Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Happenings

It's been a while since I've posted, but I was a crazy-quilting lady these past few weeks. Why is it that I wait until December to decide I'm going to make people gifts, never leaving myself enough time to get things finished?

On Friday the 18th we met up with Marlena and Noah to see Santa. We waited outside of Creighton Hospital as he was supposed to come in on his helicopter, but because of ice in the clouds, we watched him arrive in a security car.
The day after my quilt group got together. We exchanged ornaments like last year. I made the eaten gingerbread man, Marlena made the snowman, Virginia the bulb, and Sara the folded red/green ornament.
This year has been the most fun yet as far as Christmases with Ian go. Last year he was just getting the hang of opening gifts and such. This year he is a pro. He also understands now that Santa leaves presents under the tree while he's asleep, and it was fun to watch his reaction in the morning when he realized Santa had come. He's become a great helper as well. He passed out most of the presents at all of our Christmases. Of course, he can't read anyone's name except for his own. He'd see a package that had an I on it and think it was his- even if it was from him instead of to him. He was also smart enough to realize that after opening presents at our house, Santa hadn't given him a combine or semi- good thing there were more Christmases to come.

Here are a few highlights of our Christmases:
Opening his Cars racer from Marlena and Noah.
Showing Marlena how her nativity should be set up
Showing off our new Christmas pajamas

Digging in his stocking from Santa
Santa's Little Helper

Ian loves his combine
Ian holding cousin Owen (9 days old)
The boys having fun with Elefun (notice Ian oblivious to them coming out the top- he just picks up the ones everyone else misses, which proved to be a winning strategy).
Playing with his new semi

This is definitely just a sampling- I think we've taken about 150 pictures so far this season, and we still have two Christmases this coming weekend!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Snow Day

It's the first snow day of the season, and Ian has been talking of sledding since yesterday morning. We got a bit of snow Sunday night, but not enough to cancel school yesterday. For a kid who's only gone sledding once before in his whole life (before he was even 1), he wouldn't stop talking about going sledding. So after work, Darrin and Ian headed outside. Turns out he's too big for the sled he had, so we headed to Target to buy a new one for the impending snow.

Which brings us to today. It started snowing off and on around 10 last night, and has been snowing steadily since 8 this morning. After a quick trip to the doctor's office for a baby check-up, we bundled up into our snow gear to try out the new sled (which Ian picked because it's red like Elmo). It works wonderfully and Ian was so proud he could go sledding by himself and loved being out in the snow. I'm surprised he didn't fall off the sled more, because it doesn't have sides, and he would let go of the handle. I was just waiting for him to tumble, but he never did.

Now he's getting his first cup of hot cocoa. I'm so glad Darrin's working from home today and we can have a family snow day. And hopefully I can spend the afternoon sewing and getting some Christmas presents finished.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Little Entertainer

I don't know what to say, other than we put up our tree tonight and Ian was a hoot. It started with the tree box. It evolved from being a horse, to a motorcycle, and a boat. He "rode" it all over the living room, thanks to help from Daddy.

As we were putting ornaments on the tree, he claimed some for himself and refused to let them be placed on the tree. The bear and penguin were in the "snow" on the carpet, and the ice cream truck delivered ice cream to Mommy and Daddy.

As we pulled out the stockings, he said, "It's Santa's boots!" and then tried to put them on. He tried to do it standing, but eventually figured out sitting worked better. After he got them on, he put our angel tree topper on his hand to use as a puppet. I tried to get him to wear the tree skirt as a cape, but he didn't go for that.

But the best part was Ian telling the tree lights to be on/off. We have the lights hooked up to a remote so that we don't have to climb behind the tree to plug it in. Ian would go up and say, "On. Off." and we would make the tree 'listen'. His reactions were hilarious. Unfortunately I was laughing so loudly while I was attempting to tape it that you can't hear him, so we had to edit the tape a bit, and missed some of his hilarious reactions. Check it out here:

We also got a video of him singing his version of his favorite song, "On Top of Spaghetti." I'm actually surprised he got as many words as he did, seeing as how he was distracted by his ornament toys.

Tonight definitely put me in the holiday spirit.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Great Weekend

It's been a great weekend. Saturday I spent 12 hours at Archiver's with Marlena scrapbooking. I churned out some of the coolest pages yet (I know, I say that every time I make new ones). I started with some more recent events, though I did do Halloween from last year. Most of the layouts aren't two pages, I just photographed them together to save pictures. Ian loves his Farmer Ian one. He keeps looking at it.
I also have given some thought to scrapbooking when the new one arrives- do I continue keeping separate scrapbooks for each-churning out two layouts for every Christmas (we have 7 Christmases each year...), Halloween, Easter, etc, or figure out a different approach. And then I thought about how many pictures I have that don't get scrapbooked, so Darrin thought to combine the two. The baby will have a first year book, but I'm going to start keeping a 'family' scrapbook instead of one for each kiddo. My goal is to combine that with my take on a 365 scrapbook (where you take a picture and journal a little for each day of the year). It's my early New Year's goal, so hopefully after the first week of the new year, I'll have a layout to show (and all that babble above will make sense).

I also took Ian's hint and have the top pieced for his tractor quilt, but no picture- and I'm not pulling it out to get one. I'm afraid I'd be tempted to work on it, and when I look at the list of gifts I need to make in the next month, I don't have time to work on it if I want to accomplish what's on the list. I'd share the list, but many of the people they're for read this blog, just trust me, it's a lot.

Today we took advantage of the warm weather and put up our lights. I also did a bit more shopping for Ian, so if anyone's bought him the Imaginext Firestation, let me know so I can take it back.

Time to churn out lesson plans. It's a short week, so perhaps I can actually get ahead for once and get two weeks done...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Is this a hint?

I haven't worked on his quilt in awhile... think he wants me to finish it? I think the fact that he's covering up with the blocks and leftover fabric is a sign. I better get to work!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Chef Collins

For Halloween last weekend, Ian got more than just candy. He got a Packers outfit from my parents and an apron and baking supplies from Darrin's parents. We finally got around to packing away Halloween stuff last night, and Ian made the actual putting away of things difficult, because he wanted to play right away. He turned his Play-Doh table into a pizza parlor.

First you have to roll the crust out. He hasn't quite mastered tossing it into the air like the pros do.
After you've added the toppings, you have to add the spices.
And finally, you serve your pizza to Daddy on a Cars serving platter.
He was back at the baking this morning, making chocolate chip cookies. Now if I could only get him to make these for real, I would have to worry about what to make for lunch...

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween Weekend

So much has happened since Friday- it's hard to believe it was just a few days ago. Friday at school we had our Halloween celebrations. The staff chose to dress as Disney characters. I went as a chef from Ratatouille, as did another teacher. My line was the I was a baker of buns.
Others on staff dressed up as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the cast of Peter Pan, 101 Dalmations, and Winnie the Pooh. It was quite fun to see what everyone came up with.

Halloween day was a jam-packed day back home in Iowa. Ian got to experience real-life farming in the morning, and then go trick-or-treating as a farmer that night. He spent part of Saturday morning with my parents' best friends riding in a combine. He loves to tell how the arm would come out and fill up the wagon with corn. He rode along in the tractor to the grain bins as well. I didn't ride along, but Darrin did. He said he was speechless the whole time- which is something Ian isn't very often.
That night Ian got to do more farming in his Halloween costume. He started off the night on his tractor, but he can't quite reach the pedals yet, so we only made it around the block before we dropped it off at Grandma and Grandpa's and continued off on foot. He knew he was supposed to say Trick-or-Treat, but he didn't until Aunt Cara's house- our 2nd to last stop of the night. At many of the first houses, he thought he was there to visit and would walk right in, not saying anything to the people in the door.

On Saturday, I co-hosted a baby shower for my sister-in-law Stephanie. She's due at the end of December- 10 weeks before me. Since it was Halloween, it was a costume party. Stephanie was the pregnant nun. Her friend just to her left went as a deviled-egg, which I thought was the cutest costume ever. Darrin's grandma dressed up as an "old grandma." It was her first time ever dressing up for Halloween. I had a lot of fun hosting, and I think everyone had lots of fun playing games and enjoying the food.

Before we headed back to Omaha on Sunday, we went to tag Mom and Dad's Christmas tree. Picking out the Christmas tree is one of my favorite memories from childhood, and I wanted to share that experience with Ian (we use an artificial tree here at home). To get to the tree farm, we just have to walk through my parents' back yard to their neighbor's. Every year growing up, Cara and I would compete to see who could find the best tree for the year. We'd tag it with our names, then go back after Thanksgiving to cut it down. Ian didn't get quite as exuberant as Cara and I did. He didn't really care about the perfect tree. Instead, he had fun pretending that the trees were his house or his garage. He'd hide in them, sit under them, or play hide-and-seek with us.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Fall Fun

The sun has finally made an appearance! After nearly a week or two of gray skies, we finally could take advantage of our yard full of leaves. I don't know if it was the cool summer or lack of fall sun, but our maple trees were the prettiest color this fall. Normally they're pretty for a day and then turn brown. This time they were bright orange, yellow, and red for at least a week.

Ian took control of the rake right away, but really didn't move any of the leaves. When we got the piles made, he didn't like being in them at first, but after a few minutes he warmed up to them, calling them his house. Today he even laid down in them with Darrin as their beds. He helped Darrin fill the yard bags (all nine) with leaves, and that barely made a dent in the yard.

Raking the leaves

Playing in the leaves

Hooray for leaves!

Playing in the leaves

I'm just glad we could get outside and enjoy what's left of the warm weather. After this weekend, it will practically be dark by the time we get home from work and we won't be able to be outside.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Hectic, Happy Weekend - Updated with Video

It was a great 3-day weekend and went way too fast. Friday we had our ultrasound. Ian went along, but could really have cared less. Luckily he had fun playing with his cars on the bed I was laying on. Everything is great with the baby- the levels are either where they should be or better than what they should be. And there wasn't anything to garner a change in our due date, so it stays March 2nd. During the ultrasound, the baby moved around a lot (you could see it kicking and pushing against me), but it wouldn't move so that we could get a front-face shot. So all of our pictures are profile shots. We also didn't find out the sex, so feel free to keep speculating.

On Saturday, I worked at the quilt show, and then Darrin and Ian came out. We had over 350 quilts on display. I showed two, neither of which I had judged, but it was cool to see them hanging up in my first show.

Marlena and her mom pieced this quilt for her wedding.
Sara was the big winner of our group, winning first place from the judge AND viewer's choice for both days of the show.

On Sunday, the gang came over for our weekly get-together. We had been spending the last few Sundays working on our entries for the quilt show, but with that behind us, we got back to scrapbooking (and Ian had fun convincing everyone to play cars and "cook" with him). I got one page done today from when Ian was one-and-a-half, and another one that just needs a title.
And for the heck of it, here's Ian in his "boat". That kid's imagination is going crazy lately and it's so cute what he thinks of.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I got it done!

See that UFO list, over there on the right- I just crossed off Shadow Play. It is done in time for the quilt show this weekend. I left for our quilt guild meeting at 6:20 last night, after eating a quick supper with my boys. At 5:55 I was tucking the last ends of threads between the layers of my Shadow Play quilt. I've been working feverishly on it the last two weeks to get it done. In less than 30 days it went from a pieced top to a quilt, which is crazy for me. Ian got very used to hearing, "Mommy's busy quilting, ask Daddy," and Daddy never seemed to mind. He played the part of both of us these last few weeks, and I'm so thankful for him. One night while I was working on it, I joked with him that he can't wait for me to get done so he doesn't have to do everything around the house. His response was that he can't wait for me to get it done so that he wouldn't be out 5 dollars. Marlena, Sara, and I have started a bet with each other. We pick a date and one of our unfinished projects (or more than one) to have completed by that date. If we don't get it done, we throw $5 into a pot. At the end of the school year, the person who completed the most of their projects wins the pot.

So that comment of Darrin's motivated me, along with his other comment that the center motifs look really cool (he usually never comments on the quilt unless I solicit an opinion). Thank God he said that comment about the motifs, or I would have given up. There were 41 of them and they started off taking about an hour each to sew, which is probably of combination of being the first ones and having lots of fabric to shove between the needle and my machine. I never wished for a long-arm machine more than I did sewing those center blocks. I tried sewing it with afree-motion foot, but there was too much fabric for me to shove to have my stitches look even halfway decent, so I had to switch to my walking foot and sew, pivot, sew, pivot, over and over. When I made it to the blocks closer to the edge, it wasn't too bad. By then it only took 25 minutes to sew the motif (as I write that, it still seems really slow when I look at the size of the motif). But I LOVE how they look. I also stitched up the long, diagonal between the tiny triangles and around the perimeter of the motif blocks to try and tack down some of those spots where there were lots of seams.

So that quilt, along with my Dick and Jane quilt, will be showing in the Cottonwood Quilt Show this weekend- the FIRST quilt show I've ever been in. Next UFO goal: Moneik's prize.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Isn't It Fall?

It is fall, right? I mean, our trees haven't even lost their leaves, and it's snowing outside- on OCTOBER 10!
They said just a dusting, but I think it's more than that... I'm glad it's not sticking to the cement. Darrin pointed out how nice it would be if it always worked that way, and I agreed. You'd have the fun part of the snow (sledding, snowmen) without the work part (shoveling). I pointed out to Darrin, though, that he's going to have to do most of the shoveling this year- thank you pregnancy.

At least it's cold enough for soup- both Darrin and Ian have colds so we'll be eating lots of soup this weekend.