Tuesday, December 29, 2009

And while the third attempt looked promising...

It ended up like the rest. With me holding Emma while she buried her head in my shoulder. But really, it did start off well because it was actually her idea to go see Santa. She wanted to after her friends Julia and Frankie said they wanted to see him. She waited in line with me then when it was her turn, she ran away then sat on the floor.



She did lift her head up just enough to mumble, "and a princess bike" to Santa.


Then her head was back in my shoulder.


Mackenzie on the other hand actually took a candy cane from him and even said "bye" to him before he left.






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Monday, December 28, 2009

While I should be posting Christmas pictures,

instead I'll post this picture of Emma, taken this morning. Today's the first time it's snowed enough to play in (which is a first as far back as I can remember) and so we headed outside. All four of us, as I'm babysitting Caroline and Jack. I think it took a half hour to get all five of us ready (a 1-year-old, a 2-year-old and two almost 4-year-olds) and we spent about that much time outside. It's cold!

I did get this though. My new favorite picture of Emma.


My funny, sweet, smart, playful, silly, talkative, loving almost 4-year-old.
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Thursday, December 17, 2009

A slight improvement

As in sitting next to versus standing in front of Santa, like last weekend. Baby steps. We're taking baby steps. Although I'm positive it wasn't that she wanted to sit by Santa, rather that Santa had a present for her (a coloring book) and she had to sit there to get it. Hey, if it works...

(The very cool Santa and Mrs. Claus at Emma's preschool Christmas brunch this morning.)

Mackenzie on the other hand, had been over by a window while Emma and I talked to Santa. Next thing I know she's on the floor in front of us wailing away. It was the funniest thing. It's not like she had to come over near Santa. She could've stayed on the other side of the room, yet she walked over and proceeded to cry in total fear of the jolly old man. She's so strange.
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Monday, December 14, 2009

Breakfast with Santa

This past Saturday was breakfast with Santa. Emma wanted to go because Lisa, Tim, Bree and Ava were going to be there. But she said she did not want to see Santa. When we walked in Santa was standing there greeting everyone. Emma made a wide circle around him and Mackenzie clung to my leg. She warmed up a bit when he let her ring the bells he had, but later when he visited the table she started to cry. And he wasn't even next to her, he was across the table by Emma and Bree!

I've probably mentioned this before, but Emma is really in to drawing and coloring. And she draws very well for her age. She's also gotten very good at staying in the lines when coloring. Hopefully she'll have more artistic abilities than her mother. She always wants me to draw things and I'm limited to a whale, a house and a tree. Oh, and those "v" birds.


Mackenzie was really concentrating.


After breakfast it was time to visit Santa and of course neither girl wanted to go. But I told them we had to so we could give Santa their Christmas lists. I filled out a list for each girl that included what they'd like for Christmas and how they'd been good this year.

Mackenzie told me she wanted (in this order): Dora, Diego, baseball, football, Minnie Mouse. She wasn't telling Santa though, Mommy handed him the list.


Emma said she wanted a princess bike, princess Barbie, markers and tic tac toe. Emma also wasn't telling Santa, in fact she wouldn't even look at him. He was a very nice and understanding Santa though.


After that, the girls worked on their crafts and I took some pictures for a mom who forgot her camera and her mom's camera's battery had died. Her children, on the other hand, smiled quite nicely for me!

We had fun. I love that our city does this. And Saturday, we're doing it again. Michael's baseball team is having a Breakfast with Santa fundraiser. Pretty sure I'll have pictures very similar to the ones above!
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Saturday, December 12, 2009

The winner is...

...2, Stephanie.

I don't know how to make the random.org box show up, but it picked 2. So Stephanie, email me for the code! Congrats!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Random scrappiness. Is that even a word?

On the off-chance you haven't yet been over to WCS this month, Write.Click.Scrapbook is taking a break from our regularly-scheduled weekly bloggers to bring you a month full of December-themed posts: card ideas, Christmas layouts, holiday projects and more. Fun stuff. Really. You should check it out. Last week this post went up about attempting to take photos of my girls for last year's Christmas card. Fun times. While the process was a tad frustrating at times, I love, love, love the end result.

This is my layout from the December gallery. I'm so glad I scrapbooked this converstaion. So Emma and I never want to forget it. (Click to enlarge.)


And today's the last chance to leave a comment and win a download of Ella's newest eBook:


Just go here and leave a comment telling me about your Christmas cards this year. I'll be posting a winner Saturday morning.

Emma...

Is slowly starting to feel better. Her latest fever started Sunday evening and hit 105.9 on Monday and 105.7 on Tuesday. We went to the pediatrician Tuesday evening (where she fell asleep on the examining table (wish I'd had my camera) she was so worn out. We finally know what's wrong and hopefully there will be no more crazy high fevers in the future.

Mackenzie gets hives when she gets a virus, and we just thought Emma gets super high fevers with her viruses. They've been steadily getting higher since June when it was 103.5, 104.5 in September, 105 two weeks ago and now the nearly 106 mark. She's got some tests scheduled for later this month and I'm praying those come back normal. I'm ready for her to be healthy, acting like herself and to not have to miss preschool and playing with her friends. I feel so badly for her. Plus, I'm ready for me to not see 105 on the thermometer. It's a little scary. Makes you worry. Wish you could fix it all. But she did go to school today and even though her fever was up to 103.5 this afternoon, I think we're on the down-slope. (Oh, and in case you're wondering, she's not contagious or anything, even with the fever.)

These two pictures are from the Winter Wonderland at our fitness center on Sunday.

Here's Emma with her two best friends, Caroline and Bree. She loves them. (Lisa and I did not plan on the girls wearing matching shirts, by the way!)


And on, well, I'm not sure what you'd call it. It was a bouncy house without a roof, just low walls. This was major. Prior to this she refused to go in a bouncy house. We knew she'd love it if she'd try, but she was always afraid. Of course, doesn't help that this summer our neighbors had a small one in their backyard for Jack's birthday and Michael put Emma in it. She was okay, not loving it but not freaking out - until the hose came out and it started to deflate and the kids started yelling and trying to climb out while it collapsed around them. Not pretty. Sort of funny though, I'll be honest. Anyway. She saw Caroline in it and decided to try it and loved it! She got off and got right back in line two more times. Yay! This is very exciting, people!


And making a snowman last week. She really wanted to make one where we cut out the pieces and she glued them on. He's quite colorful: Pink arms, orange facial features, blue buttons with a yellow haunted house stuck on him.


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Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Know what a tree hitting your house sounds like?

I do. It's loud. Very loud. And it can make a mess of your deck.



And your roof. It actually hit the peak and went over the other side. My neighbor saw parts of the tree on the front of the house, plus there are some pieces in the front flower bed.



Anyone need firewood?
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Monday, December 07, 2009

Have yourself a Vintage Hip Christmas...

by winning this:



Vintage Hip Christmas Crafts: 9 step-by-step tutorials for layouts, decor, gifts, and more by Margie Romney-Aslett and daughters Megan and Brooke.

Choose your own crafting adventure! Whether you're trying to get crafty between batches of cookies or you've got a whole weekend to revel in your creativity, we've got the Christmas project for you! Crafting rockstar Margie Romney-Aslett and her daughters, Brooke and Megan, have pulled together nine totally glitter-tastic ideas in Ella Publishing Co.'s latest eBook, Vintage Hip Christmas Crafts: 9 step-by-step layouts, gifts, d├ęcor and more. Put on your favorite Christmas album, brew up a mug of cocoa, and pick your crafting poison.

If you'd like to win a copy of Ella Publishing Co.'s newest eBook, leave a comment and tell me about your Christmas card. Do you make your own? Send photo cards? Do you send them early, or like me, have you actually sent some after Christmas? Ooh, I know, what do you do with your cards? Display them? Stick them in a basket? Throw them away, including the picture cards and/or pictures (cough, cough, Shelly, cough)?

While I only have one copy to give away, I do have a code you can use to get Vintage Hip Christmas Crafts for 25% off. The code is CRAFTY09 and it is valid through 12/13.

I'll leave the comments open through 11pm on Friday 12/11 and post the winner Saturday morning.

PS, if you haven't yet been over to Ella's site to check out all their great eBooks, you should! They've got some awesome titles by awesome scrapbookers for a really awesome price. Plus a monthly eZine, Scrapbook Ellaments. You can also sign up for their email list here for the latest news and updates.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Whispering Pines

We went and cut our tree down Sunday afternoon. We normally go the first weekend in December, but there's too much going on this coming weekend, (Go Chagrin! The football team is playing for the state championship!) so we decided to go early. It was nice though. Great weather - last year it was snowing and freezing. And we went with a new tree this year, the white spruce instead of a scotch pine. Just in case you were wondering.

There's a tractor hay ride out to the area of the farm that has the type of tree you want. On Saturday there are Amish horse-drawn hay rides which is what we had last year.

(I swear she was looking when I took this.)

Mackenzie really liked the hay ride. She's laughing. Honest.






We tried to get a picture of me with both girls. But only Mackenzie was interested.


Until Mackenzie's turn was over. Then Emma wanted a picture...on my back.


But Mac had to be in on it, too, of course.


My first attempt at getting a Christmas card picture. Didn't work.




While Michael was busy cutting down the tree, the girls were picking little leaves off the ground.


And rocks. Mackenzie was really into the rocks she found.



Second attempt. Not any better. Especially with that long piece of hair right down the middle of Emma's face.

(As soon as we started to move, Mackenzie started to cry and had to sit on my lap. Apparently hay rides are only fun on Mommy's lap. And she's still got the rock.)

After you get your tree, they have a fire and refreshments in the barn. They serve the BEST hot chocolate ever. Plus free s'mores and hot dogs to roast. Oh, and Amish baked goods for sale. We bought a big cinnamon roll - it was the size of a paper plate - and oh my gosh it was so good. We should've bought five.
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Monday, November 30, 2009

Scrapbooking family stories

I've been a bit of a blog slacker. And not for any good reason. I've had things to blog about, I just haven't gotten around to it. I've got a lot planned for December, though!

Tomorrow is December 1st, which means the new Write.Click.Scrapbook. gallery goes up. Make sure you check it out! November's gallery theme was family stories. I did a layout and started mini-album. If somehow you missed it, make sure you take a look. There are some great ideas for capturing your family stories.

It Always Comes Up...
These are the stories that seem to come up whenever I’m with my mom and sister. At least, the ones pertaining to me. There are also quite a few about my sister (losing her car at Blossom) and mom (eating a Whopper) so I’m going to do a page like this for each of us in the mini-album I've started. I like that I have these stories down, but didn’t have to devote a whole page to each one. While not every single detail of these is here, it’s enough to tell the story, and also prompt me (or my mom or sister) to fill in the blanks if I ever forget.

(Basic Grey papers; AC Thickers; 7 Gypsies sticker)

The Stories That Always Come Up (title page)
After I did the above layout, I realized it was the basis for a fun mini-album. Each individual page will be titled based on whom or what the stories are about. This will be a great way to get down all the stories that you don’t necessarily need an entire layout to tell, ones that you do not have pictures for or those where you might be a bit fuzzy on the details. I’m planning on pages devoted to vacations, childhood, Sweeney family (stories that always come up when I’m with my in-laws), my parents, sister, school-related, stories about my ancestors and more. This can easily be added to as more stories are remembered. I’m keeping the album simple, and the design is based on my “It always comes up” layout. All the pages will consist of strips of patterned paper, a border punch and sometimes ribbon. A great way to use scraps! The uniform design will keep the focus on the stories and will make it easy to add to later.


Ray and Althea (filler page)
All the filler pages will have the names of whom the stories are about on the left, place on the patterned paper. I haven’t filled up this page yet, as you can see. But since I always have kraft paper on hand, I can easily go back and add more stories. I just need to print the story, cut it out and attach it with pop dots. No one would think it wasn’t originally meant to be like that, plus pop dots are always fun.

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I really like the idea of mini-albums that are on-going. They evolve. They can be added to. I've actually got a few going right now and a couple more planned. I'll be sharing them over the next couple months. If you're interested in the concept or have any questions, let me know in the comments. :)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Scrapbook Sunday

I was going to blog about this, because it still makes me laugh. And maybe one day I will, but for now, I've got it scrapped.

(Basic Grey papers, AC Thickers, 7 Gypsies stickers; Fiskars punch)


Fastest I've ever scrapbooked Halloween. Less than a month later, this is done. One more to go, though.

(KI papers; Making Memories clear photo corner; 7 Gypsies sticker; Lil Davis letter stickers; Fiskars punch)

This was for Ella Publishing's October issue of Scrapbook Ellaments. Really cheesy photo, I know. But it was perfect for this layout.

(KI, Basic Grey and Making Memories papers; AC Thickers)
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Friday, November 20, 2009

Since I've been gone...

Emma and I played with play-doh Wednesday. Meet Mackenzie (whose name is so long it was broken in two), Emma and her friend Cody. Cody is my friend Kelly's son and lately Emma's been all about Cody. When we left the fitness center the other day they were going to their car and Emma yelled very loudly, "Bye Cody!!!" and he yelled back "Bye Emma!!!" And it was very cute. But I think you had to be there.


Emma after school last week. She's very cute. And even kept her headband in.


Mackenzie is very loving. The other day she was holding her monkey up in front of her face saying, "I love you monkey. Kiss. Hug. Kiss. I love you Monkey. Hug." Very sweet.

Stocked up on cardstock at Hobby Lobby.

Mackenzie ate broccoli tonight. This is big because previously, every piece of broccoli I put on her piece was immediately put aside. Of course, with each bite I had to sing, "chew it up chew it up chew it up. woo hoo!" x3, then "swallow it! yay!!!" And if I forgot to clap, she would remind me, then wait for me to start it again, with clapping. But - she ate 3 (small) servings of broccoli and I was a very happy mama. Oh, and she called it ockli, which was cute.

I've lost track of the times I've said this to Emma in the last week - "When I say no, it means no. Do not argue or ask again. Just obey." Yet, she still doesn't seem to have grasped the concept.

Scrapped with Felicia last Sunday. Did four pages...okay, so started four pages. Working on journaling right now.

Still looking for American Crafts new Letterbox line. I really want those patterned chipboard frames. And the paper. Loving the paper.

Only got two workouts in this week as Mackenzie has a cold. Stinks. For both of us.

Going to the outlets this weekend because I have a $10 coupon with $10 purchase at both Carter's and OshKosh. Free money. Love it.

Made chicken and dumplings last night. Yum. Very good. Last night, they didn't eat too many, which was weird because last time they couldn't get enough. Which meant leftovers tonight. And of course tonight was the night they couldn't get enough (along with the previously mentioned broccoli) so there almost wasn't enough to go around. Now, if I were to make more the next time, they totally wouldn't eat them and they'd be wasted.

Cleaned out my closet and got rid of a bunch of jeans that don't fit - too small or too low a waistband for my post-babies body. Plus shirts and sweaters I hadn't worn in some cases for years. Had kept them "just in case" and this was very liberating. I'd felt like if my closet was full I had more choices, but if I never chose to actually wear any of those items, what was the point? They'll be donated shortly.

Glee was good this week. Awkward, the whole Schu/Rachel thing. But good. Oh, and I'll Stand By You is one of my favorite songs, and well, I wasn't all that impressed by Finn's cover. Was it just me?

Michael's school's football team is still in the play-offs. And tomorrow they're playing here. Nice and convenient. Not that I'm going. We'll be having a play date with friends instead while the boys go to the game.

Went to church play and lean. Girls had fun. Mackenzie likes to make an entrance though. Walked in the door, "Ta Da!" Back from the bathroom, "Ta Da!" Tonight, she comes out of the bathroom in just a shirt, no diaper (she's all about sitting on the potty right now) and yells, Ta Da!"

Mackenzie can count to 13. She's 2. Newly 2. Back in August when Emma was 3 1/2 we finally got her to count past 10. Seriously. And she sings the ABC song. Doesn't know all the letters, but she knows quite a few and knows the tune. It's amazing what she picks up from Emma.

Mackenzie's also discovered pulling hair. Emma's not enjoying that. Either am I.

She's staying in her crib though! Most nights she stays in until the morning. Then she cries at the door and asked to be let out. So glad we didn't have to go through weeks of putting her back in bed over and over. Or just listening to her scream for an hour before she fell asleep on the floor. Only a couple days.

And that's about all I can remember. Happy weekend!
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