I love you.
Because of you I am bursting with inspiration.
Because of you I have my Christmas gifts all planned out.
Because of you I have some new yummy dessert recipes.
Because of you I want to craft. craft. craft.
Because of you I can see all of my favourite things at once. Nicely organized and visually. No wordy bookmarks.
Because of you I think of things I never would have thought of before.
Because of you my house isn't so clean.
Because of you I dream of pinning things while I sleep [for real]. pin.pin.pin.
Because of you I stay up until the wee hours of the morning.
Because of you I have a new addiction.
I created this little surprise thank you banner for my aunt & uncle thanking them for our stay this week. I was pinspired originally by this pin I found on Pinterest [from How About Orange.] I used new my super-rad Silhouette paper cutter and rainbow card stock from Target - stay tuned for more projects.
Go get pinning! [I have lots of invites if you don't want to wait!]
Before we left for Texas, my newest of dear friends made Elijah (well, really me) a package. She had planned to secretly drop it off on my doorstep (I have always secretly wished for someone to do that for me.), but I ran into them uptown after checking out the newest thrift shop in town (dang!)
The outside of the box was wrapped with a map.
And the inside of the box had some super rad homemade goodness. (Inspired by Pinterest. A girl after my own heart.) She made Eli three (3) soothers with little felt moustaches on them. She also made a felted star sheriff's belt and loaned Eli her daughter's rodeo PJs for our trip to the Southern US of A.
I think, though, the best part of the whole package was the homemade personalized card that she included. I love long messages in cards. Love them. If you write me a long message in a card, I'll probably keep it for a very long time. xo.
You'll be happy to know that Eli has adopted the look of all three moustaches and has worn his belt proudly a number of times. He showed up to my aunt and uncle's house all disguised. He wore a 'stache cruising in his carseat. He wore a 'stache to Target. He wore a 'stache to the Stockyards. He was asked a number questions and compliments about it - even from one of the real cowboys.
(did I mention that Texas was hot? Which is why I still have to get a photo of Eli in the long-sleeved PJs. Think of the heat that you get standing in front of the end of a bus, but the bus just never goes away. That is how hot Texas is - minus the smell.)
THANK YOU ALY! What a thoughtful (and super fun!) gift. xo.
Our trip to Texas was mostly for the Hotter 'n Hell Hundred Mile cycling for the boys (and to visit with my aunt Lynda and uncle Doug, of course). My days in Keller, Texas were spent swimming in the pool and playing yahtzee and getting my Target fix and nursing my babe (did I mention that Texas is hot?). Our last day (after the cycling training was over - although not completely free of bike talk since we stopped at the bike shop twice...), we did some touristy stuff! We drove over to the Fort Worth Stock Yards. It was stinkin' hot, but it was a fun afternoon!
The stockyards have a neat little shopping area and saloons and live music (look! The original Finchers!)
Rob and (moustache-clad) Eli posing with some real-live cowboys. They had spurs on their boots and guns in their holsters. They hang out with the longhorns. Do you know that the Fort Worth Herd is the world’s only twice daily cattle drive? rad.
We walked around the stockyards for a bit and then stopped for a Buffalo Butt Beer at Booger Red's Saloon. This visit was not complete without Rob riding the saddle barstool. We hopped across the street to the legendary White Elephant Saloon for some live honky tonk music (Rodney Hayden). The WES was the bar that Chuck Norris frequented in Walker, Texas Ranger. There were white elephant ceramic figurines covering one wall and a ceiling covered with cowboy hats left behind.
We got a quick photo with a big longhorn. Rob and Eli rode him and I stood beside. [I looked bad in the picture and since it is my blog, I don't need to post it!]
After a fun little afternoon of entertainment and heat, Eli passed out on the ride back to the house. xo
They gottr dun. This year's Hotter 'n Hell Hundred mile ride (in Wichita Falls, Texas) was the hottest one to date (30th year) - at a balmy 109F (43C). Yeeeeow! I don't have much to say about the race - the stories are much better told in person by either Rob or dad or uncle Doug. So, instead of words ...
ps. I made them shirts that said "What this ride needs is more cowbell" - with my brand new Silhouette cutter!
weight. I think you are around 17-18 lbs
height. many of your 6 months pjs are too short.
eyes. big, blue and sparkly. you rub them when you are sleepy.
hair. you have a little bit more hair after every nap.
feeding. yum yum yum. quick and efficient. we'll probably let you taste some avocado/squash/banana/sweet taters soon
sleeping . still taking those regular 3 daily naps. yahoo! You have been going to sleep at about 8-830 pm now!
pooping. the occasional. i love that g-ma cata keeps winning diapers for your cute bum.
things you love. music, grabbing things, morning walks with dad, bouncing, swimming, chewing things, playing with your feet, mom's singing, chewing Sophie, laughing and laughing and laughing.
things you don’t love. Not too much. You're pretty chill.
other [new] awesome things you do. pulling things towards you (think plates on the table and dad's jugular), push up onto your hands and feet, scoot backwards on the floor, almost sitting up, reaching out to touch my face
For a long time I've been wanting a silk screen machine and have been book-marking diy screen machines online. Finally, I came across the cheapest, easiest (and possibly coolest?) way to create silk screen-like prints - using Freezer Paper!
And as promised, I have created you a tutorial [with photos!].
- Some freezer paper . It is like parchment paper, except one side is shiny.
- An exacto knife (or scissors if you are really good)
- some sort of material to print on [In this tutorial I am using a kids tote bag]
- an iron
- any colour of fabric paint (I am using Tulip fabric paint from my dear cousin Leah.)
- a paint brush
1) Draw your design on to the dull (not shiny) side of the freezer paper. (I designed the "gittr dun" and "bacon is a vegetable" shirts on my computer first)
2) Cut out your design with an exacto knife. (make sure you put a cutting board under!)
3) Stick an extra piece of freezer paper inside your bag/shirt to avoid leaks. Place the freezer paper design (shiny side down!) on your fabric.
4) Iron the freezer paper onto the fabric. (Just use the iron setting that is best for the fabric you are using). The freezer paper will stick to the fabric pretty quickly.
5) Squirt the fabric paint onto the spaces you want painted. Paint with your paint brush.
6) Unless you want a distressed look, paint a couple of coats. For this bag, I did 3 coats.
7) LET dry (forget about it!). Don't be tempted to pick at it like freshly painted nails. Be patient. (and if you get really impatient, take a blow dryer to it.) Once dry, carefully peel off the Freezer Paper (use tweezers or your exacto to help peel off the small bits)
8) Enjoy! How easy was that? If you use this tutorial - send me a photo of your project!
**Because Rob is getting a new bike, I decided to splurge (with a coupon code) on a Silhouette paper cutter that is compatible with freezer paper. I will be able to make more intricate prints without giving my hands callouses from the exacto knife. (It also cuts wall decal vinyl! I'm pumped!)
In less than one week, our little baby will be 6 months old. Hardly a newborn anymore. He can sit up for short periods of times and is lunging forward and backwards on his hands and knees - just aching to crawl. He reaches for and grabs things, recognizes his name and babbles/sings for long periods of time. Although he is hitting so many milestones and chunking on the pounds, you will all be happy to know that he still has some of those newborn knee wrinkles. <squeeze!>
Come one, come all to the Greatest Show on Earth!
Starring Angry* Stong Man Eli (look at those muscles!), Kennedy the juggling phenom, Easton the Incredible Lion Tamer and Clown Laia with her polka-dotted charm.
Another scene by the Fab Four. This time I thought I'd include a "behind the scenes" photo (thanks Becky!) to give you an idea of the chaos (amazing super-fun time) of creating a scene with multiple babies.
*Note: Eli looks upset in this photo, but in many of the ones we took he is perfectly happy. This one captures the character well.
... The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
Here is scene-making at a new level. Originally inspired by Adele (and then Aly!), I started making baby scenes- here and here and here and here and here. (and I'm happy to say my scenes jump-started the creativity of other moms!) The sisters Elliott decided that we should do a combined baby scene - and of course we jumped at the chance! We lugged all of our stuff over to Aly's and set up scene. (We actually did two scenes.. I'll post the other one a bit later. Suspense is wonderful, isn't it?)
This was so much fun - and quite hilarious- to put together. We had the scene set in place, but then three of the babies fell asleep. We had some delicious lunch and the babies chatted on the lawn. The babies got hungry (surprise surprise) and then we finally got back to the scene. Well, of course the fourth baby (mine) decided that he was tired and passed out on the floor! He slept through almost the entire WofOz photo shoot. (even when wee Lannaia started pulling off his Tin Man costume - mesmerized by the shiny foil.) - but I think he looks adorable anyways.
ps. Doesn't Becky's "surrender Dorothy" look amazing? And she makes a mean chocolate chip cookie.
pps. Check back later for our other collaborative scene.
Elijah loves to swim.
He's always loved bathtime (with dad) and splashes and giggles about, but his first real swim was at my parents pool about a month ago. We swam with Cata almost every day we were visiting and he didn't fuss once. I even dunked him under a couple of times. He was a little stunned, but then started laughing. After the swim he gets all snuggly in his towel, nurses and passes out. Ah, the life.
Rob has also taken him swimming in the lake a couple of times, equipped with his sunhat and shades. He likes the waves, splashing about and bobbing up and down. (Dad also has a Grover voice - that makes everything more fun)
Yesterday we spent the day at Aly/Ryan/Laia's house who have a great big salt water blow-up pool. Aly took some underwater video of Eli and saved some cool still shots. She taught me to start him on his belly, count to 3, dunk his head first and then pull him towards me completely underwater (to avoid water up his nose). The coolest thing about babies in the water (besides the giggles, of course) is that they know how to hold their breath and are not afraid to open their eyes under the water. How cool is that? We can't wait to go back!
Next *new pool adventure? Texas at the end of the month. We can't wait!
ps. I've got a couple of cloth swim diapers - a monkeydoodlez, a swimmi and an applecheeks. Love them all :)
Jack be nimble
Jack be quick
Jack jump over the candle stick.
I am almost embarrassed to post this..... but I will anyways.
Okay. so.... I love All My Children. I know it is a soap opera. I know it is crap. I know it is farfetched. I know that it has terrible acting and recycled plots. I know. But it has a soft spot in my heart.
My mom and dad watched All My Children for as long as I can remember. I am pretty sure they scheduled their lunch break from 1-2 pm so that they could watch it. My dad would come home at about 12:50, turn on ABC and lay down on the couch with a towel over his face (?). He said he was napping, but I know he was listening. He would come home for dinner every night and ask the same thing... "What happened on the kiddies after I left?" It was always some epic saga with those dreadful Kane women and Brookie-Pooh and TadPole and Lesbianca and Glo-worm and Billy Clyde Tuggle and EmilyAnn and Janet from another Planet.
I watched it with my parents all summer long for all of the summers that I lived at home. My sister and I named our Barbie and Ken dolls Erica Kane, Jackson Montgomery and Dimitri Marick. I taped it when I was in University when I was homesick. I have all mp3s of all of the different theme song versions. I also have a copy of the Complete Family Scrapbook on my bookshelf, an AMC board game and trading cards.
I hadn't watched All My Children in years, but when they announced that it was being cancelled (last episode airing in September), I got a bit nostalgic. I promptly set up my TiVo to tape the final episodes. I also started following the #allmychildren hashtag on Twitter. They are pulling out some crazy storylines for the last episodes. The best is that my favourite character - evil Dr. David Hayward - has been secretly doing human testing for all of the years that he's been in Pine Valley and all of the "dead" people aren't really dead at all and are all coming back to town! [looking forward to see how they explain Gillian coming back. She was shot in the head and then her heart was donated to Laura..... but..... David performed the surgery, so.....hmmm]
I will miss you amc. xoxo.
Alright. I don't think I can keep up this one scene a day business, but since I have my sketches, I know exactly what I want to do. I went simple with this one, but I feel that it is effective. I also forgot to include the Fred Penner tape that is in all of the others. dang.
In retrospect, I should have ironed the blue blanket to make it more Mario 1-esque.
I'm sure most babies do the same, but I find Eli's sleeping arm positions so hilariously adorable and felt the need to share with the world.
"Being so loveable is hard work."
"That's right, I'm made in the shade."
fyi: Eli naps pretty much everywhere and anywhere: in my arms, on the floor, in the cradle, in the pack'n'play, on a bed, in the sling, in the stroller, in the carseat. He doesn't have a "set" nap place. Lately though, I've been "putting him down" in the middle of the big guest bed with pillows on the edges in case he rolls, and he's been sleeping for 2-3 hours a couple of times a day. Whhaaaaaat? My little cat napper has finally figured out how glorious afternoon naps can be.
Like in many areas of my life (classroom set-up, home decor) I like to draw sketches or make models of my vision before I create them. Things are no different with my new scene hobby. I spent the better part of an hour yesterday sketching ideas for possible scenes. I sketched 9 and have more twirling in my head.
Before I went to sleep last night I created this Jack and the Beanstalk scene, so I'd have it all ready for Eli in the early morning (his favourite time of day). When Rob came to bed he told me I was obsessed with making scenes, but asked if he was allowed to be in one. So, Giant Daddy is climbing down the beanstalk to catch little Jack (who was mesmerized by his aluminum foil hatchet- oooh shiny!)
In reflection, I might have swapped the two background hills so that the beanstalk would "pop" a bit more... I would have also put the clouds a bit lower and hidden the tag on the stalk, but hey - pretty good for doing it in the moonlight.
[Hurray for Becky and Brandi who made a scene yesterday. The inspiration is growing like wild fire - yay! Aly, you must be so proud.]