Monday, April 23, 2012

Aztec inspired painted combat boots.

             This weekend was wet and chilly. It was nice to open up our windows, listen to the rain and snack on soup and crackers all day. It also would have been a good time to get caught up on some house work, and I had every intention of doing that! I put some play dough in front of the boys, reminded my husband he has to add water to that can of Campbell's tomato soup (honestly!) and started rearranging a closet. Except... then I found hubby's combat boot stash. (Belleville brand.) He's got a lot of them, and I thought to myself ... I'd wear a pair of these on a wet day like today. Maybe ... if they were polka dotted... or... tribal! Maybe I could commander a pair.
             I dangled a pair in front of his nose. "Hey... can I have these?"
             "Are you going to glitter them?"
             "Then yes."
             Cleaning aborted!!!
                I offered to paint his work pair too... but he declined. Something about "regs" and all that. 
                It's rainy again today, the windows are open, and Baelin and I are enjoying the chilly weather  with hot coco while Romyn's stuck at school. Now I am going to attempt to finish the closet I started... you know... unless otherwise inspired.
                Happy Monday! -Kendra

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Crazy easy necklace to headband DIY- (and B.A.I.T. footwear's contest entry.)

          So.... do you have a favorite beaded necklace and ever dream that you could wear it in your hair? I do. I have a few actually, and yesterday I was messing around with them, wishing I could adjust their lengths and playing at wearing them as bohemian crowns. They didn't really stay put, and I didn't want to cut them up or hold them down with bobby pins, so I put them aside. BUT... last night, as I was falling asleep I had a genius idea, if I flipped them around a hair tie, I could wear them as a headband, or a shorter necklace, without any alterations to the necklace! Thank you lucid dreamer Kendra!
          This morning I searched the Internet high and low, thinking perhaps I'd seen this little trick before and just couldn't remember where in my dozy state. I didn't find anything like it. Really, it's so easy it's almost silly to show it off... but.... I am going to anyway! Summer is on the way.... we all need hippie beaded headbands.... and I am thinking this has got to be the easiest way to do it.
             WOW right!? It's so easy. Just grab a few different size rubber hair bands to see which might work best with the length of your necklace. Thread your necklace through the band until it's in the middle and then fold the necklace over. Then you'll be able to spread out your necklace into a circle, hopefully the perfect size to wear as a headband! Try mixing it up with more than one necklace, or if you're feeling fancy, use a ribbon instead of the hair band (or just add one) and you'll be able to tie a pretty bow as well.
           I'll say though, I am most looking forward to using this easy little trick as a quick way to shorten my longer beaded necklaces. Usually I just tie knots in them, or criss-cross it, but they always either come lose or slide around and choke me. (I am always readjusting them.) I'll get more wear out of them now I think.
           If I had figured this out yesterday I probably would've played around more with my entries this month in t B.A.I.T. footwear's "I Wear Pretty Shoes" style challenge. This month's shoe is the Ellie in teal (which are just so cute) and my beaded head band would have been really great with one of the outfits I sent in.... this one....
Ellie photo taken from B.A.I.T.'s facebook page.
                The rest of my entries were mostly shorts and tee's. I had to be honest, I would wear these little shoes with my everyday frumpy playground mom clothes. (Because they are cute and I love them, not because they are frumpy!) There's nothing like a cute shoe to dress up a Jem t-shirt right? Well I hope you all entered this month... if not, do it next month! If you haven't checked out the rules yet take a peek at B.A.I.T.'s blog now! It's lots of fun and a good excuse to dig in your closet.
                 Have a great weekend! - Kendra

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Sea glass charms....

            I promised a peek at the sea glass charms I made and here they are! I only had enough wire in my craft stash  to make two. One for a necklace and the other for my charm bracelet. (The last bit of wire I just wrapped decoratively around a shard and threw back into my collection jar.)
            I pretty much just wrapped them up the way I have seen it done on the beach. However, my mother does has some stained glass tools, and I may be brave and try soldering a piece properly one day. For now I think these turned out great, and I do have another plain silver linked bracelet I might cover with sea glass charms as soon as I get some more wire. (And a ring... I think I'd also like to try and make a ring!) Romyn has his heart set on finding a piece this year to make into a key chain. He really wants a black one.
            "Well, since black is your favorite color today, and black sea glass is really hard to find, you could always find a smooth black sea stone. That would make a really great key chain, you know, until you find that special black glass." He thinks this is  a good idea and I'm glad.... no one wants to leave the beach sad. I'm pretty sure we can at least find a black stone. (Fingers crossed!)

<3- Kendra

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A collection of sea glass.

               I love the beach. So...very....much. I love the smell, the wildlife, getting my toes wet, people watching, digging out huge sand forts with the boys, and I love hunting for sea glass. I think searching for sea glass first thing in the morning is probably my favorite thing to do at the beach. (And I am not a morning person... but for the beach, I make an exception and enjoy the sunrise.) Next month my parents have invited us to spend a week with them in the Outer Banks and I am counting down the days... my bags are I am just waiting....and waiting.... waaaaaiiiiiting....
               While I am waiting, I decided to go through my sea glass collection. I thought I would let Romyn study it closely. Last year he wanted to find a piece so badly, but just kept holding up shinny rocks. (No luck.) Baelin stuck with his Daddy, who found a little green shard and placed it strategically in B's path so he would find it. (I am the bad parent who does not share sea glass. O.K... this year if Romyn doesn't find one I might throw him a bone. But I hope not to have to... the boy is in training!)
              Part of Romyn's sea glass training includes, telling the difference between wet rocks and frosted glass, (Can you hold it up to the sun and light passes through it?) picking out a shard from a pile of shells, and knowing not to pick up the sharp stuff. We visit the local, and tiny, Yorktown Beach often, but as it is a calmer more inland beach and the glass you find there is often in a rawer "gona cut your foot open" sort of state. Not the best training ground for a 5 year old. When I hunt for glass there, it is mostly so I can throw it in the trash before it ends up hurting someone. Anyway... we'll see if his coaching pays off!
               (P.S.- Did you know that the glass you find on these gentler inland beaches is called "beach glass"? The more heavily frosted and worn pieces you would find from the open ocean are called "sea glass".)
                   Another thing I look forward to in OBX is the shopping! There are a lot of great thrift, antique and kitschy souvenir shops we love to visit. Something you'll  see a lot of there is pretty sea glass jewelry. I have been close to buying a piece or two, but each time I ended up passing, it just didn't feel right if it was a piece of glass I hadn't found. During Romyn's training I picked out a few bits I liked, grabbed some wire, and set to work making sea glass charms. I'll show those off to you next time, for now I will just show off my collection. The two blue pieces are my favorite. I found them after two frustrating days of nothing, right next to each other in a rock pile that the tide pushed in and pulled out very quickly. I was very lucky!  But I also have a white one that looks like a sneaker I am pretty fond of, it was one of the first pieces I ever found.  
                  Does anyone else collect sea glass? I'd love to hear about your favorite piece or the strangest thing you ever found on the beach. You can bet I will show off any new pieces I find this year. My mother has both a yellow and red piece in her collection, but my fingers are crossed I'll end up with a bit of  purple!

Wish me luck!- Kendra

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The bag of badges.... a thrifted find.

        My mother spotted this bag full of old badges at Goodwill and hunted me down in the shoe isle to show off the Popples button she had seen in the mix. The bag was all taped up, so we couldn't go through it, but I saw enough unicorn goodness inside that I decided it was worth fighting her for. (MINE!)
        My thrift shop negotiation techniques are a little below the belt I will admit... "Aw Mom, aren't you a little old for a Popples button? I'll just take this bag off your hands."
        "You're right Kendra, that 'Thirtyish' pin suites you more, you could wear them together!"
        "Ouch." (It's all in good fun, honest.)

               I am pretty proud of my instant unicorn button collection, I have loads of pins but these are my first magical unicorns! I love finds like this, wondering what sort of amazing unicorn loving person all these pins once belonged to is part of the fun! Another is redistributing the pins among friends. The Garfield pin has been added to hubby's birthday pile, the saxophone is for my brother, Popples and unicorns are greedily squirreled away for myself, Caddyshack goes to Gramps, the "Yes! I am pregnant." button gets passed on to my newly knocked up bestie, Romyn's already called dibs on the soccer ball and sheriffs badge, I will sheepishly hand over the "Amazing Mom" pin to the one I stole the bag from, and the rest will go back to Goodwill. Well.... I forgot someone, perhaps you noticed there are doubles of a certain magical Unicorn? I will be adding the spare to my next Happy Prize Pack giveaway! (I've also got a newly purchased China Glaze purple Prism glitter nail polish in there! it's so sparkly!) I will post the details on my Facebook page soon so keep an eye out.
And now a peek into the future…
                My boys love to play video games. They don’t get much time in on any one system, they can’t quite keep up with Mommy in Mario yet… oh, I mean they are too young for video games. Anyway, Angry Birds Space had just come out and we made an exception to our limited game time rule to let them just veg out on Grammies couch with her Ipad. They spent most that play date just swapping the Ipad and Kindle fire between them, racing cars and playing Angry Birds. (Little boy heaven.) Eric and I went off to see a movie and once we returned Grammie picked B up to kiss him goodbye, then quickly put him back down.
               “B! Did you pee your pants?!”
               “On the couch?”
Mom looks at me…. great. My 4 year old has not had an accident in months; obviously B hadn’t wanted to stop playing. (Or at least he didn’t want to leave the birds unattended around his brother, and tried to hold it too long.) Mom said it was “creepy.” We had a talk with B about his bad choice, and moved past it. At least until the next day when Baelin got his hands on Angry Birds again…. and wet himself…. again. OK, that is creepy B. (Angry Birds are in a timeout.)
I can see myself 12 years in the future, and in his room I find a receipt for the newest World of Warcraft game and a pack of adult diapers. I am not snooping in there! I was just wondering what the heck that smell is! Already a hardcore gamer at age 4, I think his uncle and Gramps are secretly proud. I on the other hand, would rather be trying to beat his score, than steam cleaning my mother’s couch.
All the best- Kendra

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

New B.A.I.T shoes and purple hair!

           So I got the new shoes I won from B.A.I.T footwear's "I wear pretty shoes" March style challenge, and I looooooove them! I wore them all Saturday while shopping in Richmond and they were very comfy and fit true to size. Here I am showing off my new kicks aaaaaaand.... my new hair! I was tired of growing out last summer's blond highlights, so I figured I'd just cover them up with my most favorite hair color of all, PURPLE! I dyed my hair purple all through high school, so I told my husband it truly makes me look at least ten years younger. (Disclaimer, I will be turning 30 next month, and I am totally comfortable admitting that celebrating by dying my hair my all time favorite color and claiming it makes me look ten years younger does seem a little pre-midlife-crisis-ish. I am O.K. with this... my purple hair makes me deliriously happy.) You know what else makes me look younger? Photos of me channeling angsty teenage Kendra, looking terribly annoyed, and rolling my eyes at my camera challenged husband. Awful. Sometimes I think he spends extra time messing with the settings just so he can get more shots of me looking catty. (Maybe one day I will surprise him with a scrapbook full of these! :-p)

         Is anyone else contemplating a crazy hair color for summer? Even temporally? I've been surfing Pinterest and crushing hard on all the rainbow hair I've seen there lately. I realized there wasn't a reason I couldn't dye my hair purple! I had stopped coloring my hair rainbow when I got my first "grownup" job, and then I stopped dying my hair Dr. Pepper red during my pregnancies and nursing years. Well, I am no longer pregnant, and at least until Baelin starts school I am still a SAHM, so really my 30th year might be the last that I can get away with purple hair! I am running with it.
           Today at the playground I had a little gaggle of elementary aged girls gather behind the bench I occupied.
            "Shhhh-shhhh-shhh... see? It's all purple and pink like a fairy's!"
            "So many colors!" A brave preschooler mumbles as she pops around the front of the bench, "You have colorful hair."
              "Why yes I do."
              "It's pretty."
              "Thank you so much!"
               "I see pink and purple and grey."
               "Eh? Oh no....I think you mean brown!"
               (Gasps are heard from the slightly older girls in the group.) "You don't tell a lady she has grey hair!"
               "Well if I am being honest there are a few greys up there, but I just pretend they are sparkles."
                "I don't see them at all!"
                 (I stifle the urge to tell this older child that she is my favorite.)

                 Here's what I used, Paint Box by Fudge . It's actually the same brand I used way back in high school, though I normally used Blueberry Hill instead of Purple Haze. (Purple Haze fades a whole lot faster.)
                 Alright, I am done showing off for now. Don't forget to like B.A.I.T. shoes on Facebook if you're interested in entering this months style challenge!
                 Until next time- Kendra

Friday, April 6, 2012

Silk Tie Dyed Eggs- I saw it, and tried it.

            I first spotted this amazing trick on Our Best Bites and it seemed too magical to be true! Can you really dye amazing Easter eggs with a handful of old silk ties!? Like....really? After Martha Stewart confirmed it I was off and running to the thrifts, clamouring for unique silk ties! (Martha said I could use silk boxers too, but that wasn't anything I was interested in buying second hand.... let alone wrapping food in! Ew!)

         So here's how you do it....

-You need some 100% printed silk fabric. Get it from an old blouse, or a thrifted men's tie. Chop your fabric up into "egg wrapable size" squares.
-Wrap and tie the fabric around the uncooked egg with the printed side down.
-Double wrap and tie the egg in another cotton fabric square. All the online tutorials said to use a light colored fabric but I only had an old blue tee. Luckily I didn't notice any ill effects from it.
-Put the bundles into a pot and cover with water. I boiled mine about 17 minutes and they turned out perfect.... but you should go with what your heart tells you! We all have our own ways to boil eggs don't we?
-Drain the pot and wait till the eggs are cool to unwrap. (Can't wait till they are cool? Then cover them in ice!)
-Be amazed by your newest egg dying trick!
                    Since the boys were only able to help minimally with the crafting of these Easter eggs I thought I would involve them more by asking them to add temporary tattoos to the eggs. (Another little trick I spotted on Pinterest.) Unfortunately the tattoos I had in the house were leftovers from Romyn's potty training days and really were not in the usable condition any more. (Ops!) A few smashed eggs and grumpy boys later we gave up and decided to eat them instead.
                     I'm gonna say over all this project was a win. The boys were amazed, I was amazed, and I think we'll have have fun hunting for neat ties and matching tattoos for next years eggs. It's always nice to have something to look forward to isn't it?
Happy Easter!- Kendra

Bleached Polkadot Pants, an easy DIY.

          I should just warn you all that I am on a bit of a dye and bleach binge at the moment. Nothing in my closet is safe! (From my projects, or the unintentional splatter from the process.) I saw this Polka-dot jean D.I.Y over at johansson life in rewind and thought I'd like to try my own version with bleach instead of paint. My dots are not at all perfect, but I still really love how fun these turned out! Don't forget, when working with bleach you have to work fast, or you'll end up with little holes and not cute dots.
1. I grabbed up some teal pants I found at the thrift shop. You could use jeans or colorful shorts, so long as they are mostly cotton there should be no problem bleaching them out.
2. Grab some chalk and a yard stick, if you want your polka dots to be somewhat uniform it is a good idea to mark out a grid, or map out your dots with some chalk or a washable marker. If you want something crazier you could always test your design out in chalk first, maybe try zigzags, stars, lyrics from your favorite song, "I love polka dots", you know, whatever.
3. Once you've stuffed the legs with paper bags or cardboard to avoid your dots bleeding through, grab a bunch of q-tips and a cup of bleach and head outside. Remember, work quick, I worked from the bottom left to right and up the front, putting dots at each intersection in my grid pattern. I then flipped the jeans over, and did the same on the back. Back on front I added more dots in the center of the grids (work bottom to top again), and repeated onto the back. The pants need to go into the wash quickly to stop the bleaching process.
       You can't tell by the pictures, but because the second set of dots  had less time to set, they are a lighter pinky color, where as the first set is pretty much white. I love that I was able to get this effect. If I did this project again I might water down the bleach a bit, so I don't feel like I have to rush through it so quickly. (The more watered down your bleach is, the longer it will take to fade your fabric.)
            Of course my #1 tip is to add tacky holiday pins to make your new polka dotty outfit even more fabulous! I was lucky enough to find an instant Easter collection at my favorite thirft shop this week. Hurray!
Too cute!
Happy Friday Everyone! - Kendra

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Easy Galaxy Jeans D.I.Y

  To boldly go where no jeans have gone before!
      Galaxy print is awesome. I love it! Sadly, shopping around for it I haven't had any luck finding something in my size, or really within my budget. (Also, I don't do leggings.) There are a few Galaxy print D.I.Ys you can find online, but most of them are for bleached tees, or painted leggings or jeans. I personally thought that a bleach and tie-dye combo would give me the look I wanted, and thought I would try it out. Here is my first attempt.
 After twist tying a few "galaxies" into my jeans I used a paint brush to apply pure bleach. (In the future I will water it down.)  I very quickly cut them free and added some bleach splatters, swirls and star shapes with a smaller brush. (Front and back.) Next the jeans went into the washing machine.
 Once washed I followed the directions on a pack of purple fabric dye. The package warned me that it  may not take to bleached areas, but I didn't have a problem. To give the jeans a spacey, ombre, look I soaked the leg bottoms in the dye a few hours longer then the rest.
  I also tried out a salt resist technique over the dye, which should have added a neat "bloom" finish, but despite letting it sit over night it didn't seem to take. (Or maybe it did, but I can't see the results through the grain of the denim?) I'll skip that trick on the next pair. So after letting the dye set over night, the jeans went back through the washer and dryer, and received another splattering, swirling, and painting on of bleached stars. Again, work fast, then pop right back into the washing machine. I am afraid this project wastes a lot of water. Sorry! But look at those great results!  

That's it! It's as easy as tie-dying!  I wore them over to visit my parents last weekend and I tried to show them off to my Mom.
"See.... I splattered on stars... and added a swirl for like a galaxy, then I painted this little star burst...."
"So you tie-dyed them."
"No Mom... I galaxy dyed them. Don't you get it? It's a galaxy."
"Just because you put the word galaxy in front of it doesn't make it something new! I was GAAAALAAAAXY dying jeans before you were born!"
"Soooo.... you don't think these look like space? Should I bedazzle them too?'
"Now you're thinking."

Yes.... I am. They could use a little extra sparkle don't you think? - Kendra

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

April Fools, and memories from deployment

Romyn's April Fool's Face

            This week was April Fool’s Day, and Romyn has been looking forward to it for ages now. He’s loudly been planning bad pranks to play on the family, and we’ve had a lot of talks about the differences between fun pranks and those that are destructive or mean. Now, Romyn has a really amazing memory…. if not slightly selective. He may have trouble “remembering” not to talk with food in his mouth, but he can recount details of days from years ago. As April 1st approached he’d been recalling past pranks, like the time Daddy stuffed his shoes full of paper, and sneaking fake spiders into my bed.  I realized that between all his memories, he was leaving out last April Fool’s.
“Romyn….what about last year? Do you remember the April Fool’s prank I played on you while Daddy was away?”
Now that it’s April, Eric has officially been home from his last deployment a year, the whole year before that he served in Afghanistan. As a family we just refer to this period as “the time Daddy was away.”
“Uhhh, no. I don’t know, wasn’t that when Daddy put paper in my shoes?”
“No, if Daddy was still away he could not have put paper in your shoes.”
“OH! It was when Daddy jumped out of the box.” (This was how he surprised the boys when he returned from deployment.)
“No, that was….Oh, that was the end of March last year. I guess Daddy was here for April Fools, but he probably had to spend the day in processing. (I realize he has been home a year now, and soooo much on his honey-do-list is still unfinished, I mentally remind myself to nag.) Ok, so Daddy got home, he jumped out of the box and surprised you, and then it was April Fools, and I played a big prank on you while Daddy was at work. Do you remember?”
“You guys had dirt cake for breakfast!”
“Oh… yes, now I sort of remember.”
Hrm. I actually thought the dirt for breakfast prank would have been more traumatizing for the boys. At the time, you would have thought neither of them could have survived such a thing. It still breaks my heart to remember Baelin so pitifully telling me “But Momma! This isn’t food!” Today, they barely even recall it! Of course, realizing that Eric had indeed been home-ish for that April Fool’s meant that the shoe and paper prank he had played on Romyn had been a year earlier. I can’t remember what pranks were played the year Eric was away! I am positive I pranked, I always do…and I find it really interesting my little memory wiz doesn’t either. (Oh gosh…maybe I didn’t!)  A year post deployment and it is strange to see how different Romyn’s memories are of “the time Daddy was away” and the years on either side of it. It is true that year was rough, all deployments are, but I still have a lot of happy memories of my boys from that time. They were still little, it was the end of Baelin’s babyhood, and the last year before Romyn started school, so I tried very hard to embrace that time, and stay busy. Today I was a little shocked to find, while flipping back through my journal, that I wrote very little during the deployment, next to nothing in fact! I could also find no record of the missing April Fool’s Day. Maybe subconsciously the boys and I would rather just forget the whole year without Daddy ever happened. Maybe it was a much harder time than I chose to remember.
I asked Eric if he recalled me telling him over the phone what I might have done that April 1st he was deployed. He couldn’t, but he did remember the boys telling him about the dirt cake for breakfast after that first day of in processing. I mentioned all Romyn remembered was him popping out of the box, and maybe that exciting incident had outshined any other which happened following it. I then remembered how the boys woke up so excited the morning following Eric’s return and how disappointed they were to find he was at work. They waited the whole day by the window. Yah… I guess dirt cake could not compare to Daddy’s homecoming.
And now…. Happier Memories from this Year’s April Pranking-
As I mentioned, Romyn had been planning his pranks for over a week, and most everything that he suggested was destructive or mean. (I’m going to knock everything over on its side! I’m going to pinch my brother’s butt! I’m going to pull your mouse out of your computer so it doesn’t work! I am going to pretend I’ve gone deaf so I can’t hear anything you say!) I eventually put my foot down and told him all pranks had to be done in cahoots with a grownup, and by grownup I meant Daddy, because I was already tired of prank planning.
The morning of the first as I get out of  bed I hear the pitter patter of little feet in the hallway and  realize I was not awaken early on my sleep-in-day but any squealing boys, so I wonder if all the balloons I taped over the boy’s bedroom doors had been a flop. A swooshing sound notifies me that the child sneaking in the hallway has slipped something under my door, I groggily scoop it up to see it is a brightly colored rainbow… sad face. Romyn can be a bit dramatic, so perhaps he did not enjoy the balloons blocking his door after all. Opening the door I find he’s still crouched there in the hall ready to jump up and shriek “APRIL FOOOOOOOOOLS!” (I need some coffee.)
“Good morning Romyn.”
“Good April Fools.”
“Did I miss the prank?”
“You have it in your hand…. see, you think I am sad. But I am not, I am happy because it is April Fools, APRRRRRRIIIIILLLL FOOOOOOOOOOLS!”
“I get it now.”
“Come downstairs! Now! Daddy and I made you breakfast!”
Walking down the stairs I realize the first prank of April, and obviously the first Romyn has devised on his own, felt a little like hate mail.  Rainbow hate mail. Well, at least he didn’t smash my computer. (I think.) Romyn drags me into the kitchen, where I see two very, very, soggy bowls of cereal. Really soggy, like, I might gag, soggy.
“Daddy and I made you breakfast, and you get to pick which cereal you want, alphabets or rice crispies!”
“Is that what that is? They both look the same.”
I glance at Eric, and shake my head to say I might not even be able to pretend this, but get no help, so I just pick crispies.
“I’ll take it to the table for you mom. GO!”
I join Baelin at the table, thinking I should’ve turned on my coffee pot, and getting my game face ready. Should I be horrified? Shocked? Or just play dumb?  
“Hi B. Romyn made me some cereal too…… ooooohhhh nooooo, what’s happened to my cereal!?” (I went with dumb, because I was too tired to win any Oscars.)
(Cue manical laughter from Romyn, and a look of pity from Baelin. Turns out he doesn’t take kindly to people messing with his breakfast. I can sympathize with that.)
“It’s FROZEN! Daddy tricked Baelin and me and I saved it for you!”
(Yum, reused pranks.)
“Well I guess since I can’t eat cereal I’ll just get us all some juice… does that sound good Baelin?”
“Yah!” (Cue Mommy’s prank, the classic Jell-O “Juice” Glass.  Much fun and laughs are had by all. Baelin doesn’t care for people messing with his juice either, and spent the longest trying to get the Jell-O up his straw, but forgives me when he realized he gets Jell-O. Honestly, Baelin is sort of confused by the whole Fool’s Day business.)
Romyn also had a great time watching me peal tape off the bottom of my computer mouse, and again getting to shriek “APRIL FOOLS!” at me. (And again, and again, and for anything the whole dang day…APRIL FOOLS!) We also brought extra “juice cups” to Grammie and Gramp’s house. Baelin thought the joke was much funnier the second time around.  In the end the best prank award had to go to Grandpa, who pulled the old “rattle snake egg” trick on the boys.  He told the boy’s he had gotten them some Star Wars trading cards, and threw them into envelopes for safe keeping. Romyn was very surprised by the homemade buzzer hidden inside instead. Baelin, again, was just confused.  (Find out how to make your own here!)
This year April 1st was a great day and I really hope the boys remember these times growing up. As a bonus they also got to watch The Empire Strikes Back for the first time ever and after played at the Bounce House. I do worry about their selective memories, but if looking back on this last deployment has taught me anything it is that my boys seem to remember more of the good than the bad. Which is excellent, because maybe then they can both forget about Romyn’s infamous second solo prank. Just because you yell “April Fool’s” after you spank your brother inside a giant Superman inflatable it does not excuse you from a timeout. Poor Baelin, next year he gets extra Jell-O.
Till next time- Kendra

Monday, April 2, 2012

Rainbows and light sparklies....

              When Romyn was a year old we stayed with my parents while Daddy was away on a yearlong remote. Their living room has a huge window, and just after dinner daily the sun shines through it in just the right way onto a bowl of mirrored decorative balls. I have happy memories of my mother spinning baby Romyn around while he tried to grab the scattered sunshine with his hands. If sunlight is good for health and disposition, sun sparkles and rainbows must have the same powers, but concentrated.

            When Eric finally joined the boys and I stateside, I already had a new home picked out and waiting for us.  It had everything on my wish list, a playroom and loads of light. I’ve heard a light and bright home appears cleaner, which is great for me because I am quite a neglectful house keeper. I can’t really attest to the truthiness of that however, but I can speak for sunlight’s positive mood enhancing powers. Not much makes me happier than sunshine pouring through my windows (me pretending my house seems cleaner) and spotting a tiny rainbow on the wall. (Oh, hello concentrated happiness!) I dream one day I’ll have a window full of prisms so that my home will always be full of rainbows. Unfortunately I have neglected collecting those, and the few I have never seem to be hanging in the right spot. (Or else those rainbows are just really good hiders.) Luckily for me I have a number of items around the house which more than make up for my slacking prisms, there’s the glass lamp base, a clear curtain tie back, the sparkliest purse, and the cut glass windows on my front door. This time of year there always seems to be a rainbow somewhere in the house, even if it’s trying to hide.
We see you rainbow!

So we know moderate sunlight is good for you, but I’ve found a few benefits of sunshine which I believe those in the scientific community may have overlooked. (Specifically, that sunlight in sparkly or rainbow formations.) One benifit is entertainment. Yes it’s easy to have fun outside when it’s sunny; but indoor rainbow hunts are super fun. (Positive side effects of entertained children include parental sanity.) Sunlight can reinforce happy memories, like when three rainbows joined us this year for Baelin's birthday breakfast. (Magical.) Sunlight can also trigger unfortunate moments of clarity, when a beam is shining just right across your living room, and you can see all the swirling dust dancing about. For a moment you’re hypnotized by its subtle beauty, enjoying the show, until you realize just how long it's been since you last vacuumed. (Warning, rainbows do not make your home any cleaner.)
As they grow older my boys may no longer squeal in delight when they catch a rainbow. I do hope though, that when they do spot one it reminds them of happy times, and will always bring that same joy it does now to their hearts.Wishing you Springtime Sun Sparklies- Kendra
My friend Kati's boy, Jax, with a rainbow face. <3

P.S.- Do you remember my B.A.I.T. footwear contest post? Well I am so excited to tell you that I won those pink Darla shoes! The ladies at B.A.I.T told me outfits #2 and #3 were their favorites. I can't wait to get them in the mail! (Missed the post? Check it out here.)