26 November 2015

Bright Baby Girl Quilt

This past weekend, I got to hand off my newest quilt to its new owner. She is bright, confident, feisty, feminine, and unapologetic. I mean all of those things in the nicest possible way, and she is going to be a wonderful mother to her sweet Adelina.

In that spirit, I tried to make a quilt that embodied the same character and ended up with this:

The quilt top came together remarkably quickly thanks to strip piecing and a few cutting shortcuts. 

For the quilting, I wanted to try something different. I attempted to recreate the pattern from the backing fabric. It's imperfect (isn't that the true beauty of quilts?), but I'm pleased with how it turned out. 

24 November 2015

October 2015 Recap

October feels like a lifetime ago, but I'm finally getting a chance to share some highlights with you. Fair warning: it was a very photo-heavy month.

To start the month, I spent a night away in beautiful Bellingham and treated myself to dinner and a pint at Boundary Bay Brewery and Bistro. I just love Bellingham.

The next morning, I ran my third half marathon, Run Like a Girl Bellingham. I don't really know how to explain it besides an anti-race. There's no mandatory distance (anything up to a half marathon) and no official starting time or time keeper while the finish line includes hunky firefighters and a necklace as a finishing medal. The course, partially hiking trails and partially old logging road perched above the bay, is gorgeous, especially on a sunny crisp fall day like we enjoyed this year. I'd really like to make this an annual event. 

George brought the kids up to cheer me on, and I convinced Madeleine to run the last 10 yards or so with me. Afterwards, she told George, "Daddy, Mummy and I have to go potty because we just ran 8 miles!"

Meanwhile, Miss M has learned how to plug in our fun electric car.

She continues to do lots of role play with her stuffed friends. This particular day, Elliott's room was converted into the nap room at school.

"Mummy, it's an e!" It sure is. It used to be the tube of a Nosefrida.

One of Madeleine's practical life works at school is coffee grinding. When she brings home the ground beans, we let her help with making the rest of the coffee, starting with pouring her beans into the French press. 

Madeleine went to her first school friend birthday party, which felt like a bit of a milestone for her and her parents!

Of course, we couldn't let October slip by without running down to our neighborhood pumpkin patch to pick out some decorations. 

The little peanuts from last year have grown up!

Speaking of growing, Elliott still isn't walking (much), but he sure can climb....
...to the sink to wash hands

...to the top of the special park

...on the kid table

...on chairs

Elliott completed his first session of toddler yoga. It's hard to tell yet if he likes it as much as Madeleine, but he sure does love flirting with all the other moms.

He is very charming indeed.

 One afternoon, I managed to keep Elliott busy for quite a while with this simple Pinterest game. Empty tube + Painter's tape + Pompoms

While Elliott was occupied, I got started on the quilt I'm making for Madeleine's "big girl bed" out of fabric from her 52-week photo project. You can follow along here.

Toward the end of the month, we took a trip to San Jose. George went down for work, and I braved my first solo flight with two littles to join him for the weekend. I don't think I'll be doing that again anytime soon.

The first morning we were there, Madeleine woke up at 5am, vomiting neon yellow, so we got to spend most of our first day in town at the ER.

Fortunately, it only took about 24 hours for her to rebound and be able to hang out with her buddies.

The scenery has changed quite a bit from our days hanging out 80-100 feet below the ocean surface, but I wouldn't say that it's any less fun. Look at all those smiles!

Before we left, we managed to snap a kiddo group photo. Elliott is catching up!

We made it home in time to celebrate Halloween. This year, the kids were Daniel Tiger and Katerina Kitty Cat of Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood fame. I loved every moment of making their costumes and hope they get lots of love throughout the year as dress up costumes. 

Phew. It was a very full month. No wonder I went into November utterly exhausted.

28 October 2015

September 2015 Recap

Hello! I'm stopping in to share our September photos (at the end of October) after an unanticipated blogging break. I'll be honest: I didn't really see this coming. 

September sort of swept me away as we adjusted to our new schedules and routines. Despite having one fewer child to wrangle during the week, I haven't really found myself with any additional time. 

On top of this, I'm really trying to be more present and less connected. I uninstalled Facebook from my phone and actually go days without even opening the page on my computer. It's almost like I'm living in 1999 and not comparing my every move with those of friends/acquaintances/strangers anymore. I highly recommend giving it a go! 

So, I'm not sure how often I'll be on here or what the future holds for this space, but...today...here I am.

Madeleine started preschool at the local Montessori school. Appropriately, it rained on the first day of school. The first two or three weeks were a bit rough, but she is now thriving in the environment and with the schedule. As her teacher says, Madeleine is Montessori to the core. 

When I found out that there was going to be a half marathon on my usual running trail on the day when I was already planning to run a 12-mile training run, I decided to just do the whole race. I improved my time by 15 minutes and had a ball. Oh, and I ran every last step. :-)

I have THE best cheering squad. I am so grateful for George's unwavering encouragement of my running habit and willingness to take the parenting reins solo during so much of his weekends.

 On of of the last remaining sunny days, I met up with a friend with our toddlers and cameras to go crazy capturing the kiddos. Elliott cooperated a little, but I just love how he decided to turn away from me when I got him to sit still in the light I wanted. And, yes, I do think he's going to have some curls in his beautiful ginger hair.

I'm a sucker for matching jammies. Funny thing is that big sister only just outgrew these ones, and little brother is already busting out of them!

On a day off of school, I took the kids to the zoo. We took advantage of getting to feed the giraffes, though Madeleine dropped her leaves and backed up as soon as the tall guy came near. 

Elliott loved the hiking pack and penguin exhibit.

Elliott is following in Madeleine's footsteps as he loves to empty any and every drawer he can find and pull disposable diapers out of the package. Realistically, this photo represents a lot of why I'm not around this blog very often. 

Madeleine has a wild imagination, and I never know what adventures I'll find her leading when I go into her room each morning. 

Hmmm, I wonder who threw every toy and easily removable article of clothing out of the crib at the end of nap time...

George and I enjoyed a rare date day to hear a live taping of two NPR shows.

And how could I not share these growing, plump feet?

I hope your October is going well. With any luck, I'll be back to share our Halloween costumes soon!

02 September 2015

August 2015 Recap

While I want to say that August went really fast, the reality is that there were a lot of long days during the month. Madeleine finished daycare at the end of July and spent August home full time. We had quite a few adventures and not too many naps, so there were definitely challenging times. But, a look back at the photos reminds me of all that we accomplished...where accomplished is defined by toddler outings and ridiculous costumes.

Throughout the month, there has been a major construction project behind our house, and M has loved spotting giant excavators and other exciting equipment.

At the beginning of the month, my good friend and her son, my godson, came over for a fun visit.

The kids loved splashing in the water table and pool together.

We went out to lunch on the afternoon of the Seafair hydroplane races, and Madeleine was enthralled with them and still asks about the way they work and why they need cranes to be lifted from the water.

Elliott was happy to much on Madeleine's leftovers of a crab apple from our yard. 

This is pretty much life at our house: one kid constantly in motion and a second trying to do as much as he can. 

Madeleine took swimming lessons twice a week during August. I'm so proud of her independence and confidence in the water. She made a lot of progress, and the teacher even experimented with removing her floats all together during her last lesson.

We hosted a couple of fun PEPS events at our house.

Busted! This cutie has started to chew on his crib. No bueno.

I love to see the toy combinations she creates (this ensemble includes strings from lacing cards, blocks from a shape sorting stacking toy, and small plush animals), but I don't love that she has started to ask for pets. Pure karma.

Elliott can get into things Madeleine couldn't reach until she was at least a year older (and more likely to listen to our logic and reason). Among them: wine fridge, range dials and buttons, top drawers, and countertops). 

To help Madeleine's visual learning, I've labeled various things around the house. After reading a new back to school book, she decided to swipe one of them for her nametag. Ha!

Salmon fillet as sandwich.

I laid down my 364 day old and woke up to a one year old. Birthday details to come.

Actually, I didn't wake Elliott on his birthday because I was out on a 9.5 mile run with Rachel. We were rewarded for our early morning hard work with several hot air balloons in the sky along with the most eerie red sunrise as a result of the devastating wildfires to our east. 

One day, I got out the nice camera to capture playtime in the yard.

Have no fear - I live with a firefighting super hero!

Madeleine was all bravery and excitement on her first visit to her new school. 

I scored this hiking pack for virtually nothing, and Elliott is super excited to have both a good view and easy access to pulling his mother's hair.

Friends visited from New Zealand, and Madeleine was more than happy to show their tot the ropes. 

After the brunt of the windstorm died down, Madeleine and I took our "babies" out for a walk. I just love her technique. I don't love that our neighbor's tree fell down, mostly in our yard.

On her last day at home before starting school, Madeleine chose to paint. No surprises there.

And, finally, I captured proof that George's prediction (months before Madeleine was born) that she would be able to scale her bookshelves like a ladder has come true. Part spiderwoman?

Part of me is really sad for summer to go, but the other part of me is grateful that it happened and ready to cozy up in that delicious fall wardrobe waiting for me. How about you?