Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Slippers & Hats

A few months back I bought this book, Weekend Sewing. The reviews for this book are not great, but there are a lot of neat sewing ideas, so I figured it was worthwhile. A lot off the issues people had with the sewing patterns was the sizes were not coming out correctly, or omissions in the instructions. The good thing about sewing things yourself is that you can make adjustments to fit your size, and if most of the instructions are there, I can usually figure out the next step.

I decided to try making the slippers first, and they turned out well. I made size medium (7-8), and they are a little small for me, so I will make the large size next time. My feet are really size large (9-10) anyways, but they are so skinny I usually need a smaller size so they don't fall off my feet.































Faye has already asked for a pair - now I just have to really scale them down!


My other recent project -The Apple Hat...



Alex has been asking me for a red hat. He has been a little chatterbox lately, telling me all sorts of things. It really is fun when your little one starts to talk and you can have an actual conversation.

He's rolling his eyes here, one of his new favorite things. I caught him in the bathroom a few days ago, looking in the mirror and making faces, then giggling at himself.

Monday, August 30, 2010

School lunches

Since there are very few days with vegetarian lunch options at school, Faye and Drew will be taking their lunch almost every day. I got them each a Laptop Lunch Box, and they are working out great (well, the kids were having a little trouble getting them open, but I think they've figured that part out now)!

The lunchboxes contain 4 individual boxes to put different items, or you can leave them out if you have one or two bigger items. There is one larger container with a lid, so I can put applesauce, pudding, or soy yogurt for the kids, and one small condiment container for salad dressing/ketchup/whatever you need. There is a space for silverware, and then it all goes into an insulated carrier with room for a water bottle. I first saw these lunchboxes on a vegan blog when reading about how much waste there is from a typical kids lunchbox - plastic baggies, individual containers of pudding/applesauce, etc. With these lunchboxes - I don't have to buy any prepackaged items, so less waste!!















They have been eating PB&J for lunch everyday, but I've been trying to add some 'fun' things as well. Today it was carrot flowers...



















My kids love carrots, but are not so fond of plain old cucumbers. They like pickles, but I've yet to get them to eat plain cucumbers. When I showed Andy my creation this morning, he of course doubted that the kids would eat it. He was WRONG!! Drew ate all of his cucumber/carrot flowers, and Faye ate all but one, which she then finished at home.

If you know of any cute lunchbox ideas pass them my way please!!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

School drawings

The 1st week at school, the kids worked on making books about themselves. They were asked to draw a picture of themselves, a picture of their family, one of their friends, and a picture of their teacher and school. The kids had a lot of fun drawing these pictures and telling me about them.

I haven't seen the pictures they drew at school, but Faye drew this one at home this morning...















Drew also made a picture this morning....















They are such cute pictures... I especially like how they both drew Velvet our dog!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Our new car!!

Our new car!!!















OK, so it is not actually new, but it is new to us. It is a 2002 Mercury Sable Wagon. Yep, that's right, 2002! We have a car from the same century! It is really clean and nice, and drove like a brand new car, or at least what I imagine a new car would be like. It does have leather seats, and being vegan we had to really consider whether we could own a car with leather seats. Andy is looking into seat covers so we at least don't have to see the leather and think about it all the time. It may seem strange to others for us to not like leather, but to me it seems weird to be sitting on dead animal skin. It just seems so gross when you think about it.

I never imagined myself actually driving a station wagon, but when you have a family of 5 and a large dog, a small car just won't work, and we weren't impressed with any of the used mini-vans. The kids all fit in the second row, but there is 3rd row seating in the back, facing backwards. The kids are so excited about this car - they could have played in it all evening.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Update on our van

I was in a minor accident on Tuesday afternoon. Alex and I were on the way to the store, stopped at a red light, and a girl rear ended the van. She hit us fairly hard, so I am guessing she was either talking on the phone or texting. Do you talk or text while driving? It is very dangerous, and if I had seen her with her phone in hand after we pulled over I would have been very angry. You may not have small children, but the person you hit while texting/talking may. Do you want to be responsible for injuring a baby or child? Or anyone? Please don't text and drive!!! It is not worth it!

We were both fine, but I had a killer headache the rest of the evening. Alex slept through the accident, only waking up for a minute when she hit us. I asked him later if he heard a bang, and he said, "big bang, mommy." He was a little cranky that evening too, but it is hard to tell if it was from the accident or just from being a 2 year old.

I took the van in for an estimate on Friday morning. The inspectors only did a visual estimate, but the damages were well over $2,000. They are guessing there is more damage, but they can't tell without removing the bumper. Our van is a 1995 Toyota Previa, so as you probably already know, the insurance company said it was totaled. We are now searching for a 'new' van, and we'll have to find something quickly or I'll be doing a lot of walking and the kids will be riding the bus to school.

Here is the drivers side - you can see the bumper is hanging off a little bit. We can still drive it for now, but it makes some crazy noises.















The passenger side with the bumper also coming loose...















The middle of the bumper is pushed way in, but I couldn't get a good picture.

1st day of Kindergarten

Today was the 1st day of Kindergarten and my kids were ready!! Faye has been counting down the days for the past week (and maybe even the past year). Drew also seemed very excited to start school. I knew there would not be any crying or tears on their part - but I wasn't so sure about myself. Sure they have gone to preschool for the past 2 years, but that was only part-time. This is full-day Kindergarten! They eat lunch at school - that is huge!

Faye ready for school...



















Faye's new backpack...



















And check out these new rainbow shoes....














Drew decided to wear a Mario shirt for his 1st day - no surprises there...



















He looks so sad here, but it was just starting to get sunny...



















It was a little chaotic at the school this morning, so I didn't get a good picture, but here they are walking in with their teacher. You can just spot Faye's pink backpack, and Drew is behind her with the blue backpack. They had so much stuff to carry they could barely walk!



















What could be better than a giant vegan chocolate chip cookie and milk after school?!




Wednesday, August 18, 2010

more trips...

Andy is doing his best to wear us all out on what we are now calling our staycation. We made another trip to the Putt Putt Zone this afternoon. The Champster won of course, but I wasn't too far behind today. We planned it so Alex would be sleeping while we played our mini-golf and that worked out wonderful! Then we were off to Lake of the Woods in Mahomet.

It was a really warm and sunny day. We toured the botanical gardens first. Isn't this the best tree you've ever seen? I really would love to have this tree in my backyard.


















Alex found a pine cone on our nature walk... he was really pleased with himself.























Drew posing for a picture. I don't know what is with this kid lately, but he keeps asking me to take his picture. He used to run anytime I got the camera out. Now he poses and then yells, "Mom, take my picture!"






















Drew posing again. This one I love so much. He has a really somber face, standing on a big rock, with a Mario shirt on - it doesn't get any better than this!



There is also a tower with 6 flights of stairs here. You can climb to the top and there is supposedly a really nice view, but it was under repair. We were all a little disappointed, but we'll definitely be going back again.

The Champster

Since we've had a crazy summer and were unable to actually plan a summer vacation, we've been doing vacation-like things around here. What do you always see when you go on vacation?  Putt Putt!

The kids had never played mini golf before so it was a little chaotic.  By little I mean very chaotic.  Most of the chaos was of course coming from Alex, who ended up being carried on my back about halfway through the course.






























































Andy was doing well at mini golf, as he usually does at this sort of thing.  When it was his turn, Faye and Drew started calling him 'The Champ'.  Faye even started chanting, "Champster, champster...."  They think their daddy can do anything and that he is the best - and I am so glad they do have such an awesome dad. Not everyone is so lucky!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Indiana State Fair



We spent the day yesterday at the Indiana State Fair. Why Indiana and not Illinois? Andy planned the trip, and if you know my husband, you know he searches for deals. He LOVES to find good deals or reduced prices. In Indiana we only had to pay admission fees for me and Andy, and they had $15 wrist bands to ride all the Kiddie rides from noon until 10pm. If you've ever gone to a fair in recent years, you know that they charge ridiculous amounts of money to go on the rides. For all of us to ride the ferris wheel one time, it would be $20.

Of course the ferris wheel was not included in the kiddie rides, so we didn't get to ride it, but there were a lot of rides to choose from. Alex could only go on one ride by himself, the rest he was not tall enough so he required an adult to ride with him - lucky me. After a couple rides I tried to talk Andy into getting a wristband so he could spin and spin and spin in circles, but I think he liked watching my face turn green.

This was the worst ride - the kids would get this spinning so fast I literally could not see straight, but they had so much fun!


















These cars went ridiculously fast for a kiddie ride!


















This is my favorite picture.... they loved it!


















Here was Alex's favorite ride...he could ride by himself and drive! What more could a 2 year old ask for?














We did walk around for a little bit and found another kid area with a play farm. The kids had to do farm chores, including planting seeds, feeding a cow and pig, driving a tractor, and milking a cow(all pretend of course) and at the end they got $1 to spend at the store - my kids each bought a chocolate chip granola bar. They had a lot of fun with it and look how cute they looked!



































We thought the kids would be tired and we'd make it home by dinner, but nope - they wanted more rides. We took a little break indoors to relax and cool off in the Farm Bureau building. There were tractors and a barn of course... and somehow both kids fit into the barn.






















We stopped by the rodeo, but the kids were anxious to ride some more rides. We got out of the fair just in time to have dinner before every restaurant closed and made it home by midnight!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Playdates

The kids have been enjoying play dates with their friends Savannah and Maddie this summer. When I mentioned they would see their friends today, Drew told me, "they are not my friends mom, they are my Best Friends!" Awww... They have so much fun together.

Playing Wii at our house yesterday morning.... they are all concentrating so hard!















Playing at their house today... after playing outside in the sprinkler.




































It took me at least 30 minutes today to get my kids into the van to go home. They did NOT want to leave, but I told them we would play again. Of course, Drew asks, "Tomorrow?"

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Look who we found today!

I took the kids to get a haircut this afternoon. They were all looking a little crazy so it couldn't hurt to get them a trim before school starts. It was Kid's Day at the salon, $9.95 haircuts for kids. It still seems like a lot for about a 5 minute haircut, but oh well. I can do the clippers, but other than that I will not even attempt to cut hair.

Andy told us that Mario happened to be at Schnucks.... so we had to go check it out after.























Eating their suckers and getting their photo with Mario = Happy Kids!!

A trip to see the bears

On the way...


















At the Kids Zone...



















Crying after he was told the Kids Zone was for kids 4 - 12 years old...



















Faye going down the slide...















And Drew....















The one thing Alex could ride.... it just happened to be his favorite thing!















I rode with him a few times, but then he told me, "No, Mom watch me." He is getting so big....















We did actually notice that the Bears were practicing....















but the kids found something more entertaining - jumping in the sand from the long jump.















Alex posing while Andy and the kids checked out the gift shop...



















Posing with their new hats....















Practice was almost over and it was still so hot! Just waiting on the fireworks...