Saturday, December 22, 2007

On the Media

A quick post before I go on vacation to Mexico with Talia. I'm leaving Alex at home with my mother-in-law and with Ron, who has to work Christmas. Yes, I feel bad that I'm leaving my baby. Yes, I am excited to go on vacation with my mother, father, daughter, sister, brother, brother-in-law and niece!

I read a book that I absolutely loved; Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl. It was fantastic and surely the best book I've read all year.

Also, one of my favorite shows is running it's whole series over Christmas and the New Year. It's Run's House on MTV. I kid you not. I LOVE that show. I can't seem to convince ANYONE I KNOW to watch it. This is my plea-- it's great! Set your Tivo!

Lastly, here is my conversation with Talia yesterday:

Upon finding a new princess in her Polly Pocket collection (I bought a playset to bring on vacation and it came with Aurora and Prince Phillip so I just added them to her pile of Polly's).

T: Mom! Did you get this at Target?
Me: Yep (not true but whatever)
T: Where was it?
Me: What do you mean?
T: Was it in a corner or on an end (of an aisle, I suppose)
Me: Uhhh... the corner.
T: (Excitedly) That's what I figured!

Who is this kid? She's been asking some interesting (and tough to answer) questions lately, such as "Where does the pee and poo go after I flush it?" and "How did the fog get here?" Interestingly enough, Ron and I answered the first question identically. I was pretty much making up the answer so I'm glad I got it somewhat right.

An update on Alex too while I'm at it... he's been sleeping better, so that's good. He is the cutest kid ever. So happy and good-- completely different from when he was a tiny baby. He loves to play with anything that's not a toy (naturally) and paper especially. He can grab and reach anything so super quick. He's very tactile and just loves to touch and grab (and puts everything in his mouth, of course). Sometimes I'm going about my day and I just put him in front of a basket of toys (princess ponies, princess dolls etc.) and he just plays and eats things and I forget to pay him attention because he's occupying himself and then all of a sudden I realize he's just STARING at me. So I flash him a smile and maybe go over to him for a minute and he's just so happy about it. Poor kid. It really DOES suck to be the second kid. He doesn't have a life ANYTHING like what Talia had. On the plus side, Talia is IN LOVE with him and he her. She only had Ron and me. He has a sister too and she's really good to him. I know I should cherish these good times.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Overalls for Marley

I appliqued cupcakes and candy onto Marley's overalls. There are even candy pieces on the her butt. I love these!
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Talia draws people!

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Pencil Roll

Pencil Roll, Oh how I love thee. This was so much fun to make! I used all fabric from my stash. It was a thrill to go through all my various storage devices and pick them out. Since they are from my stash they all have stories behind them. I used fabric from my niece's quilt (the yellow), fabric from a skirt of Talia's that I loved (the white), the gray is from Yoav's cars quilt, the greens are from some recent projects, the blues are from the Dick and Jane quilt, the second red one and the turquoise one are Asian prints I used for a sarong that I loved (before it shrank-- MUST WASH FABRIC BEFORE USING IT FOR CLOTHING!), the brown is from another skirt, and the maroon is from my mom's 60th birthday quilt. So much fun. I want to make a marker roll for T but it will end up being so fat if I use 16 markers.
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Saturday, December 08, 2007

Singing Video

Snowy days

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Follow your heart

I was a little impatient with Talia yesterday while she was (not) getting ready for school. Alex has a cold and I'm a little extra sleep-deprived. I kept telling her to get dressed, eat breakfast, get her snow boots on etc. and was getting very frustrated with her pokiness. This was how she described her feelings about the situation:

"I'm trying to follow my own heart and you just want me to follow yours!"

Perhaps we're watching and reading too many princess stories?
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I take naps now!

Alex has finally learned how to take a nap. He will sleep 2 hours in the morning if conditions are right. Of course, you have to be careful what you wish for-- he often falls asleep in the car when I'm taking Talia to school. I have to beg someone I know to either take Talia in or wait in the car with Alex while I do it. I feel bad asking this of people but I just CAN'T wake him up! Then I have the dilemma of what to do next. When it wasn't so cold I was able to drive home and leave him in the car with some blankets and a baby monitor in the garage. Now it's too cold to do that. So I can sit in the car for two hours (and waste gas and ruin the environment) or wake him. I've been listening to some books on tape and the next thing I'm going to do is maybe cut a small quilt to hand-quilt while I'm sitting. If I try to go home before he falls asleep I'm stuck at home all day and will never get my errands done. And then if I do go home and he DOESN'T take a nap I will be frustrated. I know I'm not the only person with this problem and it's time limited so I guess I shouldn't complain... Somehow Alex also seems to fall asleep in the car when I'm picking Talia UP from school too. It's embarassing the way I scope the parking lot for the parents of her classmates...
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Holiday Placemats

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Moda's Blossom Fabric...

My kids

Talia and Alex at about 6 months each.
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Cars Quilt

One of the projects I have been working on over the last few months. I couldn't post it because it was a gift for our friend Yoav. I used a small kit (the center of the quilt) and added the the extra border of squares, the red stripe and the striped outer border. Once again I was afraid to really "quilt" the top and opted for invisible thread and an "X" design in each square. This is the first time I used a pieced binding. I don't think it is that noticeable so I don't know if I'll do it again. Instead of using batting and backing I used polarfleece. While I don't think it came out great for this quilt, I would try it again. I definitely made this quilt too quickly. Luckily it came out better than it should have. I have learned some lessons and the quilt I'm working on now is getting MUCH better treatment-- I've never used my iron so much! Let's just hope I can get it done in time for the holidays... I've also been working on holiday pillowcases. They are fun and easy to make. I made a Hanukkah one for Talia and for a holiday gift. I made one for a birthday present and a cars one to go along with the card quilt. My mother in law bought me a serger for Hanukkah. I haven't received it yet and I'm a little intimidated but it should definitely improve my life! People always say I should market some of my creations. My pillowcases come out great and are so easy they might actually be marketable but... I hate the unfinished edges inside. A serger would fix that...

Lessons learned from the Cars Quilt:
3. Take a risk and used colored thread for the quilting!
4. Don't ever use that blue fuzzy fabric-- it stretches!
5. Combining flannel and regular cotton works just fine.
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Sunny Vacation

Took the family to Miami to meet up with our Israeli friends who now live in Holland. We had an easy time getting there and beautiful weather the whole time. Talia and Yoav played extremely well together. He is 9 months younger and basically did everything she said. He played Legos, Polly Pockets, Disney Princesses and My Little Pony. It was great. We just went to the pool every day and then geared up for the big activity of dinner. Alex was wonderful and practically slept through the night each night. The trip home wasn't awful but we had a two hour delay and ended up getting home at 2am. Apparently there had been a big snowstorm in Madison and our driveway had been plowed in and then iced over. I had to pay someone $150 to come with a pick-axe so I could get the car out of the garage. Subsequently, we bought a snowblower!
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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Little Mermaid and a Blue Monster

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Good Mother... Bad Mother

Good Mother: Made pumpkin bread with Talia. She was very involved-- did almost everything herself.
Bad Mother: We used a mix. I hate baking, don't you know that?

Result: It was fantastic. Incredibly moist and just perfect all over. Now I can't stop eating it.
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Monday, November 12, 2007

White Bean Rosemary Stew

This is so fast and easy-- you might actually have the ingredients on hand AND there is only one pot to clean. It's pretty yummy too. Ron requested leftovers for work and, if anyone knows Ron, he NEVER eats leftovers. I can't remember what cookbook this recipe originates from because I've been using it for so long... Serve it with a green salad and maybe a baguette to soak up the broth.

White Bean Rosemary Stew

olive oil
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
1 cup vegetable broth
2 cans white beans
1/2 tbl rosemary
salt and pepper
1 jar roasted red peppers
2 tbl balsamic vinegar

1. saute onion and garlic; 5 minutes
2. add vegetable broth, white beans, rosemary and pepper; simmer 10 minutes
3. add red peppers and balsamic; 2 minutes
4. salt and pepper to taste

Goodness to Dish Ratio: 4/1
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Sunday, November 11, 2007

More sick house

Hopefully Talia is all better. I think we played with every toy in the house over the last few days.
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Pinky Purple Paint

Painted T's room pinky purple. Almost a week later and it still stinks like fresh paint. The room looks totally different; better, I guess. I also made her some curtains. Heart fabric lined with a total blackout lining. It has a cute trim at the top that has hearts and beads, but that is obviously overwhelmed by the size of the curtains. I made felt hearts and stuffed them, leaving an opening on the side and put them on the end of the curtain rod. Don't know how I came up with the idea but it totally works. Not exactly sure why I insisted on making curtains though. They are not that cute and certainly didn't save me any money. My plan was to sew the curtain to the lining all the way around so I never cut of the selvedge. I ended up just sewing the top so I could pull back the blackout lining, leaving the heart fabric as shears to let the light through. But of course all I can see every time I look at them is the obvious selvedge with the words "Printed exclusively for Joann's Fabrics" staring at me.
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Preschool Musical

Went to a High School Musical themed birthday party today. Made this shirt for Talia to wear-- and amazingly she agreed!
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I embroidered this!

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election day shirt for Marley

I made this shirt for my niece Marley-- it says "Bush is a doodyhead"
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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Brussels Sprout Tree

Have you ever seen such a thing? We enjoy Brussels Sprouts so I bought them in their natural state at the LAST outdoor farmer's market. I printed out a few yummy sounding recipes but we've stuck with the tried and true:

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
Parmesan, optional.

Throw them in a Pyrex, coat generously with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast them at 450 degrees or so for a while (30-40 minutes?) until they are sufficiently charred. Add thin slices of parmesan if you want. Yum. This recipe applies to many other vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower and others.

Goodness to dish ratio: 4/4. It's only one dish but it's a bitch to clean. Try an SOS pad. I never knew what they were until this year. Love 'em!

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Sick House

Talia has a nasty cough (a croupy cough?) and fevers. Alex is fine-- so far. Slightly runny nose maybe. We haven't left the house in a few days. We've watched way too many movies (Cinderella II and III, Tarzan, Nemo, Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, High School Musical) I've almost finisheda quilt for a friend-- it took me WAY longer than I expected, as usual. It's a surprise for a birthday so I won't post any pictures of it here yet. It came out... ok. It's hard to sew with two kids needing my attention CONSTANTLY. I'm still sewing the binding on.
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