Saturday, December 12, 2009

Bluebird Poster

I was compiling some portfolio pieces today for an illustration bid and I came across this poster I made for a college dormitory.

The seed of this poster idea came from my time as a Camp Fire Girl, where I gained the rank of "Bluebird". I attained this distinction by being over six years old when I joined.

The manual we were given focused on the worth of home and social skills with the "Blue Bird of Happiness" used as a metaphor. The specific content of the manual and the program remains fuzzy in my memory.

Ruminating on this mythical bird, it occurred to me that there should be more than one incarnation of the bluebird. Though happiness is a laudable state, perhaps there should be a bird or two that could reflect the particular states of the freshman college student.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Repeat Performance

Alice is asleep right now so I have a moment to note that yesterday's successful use of the potty was not a fluke! She requested use of the facilities again this morning and went through the whole process without a hitch. I have a book that is called "Potty Train your Child in One Day", but I confess that I never actually read the book.

Maybe Alice read it?

Banner Day

We used the potty.

Not me, or Tony, or the cat (though that would have been notable). Alice told her dad during tonight's bath that she needed to use the facilities. She hopped out and was as good as her word. Much rejoicing, the end of diapers is nigh!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Following Leanne's example

Our excellent buddy Leanne showed me how to cover unrecoverable stains on Alice's clothes with fabric paint in her great blog Kindred Design

Here is a previously blueberry stained onsie, modeled by the little lady:

Alice will point out the details:

I used a poppy pattern that I originally made for Alice's baptism announcement:

This method will salvage quite a few outfits, so my thanks go out to Leanne and her excellent crafty blog.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Ate a cheese sandwich at the Capital

A five dollar "gourmet" cheese sandwich from a vendor at the Texas Book Fair (seen behind Alice)

Of course the lady needed a little drinky-drink to go with her sa-mich:

Then she needs to break it down to the smooth tunes of a high school kettle drum band:

Good Times

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Trick or Treat Ya'll!

We ventured forth and met our Texan neighbors for the first time after about a year of living as total hermits in this house. We were invited to a party on the fly and were graciously offered hotdogs and the chance to tag along with the neighborhood kids on the trick or treat parade. Alice met some of the neighborhood dogs and proudly told them that they were in fact "doggies" multiple times.

Here we are setting forth:

I finally got a candle in the jack-o-lantern and here it is in all it's Achewood-y glory.

Right now Alice is sleeping and Tony and I are pillaging her candy. I am eating a watermelon Jolly Rancher. In the late 80's, horror movies were all the rage, and every sleep-over I attended as a teen included a slasher flick and watermelon Jolly Ranchers as snacks. So I associate the two together; it's actually a little revolting. I think I will steal the chocolate Tony is currently enjoying.

Happy Halloween!

Halloween 09

Initially Alice was not in a Halloween mood tonight.

But things perked up after some pumpkin carving. Mommy destroyed a few household tools to make a messy "Achewood" style pumpkin (better photos will be displayed after it gets dark).

Achewood is a comic about cats which was appropriate as Alice decided to go out on the town as a kitty cat.

Alice tried to get the actual cat to accept her as one of his own with pumpkin offerings:

Kitty was having none of it:

Until she brought out the big guns:

I don't know how much trick or treating we are going to do, as it is pretty obvious that Alice is too young to actually eat much candy. She is clearly our candy lure. That might not be a bad Halloween onsie "Candy Lure".

Anywho she is cute as all get out and is actually aware of what is happening, unlike last year when she was bedecked in all sorts of costume madness. Thanks to Grammy for getting the kitty cat duds!

P.S. This is our only concession to Halloween decoration. Perhaps the trick or treaters won't shun us this year.

Monday, October 26, 2009

New Shoes

Grammy purchased some shiny shoes for a certain granddaughter who insists that Mr. Bear be fashionably attired at all times. The shoes are a little big for the kid, so this works out fine.

Alice's new favorite word: Pumpkin

Sorry to all Grandparents that I have been so long in updating the blog. It has been a crazy month of work and I am just now coming up for air.

We finally started doing seasonal kid stuff with Alice, for instance here is our first visit to a Pumpkin Patch.

Side Story: Tony lifted Alice's bum up to my nose while we were looking at the pumpkins and asked if she needed a change. Right on cue Alice...broke wind. Tony found this more than a little hilarious:

Toddler Milestone

Today was a monumental day. Alice will be 16 months old tomorrow and a whopping 2 feet 9 inches. I learned her height this afternoon, because 2'9" is how tall a toddler needs to be to reach the garage door handle, and lock Mommy out of the house.

Thank you to neighbor Charles for lending me a phone to call Tony and a pair of flip-flops as I was barefoot.

Thank you to my Father-in-law Mike for the UD windbreaker he gave me a few years ago. I was grateful to find it in the garage, as it was raining buckets.

Thank you to Alice for not pulling the laptop on her head, or setting fire to the cat, or any other disaster while I was trapped outside.

Thank you to Tony for running home to rescue us and unfortunately pulling a muscle along the way!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


We just returned from an excellent weekend in Houston visiting Aunt Karen, Uncle Toby, Cousin Andy, Cousin Marilyn, and as a special bonus Uncle Mike. The trip has left Alice reeling with delight. She literally played herself to exhaustion every night and was then wired for hours after a quick nap. It was such fun seeing all the kids playing together now that they are old enough to acknowledge each other's presence.

Andy was especially good at dolling out hugs to the younger two. Marilyn was pretty chill considering that Alice was ransacking the toybox. Marilyn, by the way, is fearless on the playground. We visited a huge kid gym/coffee house and watched Marilyn run a baby obstacle course maybe seventy-four times. Conservative estimate.

Alice was blasted by that time and just wanted to hug me and moan. Though Alice did at the end drag herself up the padded incline to the top of the slide and called down "Hi" to all of us on the ground. She seemed to be stuck, and Marilyn tried to climb up and save her cousin but fell asleep halfway to the top. Ultimately Alice did her first solo slide to much applause from the gathered relatives and tiny snores from Marilyn.

We also attended a BBQ hosted by our good friends Cathleen and Daniel who lived in Chicago with us for many years. Their house is a bit of a kid wonderland with everything from complete model train sets to fully stocked kid kitchens. Alice even got to taste her first lollypop courtesy of Cathleen. The pops were made from organic juice of all things! We also saw our friends Dave and Bethany with their lovely daughter Violet. I didn't have my camera but Cathleen sweetly took some great shots and sent me copies. You can see all the kids here except for Andy and Marilyn who needed to hit the road as they had a long drive home.

Alice decided to try out the Ergo

Imagine my heart melting when I saw Alice walking this bear to sleep. Erik and Nicole might recognize the bear.

Reading is fundamental

Ten erie minuets of silence had me worried. I hadn't been dragged into a game of trucks or climbed like a breathing jungle gym in ages. So I peek around the corner and see this

She just kept "reading" her magazine until I finished my work.

text message sent to Tony at 11am.

Your daughter just shut herself in the office and barred the door by sliding the window screen box between the door and the cat tree. I came around the bathroom side and got her out but you should be proud that she can at least partially barricade a room from Zombies at 1 year of age.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Brave New Cell Phone

After a decade of middling to minuscule customer service we have abandoned Sprint as our cell phone carrier and switched to Credo.

The service and price is the same but Credo gives a portion of it's profits to worthy causes and they offered us a month of free text messaging. The purpose of this post is to let our loved ones know that my cell phone number is back online (as Alice melted my old phone in a rampaging river of drool) and that we are now part of the texting world.

Anyone who knows us and likes to send messages on the fly have already been warned that we are cheap, technologically stunted, and thus have never been accepting of friendly missives via phone. I used to cringe when a lovely message such as, "Happy New Year dear friend!" would appear on my screen and grouse about the $2 Sprint just pulled out of my pocket.
I have never been a particularly tech savy individual (as seen: here)

But this is a new day! We are throwing ourselves into the "I can send an email while driving" world thumbs first...for a month.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Thank you Leanne and Brad!

Alice and I came home from a very hot walk (102 outside today) as walking around the block is her new favorite thing, and were greeted by a "just because" package from Brad and Leanne!

The book has beautiful illustrations of foxes and frogs. We joke about Leanne wanting to go outside in nature like a weirdo but Alice seems to have the same strange compulsion. They are bonding over this outdoor fixation.

I love the ducky shirt. Just love it to bits. Leanne made that duck, which as Alice pointed out, says "Quack".

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Baby Vampire

Alice has grown fond of cherries. An excellent treat but bathtime is a more common occurrence these days.

Spider monkey learns new skills

Guess what Alice can do...

Alice can also:
Open her bedroom door, at the top of our staircase.
Reach the front door handle
She figured out how to turn on the stove
She opened our childproof bathroom cabinets
Also the "childproof" cap on Tony's medication...needs to be re-named.

In a less nerve-wreaking update, Alice likes to pretend she is Daddy. This is her favorite game.

Friday, July 24, 2009

"Ry Ruff Eww"

"Mhhm." Says I to the noise coming out of Alice's mouth as I cut up an apple for our snack.

"Ry Ruff Ew." She repeats and then says, "Tank" after receiving her slice of apple.

"You're welcome", I reply automatically.

My pantleg is tugged gently and I look down. "Ry Ruff...Ew." Alice says into my blank face, then she adds to clarify: "...Mama".
I am beset by a sudden thunderous realization and a buzzing thrill behind my cheekbones.

"I love you too baby!"

Color me gobsmacked.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

8 years and still kicking (though not each other)

Happy Anniversary Tony

As a gift I made you almond eggplant korma, sweet potato badi, and saag paneer because it was cheaper than ordering take-out Indian food.

You gave me the time to slowly make dinner by taking the baby out, and when you returned you brought wine and chocolate.

Best date-night yet.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Alice's Sunday Crown

It is stupid crazy hot out. Thirty days over 100 degrees. So no-money family fun time outside the house is a trial, especially when your toddler has recently been running a fever.

First thing you need, is a fabulous hat:

Thank you Grammy for the new hat.
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