Bear Compare

When my kids were small I took their picture with the same bear on their monthly birthdays. After their first birthday it became an annual event. Aren’t they going to love that on their 16th, 21st and 30th birthdays?

Here is Audrey at 4-years old with the trusty nameless bear and her two green kitties. You can see her at 3-years, 2-years, 1-year and 1-month here.


A little something to tide you over while I get my house back in order, both literally and figuratively. Speaking of being tide-over: Audrey has lots of idiomatic phrases she uses correctly (for example, “I’m pulling your leg.”) and just as many where she misses the mark. When asking for a snack it’s not uncommon for her to ask for a little something to “tied me up” until lunch. I don’t correct her.

This is Audrey is her Halloween costume: a Goodwill bargain at just $6!

So You Say It’s Your Birthday

Today Audrey turned four. This is the first birthday of hers when she’s had honest-to-goodness directed attention. Last year she and Elliot shared a party, the year before that she didn’t have a party, the year before that she was one and he thought her party was for him and the year before that she gave him Thomas Duplo to commemorate her own birth.

But this year? This year she had a party that he wasn’t invited to. She got presents he doesn’t want to play with. He had a supporting role in the Audrey show.

He’s so good at doing her bidding that he made her breakfast. By choice. He wanted to do it! That’s how good she is, he offers to do stuff for her and he thinks that he’s coming out ahead.

Other than her uncanny ability to wrap her brother around her finger, she can also push his buttons. Without even breaking a sweat. She is the typical little sister.

Today they were best friends. He struggled with the attention she got, with the getting to spend her birthday money and he wouldn’t be getting anything tangible. And through it all he hugged her. And held her hand. And was a great big brother. Even though it was really all about her.

Or maybe it can never be about one of them without how the other impacts them. She wouldn’t be the articulate, silly, wonder-filled kid she is if she didn’t have Elliot as a big brother. So while happy birthday wishes are in order for Audrey, happy anniversay-of-the-day-you-became-a-big-brother wishes are bestowed on Elliot too.

Bake Me a Cupcake

Tomorrow is Audrey’s Fancy Nancy inspired 4th birthday party; we’ve each invited four friends over for a fancy lunch. Today I helped Audrey make cupcakes for her party. She was able to put the ingredients into the mixer and stand watch as it worked (my camera decided the mixer was the interesting thing, not the kid -  I need to work on controlling it better).

She was able to put the liners into the pan.

One thing I don’t like about making cupcakes & muffins with kids is that it’s tough for them to get the batter into the holes. But today I had an aha! moment and made a modified piping bag for the batter. It worked really well. I think next time I’ll cut the hole a little smaller though. While she doesn’t have the gross motor skills to hold the bag and squeeze it, she was able to control the filling with some help.

The piping bag is not a mess-free solution to this particular problem but it let Audrey help more than she’s been able to in the past. Now I just have to frost five dozen mini-cupcakes.

What do you cook with your kids and how much do they get to do themselves?

Summer Fun

We’ve had a cool, wet summer here. It’s weird. Ask anyone that’s lived here more than 10 years – we haven’t seen the likes of this since 1992 (I might be making up that year, it’s one I heard on the news – the specific year is immaterial, the point is that it hasn’t been H-O-T all summer).

We went to our outdoor pool on the first day of school. Of course, AFTER school. Nothing says, “yay Kindergarten” like a few rides down a water slide.

Shirt Dress

Months ago I saw a post about how to turn a men’s dress shirt into a shirt dress for a kid. I thought, I can do that! And then a few months passed and I saw another where she claims it to be easy! I can definitely do it if it’s easy.

My crafty partner in crime brought her machine over for another episode of “Seamstresses that Drink”. We liberally applied vodka and our own interpretation of the instructions. I had to add lace to my creation to hide the fact I can’t sew a straight line. In the end however, I am pleased with how it turned out. In all I spent less than $6 (since I already had the shirt) – that’s $1.99 for lace, $2.39 for thread and $1.00 for buttons.

Back detail – daisy button attaching the strap to the dress

Front detail – the front of the dress is the back of the shirt (the buttons run up the back of the dress)

Back with buttons (in real! button holes). You can still see the tag in the dress from its first life.

It’s difficult to see, but the same brown trim is on the straps and the bottom of the dress. I did a zigzag on the hem – I thought it went with the lines on the fabric a little better.

The dress is a little big around Audrey’s torso, but will be fine with a t-shirt under it. I used the buttons on the straps so I can let out the length as needed.

Overall, I am pleased (like I said) and will probably attempt this again. I like the idea of reusing old shirts, it’s definitely cheaper than fabric. Also, I would suspect that with some searching you could find some pretty interesting patterns to work with.

Next up, an art smock for Kindergarten-bound Elliot for school (it’s on his school supply list, I better get cracking).

Conquering Fear

Audrey was a flower girl in a beautiful outdoor wedding this weekend. At the rehearsal she completely froze. On the way home, we talked about what kept her from practicing. She said she was scared. I was surprised by this, fear wasn’t an emotion I was expecting her to articulate about this. She said that maybe she should put Green Kitty in the basket so she wouldn’t scared. I was very proud of her for being able to identify what was wrong and come up with a reasonable solution.

Green Kitty, and Audrey, did great in the wedding.

Mi Familia

Private Joke


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