Friday, October 19, 2018

there's no end to my crazy

i saw this a few weeks ago, accompanied by one of those time-lapse videos that always makes things look so easy...

and then i showed it to the old lady, who said "we should totally make one of those!"  i saved the link and then promptly forgot all about it until i found myself killing time at michaels and walking past a bunch of the items on the supply list.

you know what happened next.

although i wasn't anticipating that days would go by, during which the old lady and her special friend adopted a sweet little chihuahua/corgi mix and wouldn't have time to come over and help put it together.  heh.

look at all the crap it took to make this thing:

i decided to tackle the ears first, because they involved using something called "molding paste" that said it would dry slowly.  and since there were approximately 38457029834 steps to this project, i figured they could dry while i did everything else.  i started by scoring some lines around two styrofoam balls to make them look like pumpkins:

then i cut out some of the bottom so that they would lay flush on the top of the pumpkin.

the molding paste got slathered on, smoothing out the surface somewhat and then i put them on skewers to dry.

i'd had a lot of trouble finding small pumpkins to use for the base, but i did come across bags of metallic pumpkins and gourds that were 60% off, so i figured i could just paint them.  they weren't easy to cover with the acrylic paint.  after one coat:

this faux pumpkin was also half off, and i figured it would be better than using a real one since we could store this one away for use next year.  you know, since it's less than two weeks from halloween and this project is only getting displayed for a little while.

the bean came home from her math tutor at that point and jumped right in, molding some air dry clay into a leaf for the top of the pumpkin.

next, she put the second coat of paint onto those pumpkins.

meanwhile, i got started on the base with a very janky circle cut out of fake moss, gluing it onto the foam circle.

a third coat of paint seemed to do the trick for those pumpkins.

the leaf was dry by then, and got a coat of green paint.

floral twine got twirled around brushes and pens and other objects and then were painted to resemble vines for the pumpkin base.

i cheated for the mickey face and used my die-cutter to cut out pieces that i then traced onto the pumpkin and painted in.

bamboo skewers got a coat of black paint for the poles around the base.

after adding the "curb" with some foam rings around the moss, i got started on gluing the pumpkins in a circle for mickey to sit on.

i added a second layer of pumpkins, some fake flowers and the "vines" along with the poles and a little black chain, and then it was ready for mickey:

so this is the last time we got to pose in front of the real main street mickey.  it's been so long, he even has a different face.  heh.

and voila:

not bad, if i do say so myself.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

still stalling

omg...i have 2,600 pictures to look at from the bean's birthday party.  holy cow.

i mean, i know that's a good problem to have.  out of that many photos there's got to be quite a few good ones, right?  and the preview i've seen looks promising.

i know i'm like two weeks behind on recapping the big bash by now, but i want to pick out my favorite shots to share.  but in the meantime, i can show you a few pictures from the photo booth!

with the bean otherwise occupied at the beginning of the party, i dragged the old lady over to take a few shots with me.

my mom is always down for a good photo op.

and then she got my aunt and grandma to join her, because let's face it...we all love good photo ops.  i kind of regret not taking a few with them myself, though.

but i got a few with her too.

and so did the old lady and her special friend.

two of my mom besties hopped in after that, and got photobombed in the process.

the bean took a few with mini cee:

and then photobombed us as we snapped a set.

with my babies.

and last but not least, i managed to snag the hub for a few seconds so we could take some silly pics too.

i'd only booked the photo booth for an hour and a half, figuring that there would be plenty of other things for everyone to do.  i wasn't wrong, but i kind of wish i'd extended it a bit so that i could have corralled more of her friends for pictures too.

but that's okay.  when i finally do get around to recapping the rest of the party, you'll see that there were lots and lots of pictures of her in action with her friends.

i promise, i'll do it soon!  hopefully tomorrow.  we'll see.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

harry potter cursed my machine

one of the bean's oldest and dearest friends celebrated her birthday last weekend with a super fun party at a local tea room.  to add something fun to her gift, i wanted to fire up the ol' embroidery machine and bust out a couple of fun little things for her.  she's a huge harry potter fan, so i'd bought the files to make her a cute little pouch and matching keychain.

except that my stupid machine is the finickiest, whiniest machine in all the land.  i got almost all the way through the bag when for some reason it started stitching in the wrong spot, which totally jacked the whole project up.  and then on my second attempt, i managed to get through the whole design but the lining of the bag didn't align properly and i had to rip it out.  it should've been so cute (and you really don't see the mistakes in this picture):

and then when i decided to give the keychain a shot, it got through the design and then decided to completely screw up on the backside, creating a birds nest with snarls of thread on the back that i couldn't fix.  i would have taken pictures of the total failure but i'd thrown it across the room in a rage.  heh.

anyway, i knew this meant that there must be thread caught somewhere inside the machine that i couldn't see without taking the damn thing apart.  it took all these tools:

and pulling off the plastic covers all over the machine:

before i finally found the piece of snarled, knotted thread caught between the tension discs.  what a pain in the ass.

meanwhile, the bean was working on her own handmade present for her friend.  she came in to show me that she was doing it "build-a-bear style, mom" - which meant that she'd cut out this cute little red glitter heart:

that she put inside of the little ducky she was making.

as for me, i'd finally managed to complete that keychain successfully.  i'd also thrown together a quick little raglan top using some harry potter-themed fabric i'd picked up at joann's.

at the tea parlor, we got the girls settled in at their table before sitting down at a table reserved just for the adults.  we had the place to ourselves, which was good considering the girls got a little rowdy a couple of times...totally unbecoming to a place such as a tea room.  heh.

there were feather boas and hats for the girls to put on, which definitely contributed to the noise level in there.

and when it came time to open presents, the birthday girl seemed to like our handmade gifts.  yay!

i took this with one of my mom BFFs:

and then when we corralled the other moms to pose for a picture, i handed my phone to the bean...who promptly ran around the room taking selfies.

the mom posse.

the girls gave each other big hugs and said their goodbyes in dramatic 11-year-old fashion, and then it was time to go.  i think the tea room ladies were happy to see us head out the door.

the october birthday party train just keeps on rolling through!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

shots shots shots shots shots shots EVERYBODY

the bean, like her mother, absolutely hates needles.   i'd suppose that's a pretty common sentiment, because shots aren't fun.  she hadn't had to have any since she started kindergarten, and we both remember very clearly when the doctor said that she wouldn't need any more again until she turned 11.

you know where this is going.

also like her mother, she adores her birthday.  total birthday princesses, we are.  i know i'm a grown ass adult and probably should be way past that, but we all know how much i love to celebrate birthdays.  not even just my own, but for everyone in my family.  but this year, the bean was torn between being excited for her birthday and the party she knew we were planning and knowing that those shots were drawing nearer day by day.

because i'm a big chicken about this kind of stuff, i made sure to schedule the doctor's appointment while MIL was in town.  it also happened to be on a monday so that the old lady could join us, which was extra great since the hub was conveniently off on his fishing trip.  i put off telling the bean about the appointment until i absolutely had to, making sure to wait until her birthday and all of the party festivities were all over.  i didn't want to chance her being all emo and moody during her big weekend, and sure enough, as soon as i told her about it her whole attitude completely changed.  it was sunday evening and i tried to break the news with something positive - "hey, so i'm going to pick you up from school a little early and grandma and your sister will be with me..."

upon hearing the reason for that early pickup though, she burst into tears and immediately started dwelling on how much those shots were going to suck.  we tried to console her and pep talk her, trying to convince her that it was going to be okay and that it wouldn't be as bad as she was imagining it to be.  but we all also knew that the appointment was going to include the tetanus shot, and we all know how much that particular one sucks not just while it's happening but for a few days afterwards. yikes.

when we picked her up from school, she was already freaking out.  oy.  we arrived at the hospital in no time despite having to go to a facility a little further from home than our usual - there weren't any appointments available at that one, and i also wanted her to see a different doctor than her regular one.  her regular doctor is a little rough around the edges, and in the past has talked about the bean's BMI being a little higher than normal and with her entering that tween stage i just didn't want her to hear that crap.  and so we ended up visiting the very hospital she was born in, which she found pretty interesting.

checking in was a quick and easy process, and we sat down to wait for her name to be called.  she, of course, brought her beloved "ducky" for comfort.

the nurse brought us into her station so that she could take the bean's vitals.  she was so scared and frazzled that her blood pressure was through the roof the first time it was taken.

even after taking it a second time the reading was still pretty high, and so the nurse decided to wait a little bit before trying one more time.  she took us into an exam room next, where she handed the bean a hospital gown and had her put it on.  she hasn't worn one of these things in quite a while.

thankfully, the doctor we'd been assigned to was wonderful.  she was friendly and sympathetic to the bean's concerns and tried to make her feel at ease as much as she possibly could.  i really liked her a lot, and we may just start making the drive to baldwin park more regularly for whenever the bean has to see a doctor for anything.  we talked about diet and nutrition and exercise and pre-puberty issues, and after she looked at her ears and throat and all that good stuff, the moment was upon us.  she was due for 3 shots - the T-dap, meningococcal and the first dose of the HPV vaccine.  i know that last one has been a little controversial in the past, but considering the fact that it's protection against what the doctor said are completely preventable forms of caner - well, it was a no-brainer for us.

when the nurse came in with the paraphernalia on a tray and made her first attempt at getting that first shot done - oh, the drama.  my child turned into freaking meryl streep, wailing and crying real tears and carrying on.  MIL, who she'd chosen to be by her side, did her best to talk soothingly into her ear, trying to get her to calm down, while the old lady and i tried to offer encouragement from our perch across the room.  she was being super melodramatic and after awhile it got to be overboard, and the nurse did her best to explain to her exactly how things would go and that as she gripped her arm with one hand, the shot would take about three seconds and then it'd be over with.  the trick was that she couldn't move, which she was really struggling with.  when she tried a couple of times with no success as the bean kept flinching, i finally reached my breaking point and told her that she needed to just relax and get it over with because we weren't leaving the room until it was done.

and after that first shot was finally administered, she calmed down considerably as she realized that it really was, in fact, not as bad as she was imagining it to be.  the nurse managed to get through all three of the shots and we all breathed a sigh of relief to have it over and done with.  she attempted to stand up and said she felt a little woozy, and so we had her lay down again for a few minutes until she felt better again.  another fun fact about the bean:  she despises band-aids.  she absolutely hates having anything stuck to her skin.  that used to be a great way to get the old lady to settle down for her shots - with the promise of fun band-aids with her favorite characters on it.  anyway, as she lay there i took this...for the wedding slideshow, as i told her.  heh.

the nurse took her blood pressure one last time, and finally her numbers were back down to normal.  sheesh.

we sent this to her daddy to show him that it was all done.

and then she was all smiles as we left the hospital.

we asked her if it had really been as bad as she'd thought, and she begrudgingly admitted that it wasn't the most terrible thing ever.  this is good, because we have to go back in six months for the second dose of that HPV vaccine.

god help me.
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