Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

Our weekend is shaping up to be frighteningly fun . . .

Question: What's a kid to be on Halloween when he's a superhero everyday?
Answer: The Ultimate Superhero!
Spider Man mask
Captain America suit
Superman cape

Way creative, yeah?

The annual trick-or-treating at daddy's work:


Ms. Angela always has a haul of treats and toys for the kiddos.

Someone commented, "This coffee table is like a little stage for them."
Well, what isn't, really?


Making Crescent Mummy Dogs with grandma--I highly recommend this recipe. Both Ian and Lilly could participate, and they were way yummilicious. Everyone needs a hot dog for dinner once in awhile, right?

Ian and mama mummifying together:

While our mummies were in the oven, grandpa read to us from our favorite book of late, "Where's My Mummy?" Ian had to help grandpa with the spooky voices.



Oh, here is said book--the inspiration for all our mummy cooking this weekend. We've read it so many times, Ian can now sit and "read" it to Lilly. I love to hear him do the voices of Drac, Glob and BONES!:

These Mummy Cookies were a major hit this morning. Don't judge me, Ian did have oatmeal and milk for breakfast. (tip: Forget the cocoa; also, use gum drops instead of jelly beans for eyes--they're only 99 cents. We cut little bits off the tops and they stick fine.)


Daddy's cookies always look the coolest.

After losing its head and most of its extremities, this cookie was afraid. VERY. Afraid.

More Halloween pics to follow. Ian has two parties tonight. He's quite the social gadfly, you know . . .
(hopefully he won't mind his nerdy parents tagging along)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Cut & Paste

What we are working on now:

One pair of safety scissors and two glue sticks keep us occupied for an hour or more some afternoons.

Tip: Ian loves cutting apart the Pottery Barn Kids catalog. There are wonderful things inside that might tempt your child to practice cutting skills, too. Oh, and the Toys R Us mega catalog came yesterday. Ian was in heaven with the scissors!

(Another use for those toy catalog pages? Wrapping paper . . . Ian wrapped a gift for a friend tonight with it. He can choose the pages and it gives him nice taping and wrapping practice, and the recipient loves the toy pictures on the paper.)

Santa just might be bringing the Imaginext Dragon Castle our way this year. Ian spent ages cutting it out, then cut out the teeny tiny knight because he wanted to play with them. To give you an idea how small these are, the knight is only 1/2" tall--that's how carefully and meticulously Ian was cutting.

He managed to hurt his hand with the safety scissors (takes talent, I know) trying to cut open the drawbridge for his little knight to play inside. Mama came to the rescue.

(X-mas tip: Santa brought the Imaginext Bat Cave last year and hardly a day has passed this year that he and Lilly haven't played with it. If you have a preschool boy this is a wonderful gift--and so is the Imaginext Pirate Ship.)

Wanted to share this card for Mum (Ian's grandma). Kindergarten, we're getting there.

And if you didn't believe me the first time I recommended it, run today and purchase the Leap Frog Letter Factory and Talking Words Factory videos. Your child will know his letters/sounds in a snap. Even Lilly, just turned 2, knows almost all letters and most sounds from watching them, and Ian will be reading in a flash!

One last thing . . .
It's my pick this month in Book Club. Any outstanding book suggestions?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Happy Birthday #96, Jess-Jess


Happy 96th birthday, Jess-Jess.

Card from great-grandson Ian
Inside reads, in Ian's handwriting:
I LIKE U
HAPPY
I [heart] u
Love Ian
Also inside, in my handwriting, what Ian dictated to me:
I like it when we sit on the floor together.
I love taking walks with you in the rain.

You held that card for much of the night.


A wonderful time was had by all at the party.

I can't help but notice during all 8 years I've been in this family--people are always smiling in your presence, Jess-Jess. (including me, as you've always hugged me, said you loved me, and called me "granddaughter")

I loved Nathan's tweet: "Happy 96th, Jess-Jess. A kinder, more gentlemanly soul there is naught."

I can't help but think, I wanna be like Jess-Jess when I grow up.

Is it selfish to wish for 96 more years with you, sweet grandfather-in-law?

Friday, October 23, 2009

It Shouldn't be so Easy

It Shouldn't be so Easy:
The Tale of One Mama, Two Potties, and Two Children . . .
(and a terribly long blog post with no pretty pictures.)

I must face it.
I am one princess pack of undies away from never having another child in diapers.
It shouldn't be so easy, Lilly. You know this, right?

Like today, when I am occupied, I call to you in the other room:
Lilly, take off your diaper. It's wet. Mama will come change you in one minute.
[Rip] [rip] [thud] I hear as you undo the straps and the diaper lands on the floor.
Then you say to Ian:
I have to potty.
And upon entering your bathroom to see Pink Potty still in 3 pieces from mama rinsing it out from your big pee/poo last night, I hear you say . . .
"Oh, bread it." (which is what my 2 kids say when they're frustrated, like we'd say "Darn it." I know--weird.)
By the time I make it in to help you, you practically have Pink Potty re-assembled. You sit down and do your business, stand up, I wipe you, and you are on your way.

You expect no sucker, no sticker, no gum, no fanfare, no acknowledgment of a job well done. You simply know: this is what one does. Period. And you do it, as you have every day off/and on for a week, with no one asking or watching, you just take care of business.

It really shouldn't be that easy, Lill.

Ian made me work for it. Really work for it. It was Blue Potty, not Pink Potty, and Blue Potty didn't get much action. Even though Blue Potty brought the promise of suckers and treats and videos if Ian would merely sit on it. Even though filling Blue Potty meant earning that coveted, unbelievable toy perched atop the refrigerator, collecting dust for months.

Blue Potty was alone. And no amount of toys, treats, character undies or self-help potty training books for mama could change that.

I am happy to say that my son did make it out of diapers by age 3, but I won't bore you with the burdensome details. I'd prefer not to re-live that chapter.

Ian and I grew and changed together. We painstakingly lived out every milestone in slow motion, to thunderous applause and cheering crowds behind the family video camera always freshly charged and waiting in the wings. He needed me for every step of the way, right (?), and I was there, at the ready, hand extended, scaffolding in place, for him to succeed at every turn.

But with this 2nd child, I am busier with two at home, and milestones are reached so effortlessly as Lilly makes it her mission to accomplish all that brother can do. The video camera can't make it in time, and so it waits for the day when she is grown and expresses resentment, the-- "Why are there so many videos of Ian and not me?"

I realize what a different mother I have been to each of them, and yet they are both precious in their own unique, wonderful ways.

Blue Potty was a lesson in parenting for this mama. Blue Potty was about ME rushing, and Ian not being ready, but being pushed. Blue Potty led to disaster.

So thanks for all you taught me, Blue Potty. Pink Potty's success is a lesson learned from you.

And Pink Potty, give me time. I'm not quite ready for those princess panties, yet.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Boo!

One for Ian, one for Lilly, and one for cousin William.

Tutorial here . . . found it through Darby's wonderful blog, a definite favorite blog stop of mine!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Halloween Hmm . . .

What is it?



It's a way to use your tomato cages in October.
It's very spooooooky.
It's busy "work" for this crafty mama who's been couped up in the house for a week b/c of sickness.
It made my kids smile.

And I even got Nathan involved!

Any guesses?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A Little Something


Recently, Nathan has been sprinkling some cloves and cinnamon into our coffee grounds in the basket before he starts the brew. The result? My usual coffee fix + a little something extra--wonderful and holiday-ish, not enough to overpower, just a little spice to make my drink extra special.

Big deal, you say? Not to me.

See, Nathan has spent 8 years adding little somethings to our marriage, and I love him. I love him because, lately, in my world, I've needed some little extras, and he is present, and kind, and dear to me. Did I mention I love him?

So today, add a little spice of kindness to someone's life. Make it a Nathan day.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Hello, Fall + Another Lovey Surgery


Hello again, favorite Lilly bunny slippers.

Hello, wonderful memory--please stay in my gray matter always, because he won't be little forever:

Have you performed any important "surgeries" lately, or did something happen to you recently that you are determined to remember forever?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Baby Burp Cloth How-To

Directions follow for the burp cloth in this blanket/burp cloth set I made for Shawna. With only minor adjustments (see further in post) these instructions can be used to make the blanket, also.

Super-easy, Super-absorbent, Super-cute Burp Cloth:

1. Cut one 10" x 18" piece of each of these three fabrics:
a. Chamois (pronounced "shammy") fleece or cuddle fabric for backing
b. Fabric of choice for front of cloth
c. Quilt batting (a.k.a. "Super Soft Fiber Poly-fil) to go between a and b
2. From a coordinating fabric, cut out a 3" x 5" rectangle. You will use this to make the tag. Press sides 1/4" to wrong side of fabric on all four sides, then in another 1/4".
3. Use a tight zigzag stitch to attach your tag to the rectangle you just pressed.
4. Center tag on a long side of your front fabric (center is 9" from edge) and pin 1 1/2" up from fabric edge. Stitch with same zigzag as in step 3.

You're almost finished!

5. Carefully match up the three fabric layers (a, b and c) in this order:
I. Quilt batting
II. Front side of burp cloth--RIGHT side should be facing UP, with WRONG side against the layer of batting
III. Chamois fleece--WRONG side up, with RIGHT side facing the RIGHT side of front fabric.
Pin layers together and sew using a straight stitch, leaving a 2" opening at the end for turning right side out. Backstitch at the begininng and end.
6. Turn right side out and press.
7. Double top-stitch around the edge of entire burp cloth for extra durability and a nice, finished look.

You did it!


To make a quilt instead:
Cut fabric bigger, of course. Size depends on what you want.
No batting in center. I like my baby blankets light-weight and easy for tiny hands to grasp.
Place tag in a corner instead of centered on a long side.
Please email me photos if you make one--I love your emails! Oh, and please cite this blog as a source if you post your work. Thanks for being considerate, dear reader! I hope you use this many times and find it helpful.

Details . . .
Fabric: Alexander Henry's Sprites of Tillbrook (isn't it divine?) and Amy Butler's Lotus collection
Pin cushion: gift made by my friend, Lexi--check out the pattern here. They make wonderful stocking stuffers.
Vintage high chair: My mama's baby chair. Love. That.

I get a lot of questions about my Yeebird labels. Find them through Etsy seller MommieMadeIt: "Custom Designed Sew-On Fabric Craft Labels".

Friday, October 9, 2009

Letter to Mickey Mouse







video
**Thanks for making this video, Nathan! Turn on sound to watch.**

Dear Mickey Mouse,

Yes, we are going to Disney World.
But DON'T expect ME to get sucked into that whole "Disney Magic" thing.

What?
Is that Prince Charming making my son an honorary prince?
Is Ian bravely protecting each princess at the castle breakfast with his sword?
And is he taking part in a real life Jedi training academy?
Are my children actually throwing pixie dust into the air in front of Cinderella's castle, making a wish with all their hearts?
Is Lilly letting Minnie Mouse hold her in her arms?
Are Woody and Buzz flexing muscles with my husband?

Maybe there is something to that "Disney Magic" stuff. I admit it now, Mickey--we're believers.

Thanks for a week we will remember forever (for a number of reasons)!

Your Pal and Fellow Mouseketeers,

Rebekah and Family

Monday, October 5, 2009

Conversations

**UPDATE: I passed!! Thanks for the well wishes, everyone. I passed the written test with flying colors (unexpected) then almost failed the driving portion (also unexpected). Nathan and I had a great laugh over the whole thing. Tip: always come to a complete stop when taking your driving test!**

Checking in last Saturday at the STL airport

American Airlines counter rep: Rebekah, why is your driver's license seven months expired?
Me: [speechless]
AA rep: [waiting, letting me sweat, making me think I'll be staying home from Disney World]
Me: [heart pounding] Sir, I honestly had NO idea.
AA rep: You can fly today, but . . .

Today, on the phone with MO DMV
Me: Hello. I was just shocked to learn my license is seven months expired. Will I be required to do/pay anything extra b/c of this?

wait for it...wait for it...

DMV: Yes ma'am. You'll have to re-take the written and driving tests.
Me: Any sympathy for a stay at home mom minivan driver with a near perfect driving record?
DMV: No ma'am.

Yikes.

So tomorrow, either my mom/dad or husband will have to chaperon my law breaking hiney to the DMV like I'm some kind of 15 year old kid getting her learner's permit.

I'd rather have braces again, or acne, or no date to Homecoming, than have to take this test.
I'm gonna fail.
I just know it.
And if I do, I might just invest in this:

Will the driving examiner take off points for old Cheerios and sippy cups strewn about his seat?

That's what I'LL be doing tomorrow. What will YOU be doing? And, does this stuff ever happen to anyone else but me?