Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Yesterday was Husband's birthday. Daughter and I have been talking about it for a week. She told me that she was in charge of getting the balloons and I was in charge of decorations. I have no idea how a 3.5 year old was going to acquire balloons on her own, but that was her plan.

Husband thought we were having burritos for dinner and he needed to go by the store and pick up salsa and onion (for the guacamole). I was doing my best to make him think the kids were acting like maniacs, I was stressed out and tired and this was not going to be anything but an ordinary day at our house. In reality, I cooked his favorite meal, eggplant parmesan. And made mint tea (I'm so glad to have fresh mint again) PLUS, the kids and I picked out balloons, crepe paper, hats and birthday donuts. It was going to be a surprise party.

To the right of the window behind Husband is a side door to our house. We only use it for carrying the trash outside, but Daughter wanted me to cover it in crepe paper so "Daddy could come in that door and step right into his party." seriously, this girl has party planning ideas.
Also notice the hat. Winnie the Pooh 1st birthday hats. The ONLY birthday hats at walmart.
ALSO, it's hard to get 32 candles on one donut. I stopped at 20.

Son eating his donut.
There's a little glimpse of the birthday entrance behind him.

Daughter battling the dinosaur she gave Husband and the baby spider that Son gave Husband.
After Sunday's visit to McWane, Daughter thinks dinosaurs are Husband's favorite and that's what she wanted to get him.

a little glimpse of the decorations. Daughter kept telling me I was a very fast decorator.

This is what I made Husband. I used things we already had, so out of pocket cost = zero.
And as usual, as soon as I finished it, I started noticing things I'd have done differently. It was very important to me that the embroidered quote be in my hand writing, but I know it would have been a lot nicer and uniform looking if I'd have just used a printed font. eh, I don't like my cursive writing anyway, so I'm a little bias about it. The absolute hardest part was narrowing down which quote/poem I'd use. I had to take an informal friend poll after I couldn't narrow it down past the final 3 choices!
I basically repainted a thrift store frame I've had for months, cut open a white pillow case we already had, wrote the quote, embroidered over it, washed off the marker, glued it to a piece of sized cardboard I spray painted white and mounted it in the frame. I waited until Monday to do the framing because I knew I'd get excited and try to give it to him early if I finished it early. I'm notorious for that.

Daddy/Son after donuts

dirty donut faces
(sigh) those three. They make life better.

The kids were both so excited about surprising Daddy on his birthday.

Wordless Wednesday: when all we needed was a pier and a coke icee

Monday, March 28, 2011

Another Birthday - The McWane visit

Husband's birthday is Tuesday. To celebrate we went to the McWane Center. While it's a lot of fun, it wasn't our first choice. But bad weather changed our plans. Anyway, it's a fun place. I wish we were members. I know we'd go a lot more.

This was our second family trip to McWane. The first was was the day before Son was born. It was nice to be able to run around and play while NOT being 39.5 weeks pregnant. I had a lot more fun this time!

We stayed three hours. And the kids howled like rabid wolves when it was time to leave. Tired. Hungry. too much fun. It was pretty fabulous watching them learn and discover and just have fun.

In the optical illusion room
(it's hard to get two toddlers to stand near each other long enough to take their picture)

playing in the blue sand.

the water. Son came back to this area so much that on his last trip he was able to put this apron on by himself.
Look at that cute guy with the backpack. Yea, I went home with him. [creeper]

Daughter go SO excited when she saw this harp. Then slightly disappointed when she realized the strings were actually lights. She just wanted an old fashion harp.

Son driving the space ship. He spent almost 15 minutes in there. driving, pushing buttons, crawling around the back. He loved it. It was fun for me to see him experiencing something on his own (Daughter never even noticed the space ship). So much of the time, he's following her around trying to do everything she does. I loved this independent discovery.

A little downtime while we were watching Daughter play with water and Son in the space ship.

climbing in the castle

He loved this and got pretty wet. too bad we didn't pack an extra shirt.

uncovering a fossil

giving a weather report. I'm a green screen goddess.

another attempt at a sibling shot. When I snapped this picture, Daughter announced, "that was a perfect shot. Let's do something else now."

Daddy/Daughter soccer goalies

I should have made a video

more driving. It was his theme of the day.


huge light-bright.

Fun, fun, Fun. Since this was more of a birthday adventure for Son (who has a birthday very soon as well), We'll have to squeeze a trip in for Husband soon.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

how's the garden?

Pretty good. Thanks for asking. :-)



My laziness outweighs my embarrassment on this one. When I loaded it I thought, "what a HORRIBLE picture. I can't post that on the blog." Then I thought, "eh, I don't really want to go back outside and then have to resize and reload the picture." So, here you see one of the Jersey Giant tomatoes sprouting it's "real" leaves. exciting!

The basil and the mint both look good and are growing well. I haven't done a major basil harvest yet, but I have picked a couple a dozen of the biggest leaves off a couple of times for pizza.

It won't be long before we get everything else going in the garden.

Friday, March 25, 2011

the sewing machine - YES!

FINALLY. I know how to thread the needle and the bobbin of the sewing machine. It only took over 4 months. I sat down with the instruction book at least 3 times, and was just not "seeing" it. I needed a real person and not a black and white instruction manual with pictures that I didn't quite get.

But, that's not all. I can do more than that!

On the second Saturday on April my very crafty friend has invited her less crafty friends over to teach them (us, ME) how to make a baby quilt. She promises it will be easy and fun and I'm excited. I assembled all the tools and fabrics that she said we'd need but I still had a perfectly good sewing machine that was perfectly useless in my hands.

So, finally my mom came up for a visit to play with us and teach me how to use the sewing machine. (Remember, it's actually hers that I'm borrowing)

Also, for my birthday last week she bought me a rotary cutter and a huge mat!!! Plus she brought along all my Nanny's old fabric. I can't even begin to tell you how much that fabric means to me. How much Nanny means to me. Very special.

Mom knows about the baby quilt project so she suggested I start a practice quilt to help me get the hang of the sewing machine.



let's get started.

It was fun. really.

Mom trimming some loose threads.
We're both left handed, but in a right handed world, we use our right hands a lot.

My finished product. Those 9 squares. All put together.
After I got them completed I was a little disappointed that we didn't use more forethought and switch one of the greens with one of the whites.
But I decided instead of redoing it, I'd make another block of 9 in a similar pattern, and before I knew it, I'd have an entire quilt front made!
And except for the red square in the middle, it's all Nanny's fabric. I can see this being a long term project I do with the end result being a Nanny quilt. I know she'd love that. She'd love to know I was doing it. (ok, stopping bc I'm crying)

This is a picture I sent to twitter on from my phone. Just to show Husband what I was up to all afternoon and that I got the mat and cutter that I REALLY wanted but didn't have the money for.

Now that I know how the sewing machine works, I'm that much more excited about getting together with my friends and learning how to make the quilt. Once I get my charms in the order I want them, I'll post about the fabric.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I'm 30.

That's me. Or how old I am, at least. I had plans to draw a huge sidewalk chalk "30" for this blog post, but the daughter who never gets sick is. So, I settled for a fuchsia "30" on a steno pad while coloring with Son.

Last night Husband made these fabulous Chocolate Olive Oil and Blood Orange Cupcakes. um, wow. that's a long name. That taste really great. Especially if you like oranges and chocolate together. Anyway, here's 10 of the 12. That's right. I had one last night when they were still warm and one this morning for breakfast. The kids iced them. And they loved helping.

After the icing fun was over, Husband gave Son a small bowl of the leftover icing to eat. He takes it to the living room, sits in his little chair and watches Yo Gabba Gabba! The episode about personal hygiene. There's a song about magic shampoo or something of the sort. And my precious little daisy of a child uses his icing as a magic shampoo. seriously.
I wish we got a better picture. He really lathered that pink magic icing shampoo in there good.
Never in my life did I ever think I'd use the phrase, "That's a no-no. Icing is to eat. Not for shampoo. Come on, let's go wash your hair." sigh. It's hard to get mad at well intentioned toddlers who think they are doing the right thing.

p.s. Son has discovered the art of urinating standing up. Which means he's not using the toilet anymore but is back to his little potty. At least he's excited about the potty.

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Saturday Adventure

My birthday is Tuesday. So Saturday we set out on a birthday adventure. Husband drove us to Cheaha State Park. I haven't been since I was in 2nd grade and Husband had never been. It was a fun hiking day.

the view from one of the scenic parking spots before you get in the park

we climbed the tower to the highest point in Alabama. or I think the top of the tower is the highest point. The sign was a little unclear.

On the way down from the tower. Yes, I failed to take ANY pictures while I was at the possible highest point of Alabama. shame, shame, you know my name.

Son sitting in a window.
(everything takes so much longer with kids. case in point, walking down about a half a dozen flights of stairs. It take longer but it's more fun too.)

Daughter announcing her ability to do it "ALL BY MYSELF BECAUSE I AM A BIG GIRL."

a benchmark, for all you geocachers. unfortunately, I didn't get to do any actual geocaching.

These stones were at the beginning of the trail we 'hiked' It was outside the State Park so I think it was technically in the Talladega National Forest. I did note that the trail was listed as 130 miles long. seriously. We hiked in 30 minutes, took a juice and orange break and hiked back out.

Daughter was interested in finding who these hand prints and footprints (and some not pictured animal prints) belonged to. She was a little mad when I announced we were turning around because she hadn't "solved the mystery" seriously, she said that phrase. Ah, my little Nancy Drew. Makes me proud.

Daughter often takes the lead in our hikes.

standing on a stump with a "circle branch" she found.

Son on the stump. Not to be outdone, he had a rock and a stick.

The hiking men.

Climbing a rock.

both kids pointed out the moss around the rock and said it looked like broccoli.

This was a favorite activity on the hike. picking up rocks from the creek and throwing them back in. They must have spent 10 minutes on the way in and out doing this.

headed back out. He was tired and asked to hold hands.

"over, under" was Son's second favorite hiking activity. On our way in, every time we came to a trunk/big branch/whatever (about 6 times) that was in our way I asked him if he was going to go over it or under it. On the way back out, as soon as he spotted the trunk/big branch/whatever he'd start saying "over, under, over, under" and then when he got to it, he'd SHOUT his intention and do it. It was fun to watch. He was having a ball.

Daughter running to catch up to us. Somehow Son and I managed quite a lead on those two on the return trip.
It was a fun trip with the kids.