Wednesday, December 31, 2008

closing out 2008

I didn't do a traditional Christmas post this year, what with the traveling to Vegas and what not. I also didn't take many pix, or blog much...I just was present in the moment and absorbed it all in. Besides, exactly how many pictures of the top of the kids' heads opening gifts do I need?
Holiday in review-
my neice Isabelle reluctantly wearing the hat I knit for her.
I had better luck with Emma & Olivia. I give up on the perfect picture in my mind of the five of them wearing their hats. Not gonna happen.
Em & Bart. Yes, she is wearing a bathing suit. We were getting ready to hot tub.
Em & Ev putting together their icoaster. It's a magnetic marble track that you can hook up to an MP3 player. Very cool.
Mom & Ev taking a reading break. Not content to sit near me, he has to sit on me.
woo-hoo...we got iPod Nanos!!!!
our tree, before the presents were attacked.
Christmas morn
Ev & Grammy Sandy
Bart, Emma & Uncle Greg on Christmas Eve.

I really was lazy as  far as pictures go. And you don't notice it until after the moment is gone for good, and you can't get it back. I meant to get many more people pix, but I didn't.
The kids got a ton of great gifts (big surprise there) even though everyone is scaling back.
They both totally dig their iPods and spend every waking moment with them in their ears. Evan has a slew of new Wii games that he has been playing non-stop. Bart's been working on some home projects that he's wanted to get to for awhile, & I have been reading, knitting, & sleeping in. well, I have also been doing constant laundry, picking up after kids, & cleaning the kitchen but those things aren't fun to talk about! I'm counting the days until school starts again.
Happy New Year to everyone!!!!!

Monday, December 29, 2008


So when I last left off, I was spending the day with my friend Jan, running Evan to soccer practice, dropping the kids off @ Gram's house, and planning on having a nice, quiet dinner with my husband for our anniversary.

That's when things got crazy!

To make a long, involved story (somewhat) shorter, we didn't go to where we had originally planned to go...instead we went to Buca Di Beppo's... where our entire family was waiting to have dinner with us. Surprise! I was truly surprised, as evidenced by my big gaping maw and the fact that I couldn't put together a coherent entence. "When did you...?" "How did the..." "Where did the kids..." Bart had everything planned out to the smallest detail (except for the fact that the restaurant was NOT crowded and they crammed a party of 14 people into a space that would comfortably hold 10, but let's not go there...) We had a fantastic meal and lots of laughs and good conversation and wine and tiramisu. Then it was gift time!
I open a package that contains a booklet and a flashing Vegas card. It says we are leaving for Vegas first thing in the morning and that every detail has been planned for us to stay for 4 days. 4 days. Right before Christmas. Needless to say, I pretty much lost my shit right there. Who plans to leave home for 4 days before a big holiday? Bart does, that's who!
The kids were staying at my dad's, the dog was staying at the in-laws, pack your bags and we leave bright and early.
Except for the biggest snowstorm we've had in Michigan in years.
It didn't delay us too much, but it did throw a wrench in the plans. School was cancelled. Driving was terrible. They didn't delay the flight so we still had to be at the terminal at the same time. I'm sure you won't be surprised if I told you we did not leave on time. They lie.
But we made it there, 2 days after they had their first snowstorm in 30 years. Snow in Vegas!

I could write for hours and hours about all the things we saw and did, but instead I will give you a few of the highlights and some pix.
New York, New York, our first night of exploring. It was awesome.
Having cocktails on 'island time' @ Tommy Bahama's cafe. We had a wonderful dinner there and did some shopping in a super cool outdoor mall. I had a mojito. Or two. Check out all the rum up above the bar. I was in heaven.
shooting down the strip from a crosswalk. Some of the images are reversed, because they were actually reflected in the glass behind my head. The evenings were beautiful.
fancy tree @ the Town Square shopping mall. There was the cutest little Norman Rockwell Santa hit, with families lined up for pictures. I wished E & E were there!
hey, it's Elvis! I knew he wasn't dead.
palm tree, Christmas tree. It never gets old! If you look closely, you can see some snow in the background.
the Monte Carlo, our hotel. It's holding up pretty well. Not the fanciest, not the cheapest. Almost right in the middle of everywhere we wanted to go. Also the home of the AADA (American Association of Dodgeball of America). Damn I love that movie.
here we are on a gondola ride in fake Venice with our very authentic Italian gondolier. He sang us songs and talked to us for a long while. It was dreamy. And less smelly than the real thing!
The Bellagio's famous fountains. You could sit there and watch them all day. Wonderful.
And lastly, here I am, a big winner @ slots. I won $19.19 on the Sopranos machine. we spent $20, so we came out even. Note to self: lose 25 lbs. ASAP.
We saw 2 shows while there-Jersey Boys and Mystere. Both were stunning and awesome and cool beyond belief. If you ever get a chance tos ee either show, do it!
We walked and ate and walked and rode the duece and walked and shopped and eat and shopped and napped and shopped and walked. It was exhausting.
We came home on Monday night and basically had one day to finish all the Christmas prep I thought i would have 5 days for. I didn't finish everything I wanted to do, but It was worth it.
Happy 15 th to my sweetie!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Fergie & Hermit

Last night I was very excited to watch the Muppets 'letters to Santa' Christmas show. When I was a kid we watched them faithfully every week, as a family. The Muppets never failed to get a laugh or two from even the crabbiest youth.
Em & Ev went outside to play in the snow a little after 7:00 (yeah, it was dark. Whatever) I called them in at 8:00 to watch the show with me. Em came right in. Ev took a bit longer (big surprise!) We're sitting in the living room already watching the show when Evan walks in, and says "Look, it's Fergie".
"What did you say?"
"It's Fergie, the pig"
I know I had a most confused look on my face at this point.
"Where did you get the idea her name was Fergie?"
"Hermit called her Fergie."
Okay, what now?
"Who is Hermit?"
"Hermit the frog. You know."

I know it's not nice to laugh at your children, but I just about busted a gut.

"Kermit the frog called her Miss Piggy. Not Fergie."
"oh. Really?"

another childhood memory stomped to shit.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

more fun gifts ideas

Get out your credit's time again for fun and completely unnecessary gift ideas, courtesy of she-who-has-too-much-time-on-her-hands.
All of today's finds can be purchased at Hipster gifts

first up is the chew by number gumball kit. I wish the GIF would have traveled; but only the JPG did. It's a lovely sight to behold. The kit comes with many diferent brands/flavors of gum, which you chew and then stick onto the canvas. Perfect for those newlyweds who need some art for their new home!
It's never too early to start thinking about Valentine's day either, since we're shopping! For your lover, a bean plant with the words 'I love you' stamped onto the sprouts. Guaranteed to grow 2 bean sprouts. How do they do it?
For your girlfriend, a bra made out of candy! A treat for her, and a treat for you!
For the pet enthusiast, we have the goldfish training school. I can't imagine anything more satisfying than teaching Goldie how to shoot on goal!

And last, but not least, is the head spa. It's like a thousand fingers massaging your scalp all at once, and you look darn cool wearing it too!

Thank you Hipster gifts, for making our world a funner place to live!

Monday, December 15, 2008

just a quickie...

Busy getting things ready for Christmas
just a drive by post to show off the cute Santa I received in a swap
I totally love him. I want to make him some friends.
Hope you are staying warm!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

there's a new girl in town

Meet Pepper, the new addition to our family! She came to live with us on Monday. Bart will be driving her until April, and then she will replace the H3 and be the new PPRDIVA.
(That is the plan anyway. If GM goes bankrupt and Bart loses his job, or if they take back the company cars, then Pepper will probably move on and we start from scratch. But we are hoping that none of these will ever happen)
she's a bright chili pepper red, hence the name. Emma names everything, and Pepper seemed to fit. She's a peppy little thing. Tan leather interior, heated seats. I can plug my iPod into the dash. All good things.

SO the countdown is officially on...the H3's days are numbered. Bummer. For as much as I don't really care about what I drive, I really love that stupid Hummer.
Have a great Saturday!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas concert & odds-n-ends

Emma's concert was great, as far as these things go! They played 6 songs and were done in 20 minutes...we spent more time chitchatting than the actual concert was. Perfect length of time. There are 130 musicians in the 6th grade, so there were approximately 400 people there to witness the festivities. We couldn't see Emma at all, because she is in the second to last row by the percussionists. I am amazed at how good they were.Most of these kids had never touched an instrument before this year, and they've only been playing since early October. All that practice has paid off! Here she is with her BFF Anna.
I have spent the last 3 days in a flurry of Christmas activities. Baking 2 days (the girls have been helping me so it's been fun), filling out cards, decorating the tree (Finally!), working on knit gifts and panicking because there are only 12 days left. ACK! How did that happen?
I am so not ready. But I am so ready for it to be over!
Happy Friday!!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

FO-Emma's Christmas hat & mitts

Another one off the needles! Whew. Time is closing in and I still have so many things going. It feels good to finish another project :)
A hat & fingerless mitts set for Emma, in her favorite color. I ordered this yarn especially for her. The colorway is Happy Forest, and it has tiny flecks of silver stranded throughout.

Here's a great detail shot fo the hat. It's a pretty basic cabled pattern That I liked and wasn't hard to follow. I used fingering weight (sock yarn) so I had to hold 2 strands throughout the project so that it would be warm enough.

The resulting fabric is nice and thick, without being overly warm. I think she will love it!

Monday, December 8, 2008

i got a lot of nothing

I slept three hours last night.
The house was 55 degrees when the dude came to repair the furnace.
And I got my Christmas card photos from Costco today.

Baby, it's cold inside

Today was a swell day! We spent the afternoon downtown, watching the Nutcracker Ballet and having lunch at a Cuban restaurant. See, Detroit doesn't totally suck; we do have a few redeeming qualities.
Bart won tickets a while back to the Opera House, and the only thing I could bear watching is the Nutcracker (not a  BIG opera fan).  He was able to get additional tix for the rugrats, and for the family matinee today. Family matinee = many many kids. During the first act they were pretty quiet, but the game was up in the second act. Lots of fidgeting, wrinkling of treat bags, and question asking.
*complete change of topic here* I do feel the need to mention that the ballet was beautiful. Oh so beautiful. And I really wanted to love it, but ballet is a little how do i put this delicately... boring. BO-RING. Apparently there is not enough going on to keep my mind from focusing on the fact that there were lots of guys in tights with fabulous asses. And lewd jokes about nutcrackers. I wanted to lean over and whisper to the girl next to me "I wonder why they call this the NUTcracker ballet. Check out those tights". She was 6.
So I'm glad I went and please don't ever invite me to go again because I will gouge my eyes out with a dull spoon.
Here are a few crappy pix from the day. No enthusiasm here, either. They don't let you photograph any of the interesting stuff.
Ems and the reindeer they forced to greet the children. Don't they look like they are having fun?
Bart & the kids before the show. Trying oh so hard to not use the flash and failing.
this turkey won't even look at me. That's the last time I give birth to him!
Lunch was pretty great...we went to Vincente's cuban restaurant. Do not even think about ordering a sandwich of any kind on the weekend, because you will be SOL. We ended up with 3 different tapas, which were delish. I had a mojito. we even had dessert,a cake called tres leches. It may be the tastiest thing I ever ate.( I immediately looked up a recipe so I can make it.) Dessert and drinks at 2 pm? Now we're talkin'!
We came home to realize that it was cold. Evidently our furnace has stopped giving us the heat we require to NOT FREEZE OUR BUTTS OFF. We're all bundled up like eskimo. And the family is sleeping with the oven on. Watch for us on the news.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

merry ho ho!

We are spending the early part of the day decorating the manse before we head out to Ev's soccer game. Emma was helping find burned out bulbs...
...and Ben was helping. Or something. It's what cats do.

ahhhh, these ones are warm!
For an old furball, he's still pretty playful!

Friday, December 5, 2008

FO-hurricane hat

Just a little quickie...a hat to match the sweater I showed a few weeks ago.
I love the color of this yarn, and since I used so little of it on the sweater, I knew I wanted to make an accent piece to match. And it gave me an excuse to buy the nifty pompom maker I had been eyeing at JoAnn's.

the color is better represented in the top photo. Stupid sunlight. Or lack of sunlight. This week has been particularly gloomy & overcast, Not good for taking flattering pix of kids or knits.

Tonight I'm going out to dinner with my Bunco friends. To an actual restaurant. To one that probably doesn't have a kids' menu. As much as I love the little darlings, I must admit to being excited to have a meal and not worry about what they are eating (or not eating) and answering Evan's endless questions.
Have a good weekend!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I'll take two, please

The season for giving is upon us! Let me share with you some of fun gift ideas I have found while browsing the web. You can thank me later!

This one is called 'The Wine Rack'. You can store a bottle of wine in your bra. Courtesy of  Baron Bob
who wouldn't want this lovely calendar? For Grandma, maybe? I forgot where this gem came from.
my personal favorite, the Banana Bunker. Fruit protection and porn. Get it at MoMa!
for your favorite hunter, here's Jingle Boobs. Singing, dancing boobs. Yep. At Baron Bob.
this? this is just weird. order yours at
a bubble wrap calendar, for those poor souls who need stress relief. At Hipster gifts.
for the fashionista, a genuine armadillo purse! Well, the next best thing, anyway! At seven deals.

quite possibly the funniest gift ever? for the animal lover, find it at Archie McPhee!
for the wine enthuiast in your life, prank place offers a wine glass that holds an entire bottle! For those occasions where you don't want to wear the aformentioned wine rack.

I'm sure to find many more things in the weeks to come. Make sure to order in plenty of time for Christmas!!