Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Great Day

Today is my birthday! (And apparently national chocolate chip day... how cool is that!)

The girls had a rough night last night. By 7 this morning (when #1 got up for the day) I had only slept 45 minutes without a baby in my arms. I was tired, and honestly didn't have great hopes for the day.  Hod had spent a lot of time planning our activities, so I put on my happy face and tried to get excited.

We took the girls to a babysitter, put on our fancy clothes, and went to a nice lunch. I am almost positive that was the first time Hod and I have had a nice baby free meal together since... well when I was pregnant with #1. Not that she was high maintenance those days, but I am just uncomfortable while pregnant. Our lunch was just delightful. I don't remember at all what we talked about. However, I do know that during that meal, not one person threw food, screamed at me, spit out their food, or cried, and I got to eat with two hands! I was with an amazing man, and I just got to enjoy him.

After lunch we hurried to change clothes and went on probably the coolest date I've ever been on. We went to a glass blowing school and made flowers! We didn't actually "blow" glass. That is a tricky thing that takes much longer than 20 minutes to learn. We did get to heat and shape glass though, and it was heck-a cool.

We were given a walk-through of what was going to happen, and then we jumped right in.  I went first.  The expert guy put the clear glass on the long pipe (I don't remember what the non-blowing pipes were called, but they have a cool name) cooled off the pipe so I could handle it, and then gave it to me.  I will try to explain this with pictures.

He brought me the clear glass, and I rolled it in chips of colored glass.  First was the color I picked for the stem of my flower.  I picked white.

After rolling it in the color, I pushed it into the hot box thing that runs at about 2000 degrees Fahrenheit.  During all of this, we were constantly rolling the glass.  Because it was almost liquid we had to constantly roll it so gravity didn't pull it off, or bend it it ways we didn't want it.

The expert then shaped the glass by rolling it on top of a metal cart.  (Sorry I don't have that picture.)   Then we went and got more hot clear glass.  

Next we pressed the hot glass into our second color choice.  This was the color for the flower petals.  (We didn't get a picture of me doing this, so here is my handsome hubby doing this step for his flower.)

The glass expert heated this all together while I got situated on the special bench.  I grabbed my tongs and excitedly waited.

Once the glass guy brought me my super hot glass, he rolled it while I pinched in the petal details with the tongs.  When the tongs started to stick, I had to hurry and dip them in cold water sitting behind me.
(Look how fast the color changes!  And my flower is actually a dark purple, not bright red.  That is how hot it is!)

After one more heating, I then got to start pulling on the glass to get the petal layer of glass apart from the stem layer.

We let gravity help us a little bit.

This is what my flower looked like right before he tapped it off of the metal pole.  Those are the colors that I picked for my flower, and though it looks cool, it is still sitting at about 1400 degrees.
This picture is really busy.  My flower is upside down.  It has dark purple petals, and a white stem.  In the orange cup on the right is some water.  That is used to "shock" the joint where the glass is going to break.  They then used the blow torch you can see in the bottom of the picture on the broken part of the glass to smooth it out.

Because the flower was still so hot, I have to wait til tomorrow to get it.  They put it in a special hot box that slowly brings it to room temperature. (That takes about 21 hours.) It has to do it slow because if it changes temperatures too fast the glass breaks.  

Tomorrow I am planning on going to pick up our flowers.  I'll post a picture of the finished product as soon as I can.

Then, to end my birthday, we had some friends over for games.

It was a wonderful day!  

 And if any of you want to come visit, I'll take you to a glass class and you can make a flower too!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Day To Day

I love my girls.  Sure, when I was younger I never thought I would want or have 2 kids under 2.  Especially when I haven't even been married three years yet.  However, my family is my world, and I wouldn't change the size or age of my family for anything.  We always have our adventures.

Example:  Going to the grocery store.  This has never been one of my favorite tasks.  Now I pretty much hate it.  Figuring out how to maneuver a grocery store with two girls was a struggle.  But I think I have it down.  Oh, but I just told you I hate it.  Why would I hate it?  Because of all of the lame people!

I realize where I live that a family like mine is unusual.  I'm used to the surprised looks.  I'm fine with people asking the ages of my girls.  We can be a bit of a spectacle.  It is normal for me to hear someone comment on how cute #1 is, to then have them look with surprise when they realize there is a baby in a carrier right behind her.  But really, friends.  Can we work on a few things?

For example:  Today I went to Aldi.  It is a great grocery store with awesome prices.  There are a few quirks for those of you not in the know.  They don't bag your groceries.  They take the food right off the belt, scan it, and put it back in the cart.  Also, you have to "pay" a quarter to get a cart.  You get your quarter back when you return the cart.  We made it through the store with #2 in the car seat at the front of the cart, and #1 in the main part of the cart.  She loved that I kept handing her new toys to play with.  "Oh look!  A box!  And a can!  And another box!!!  My life is awesome!"  (I'm pretty sure that is what she was thinking.)  We even managed to buy eggs and get them home in one piece.  (Well, 12 pieces.)  While shopping I had quite a few of the normal comments I get.  That's cool.  #1 was squealing a lot.  But she was super happy so I didn't stop her.  It's not like we were at the library or anything.  I heard (and I guess that there were more comments I didn't hear) one woman say under her breath "she could probably keep her kid under control if she didn't have two to deal with."  EXCUSE ME?  Who are you to say something like that?  My girls were both being very well behaved.  If you are allowed to make any noise, then so is my 18 month old.

When I went to return my cart I had both girls with me.  It is getting hot here, #2 was asleep, and I knew if I put the girls in the car and when to return the cart #1 would scream and wake up her sister.  The problem was, you can't get your quarter back if anything is in the cart.  I pushed the cart to the return area and passed a couple that was smoking.  "Oh, look how sweet" the lady said.  "She is adora... wait!  Is there another baby there?"asked the man.  I smiled and told him that yes, there were two and they are both mine.  He then proceeded to watch me struggle to return the cart while holding a squirmy toddler and a baby in a car seat.  While I was doing this he commented that I, "must have a really hard time doing normal things like grocery shop with those kids."  Huh.  Ya think?  Maybe you could put down your cigarette for a minute and return my cart for me?  I realize that you may have had to step about three feet to do this, but that would have been much kinder than just watching me struggle and commenting about it.

Oh, and probably my favorite comment I get from people:  "Did you know you don't have to have your kids so close together?  There area ways to prevent that...."   oh... gosh... I'm so embarrassed   I didn't know that.  I sure wish I had known you before so you could have imparted your great and wonderful wisdom earlier.

Maybe we should just be nice?  Maybe you don't have to approve of the spacing of my children but you could just keep your opinion to yourself?

And just one more story.  This last week Hod and I were out shopping for Mother's Day.  He wanted to get me some jewelry with an emerald.  Right after finding out the ages of the girls (18 and 3 months) the sales lady perked up and asked, "Oh, so do you want an emerald because that is their birthstone?"  Ha!  Nice math lady.  But if this month is May and emeralds are the birthstone for this month.... how can an 18 and 3 month old have May birthdays?  People are funny.  At least she was nice. :)