November 30, 2010

princess cake and crown

One of my dearest friends was having a birthday. She is very sparkly and girly, so I thought it would be super fun to throw her an obnoxious pink princess party.

Bright, gaudy pink with lots of sparkles.

First things first, I needed to make her a pink felt crown.

As I am wandering the aisles of Joanns, I have a little change of heart and decide that I want the color pink to be a lovely shade of dusty rose, rather than bright pink. If I am going to make something, I may as well like it, right?

The pink felt options at Joanns were dismal at best. There was a bland tired baby pink, a magenta/purplish pink and a bright bold neon pink. They all pained my eyes. I wandered the aisles in search of something...anything....

After debating and debating, I decided I would use light grey felt and bedazzle it with pink gems.

At home I traced a crown template on butcher paper and cut out 2 pieces of felt and sewed them together. Added some gems.

The results were disastrous. I HATED the crown like poison(don't have a pic, sorry). It looked cheap.

I revised my crown sewing techniques a bit and opted for a flower on front instead of wild random gems everywhere. I also sewed some green velvet ribbon on bottom and added just a few gems.

Moving on to the cake! I was originally planning to buy a Wilton crown mold. They did not have it at Michaels, but they did have one of those Barbie mold cakes...Hm...I could make the Barbie into a princess. It took me forever to decide on frosting colors of course. No beautiful dusty rose anywhere. Just bright pinks. I decided on burgundy and would accent with lighter pink.

The day before the party I set out to make the Barbie cake.

I was a tad skeptical that my cake would resemble the cake on the box. Remember my McQueen cake? Cake decorating is not my forte.

I plunged ahead. Here is the cake after I took it out of the mold. I am MOST excited about the cooking rack underneath. It's new. I love it.

Right away my cake was lopsided and I had to shave off a bit to make the bottom level. Quite the wreckage ensued--Here is all the cake I had to cut off.

The Barbie for the cake mold had long sandy blond hair. The birthday girl has a platinum blond bob. Barbie needed a hair cut. And some highlights, LOL. John was like, "you know her hair isn't real, right? you can't dye nylon".

I plopped Barbie into the cake wreckage to support her weight and began hacking off her hair. Right in the middle of all this, my dear friend Alisha rings the doorbell, to help me, bless her heart.

She helped give our princess Barbie a beautiful hair cut. We were pleased.

Then, Alisha got to work on dyeing and rolling the fondant. I kept making her add more brown dye to the burgundy(which looked pepto pink to me). Alisha thought I was crazy to keep adding more brown dye. She thought it would turn the pink to tan. But she humored me, because she's awesome.

I must admit, Alisha is a total natural when it comes to cake decorating. She pretty much saved the day. She did everything with the fondant.

We were having so much fun and laughed a lot.

I helped with some of the icing. Gosh I look so serious. I love how Finn was fascinated in the background.

After the cake was made, it sat precariously on my kitchen counter. Finn started to pretend to shoot it with a vacuum extension and I quickly whisked the cake onto the fridge for safekeeping. My house was too dangerous for this cake!

Barbie needed a crown to turn her into a princess. I used my cricut to make the crown.

Well that was fun. I think I need to take some photos of Calvin in his tough black cast just to balance this out;)

November 23, 2010

Calvin's big break

I was busying changing Twain's diaper. John was browning some ground turkey for tacos.

And that's when we heard it.

An odd cry. It was loud, squeaky and high-pitched. And strange hyperventilating breathing between each squeak.

Honestly I had no idea who was crying. And I know each one of my boys' cries. This did not sound good.

As I finished changing Tweetle, John announced from the kitchen, "I think Calvin broke his arm. We need to take him to the E.R."

And everything got a little hectic and frantic at that point. John is very mellow and never ever exaggerates, so I felt a bit flustered at his sense of urgency.

Our kids were all over the house...not properly dressed...John loaded Calvin into the van while I just ran around the house, holding Twain, like a chicken with its head cut off.

"John can you take him?", I pleaded. I was pretty grossed out.

John thought he should stay home and cook dinner, but I somehow convinced him that his calm demeanor would be more helpful to Calvin. I went to the van where Calvin was still crying. I kissed my 5 year old baby goodbye and off they went.

I made a few phone calls to my mom and mom-in-law.

Finn dragged me into the scene of the crime, my bedroom. He claimed that Calvin was jumping on my bed and then flew across the room and crashed into our desk.

I was pretty sure Calvin broke his arm because he rarely cries that much. That kid is one tough cookie. He once got violently pelted in the shoulder with a disk on the Frisbee golf course at Hume and had a HUGE bruise on his shoulder. He barely complained. My other children are far more dramatic and would have been wailing uncontrollably, I'm sure.

Then I started cooking dinner with a nervous ball of energy. Should I go to the ER? Am I a bad mother for staying at home? I decided to wait for the news...if he broke his arm, I would head over right away.

I took forever to cook tacos because I could not focus. I just wanted to cry.

Instead I prayed that lil Gege would be ok.

My sweet mother in law, Betty, lives just up the street and she insisted on coming over right away.

I tried calling John but got no answer.

Betty was very cheerful and calm and I started to feel a bit better. She always has a way of de-escalating stressful events.

John called.

The doc did not know if it was broken...they were gonna do an x-ray as soon as the tech arrived. Calvin was no longer crying, so that was good.

I served up dinner and ate a taco. A million thoughts were on my mind. Poor little Gege. I just wanted to hold him.

A heard the garage door open and John and Calvin walked through the door.

Calvin looked very mellow and out-of-it. He had a splint on his right arm.

John said "Oh, I forgot to call...Calvin broke his arm".
I asked Calvin how he was doing and he said "ok" in a bummed-out Ross Geller tone of voice.

He broke his right arm(radius by wrist). I will have to take him in tomorrow to set the break and get a cast on. I am still not 100% certain how Calvin broke his wrist. He claims that he fell off the desk and landed on his arm...he said he was not jumping on the bed like Finn accused...who knows.

I gave him some motrin. He just wanted to sit on my lap. So we sat together for a while, which was very sweet. He will always be my little snuggle bug.

And then after a bit, he wanted to get up and play, and even insisted on helping clean up toys. Seriously Calvin is such a trooper.

Hopefully if all goes well tomorrow, I plan on taking Calvin to Target to get a Star Wars toy.

November 18, 2010

Lost and Found

After getting my big whopping traffic ticket, I pretty much gave up hope of forking over any more money for recovering my Ollie-the-Mouse photo.

I came to terms with the fact that I might never see it again.

I needed to move on.

My computer was(and still is) overloaded with photos.

I began the process of burning photos onto a DVD. Starting with year 2010.

It was dreadfully painful.

As I sifted through folder. after folder. after folder. something interesting caught my eye. A folder entitled Ollie Twain Mickey ears.

I opened the folder.

And there it was folks.

I could hardly believe my eyes.


I know what you are thinking...this girl is crazy. All that angst over this photo?

Um, yah. What can I say. I am his mother. It has sentimental value. I wanted it. It may not seems anything special to anyone else. But it's special to me.

And just to remind myself that Twain and Ollie CAN be sweet as pie, I have included the rest of the photos from the set.

So serious.

Such concentration for my youngsters.

A slight break from their studies.

And back to serious and studious.

I love that these 2 have finally found each other.

And...they are done.
Back to trouble. But it sure was nice while it lasted.

November 8, 2010

posting bail

I did not want to write about this.

Because if someone else wrote this, I would be tempted to wag my little finger at them, tsk, tsk.

However, it IS what is going on around here and and it has made a HUGE impression on the boys.

Last thursday I went to MOPS for the first time in 3 years. We were at the park and it was wonderful to chit chat and catch up with old and new friends alike.

It was time to leave. I gave myself 15 minutes to go pick up Ollie from his preschool speech class(more on this another post!).

I thought I gave myself enough time. However red light, after red light after red light, and I was starting to get a bit nervous. I had the sinking feeling I was gonna be late.

We are instructed NOT to be late to pick up our preschooler because the teachers have to wait outside until mommy arrives. And little people get upset when all the other kids are gone and they are the only ones left.

In my mind, I see little Ollie waiting for mama with tears in his eyes.

I tell myself not to worry or act hurried. Just drive normal.

Another red light that lasts 2-3 minutes. A cop joins me on the left.

I am keenly aware of his presence and he is aware of mine. We drive harmoniously side-by-side, as we get stuck at every red light in town.

I am now officially late in picking up Ollie.

My brains starts to feel fuzzy.

Another light turns yellow and I gun it. The light turns red just before I sail through.

I knew in an instant it was a big mistake. I check the rear view mirror and sure enough the cop has his lights on.

I pull over and marvel at my own stupidity.

"I'm so sorry!" I wail in disbelief, as the officer takes my driver's license and walks back to his car. I quickly dial Ollie's school to let them know that I am now gonna be later than late.

After a bit, the officer walks back to my car. "It's just a warning Miss, but please watch the road next time."

I profusely thank him and am on my merry way. Now driving like a snail and terrified of every light.

I pick up Ollie and the teacher's aid says, "Don't worry! It's ok!"

I feel so very grateful and cannot believe how fortunate I am. I am overflowing with thanksgiving... until I reach my mailbox.

I open the mailbox and quickly sift through. Something catches my eye. A peculiar return address...Traffic Enforcement office? And it was addressed to ME.

Huh? A million thoughts go through my mind all in one second. "Did the cop change his mind? Did he really give me a ticket? No, it would not be in the mail on the same day...would it?"

I tear open my mail in morbid fascination. And much to my shock and horror I discover that I have indeed received a traffic ticket from a violation A WEEK PRIOR, when I went out of town to visit the folks.

Any guesses for my violation?

What? You think I ran another red light? Surely not....

But yes. I ran another red light.

By now, my brain is in a complete fuzz. I am in complete and total shock and denial.

I scan for the ticket price.

Right there on the back reads: BAIL AMOUNT $466. With traffic school and fees, $540.

Bail? What am I? A jail bird?

Well according to my dear friend Angela, I am just a crazy mama in a mini van.

She is right.

I need to SLOOOOOOW waaaaaay down and stop pushing my luck. Cuz my luck ran out big time. I totally deserved this ticket. Funny thing is, I totally scorn red light runners. Hate it when people do that. Hence the tsk, tsk finger wagging that I referred to at the beginning of my story. So I am very annoyed with myself. Looks like Loriloo and I are competing for tickets this month.

I have learned my lesson big time. I am now a much more cautious driver, and for this I am thankful. I was late to a friend's house today and told her, "Sorry I am late! It takes much longer for me to get places now that I can't run red lights." Kidding of course.

I now realize that with 4 kiddos, even when I try my hardest to be on time(get out clothes the night before, pack lunches, wake up early, etc...), there are just some days when nothing goes my way. And I will be late.

And I hate HATE being late. Makes me feel so rude. It totally stresses me out.

However, I am starting to think "better late than never". I totally would rather a friend come over late than not at all.

When Finn and Calvin heard of my 2 traffic violations in 2 weeks, they were buzzing with excitement.

Finn is a ruler keeper at heart and was completely giddy and delighted that I got a ticket. You'd think it was a ticket to Disneyland rather than a traffic ticket(that's what Grandma Betty said!).

Finn had a million questions and is now intently watching my each and every move. We were picking up daddy later that night and I had to make a phone call on my cell while I was parked(with car on) in the parking lot.

Well, this was too much for officer Finn and he wrote me up a ticket as SOON as we got home:

I am finding little tickets and pictures of me breaking the law, all over the house. This one I've entitled, "Crazy mama IN a minivan ON a cell"
If you squint, you can see my pink cell phone glued to the left side of my face.

On a more serious note, I was very contemplative that night. Thinking of how often I violate God's perfect law. And how there is no amount of money in the world that can bail me out of that one. It's only God's grace and the free gift of His Son Jesus, dying on the cross, that can pay for my sins. There is nothing I can do to earn this.

I cannot be good enough. I can only confess that I am a sinner, believe that Jesus died for my sins, accept the gift of His Son Jesus and believe that God raised Jesus from the dead. And I am forgiven. And one day I get to live with Jesus forever and ever.

And for this I am truly overflowing with praise and gratitude.

November 2, 2010

thick as thieves

There are just some days(like everyday) when I am sure these 4 little mischievous feet are gonna do me in altogether.

The house is silent, except for the sound of running water.

I rush into the bathroom, because I know trouble is brewing on the horizon.

What are these 2 partners in crime up to now? They are thick as thieves, these two.

Here is our first clue.

(and what is Pluto doing in the background?)

Looks like he is attempting to clean my dirty baseboards.

Ok, back to the crime scene. Soap is involved.

And a CD.
Calvin often washes our disks when they start skipping, and so I am sure Ollie learned this practice from him.

And now Ollie is teaching little Tweetle to do the same.
I love his look of concentration with his open mouth.

And his cute pudgey hand.
Gosh they love this Saturday Night Fever CD. They like to run around the house at top speeds while boogeying to Stayin' Alive.

Happy little twerps. It's hard for me to know whether to laugh or cry from them.

So I laugh. Because it's just water and a CD. No real harm is done.

The boys' bathroom could really use a remodel. I can't believe this 'Bathing Beauties' picture is still here. I think it's been here since before Finn was born?? I'm not sure, but it was back when it was still considered just a guest bathroom.

And the tiny bathroom chandelier would look much better if painted with a fun splash of color. Teal? Mustard? Kelly Green? Yah, I think this bathroom, though used by boys, is gonna stay a guest bathroom so I can redecorate it how I please:)

And speaking of chandeliers. Tweetle is obsessed with the sparkly crystals.

He's a climber and it freaks me out! He sure keeps me on my toes.

But then there are times when Twain and Ollie snuggle onto Ollie's bed and read together. And it is just precious. I am so thankful they have each other. And I am so grateful for the rare times when they are not getting into trouble. As I type, Twain is walking around with one boot on, and one confiscated gram cracker in his hand. Seconds earlier he was dumping salt onto the table. And seconds earlier he had just dumped out a bag of important stuff onto the floor.

And I had some photos of them being sweet and adorable to each other...but these photos just vanished...without a trace. They are gone. There was one particular photo of Ollie where he looked just like a mouse. And it was my favorite picture of him. Because he's my little mouse.

And I cried in my heart when I realized it was gone.

The ironic part is, I was trying to do the responsible thing the other night. Trying to back up my photos on DVDs, in case my computer crashed. So I was deleting all the unwanted photos that I would never use and I'm assuming I trashed some of my wanted ones too. Including my Ollie-the-mouse photo.

I can move on with life and forget about it.


I can download a recovery program and pay a (large?)fee to retrieve my lost photos. I have to decide if it's worth it. In the meanwhile, I'm not supposed to use my computer much...because the more I do, the more likely my photo is forever gone off the hard-drive. So that is why I have been MIA lately.

In other news, we did take some Halloween photos of our whole family this year, but I am thinking we are just gonna save them for our Christmas card this year! Just for a change. It could be fun. At first I felt like it was a silly cop-out idea, but once I realized that our Christmas cards could be done a smidge early, I was sold! Can you believe it's already that time of year again? Yikes. So I shall post our Halloween photos in just a few weeks.

And hopefully I will quickly decide whether or not to buy the photo recovery program. Just for the sake of moving on.