Saturday, December 12, 2009

2009 Santa story

For your reading pleasure, a narration of last night's Santa experience:

Lydia: I'm not so sure about this, but I don't think I like it. And why on earth am I wearing so many stripes??
Seth: I practiced all day what I would say to Santa, and now all I can do is stand here with my hand in my mouth.

~~~

Lydia: Oh, wow. Mom's making a fool of herself off to the side so I'll stop crying.
Seth: Same as last photo.
~~
Lydia: Wow, Mom's still at it. I don't think I've ever seen her jump up and down, clap her hands and whistle all at the same time.
Seth: Now I have a candy cane, but I can't make myself look at Santa yet.
~~
Lydia: OK, if Mom's over there, who's holding me?
Seth: I'm contemplating talking to Santa. Should I or shouldn't I?
~~

Lydia: OK, nice try distracting me, Mom. Get me away from this guy!
Seth: Boy, this candy cane sure looks good. OK here's the plan. Just before we walk out the door, I'll tell Santa thank you for the candy cane and that I want a red fire truck for Christmas. Whew!

~~
The End

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Just a little project

I'm amazed at how much better I feel when I manage to get a little part of my world organized and in order. This is a before and after of an afternoon's time spent tidying up my little ribbon bin.

Before:

After:

I love my doll pins swaddled up like cozy little babes. No more grumbling as I dig through the menagerie of scraps, spools, and tangled messes for just the right embelishment.

Monday, November 9, 2009

We're a little late - Halloween 2009

We're approaching mid-November and I'm just now getting around to posting Halloween photos. Seth wanted to be Bob the Builder, and it wasn't until after I bought his clothes that he switched and wanted to be Handy Manny. In the end, he was happy being Bob and took the opportunity to "fix" all the things that were in need of repair.


He's a pretty good likeness, don't you think?

And little Lydia...who can resist a cute costume on an even more adorable little girl?
Daddy adoring his little miss ladybug:
While Matt and Seth made the rounds in the neighborhood...
...we girls stayed home to pass out candy. It was a slow year for trick-or-treaters...only 84 munchkins begging us for candy this year instead of the 100+ that we normally get. Now what to do with all this candy?? Ugh. 'Tis the season.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The little boy who lives where?

Captured this video of Seth singing "Baa Baa Black Sheep". Listen carefully when he gets to the part "One for the master, one for the dame, one for the little boy who lives down the ____". Yup, apparently the little boy has relocated from down the lane to down the drain. Hey, at least he's good at rhyming.

video

Snow Lake

Matt took Seth on a little (I use the term "little" very loosely) hike to Snow Lake with a few of the Boy Scouts from church. Matt was the fearless leader, and Seth played the part of comic relief.
It was quite a challenge, between the rocky trail and chilly temperatures...

...but the view at the top proved to be worth the effort.

She's a-growin' and a-movin'

Wow Lydia is nearly 8 months old! I was just going through photos to archive and ran across those of just a few months ago. It wasn't that long ago that I couldn't put her down without her (and subsequently me) crying. This is how we spent pretty much every day all day for her first two months of life. (Never mind the weird look on my face...how do I take a photo of myself without it looking odd?)
And this was my view of her:

So, wrapped up together in the Moby, we went about our day as such. Here's what I found in the process.

Things easily done with a baby strapped on:
  • kiss the top of her head
  • load the dishwasher
  • prep food for cooking
  • make bread
  • go for a walk
  • get a core workout on the big exercise ball (bouncing with baby kills two birds with one stone - gets baby to sleep and strengthens flabby post-baby back and tummy)
  • blog/email
  • cut out fabric for clothes and quilts
  • vacuum

Things that are difficult/awkward but possible to do with a baby strapped on:

  • curl hair (carefully!)
  • crawl under the desk in the office to plug in the internet cable
  • eat (turn sideways to avoid baby being showered with crumbs)
  • help pick up toddler's toys/chase toddler/ lift toddler into high chair/etc

Things NOT to do with a baby strapped on:

  • drive (obvious, and no I didn't find this out from experience, so please no reports to CPS)
  • shower (see above note)
  • scale the climbing rocks at the park when toddler makes it all the way to the top and then is too scared to come down alone

Anyway, here she is now...on the move and cute as all get-out. I don't think I could strap her in the Moby if I tried...not because of her size but because of her ridiculous strength and constant need to be busy and on the go.

The makings of a civil engineer, perhaps?

Seth loves his Brio train tracks, and it appears to be a benefit not to have furniture in our living room. He puts together a few of the tracks but mostly likes to play with the trains, cars and buses. That is, until his beckoning me away from the kitchen surprised me with this impressive network of tracks and bridges. No joke we didn't help him with it, and he figured out to put blocks under the "up-and-downs" to support it. Little smarty pants!

The First of a Series of Random posts


Happy Autumn, Everyone! My mental "I-should-blog-about-that" bucket is filling up, so following are random thoughts and happenings over the past month or so...and I do mean random, so don't try and find a connection between them. You've been warned...here goes.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Will the real seamstress please step forward?


Mom found an excerpt from a 1949 sewing manual. Enjoy, and just try not to giggle just a little, if not laugh right out loud.

"Prepare yourself mentally for sewing. Think about what you are going to do...never approach sewing with a sigh or lackadaisically. Good results are difficult when indifference predominates. Never try to sew with a sink full of dirty dishes or beds unmade. When there are urgent housekeeping chores, do these first so your mind is free to enjoy your sewing.

When you sew, make yourself as attractive as possible. Put on a clean dress. Keep a little bag full of French chalk near your sewing machine to dust your fingers at intervals. Have your hair in order, powder and lipstick put on. If you are constantly fearful that a visitor will drop in or your husband will come home and you will not look neatly put together, you will not enjoy your sewing as you should."

How about that? You have a smile on your face, right? You're welcome.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Now what?

After seven years of gainful employment here, I was notified today that I am being layed off. Hmm...my first thought was "what??" and my second thought was "what now?" What does this mean to me and what will it mean for our family? Anytime you put your energy into work, hobbies, church assignments, parenting, or whatever, it's not just what you do but becomes part of who you are. Now who am I? True, we shouldn't define our lives by our work, but as long as working was necessary, I took pride in what I did, made the best of it, contributed value to the company, and yes even enjoyed it.

These days it's so commonplace to hear of layoffs. But believe me, when it's YOU, it's anything but commonplace. Today I allowed myself to just wallow. Tomorrow I'll get up and decide what to do next. I'll learn something from this, as is the case with trials, but for now I'm in a bit of a tailspin, looking for a soft place to land. Thankfully, I can find that very thing at home...a husband's shoulder to cry on, a special boy's infectious laugh and a sweet baby's warm cuddle. Even with the uncertainty in the road ahead, I'll sleep well tonight.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Happy Birthday Seth!

Three years ago, September 26th:

Fast forward to last Saturday, September 26, 2009:

(My best attempt at a Handy Manny cake, as requested)



We love you, Seth!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Weekend Away

This past weekend was the 6th annual Mountain Valley Quilt Retreat hosted by my mom in lovely little Loa. This year there were 20 attendees from Nevada, Utah and Washington. She's a super talented teacher (she makes up the pattern herself!) and puts so much time and energy into making it fun. My sisters, aunt and I go every year to cook the meals for everyone, and we get in a little sewing time too. Mostly we cook, goof off, cook, sew, cook, nap, cook, visit...you get the idea. This was my first time flying by myself with both kids, a feat not as monumental as I originally feared.

So, while everyone else was using one of these...
(my dream machine)
.
...to make one of these...

(gorgeous, don't you think? - Mom's original creation)

...we did some of this:
(see above reference to goofing off)
.
(2nd cousins Jake and Hannah - thank goodness for washable markers!)
.
(two cute aunties with one cute little sweetie)
.
(the best reaction for a rousing rendition of "Happy Birthday" - a week early)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Bottoms up!

OK, who else besides me thinks it's the cutest EVER when their baby sleeps with their bottom up in the air like this? It's all I can do not to pick her up and smother her with kisses. Of course, that would be the end of the nap so I have to settle for gently patting her on the bum and waiting for her to wake up and play later.
And here she is just so tuckered out she didn't make it to her bed before crashing. Another of my favorite things...baby girls in tights.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Can you guess what we're learning about?

Letters and shapes! Here's evidence (letters first):

video

My favorite is the "I'm done" at the end.

And now for shapes: Today as we were driving away from the house, Seth said his usual goodbyes to everything, i.e. "Bye bye, Dad! Bye bye, house! Bye bye, trees!" and as we came upon the stop sign, he uttered, "Bye, bye, octagon!" hee hee

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Do you see what I see?

Yep, see that 92? That's the temperature INSIDE our house thanks to this record-breaking heat wave. And this is even downstairs. Ugh! Can you top that?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

In a hurry to grow up!

Lydia is a busy girl. When we put her in the bouncy seat or the car seat, she pulls her head up so she can look around. She has simply got to know what's going on and doesn't want to miss any of it! She's 4 months going on 4 years! She was pretty darn happy - and cute too - sitting like a big girl in the high chair.

What will happen when she's 10?
"Mom, can I wear makeup?"
OR
"Dad, can I take the car out for a spin?"
OR
"I'm thinking of getting my college applications in early."

hee hee (that's my nervous laughter) Better to just enjoy our little sweetie right now in this moment - she just may be the cutest little girl EVER!

Are you playing this game at your house too?

It's that time of year again. Thanks to another bumper crop of squash, each evening at dinner we play the game "Where's the hidden zucchini?" Although I've tried to keep up with picking them before they become mammoth, as seen in this post, I'm slipping it in wherever I can just to use it up.

Yesterday I made this for dessert, and as of yet, Matt hasn't shown any suspicion as to its contents (guess he'll find out when he reads this heh heh). Not that any of us dislike it, but there's only so many ways you can cook it up as a side dish for every meal, you know? The recipe says zucchini bars so I expected it to be like bar cookies, but it's more like a cake. If you put the batter in a jelly roll pan maybe they'd be more like bars. The secret is to peel the zucchini so there aren't little flecks of green. I cut the oil in half and added more zucchini for moisture. And I added lots more lemon because I love it! I zested a whole large lemon and used all of its juice. It's yummy, especially since I added a 1/2 package of white chocolate chips I found in the pantry. What's your favorite zucchini (in plain sight or strategically hidden) recipe? I'd love to know.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Sew Happy, Volume 2

Part two of my ongoing sewing series and a glimpse of more completed projects since


1. My stack n' whack quilt is finally done. I've had the top done for a while, but I took a while getting it to Felicia to quilt it.
I took this class way back when Mom had the quilt shop, and she picked out this fabric:
Wild, huh? Something I wouldn't have chosen, but now that it's put together, I love it! Stack n' whack quilts look better with more bold and pronounced patterns and a large pattern repeat. In the end, it creates a kaleidoscope look.

Here's the back...



...and a close-up of the quilting - all swirls and banana leaves.



2. Another venture was a t-shirt quilt.
In the past, for some reason I thought these were kind of tacky. But I had a whole space bag under my bed of full of t-shirts that I didn't wear anymore but that had enough sentimental value that I didn't want to get rid of them. Yes, I actually used to run, so most of the shirts are from races, and there are some other random ones mixed in. I didn't use a pattern but just decided to iron on a thick interfacing to stabilize each one and then cut them each in a 13" square so that with 1/2" seam, the finished size was 12" square. I found a fun black and white print for the sashing and a tomato red for the corner blocks.

The back is a quarter-turned pieced red flannel with stripes.

I didn't want to quilt the whole thing, but I also didn't want the traditional yarn ties that get balled up after you wash it. So I (with the help of Mom, Gerilyn and LaRinda) used extra long doll-making needles to tie it every 3" with a crow's foot knot...no loose ends as the yarn is fished through the layers of fabric and batting. It's so soft and great for picnics, as well as a walk down memory lane for me. :-)


3. For Christmas I made Matt's sister a table runner. The pattern is called Odd Fellow's Star and the finished size is only 12" x 36" so the pieces are pretty small. Foundation piecing is one of my favorite ways to piece, mainly because there's no cutting out patterns or tracing templates. It's like paint-by-number but with fabric.

4. Finally, here is the latest addition to Lydia's wardrobe.

I used some of my stash to make this dress using the pattern from this book:


So I didn't even have to buy any fabric (Matt was happy about that!). I love this book, and I can't wait to make more things. As a recommendation, if you're considering getting this book, make sure you have experience sewing and are familiar with sewing techniques. I had to make a couple of adjustments so that it made sense to me.


That's all for now...until the next Sew Happy installment!