27 December 2008

christmas 2008

this christmas was very exciting for our family since it was claire's first. yes, we realize she won't remember it, but it was fun nonetheless. my poor sister was sick, but the bright side was it meant i get to hold the baby so that we could minimize the risk of jen passing it on to the baby. the festivities began on christmas eve, for our traditional celebration with my mom's side of the family
the car ride to grandma's (well, MY grandma...claire's great-grandma)
cousin jason & claire
christmas carols

brandon and i spent the night at my parent's house, and then spent most of christmas day with the family, including my dad's side.
it has just been brought to my attention that my whole family is wearing red--we all have christmas pj's that we wear for christmas morning. i realize that 99% of my photos are of claire, but only in like two locations. this was because the rest of the time i was holding claire, which meant i couldn't take pictures of other people OR of claire throughout the day. oh well...i did snap this one of the boys playing wii

25 December 2008

merry christmas!

merry christmas! i know it's the end of the day, but i hope everyone has had a very blessed holiday. christmas always flies by, but i try to take a moment to myself and really reflect on this very special day. everyone enjoy the rest of your holiday break!

22 December 2008

kittens no more

my cats haven't been kittens for a while now, but last night i uploaded some pictures from the beginning of the year--i can't believe how quickly they went from teeny little muffins to tubby trouble makers! here are some of my favorite shots...i can't remember if some of these have been posted or not, so forgive me if you've seen these before...

21 December 2008

will sheff, wii, etc.

this week/weekend has been extremely busy, luckily with fun activities. wednesday was talking music, thursday was my company's holiday party, friday was will sheff solo in concert. saturday started with brunch with chris, adam and jackie, then we trekked out to my grandma's for a visit, then went over to my parents' house to drop off the car and break in their new wii and back to the city. today consisted of sleeping in, hanging out at home, watching the bishop's wife with sara, and crafting.

now to back up, will sheff at cafe du nord on friday night was aaaaaaaaaaaaaamazing. sara and i got their before the show started no one was really filling in the floor yet so we decided to go right up front and center. we were a little nervous about being so close at first (we were concerned about it being awkward because we were SO CLOSE) but it ended up being well worth it (and not awkward at all). he performed almost all of my favorites, and two other members of the band (okkervil river) were there, so it made the performance even better.

anyway, it's time for bed. i promise i'll update with some photos soon, but i've been so busy and i can't really photograph what i've been working on. i promise after christmas there will be plenty of pictures and crafts.

19 December 2008

talking music

wednesday evening i had the pleasure of attending one of the lectures in the talking music city arts & lectures series. we saw an interview and short acoustic session with will sheff of okkervil river, which has become one of my favorite bands in the last year. i really enjoy hearing about a band's music from the musician's point of view, and it was extremely interesting to hear his thoughts and philosophies on his music as well as the music industry.

i saw ben gibbard of death cab for cutie last year (equally as fascinating and truly a treat to hear solo), and then sort of forgot about the lecture series until my friend sara found will sheff's appearance. i will definitely keep it on my radar in the future to avoid missing out on artists such as stephin merritt like i did this year.

i also am excited because will sheff is playing at cafe du nord tonight, and i am also going to that. i'll report on that show later...

17 December 2008

the great christmas tree caper

last night after the pictures in my previous post, i started filming the cats because stuart was being extremely psycho. here is what happened--and why i have a fake tree and no ornaments...enjoy (there is sound, too)!

**music is "snake" by frightened rabbit

16 December 2008

o christmas tree...

it seems to be a trend to have a little christmas tree problem...first came my friend natalie's post cwistmas twee, oh cwistmas twee, and now i have a little post of my own...

it all started on saturday. my sister gave me her old tree because she and josh got a new one. since it is fake, i thought that maybe, juuuuust maybe i'd be able to set it up in the apartment. not even 10 seconds out of the box, stuart was gnawing on it. i put the tree in the bedroom, shut the door, and marched right down to the pet store to purchase some bitter spray for the tree, and pick up something to prevent the cats from chewing our electrical cords while i was at it. i explained my dilemma to the man at the pet store, he recommended some things, and i brought them home, excited at the prospect of having a tree. i doused the tree, spread the cord gel on the lights cord, and then opened the door to let the cats in. stuart goes right over, begins chewing the tree again and the proceeds to LICK THE CORDS WHERE I PUT THE GEL. lick it. at that point i decided that i was going to give up--perhaps if we ignore them and the tree, they'll follow suit.

this approach actually pretty much worked. there were a couple times i had to move stu, but mostly he left the tree alone and everything seemed fine...until tonight.

tonight i walked in the apartment and, well, things didn't look right. first, i saw this:
this was my "tree skirt" fashioned from an old red sheet i have. anyone notice something missing? namely the tree for the skirt to cover? i then walked a few steps further to see this:
the tree was in a separate room...about 8' away from where the tree SHOULD be. also in the mix was a pair of little penguin speakers i have (you can see one--it's that black ball at the base of the tree). brandon and i are absolutely mystified at how these cats got the tree there...it makes no sense. i REALLY need a kitty cam...


**update: shipment received! yay!**
i am anxiously awaiting a package from fedex, so of course i'm impatient, but i am also confused. anyone else see something wrong with this sequence of events? also a fact to consider--i paid for 2nd day shipping...

Dec 16, 2008
7:27 AM

Departed FedEx location

7:03 AM

On FedEx vehicle for delivery

6:56 AM

At local FedEx facility

Dec 13, 2008
1:23 PM

In transit

Dec 12, 2008
11:25 PM

Arrived at FedEx location

6:31 PM

Left FedEx origin facility

11:26 AM

Picked up

8:30 AM

Package data transmitted to FedEx

i guess my pacakge felt at home in oakland and wanted to go back? perhaps it wanted to take the scenic route? it was bad enough that it sat in oakland from friday until today...

14 December 2008

laundry time

so laundry is arguably one of our (i say our--brandon does 95% of the laundry work) least favorite tasks...we have to haul laundry down 3 flights of stairs, across the street to the laundromat that may or may not be packed (even if you check first, a swarm of people can appear in the time it takes to get the laundry there). the cats, however, enjoy laundry time probably as much as i dislike it. as soon as they hear the laundry baskets hit the ground, they come running and immediately dive in
stuart, for some reason, has also developed a love for jumping into the empty hamper. i think he loves the enclosed space, but he can't really get out once he's in.
there have been times where, on the night after we finish laundry, we have to take the hamper out of the room because stu wont' stop going in, and i just don't feel like waking up to meows because he can't get out, or because ben is attacking him from outside the hamper (plus if ben gets in, he can get out)
the other issue we face is putting the sheets on the bed. stuart loves this process SO MUCH that normally i have to shut him out of the room or else he just plays and attacks the sheets and makes it impossible to put them on the bed. what a goofball.

here is more evidence of their love of laundry time, way back from march after their little "surgery"

sara's party

saturday night was sara's second annual christmas party...it was a lovely night with delicious food, good music, shrinky dinks and fog...although some people didn't really appreciate the fog...
the spread
shrinky dinks
and the shrinking of the dinks in action
the beloved fog
the infamous sock-on-the-tree...notice my lovely paintings in the background

brandon's diy weekend

so, our apartment building has developed an unfortunate habit--instead of walking the extra 10' out the front door, when someone has a small, unwanted piece of furniture they just leave it in our lobby. about a week or so ago, someone left yet another piece of furniture--but this one had some potential. it was a small metal table with a drawer. at first brandon and i were venting about the furniture pile-up in our lobby, but then we had a second thought--wait a minute, we sort of like this semi-junky piece of furniture. it had nice lines, and since it was metal it would be MUCH easier to paint (no wood to sand). brandon decided to tackle at least phase 1, and so here are the results so far.

the before:
and the after, so far
i say "so far" because we originally wanted to put a decal on the dresser, but unfortunately it wouldn't stick to the painted metal. my new idea is to make a fun design using contact paper sort of as a decal...updates to come. thanks to brandon for taking this on!

13 December 2008

claire time

i hadn't seen claire since before thanksgiving, so my sister and i planned a get-together so i could finally see her. she is growing rapidly, and quickly changing from a wobbly loaf newborn to a deliberately moving baby. she's making more and more noises, looking around more, etc...still not much hair to speak of, but she's definitely starting to get more. we were getting a kick out of her following the camera last night--she's already used to life in front of a lens. here are some of my favorite pictures from last night
okay, so there will be a lot of favorites...

christmas kitty creations

the holidays are a perfect excuse to make more cat toys, so i decided to give a holiday-themed toy a try. here's what i came up with:
two cute little treats! my cats were already attempting to run off with these two toys...i hope they will get some kitty enjoyment!

11 December 2008

must be santa

so when in elementary school, in some grade my class performed "must be santa" at our school christmas pageant/show/whatever you want to call it. anyway, you know the one:

who's got a beard that's long and white?
santa's got a beard that's long and white!
who comes around on a special night?
santa comes around on a special night!
special night! beard that's white!
must be santa, must be santa, must be santa, santa claus...

so stuart has a malformed foot, and when he walks he kind of "click click clicks" which reminded brandon and i of the song "up on the housetop," (you know, the reindeer part) which made us start calling him santa stu, and then somehow i got "must be santa" stuck in my head for days, changing "must be santa, santa claus" to "must be santa, santa stu," which led to...well, santa stu. i know that was a really long explanation that just shows my roundabout way of thinking, but without further ado, i introduce santa stu.
*note: before anyone thinks i'm too mean, i'd like to mention that i did not subject my poor kitty to all this getup--it is purely the magic of photoshop...not that this photo looks overly real...

09 December 2008

more crazy cats

well, i've been semi-m.i.a. because i've been feverishly working on christmas gifts. i'm trying to not procrastinate as much this year AND i've decided to make more gifts so that is taking up much of my time. anyway, since i've been home a lot i have been witnessing a lot of kitty behavior. here are some samples...
first, stu decided to play with the magnets on the fridge...all of them.
and lately, they have just been complete brotherly goobers...