Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Teachers - Educators - Role Models

Last night I had a dream where among other things, I ran into some guy who knew my old Middle School Science teacher, Mrs. Andrews.  The dream was weird, as my dreams tend to be, but when I woke up, I couldn't stop thinking about Mrs. Andrews and two other teacher who really impacted me growing up.  It wasn't ever one specific thing or event, or one moment I can pin point.  I just remember them clearly in my mind.  And to be that memorable is a big deal.

So, Mrs. Andrews was my 7th grade Science teacher.  She may have well been my 8th grade science teacher too considering I spent most of my 8th grade science period on her class instead of the one I was suppose to be in.  She was an older woman when she was my teacher.  Nearing retirement for sure - at least to my adolescent mind that's how old she was.  When I think of her, the term "battle axe" immediately springs to mind.  She was grouchy.  Grouchy actually, might be putting it mildly.  I remember clearly she had a bumper sticker on her door that read "Don't tell me what kind of day to have!" and she meant it.  She drank her coffee out of beaker instead of a mug, and there were rumors that some kids had switched her beakers and she didn't even notice, that's how hard core she was.  She also told me once that she almost didn't need to grade my tests, she could always tell just by watching my expressions how many I got right.  She advised me never to play poker, and I never have.  I think she may have been a smoker, because I remember her voice being very low and gravelly.  And I remember loving her as one of my favorite teachers.  Not because she was easy on me, but because the exact opposite.  She expected a lot from me.  She expected me to LEARN.  Not just regurgitate back to her what was in the book, but actually to learn the material.  I remember how excited I was and how satisfied she was, the first time I ever actually connected the labs we were doing to the subject matter we were being tested on.  I checked my old school's website today, and of course, she's not still teaching there.  That was some 25 years ago, she may have already passed away.  But she made an impact.. man did she make an impact.

Then there was my 5th grade teacher Mr. Schiott. He was young and cute to my 5th grade eyes.  He was funny and fair and he laughed.  I remember he laughed a lot.  I also remember me being friends with some C list girls, wanting to be friends with a B list girl, and being courted by the A-list girls.  I remember how torn I felt between these three groups. I was naive in 5th grade, even for a 5th grader.  I didn't really understand why we couldn't all just be friends.  Why did was there all this fighting between the friends I really cared about?  It was.. disruptive.  Mr. Schiott watched the drama unfold in his class room until he'd finally had enough.  He pulled all three clicks into the hallway and me and forced me to choose.  And I did. It was the start of my endless wandering from click to click.  Because really, couldn't we all just be friends?  But honestly though, I think it was because he was so cute that I remember him so clearly.  He's also not still teaching at my old school.  But he was young, so maybe he just moved on.

And finally, let me talk about Mrs. Hughes.  She was my English teacher junior year of high school.  She and I didn't start off on the right foot.  We did a section on poetry.  Now, back in high school, I loved poetry.  I wrote sappy emotional crap like most teenage girls, thinking it was the most deep and profound words ever written.  And being a high school English teacher, Mrs. Hughes put up with it  with more grace than I would have.  No, the content wasn't our issue. She wanted me to make some minor changes to my content, and she wanted me to title it.  TITLE IT.  Can you believe her nerve??  Well, I was very self righteous back then, and there was no way I was going to TITLE my poetry.  It was MY poetry after all right?  A form of personal self expression.  And plus, they were the most profound words ever written right?  So I looked her right in the eye and said "If I change this, this and this, and put a title on it, I may as well put your name to it".  She sent me to the principals office.  I plead my case, and we had a meeting the principal, Mrs. Hughes and myself.  We compromised and I apologized.  Something about that event made her my favorite teacher.  I think because even though I stood my ground, she didn't make this a 'my way or the highway' event.  She actually saw my point in the titling even if it wasn't the best point, or expressed in the best way.  I never titled a single piece of my poetry that year. That year, because I was actually a Junior in a class with all Seniors, on Senior Skip day, we went to get ice cream.  One of the best afternoons of my life.

Who were your favorite teachers growing up?

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Autumn Festival

Bunny's school just had their very first Autumn Festival.  Traditionally, around this time of year, they do something called "Trunk Or Treating" where parents come and give out candy from the trunks of their cars as the kids trick or treat around the parking lot.  This year, they decided to shake things up and also move away from the Halloween business.

I want to clarify here, that I signed up to be one of two room mom's for Bunny's class.  Unfortunately, I am a complete failure at it so far, and only got logged into the room mom forums exactly ONE WEEK before the Autumn Festival.  This left me, and by proxy, all the parents in Bunny's class scrambling at the last minute to get enough volunteers to run our booth and donations for our booth.  More on our booth in a minute, but let me tell you.  This last week has been pretty hectic for me and for them, with a flurry of emails going out and plenty of fingers crossed for luck that we'd pull it off.

We didn't by the way.  Pull it off that is.  Thankfully, the school recognizes that Kinder Mom's (at least the ones who volunteer to be room mom's for our class and then fail miserably at it) aren't exactly on-board with school stuff yet and are still suffering separation anxiety from their babies which causes us to be a little more air-headed than most other Moms.  At least, that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.  Where was I?  Sorry, I got a little off track.  Anyway, they had a bunch of older teenagers helping out with our booth so even though we were very short staffed, it still all went well!  HOORAY!

You all are my witness.  I vow to do better in the future in my room mom duties.  You can hold me to that.

Our booth?  We were the races booth.  We had wheel barrow races and potato sack races and last but not least, we had donut eating races.  What's that? You've never heard of a donut eating race?  It's this incredible event where the donuts are hung up on string about forehead high to each child, and then they race to see who can eat all of the donut first.  Let me clarify that these are "mini" donuts not full sized.  Still, it was mad-capped and crazy, messy and full of excitement.  And MAN, did those kids come running when they announced over the loud speakers that we were running that event.  In fact, I was surprised at how many kids came running for the wheel barrow and potato sack events.  I think that might be a sign that I'm old and cynical, when I can't see how much joy kids would get out of that sort of thing.  I'll work on that.

After my volunteer shift, I ran home to pick up Bug (who had been napping), Bunny and The Hubs and we all headed back for some fun time.  GG decided she was a bit old for an elementary school autumn festival, but I bet she would have had fun if she'd come with us.  Oh well.

The very first thing we did was hit the bouncy house.  Because really, who can resist a bouncy house?

Then we made The Hubs stand in a super long line for face painting while I took Bug and Bunny to get their hair painted.  Bunny chose pink stripes.  Bug got a green stripe down the middle of his head, with blue dots.  Happiness apparently, is blue dots.

Then Bunny and Bug created these mask masterpieces.  Seriously, I'm thinking of auctioning them with Sothersby.  They're that good don't you think?  Monet? Picasso? Anyone?

Then we checked in on The Hubs.  Yep, still in line.  So we went to the Bean Bag toss, where they both won a prize.  The Basket Ball Toss, where they both won a prize and finally the Ring an Apple toss where they both won a prize.  My kids are gifted.  Seriously gifted.

Finally it was our turn at the face painting.  Bunny got Hello Kitty on her cheek.  And Bug got a shark on his arm.

We finished off our afternoon of fun with a balloon each.  Not too shabby.  They had other things too.  A kid sized ferris wheel which we were unwilling to stand in line for as well as a rock-wall that also had a long line.  The Cotton Candy booth had the longest line.  We waited a bit too long to get a piece of pie, or the BBQ they had for food vendors.  We also missed the petting zoo which closed just after we arrived.  And we didn't want to wait to get our pictures taken in the school cut-outs, but otherwise, we pretty much hit it all.

I was excited to see so many families at this event.  I am not exaggerating when I say the place was packed.  I'm glad the kids and parents all had fun.  I'm glad that we got Bunny into a school that has so much parent involvement, and where the PTA has enough support that we can put on something like this.  I don't believe the school Bunny was zoned to go to, had anything like this or even does the trunk or treating.  It just makes such a difference in their education doesn't it?  Having such support of parents, faculty and staff?  We were lucky to get into this school.  I'm so glad we did.

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Animated Drawings

Draw The Dog

OMG.  And I don't say that lightly.  OMG, this was the funnies thing I've seen in a while.

(I must confess up front that I found this site through The Pioneer Woman's site.) 

Former Disney Animator Jim George draws out a cartoon using photos people send of their dogs as inspiration.  Then he puts an animation of how the cartoon is created online for our amusement.  It's incredibly captivating to watch the artistry shape the cartoon in front of your very eyes, and the cartoons are pretty funny too.

So he started with this inspirational photo:

 Then this is how the cartoon started to appear.

As an artist (or at least I consider myself one), this is awesome to watch.  I love how compelling it is for young kids (Bug and Bunny love this).  It helps make art relate-able and interesting for people of all ages.  Check it out, and let me know what you think!

Seriously.. Thoughts? 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Social Buying Power

Have you heard of Groupon? Or Living Social? If you haven't, let me help you out from that rock you've been living under.  It works like this.  You sign up with your email address with a company like Groupon or Living Social.  Each day they send you one deeply discounted deal to use at local businesses. The deals are activated only when a minimum number of people agree to buy. So you get a great deal and the business gets a ton of new customers. Win-win.

They're generally focusing on savvy young urbanites.  The majority are college-educated single females who go out two or more times a week.  They're avid users of social media who spread the word through blogs, facebook and twitter.  While I'm not a young urbanite, and haven't been single in a while, I am college educated and a female, and an avid user of social media outlets.  Plus, I use the internet for my job every day.  Not exactly the ideal focus group, but I'm at least on the fringes.

Ultimately, I signed up with both Groupon and Living Social a few months ago as part of research for the company I work for.  I got the daily deal in my email and most were for trendy restaurants or bars I would never fit in at, even if I wanted to drive all the way into down town Los Angeles.  Plus, finding a babysitter is hard, and the time, near impossible.  Some were for some pretty cool things I didn't even know they had around here, like indoor sky diving lessons and a 2 hour tour of Hollywood on a Segway.  Pretty cool, but not enough for me to spend my hard earned and very limited funds.

A few days ago though, the daily deal in my in-box was for a year long family membership to the Los Angeles Arboretum a $70 value for only $35.  You may remember we took a trip there over the summer with some friends where I got to shoot my camera to my heart's content.  And I did.  I had been thinking about taking the whole family there sometime in the next few get our yearly family photos taken.  I could not believe my good luck.  Plus, the membership allows us to visit other arboretums and gardens around the country for free as well.  Now, I'm not sure we'll ever put that to use in the next year, but the option is there if we need it.  That's peace of mind baby.

The deal required 75 people to buy in to make it a go.  I was number 71.  It was 8am on a Saturday when I bought in.  By the end of the day 1,819 people had bought in on this deal.  And that my friend, is social media word of mouth and the power of group purchasing at its finest.   This is quickly becoming an amazing advertising and deal finding tool especially in today's economy.  If you haven't checked it out yet, and don't mind wading through deals that might not apply to you, definitely sign up.  It's free, and the deals really are pretty amazing.

If you're a member of one of these types of groups, and have bought in on something, what was the best deal you got? 

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Ps.  This is not a paid advertisement, these guys have no idea who I am, or that I might be all excited about the deals they have.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Good Night Mr. C

If you're anything like me, you grew up watching Happy Days, with Ritchie, Fonzy, Joni and of course, Mr. &; Mrs. C.  For me, Tom Bosley always looked a bit like my dad, so I always identified with him in his father role, probably more than most.  But what I loved most about Mr. C., was that he was the kind of dad every kid wished for.  He was understanding and approachable.  He was hard when he needed to be, but with love and goodwill at the heart of it all.  He tolerated his kids' friends, he was there for good times and bad times.  He wasn't just a 50's dad, he was a dad for the ages.

I'll miss you Tom Bosley, and I know I'm not alone.

Goodnight Mr.C.

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Photoshop Art II

As promised, I played around with some textures today.  Now, I am no expert here, so a lot of this was just me fumbling around until something looked nice.  I did a combination of add textures I found online, and using the texture filters built-in to Photoshop.  Take a look!

I started with this image as my base.  Just because.

This was an old photo texture I found online.  I played around with the brightness/contrast and the opacity to make it look like this.  It's subtle.

Another texture I found online and overlaid onto the image.  It was an image of a stone wall.  Again, really subtle, but I love how it reacted with some of the other filters I already applied.

This was great.  It was a vertical white stucco wall texture that I added to the top but only applied to her skin.  It makes her look all full of boils and warts.  Perfect for Halloween!

This was the notepaper filter built-in to photoshop.  Love how this one came out.  Love Love Love!

This was the canvas filter built-in to Photoshop.  I like this one a lot because you can make an image "look" like it's been printed on canvas, and unless you get right up on it, no one would ever know the difference.  Especially if you frame it right.

And just because I couldn't resist, enjoy my creepy Halloween bunny!

Which one is your favorite?

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Photoshop Art

I may have mentioned how I'm cyber stalking a fan of Ree over at the Pioneer Woman.  She just recently put up a photography/Photoshop challenge where she provided an image and asked that fans use Photoshop to give a different spin on the photo.  It's really got me thinking about Photoshop as an art medium.  Now, don't get me wrong, I still think it's important to figure out my camera.  And while I haven't been shooting much lately, I'm still aiming to learn more and more every time I do get it out.  I'm also a big believer that while Photoshop has a lot to offer any given photo, the best Photoshop can do to a bad photo, is nothing compared to a good photo to start with.  Having said that though, Photoshop is pretty amazing.

So, I decided to take up her challenge, but on my own picture to see what I could do with an average photo of mine.  In part because I didn't want her awesome photos to have an influence on what I could do with my shots.  After all, I won't be working with her photos, I'll be working with my own.

So here's Bunny from a few month's ago on our LA Arboretum trip Straight Out Of the Camera (SOOC)


The SOOC shot has that grey overcast that most digital cameras have.  I haven't figured out how to eliminate that via the camera.  Does anyone know?

So, the very first thing I did was adjust the curves slightly to remove the grey, put a smart blur on her face to soften it up a bit, and used the clone tool to tame the wispy hair on the back of her head.  This became my new base photo that all the subsequent changes were based on.

New Base Image

In this next shot, I used the above photo as my base and just added Pioneer Woman's Define & Sharpen action.
Image 1

In this next shot, I went back to my curves base image and added saturation and a lens flare.

Image 2

In this next one, I went back to my base image, increased the exposure by +1, darkened the levels twice and made it black and white.

Image 3

Going back to my curves base image, I ran Pioneer Woman's Boost action twice and added her Lovely and Ethreal action on top of that.

Image 4

Back to my curves base image, I added TRA's Troy action.
Image 5

And finally, on top of my last image, I added Pioneer Woman's Boost action.

Image 6

Okay, I just have to add one more, where I combine image 6 with background of image 4 kicked down a bit via opacity.  I have to admit, I really love how she's still washed out, but the background color gives the whole thing a bit more depth.

Image 7

I really love how each of them came out, but I must admit I'm drawn to the more saturated and dramatic ones.  I particularly like image 7, 3 and 6 the best, with the lens flare on image 2 coming in a close fourth place.

Which images do you guys like best and why?  What sort of photography are you drawn to?

Tomorrow I'll use this same image and explore textures and overlays.

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Isn't it interesting how music can transport you to a different time and place, or remind you of specific people?  How does it do that? I really want to know.  Anyone? Anyone?

I've had Aaliyah's "Are You That Somebody" in my head for the last few days.  This always reminds me of a co-worker of mine named Don from my very first job out of college.  Not because I had a crush on him or anything like that, but because he hated the baby noises in the song.  It always makes me smile thinking of how much he disliked it.

There's more direct correlation songs though.  I listened to Brandy's "Tomorrow" a lot when I was struggling with weather to leave my first husband or not.  It's not that songs like that can talk you into or out of major life decisions, but it was very very relate-able to what I was experiencing at the time.  Me and Brandy were soul sister's for a while.  She was the only one who really "got" me.

And of course, there's love songs.  Jimmy Wayne's "You Are" is the song I walked down in the aisle to.  This song really speaks to me about The Hubs, about what we have.  I admit, I always get a little weepy when I listen to it, and feel the need to race to the wedding album and relive the whole day moment by moment.  I'm a little girly like that.

Then there's "Our Song" Donna Lewis's "I Love You Always Forever".  To be truthful, it wasn't the one I wanted to be our song, but it just worked out that way.  I think it was the "you've got the most unbelievable blue eyes" part that drew in The Hubs.  He's always telling me how much he loves my eyes.  Which of course, turns me into a giggling bowl of jell-o and makes my knees weak every time.

What are some of your most memorable songs and why?

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Comings and Goings

Well, we've had some good news, some fun times, and some sad days all over the last week or so.

My parents arrived on Thursday night.  I haven't seen them in over a year.  This was especially important for me for a few reasons.  My mom hasn't seen Bug since he was born.  He's turning three next month.  And while The Tweedles remember my dad from various business trips he had out our way, they don't really know my mom. I really want them to know both of their grandparents.  It's important.  It just is.  Also, my dad has been pretty sick this past year with a lung infection that has landed him in the hospital several times for extended stays.  So, for him to be well enough to travel out this way meant he was on the mend.

We went to our SCA event this weekend.  My parents dressed up in garb and looked fabulous.  And since I was dumb, and didn't take my camera out even once, I have no pictures of it. Not a single one.  I know!  I have no idea what I was thinking.  I am hoping one of the friends we camped with might have gotten a picture, but I doubt it.  I'm so sad! 

We did have fun though.  I competed in my first SCA archery tournament and my parents even got to watch me.  I know that I'm over thirty and an adult with my own kids and all that, but I can't help but get that thrill of showing off what I can do for my parents to see and knowing that they are proud of me.  It put me back in school all over again.

Anyway, it was a double elimination event, which means I had to lose to two people to get knocked out.  I lost both my first and second rounds.  But in all fairness, in my second round, they paired me up with an olympic level archer.  So unfair!  Everyone was so nice and made the whole experience so much fun, I didn't even mind.  It's hard to be a bad sport when you lose to someone who keeps you laughing the whole time!  Such good fun!

They also had an event called dog coursing.  They set up a wire track (usually in a big square shape) on the ground and tie plastic grocery bags to it.  The wire is on pulleys and is attached to a battery to run the wire and subsequently the grocery bag around the track.  The bag simulates a "rabbit" and the dogs chase it around the track.  At least, that's how it's suppose to go.  Morph (our big, sweet ball of fluff) was up first.  He had never done this, and I wasn't completely convinced he'd chase the "rabbit".  So the woman running the show, moved the "rabbit" about 100 feet away from Morph. 

He looked at me. 

I encouraged him to chase it. "Go get it Morph!  Go on!  Get it!  You can do it!  Go get it!". 

He looked at the rabbit and took a slow, lumbering trot over to the plastic bag.  All I could hear in my head while he moseyed over there was "Dum de dum.. dum de dum". 

Everyone there laughed.  He was a pretty funny sight. 

When he made it to the bag, the woman running the show moved it again.  Morph looked at the bag, then looked back at me.  Then proceeded to walk off the field.  Apparently, chasing a plastic grocery bag around a track is not his thing.  So we went back to camp and I gave him a big treat.  I love him.  Even if he won't chase the rabbit, and would make a terrible hunting dog.  Thank goodness we're not depending on him for our dinner!

We had a really good night Friday night listening to the drums, and letting them lulll us to sleep.  Saturday night we even went hunting for the drums and some belly dancers to watch with my parents.  But the parties started a little to late for my old people who pooped out early. 

And then came the bad news.  Saturday night was a rough night for my dad.  He had a big asthma attack and couldn't breath.  He ended up moving a camp chair into his tent and dozing in that chair all night because he couldn't lay down.  His lungs I guess, aren't as recovered as we all hoped.  Thankfully, we had already planned to go home Sunday.  More bad news came last night.  My old people decided that my dad was feeling bad enough that they had to cut their trip short.  They ended up leaving this morning and are now somewhere in Arizona.  They should be home in another two days and then he's going back into see his doctor - hopefully before the deep cough developed over the last few days turns into pneumonia. 

I'm super sad they had to go home early.  I was looking forward to spending time with them.  I was looking forward to them spending time with all of the kids.  They've never really been around much because they've always worked, so I really hoped this would be the start of some good bonding time.  However, I do realize it's more important for my dad to get better.  And since it's only 74 days (but who's counting?) until Christmas when we'll be out visiting them for two weeks, that gives him some time to recouperate and get ready for a full house of chaos when we come out.  And meanwhile, at least Will now knows who Grandma and Grandpa are, and we all feel a little more connected despite the difference between here and po-dunk no-where east Texas.

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Short & Sweet


I'm here! I'm here! But I'm busy with my old people.  I promise a full update tomorrow.  With all the comings and the goings.  Stay tuned!



Seriously.. Thoughts?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

They're Here!

My old people have finally arrived.

I spent the day cleaning and washing everything in our house.  Partly because it needed it, and partly to keep myself busy because I was very anxious for my parents to get here already.  They showed up around 6:30 this evening, we had dinner together, and now they're off to the hotel for some much needed rest. 

I hope this turns into a good trip for them, and for us.  I hope it's the first of many. 

I love my parents!

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Tonight I'll be succinct.

I'm totally and completely stressed out. 

I have DAR Essay contest packets to deliver to 10 schools tomorrow during my lunch hour.  Hopefully charm them enough to actually want their kids to participate. 

My parents will be here tomorrow evening, which means, sometime between now and say 6pm, I need to clean my entire house from top to bottom.  And hopefully keep it clean at least until they arrive before letting The Tweedles put it back into it's natural state of chaos.I'd like my parents to at least be able to witness first hand that my house does actually clean up nice.

I volunteered to do the data entry for Bunny's elementary school contact book.  It took me 10 minutes to do 11.  I have about a thousand more to go. 

I work.  Did I mention I have a day job?  Yeah, that silly little thing.  We're super busy right now as we move into SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for our site.  For those of you who have no idea what it is, don't worry about it.  For those of you who do, that's just over 2300 products that must be brought up to the new SEO standards we're implementing.  Not fun.

We're going on an SCA outting this weekend.  ALL.OF.US.  My parents included.  Since it's an SCA trip, that means garb (or renaissance / medieval dress up outfits) must be washed, dried and re-packed.  The trailer must be emptied and re-packed with hopefully only the essentials this time (we tend to bring a lot of "extra" stuff).  My parents don't have garb, so I've been scurrying around between our loaner stuff and begging from friends to make sure they're outfitted for the time we're there.  And, have I mentioned that I'm "playing kitchen" for our group.  That means I'm handing all the food for 20 people.  Food for all breakfasts, lunches and dinners for the time we're there.  I have 2 vegetarians to account for and two diabetics. 

Laundry.  I haven't done The Tweedles laundry in two weeks.  They are down to the dregs of their clothing.  You know, the stained, tattered and either too big or too small kind.  I'm a terrible mother letting Bunny go to school like that.  So tonight, I plan to do their laundry.  I hope to be finished some time before midnight.

Thankfully, I finished up my contract work earlier this week, so now all I have to do is all the rest of this stuff.

And in between this huge list of tasks I need to accomplish, I still remembered to go to Bunny's back to school night, read bed time stories and tuck two littles into bed.  I came up with a cheap plan to outfit GG for halloween (which I still have to run past her, but I hope it will work out and I can see her smile).  And, I even remembered to breath.  Yeah, gotta focus more on that breathing part.

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Binkie Down

Binkie, Nuk, Buba, Pacifier, whatever name you give, Bug and Bunny love them.  Admittedly, we've let Bunny keep hers way too long.  She's almost 5 now.  But having Bug and Bunny share everything including a room, made it hard to keep her from them, when her brother was still young enough to need them.  So instead of fighting a losing battle, we just let her continue to have her Binkie only at nap and bedtime. 

However,  this all came to an abrupt end this past Sunday.  The Hubs got up early on Saturday to wrangle The Tweedles, so I could sleep in.  I was abruptly woken up to two Tweedles screaming and fighting and The Hubs with his voiced raised.  Seems they were fighting over a binkie.  And The Hubs had had enough.  He gathered them all up and took them away announcing the end of binkies.  I don't think Bug and Bunny really believed him until nap time came around, and the both went to bed, without binkies.  Even after that first nap was over and done with (without much fighting) they still didn't really believe that binkies were over.  When bedtime rolled around Saturday night, the howling and screaming and crying that came from their room was overwhelming.  The reality having finally set in.

We're now on Monday night, day 3 of being binkie free.  Bug did have a bit of a pout this morning at 6am when he came into our room complaining that he couldn't find his binkie.  He was very upset when I pointed out there were no more binkies.  If looks could kill, people. If looks could kill.

All in all, the transition has gone way better than I thought, and I'm glad we did it.  Bunny was WAY too old, and Bug was old enough.  Next will be the battle over their blankies.  I'm not looking forward to that one.

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Good Times

Tonight, my three daughters are off with GG & LW's grandmother to the El Capitan Theater in downtown Los Angeles, to attend the Beauty and the Beast Sing Along.  If you've never been to this sort of event, it's where they play the movie, and everyone sings along to the words. The words are included in the movie karaoke style.  The girls are all going to have a lot of fun, and what better movie for them all to bond over?

Bug, wasn't invited.  This may seem harsh, but Bug is still only 2, and still a bit young for this sort of fun.  He cried.  He cried a lot.  He begged LW "don't leave me!" when she was walking out of the house to put Bunny's car seat in her car.  There were a lot of tears, a lot of huffy faces, and a lot of sad dejection.  Thankfully, Mom's know just how to deal with that sort of thing.

It was nothing some ice cream, a few hugs, cartoons and having Mommy and Daddy all to himself couldn't fix.

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Arrow Making II

Well, we went back this weekend to finish up the arrow making process.  The only two things I still needed to do after the arrow had been sanded, nocked, painted, and sealed, was to add the fletching (or feathers) and points (the arrow tip).

In order to achieve this as fast as possible, they had a handy dandy 6 arrow fletching jig.  And man, does this beat putting the fletching on one at a time.  Now, some arrows have three feathers and some have four.  I really like the four feathered one better for a bunch of reasons I won't get into now, but just stick with me here.  Four is good.  That's 48 feathers being attached to 12 arrows with a 15 minute dry time per arrow.  You can see why a six arrow jig would come in handy.

It's really simple.  You insert the feather into this clip.  When you push on the ends, the clip opens up like a "chip clip" or similar.

They marked on theirs in permanent marker where the end of the feather should go, so all the feathers end up on the arrow aligned.  Very handy.

Then just add a good amount of glue to make the feather stick and slide the metal piece into the jig.  The weight of the metal pushes the feather down onto the arrow and helps it stick.  All very handy.

15 minutes later, the glue is dry, and you just have to turn those handy knobs at the bottom one click, and they're all perfectly lined up for the next feather.  HOORAY!

Pointing the arrow involves a torch. And since I'm not allowed to play with fire (being the blonde that I am) The Hubs did this part for me.  I don't have any pictures because well, I'm also not allowed NEAR the fire.  But it's pretty straight forward.  Heat up the arrow tip, heat up the glue.  Drip the glue inside the arrow tip, apply arrow tip and glue to the end of the arrow.  And viola.  Bob's your uncle.

So I now have 12 arrows all of my very own.  Made with my very own hands - except for the pointing because of the fire issue.  I'll try them out for the first time tomorrow and let you know how they fly.  Can't wait!!

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Friday, October 1, 2010

Dress Saga

THE.DRESS has been ordered.  I'm still not allowed, by order of her majesty GG, to reveal what the dress looks like on the off chance one of her friends happens to read my blog (bwahahahahaha! - Excuse me while I wipe away the tears from laughing so hard!).  After a consensus was achieved between all parties involved on the look, style, revealing-ness (if it's not a word it should be!) and price, GG's measurements are now off to a dress maker who will hopefully create magnificence to GG's specifications.  Don't expect anything immediately.  Should be six weeks before the dress gets here.  Which will leave us 2 weeks for alterations if we need them. Wish us luck!

And since I just can't leave this post so small, please let me show you some dresses made entirely out of duct tape.  That's right, it's not a typo.  Put on by the Stuck at Prom Duck brand duct tape College Scholarship competition. Enjoy!

 This is this year's first place winners.  Everything from head to toe is done in duct tape.  YOWZA.  What a beautiful dress!  If this was in a store, and not made out of duct tape (because man, I bet that stuff is hot) I would buy it.  She looks amazing!

Second place winners.  While I'm not as excited about the dress itself for prom purposes, they have a lot of detailing and you have to admit it's original!

I must admit, I don't like either of these outfits.  Not for Prom.  And this is coming from a lady who dresses up in medieval garb 2-3 times a year!  They would make great Halloween costumes though wouldn't they?

Of the ones that didn't place, this was my favorite.  It might have just been the red, white, and blue colors or the way they really committed to the theme.  Whatever the reason, I love it.  And look at all that detail!

If you want to see the rest of them, please look here.  For a few minutes of pure entertainment, you can't go wrong!

Seriously.. Thoughts?