Friday, May 31, 2013

Great week~

Hey all,

Sorry for missing a couple days there -- it's been a busy and wonderful week.

Firstly, Dash and I have been motivated to get movin' on our roller rink idea and Dash has been making calls, setting up meetings, and overall solidifying the visual schemes for The Rink (what we'd name it). It was a mixture of going to the Oaks Park Skating Rink in Portland on Monday that further fleshed out our standards for a rink. That, along with a naysayer who reminded me that some people just love to tell you that you can't do something -- not because they are trying to help you, but because they have their own confidence issues and just have to tear others down to make themselves feel better...

I've also been working a good/comfortable amount, but still finding time to bike/bus Ella to school, and enjoying the Indoor Park for the first time in forever.

This weekend is gearing up to be an awesome one too, so stay tuned for updates in that~!

Until then, take care and Happy Great Weeks!!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Hey, everybody!

Guess who's talking??
Well, not really so much. But a word that is outside the family-name register, for sure!
Here is William and his new word as of this week:

You all remember how much he loves cats, right?
Well, now he can alert us to when whether it's in a book or on the street!
As of this week, he is also more clearly calling for Ella by her name, though it often-times sounds like "La-la" which just so happens to be how her best friend, Clara, first called her too. Adorable~!

Anyway, I'll be sure to get that on video one of these days too. Along with the footage of him opening doors too...

Until then, take care and Happy Cats!!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Super Sunday~!

Hey everybody~!

Firstly, Happy Memorial Day.
Also!! I'd like to share with you the great Sunday that we had yesterday. It was just...really rejuvinating and stimulating and fun :)

It started off with letting Dash sleep in while I whipped up yet another pair of wool soaker pants (!!) and then a trip to Church with the kiddos. At the coffee hour following mass, I met another local translator and got to speak to a lady about creating more family-socializing opportunities. Man, the community at the First Presbyterian is so warm and welcoming :)

On the walk back, we came upon a moving sale where we scored a paper organizer for Ella's drawing station + loads of painting supplies (including palette knife, paintbrushes, and like 20 tubes/jars of acrylic paints of every color)...all for $7!! I swear, the folks that we bought them from were Hipsters with a capital "H". Like, the epitome of what a Hipster couple looks like and what they would collect (old records, kitch jewelry, and vintage dresses). But they were so nice to throw in all these other items that we asked about like a cassette tape, guitar strings, pens/pencils, and pencil holder. You gotta love garage/moving sales, amiright?

The paper organizer. Let's hope it keeps this space tidy!!
After that, we hung at home, did some cleaning/tidying, and a little more sewing/mending too!
Then we headed out as a family to hit up this really neat local restaurant deal. What we did was visit both of the McMenamin's restaurants in town, take snapshots of ourselves next to particular pieces of art in both locations, and we got free burgers and tater tots!! It was a great excuse to take a stroll around town, and a very generous offer by McMenamin's, don't you agree? It was a little chaotic with the two kiddos wanting to romp all over the place, but I didn't mind as much as I would if I was paying full price for a "restaurant experience" -- it just reminded me why we needn't be eating out until the kids are a little older (maybe 2+ for William because gosh that kid likes to run away!!).

Aaaanyway, it was all-in-all a really sweet day.
Until next time, take care and I hope you all had a Super Sunday!!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Homemade Bean Bags!

Howdy ya'll~!

I guess I'm on some kind of crafting streak because I'd like to share with you something else that I whipped up recently.
It's homemade bean bags!!

The notion of homemade bean bags first came to me when Ella Rose received some friend her friend Moses (crafted by his mama Brooke) for her 2nd birthday. They are so simple, yet lovely and SUCH a hit with the kids no matter what the age!! Kids can throw them without really hurting anyone/anything, and they can practice tossing them into a ring or bucket or something. They're just oodles of fun.

So last month I made my first set for a friend's 2-year-old, which I didn't take any photos of so I can't share those, but they had the Walking Dead Bears on them, which was fun :D

And I have to say I didn't follow any tutorial as they are pretty simple and logical. Pretty much they are like those heart valentines I made before, only square-shaped and filled with split peas instead of cotton fluff.

So here are the ones I just whipped up yesterday for a little 1-year-old's birthday party we are going to today. I hope he enjoys them and maybe even learns some simple shapes through them. Heh. There are 6 bean bags, with the shapes of circles, squares, triangles, crescents, hearts, and stars. :)

And off I go to the party now~!
Have fun and Happy Bean Bags~!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Wool Soaker Pants

Heydee, ho there~!

Today I got some long overdue crafting done for William...
They're wool soaker pants that he can wear over his cloth diaper to keep the wetness from wicking onto everything he sits on.

He looks a little dumbstruck/taken by surprise
I was having William go mainly cover-free so that if he wet his diaper I could know right away, signal it to him to reinforce the connection, and then change it promptly (all in the spirit of E.C.)...but William pees and poos a lot more than Ella ever did (or at least if feels that way) so this coverless method was leading to many a mishap that Dash ended up having to clean up.

We are back to covering him up a bit more. Plus the weather's taken a turn for the chilly -- brr!

You may recall that I've knitted some in the past, but when Ellie Rose told me that she crafts pants for her kiddos out of old sweaters, it struck me that there must be sweater-altering wool soaker solutions out there.

Hellooooooo, Pinterest.
This is the tutorial I followed to make the pants.
(And this is a tutorial I followed to felt the sweaters the best way possible. Highly recommended!)

The sweaters were scores from thriftstores -- I pretty much always keep an eye out for 100% wool items even when I don't know what I'm going to do with them. They're just so versatile and valuable!! And as the tutorial said, it didn't take me long at all~! They fit great, have some extra length to accommodate his inevitable growth, and do a fine job keeping William dry (feeling).

I discovered a tiny hold in the sweater (hence why it was in the thriftstore, probably) so I patched it with some leftover fabric like such:

He never knew I was taking a snapshot of his butt -- ha!!

William's lookin' pretty pleased in his new britches, uh-huh!


I'm aiming to make at least three more. And I already have one 1/2-way done, so off I go~!

Well, that's all for now.
Until next time, take care and Happy Wool Soaker Pants~!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Happy Birthday, Mamá!

Hi everyone.

Today my lovely mother turned 58.
If you met her, you'd never guess she was knocking on 60's door.
She is so vivacious, enthusiastic, trim, bubbly, and sweet as sugar -- she always says she feels like she did when she was 16. I hope I can say that too when I'm her age.
In fact, I hope I can be as happy as she is with her job, her partner, her friends and her overall place in life. She is the epitome of optimism and caring.

Happy Birthday to you, Mamá/Aba/Maggie~!!! ♡♡♡

Four generations. Taken last November.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Super Relaxing Days

'All 'allo,

Yesterday and today have been veeeeery relaxed days.
Like, the most relaxed for me in weeks.

On Friday, I brought the kids to the park to meet up with some Peach Blossom friends. The weather was a mix of rain and sun, but the kids still had a great time. The slide, in particular, was the center of attention for Ella who used to be really fearful of it. So that was a good hurdle crossed~!

At home, I gave them a warm bath, warm lunch, and then nursed William to sleep while Ella went off to play at her friend's house for the remainder of the afternoon/evening. The entire time that William slept  (4 hours!!!) I just lounged in bed next to him watching shows on Netflix. Namely, Bob's Burgers and Archer. Not classy at all and completely indulgent. And I loved it!! :D

Then dinner was pizza, and I helped myself to Dash's chocolate stash + wine...and was asleep by 9:30. Can anyone say "well rested"??

On Saturday, the weather was just as crummy, but after a whopping pancake breakfast (by yours truly), I biked the kids to this "Disaster Preparedness Fair" held at a local elementary school where we built an earthquake-proof structure made of straws and tape; scored some flashing red bike lights; and generally had a good time. At home, I was determined to have a repeat of yesterday's convenient events, and so tried to "bathe and dine" William into another long no avail! >_< It was literally the first time I've ever "fought" to get William asleep, and that's all I devoted myself to from 2pm until 6pm when we finally had dinner. I'd still count it as relaxing, though, since most of the "fighting" involved lying in bed and trying to persuade William to join me.

You know what made it so difficult? It's that William can all of a sudden reach/manipulate the door handle to let himself out of the room even when I've shut the door firmly!! Before, he would pull on the door stop if it was a slightly ajar, but otherwise would be trapped in the room when I closed it completely. I will videotape him doing it to show it as proof. @_@

Oh! I should mention that I did get to do this nifty project with Ella that involved making music with ordinary drinking glasses:

Food coloring made for a rainbow~!

I was inspired by something I saw in Turtle magazine which we had checked out from the library. With some glasses, water, and a spoon, your kiddo can not only make cool music but learn about the relationship between speed of vibrations and pitch of sound.

To cap off the day, William fell asleep early at 8pm and I was able to continue watching Archer on Netfllix until midnight. God, such a crude show but with dialogue I find so hilarious~~~

And so rounds out a very relaxing couple of days. I really ought to take better advantage of William's sleeping time to get things done on my ever-growing To Do List... But I think I deserved at least two days of utter and complete indulgence. Don't you?

How about ya'll? You been keeping it relaxing too? Maybe it's the sudden shift in weather from summery to autumn-like again, but however you are choosing to spend it, do what is best to take care of yourselves, ya' hear? ;)

Until next time, take care and Happy Super Relaxing Days!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Drive Less Connect!

Hey, everybody!

I have some cool news to share with you~!
For the past two weeks, I've been participating in an "alternative transportation" campaign in Corvallis called "Get There!" that uses Drive Less Connect to track your trips and challenge yourself to take alternative means rather than driving or at least driving solo. It shows you the benefits of using non-automobile methods of transportation from money saved, to pounds of CO2 avoided, to gallons of gasoline conserved.

Being a freelancer who works from home, by logging all of my "teleworking" sessions, I have apparently saved $9000 on gas and over 25,000 pounds of CO2! Hurray!!
Also, I've been even more dedicated to walking, bicycling, or taking the bus despite our recent car purchase.

I think this is a great campaign that more local communities should try to adopt.
And they even sweetened the deal to participate by having daily prize drawings and giveaways.
I don't know how many Corvallis members have been logging their trips, but I had the good fortune to actually be a winner~!

I won a bicycle helmet from Corvallis Cyclery - yay local business!!!! :D

My current helmet is at least 7 years old and has been dropped so many times I have been doubting its effectiveness in protecting my skull...
Don't get me wrong, I won't be trashing it when the new one comes in, but it will be nice to have a real legitimate helmet that I keep in good shape and can wear with confidence. :)

Thank you to the folks from the Get There! campaign~! :)
I will be posting about the helmet when it comes in too.
Until then, take care and please Drive Less & Connect!!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Sailor Chibi-Ella!


These days, Ella Rose and I have really been into read the Sailor Moon manga (English), and a Sailor Moon kids' book (Japanese) that we checked out of the library.

So today we decided to theme her outfit as a Sailor Scout!

Is it just me, or does she look a lot @.@
Sailor Chibi Moon is her favorite these days, so we mimicked her pigtails and pink outfit.

And then check out this great post Ella Rose struck...just like a certain sailor scout!!! Eh?? :D


That's my daughter~! :)

And the earrings we put on her jingled so she ended up calling herself "Sailor Bell".
I just love the themes this girls comes up with for her daily attire...

Until next time, take care and Happy Sailor Chibi-Ella!!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Mother's Day Celebration

Greetings one and all~!

Happy belated Mother's Day to you all.
Yesterday, Dash treated me to many a good thing in honor of my motherhood ;)

Firstly, we had french toast for breakfast -- made extra special because he used heavy cream in place of milk, and farm fresh eggs that our friends dropped off for us (30 in all~!) Gorge fest~!!!

Then, we went to church which is always refreshing~~~

After that, we had a picnic lunch at a friend's house and Dash ordered sushi from a Japanese joint downtown. Sushiiiii!!!!!!!!!!!! It was a fun time and just how I'd wanted to spend the day. :)

Despite how great it was, I don't have any photos from that to share.
Today, I am going to share with you what Ella Rose's preschool did in honor of all the mamas last Thursday.

We were invited to come at 12:30pm and this was the sight that greeted us:

The walkway strewn with pink and white blossoms~!
Passing through the gate, we then entered the backyard where all the children were seated in a large circle and chanting a beautiful song about mamas. Truth be told, I don't remember the words, but it was lovely and meditative and already had me wanting to tear up. Such a lovely scene, all the children sitting on the sun-dappled grass, holding corsages that then pinned to us when we settled in next to them.

This was in the center of the circle. Just a lacy cloth with blossoms sitting on top~~
After we got our corsages, they then treated us to peach tea and scones they had baked especially for us!

The table of goodies, complete with bouquet in vase~!
I favored the lemon-poppy seed scones
There was some more singing, though I don't remember when that happened...
Either way, after we'd eaten, Ms. Christine passed around all the gifts that they children had so lovingly made for us. They were wrapped in beautiful tissue paper and tied with yarn:

Ella could barely keep from spilling the beans about the contents.

And look what was inside!

Laminated bookmarks featuring Ella's art!
And on the back sides...

Quotes of what Ella Rose wishes for me ♡

 In case you can't make them out, they read as follows:

- I wish that all the friends in the whole wide world are safe.
- I wish for my mom to have a safe and warm garden like she wants to.
- My wish that I'm happy even when I'm lonesome about my Mama and Daddy.

As you can imagine, they were making me pretty teary to read~~ ;_____;
So precious and something that I will definitely hold onto for a long long time (aka forever)
We went around the circle of mamas and children to have everyone read aloud one of their child's wishes, and they were all pretty darn cute.

And to top it all off! The mamas were also presented with scarves that the children had dyed all by themselves in colors that they knew their mamas would love. Hence the pink/purple/blue beauty you see below~

I love scarves~!

I felt bad that I immediately had to flee to do some work, but I wore the corsiage Ella had made me in my hair and thought often and fondly of her until I got to see her again.

I love this girl ♡♡♡

Thanks for making that funny scowl for our finale photo, Ella!!

Well, that's all for now.
I hope you all had a lovely Mother's Day and have another great year of parenthood.
Until then, take care and Happy Mother's Day Celebrations!!