Saturday, August 29, 2009

Go-go Transforms!

On Wednesday, Go-go transformed from a 3 year-old into a 4 year-old! It seems impossible that he has been around that long (although sometimes I have trouble remembering life before being a mom, so I shouldn't be too surprised that it's been a while). He's been looking forward to his birthday for about six months now, and (not surprisingly, if you've ever read this blog) has never wavered from his insistence that he will have "a Transformers party, with a big Transformers cake and Transformers game and I'll be Optimus Prime!" (you have to picture this being said with plenty of wild jumping and gesturing).

Who am I to deny a boy his dream?

So, on Wednesday, we had cake:

On Saturday, we had the friends' party. The plan was to do everything in the back yard, but our rainy Buffalo summer put a damper on that plan ('damp'-er, ha ha ha! - sometimes I crack myself up with very little justification!) Luckily, our couches didn't fit into the doorways when we moved in, so we have a big empty room that's just right for decepticon bowling, dance partying, musical pillow flopping, and general merriment-making.

Bowling for Bots

Decorating Cupcakes

Making Personal Pizzas

Pin the Autobot Symbol on Optimus Prime

Opening Presents

And General Merriment

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Summer Fun

As you may remember, my children adore blueberries. So, on Saturday, we headed off to the U-Pick farm to load up. We picked about 7 pounds and have been gorging ourselves on anti-oxidant goodness (of course, it's even better when you up the nutritional goodness with whipped cream - yum!). Most of our haul is in the freezer, which is good because the non-frozen ones are starting to get squishy, but bad because by tomorrow, I won't be able to just reach in the fridge and pop a few bites of sweet deliciousness into my mouth. Sigh.

Today, we went to a little beach on a lake for our ward playgroup. I snapped a picture of Go-go paddling a little canoe, but it seems that i didn't save it to my camera. I did, however, save this shot of Mui-mui eating our picnic lunch.

Yes, you can all admire how I massacred her poor bangs this morning. In my (pathetic) defense, she fought me the whole time and refused to sit still. You can all vote as to whether A) I need to get her to a stylist ASAP, B) they're too short and wacked out for even a talented stylist to fix them - I'll just have to wait it out, or C) don't worry about it - if we didn't have funny looking pictures from our childhoods we'd have nothing to laugh about when we got old.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Moving lessons

I've moved many, many times in my life, so you'd think I'd have this moving thing down. But, every time is a little different and I learn new things each time I pack up. Here are a few things I've learned this move:

-Kids are not helpful when packing

-Sending Go-go to YMCA daycamp for 2 weeks so that I could pack/move/clean, etc. was a fabulous idea. I loved it, he loved it, definitely a win-win.

- Everyone should have a 12-year old live at their house. Ruth lent me hers for a week and a half and Elizabeth was a lifesaver. She watched Mui-mui and kept her out of my hair, sorted and packed things, entertained Go-go when he got home from daycamp, and entertained me as well. She made me remember how much fun it was to be 12.

- Professional packers use WAY more boxes than I do. We have the same amount of stuff as we did last year (when we had packers), but we only used about a third of the boxes we saved from that move. But, if I was going to be held liable for any breakage, I might pack a lampshade by itself in a box with a ton of paper too.

- I missed having professional packers, but I did hire loaders. I've been grateful for a lot of Elder's quorum volunteers in my time, but they have enough poor students to move in and out of the wards this summer. And you can't sue them if they break your favorite bookshelf (You may be able to guess that I'm still a little peeved about the big chip out of my bookshelf that happened nine years ago in an Elder's Quorum move).

- I love my new house. I love almost everything about it (although the doorknobs really need some help).

-Being in a house that I love actually makes it easier to get out the door (despite the problem doorknobs). Sounds counter-intuitive, I know, but feeling happier about everything makes it feel so much easier to go to the library, Target, the YMCA, whatever. Not to mention the fact that going to the playground is just walking across the street.

-I love my new dining room table and chairs. I promise to post pics as soon as I get boxes out of the way. It makes me happy just to look at them.

- If Erik has to duck a little when he goes down the stairs, a queen-sized boxspring wil not fit up the stairs.

- On a related note, you can buy a boxspring kit in a box. It's really sturdy and it wasn't too bad to put together at all.

- Older houses also have narrow entryways. Luckily, our huge couches were stained, ripped, old, faded, and gross. So, I didn't mind too much that we couldn't get them in.

- Have I mentioned that I love my new house?

I promise to post pictures of the house soon. In the meantime, if you're in need of visual stimulation, you can check out the pictures I put up in the two other posts (Intense and Family Time) I wrote tonight. Happy reading!

Family Time

After I got to hang out with Ruth in Utah for a week or so, I got to stay with my sister Ellen and her sweet hubby, Justin. Go-go has decided he is going to grow up to be Justin, mostly because of the 70+ transformers in Justin's collection and every posible transformers animated cartoon (from the 80's, 90's, and today!) on DVD. We played, I bopped around visiting random cousins and friends, and we went to see my Grandma. She's 94 and looking pretty great.

Then the whole clan came together. Doug, Amber, and the kids came down from Seattle, Mom and Dad came in from Vegas, Ellen and Justin live in SLC, and Erik flew in from WNY. Mom and Dad rented a big house in the mouth of Millcreek canyon and we had a great time hanging out, watching movies, going to Lagoon, having picnics, seeing the Aquarium (thanks for the tour, Evan!), and enjoying each other's company. Here are a few highlights:

I love my family!


Or, should I say, "In Tents".

Although I never want to be one of those people who travels around from fair to fair, it is fun to do a show every once in a while. Ruth and I were both going to be in Utah this summer for family reunions, so we did the Provo Freedom Festival over the 4th of July weekend. It was so fun to see two of my old mission comps at the festival (Howdy Simmons and Lucas!) and to meet the moms, sisters, and friends of my friends (I love viral facebook marketing, don't you?)

We sold all of our normal Little Lit stuff, but also added play tents just for fun. Despite many a serger nightmare, we were able to make 20, and we sold every one (except for the one I pinned backwards that was horribly skew-wampus). We have fabric and supplies for 20 more, so we'll need to do another show of some kind next summer; but now we have a much better idea of how to streamline the process. The best part of the process was finding super-cheap, but super-cute fabric combinations. Most were one-of-a-kind (we had two duplicates) and I wish I had pictures of all of them, but these shots will give you an idea. Similar tents sell online for $288-$360 (I'm not just making that up!). But ours have cool portholes to peek out of and sold for only around $60.

The stuff you see in the background is our nextdoor neighbor's booth. They ARE the kind of people who spend all summer traveling around the country from fair to fair. Their winters are spent making the hair do-dads and neck coolers they sell. But, they are experts at making cute princess hair (as evidenced by Emma, Becca, and Mui-mui. Yep, even Mui-mui who won't let me put a barrette in her hair for more than 3 seconds looked sweet in her twisty-bun. And it lasted for about 5 whole minutes - a true record).