Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas Recap

Our Christmas was nice and chill. The kids woke up, opened gifts, we had some cinnamon rolls for breakfast and then headed off to the in-laws. Then it was to my parent's house. The kids were spoiled rotten.

This pretty much sums up Christmas day, haha. Excitement! Missing teeth! Mess! Toys! A lot of yelling!

The highlight for me was probably when Alice Mae opened up her crocheted hat and fox cowl and say 'ohhhh, thank you Mommy!'. I loved that she instantly knew it was from me. <3 Same with her little cooking kit I put together for her (pink apron with a bear face drawn on, pink whisk, fun green spatulas, painted wooden spoons!). Made my heart melt.

The kids got, among a zillion other things, scooters, a drum set, a guitar and they each got a wooden treasure box full of craft supplies. I'm pretty psyched to decorate those treasure boxes. I have a few ideas rolling around.
And husband finally got to see his blanket! I love it so much. This is the best photo I have of it just now but those colors are so pretty. So much green.

And so it's over for another year. I'm feeling a little blue after the Christmas season, as always. The house seems so dark after all the sparkly lights. But I look forward to next year! Maybe we'll even be expecting another little one, if all goes to plan in 2015. This is my prayer and greatest wish, at least.

Happy almost New Year! Many blessings.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014


I love the holidays and I love traditions. Some of my favorite memories from childhood are of our family traditions and now that we have a little family of our own it's lovely to create new ones and bring back some old ones.

Our holiday fun usually starts right after the first born's birthday. We wait until after his party and then I start throwing up some Christmas decorations. The tree goes up after Thanksgiving but anything else is fair game! No shame in my Christmas game.

Some of our traditions!

We decorate the tree together every year. Our ornaments are made up of plastic balls that the kids can't break and family ornaments, some of them passed down from woman to woman in my family. The white icicles are from my grandma as well as some turtle doves and little mice from Germany.

One of my favorite traditions is making a new ornament for each kid every year and one for each other. Peter makes mine, I make his. His is actually in the oven baking right now. He's getting a salt dough gingerbread man that the kids are painting as the Flash. Cool, right?


The kids this year with their ornaments. Ollie got a Mario mushroom (due to his new obsession with Mario) and Al asked me for a hippo. She named him Elvis, haha!

Another ornament tradition- Every year we take a plastic ball and write the date and a bunch of family things that happened. This year- Ollie graduated Kindergarten! We adopted Melody. We bought The Fish of Boe. Etc. I love looking at them every year.
We do a little calendar countdown every year and also an advent calendar with a piece of chocolate for each kid, which is a big hit for obvious reasons. Christmas Eve is a Big Deal. We have new PJs, a new book, hot chocolate and a movie. We decorate cookies for Santa and make reindeer food and open 1 gift each and then we read Twas The Night Before Christmas. Christmas Eve is totally tied for awesomeness. But I am SO PUMPED for Christmas tomorrow.
And now I have that tradition song from Fiddler on the Roof stuck in my head! Haha.
Merry Christmas, cupcakes. Have a happy one.

Monday, December 22, 2014

It's Yule Y'all! AND CHRISTMAS!!!

First off- Happy Yule! We lit our Yule candle yesterday and it was very warm and festive and did my little pagan heart good. I welcome the coming of the Sun and longer days.

Christmas is just a few days away!!!! Only 3 more sleeps! I feel totally overwhelmed with happy emotions this Christmas and I'm just over the moon. I think I'm more giddy than the kids.

We've had some fun Christmassy fun. Lights, husband's birthday, gingerbread houses, tree decorating, etc.

Ollie made up this thing called Santa Club. He drew invitations and everything. <3 He told me 'Santa Club definitely has cookies' and then looked at me so hopefully, haha. So while they napped that Sunday I made some peanut butter cookies and hot chocolate and when they woke up we had Santa Club! Hot chocolate in pretty cups, which Alice LOVED, with candy canes to melt into them, cookies and a fun candy cane craft.

We enjoyed another Santa Club meeting yesterday where we decorated our gingerbread houses. Okay, so I ran out of gingerbread mix and one of them is a sugar cookie house. It still works! (Tip- if you make sugar cookie houses, let your cookies cook a little longer, like 2 minutes, so they are more crispy than soft and cookie-ish. It'll stay together better that way and not crumble.)

And right after we finished, Ollie's front tooth came out! I don't think there's anything cuter than a kid missing a front teeth. Except maybe a kid missing 2 front teeth.

We saw some amaaaazing lights at a park. Totally worth the 15 bucks per car. I cried because it was so pretty. It will definitely become a yearly tradition to go there. Is it just me or are Christmas lights the pretties things ever? They instantly spark a happy little fire in my heart. Even just seeing the lights on my own tree or some little lights in a neighbors bushes.
And of course we saw Santa! It was THE CUTEST THING EVER. This Santa was amazing. I'm convinced he's the real deal. We met the real Santa. The line was long so he'd occasionally pop around the corner to play peek-a-boo with the kids and Alice saw him and walked right up to him for a hug. Bless her.
The best part was when Santa asked Ollie what he wanted for Christmas and Ollie said 'I just want a bell from one of your reindeer's collar'. They finished up talking with Santa and walked away and a second later Santa called Ollie back and handed him a sparkly green bell. 'This just fell off of Rudolph's harness this morning! Can you believe that? And you're the first child to ask for it. Merry Christmas, Oliver.' Oh, my heart. It grew 3 sizes. Big fat tears in my eyes. Ollie treasures that bell. I heard Santa saying to one of his helpers after 'you remember that toy that lost its bell today, well that little boy just asked me for a bell'. I wrote him a little note and left it there for him thanking him for making Christmas so magical for my kiddo. This is one of those things I'll remember forever.
What a merry Christmas it already is! I can't wait for Christmas eve, to do hot cocoa and a movie and new PJs and read a new Christmas book. Our Christmas Eve tradition is always to decorate cookies that day and leave a few out for Santa (and some carrots for the reindeer!) and we make reindeer food to sprinkle out in the yard. We read 'Twas the Night Before Christmas before bed and the kids camp out together in Alice's room. And then we magic the toys under the tree. :)
I love Christmas! My favorite time of the year. Blessings to you and yours. May your heart be full of nothing but love this season and always. Blessed be. xoxo

Friday, November 21, 2014

Let's Be Thankful

What am I thankful for. I'm going for it rapid fire. Off the top of my head. The first 10 that pop in there.

1. Literature- I am so blessed to have had a Dad that worked with me to help me be a great reader. I did not have an easy start at reading and he worked with me in our kitchen every night until I could do it all on my own. I've been hooked my whole life. Seeing my son at a point in his life now where he can enjoy to read on his own is amazing. It's

2. My Dog- All of my pets are lovely, but Mattie has my heart. We're soul mates. Eleven years together. You can't touch that. She has been my best friend through every big life event since I was 16. I love her.

3. Alice Mae- Our spit fire. She makes us braver. She is as sweet and down home as it gets but she is fire and sass and confidence. She twirls the day away. We're wrapped around her little fingers. She is HILARIOUS, gorgeous to boot, loves to bake with me, is the most amazing little life cheerleader. Anything you do, she is urging you forward. She's a freaking angel.

4. Oliver- He is the most beautiful, sensitive soul. He makes friends so easily. He loves to talk. He loves animals. He's adventurous. He reminds me to be kind, to use a gentle voice in life because that's what he needs. He's gorgeous, he's so smart, he's so bad at telling jokes and it just makes it that much funnier, he's my blue sky boy.

5. Netflix- I mean... do I need to say why? I'm a stay at home mom. God bless you, Netflix.

6. Feminism- Again, do I need to say why?

7. Food- I didn't grow up well off. I grew up dirt poor. In the beginning of adulthood it was often that I cried from hunger. I am never without gratitude that I have food right at my fingertips.

8. Crochet- This is a life skill and a coping skill for me. My anxiety is pretty nuts and crocheting gives me something to focus on whenever I need it. Plus, it's pretty. I can make cool stuff for people. It's awfully nifty.

9. Newfound Self Worth- It took me many many years to feel comfortable just being me. I'm a stay at home mom who likes to wear her robe all day. I suck at keeping things tidy, I like to sit on my butt and crochet, I bake a lot, I have frequent dance parties with my kids, I'm totally into PDA with my husband. My life revolves around my husband and kids and that is by choice. When I rebelled against that, wanting to not be 'that woman' or whatever, I was miserable. I'm so happy in the past year. Even through the pain of infertility, I am so much happier now that I don't give a shit and I just let myself love what I love and live how I feel best.

10. Husband- I saved the best for last. Husband is my rock. He's my soft place to land. He's my quiet. We are so good together, such a perfect match. My life didn't have to turn out like this. I got knocked up young, we barely knew each other. I could have been one of those really sad stories on 16 and Pregnant. But somehow we made it. Almost a decade! We love each other so much. It has not been easy. But we have fought for each other. He's amazing. I'm thankful every second of every day.

That was so easy. I'm a blessed woman to be able to take 15 minutes and write out paragraphs of reasons why I'm thankful. Have an amazing, blessed, happy day wherever you are.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Halloween and a Birthday!

I have been really super down in the dumps. Just not capable of thinking out a blog post that wasn't me whining for pages. So I kept my fingers busy crocheting instead of typing. But I wanted to document Halloween and our first born's birthday so I'm back at it!

Halloween is one of our favorite holidays. Halloween and Thanksgiving are tied for 2nd for me, with Christmas being #1 all day every day. I looooove Christmas. I'm one of those annoying people who start decorating in early November. See, I call it 'the Holidays' to give myself an excuse. I'm decorating for 'the Holidays', y'all! It's okay to have Christmas lights going up because there are also apples in a basket on the table and Thanksgiving-y things around.

The kids chose their costumes around September and luckily they were super easy to make and doable. Miss Thing wanted to be a ghost (ooooooh, she said) and the first born wanted to be a skeleton pirate, which I thought was super cool. So I did it! And it came out really awesome!

Al's costume was just a yard of white fleece (2.99, so cheap!) that I cut a whole in the middle of. Boom. A poncho. Smack on some black felt and it's a ghost! Could not be easier. We even dressed up Bun Bun as a ghost.

Ollie's was black pants and a black shirt and I used white duct tape to make the bones. I safety pinned an octopus to his shoulder, made him a skull mask out of the tape, bought him some pirate accessories and used some red cloth I had laying around to make him a sash and bandana. Again, this was easy and fast and came together really well. I loved it. My favorite costume of his ever, for sure. We dressed up Hot Dog the 1st grade class pet as a pirate too!

We took the kids to the art museum's Halloween party as our big Halloween outing and it was a huge hit. Such a cool place, so many craft stations and games. We loved it. Definitely going back again and again.



As the night went on the more Ollie's pirate stuff started to come off, haha.
It was fun times! We love Halloween.
We love it so much that Ollie decided he wanted a Halloween birthday party! His birthday is on Thursday but we celebrated on Sunday. I have very few photos of the event, I was a busy bee! But here are some tidbits.

We had spoooooky food and a spooooooky cake. Ollie had this cake planned for months. It was fun to make. He has been saying since last year that he wanted a cookie cake for his birthday so the base is all chocolate chip cookie, chocolate buttercream frosting on top, cookie tombstones, meringue cookie ghosts and a cookie fence. All cookie all the time.

He gets his enthusiasm from his Daddy, haha. He isn't much for being the center of attention so having a dozen people sing Happy Birthday to him is embarrassing for his poor little soul.
I have managed to keep it together this whole time and not cry about him turning 7. It's still nuts to me though. Seven years! How did that happen? Time really does go by so fast. In a blink. Sigh.
We're taking him out for a movie (Big Hero 6!) and dinner on Thursday for his actual birthday. And I know, I just know, that I will cry big sappy embarrassing Mom tears then. But he's my baby boy and I get to.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Practicing Gratitude- Blue Sky Boy

Today is a good day to be grateful. It all started very chaotically so I'm going to zoom in on my blue sky boy. Oliver. The first born.

He made me a mama. A very unexpected, flawed, young mama. But he also made me more patient, more kind and compassionate, happier, more full.

He loves music. Since he was a baby he has been singing. He loves dinosaurs, superheroes, the color blue, his sister, playing outside, the beach, his pets. He's so sensitive to everything and it is the best thing about him. He wears his heart on his sleeve. I worry for him, when he's older and I can't protect him. Already the world is showing him her sharper edges, but he rolls with the punches. He isn't afraid to cry it out.

He's what I named my Etsy store after. His favorite color is blue and his nickname is Buddy. Blue Buddy!

We play in the rain together. We sing. We dance. He loves to learn how to bake. He loves to go for walks and do science experiments. He is gentle and kind, even to people who are mean to him.

Life is better because he exists.


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

September Reads

September is over. How nuts is that. It seems like this year has gone exceptionally fast. October is the start of my favorite part of the year though! I am particularly fond of the cold but I love the holidays. Halloween through New Year, including the birthdays of both my boys mixed in there. I'll post soon about how we're decorating for Halloween and what the kids will be wearing. For now, I'm going to look back on September and what we've read.

Starting with me first. I didn't read as much as I wanted to this month. I've been mostly crocheting, cross stitching and napping. Hopefully October will be more book filled.

I read this series as a teenager and when I found the 3rd and 4th books in my local 2nd and Charles for 2 bucks I decided to reread them. I really enjoyed this as a kid but I found they fell a little flat for me now that I'm all grown up. Bummer. I still think they're worth reading. They would be a great choice for parents looking for non-stereotypical princess books for their kids. Calling on Dragons is the 3rd book in the Enchanted Forest Chronicles and I have to say, it has been my favorite so far. Full of wizards, a flying blue donkey, wit and humor, flaming hair and a butt kicking female heroine, it's a great easy read for the grown ups and a fun adventure for the younger crowd. I'm reading the 4th now (and enjoying it even more than this one!) and after I'm done these books will go into my son's bookcase where maybe one day soon we can read them together.
I really enjoyed The Beast Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club. A lovely bit of fluff reading. Not too heavy. I plan on buying the next one soon. It's a really lovely store with a lot of yarn love and knitting thrown in. So even though I'm not a knitter (yet!) I enjoyed reading about it.
I started a lot of other books in September but they will just have to wait to be finished and talked about at the end of October.
Now for Miss Alice. Her favorites this month included-
Olivia- If you're a parent you've probably read this. It's awesome and the story is pretty much Alice Mae's life so it's perfect. One of her favorites for a long time now.
Ladybug Girl- Awesome. Empowering. Pretty illustrations. Read it to your kid!
Dem Bones- I LOVE this book. The artwork is adorable. The particular one we have (I found a bunch when I tried to look it up online) was a discounted book in the holiday section at B&N and is by Holly Weane, which cracked me up. Alice Mae has really enjoyed singing along with it.
And now for the first born. Ollie and I have gotten through 2 whole chapter books this month and started a 3rd!
Ollie loves Goosebumps. This is our 3rd one so far. I like them because we can get them for just a dollar or 2 at a used book store or thrift store and they are fairly short, easy reads that engage him. This one was fun and Ollie thought the ending was 'tricky'.
I always let Ollie choose his next chapter book to read and when he chose this one (which I actually bought for myself) I was so excited. One of my favorites from my childhood. He enjoyed that there were some illustrations throughout and also I think he liked the old timey feel of the kids and the wording. I still enjoyed it a lot and if we can find more of the books we'll definitely add them to his collection.
We started Goblins in the Castle by Bruce Coville a few nights ago. I forgot all about Bruce Coville! We are going to look up some of his books on Amazon and get some for the kids. I think buying books is one of my favorite things to spend money on. Maybe even as much as yarn. I'm going to make it a goal to read a few more books on my own through the rest of the months left of 2014. I know that I'm happier and healthier and better when I'm reading a lot. At least that isn't a goal we have to set for our kids!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Meet Melody

When I was 11 this scrawny abandoned 1 year old cat found me in our yard. I fed him chicken to make friends and he was ours from that moment on. We named him Blueberry and we I moved away with my little family he joined me. We lived many happy years together and then he went to the rainbow bridge last July as a very old, very loved old man. We had recently gotten another cat, our cute fancy tuxedo boy named Norman. After Blueberry died I couldn't deal with the thought of getting another cat yet.

And so the year went. It took me a long time to even consider getting another cat. Norman seemed like he needed a kitty friend to hang with and the kids have been begging me for it. So that's how we came to get a kitten.

Please meet Melody.

A happier kitten there has never been. Living among balls and balls of yarn? Yes please.

She fit right in immediately, after a few days of hiding under the couch of course. We named her after River of Doctor Who (Melody Song being her given name) and she is certainly living up to the name. Makes our days more lively for sure. She spends her days curled up in Alice's arms 'being rocked like a baby' or draped across some part of my body, purring like crazy. As my Mama would say 'she gets her engine running'! You can hear those purrs from across the room. When she's awake, she is AWAKE. Wide open. Zoom zoom zoom. Norman is finely warming up to her and they play all the time, usually resulting in someone fussing over the other biting too hard. It's new and fun and we're all learning together. So that's her! The new baby. We love her lots. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Practicing Gratitude - Miss Mae

Life has certainly been a series of ups and downs the past few years. And I am not an optimist, I have to tell ya. I'm more of realistic borderline pessimist. It is hard for me to hope for things and I don't make long term plans because I don't trust things.

I might not be very optimistic, but I am grateful. Or I try to be. There is a lot of good here. So I'm trying to make it a habit to be more thankful and to acknowledge that gratefulness. Hopefully this will be a monthly or twice monthly post.

Today, I'm dedicating this to my daughter.

I am so grateful for Alice Mae. Miss Mae. Cupcake. Alice Mayhem. Al. She is strong, fierce, cuddly, kind, devoted, artistic, bright, hilarious, an amazing dancer, curious and so much more. She fills me up. I knew she would be ferocious and wonderful from the moment I knew she was growing in me. When I see 'though she be but little, she is fierce' I immediately think of her. That is SO her.

She makes us brave. I've seen her brother blossom and open up to people because of her example. She doesn't take any crap. If Oliver picks on her, she sticks up for herself. Turn music on and she will immediately start dancing. If there's a beat, she can't help but move! Her head bobs, her fingers try to snap, her hips move. She loves the beach. We are so alike in that. Mermaids that somehow missed our calling.

She is absolute sass.

I'm so thankful to have her, to get to be her Mama. She is a gift.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

August Makes

I feel like August was a busy crocheting month for me. It just felt like a good time to spend a lot of my day on the couch and crochet as much as possible. I've been working hard at some wintery stuff for the family. Gloves, hats, scarves, the usual suspects. Fingerless gloves are my new love. I've made 3 pairs of TARDIS fingerless gloves for my nerds and the next thing I'm going to crochet is probably going to be Iron Man gloves. Oh yeah.

The list of makes in August-

- 2 twin sized ripple blankets
- 10 preemie hats, including 2 pumpkin ones
- pumpkin hat for Alice
- 3 bow hats for Alice, 1 bow hat for our niece
- a rainbow hat for each of the kiddos
- winter set for Alice (capelet, slouch hat, mittens)
- frankenbunny
- zombie tablet case
- a bag for myself
- owl hat, zombie octopus, nerd octopus, owl bunting for a friend
- bag for my sister's birthday
- bower bird wall hanging for mom's birthday
- 3 sets of tardis fingerless gloves
- a striped pair of fingerless gloves for moi
- about 60 granny squares for the Mario blanket (Christmas gift)
- cat toys
- 2 washcloths

That's a lotta stuff! I think probably the most I've ever made in a month, especially factoring in the blankets. I started them so early because they are Christmas blankets and I didn't want to be struggling to finish right before the holiday. Boom, done within 3 weeks! September is looking to be busy too. Trying to get more Christmas gifts made. I'm also doing a fair amount of cross stitching, which is a nice change. I almost think I needed it after all of that hooking.

Some peeks-

I rarely make things for myself so this tablet sleeve (and the pretty granny square bag above) was a real treat for me.

Preemie hats for the hospital.

 Miss Mae seems to love her bow hats. I think they're very flapper-esque.

More stuff for me! Fingerless gloves in the making, to match my bag.
I'm almost excited to see summer winding down and chillier weather approaching so that we can wear our fancy new crocheted stuff. Almost.