Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Too Many Ideas, Too Little Time

Have you ever being frustrated by this too? I read lots of blogs, mostly crafting and sewing related, and mostly about kids. Well, I love crafting and sewing, and I have a baby girl. So, whenever I ran into a great idea, or wonderful tutorial that makes everything looks so simple, I always think "if they can make it, so can I", "Oh, I got to make that cute dress for my girl", "what a wonderful party idea, I should do that for next holiday or birthday", etc. After my to-do and wish lists get longer and longer, and materials piled up all around the house, they just simply became clutters, both physically and mentally. Ok, why suddenly thinking about this? I was reading one of my favorite blog, Small Notebook, and saw this old post, How to protect your time from too many good ideas. It's like Rachel is talking about me too. Let's face the facts, how many hours do I have every day for crafting or sewing, or anything creative. Well, I do have a full-time job, more than two hours commute daily, all the cleaning and cooking (I got used to cook a lot for dinner, because we both bring lunch to work. so dinner normally takes about an hour to cook, rice, four dishes and a soup), getting a two year old ready for daycare in the morning, make sure she eats her dinner (takes forever), give her a bath at night, play time with her before bed, then doing all the laundry, after all these, I probably have about one hour free time. But by then, I am normally very tired, and rather climb up into the sofa and watch some TV. So, when will I ever have time for some serious sewing? Besides, little caterpillar already has a full closet of clothes, enough for twin girls I think.

From now on, I should carefully evaluate each idea before I add it to my to-do list, and really organize my time better. Just because I know how to do it, doesn't mean I have to do it. If I can buy something really cheap, cheaper than the labor and materials I will have to put into it, I should definitely support the economy. And I need to treat myself to some quality me-time, and more sleep. I am so tired and sleepy all the time!

How about you? Are you ambitious when it comes crafting and sewing?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

What A Fun Party!

I was reading one of my favorite blog Sarah Janes Studios Blog today, and saw this cute little birthday party done by one of her fan. I love her Children at play fabrics, so I had to jump over and read the entire post. Seriously, you guys should read it too, so many great ideas, fun games, yummy food and drinks, and the best part is the decoration! Oh, how I want to throw a bday party for my little girl, just like this! BUT, Stubborn insisted no party this year! He thinks only the first birthday worth celebrating. Hmmm! Well, maybe I can just decorate the house a little bit, even if there won't be any guests. It is so hard to not copy everything from this party. Nobody likes a copycat, but who can resist all that cuteness!? Seriously!

Monday, August 29, 2011

When Was The Last Time You Slept Like A Baby?

Sometimes I am so jealous of her! I think the last time I had a solid night sleep was years before I was pregnant with her!

Friday, August 26, 2011

We Got A Little Monkey

Too pretty and nice to be a little monkey? Look again!

Yeah, she can climb that rock wall so easily now. But daddy is always just an arm's reach away, in case she slips.

Well, she wanted to try out the big kid swing! STANDING UP! Let's just say she didn't like it as much. Whew!

So, does she look like a little monkey to you now, or what? This little girl got amazing upper body power. She could hold on to it for a couple of minutes!

And the big slide is not challenging enough any more, she has to go on that tallest, curved slide, just like the big kids. She had a pony tail that day, otherwise, you could see all her fine hair standing up. Very funny!

At the bottom of the slide, she always tries to jump off. But she hasn't figure out how to jump with both feet yet, so it's more like just walk off it, very dangerous! So, daddy has to be there, holding her hands, and lifting her up, trying to teach her the two-feet-together jump. I am pretty sure, she will figure it out soon, and jump right off, and land face down on the ground. I am telling you, we have to constantly keep our eyes on this little monkey, she has no sense of danger!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Recent Thrifting Finds

I have been kind of busy this summer, so didn't stop by many yardsales. But I tried to find time to visit local Salvation Army a couple times a month. Here are just some of the cool stuffs I found lately.

Fisrt, I have to show you this adorable Mickey clock! Isn't it the cutest you've seen? I was wondering around SA, checking random stuffs, the guy was putting new items on the shelves. Then I spotted this. Snapped it immediately, since there were several other ladies checking the same area. They didn't have battery for me to test it out, but for $2.99, I just couldn't resist. I tested it as soon as I got home, and was so thrilled that it works just fine. Little caterpillar loves her Mickey book collection, so she was more than happy to have a moving Mickey in her room. Also, it's not as loud as the clock I bought before (I had to take that one off, because Stubborn couldn't sleep). And I love the pop of red in her blue nursery.

I found this little jar on the same shelf where the clock was. Fell in love with the simple and vintage design. It was made in Finland. Once I clean up my sewing area, I will use this one to hold my bobbins, instead of the clear sauce jar I was using. This is how I knew it was made in Finland. Hey, just found a similar one (same size) on eBay, and it's about $70! And according to this listing, it was designed by Ulla Procopé & Raija Uosikkinen, and produced in January 1969, and is selling for $80! And this price is because it has a chip! Wow! Mine is in perfect condition! I think I bought it for only $1.69 + tax! I am not selling it though. This baby is too cute, it's mine!

I also bought this little creamer for $1.69 as well. I love white and blue, and this one is so lovely, I just couldn't resist it, even though we have no use for a creamer. There were two actually, similar style, the other one was all aqua blue inside. Very pretty, but had a chip at the tip area. I thought mine was perfect, but found a small chip inside the handle when I was cleaning it. Well, it still worth it. I am trying to collect enough cute tea cups, tea pots, little dessert plates, and all things related to a tea party for my little girl. The tea party table chair set I have been refinishing for her is almost done. They will be my secret bday gift to her. Look how pretty it is even from the back.

This set of coasters was purchased earlier this summer. We don't really use coasters in the house, but they are so interesting, and I was curious about their origin. I think the whole set was about $1. The coasters were separated by these old newspaper, but I couldn't tell what language is that. Anyone has any ideas?

(picture here later)
This little girl was purchased earlier this year. It was only $.69. It's just too cute. Immediately after I showed it to my girl, she claimed it as her new chewing toy! (she was younger then) Well, she was not chewing on it, just drool all over it. This girl was made in Japan.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Quiet Bday

We don't really celebrate our (adults) birthday too seriously here. By here, I mean in our house, and among most our Chinese friends. Our culture is just to have longevity noodle on your birthday, the cake thing came from western culture, and really old generation still don't like it. We have a phrase that symbolize death is "blow out the candles and unplug them from the candlesticks". So, you can guess what the older generation think about blowing out the candles on your cake and take them out. Anyway, back to our sort of bday celebration. Stubborn didn't want anything big for his bday, no gifts either. So, I surprised him at work (he had to do some work that weekend), by bring little caterpillar over to his company, all dressed up like a baby doll, handing him a flower bouquet. Stubborn is a man of few words, so the only responds we got from him was a simple "Thank you". But then he took us out for a seafood buffet! WE LOVE SNOWCRABS! There were tons of snowcrabs, fish, lots of different flavor of shrimp dishes, and sushi. Little caterpillar's favorite, tons of fruits and cakes! We had a blast, well minus a bruised head (bumped on the table) and unbelievably dirty dress.

His company throws summer beach party every year, and this year is his bday week. So, that kind of counts as bday activity. It was kind of cloudy, but perfectly warm and the water was so amazing!Little caterpillar got to dig a shallow pool with the big girls,And got to play with one of the girls' surfboard. And best of all for her, she got to drive daddy's car. Joking! She loves to pretend to drive, both hands on the steering wheel, sometimes worked on the stick shift and the parking brake, just like daddy. Oh no, honey, daddy never drove standing up in the seat before! Silly!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Key Situation

We always had a key bowl by the front door, even before we moved into this house. Ever since we got our beloved console table, it has been sitting on it proudly, and super conveniently. I even have a special Christmas bowl to swap out every year. Isn't it cute? Well, technically it's a candy bowl, but hey, a bowl is a bowl, and it's perfect size for our keys.
OK, back to the normal key bowl situation. You see, now our little caterpillar is growing up, there has been lots of new toddler proofing to do around the house. Apparently, tall and curious is not a very safe combination. She can reach almost anywhere, including the higher countertop in the kitchen. So, she has been grabbing keys and changes and other small objects (I drop my earrings in there sometimes too, bad mom) from our keybowl. Stubborn got really fed up one day, and cleared out all things dangerous from the top of the little console table, and the tiny drawer (yeah, she can open everything too). We also really need more space for mails and magazines. So, sadly the little keybowl has to go. The only free space right by the front door is this tiny wall space between the door and the windows. A short trip to Lowe's, some measuring and drilling later, we got two new shiny keyhooks. Nothing fancy, just practical. Enough space for all our keys (backup ones are in a box in the home office).See how nice and clean they look now? Not covered by the curtain, and not bothering the light switch. The color is not matching the curtain rod, but this is just a quick solution, and I am more into nickel finish these years anyway. One more look at the less cluttered console table. Now I don't need to worry about mails and magazines falling off the table any more. Just hope my little girl won't suddenly love to tore apart our mails.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Not A Baby Any More

It's amazing how fast babies grow up! My little caterpillar is not even two, yet sometimes she just surprises us with her determination and ambition. Like a couple of weeks ago, (is it really that long since I last processed any pictures? how lazy am I?) we were swimming at our local city pool (so convenient for us, only 2 minutes driving distance). She has been swimming (more like soaking) there ever since the beginning of the season. At first, she cried and screamed everytime, but once the water temperature went up, she really started to enjoy it. But this time, I was totally shocked that she was brave enough to actually swim by herself. Of course, Stubborn was an arm length away, no danger at all. Actually, Stubborn has been taking her to the pool almost everyday after school, while I stayed home cooking. So apperantly this is not the first time she did this, but first time I saw it, and caught it on camera. I was so excited and wanted to jump in and swim with her. But where was I really, and what was I doing?You see, I was still recovering from the terrible falls that happened three weeks ago. And plus I just wanted to be the paparazzi mom sometimes. And I knew what will happen if I get any closer. She just all of a sudden wants to be mommy's little baby again. Well, maybe she was just tired. She did climbed out of the pool by herself, that's not a baby move!

Did you think she was done for the day? Oh no! Five minutes later, she was running around the playground next door. And of course, those baby stuffs were not interesting to her any more. She wanted to try the big kid's games, like rock climbing. I felt really scared for her, that wall is almost totally vertical, and it's so high that Stubborn could barely touch her feet when she reached the top. I wanted to scream so many times, but worried that I would distract her and make her fall. So, I quickly snapped a couple of pictures, then ran up to the top to catch her and help her. Look how concentrated she was! No wonder why people always ask me whether she is 3-yr-old. You don't see the concentration and determination on a baby's face, not like this!And you think she will just walked down the stairs from there? Wrong again. She chose the highest slide, and went down even without turning around and checking with mommy! She just let go! What a brave little girl! Mommy is so proud of you. And if you are anything like your mommy when she was little, which surely look like the case, mommy's in for a lots of troubles! Guess it's karma, I did scared my mom a lot by doing crazily dangerous stuffs that even older boys didn't dare to. Well, pay back time.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Curious Girl

I found this tiny baby grasshopper on the bench on our front porch the other morning, it's so green and very fragile looking. Little caterpillar was facinated by it. Even though she really wanted to grab it, she listened to mommy and was very gentle. She put her hand up close, hoped it would climb up to her hand. Unfortunately, I think the little guy was dead already, so it fell off the bench. This is my curious little girl went down to check on it. Before she realised it was dead, I picked it up and throw it into the yard, and told her that little guy went back home. Little white lie to make sure she won't feel the sadness. It's too early to teach her life and death.

Since I had my camera in hand, I walked around the yard quickly and snapped some new pictures of my flowers. You got to love perennial garden, not much work needed, and the plants just bloom one after another. It's quite a show in my backyard now. Oh, actually this first one is annual (Balsam), but it self seeds, so I didn't do a thing to get these pretty flowers. That's totally welcome in my low maintenance garden.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Baby Meets Lobster

Last week, I bought some lobsters for dinner one night, as Stubborn requested. Little caterpillar had lobster last summer, but she was too young to understand it or even remember it. So, this counts as her first time meets Mr. Lobster. She was facinated by them, so big, and moving around, very strange "big shrimp". Yeah, that's what she called them, Big Shrimp! She really wanted to play with them, but being 'bad' parents as we are, we couldn't risk her losing a finger. So, I dumped them in the boiling water and closed the lid! Oh, she was not happy about that at all. You cannot really see it in the picture since I blurred her face, she still had some tears on her face when the lobsters finally came to the table. See her fingers in the mouth? Like she was confused and saying "what should I do with you?"
Then she tried to bite the antenna.
We peeled the lobsters and gave her some of those tender meat from the claws, but she refused it. Hmm? But when Stubborn showed her the peeled tail part, she acted like a little shark, mouth opened as big as possible, almost bit off half of that tail! So funny! I guess she liked the tail shape much better. What happened to the big heads? This is soooo funny. She was pushing them on the table like cars! Engine sound and all! How on earth did she think of that? You got to love little kid's imaginations! Too bad I only have a mental picture of this. You see, my camera was right next to me, but my fingers were way too "stinky", there is no way I was going to jeopardize my camera's future by touching it. Guess we need to buy more lobsters and try to catch that moment again.