh, I was laughing so hard. She was SO serious. :)

That boy was oddly happy now that she mentioned it...

Friday, September 16, 2011

Two hour Lunch

We had a busy and long day yesterday.
Shiloh had a Doctor's appointment, her 5 year old check-up.
I told her about the vaccines ahead of time. She was a little nervous then but I think it was better than just springing it on her...she tends to get a little panicky if she doesn't know what's going on.
Everyone was really sweet and kept commenting that they couldn't believe the little baby I first brought in there, is already five!
Me neither!
While we we waiting, Shi was sitting on my lap and hugged me and said "Mom, I am now five....but I still feel like four." :)
In the afternoon Shi complained that her one leg ached where she had received two shots, but it wasn't hard or red and she never got a fever.
I gave her some pain reliever and then she was fine.

We went to Target and I got some good deals on school supplies, like safety scissors for Vivian.
I even was able to use coupons to get the girls a game for .99 cents! (normally $6.99!)
Booyah!
They also had the chewable Children's Ibuprofen there that I have been looking forever and everywhere for!! I was so excited! :-D
It's a Mom thrill. lol

We had a sudden frost last night so DH spend hours making covers for my hydrangeas.
I love him for it! :)
They look great too, he did an awesome job.
He said one of our neighbors drove by and gave him a thumbs up, so he was quite happy to have neighbor approval too. :)

Hmm, they do look much better than my suggestion to put a bucket over each one. lol

We also had the longest lunch ever, yesterday. :-p
We went to Friendly's...and we were stuck there for more than TWO hours.
Everything took forever. DH said he was hungry again by the time we left.
The food had definitely shrunk in size. The soup bowls were smaller and Vivi's hamburgers were as thin as McDonald's ones.
Disappointing.
Vivi had to use the bathroom. It is still difficult to get her to use a public bathroom, she gets nervous but she will do it when she has to.
But it's impossible to get her to go when there are flies flying all around the bathroom...she is quite fearful of flies.
So I wasn't able to get her to use the bathroom, but we were almost done and going right home anyways so I wasn't thinking anything of it.

Until something happened with the waitress. She just totally dropped the ball on ALL of her customers....which weren't even many, the restaurant had about 6 tables occupied when we left.
She messed up our bill. Messed up our ice cream. Never even brought ice cream to the other family in the room, they finally left without theirs.
Vivi fell asleep in my arms and we still didn't have our money back from her mess-up OR our ice cream yet.
Ugh.

We finally got back home and I laid Vivi on the couch and started putting away groceries and laundry, gave Shi some medicine for her leg etc. etc.
I momentarily thought maybe I should try moving Vivi to her bed or maybe even waking her because I knew she didn't use the restroom but she hadn't eaten or drank much and then I got distracted.

So later I'm washing two loads of laundry containing the couch cover and one cushion cover, on a rainy day and hoping they dry.
I told DH not to bring it up to Vivi though because it really wasn't her fault. (plus it was only a small accident and then she woke fully and was able to go to the bathroom)
I'll just consider it getting a jump on my Fall cleaning...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Barbie Cake

So Barbie Cake #1 came out pretty well, I think!
Shiloh was quite happy...and that's what really matters. :)


I cut the top off the second layer to make the cakes layer evenly...so then I frosted that with extra frosting. I guess that makes this the groom Ken cake? ;-)

A lot of work, especially since it was so warm and my frosting was getting soft.
But then because I used a pedestal cake stand, I couldn't fit the cake into the fridge...so I had a fan blowing instead. Not quite as good.
It was a lot of fun though, I could easily see myself doing many more. :)
Especially since the girls love it so much.
Makes it worth the effort.

I just used a simple Pyrex bowl and half of the cake batter for one layer.
Then washed, greased, and floured the bowl again and baked the second layer.

The hardest part was that using multiple colors of icing and having limited icing tips, meant a lot of washing.

I left the Barbie on the cake and was just cutting slices out around her.
After taking out several slices through the day, Shi said "Mom, The Barbie is starting to slide!"
Then Barbie had this little avalanche to the side...which was hysterical because we had raised her arms straight up when we put the candles on.
So it really looked like she was surprised at her slide. lol

Monday, September 12, 2011

Re-Pillowing

I was busy doing a little sewing today.
I got one pillow cover done...well maybe done. (I'm toying with some additional ideas)
The original upholstered pillow is on the right, the remodel is on the left.

I've been wanting to add some blue to the living room so I think this fabric is a nice accent.
I set it on the couch to just see how it looked and Vivi instantly claimed it.
She ooh'ed over the softness and carried it everywhere.
So I know I have at least one vote in favor of the new pillows. :)

I have a little tweaking to do when working on the next pillow, but I don't think I'll get a chance to do any more sewing for at least a few days.
I have a little girl's birthday party to focus on! :)

And I have that Rainbow Barbie cake to focus on. lol
I'm doing my practice run tomorrow so we'll have cake to eat on her actual birthday.
I'm making a Barbie cake...but not Rainbow.
I'll tackle the "rainbowing" for her party. :)
So tomorrow I can see if the bowl that I'm planning is a good fit to make a proper "skirt" for the Barbie topper.

It's supposed to be hot and humid tomorrow too...excellent weather for frosting a cake, right? ;-)
Wish me luck!






Saturday, September 10, 2011

Running around some more...

Flooding and power outages keep foiling us at every turn.

Our latest flooding wasn't what you would expect...
We came home after being away for a good part of the day, and detoured by flooded roads, to find Cinderella had a flood in her bin.
She was pretty wet and hiding inside a half-damp paper roll.
She tends to be messy so it looks like she had kept pushing bedding and things against the spout of her water bottle which caused it to continually drip. She had pretty much emptied her full water bottle!
I checked the bottle out and it is working properly so it didn't just leak on its own...
Thankfully (because she tends to be so messy) I line the bottom of her cage with cardboard, so that absorbed a lot of the water...otherwise she would have been swimming!
I got her bin all cleaned up and dried off and she's been behaving so far.

Then last night our power went out, rather randomly. It hadn't even been storming.
So we didn't end up getting to sleep until late after getting the girls settled with substitute nightlights and unplugging things around the house that are sensitive.
Fortunately, the power was on again this morning as we had to run out to Walmart...yes, yet again.
DH needed a new tube for his bike tire. It had an ongoing slow leak from a puncture and his attempts to repair it had failed.
The roads were all cleared now so we had a quick drive while the girls loudly serenaded us from the backseat.
They are such Morning people! ;-p lol

We get out to Walmart and we were pleased that the parking lot was so empty. We thought it was just because we were there early, before 8am.
Nope.
They have no power.
Seriously!!!!
So they are closed. Yes, closed.

Because he needs his bike, we drove to another Walmart (yet again).
Feeling pretty fortunate to have two Walmarts locally though!
We called them on the way there to make sure they were open...and had power...and weren't flooded...or hit by a train or something!
At last we were able to get the bike tube and DH repaired the tire this morning. :)

I wanted to take the girls to a craft show this morning, but with everything we were rather tired of running around everywhere...and just tired in general too.
So we stayed in and had a quiet day.
I made a couple of loaves of zucchini bread with our last zucchini from the garden.
It was a big squash so I even had enough left over to slice up and freeze for a later use.

Shiloh had her 1st math test and she did so well.
Her only mistake was a simple one, she wrote "08" instead of "18" when she was asked to write eighteen.
As part of the test, She also needed to do five simple math (addition) problems in her head and I thought that might trip her up but she aced it! :)
I'm so proud of her! :)

Friday, September 09, 2011

Finally Friday!

It's been a busy week!
I finally baked my white acorn squash.
It was good! It tasted just like acorn squash. :)
I saved the seeds since this white one is the only one that has grown to full-size so far.
They seem to take a long time to grow. I still have a bunch of green ones in the garden, but I'm not sure what they're doing...if anything.
I took the girls to a disappointing storytime...and probably our last.
First they reread stories they had already read during storytime (and we've only gone a few times), plus they only read three books.
Then they were very unprepared for their craft...and they the "craft people/teachers" kept messing up the craft.
The kids were supposed to be making caterpillars.
Well, the legs wouldn't stay on when they (the teachers) glued them.
So they decided to staple them, which didn't work much better.
I was going between both girls helping them, so one teacher decided to help Shiloh.
I use the word "help" lightly.
The craft lady ended up stapling the caterpiller antenna...under the chin, like a beard instead.
Serious!
It's not even a hard craft or a difficult insect to put together!
I mean if they were putting together praying mantises or something I might be able to comprehend a mistake...but a caterpillar!

I came home to find this delightful surprise with my mail the other day.
I won an "Ester C" prize pack!
I received a bottle of "Ester-C", a metal water bottle, and this awesome camp chair!
The chair is pretty comfy too.
Vivi really likes it, she even curled up in it to watch a movie.
The funny thing is that she thinks the little mesh cupholders, are for putting your hands when you're sitting in the chair. (see her?) :)

Poor Shiloh, I know gracefulness will come to her eventually.
But in the meantime she has managed to run over her own leg with her training wheel, which is kind of hard to explain in writing...or orally...or in reenactment. lol
She didn't really hurt herself though.

But then she dropped her pencil while writing and went to grab it quick and jabbed it into the palm of her hand.
Ack!
Some blood, some tears, and a half inch gash.
I cleaned it off as best I could with soap and water but the pencil tip went under the skin aways.
Antibiotic cream and a Carebear bandaid.
I researched it also, to make sure I was doing the right care and pencil tips are graphite not lead so it's just basic wound care.

Shiloh's 5th Birthday is approaching rapidly.
She decided she wants a Rainbow cake. Okay.
Make that a "Barbie" Rainbow cake.
Um, I love that you have such faith in my baking skills, dear girl.
I wish I did!

I looked around yesterday for a doll pick but I couldn't find any.
Today I ran to our party supply store.
They had the whole doll dress cake set (pan/doll pick) for $20.
But the doll had brown hair and Shi didn't want that.
Then I found the doll picks, in brunette and this reddish-blonde color.
Shiloh wanted the reddish-blonde.
Hmm, she's not giving me much to work with here.
I may have to do a practice run...like a Barbie cupcake or something.
Ew, that might be freaky! lol
I've got to do something with her hair first...I'm not a fan of hair in my food, real or otherwise. ;-)
Wish me luck!

The Run around, and around, and around..

Crazy week! I think I'll end up having to write two posts just to catch up!

Yesterday morning we had a bunch of errands to run so we started out early.
I didn't even get a chance to go online before we left, which is where I check out the local news and weather.
I was busy getting the girls ready and everybody fed and all our stuff together for the errands etc.

We go to the post office first, no problem there.
Then I wanted to pay my dentist bill in person because I had misplaced the bill (which I never do so it really bothered me!) and it was due Friday (today) so I wanted to make sure it got there in time.
But Main street was all closed off...apparently due to flooding, not of the street but everyone's basements on the street and the Fire trucks needed room for pumping those out.
So we ran to the bank and then I decided to try the round-about way to the Dentist's, and that way was clear so I made it to the office and dropped off my payment.

Then we went to head out to Walmart and Home Depot.
Road closed.
Hmm, I really should have checked the news before we left...
So we had to take the long way to get there.
It was just for quick stops too so we really spent more time driving, I think.
We got our stuff from Walmart pretty fast, stopped at Home Depot and they didn't have what we needed. It's a "seasonal" item and it's not that season yet, I guess!
So we stop at Lowe's, nope same thing there.

We got back home and now DH's electronic thing he just bought from Walmart doesn't work.
Now DH is impatient...very impatient...majorly impatient...get the idea?
So now we have to head out to a closer Walmart to exchange it.
Get back and new electronic thing does not work.
Really.
So then he sends me out to Radio Shack.

Are you ready for this?
They are closed.
The whole strip mall is closed.
Their power is out.
Think maybe God is trying to teach my husband patience?? ;-)

I'm not sure it worked though.
He's now bought it online. ((sigh))

Monday, September 05, 2011

Rich man, wish man

While I was driving the girls around today, Shiloh was belting out "Abba" in the backseat.
"Money, Money, Money...
Must be funny....
In a Wish Man's world....
AaaahhhOOOOhhhhhh!"

"All the things I could do...
If I had a little money....
It's a Wish man's world!"

Lol, I was surprised she knew so many lyrics. :)

I found a couple more Hydrangeas on clearance at Wal-Mart today.
I think three in front of the house will look nice and I can fill in the gaps with different plants or flowers.
I'm hoping they'll do well here.

I've discovered that Roses do not do well here at all.
I am on my last one now and when it goes, I think I'll plant something else.
The rose midges and Japanese beetles are just too overwhelming!
I have to spray constantly and try to keep the girls away while I'm doing it...and it's a losing battle.
It's a good sunny area so I'll try something else. Something hardy!

I bought the hydrangeas from Walmart's outdoor area.
They were quite soaked from the storms we've had so I didn't mess with them too much.
I tucked them behind my seat in the truck and told Vivi (who was sitting closest) not to kick them because she'd get wet.

Just as I pulled into the driveway, Shiloh goes "Spider... SPIDER!! SPIDER!!!!"
Then both girls let out long-lasting and ear-piercing screams worthy of the Tower of Terror.
I jump out of the car and whip the door open.
Vivian is trying to pull her legs up to her chest, while screaming.
On the back of my seat....near where my head and shoulder just were, is a huge spider, probably another grass spider.
The kind with the long legs that you just know can move super-fast...and will move fast AT YOU!
I'm sure I would've screamed louder than the girls if he had climbed on me!

By the way, I have no idea where they get their fear of bugs from...
It's a mystery.

Ack!
So remember to shake out your plants before you buy them!
I was planning to put the bushes in my laundry room to await planting.
But now they are going to wait patiently in the garage until DH can plant them.
Well, after I tell him that the plants even exist...then he can plant them. ;-)




Sunday, September 04, 2011

Power naps

We had some big storms this evening.
More rain, thunder, and lightning than we had from the Hurricane!
Then our power went out.
Vivi woke from her nap, quite miserable and sweating since her fan went off with the power.
Fortunately the power wasn't off for too long, about half an hour.
And a few minutes after it came back on and her fan started running again, Vivi was sound asleep...and her nap has carried into her bedtime now.
Hopefully she'll sleep through.
Must be she power naps! (lol, get it? she needs power to nap)
 ;-)
When I was able to get online again, I found out that the storm set off a tornado!
Eek!
I saw a video of it, scary!
We are so not prepared for tornadoes here, this one had no warning. It even took the NWS a long time after the tornado had passed for them to confirm it.

I took the girls out fabric shopping.
We have too many opinions between all of us, lol.
And despite Shiloh urgently (and loudly) shouting that she "had to poop!" and the store not having a restroom, I was still able to find a patterned fabric that we all agreed on.
I wanted it to go with my couch covers.
But when I got home I laid the fabric on the couch and went "Oh, that doesn't match at all"...then I check again this morning and it looked better.
So we shall see!
I wanted to start sewing this afternoon, but the sewing machine needed power...which I didn't have. ;-)

I also have some sewing plans for the kitchen. I even have a couple of easy tops that I'd like to try to make...to sew, not knit.
But I'm apprehensive about that since my sewing skills are not impressive.
These are relatively simple projects...at least in my mind. lol

The girls have started the new school year.
Shi is doing 1st grade, and Vivi is Pre-school.
They LOVE it!
Shi is still in the easy beginning pages of her work so she is just breezing through them. She can read the instructions herself and it makes it so easy for me because I can focus more on helping Vivi.
Vivian seems to learn really well with flashcards. Writing letters is hard for her but she keeps proudly writing "A, O, V, & Q's" on her pages.
Numbers are very confusing for her though, so we need to focus on those a bit.
I showed her the number 10, and she said "It's an "o" and an "i"." ;-)
She is thrilled to be a big girl and doing schoolwork like Shiloh. :)
They keeping asking to do their schoolwork first thing and I have to keep telling them "Wait until Mama has breakfast first! And coffee! More coffee!"

Well, I'll enjoy it while it lasts. :)