Wednesday, December 25, 2013

It's the Most Wonderful Day of the Year

Twas the day of Christmas and we started with crying,
'Cause Santa drank all the milk we were eyeing.
Consoling us took nearly all of a minute
after noting the train room, and the presents in it
We unwrapped a dinosaur, a rocket, an Earth
As tradition demands, for our Savior's birth
A guitar, a dragon, some holiday cheer
An airplane, a chopper and Buzz Lightyear
A whirlwind of paper and ribbons and toys
Was the right recipe for a blissed out boy
But despite all the doodads and parents busting their @**es
All Sophie wants is Mommy's glasses

Friday, December 20, 2013


Most firsts are happy occasions for babies. We're excited for Sophie's first Christmas, to be followed only a few weeks later by her first birthday. We've been taking pictures and video of her first steps and it's amazing to watch her grow. But now she has the honor of a first her brother hasn't hit yet. A few weeks ago, I flew to San Antonio for my Grandfather's funeral. Daddy couldn't get time off for traveling and the last minute tickets were expensive, so he stayed in California with Austin, and I flew to Texas with Sophie, who was still young enough to fly free. I was so lucky to be able to do that. She met great uncles and aunts and even a great great uncle and a great great aunt, and my some of my mother's cousins. It was a wonderful trip, even though it was such a sad occasion. He was 95 years old and was married to my Grandmother for 71 years. He was buried in the Fort Sam Houston National Cemetary in San Antonio. Sophie cried during the gun salute, but was quiet and sweet through the service. And she held my Grandmother's hand. I was worried about bringing her to such a somber occasion, but she was really very good. And I hope someone brings a baby to my funeral, when the time comes, because everyone seemed glad to see her. I don't really know what the etiquette is for sharing pictures from funerals, but this blog is ultimately for Austin and Sophie, so someday we can all look back together at all the things we did. So, in chronological order, here are the pictures from the trip...

We love and miss you all.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

If You're Going to San Francisco

Be sure to wear flowers in your hair...
or pitcher plants
and butterflies
and maybe you have a fat lip too, but on you, it looks good
and maybe flowers are happier on the ground
where you can run (or crawl) through them

That was our trip to the Conservatory in Golden Gate Park, without even including any shots of the awesome playground, the carousel or the trip to Haight Ashbury, where we saw "Jack Sparrow" according to Austin. There were a lot of "pirates" in the park that day, and the ones in earshot were pretty good sports too.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Witch Craft!

Halloween is coming up so Mom gathered the necessary ingredients for a spooky craft! We're making Witch Balls (which makes Dad giggle). Witch Balls are actually a real thing. Victorians used to hang colorful glass globes around their homes and gardens for good luck, though some say the tradition is much older. The gazing balls sold for gardens seem to be modern cousins. We're going to make it a little more Austin friendly with plastic Christmas ornaments, to be filled with magical moss, feathers, glow in the dark snakes and other witchy things. Somewhat inspired by this post on the Play at Home Mom blog, one of my favorite places to find things to do with the kids :)

How to Make Witch Balls:
Clear plastic ornaments
Flower Petals
Small Halloween Trinkets
Glitter balls in the back were done with baby oil and very fine glitter, courtesy  of changingmydestiny.

I also painted the top of the ornaments with some Halloweeny nail polish and threaded a ribbon through the loop instead of a hook.

This one was made by glueing googly eyes facing out of the ornament with ModgePodge.

Friday, September 27, 2013

One More Thing About the Birthday Boy

I had started a tradition on Austin's first birthday, of posting a video highlighting the year. I used the song, "September" by Earth Wind and Fire because his birthday is actually the 21st, just like the song. And I didn't manage to continue this on his second birthday... there was just a lot going on at that time last year. We didn't even do a proper party. But I had taken a lot of pictures and videos, and I had started working on the video. This year, I actually finished it. So this is last year's video, many months in the making...

And here's this year's. So amazing to see how much he's grown, even though I was there for every day of it.

Gratuitous Sophie Picture!

Austin's Deep Sea Pirate Party

Was awesome. If I do say so myself. Thanks to Pinterest and First Mate Mommy, I think Captain Austin had a pretty spectacular time...

We wrapped the windows in the sun room with blue cellophane and hung up jellyfish and crepe seaweed for an undersea feeling

We got some silver trays and plates from Goodwill, added paper boats and raided the Halloween decorations

Digging for treasure in the yard was a huge hit. We used about 200 lbs of sand to fill up the kiddie pool enough for digging.
I spray painted that X with two pieces of cardboard as guides. Just lay your cardboard on the sand parallel to each other to make one line, then turn 90 degrees to make the other.
We dug for Mardi Gras doubloons, necklaces and gold nuggets! Spray painting rocks gold for party favors was a brilliant idea from Notable Nest.

Some of the treasure was delicious.
This was just a piece of wood from Home Depot with two stepping stones underneath

The plank also made an excellent buffet table. We got some costume stuff from Goodwill for Dread Pirate Daddy.

Use paper plates and scissors to make a set of shark jaws! Excellent toddler party craft from Dollar Store Crafts.
Sophie just enjoyed the paper plates :)
The biggest hit was these Cannonball Cascarones. Just follow the instructions for blowing and cleaning the eggs, paint 'em black (I used some acrylic paint I had lying around) and stuff them with red tinsel or crinkled paper.

Eggs contributed by our completely authentic Pirate Chickens

Jellyfish balloons made with glue, tissue paper, tinsel and curling ribbon

Hang a creepy cloth and some skeletons from your yardarm, with a crochet hoop. If you do it on a chandelier like I did, make sure you're using CFLS so you don't burn your Pirate Party down with your cheap ass dollar store cloth ;)

I also refused to shell out for themed party dishes and instead gave out stickers so my guests could ID their drinks.
They also made a fun way for toddlers to help with Austin's big birthday card :)