Friday, December 30, 2011

resolutions report

at the beginning of 2011, i decided to keep my resolutions simple and within reach, so i chose a few things that would be easy to do but would make a big difference.  one was making the bed every day, not something e and i previously paid much attention to if no one was coming over.  i've been doing it, almost every day, and it makes such a difference every time i walk in our bedroom to see that at least one room in the house is under control.

and my other success, which i'm tentatively proud of, is giving up my nail biting and picking.  this has been an official and unofficial resolution for many years, but when i saw c chewing a finger one day, i knew i had to get serious.  it's been about a month that i've left them alone, but i'm not sure how long it'll take to undo this decades-long bad habit.

for this year, my goals are:

  • to make homemade pizza every week or two, until we perfect the recipe and method
  • to eat outside on our deck at least once a week
  • to actively pursue my creative interests.  i've already registered for a photoshop class, so that's a start.  and the photo above is from a photoshoot i drug the family on.
  • to increase my core strength.  with two scary back injuries since n was born, i've realized how important these muscles are.
now that i've made these public, i have to stick to them!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

holidays with kids

two months later, c still keeps saying 'trick or treating is over.'  i don't know when she'll realize christmas is over.  it is so much fun to celebrate with kids.  c loved the music, the lights, the advent calendar, the nativity, and of course, the presents.  my favorite part was when she discovered her 'playground'.

this girl could swing all day under this gorgeous sign made by her uncle.  in the back yard, she is one happy girl.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Monday, December 5, 2011

first day of vacation

On Friday I finished another semester of teaching, so Saturday marked the first day of 5 weeks off!  We enjoyed a slow morning with a left-over-pizza picnic in the park, and the we bought our Christmas tree.  E, Cora, and I all got a good laugh when he pulled the car under the carport and we heard 'scrrrrape bump bump bump' and realized we had forgotten about the tree strapped to the roof of the car.  (Earl has to duck to go under the carport, so it's pretty low.)  Then we had to scrrrape back out so we could unload the tree!  It felt like a Griswold moment.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

a plea

Will you vote for C's room in the small kids, big color contest at ohdeedoh?

Thank you.:)

zucchini muffins

Overall, I have to say, C is a pretty good eater.  She loves lots of fruits, some veggies, eats the whole grain version of pasta, rice, and bread, and she has her favorite proteins.  But she's reluctant to try green vegetables, so I'm always trying to think of ways to get her to go beyond avocado.  One of the solutions I came up with is these zucchini muffins.  I make sure to put lots of the green skin in because that must be where the nutrients are, right?  To make it less dessert-like and OK as an everyday snack, I adjusted it from this recipe.  Here's my version:

Preheat oven to 350.
Mix dry:
1.5 c whole wheat flour
1/3 c cugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 TBS wheat germ (optional)

Mix wet:
1 egg, beaten
1/4 c vegetable oil
1/4 c applesauce
1/4 c milk
1 TBS lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
1 TBS milled flax seed (optional)

Combine wet and dry ingredients.  Fold in 1 c grated zucchini (about one medium zucchini).  Bake mini muffins for 18 minutes, regular size for 20-25 minutes.  Makes 24 mini muffins + 6 regular.  Looking at this photo, though, I think I could have filled the cups more, making fewer muffins--they didn't rise much when baking.

The zucchini is still very visible after baking, so I don't feel like I'm being sneaky.  They're just that tasty that she doesn't seem to mind the green.  They freeze well, so I try to keep a bag of them on hand for snacks and school lunches.

Monday, November 28, 2011

the just-for-fun quilt

a year ago, when i was ordering the fabric for n's nursery, i knew i wanted to go with blues and greens, nevermind the fact that we were having a girl.  i'd already done the pink thing; back to the cool colors i love.  i settled on a few from the sanctuary line, and was still going back and forth on whether i had the time/will/energy to make a quilt for this baby like i did for c.  when i got the package, though, i immediately remembered the quilt i had made a while back, just for fun.

i was amazed at how the fabrics in that quilt blended so perfectly with the new ones destined for the nursery.  relief.  n's quilt was already made, just three years early.  i still plan to embroider it with her name, but for now it's a great play mat in her room, what's functioning now as a play space since she'll sleep in our room for a while longer.

and also for fun, i added a new banner i made using this quilt.  i love these colors!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

sock holders

for the first time in n's little life, we've had some weather that necessitated wearing socks.  but i had forgotten how impossible it is to keep socks on a crawling, grabbing, kicking baby!  so i whipped up some sock holders, using this pattern, which was clear and easy, even if a little fidgety to sew.  i love this japanese fabric that tiffany sent me.  thank you!  i thought i had turned the fabric to have the piggies face the same direction, but of course, one still came out upside down!  oh well.

she's modeling one here without socks, though, because we've returned to 80-degree days.  we're ready for the next cold snap--it's hard to believe it's time for thanksgiving when you're sweating!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

this girl...

went from just rolling to pushing up to all fours,

to doing down dog, to sitting in the last couple of weeks.  she is so strong and so determined.

not exactly crawling yet, but she can get anywhere she needs to go!

her new skill makes me excited to take photos for our christmas cards.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

this year's costumes

When I first started thinking about Halloween costumes this year, I knew C would LOVE to dress up as Ponyo, but soon after that thought, I realized that little N looks just like Ponyo, with her reddish hair and round face.  C approved, and when we we talked about options for her costume, characters from her other favorite movie (these are the only two movies she had ever seen), "Toys Movie" (Toy Story 3) kept coming up.  We settled on Woody and started putting the costumes together.

N's turned out to be so easy--items from her wardrobe plus C's beach pail.

And we picked up the pieces of the Woody costume at Target, the Dollar Store, and a consignment shop, and added a holster (a kids' toolbelt from Ikea that we already had) and a vest I made.  I think both costumes turned out cute, and C has already worn hers multiple times.  It'll be fun to use it for dress up after Halloween.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

2 years later

remember this?

october 2009

october 2011

Monday, October 10, 2011

a favorite place

Another full weekend started off with a Friday afternoon mama get together, held in honor of the newest baby  in our group, a baby brother born a month ago.  Since my N currently wears a bib to catch the river of drool flowing from her mouth, I thought these might come in handy for baby A.

After our little celebration, we rushed home for dinner with friends/babysitters before taking off for for our first late night out in a long, long time.  We saw an awesome Death Cab for Cutie show at the Florida Theatre.  It's rare to get a band I love so much in Jacksonville.

On Saturday we visited one of my favorite places. 

Employees at E's company had free admission to the Cummer this weekend, so we took the girls to the interactive children's area, where C hugged all the sculptures, and then to the garden.

Our wedding reception was here.  It's such a special place.

It's great to see C enjoy it, too.

Until she starts climbing into the pond.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

baby shower quilt

from this collage...

to this quilt.


This summer, our moms group threw a baby shower for my friend Elizabeth.  She organized the crafty projects at my shower (tie-dyed onesies and burp cloths, belly henna!) and she's really creative, so I knew she would appreciate a group-made quilt for the new baby.  I racked my brain trying to figure out the best way to have everyone contribute without leaving one person (me) with a bunch of fabric applique stitching.

Then a lightbulb went off-- Spoonflower, where you can have your own designs printed on fabric--the perfect solution.  So, I bought some scrapbooking paper in a bunch of patterns to give it the look of pieced fabric, like a quilt.  We hung the background paper on the wall, and everyone at the shower cut and taped their creations to our collage.  

When it was done, I used my camera and tripod to take a photo at the highest resolution available (the top photo).  When I uploaded it to Spoonflower, it wasn't quite high enough to print clearly in original size, so I scaled it down and designed the "baby mac" (for their last name) fabric to use in the wonky blocks border.  I love how it turned out, and I think Elizabeth and baby E do, too!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

a full weekend

 You know it was a good weekend when babies are asleep 30 minutes earlier than usual on Sunday night!

We spent yesterday at a farm in Hilliard, about an hour from our house.  Their big attraction is the corn maze, but there was so much for little ones to do.  Like race rubber duckies by pumping water down a trough,

And ride little tractors.  We took a ride behind a big tractor, too!

Chase dad through the corn,

And hang out in the cool barn.  The weather was very cool for early October, but it still got warm in the sun.

Look at the animals,

And choose a pumpkin.  We bought one and then completely forgot about it after our photo session.  I guess we'll be visiting another pumpkin patch this fall!

And to finish the weekend off, Naomi tried food for the first time.  Like Cora, it was avocado.  She kept taking bites and spitting them out.  I think her favorite part was just sitting at the table with us!