Friday, April 30, 2010

Horn Tooting...

I'm in the Washington Post. But the photo is terrible and it was a local edition, so it isn't that exciting. My local paper did a story about my local moms club. I happen to be serving as president this year, so they interviewed me for the story. I guess my town newspaper is an affiliate of WashPo or something, so it ran in the county edition. Believe me, my county could use all the the positive press it can get.

I thought I dodged a bullet when the article appeared in my local paper, since it featured our event performer and another club member with her baby. But a few days later, a mom in our group says to me, "Hey, you're in the Post." Crap. Nothing like the entire world knowing you still haven't lost the 50 lbs you gained from your first pregnancy. And don't you just love florescent lights? My boobs look huge, so maybe that takes away from my enormous double chin. Oh well, this is how I look. It's given me motivation to go to the gym more.

The story is nice, though I told them my husband's out of the Navy now. It says some nice stuff about our club, and we do try to make an effort to welcome and serve people in our community. I'm proud of the things we did this year and enjoyed serving on the board, but I'm looking forward to my time being up in June. Now, I'm off to do some crunches...


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Azaleas


We moved into our home 5 years ago during the late winter, before the azaleas' bloomed. We were surprised a couple of months later to discover that previous owners planted four different azalea bushes in the front beds in four different colors: coral, lavender, fushia and purple. I love color, but it might have annoyed someone who preferred a simpler color scheme in her flower beds. The rest of the year they are evergreen shrubs, but in early spring, they bless us with a dazzling array of color.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Recycled Fire Truck


A few days back it was raining. We had picked up Tater from preschool, and I was racking my brain trying to come up with an activity to help pass the afternoon. Monkey has been crazy for fire trucks lately, so I decided we should try our hands at building one.

I came across this website a few weeks ago and was really impressed with the things she does with her kids. It did make me feel like an underachiever, but the blogosphere tends to do that. At least it's not Facebook, a perpetual high school reunion that doesn't serve alcohol. I've never made my kids a giant space ship out of foil and boxes. I don't make my own play-doh. If that makes me less than a terrific mom, so be it. I decided not to be too hard on myself, because I've embraced the fact that crafting with kids will be yet another thing someone else does better than me.

I gathered some boxes and went through the recycling bin. I assembled paint and brushes. I told the boys to get to work. I knew they'd get paint all over the floor, but it was due for a cleaning. We painted a packing box and shoe box, and I glued them together with my glue gun. We painted small plates for wheels, a steering wheel and headlights that I glued on. And I hot-glued various gizmos on one side and added a ladder made from craft foam to the other.


We had a couple of larger boxes that served as the fire station. I swear Monkey spent 30 minutes moving the fire truck in and out of those boxes. Tater observed that any decent fire station had an ambulance. So he set to working painting another moving box, but he puttered out by the time he got to the third side. Our fire truck lasted about 2 days before they started ripping things off. A day and a half longer than I thought it would.

Almost Guilt-Free Key Lime Pie

I made this last night, and my guys loved it...

Ingredients
1 reduced fat graham cracker crust
1 (4 servings) package sugar-free lime gelatin
1/4 cup boiling water
1 (8 ounce) container fat-free whipped topping
2 (6 ounce) key lime pie yogurt
Directions

1. In a large bowl, dissolve gelatin in boiling water.
2. Stir in yogurt with wire whisk.
3. Fold in whipped topping with wooden spoon.
4. Spread in crust.
5. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Camilla



My mom sent me a camilla bush for my birthday last year. I planted it in the front, since it likes shade. It took a beating with the snow, and I had to cut some broken branches. I was afraid it might not make it, but it put out a few beautiful white flowers. I cut one for the mantel. I can't decide between the camilla or peony as my favorite flower, but I certainly appreciate the resiliency of the camilla.

Taggie Blanket




A dear friend just had her second child, so I decided to make him a little taggie blanket. I had about a yard of black watch tartan fabric that I had purchased a while back for some reason. I guess I just liked it. Being a child of the 80's, I've got a thing for plaid. Being Scot-Irish helps too, I suppose.

I cut a 22" square piece of fabric (pre-washed, of course). I cut 4 inch strips of ribbon. I folded them in half and pinned them to the fabric. I lined the raw edges of the ribbon up with the raw edge of the fabric, loops toward the center. I stitched all around the edge about 3/8" to secure the ribbon.

I cut out a wonderfully soft minky dot fabric 22" square. With right sides together, I sewed around the edge using a 1/2" stitch. This hides the ribbon stitches. I left about a three inch gap to turn it inside out. I pressed the edge so the fabrics lined up nice, then stitched around the it again with a 1/4" stitch. The finished blanket is about 21 inches square. I also made a matching burp cloth using the same technique.


I hope baby A enjoys it. My boys loved tags. I even made one for Monkey.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Easter


Remember when Easter was a simple holiday? My family would get dressed up for Easter Sunday. In the afternoon we'd have an egg hunt in the backyard.

This year the boys went to at least 4 egg hunts. We didn't even get around to the crafts I planned for them with all the activities. I guess that's okay, since they'd rather run around than do a craft anyway. But every holiday has become more over-produced. I think my mom thinks I'm nuts with all the activities and events the boys participate in. Maybe she's right. But I mean well. I don't want the boys to miss anything. I want them to have a variety of experiences.

We got the important stuff right. During lunch, Tater gave us the preschool version of Christ's resurrection. Unprompted, I must say. Immediately following, Monkey began singing "Jesus Loves Me." I don't think you can ask much more than that.

Afterwards, I gave them their Easter pails. I decided big pails were more practical than baskets with all the digging they like to do. I added some sand toys since they really enjoyed a recent trip to Chesapeake Beach. I threw in some candy-filled eggs and a pinwheel. We covered all the bases. Now, on to the next holiday...


Friday, April 2, 2010

Daffodils



After a long winter with LOTS of snow, I was surprised to have as many daffodils come up as we did. I planted a big patch of bulbs with day lilies interspersed, to hide the daffodils as they die back. That was about 4 years ago, and they are still doing well. I even had enough to decorate our Easter table. Spring has finally arrived!