Friday, January 7th, 2011

growing up WAY too fast

The other day the girls and I were on our way out the door when I realized (satisfactorily) that I needed a belt to help hold up my jeans. I told the girls to go wait in the car while I fetched my belt. Being the ever helpful daughter Annie suggested that I try some Pajama Jeans. Not one to miss humor I laughed aloud as I continued on my search. The comment was soon forgotten, and we went on with our daily activities.

Fast forward to this past Sunday at church. The adults were just convening for Sunday school, and I realized I needed my scriptures at the ready. Being the technogeek that I am, my scriptures are on my hi-tech phone. I innocently turned on my phone to get my scriptures app ready when all of a sudden my phone loudly blurts out, “Do you love stylish, SEXY jeans?” I couldn’t find the power button fast enough before the whole group of 40+ church-goers in the room turned to discover me and my foul-mouthed phone. As you can imagine, I was mortified, but the class had a good laugh and didn’t seem to be offended. Apparently, Annie had pulled up the Pajama Jeans website on my phone, so that she could show me later how much I needed to own a pair of my own. The website immediately launches the infomercial as soon as someone visits the site. In case you’re not willing or able to click the Pajama Jeans links, then I’ll include the informercial for your viewing. Enjoy!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFoGg_aJYkM

In order to make myself feel better about my big girls growing up much too quickly, I needed to see a picture of my cuddly baby. Violet still adores Mimi’s puppy Pillow Pet. She loves to just lay on top of it and snuggle. Mimi is still not pleased.

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

back on the saddle again

I have mixed feelings about the kids being back in school. On the one hand, it was nice having no schedule and being able to sleep in and decide at the last minute our plans for the day. On the other hand, my girls and I thrive on routine or else all heck breaks loose. The big girls constantly bicker, and I lose all motivation to do what needs to be done like the dishes, laundry, exercise, etc.

So the girls returned back to school on Monday, and things didn’t go smoothly, in the least. By today things were a little more on schedule, and there wasn’t as much chaos in the a.m. Who am I kidding though, even on a good day in the Hawley household there is always chaos. We are mostly females here, after all.

Before heading back to the daily grind we did manage to squeeze in one final hurrah. I treated the girls to a day out. We started off with a fun lunch at McDonald’s.

Then we headed over to Monkey Joe’s for some good, bouncy times. It was crazy busy so Violet didn’t get to try out all the sections like usual, but she still thoroughly enjoyed herself. I hardly saw Annie and Mimi the entire time once they got their shoes off. They immediately found friends from school with which to play. It was a great way to get all the wigglies out before having to go back to school.

Sunday, January 2nd, 2011

sledding while we can

On Christmas day we met up with the Johnsons for a little bit of sledding. The days leading up to the 25th we got dumped with snow, so we wanted to make sure to take advantage of it. We got another foot on the 26th, but then a heat wave melted almost all of the snow. Now we’re back to ugly, brown grass. I’m sure we’ll get more snow soon.

Here we are snowed into our driveway, but our kind neighbor did the neighborly thing and snowblowed us out.

The girls had a blast trying out new moves–on their tummies, on their feet like sled-dogging, and even backwards.

Of course, the kids had to go down together.

Here’s the whole gaggle of kids, but this sled didn’t move very fast. At all. So it required multiple pushes down the slope.

Violet couldn’t stand just waiting around and watching. She wanted her turn down the hill and required lots of rides. We don’t have an actual snowsuit for Violet, so I put a larger, fleece sleeper over her clothes. It actually worked out quite well.

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I hope we get more snow soon for the girls to keep sledding and playing in.

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

from ghetto to fab

Many of you have had to be visually assaulted by our living room sectional, and I apologize for that. For those of you who don’t know the story, then let me tell you. Approximately 1-2 months before moving from D.C. we purchased a sectional. I’m sure you are asking why I couldn’t wait until we moved to Wisconsin before purchasing a large piece of furniture. To be honest, I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to find what I had in mind locally, and I knew D.C. had tons of furniture stores from which to choose.

Not long after our move to Wisconsin we started noticing the fabric splitting apart in the cushions and many threads coming loose from the fabric. Within a few months most of the cushions had gaping holes in them with stuffing coming out. We had purchased a 5-year extended warranty that supposedly guaranteed the piece (of crap) no matter where we lived in the U.S. Apparently, the warranty didn’t kick in until after a year (something not told to us originally), so we had to contend with the furniture store directly. They immediately dismissed us as it being a problem they couldn’t (or wouldn’t) deal with since we were out of state. Oh, no you didn’t! So Mike and I proceeded to call the company’s corporate office several times a day for several days. The company finally relented and issued us a full refund.

However, now we were left with an almost new, structurally sound sectional that I actually love (and still love). With all the money being spent on other projects (stone patio, landscaping, painting, etc.), we couldn’t justify buying a new couch or getting it reupholstered. Instead we tucked some blankets into the cushions to cover them. It looked pretty ghetto, in my opinion, and drove me nuts especially when I had to constantly re-do the tucking and straightening. We have since decided that we’ll just rid ourselves of the sectional when we move and purchase something new when we move to SD. I actually want to get something essentially identical to our sectional because I really do love it so very much.

A couple of days ago the thought occurred to me that we will be selling this house soon, and that our ghetto sectional might turn off some prospective buyers. So I came up with the idea to make some cushion covers to temporarily make our couch look somewhat presentable. I headed over to the local Joann Fabrics and found the closest fabric to match. I essentially made box lids for each bottom cushion. I was a little worried about making them at first after the cushion fiasco of ’99 (we reupholstered an armchair and ottoman, but I had to have Mike’s mom make the cushions because I kept ending up with triangles instead of rectangles). My sewing skills have since been refined, and I now understand the tricks of sewing a 3D project. The project went very quickly and was finished before I knew it. To ensure that the covers stay on I safety-pinned them in inconspicuous places. I think they turned out great.

Just to give you an idea of what our cushions look like without any covers. Blech! These are the pictures we sent to the company, but the cushions are actually a lot worse now with holes every single one of the cushions.

Here’s what it looks like the with the blanket covers. Notice that Violet looks like she has an “outtie” belly button. That’s actually why I had originally taken the photo months ago. It turns out it was a piece of food leftover from dinner. Ha!

As you can see even Mike and Sadie like the new covers enough to take a nap.

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

jelly pride and other random snippets

While home for Christmas break Mike got busy making jelly from all the juice made this summer using our garden blackberries (and someone’s grape orchard). A few months ago I noticed we had no pitchers left to make beverages even though there were no beverages in our fridge. Upon further inspection I realized all those pitchers were housing the gallons of juice in the freezer that Mike had processed. As you can imagine, the juice containers took up quite a bit of space in our freezer. It was a relief when Mike finally had the time to make the jellies from all that fruit extract. In the end he ended up with about 35 pints of blackberry, grape, and blackberry/grape jellies. He was quite proud of his work and set up his own photo shoot.

Speaking of blackberries, Violet loves them. Here she is at lunch yesterday eating almost an entire container of blackberries.

In other news, we are truly grateful for neighborhood pals. Most of the days during break the girls have spent playing with their friends from the ‘hood. Even though the O kids were in my house most of the day yesterday including during lunch it made the girls quite happy and kept them OCCUPIED.

Lastly, I’ll leave you with some pictures of my pets. I got a new point and shoot camera recently and felt compelled to test out some shots of the animals. Lucy is looking really old these days. Somehow I think she will be with us until the end of days though. Sadie just looked so soft and cuddly last night that I had to get a picture. Mike wants to make mittens out of her paw fur. It would take a lot of Sadies to do that.

Yes, we got yet another P&S camera. Mike’s camera broke a few months ago, and I hated to finally admit that I never bonded with mine. I know a few people purchased the same camera as me based on my recommendation, so I apologize for misguiding you. It’s just that it was a bit too slow for my taste since I’m used to my SLR which has no delay. For some reason Mike’s was lightening quick which meant I usually grabbed his most of the time. When Mike’s camera went kaput it forced me to use mine more often which caused a lot of frustration. Mike “convinced” me that it would be a nice Christmas present for us to get a new camera. It just so happened that I already had my eye on a highly regarded compact camera. All the pictures in this post are brought to you today by my Christmas gift.

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

christmas cheer with tons o’ pictures

Finally, it was the day everyone had been waiting for. It couldn’t have been a better day for Christmas morning. The girls were quite delighted to wake up and discover that Santa had indeed visited our home. The mean parents made them wait until 8 a.m. to start opening presents, but it was worth the wait. Each girl got exactly what they had wished and written Santa for and were even more surprised to receive unexpected things.

Pretend UGG boots. This is all Annie and Mimi had been talking about for weeks, so they were quite thrilled to finally snag a pair. They light up, too.

Pillow Pets! Violet received a unicorn at Thanksgiving, and the girls have begging to each get one ever since. Unfortunately, once Violet spotted Mimi’s dog she wanted nothing else. Mimi was not pleased.

Santa was in on a little secret that 2 certain girls in our family have been obsessed with the store Justice which is not for little girls but BIG girls. Annie and Mimi were beyond excited when they received their various items from Justice. Those shirts and earmuffs haven’t left their bodies since Christmas. Yes, even today.

One of the final gifts for the girls were Zhu Zhu Pets. They are life-like hamsters that roam around your house and annoy pets and intrigue babies which then anger big sisters who do not want babies to play with them. The girls have said that next Christmas they want to get all the accessories for their “pet” hamsters. Ha, we’ll see if they last that long.

Violet was more interested in her cigar-sized pretzel. (Notice the Doggie Pillow Pet next to Violet–snicker).

Daddy was not thrilled about this present for Violet, but as you can see Violet LOVES it.

We hope everyone had as lovely of a Christmas morning as us!

Sunday, December 26th, 2010

figurines

As a way to get some of the squirrelies out of the girls I took them ice-skating a couple of times this past week. Our fitness club offered open skate every weekday, and I was glad to take advantage of it. The girls were able to practice their moves from lessons and also be silly. The first day we went with the Johnsons. The Johnsons have only skated a couple of times before, so they relied on the buckets and walls to help get them around the rink. The girls were happy to join in on the buckets of fun and were having races and doing other silly stuff with them.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KG0LGE7lax4

Saturday, December 25th, 2010

merry christmas

We wish you a happy, merry, lovely, grand, jolly, or just plain fun Christmas. Please do stay cozy and warm and make sure to drink lots of hot cocoa.

From our house to yours. Enjoy!


Monday, December 20th, 2010

flat baby and a christmas break

Today begins 2 weeks of having the big kids home all day. So far I’m at a loss of what to do with them. If it was summer, then I’d just kick them outside all day. However, the current weather only allows for minutes at a time to be spent outside. Any ideas from all you clever moms of what to do with these rowdy kids for the next several days?

This is what Violet thinks of her big sisters being home and making her share her mommy all day.

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

food network’s next stars?

It’s that time of year again when I put on an extra -cough- pounds. Part of this is due to the fact that we like to bake cookies for the Christmas season. A lot of cookies. Did I mention a lot? To kick off the annual tradition the girls made sugar cookies with their father this past Tuesday night. We made enough for 3 batches of 20 cookies each. Last night the cookies got frosted with that oh-so-addictive butter cream frosting. Now what I am supposed to do with 60 (minus (((2×4)+1/2)x3)) cookies sitting in my garage taunting me every single second of the day? Next up are butter fingers either tonight or tomorrow night. I will say that we do plan to make a plate of cookies to share with some families from our church, so all is not lost (or shall I say gained?) on my waistline.