Tuesday, October 26

Eight long years.

 October 26, 2002 Chris and I sealed the deal in St. Augustine, Florida. I've never scanned in our wedding pictures and I guess I'm not about to start now- these pictures were taken of the actual photos with my iPhone, so please excuse the shoddy quality!

 Here we are looking all happy and in love:

And here we are looking like we have no clue what we're doing (psst! we didn't, we were only 20 & 21):

My long-haired musician husband, not be confused with my crew-cut mechanic husband:

All the amazing people who came from all over to share our day with us:

And the most adorable attendants in the whole wedding party :)

Chris, if you read this I would tell you what an amazing journey it's been by your side and how, with all the struggles and up and downs, I wouldn't trade it for the world. But you don't read this so I guess I'll just go watch you play video games now :)

Happy anniversary love. We totally know what we're doing now.

Sunday, October 24


My baby DOES look like me!! 
Here's my Aunt Kari and me in the 80's:

And Johnny today, well, a few weeks ago:

So there!! Haha!!! 
Of course he still really looks like his dad too! 

Saturday, October 23

The making of a Socktosquid, part 2.

The halloween costume is done- a full seven days before halloween! But only the morning of the first party so really just in time, in true halloween costume tradition, haha...
I love love love love LOVE it! 

He HATES it! Haha!

There is a sweet matching stroller cover made out of a very heavy interfacing and felt. It's really kind of a hack-job, as it was finished just 1/2 hour before we had to head out the door.

It will be handy for trick-or-treating with friends next week, and it also holds his crazy tentacles in place pretty well.

So now, in continuation of Part 1, here is a quick rundown on how this was made:

Once all the socks were cut into squares I started sewing the bottom halves together end-to-end for the tentacles.

Once about eight of them were sewn, I folded the line of them in half and sewed down the long side, ending each one in a little swirl, kind of like this:

Then each tube was turned right-side and four of them were stuffed. The other four were set aside until the base of the top and pants were done.

For those I sewed the tops into rows of three, then sewed two rows together to make a block of six. I made four of these blocks.

I used a hoodie in the right size as a rough pattern and cut a front top, back top and two pants legs.
The front and back top pieces got sewn together at the shoulders and sides and at each armhole an open end of one an unstuffed tube was attached.
Once the pant legs were assembled and elastic inserted in a casing in the waist, I cut them off short and attached the last two unstuffed tentacles. Two of the stuffed tentacles were then hand sewn on each the top and the bottom, one on front, one on back.

For the hood, I made two blocks of four and two blocks of two. I used the same hoodie to cut and inner hood, then a much more exaggerated outer hood and sewed the two together along the front (where his face would be). It was stuffed in the top and sewn to the neckline of the shirt. Then I put a casing along the opening for a drawstring.

The unstuffed arms and legs get stuffed only to the point where your child's hands and feet will reach. I cut a slit right where his hands reached to in the tentacle so that he could slip them out.

The fins are just two triangles hand sewn on.

I wish I had the energy to write a full tutorial, (or the forethought to take take all the right pictures!) But for now this is how you make a Socktosquid!!

(borrowed this photo from a friend!)

Friday, October 22

Wine, squids and free cupcakes :)

I hate night-time pictures, they always come out weird...

Eventful Friday night in progress though- 

Wine from my new German friends, it's super tasty and made right down the road.

The aftermath of the cupcakes baking in my oven right this moment.

And J's costume is coming along, of course the night before it needs to be finished!

More to follow on that later....

In honor of my new endeavor, Jr.'s Cupcake Barn, I'm giving away 12 fall-themed cupcakes this weekend!
Leave a comment here or go "like" me on facebook, then leave another comment letting me know you did so. Make sure you also leave your email, as they are usually private!
Sorry this is only good for people in the Spangdahlem/Bitburg area, but I'll randomly pick a comment tomorrow night (after 8) and bring you your cupcakes Sunday :) Good luck!

(The finished product! You'll get 6 of each, carrot and choco zucchini.)

Tuesday, October 19

One Year Old!

Yesterday was Johnny's first birthday! 
We had birthday waffles (a semi-new tradition in the house) and his was topped with a dab of Nutella. 

Not sure how "just a dab" can get spread so far.

We had green vanilla cupcakes with chocolate-coconut-buttercream icing. The 'fun' mom in me wanted the green color, the 'hippie' mom screamed no. Fun won out but this morning he woke up with a pretty bad mysterious rash so hippie mom is saying 'I told you so!' They were pretty cool.

How does a baby go from looking like a baby to a toddler in the span of 24 hours anyway?

We went and picked up Indian food to go and hung out with the friendlies, including J's buddy Anton :)

So cute!!

And, adorable thing of the week- if I tell him to "Say cheese!" I get this:

So, the rundown:
He's 21 lbs, but I don't know how tall. He's got seven teeth, he says mama, dada, da-ee (doggie), nom nom, hey. He knows the signs for sit, all done, milk and don't touch. We are not learning signs as quickly as I'd hoped, but only because I always forget to use them. He dances! He hugs everyone and loves other little kids. He climbs! His favorite toys are an orange juice container and some blocks that he puts in-and-out-in-and-out, a yellow car and his xylophone. His favorite foods are PB crackers and bananas, although he'll eat anything. We don't give him baby food at all, he eats what we eat everyday, whether it be soup, sandwiches, lentils, beans, pasta, veggies. He's a great eater :)
He nurses no more than three times a day, sometimes only two, unless he's not feeling well of course. He sleeps 12 hours straight every single night, and naps range from two long naps to one twenty minute nap a day, there's really no telling.
He throws fits just like a good little toddler when we tell him no, haha... But he is funny and loving and an amazing, smart, curious child.

This kids is so great and we are so, so lucky!

(another great photo by Jessica Ceason!)

Monday, October 18

Newly-revised TO DO!

I'm adding things that I've done and then crossing them out, even if they weren't on the list to begin with!

  • purse for mom

  • purses for mary 

  • purse for trade

  • two giant over-night bags (one for me, one for my sister)

  • bed spread for me

  • baby quilt for gift

  • growth chart for gift

  • car organizer, one for gift and one for me

  • car blanket and pillow for the Rabbit

  • Picnic dress for me

  • winter hats for Johnny

  • fall coat for Johnny's birthday- (fail! but he has a LOT of sweaters and coats, so I think it can wait until Spring)

  • two crocheted baby blankets for gifts

  • mushroom pillow for gift

  • play kitchen set

  • pillows for the couch

  • sorting acorns

  • family of wooden spoon puppets for J's b-day

  • squid costume & stroller cover

  • take in and hem pants

  • felt soap

  • play dough
  • Sunday, October 17


    ....is the most important part of life.

    Thursday, October 14

    The best breakfast and a growing bebe.

     Tricia may or may not have eaten this for breakfast this weekend:

     Oh, how I miss eating like a pregnant woman!

    Just a peek at why I can't do dishes while J's awake... yes, he is in the dishwasher...

    He gets bigger and grows up more everyday.
    Tonight, after I got him dressed for bed, he climbed off the futon and crawled into his bed, teddy bear blanket in tow. I covered him with the blanket and left, and just like that my little baby was gone. He didn't want to be read to or rocked or sang to, he only wanted to go to bed. :::Sigh::: At this point I know I should be nothing but thankful that we have such an independent little boy, but really?? So soon? I was going to be the co-sleeping, breast feeding, baby wearing momma for as long as we could drag it out. Now, he doesn't sleep if anyone else is in bed with him (except for naps with dad), he eats everything in sight (tonight it was black bean and salsa soup with hot sauce!) and therefor is nursing less often, and he will only tolerate being in a sling for, well, however long he feels like it- which can be 10 minutes to two hours. If he decides he's not up to it my hair and skin suffer under the wrath of his flailing arms and hands.  
    But dang, look how sweet he looks!

    At least one of my babies still needs me, hehe...

    This guy! It is an on-going battle to find a meeting point for dog and baby. They love each other but some days Luckie is just not having it any more and Johnny is just done with Luckie. It gets easier as he gets older and I imaging it still will. But how do you teach a dog not to eat the baby's food when the baby thinks it's funny to feed him?! Haha...  Meh, it's all part of the fun I suppose :) Everyone keeps asking when we're having another but in all seriousness, I have my hands full already! Speaking of, we got a really nice fireplace gate at the hardware store last weekend, so no more head injuries (on the hearth anyway!).

    Night everyone. <3

    Wednesday, October 13

    The making of a Socktosquid, part 1.

    Halloween is fast approaching, and in an effort to break the mad cycle of a mom sitting up late into the night sewing a costume the night before the 'Big Day' (Halloween was very important in our house, and ALWAYS handmade) I am getting a head start on Johnny's! 

    We are going Trick-or-Treating with some friends on base and they have a few kids who are going to be pirates. Nice and easy for me, especially with the sweet dreads I'm sporting lately! But Johnny? Can't say I've ever seen a baby pirate. I do, however, think that every serious pirate should have a pet squid.
    So there it is, a squid, randomly made from discarded socks. Kind of a play on the socktopus

    So, to start, you need socks. Lots of them. I raided Chris's socks that he never ever throws away. I dumped them into the bathtub and covered them with warm water.

    Using a washing machine dye kit I mixed in the salt fixative and orange liquid dye.

    After awhile I let it drain and squeezed out as much liquid as I could.

    Then I mixed red dye in a bucket of warm water and salt fixative.... and shivered a little at the Carrie-esque site.

    ... then had a ton of fun splashing the dye into the socks to give them a variegated color scheme.

    In the morning I squeezed them out again and ran them through the wash.

    They then had to be cut up so that I had consistent flat pieces to sew together. I tossed the heals and toes because I'm really not sure what I could use them for (and many had huge holes anyway!).

    So I will continue this when it starts coming together a little more. I think it will be adorable and hilarious!

    A friendly suggestion: Maybe think twice before using the forty year old bathtub in your rented house to dye anything blood-red.  :-/

    Sunday, October 10

    As Promised!

    I'm always so thrilled to make a new friend! Yesterday was no exception! So happy!!

    Here is a link to Jessica's blog about our shoot (here) and her website with more pictures (here).

    Hope you all love them as much as I do!!

    Jessica, thank you for capturing our family and home just as it is, but somehow adding *sparkle*. You truly have a gift!
    And, Beth, thank you for pointing us in her direction. We miss you!!

    Saturday, October 9

    Cupcakes, crayons and CUTS!

    Baby J finally made contact with our death-trap hearth. The night before family picture day, I might add! 

    A new friend (previous friend of a friend) Jessica drove two hours to take our photos! I will of course link to them once she posts them :) In honor of her visit I made a new recipe for chocolate zucchini cupcakes, with mounds of chocolate buttercream frosting on top.

    Best. Cupcakes. Ever.

    And on the list of birthday presents for J are a handful of chunky crayons, perfect for little fingers!
    Auntie peeled a huge bag of donated crayons and we broke them up and popped them into a mini muffin tray sprayed with oil and then into the oven.

    How pretty are they?!

    We tried to get him to color with them while picture taking this morning, but he wasn't having it. Ah well, maybe he will be more like his daddy than his mummy :)

    I'll leave you with this:

    Hope you're having a great Saturday!