Thursday, June 21, 2012

Tall Ships

Two hundred years ago, on June 18, 1812, a war started between the British Empire and the United States. In honor of the bicentennial of this war, known as the War of 1812 (but not the same as the Franco-Russian conflict of the same name), a fleet of ships from around the world sailed into Baltimore last week. The main attraction was several 'Tall Ships' that anchored in the Inner Harbor and offered free deck tours to the public for the length of their stay. I took the two big boys down to the Harbor to see these fantastic boats and we had an awesome time!

It occurred to me while we were on this adventure that my boys are growing up in a place that is completely different from where my husband and I grew up. We grew up in the land-locked western US. We went to mountains and lakes for vacations...not the Bay or the ocean. Our history was all about the pioneers and wagon trains...not the pilgrims and early formative wars of our country. This tickles me. I just love it. We grew up in a wonderful, safe, and beautiful place but I'm thrilled that my boys are having a different experience. Selfishly, it's like getting to grow up again through watching them and facilitating great experiences for them.

 I'm so glad I made the effort to take the boys...even though it was crazy! The boats will be back in two years for the anniversary of the battle in Baltimore - the one during which our national anthem was written!

We will look forward to their return with great anticipation.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

My Baby Daddy

Celebrating today the amazing man who is Daddy to my 3 boys! I love this man. He is strong, kind, respectful, loving, and hard-working.

 He is a true parenting partner for me and invests everything he has in our family.

Before we had our first son, he was afraid that he wasn't going to be a good dad... I remember several conversations in which I assured him that he would be a great dad, and he has, by every means possible, exceeded that prediction!

 Our boys are so wonderfully blessed to have such an amazing man to guide them through the journey of becoming men themselves. I hope, with all my heart, that my sons grow up to be men of the same quality and integrity as their daddy!

Love ya, babe! Happy Father's day!!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

A Layout!

Yes, it's true, believe it or not...
I made a layout! I made several, in fact. If you're lucky, you'll get to see some more of them!
My friend, Laura, not being an eldest child herself, always makes me promise to work on pages for my younger children. This photo is of our newest addition, Baby Brother, at one month old.
Nothin' like scrapping recent photos! It's so energizing. Hopefully I can keep the inspiration flowing...

Monday, June 11, 2012

Busy Bees

I love to walk. I love the park in our neighborhood. And I love to follow the rhythms of the changing seasons through the things I notice on my walks.
 The park is always the same and yet always different. It is comforting and refreshing at the same time. I remember noticing these flowers last year...this year I noticed the bees. A dozen or more of them were working their way through these lovely globe shaped blooms. Busy, busy, busy...

Friday, June 8, 2012

Middle Child Syndrome

I've had some really sweet times with Little Brother recently and it got me thinking about birth order ...we've all heard the middle child 'stereotypes' and the laughingly-delivered-but-still-serious complaints of those who wandered in the wilderness between first and last borns.
"My big sister gets to do all the fun stuff"
"My little brother never has to do any chores...and he gets away with everything!"
"There are no photos of me..."

My sweet little one suddenly finds himself a middle child but as we (sort of) find ourselves into (sort of) a routine after the birth of Baby Brother, I've been thinking that LB actually has it pretty good right now. While Big Brother has been away at pre-school all morning, baby is *usually* asleep for an hour sometime in there. That means that LB gets Mommy's full and undivided attention. We have had some wonderful moments together in the last couple weeks.
 Just the other day, he came to me while I was cleaning up in the kitchen, held his blanky up in the air, and said, "snuggle??" I said, "Let me finish up quickly, then do you want me to read you a story?"
 "Yes," he said, and went running for the couch. He just turned 2... 'yes' is not his most frequently used word right now. So a 'yes' filled with excitement and anticipation just melts this Mama's heart!
 Here we are enjoying morning time together
We also found ourselves together this past weekend while daddy took Big Brother to t-ball and Baby Brother was taking an afternoon nap. It was a beautiful day so we hung out in the backyard together. We planted some flowers, he got to use (experiment with) the was a relaxed and fun afternoon, just the two of us.

My big helper:
 So I'm thinking that, at least right now, he actually has a pretty good deal going. My hope is that he'll break the middle child mold and won't feel "squeezed out, with the older and younger children getting more attention"
 Love you, my sparkly one!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Ah, the sweet sound!

Yesterday was a seriously rainy day around here so we decided to build a fort in the basement. This was lots of fun but it took up most of the prime floor real estate in the usual play area. This morning, we were squirreled away down there for a bit and Big Brother said, "I wanted to build this train track...
...but it is such a mess! There's no room."
I told him that I'd been wanting to clean up (but I'd had my hands full of baby) and suggested that we start cleaning up together so that we would have room for the train track. I gave him some instructions and specific tasks to complete. "Put the cars in this basket, 'guys' in this basket, etc."
 My goal oriented boy completed the tasks I'd set for him, looked at me with fussy baby still in my arms, and said, (wait for it...)

"What else can I clean up??"

I did a double take - did I really hear that right?

 I may never hear it again, but, this morning, that was beautiful music to this Mommy's ears!!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Announcing Baby

Well, now, since I made beautiful announcements for baby #2, I couldn't just buy something easy and generic for baby #3, could I? Nope. You know I'd hear about it...(in 20 years)!
 They were done and mailed several weeks back, I just haven't gotten around to sharing them here. When I make large numbers of a card, I don't like to make them all the same. First of all, it takes too much of each particular supply item that I'm using, and second, I just get bored.
 Back in December, I chose and ordered several papers that I really loved. Then I designed the basic template for the card and used different combinations of the papers to create several different looks.
  Here are my bright and cheerful versions. Isn't that bold stripe paper fabulous?

The others are more understated but I love how each paper combo creates a different feeling. I don't know if you can tell from the pictures, but it's a tri-fold card. The vertical stripes with scalloped edges on the right hand side are a flap that unfolds to the right. Then the large square front with the cut-out unfolds to the left to reveal the inside of the card.
To make the frame shaped seal, I cut out the shape on the Cricut with CTMH's Art Philosophy cricut cartridge. Then I used the coordinating stamp set 'New Arrival'. It has an adorable tiger in the middle and the words say "Our Tiny Treasure". The Art Philosophy collection makes it so easy to have stamped die-cuts! It's so much less work than having to cut the shapes out myself.
I finished them off with Durables Studs in round or square. These are adhesive backed instead of being brads, so I didn't have to poke a bunch of holes and there's no show through on the inside.
 These were really fun to make. I'm so glad I finally got around to sharing them with you!