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Pajamas

It seems like the only projects I finish these days are pajamas for Parker. It’s just always a need around here for some reason. Here are the latest with some fun knits I purchased from fabric.com. They are very light weight and perfect for summer!

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I have a few other things I want to post about but our Internet is currently kaput. This friendly post is coming to you via the WordPress app on my phone. :-) What did we do before the Internet??

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4 Months

Somewhere in the blur of travels and family visits, my baby turned FOUR months old. Weren’t you just born yesterday, kid? No? My is time flying. Nolan is giggling, almost sitting up, kicking and waving, trying to turn over, and cooing up a storm.

Not to be bragg-y or anything, but he is the best baby ever. And I’m not the only one who says so. Everyone is like — um, he is so chill! He is being so good! Is he always like this? To which my answer is, “YES!” He is just that good. Sleeps, eats, plays, smiles, giggles — hardly cries and is generally content to just do his own thing.

He gives the biggest smiles for me, daddy, Gigi, Aunt Leah, and Auntie Shell. He just lights up like a little firefly. He always puts his tongue on the roof of his mouth when he smiles his open-mouth smiles. It’s stinkin’ adorable.

And those chubby feet! Oh my. I nibble them pretty much all day. Wouldn’t you?

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Family Time

Last Sunday my parents arrived after a 2,000 mile drive in their motorhome. It’s quite the trek, but we’re always thankful when they make it! They “camped” in our driveway for five days which resulted in lots of snuggling between grandparents/grandbabies. Then, on Wednesday, my sister and her sweet daughter came to visit. It’s been a long time since we were all together like that so it was a very special time. There is nothing like seeing cousins playing and getting to know one another. They were so cute!

Gigi and Zoe splashing in Parker’s new pool.

Parker being very excited about his new water-spraying toy.

Papa would make waves in the pool by shaking it all around and yelling, “Earthquake!!!” 

Just chatting and splashing.

Zoe loved Baby “Nowan.” She was so sweet to him and loved to touch his fingers and toes saying, “Baby toes, baby fingers.”

What’s out this window? Ooh! It’s the motorhome!

“Goodnight!” 

On Saturday we all drove up to my cousin’s wedding in Wisconsin. It was quite an adventure with three little kids under 3 in the car and three adults. We were fairly jammed in, but the kids did well and it was worth it to see family that I haven’t seen since my own wedding six years ago.

My parents took off from the wedding to continue their motorhome-ing travels and my sister and I have spent the day together today. She just left with one of her good friends who also lives in Illinois. Now the house seems freakishly quiet after non-stop giggling and playing for the past week. Everyone will be missed — but since we’re family, I know we’ll all see each other again soon.

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On Doing Things For Yourself

I’m a people-person. And an introvert. Yeah. Figure that out. I’ve had a devil of a time trying to figure it out over the years.

You see. I hate being by myself. Ever. But I hate crowds. And really, I would just rather people come to me. Always. And I think way too much about everything. Including what I’m about to say, what I should have said, and darn it why in the world did I say that? It’s a complicated life being me.

Needless to say, I rarely do things for myself or by myself. I like doing stuff for other people and with other people. It’s just how I roll. But, if I don’t do things for myself occassionally I hit burn out. That’s something my husband has taught me. Even if I don’t want to be by myself, I need to do it.

So, what did he plan for Mother’s Day for me? To go out with a friend. By ourselves. Without kids. To Brunch. Everyone looked at us like we were aliens at the brunch place when we said we were moms. Hey guess what people, moms actually need to feel like non-moms sometimes. Even, or especially, on Mother’s Day. It was glorious to order a sticky bun and Eggs Benedict — and not have to share bites, feed a little one, or dash out of the restaurant to avoid a catastrophic meltdown. It was amazing. And then we went to a fabric store. Without dragging a small child through the aisles, attempting to keep him reigned in and the fabric/thread/notions where they belong on the shelves. Ah. So relaxing. (And fruitful too! I purchased a few new fabrics that I’ll be writing about soon!)

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My amazing meal at Olivia’s for Mother’s Day.

And then we got back to real life and I kind of forgot about myself again.
Until we were on a date on Friday night and Brian decided it was high time
for me to do some of the things that I’d been saying I wanted to do.

Like get my nose pierced.

And like getting an asymmetrical bob.
And putting some fun color (blue) in my hair.

It’s ridiculous, but I feel like a new person. And it’s really nice.
I could get used to a little “me” time when this is the end result!

(Side Note: Of course, my husband, being the entrepreneur that he is, plans on using these photos to get the hair salon to hire him for some promotional photo shoots. I think he’s pretty good at it, don’t you?)

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Carnival

Yeah, I’m definitely not talking about the crazy masquerade parties before Lent. Nope, Carnival around these parts just refers to the yearly celebrations that happen in our little downtown, filled with cotton candy, Ferris wheels, and Carousels. They always coincide with a little thing called “The Taste of (fill in the blank with your city name).” It’s a fun week where all the business in your town come out of the woodwork to give you a small taste of what they do best.

This year, we spent significantly more time at the carnival than in the past years. One little Gee is officially tall enough to ride the kiddie rides (He’s 43″ where 42″ is required, lucky dog getting to ride the rides while he is still so young!). And since he’s obsessed with Ferris wheels (where did he learn this term? I don’t even know where he gets this stuff sometimes!), it was a must to get some over-priced carnival tickets and get him on that wheel.

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Parker was thrilled!
We came straight from picking up Daddy from work, so he was a little gussied up for the event. 

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And of course, Nolan and I watched from the sidelines.
He loves the Baby Ergo carrier these days.
It was the perfect sunny, warm, but not hot day.
And since it was a week night, the hoards of insane junior highers were kept at bay. 

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And once Parker saw the Carousel, he had to have a ride.
It passed by a big blow-up Tiger and every time he would pass by he’d say “Raarrrrr!”
What is cuter than that? 

If I could pick one of my favorite parts about being a parent, it would have to be introducing your child to something really fun and nostalgic like riding the Ferris wheel or Carousel. He’s only going to have one first memory of those things, and we get to create those moments. It was a very special evening for all!

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Our Trip To Austin

So, yeah, things have been quiet around here lately, haven’t they? My apologies for not giving you any warning about that! We’ve been out of town for the past week — living it up in Austin, Texas.

Remember when I first met Beth of ThinkLiz? Well, it turns out what started as a blog friendship has turned into a really beautiful real-life friendship — not only for Beth and I, but also for our families. Jason and Brian get along swimmingly; Jude and Parker love each other to bits; and as couples we couldn’t be a better fit. We’ve got all the right things in common, with enough differences to keep things interesting. So, when Jason suggested we come down to Austin as a birthday gift to Beth, we were all for it!

The view of beautiful downtown Austin.

Easiest plane rides ever. Parker watched the iPad and Nolan slept and ate. So nice.

And, my oh my, what a wonderful trip it was. We ate, talked, ate, explored, ate, laughed, ate, watched the kids play, and ate some more. We had the most amazing food ever. Like, really, the best meals I’ve ever had in my life. And that’s coming from a foodie!

At Uchiko enjoying the best meal of my life. Words cannot describe.

On our date night, exploring more of downtown including the lake, the capitol building, eating at Second Bar and having drinks at Midnight Cowboy. 

The boys eating tacos at Torchy’s

The kids were ridiculously cute. Beth shared a few pictures here on her Toddler Tuesday post. It made for the most relaxing time for the parents. We could just sit and talk, uninterrupted for the most part, and just watch them play. It was such a nice break from the constant barrage of toddler neediness in my everyday life. Sigh. I can’t wait until Nolan is bigger so they can play like that!

The boys in front of the big fish painting outside of Chuy’s. 

And believe it or not, Texas is more than just desert. Or, at least Austin is! We really enjoyed the hill country, taking a hike overlooking the lake, and spending time in the many parks. I especially liked Zilker park, which had a train that ran through parts of it — something the little ones loved!

On the train in Zilker park.

What a wonderful, wonderful time. It’s been a little hard to be back, to be perfectly honest. And it’s not just the I’m-back-to-real-life-after-vacation feeling. We really love our friends in Austin and it’s sad to be so far apart. Especially for Parker. He keeps asking for Jude all day long. The trials of living in an age where we can make friends who live so far away! But, all in all, I’m so thankful for the internet since it introduced me to Beth and her family. We love you guys!

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Kids These Days

As much time as I spend cooking, gardening, sewing, organizing, cleaning, etc — I spend WAY more time just taking care of the kiddos. Sometimes it can feel like I don’t (or can’t) get anything productive done in a single day. That’s when I have to remind myself that I’m doing the most productive thing possible: raising the next generation.

It doesn’t feel like it’s important though, does it? I mean dirty diapers, snotty noses, saying “no”, jumping on the bed, breastfeeding the baby, forcing children to take naps — it all can seem so mundane. And exhausting. Especially at 5:30 in the morning. But it’s all part of the equation of parenthood. The mysterious, challenging, and amazing journey of creating a small life and nurturing it from the womb to the real world. Teaching them that independence is a wonderful thing as long as it is balanced with submission to authority. Teaching them that the world isn’t so scary when someone you trust is right beside you holding your hand. Teaching them that it’s okay to make mistakes as long as you learn and grow through them.

It’s important stuff you know, getting over the fear of getting peanut butter and jelly on your hands during lunch. It may seem small in the moment, but it tells such a bigger story. And it’s beautiful, even through the mundane.

So what profound things have my kids been doing these days?

Playing with a new-to-us marble run picked up from Goodwill.

Learning the alphabet, numbers, etc through playing games on the iPhone.

Discovering that hands are amazing, fascinating, and incredibly fun to chew on.

And learning to fall in love with your brother.

And you know, lots of other “exciting” stuff that I won’t picture here.
In fact, I won’t even describe some of the new things we’re learning.
I refuse to share potty-talk on facebook or on my blog.
Your welcome.

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Spring Garden

It’s that time of year again! It’s planting season. What I’m planting may look very different from yours depending on where you live. For us, it’s time to plant the “cold” weather vegetables — lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, asparagus, strawberries, carrots, etc. You see, we can still get a frost up until mid-May or so — that means no tomato planting until Memorial Day. So, for now, the cold weather veggies will have to do!

I made a trip a week or so ago to the fabulous Planter’s Palette to get my veggies this year. The only one I’m growing from seed is my carrots, the rest are from plants. I guess I’m just not much of a seed planter. I don’t have the space to grow things from seed indoors and planting actual plants in the ground seems to be so much more effective. They are still fairly cheap though, so I’m happy with my purchases.

My asparagus are on year 2, out of 3 I think.
The third year they start producing edible crops.
I can’t wait to eat you, my tender little asparagus.

My strawberries are coming back up from last year and I hope we actually get some fruit this year.
Last year varmits took all of my yummy berries.
Squirrels and raccoons be warned — I’m declaring war on you!
Any ideas on how to protect those delicious red berries?

And my chives and parsley have come back in heaps. Yum.
Please, come use some of it because I know there is way too much for just our family!

Sharing the raised bed with the asparagus are my carrots,
two different kinds of romaine lettuce
(the little ones came back from last year’s leftover seeds — who knew?),
broccoli, and red cabbage.

And let’s not forget my basil. Oh how I love my basil.
It’s not planted yet because it’s still a bit too cold.
But I couldn’t resist buying it now because it’s just too good!

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