Archive for November, 2009

I’ll Say

Posted by laura on Nov 17 2009 | Uncategorized


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Someone is Six

Posted by laura on Nov 14 2009 | Fun, Holiday, Tasty


That’s right – there he is, with his ‘worker pajamas’ and birthday toast. He’s six. Crazy. (Let me add that I’m fully aware that toast looks pretty dodgy. It’s vegemite. He loves it – what can I say?)

Never have I seen anyone relish a birthday like Hot Wheels. First there were the weeks of counting down. Then on Monday he started singing songs about the wondrous day. On Thursday, as we left school he informed his sister and me that he wanted his birthday to be perfect. “I want it to be perkect,” he said, and suggested that Honey finish all her homework and that I “do the dishes.” I informed him that it was in fact a birthday, not a coronation, but he ignored me.

Friday morning, I heard his feet hit the floor at exactly 6:15, and we were off. What a great day. He loved his presents, he loved his birthday crown at school, he told me incredulously that people kept wishing him a happy birthday! It was awesome!

As I’ve mentioned before, our elementary school has suspended edible treats for birthdays, so put away the cupcake tins, people. However, instead of just stopping there, they tell parents that “most” people bring in a non-edible treat for their children to hand out to classmates. And they do. That means no child wants to be the one killjoy not to bring something in. With Honey, we got around it by handing out daffodil bulbs. Hot Wheels had other ideas. He wanted to give out, well, Hot Wheels.


Shocking, isn’t it? We found a great deal on one of those big packs, so they were inexpensive, and I’m hoping that the other families will like them, despite the fact that they’re not biodegradable. We have these sheets with photos of the students in the class, and Hot Wheels spent a lonnnng time matching kids to cars. (That will probably be the next facebook quiz – “What Hot Wheels car are you?”)


The great thing about having leftover fish-costume fleece is that it’s super easy to whip up into gift bags, and now I have less leftover fleece!

So today we had a small party with six friends. It was a – brace yourselves – Color-Changing Hot Wheels party. Surprised?


Here he is, waiting for his friends to arrive. (At this point, the party was still over an hour away.)

We kept it casual with a bunch of track set up in the driveway, and a lot of just playing around the house. It was really fun, and although he didn’t quite explode with happiness, it was darn close.


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Posted by laura on Nov 10 2009 | Uncategorized

Today’s post is just a small collection of random notes and observations from around our house the past few weeks. Bits and bobs. Let’s start with this guy:


Fall in Northern California means it’s humungo spider time. Spiders all over the place in sizes perhaps not rainforest-worthy, but nonetheless substantial. Spiders that turn the garden into one massive, intricate obstacle course. Spiders whose webs take the unsuspecting by surprise, sending them into fits and seizures, swiping at the air all around them. Walking into one of these webs is sticky, but the real issue is that you know the web maker is around somewhere and you do NOT want it in your hair.

One afternoon I was sitting on a toy box at the end of Honey’s bed and I turned to see this one right outside the window. I love the line quality of the web (and of the screen separating us).

While the kids were sick a couple of weeks ago, I was sitting on Hot Wheels’ bed and I snapped this picture of his wall.


He loves putting his drawings all over the wall. Almost the moment a vehicle is down on paper, he’s dashing for the sticky tape. We finally bought some magnetic boards for his room, so he can have a rotating collection. We’ll probably get them hung sometime before he’s in high school.

Then one afternoon I opened the cupboard door in the kitchen to find this message:


Obviously this would be a little more successful if she’d rearranged the words a bit, or at least put a comma after ‘eat,’ but we get the point. Hands off my cookie crisp, Daddy. I can’t remember why he bought it for her (repression is a wonderful thing), but clearly he was violating the terms of their agreement.

The next two photos I’ll call “The Take.”



We’re looking at the morning after Halloween, here. This is the meticulous classification of candy species. The top image is Hot Wheels’ collection, the bottom is Honey’s, after they’ve finished trading all the candy he can’t eat (dang allergies) for the kinds he can have. Honey is generous and unhesitant to swap him for anything he can’t have, but you’ll see here that it’s clearly all in her favor. Who gets all the A-list candy? She does. Fortunately for him, he’s never had them, so he really doesn’t know what he’s missing! If he ever gets to try a Reese’s peanut butter cup, he’ll have to follow it up with some kind of therapy for sure.

Well that wraps up random-hour I think. Now back to your regularly scheduled programming…

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Something Wicked

Posted by laura on Nov 08 2009 | Holiday, Making, Sewing

Sorry to leave you all hanging there with the Halloween business. What happened with the fish? Was it finished? (Ouch. That was for you, Kevin.) Well yes. We made it. Of course I don’t have very good photos, but here they are:


I messed up the proportions a bit in the back and made it a tad too long, but frankly it’s a bit of a miracle that it has any resemblance to a fish at all, so I shouldn’t pick at it. You know those test questions where you had to look at a 2D image and pick which 3D shape it would make? Those weren’t exactly my strong suit. So pattern making is a bit of a stretch for me. I’ve been attempting to sew for years now, and every time I take pattern pieces and stitch them together correctly, I get a thrill. (WOW! Look what that made!! I can’t believe it!) The fish was cozy and comfortable and Hot Wheels was happy with it, so it’s all good. Here’s our wood fairy:


Fortunately this was a very basic setup – we bought two fallish sprays of fake plants from the fabric store and hot glued them to a pair of old brown pants and a tunic stitched up from a curtain remnant. My kind of sewing! She wanted an acorn bag and elfy shoes, so I used scraps from the American Indian princess outfit from the second grade. Hands down, my favorite part of any fairy/princess outfit is the headgear. This one was made from a ring of brown fuzzy pussy-willow-like stuff, twirled with this super thin bronze colored wire. The wire had the quality of a line drawing in her hair – I love that. If I were a jewelry designer, I think I’d just make crowns and tiaras all day.

On Halloween night we had an amazing chili dinner with our lovely neighbors. The girls were a cupcake and a queen.


I don’t do kids’ faces here, so you’ll have to imagine how insanely lovely they were. Didn’t Joan do an incredible job with these costumes? That cupcake just turned out magnificently, from the felt flower decoration to the perfectly pleated wrapper. Fantastic. Too bad they had to walk around with these clowns…


Tom made himself into a cool jelly fish, using an old shower curtain, some balloons and a string of lights – he was a big hit. I decided to go with gothick this year – basically a goth outfit with a lot of bugs thrown in. Hard to see here, but I hot glued spiders and other plastic bugs onto hairpins and put them through my hair, and just used false eyelash glue for the ants. It was so much fun – I think my favorite part was cutting up the t shirt and stockings with patterns. Even Hot Wheels thought that was cool.

The whole goth look was a blast, but man! what a lot of work. I practically needed a brillo pad to get that lipstick off. Yoikes. And it had the unintended consequence of completely freaking one of my young neighbors out – when we went over for dinner she just had to leave me for a while because it was all so horribly wrong. Fortunately, she came around and we had a great night.

In other good news, after a loooonnnnngggg week, Honey is finally looking and feeling more like herself again. Turns out that when you take Motrin for a long time it does a serious number on your stomach. But it looks like we’re out of the (knock on) woods – her mouth is back to mild discomfort and she’s much, much happier. It’s fantastic!!! Here’s to a great weekend, everybody!

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