Wednesday, March 26, 2014


I'd always thought it would be more, I don't know, torturous? for my boys to be in coordinating outfits.
Apparently, it's not.  Will insisted on donning full camo for our trip to the zoo last week after I busted out some teensy-weensy pants for my littlest man.

                I don't really have a lot to write about today, so I'll just show you pictures of our kids.
 In camouflage.
 Ready to hunt rabbit.

Just had a bottle and feeling good.
This may be the last time these guys cooperate to pose together.
Big sister had to get in on the photo session too.
Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


Kindergarten is serious business.

Sight words, homework, projects, presentations.


This school year has kept us busy, for sure.  So, in January, when the instructions for a research project on a specific type of penguin came through, I was not surprised.  Not only did my kindergartener have to look up facts and information about the Adelie penguin, but she had to bring in a full scale model of said penguin to show during her presentation.

Since the school has been doing this particular project for years, I'd seen our neighbors' and friends' (let's just be honest: the parents') creative efforts from past years. They were all impressive and intimidatingly sturdy, but I've learned the hard way that my creative medium is not papier mache. 

And, of course, Sarah provided the inspiration for the project when she piped up, "Mommy, let's make my penguin out of fabric!" 

Duh.  Why didn't I think of that?

At first, I was more than a little apprehensive about creating my own 3D pattern for a 2-and-a-half-feet tall flightless bird.  And then I came across this penguin pattern found here.  Of course, the little guys in this pattern wouldn't do, so I used some mad math skills and blew that sucker up 200% (by hand).  
It's ok if you're not impressed with my math, but I sure was. 

Sarah helped me with fabric selection, cutting, and stuffing.  
We chose fleece and felt to make our lives easier (and the penguins cuddlier),
 and they turned out to be quite sturdy.

Check out our fabulous results:
Of course, I have to sew everything in duplicate (and I predict triplicate in the near future), because little brother needed a penguin too. 

Sarah named her pink-footed pal Penguino, while Will's feathered friend answers to Charge. 
These birds enjoy reading, jumping on trampolines, and bedtime.
Since Teddy has arrived, Will is insisting that I finish the baby penguinos (size from the original pattern) for him and his baby cousins.  At the rate I'm getting anything done around here though, it's looking like Teddy will be in kindergarten before he gets a penguin friend.

If you'd like to check out penguin presentation rehearsal for Sarah, clink on the link here.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

In Like a Lion

So, it's been an eventful week.  

Ice storms, snow days.

Oh, and this happened.

Yep.  Our little gift from the Polar vortex that slammed the country last week.  
The littlest man arrived a full two weeks before his due date in the midst of wild weather.  I guess he figured, being number 3 and all, that he'd better come in with a memorable birth story, and he delivered.  

I went into what I thought was false labor a week ago, Sunday.  
Guzzling water while teaching 2nd and 3rd graders Sunday school
 apparently does nothing to keep true labor at bay.

Neither does grocery shopping with your two favorite offspring and the rest of the metropolitan population,
 in anticipation of icy weather.

So, even though I was hopeful this was all a false alarm and I could finish up my testing and sub plans the following week, I sent up the Bat Signal for my mom to come on in town to watch the munchkins.

When I lay down Sunday night to rest up between contractions, 
I figured we'd be going to the hospital in the wee hours.  I should've known better.

A scant 45 minutes went by without a contraction, and then a monster one hit.  
I felt the baby twist (hard!), and a pop.  
Leave it to a third baby to keep me feeling like a rookie mom - my water had never broken before!  
The point of no return had been reached and Mike and I knew we were having a baby in an ice storm.

Once we got to the hospital, labor and delivery were textbook, despite a skeleton crew staff. 
Major interstates were shut down and roads were covered in black ice.  
About the time snow started to fall the next morning, I was getting ready to push.

20 minutes later, I was holding my tiniest man.

Mike is a proud papa, and handled everything with a stiff upper lip. 
Big sister and brother were so excited and proud to meet him.
Of course the hospital was full of interesting things for the big kids to investigate.
Will discovered that the bassinet at the hospital is just as fun as the shopping cart at the grocery store, when he wasn't repositioning my bed into all manner of wonky configurations.
Our first family of 5 photo.  
I kind of wish I didn't look like I'd been up for 48 hours.

Sweet lil' feet.
My view for 2 days.

Normally, I like to use up every second I'm allotted in the hospital, but I was itchin' to break free this time.

So, as soon as I could round up the troops, we were outta there!
This guy's not impressed with his first big adventure.
The kids are so interested in this guy, that I think we're going to need to invest in one of those clear plastic hamster balls to keep people out of his face and from discovering his fontanelle. 
He's a little freaked out by his siblings.
My view for the next 5 weeks.
Will has really risen to the challenge of big brother, watching over "our baby" every chance he gets.
Seriously, who needs a cat around when we've got this guy peering into the crib every time I turn around.
The preferred reward these days is not more iPad time or dessert.
It's daps from the baby.
Every night, before he goes to sleep, Will asks me if my heart is bigger now that Teddy is here.
Yes, sweet boy, it most certainly is.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Am Giant Ladybug

Have you ever wondered what random household item would make the perfect sized polka dot stamp?  Do you ever yell at your loved ones for actually using those adorable striped paper straws in drinks because you were saving them to make a wreath?

If you have, then have I got the support group for you!

Just kidding.

But, seriously, we should hang out and I want to follow you on Pinterest.

The aforementioned scenarios have actually happened at my house rather recently.  I have a little bit of a creation addiction, and so do my children.  No trash is safe from being turned into treasure.  Mike is continually under fire for throwing out packing peanuts, cardboard boxes/airplanes, and empty toilet paper rolls. 

That being said, the polka dot stamping dilemma?  Yeah, that (and the little moose I'm growing) kept me up several nights.

Until it came to me.  Like water being turned into wine.

Or a wine cork being turned into a stamp.

See, this pregnancy, I've been trying to step up my game style-wise from years past.  But, being preggo in winter means slim pickings in the ready-made department and a lot of drab "earth tones".  Not my style. 

And then I got some red skinnies...and worked on building an entire maternity wardrobe around them.

My undying devotion to graphic prints, combined with an apparent need to dress like a pirate
led me to eschew stripes in favor of the kinder, gentler polka dot.

But, the only dots I could find were of the mealy-mouthed, shrinking-violet variety.  

I love this tutorial, but the scale of the dots was just slightly off for my taste, even though we have plenty of bubble caps around our house.

And so sleep was lost.

Until the hubs bought an adult beverage one night, and was promptly threatened that under no circumstances was he to throw that gorgeous, glorious synthetic cork away.

So, what do you need to make yourself a little something polka-dotted?
  •  Synthetic wine cork (the real ones are too uneven and porous although deliciously carve-able)
  • Paint brush
  • Fabric paint
  • T-shirt or other garment to embellish. 
  • Cardboard/freezer paper/child's school photos ;)
  • Masking tape or painter's tape (optional)
 Step 1:  Put your freezer paper/cardboard or whatever else you have lying around inside the shirt to keep the paint from bleeding through to the other side.

Step 2 (Optional):  Make yourself a guide on your fabric.  Since I don't trust my ability to "just eyeball it",  I just took the masking tape and made some evenly-spaced vertical lines on the front of my shirt.
Step 3:  Brush the paint on the cork, and then stamp the shirt in whatever pattern you like.

Step 4:  Let the front dry.

Step 5: Flip that bad boy over and repeat steps 2 through 4.

Step 6:  Fill in any uneven spots on your, er, spots with a paint brush.

Step 7:  Let that dry.

Step 8:  Iron over your spots to set the paint.

Step 9:  Work your new look as you become the envy of all the Dalmations in the neighborhood!

This was so easy and cute, I'm thinking a gold-spotted snood is in my very near future!  Perhaps some rainbow-y dots for our St. Patty's Day (and possibly new-baby) celebrations?  The possibilities are well past my current energy level and attention span, but I shall strive to spot anything that stays still long enough.

Happy Saturday night!  
Things might get a little wild over here, if I can stay up past 8:00.
Superfluous belly shot.