Saturday, November 27, 2010

My Latest Obsession: Felt Foods

Okay, so I'm not a fan of eating that much meat anymore, but lets face it, since I didn't grow up a vegan, I have weaknesses and raw fish like sushi and ceviche are a few things I've had to sneak into my diet here and there. And so every now and then, I give my kids some sushi. It's still kind of raw. Okay, not really, but isn't this toy cute? So when I came across these felt foods for the kids to play with, I decided I needed some. I found a few cute ones at ikea that have bananas that you can velcro into place and then peel. I did purchase some of these on impulse. But a lot of the other ones are things like eggs and sausage and hamburgers and pizza. Since in our family we don't really eat these things all that much, it wouldn't make sense to get those for my kids to play with. But I've decided that felt foods are too cute not to try and make some of these myself. I could make felt squash and zuchini if I want and other foods that aren't so common to the processed food world. Some that I think would be fun would be felt apple slices, felt grapes with velcro to stick them to each other and pick them off, and felt papaya. I already have some ideas of how to make them. But if anyone knows of any tutorials that are helpful, I really want to make some of these for my little girl for Christmas.

Isn't this the most awesome felt sandwich? I also want to make sprouts because my kids love their sprout sandwiches. I don't know exactly how to make that but I'll get creative I guess. What do you think?

Christmas Gift Possibilities?

On www.playkitchens.com I found the cutest play kitchens for little girls that I would totally want for myself if I was still a little girl. But it comes complete with cuttable fruit. Is that even a word? Anyways, I just fell in love with this little blender. It's true what they say about experiencing childhood all over again. Especially at Christmas time with your own kids. If we can fit it into our budget, I think this will be Chrysalis' Christmas present. Now, does anyone want to buy me the rest of the kitchen to go with it? Hint hint to any grandparents. Jk. But I do love it. And I think my kids will love making pretend smoothies since they love helping Mommy flip the switches on and off of our VitaMix almost every morning.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

We Voted . . . Did You?

I consider this to be a sacred duty that all American citizens have to preserve our freedoms regardless of where they stand on the issues. I wasn't always an American citizen and even when I became one, I don't think I was as informed on a lot of issues or even cared to vote. I used to think my vote didn't matter. Now, I realize that even though my one vote seems insignificant, my voice when joined with others, is of the utmost importance. And I want my children to know in the future that I did vote, I do vote and will continue to vote for the things I believe in and the people I believe will represent us in the best way. I will always encourage all who can vote, who don't, to get informed and vote already. Your voice DOES matter.

And two ordinary schmoes like this, really can make a difference.

Contrary to popular belief, it really only takes a few minutes out of your day. It was super easy. Later that day, we went bowling.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Halloween Festivities

What do we do at Halloween time with a new baby around?
So, we didn't really dress up much for Halloween this year. Having a brand new baby sort of made it last priority I suppose. But we tried to do some fun things together as a family. Among some of these things were carving pumpkins and letting the kids get their hands dirty by pulling out the seeds. We had cousin Tate over for this and surprisingly, none of the boys were wanting to get their hands dirty. The only one willing to get messy was the girl. Go figure. So that didn't go quite as planned. Alex ended up doing all the dirty work as he tends to do every year we carve pumpkins. But it was still fun.

We met Gio's boyfriend Justin this month and were happy to have him stay with us for about a week since he was visiting from Kansas. It's always a delight to have investigators of the church to talk to, let alone come and stay with us because they happen to be in a relationship with my favorite sister Gio. Here's to hoping he's the one. He didn't even mind the itchy burlap that Gio made him wear on Halloween so that they could go to parties dressed as Dorothy and the Scarecrow. She actually put the costumes together sitting on our dining room floor. I think they were great costumes. I love how Justin turned out.

I don't know why this picture keeps turning sideways on me when I try to post it but I'm posting it anyways because Gio asked me to post the pics. At least you can see her cute red shoes in this one.

They really are cute together. Seeing them together makes me wish we'd dressed up but I was just not in the mood to put costumes together. And I actually had a cute costume idea planned that didn't really work out. I wanted to dress up Alex as Willy Wonka, the kids as Oompa Loompas and I was going to go as Violet the Blueberry but Hinckley had already come out by then. Not that I was wishing to be pregnant for longer than I was, but I thought it was the perfect idea. Me being full term as Violet. Tell me that was not perfect. Perhaps we'll save the idea for another year.

And here they are with the Munchkins.



Hinckley wearing his festive orange onesie just for the occasion. A gift from Auntie G.

Here is our cute little place displaying some holiday spirit.

This year, Alex carved an owl. When I asked him why he chose an owl, he said, "It was easy." It doesn't compare to his batman of a few years back, but it's still cute. He really is quite the talented carver. I think that my favorite was when he carved a baby carriage out of this huge pumpkin for April's baby shower even though technically it wasn't for halloween. It was for the fall decor and theme of the shower. I don't think I ever posted pics of it but it was super cute and stuffed with yummy food. I may just have to search for it to make a post of it. But take my word, it was cute. At least it was to me.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

When October Goes

This last month went by so quickly and I don't know where the time has gone. As a young child, there was a song by Barry Manilow called When October Goes that my dad used to sing in the car all the time with my sister Gio and myself. It was one of our favorite songs and to this day still is. It represents so much. So I thought it fitting for this post since October has come and gone and I really do hate to see it go. If you've never heard this song before, you should. It's a classic beauty of a tune. Anyways, so here are some random things that have come and gone. For those who may not know, my uncle Juan Uceda is one of the 70 and recently gave his first talk in this last general conference in the Priesthood session. He really is such a great example to me and my family. For those who may not know how he is related to me and for my kids who I'm sure will be curious in the future, he is married to my mother's sister. So he was obviously out here visiting during the conference weekend preparing for the first talk and we had him over for dinner. I haven't seen them for a few years so it really was quite a treat. I also recently discovered he has been a vegan for 15 years and I had no idea. Anyone who knows I've been trying out this path of a vegan lifestyle knows how excited I become when I come across friends or in this case members of my own family who share the same points of view. Even though I fall off the path here and there, it is encouraging to be lifted up by others around you setting the example. And he gave a beautiful talk. Please do view it when you get the opportunity, if you haven't already.

After church the Sunday after conference weekend, I took notice of the fact that my little girl is outgrowing some of my favorite little outfits that I love to see her in. I got this little dress a while back and fell in love with its bold colors. And when I found these cute shoes to go with it, I was so excited. I love having a little girl to dress up however I want. For now. I shed a tear at the thought of how quickly she is growing. I almost miss nursing her. I look down at this new baby as he nurses and memories of my sweet little girl's face flash through my mind much in a similar way to how movies do quick flashbacks of memories strung together in a few seconds. I recall seeing her cute little chubby arms reach up to try and grab my nose or poke at my eyes. Don't get me wrong, there are times when I wish these long nursing days would come to an end already, but then it's at times like these when I notice how big they are getting that it hits me: They won't be little forever. And someday they won't be mine. My daughter will have a husband. My sons will belong to their wives and these years are few and short.

My silly little children won't be so silly anymore. And someday hopefully, I will have done a well enough job to say that I raised wise, humble, and generous human beings.

So I had to capture some photos of her in this sweet little red dress for one of the last times. You can see it is almost too short for her now. My little girl is not a baby any more.

But she'll always be my baby.

And in the meantime, I have a new baby who demands much of my time and attention. As well as his daddy's, who by the way will always be my babe.

So here is my newest baby, a month old already.

And when October goes,
The same old dream appears,
And you are in my arms,
To share the happy years.

I turn my head away to hide
The helpless tears,
Oh how I hate to see October go.

I should be over it now I know,
It doesn't matter much
How old I grow,
I hate to see October go.

Grandma Cheryl Visits

A few days after Hinckley's birth, Grandma Cheryl came to visit. Elliot and April were nice enough to fly her out to come and visit with family and friends in Utah. I'm sad that the only picture I got of her stay out here was of her holding her grandson in a pink swaddle covered with butterflies. Yes, that's a little boy in the picture. Yes, it was Chrys' old swaddle. No, I don't dress him in girl clothes, but the swaddle really does work and pink is the only one I have for a baby his size. You'd think I would already have one since I did have a boy first but here's the story: I discovered the swaddle very late with Orion so I only got a large size for him. Luckily that one is yellow. I never bought a small size because a friend let me borrow hers and then I returned it when it became too small. So when I had my little girl, tell me the pink butterflies weren't perfect for Chrysalis. I got so excited about getting that pink swaddle that I didn't think about what this would do for a boy in the future. And since Alex and I both think it's pointless and a waste of money to get a different swaddle just for the color and just for the next two months since that's probably how long it will last, then pink will just have to work for Hinckley. I think it's kind of funny that I got this picture to document this one moment and frankly I don't think he really cares. He won't remember this I'm sure, and in all honesty, it takes a real man to pull off wearing pink. Anyways, we had fun visiting and loved getting treated out to Sweet Tomatoes. It's where we went to eat on the Saturday after Hinckley was born. Best salad buffet I've ever been to. Good times to remember.

Dressing up the Old Bookshelf

I forgot to take a before and after photo of this project but I remembered in the middle of it. Alex took apart this old bookshelf that we've had forever and was practically falling apart. We even considered getting rid of it many times but finally decided that if there was a project worth practicing on it was this one. It was really ugly already anyways. I wish I'd gotten a picture of what it looked like before. Oh well. But I think Alex did a pretty good job with this one. It's hard to show in a picture how wobbly it was too but it's a pretty strong bookshelf now. I think it's got quite some life left in it now. Interesting what a sander, some paint and new screws will do.

Here's a close-up of the wood with a dark chocolate brown paint.

All finished. It's a simple design but it works. Here it is all set up with not even half of the books we own. Why we have so many books, I will never know. I guess we love to read and then can't part with our books. Books are treasures of knowledge. I guess someone once told me that and it has stuck ever since. But in my defense, since Alex always tries to get me to get rid of things we don't need which includes books, I was able to donate a whole box of books this last month.

Our little swimmer