Gorgeous Day Stuck in the House

lego xmas treeAnyone who read this post probably chuckled and thought “Wow she totally just jinxed herself.” Well, if that was you, you were right.

I started feeling sickly last week on Saturday evening. Stewart had been sick – he still is but he stoically pushes through it, just doing his thing, clearing his throat and moaning every now and then, but still going to work and coaching flag football and picking up Christmas gifts and changing the brake pads on the car, ETC. – and I unfortunately caught his bug.

It really kicked in Thursday afternoon, and I’ve just been getting worse. The timing is good and bad – good because Stewart’s semester is over and he is around more often to help me out, and because the boys are out of school so there’s no ferrying around of one or the other of them to various school functions or practices, but bad because there are plenty of things I’d like to do before Christmas Day that require energy that I don’t have. Gingerbread cookies – I wanted to make the dough from scratch this year instead of using the pre-made refrigerated tube. Elfing the neighbors – we walk around the neighborhood dropping off bags of cookies, one of the children wearing a Santa hat. Driving around to look at holiday lights on the houses – last year we drove out to the Christmas Tree lanes in San Marino and Altadena, where the residents go over the top with their decor. We had hot chocolate and joined some friends and had a lovely time.

But time’s running out now and I’m on my third day of just staying around the house, carrying out one task or another and then taking a nap. The boys have been mostly tolerant of my lame state, snuggling up with me in bed and asking for snacks much less frequently than usual. But I’m sad that they are stuck inside without me to captain an outing to the park or the beach or even the grocery store to pick up some eggs and coffee creamer, (two things we are never lacking in this house, so you know I must be feeling pretty bad).

Today’s activities included:
-Forced LEGO building. Their assignment was to create a Christmas tree out of LEGO’s.
-The cleaning of the rooms and the trying on of the clothes they own, to weed out things that no longer fit.
-Thirty minutes of outside play. I timed them. Their reward was a TV show. It is sad that they must be forced to play outside. Whatever happened to my free-spirited little roamers who loved their swingset?

Stewart came home from his errands and finally took them for a walk. I’m sure it won’t last long, but at least they’ll get to see some holiday lights. I’ll get some peace and quiet. I’m already needing a nap after writing this post.

Flashback Friday: The Baths


Greetings from The Baths on Virgin Gorda (British Virgin Islands), July 2002.

It was our honeymoon. We rented a 42′ Beneteau and sailed it around the islands, mostly dead reckoning because you can see every island from where you are. There are very few photos of the two of us together, because it was just him and me. We brought our video camera too, a giant device by today’s standards, that recorded onto VHS-C. (Mommy, what’s VHS?) But the salty air killed it right away, so there’s no footage.

It’s just as well. The most relaxing time in my life is recorded in my memory. It’s my happy place.

Wordless Wednesday: Ornamental


Once upon a time I was a sentimental new mom and I made special trips to the Hallmark store to buy “Baby’s First Christmas.”

They’re still my favorite.

Your KidVid: Kyle@8

UPDATE: I’ve added a 20% coupon code and a giveaway – read to the end.

Yesterday’s post was just a tease for THIS:

This video was edited by YourKidVid, a new service that takes your video clips and edits them together into a great little WATCHABLE package.

If you’re anything like me, you have countless video clips you’ve recorded over the years, stored on your computer, your external hard drives, YouTube and Flickr and Instagram and Vine, and even (gasp!) still on your phone or your old camera. You know they’re there but you never watch them.

YourKidVid will take those clips and edit them down. They invited me to try the service and I was astonished to see the price: $29 for a simple video and $49 for a Premium vid like this one, with the fun editorial embellishments.

People, I used to do this kind of work for a living. It’s a giant pain in the ass. But the editors at YourKidVid must really love what they do. Or maybe they aren’t real at all, just some crazy magic fairy dust that POOF! turns your clips into a video.

The only problem I encountered was that going into my video archives to find the clips for this, I had to hunt around because I don’t have them organized well. Also, I found myself up until midnight, blithely tripping along memory lane.

How did he get so big? (Sniff.)

The site is easy to navigate and the upload process is also easy as long as you have a DropBox account (which is free). If you’re tech-savvy enough to get your clips off your phone/camera and onto your computer, you can handle the transfer just fine.

The one thing I think the site could use is a guide to choosing clips. I’m a former pro so I knew what to look for, but not everyone has already developed a quick eye for what works. I followed YourKidVid’s posted examples of videos they already made, and I appreciate that they have a blog where they tell heartwarming stories and make themselves seem more human (to throw us off the magic fairy dust trail, perhaps?) but I have a feeling those editors in their dark rooms with all their experience have a tip or two to share with customers about what kinds of clips make good building blocks for a sweet and snappy final product.

mama baby yourkidvid

In this instance, the final product is sweet indeed. I’m really happy to have tested it out to share with you. I have a 20% coupon code exclusively for my readers: YKV-45A

Best of all, I’m giving away a free Premium Video! Just leave a comment telling me about the cutest footage you’ve caught on camera! Winner will be draw at random from comments left before 11:59PM Pacific Time on 12/31/13. Remember to take lots of video this Christmas! (Psst! Hold your phone horizontally when you do!)

I received a free Premium video and compensation for my time to facilitate this feature.