Friday, December 31, 2010

Merry 7th Day of Christmas!!

Can you tell how thrilled Kieran was about Christmas? This described his attitude the whole day. He doesn't seem to care much for social engagements. SO I am very late with my "Merry Christmas" but thank goodness there are 12 days of Christmas. We have been having a cozy and relaxing week with Nick home from work. The weather has been spectacular! We had snow, and now its 60 degrees. Really, who could ask for more!?With each child Christmas becomes a little more magical! It was funny how long it took the girls to remember it was Christmas morning, and to check to see if Santa drank his milk and ate his cookies and left a few packages behind. But the excitement for them to see the tree filled with presents when there had been nothing the night before brought so much joy to my heart! It reminds me that the first gift of Christmas was a child. And every child added to the world seems to make Christmas more exciting and beautiful.Isabel loved her cat toy, which was her one desire from Santa, and Anastasia got her Tinkerbell doll and friends which she immediately shared with Isabel. I think they were really most excited about these lollipop shaped soaps and the bath they took with them:Isabel carried hers with her all day on Christmas day in a little zippered pouch. So so cute. Sadly I didn't get enough good pictures! We spent the day at my parents house and enjoyed a delicious meal! And I made pies! Our neighbors stopped by with gifts and holiday cheer! We also got to spend a couple days with "Unka Andy" (my brother) who came in from Montana and blessed the girls with a very exciting book about poop: So we had a little bit of everything this Christmas! My sweet husband gifted me with fabric, and music and some of my favorite soaps! We have been enjoying cookies and coffee by the hearth reading our lovely books from Santa. Wednesday we went out and enjoyed a day of walking through old town Occoquan and drove into DC to our favorite pizza place, Armands and took the kids to see the Zoo Lights at the National Zoo! It was great! Now we are back to relaxing before another big weekend. It is a much needed rest after a lot of preparations for Christmas! And tomorrow begins a whole new year, another chapter of our very full and beautiful life! I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Now I must get a bandaid for Isabel, calm my fussy baby and figure out some sort of dinner to accompany my peanut butter balls (aka buckeyes!) yum!

<3 Clare

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Gingerbread Playdough and things...

It has been a rough past week. Rough I say. The kind of rough that makes you wish you could trade places with someone for a day (or week!). On Monday we had to go to the Ear-nose-throat doctor to have a bead removed from Isabel's nose. It went smooth once we finally made it in. I worked super-duper hard on my Etsy shop, making and packaging and shipping. And my littlest ones got sick. Kieran had a fever and slept for a day. He and Isabel and myself have been completely sacked by a cold. And then with orders, custom orders and a healthy Anastasia who has not stopped BOUNCING OFF THE WALLS, all I could do was give up and make some gingerbread play-dough. It was a fun activity. I made each girl a ball, of each color and they each got their own cookie cutters and a container of fabric scraps, yarn and buttons for decorating. And they were happy. I saw the idea for Gingerbread playdough somewhere last year and thought I was a genius for coming up with the decorations... but of course I was beat to the idea by Melissa at Chasing Cheerios. Anyhow, I loved her idea of using yarn for icing!! How much fun! And look who is 5 weeks old:

He outgrew all his 0-3 month items and was 12 lbs at his appointment at 3 weeks! Woah! He is a big boy! So we seem to be on the mend, and I am trying to clean the weeks worth of mess that has accumulated and really wishing for a clean house for Christmas. Kieran is still stuffy and that is making him a little bit miserable so I feel like I am in S-L-O-W motion. Most of my handmade gifts are going to be late, and honestly I am okay with that. I just want to make it until Christmas with my sanity intact and a bill of good health! Happy elving everyone! :)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A Handmade Holiday for Children

I have visions and dreams of a completely, or mostly handmade holiday. Every year I spend months gathering ideas... and give myself 2 weeks to do EVERYTHING on my list. Well the good news is, there are 2 weeks until Christmas to finish those projects... or if like me, you don't have time, there is still a bit of time to purchase through most Etsy shops!! I personally think the above Fairy and Snow Fairy playset above would make an adorably perfect stocking stuffer! (I am only slightly biased!) Right now they come packaged in a little organza bag, ready for play or display! :)
Or how about some homemade snack sacks? My good friend Wendy makes these darling little treat bags and sells them in her brand new Etsy shop, Momma's Little Lunch Bunch!! I ordered my own custom set with a different fabric for each of my wee ones! And I have to say they are very well made and so, so, so much cuter in person. They will most likely find their way into some stockings... and be filled with treats and candy! Oh how I love Christmas morning!! And how perfect they will be for filling with snacks for trips in the van. The trick to 3 kids is to be organized! This is just one more step in that direction. Or if you are handy, make your own!

On my list of things to make are some Hudson Hats for the kiddos! I haven't even started and am hoping to have time this week, with bulky yarn, to do so! Ugh. But I have a hat for Nick and a pair of longies on the knitting needles... which haven't been picked up in a while. If you can't knit, my friend and neighbor Sharon makes ADORABLE gnome hats (seen above). Made from really soft, wool yarn!! How sweet are those? Can you imagine a little family of children running around so sweetly in those on Christmas morning?

Another goal for me is to make an apron and chef hat for each of the girls. I love the above one from Mon Petit Poppet's Etsy shop. I am hoping to use the pattern from the Sew Liberated book, and find a place for a couple of apron hooks in the kitchen. And it would be perfect to pair it with a sweet, child-size set of cooking tools, wooden spoon, mini-whisk, etc. I know it would be loved to pieces. If you are a seamstress, there is also a tutorial online here. Other ideas for the girls include the wooden castle Nick is "supposed" to be building and I want to buy an unfinished stool from Michaels to paint like a mushroom. Obviously. It would be perfectly paired with some small round pillows with a big flower appliqued on it. If you can't picture it... I MUST make it, and will share pictures when I finish. It will be perfectly adorable set up under the Christmas tree with a tray of wooden food!! Now all I need for Christmas is MORE TIME. My plan is, if this all doesn't work out, I will just make little or big handmade gifts for the 12 days of Christmas... that is my creative way to make up for my year of procrastination!
And Kieran really wants one of these mushroom teethers. He didn't ask, I just read his mind. I do that a lot. But really, have you seen a cuter baby toy? And it isn't made in China so I don't have to worry about him eating lead... it was handmade and in the lovely shop Maya Bella. And it will match his mama-made onesies perfectly! Oh, Santa, please bring one to my little boy. Its all he really, really wants. And some socks too.
Of course I hope to make some fairies, furniture, and princess bendy dolls for Anastasia and Isabel to go with my last mushroom stacker that didn't turn out so hot. There is a wellspring of patterns at Wee Folk Art, most of which require a few basic skills and many, many toys on Etsy. I still have a slot or 2 open for custom orders that can ship via Priority by next Friday if you are in need of a last minute stocking stuffer or gift. :)
So what are you making for Christmas?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

About a Boy

They don't tell you how different baby boys are. No one tells you how they eat more and pee more and pee completely OUTSIDE of the diapers. They also don't tell you how to respond to your baby boy peeing across the room on their big sister. Ha. And there was a lady who worked at the hospital who after we told her we had a boy, said, "aw, well maybe you will get a girl next time." WHAT? We told her we had 2 at home... but who says that? Boys are great. No one mentions how cuddly and sweet baby boys are and how much he already loves his sisters and of course his mama. Mama's boys are so ANNOYING... unless you are the mama. :) And no one tells you how even at 2 1/2 weeks they are far less emotional and dramatic than their sisters. And let me also say, in all my life no one prepared me for this: Can you just see the sugar plums dancing in their heads? *sigh* So I have learned a few things these past 2 weeks or so. And my girls have had a brief 2 and 3-year-old appropriate anatomy lesson about the difference between princes and princesses. And a very exciting thing was discovered when Kieran's umbilical cord fell off last week, he in fact now has a belly button. Anastasia went ahead and let EVERYONE know that. "I have a baby brother now! And HE HAS A BELLY BUTTON NOW!!" Oh, the things that are wonderful to know when you are a couple months short of turning 4. So, something else I learned about boys... when they grow up, sometimes they are right about things. Things that seem scary and overwhelming when you are a mom of 3... things like completely re-arranging the kitchen on a Sunday afternoon. This is half of our little woodsy kitchen. Nick moved the fridge which was just beside the counter with the kitchen aid... and our little kitchen seems 10x bigger and I have lots of counter space for holiday baking! It was a great idea... but I was quite grumpy that Nick was rearranging things when we should have been decorating our Christmas tree. I am glad he had the vision. I couldn't see it...
So I can't believe how slowly time is quickly passing! Every day seems quite long yet weeks go by unnoticed. Today I pulled out the Playmobil Advent calenders... and I have a long list of holiday crafts and handmades to make before Christmas... 24 days left! Yikes! Hope you are all having a lovely time of preparing and enjoying this "most wonderful time of the year!"