Thursday, December 31, 2009

It snowed in phoenix

Just Drew and I were home that night, two nights before Christmas, when our Christmas tree fell to its doom. The little hooligan was at it again playing with the ornaments, and again it fell over, scattering miniscule styrofoam snowballs all over my carpet.

The first time it was kind of funny. Drew had a mouth full of snowballs and was very remorseful. The second time her mouth was clean as a whistle and she acted like the tree falling down was old news ("What's the big deal mom?") I guess you learn after the first time a plastic tree falls down on you to move out of the way. If she only had a few snowballs on her body I might have felt better about the whole thing.

Apparently artificial trees are only manufactured to fall down once. After the second fall, our tree was never to stand again. The plastic base was snapped in two places and no amount of duck tape was holding the thing together.

This Christmas our tree looked beaten to a pulp and leaned against the wall, breathing its last breaths. We might have let that break our Christmas spirit, but we didn't...



Drew was still an angel in the family Christmas Eve nativity play. Although the halo she is wearing is a fake! I promise.




She still got showered with the best gifts (like furry princess boots) that she plays with EVERY day.




We still got to spend time with tons of family.




Drew still got the new pajamas I made for her.




And Christmas morning was still a joy. Although I can't say the same for our sad tree in the background.




And the final tally this year comes in:

Drew- 2
Christmas tree- 0

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Presents











Christmas time has been so much fun this year. Drew doesn't understand all the ins and outs yet of the holiday, but she is crystal clear on one thing. She knows that Santa only brings presents to nice boys and girls. What she has failed to understand is that she is not the authority who brings down law regarding this Christmas rule. At one time or another Jason, myself, and all 200 of her stuffed animals have had their presents taken away this year.

She has always taken the liberty to tell us to "be nice!" Especially when we're doing something really mean like giving her a bath when she doesn't want to. Lately she tacks on to that a cool, calm, and collected "You get no presents." Luckily she is very forgiving and if handled right, the judge will change her sentence. I can't remember at this point if I am or am not getting presents for Christmas this year.

And I believe every resident of the Phoenix valley was at the temple Monday night. And we were smack dab in the middle of them.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Behind the Scenes

I love my model and heaven knows she is sweet, but sometimes taking pictures of Drew is like working with a wild raccoon.

She works best with no direction.

I must follow her around in her natural habitat.

It's as though she doesn't understand my language.

Food rewards are helpful. A single blue M&M can get her in a dress and out the door ready for a photo shoot pretty quickly.


I organized all my picture folders the other day and through the bazillion modeling pictures of Drew. Out of the bazillion are a handful of good shots and the rest are made up of the following...


playing with rocks,




eyes closed,




crying,




playing with more rocks,




that wild hair in the face,




mid sentence,




"if you take another picture of me I will make you pay" face,




and the final, "I'm done."



I just snap pictures through it all.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Kitchen Plans

Erica remodeled my kitchen here! It's all perfect. This should convince Jason to put the plan into action.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

How to enjoy a Christmas tree





One night we find her sitting in her rocking chair, reading Christmas books by tree-light.

The next night we find her on the ground, underneath the tree she just pulled over, with a mouth and hair full of snowballs. She wasn't hurt so I am still laughing at the image.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Thankful





This Thanksgiving I was most thankful for my two frenemies. Both my best friends. Both my enemies when they combine forces against me. Which is most of the time.

See how they enjoy their Thanksgiving dessert.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Backyard Before and After





When we were house hunting back in May and we saw this house, I completely fell in love with it. And like most brand new loves I looked past its flaws. It's main flaw being the backyard which was just small and ugly. "This yard is the perfect size for a two-year-old and we can just take out those bushes, take out all the rock, plant a garden here, plant grass, plant citrus trees here, add a swing here.... It won't be that hard to make it look good." This was coming from a rookie who had never done yard work in her life.

Six months later and we're basically done. All of the work on our house has been on our front and back yard. We've planted so many trees, shrubs, vines that I've lost count. And for each one we had to dig deep holes in our cement dirt with a pick axe and shovel. By "we" I mean "mainly Jason". We love our backyard now though and it is the perfect weather to be outside playing.


So the past couple of weeks almost killed me. I was sewing so much I barely slept, hardly sat at the computer, almost forgot my husband, child, and home, and developed a horrible twitch in my right eye. I hope to never do that to myself again. Or my family. Or to my eye that is still twitching. Seriously, Jason will hardly look at me anymore because it freaks him out.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

People of the Valley



I am really really excited for this boutique! It will be so much fun. And me and my dresses will be there. Don't miss it!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Holiday Dresses

Christmas Plaid Tie Dress:











Holiday Tuxedo Dress:









This Tuxedo Dress is one that I have been dreaming up for a while now.

When I first sketched it, 1) I didn't know how I was going to create the pattern for it, and 2) it kept me awake at night I was so excited about it. It took a good time to figure out how I was going to make it. And then when I figured that out, there were so many pieces and so much construction that it took me a good time to actually make it. But the finished dress makes every ounce of energy worth it. I love it.

I love the tuxedo ruffles, the length of the sleeves, the sleeve cuffs, the pretty collar, and the poofiness and flow of the skirt pieces (poofiness is a great word). It is made out of a poplin fabric that gives it just the right weight and feel. For me, it is perfection.

And Drew has the sweetest lips in that last picture. I will look back at that picture ten years from now and remember what her sweet little two-year-old kisses were like.

Minnie's Halloween







Though she had been milking sickness for every ounce it was worth for the days and hours preceding Halloween (crying all day and all night), trick-or-treating may have been the happiest we have seen her ever. I love Halloween in the Valley where the weather is perfect and no bundling up over the costume is required. I have the best childhood Halloween memories (what up Hawli!) and I can tell Drew will too. She was born for trick-or-treating.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Cast Your Ballot

The flesh has been cut. The guts have been pulled. The seeds have been spilled. This year there are five pumpkin contestants in the PPCC '09 running. You decide who takes the title. Without further ado, meet the contestants...


Frederique. Frederique is from a small cannibalistic tribe in New Guinea and enjoys “hanging out with friends”. He really shines in the light of a campfire. A true friend till the end, just don’t cross him. Frederique is sure to bring the fun to any party!!!





Jack-o-Maggot. More than every fisherman's dream, Jack-O-Maggot is a perfect addition to any halloween decor. Despite his obvious charm, Mr. O-Maggot is also a connoisseur of fine wine and enjoys classical piano. A dynamite challenger!





Meet Your Maker-go-round. Not a ride likely to be seen at Disneyland, the Meet your Maker-go-round leaves every rider breathless... literally. Complete with custom wooden spike seats and hanging bats, spiders, and guts, this ride will surely be the last thrill of your life!







The Pumpkin Queen. What's worse than laughing so hard milk shoots out your nose? How about a 5 foot flame of fire, thats what! And as any jester in Ms. Queen's court will tell you, every act is hot, hot, hot! (see video footage)



video



There was an Old Lady.
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly,
It wiggled and jiggled but she didn't die,
Be warned if you don't see eye to eye,
She will gobble you faster than pumpkin pie.




Please vote by filling out our survey HERE.

Anyone and everyone can vote!

Polls close on Halloween!

Monday, October 26, 2009

My Birthday and the Skunk


Oh this was a good weekend. One of those weekends I've been needing for a very long time. As the title suggests, it was my birthday. Jason and I drove up to Fossil Springs for some camping and hiking and perfect weather.

After eating some campfire-grilled steaks with our fingers, trying eight unsuccessful times to cook a biscuit on a stick, and telling Jason to stop waving the burning branch of fire around in the air (to which he asked me if Smoky the Bear was my uncle), we decided to cash in our chips for the night. We were watching 24, Season 7, when we heard rustling outside our tent. Realizing we should probably bring our bag of food in the tent, I drag myself out with the flashlight, take two steps, and stop dead in my tracks. There, rustling in an empty box, was a horse of a skunk with his tail high in the air.


I do not like skunks.

I dove back into the tent. And though we eventually got the food in, it did not stop horse-skunk from hustling and bustling all night through our stuff. All night. Just as my aching can't-sleep-on-the-ground body would allow me to find some form of peaceful sleep, skunk would bustle along and wrestle around with an empty lantern box. Jason tried to hiss it away once with the flashlight and he quickly got the raised tail warning. We didn't bother him again.

Skunk aside, Fossil Springs was perfect. We hiked alongside the creek, Jason bouncing and gliding from rock to rock like Legolas. Me trudging up and around the rocks because I have zero hops. Malia, remember going to watch Lord of the Rings and being in love with Legolas? Ha. The end of our hike was a nice little waterfall. No Havasupai, but beautiful still.

Jason asked me if I would rather he of taken me to a nice restaurant instead for my birthday. I would not have traded this weekend. Not even the skunk.



Oh, and Wednesday morning I am going to post the pumpkin contestants for your vote! Make sure you check them out.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Goings on


This is the last picture taken on our camera. It was taken September 9. Folders on my computer are bulging with pictures from each month of her life, but as a two year old this one lonely photo sits alone.

It's like she is looking at me saying, "Mom, don't you love me anymore?" Really she was just taking stock of her garden and watching for birds and lizards, turning for a smile and a picture when she was told. But I know what she is telling me with that look.


Goings on in the Patterson household:

Singing lots of Ariel songs. Drew asks me to sing Ariel all the time. It takes me back to certain childhood videos when I taped myself singing Ariel, convinced of my musical talent, tossing my hair from side to side. Except I wasn't two years old. Or five years old. Or even eight for that matter. It is blackmail footage, let me tell you.

Planting grass, sewing a duvet cover, decor projects for Drew's big girl room (when she moves out of her crib). I want to share the results of all these.

Drew plays computer games. She will spend an hour on the computer playing games on Dora the Explorer's website or Sesame Street, with minimal supervision. She's thinking of starting her own Facebook account.

Sewing. A lot.

Watching my language. Drew loves to pick out key phrases of mine and use them repeatedly (at appropriate times too). These include, "Oh my gosh," "Oh crap," and "Dang it." They just don't sound right coming out of her mouth ("oh cwap")! We're working on it.

Reading Erica's azcentral blog, Under my Roof. I love every one of her ideas.

Listening to audiobooks on my ipod. I am pretty proud of myself for figuring this one out. I love to read, but seriously have no time to read. So through our library I can download books for free on my ipod and listen to them while I'm working doing all sorts of other things! Sewing has never been so enjoyable. Books I've listened to so far: Eragon by Christopher Paolini, The Book Thief (amazing) by Markus Zusak, and now listening to Eldest, the next book in Paolini's series.

Trying to get Drew interested in "the potty chair". So far watching Potty Time Elmo has only accomplished one thing, giving me a good laugh.


We're all good here.

Monday, October 5, 2009

You down with PPCC?

October has got to be the best month of the whole year. I love everything about it. Yeah, Christmas is a fun holiday, but with it comes stresses about all sorts of things. Halloween brings cooler weather, costumes, decorations, jackets, candy, pumpkin carving, and no stress.

Well maybe a little bit of stress. Every year the PPCC gets more intense. Year 2004 began with my lowly Spider and Spiderweb pumpkin, progressing to my 2008 winner, Skeletor. I look back with such fondness at our pumpkins over the last five years...







Last year was especially fun when we had some challengers enter the contest. I've heard talk from a few fellow pumpkin carving enthusiasts that they will be entering the contest this year. Time will only tell.
If you want to join in on PPCC '09, let me know.