Aug 21, 2013

The blog in which I modded our elf!

After two years of struggling with the decision, I finally did it.  (Actually, it's not too much of a stretch for me to find ANYTHING else to occupy my time and skip an early morning gym workout.)  For years, I have worked really hard to be creative with "Shout!," our elf.  Last year, I decided it was the last year that I would allow him to be flaccid.  And so, let us begin the pictorial of the simple mod procedure that I performed on our plush pal.

The only reason the rosaries are there is because I had to dig through my arts and crafts supplies for the metal and the wire cutters/plyers.  I used to make and give out rosaries.  I had intended to add magnets to the hands and or feet, but decided that I will do that exteriorly, if needed.  I have velcro ready, as well, if an idea inspires me.  Velcro and magnets both have a sticky back, therefore, it can be attached to hands and/or feet for one time use.  (Think praying, attaching to metal doors "Spiderman" style, holding a piece of paper between magnet hands, etc.)   
I ended up finding this in that same bag, and using this instead.  I swear, over the years, I have accumulated the oddest arts and crafts supplies.  This was a very soft and malleable metal.  My thought is- the migits and I will only have a few more years of working with him, therefore, even if it breaks after a lot of use, chances are, it will be after years of use.  I did double it and twist it, in order to hopefully create durability.  Here's hoping! 
Using wire cutters, I bent the ends .  I used a seam ripper to create a small opening to slip the "bone" into place.  On the legs, I only did the bottom half.  Couldn't see a reason to do the top half.  On the arms, the entire length of the arm got a bone.  Wish I could have done the hands as well, but that is a separate piece, and not large enough.  I was looking for more of a "wrist" action movement.  Oh well. 
The insides of the extremities are cardboard.  The opening doesn't have to be big.  Just near the end of the appendage.  (That way you can slip the end in without having to bend it much.) 
Twisting the ends so that they were not sharp or pointing.  I folded them down, making rounded ends.  
Feeding the "bone" into his arm. 
Legs.  Now you can bend the bottom of the leg up at a 90 degree angle, and create a little elf foot.  
Elf foot.  
Walk like an Elf-gyptian. 
Bonus!  Freebie! I made this a few weeks ago...
Elf swing!  We love swings at our house ;o)  Wink.  

Can't wait for Septemeber 23rd!  (That is the Chaz's 8th birthday.  Our elf brings a little gift for birthdays.  He ends up coming and staying for the season each November 23rd.  That is Shay's birthday.)  This year, he got them each a little book he found at Goodwill.  Shay is getting a new condition Precious Moments Catholic version Bible.  Chaz is getting a hard cover, childrens' book of various stories from the bible.  After all, if it weren't for our faith, we wouldn't be celebrating the birth of our Lord, and we wouldn't need elves to keep us on our toes. 
Nothing fancy.  Just a little token gift.  (Each book was under $2.)  My almost seven and eight year old will love it!  Our elf might not be here all year, but my children write letters back and forth year round.  Sometimes, the elf writes back, or on occasion, he writes with dry erase marker on the bathroom mirror.  A few weeks ago, he left a note for the first day of school!
Mirror love letters <3

Aug 12, 2013

The blog in which my family is losing teeth and sanity.

I was just going to floss his teeth, pray with them, and then, it was going to be lights out.  It was 7:15 p.m., and tomorrow starts our second week of school.  Need to get back to bedtimes, ya' know?  Well, it was a good plan.  And you know, it never happened.  Here's actually what took place.
He did pull it himself, but it was about 25 minutes of terror for his little sister.   Turns out, my forcing the migits to sit with me as I donated blood (multiple times), did nothing to ease the fear of blood.  I have failed her.  
Flossed Shay's teeth.  Flossed Charlie's teeth.  Oh wait.  A VERY loose top tooth!  How exciting.  So, I wiggle, and he begs me to pull it.  (I am kinda' famous for my teeth pulling around these here parts.)  However, Geoff has gotten jealous the last few months that I get all the fun, so he asked Charlie if he could pull it.  Chaz agreed to let him work on it.  Geoff is not as aggressive as I can be, yet, Chaz was telling him to pull harder, that it didn't hurt.  (Remember sensory integration dysfunction sometimes works to our advantage---- he doesn't feel pain like we do.)  So, Charlie was once again in my face, with my fingers tugging away.  I took a break, and let him work on it, and there was an audible cracking sound.  He opened his big smile, and the blood was down his chin.  At which point, the whole story takes on a new twist.

Shay ushers him into the bathroom, insists on wiping the blood off his face, then freaks.  I mean, for like the next 10 minutes, until the the tooth finally comes out, this chick screamed and cried because she was afraid of what he looked like.  By the way, the dentist told us last month that these top two teeth would be out any day since they had no root left.  The fact that it was so loose was a relief.  His adult teeth generally come in prior to him loosing his baby teeth, and at that point, the roots lock, and they have to be pulled by the dentist.  (First two teeth and now, a third on the bottom is doing this as well.) I pulled his third baby tooth, and he loved it.  I really thought that he would enjoy pulling out his own tooth.  So, Geoff has to take Shay into her room to try to calm her down.  She is inconsolable.  Then, she comes to me and I just had to video the crazy that is my life.  I put the camera down so that I didn't have it in her face, but you can hear it.  It went from bad to worse, and finally, I just told Chaz we had to get it out to end her freaking out.  I pulled it almost all the way out, and then, asked him to pull it.  He did it.  Again, he was bleeding, and screaming with excitement.  She, screaming in her bed, snuggling with Geoff.

We walk in and tell them the news, and again, she is brought to new heights of freakish.  Then, I offer to pray, and we all pray together, but she can not even look his direction.  I told him to turn away from her or cover his mouth so that she didn't have to see it.  I asked if she would be okay to look at him in the morning.  She said, "I don't think so!"  (More screaming/crying, more laughter from me.)  She is on her knees, next to me, with her face buried in my side.  Then, after we pray, I try to mouth to Charlie to tell her that he loves her.  I hug her, and then turn to look at him, and he puts his hand over his mouth and in a muffled voice, says, "I wuff you."  It made me laugh 'till I peed.

This video is where he actually pulls it out and you get to hear my lack of parenting abilities during this very exciting and frightening time for both of my migits.

She heads to bed, and I snuggle with Chaz.  Now, it is 8:05 p.m., and I tell him that it is late, and the Tooth Fairy can not come if he is still awake, and I had to go to sleep.  I come into our bedroom, see that he left some things in my room, and walk them back into his room.  He is huddled on the opposite end of his bed. I ask what is wrong.

Are you ready for this?  He tells me that he is afraid of the Tooth Fairy.  FML.

Here is the video of where we bargain on how much money the Tooth Fairy might pay for this tooth.

We get a lot of use out of the glitter hair spray from two Halloween's ago as fairy dust on dollar bills, and our Tooth Fairy door is ever in use with two children of tooth bearing age!

PS  This story is now in my top two favorite events from having two children.  The first one was that little story from when Shay was two, and Chaz was three.  Remember the fake sheep?  It's an oldie but a goodie... here's your link!

Aug 10, 2013

The blog in which it's Duck for a Buck- but NOT.

The new school year for our county began this past Monday.  And what do we PTA volunteers do on Fridays?  YES!  We sell DUCKS (Duck for a Buck)!  Except instead of ducks, the PTA has decided that porcupines would be the latest and greatest craze. And what did the kidlets think?  Right, well, that bombed rather quickly.  So, here is what we are selling for a dollar, in hopes of raising some money to improve our schools' playgrounds.  Let me introduce to you "Porcupines for Playgrounds."
There were two of us at the table.  I named us the "Porcupine Professionals."  Last year, we were the "Duck Masters."  When asked for my location at the school, you can clearly see, I was digging my heels in a little with the change of pieces of plastic that I was selling.  
The migits---- not a fan.  We have over 1200 students at our school.  I think I could have found enough change in my sofa to purchase more porcupines than were actually purchased yesterday morning.  Let's take a closer look at the problem.  
This is the front of the frog/porcupine.  First, it's confusing.  Second, it has half a mustache.  When did frogs get mustaches?  I think there is a time and a place for this 'stache craze--- this is neither.  However, this is not the worst of it.  Yes, let's take a closer look, shall we?

Freakin' A!  What the heck is that?  Like, is that really the back side of this freakish thing?  Never mind.  Moving on. 
Aliens have made a comeback, haven't they? 
Shay was excited that the aliens all had little high heels.  Shocker, but not one sold.  I know.  Crazy, right?  Which was interesting, since one well meaning teacher walked over to see the newest items and tried to say something nice, like, "Oh, well, at least they stand up, right?"  Uh.  Negative.  They don't even stand on their own.  
The monkey seemed sassy to me with is hand on his hip there.  I don't know why, but yet again, another story of a basket of monkeys that never saw any action.  
One is a fish.  The other- a flamingo.  I know.  One just looks like a screw up of the other.  As if the  machine messed up, and the employee was all, "Let's just paint the eyes on it and call it a fish!" Well creative employee with some ridiculous ideas--- it' didn't work!  Our kidlets are too smart for that sort of silliness.  Not one left its' basket.  
I think this one is happy to see me.  
This one looks like he has the same disease that Michael Jackson had.  
Oh, the glow in the dark ball.  But not, since it didn't even glow in the dark.  I don't get it.
That one sold one.  
Side view... think it's a dinosaur? Wait for it....
It's a Prince impersonator!
Sold a lot of this one.  Sold three.  Three pigs sold.  Technically, it was our "high seller."  
The other "P.P." tried to pass this off as a special ring/paint brush.  Fail.  Whomp, Whomp!
And so, it was time to leave.  And look what I find in the school parking lot!

DUCKS!  Okay, fine- geese!  But so cute!  I texted my other P.P. and asked her if we could sell them since they were so cute.  She never responded.  I think she is having withdrawals.  For a moment, I thought I was hallucinating.   Then I realized--- this is a gift from our Ducks.   Here's your sign!  Till' we meet again my fine feathered/plastic ducks!  

PS  The opinions in this blog are solely that of a person who misses her ducks.  The Liberty PTA works incredibly hard to raise funds throughout the year in fun and innovative ways.  I am truly hopeful that this sales venture is successful, as my migits love the playground, and any additions would be welcomed.  PTA is a completely volunteer and thankless job.  As a mom who helps, but stays completely out of the behind the scenes work, I can only say that I appreciate our PTA officers, and what they do for our children, all year long.

Aug 6, 2013

The blog in which I make Roman Shades, with only magnets and fabric.

I finally did it!   I am not even kidding.  I have been working on this, in my head of course, for weeks!  I originally planned it out as the "no-sew" Roman Shades with mini blinds, but I didn't have those in that size already, and thought it was getting costly to try to buy extra parts.  I had already purchased the expandable, magnetic, curtain rods ($8 at Walmart, per rod), and had the Thermaback curtains that we used to have in the living room from before the remodel.  (Once the windows were framed, the curtains covered the framing, so we have decided to not hang those again.)  Thermaback curtains are energy efficient and light blocking.  I have them in every bedroom.  If you are not familiar with Thermaback, you will love them!  I have purchased some at Target and some at Walmart.
So, I worked on a magnet system, and got it all together after altering the curtains I already had.  So, I had to sew a little, but, as you can see from the pictures, it will be super self explanatory.  (Should "Roman" and "French" be capitalized?  Are they really proper nouns?  Is the sky really blue?  Are zebras black with white stripes or white with black stripes?)  Enjoy the "pictorial!"
This is how it comes, at Walmart.  There were 3 large squares, and each square was scored giving us 4 smaller squares.  I used one package.
The back has an adhesive on it.  I have only had them attached one day, but if they begin to fall off, I have fancy-dancy craft glue that will work on these two surfaces.  
Notice the line of holes with a little light showing through?  That is where I took my seam ripper and added a few extra inches to the length of the curtain and now it completely covers the window.  I also had to measure and sew a new side on each one since they were WAY too wide.  (I took a little more than 1/4 the width off.)  Each one was too wide and short.  I TOTALLY RELATE.
Looks all messy, but they will only be down at night time.   It will serve to block the cold air in the colder months.

I just started adding these magnets on, and once I got them  to work properly, I eyeballed attaching them to the second window.
Here's the fun part.  Basically, I slid the curtain up, under itself.  Then, repeat.  
That was that repeat motion.  I thought four folds looked nice, so, I will skip the middle picture. 
Drum roll.........

Two magnetic curtain rods, Walmart, $8 per rod
One package of magnets, Walmart, under $2
fabric- free- curtains I already had that were sitting in storage
Roman Shades for French doors total= $18!

Essentially, these can be "no-sew" shades if you want to purchase fabric and use fabric glue to close the edges.

Aug 1, 2013

The blog in which we all learn something, and I get a motto.

Had to bring a head shot.  I took this one and made it B&W at the last minute.  Better than the one she chose a few days ago.  

We brought a very bright, beautiful, sweet friend to the audition.  She is full of  spunk, and honestly, I would be happy to see her in the play.  She is really a spit fire, and I know one day, you will all know this little chick.  

Good one for the memory book ;o)
First audition, August 1, 2013
Those crazy days...  You know the ones- before Christmas, before the end of school, any holiday, any birthday, before a major game, tournament, recital, and any day ending in "day" during the calendar year.  Well, before school is no different.  Days just become busier when you have kids.  That is all I can figure.  However, this summer has been a crazy one, and learning to juggle getting back into the swing of life was hard enough, but now to acclimate to back to school and all the things that come with it, and honestly, I am impressed that I am not in an AA meeting.  If I were, I wouldn't tell you about it- it's anonymous.  I mean, really now.

So, I guess I was so overly excited that first we actually got the teacher that we requested for one child, and the other child got exactly who we would have requested if we could have.  I simply prayed that G-d would align His will with mine and then... Oh wait.  That is so NOT how that is supposed to go.  :o)  Actually, I just knew that He would place the exact right teacher for my son in our class this school year, as he has each year before it.  And viola'!  Guess what?  We have her.  The teacher that needs to be back in our world, third year running for our family.  If she is a tortured soul, she will be requested for next year when my daughter gets into second grade ;o)  If she wasn't on meds prior to having us the past two years, she will be after we finish up with her.  Bless her heart.  I will make sure she is fast-tracked to sainthood for having to deal with me, and for being loving and nurturing to my migits so perfectly.

However, after all that, I forgot to grab the stack of papers I offered to grab and take home to sort for the PTA.  OOPS.  I suppose my daily excitement quota was full to capacity.  I ran from our "Meet the Teacher" deal, to home, to Shay's first play audition.  That is really the reason for the post.  I am one of those moms that wants more than anything for my children to have life experiences that they can build upon.  This audition process was incredibly simple, however, I see it as a major skill to develop.  I allowed Shay to take her time and to chose the easy road on this one, however, I am proud that I didn't overstep and demand more of her.

First, Shay requested to be in a play.  I explained the process, and she was eager to go through the audition process.  We were told that preparing something for the audition was completely optional.  I suggested many simple yet engaging ideas, and she shot each one down.  After seeing what the other girls did, I was grateful that she saw them audition, and the process, as a whole.  This process is no different from interviewing for a job, and the type A personality in her needs to loosen up, gain some confidence, and recognize that she is not perfect.  I love that she has an interest in the theater, and while this first audition was a wonderfully stress-free experience for her to see what it was all about, I hope that she took just a small piece of this experience and grows from it.  I am proud of the little girl she is, and try to remind myself all the time that no matter how mature she acts, she is only six years old, and needs to learn at her own pace.  I only need to remember that and I am certain that she will be guided by His spirit and love, and I need only to keep her on the path.

The best life lessons aren't always successes, and that is what I will keep as my motto when teaching my migits about life.  ("SOME" people know I don't have a motto, but I will adopt this one since it made me seem all fancy pants smart.)