Monday, October 30, 2006

Evan Falling Asleep on the Job

This was from awhile ago... but I forgot I never posted it.

Towel Tasting

Another one that I forgot I never posted. I just upload them and expected you to find them on google videos...

Friday, October 27, 2006

Christmas Ornament Swap

I thought this was a great idea. Sign up get a list of 8-10 people to mail your ornaments, make 8-10 crafty ornaments, mail out by Dec 1st, and get 8-10 in the mail from other crafty people around the world!
I just might try it if I have enough time.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Parler NON Francais!!!

Today we find ourselves in Gatineau, Quebec, struggling just to order a McPoulet from Mc Frickin Donalds!! Mark says, "I bet the cashier was thinking, you stupid Americans can't even order your own American food!" Well, who'd think that in Canada the menus at McDonalds would be all in French? Only in Quebec! We thought if we order by number it be easy. Nope. Then paying for it was a pain. "Visa, NOT accepted everywhere." And trying to get cash back was just as tough. We went from grocery stores to fast food resturants and gave up. We finally got to an ATM to get cash to pay tips at the Hilton so we wouldn't look cheap. We felt bad that we didn't have cash to tip so we parked our own car and moved our own luggage to avoid it. hehehe. That's the true sign of a cheapskate. Those valet guys outside were probably bad mouthing us in French while we walked away and we didn't even know it. We just say "Howdy!"

Mark's at a conference and Evan is taking a nap, so I'm sitting around in a bathrobe and slippers, eating bonbons. hehehe jk. It's SO cold here. Yesterday, after we checked into the Hilton, it started to snow. Its not cold enough to stick, but it was a pain to run around town in. We're definitely NOT ready for the cold. We were still enjoying 70 degree weather at home.

Yesterday, after we got off the plane and got our rental car (le Pontiac boat), we headed to the nearest church building for sacrament. We got there just in time, but couldn't find seats, so we thought we could just sit in the foyer and they'd come out with it. We thought wrong. We went to the hotel to check in and came back to the singles ward and poor Evan was at the end of his rope and Mark took him out in the foyer. Well, I guess they do things differently here in Canada, cause they again didn't come out into the hall with the sacrament! Poor Mark missed the sacrament twice.

On top of that, sacrament meeting was all messed up. They had a bunch of people go up and bear their testimonies before the sacrament which went on FOREVER. Then they had sacrement and speakers. But the bishop went up in the middle of the speakers to give the ward announcements. So weird.

At least, the Hilton is good. One of the better Hiltons I've been to. And tons of amenities too. Everything from spas, heated outdoor pools that you swim to from the pools indoors, bike rentals, boat dock, gardens, and of course the massive casino. I just wish it wasn't so wet and cold. And everyone here speaks to us in French too. :(

We're on the higher floors and have an amazing view of Quebec, the huge casino, and man-made lake. The casino is attached to the Hilton. I haven't ventured over there yet. I worry that if its anything like Las Vegas casinos that its smokey and loud, therefore not a place for Evan. But I have to say that I like the architecture. Not amusment park looking like a lot of the hotel/casinos on the strip. This one actually looks ultra modern and classy. Come to think of it, a lot of Ottawa's buildings are very modern. Very European modern. I like it. I guess that's expected since everyone here speaks French.

There's one thing about French influence that I can appreciate... their food! Its no ordinary chocolate on your pillow here at the Hilton Lac-Leamy. Its the most divine piece of chocolate I've ever tasted! And best of all it's no dainty piece of chocolate either. Creamy hard chocolate surround a hazelnut chocolate creme middle with little bits of something crispy mixed in. WOW. I'm gonna have to raid the housekeeping ladies' carts when they aren't looking!

As part of the hotel package we get buffet breakfasts every morning. It was just Evan and I at the buffet today, Mark didn't want to get up at 6:30 am today just to have time to eat before his meetings. The buffet was so good. Not at all good for you. hehehe except the fruit. Its a pretty nice resturant, and Evan behaved like a perfect little gentleman. Sitting in his high chair, eating with silverware, and even wiping his mouth with the napkin! (I thought I'd give him the napkin to see what he'd do with it. He first started to wipe the highchair tray with it. Then I showed him how I wipe my mouth with a napkin and then he was wiping his mouth the rest of the meal!)

Well, thats about it for now. I gotta figure out how to get to the art museums downtown from here without the rental.


Thursday, October 12, 2006

IKEA Commercial

Being a big 'contributor' to IKEA's sucess, I get a kick out of this commercial... not sure if it's the real deal or not, but it makes me laugh.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Glass Etching Nativity Scene

I've had a lot of people ask me for the instructions for this craft. So I'm gonna post it here for you all.

NEW!!!   Nativity in Vinyl  & 10% Off Coupon!
I'm excited to tell you that I've joined with JannieJo Creations to have the Glass Etching Nativity image cut out of vinyl for easier application just for you! Have it cut in regular vinyl to etch glass or have it cut in etched glass vinyl and skip the etching cream all together. Either way, it makes for a quick and easy project to add a simply beautiful decoration for the Christmas season to your home or make as a gift.
*ORDER NOW from JannieJo Creations for a limited time! Just for my wonderful crafters, include this coupon code MYNATIVITY2011 in the notes section when you purchase and receive 10% off your entire purchase! *
Hurry and Click!

I'm excited that what started out as a project I drew up to teach a couple ladies at church a simple craft for Christmas, has received a lot of attention!
So, I'm so happy to share my pattern on Etsy!
Happy Crafting Holidays!



*For a little more info on glass etching in general, I found this site to be quite helpful.

ingredients: mirror or piece of glass, 1 sheet 8.5 x 11 inch clear mailing label (Avery brand is the one I used. Any type that can go through a printer and withstand water works), Xacto knife or utility knife, masking tape, paint brush, glass cleaner, and Armour Etch (glass etching cream from local craft store)

CLEAN mirror with glass cleaner.
PRINT image onto 8.5 x 11 clear Avery mailing lable.
PLACE in the center of mirror and adhere one side of mailing lable with masking tape to create a hinge
PEEL backing off of adhesive image in parts, and APPLY it to the front of your mirror.
COVER remaining exposed portions of the mirror with masking tape.
CUT carefully with your X-acto knife the colored portions of the image. Peel the pieces of material out as you go. *If you make a mistake and cut outside of the lines, cover it with a piece of masking tape to prevent the glass etching cream from eating away at the mirror where you don't want it to. Don't worry, the knife will NOT damage the glass.
CLEAN the exposed parts of the mirror CAREFULLY with masking tape and glass cleaner to get any sticky residue off the mirror, being sure not to pull up any of the fine details you have just cut in the adhesive material. Residue left behind will prevent the glass etching cream from etching the mirror and distort your image.
BRUSH on a generous layer of glass etching cream over the exposed portions of the mirror. BE CAREFUL! Wear GLOVES to protect your hands and be sure you are in a WELL VENTILATED room.
WAIT 10 minutes. Wash off your brush.
WASH all the cream off your mirror. You can use your brush to help. If there are spots that didn't etch where it should, clean it again and reapply etch cream, wait 10 mins and wash again.
PEEL off the adhesive material to reveal your final image!
CLEAN the mirror one last time to get any left over sticky residue.

I had a calling at church as a Enrichment Committee member. And we had organized a "Super Saturday" of crafts for one of our activities. I volunteered to teach a class on glass etching a nativity scene on a piece of mirror. I hadn't done it since Junior High, but I figure, "how hard could it be?" I WAY underestimated the project and the time it would take. "Super Saturday" was from 8:30 to 12:30 and only 2 ladies finished. Wow. I had sat down to do an example piece, and it took me 2 hours. But obviously I didn't know how quick I was with an Xacto knife.
Well, overall, the class went well, and the ladies have been calling me one by one as they finish up their pieces at home to tell me how much they loved the end product. I'm so glad.
Teaching this class has been a great confidence booster I think. We've been in this area and our ward for over 2 years and I still feel like I don't really know that many people. And I couldn't make that initial connection to get to know people.
I made it a goal to get to know the sisters that had signed up for my class and to really extend myself to overcome whatever was holding me back. Fear perhaps. For me, it's like a mini-anxity attack at the thought of having to talk to someone, whether I knew them well or not. I never felt like this before.
I think since becoming a mom its gotten worse. I've kind of withdrawn into and been content my own little world. Which is the total opposit of what I should be doing as a new mom. I wouldn't want Evan to grow up to be a hermit, right?
Well, I'm glad to have set a goal to extend myself through this calling and reached it. And, also alittle glad to let this 'secret' out to float around in cyberspace.

Oh, and I found out on Sunday that I was released from Enrichment Committee and called to be a primary worker teaching the 7 and 8 yr olds! I think it will be fun, and a whole new challange. :)

Friday, October 06, 2006

Baby Sign

To answer your question Jerin...
The book Evan was holding up in a previous post is an introductory book on how best to implement sign in your everyday interactions with baby. I got it for $8 @ Target. Its a pretty good book, but it should come with a preface that not all babies need to communicate with sign. I have a friend who's 10 month old boy already "talks" to her. He actually says words and probably doesn't need sign.
They recommend starting at 8 months, but not to expect seeing any reciprocation till 10 months or older. They really should emphasize 'older' cause it just made me frustrated and feel goofy for signing to a kid that doesn't seem to care. :)
I like this book because it emphasizes not just signing, but also speaking to your baby as you sign. That way he's learning both. My only concern was that Evan would get comfortable just signing and not attempt speaking. Right now, he doesn't actually speak words we'd understand, but I know what he's trying to say with the noises me makes and signs.
The book doesn't have as many sign examples as I'd like, but I guess I could just get a real sign language book for that. The funny thing is that Evan has made up his own signs and ways of communicating. And he's simplified signs for his own convenience. Like the sign for banana, the whole sign is one hand holds up an index finger, to represent the banana, and the other hand acts as if its peeling the banana. Evan just does the peeling part with his right hand. So, like baby talk is simplified speech, baby sign is simplified sign language!
What does Evan sign now? Food, drink, banana, thank you, claps when he's pleased with himself, pointing, Lucy to 'come', Lucy to 'stay', where & what, no no no don't touch, all done & all gone (eating), give, and pick him up.
Also, kids are pretty bright to figure out that handing you your keys or their shoes means they want to go out, or something like that, that isn't an official sign. Really the end point is that baby and parent have another way of communicating, other than crying and tantrums.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Santana and the mysterious skunk funk

A title of a children's book I'm working on. hehehe jk
Last week Mark and I had a date nite to see Santana in concert. I was worried that Evan's sitter was going to have a tough time with putting him to bed, but I've learned that shouldn't doubt a fellow mom. So, I was a little curious as to what kind of crowds Santana would draw. He is Mexican, so I wondered if there'd be a lot of Mexicans there. But really it was all the hippies and rockers of the classic rock era that were there. Yeah, OLD hippies are funny dancers. They reminded me of my old HS art teacher Mr. Stockton, who we always tried to trick into admiting to us that he was a hippie.
We had pretty good seats, but I wished we could have moved up closer since it wasn't a sold out show. I told Mark that if Santana played my fav song, Smooth, a duet he did with Rob Thomas from Matchbox20, that it would be a perfect night. And it was.
He also broke out some classics like Black Magic Women. My dad would have loved to hear that one live. I'd have to thank my dad for raising me with an appreciation for music, especially classic rock.
Los Lonely Boys were also playing that night. I was a bit dissapointed with their set choice. Mark said they were probably just testing out some of their other songs to see the crowds reaction. I wasn't too impressed. It just sounded like too much noise. Their saving grace was their final song, How Far is Heaven, when the crowd suddenly woke up and got on their feet.
The only downer was when Santana decided to climb on his soapbox and go on about the war in Iraq. He probably doesn't know how close he is to DC and there are very opposing views on that topic. He started out fine saying "whatever side of the fence you're on" that we should work towards peace. Then he goes on to offend quite a few people, who decided to leave the concert right there. I think what took me back was that people actually had the courage to get up and walk out. Kind of like when a movie is bad, and you decide to walk out. Carlos Santana is entitled to his opinions, but I paid for him to play his guitar that night.

Now, about that mysterious funky skunk. If anyone has any ideas on what it is, please let me know!
Every few weeks, mostly in the summer, but its happened in the winter as well, there's a strange lingering odor that not only permeates into our home, but lingers in the house days after. It smells like skunk, and trust me skunk is one nasty smell. It falls somewhere between rancid garbage and cow farm, but with the kick of vineger being-inhaled-through-the-nose. It gives me a headach just thinking about it. If you've ever drove past a dead skunk on the side of the road, you'd know it by its smell.
I thought this smell was from roadkill out on the main road because I've seen dead skunk there before. We live in a fairly preserved foresty area and roadkill is common. But come on, can one little rodent cause an entire neighborhood to reeeek? Maybe, there's a little skunk family that lives in the woods behind our house and has target practice at our house? or does our town have roadkill BBQs at all hours of the night? I hate it when I wake up to that smell in the middle of the night, especially pregnant! Gag me!

Moving on, a little Evan update:
The Eman DANCES! I'm not sure where he learned it, or when he's seen dancing, but that little guy has got his groove on! Its so random too. We put in the Fat Albert DVD, and when you're in the main menu there's some hip hop music playing in the background. Suddenly, we see Evan stand up from whatever he was doing, and started moving to the music!! Of course, I started freaking out in laughter at his silliness. And it was all over as soon as he saw us cheering him on. So far, we've only seen him dance when Fat Albert and his friends break into song during the movie, when Mark played Boyz to Men, and to an Old Navy commercial "get your fash on". Pretty random. But it's SO FUNNY to see him attempt to bop his head and move his body to the music!!! Click here and here!