Friday, February 27, 2009

Firsts: Snowman

This winter has been full of firsts for our wee one: first steps, first trip sledding, first real "words" and now, first snowman! We've had plenty of snow this year, but this week we had the first "wet" snow that really makes snowman construction easy. So we made some snowballs (Pumpkin can say ball now) and grabbed a few sticks for the arms and a pine cone for the nose and some charcoal for the eyes.

Even though we worked pretty quickly, wee Pumpkin was in tears by the time the camera made it on scene. He definitely prefers the solid, uneven ground of the sidewalk to the snowy backyard. We're working on making him a bit more outdoorsy. The problem is that he loves being outside, but he often just stands there, afraid to move. Ah, well...someday (we hope) there may be an end to the snow and cold. Right now it seems endless, but I still have hope.

What's the weather like near you? Ready for daylight saving time in a few weeks? I am!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Cake and Choo Choo

This past weekend was a bit of a birthday bonanza at our house, with both an auntie and a grampy having birthdays. We celebrated at our house, so we didn't have to travel, which was nice. It did mean we got to do all of the cooking, which I will gladly opt for rather than a long drive with an antsy toddler. I hustled around the kitchen to make sure everything was *just right* and I think it was. I made some sun-dried tomato and chevre scones, a gorgeous cake out of my new Dorie Greenspan book, and we put a pot of white bean and ham soup on the stove to cook all day (which was the easiest and yummiest thing I've eaten in a long time...basically throw two hamhocks, 12 cups of stock, 2 quartered onions and two bags of navy beans in a pot and cook on medium low). Yum!

To get out of the house, we loaded up the entire family and headed to the Twin Cities Model Railroad Museum to see the miniature Minneapolis and St. Paul train system they had set up. It was pretty remarkable, and even included a hobo campout on the sketchy side of town under a railroad bridge. Right now, through February, they're doing their Saturday "Night Train" exhibit where they turn off all the lights except the train lights after 6 PM. I wish we'd seen it, but it's too late for our wee one -- by that time he's usually finishing up dinner and getting into pjs. I do want to try to get back there for the circus trains, though. Cool. And man, that place was filled with nerds. We were in our element, being nerds ourselves!

What's going on in your neck of the woods? We're gearing up for another snowstorm and hoping it melts quickly!

My Starbucks Wreath -- for Spring!

It might be a bit of wishful thinking putting out a spring wreath just a day after we got four inches of snow, and when the temp outside is just hovering around 16 degrees, but it felt good. It felt hopeful and cheery and optimistic about the fact that winter has worn out it's welcome. We're ready for the crocus to bloom and the sun to warm the grass into greeness.

I stole this idea from my friend at McSmithleyville who made this gorgeous wreath, apparently a spin-off of something Starbucks had over the holidays. I didn't have time to make a Christmas wreath (and in fact I have an old standby white button wreath I use each year), so I made this one to grace the door and usher in the Spring.

We had a busy, birthday bonanza weekend and I'm still reviewing all the photos. I am now officially wiped. Did you have a relaxing weekend? I hope so!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Life with Babes

My sister went back to work this year after 7 years of stay-at-home-mommyhood. She had a hard time interviewing because people kept asking her stuff like "tell me about a time recently when you've had to...use technology to yaddayaddayadda..." I think she felt kinda stuck with referring to a time when she had to carry a screaming toddler out of a grocery store to avoid a complete and total scene, or explain how the birds and the bees work, or whatever. I mean, totally relevant work experience for some jobs, but not so much for others. In the end, she took a job as an assistant at the school her kids go to. She said that at least with that job she felt like she could apply the vast amount of knowledge she'd gained in her most recent 7-year career.

I read this great article that made me think of my sis, and also of my hubby who someday will have to go back to work. As much as a potential employer may not have ever experienced stay-at-home parenting, or parenting at all for that matter, these are what I thought were some effective ways to describe the skills it takes to be a parent. It's true for me that I've never been as good at time management as I am today. Luckily I've never been a perfectionist, so I don't have to worry to much about that. But prioritization, yep, had to learn it.

What about you other parents? What skills are/have you learned?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Happy Heart Day

I had a lovely little date with my boys on Valentine's Day. We picked up pizza and frosted our valentines cookies. I gave the wee one a bath and let him play extra long. The highlight of wee one's day was when we spotted a helicopter outside our window. Oh, the joy and excitement! Hubby and I did what we usually do -- played on the internet, watched some TV, made fun of a couple on HGTV and went to bed by 10:30.

Today we all ended up at the Mall of America by accident. Wee one wore his new "Kid Banz" that we got him at Pacifier (and which he loves and mama loves, too, because they actually stay on). The wee one was enthralled by all the roller coasters inside the mall. He kept pointing and saying "choo choo!" He could hardly be torn away, and had absolutely no interest in Lego Land. It was all about the choo choo.

Ah, the domesticated life. Did you do anything fun? Sounds like some lucky souls have the day off tomorrow. Not this poor sap. I'm back to the office again, jiggedy jig.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Newly Most Coveted: Tammis Keefe Textiles

Ever since my mom, sister and I opened our vintage shop on Etsy, I've been crazed. You'd think I'd want to be selling, selling, selling. But, no. I want to be finding, shopping, collecting! It's terrible! My mo discovered this great textile designer named Tammis Keefe who I'd never heard of, but is my new favorite. There's even a Flickr group dedicated to photos of her hankies and tablecloths and things.

Current favorites:
Home is Where the Heart Is
Japanese Design
The Circus
High Street
Whimsical Insects

Monday, February 09, 2009

Feather and Fan Knitting for a Cause

I am finally doing it! I am finally crafting for a cause! I have this great blanket in the works that is coming along well, and the pink hat is up for sale in my Etsy shop (buyer gets to pick the charity of their choice for 100% of the cost). I'm feeling so productive! I hope I can finish up my blanket so I can start knitting something for wee ones soon-to-be boy cousin. Weeeeeeee! Maybe this year will be my year of knitting!

The blanket pattern is called Merino Stripes Feather and Fan. I'm not knitting it in a self-striping yarn. I'm just using some acrylic yarn I have around. Bundles of Love requires non-wool yarns, presumably so they may be washed easily. If I knit something for them again in the near future, I think it will be a sweater. I think it'd be much less time-consuming to finish. And, hey. I'm an instant gratification girl, but at least I know that about myself.

Got any good knitting projects going on? I'm addicted to Ravelry and cannot stop adding projects to my favorites!

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Fun on Ice

We took a cue from our friend at Tapir's Poop today and visited the Art Shanty Project. It's basically a bunch of tricked out shacks set up out on one of our suburban lakes. At one, we gave confession to a carp and at another we opted not to take a dip in the freezing waters and get warmed by the sauna ice house. It was, as we knew it would be, a quintessential Minnesota experience, chock full of hipsters, old hippies, kids, dogs and those who just love winter and/or love the challenge of building and surviving out in the cold. Just as we left we saw someone start unloading big boxes full of hot dog buns. Dangit, I guess we missed the ice-side cookout.

If you want to see more about the art shanty project, check out the search I ran on Flickr.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Vroom Vroom Goes the Pillow

My little one is absolutely and totally obsessed with vehicles of all sorts. I know, that's so typical. But I had no idea how strong a boy's affinity for cars, trucks and tractors could be until having one. Oh, and don't forget diggers and dump trucks (dumpa dumpa in our house).

I made him some flannel pants with trucks and diggers on them, and immediately when they come out of the wash he grabs them and runs around the house with them, going "vroom vroom!" Tonight when I took off his shoes (which have cars on them) and put on his pajamas, he grabbed the car shoes and tried to put them on over the footie pajamas. He's just nuts. And don't even get me started about the toys and books. There's no such thing as too many. It must be something in boy genetics that makes it so.

I decided that the wee one could probably start using a pillow now that he's a year-and-a-half (how the heck did that happen??!). I used up the rest of his "vroom vroom" flannel fabric and some scrap cotton, as well as a pack of rick rack. I've been really purging lately, so it was pretty pleasing to get rid of some stuff. I can't wait to give it to him when he gets up in the morning and see what he thinks!

We finally hit above 30 degrees today, so when I got home from work I took the wee one for a little walk. He LOVED pointing out the moon, and we even saw a few airplanes. He didn't like walking on the snow, though, so I had to carry him over the sidewalks that weren't yet melted clean. I think I probably looked pretty awesome with two dogs on leashes in one hand, a toddler in the other arm, trying not to fall down, and trying not to loose the poop bags or otherwise soil ourselves in dog sh&t. Ah, yes, I am certain I was looking cool.

I was imagining my neighbors spotting me and saying "Well hasn't she got her hands full heh heh heh!" or some inane comment like that. In reality they were probably saying "I hope she doesn't fall on my icy sidewalk and sue me." And I was just hoping not to smear sh&t on myself or my kid, or loose a dog in the street. Well, either way, it felt good to feel a bit of sunshine! And I'm pretty sure we all remained poop free.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Boobs Making the Rounds

I originally started blogging because I wanted to write about crafts and crafting and my craft sale and all kinds of craft-craft-crafts. I was craft-obsessed. Then my son was born. Now I'm kid-obsessed and on the side I craft. So, I bring you, dear reader, yet another funny photo of my child.

BUT! But but but! There he is, wearing HANDMADE, CRAFTED slippers I bought on Etsy. They are the greatest boob slippers ever made, by Piddies! My kid likes the boob slippers just as much as his dad.

See, I'm still writing about crafts. Duh. But really, who has time for crafting anymore!? Shoot, I barely have time for my fifth glass of wine tonight...but I'm sure I'll squeeze it in somehow.