Curly Crafty Mom: 2011

Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Year in Review

Here is my 2011 Year in Review:

January

- Kids and I started living in the house by ourselves
- My Mom bought a new dog, Annie (or however you spell it) that Autumn adores to this day
- We finally finished our Patty Cakes by painting them (2 years later!)

February
- Nathan went sledding for the first time in our front yard while Mommy shoveled the driveway, and cannot wait for a recap this year (not that I am in a rush for snow!)
- Made a snowman with Nathan, using sweet gum balls for the eyes, nose, mouth and buttons. Mommy has since bought a snowman kit from the dollar spot in Target so that we do not ever need to relay on sweet gum balls again.
- Nathan and those darn playdough trains
- Planned and volunteered at Nathan's Valentine's Day party at school

March
- Saw the Pixar Cars at Museum of Transport
- Interviewed Nathan and Autumn (I try to do this every year-- adding this to my Google Calendar as we speak so I do not forget to do it in 2012!)
- An old friend of my brother's came by with a basket of Lighthouse Beanie Baby Bears that the kids loved (I kept one for my curio cabinet). Such a sweet surprise!
- Professional Easter pictures
- Disney on Ice (first ice show the kids saw)
- Grandparents Day at Nathan's school
- Shrinky Dinks in the oven for the first time

April

- Took the kids to Turtle Playground for the first time
- Planned volunteered at Nathan's Easter party at school
- Nathan's Egg Hunt at School
- Nathan joined a T-ball team for the first time
- Nathan's first ambulance ride and ER visit

May
- Took the kids to the City Garden for the first time
- Enjoyed a week long staycation with the kids
- Went strawberry picking and made strawberry cake from scratch
- Planted sunflower seeds
- Started potty training Autumn this month
- Took kids to Science Center
- Nathan had a birthday party at our house and at the Museumm of Transportation
- Nathan turned 5!
- Mother's Day and art fair Laumier Sculpture park
- Started the KidsBowlFree summer bowling program with kids
- Nathan's last day of Preschool and picnic
- Nathan's first T-ball game
- SCARY funnel cloud by our house that several neighbors took pictures of while I was hiding downstairs in the bathroom with kids!!!

June
- Took kids to Arnold Park
- Read the Thunder Cake book to the kids, and baked it, too!
- Finished the first level to the Library Reading program
- Made a Summer To-Do list
- Nathan's 2nd year of Vacation Bible School
- Last T-Ball game

July
- Took kids to Farmer's Market at Tower Grove Park and CRAZY CRAZY FREAKY lightning bolt came down and tore off bark on a tree by a bench in the park. So scary!
- Janne sent me a super sweet package of clothes for Auttie
- Autumn got a BIG GIRL bed, Dora Style!
- First 5K of the year, Fleet Feet Rock N Roll 5K
- My friend Katie had baby Liam
- We made icecream in a bag
- Nathan's professional T-Ball picturse
- Autumn's first movie, Cars 2! (Nathan also came)
- Started summer swim classes
- Nathan's sunflower bloomed

August
- My brother turned 40
- Started doing more of the Lowes Buld and Grows with the kids, made a School Locker
- Took kids to Blessing of the Backpacks
- Bought two frogs, Henry and Mater
- First day of Kindergarten for Nathan
- Lowes Build and Grow, Schoolhouse picture frame
- Took the kids to the Zoo with my Mom
- Took the kids to the pool (Arnold Rec)
- I turned 34!
- Took the kids to Sandy Creek Covered Bridge (my Mom came too)
- Kids first game of mini golf
- Took kids to the Teacher's Lounge, made Pigs
- Nathan and Autumn got to go to Krispy Kreme for the first time for hot doughnuts, loved it
- Nathan finished Library Reading Program
- Made Sand and Shell Hands as a craft with the sand from Nathan and Autumn's first beach trips in Gulf Shores

September
- Made a Fall To Do list
- Toe Surgery for me
- Took the kids to Things that Go
- Family Reunion with my Mom's side. Nathan played in corn field with cousins.
- Nathan's first soccer practice
- Ran at Jefferson Barracks park for the first time
- Took kids apple picking for the first time at Eckerts
- Went on a Riverboat cruise

October
- Cardinals won the World Series
- Lowes Build and Grow, Firetruck
- Took kids to Thies Pumpkin Land and Patch
- Nathan had professional KIndergarten photo
- Nathan got his first Golden Foot Token for running laps at school
- I ran my second 10K race, same race the Go! St. Louis Halloween 10K Run. I dressed up as Sookie Stackhouse.
- Bought new bedding for my master bedroom
- Uncle Jeff and Tracy had a Halloween party
- Took kids to Boo at the Zoo for first time
- Took kids to PATs Halloween party
- Trunk or Treat at Nathan's school
- Halloween, Nathan was a red Angry Bird and Autumn was a baby owl

November
- Went hiking at Elephant Rocks State park
- Nathan has another scary asthma attack
- Nathan has his last soccer game
- Made a fondant tablecloth tea party themed cake for Autumn's birthday party
- Autumn turned 3!
- Took Nathan and Autumn to see Gardenland Express
- Celebrated Thanksgiving at Jeff and Tracy's

December
- Elfie came to visit!
- Made a gingerbread house with kids
- Lowes Buld and Grow, engine, coal car and caboose
- St. Nick's Day gifts were left for kids
- Made a Christmas card photo
- Volunteered at Santa's Kottage at Nathan's school
- Nathan had a Christmas Musical for School
- Had family over for a Christmas Eve lunch
- Christmas, Nathan's big gift was Razor scooter with light up wheels and electric slot cars, Autumn's was bitty twins with push wagon
- Binky fairy came, Autumn has weaned off her binky
- Started using my new Garmin more

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Loving my new Garmin

garmin
Who said running was free? Right before my 10K race, I was surprised with a Garmin Forerunner to replace out my Nike+ that was just not tracking my distance accurately. (Pedometer versus GPS, which wins?!) I have only used the Garmin outside once, for the 10K race, but I did get the foot insert so I can use it on the treadmill (without GPS). I am really looking forward to the Spring when I can use it faithfully outdoors. I also love all of the DETAILS it gives you after a run. Here is a screen capture of what it looks like after you download a run to your computer, not sure how well you can see it being that I have to scale it down to fit it on my blog. Love, love, love it! I also love that it fits on my wrist, so much better then strapping it to my arm. Why is it better? Because I can see my numbers by the flick of the wrist instead of trying to run and read the glare of the iPod in my case on my arm while running (not easy). This Forerunner is going to get a lot of usage!

What I will miss with the Nike+ is the Coach section, which I used to train for my 10K. It tells you how many miles to run every week, and recorded your runs in the Coach section. I haven't found anything like this on Garmin's website yet, but maybe I haven't discovered it yet. Also, I miss the community/friends that Nike+ had... I haven't seen anything on Garmin where you can make friends with other runners and see when they run and their numbers. But, I can lose that over having a more accurate GPS device for my outdoor runs.

Almost.

I am hoping Friday goes well, my trial is scheduled in the morning. We have settled property, so Friday will be about custody and child support. I am ready to get past this in-between stage of my life and to move on to a better place. Bluntly, I am going to say that 2011 has been an awful-awful-awful year...

But! I was working on a Mondo Beyondo Year End Assessment that was sent out last week, and it asked what I was brave or had courage with this year. I had trouble answering that question, because I haven't felt brave or courageous this year. But, then I realized that courage is facing your fears. I faced them all this year.

Here is to 2012 being the BEST YEAR EVER. A year for new personal growth, rebuilding and happiness.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Autumn's 3 Year Old Well Visit and Binky Fairy

Auttie-driving
I took Autumn in for her 3 year old well visit a couple of weeks ago, but with all of the holiday busyness, I never had time to blog about it! She is doing really well, I was excited to see that she is more of an average height now, and not SUPER tall (she was in the 81% last year and is now 40%!). Which, is probably why she has thickened out some and is 29 lbs now and was 24 lbs last year this time. She really loves to eat, she has a breakfast before we leave the house in the morning then has another breakfast at my Mom's after I drop her off.

Here are her stats:

Height: 37" (40.74%)
Weight: 29 lb (29.62%)

Unfortunately, she still has a heart murmor... but, it doesn't need to be looked at by a specialist nor does she need antibiotics when she goes to the dentist. Its more of a developmental heart murmor, it will probably go away in a few years as her body continues to grow.

I wanted to post a picture of Autumn's favorite toy, her red car. Her and her babies go everywhere in the house in this car. It was especially cute today when I took this picture, because she got into the coat closet and put her hat and gloves on like she was driving outside. Ha, ha!

A LOT has happened in Autumn's life in 2011.

1. Autumn moved to a big girl bed

2. Autumn was potty trained

3. Autumn got rid of her BINKY!

lalaloopsie
YAY! Yes, number 3 just happened the weekend before Christmas. I decided I had to get rid of the blasted binky once and for all, and I was going to do it COLD TURKEY! Yes, I had the binky fairy swoop in (even after I saw Autumn try to secretly hide a binky under some wash cloths), and binky fairy took all the binkys on her dresser and the binky under the wash cloths. She also left this adorable Lalaloopsy doll (aren't these dolls heads gigantic?!)... It left for a very fussy Autumn (especially when her hidden binky was taken, too!) and we had a very rough two nights. BUT, the third day was the charm and little Autumn forgot ALLLLL about her binky.

Cut to just this last Friday, when I am working on baking cookies and Nathan tells me from the living room that he knocked over my tree. I of course asked him WHICH tree, because the Christmas tree and a decorative tree are in that room. Whew! It was the decorative tree, but in the process a 'binky' that had not been taken from Binky Fairy had fallen out and been seen by Miss Autumn. I took that binky and OHHHH it started the flood gates and 'Beeebeeee!' (what she calls them) ALL over again for a good hour. But, then she forgot all about it once the cookies were out of the oven and we've been happy ever after since then! If I had known it was this easy to get rid of the binky, I would have done it a year ago! Ha, ha!

So proud of my little Autumn!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Day

Nathan-stocking
I didn't get the kids back from their Dad until 2pm today, and I was so glad once I had them back. I must say, going on Facebook in the morning and seeing everyone posting photos of their kids opening gifts made me very sad. :( But, such is life. I decided since the kids opened their presents yesterday, I would leave one gift for them to open today and their stockings. It seemed to go over really well, and was a great idea of mine, I must say. :o)- Here is Nathan with his stocking.


Nathans-stocking-contents
All the stuffings in his stocking. :) Can't wait to put the Angry Bird shirt on him tomorrow.


Auttie-and-her-stocking
Autumn and her stocking


Autties-stocking-contents
And, all of Autumn's goodies


Auttie-happy-dora
Autumn's dress up doll


Nathan-and-his-scooter
Finally a picture of Nathan with his scooter...


Crazy-scooter-pic
I had to include this picture. Yeah, yeah... Crazy boy with his tongue hanging out with flashing scooter wheels. I think he may just love this scooter.


Autumn-in-wagon-with-twins
Here is a picture of Autumn with her Bitty Twins. I am not sure how she can fit herself and her babies in her wagon, but she can!


cardboard-house
And, here is Autumn by her house. A HUGE 5' cardboard house that GRANDMA bought and thought I had room for... I don't. But, it makes Autumn happy, so I think I can tolerate it. ha, ha! I should have taken a picture of all the stuff she put inside it, cough cushions, bandaids, dolls, her socks, etc. Pack rat! heheh.

Christmas Eve Lunch with my Family

Mulled-wine
I had my family over for lunch after the kids opened their gifts. I was pretty busy prepping all of the food, but it made for a great lunch and now I'll have a lot of yummy leftovers this week. I decided to make the Mulled Wine again, it is a warm wine with a lot of spices.


Dip-and-cake
Then in the crockpot section I had a yummy Rotel and Velvetta cheese dip and my warm chocolate cake (all cooked in the crockpot) I make every year at Christmas time. It is so yummy!


Lots-of-food
Then, the main food area I had strawberry spinach salad, vegetable tray, honey baked ham and turkey, bread, hashbrown casserole, lasagna, dogs in a blanket and regular fruit salad. Yum!


Nathan-opening
After we ate we opened gifts. I cannot believe I did not get a picture of Nathan with his new Razor scooter with light up wheels from Grandma and Pa, but you can see it laying on the floor here.


Car-on-Wall
Another one of Nathan's neat gifts, it is Finn from Cars 2, and the car is remote control and has a vacuum so it suctions to the wall. Let me just say, I will be buying some rechargeable batteries for this toy because it drained 5 brand new AA batteries in FIVE MINUTES!



Mom-with-ornament
My Mom with one of the kids ornaments


Running-Medals
Autumn helping me unwrap my gits, such a cutie. One of my favorite gifts, a running medals wall plaque! Just need to put in the screws, and I can hang it up with my medals. Fun, fun!

Opening of the Presents on Christmas Eve Morning

Presents-set-out
Here is the tree, with presents under it (finally!)... Santa was good to the kids this year. Nathan's electric slot car set is on the table on the right, and on the left you'll see a Strawberry Shortcake dollhouse that I loved very much as a child and I am handing down to Autumn this Christmas. I hope she loves it as much as I did.


Dirtbikes
Nathan's little dirt bikes


Strawberry-shortcake-dollhouse
A closeup of the Strawberry Shortcake dollhouse, and I bought her a new set of Strawberry Shortcake dolls for it.


Nathan-slot-cars
And, the MORNING excitement. Nathan's started playing with his slot cars RIGHT away. He was so excited.


Autties-dolls
Autumn didn't have her PJ's on due to a little accident, and I couldn't get new ones on her because she was SO excited about gifts. So, here is one photo of her after she opened her Shortcake dolls.


Babies-in-wagon
Autumn fell in love with her new Bitty Twins and their wagon. She says the brown haird one is me, and the blonde haired Bitty Twin is her. Cute! She even made sure that her old Bitty Baby that she got last Christmas did not miss out on any attention, and she is in the wagon as well!

One last Elfie post... since this one got lost.

Elfie-hanging-upside-down
Autumn has a pink Little Tikes chalk/magnetic easel that she just loves. Elfie decided to have some fun with her easel one morning...


Blank-Christmas-tree
On the other side of the easel, he left a watercolor set and drew a template of a Christmas tree. (Ignore the plastic Halloween cup! Ha!)


Autties-tree
Autumn loves art... anything with chalk, crayons, paint, you name it. I decided to hang her tree up on her bedroom door. Isn't it adorable?


Nathans-tree
Then, Nathan wanted to do one. Here is his on his door.

Nathan and Autumn's 2011 Ornaments

working-on-Autties-ornament
It has been a tradition in our household, that every year the kids make an ornament. I have so much fun figuring out an ornament idea every year, and then working with them to create it. Usually I have a little trouble digging up ideas, but thanks to Pinterest, I had no trouble figuring out an idea for this years ornament. I decided to do snowmen ornaments, with the kids fingerprints being the snowman's rosey cheeks.


Autumn-asleep
Luckily, I did Autumn's when she had fallen asleep on the couch one afternoon. She rarely naps, so this was a perfect opportunity to paint her little finger red and to get fingerprints on six ornaments. She had her little hand just posed for me-- ha, ha! And, she did not even wake up!


fingerprints-on-ornaments
Here the ornaments are drying after I got both kids fingerprints on them in red


Nathans-painted-faces

Autumns-painted-faces
Then I painted the faces on for them. Nathan's ornaments are the matte white ones, Autumn's are a pearly white


Nathans-ontree

Auts-on-tree
And, here are the ornaments on the tree. I have a whole section on our tree for the ornaments the kids have made... it is my favorite part of the tree.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Busy Day Before Our Christmas Eve Partay!

Elfie-playdough
I am hosting Christmas Eve lunch this year, so I KNEW I would be really busy today cleaning house, making side dishes, desserts, etc. So, Elfie visited our house THREE times today with plenty of distractions for the kids. First, he brought the kids new playdough and playdough cutters. The playdough cutters are actually a couple of years old, and Elfie brings them back with new playdough every year. I always keep all the little old shapes that harden from the previous years and I have him bring them back in a plastic bag. Its fun to add to our collection every year!


crazy-nathan
The kids played with the playdough for a long time, of course I had to help them open the lids or make some shapes. But, they really enjoyed it. But, after the play dough wore off... the kids got a little antsy! And, I was still working on sides for the party! Here is Nathan in his PJ's (yes, it was a TOTAL PJ's day!)


Aut-Moms-Purse
Autumn with my purse. That girl!!


Elfie-Cookies
Elfie decided the kids needed another fun activity, of course this one involved me... but, that is ok! He brought them supplies to make our cookise for Santa for tonight! Santa is actually coming tonight at our house, so the kids will be opening gifts tomorrow morning when they wake up.


baby-cutter
Autumn fell in love with this...


Aut-baby-cutter
A BABY sized gingerbread cookie cutter! Yes, we had Momma size, Nathan size, and Autumn size (because she's loves babies!).


aut-and-her-babies-tray
Look at all of those babies... and that smile.


Nat-holding-his-tray
Here is Nathan with all of his gingerbreads


Nat-decorating

Auttie-decorating
Decorating


Nathans-cookies
Nathan's cookies


Autties-cookies
Autumn's cookies


Kids-with-cookies-for-santa

Cookies-for-Santa-plate
Cookies and Milk for Santa. They have different PJ's on because I gave them a bath before bed.


twas_night_before
And, we always finish the night by reading 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. We have the Mary Engelbreit illustrated one. Of course, Autumn requested I read it twice. Now they are tucked into bed, waiting for Santa and a fun filled morning of opening gifts before our party with my family.
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