wishing you joy + happiness (and, yes, fun presents too) on this beautiful christmas day!
our kids were lucky to get so many fantastic presents again this year. highlights :: a real drum set for maya from our dear friends M, J + J; a tricycle for maya from her grandparents; a razor scooter for ian from my parents; legos and binoculars for ian; a yakamashii shirt by t&c for me from my sister; tons o' gift cards for jordan (and me) from his parents. thank you to everyone's generosity; we are truly blessed.
this year rupert and i decided to donate to one of my favorite charities instead of buying gifts. this went over surprisingly well, but i'm not sure it's something i will do every year because, quite frankly, i think it cost more than buying gifts (i'm a bargain shopper, after all). however, in the true spirit of giving and reducing waste and clutter, donating to a worthy cause is really the way to go.
unfortunately, my mother did not seem to agree with this and asked that my sisters and i chip in to buy something in particular for my dad. her reasoning? they already donated a lot this year. huh? is there a limit to donating? i wasn't aware of that.
eventually, i'd like the kids to choose a cause to call their own and work towards raising awareness and/or money. i've been very bad about public service lately, and i'm aiming to make it a part of our lives in 2008. a couple of years ago ian chose habitat as his charity (this was after katrina) and earlier this year we donated to nothing but nets. it's all fine and dandy to donate money but that's the easy part. being an active participant in a cause is so much harder and takes dedication, something we currently lack as a family. there's so much more we can do ... and should do.
one of my rie friends, K, has a charity event at her house every year. this year they'll be collecting toys for spark of love, inspired by her son's love of fire engines. her kids are both under the age of 2, but it's so wonderful that she somehow includes them, even at this young age. we will definitely be attending; it'll be a great opportunity for ian to get involved because i'm sure it's something he can empathize with (what kid wouldn't be devastated if he lost all of his toys in a fire?). plus, K secretly encouraged us to donate all of those noisy christmas presents we don't want! hee!
hmmm, it appears i have digressed from my original post about the holidays. what was it that i wanted to say? now i can't remember ... i guess my point was supposed to be that the holidays are
in conclusion :: the holidays are fun while you're a kid, but not so much once you're an adult.
one of rupert's photos from our trip to nyc was chosen to be included in the schmap new york guide's section on the central park carousel. the editors found it on my flickr page and contacted me about its possible inclusion in the guide, and today i got news that it's in the new "edition." you can see it here in the upper right corner by scrolling through until you get to the photo above.
rupert wasn't particularly impressed with this particular photo, especially since i loaded it up to flickr without editing it. i just wish he was more confident in his photo-taking skills. i would love for him to take a class someday and really make photography a hobby.
speaking of which, i'll be taking a photography class with karen russell at scrapbook oasis in february. can't wait! and what a great motivator to get our dear camera fixed.
my moo cards finally arrived! i was getting worried because i ordered them the week before thanksgiving ... but no wonder it took so long :: they came all the way from allemagne (germany).
the mini cards are so darn cute. and they are tiny; much smaller than i expected. they come in a plastic box and each card measures 2.75" x 1"+. the paper it's printed on is nice and thick, and has a smooth texture to it. i'm impressed with the paper quality, but i wasn't 100% impressed with the print quality. some of the images look a little grainy and dark. the image looks better if it's large and up-close. but all-in-all i really like them.
i ordered one set to use as business cards for the stuff i sell at the sleepyhead paper designs etsy shop. can't wait for someone to order something so i can include the moo card. :)
- she's the typical 2-year-old :: "i do it!" "my turn!"
- is finally tall enough to easily turn doorknobs so she's into opening and closing doors throughout the house.
- ian is really good at getting her to repeat words. for example, she repeats "chew-bacca!" really well.
- whenever she knows she's done something bad, or doesn't want to look us directly in the eye, she pulls an "ostrich head in the sand" move :: she buries her face in any available soft surface (her blanket, the couch cushions, my shoulder) and won't look at you.
- her favorite "blue's clues" episode by far is "blue goes to the doctor" because a "doctor maya" appears in it.
- she's been waking up in the middle of the night (or really early morning) because her room is so cold. we give her a sip of milk, re-tuck her in, and then she'll sleep in longer than during the summer (7:30 instead of 6:00).
- she's getting much better at putting puzzles together. half the time she's still trying to force pieces that don't fit but she's also capable of putting pieces together quite well.
- we're getting back on track with the potty :: she lost interest for awhile and i was not about to force it on her. rupert has been very good about taking her when she asks to go on the potty ... because i sure as heck ain't gonna do it!
with everyone's encouragement i'm finally getting my act together to sell my products online. i'll have the tagEs and some stationery for sale at etsy, where crafters + artists sell their handmade goods. my site can be accessed @ sleepyheadpaper.etsy.com.
currently (12.2.07) i only have one item up (a holiday card), but i'm almost ready to update the shop with some girly tagEs.
i hope you get a chance to check it out and tell people about my little shop. :)
november flew by in a hurry, didn't it? there was so much going on at breakneck speeds i can't say i got to savor the individual moments very much. even with the kids' birthdays, ian's soccer, and thanksgiving (and my brief bout of stomach flu) over, i can expect this month to whiz by too.
rupert's super-busy with final papers due this coming week, so he's been preoccupied with school (and rightly so). i knew school would take up much of his time and energy (for the next five years), but, frankly, i'm annoyed that he's not as available as he used to be (granted, he still pitches in a lot). more importantly, he's been writing his papers on the laptop, which means it's unavailable to me in the evenings. doesn't he know that a girl needs access to her laptop 24/7?! but maybe he got my subliminal bitter rays because now he's out in the garage/office using the desktop.
a huge thorn in my side is that we have three major malfunctions around the house :: the camera (that's a huge part of the reason why i haven't been blogging), the oven, and the shower plumbing. the shower has been unusable for at least a couple of years now (long story) so i won't dwell on that now. but the camera and the stove? i'm dying here; life is just not as enjoyable without them. the camera will have to get professionally fixed once i figure out the warranty. the oven, however, seems like something we could fix on our own (i think the gas ignitor needs replacing) ... will we though? we don't have a particularly good track record about getting things done in a timely manner. but what kind of winter would it be without baking and roasting food in the oven??
in other news, my sister is finally coming home from hawaii on the 4th. yay -- a free babysitter!
and, of course, chanukah and christmas are coming up ... or, as we call it around here, chanumas. it's rather sad that i dread this time of year :: the stress of trying to get gifts for everyone, dreading all the beeping, flashing toys the kids will get, and the pounds i'll gain from all the eating. i can't remember when the holidays became more of a chore than a joy for me. alas, i guess it's the apathy that comes with age.
this year, however, i intend to minimize some of the stress by making donations in people's names instead of getting them gifts. [i probably just ruined the "surprise" for my in-laws before they open their gifts.] and i intend to enforce the "one toy in, one toy out" rule with the kids' gifts. [ian is reading over my shoulder as i type this and he may not be so happy with this rule ... but that's what mama has planned for your old toys, little dude!]
i've finally gotten around to purging some things that weren't necessarily in the way but were taking up room :: old snacks on the top shelf (some of the stuff was like three years old!), the many unused mugs we have, and old clothes i just don't need/wear. it hasn't made a dent in the clutter around here but it's definitely a start. next stop :: ian's old clothes and maya's infant toys.
we don't have any travel plans this winter break, so i intend to take it easy and maybe get some crafting done. (see the next post.)
update complete. over and out.