Fun Gift Idea: Dress Up Bunch Club

December 16, 2014 @ 10:02 am | Filed under: Fun Learning Stuff

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Saw this on Twitter and had to share! I love Wendi Gratz’s work—her book is one of Beanie’s go-to resources—and this doll + clothes pattern club such a fun idea I wanted to pass it on.

You’re Invited to the Dress Up Bunch Club! – Shiny Happy World.

Join the club and on the 13th of every month you’ll get a brand new, never-seen before pattern!

The pattern in January will be for a new Dress Up Bunch doll (a human girl).

Every month after that for the rest of the year, the pattern will be for an outfit and some accessory (or accessories) to go with the doll. I don’t know what they’ll be yet (though I have some ideas) but at least some of them will tie in to seasons or holidays.

You’ll receive the pattern by email. You can start sewing that very day!

This isn’t an affiliate link or sponsored post, just a gift idea I thought some of you might enjoy. :)

December 2014, part the first

December 12, 2014 @ 5:03 pm | Filed under: Family, Family Adventures, Photos

I know, I know, I go dark for almost two weeks and then suddenly, what, four posts in one day. But if there’s anything I’ve learned in (ye gods) nine years and eleven months of blogging, it’s: if you have something to write, write it, and if you don’t, don’t sweat it. And following a related-links rabbit trail on the Huck post this morning led me through many moments I’m glad I chronicled. So here’s an entry for the memory vault.

Of course the main reason for my silence has been my pile of Cybils reading, as we’re rapidly approaching The Big Discussion right after Christmas. I gave up maintaining my sidebar and Goodreads reading logs weeks ago, but after the madness is over I’ll use my Cybils log to catch up. If you are stuck for book choices I can make suggestions, boy howdy.

(I love this committee. It’s so good for mah brain to consume a megadose of YA fiction every couple of years. And my fellow panelists are so darn smart. It’s the book club of my dreams—fierce but fleeting.)

The other occupier of my time has been a glorious stream of company. :) ’Tis the season for visits from college friends. We had Kristen and her family for Thanksgiving (Krissy, did you get any good pix? Mine, not so much) and then a long-awaited, unremittingly delightful week with my friends Ron and Larry from Portland. I got to show them Balboa Park (the best part of San Diego) not once but twice: two long lovely afternoons there roaming through gardens and museums. One day with kids and one day without. Beanie and Rilla came with us to the SD Museum of Art, where the “Gauguin to Warhol” exhibit wowed us. I wasn’t surprised to be choked up by seeing a Frida Kahlo up close (Self Portrait with Monkey), but I didn’t expect the Jackson Pollock to move me the way it did. The scope of the thing, a whole massive wall of paint crammed with small stories.

Soon we’ll have my parents here, and Jane finished finals yesterday (with a paper on Prufrock, color me proud) and will be headed home in a few days. Fortunately she wasn’t planning on taking the train home today! Amtrak had to cancel the coastal train due to this crazy storm. Water, finally! More than this parched land can handle. Much worse in LA than here. We’re cozying up at home for now.

The other notable thing about our December is, of course, that it’s our biggest birthday month. So before I pour in a bunch of photos from Instagram and elsewhere these past few weeks, I’ll just leave you with this: Wonderboy is eleven now. Eleven!

paperwhites
before the rain

umbrellaboy and during

grasshopperpie
genius at work: the making of the annual grasshopper pie

stampydolls
Rilla’s Stampy Longnose paper dolls

legoskates
shockingly, this did not end in a trip to the emergency room

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Museum of Man, Balboa Park

wethree
the mischief corner

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“Roots + history,” swiped from Larry’s Instagram

birthdayboy11
impossible yet true

Exonerated

December 12, 2014 @ 11:06 am | Filed under: These People Crack Me Up

Me: Hey, looks like someone forgot to sweep up the dust pile.

Rose: Wasn’t me. I never sweep.

Possibly my best idea ever

December 12, 2014 @ 8:30 am | Filed under: Games, Poetry

I struck a deal with the kids: for every new app or game I buy them, they must each memorize a poem. So far, so fabulous. Huck, my little iPad junkie, is shaping up to be a regular minstrel by the time he’s twenty. :)

Well, I’m laughing

December 12, 2014 @ 7:36 am | Filed under: These People Crack Me Up

Huck to Scott, apropos of nothing: Do you still want to hear my knock knock joke?

(Still?)

Scott: Sure.

Huck: How does the chair…

[pause]

[confused look]

[disappointed look]

Huck: Knock knock.

Scott: Who’s there?

Huck: Chair.

Scott: Chair who?

Huck: Chair on your head.

Happy December!

December 1, 2014 @ 11:42 am | Filed under: Author stuff, Books

(direct link)

Every year at this time, my blog stats show dozens of searches for the Christmas picture book I wrote long ago. It’s been out of print for ages and tends to be pricey on the resale market, especially this time of year. Last year I decided to read it aloud on video so folks who can’t find it can watch it with their kids.

And here’s my video introduction to the book.

(direct link)

Santa Lucia Day is December 13. Coming up fast!

Milestone

November 30, 2014 @ 7:57 am | Filed under: Family, Huck, These People Crack Me Up

Huck, age 5 years and 10 months: “I readed all of Peter and the Talking Shoes without being one bit loud. I readed it BY MY EYES ONLY. I didn’t say it out loud at ALL.”

Overheard

November 28, 2014 @ 9:02 am | Filed under: Huck, These People Crack Me Up

(down the hall, top of the lungs) “I’m going to go see Mom!”

(thundering footsteps drawing nearer)

(cheerful bellow) “MOMMOMMOMMOMMOM!”

(in the doorway, casual everyday voice) “Hi, Mommy! Did I surprise you?”

Hard to believe it’s been almost 10 years since I wrote this post

November 27, 2014 @ 1:42 pm | Filed under: Family

She finished the last round of high-dose chemo on Thanksgiving Day of 1997. We ate Boston Market turkey and stuffing in the hospital playroom while her meds finished running. There were two more years of low-dose chemo to go, but we expected to spend most of that period as out-patients. When we got home that night—home, where we hadn’t spent more than ten days in a row since March—it was late, a cold, clear night, with as many stars as a New York City sky can muster. I remember thinking I couldn’t imagine ever being more thankful for anything than I was to be carrying that little girl up the stairs to our apartment that night.

I was wrong.