Thursday, July 28, 2011

Fairy Gowns and Hedgie

Last week Kieran took a lovely nap that lasted hours, and I had a day with my sewing machine. It was supposed to be stormy, but it never rained so I let my girls watch a movie, and play quietly in my craft room while I made skirts and these darling gowns. I cut them out last summer... and I don't remember if I used a tutorial or a pattern or not. I must made a pillowcase dress to wear to bed. I wish I had purchased more of the fabric for a matching pair of pants for Kieran.

Not one of these pictures is spectacular, nor do they give you the full picture of how darling these little gowns truly are. The print has fairies and moons and stars on it. I am hoping that as summer turns to fall and winter, the girls could wear these over a pair of tight fitting jammies or long underwear.
Either way the gowns are long enough to wear for a few years or more. I think they each took a little less than an hour to make and could easily be made from a thrifted pillowcase or something of the sort. They look very Little House on the Prarie-ish to me! And of course they are the perfect attire for torturing small kittens.

I also came up with this little hedgie who has been living in my head for way too long. Kieran has been in love with stuffed animals lately, if only to find their tags and play with them. So a tag-toy was needed. It was a simple craft, yet I plan to make several more for my Etsy shop. I will probably space the ribbons out a bit more so they are more visually stimulating to a baby as well as maybe color-coordinate them with the fabric better. Kieran does seem to love his hedgehog friend, especially sucking on his nose. He may be nice to wet, and throw in the freezer for teeth relief. I just love making little lovelies for my children! And today I have peaches to process! Fun! :)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Summer. Sweet, Sweet Summer!!!

Have I mentioned what a fun summer this has been? Well it has been the BEST summer ever, for sure. My mom and I took the kids to a waterpark a couple weeks ago and we all had so much fun. Since I found my camera cord, and camera, and uploaded a month's worth of photos, I thought I would share our fun! Can I say that even Kieran LOVED the waterpark. He is definintely a water baby, and likes to float on his back and kick and splash. He has a lot of chub to keep him afloat too. haha.

I think Isabel might have had the best time of all at the waterpark! She went down every slide, over and over and over again! She is definitely the mermaid of the bunch... and the dare-devil! And seeing her go down these slides reminded me of how quickly she is growing up!

Anastasia's favorite part about the water park was making friends. She wasn't keen on most of the slides, and hates getting water in her eyes, but she seems to make friends wherever she goes. And that is the sweetest thing indeed.

Kieran is certainly a beach bum. 8 months is definitely a fun age for him. He is becoming more and more pleasant and happy, and I am finding ways to help him cope with his anti-social tendencies. I think the best part about having babies in the fall and winter, is enjoying their first summer when they are thick, cuddly babies with sunhats, chubrolls and big drooly smiles. It is the best. Until they are older and you can't have summer cookout birthday parties.

Like the cookout party and cake we had for Martin during the Schap family visit. Martin shot a skunk that was bothering Ben and Anna's hens during his visit. So Ben, who happens to be a very talented artist, made a skunk stencil for Martin's cake. The heart symbolizes our anniversary as it happened to be on the same day. The cake has a very "Pepe le Pew" feel to it, don't you think? Sadly enough this was one of 2 pictures I have of our friend's visit.
Last Sunday we went to Georgetown, and took a walk, and some pictures. It was perfectly perfect weather. And we ended with perfectly perfect pizza. Here is the C&O Canal. We used to walk by here when we lived close to Georgetown. It is so beautiful and serene next to the bustling city. It was such a sweet trip down memory lane. We also enjoyed cookies and coffee from Baked and Wired which we visited several times when we were city snobs and partook in such luxuries quite often. It seems they have been very successful, and expanded quite a bit, offering tons of adorably expensive cupcakes for sale too. I remember they always had "doggie cookies" for sale, and I am happy to report, they still do. And their coffee is still awesome. I feel a bit like a kid in a candy store when I go into the city and enjoy the delicious food and fancy stores. I miss parts of the city life, and I love going back to places we enjoyed, but I am far happier being a country bumpkin.
On Saturday my mom and I took the kids to a children's are expo. They had fun making all kinds of crafts. Kieran made friends with himself. And that was really cute.
So yes, our summer is very awesome. I hope yours is too! :) Right now I have cupcakes cooling on the stove for Anastasia's half-birthday tomorrow! We are also heading out to our CSA farm so I have high hopes for a special day for her. Last week our CSA gave us beets. AGAIN. I want to love beets, I really do. I gave beets a chance, and I just don't like them. I never have and it is possible I never will. I needed to find a way to make beets taste like something other than beets. It seems that I may have succeeded by making CUPCAKES! They are chocolate, but they have beets, applesauce and squash in them. The batter was the best cake batter ever! Tomorrow I will take the yummy chocolate mounds of veggies and slather them with buttercream icing and no one will be the wiser. How exciting! And Anastasia will officially be 4 and a half! Wow! Life has taken on wings and is flying by. Can someone tell me where July has gone?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

So my cord that connects my camera to my computer is MIA. Oh how sad that is too as I have been sewing with wreckless abandon. We have been up to our usual dose of summer fun. Annie and Martin and their cute little girls came to Virginia for a visit last week. We really had a ball with them! Annie and I even got to steal away to a yarn shop and a fabric store... alone. Alone with Kieran that is. :)

We had our fair share of tribulation last week when our well pump broke. We have had quite a few water issues this year, so I am really hoping we are set for a while! Thankfully the plumbers were able to fix it right away so we only went a day and a half without water. It is amazing how much we take simple things like running water and flushing toilets for granted!

Sunday we made a spur-of-the-moment trip to DC and vistited the zoo! It would have been a great plan but half the zoo is closed due to renovations. We saw a sleeping sloth bear, an otter, some zebras, squirrels, a chipmunk, some horses and an elephant. Thankfully after Mass we went to Georgetown and enjoyed some cookies and coffee and a pleasant walk along the canal, followed by a "picnic in the van" of Armand's awesome pizza. It was a fun, fun day indeed. :) Also I noticed a Serendipity 3 in Georgetown that just opened. I am very excited to visit for a date, or a fun dessert extravaganza with the kids when they are older!

So much to blog about... so little pictures. :( Hopefully I can remedy this soon! July has been such a good, hot month!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Song for a Fifth Child

(this picture was months ago, taken by my good friend Andrea.)

Song For a Fifth Child

by Ruth Hubert Hamilton

Mother, oh Mother, come shake out your cloth,

Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,

Hang out the washing and butter the bread,

Sew on a button and make up the bed.

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?

She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I've grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,

(Lullaby, Rockaby, lullaby, loo.)
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due,

(Pat-a-Cake, darling and peek, peekaboo).

And out in the yard there is hullabaloo.

But I'm playing kanga and this is my Roo.

Look aren't her eyes the most wonderful hue?

(Lullaby, Rockaby, lullaby loo)

The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,

But children grow up as I've learned to my sorrow.

So quiet down cobwebs, dust go to sleep,

I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.

I guess this song works for the third child too... and brings tears to my eyes at the shortness of time. I think I will go snuggle my baby a bit more...

peek peekaboo, lullaby,rockabye, lullaby loo.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Lakes, pies, and fireworks.

I had planned about 10 posts in my head this week. It seems like getting an actual free minute or two to write a post is not at the top of my priority list right now. Making pies is pretty high on that list though. We had a great 4th of July, celebrated with family, friends and a great firework show at a friend's farm. It was perfection! I didn't take a picture of anything except the pie. That shows you the priority level of such things. Our early apple tree is covered in apples that I need to pick. I will see what I can get this weekend, and then perhaps I will open our tree to anyone who wants to come get them...

Nick and I went out for our anniversary to Can Can Brasserie in Carytown (Richmond) on Sunday, and it was delicious. Can Can is a neat little french restaurant done in a vintage, 1930s feel. It was yummy, and a nice trip back in time. Our anniversary is over a week away but it just seems that it takes the stars aligning in just a certain way during a full moon on a Sunday while one of us is holding our mouth just right, for us to get out on a date. Alone. This has been our first date without Kieran in his entire little life. It was so weird. In a good way. Suddenly we were young and carefree again... and it is sad to think it will be another 17 or so years before the carefree part becomes "normal" for us... and then we won't be so young anymore. But then I found we talked a lot about our kids while we were out... and we went into all the toy and kid clothing stores in Carytown. So I guess, even though we enjoyed a night out, we kind of missed our lovely babies deep down inside. Quiet must get old after awhile, right? I forget.

We also took a little trip into The Jefferson Hotel. We had considered dinner there after our first 2 options didn't work out. For me, if the title of a dish is a paragraph long, it probably isn't going to be much of a meal by the time they put it on a plate. So, that is how we ended up at CanCan.

I made another dish-drain quilt the other day and I think it is entirely cute. I hope to make 2-3 more so they won't be missed when they take a trip to the washer. Overally, my counter is much cuter and they seem to be working well!
= Last week we went day-camping. We spent a day with my parents while they were camping, and we went home afterwards and slept in our own comfy beds. We were able to roast marshmallows around a campfire, swim in a lake and grill out, without having to toss and turn uncomfortably in a hot tent while getting eaten alive by misquitos. haha, and I do love camping. Right now in our life though, day-camping is a much better alternative. If anyone would like to give me a pop-up camper, that would solve a lot of problems. :)

Here was the lake. Isn't it lovely? It is a place called the Cove. I have never been there. It was pretty much in the middle of a place called Nowhere. Kieran is such a little beach bum. He loves splashing. And then he likes to stick his head into the water and drink it. He thinks pond scum is yummy. He is cute at least. Even if he is crazy. Isabel is our little fish. She has taken to the water that was a bit scary to her last year. It is funny, sad and beautiful how children change, and grow. Anastasia is our little social-bug. She makes friends wherever she goes and it really melts my heart, and reminds me that she will have friends who love her, wherever life takes her. All I have to say about this baby and bulldozer picture is that Boys will be boys. Okay, that isn't all I have to say, because just a few posts ago I was annoyed at the dumb bulldozers and dumptrucks on baby clothes. I like to keep things simple, sweet and less industrialized for my boy. Nick tells me I am turning Kieran into a gnome. He says I need to applique chain saws and guns onto onesies for him. So, at the campground, a giant bulldozer drove by us and Kieran was beside himself with joy, kicking and screaming in bliss as this loud monstrosity nearly ran us over. He loved it and I can't deny it. I thought he was too young for such machinery, but I have not seen anything compare to the effect of the bulldozer. I guess Nick wins. My baby is still my baby for now, but he is all boy just the same.

We swam in a little pond last week too with our playgroup at a farm. It was another lovely day in our "best summer ever" log. I do love Summer. Especially now that I have kids... and can live childhood all over again!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Red, White and Blue

It has been quite patriotic around here. Red, white and blue are the colors of America. The colors of summer berries and whipped cream, candy and ice cream, mushrooms and lakes. Oh I love summer and all the red, white and blue that comes with it! We made a fun little tray:The theme was a red, white and blue ice cream and candy shoppe! Oh and it has been the most fun yet. The best part is that it is fat-free and won't give any one a sugar high! I also added an empty vanilla bottle for "smell" and some mint leaves for taste! The girls have been into painting their toe nails for the past month. Even our toes are proud to be Americans. :)

Oh, oh, oh, the best red of the summer yet.... tomatoes! These are little cherry and sungold tomatoes, and the first of the season! I think this is more tomatoes than I got from my garden the ENTIRE SUMMER last year. My black thumb is getting a bit greener...

Our nature/seasonal table is decked out in the American spirit too! What is more American than a waterfall with unicorns and mushrooms? hahaha. And of course Anastasia insisted the pink mushroom stay on the table. but America is all about freedom... so it stays.

My red, white and aqua DISH DRAIN QUILT!!! I made this the other day after seeing the idea and directions in my favorite new magazine Mary Jane's Farm. Nick gave me a subscription for my birthday, and I seem to find a million yummy things to make, gardening and household tips and neat craft/decorating ideas (And ugh, advertisements for fabrics I NEED!). And the style and feel make me feel like I am reading through an old victorian catalogue/scrapbook. Need I say more? YES. Because the June issue had dish drain quilts which was the perfect, simple craft to beautify my kitchen a little. My old plastic tray was the home of various forms of mildew and icky sulfer and other sediments crusted on. Now, my dishes can dry in style, with cute patriotic accents! :) For a few other dish drainer quilt ideas, go here , here and here.

Oh look, little patriotic pants! Well, that wasn't really what I was thinking when I made them. I had a little of this fabric left over that needed to be little light weight quick change trousers from Handmade Beginnings. He loves them. Anyway, we have had a busy week of swimming in lakes, meeting cows, eating watermelon, blueberries, first peaches and marshmallows.... oh so much fun! And more to come as this BEST SUMMER EVER continues! Unfortunately, today housework and laundry continues for me... But this weekend holds oh, so much promies! Happy Fourth of July (a tad early) to you all!! May it be free, fun and sparkly!!!