Announcements!

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Oh have I got some great stuff coming up for you. I have been crafting and glittering up a storm making this year’s Christmas tree, and it is going to be a great one. Most of the projects can be completed in less than an hour, and all of them are original designs by me.

My theme this year is “Christmas Sweets” so of course there will be peppermint, but there will also be gingerbread, and candy, and sugar plums, baked goods, and of course my favorite treat of all – hot cocoa. I should have enough ideas to last us through the whole month (including Saturdays!) and I’ve tried to organize it so that the simplest ornaments to make are the ones closest to Christmas, when we’re all running out of time to make all our best intentions a reality.

I’m really excited to show you all what I’ve been working on.

In other exciting news, I just did an etsy shop update!

Quilled Snowflake Ornament
My famous quilled snowflakes are available in packs of four for $20. I’ve only listed a couple at a time to save myself some hassle on the back end, but shoot me an email if they run out or you want more.

Then I’ve repurposed my beaded suspended cards to be appropriate for the holidays. Packs of five for $8. Email for custom quantities.

Christmas Tree Suspended Card
The Christmas Tree Suspended Card

Candy Cane Suspended Card
The Candy Cane Suspended Card

Gingerbread Man Suspended Card
The Gingerbread Man Suspended Card

Santa Hat Suspended Card
The Santa Hat Suspended Card

I also wanted to be sure and include some options for the winter holidays that aren’t Christmas, so I think these ones would be nice for my Hanukkah or Solstice celebrating friends, as well as an elegant option for anyone else.

Graphic Star Suspended Card
The Graphic Star Suspended Card

Twinkling Star Suspended Card
The Twinkling Star Suspended Card

Right now the shipping options listed are just within the US, but I’m happy to arrange international shipping, just email me and we’ll figure it out.

I hope you’ll pop over to my shop if any of those items look enticing. I’ll see you all back here tomorrow when the Christmas crafting festivities begin!

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How I spent my Thanksgiving vacation

I had the best of intentions. I was only going to cook a little, eat a little, and then back to work on all the projects that are stacking up around here. But then Bear bought me a puzzle.

So instead of spending the time catching up on emails and writing projects, I spent the whole weekend cocooned on the couch sorting out one shade of green from a different shade of green.

Then there was the fact that we did Thanksgiving a little differently this year which meant that planning for the massive meal ended up in the hands of people who weren’t big on the planning, which sent my anal retentive self into a tizzy, so I spent all day Wednesday making plans and all day Thursday cooking. It’s what I really wanted to be doing all along, but it did put a damper in my good intentions of productivity.

Jimmy Pardo, pardcastathon 2010

Friday night brought us our new favorite holiday traditon. The Pardcastathon. For a craft/parenting blog, I have written a whole lot about my comedy nerd status. Never Not Funny is just one of the greatest discoveries I’ve ever made, and I can’t wait for each week’s episode to show up in my itunes. Best entertainment bargain for the price, too.

Pardcastathon with Sarah Silverman

This year’s guests were nearly all different from last year’s and included Sarah Silverman, Jen Kirkman, Paul F. Tompkins, a really remarkable interview with comedy legend Tom Dreeson, and the musical stylings of Aimee Mann.

It’s still a little exhausting to think about, but from 6 pm to 6 am we sat in theater seats and laughed until we couldn’t laugh any more, and in the process the guys from NNF earned over $25,000 for Smiletrain, a charity that fixes cleft lips and palates in the developing world. What a win. The best possible comedy, an intimate setting, and so much good going out because of it.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Face

We’re off to spend the holiday with Bear’s family in Orange County. We plan on stuffing our faces, sleeping for 14 hours, and then heading off for another all night marathon of the comedy stylings of one Mr. Jimmy Pardo. It should be a great weekend.

But if you’ll allow me a mushy moment, a day to give thanks seems like an appropriate time to tell all of you how much you mean to me. I usually don’t get a chance to respond to comments like I should, but I of course read them and know who all my frequent commenters are and hold you close in my heart. Your support means the world to me, and I am thankful for all of you.

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2010 Year of Pleasures #46

Canned cranberry sauce

Thanksgiving might just be my very favorite day of the year. Even with how bonkers I get for Christmas, if you were going to boil it down to one best day, I’d have to go with a day that required lists and planning and then a cooking extravaganza followed by a feast and a week of leftovers. All my favorite things.

Today I brought out the canner and made up a batch of my famous Sweet and Savory Cranberry Sauce. Now I’ll be able to enjoy one of the best parts of this best day, all year long.

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Magic shoes

Thinking things over

Mama says my magic shoes are gonna take me everywhere.

The braces have come in, and after a few days of adjustment Atti now wears them whenever he’s awake. I have to admit, I really wasn’t looking forward to this. He’s so scrawny that a lot of the time I can tell myself that he’s still just a baby and his lack of mobility doesn’t seem so scary. But having to wear an apparatus full time pops that delusional little bubble and good.

Magic shoes

They look a lot more comfortable than what poor Forrest had to wear. Light weight plastic, padding on all the pressure points, and I even got to choose a snazzy rock band design on the velcro. His therapist said that all the money we’ve put into the space program was worth it just to have the plastic that made these braces instead of the metal and leather contraptions they had to use when she started working.

I can’t even imagine being a parent dealing with those. All the adaptive equipment is a blessing, don’t mistake me, and whatever mobility Atti captures through it’s use will be worth any amount of sacrifice. But it is also a barrier. It is harder to hug your child when they are velcroed into a large piece of equipment. It is not as easy to snuggle when there are plastic bricks at the end of their legs. It’s bittersweet. Like so much of raising children is, I suppose.

Atticus

Atti does not seem to mind them. He did a little squawking about them at the very beginning, but then a miracle happened. We put on his new braces, along with some leg splints to help him keep his legs straight, and stood him up next to a table. He stood up, pushed away from the table, and stood up completely independently. There in the middle of the room with no hands on him, he stood up all by himself. Legs akimbo and chest thrust out like an explorer on a mountain top. And I guess, in many ways, that’s exactly what he is.

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Yooooooooooo Gabba Gabba!

Warning: Blurry, unflattering pictures ahead

Yo Gabba Gabba live

The guys behind Yo Gabba Gabba are old family friends of ours, but it was still quite a surprise when an email showed up in my box telling us that there were tickets for the Yo Gabba Gabba live show waiting for us at the box office. The only catch was that the show was the very next day. I made a couple of phone calls, dropped everything I had on my schedule, and planned for a day that would blow my kid’s mind.

Mom and boy

I’ve had a couple of hassling concert going experiences, so I carefully checked the venue’s website to see what we’d be allowed to bring in – no cameras, no food – and their disability access – really good, easy as pie – and set off. I was a little nervous about taking my little mobility impaired guy to his first concert and wanted to make it as easy as possible. Turned out that I needn’t have worried. We didn’t have any bags checked at all, and every parent around us had their big fancy cameras out. I was totally kicking myself. So instead I just have phone pictures that may just be some of the most unflattering pictures I’ve ever taken.

stage show

We got there about 15 minutes late thanks to a major tire blow out on the freeway. My friend Stacey and I woman’ed up and got almost all of the way through the tire change before a dreamy engineer in flannel and work boots pulled over to finish the job for us. That’s one awesome thing about living here, I knew some kind-hearted cowboy would come along eventually.

Then after a bit of ridiculousness involving some ushers who didn’t know how to find any seats and kept trying to stick us in other people’s, we sat down in time to sing along to nearly all our favorite songs from the show. Atti spent most of the show standing on my lap, his mouth and eyes both wide open with amazement, fists in the air and dancing by waving his body back and forth.

Balloon Hair

After the song about balloons, a bunch of balloons fell from the ceiling and the kids went absolutely bonkers. I used it as an opportunity to demonstrate the obvious gifts of Atti’s hair.

Atti sacked out hard last night, really early. He rocked hard and wore himself right out. I woke up this morning feeling like I had a non-alcoholic hangover. Feeling that worn out after a kid’s concert. I think that’s a sign that I am officially old.

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Making progress

Cowboy

Oh how I wish it was OK for me to bring the camera with me to Atti’s therapy and take pictures of the other kids. Oh how I wish I could introduce you all to this little cohort of boys Atti gets to hang out with as they all get stretched and pulled and taught how to use their little bodies.

When we go to MOVE class on Wednesday’s (which is basically like an adaptive PE class where special ed teachers play with the kids to teach them how to move) there are often other kids coming in and out. Lately there have been three other boys and a little girl, all right around the same age, all with different abilities and disabilities, who get to hang out together. These kids are so dang cute, so curious about each other, and it does my heart so much good to see Atti have peers.

When he goes to church on Sunday, his nursery leaders and the other kids have just been beautiful in how they include him. The little girls especially look after him and the kids fight to be the one to include Atti by sitting next to him or bringing him toys. I really couldn’t have asked for more then what he’s been given.

But, there’s still a difference. He needs those typical kids to show him what he could be doing and to give him the motivation to try, but until lately, he hasn’t seen any other kids that were like him. And I needed to see the kids that were like him to see how typical he really is, just by a different measure.

We’ve started a new technique called Therapeutic Brushing and it’s a little bit magic, I think. It’s complicated and technical, but boiled way way down for us laypeople, I basically give Atti a brushing every few hours as if he were a horse. There’s special brushes to use, and a specific technique, but essentially, he gets a good hard horse brushing every few hours.

There are a bunch of different reasons this works or times when you’d use it, but in Atti’s case it’s about giving his body input. Since the messages can’t get from his brain to his legs, the messages have to go from the legs to the brain, and the brushing stimulates all the nerves that send those messages.

It’s amazing to watch. After a brushing he sits up so much straighter, he doesn’t do some of the defensive behaviors that make our jobs harder, he’s much more active. And the whole time I brush him he giggles over the tickling.

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And the winners are…

Random Number Generator said comments # 3 and #8, which means that

Lot 9 Press - Home sweet home
goes to TopHat

and

Lot 9 Press - Elevation
goes to Lynn Osborne

Congratulations! Email me at tresa at reesedixon dot com with your addresses and I’ll send these on out to you.

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2010 Year of Pleasures #45

Best ice cream ever

I love ice cream, but usually only for a few bites at a time. I’m a fickle ice cream lover, and by the time it starts to melt I’m often done with it anyway.

When I was spoiling myself in Salt Lake over the summer, I came across this ice cream in a 7-11 and decided to give it a try. I ate the entire pint before I could stop myself. The caramel flavored ice cream is just fine, but what makes it so great is the bits of chocolate covered waffle cone the ice cream is absolutely stuffed with. Holy cow they are delicious. Somebody needs to start selling just chocolate covered waffle cone bits and I can save myself the trouble of the ice cream.

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Letterpress Extravaganza

Lot 9 Press - awareness

Last year sometime I bought this gorgeous print off of Etsy, and then was bummed out for months when I discovered that it got lost in the move. I so vividly remember carefully packing it in a folder, making sure that it wouldn’t get wrinkled or dented, and packing it away with the books, but despite all my searching and wracking my brain, I could not put hands on it.

I finally got around to contacting the owner of the Lot 9 Press shop, and she managed to track down an extra copy from that run.

Lot 9 Press - Create your vision

Then as an extra wonderful surprise, she threw in a bunch of other prints she had on hand as just a lovely act of kindness.

I love how you can see the echo of letters printed on top of other letters.

Lot 9 Press - Do what you love

I just find letterpress so delicious. Typography is beautiful, the messages can be so poetic, and the impression that the press leaves on that thick creamy paper, it just makes me swoon.

Lot 9 Press - Home sweet home

Since Stacey was so generous with me, I thought I’d pass the abundance around and do a giveaway. This Home Sweet Home print is one of her most popular.

Lot 9 Press - Elevation
And this print is full of so many wonderful things to stay mindful of. I think this one would be perfect in a bedroom or other place where you could meditate upon it’s meaning.

I’ll do a random number drawing and pick a couple of winners out of the comments, so just leave a comment to have a chance to win either the Home Sweet Home or Elevation prints.

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