Thursday, December 31, 2009

Kayleen Delivers

Cash is trying to show you his Popeye muscles. Nice try, big guy.

I like to think of myself as having a wealth of information--which grocery store has the best deals, which thrift stores to visit depending on what you're looking for, how to avoid botching your child's hair (hint: don't cut it yourself).

And now, another tidbit of information: If Kayleen is sending you a "happy baby" package and tells you, "It's nothing big," you might as well get yourself a paper bag to dry heave into and wait by the mailbox--she's lying.

Before I even get to the sweet things she sent for Story, let's talk about Exhibit A, shown in the above photo--the sailor tee she sent for Cash. This shirt has made me prouder than I've ever been of Cash because the boy actually removed his beloved Colts football jersey to put on what he has now deemed "the Popeye shirt."

He took the jersey off.

Without me having to yank it from his cold, dead hands.

I'm tearing up just thinking about it.

And in addition to that, Kayleen sent Story a few of her handmade girlie items! This great reconstructed sweater dress, a teeny pair of her adorable boatdeck shorts (I grew up at the lake, so these are right up my alley!), and a little floral tunic. What a lucky baby!

Thank you, Kayleen! I hope one day you can start selling your wares again so that I can outfit these kids in something other than team apparel.

Friday, November 13, 2009

It's a girlie!

Story Louise
8lbs. 8oz.
Chubby little chipmunk cheeks.

Monday, November 02, 2009


Halloween 2009

This summer we were talking about Halloween, and Cash blurted out, "I wanna be Mats!" (Translation: Max). Okay, I can do that. Sew a wolf suit. Done.

It took me about a month to realize that the film would be coming out just before Halloween (a film that I am avoiding until I get over my snobbery and give into my curiosity)--that we'd be over-stimulated with movie trailers, book store displays, and excited blog posts on the subject.

But by then Cash was too excited. For the past month we'd be paying for groceries or checking out library books, and he'd look at the employee and blurt out, "Mats suit!"

I found a vintage simplicity pattern at the thrift store to use as the basic shape--changed the zipper closure to velcro, added buttons, make-shift claws, unevenly long ears that made everyone think he was a bunny, etc. He had a little bag. The tail is my personal favorite.

But for the week leading up to Halloween he kept telling us he didn't want to wear the costume or trick-or-treat or get candy.

Well, great. Say goodbye to your last homemade costume, pal.

But when he saw that first group of trick-or-treaters come to the door, he immediately said, "Where's my tostume?" He was suited up and out the door in under 5 minutes. And gone for and hour and a half. No smiling or laughing or running. Just straight-faced, methodical trick-or-treating. Like it was his job.

He let loose once he got home.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Gnomey hat front.

Stegosaurus freezer paper stencil.

There has been some kid-related crafting happening around here recently:

I've wanted to make helloyarn's gnomey hat pattern for ages now, but I was waiting for the perfect yarn. I completely forgot I had this Karabella Chameleon in my stash--an insanely soft merino, silk, cashmere blend. I knit this on size 6 needles, so I had to change the pattern up a bit. How could you not want to knit this hat? It has ear flaps! And poms! And a little i-cord on top! I'm selfishly saving this one back for baby Ella/pie/hooha/seester (these are just a few of the names Cash has called the baby).

And Cash and I had another little magic moment last week when we cranked out this stegosaurus freezer paper stenciled shirt. Cash has caught the dinosaur bug. I realize that in no time we'll be able to distinguish a stegosaurus from pterodactyl. But, right now, this is all new to us, and last night the plastic brachiosaurus got called both a stegosaurus and a brontosaurus. So sue me. It's been awhile since I studied about "ancient creatures that I'm not convinced ever really existed."

Anyhow, we needed something to do, so I thought:

New dinosaur obsession
+ Thrifted muscle tee

= Something to do

Cash got to help pick out a dinosaur pattern and do a bit of painting. When I unveiled the dried design later that night he jumped up and down clapping.

Oh, sweet gratitude.

Monday, June 15, 2009

I can read. . . It's a miracle! Non-readers: skip this post.

Finally, after a two month long hiatus, I'm back on the reading train! I'm usually a pretty obsessive reader, but something about excessive nausea mixed with first trimester depression and lack of motivation made sounding out words seem like too much work (unless those words were, "Dear husband, could you bring me some more cheez-its?")

I started off easy (don't want to get all disoriented) with Sue Monk Kidd's book The Mermaid Chair. I read it. It was fine. Moving on.

But then, the clouds opened up and a voice sounded (via Facebook) saying, "Here is an advanced copy of the sequel to The Hunger Games, should you desire to borrow it."

Me: (Pause to catch breath) "Oh, thank you, self, for deciding to work at a library for 5 years and make librarian friends who have similar reading obsessions and who share advanced reading copies with you."

Oh, it's good. Pretty darn good. Finished in under 24 hours good. And you only have to wait until September to get your hands on a copy!

Once I recovered from a straight day of reading I moved on to The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Gross (loaned to me by Jean, thank you!). It was pretty good. Not insanely good, but good.

And now I'm compulsively checking my library account for the day that Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's book of stories, The Thing Around Your Neck, comes in. Her novel, Half of a Yellow Sun, was incredible. If I owned it, I would loan it to you.

I'm trying not to make a summer reading list because when I make a list I never read a single thing on it, but I did just find this older list (2006) that Slate put together of good beach reads. You might just find something on there worth reading.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

"Mom, you make these?"

Last week Wes was out of town, so, whilst thrifting with a very cooperative Cash, I decided to treat him to a root beer float at the drive in diner. Cash was very excited (of course, he'd hardly share the float), and as we sat there in the warm, summer air the radio began to play "This Magic Moment."

Ahhh. . . those sweet glimpses of what good, happy days spent with your kids ought to look like (instead of the usual bribing and arguing that goes on in most conversations with a 2 1/2 year-old). "Cash, listen, if you get in the car seat on your own I won't kill you. That's the deal."*

Cash and I had another magic moment as we sewed his first batch of summer pajama shorts a few weeks ago. He couldn't do much to help, but he did make sure the t-shirts we cut these from were fully spread out on the floor. He held the scissors for me, threw things away And, when he was especially cooperative, he got to push the reverse button on the sewing machine. Oh, the excitement of being a toddler.

At first I thought it was an insane idea to try to sew these with Cash's help, but I'm glad I offered because he was so proud of the finished products. And still, every night, he points to his shorts before bed and asks (in his high pitched question-voice), "Mom, you make these?"

"Yes, Cash, we made those."

*Oh, hang up the phone before you dial Child Protective Services. I'm just joking.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Nice little Mother's Day

Me, Wes, Cash, and teeny baby.

Me and my maternal grandfather.

"Mothers are all slightly insane."
J.D. Salinger

I had a nice little Mother's Day. Wes cooked us pancakes, we slurped coffee and italian sodas up the street, then we spent some time with my family before heading off to church. Sometimes the simpler celebrations seem weak but maybe they're just more realistic. There's no guilt over spending too much money or expecting too much. Just a lovely day with the family.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Show & Tell Club: Dinosaurs eat other dinosaurs

Photos borrowed from Laura.

Last Saturday we all agreed to cancel our motel rooms with the heart-shaped Jacuzzis and, instead, spend our evening together for the third installment of the Show & Tell Club.

A few highlights:

*Vince brought some valentines from his students that made us all want to be teachers for a second.

*Rachel showed us some great flea market finds from her year abroad in Germany.

*Suzanne brought an old newspaper she'd bought at auction from the day Kennedy died.

*David brought some red tools from his garage, and we all had to guess what they're intended for (a'la This Old House, I believe).

*Little Mr. B read a hand-written poem about dinosaurs whose first line was, "Dinosaurs eat other dinosaurs."

*Scott brought these little children's-type drawing of him and Catherine. Maybe I can convince him to blog them so you all can see.

*Catherine had some great relics from the start of she and Scott's relationship. Oh, boy. That journal.

*David and Marie brought the floor puzzle they'd created for their wedding guests to put together. Of course, we had to put it together too.

*I ended up bringing some embroidery I've been trying my hand at, along with official membership cards for everyone. Heck, yeah!

In other news, I just bought myself this crazy shirt today, made this delicious sandwich for lunch, and finished reading this great young adult novel (which I definitely recommend).

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

the donkey in the room

It's pretty much a cardinal sin not to talk about the inauguration today. Well, maybe yesterday was the day to talk about the inauguration, and today's the day to critique the inauguration.

I could barely open the Wall Street Journal today, for fear I'd be confronted with yet another interpretation of Chief Justice Roberts' bumbling over the swearing in. He did it. It was funny to talk about once. Move on. I mean, really, when a drunken Diane Sawyer giggled about it over and over last night, I thought I might shoot myself. And then this morning my beloved NPR had the audacity to discuss whether or not the swearing in even "counted." As in, since Roberts apparently made the biggest blunder in history, do they have to have a secret do-over?

Oh. my. word. . . Listen, NPR, don't you have a new novel to discuss or something? No? How about Gaza? Embarrassing.

Aside from the actual swearing-in ceremony, I thought the rest was ridiculous. Too many forced metaphors--retracing the steps of Lincoln's train ride to Washington, using Lincoln's Bible, etc.

And the ball last night. . . sickening. I thought the Oscars were on a month early. Really. Maroon 5? Cirque de Sole acrobats (or whoever those tights-wearing carnies were)? Have some class.

If we're supposed to take you seriously as an administration--all this talk about the common man, the economy, the war--do you really think an oyster-filled lunch and an American Idol-worthy celebration was the best way to go?

Now, the swearing in, that was classy. Solemn. Fitting. I'm going to have to say I enjoyed the metaphors of the opening prayer and closing benediction--the young, popular Rick Warren welcoming everyone into a new age while the Civil Rights veteran, Rev. Lowery, sends us off, passes the torch (with a bit of humor, might I add). I thought it was well-played.

And the poem by Elizabeth Alexander, while not well-read, in my opinion, and a bit choppy, contained a few beautiful lines:

"Say it plain, that many have died for this day. Sing the names of the dead who brought us here, who laid the train tracks, raised the bridges, picked the cotton and the lettuce, built brick by brick the glittering edifices they would then keep clean and work inside of."

Just lovely. (End rant).

Side note: I voted for Obama, okay. I'm allowed to rant. And I don't like oysters.