Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sneak Peek

I've been doing some shopping, getting ready to put together my MOM CAVE! Looks like my father-in-law is going to come to help the week of the 12th. Can't wait! I'm still trying to pick a color for the walls...maybe Whythe Blue or one of these? Send your votes in!

Looks like quite a mess of colors and random accessories right now. Some of the stuff (pillows) I'm going to have to recover, and I'm also going to have to make curtains from sheets since there were probably less than 5 random curtain panels at HomeGoods. But I kind of have a vision in my head on how it's going to come together. Should be fun!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010 Photos

The day started with flag football with the cousins

The boys: Cooper, Cole, Steven, Andrew, Joshua, Caleb

The game (there were about 2 kids crying and/or refusing to play at all times)

Ellie and Steven pouting

The crew minus 2, with the two coaches (Steven and Uncle Thomas).
SJ, MC, Paris, Cooper, Ellie, Andrew, Emily, Joshua, Cole

Then we were off to Aunt Mary's for the big Thanksgiving Feast!
Girls in the backyard

Visiting outside (we had warm weather that day until after an evening rain; you can tell many were in shorts!)

The guys watching a game

Steven with Cooper playing in the boy room!

Steven and his parents

and two cute pics of Aunts Jill and Mary holding Tommy!

We had a fun day with family; my parents came to the celebration too. Then we decided at the last minute to go out to Little Way Farm, and we happened to arrive just as they were sitting down to eat. So we had another Thanksgiving dinner! We watched the Aggie game there, and then had the great privilege of visiting with Veronica's brother, Father Fernando. He said mass for Veronica, me, Thomas, Mary Clare, and Ellie in their upstairs bonus room. What a gift!

Hope your Thanksgiving was filled with all those you love!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

We have so much to be thankful for! Our faith, our family, our friends, our home, our health. My four beautiful children are thriving and each so unique in God's design. They've all recently had check-ups and here were their approximate percentiles:
Mary Clare-22nd in weight/height, and she needs glasses!
Ellie-8oth in height/50th in weight
Steven-50th in both
Thomas-80th in weight/25th in length

Thomas weighed 14 lbs, 9 oz today! Looking back at my blog (the only "baby book" I have these days), it appears Steven was also around 14 pounds at 2 months. So a similar growth curve. It will be interesting to see how the boys grow and if they gain the height of their Daddy and his side of the family!

For Thanksgiving we have a Flag Football Bowl planned for the cousins in the morning and then lunch at Steven's sister's house. My parents are coming along this year, so we'll only have to attend one big celebration! We've got a "kitchen pass" with his family, who always tells us not to worry about bringing anything, since we've always got little ones and are coming from across town. One of these days we'll get on the ball and figure out some easy dishes that we can contribute. We usually end up doing our own little Thanksgiving meal soon afterwards, since we don't have leftover turkey to eat!

My goal for the weekend is to finish most of the Christmas shopping (online), pick up the house, and start readying the Advent/Christmas decorations! I might try the tradition I've read, I think it was from Charlotte, about wrapping up all the Christmas books and letting the kids open one each day to read.

Tonight I cleaned out the girls' room while they watched Toy Story 3. I've got a trashbag full of junk-toys that needs to get to the outside garbage cans before they find it! And I found about 100 books in various spots in their room. I'm glad they enjoy reading, but wow these books have got to find their way back to the bookshelves a little quicker!

Hope you all have a beautiful Thanksgiving. I'm grateful for all my friends and family who keep up with our family on this little blog. I wish you much joy and happiness in the coming Advent season!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I just want to clip my nails

I've been seeking out nail clippers for days on end. I cannot figure out where all THREE pairs have disappeared to. I actually spotted Steven Joseph with a pair yesterday but I didn't have the energy to chase him down to retrieve them. So they all stand missing, and my nails are scratchy and in need of a clip, as are some of the kids'.

And such is my life right now. I can't seem to fully complete anything and seem to lose things minute by minute. I left my wallet at a restaurant overnight and didn't realize until we were at Sunday Mass. I nearly left another mom with a brand new baby dinner-less because of a bunch of wild goose chases I went on yesterday. I had the wrong day in my head for Thomas' 2 month check-up and missed it. I start a project, but then have a crying baby or a toddler on the potty who is in a very needy stage right now. Rooms in the house are going from somewhat clean to total disaster in a matter of minutes, and I can't keep up! Clean laundry is overflowing in baskets and on couches around the house. I'm spent.

I'm so excited to have Daddy home for 4 days straight with this holiday weekend and am anxiously awaiting the help from my father-in-law next month. So I guess the babymoon phase is officially over. Thomas has become a bit of a colicky baby every evening and my productivity has gone way down over the past few weeks. Steven Joseph has pretty much given up his nap, unless we're in the car, and is officially potty training when we're at home, keeping me on my toes. Ellie has been throwing large tantrums about 3-5 times a day, with screaming and hitting involved. Mary Clare is very helpful, but also rather unwilling with her schoolwork, as usual.

But let's think on the positives...I've somehow been able to keep up my 3 day/week exercise regimen and am almost halfway through the 9 week program! I took care of 2 important phone calls today, which required talking for long periods of time with customer service. I've completed some fun craft projects. I joined Amazon Mom and was able to order a lot of St. Nick gifts today (with 2-day shipping!). I think my Christmas gifts are mostly figured out and can be bought online. Mary Clare is doing well with her reading, shows lots of interest in her history/science, and is preparing to make her First Reconciliation. Thomas is growing like a weed, so I'm succeeding in the baby-feeding department! Steven's hours at work have been better and we've gotten to have a lot of family time, including an overnight campout!

Since I haven't kept up with posting photos, here's a large montage of the past two weeks or so...obviously still from the iPhone since my camera is still sitting at Nikon and it looks like it's not going to be a free repair :( Boo hoo. On to the photos...

This is life with Steven Joseph right now. No shirt, hard hat, some kind of stick or bat.

Mary Clare looked so sweet holding the plant (with flower headband I made) for our friend's new baby Josephine!

The Gem & Mineral Show's Dino Dig was a favorite activity on a recent field trip

I think Ellie only had one meltdown at that location!

The kids really enjoyed watching this talented artist who painted intricate animals.

Our homeschool group had a Thanksgiving Feast at the park last week. The kids dressed as pilgrims and Indians and shared various poems, projects, and stories.

My boys napping :)

Big chubby baby boy.

Fine Arts club last Friday. Steven Joseph participated in the young group for a time. Here they were creating a "symphony," acting out different instruments. They learned about Beethoven.

It's hard to see, but Ellie and her little boyfriend were climbing the wall when they were supposed to be sitting with the group learning about music.

The YMCA family campout! I couldn't catch up with everyone and missed the night hike. I just hung out with Thomas in the lodge...

Then they had hot chocolate and board games for the families. Here are most of the little girls

Steven watches some of the big boys play chess

And the adults sit and visit

I took the baby home to sleep in our warm bed, then showed up with hot donuts for the cold campers the next morning. Ellie dressed very appropriately (haha) in her shorts, with one sock on and one off because it was wet. Mommy knew Ellie well and brought her some extra clothes when I arrived that morning!

Steven got in lots of running!

Here's our "Treehouse" cabin

Packing up to head home

Ellie now dressed more appropriately...

After a nice Saturday afternoon nap, we headed to the library. Unbeknownst to us, the big Christmas festival was going on at the waterway next door! So we hung out there all evening, watching dancers and such, and even waited to see Santa arrive on a boat!

My big 2 month-old boy!

Looking at Daddy while out to lunch

Ellie holding her not-so-little brother

The days and weeks are flying by! Hopefully I'll be better at posting in the coming weeks. I'll also try to update on the kids after we go to Thomas' (rescheduled) check-up tomorrow!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Mr. Tom Tom at 8 weeks old

Taken with the iPhone, as are all my recent photos. Can't wait to get my Nikon back!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Easy and fun throw pillows

Whoa. This afternoon I sewed 3 pillow covers, totally re-did the straps for the car seat tent, and (hopefully) completed my long-needed project of a fabric drape under the makeshift changing table in the master bath (I used iron-on velcro, which I had to iron to the inside of the wood!). Lots accomplished!

Here are my cute new pillows!

And here's how I made them, using thrifted old throw pillows as inserts. (Again, sorry for the fuzzy iPhone photos, hopefully my camera will be back soon!)

I cut my yard of fabric in half and measured how it would fit over the throw pillow. I made it an "envelope" closure for the pillow cover, so I can take it off to wash if need be.

I ironed one seam as the outside of the envelope pillow cover.

Then I sewed that seam.

Then I forgot to take a bunch of pictures! I put the pillowcase over the pillow inside out, with the stitched seam on the inside. I drew some small dashes in black marker where I wanted the side seam to be. Then I stitched that seam.

I put the pillow back in and drew where I wanted the other seam to be, then sewed that side! Here's the pillow cover inside out after the sewing was done.

I cut some of the excess fabric and decided to make a little flower pin for the outside!

First I stitched a long piece of fabric on one side to gather and ruffle the fabric.

Then I realized that it would be hard to see the flower if it was made in the same fabric.

In comes my trusty old stained Ikea fleece blanket, which I used for my first flower pin.

I cut two circles and stitched them both to the back of the flower.

Here's how it looked. I also sewed a brown button onto the middle of each flower.

Finished products!

Here they are on my couch. The cute blue lumbar pillow was a treat I bought while browsing HomeGoods last week in preparation for my Mom Cave Makeover. It's a "real" pillow with feathers inside! The two red pillows are from Target ($10/pair although I think the real price was $13, long story). I noticed they are going on sale on Black Friday for $7/pair!

I sure can't wait to do this sewing and crafting in my new room!
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