Thursday, November 29, 2012 Christmas!!

In my family, we always started our Christmas decorations the day after Thanksgiving. No Black Friday shopping for us, we were busy decorating our (fake) tree, hanging up wreaths, and sorting through ornaments while we listened to Christmas music.

Mr. River doesn't seem as enthused about doing all the Christmas decorating on the day after Thanksgiving, and this year Thanksgiving fell so early that I was still in November-fall-fun mood and not feeling Christmasy quite yet.

But, with Thanksgiving and my birthday behind us, I am now feeling ready to deck the halls! Or at least, our apartment.

And so, today we started with the lights!

Blue helped daddy hang up the lights while Baby Bear stared up in awe. Blue helped me pick out some icicle lights at Target the other day to go with our standard Christmas decorating lights.  Of course, they were even more appealing since they are blue :) We put those out on our balcony.

Out front. Mr River and Blue hung up our multicolored lights, and then we even decorated the tree out front! I hope the complex doesn't mind lol. They're doing inspections next week so we'll see!

Blue decided to add some Christmas spirit  to our sidewalk :)

We discovered some awesome mushrooms at the base of the tree!

Blue admires the balcony

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Of hats and Etsy

So as the month is coming to a close, we're about to begin decorating for Christmas and start up our winter crafts. We've already started a few, and pictures will probably be up in a few days :)

But, in the meantime, I have to share my excitement at finally starting an Etsy shop! People have told me for years to start one, so we'll see how it goes :)

The starting batch included a new style that I really loved doing, became a bit addicted to, and made three of LOL. My goal is to list 2-4 hats each week and fine tune it as I figure out what people are interested in buying. I need to set up a parallel Facebook shop to keep up the social side, so stay tuned for that. Hopefully I can do that in the next few days, but some IRB stuff on the research side has me a busy bee this week.

The first batch of hats!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


So a second post because this one will be a big pic bomb :)

Yesterday, we spent an hour outside playing with the girls. It started with Blue riding her Strider (balance bike) and showing us how good she's getting at it. She's preferred her tricycle for most things, but the last few times we've taken her to ride something she's requested the Strider. And now that she's getting better at it, she's really preferring it! Baby Bear sat with me and played with textured balls while we watched Blue.

But as the sun started going down, we spotted the leaf pile on one of the lawns. San Diego doesn't really get a colorful fall, but our complex was awesome in planning the feel of the community and planted many trees that would still give us a feeling of fall. We get a few weeks (or maybe even over a month) of leaves falling. And if it's been awhile since the lawnmowers went over the grass, we can actually scoop them up into piles. We watched neighbor kids do this the other day, using a frisbee as their "rake," and their leaf pile was still there.

So how could we resist letting our San Diego girls have some true fall fun of rolling in leaves?

Tricycling the bay, Gator Golf at the mall, and Gymbo!

The past few weeks have been pretty chaotic in the non-kid areas of life.  The whole house was very sick, I presented at a conference, had standard work write-ups, and I also put in a few hats to sell at the local consignment store. Busy busy!

This week, though, is very nice and relaxed :) So time to catch up on what's been going on!

First, we've been trying to do weekly playdates with another family from Blue's school. The first week, we met up at Mission Bay. The girls played on the play structures and then rode on the bikepath for awhile with their tricycle and scooter. Mission Bay is such a great place to spend the afternoon with the kids - numerous open grass areas, playgrounds, and of course the actual bay. It's also great for kite-flying. But, the bay is windy and cool. With the time change and falling temperatures, it was just too chilly and dark to resume the playdates there in the late afternoon. So our weekly play-dates moved to the friend's house, where the girls played while the moms crocheted. :)

We've also been doing more walking to the mall. It's only a city block away from us, and there is a nice walkway that avoids all the main streets.  The weather has been cooler at night (low to mid 60s in the evening) which makes the walk so much more pleasant than the heat we had been experiencing. Jackets, cool air, and getting to watch the leaves fall - it's nice! We even stopped at Starbucks the one evening and picked up a cakepop for Blue - who has only had them a few times. She took one bite and declared she was done lol

The mall has also been renovated this year and has a new playground as well as putting greens! So it's nice to walk down there just to windowshop and enjoy some of those amenities. We even brought our Gator Golf clubs the last time we went :) 

Finally, we enrolled Baby Bear in Gymboree! Blue started Gymboree when she was about 10 months old and just loved it. Aside from all the developmental benefits and small things like taking turns, transitioning activities, and sharing - it is just a great one-on-one thing to do with them. Our Gymboree offers "Open Gym" (free play) six days a week, which really maximize the value you get for the cost.

Baby Bear LOVES Gymboree! And we are so very glad we enrolled her. It's nice to have something to do with just us and her while Blue is at school. We do gymnastics with Blue and now Gymboree with Baby Bear. I think it's nice to have that dedicated time with each, though of course we could do it in other ways as well.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tis almost the season

The holiday attire crafting has begun! If I'm to not go insane during December, I need to also start the various gifts I'm making. Hoping to do that soon, as soon as I finish the other list that's a mile long :P

These baby-legs/leggings are from a pattern I was testing for an author. They turned out super cute, though Baby Bear's chubby thighs didn't let me pull them up any further haha.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween and Thankfulness

Happy Halloween 2012 from Blue and Baby Bear!

Blue had us worried she might be getting sick, and we weren't sure if trick or treating and other standard Halloween events would be going on this year. I had a full day/evening of "HouseAWeening" all planned - essentially our crafting and other activities all jammed together. But, Blue was fine and was able to go to her school parade, to her friend's Halloween party, and trick or treating! Mr. River even got the evening off early and joined us!

What a great way to end October!

We started November off with some family arts and crafts to think about, talk about, and celebrate being "thankful." It's a rare thing that we're all involved in the crafts, as we usually do them while Mr. River is at work. So we were thankful for that alone :)

Appropriately, we painted and assembled some turkeys to go up on out fall wall! Blue and I talked about what thankful means, and we both thought of things that we are thankful for - to put on her turkey. Baby Bear also had her turkey filled up - by Blue and Mr. River - of all the things she loves and is thankful for.

I think they turned out pretty cute :)

First we did the turkey bodies. Baby Bear tried to first color them, but then we turned to painting

Then we made the feathers. I first tried to cut feathers out, but they were too small to easily paint. So instead, we painted a paper first, then cut leaves from it :)


Blue helped glue the finished feathers onto the turkeys

And then handprint turkeys!

Tada! I finished their small details and then we talked about things we are thankful for.

I think they turned out great :)