Monday, December 28, 2015

ZOO BIRTHDAY!

Well, I have a little man turning five tomorrow. And five seems so very old. I still remember when my little peanut was tiny. 
Sweet, tiny bundle.
Smiley little peanut.
But enough of that. This sweet, funny, brilliant little man has gotten more amazing every second of his life, and we took him on a special birthday trip this weekend to celebrate. Instead of doing a ginormous birthday party (which, let's be honest, we always end up doing no matter how much we say we're doing low-key), we decided to visit the Houston Zoo and invite anyone who was able to come. It's quite the trek for most of our family and friends, so we were delighted that the Hopkins, the Pinkertons, and Ann and Matt were able to come! Milo was surprised by the whole thing and by his guests, which made it even more fun.

The Houston Zoo was awesome. They gave him a birthday button to proudly display, and everywhere we went the workers noticed and made a big deal about it. The man at the carousel even made two special announcements about Milo's birthday while we rode. Milo was sitting so tall on his animal I thought he had grown several inches - he thought it was that cool. It was supposed to storm all day long, but it barely sprinkled a few times while we were there. That meant the zoo was practically empty and we still got to see elephants get baths and feed giraffes. As soon as we left, it began to pour. The trip home was interesting (monsoon, anyone?), but completely worthwhile.

So, birthday trip down, birthday DAY to go. In fact, Milo forgot this morning that his birthday is actually tomorrow because he had so much fun. When I asked him what his favorite part of the trip was, he said, "Spending time with everyone who came." (sniffle) He is so wonderful. He then declared on the way home that it was the best trip EVER.  

Let's just be honest - this may be Milo's favorite person in the world.

Playing the bongos with Ms. Tracy!

Giraffe heads are much huger up close.

Group shot by a random stranger. Gotta love it.




Lily and Milo were all giggles.


Thursday, December 24, 2015

A Vision in Sassy

Lucy came out of the bathroom yesterday shaking her head at me, clearly upset.

"Mommy, my hair is all wet."

I gently stroked her wet hair and said, "Baby, what happened? Why is your hair all wet?"

"It's wet from the potty water. I put my hands in the potty and now my hair is all wet."

And that's how it goes around here.

I also came in today while Lucy was making poo. She was seated on her potty chair, and had pulled over the little stool from the sink so she could put her feet up while she did her business. Milo later reported that she was also counting to 23 while she was in there (higher than she will ever admit to counting - she was probably doing complex equations and spelling Mississippi while she was at it). I wish I had a picture to show you how perfectly content and comfortable she was.

Instead I'll give you this.


My little spitfire. She told me that she was "a vision in pink" and also a farmer on her way to the farm. I could not love this little nugget any more.

Ice Cream Dates and Book Times

Have I raved enough about my sweet, hilarious, brilliant son on this blog or not?

This week we've had some busy days, and there have been a few days that Milo has told me, "Mommy, could we just sit down and talk? We haven't gotten to just sit down and talk to each other today." I actually took him on a little date Monday night so we could do just that, and I literally walked around with tears in my eyes most of the time enjoying this amazing little creature. Talk about a quality time love language kind of person (although I'm convinced that children just speak all of the love languages and we should just go ahead and cultivate that).

We have book time every morning after these little people wake up. We snuggle up on the couch with juice (Lucy's equivalent of coffee), and I read at least three books (let's be honest - now that they both want to pick, we end up with a LOT more most days). This morning I was trying to switch over laundry, make Nate some coffee, and clean up the rest of the kitchen mess from company last night (I should always just do this before I go to bed), and as I looked out into the living room, I realized that my little people were snuggled together under a blanket and Milo was reading to Lucy. So many things involved in that one sentence, right? Sweet snuggling, and my smarty-pants Milo who is reading well enough to tackle whole books. I asked if they wanted me to jump in and read and Milo said he would really like to keep reading to Lucy, which was so heartwarming I couldn't encroach. I heard him say, "Okay, Lucy, I'll read you six more books," as Lucy danced over to the bookshelf with glee.

These are the kinds of moments that I am so humbled by (Remember my previous blog about humility? This is a whole new level...).



Just as an aside, here is an example of the kind of things I find all over my house...


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

A lesson in humility

Being a mommy. It's a constant lesson in humility.

As if pregnancy and childbirth aren't enough in themselves, then there's the infant phase, where you tend to go out in public with a variety of child bodily fluids in hard-to-see spots (whether it's because you saw said spot and didn't care or just got nailed with something and forgot it was there...).

Then your children learn to talk, and all of a sudden you're in Target and you can't stash the Tampax box far enough from your daughter to make her stop picking it up and studying it intently. "Mommy, look at this girl! She has orange shoes! What is this? What's in this box? Can I touch it? Can I open this? Is it candy? What's in here????"

And then, inevitably, she will hold the box up at every stranger you pass, making direct eye contact and shouting, "Look! It's lady things! See these?" as you go.

Just forget about trying to spell things in front of your children after the age of 4. You'll say to your husband, "I don't really care for those shoes - I feel like they make me look like a w-i-t-c-h." Then your son will shake his head sadly at you and say, "Mommy, a witch? We don't say witch..."

Humility. You might as well just learn it now.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Workout pants welcome

Well, it's Monday. I'm not going to lie - I'm babysitting, and I'm in workout attire. Not because I'm working out while I'm babysitting, but just because I didn't care enough to put on real pants. Great start to a week, right?

Here's a little cuteness to get me back on track. Happy Monday!

No clue what was happening here...
...or why Milo is smiling like this (no matter how cute he looks).

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Addendum

Just, as an addendum, look at this perfection.


Lucy Temple

video
You already know that my little Lucy is a stinker and a sweet pea all at once, right? I have the video to prove it.

Lulu has recently figured out that she can shake her curls and melt hearts left and right (a la Shirley Temple, although I swear she's never seen Shirley work her magic). In fact, she shook herself dizzy this time. And then, as always, she refused to perform for me. This girl can count to 15, spell her own name, and do a host of other things, but not if I ask her to...

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Life with Lucy Jane

I was awakened somewhere around 3 this morning by a sneeze to the face. Just think through how that feels for a quick second...

It was Lucy, and she apparently had to go to the bathroom. Three times in a row, by the way. Yes, multiple times of falling almost all the way asleep, just to have a groggy two-year old startle you back awake for another trip to the potty (and, just for the record, she can do it by herself). 

Just as I was getting really irritated, she had to melt my heart. As she sat on the potty, she looked up through her messy curls and remarked on my giant sleep shirt, "Oooooh, Mommy. Cute dress!"

Life with Lucy Jane.

Two dogs for sale (just kidding, Nate)

So,  here are my dogs. They just got some really cute haircuts. They don't like being outside at all. They spend most of their days looking at me like so through the back door...


I've been less than enthusiastic about these pups since I was pregnant with Lucy, probably because my pregnant nose could smell them ANYWHERE in the house. Can I be honest with you? My supersonic nose didn't go anywhere after she was born, so I still smell them at all times. Which makes me really irritated with them all the time. It's really sad, though, because they're adorable and really good (for the most part) dogs. Just had to share.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

One Small Triumph

Today was a hard day for homeschool. Milo just wasn't feeling it. He didn't want to do math. He didn't want to do his language arts worksheets... I wrote an encoded message for him, and gave him a key where each letter of the alphabet had a corresponding number. It was reading, handwriting, number recognition, etc. all put together, and I was so excited about it. However, because it involved sitting still and using concentration, today wasn't the day. He didn't want to participate in my super-cool activity because it had nothing to do with his brand new Lego book...

Until I told him that spies use secret codes to send messages to people, and that he should find a spot in the house that he would use to crack a code if he were a spy.

He was all over it and made a break for the "tunnel" behind our couch. He quickly decoded the message, wrote it, and ran out excitedly waving it in the air. It was definitely a triumph, and the fact that we had the option for him to go find a comfy spot and just enjoy himself is one of the many reasons I love homeschooling him.

Now, don't get me wrong. We still had a ROUGH time with motivation on the rest of his work, but we both made it out alive.

Secret message? Check. Tunnel? Check. Flashlight? Check. A master spy in the making.



Friday, December 4, 2015

Dreaming of art

Milo woke up this morning on a mission. He needed a pencil and paper because he was going to draw a ballerina. I didn't follow his train of thought exactly, but then he excitedly told me, "Mommy, I dreamed about it!" 

"Oh, Milo, you dreamed about a ballerina? How beautiful!"

"No, Mommy. I dreamed that I knew how to draw a ballerina, and now I know how!"

He was frustrated through several attempts, but he kept trying and I think he finally nailed it. Don't you?


Thursday, December 3, 2015

The wonder of Ethan

I am so thankful for this guy... 14 1/2 and he's not too busy or too old to just snuggle some little ladies who feel nervous about the movie Tarzan. He's one in a million.


Tuesday, December 1, 2015

A little visual

Oh, and just in case you needed a visual to go with my last blog...

Oh my word, this little lady is looking so OLD!

Speaking of old...

What an adorable pair.

Thanksgiving recap

It's the first of December, and I'm all snuggled up in a turtleneck tunic sweater and skinny cords. Not because I need to be, mind you, but because I'm determined to wear a snuggly outfit, even if it is going to be in the 60's today... I will tell you, though, that I noticed the leaves around us beginning to change. I'm going to have to take some pictures and make a HUGE fuss (this is a warning to you) so that I can enjoy a little autumn around here. You know, just as everyone is gearing up for the winter holidays.

Did you have a wonderful Thanksgiving? My heart was so full this year. We ended up with quite the unconventional celebration, but I didn't mind. We had brunch with my mom and Gary, Bryan and Sarah and the kids, and my wonderful mother-in-law. I was initially a bit sad because we were without so much of my family, but we ended up outside with the little people playing croquet, and it turned out so nicely. Then we headed home for naps, and afterward took a giant spread over to the Foys for a Thanksgiving dinner (which, might I say, was AMAZING - Amanda and I make quite the cooking team).

Thanksgiving continued into the weekend, because we saw Nate's side of the family Saturday evening (for Qwirkle - THANKS, Delaney!!!!) and again Sunday morning for donuts. I must admit that by yesterday morning, I was exhausted, but in the best possible way.

And now we're back to business as usual. Milo and I got back to work on school after taking the entire Thanksgiving week off. My child is a genius. You already knew this, though, so that's not news. I've been trying to challenge him by printing off some beginning readers and having him work on them. My plans have been foiled when I expect to take several days working through something, though, because he just sits down and reads (and comprehends, mind you) them in one small sitting. Reading is going to be such a treat for him because he loves to learn. Can you imagine when he doesn't have to rely solely on me to acquire information?

And sweet Lucy. She decided yesterday that she wanted to do school, too... This entails her sitting at the table with us and being entirely distracting (in the most adorable way possible). But I finally figured out what to give her - flashcards. It didn't matter which kind I passed her, letters, animals, whatever. She was delighted. She is such a sorter that it cracks me up. I can always count on her to arrange things by colors, or by shapes, or by animals. A week or two ago she ate a bowl of Fruit Loops one color at a time. It took her forever, but at least it was entertaining.

Anyway, it's a countdown until my sweet baby boy turns 5. Let's pretend like it's not coming until the day before, shall we? Hope you're having a wonderful week already!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Forgotten gems

I found my small camera in my purse yesterday and realized that I had forgotten about several amazing pictures... I never do this, just like I never find money in a pocket or purse that I haven't checked in a while. I always know where these things are. Well, except for this time.

Such a sweet messy face.

Working on becoming a daddy's girl...

Milo and his favorite person in the whole world.

Lucy thinks Ann's pretty awesome, too.

Museum trip with Mom!

And these cuties. Because I found the camera and had to snap a picture.


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Permanent Thanksgiving Part 2

Perhaps you were wondering where this guy was in my thankful post yesterday...


I had to give him a post all of his own. I am so thankful for a husband who works incredibly hard (too hard, in my opinion) to bear the entire financial responsibility for our family. (A.k.a. This guy goes to work so that I can stay home and play.)

I am thankful for a husband who supports me and gives me amazing pep talks when I am so very down on myself.

I am thankful for a husband who tickles me and teases me and makes me laugh (almost) all the time.

I am thankful for a husband who is the spiritual leader of our home and takes that job very seriously.

I am thankful for a husband who is an amazing daddy to our little people. He plays with them, but he also teaches them how to be incredible little human beings... And he also teaches them to respect and appreciate me (I can't tell you how valuable this is, especially when I see husbands who do the opposite with children).

I am thankful for a husband who is my best friend and partner in life.

I'm also thankful that I have a hot husband to grow old with. It could be rough otherwise...

Monday, November 23, 2015

Permanent Thanksgiving

I am thankful. And I'm thankful (almost) all the time, but my heart is especially full this cold November morning.

I'm thankful for two little people who adore each other.


I'm thankful for a genius little man who cut, colored, and READ a book to his little sister (and is now reading everything he can get his hands on).



I'm thankful for this passionate, clever little beauty, with her long legs and gorgeous curls. (Side note: she refers to Milo's small heater as a "peter," just like my brother did when he was little.)




Did I mention how thankful I am for this little ray of sunshine? He has such a sweet, grateful heart, and is the most amazing big brother. And did I mention this child is reading????


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

A good sound spanking

Before I forget...

Lucy was something else yesterday, and I spent the entire day either disciplining her or threatening to... Let's not even get into the amount of whining and moping I heard from Milo on top of that. I'll just go ahead and say it. Monday, you suck.

Anyway, as I finished getting on to Lucy for the umpteenth time, I reminded her, "Lucy, if you do this again, Mommy is going to have to spank you with the wooden spoon."

She calmly looked at me and said, "Okay, Mommy. The spoon is right on my dresser when you need it."

Good to know I instill such fear with my spankings, right?

Work it out

video

Sometimes you've just got to work it... I apologize for the video quality, but considering this was taken on a phone, you just get what you get. Once you see Lucy's crouching booty-shake and Milo's amazing spins you'll just be pleased you took the time to look at it.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Capsule Wardrobe Update

You know, I mentioned my capsule wardrobe how long ago? And then never mentioned it again...

It's amazing. I have never been so delighted with having so little, and I'm going to have to get started on the rest of the house (children's toys - I'm looking at you). Having such a minimal amount of things to choose from has actually been really liberating. Special event? Hands-down, black jumpsuit (oh yes, it's 100% a one-piece ladypantsuit and like wearing dressy pajamas in public). Daily ins and outs at the house? Jeans and a casual top. Errands? Comfy cute dress. I have time to think about other things, like what every other creature in the house is wearing and how much laundry we make on a daily basis...

I will admit, there have been a few hiccups along the way. For example, I am wearing ridiculously tight jeans right now because I shrunk my only pair of wide-legs in the laundry today. I don't have a back-up pair because I've eliminated back-ups from my wardrobe completely. Instead, I'm wearing an over-sized shirt and not breathing in the hopes that these will stretch back out if I wear them long enough. Either that or I will pass out from cutting off the circulation between my upper and lower halves. If you haven't heard from me again in a week and a half or so, send out a search party.

I also spent the morning in exercise leggings and a t-shirt because my little people woke up an hour early and I got stuck in my walking clothes. I guess that's not the wardrobe's fault, but I needed to tell you anyway. Somehow I'm extra cranky when I smell like outside...

Also, I no longer have my, "I'm feeling blue, I'd better shop" plan. You might say this is a good thing and I would be forced to agree with you. Except for this...




All that to say, capsule wardrobes get a huge thumbs-up in my book. If you're interested in more, this website is completely fascinating. Happy Monday!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Treasures

Every now and then I'm so tickled by the things I hear around my house that I have to share.

Things like, "Mommy, I need to sit on your lap while you go potty." (Ummmm, NO, by the way.)

Or, "Mommy, how do cows milk themselves?"

How about, "I like to snuggle you, Mommy. See, our cheeks are together. Like a puzzle."

Or even, to my mom, "Nana, what does it feel like to be a grandmother?"

I get really caught up in the daily business of things. Homeschooling. Potty training. Cooking and cleaning and walking and actually putting on clothes that could be seen in public. The making-the-house-run kind of stuff that seems vitally important, but, in the grand scheme of things, really doesn't matter as much. I'm trying to enjoy these little people more and remember that if we're still in our pjs at lunchtime every now and then, it's going to be just fine.

After all, raising these two little treasures is the best gift I've ever received.



Saturday, October 31, 2015

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Online Craft Sale



The last few years I've ended up selling items at Fall craft shows, but I don't have anything on the horizon this season. That said, I have had the knitting/crocheting bug all year, and besides the myriad of gifts I've created, I have extra stock. So it's online craft show time! I'll be posting some pieces on my blog and also on my RubiLu Facebook page. Feel free to email me at mskajack@gmail.com if you're interested in purchasing. Also, if you see something you like and would prefer a custom order, we can definitely work it out.

I love using cozy, snuggly, soft yarns and knit everything like I am making a gift for a friend, so you can be sure that anything you purchase is top-notch. I also make handwarmers to correspond with any of the hats or cowls for $15. (I can't seem to hang on to a pair to show you, but I'll try to get an example up on the blog.)

Note: Shipping charge is $5.75 flat rate, but if you are local, I also offer free delivery.
Happy Fall!

Multi-colored headband with cream edging. 82% bamboo/18% polyamide yarn. $12 + shipping.
Blue and brown slouchy hat with brim. 100% acrylic yarn. See below for side view. $20 + shipping.

(side view blue and brown slouchy hat with brim)
Green apple cabled slouchy hat. 80% acrylic / 20% wool yarn. See below for side view. $20 + shipping.


(side view green apple cabled slouchy hat)


Chevron stripe infinity scarf. 85% acrylic / 15% wool yarn. Can be worn doubled up as shown, or full-length as shown below. $35 + shipping.

(full-length view of chevron stripe infinity scarf)

Harvest color headband with leaf and button. $15 + shipping.

Dark lavender slouchy hat with cable detail. See below for side view. $20 + shipping.

(side view dark lavender slouchy hat with cable detail)

Chunky crochet pom-pom hat. This one is so much fun, and I also have it available in a yellow/beige/white mix. 85% acrylic / 15% wool yarn. $25 + shipping.

Purple multi stripe cowl. 85% acrylic / 15% wool. $25 + shipping.

Purple multi bandana cowl. This has four working wooden buttons on the side for easy removal. 100% acrylic yarn. $25 + shipping.

Red falling leaves cowl. 82% bamboo/18% polyamide yarn. $25 + shipping.

Red and grey super slouchy hat. 80% acrylic / 20% wool. See below for back view of contrast color. $20 + shipping.
(back view red and grey super slouchy hat)