Monday, December 22, 2008

The happiest place on earth not in my minivan in the insanely crowded Costco parking lot (I shall spare you the details of my crazy Costco shopping trip this morning).

Since our Disneyland annual passes expire this month, Air Boss and I took the kids to see the "land of black rodents" (our newly revealed code name for Disneyland - rendered useless by 'Shroom ) one last time.

We saw a bit of the fake snow they create with bubbles (I know you East Coasters, mid-Westerners, Northwesterners, and everyone else not in SoCal, Texas and Florida do not find the concept of fake snow amusing at all) and lots of Christmas decorations.

We had waited close to 11 months out of the 12 months we had the annual pass to ride "It's a Small World" boat ride again (shortly after getting our passes, they closed the kids' favorite ride to make major repairs). We noticed that the new boats were smaller and they would frequently skip rows in the boat if the Disney employees felt that certain boat occupants appeared to exceed the "average adult weight."

For the first time, we even saw the fireworks that start at 9:25 PM. Okay, so we didn't wait among the throngs of humanity for this magical spectacular moment. I figured that since the trams and parking lot structure get totally jammed up after the fireworks, we should watch the fireworks from the comfort and warmth of our Black Hawk (which conveniently was parked on the upper level with no obscured view of the sky).

We were home just after 10 PM - about the same time others were queuing up for the tram to take them to the parking garage.

Well, bye bye Mickey Rat and friends. It will be awhile before we see you again.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Octopi bus stop

Octopus home
Originally uploaded by radioflyer007
Well, after I had a bunch of armless octopi floating around the house, I finally got around to crocheting the 40 arms (for five of the beady-eyed creatures).

Lolli had lots of fun building a "shelter" for them. Now with their arms in place, they no longer look like peanuts.

Now they look like aliens trying to pass themselves off as octopi.

101 Uses for Placemats

Placement Bags
Originally uploaded by radioflyer007
#98. (cloth placemats) In a pinch, can be used as hot pads

#99. (waffle rubber 'mats) help loosen the stubborn lid of a pasta sauce jar

#100. (vinyl 'mats) protect tables from plants and occasional plant spills

#101. (cloth 'mats) make idiot-proof purses

I'll be the first to admit that I have no knack for sewing. If a button falls off a shirt, I learn to live with out (provided it's not revealing anatomical parts that should be concealed). Rather than hem pants, I'll cuff them even if it's a total fashion foible.

I totally did not inherit my mom's sewing inclinations. She made her own wedding dress and all her bridesmaid dresses. She made my prom dress. She's hemmed countless trousers, replaced many lost buttons, and even tailored my wedding dress.

Soo...when I found that there was a really simple way to make purses with placemats, I jumped on it. Well, as the picture proves, these placemat purses are indeed idiot-proof. I made four in one day with no pattern and no sewing skills.

I love how the coordinated napkins worked as handles and a contrast detail on the bag itself. It's the perfect size for holding a wallet, phone, keys, a small notebook and a water bottle.

Now, if only I can sew placemats into slippers for the kids...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

How many people can you fit in a...?

Framed Portrait
Originally uploaded by radioflyer007
This reminds me of my college days when the car to student ratio was about 1:437. And when a friend with a car (and back then, anyone who HAD a car was considered a friend) was going to the grocery store, the car had a minimum of 6 passengers . . . in a 3-door hatchback.

Well, today our old small groupies got together and we were able to jam 13 of us in one photo frame (not the 4x6 desk frame, mind you).

It was a good thing Air Boss was able to crop out the "excess" as what happened OUTSIDE the frame wasn't all that pretty.

Doesn't it look like we're having fun re-living the college years? =)

Our Family Christmas Photo...

Framed Portrait
Originally uploaded by radioflyer007

although this perhaps came out more fun and whimsical than our actual family photo. Why does Air Boss look like he's climbing out of the photo? and 'Shroom looks like he's barely IN the photo?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Like kids in a candy shop

Marking my own house
Originally uploaded by radioflyer007
This weekend, the kids and us adults participated in a fun gingerbread house decorating contest. 'Shroom and Lolli worked on their own house, Air Boss was assigned to a team of two people and I was assigned to a team of three.

The kids had a ton of fun smearing gobs of icing (pink, of course, for Lolli and red for 'Shroom). Even if you didn't know what Lolli's and 'Shroom's favorite colors were, you would be able to tell which half of the house Lolli decorated and which half 'Shroom--well, er--expressed creativity.

Since my decorating team was located out of eyesight of the kids, I kept glancing over to see how the kids were doing. Luckily Air Boss and his decorating partner were right next to the kids. Every third time I saw them, they had a different piece of someting in their hand or mouth.

I had to put a stop to the sugar intake. I didn't blame them for wanting to taste the sweets but there were TONS of candy and other "construction materials" too readily available to the kids.

It was after 9 PM and 'Shroom was just about to take a bite out of a cookie.

"'Shroom, no more sweets. That's enough for today," I told him.

There were plenty of people around and definitely within earshot. That's why a whole lot of people laughed when 'Shroom responded.

"Don't worry, Mommy. I'm not going to eat it. I'm just going to hold it with my teeth," he deadpanned.

I had to laugh, too. Must be the result of all the licorice I ate.

Friday, December 12, 2008

What was I thinking?!

Three's Company
Originally uploaded by radioflyer007
How hard can it be to crochet a few cute animal friends for some moms in my MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group? Since "small" was a key operative word in these creatures, I figured I could bang out an animal during one half-hour sitcom.

Haha. Joke's on me.

So, six hours later (not all consecutive hours), I have the head of one medium-sized octopus, eight arms (all detatched) and the head of a smaller-sized octopus (the medium-sized took too long).

Now 'Shroom and Lolli play with the octopus heads and call them "little peanuts." The medium-sized head has been nicknamed "pink peanut" and I've found myself referring it to by that name as I'm yelling out to the kids, "Where did you hid the pink peanut? Give it back to me!"

Well, I'm still going to have a go at it. I'm going to see if I can finish seven octopuses (or is it "octopi"?) with a total of 56 arms by this Thursday's meeting.

Maybe if I make them with only seven arms, no one will really notice. So that's only 49 arms. Sounds a little bit better.

BTW, why octopus for moms? Because we've all wished we had more arms.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

...and the winner is...

Originally uploaded by radioflyer007

...well, it was hard for me to decide since it wasn't a clean-cut right or wrong. There were a couple of detailed responses (and good ones at that), and one that was simply referring to a part of the house but didn't say why and how the buckets were used. "E" Hettinger has won the IKEA coupon because she had guessed correctly the application of the buckets. Here are the details on the buckets:

The buckets (there were 35-40 buckets in all) were not used for the concrete patio at all. They were staged there since all the flooring on the first level (carpet and linoleum flooring) got ripped up.

As you can see from the photo, we had hardwood floors installed. Part of the hardwood was installed directly on the concrete slab as opposed to the wood subfloors in the raised living room. Since they could only glue the wood to the concrete (and not glue AND nail the planks as in the living room), the installers had to rely on clamps to hold the planks tight against each other and heavy weight to ensure a tight bond between plank and floor.

That's where the heavy buckets with water came into play.

Soo . . . the buckets were used as weights. And why water in trash bags? I guess so it made transporting them easier (no sloshed water on wood floors).

Great guesses!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Puzzler of the Day

Color buckets
Originally uploaded by radioflyer007
During the nine days between closing escrow on our house and moving in, Air Boss had managed contractors (at one point, four different trades were represented in one morning) as well as rolled up his sleeves in countless DIY home improvement projects.

One morning, we noticed all these buckets lined with trash bags and filled with water on our back patio.

Can you guess what they were used for?

Answer will be provided tomorrow. First person to respond with the correct answer will be mailed a $25 off IKEA coupon.