Wednesday, December 28, 2011

happy holidays!

we'll be back to regular scheduled programming eventually, until then tis' the season for starbucks and extra family snuggles by the fire.

Friday, December 23, 2011

and then, you turned eight.

just before 3am, eight years ago on a cold seattle morning, the most beautiful soul entered this world. happy birthday to my oldest, zoella elana (zoe) aka zoebug. you are all the best moments of my life!

Monday, December 19, 2011

lately.

i have been really feeling the anticipation of christmas building today- i am excited for family, and liquor, and cinnamon rolls, seeing my kids open their carefully selected gifts, and laughing, and stockings. this week is killer too, even though it is filled with late till 1am shifts at work; the bigs are at their dad's till the 26th so it is just me and stella trying to fill our day - in the end i really do just a lot of removing the toddler from standing on the counters. are you all ready for christmas?
on a tangent, i am feeling so torn! we have tmobile but i have a jail broken iphone, which runs on tmobile's slowest network and doesn't have all the capabilities/functionality that it would with say at&t. but, i love my phone. i am up for a upgrade and i could get the samsung galaxy which is rumored to be one of the best phones out there, but it just isn't an iphone. is it totally weird if i said that if android would hurry and get on the instagram bandwagon i would switch back in a heartbeat? i think at this point all of my other favorite itunes apps are available in an android version. we are stuck with tmobile for awhile till our contract runs out - if i upgrade that sticks us for two more years. we can cross our fingers hard that tmobile gets the rights to the iphone soon but everything we read says there is nothing for certain, basically that it would screw at&t if they did because of their amazing plans/rates. ugh, what is a girl to do? #firstworldproblems
so, rant over and i am way behind on my weekly iphone link up but i want to share our going-ons anyway:

vote for our christmas card!

hey readers - we made it to the paper mama's Christmas card challenge top thirty and now we need your help! just follow this link and vote for #1 - hi, baby. and that is it! thanks so much and happy holidays!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

easy peasy cinnamon ornaments.

i am in love with this easy to-do ornaments, would you believe me if i told you we have already made them three times this week? that they saved us in a "i can't think of what to give our wonderful preschool teachers" pinch? well, it is all true. i know this or a version similar is something you have all done, but i want to share either way.
i love these for so many reasons: they smell delicious, they are so easy to do, very low budget, even the blonde can maneuver these with little help from me, great for little hand impressions, and they are very durable.
i made these totally different each time and each time they turned out perfect; once was because i didn't have enough cinnamon so i used ground cloves and then another just elmers glue because it is all i had - each time was fine, so i urge you to play around with it and see what results you like best.

the recipe that worked best for us in the end was:
1 c. cinnamon ( i bought in bulk at fred meyer as a much cheaper option)
1/4 applesauce

mix together till well blended with a rubber spatula the add:
1/2 c. elmers or craft glue

here is where i got down and dirty with my hands, no spoon was working for me and this was the best way to really knead all of the ingredient together - you will get pretty messy but a smooth blended "dough" is best.
i let the "dough" sit in the bowl for about 45 minutes before i rolled it out (if it hardens up to much wet it down to help get it pliable again) - i used a stone to roll it out on and the tiniest bit of flour mixed with some cinnamon on my stone and roller to prevent sticking; this part is pretty important because it sure does like to stick to your surface. i rolled it out to about 1/4 inch thick and then we used out favorite cookie cutters to cut out our ornaments. the original tutorial uses a template and xacto knife but either way is great! for a few we cut out round ones and pushed stella's little toddler hands in for some grandparents gifts.
the original tutorial says you can bake them (on 200 degrees for about 2 hours flipping half way) or let them dry flat - we did both and both worked great, however our air dried ones curled up a little bit but had a lot lighter more cinnamon coloring to them. either way smelled great though!

before the teacher's ornaments were sent off we whipped up some cute wrapping using some stuff we had around the house like glassine bags, kraft paper, buttons, and puffy paint. i don't have any pictures of the final product because after they were done drying rowan headed to my aunts for a sleepover where they painted then to add finishing touches - each teacher got two stars and a squirrel. i did see them when i picked rowan up and her teachers were gushing about how awesome they were!
 final step, clean kitchen.

using what i had, to wrap it up.

for some reason it is SUPER important to my dad that all gifts be wrapped to the nines (does that reference even work here?) but yet some how i always am the one who ends up doing it. i get putting extra love and attention into a wrap job, i really do - but i feel that it is a wasted effort on a group of small children who could care less if their present were wrapped in dirty underwear.
but i do it anyway and this year i did it with stuff i already had around the home! no last minute trips to target in search of a deal. i had already picked up one giant roll of paper from costco like i always do, it is double sided, sturdy, and gets the whole job done. before i got started i wandered around the house grabbing yarn, clothespins (which i haven't used yet), doilies, and more. then, thanks to pinterest i got the idea to enlist the help of my trader joe's holiday paper bags in my wrap job - they were exactly the last touch i needed!
i still need to wrap our gifts to the girls - same paper, but i want to do something different for the "little somethin' extra," i love the ideas i saw over at armommy on facebook and might have to try a few.
are you all done wrapping yet? did you do anything fun and different this year to really wow the recipients?

Friday, December 16, 2011

of course that just happened.

i needed to go into my room to get something, where the blonde was napping after a lot of protest. i tried to quietly operate the child cover on the door, nope it was all sorts of loud. then i tried to navigate the room to the bathroom doing a little better, nope i stepped a plastic bag on the floor, banged my retrieved item on the door frame twice, i stepped on some wrapping paper scraps, and the bathroom door creaked loudly when i pushed it open - i shot a quick glance at rowan and not even a stir out of her, i was safe. then trying to get out of the room my wrist cracks and she sits right up. what the heck.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

santa clause

can we just talk about this for a second? stella didn't like santa - i mean duh, she is almost two i should have known. except rowan never had a problem with him and stella is equally if not more easy going so i never even gave it a second thought. the second she started pouting i told the photographer to snap it - if she was gonna be upset then i am more than happy to document it, i mean this is what this age is all about right?
(plus, after what we went through at this age with zoe - i wasn't up for the challenge, the bubbles, the puppets, or trying to trick my kid - so tears it is.)

we braved the mall with tim, my sister, and our five kids between us to get our yearly photo with santa. last year was the first year in existence that me and my sister didn't get one but we are happy to carry on the tradition with our kids - nordstroms is where we have almost always gone and i am always happy with the result, even though i am a little bummed their one real beard santa was not there saturday. the photo i have of zoe with him is the best of all that i have so far.
the kids all did really great, minus stella's perfect pouting face ha! i can't wait to see the actual photo - i only hope rowan is making a little less of a poo face.
ok, is anyone else in total denial that christmas is in twelve days?

Friday, December 9, 2011

little shoes.

i just figured out how to make these nine dollar shoes last forever. 
these babies are going on two kids and look brand new thanks to finally finding the right glitter. no, i didn't go through three different kinds trying to find a match, you did. whatever, anyway i finally found the just right round flat glitter i needed to keep these babies kicking - i mean baby number four will probably want to wear them right? (ok, there isn't one coming yet and i know i said we were done but we have officially changed our minds) (this week).
these shoes have always been a favorite in our house, we have them in red (two styles), black, and silver and the kids are always asking to wear them - i love that they go with everything: dressy, jeans or leggings - so i am happy to find a cheap solution to keep them looking good.
ok, in this photo you can totally see where i fixed them but i promise you can't tell in real life, ha!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Mckinley Pauline Durfee

if you follow me on any social networking sites you know that i got a new niece last weekend on december 1st at 3:55pm, what a cool birthday 12/1 which is even color that her mommy's is 12/12...erie! after keeping us on our toes for twenty-four + hours of labor she made her entrance at 7lbs and 22 inches long, pure perfection.
my sister brought her over today to try and score some photos while she is in the floppy mold-able age of less that ten days old, it didn't go quite as planned - little miss wanted to be awake and play and anytime we would get her to sleep she would do great till we tried to get her nakey, she wasn't having it. hence why when we attempted a hammock/knot pose she is also swaddled :) a lot of them look the same, but i just couldn't throw out a single one with her expression changing by the second, it was so adorable.
i am really happy with a lot of what turned out - now i am off to whip up an announcement for her.
meet kiney p, the newest member of our family:

these last couple are from the hospital, i had forgot i had them on my camera and opened up the folder today to have a blaring placenta in my face while i was eating lunch, whoops! i will spare you that photo though, you're welcome.

can we just talk about how much my kid looks like mini me?

when stella was born people would go on and on (and on) how how she was a exact copy of tim, i totally saw it too. there is one picture at the hospital where he is holding her and it is frightening how similar they looked. as she got older i was confused who she looked for like - the easy answer was me because of her dark curly hair and dark brown eyes (thank god one of them finally got my curls!) but i wasn't convinced i could see it in her face. she without a doubt has tim's nose (again, thank god) but didn't look as much like him as she used to.
then the other day my aunt handed me a stack of old photos i had never seen and i about lost it - there it was, stella in all her 80's glorious-ness. not only all that jazz, but i was really excited about the photo of me and my grandpa, i am pretty sure it is the only one of us together left in existence that i have my hands on. it means extra to me now that he had passed a few years back and i think neither stella or rowan ever got the chance to meet him. my dad looks JUST like him though, in fact when we were all a little younger my little cousins would accidentally mistake him for grandpa, ha!
alas, i could not find the perfect photo for comparisson but these will do:

and then, meeeee!
you see it, right? i especially apologize for making you look at this last photo, not really sure what is going on here.

thanksgiving, a month later.

holy crap i have a cute kid. three of them to be exact, but can you even handle this photo?
these are from thanksgiving - i know i am way behind. we spent the holiday with tim's family at his uncles funky airstrip community house where we even had dinner in his garage slash hanger. it is the perfect space for the kiddos to play, they even got to ride bikes sans the pouring rain. add in some ping-pong and a pet parrot zooming all around it was a totally normal thanksgiving :) 
stella bounced around on laps ending up with uncle sam trying to help him finish his dinner - it was pretty stinking cute! i just think it would have been nice if tim had mentioned that my slip was way to long for my dress while he was taking these photos before we left, meanie.