Sunday, March 31, 2013

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Spark! festival

Mesa is a pretty awesome place to live if you have to live in the Valley of the Sun. The Mesa Arts Center is actually on the radar nationally for artsy and performing folk. The facilities are top notch whether you are taking a class or seeing a show. I also like how they put on free events like this festival for the public.

There were street artists.

J really liked the butterfly lady.

One artist was doing some fancy chalk drawings

Some different art displays were scattered about.

They also had various performances happening on different stages. This one was called Erth: a Dinosaur Petting Zoo which had some amazing puppets and puppeteers. We were too far away to really see much.

We moved farther back so J could climb the sweater clad trees for a better view.

But she got bored and decided spinning around the street light was more fun.

Until the T- Rex came out, then she used her amazing toddler powers to find a new spot closer to the dinos.

The T-rex is being lulled to sleep by back scratches
 After that we went indoors for a bit and J was entranced by a floor you can see through.

I loved the flower sculptures hanging in the courtyard.

They had a place where you could make musical instruments out of recyclable materials (think coffee can drums, cardboard box guitars) but J didn't want to wait in line when there was a fountain to explore.

At this point I figured the whole outing was for her entertainment so we might as well do what she wanted to do, which was play in the water feature like the other kids.

It took all of my self control not to hover as she traversed the slippery wet tiles surrounded by head-cracking cinder blocks. All this covered by rushing water made the "DROWNING HAZARD!" alarms go off in my head, but I took my shoes off, stayed near, and just let her discover the world.

And she did just fine. She got water in her eyes without crying (a grand victory if bath time is any indicator), slipped a little and caught herself several times, and had the time of her life.

Of course I was ready to be done from shear anxiety so we followed this marching band to the next stage.

They are called the Squonk Opera and did a non traditional music show.

J was bored fast though so we went to a booth where kids could eat snacks and draw pictures

At this point, we had spent 3 hours in the 90 degree sun and were ready to call it quits. It was well worth the time, especially since it was free.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Drinking fountain

So I was working in the garden, repairing the never ending damage a pit bull does to the irrigation lines, when I stumbled upon my daughter's latest discovery.

I didn't realize I was actually installing various pint size drinking fountains.

Of course it looks like she is just smelling the flowers, but it you look right about the purple and to the left, you can see her new favorite water supply.  And why I whine having to run the AC in March, at least I get to see all this green and flowers outside.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Slouchy Hat

So there was this one time I got bangs and decided I wanted a soft slouchy grey hat so I could pretend to be a hipster. But really I wanted something for bad hair days when I didn't feel like taming the 80's rocker look that fringy bangs turn into after a night of what I call "pregnant sleep." This is when you have to roll over constantly, get up to pee 5 times, you are so thirsty water tastes like a gift from the Lord Almighty sent just for you.

No wonder my hair looks like David Bowie in Labyrinth most mornings.

So I crocheted a slouchy hat just in time for the weather to turn 90 degrees and make wearing it unfeasible. I made it in February people. February.

Why do I live here again?

I suppose there is always next winter.

Monday, March 25, 2013


Husband was on bedtime duty and my heart melted when I saw this as I peeked in. The book is even a library one called Daddies and Their Babies.

Another day I found J reading a book to her baby.

Friday, March 22, 2013

DIY defeat

I kind of consider myself a bit of a DIY bad-A. I am fairly competent and a helluva youtube and google researcher. Combine that with some false confidence and you can get through most things. After having the misfortune of stepping on some rusty cracks in our bathtub and creating a lovely hole mid shampoo lather one October morning, we've been in the process of remodeling our bathroom. (The ONE time I use that shower because we had guests over. The ONE time! No cuts happily, but moments like this reaffirm my belief in tetanus shots.)

I started ripping out the shower tile myself and the hubby finished it. I did all the demo of the floor tile with my trusty sledge hammer. Tearing out the vanity was a team effort. We paid our plumber friend to rip out and install a new bathtub and toilet, along with the backboard because I do know I have DIY limits.

And while all of this took us around five months due to very busy weekend schedules and an active toddler, I was determined to have a working bathroom when my Japanese friend Noriaki came to visit. Nothing says make yourself at home like three adults sharing a bathroom with a potty training toddler. Or the relocated toilet in the hallway.


So I bit the bullet and tried my hand at tiling. Can't be that hard right?

Friends, I failed miserably.

After three hours of final prep work and three hours attempting to tile I admitted defeat. I may have shed a tear or two in frustration. I didn't know the magic consistency of the thinset or which steps could be fudged and which needed to by strictly followed.

I do think I could have done it if I had a mentor to show me a few tips or even someone else there to bounce some ideas off of. It probably didn't help being in my third trimester of pregnancy either. But I was determined and the good Lord loves me because he sent a fellow named Manuel who was willing to come the next day, tear out my misguided attempt and finish it all in a day and a half. Add in the handiest brother-in-law ever to handle the last plumbing tasks and I had my bathroom usable by my weekend deadline.

Best money spent ever. Especially because it was tax return money so it doesn't even count right?  More progress happened in a week than we managed in five months. It looks fantastic and I can't wait to show you the final product once I get the new light fixture in and the vanity mirror up.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Hana's party

Apparently I've been a little invitation obsessed lately. Here is one I made for a girl in my church group. She was bummed because her mom was going to be in Japan for two months and miss her birthday. So I threw a  bday party for her.

By her request we decorated cupcakes and painted nails. Easy peasy. Of course to make it an event for an 11 year old,  I added a couple fun details like heart shaped ice cream scoops, blue lemonade with stickers (I recently bought sticker paper and have been having almost as much fun as J), and fun favors. It's about as low key a party as I'm capable of throwing.

And $2 a person at target bought nail polish and pedicure kits. I swear usually spend about that much on candy so I thought this was way cooler.

If you or someone you know would like a customized copy of that invitation, you are welcome to it.. We printed it on cardstock and cut out the edges to make it a bit more fun, but it works just as well as an emailed picture.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

St Patty's Party

Here's some pics from our epic St. Patty's party.

Some decorations are just easier to buy than make

Of course we had all green food. And past experience has taught me young kids prefer to eat green food that is naturally green.

The quesadillas are shamrock shaped even though they aren't green. We had spinach salad for the moms with pepperjack quesadillas.

The moms also got treat bags full of good candy while the kids got the cheap kind as part of one of the games.

We also made up some fruit smoothies with spinach to drink out of the fancy straws.

Check out the amazing cake my Big Sis made! She just put the clover cookie cutter on top of the cake and dabbed food coloring mixed with milk on it. Super easy for the cute factor.

Of course the best surprise was cutting into it. Ombre layers!

We also had some party hats. Best dollar store investment ever.

As part of the festivities we covered the kids in temporary tattoos.

Then we played Kiss the Blarney Stone. This is my adaptation of pin the tail on the donkey, where you could choose lip gloss or not, then to be spun around and aim or to try and kiss the rock upside down.

Upside down was the most popular.

Then we made a Leprechaun Trap. I was folding laundry while watching a bunch of kids and decided a king size sheet worked like those parachutes we had in PE growing up. It was a hit so we gave it a St. Patty's Day make over with paper shamrocks on the top of it that we had to shake to lure the leprechauns. Then we had to duck under the sheet all together to see if we caught any.

Our last game was a version of an easter egg hunt but instead we were hunting for those gold wrapped toffees you can buy in bulk.

Patiently waiting while the gold was hid


It turned out so much fun and thanks for all the cousins for coming!

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