Thursday, December 29, 2011



Let's just say Monkey Baby under glass and on the wall displeased little lord flaunty boy. So much, in fact, that he had to make a new drawing of the "babies" that would never, ever, ever, ever be protected from harm.

He likes them grubby.

And to make sure they wouldn't be seen as precious ...

To prove their lack of preciousness, he finished painting them and then scrawled on their faces

once he'd finished painting them, he scrawled on their faces with pencil.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Lost and found

Found a little lost pomeranian ...

We took this picture for the flyer.


The downturned smile is because she KNOWS this dog has an owner who misses her.

Homeless pomeranians are a rarity. Someone was bound to know to whom she belonged. All we needed to do was call around.

But having a dog for a few hours, feeding her steak and listening to her snore, was also a pretty good indicator that maybe it's time to start looking for our dog.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Ah ... Memories

A rare 8

This is the only photo I took on the birthday she'll likely remember thusly:

"It was the best birthday EVER. We had games and crafts and we made ice cream ... and oh, yeah, mom didn't come."

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sunday, December 18, 2011

On the twelfth day of Christmas ...


I got pneumonia. The kind that kneecaps you instead of letting you walk off scott free. And we'd planned a party for the Big 8 today that included -- as you might be able to surmise by the amount (and sizing) of the craft tables -- all of her classmates and a few extra friends from past classes.

Guess whose had to do all the work?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

On the eleventh day of Christmas ...

dressed up

Even the squirrels are getting into the spirit.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

On the tenth day of Christmas ...

swinging santa

Santa? Can I ask you something?

Sure, what is it that you'd like?

Did your mother make you practice every day?

Oh yes. Each and every day. ALWAYS listen to your mother.

Friday, December 09, 2011

On the ninth day of Christmas ...

snow globe

I had almost all of the ingredients:

Empty jars - check

Matching lids - check

Spray paint - (optional but) check

Tiny plastic toys - check

Corks - check

Plastic greens - (cut from fake garlands) check

Glitter - check

Epoxy - check

Distilled water - check

Glycerin - hmmmm ... you mean the stuff people make soap out of?

Yes, but no:

Poor Santa ...

You can find it in the drugstore, but not in the soap aisle.

Oh ... I kid the Santa Claus.

Anywhoo ... Here's what you do:

1. Collect all those toys you've been stepping on. I used the holiday set from Playmobil that I bought last year, but any plastic toy will do.

2. Clean out some jars, make sure your toys fit inside. Ittybit helped with this. I couldn't for the life of me fit the snowman in the artichoke jar and was rummaging through the recycling for a bigger jar when she simply took off his hat. So. There.

3. Spray paint the lids to make them a uniformed color (you can cover them with fabric or leave them alone. It's fine for people to know you've sealed Frosty in an old artichoke bottle. You can also use bottle caps to act as pedestals if the jar is large and the toys are small.

4. Wait 24 hours for the lids to dry.

5. To make the trees I cut little bits of fake greenery off our garland, trimmed them a bit and stuck them in little slabs of cork I sawed into quarters. I punctured a little hole in the cork with the tip of a knife to make tree insertion easier.

6. Mix the epoxy and dab it onto the toys, press them on the inside of the lid and let dry for a couple of hours.

7. I added a half teaspoon or so of glitter to the jars and a dab of glycerine (seriously only about a dime-sized dab for the largest jar) and then filled them to the top with distilled water.

8. Over the sink, I inserted the lid scene and shut it as tightly as possible.

9. Of course it still leaks a little.

But look ...

three globes


So pretty.

Maybe ... if I ever do this again ... I'll try a silicone sealant on the lid.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

On the eighth day of Christmas ...

Bed (and bedding) for Monkey Babies

Let's face it ... when you have kids to entertain, every little whim that materializes into hanging balls of glue and sparkle or stitched-together pieces of old pajama bottoms is like Christmas morning threw up a little in your house each and every day.

Might as well change the sheets before the place starts to stink.

And with that in mind, I give you:

Bed (and bedding) for Monkey Babies

Because you know, if you give twin Monkey Babies a bed, they're going to want a mattress. And if you give them a mattress, they'll want pillows. And if you give them pillows they'll want a blanket.

Because ... it's getting cold outside.


Wednesday, December 07, 2011

On the seventh day of Christmas


Kermit was right: It's not easy being green.

Do you make a wreath?

A table decoration?


How much you wager these will still be piled on our porch come Christmas Day?

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

On the sixth day of Christmas ...


The seeds of disbelief are sewn:

"Mom! I just found the gift tags SANTA used last year. They were with the Post-It notes."

"Huh? Well, that is odd. Maybe he left them here last year. ... That's it. I bet he changes things up every year. ... Keeps it fresh."

"I don't know. ... something smells fishy to me."

Monday, December 05, 2011

On the fifth day of Christmas

decking the halls

I was reminded of a few things ...

1. Our cat LOVES to drink tree water.

So much so that I think she may have a problem.

2. Our kids can't resist reorganizing the tree ornaments.

Every. Chance. They. Get.

and 3. ...

This year I learned the kids are getting better at shifting the blame for broken ornaments onto the tree-water lush.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

On the fourth day of Christmas ...


When building houses ...

Sometimes it helps ...

To have plans.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

On the third day of Christmas ...

You know how Festivus has the Airing of Grievances?

Well, here at Ittybits & Pieces we have the Shilling of the Swag.

Friday, December 02, 2011

On the second day of Christmas ...

Our holiday cards are *nearly* ready for the schlep to the Post Office.

Have to admit I'm a little disappointed that this picture:


Wasn't in existence until today.

Otherwise, it would have been on the card.***

*** Should anyone have a pressing desire to be added to our Christmas Card list, drop me a line.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

On the first day of Christmas ...

My true love gave to me ...


A bunch of random office supplies ...

A dozen or so balloons ...

And a shaker of glittery goo.

On the second day of Christmas ...

My true love gave to me ...


A few dozen winds of string ...

A watered-down vat of glue ...

And a thick sable paintbrush ...

On the third day of Christmas ...

My true love gave to me


A hardened ball of string ...

A touch-up coat of glue ...

And few more shakes of glittery goo.

On the forth day of Christmas ...

My true love gave to me ...

A sharp, pointy object ...

A few stabs around the balloon parts ...

And a dustpan for all the glittery goo.

On the fifth day of Christmas ...

My true love gave to me ...

Ribbon, button, glue

A length of ribbon ...

A few salvaged buttons ...

And some more of the damn glittery goo.

On the sixth day of Christmas ...

My true love gave to me ...


A bunch of ornamental snow balls ...

A few ideas for other holidays ...

And a weird desire for Santa to bring a more powerful vacuum cleaner for all this glittery goo.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Monday, November 28, 2011

A syllable short


Mom? What's a terrorist?

Well, it's a criminal who does terrible things to hurt and frighten people.

Oh. I thought it was a person who visits to see things.

That would be a tourist.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The ghosts of Christmases past

As I rustle through the stores this holiday season mulling the purchases that will either make Santa a hero or me a zero (because, lets face it, blaming the big guy for getting the wrong toy just isn't done) I thought I'd wander down Memory Lane and remember all the gifts that haven't been forgotten the second the wrapping paper had been cleared away:

Toy story

BIC Mark-It permanent ink markers – $23

We bought the 36-count set ions ago. Likely before The Champ was even born. We still have all 36 and all of them work. There is no substitute for good markers. And no end to how you can use them. This year we'll be making tie-dye shirts with permanent markers and rubbing alcohol.


Optic Wonder by Toysmith – $7

It's not really a wonder … it's a binocular/compass combo that rarely gets used in our house for either of those functions. But this a $7 hunk of plastic (now missing the compass feature) has certainly repaid its price ten-times over … though I doubt I bought it. Honestly? I had no idea what this mystery gadget was. It just turned up one day and it's been an important tool for propping up toys, spying on sisters and viewing the opera from the living room ever since.

Toy Story

FurReal Newborn Chimpanzee - $14

We call him “Monkey Baby” and The Champ won't leave home (or sleep) without him. Luckily (because of temporary misplacement) we have three of these babies. The “real” part of the monkey – chittering, snoring and squawking have all lost their appeal (not to mention battery juice). Even I must admit it's creepy how cute he is.

Toy Story

Vintage camera, thrift shop - $1

The kids will always dig this baby out of the toy box.

You can find them at etsy, but I'd go to Salvation Army … or Goodwill … yard sales. You might also want to check grandpa's attic.

Toy story

Haba Geomix blocks - $46

We received these Geomix block by Haba as a gift when Ittybit was two. I'm not sure anyone would outgrow these. Ever.

Toy story

Hello Kitty Sewing Machine by Janome - $115

Cute. Versatile. Sturdy. Indispensable.

Santa brought a Sew Mini by Janome, ($60) which was handy and good for light-weight crafting, but ended up needing repairs after only a few months. Santa now recommends spending just a little more.

Toy story

Wooden train set - $50

Their father had a small set … probably from the Brio company.

We went with Circo at Target. Got a 120-piece set for about $50. It's easy to assemble, fits with the old Brio set as well as another plastic model recently and lovingly handed down. I think the best part may be that it's a toy that won't end up in a yard sale.

And it's hours of fun.

Toy story

Legos – Anywhere from $3 to a small fortune

You will step on them, sweep them up, step on them again … but you will never curse the day they were invented. Neither will your kids.

Toy story

Littlest Pet Shop - $4 to $40

Ittybit got her first Littlest Pet Shop when she was two. I got an apology from the benefactor. “They're like crack,” she whispered so that her own daughter wouldn't hear. Now we have more than a hundred of these little bobble headed things. Parents hate them. Kids love them. Can't win every battle.

Toy story

Superstar Mic - $1

Target dollar bin. Looks like the biggest piece of crap going: A plastic ice cream cone housing a metal coil. Batteries not even needed. Big whoop.

Yet … It's been the best dollar Santa ever spent.

This year Santa is looking into

A pottery wheel

A marble chute

A microscope

and an ice cream maker

I'll let you know how my kids think they stack up against the best toy ever made …

Toy story

The cardboard box.