Friday, December 31, 2010

zoo trip

one of our christmas gifts from grandma elaine and grandpa john was a year family pass to the zoo, so yesterday afternoon when mike got home early from work (and sam was all napped and perky) i thought it would be fun to head over there for an hour or so. afterall, beyond the gas it takes to get there, it was free entertainment. so off we went.
sam was quick to locate his favorite animal—the north american cherry-picker. i was glad it was caged, because i'm almost certain sam would have tried to pet it.

after that, we hopped onto the tram and rode up to the fish/primate/cat building, where sam was most excited to see all the fish.

then we had a little fishy-snack (goldfish crackers) while we rode back down.

it was a short visit, but it was a good outing for an afternoon, and we're certainly hoping to go back again soon.

stuffed animals

i also decided to give stuffed animals a try. they turned out a little odd, and not quite what i wanted, but it was fun to try. i definitely think my technique needs a bit of help (perhaps some construction instruction is in order), but i sort of like the fact that they're a little quirky.
i made a white rabbit for alice (or baby jones who we are all assuming will be an alice), since i thought she would need someone to explore wonderland with. for sam, i made a little monster (see other monsters for sam here and here). you'll recognize the fabric, of course.

other things i did during my "holiday break"

i finally got around to making this pillowcase for sam's little pillow. it was a fun project one afternoon while sam and i were hanging out at home. it took me a while because i didn't bother to pull out the sewing machine (it's hard to use a sewing machine when you're humoring a two-year-old who wants you to sit in his "mouse house" fort for four hours), but i was able to cut and sew it all before mike came home from work that day, so not too bad. i used leftovers from sam's halloween cape and a piece of the striped fabric from various other projects (this, this, and this are a few of them). the only problem with this project was that when i finally got it done, sam wanted the old spongebob pillowcase he was used to. so much for cute color-coordination.

happy holidays - cards from the nordstroms

here is the seventh swan a-swimming. in truth, i still have a few that still need to be mailed out (because i forgot to bring them when i had the chance to hand deliver them. on multiple occasions. ooops.) but they were done in time for christmas, so i'm considering them a success. i'll also admit that the design is practically the same as last year, which made them easier to do, and the use of mom and dad's "robobot" (as sam calls it) to do the cutting made them quick and (almost) painless.
i'm already thinking about next year's design, and have some ideas. i do believe, however, that i may have to enlist my father to help me with the mechanics.
you can see a couple of the previous years here and here.

this year's christmas cards (from the pilgrim press)

i worked up these quickie cards for pilgrim press to send out for the holidays.
since our logo is a red ship (the mayflower, to be exact), i thought i'd do a take-off on i saw three ships come sailing in. apparently i'm the only one at work that was familiar with this song, but they were agreeable and let me do my thing (that's what you get when people are pressed for time and ideas—free reign!).
it took me about a day to design, and about half a day to print, cut, fold, and stuff 150 of these. we did a special order for the blue envelopes, and after they arrived (from, i adjusted the color on the card to match.
i thought they turned out well.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

another reason i'm excited about bedtime

i hate to admit it, but i've been a little obsessed with finding a headboard for years. i've scoped catalogs, read tons of how-to's about making your own upholstered ones, and spent countless hours clicking around on the internet trying to find something that would suit my picky-but-cheap personality.
earlier this week i was combing through the craigslist postings (again), and i found this headboard. it's solid wood (possibly cherry, but the owners weren't quite sure), in really good condition (it has a few small scratches that very sleepy people probably wouldn't notice—and we're usually very sleepy people), and cost us all of 50 dollars. it reminds me a lot of the style of the twin beds that we've inherited from grandpa, and i was super excited to snatch it up before someone else could.
i believe this is the eighth piece of furniture we've found on craigslist, and i couldn't be happier with it. shopping craigslist is one of my favorite places to find furniture (unless you count hand-me-downs, of course—i love a good hand-me-down) because not only do you get a good price, but someone else gets to have the satisfaction that their old things are going to a good home, and (if you're into that whole "greening" thing) you can feel good that you're recycling someone else's stuff, giving it a new life instead of a spot in some junkyard somewhere. the previous owners said that this headboard had "been in the family for years" and i'm looking forward to having it in ours for years too.

crafty sam

this is the "placemat" that sam made at his last day of daycare for the year (last wednesday). it's made of funfoam with little funfoam stickers. the best part is that he can peel off and restick the decorations (for the time being, anyway), so it's been a great source of entertainment for him at dinnertime. my favorite part is that while he's busy sticking and talking about all the colors and shapes and whatnot, i can shovel just about whatever food i like into his little mouth. fabulous.
thanks daycare! this was a great early christmas gift!

Friday, December 17, 2010

tree fetching and a surprise

last saturday we went with grandma and grandpa h. to get our christmas tree. sam was already excited because we were going to ride in daddy's "big car" (the pick-up truck). usually all he gets to do is sit in it when it's parked, so this was a special treat.

when we got to the tree farm, we were happy to discover that santa had made a surprise visit. what luck!

sam was feeling a bit shy, but santa definitely made an impact. he talked about santa quite a bit (though he wasn't keen on another in-person chat). perhaps next year he'll have more to discuss.

then off we went, over the hills and through the woods to find our tree.

i think we picked a winner. in fact, i think it's the best one ever. sam is quite curious about all the ornaments on the tree, and we constantly are reminding him not to remove anything. in general though, he's been very good and very careful. he's certainly enjoying having all the decorations up (we had to have a little discussion about the tree "sleeping" during the day when the timer turns the lights off). i'm a little bit worried about what will happen when we have to say goodbye to the tree.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


just a few photos of sam checking out the heaps of snow we got yesterday. we didn't stay out long, but i'm thinking that one of these days when daddy's home we'll head over to the sledding hill at the school. i hope we can fit it in soon!

what happens when mom gets bored making lunch?—fancy lunch!

sam had turkey roll-ups + string cheese and pear + raisin toothpick skewers for lunch today. i added some yogurt for dipping the fruit, and voila! clean plate happiness all around!

bonus: clean floor and (relatively) clean boy. score!

how to: felt snowflakes

we've made a ton of these out of paper, but i thought felt ones would make good little gifts for co-workers.
white felt (or white and blue, if you're so inclined)
cutting board
rotary cutter
quilting rule
white thread

step 1: cut 8, .5 inch x 9 inch strips from the white felt.
cut two of these strips in thirds (you will have 6 3 inch x .5 inch strips),
and the remaining 6 in half (you will have 12 4.5 inch x .5 inch strips)

step 2: fold the 3 inch strips in half and stitch the ends together (you will have 6 of these)

step 3: fold one of your longer strips around the small loop and stitch the ends together. make 6 of these.

step 4: take the remaining 6 long strips stitch the open ends together.
stitch the folded end also (this will make them pointed at both ends).

step 5: string the loops all together and stitch the end to the beginning of the string. add some extra stitches until every
thing feels secure, and you're done. easy peasy.

i've tried a couple of variations, but this one is my favorite.
feel free to experiment, and remember to have fun!

oh my! oh my!

daddy and aunt missy will probably appreciate this one the most, since they know the book that's being referred to (what color is your underwear?). i'm very excited to finally get video of this because, unless you couldn't tell, i had to sneak up on him before he realized the camera was there—it all goes downhill once he notices (and it never takes long!)

the actual lines from the book are:
"what color is your underwear, elephant john?
oh my! oh my! i forgot to put mine on!"

his other favorite from this book:
"what color is your underwear, harry horse?
cherry red boxers, of course."
(to which sam responds "course!")

Monday, December 6, 2010

bits and stuff

in other sam news:
- he is currently obsessed with wall-e. apparently the "bo-bots" have replaced our beloved cars for the time being. the best bit: sam will sing "put on your sunday clothes" (from "hello dolly") as it plays during the introduction of the movie (and by sing, i mean he says key words as they come along). it's incredibly cute (as if you needed me to say that.)

- he is memorizing "the lorax". it's not exactly surprising since we're reading it every night (his choice). best bit: if you say "miff-muffered" he will answer "moof". (on a related note for aunt missy: if you say "what color is your underwear, elephant john?" he will say, "oh my! oh my!" in the funniest little voice. i'm working on getting video of it.)

- he also mimics cousin oscar's videos as if he's trying to be oscar's understudy. he is most fond of the s'more video at the moment, but will break into "mmm mmm's" or "sally the camel" on occasion.

- he has discovered the joy of watching the birds on the bird feeder, which means our birds are going to get good and fat this winter.

- he likes to hide under the blankets, and will direct us to "commmmmme in!" and sit with him. we have watched a lot of wall-e undercover lately.

- he is in love with pears. it is the fruit of choice these days.

- he will voluntarily wear his "warm hat" and mittens. he will not, however, wear his snow boots. it is a battle on snowy days.

i'm sure there's more i'm missing. i guess i'll have to update again soon.

riding the train to tower city

to cap off our thanksgiving holiday sam, mike, and i took the train to tower city last monday.
sam had the best time throwing pennies into the fountains, and he got his first happy meal (a rite of passage, i'm sure). he was very interested in the little animatronic children that were "dancing" between all the fancy gingerbread houses, though the ropes keeping him from touching them were just as big a hit (go figure). the weather was actually pretty nice, so we did a bit of walking around downtown (to the arcade and over to the building where i work), and by the time we got back on the train to go home, sam was pooped.
he was very disappointed when he found out we weren't going again a few days later.
i guess we'll have to make another trip again soon.


we haven't managed a visit to santa yet, but we're really hoping to do so soon.
so for the time being you'll have to just enjoy the photo from last year. i was glad that sam didn't cry, but a smile would've been nice. oh well...
i was showing sam the photo earlier tonight to see if i could prep him for this year's visit, and he seemed intrigued, so we'll see.


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