Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloweens gone by

Halloween 2007
Pooh and Piglet... I loved the girls in these costumes.  They still enjoy putting on the Pooh outfit and playing Disneyland...Ellie actually tried to squeeze into the Piglet costume last week. She was convinced it would still fit. 

Halloween 2008
Dorothy and the Cowardly Lion... Brooklyn's dress actually used to be mine when I was little- one handmade by my grandma.  I added the apron and we splurged for the ruby slippers at Target-  Not quite as sparkly as they once were but Ellie still loves to put them on. 

Halloween 2009
Peter Pan and company...Tinkerbell, Captain Hook, Peter Pan, and Smee all made from thrift store finds, Walmart deals, and trimmings from Joanns.  Brett was such a good sport, wearing all women's clothes (aside from the mustache) and was the hit of the Harvest Festival. (He, unlike Ellie, has not tried on the costume since then.)

Halloween 2010
Due to some unfortunate technical difficulties, (I think Leighton may have chewed up my camera USB cable)  this year's pics are going to be a bit delayed.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

pumpkins & rides or rides & pumpkins?

And if Brooklyn's first trip to the pumpkin patch wasn't carnie style enough...we  took a family trip to one this week that was over the top carnieville.  We're talking rides that were barely holding together,  circa 1950- several of them put up but apparently not working.  Some boats had bells, others not, some rockets had guns, others not.  And everything had the most annoying shrill squeak when the ride started up.  But as usual...the girls were in heaven.  They were spoiled again by Nino, who insists on visiting the pumpkin patch a minimum of 3 times each fall.  So we will no doubt be headed back next week for more rides, and yes, pumpkins- that is the point of these places right? 

Friday, October 22, 2010

my lil punkins

 Brooklyn October 2005

 Ellie October 2007

Leighton October 2010

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Gold Star Mornings

I always struggle with the use of bribery/positive reinforcement v. simple obedience/discipline/consequences.  What really works?  I know each child and situation is different and unique, but what has the long term impact that we're looking for?  What creates children who desire to be obedient out of love for their parents and because it is right?  Basically, how can I get my 5 year old to wake up with a good attitude and get ready for school without whining, complaining, crying, and driving me completely nuts in the process?  My current strategy leans heavily on the bribery/positive reinforcement side.  Enter Gold Star Mornings (you can see from her chart, we ran out of gold stars and had to resort to green- I guess I should have called it shiny star mornings).  She is working hard to earn her first pet, a fish (she actually thinks she is getting 2... we'll see about that).  We still have tough mornings, but the good ones are far outweighing the bad lately.  And sitting on her dresser is her fish bowl with gravel and a net waiting for the fishies to arrive.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Ung Drill

It only took me 4 trips to IKEA to commit to buying this...the elusive Ung Drill frame.  I loved it from the second I saw it but didn't really know what to do with it.  Its pretty big and just a frame, not a mirror.  Its been hanging empty at the end of our hallway for months (usually Brett gives me a time limit to fill empty hung frames- but he was gracious this time) After scouring the internet to see what others have done with their Ung Drills and other large frames,  I came up with this.  I popped out the glass, covered the cardboard backing with linen fabric, and hot glued floral wire to the back.   I found the cutest itty bitty clothespins to hang various photos and paraphernalia.  What will you do with your Ung Drill?  ( I know you can't resist one either!)

Check it out here...

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Yesterday marked my halfway point to 70.   Yes, that's right the big 35.  Started it off with a bang and feasted on these delicious chocolate chip pancakes with bananas- thanks to Brett.  I absolutely love the Happy Birthday mug and plate.  I saw them in a boutique in Arizona last year for an arm and a leg and somehow resisted.  Only a couple months later I found them at Home Goods- gotta love that place- for a fraction of the cost.  Too bad for me the first time I used the mug I broke the handle off.  Major disappointment but nothing super glue can't handle-no pun intended.  I also got to go to lunch with my mom, grandma, and sister- something that never happens.  Amy spoiled me with Sees chocolates and an Anthro gift card- which I promptly spent on some stunning skinny jeans. 
So how do I fell about being 35?  Well, the realization that I'm now closer to 50 than I am to 20 is a big shocker to me.  20 doesn't seem that long ago.  So does that mean 50 will be here before I know it?  50 is old right?   Well, enough of that...I would say my life is where I pictured it to be at this point in so many ways.  And I am so content with my life as a now middle aged woman.  It doesn't mean I will be going to Josh Groban concerts, working out at Curves, or wearing mom jeans however.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Punkin' patch

Every kindergarten class is somehow required by autumn season law to take a trip to the pumpkin patch.  Its a rite of passage I guess.  Now in lots of places, this would mean heading to a patch where pumpkins are actually growing on a vine in the dirt.  But for us southern Californians, the pumpkins certainly aren't on the vine, or in the dirt.  For us, a pumpkin patch is more of a carnie-style setup in a vacant parking lot.  Basically the trip included a petting zoo (which did have actual real live animals that you could see on a farm), a pony ride (on actual ponies, who did go around a 12'circle 3 times- and then had to take a 15 minute rest), a train ride (around the parking lot of course), a hay ride (same route as the train- only pulled by a lawn mower tractor), a hay bale maze, and lots of inflatable jumpies, obstacle courses, and slides.  Now you know what I mean by carnie-style.  After all the activities had been exhausted it was time to pick their pumpkin.  Again, by pick they mean choose, not pick off the vine.  The kids were instructed to pick a pumpkin according to this stipulation:

Which of course ended up with every kindergartner holding up their choice pumpkin and asking, "is it smaller than my head?'  I loved the kid who told the teacher,  "I have to get one bigger than my head.  Once my sister brought home a little one and my dad was mad."  I did see him walking out with the biggest pumpkin of them all- hope dad is happier this time.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Jumping Rope

Brooklyn decided she wanted to learn how to jump rope this afternoon.  Talk about comical.  Plenty of near falls, grunting, and telling mom she knew what she was doing and didn't need any help thank you. 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tooth two...out!

I figured since I was giving an update of each tooth Leighton got, I should do the same for each tooth that Brooklyn lost.  Number two is officially out- thanks to an apple slice and one determined and brave 5 year old.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Kitchen Towel

Got a few minutes this weekend and finally made one of these dish towels.  I made a couple for gifts several weeks ago but never got to finish mine.  A totally fast, fun, easy and most of all cheap project.  I bought a pack of 6 dish towels from Target for $3.99 clearance- they were a little wide so I took them in on the sides with my serger.  I used whatever scraps of fabric /trims I had laying around and just a bit of wonder under (one of my favorite and most used crafting items).  And viola!  Wouldn't it look cute in my sister's kitchen?  I love her vintage stove (although she's not a big fan considering she hasn't used the oven in months after it almost blew her head off!)
PS- Check out these two blogs- great ideas galore!

Saturday, October 9, 2010


Another genius idea from Brooklyn's kindergarten teacher...pajama day.  Genius because they kids were beyond excited, but also genius because I got 15 minutes more sleep in the morning since she woke up ready to go! (You know I'll do just about anything to sleep in - even a little).  Brett did inform me she can't sleep in her clothes every night...oh well back to 6:30 wake up call for me.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Like Daddy?

Will she love making music like Daddy?

Yesterday, we were in the kitchen with the older girls and heard someone playing the piano.  Leighton had discovered it for the first time and her little fingers were plinking away on the keys.  It is the perfect height for her to reach up and play one note at a time. 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

9 months

Top 9 of being 9 months old
9.  crawling fast on all fours (usually chasing Daddy or my big sisters)
8.  pulling up to anything 24" high or lower (thank goodness this excludes the toilet- so far!)
7.  sleeping 8 hours in a row at night (that one is also on mom's top 9 list)
6. climbing to the top of the stairs (with mom right behind of course)
5.  using my 6 chompers to eat big girl food- especially grapes (don't worry they are cut into tictac size pieces)
4.  Mommy still nursing me (despite said chompers)
3.  being able to pick up the most minute pieces of anything and immediately put them in my mouth
2.  being tickled till I giggle uncontrollably
1.  cuddling myself to sleep with my blankie

Saturday, October 2, 2010


Sometimes I get the idea to collect things.  Problem is, I don't want to be a collector as much as I want to have a collection.  Don't get me wrong, the trill of the hunt and the victory of the find are both great, but we all know it takes at least three of something to qualify a collection, and I don't have the stamina to wait it out.  I want the entire collection the minute I think about starting it. I have no delay of gratification (thank you M. Scott Peck).  Like this one for example.  I decided I wanted to collect girly books that I read growing up.  Ones that really imapcted me and that I'll want to someday share with my girls.  And not the paperbacks from Borders- I wanted old hardbacks.  So I compiled a list:
Anne of Green Gables
Island of the Blue Dolphins
Pippi Longstocking
Little Women
Little House in the Big Woods
The Secret Garden
A Little Princess
Charlotte's Web
Ramona books
Of course the best way to go about it would be to keep an eye open at thrift stores and used book stores (which was where I actually got Little Women and Mary Poppins) and to collect as the years go by.  But what do I do?  Immediately start shopping ebay.  I had to rein myself in from buying a first edition copy of Charlotte's Web for way more than this beginning collector should ever spend. That one I will delay gratification on.

Friday, October 1, 2010

On the move

Leighton has graduated from army crawl to full-on-all-fours crawling this week.  Lock the baby gates, sweep the floor, close the bathroom doors, put away dirty shoes, and hide the Polly Pockets...Leighton is on the move.