Tuesday, November 8, 2011

We're walkin', yes indeed...

...and we're talkin', just you and me!

That's the theme of our week it seems. After finally taking his first two steps on the day he turned 16 months, Graham has officially entered the world of the walkers. Of course, he's not exclusively walking yet, but we're getting there.

I think he's been feeling a little peer pressure. Or not. I guess he's been the only non-walker in the "Walkers" class at church for a couple months now. And when he sees his friends on two legs, he has been known to push them down. I guess if he's not walking, they can't either. That, or my son is the neighborhood bully. So, maybe it isn't peer pressure.

To be honest I think he's stubborn. I think he's just wanted to do it on his own schedule when no one was really paying attention. Last night he just stood up and walked across the room a few times without being begged by Adam or I to "walk to me." And the big show was this morning when he found his little volleyball (let's pretend it's a soccer ball for all practical purposes) and decided it was time he started practicing his kicking/dribbling skills. What? Who is this kid?

I'm afraid I'm in for a big shock once he starts to run because I have this sinking feeling he's going to be running away from me quite a bit. I was the sneaky kid who ran away in stores or hid in the center of the clothing rack. This will probably be payback time. Great.

He's just so darn cute though. And I can't wait to hold his hand while we walk places. Sweet......

As far as talking goes, he says "daddy" all the time. On a good day he'll tell me what a monkey, lion, puppy dog, and owl say, but that's about it. I guess we did get him to repeat the word ball last night and he may have said "night-night" a couple of times, but it's hard to tell. He's quite the conversationalist and loves to yell at the TV during football games. Hmm, I wonder where he learned that? Right now, though, I just like his babbling. Especially when he whispers.

Life is changing quick around here. Sometimes it's hard to keep up!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Big Boy

Here's a cute pic of G-man with my parents when we were camping this summer. I know my dad's eyes are closed, but G's expression is so sneaky I couldn't resist. I just wonder what he's thinking sometimes. Plus, who doesn't want to see a little boy in overalls?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Pack It Up

I had such high hopes to keep up with the blog. Then this happened:

We bought a house! 

So my extra time has been spent cleaning, painting, packing and moving. No blogging on that list. 


Monday, September 5, 2011

Make Something Monday: Freezer Paper T-Shirts

I'd love to be consistent enough in my projects to keep up a weekly post about them. Of course, there is more to my life than just bringing my ideas to completion, so I'm not going to commit. I do have a few things in the coffer, (yep, I just used the word coffer) so we'll keep it up for a little while.

My niece just turned six. She's in first grade and has more toys than a lot of kids dream of having. For her birthday I wanted to give her something fun that she could wear to school.

I've been experimenting with fabric paint this summer, which I know sounds kind of scary. I was a little nervous at first too. My last venture into fabric paint was 1985 and I was decorating a pair of Keds. Ok, maybe that's an exaggeration, but it was the 80's and puffy paint t-shirts were sort-of popular. (I'll admit, I wore one of my t-shirt paint creations as a PE shirt for part of middle school. There may or may not have been a teddy bear on it.) But the fabric paint I've been using is nothing like that. I guess it's the same stuff, but the way I'm using it is VERY different. There is a technique of making fabric stencils using freezer paper. (There's a great tutorial here.) So far I've made Graham a shirt for watching the Dallas Cowboys and shirt for watching the Denver Broncos.

It's a really easy project, and I'm kind of addicted. I decided to give my niece something with a graphic picture and maybe add a little fabric for something different. Ohh, look at me trying something new! I picked an owl since they are popular right now and planned for my little owl friend to perch on a pretty, little branch.

There were a few flaws in the stencil, but it adds to the charm, right? Plus, even stuff you buy at the store isn't perfect all the time. I did sew around the edge of the branch to make it look a little more professional. I really like how it turned out.

Who needs just one shirt? Certainly not a stylish little girl! So I made her another one. I saw this pillow on pinterest and thought it was cute.

I drew a few little birdies and cut them out as a pattern, ironed on my Wonder-Under, and soon I had a happy little flock. I stitched a wire perch for them and debated sewing around each one, but in the end I opted to leave them as they were. The little birds would have been more secure through washing and drying if I had stitched around them, but my sewing skills aren't that great. And after sewing the branch on the other shirt, I wasn't willing to tackle 12 tiny birds. The final product is pretty adorable, if you ask me.

It's been fun working on a few projects here and there. I love being able to share them with others, and it's fun to make things for a little girl.

So...it's Monday, go make something!

Thursday, September 1, 2011


G followed a ball into the space between our cabinets and stove. Then he got stuck.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Sinful Man

Here's a snapshot of this morning:

I'm sitting at the table eating cinnamon LIFE and checking my email. Graham is playing on the floor by the TV. He has a stack of DVD's there that I let him look at and re-stack. Behind our TV is a tall, potted plant that I use to mask (sort-of) the jumble of cords. G is NOT allowed to mess with the plant.

1. I hear Graham banging on the metal planter.
2. I peek over the edge of the table to see him stick his hand in the dirt.
3. I say, "Graham! NO SIR!" loudly.
4. He is startled and jumps.
5. He starts digging faster because he knows I'm coming to get him.

Anyone who says one year olds are too young to discipline are sorely mistaken! G-man knows exactly when he's doing something he's been told not to do. Sometimes it's so frustrating to correct the same behavior over and over and over.  Sometimes it's just hilarious how he tries to get his plant digging in really fast before I can stop him. I know we're just at the tip of the iceberg in discipline and I'm not looking forward to tackling the bigger issues. I'd be happy to stick with "no touching the DVD buttons" and "we don't play with the trash can," but we've already ventured into "we never hit Mommy" territory.

It's amazing how kids just know how to be deceptive or manipulative or selfish or aggressive without being taught. It's just part of our human wiring. And I know there are a lot of people out there who would disagree and say that kids aren't the problem, we're the ones who taint their perfection. I wish that were true, but sadly, it's not. And that's why I look forward to the day when this broken world will be made right and there will be no need for discipline. Until then, though, I'll just do my best to teach Graham to be kind and gentle and gracious. And to keep his hands out of the plants!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Little Trip

We took a vacation. It was wonderful. I literally took two pictures. I'm horrible at documenting things. After a couple of days with no pics, I decided I didn't want to mess with the camera. Instead I just enjoyed food, conversation, and time with family. It was worth it. Sorry. No one gets to tag along on this trip.

Let me just say that the mountains are my favorite. Followed closely by mountain towns. And vast valleys surrounded by mountains.

Also, I can say I have been in South Park. Yep, the place where all those crude little cartoon kids live.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Call Me G-Money

My son is kind of skinny. We have a hard time finding pants that aren't huge in the waist. In fact, after buying three different swim suits, I finally had to sew a makeshift casing into the waistband of one and add a drawstring. Poor kid, pants just fall off him.

I like to think he's practicing for a future as a rap artist.

Introducing G-Money.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Dressing Myself

I made myself another piece of clothing. Actually I made this one first, but didn't totally finish it until last week. I'm a slacker sometimes. But back to the subject. I made myself a summer dress. Although it sounds like an ambitious project, it was really pretty easy.

I have realized that I sew like I cook, without a recipe. My mom is just the opposite in sewing and cooking. I know now that's why we always fought in the kitchen. She wanted me to do things a certain way and I liked to wing it. That's also why, I think, I had zero interest when she tried to teach me to sew. There was too much terminology and too many instructions.

I visited one sewing class in 4-H too. (Yes, I was in 4-H. Yes, I was in 4-H for 10 years. I have a very nice pen and pencil set to prove it.) I didn't like it. There was a lot of pressure. We practiced sewing straight lines on a piece of paper. Then someone checked our stitching. Once you were deemed proficient enough on the paper, you could start sewing a project, usually a draw-string laundry bag. Seams were checked for uniformity, and then ripped out and done again. Blech. Of course, those girls are probably sewing up all sorts of fabulous things now and I'm still just learning. And some people do well in that kind of environment, but I sometimes like a little more freedom.

And freedom it was as I made my first dress. And by made I mean, MADE, as in, made the pattern and sewed it up. It wasn't as hard as it sounds, but I'm still really proud of myself.

Let's start at the beginning. I found some fabric at the thrift store for $0.75. It was, in the words of my friend, "the ugliest fabric I've ever seen," but for some reason I just really liked it. There was something about the color combination that I loved. I bought it. I brought it home and looked at it a lot trying to decide what to make. Finally I landed on a summer dress. I had a vision in my mind of what it would look like, so I headed off to find a pattern. No luck. Pattern makers really need to update their inventory. It was settled then, I was going to attempt to make my own pattern.

First I gathered some supplies. Brown paper (That kept rolling up. Annoying. So I weighted the corners with magazines.) A pencil and a cutting mat to use for straight edges. 
I took my measurements to ensure a good fit and then added a few inches to allow for seams and so the dress was kind of loose. I was going to add elastic to the top and I wanted it to gather up some.

After drawing and cutting out my pattern, I laid out my fabric. Eek! This was where I started to get nervous.

I pinned on the pattern and it was time to cut! No turning back now!

This is where I stopped taking pictures. Lame-o. But here's the run down of what I did to create the finished, and wearable I might add, product. After cutting out the pattern I had an identical front and back. First I stitched up both sides. Then I folded down a casing at the top for the elastic. I measured the elastic around myself and threaded it through the casing. I pinned the elastic and tried it on. Too big. Why does elastic always end up being a little big? I don't get it. Anyway, I adjusted the elastic and stitched it all up. I planned to tie a sash around the dress as a belt so the top would be "blousey." Messing with a sash to ensure even "blousey-ness" can be annoying so I decided to add some elastic to the waist too. No casing here because I already started the project. Uh-oh! Not to worry, a few online tutorials later, I was stitching thin elastic directly to the dress. And it worked! Ok, I did have to rip it out once because, again, it was too big. Seriously, how does that happen?

At this point I had a strapless A-line dress that was totally wearable. I wore it to a picnic with a black sash and found myself nervous that it was slipping down the whole night. Plus, I hadn't hemmed it at all and it was an unflattering length. (I made sure the bottom edge was the selvage, so it wasn't a totally raw edge.)

The dress was cute but needed straps. So I added some. And found some fabric to make a turquoise sash, which I liked much better. Then, after putting it off and putting it off, I finally did the hem. It's hard to hem a dress by yourself. Lots of pinning and trying on involved.

Finally the dress was finished and ready to wear for a date night with Adam. Of course, we had to stop by a friend's house on the way to dinner so she could take some pictures for the blog. Ha ha! (She's painting her dining room that awesome shade of blue, so that's why there's paper taped on the floor. Also don't mind that I'm standing so awkwardly.)

I love how it turned out. It's comfortable to wear and super fun for summer. Plus the cost of the whole thing was less than $5.00!

Monday, July 18, 2011


We've had two more milestones since G's birthday.

First, Graham was dedicated. Adam and I committed to raise him in such a way that he would know how much Jesus loves him. It was really special. I'm so proud to be able to build our family on a Christian heritage.

The other major milestone was The First Haircut! This boy needed a trim. His hair was getting so long. I was adamant about waiting until he was one just because I know how much that first haircut turns a baby into a boy.
I could actually put it in a ponytail. Of course, I didn't, but I could.

We cut so much off!
Yes, I just posted a picture of my son's snipped locks. And yes, I do have them in an envelope to save forever.

Now isn't this boy just so handsome?

And one last pic with the hairdresser.

It's happening. My baby is turning into a boy. It makes me a little sad because he is so sweet as a baby. But he's also just really fun right now. He is starting to throw a ball, he stacks his blocks into a tower that he then destroys, he giggles when anyone sneezes, and he "dances" when he hears music. I love his little personality. So, yeah, my baby is becoming a boy, and I'm OK with it. Let the boy adventure begin! 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The First Birthday--the party

Being the crazy mama that I am, I planned two parties. Friday night, on G's actual birthday, we had a potluck cookout with our small group friends, namely G's little baby buddies. Four of us in the group had babies last summer and G kicked off the birthday bashes. EL is next, followed by EH, and J rounds us out. So fun that the babies even have friends!

Anyway, Friday was the friend party and Saturday was a cookout with the extended family. We had a great time. Saturday was just too hot, so after we ate and G smashed his cake, we moved everything indoors. Oh, and it was so hot that the balloon arch wilted away one popped balloon at a time. When it's hot enough to pop balloons, it's time to come in.

First, the friends:
The grown-ups had fun eating and talking and playing some games.

Then it was the kids' turn to have fun.

The only little lady.

My kid is so much like his father. He hardly got messy. He's such a "clean" eater--no face plants, no hair smearing--just fingers to mouth. We finally took it away when he just started clearing off the tray using his sweeper move. When he's done with something, he wants the mess gone!

This was our valiant attempt to get all the babies to look at the same time.

and they're out...
Finally G and his buddy J made a run for it. 

Then the family:
This party was in the middle of the day. The set-up was the same, the food was basically the same except  my mom and I made it all (burgers, potato salad, ramen noodle cabbage salad, baked beans, watermelon, strawberry lemonade), the cake was the same. It was just a lot hotter and there were more people. Still lots of fun, but G was pretty partied out by the end of the day.

I'm telling you, the kid is a "clean" eater. Cake destroyed, no mess on little man. No post-cake bath for this boy. Just a little rinse off in the baby pool and we were good to go. He definitely played more and ate less the second time around. That's ok. He doesn't need the sugar or the excessive amounts of food coloring anyway.

By the time we got to presents G was starting to run out of steam.

G's last present was a wagon. Who can resist two little boys in a wagon? But G was done. It was naptime. And his cousin J thought it was super fun to grab the sides and rock the whole thing back and forth. G was not down with that action.
"Hey man, quit rockin' the boat!"
All in all it was great birthday. I can't believe my baby is a year old!