Friday, June 24, 2011

Saturday, June 18, 2011


I've mentioned my wild dreams before. They are vivid and bizarre. And a lot of the time I remember them.

Last night I met the Queen. Yep, the actual Queen. My old boss didn't want to bother with meeting her, so he sent someone else who got nervous and botched the meeting. Then apparently it was my turn. The strange part, as if meeting the Queen in my dreams was not strange enough, was that I was a teenager. I had all these important things to discuss with her and she actually listened. Then later, I got the chance to talk to her again and she called me delightful. Go figure.

There was some more about a tacky redecorating job in what I can only assume was where I worked, but I don't really remember that part. And suddenly I was in a room with some of my other high school friends. Fitting since I was still a teenager, and we were hanging out with the fifth grade version of ourselves. Yep, we were all there in double--one aged 17 or so and one aged 11.

How do you switch from the Queen to yourself as a middle schooler? And where does all this come from? I have no idea. In the last 24 hours I have had nothing cross my path that even remotely resembles the Queen or me and my friends as kids. But I woke up feeling rested when G started jabbering away at 6:30 am.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Faux Hawk

G woke up this morning with a perfect faux hawk. It was awesome!

I think he likes it.

I fear it's time for a haircut. This makes me so sad. I don't want my baby to look like a boy yet. [pout, pout, pout] Since his birthday is next week, I am going to wait for the haircut until he's one. Then we'll trim that hair off his neck and around his ears. And I'm sure I'll say, "He's so cute. Why didn't we do this sooner?"

Disclaimer: This was totally natural. I did nothing to get his hair to look like this.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Pool Time

Last summer G was a newborn. Neither of us were very keen on the idea of putting on a swimsuit and hopping in the pool. But this summer, well, let's just say I've been looking forward to some pool time! I have great memories of taking swimming lessons in the summer and I can't wait for G to do the same. Of course, that will be in a few years, but we can start the fun now, right?

The first time we went he cried. It wasn't a "I'm freaked out by this" kind of cry, it was an "Um, this water is cold!" kind of cry. We waited a week of 90+ degree days and tried again. This time we had loads of fun!

G kicked and splashed and laughed and danced in the water. He loved his little raft. He does such a good job of keeping his sunglasses and hat on when we're out in the sun. I think he likes to be able to see when it's so bright, so he just leaves them alone.

We're going to make it a goal to go swimming at least once a week this summer. Yay for pool time!

Splashing Daddy!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


I got a sewing machine for Christmas a few years ago. I wanted to learn to sew things like pillow covers so I wouldn't have to buy them. It took me a little while to warm up and gain confidence, but pretty soon I started sewing stuff. One of my first projects was covering the cushions on my couch. What was I thinking doing that as a "beginner" project? Nothing beginner about it, especially since I didn't have a pattern or any idea what I was doing. It turned out OK--if you don't look too closely.

Anyway, I've made an ottoman cover, pillows, shams and curtains for a friend, burp cloths, a crib skirt for the nursery, some drawstring bags, and a few other things that I can't remember. Nothing that required any kind of real skill, just some straight line sewing.

Until lately.

I have been wanting to try my hand at sewing clothes for a while. But I'm scared. Clothes require skills and knowledge of sewing terms and patterns. Eekk! But then I stumbled across this blog and suddenly sewing clothes seemed much less intimidating. Clothes aren't scary. We wear them everyday.

So I decided to try something easy. Adam had just cleaned out one of his t-shirt (yes, I said one, there are at least three t-shirt drawers for him) and I had some old, white undershirts that were stained but not holey just lying around. I had seen this picture on pinterest and thought it would be fun for summer.

The link on the picture led me here. Hmmm...tutorial for a little girl's dress. Not quite what I was looking for, but I decided I could use the same concept just bigger. Plus, I was using a shirt destined for the rag bag, so if it didn't work, I wasn't really out anything.

First I laid the shirt out on the table and used another shirt of mine to give me an idea on size. I chose this shirt because I like the way it fits--not too tight, not too baggy. Then I added some to allow for a seam. In the tutorial she just draws with a marker (probably a fabric marker, but who really has one of those lying around? Not me!) right on the shirt. I busted out my trusty washable crayola markers and went to town.

I used a tank top as a pattern for the arm holes, but I didn't take a picture of that. Once things were drawn onto the shirt, I started cutting. I only drew half so I could just fold it over and cut out the other side. That left me with a front piece and a back piece that were exactly alike. Easy Peasy.

After I had everything cut out I just followed the tutorial step by step sewing the arm holes, then gathering the neck (I learned how to make something gathered!), and adding the colored yoke. This is where I deviated from the tutorial. I cut the bottom off another t-shirt so I had two strips of fabric. I sewed them together to make one long strip. Then instead of doing all the pressing under so you get nice finished edges, I just pressed my strip in half and left the edges raw. It's knit, it won't fray. I didn't have any blue thread so I used lime green and opted to sew two lines to make it more decorative. Look at me going rouge!

And instead of sewing the whole length of the tie, I just left it raw too. I decided it would be too bulky otherwise.

I've worn my new shirt a couple of times already and I really like it. I think I may make another one. Or two.

And the best part of this project was that I could finish it in G's naptime.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Earn Your Keep

We have a massive yard. You may think I'm exaggerating, but I'm not. Our front yard is the size of most people's back yards. Our back yard is the size of a lot of homes' front and back combined. And our side yard is the size of our whole lot without the house. It's a lot of lawn. When Adam uses our push mower it takes about four hours to do the whole thing. Yikes! So usually we try to find a good samaritan who will let us borrow a riding mower. Then it only takes an hour. Whew!

Since G is getting older, we thought it was time for him to start earning his keep. He needs to learn some responsibility and work ethic. Chores are good for kids, right? So Adam taught him how to mow. This will free up some time for Adam to do other things during the summer.

Look Mom, I can do it by myself!
Ok, obviously G is not really mowing. Someday he will and I'll be so happy that he's helping out, but secretly sad that he's old enough to run motorized equipment. Until then he'll just watch Daddy mow and sometimes get to ride on his lap. 

I love my guys!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Yellow Food

Can you tell which of these is squash and which is peaches?

I couldn't either. That's why G had a medley of peas and peaches for lunch yesterday. Guess I should actually label my containers.

On a good note, I tasted it before I fed it to him and it wasn't that bad. On a bad note, he did gag twice by the end of the dish.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Now that it's summer we decided it was necessary to introduce G to the park. We probably should have taken him sooner, but he doesn't know the difference at this point. And since he can't walk, it's not like is going to get any jungle gym action anyway.

The swings were the main attraction, but when we pulled up, there were three teenagers hogging them. Yes, three teenagers hogging the TWO baby swings. Or what I thought were baby swings. Annoying. But we decided to wait it out and see if they would leave on their own.

G wore his sunglasses to the park. He's so cool!

After all that fun, the teenagers were still using the swings. Adam finally went over and asked them to move to the grown up swings after a little prodding from this mama bear. Then, hello embarrassment, we realized that the park where we were was outfitted with handicapped swings, not baby swings. Oops! They look like swinging chairs, kind of, and for a larger kid who has a disability, they would be perfect. For my little guy, on the other hand, not so perfect. He would fall right out. Bummer.

That was the end of our park fun for a while, but just last week we tried again. New park. Baby swings. Yahoo! Here's how it went:

"I know, I look good in shades."
"Mom, I'm really not sure this is fun."
Needless to say, G does NOT like the swings. By the time it was over he had kicked off a shoe and ditched his sunglasses. Every time we tried to put him in, he just started crying and scrunched his feet up. He didn't mind it so much when I was holding him, though.

Then we took a swing nap. Ha ha.

Maybe he'll like the park more when he can walk.

And one last picture. He is definitely my son. Look at us both bossing Dad around.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Boxing Match

A couple weeks ago we cleaned out our garage. It was terrible. What is it about winter that makes garages total disaster areas? I'm hoping to have a garage sale in the next few weeks [fingers crossed it will happen] and we had to get ourselves organized before it can even be a possibility.

In the process, though, I realized I have a sickness. It's an I-can't-throw-away-a-good-box-phobia. We had a MOUNTAIN of empty boxes. Granted, some of them got set out to go with the trash and Adam just threw them up on the pile instead, so those were easy to throw out. But for some reason, I just can't bring myself to pitch a box that's in good shape, has handles, or could potentially house a present at some point in the future. I think I got this sickness from my mom. She has boxes full of boxes in her basement. I bet she got it from her mom too. Actually, I can guarantee she got it from her mom. It's true, we all become our mothers.

This is the trash pile. It may seem like a lot until you see the keep pile. It's a sickness, I'm telling you!

And the keep pile. At least it's organized now. I actually got rid of a few more after I took this picture. Plus, I "nested" them inside each other so they're much more compact.

Look at me justifying my box sickness! Pathetic. But if you ever need to wrap a present and can't find the right sized box, you can remember my stash in the garage and wish you had kept some yourself.

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Home pictures

I decided I needed to do a better job of taking pictures while we were visiting my parents. So this time I tried to make a more conscious effort to take my camera with me. Most of these were taken on the same day since it was windy and rainy while we were there. I decided that the spring green and blue sky were so vibrant that day, it doesn't really matter if they were all taken at once. And just in case anyone was wondering, these are all straight out of the camera...all the color editing was done by God in nature.

This is the backyard. 
Sometimes dirt roads just keep going...
and going...and going...with no people in sight.
The clouds were awesome!

No post about the ranch would be complete without some windmill shots. And yes, I have drunk water from a windmill just like this. 

This is what we do after a long day...
Watch TV with Papa while...
Mom and Dad go see their first 3D movie! Cool glasses, huh!?
Everyone had so much fun on the trip to St. Francis, I guess we better go back!

Meanwhile Back at the Ranch...

Contrary to popular belief, northwest Kansas isn't all bad. After days of horrible wind and chilly temps, we finally had a gorgeous day. It was way past time for G to experience ranch life with his Papa.

Prior to the hail storm, the wind died down enough for G and I to go on the evening "check" with my parents. They take the pick-up out through the pasture every day during calving season to check if there are new babies.

I thought G might like watching the calves and see the cows up close, so we tagged along.

Since we were in the pasture he got to ride in the truck sans carseat and, of course, was way more enthralled with the radio buttons and steering wheel than he was with the cows and calves. We did happen upon a mama and her baby that were hanging out by themselves. The calf appeared to be groggy from a late afternoon nap in the sun and he let my dad with G in tow rub his soft forehead. Calves never do that, so it was fun that he let G, with Papa's help, pet him. Unfortunately I didn't take my camera so we have zero documentation of this milestone, but it's in my memory so that will have to suffice. Sadly, the calf was groggy for another reason entirely and ended up going to that "Great Pasture in the Sky" the next day. That's ranch life for you.

But on to happier tractor rides! The morning after the big storm dawned sunny and perfect, so we all put on our shoes and headed outside. Papa decided it was time for G to learn to drive the tractor so he could pull his weight.
Things to note:
1. Look how cute they look with their caps on.
2. G is wearing a Jordan shirt and sweats. Not really ranch attire.
3. Yes, he's also wearing sandals. The kid can't walk yet. Shoes and socks are a hassle. 

G got so good at driving that Papa thought he could start giving bucket rides. 

Wave at the drivers!

After a while G took a break from learning to drive the tractor so he could take some pictures. 

Check out my mom's sweet (i.e. dorky) leather visor.
Then it was time to look at some calves. They're so cute.

And then it was nap time. What a great day at the ranch.