Monday, December 31, 2012

Fare Thee Well 2012

I was talking to my Big Boss's Uncle's Secretary (follow all of that?) today and we were discussing 2012 and what we hope 2013 will be.

She is glad to see 2012 leave. I guess for her it's been a pendulum of very high highs and very low lows. I can see where she is hoping that 2013 is a bit more mellow.

For me?

I think 2012 was pretty darn decent.

The first quarter of the year we finished our family with the addition of Baby Sister.

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She was the catalyst for some other happy things.

Like my Mom coming down to visit in May.

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And Dr. Mad Scientist's Mom and Stepdad and Nephew coming down in late June/early July.

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We had our annual visit with Grandma Great and Auntie Jaywalker. This time on the Delaware & Ulster railroad in New York.

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Later that same month was the big Sisterly Reunion in Hershey, PA.

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I love the way we all have the same shade of pasty leg--ha ha!

I got to go to TWO fiber festivals this fall.

New Jersey's--

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And New York's (Rhinebeck)--

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My boys had a great year too.

Moochie finally completed (well except for night-time, we're still working on that) his potty training. Sorry, no pictures of that!

And Chunky, while he had a dismal football season, he cleaned up at the city-wide track meet--

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And also won 1st place in his grade at the city-wide chess meet.

In November--10 days apart the Class of 2012 grew twofold with the addition of my sister's little boy.

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And my Younger Younger Brother's little girl. I won't post a picture here because I don't know if they're cool with that. (I'm sure my Youngest Younger Sister doesn't care about her boy's picture up there--hahahaha!) You'll have to take my word for it that she's a cutie.

But 2012 wasn't all hearts and flowers.

There was Sandy.

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And the near week without power -- which is still better than most fared.

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And there's the Saga of the Cheapskate Landlord.

I don't have any pictures of the termites or the tree roots growing through the plumping pipes. That's a story that doesn't have an ending yet.

And sadly, I know 2013 won't be as sweet. There are some inevitable things on the horizon that won't be fun to endure. And I know there was more general crappiness to 2012 that I'm either repressing or intentionally not mentioning.

But I can't leave this last post of 2012 on a sour note.

So I'll leave you with a mosaic of all the cookies I made yesterday for Dr. Mad Scientist's AA-New Year's Eve Jamboree.

My creation

I made date balls (not individually pictured), madeleines (with the new pan Dr. MS got me for Christmas!), chocolate pudding peppermint bark chip cookies, soft ginger cookies, plain old chocolate chip cookies, and Biscoff cookies (take your favorite peanut butter cookie recipe and substitute cookie spread/Biscoff spread for the peanut butter).

Hope y'all have a wonderful 2013!


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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Where to Start?

I've done so many things since my last post!

I feel like a I have a good excuse since I've been so busy.

There was Moochie's school Christmas program--

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(He's one of those blurry penguins!)

I made my Oldest Little Sister some place mats for her "linai" (does anyone outside of the Golden Girls use that term?) for Christmas.

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I also knit her some tiny gnome magnets.

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I made some Christmas tree shaped peppermint bark. Tree bark I suppose you could say.

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I made some Rolo pretzel bites and some muddy buddies (aka "puppy chow") for the neighbors, both Upstairs and Basement--

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I finally made the boys their jammie pants!

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They didn't take them off for a whole weekend!

We celebrated Moochie turning four years old!

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We went out to lunch to celebrate Dr. Mad Scientist's discharge from the indentured servitude to the Big Name Insurance Company that paid for his teaching certificate education in exchange for teaching in Newark (or an equally low-income school district).

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I dropped off a goody box for the animals (mainly the cats!) at the shelter we adopted Happy Feet and Trevor from.

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Troy is the other son of Happy Feet (Trevor's brother) that's still living at the shelter. If we didn't have three cats already I'd totally adopt him too!

I tended to a sick little Baby Sister who came down with a pretty high fever the weekend before Christmas.

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(As her temperature rose--her hair stuck up higher!)

Inspired by something I saw on Pinterest and the fact that my Oldest Younger Sister has been positively giddy about the dork-a-licious Rudolph the Red Nosed Car set she got this year from her husband and has been driving around with this year, I made this--

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And yes, that's the same model and color car she drives!

And best yet--we've been dealing with plumbing problems.

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The Landlord kept having the drain snaked and snaked--and finally he hired a REAL plumber (not just some guy who knows a guy) and has discovered there are roots growing through the pipes. Expensive, expensive fix.

My favorite part was when he called the Township Sewer Guy out trying to pin the problem on the Township. Cheap bastard.

Considering he was in foreclosure in October on this place, what do you want to bet we'll be living with five inches of shit-water in our garage for years to come?

Aside from the plumbing--it's been a great holiday season!

How was your

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Oink!

I believe it was knottygnome who posted a cute little stuffed animal pin on Pinterest from some Japanese craft site a few months back.

I "liked" the pin and later went back and repinned it to my own boards.

I decided to make it for Baby Sister for Christmas.

The "tradition" of making something one each for the kids is something my mother did for us. I never intentionally set out to do it for my kids, it just kind of happens.

So this year Baby Sister will get this stuffed pig--and the boys will get the flannel jammie pants I have been promising to make them since LAST Christmas. Ha ha!

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This isn't quite exactly like the Japanese craft site pin piggy. But it's close.

My favorite part?

My mother uses old fabric/batting to pack her packages the way some people use foam peanuts/newspaper/plastic bags. The fleece this piggy is made from is the fleece she included as packing material in her box of Christmas presents to us.

Ha ha!

My only regret is I didn't make him a curly little tail. But I'm running short on time this season and I HAVE to make those boys their pants!

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Monday, December 17, 2012

Weekend Wrap Up

Whew! Weekend over and busy, busy week ahead!

There will be a lot of baking this week--gift cookies and birthday cake for a certain little boy.

I also have some very last minute gift buying to do. Easy peasy stuff though. Just boring old giftcards.

But I found this pattern to help jazz up a boring old giftcard.

They come together really easy too--

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I made five in one afternoon.

I'll bet they'd make a really cute Christmas countdown/Advent calendar.

Of course I used up the last of my Christmas fabric making them.

Darn, maybe I'll have to buy more!

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

No Post Today

I'm busy organizing this--a ziplock baggie of crumpled up receipts for Big Boss's end of year expense report.

Stay in school kids.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Fire Up Your Ovens!

This weekend/next week I'll be putting my oven into overdrive doing my holiday baking.

This year I'll bake small offerings of cookies for Chunky's after-care counselors and for Moochie and Baby Sister's daycare teachers. 

And of course there's the after-Christmas bake-a-palooza that I do for Dr. Mad Scientist's New Year's Eve Alk a Thon (24 hours of AA meetings).  I love that my cookies have an anonymous cult following with the recovering--ha ha!

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I haven't finalized my final cookie list though.

If you're like me maybe you could use a little inspiration, might I suggest the Knitcircus Cookie E-book?

It's free! Officially Knitcircus might be gone (although you can check out what editor Jaala has been up to in the meantime here) but you can at least still enjoy some cookie crumbs!

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Monday, December 10, 2012

Homemade Christmas

I won't lie -- my Christmas presents are about half and half homemade to store bought this year.

My Oldest Youngest Sister included some homemade goodness in her xmas package to us.

A jar of peaches and a jar of spicy hot okra!

The best part was the goofy label my brother-in-law made for them (which features the cornball holiday head  bands I made them a few years back..ha ha!)  Oh and a Bumble!

(Brother-in-law keeps a low internet profile, so I edited him out of this picture!)


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Sunday, December 09, 2012

When Life Hands You Oreos...

...make oreo chip cookies.

(take your fave chocolate chip cookie recipe and substitute smashed oreos for the chocolate chips).


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Saturday, December 08, 2012

And So it Continues

Out the door today (in the trash):

2 containers of cotton candy
2 danishes
1 Entemanns ”all butter pound cake”

In the door today:
2 travel cups of mini oreos
1 gingerbread house kit

Sigh.

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Friday, December 07, 2012

Lazy Afternoon

Baby Sister gave me a reason to leave work early today...she came down with a fever.

It was nice.  Well, aside from her being a little out of it, it's been nice to hang out on the floor playing with her poppin' pals and snuggling and whatnot.

She's such a chill baby even when she's feeling like crap.

I'll leave you with a pic of her and I pretending to be lady lumberjacks a couple of weekends ago when we cut down our Christmas tree.


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Thursday, December 06, 2012

Trifecta

This Christmas is a bit weird.

It's weird because for once, when we've had a baby, it hasn't just been an unconscious super-sleepy baby that pretty much slept through the holidays.

Baby Sister's "first Christmas" is going to be a blast.

Nothing against Chunky and Moochie, but their first Christmases were when they were about four weeks old and 6 days old respectively.  Their second Christmases were much more fun.

One of the things I've done in the past to sort of commemorate (immortalize?) their baby-hood was to make Christmas tree ornaments out of the jars from their baby food.

Chunky's lids were turned into snowmen--

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Moochie's were turned into Santas--

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Any guesses what Baby Sister's were turned into?

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She got Rudolphs!

The Trifecta is complete!

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Wednesday, December 05, 2012

To get what you want, you’ve got to do it yourself

(I've been playing the piss out of The Flip Is Another Honey, Mike Doughty's latest CD and he does a great cover of this Cheap Trick song where the subject for this post came from).

Why do I bother?

Earlier this year I ordered a package of Chunky's football pictures.

The way they came in should have been a sign--they were with the 6th Grade Team's pictures.

The team picture wasn't his team.  His name was misspelled.  And his coach's name was omitted from the picture.  They were awful.  I spent a good portion of time crafting a fax to the picture company pointing out the numerous errors in the package I ordered and outlining the case as to why I would NOT be paying to have these pictures redone (as is their normal policy). 

They made good on correcting their incompetence--but I didn't get my pictures until a month after the football season had ended.

And today, I come home to find these proofs of Moochie and Baby Sister's daycare pictures.

Exhibit A, Baby Sister's Solo Picture:

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Ok. 

So here's the deal.  I have no problem if you're one of those parents that sticks their little girls in big-ass hairbows, little hairbows, or big flowers.

That's cool.  It's YOUR baby.  I'm not going to tell you how to dress YOUR child.

But I am NOT ONE OF THOSE PARENTS.  I do NOT stick my daughter in hairbows.  Maybe the time will come--but as of now?  I do NOT put bows/flowers on her head.

The photographer stuck this shit on her head.

First off--GROSS.  I don't know where the hell that thing has been!  These people do tons of daycare photos.  Guess what happens in communal settings with small children?

Lice. 

I've done fucking bedbugs.  I am NOT doing lice. 

Exhibit B, Moochie and Baby Sister's dual picture (there is no solo picture of Moochie; boyfriend will NOT sit for solo portraits--some weird phobia or something..I dunno).

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Love, love, love this photo!  EXCEPT FOR THE RIDONKULOUS TOPKNOT AND BOW IN MY DAUGHTER'S HAIR!!

What the hell??????

Is my daughter not girly enough for these people?  Does she have to be feminized with this shit in her hair to take a cute picture?

Ugh.

I'm so pissed. 

But I figured I'd put it aside and at least order an 8X10 of the Moochie and Baby Sister picture--because seriously aside from that dumbasstastic hairdo they gave her, it's a great picture of the two of them.  And a huge milestone for Moochie--like I said, that kid NEVER sits for professional photographers.

So I go online to order.  I type in the password these asshats masquerading as children's photographers claim will let me access our proofs to order and guess what?  The password is no good.  It's expired or not yet activated ... or something.

Tomorrow morning two things will happen.

The photograph company (you can see their name in the picture of Baby Sister--they're based in Marlton, NJ--if you're a NJ parent beware of these people taking picture of your children--who knows what they'll do to them!) will find TWO nasty-ass emails from me.  One regarding the unauthorized use of hair props on my daughter which could have exposed her to fucking parasites.  And another about their stupid password not working; and

The manager of our daycare will find a terse email stating that I'm not happy with this company for the bow shenanigans and the faulty password and I hope they don't bother using them again.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to upload some photos to Shutterfly that I took of Baby Sister and Moochie that I'll have blown up into 8X10s to put on our portrait wall above the couch.  One of them I took on my cell phone, and I must say, it's not half bad.  Fuck these flim-flam "photographers" and their faulty websites.

To sum up, in the words of Cheap Trick--School Photographers:  They make it hard for the people today.


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Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Live In the Now!

Each Christmas season I seem to go on the hunt for another decoration that I remember from my childhood.

The first year I bought an Empire Santa blowmold lamp like my Mom had (has!)

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Last year, I actually found an inflatable Santa.  He's not quite the same as what we had at home (he's got a pack on his back), but he's pretty darn close.


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I feel like a kid again every time I blow Santa (up)!

And this year I found these for less than $10.

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Ha ha!  Guess what I'll be making this weekend when I should be making Christmas presents? 

I can only think of one more prominent Christmas decoration from my childhood--it was this plastic Santa head that was embossed and you hung it on the wall.  Kind of like those Halloween masks from the 80s, but not quite.  It was larger and well, wasn't a mask.

I remember my Old Man trying to trick me into thinking Santa would wink when I wasn't looking.  Ha ha!


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Monday, December 03, 2012

Hoot!

Day three means three hooters.

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Owl Puffs.

Sounds like a cereal. 

I made these for my cousin.  I've never met this particular cousin, but we "friended" each other on Facebook and Pinterest and I couldn't help but notice she has a thing for owls. 

I needed a nice little mindless knit and these were just too cute. 

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Sunday, December 02, 2012

Cookie of the Week

I was feeling a little extravagant this week and made whoopie pies. 

On a whim I made this little bite-sized version. 

Maybe ”inhaleable-sized” is a better descriptor since my bites are bigger than  this!


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Saturday, December 01, 2012

December Quickies

I'm trying to make good on my vow to blog a bit more.

Life has been hectic.  I worked 15 hours of overtime last week.  Seven of which were last night.  I'm just a lousy secretary.  Yikes.

Luckily last weekend was the four day holiday and I had a chance to decorate the house.

I put the canvas needlepoint train my grandma made me on top of a bookcase.  Moochie has made it his personal plaything--futzing around with the train and little figurines.  It's cute and he doesn't really make too much of a mess, so I can't complain.


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