Fun-due redo

Today started out ordinarily enough with an eighteen month old (tomorrow- it’s gone by too fast) flopping onto my belly and me scooping her in for a snuggle. We did ordinary things- Jonathan picked up our raw milk (Bianca has been on it for months now and it’s fattening her up nicely and even Anya enjoys the occasional glass of “cow’s milk”). Anya and I made a D- dolphin for her ABC scrapbook. Bianca ran around being cute- what else is new? ūüôā

Around lunch time we decided we’d check out a local animal reserve. And this is where our plans for the day started to go downhill. We piled into the car, made a quick stop for subway, and headed out to the nearest “city.” Thirty-five-ish minutes later we arrived at our destination. Despite their website emphatically claiming they’re open for the season, they most certainly were not. The lack of any sort of sign identifying the location and the desolate appearance of the property in general makes me wonder if they’re just not in fact open for the season or if they’re closed for all seasons henceforth? I hope it’s the former since I’d love to go back (they did have donkeys and sheep in a side pasture which gives me hope for a future visit!). Disappointment rippled through our car- even the little one let out a disgruntled exclamation of “boogldy bogley bugedy blah!” Not to despair, Jonathan and I decided we’d redirect the outing with a trip to dinosaur land. At this point, I probably should have checked before driving the 25 minutes back the way we came but, I didn’t. The disgruntled “oh no”s were slightly louder as we read the sign that said open March 1st- December. Seeing as march 1st is less than a week away, this was just incredibly bad luck. We tossed around some other ideas before settling on the park (mostly because everything is closed right now!!). Luckily, it was not closed. In fact it was dripping with other sun deprived locals out enjoying the day (but not uncomfortably crowded since we are in the middle of nowhere).

And, here’s the point of this whole post…at this moment it seems that today was just a give up and hope for a redo tomorrow. Enter the best idea anyone had all day: fondue. We headed to the grocery store for some ingredients, swung by target for a family friendly game, and home to rest whilst the husband whipped up some Melting Pot sauces. I have to say- if you don’t have a special family fix anything, make any day brighter meal- get one. That’s fondue for the Fullers. Bianca gobbled down every bite as soon as it left the fondue fork. Anya practically bounced in her seat the entire meal whilst asking for more mushrooms and shrimp (perhaps not the best thing to do around boiling oil), and mommy and daddy got to share their favorite meal with their two favorite people. We have some sort of fondue at least once a month (usually cheese). And, it’s always met with excitement and finished with deliciousness.

Even Bianca got in on the cupcake game fun!

Even Bianca got in on the cupcake game fun!

We ended the evening with cupcake matching and red velvet cake for an Anya and chocolate peanut butter Boston cream cake for the rest of us- yuuuum! It’s funny how a day that needs a do over can end up being one of my favorite days this month.

Anya playing her Princess cupcake "game" (which isn't really a game since everyone just plays together and there's no way to lose but she likes it and that's all that matters!)

Anya playing her Princess cupcake “game” (which isn’t really a game since everyone just plays together and there’s no way to lose but she likes it and that’s all that matters!)

Mmmmm- Bianca had a few bites of the Red Velvet cake and then shared mama's peanut butter chocolate one- I can't say I blame her choice- it was almost as good as the fondue (nothing tops fondue =)!

Mmmmm- Bianca had a few bites of the Red Velvet cake and then shared mama’s peanut butter chocolate one- I can’t say I blame her choice- it was almost as good as the fondue (nothing tops fondue =)!

 

 

 

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I Could go…

running
And racing
And dancing
And chasing
And leaping
And bounding
Hair flying
Heart pounding
And splashing
And reeling
And finally feeling…

At least that’s what I think of when I see these pictures of my two little twirlers.

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They were pretty funny tonight. We decided to go to the movies. This was definitely a gamble with an 18 month old but we needed to get out of the house and do something…calm. Gosh, am I the only one sick of the cold? Anyway, Anya was glued to the movie but Bianca had a grand old time. She ate popcorn two at a time (keeping mom on the edge of her seat thinking the¬†heimlich maneuver was going to be needed at any moment- popcorn scares me but I give in on occasion because Bianca has an affinity¬†bordering¬†on obsession for the stuff), spun in the aisle in front of mama and dadd, giggled at all the wrong places, and broke out in full “yayaya” elmo song glory in the middle of the tensest parts. Ah, it was splendid- I’m sure the people who walked in at the last minute and thought sitting next to us was a good idea were regretting that decision by the “yayaya-ing”…Oh what can I say- at one point Bianca came over and said hello to the lady next to us…no one can resist a Bianca and even in the middle of mass I hear the people around us waving and smiling at her. She’s like a little flower- always soaking up the rays! You’d never know she missed being a Leo by two days.¬†

It was a nice winter outing and all told, the girls were good and shared their candies with each other- when Anya shares her sour watermelons, you know that’s sister love ‚̧

Learning- Stitch by Stitch

I’ve been thinking a lot about sewing lately (obviously) and thought I’d post a blog about how I started sewing and what my first projects were.

First, while you tube has definitely changed the game- the easiest way to learn anything is still to be shown in person and thenpractice, practice, practice. I signed up to have a one hour session with a sewing instructor- she turned out to be a sweet little 18 or 19 year old¬†Mennonite¬†(I’m guessing I didn’t ask) girl at a quilting and repair shop near my parent’s house. It was so inexpensive- maybe $20 an hour or less. But, compared to the sewing classes offered by joann’s or hobby lobby, it was a real steal since I was paying less or the same per class for one on one attention and I only ended up using two sessions. Now, you could eliminate this cost by getting a lesson or two from your favorite sewer in your life. But, I’d been saying I was going to do the latter for years and never had. In fact, as my first session approached I considered canceling as it was- I mean really- who has time for a hobby whenyou have an almost 1 and almost 4 year old? But, I went. The first session she showed me how to use my machine. Once you learn to thread it- you can officially sew something. I started with burp cloths. Four straight lines, some ironing, and some top stitching and you’re done (I make these with flannel and chenille fabric- softest burp cloths ever).¬†Image

The next session, she taught me how to read a pattern. I made my first finished product with a pattern. It was a little confusing and not perfect but I’ve found that most patterns by mccalls are pretty easy to follow and straightforward. I would like to place a warning here- DO NOT get simplicity. Whatever you do, avoid them like the plague. I have several patterns and they are just confusing, not well written but most of all- not cut well.

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It’s been a lot of trial and error and I’m still learning every day but I have also now made two pillowcase dresses and one for Anya’s baby doll, two simple dresses for my girls for easter, and the ruffled Snow White dress I blogged about recently. I’m now working on a ruffle dress for Anya but I started making it in size 5 and it’s way too big so I’m having to redo the bodice (trial and error can sometimes mean a lot of stitch ripping and restitching!). I’ll blog about all those if I ever get around to it.

Happy stitching!

Sew Weird…

One of these days I’ll get around to posting some ramblings about my newest hobby but tonight is not that night. Instead, I’ll just share a totally random occurrence. I recently completed this dress for my little Snow White:
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Now, I really should have shortened this dress by quite a bit and chopped a few inches (or feet?) off the sides but other than that I do indeed think it turned out pretty perfect for my search for the perfect princess pattern.

Anyway to make a short story long, I was looking at sewing blogs tonight (have yet to find one I’m really interested in subscribing to but I digress) and I stumbled across this: http://pinkfigdesign.blogspot.com/. Well, what do you know? It’s written by the same person who made my Snow White dress pattern. I really want to ask her what on earth possessed her to put two skirts on that dress- it weighs as much as Bianca does! I’ll probably keep thought thoughts to myself- I’m already considering some fun alterations to make it work for some of the other princesses. If you didn’t know- we’re going to Disney World in two months and I plan to have complete princess wardrobes for my little princesses by then.

A Fun Fishy Fourth Birthday

She may be a little fish lover now but she will always be a princess <3

She may be a little fish lover now but she will always be a princess ‚̧

Anya turned four back on August 5 and we had a fun birthday party to celebrate the day and I even blogged about it…and wordpress proceeded to die and eat my post (so much for the auto save feature!). Instead of throwing my computer out the window (I was seriously tempted) I abandoned my birthday posting for a while…and, finally, I’m ready to throw some pictures up (Well, I suppose I wasn’t since this post is from about 6 months ago and I’m only now getting around to posting it now- see abandoning facebook has multi-purpose- end of time suck and beginning of finally getting around to blogs I’ve been procrastinating=). It was actually a pretty involved event but in my rushing about to make all the food- I didn’t get anywhere near the number of photos I’d wanted (note to self- never make food again!!). But here’s a short recap.

We started off the summer with a princess piggy theme planned…until my little pink princess suddenly decided piggies were out and dolphins were in- blue is the new pink don’t you know? So, I kind of put off planning, put off planning, and decided to have a small fish themed party and ended up with this:

Welcome to fishtopia: the ocean hallway, the happy birthday corridor, and the table of yum...yeah I stayed up all night the night before (and so did J)

Welcome to fishtopia: the ocean hallway, the happy birthday corridor, and the table of yum…yeah I stayed up all night the night before (and so did J)

Our little fishy is FOUR (I can't believe it! It's gone by too fast!)!

Our little fishy is FOUR (I can’t believe it! It’s gone by too fast!)!

Fun with friends and cousins.

Fun with friends and cousins.

We had a great turn out and a lot of fun with all our friends and family. After all this birthday fantasticness I’m still tired even thinking about it and it’s been 6 months!! Good thing I’ve got another six to think about it. I’m leaning toward a trip to the aquarium but my little fishy is already planning her fifth birthday- she’s talking mermaids- I’d better get working on that…

Unplugging

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Unplugging- what *is* unplugging and if it is what I think it is why on earth would anyone want to do that? It seems like every day there’s another device that makes connecting to the internet, the television (you can get cable on your phone now and netflix? Well, that’s been a godsend on doctors appointments running late and grocery trips where the list is more than “milk, eggs, bread”), and each other just a little bit easier. Heck, right now I could be writing this, listening to pandora, checking my email, texting a friend, and surfing the web all at the same times from. my. phone. It’s crazy. With all this at our fingertips it’s no wonder I sometimes find J and I both sitting side by side intently staring at our phones. Or, I find myself obsessively checking facebook or playing silly games whenever I have a lull between changing diapers and teaching Anya letters.

Sometimes, it gets overwhelming to say the least. Sure, I love being able to stay in touch with friends who I don’t see often (or in some cases never have- hello baby group friends who live all over the USA) with facebook or being able to text my best friend every day in betwixt all the chaos that is life with children. I no longer need to set aside an hour for us to chat on the phone- we can stay caught up with each other every day in the minutes here or there that we have free without setting aside a chunk of time that to be honest, neither of us really have! But, there comes a point when it just gets to be too much. In fact, I’d gotten to the point where I couldn’t sit through a whole television show without needing to be doing something else (I do often like the TV as background noise to other activities but when the phone is disrupting Downton Abbey viewing something must be done). So, I decided to give up most internet perusing/gaming on my phone for lent (along with Diet Coke- though I give that up on and off throughout the year and I usually fail pretty quickly…so far so good though..it’s been all of three days).

And, so far, it’s been…liberating. I still find myself scrolling through my phone when I’m bored (the age of information has severely damaged my attention span- and we wonder why all these people are popping up with ADD- it’s society that’s a-changing not our minds) but quickly snap out of it and shut it off. Disconnecting from facebook is another thing that has helped me focus on tasks at hand- every day this week we’ve been dressed before noon and with colds (heck even without) this is kind of an impressive feat in the Fuller household (in our defense we often don’t make it out of bed until 10 am…but I’m not sure if that’s better or worse). I do miss being able to hop on facebook and share highlights from the day or funny things the girls are saying/doing now or heck even to vent a little. But, maybe it’s not a bad thing not to document every time we eat a meal, hear a joke, or watch a movie. I’d love to say it’s giving me more time to be productive and sew or blog but really- our life is just as hectic as ever, just slightly more productive. And, I’ve found myself actually having conversations where I don’t absent mindedly nod and realize I did not hear a single thing that was just said (this mostly happens with Jonathan- though I’m not sure I’m missing much since it’s mostly when he’s talking about playing “Ingress” *eyes glazing over*=).

Lenten sacrifices are not supposed to be like a New Year’s resolution, but sometimes they do have similar benefits. Hey, fasting and giving up sweets can leave you five pounds lighter and that’s just how I feel about disconnecting even if it is only a little bit (hey, I still need to occasionally skim pinterest- how else would I find delicious recipes like chocolate peanutbutter cheesecake brownies???)- I’m emotionally and mentally 5 lbs lighter- and this is only three days in!

Saying goodbye to facebook and hello to a Valentine's celebration with my little girls.

Saying goodbye to facebook and hello to a Valentine’s celebration with my little girls.