we interrupt the planned post today to bring you this……

Seriously. 
If anyone ever told me, what I am about to tell you, I may have never had children. I would have been so flabbergasted and afraid of the littles that I ~might~ have taken another path entirely…… 

Let me start by reminding you that the wee one is incredibly independent. He wants to do everything himself. He is also the naughtiest toddler I have ever met in my life.  I blame this entirely on the fact that his Father is an engineer and therefor by proxy he has an unnatural sense to figure out how everything works. Above and  beyond the typical child his age. Don't laugh, I'm not kidding!

So, that being said, here are the events of today.

The wee one is very into the toilet and flushing and trying to go potty. He was going in and out of the bathroom, which we wants to do all by himself. And I kept peeking in to make sure he wasn't being too naughty, standing guard at the bathroom door. (literally!) He had been curious about the new toilet and wanted to see the inside….. which I showed him after he repeatedly tried to lift the porcelain lid himself. And then told him never to look without mama's help. I thought we had reached an agreement…..

oh my, how wrong I was……

I hear a crash……..
I open the door……..
and my sweet little engineer is standing in water spraying from the back of the toilet with a shattered lid on the floor…
(no one was hurt)
The Eldest came to my rescue and swept the wee man out of the bathroom while I crawled on top of broken porcelain and under spraying water in attempt ~ with very wet slippery hands ~ to shut off the water……
unsuccessfully…..
at which point The Eldest holds his hands over the spraying water so I can use the bathroom rug to dry off the valve and finally get it turned off.
I'd like to say I kept my cool and laughed about this.
But that would be a lie.
I yelled.
I even swore. ("what the h*ll is wrong with this d*mn thing") when the valve would not shut off.
It was not a pretty moment.
And before things got too bad The Eldest looked at me laughing and said 
"At least it's clean water."   ~*laughter followed*~

During the entire event, Miss 6 sat happily at the table munching last nights homemade pizza leftovers. Miss 10 hardly looked up from her phone call from a friend. Craziness, apparently, is quite common here……..

But to my knight in shining armor who not once, not twice, but three times in the past week has jumped in to get his hands wet (or dirty) and help his mom with the toilet-week-from-h*ll. 

Thank You.

And yes, you can eat the rest of your brother's birthday cake. 

The Lid
it was a lid

(and Joe if you read this before you get home from work, I all ready called Lowe's to order a new lid)

Our birthday Morning

The wee one woke up today to small decorations and yummy breakfast cakes.

We all sang him happy birthday and he blew out the candles with the BIGGEST smile on his face. 

This evening will bring a few gifts….. a homemade cake and homemade pizzas. This boy has a love for pizza!

While he's napping and the pizza dough is rising….. I thought I would share a few photos with you and also the recipe for our "breakfast cakes" which turned out oh so yummy.

enjoy……..

birthday banner

the "pizzas" as the wee on calls them….


waiting

decorated and waiting for the birthday boy to wake up….


banana blueberry cardamom bread

banana blueberry cardamom "cake" (these itty bitty vintage cake pans were given to me by my Aunt Lori)


so happy

happy birthday to you…


wishes

may your wishes come true……


Happy Happy Day 🙂


…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………


Banana Blueberry Cardamom "cakes" (breakfast muffins)

3/4 c. whole wheat flour

1 c. unbleached white flour

1/2 to 1 tsp ground cardamom (we like ours with 1 tsp)

1/4 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

**preheat oven to 375. mix dry ingredients together and set aside**

1/4 c. melted butter

1/4 c. sugar

3 mashed, very ripe bananas

2 large eggs

1 c. fresh or frozen blueberries

**mix sugar and butter together. add bananas and mix well. add eggs and mix well again. stir dry ingredients into wet. gently stir in blueberries. Bake at 375 until lightly golden in a buttered dish. makes 1 loaf or a dozen muffins cakes **

Serve with yogurt and fresh berries for a super yummy breakfast. 

Enjoy!


some pre-birthday sneak peeks….

It's been a busy couple of days around here!

I won't bore you with the plumbing issues with our 35+ year old house, but we'll just say that after two full days of running to the hardware store and replacing the old toilet, our new toilet flushes and no longer overflows……. and for that we are all thankful!!

So, I finally have a little bit of time to get on here and show you what my evenings and nap times have been full of……. really, I should be painting moulding and cutting in the living room, but this is just SO much more fun!

Sewmama

photo by Joe


I've been meaning to sew a cape for my wee guy for quite some time. We have a few in the dress up box, but I really wanted one made just for him. I had to figure out just the perfect style though……… so after some creative thinking and mindful watching I noticed two things. 

One, he likes a cape to cover his shoulders……….

and two, he wants to take it off and put it on ALL BY HIMSELF.

So with my independent little man in mind, this cape was born. An over the shoulder style with an encased elastic neck piece so he doesn't need help. I don't have to untie the horrible knots that usually get tied in a cape and I am far less worried about someone choking. For the stripes I used several strips of colorful fabric and sewed them on with different stitches. I added some vintage silver trim from  my stash too. Every super hero needs a little bling right? The neck is a little left over strip of black biased tape and the elastic piece is just a casing with 1/4 inch elastic inside. And of course he needed a big initial to show the world that this cape was made just for him, because he IS super.


front of cape

the front of the cape


his cape

the back


close up

a close up



Next was a need item. We gave away all our down jackets in WI when we left, so the wee man needed a new jacket. He needed a lightweight fleece coat for winter. Inspired by this cute little gnome, this jacket was born. (the gnomes are a Heather Ross print) I had a pattern for a long sleeve shirt and used it as a guide…….. but I made the body wider and a bit longer, the sleeves wider and added a great big gnome style hood. I can't wait to see this on him because the hood stands straight up! My own design too, it's sewn together with three pieces. After much seam ripping (and telling myself I should have found a pattern instead of trying to make my own!) I finally got it right and I am really happy with the final creation. Plus the whole thing is sergered and top stitched so my wild man can wrestle alligators and it should hold up beautifully.


the pocket

the pocket


Closeup

a close up


The Coat

the coat


I also whipped up some birthday banners, which you'll get to see tomorrow when we decorate for the big day. Yeah-hoo!

How the heck is my baby turning three tomorrow? I have no idea how this happened…. I am in amazement at how quickly the time flies by. No matter how I try to slow it. 

I always love to give my kids a little pile of handmade goodies as gifts. Knowing that they were made with love especially for them is such a warm-your-heart sort of feeling. 

A house Update

F-i-n-a-l-l-y . . . . . . . . .

We have officially finished one room!
Well, aside from putting in a new ceiling fan and replacing the door to the laundry room and touching up the paint where we attached the moulding……. but those things will come later. Right now we are happy to have one room that is beautifully peaceful to be in. New flooring, new paint, 2 new outside doors, new light switches, electrical outlets and new moulding.
PHEW!!
A whole lot of hard work and I must admit mostly done by Joe. A lot of this stuff is mostly a one person job…… so I stood back and made the food and cleaned up sawdust and kept the littles occupied 🙂 You’ve know idea how intriguing these tools in the house are to the wee one. Table saws and drills and hammers. He loves them all.
But now, now the den is complete. A cozy spot for the family to relax. We (aka the evil parents) have declared this space a toy free zone! Sounds awful, I know, but since the living room will house the instruments and all their games and crafting supplies, we decided we wanted this space for us…… but they are of course welcome to be in the grown up room. It’s just a read a book and sit and laugh and relax type of room. After a month of working on it, we certainly enjoy sitting on the couch with a glass of wine and finally listening to music! We’ve had the stereo system safely stored away from the whirling clouds of sawdust….. can you imagine all this work done with no music!?! We are a family with no television, so being without music is a sort of cruel torture to us!
But, on with the photos. Firstly, two before photos of the den……..
Before
Old door
and now, the after photos::
Jasper
Jasper and my favorite thrifted table 🙂
Fireplace
we can’t wait to cook some s’mores in here this fall….
Sid
Sid
Den One
The Den
Den Two
and again……..
Critters
Sid & Jasper think the windows and rugs were put in just for them!


Thanks for stopping by! Happy Monday to you.

A hat for my boy……

I love birthdays.

The chance to focus all that love and affection on one special person. 

A day just for them.

Around here the birthday boy/girl gets to pick out their most favorite meal and dessert. They get pretty darn spoiled for one whole day and they love it!

I enjoy the opportunity to create something special for them. Focusing on one or two handmade goodies. I tend to overdo this around the holidays and end up finishing things at the last minute. This happens with 4 kids, and good friends and a sweet husband….. and just a whole heck of a lot of folks that I love 🙂

But birthdays are different, especially the birthdays of your growing little ones.

This is the wee one's birthday hat. 

Knit for my wild little boy with the dark chocolate eyes and mischievous grin. This sweet little babe who (just like his siblings) has stolen our hearts and changed our world. Who is growing too fast. I swear each one grows quicker! Thoughts and memories flooded my mind and heart as I knit it up. Just the way handmade goodness is supposed to be 😉

flat hat

Top

Waiting

The yarn is green & blue from Purewool. This yarn is some of the softest wool I've knitted with. I got it from a yarn co-op and I ended with with fingering weight…. oops….. so I doubled it up when I rolled it into a ball and knitted with the double strand. 

Wool in Louisiana?? Of course 🙂 Actually this hat is super lightweight and the wee man (much to the delight of his mama) is a lover of hats. It will be perfect for cool days this coming winter. 

Knit from this pattern. (I started decreasing at 4 inches.) I made the brim of the hat a wee bit bigger (2 inches) so he could wear it rolled up like a little fisherman. I can't wait to get some photos of it on his birthday…… hopefully he appreciates this more than the shorts (longies) I made him a while back. 

More birthday crafting to come……. I've got 8 more days to fill with handmade goodness before the big day! 

Be Still

These two words sure pack in a whole lot of meaning.

I came across this and it tossed a little reality my way.
Easy mama. 
Slow down. 
Be still.
Kids do this naturally. I watch my own ebb and flow with moments of productivity, or destruction if we are talking about the wee one 🙂 And then moments of calm. The being still part. Sometimes it's gazing out the window. Laying in beds or on the couch day dreaming. Doing nothing.
Now these moments don't last too long…… but they take it upon themselves to give their minds and hearts a little break…… a little still….. when they feel the need.
A lesson I am still working on. 
That being said……
I am going to enjoy a bit of being still while the babes in my house are still asleep.
No knitting. No computer. Just the birds chirping, a cup of coffee and the still.
I hope you find the time to do the same.
Coffee
on the picnic table this morning

Good Bugs

Along with fruits and veggies……. you can buy bugs at the Farmer's Market.

BUY BUGS??!! 

Of course, good bugs, you know like Ladybugs & Praying Mantis.

The ladybugs come in the standard package of several hundred.
The Praying Mantis, however, come in a small paper looking cocoon. They are stored cold to keep them dormant, and at room temperature it takes 2-8 weeks for them to hatch.

So into a quart mason jar they went. Covered with a paper towel and metal ring. On a bookshelf in a warm spot out of direct sunlight in the Eldest's room. And each day little eyes peered in to see if anything was stirring in the jar. Days passed. Week passed. The girls mostly lost interest after the third week…… and the cocoon lay forgotten by all but the Eldest. Each day he checked once and often twice for movement and kept the mama updated.

Cocoon
Miss Six with Cocoon
After 4 and a half weeks rolled by….. during dinner prep…… the following events happened….

"Oh my gosh, there everywhere….. they hatched!" yelled the Eldest.

The girls rush in to look and then the whole lot of them run from the bedroom into the kitchen talking so fast I can hardly understand a thing they're saying and holding the mason jar….. after confirming the lid was still intact (phew!)….. I joined in the excitement.

Hatchlings
The Hatchlings – photo by Daddo
"They're so small."

"There are hundreds of them!"

"Will they eat fire ants??"

"I think they're eating each other."

"They're starving, let them go free!!"

And so after a good picture was finally taken of the hatchlings….. thanks to Daddo's ingenious photography skills….. they were released. 

All eyes
all eyes on the little bugs – photo by Daddo


Release
careful release – photo by Daddo

Praying Mantis mostly eat ants and crickets (maybe grasshoppers too?). Miss Six has high hopes of them decimating the fire ant population in the backyard. We're hoping they'll help us with a few of the not-so-garden-friendly bugs that live in our backyard. And we'd really like to see one of these full grown in a few weeks. For some fun info about the Praying Mantis look here and here.

Miss 6 and the pet

Miss 6 "Mama, I need my own pet."

Mama "But we have two pets all ready."

Miss 6 "But they aren't MY pets."

Mama "They're our whole family's pets."

Miss 6 looks at mama, quite annoyed and not amused or swayed in her requests.

Mama "What kind of pet do you have in mind?" 

Miss 6 "A bunny."

Mama "hmmmm…… what about fish?"

Miss 6 "My own fish?" she stopped to think for a minute, clearly still hoping for the bunny  "Can I pick them out MYSELF?"

Mama "Yes."

Miss 6 "Can we get them NOW??"
Introducing, the new pets. Two Betta fish picked out by Miss 6. After several days they finally got perfect names. She wrote down lists of names with a little help from her big brother and sister. And f-i-n-a-l-l-y she announced to us that the purple one would be named Golden Angel because it was very pretty and the blue one is Silent River because it was blue, of course.

new pets
In their new home with a dividing wall so they can't fight….. 
…..they do blow bubbles at each other.

two fish
Fish are not easy to photograph…..



purple
This is Golden Angel (Silent River refused to be photographed)

Mama "How do you feel about having your own pets?"

Miss 6 "I feel good because my sister has her own pet (Jasper) and I can take care of them myself and I can make the rules about them because they are my own pets."

Mama "What is the best thing about having fish?"

Miss 6 "You only have to feed them two pebbles every other day and I don't have to clean up their poop."

Mama "Is there anything else you want to say about your new pets?"

Miss 6 "I like them. It's fun to watch them swim and watch their fins and gills move. They are really good pets. Is that all your questions??"

Mama "Yes."

Betta fish are inexpensive and super easy to care for. (and I am very thankful the pet store did not sell bunnies) Here is some basic info if you are interested :) 

Dancing in the Rain

I now know the meaning of torrential downpour. 

Sure, I've seen my fair share (and then some) of darn good rain storms. But this was pretty impressive.

One minute it was blue skies….. then the wind picked up….. then the sky darkened….. and thunder and lightening rolled in with buckets of water. It was more than just rain drops….. literally like pouring water out of a bucket. 

Needless to say the kids loved it and all but the eldest got soaked. The wee one especially got a kick out of it…. running, biking and dancing in the rain. 

90 degrees and humid turned into 75 and rainy. You gotta love it. Best of all it stopped and the sun came out after dinner making the bike riding puddle splashers especially happy. We've never lived somewhere that had warm rain…..

I must admit….. I am really starting to like Louisiana rain.

little biker

sans helmet – bad mama – I know 



splashin'

splish splash



runnin'

run baby run



miss 10

even the big ones dug the rain



rain drops

love those raindrops



downpour

pouring



loves it

he LOVED it



So, if you get the chance…… dance in the rain….. or at least take pictures of your kiddos doing it 🙂

a little progress

First, thank you all so much for your kind words in reply to my last post!! 

My funk reminded me of my favorite mantra “You are where you need to be”…… a tough one to remember at times…..  but a darn good one 🙂
So with that, here are some snapshots of the weekend progress.
Kneepads
kneepads are a must!
Den
2 new doors, fresh paint and the floor mostly done…..
Tools
the tools
merlot & bamboo
after a long day…… doesn’t merlot go nicely with bamboo?
bathroom tunes
playing for the wee one in the tub 
(in our very yellow bathroom, the tub&tile are also yellow!)
Jasper
this morning – kitty loves the view from the new doors……
So there you have the progress! 
Not quite as much as we had hoped…… but that’s okay. We took a much needed break and hung out all Sunday afternoon at a friend’s pool. The kids had fun and we relaxed….. I think we were beginning to forget how to do that!
I learned how to use the saw….. and we made a good team cutting pieces…. measuring and pounding these boards in. I really thought these would go together like big legos……. and they do….. but it’s more like big ill fitted legos. At least, I don’t recall using a hammer to put my legos together as a kid…… We sorted the boards into three piles. Blonde, honey & unique. This way we would make sure we didn’t get big areas of the same color. We used the piles to place the boards and we LOVE the natural variegated look. Plus we got to put the unique ones in spots we knew we’d see them. Once we got half the room done, we both stood back, admired it and agreed it would all be worth it…… the time…. the mess…… the work and the tools living in the house.
The once dark den is so much brighter with the light coming in the new doors and the bamboo and the sunny paint…. and we’re excited to see it all come together. 
Wether it’s this weekend or two weeks from now.