Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Quick Update

It's been a loooong time since I posted again.  Somehow this seems to keep happening!  I've got lots of things I need to post, like Clark's first birthday, Thanksgiving, new recipes I'm loving, and lots of sewing projects.  But life seems to keep getting in the way.  So for now, a few pictures will have to suffice.

We had a beautiful fall, with some gorgeous sunrises.

My little cat and Iron Man on Halloween.  Miles really wanted to be Buzz Lightyear, but by the time we went to the stores, they were all sold out of Buzz.  Note for next year...shop earlier!

No dressing up for Clark, but he loves his big sissy!

Everyone had the stomach bug.  It really tired us all out!

They DO know how to play nice together!

 Clark learned how to walk, run, and climb into things he can't get out of.

As you can see, we've been busy living.  And now, winter is upon us.  It was 7 degrees out this morning.  Brrrrr. 

Friday, October 29, 2010

Clark is One!!!

It's hard to believe, but my baby is a year old already.  Since I'm doing this post after the fact, I set the time to his actual birth time, 6:20 AM!

We don't do a big party for first birthdays, but he did get a cupcake to smash.  He enjoyed it! 

Licking the beaters......yummy!

It tastes good mashed up too.

Wow, this makes a sticky mess!

Mmmmm, good!
Happy Birthday little man...we love you lots!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Car Cozie

My latest sewing project, easily finished in an afternoon (during naptime, in fact!) was a car cozie for Miles.  It's a variation on the crayon roll actually, only it holds cars for travel, etc.  The idea and tutorial came from the Sharla at My Little Gems.
It holds 6 cars.  The road piece folds down over the car pockets before you roll it up so that the cars don't fall out. 


You can even drive cars on the road!

Clark approves.

I'm thinking this will be perfect for our Thanksgiving road trip to Nebraska!

Music Lover

Clark is our little music lover.  He adores it when someone sings to him.  If you are playing the piano, he's right there, wanting up on your lap so he can "play" too.  The other day Rich got out his guitar, which he hadn't played for a while.  Clark was absolutely fascinated.  I had to get out the camera.

" Watcha doing Daddy?"

"Can I try it too?"

"This makes cool sounds!"

"I'm so smart!"

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Crayon Rolls

Since becoming reaquainted with my sewing machine lately, I've decided to make a few other things for my kids.  They've been using plastic ziploc bags to hold their crayons in their "meeting bags", which are less than ideal for more than one reason.  The bags make lots of rustly noise as they search for the right crayon, and get easily dumped, which leads to crayons rolling off onto the floor or down into the couch cushions.  Enter a solution.....crayon rolls!

I followed a super easy tutorial found here.  All it took was a few small pieces of fabric, some interfacing, a couple of velcro pieces, and an hour or so of my time.  We already had the crayons. 

Here they are all filled up and ready for action.  Miles' is on the top and Kaylee's on the bottom.  If I were to make hers over I'd put the purple fabric behind the crayons and make the pockets from the print.  But she likes it this way, so its all good!

 I was really quite pleased with the way they turned out.  The Hot Wheels fabric was a hit with Miles.  And Kaylee, of course, got colorful flower prints.  Below are the outside of the rolls.  They're really more square than they appear (in spite of my rather rudimentary sewing skills!), because filling them with crayons causes them to bunch up a bit.  They're also supposed to be tied with ribbon, but since little ones have trouble tying things, I opted for the more kid-friendly velcro circles.

The perfect size to take anywhere!

The kids used them this morning.  No more rustling around with plastic bags, no spilled or lost crayons, just happy little coloring kiddos.  What more could you ask for?   I may be making more of these.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

This Morning

6:00 AM:  Blink at the clock, realize that it's 1/2 an hour past time to get up, and wriggle carefully out from between 2 warm little sleeping bodies, one of whom is teething and wanted to nurse all night, and the other who somehow migrated into bed with Mommy in the wee hours of the morning.  Stumble downstairs to find contacts, make coffee, and start breakfast.

6:30 AM:  Wake up grumpy daughter.  Have following conversation.

MOM:  What do you want to wear today?  It's going to be chilly, you need something warm.
KAYLEE:  I'm still tired.
MOM:  How about this outfit?
KAYLEE:  I don't WANT to wear that.
MOM:  Why not?  It's warm and soft and comfortable.  Almost like your jammies.
KAYLEE:  NO.  I don't want to wear it.
MOM:  Well, ok, how about this instead?
KAYLEE:  No, I don't want to wear that either.
MOM:  Ok, you pick something out.  Just make sure it's warm.  Don't forget your socks and glasses.

Leave the room.  Listen to the voice behind you whining....."But I don't know what to wear!!"

6:40 AM:  Miles is up.  Take him potty and dress him.  Head downstairs to finish breakfast.  Miles wants to help.  Let him crack the egg and then pick the shells out of the pancake batter.

6:50 AM:  Kaylee appears, dressed, and in a better frame of mind.  Have her set the table.  Sit down to chocolate chip pancakes.  YUMMY.

7:00 AM:  Attempt to braid Kaylee's hair while she hops from one foot to another. 

7:10 AM:  Baby is awake.  Get him up and change his diaper.  Send Miles and Kaylee to get their shoes on.

7:15 AM:  Find Miles' other shoe, put jackets on him and Clark, tell Kaylee for the 5th time that she has her leaves in a bag in her backpack.

7:20 AM:  Load the kids into the car and head for the bus.

7:27 AM:  Bus arrives.  Send Kaylee off to school.  Wait 10 minutes for sister to show up with her kids.

7:40 AM:  Head back home. 

7:45 AM:  Warm up pancakes, feed nephews.  Feed cats and dogs.  Warm up coffee that has been forgotten until now.

8:00 AM:  Check email, facebook, and blogger feed, while repeatedly reminding the boys not to jump on the couch.  Start a load of laundry. 

8:45 AM:  Nurse baby and put him down for his nap.

9:00 AM:  Take a basket of clean clothes upstairs to put them away.

9:05 AM:  Return downstairs because someone is crying.  Find Miles standing in a puddle of 1/2 a gallon of milk, holding an overflowing glass.  Look around the corner to find Evan sitting on top of the contents of all 3 bookshelves.  Note that Ian is nowhere is be seen.

9:06 AM:  Take a deep breath and start cleaning up the messes.  Remind self that it HAS to get better.

9:15 AM:  Baby fusses and refuses to go back to sleep. 

10:00 AM:  Gaze outside at the beautiful fall day.  Look around the messy living room at the 4 healthy little boys playing.  Glance into the kitchen at the well-stocked cupboards.  Decide to be thankful for the chaos.

10:30 AM:  Decide to share the morning's events, just in case anyone needs to feel better about their day!


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

First Attempt

Somehow, my sewing machine and I have never gotten along very well.  I've always had a vague idea that I may have been born without that gene, even though my mom can sew beautifully.  Or maybe it's just that I've never done much of it, aside from a couple projects (think pillows and sweatshirts) in high school home ec class and some flannel baby wipes.  But I've been seeing all these cute little girl sewing projects and decided that I'd better get cracking before my little girl grows up!  So, with that in mind, I took Kaylee to the Hobby Lobby a couple weeks ago to pick out fabric for a simple, 3 tiered gathered skirt with an elastic waist.  She picked out her choices...a polka dot, a stripe, and a paisley.  (YEP, that's my girl!)

I followed the tutorial here, and it was actually fairly easy.  To my surprise, it didn't take much time at all and the end product turned out pretty cute! 

Here it is on.  She's got it on crooked...the side seam is in the front, but you get the idea!  It looks a bit funny without a top, because so much of the polka-dot shows.  I did it that way purposely because I didn't want to cover up ALL that pattern with her shirt or sweater.  She's got a cream colored sweater with yellow and brown buttons that I think will go perfectly with the skirt.

I also forgot to allow for the hem on the bottom tier, so it ended up more narrow than the other 2, I think it looks OK.  Next time if I want a skirt to be this long on her, I'll put in more tiers.  Three just doesn't make it "twirly" enough.  I'm thinking 5 would be about right.  Or, if I only use 3, make the skirt shorter, more knee length. 

So, while it's definitely not perfect, it's not bad for my first real project in over 15 years!  Maybe the sewing machine and I can be friends after all.

Fall Around Here

The other day the weather was beautiful and the mad asian beetles hadn't started swarming for the day yet, so I went out and took a few pictures around the place.  Things are looking very fall-ish.  I tried to get some photos of the leaves falling, but they didn't turn out so well.

Down by the swingset.

Wishing well with our pile for the bonfire in the background.  If you look really closely you can see the cats playing around the base.

We haven't had much in the way of frost yet, so I've still got flowers blooming.  The morning glories are gorgeous, even though they sprawl all over everything!

The marigolds still look pretty good.

Mums are starting to bloom.  These were new plants in the spring so I'm impressed with how many buds they have.

The kittens were romping and playing in the leaves, but I couldn't seem to get a good picture of them either.  So instead, here's the much-maligned Sylvester cat, who has managed to stick around in spite of being constantly picked on by our big old tomcat, Simon.

That afternoon we made cookies.  There's something about nice fall weather that makes me want to bake like crazy.  My taste testers approved!

It's been cold at nights, but we're reluctant to turn on the heat just yet, so it's warm jammies for the boys.  Here they are playing Legos after bathtime.  Clark thinks his big brother is hilarious!

My baby.  Don't ya just love Clark's bug jammies?

Speaking of staying warm, here's Kaylee, trying on her new snowpants.  Yes, she picked them out herself.  I think they're just her style ;-)  They're warm, anyway, and I got them on sale, so I'm happy!  They're a bit big, but she'll wear them for a couple years that way.  Complete with new boots and her had and coat from last winter, she's ready for snow.  (I"m NOT, by the way!)

Happy fall to all!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


3 year olds say the cutest things.  Here's some of Miles' statements from the past couple weeks.

While looking out the patio door in the dining room of my sister's new house, which sits on the top of a hill:  "Mommy, we're up in the sky, huh?"

Looking into the entryway of Hobby Lobby, which has Christmas trees up already:  "Hey, they have Christmas in there!"

To Daddy, who was trying to put him to bed:  "But I want Mommy to lie down with me.  She's softer."

Upon being told that he needs to take his pajamas off and get dressed:  "But these are night AND day jammies!"

To Evan, sitting on the couch, singing some nonsense words to the tune of Hymn #1:  "I"m reading the story of Jesus."

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Wild Things

There's a classic book that the boys love these days.  Maybe you've heard of it?  It's called "Where the Wild Things Are".  It's about a little boy who wore a wolf suit and "made mischief of one kind and another" until his mother sends him to his room, where his imagination takes over.    We've read it over and over for a naptime story the past few weeks.  And then, I say "OK Wild Things, it's time for naps!" and Ian and Miles say "We're not wild things" in unison.  With cute grins to match.  They're right, of course.  They're not wild things....not ALL the time anyway....but they ARE good at making mischief...of all kinds! 
The "wild things" - aren't they cute? ;-)

Me and my #1 mischief maker 

Here are my other 2 mischief makers.  Actually, since they're pretty small yet, Clark mostly gets in Evan's way and messes up his games.  Here's the usual progression. 

1.  Evan is happily playing with "CARS" dominoes...lining them up just so.  (Isn't he adorable, by the way?  Even though he does need a haircut.  Talk to his mother about that!)

 2.  Clark comes along, takes one look at what Evan is doing, and immediately decides he wants to be involved too. 

3.  Clark helps himself to Evan's toys, usually eliciting a squawk and "NO, NO" from Evan.

4.  Clark decides that it's no fun after all and heads off to find something else to do.  Evan quickly "fixes" the mess, muttering to himself.  I'm sure he'd classify the baby as a "wild thing" given half a chance!

Finally, lest anyone think she's being left out, here's my little girl, the lover of all things colorful, with one of the big watermelons from our garden this fall.  She loves bold stripes, prints, and what her grandma terms "wild colors".  No, I usually don't allow her to go out of the house dressed like this, but it was mismatch day at school for homecoming week, so she had a ball dressing up in colorful things.  She said she was the most mismatched one in her class!

So, if you ask me where the wild things are, I'll probably tell you they're right here.  And I'm loving every wild minute of it.  Most of the time. 

Thursday, September 30, 2010

So Smart

Clark has this face he makes when he thinks he's pretty smart.  It includes a slightly wrinkled up nose and a big smile.  We've been seeing it a lot lately.   I was trying to capture it the other day.  Here's the results.

Too blurry.  He's pretty fast....always moving.

Whatcha got there Mom?

Happy baby grins...but not quite what I'm looking for.....
There it is!
Is he smart or what? ;-)