Sunday, August 31, 2014

Six (and Thirty-Two)

David is officially six and this year he asked if he could please, please, please have a BIG birthday party like when he turned three so he could have ALL of his friends over one last time before we have to move.   How could I say no to such well aimed military child induced parenting guilt? 

Touché, David, touché.

Henry spent the majority of the party by the snack table gorging himself on cheeseballs--a former staple of my college diet which are always available for birthday parties at the Reintjes house.  He probably ate half that bowl.

I know David, that makes mommy feel a little sick too.......

David requested a geocaching party--well actually he requested a geocaching/Star Wars/Harry Potter party but I didn't have the energy to make that happen, plus adding lightsabers and wands to the mix of this particular group of children would have probably pushed us into the area of complete loss of control as opposed to the just mostly out of control level we were able to maintain.

Instead of trying to use GPS coordinates to hide our boxes like real official geocaches we decided to take more of a letterboxing approach and write out clues based on compass directions and landmarks.  And yes, with eleven children aged 9 to 18 months participating in the hunt it was just as much like herding cats as you are imagining.  The kids loved it though!  They each got a little notebook to stamp once they found each box and Chris even filled some up with tiny dinosaurs because he thinks letterboxing is not as fun as geocaching solely because the former doesn't involve finding junky plastic toys and the later does :)  I also put a little primer on geocaching and letterboxing on the front page of each of their notebooks in case anyone's parents wanted to continue on the treasure hunting adventure later.

Once the hunt was over and all the children were officially 110 degrees and drenched in sweat we retreated inside the house for cake and air conditioning.   David asked for strawberry cake again this year and it turned out delicious.  Apparently I should have made two because this one wasn't enough to go around.  Henry said he would eat the cake but only if it was chocolate because he only likes chocolate's so hard to not be the birthday boy.......

After presents we moved back out to brave the heat and bust open the pinata I made.  This time David wanted a "mad bird/Harry Potter" pinata but, just no.  He got a number six pinata because sixes are easy to construct and don't involve paper mache.

It was a little sad to see so much work bashed to pieces in such a short time--although due to my superior cardboard building skills it did take quite a bit of wacking to get to the candy.......

Since it was one of our parties the guests hung around for the entire rest of the afternoon just playing and talking.  And since so many people were still here toward evening and it was actually Chris's birthday anyway we decided to sing to him and give him his presents too.

Who doesn't want a fake owl for their thirty-second birthday?

I think everyone had fun and David was beside himself all day so I'm going to go ahead and declare this party a resounding success, and maybe go take a nap :)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

{p,h,f,r} The Quilts, Table Manners, and Laundry Disasters Edition

{pretty & happy}

Who wants another update on the most slowly made baby quilt in the history of the world?  I knew you would :)

Well I finally finished piecing and quilting the whole thing--including ripping out the original quilting from the first six flowers I did and re-quilting them.  Once my hand-quilting technique improved dramatically after reading Auntie Leila's advice on the subject* I couldn't just leave those middle flowers ugly could I?

The extra time it took to fix the ugly quilting also had the benefit of letting me procrastinate just a little bit longer on deciding how to bind this monster.  I found tons of tutorials online about easy ways to bind these hexagon quilts but not a lot on traditional ways so I did what any bibliophile would do and bought a book on the subject--looking back I'm not sure why I didn't just start with the book but I suppose I've internalized the idea that the internet should be able to answer any and all questions I could ever come to think up.  Apparently not.  Internet, you have officially failed me.

While I wait for that to arrive I went ahead and made a yards worth of bias tape which I sincerely hope will be enough--I could have made an actual calculation about how much I would need if I knew what exactly I was going to do with it but, alas ;)

I think I'm going to attempt to bind each hexagon but not in a perfectly mitered way (which the lady at the quilt store did not think me capable of attempting--which of course had the opposite effect of making me want to do it simply to prove her wrong) but in a more rounded scalloped way and if that proves to be a disaster I'll just do a regular scalloped border.  Of course I'm operating on internet directions and a prayer over here and don't actually have any idea what I'm doing so we'll see.  Chris maintains that I should just add enough white hexagons to make it square and then bind a rectangle but clearly he doesn't see my vision--unrealistic though it may be........

Anyway, this is the back of the quilt.  I quilted the edges of the flowers so that there would be these pretty flowers on the back--which also took a lot less time than say quilting each individual hexagon.  I think it turned out pretty :)


Henry (after being given the remains of a mostly empty honey jar):  "There's nothin' better than lickin' honey mom."

Nothing indeed son :)

And who said babies don't have table manners?  Apparently this is what happens in our house when you set the table and then proceed to give the baby a piece of bread to distract him while you finish making dinner.  Clearly he couldn't be expected to eat his bread without proper utensils like some wild raised-in-a-barn-savage?


And this is what happens when you send a certain almost six year old on an errand to return something to the garage and he decides the laundry room would be just as convenient a dropping ground and besides it would save him those extra six steps to the garage!  I'm still not sure how the plastic wrap made it into the washing machine or how I didn't notice it there when I started the load of towels but it surely was wound round that agitator tightly about a thousand time--or maybe a little less, it's hard to say.......

Sometimes you just have to laugh or you might find yourself having a laundry room breakdown instead :)  

*I can't for the life of me find the link for the hand quilting tutorial and I'm starting to feel crazy so I'm officially giving up :)  

And, as always, make sure to go check out more contentment over at Like Mother, Like Daughter!

Monday, August 18, 2014

30 Weeks

I was feeling really great a few weeks ago but now I'm mostly just really tired.  Luckily for me, my transition into the third trimester coincided with Chris's surgery and two week recovery period followed by his returning to work and having to work nights his first week (and weekend) back so that we only saw him when he woke up for lunch before heading back off to the grindstone.

Well, things are finally starting to settle down into a bit of a much of a routine as you can have with an upcoming baby and move on the horizon when you still don't have orders and aren't sure when/where you are definitely going anyway.....but...........I don't think I'll be getting my energy back anytime soon.

In more positive news everyone keeps saying how small I am and how great I look which is completely not true and I've already been to the maternity store in search of shirts that will actually cover this ridiculous child frightening bump and anyway I still have ten weeks to go but I appreciate the kind words even if they aren't totally genuine :)

In less positive news John Michael has now completely mastered door knobs so that's been fun and great for my overall tiredness level.  If he quietly disappears it is almost guaranteed that he will be found sitting on the hall bathroom counter giving himself a sink bath while simultaneously brushing his teeth with all three of the boys' toothbrushes.

I guess what I'm saying is that I'm not foreseeing a lot of "resting on the couch time" for my over-sized self in the near....or for that matter.....far future.......

PS try not to judge my tank top and short's Florida and I'm pregnant.  In the summer.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

A Day at the Beach

It seems like the last weekend of summer here since school starts back this week.  We've been doing schoolwork since July, but it just feels different once everyone else is busy with their back-to-school routines too.  

Clearly the thing to do on such a Saturday was to head out to the beach.  

I know this one should probably have some sort of full body baby sun suit on to protect his precious baby skin but he's just too cute in his swim diaper to cover up all that cuteness.

The boys spent the morning making a giant castle wall complete with private pool which was conveniently taken back by the ocean right as it was time for us to go while I made sure no one was sucked out to sea in the yellow flag surf.   So that was super fun :)

And then there was this little interchange:

Random child:  (pointing at my stomach) What is in that lump?  I can see it moving. (insert horrified child's face here)
Me:  Umm....that's my baby.  
Random child:  oh.

Thanks random child, thanks for that.

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