Sunday, October 21, 2012

Play, as we know it

I absolutely love seeing my babies play. Here are a few shots of some recent favorites.

 Parking lot in the kitchen.

 I'm always a fan of play that also helps me cross chores off my list.  Töchterchen likes the job of supervisor, while Mannchen does the heavy work.

 Just one of those days - campout in the living room, watching The Lion King.

We even had a "picnic" lunch on the floor while we watched the movie.  Mannchen's response: "OH!  That's so special.  I so excited!"

We made felt/velcro band-aids - Mannchen is showing off red and orange ones while coloring.  I could not afford to keep putting real ones on the kids every time they asked.   They have been very happy to use their play ones instead.

Mannchen loves to spread out the hay from his barn and "mow the field" with his tractors. 

We've made a lot of elaborate train set-ups lately.  I forgot to get a shot of the whole set-up.

Mannchen's drawing of a firetruck - his favorite thing to draw.

Töchterchen's favorites include changing her baby doll's clothes, having tea parties, and destroying nearly everything Mannchen does.  She's really good at the last one. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Latest in Sewing

I wasn't sewing as much as I had hoped for a few months - mostly after we moved Töchterchen back downstairs and we lost our crafting/office room.  But I've been getting back into the swing of things lately...and once again getting used to pulling out and putting away my sewing machine each time I use it. 

First on my list of "must-do's" was pajama pants for the kids.  I bought flannel fabric last spring on super clearance for a mere $1.99/yd.  A few weeks ago I created my own little pattern from pajama pants they already own...but I extended the length.  In fact, I super extended it and created a cuff at the bottom of each pair of pants.  I'm hoping this year they can wear them with the cuff up and next year with the cuff down they will still fit.  But in the case of Töchterchen, who grows like a may just mean she will get one full season out of them.

 Modeling her favorite pair of PJ pants.  I've recently learned my baby girl is not a pastels girl.  She likes things bright, cheery, and a bit on the wild side - just like her personality.  Unfortunately two of the flannels I bought were softer colors, but she seems to be ok with wearing them when the mood strikes her just right.  I tried to get a standing shot of either kid, but this was the best I could do.   

 Next on the list was to finish up this fun little jumper for my girl. Again, it was fabric I bought on clearance at least a year ago - I'm a sucker for baby cordoruy. I was just waiting for her to get a little bigger so that I wouldn't have to alter the pattern quite as much as I did with the other dress pattern I've made for her in the past. I made it in a 3T and I hope it fits her for awhile.

Close-up of the fun fabric.

Complete with two pockets on the front for collecting rocks, acorns, and grass girl's favorites.

 Sweet baby girl with her baby.  Pardon the Halloween tatoo on her arm - temporary tatoos are the latest rage with my kids.
 Back of the dress.
I love her crazy bedhead.  And her excitement over her new dress.  She had to try it on as soon as she saw it.

Next up, her quilt!  Tonight I'm working on my "pattern" and design ideas.  The fabrics I selected are gorgeous and I hope I do them justice!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Weekend Mornings

We eat extremely well around here, especially on weekend mornings. My boys love to cook up a tasty feast - Mannchen is very quickly becoming a fabulous chef. Saturdays are usually pancakes and Sundays are french toast or eggs, bacon, and on occasion homemade cinnamon rolls. I love watching them work together and Mannchen's enthusiasm is precious.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Springwood Farm

Last weekend we went to Springwood Farm, Hubby's Aunt and Uncle's farm, for a family reunion.  Every Columbus Day weekend his mom's family gathers to enjoy a fall weekend together.  Springwood couldn't be in a more beautiful setting.  Our farm lovin' boy was in heaven - cows, horses, and TWO John Deere tractors!  Three year old boy heaven.  Töchterchen had a blast herself playing with all her (second and third) girl cousins.  There were four little girls ages 18 months to 3 years.  They all brought their strollers and baby dolls.  I think they enjoyed trading babies and strollers, but I'm not sure because there were a few squabbles over who was pushing who in what.  Oh girls...the drama starts early.

Not only was this a great weekend in the country with family, but this was Mannchen's first ever camping trip.  We set the tent up in the living room a few nights before we went and from that moment on he was pumped.  In fact, he's spent most nights on the floor of his room "camping out" since we returned.  Thankfully he sleeps better on the floor of his room than he did in the tent.  Töchterchen was up crying at midnight because of her two year molars (she was sleeping with Mimi and Papa, but after that spell she came back to sleep snuggled up on this mama's chest, which I loved) and Mannchen was up for awhile around 3:00 for who knows why (it was cold?).  Then we all were blessed to yet again rise with the sun.  Are you catching my sarcasim on that one?  I hope so.  We haven't missed a sunrise in a long, long time, but this was just our first one in a tent, in the rain, wet and cold.

But in all seriousness we had fabulous weekend, even if it did take our kids about four days to recover from no true naps two days in a row and one EXTREMELY late bedtime. Sometimes I really struggle at letting go and taking part in weekends away for those very reasons. I think a lot of it comes from having to be the one that bears the blunt of the double grumpy toddler blow for those long days following. But the time with family is precious and worth every bit of it. Our kids won't have first cousins close in age so I am extremely thankful for every moment they get with their second cousins. We made memories that will last for years and that is worth every tired moment in the days to follow.  Plus I was able to get away with Hubby's cousin for a great 10 mile run.  I haven't run in such beautiful scenery with great company in a long, long time!

The most beautiful baby girl a mama could ever ask for.  This picture is from my flower garden several weeks ago.  Last week the flowers decided they had produced enough and started to mold.  We truly enjoyed having a fresh vase of flowers and herbs on the table for the last several months.  Next year I'm hoping to have both a summer and a fall cutting garden. 

Hubby's Aunt does a great job of scheduling activities for the kids (and grown-ups).  This year we made tye-dye shirts and the kids decorated bags for trick-or-treating (and for carrying home their shirts). 
Taking a break from playing in the horse rink to visit with the cows along with a cousin.  Hubby's uncle has about a dozen cows currently - but then again he is a specialist with a PhD such things.

Töchterchen had to fear of any of the large animals.  She loved reaching right in to pet them and even touch their tounges.  I had to hold myself back from stopping her.  I didn't want to pass along my own reservations to her.  I'm so thankful for animal lovin' kids.  Sidenote - the latex gloves she is wearing are from tye-dyeing.  She refused to take them off for the longest time.

Töchterchen pushing a cousin's baby and stroller.

Listening to and participating in the African drum music with another sweet cousin. 

The drummers.

Shake it girl.

Mannchen enjoyed studying each instrument.

Riding the tractor with favorite Aunt Meg.  When Hubby's sister got there, Mannchen took off running for her and gave her a big hug.  Needless to say, the boy loves his Aunt.  Story behind this picture - Mannchen, Töchterchen, and I were taking part in the African drumming when Mannchen heard type of motor start up.  He immediately started looking around and realized it was one of the tractors.  Once we realized that he took off running as fast as he could.  I'm sure he was even more overjoyed when he realized it was his aunt driving the tractor.

If Mannchen does it, Töchterchen has to try it too.

Back home, with her own baby and stroller, playing little mommy.  I love how much my baby girl loves her baby.  Melts my heart.  I look forward to all the tea parties and playing house we'll do in the years to come.

Waiting for Fall

Here in Newport News, we're still waiting for significant fall weather. Some evenings are cool, but most days still get up to the 70s. It makes for great outdoor weather, but I'm ready for cold, crisp fall days. I want to wear pants and long sleeves! Spring started in February this year. It just feels like this has been the summer that we never had the chance to long for and it's never going to end. Yet, all in all, there is nothing in all of that to truly complain about. So, while we are waiting and longing for fall and winter, we are reminding ourselves to be happy with the beautiful days surrounding us now. Our fall garden is taking off and providing us with plenty of cabbage and lettuce - keeping us healthy and saving on the grocery bills. Staying outdoors all morning is very enjoyable, rather than hot and humid. Plus, it's been great weather for running!
Our family computer died a few weeks (months?) ago and now we only use Justin's work computer on the evenings and weekends. Recently we cut cable and switched to a cheaper internet service. In the process we went a week without internet at home. It really put in perspective for me how much time I used to waste online. I was able to get so much more done around the house - cooking, sewing, cleaning, and creating. Now that we have internet again I've found I don't care near as much about it or getting on the computer after the kids are in bed. It feels extremely liberating to cross out that huge time vaccuum and spend more time caring for my family. I've upped my "cooking from scratch" efforts and have been sewing more. I realized that spending my time in these ways is far more beneficial for myself and my family than spending hours a week online and on facebook. It kind of makes me sad that I wasted as much of my life as I did in the past.

I'm hoping that in the months to come I can make more frequent, but shorter blog posts. Here's to hoping at least!