Friday, December 23, 2011

It's my birthday!

It's finally here. I'm 35! But you know what? That's just fine by me! I have so many blessings in my life, that each year just reminds me how lucky I am.

Today was a pretty normal was the last day before my son started his Christmas break (Lil A has already been off all week) so we took him to school and then enjoyed a peaceful day at home. That was probably one of the best gifts I could have had...just a day off. I worked 14 hours yesterday, and while it was fun, I was beat today. Lil even suggested taking a nap together, and I gladly accepted. Even though it meant I didn't get all of the cleaning or baking done I planned, it was a much needed rest.
Once hubby got home we puttered around the house a bit and then I got to open my gifts. The kids gave me a gift certificate to one of my favorite clothing stores (much needed!) and hubby gave me a poem he had written for me. It was so sweet, and he has never done that for me before. I loved it. My gift from my parents was a Swarovski snowflake's so beautiful! My best friend sent me a lovely necklace from Hawaii, which I opened early and wore to work the other day. It's so pretty!
But my two favorite presents have to be these darling faces:

(Don't you just love the GIANT sequined bow??? Well, Lil does anyway! lol She keeps hoping her bangs are finally long enough to pull back, but she's not quite there yet...)

(It's amazing...he's so tall now that when I go down on my knee next to him, I'm so much shorter than he is!)

Then we went to dinner...our favorite Japanese restaurant. It's a tiny mom & pop, not fancy at all, but has delicious food. It's really a family restaurant, and there were in fact lots of other families with small children there. We at far too much sushi but we get to go so rarely that it was totally worth it!

Once we made it home, the kids insisted on singing "Happy Birthday" with the cake before bed. We shared a single slice so they wouldn't be completely hopped up on sugar right before bedtime...yummy! Having a near-Christmas birthday meant my childhood birthday cake always has pointsettias on it, and it made me smile that that tradition still hasn't changed by the bakery my hubby went to.

Do you have any fun birthday traditions?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Visit to Santa

These are a few days late, but my schedule has been so hectic that I just haven't had a moment to post these! We dashed up to the museum on Friday after Big D and hubby got home from school. Following a quick change of clothes of course! Well by the time everyone was dressed , coats and boots on and parked at the museum it was about 4:45. Did I mention the museum closes at 5? lol Well we made it and thankfully there was no line.
The kids were soooo excited when they saw him!

Our Santa is great...he really loves children and is very patient and softspoken. He's the only Santa the kids have ever been to. The set up is's really like being in Santa's living room. The window is actually real, but no longer looks outside. Instead, this hand painted backdrop of the museum creates a festive snowy scene. Our winter has been very mild so far so we haven't seen snow anything like this yet. (In fact today it's in the mid 50's and has been raining this morning! Not very Christmas-y!)

 At the end of  their visit they each got a special coloring book and crayons from Santa. He also asked if they would be kind enough to put an extra cookie out for Mrs. Claus. Since Friday, both of the kids have been reminding me that we can't forget that! :)

I do love the magic at this time of year, and hope my children hold on to it for a very long time!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Little hats for little heads

I've been working on a gift for a work friend. They were expecting twins at the end of January, but for some reason, she went into labor early and delivered them in early October. Such tiny little babies, the baby girl only 1 lb 6 oz and the baby boy 1 lb 10 oz.! It was a scary time...being so little there were many obsticles in their way, but miraculously both have done well and continue to grow! As a gift I made a set of little hats for them after seeing that their hospital hats were too big on their tiny heads. Once I started I just couldn't stop and put together 10 hats so far. I dropped them off yesterday and as an added bonus was able to see their mom and the twins in person! It was so exciting...I hadn't expected it since I had only planned to drop off the gift and leave, and it was great to see how adorable they are in person. Their baby boy even smiled in his sleep as I was watching him...I couldn't help but get a bit teary-eyed. :)

I have a few more done already and once there are enough for another batch I will drop them off. I made them in a variety of sizes, all using Preemie patterns, but they all turned out in varying sizes depending on the yarn, tension, etc.

It's been a great learning experience for me too. While I know enough about crochet to feel comfortable making hats, knitting is still something I am a complete novice at so this gave me the opportunity to learn how to read patterns better and learn how to knit in the round.

I have to say thank you to all the wonderful people who have posted free patterns for preemie hats. It's really heartwarming to find so many people happily sharing their patterns for such a good thing as hats for these babies who were born too soon. I have quite a few on my Pinterest board, so if you are interested in them, please stop by and check them out.

I've also been in contact with the twin's NICU and have found out that they accept donations of hats too, so I have a project to keep me going even after the twins are finally able to go home. If you have a hospital near you with a NICU, ask if they accept donations too. They may have some requirements about the materials, so ask questions. At the very least use the softest yarn you can find, nothing too fuzzy or bumpy since their skin is very delicate and fuzzy yarn can shed which they may breath in. And for preemies I read that yellow might not be the best color, since so many develop jaundice, and the yellow yarn wont  look so nice with their skin at that time. And have fun with it...preemies are so little that most clothing doesn't fit them, so providing a special hat that will fit will be such a gift.

You can also check if they accept other hats too...perhaps some full term babies or children could use them, or adult patients. A soft warm hat can really make someones day...and easily will make yours too.

UPDATE 12/12/11: I was sent a photo of one of the twins wearing one of the hats by his dad. Doesn't he look cute???

UPDATE 1/26/11: Their little boy has been home from the hospital for a few days now and doing great! We're just waiting for his twin sister to join the family at home...hopefully soon!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

A happy weekend

We had a nice, peaceful weekend. I did quite a bit of running around on Saturday, grocery shopping, buying new pants for Big D who seems to be going through (another) growth spurt, a stop at the thrift store to find a white elephant gift for an upcoming cookie exchange etc.
Today I hung some of the Christmas lights least on the porch railings where I don't need a ladder to reach. :) Tonight the house has a bit of twinkle to it, which just puts me in the Christmas mood!
Then we had quite a cuddle session, enjoying a marathon of Harry Potter movies.
I do love those little pudding covered faces!


Even Jewel joined in!

And of course we got a little silly!

Naturally messes followed the kids wherever they went.
We had to clean up these beads at least 3 times today...sigh.

And my favorite moment was this:

At bedtime Big asked if he could read the story to Lil A.
It was so sweet watching him read "Olivia", a family favorite to his little sister.
They may wrestle and bicker with each other to the point I want to scream, but then they have these sorts of moments and it reminds me that the love and bond they share endures through it all.

On the other hand, I did get a little crafting time in. I worked on a quilt I have been piecing and did a bit more knitting. I'm working on a bright hat for Big using some very soft chunky yarn that I bought for him a while ago, but just haven't been sure how to use it. Hopefully this time I'll figure it out.

I hope you had a lovely weekend as well!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

It's December!

I can't believe that it is December already! I love fast as it flies, it's a fun month. At work it's a crazy busy month. Working at a museum, it's really busy! It's also my birthday at the end of the month and I will be turning 35. Wow. I had the day off with Lil A. She had her post Op check up scheduled so she and I spent a wonderful day together. We started off making French Toast...yum!

And since it's the first day of December, it's the first day of the kids Advent Calendars. Queue the awesome grandparents...we found the usual chocolate advent calendars, which were a bit of a disappointment. But a package arrived today from my mother who is visiting family in Germany (yes, my mom is that cool.). There were these, awesomer than awesome Advent calendars by Playmobil. The kids were soooooo excited!

Jewel was too, but about the box! lol

There were also chocolates and candies to decorate our tree. It's always been a tradition in my family to decorate the Christmas tree with chocolates. I can't wait till we get our tree to hang them, but I'm sure they will be gone faster than we can hang them! :)

I also brought out my Nutcracker figurines. Lil has never seen them, because between 2 cats and 2 toddlers I was afraid they would get knocked over. Please keep your fingers crossed that they make it through the holiday! :)