Bunk Beds, Angry Birds and Traditional Christmas Chinese Food Dinner

This weekend was quite busy.  We started out shopping for bunk beds.  You see, JSL is still in his toddler bed.  However, despite our insisting, he’s growing up.  He’s going to need a regular bed.  Unfortunately, the boys’ room is too small for two twin-sized beds.  So we’re going to have to go vertical.

We think we’ve made our decision, so now we just need to purchase it.  Then, the fun part will be preparing the boys’ room for the bunk bed arrival and setup.  I’ll need to dismantle NHL’s current bed, JSL’s current bed, move a ton of stuffed animals, move toys out of the way, remove some Cars wall clings (that the bunk will likely just cover up), etc.  Of course, I can’t do all this too early or the boys will have nowhere to sleep.

In addition, to looking at bunk beds, we needed to pick up NHL’s painted Angry Bird.  I knew that the colors would be more vibrant once it was finished, but I was still quite impressed.


The boys begged to do some more projects right then and there, but the store was closing in a few hours and we had to get home (refrigerator/freezer groceries in the trunk).

The next day, however, was a lazy day in.  It was Christmas Day and, while we don’t celebrate, we decided to make it a family day.  Ok, the fact that most stores are closed might have factored into it.  Plus, the laziness thing.  Having a lazy day in every once in a while is good.

We mainly spent the day playing computer games and watching TV, including the Disney Parks Christmas Parade.  The boys love parades, though they repeatedly expressed frustration over this one.  Too much singing and not enough characters.  Oh, and when NHL saw Justin Bieber, he let out a loud "Yuck!"  I was so proud. *wipes away a tear*

We ended Christmas Day with our traditional Jewish Christmas Day Dinner: Chinese food.  I lobbied to go out to eat.  Either to a nice, sit-down restaurant or to a buffet.  I even tried inviting B’s parents to come with us, figuring that would help push us to get ready.  Still, though the boys were dressed, B and I were still in our PJs.  (Like I said: Lazy day!)  So we ordered takeout.  I tossed on some clothes and picked it up.

Pretty soon, JSL was munching on rice with sweet and sour chicken sans sauce. (We call it "Chinese Chicken Nuggets" to get JSL to eat it.)  NHL had the sweet and sour chicken and some chicken and broccoli.  B and I shared some steamed vegetable dumplings, vegetable egg rolls, and General Tso’s Bean Curd.  (Bean curd is tofu and tastes better than it sounds!)  Behold, my Christmas Dinner:


Yes, I know what you’re thinking.  Jews eating Chinese food for Christmas dinner.  How stereotypical!  Well, it’s our tradition and I’m a sucker for tradition (and Chinese food).

Hope your Christmas weekend was wonderful no matter how you celebrated it!

Fun Times Painting an Angry Bird

On Sunday, JSL had a birthday party to go to.  So, when I picked NHL up from Hebrew school, it was just the two of us.  What to do, what to do.  Luckily, B came up with a great idea to leverage NHL’s love of art class: Pottery painting.

After going out to lunch (at a favorite of NHL’s and mine, Five Guys), we went to a nearby pottery painting location.  The staff member who greeted us explained the setup.  We would get to pick out whatever we wanted to paint.  When we were done, we would be charged for the item plus a fee per painter per hour.  Paints, equipment, and firing was included in those fees.  NHL and I looked over the selection and a few items stood out.  Finally, though, NHL found exactly what he wanted.


An Angry Birds pencil holder.

Sorry for the poor photo quality.  I had, in my rush to pick NHL up, forgotten to take my camera with me.  I was limited to my cell phone camera.  (This isn’t the first time I’ve forgotten my camera recently.  Clearly, I need more sleep!)

We filled out the paperwork and were brought a bird for NHL to paint.  The first step was to wash our project.  This removed dust and other items that might interfere with the paint.


When this was done, we were given a tutorial in painting by another staff member.  You would think painting is pretty self-explanatory, but it’s actually quite complicated.  Simply putting one coat of paint on the bird would result in a washed-out looking bird.  You need to dry the paint first (by using some fans they have set up) and then apply two or three coats.  In addition, the paints don’t seem as vibrant when they go on as they are after the project is fired.

NHL was actually very patient through this.  I expected him to be antsy and trying to run off to paint.  Instead, he listened to all of the possibilities and pitfalls.  He even asked a few questions and pointed a few things out.

Then, it was paint time.  We chose some colors based on the paints on the wall.  (Tiles pre-painted and fired to show you what the colors would look like when done.)  NHL chose five that he liked and they were brought to him.  As they were brought over, NHL chose some brushes and sponges to work with.

We got back to the table and NHL began painting.


Slowly, but surely, the bird began to take shape.


Finally, NHL’s bird was done.

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This is one colorful bird.  Don’t worry, though, pigs.  This guy’s not about to fling himself at you.  (I was quite clear about that with NHL.)  Instead, we left him to be fired and finished.  He’ll be done Saturday, so we’ll return then.  NHL and I both can’t wait to see the finished product.

NHL had a blast with the painting.  We wound up only staying for an hour, but he loved every minute of it.  Still, it isn’t an inexpensive endeavor.  The entire project (bird and one hour of painting) cost us $28.  This obviously isn’t something we’ll do on a weekly basis, but for special events, I could definitely see us doing this again.