quick update before the xmas explosion

So you’re all on the edge of your seats wondering how the birthday thing went, right? I kept you waiting out of sheer wickedness. Wickedness, and the fact that I am both lazy and sick with a cold. What’s up with all these damned colds? They’ve been rotating through our house like some sort of white elephant gift, passing from one person to another and, frankly, making me rather pissed off. I AM THROUGH BEING SICK, DO YOU HEAR ME? Also, I am running out of tissues.

Anyway: the party was a success, if a little under-attended (one group of guests had apparently been sure it was the next weekend, at which point they e-mailed me going “Um, did you know that your party was a week ago? You probably did.” Which was funny, and I may have LOLed, but only very quietly and to myself). The kid had a fabulous time. He helped me decorate the littlest cupcakes (which he decided were meteors). No one else had any idea what the cake/cupcake spread was supposed to be, which was fine. I guess.

Also a (qualified) success: the rocket softie. I made some modifications to a pattern I found in One Yard Wonders (which is a pretty fabulous book, if you’re into that sort of thing) and it turned out kind of awesome. The kid likes it, which was the important part.

In other crafty news, I finally slipcovered the Fabulous!Rocking!Glider! (the exclamation points are to emphasize the fact that I love the lovely glider and am not going to get rid of it despite the increasing impracticality of having it in our house). A favorite snuggling spot for both kid and cats, the F!R!G! was sort of disgustingly stained and matted with cat hair, and since the cushions were both a) cream-colored and b) upholstered, cleaning it was a pain. ENTER CRAFTY MAMA, with her IKEA fabric and her barely-passable sewing machine skills! Given that I don’t have the first clue what I’m doing, I think it turned out pretty well.

All those other grand ideas I had? Not going to happen. I was totally going to make garland, and ornaments, and stuff. But what did I do instead? I caught a cold. (I did make gingerbread men. I’m not dead.)

all holiday, all the time

December is full of busy in the Cranky abode – the kid’s birthday is followed so closely by that one big holiday, and all of it comes right on the heels of that other big holiday, the one that involves a lot of overeating and the generation of vast amounts of leftovers.

This year is no different, except for the part where the kid is SUPER EXCITED!!! about all of it. Last year? Meh. This year? OMG birthday! OMG Christmas! Is it Christmas yet? CAN SANTA BRING ME AN INSECTOSAURUS TOY?*

But I? I am a shopping master this year, and am already done with gift acquisition, thanks to the glory that is the Internet.

And we got a tree! A real tree, made of wood and green stuff. Someone brought it to us on a bicycle. (Have I mentioned lately how much I love Portland?) We decorated the other day (the tree, not the bike messenger) and I took one look at the finished product and OF COURSE decided I need to craft various felt-based ornaments to pretty it up. (Still talking about the tree, here, people. Keep up.) I’m thinking garland, for one thing (found a super-simple tutorial on Anna Maria Horner’s site – the kid could even help, which would rock). Also various and sundry hanging decorations (like the ornaments featured on Fantastic Toys and the Felt Circles ornament featured on Craftzine, which purports to be much easier than it looks). Someone also mentioned Shrinky Dinks, which – I love Shrinky Dinks, and how much fun would that be? And I totally got the kid a Shrinky Dink set for his birthday, because nothing says Christmas like robots, amirite?

Speaking of, I’m making a crapload of felt toys for the kid’s 4th birthday party, which we are hosting at our miniscule apartment because we are crazy people. I figured I didn’t have enough to do, what with Christmas and the business and the book release and all. Why not also make the solar system out of baked goods (related: I still love you, Pluto) and hand-sew a huge rocket pillow to give to the kid (and miniature versions thereof as party favors)?

Aside: party favors? Did not exist when I was a kid. Or else I just went to the wrong parties. Because I never got swag, and now everyone does it and I totally can’t be the only mom who’s all ‘hey, I gave you cake, what more do you want?’. But then I get all psycho overachiever and decide it would be so much cooler if I made favors myself, and that’s where you get the pre-party mama meltdown. Which is not going to happen this year, FYI. It’s totally not.

*He’s decided that an Insectosaurus toy is the most exciting thing anywhere ever, and every time he mentions Santa Claus he asks if Santa can bring him one. Which was a little dicey for those of us who do Santa’s shopping for him, since the damn thing’s apparently a collector’s item or some crap. Thank god for eBay, is all I have to say.