December 18


Poor little peanut has a wicked cold, and I actually ended up taking her to the doc today. We passed the time taking pictures in the mirror. As I review this photo, I’m realizing it probably wasn’t the best idea I’ve ever had to let my toddler–whom I have taken in because I suspect pinkeye–put my camera up to her pink eye. As it turns out, she has an ear infection, and probably not pinkeye after all. So there’s that. Yeah, so I should prally go disinfect some stuff.

DPP pics from past years: 200620082009201020112012, 2013


December 17


Despite my well-known-to-me (and recently mentioned) issues with time management for creative pursuits, I have nonetheless committed myself to several sewing and crafting projects this holiday season (and come to think of it, even a couple that involve power tools, though I have delegated parts of those to my dad). These projects are mostly in the form of handmade gifts for Christmas and for my kids’ upcoming birthday (yes, I expressed that correctly — plural, possessive “kids’” and singular “birthday”). We decided with Jason’s family to do handmade stocking stuffers, and truth be told, I wanted to suggest a wholly handmade Christmas, but I’m glad my sister-in-law talked me down from that particular ledge and suggested we start small. Wise woman. So stocking stuffers it is (and large parts of “regular” gifts too, as it turns out, but that was just because I got some wild hairs and/or bees in my bonnet).

I have been making lists for weeks — and lately I have been writing and rewriting even my list of lists: Christmas Gifts Left to Think Up, Christmas Gifts Left to Buy, Christmas Gifts Left to Make, Supplies to Buy to Make Christmas Gifts Left to Make. And so on. But today was a wonderful, wonderful day, one of the best in recent memory. My mom came down to watch the kids, which left me free to spend the morning-into-afternoon at my friend Kacy’s house at her beautiful, big dining room table with the beautiful winter light streaming in. There were sewing machines, there were lattes, there were ideas and plans, there was even a useful craft-swear word thought up when Kacy was actually saying the name of her dog over and over, but I thought she was saying something else. Most importantly, there were friends and camaraderie and even some productivity. I loved every single minute of it.

Although it took me fully two and a half hours longer than I estimated, I was able to extend my stay and actually complete all the projects that I had brought materials for. Wonderful. Plus! I knocked out twenty-one                        s (two sets), fourteen                        s (seven sets), six                        s (it would have been seven, but I ran out of            ), and one            -                        (that, by the way, was a project that was advertised to take only five minutes, and I’m pretty sure it took me only seven; I attribute this to the fact that I got the tutorial from a British blog — you know, European engineering and all). Plus, Joie, who came without projects of her own and with willing hands, painted two                       s for me (it would have been three, but I forgot my paint at home, and we couldn’t find any             for            ).

I carried all my projects home in a laundry basket. Now my car smells like            , a reminder of a day well spent.

DPP pics from past years: 200620082009201020112012, 2013

December 16


Ian really, really, really wants to help wrap presents this year. He asks every single day if there’s another one we can wrap. When I run out of gifts for not-him, he asks if we can wrap ones for him too. “I’ll forget what it is! Christmas is so far away!” he reasons. Nice try, kid.

Yesterday, he told Simon, “We wrapped a present for you today. I’m not going to tell you what it is.” And then without further prompting: “Okay I’ll give you one hint: It’s not a science kit.” It is a science kit, and he knows it. Sigh. Don’t remind Simon. He might forget; Christmas is so far away after all.

(I just realized last year’s DPP for 12/16 is also of Ian wrapping gifts.)

DPP pics from past years: 200720082009201020112012, 2013


December 15


Clara and her cousin Colton (also age 2) don’t always get along when they’re together, but they love each other something fierce. (Kind of like their mommies, I guess.) When they talk on the phone it’s mostly “Hi, Twawa!” “Hi, Toe-ton!” (repeat seven or eight times). Tonight Clara wanted to know if Colton liked her Superhero Clara costume.

DPP pics from past years: 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013

December 14


Tonight was the children’s Christmas program at Redeemer, and it was kind of magical. The kiddos were costumed this year — big kids were shepherds and angels and littler kids were animals — which amped up the cute factor to a level you wouldn’t have believed possible. Everyone assembled their own costumes, and they were just so creative and dear. As for my three: Simon was a very serious Joseph. Ian was a camel (brown sweater and pants with a backpack under his sweater for a hump; so ridiculous and funny), but at the last minute he got a bad case of stage fright and begged to wash off his face paint and watch from the pews. Clara said more than once, “I want to go up dey-ah.” Next year, sweetie.

DPP pics from past years: 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013

December 13


Bedtime tonight was not all as sweet as this photo would have you believe. Still, years from now I’d rather remember the good stuff — ’cause there’s so much good stuff.

DPP pics from past years: 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013

Just a Few Reminders to Myself

So today I attempted to arm-knit a 30-minute infinity scarf. I actually didn’t initially find the project on Pinterest. Rather, my real-life cousins were making them at our Christmas family gathering this year. I wanted to join in, but it seemed important at the time to teach the boys to play Yahtzee. I asked for a point in the right direction and figured I could always look it up online. Yesterday, I found some beautiful yarn that I thought/still think is the right size and determined that I would whip up a birthday gift for tomorrow right quick. So, here’s how that went and a few tidbits I learned along the way:

1. There is no possible way that you will ever complete a thirty-minute anything-crafty in the allotted thirty minutes. Simply not going to happen. (I actually knew this one already, but still I had hope that it would maybe be a ninety-minute infinity scarf? Nope, not that either.)

2. The teachers that you find on YouTube are surprisingly patient. They don’t roll their eyes or sound exasperated even the fifteenth or eighteenth time they demonstrate how to tie a slip knot or cast on or knit.

3. However, they are also freakishly committed to doing things just the one way. I was not understanding how the gal was tightening her stitches, and not once did she even try to do it a different way; she just kept doing the same thing over and over and over every single time I rewound the video. Also, she offered no help when I cast on twelve stitches but ended up with sixteen.

4. It’s times like this that not being a perfectionist really pays off.

5. It also helps to have a carpool buddy that is willing to switch it up last minute so that you can continue what little momentum you may have. (Although in retrospect, it might have been good to set the knitting down and take a break to go pick up the kids.)

6. All those things for which you distractedly tell your toddler “yes”? Yeah, those are going to bite you in the butt.

7. And the things you tell your preschooler you’ll do with him in “ten minutes when I’m done”? Those too.

8. You may find if you knit loosely enough, your finished project will not look like a scarf at all but just a bunch of yarn draped around your neck. As Tim Gunn would say, “Well, if that’s the look you want, you sure have a good one.”

9. Later, if you decide you might like a photo to go with your blog entry about the misadventure, keep in mind that your preschooler will not have interest in taking forty shots of you with “more face,” “now less face,” “scarf in focus” (what’s “focus?” he asks).

10. And if you want a photo without a double chin, with lipstick, without eyes, clean mirror, in focus, maybe some twinkly lights bokeh, ‘oh wait! I forgot earrings!’ ain’t nobody got time for that.

11. Amazon sells gift certificates.


And a bonus word to the wise:

11. If after you’ve put away the “scarf” (or whatever it is the yarn became) and all the things your daughter taped and/or half-ate while you “knit” (or whatever it was you were doing), your son then asks you to do the 1,000-piece puzzle with him, listen to that voice in your head that tells you that even though he loves puzzles, he isn’t ready. He will insist. He will say he’s big enough. He will try to kill you with shards when he says, “But Mommy! It’s just that I love doing puzzles with you!” Resist!

December 12


Ian’s school Christmas program was standing room only tonight.

DPP pics from past years: 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013

December 11


I went to Simon’s school today to read with his classmates and then stayed through recess to eat lunch with him too. Simon and his friends played a game, and as far as I could tell the rules go something like this: you’re either a gorilla or a lava princess, or sometimes there’s a lava king. If the lava princess touches you, you lay down on the ground until someone else touches you. If you get touched ten times, you get some of the lava princess’s powers, which include turning the ground into lava and/or cutting off one of your arms so you have to be a gorilla with just one arm.

I asked Simon what was the deal with gorillas — why gorillas and not rhinoceroses, for example? “I don’t make the rules,” he told me, “you’ll have to ask Trey.”

DPP pics from past years: 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013

December 10


I bought a package of one hundred basket coffee filters, and it might be the best 87 cents I’ve spent in a while. Suddenly my world is full of snowflakes — snowflakes during Clara’s naptime, snowflakes after school, snowflakes taped to the windows, snowflake crumbs to sweep off the ground. I’m loving how excited the boys get to unfold a creation and guess what it will look like. They’ve been working together peacefully, and I think their scissorswork is getting better by the flake.

DPP pics from past years: 200720082009201020112012, 2013