Monday, November 29, 2010

Elf Yourself

If you have not heard of Elf Yourself, stop everything that you are doing and check out their website.  All you have to do is upload pictures of your family and select a dance, and the program creates a personalized elf video.  If you don't know what I'm talking about check out the Redmond Family's disco dance and have a laugh on us! 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Homemade Stocking Stuffer and Vintage Books

Sometimes I'm late to the party, but I have just discovered Wee Wonderfuls, and I'm in love!   Hillary Lang is the creator of the adorable Wees and is a stay-at-home mom turned small business owner.  She crafts all sorts of fun toys and just published a book appropriately titled Wee Wonderfuls.   Meet Olive and Archie - two of her creations:

Arent' they adorable?!  Her blog lists a couple of free pattern downloads where I discovered the Wee Bunny.  Here are a few pictures of McCord's stocking stuffer complete with a seersucker bow tie! 

...and of course, I have to show the booty! 

And while we're talking about books, our local library had a book sale a couple of weeks ago where I scored a few vintage children's books for Mc.  I love the illustrations from the books - in fact the characters look surprisingly similar to the Wees.  My favorite of the 3 books is called I Look Out My Window and was published in 1964 by Playskool.  It's made from heavy cardboard and has really held together over the years.  It is about a little boy who looks out his window (book is cut out on each page to make a window) to see how he should dress for the day according to the weather. 

The other two books were also published the the 60s by Rand McNally.  Hickory Dickory Dock is about a mischievous little mouse and Lancelot is about a lion who learns to roar. 

It makes me wonder who the children are - now grown adults - who held these three books in their their little hands.  Children who asked their moms and dads to read them over and over until all of the words were memorized and the pages worn down with love.  McCord has already put some good mileage on these three books, and I'm comforted in knowing that our little 4 month old is connected somehow to a timeless tradition of reading.  

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thanksgiving Onesie DIY

Thanksgiving is next week!  Yikes!  And McCord has no turkey-attire.  How did I let this holiday get so close without something special to wear?!  Today we whipped up an easy little number inspired by this tutorial.

Essentially, you trace your child's hand on freezer paper, cut out the inside-part of the tracing, and iron the paper to the t-shirt.  You're left with a perfectly shaped stencil for fabric paint.  We didn't have any freezer paper, however, so I amended the steps a little bit.  Here's our version:
  • Trace your baby's hand on paper (If you have a 4 month old, like I do, you gotta trace fast!  Those little hands don't stay still for long!)
  • Cut out the handprint
  • Use a sharpie or other permanent pen/fabric marker to re-trace the hand on the t-shirt (Tip: I used a sharpie and found that it was easier to "write" on the fabric using little dots, rather than dragging the pen around the handprint - we'll see how the sharpie holds up in the wash)
  • Paint fingers and body of turkey
  • Add turkey legs, beak and eye

Happy Thanksgiving to all you turkeys!

NOTE: Just wanted to post a quick update on using a sharpie vs. using a fabric marker.  The sharpie worked fine for outlining the hand using the dot technique I talked about above as long as I painted over the dots with the fabric paint.  However, I also used the sharpie to write "Baby Turkey" and after a couple of washes, that bled into the fabric. I would highly recommend using a fabric pen if you plan to write something on the fabric.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

McCord's Maple in all its glory

For such a small little tree, McCord's Maple has put on quite a show for it's first fall on Surrey Lane.  Here's a photo that I took earlier in the month of Bo and McCord right as the maple was beginning to change colors.

 Today I noticed that it has just about lost all of its leaves, but here's a picture I took of Bo & Mc last Thursday. Completly decked out in all its glory.

And here's a picture of McCord at 2 weeks old pretending to stand next to his maple.  This was taken the day we planted the tree.  Look how much he's grown!  Bo and I have delighted in watching both Monkey and the maple grow and change in just 4 months.

So in honor of the maple's first fall on Surrey Lane, here's a poem that my dad found.  It's by Larry Matthews and is so fitting for McCord's Maple. 


I don’t know why God placed me here
But I think He picked the perfect spot.
Here now for a century, not just anywhere
But here! This is my chosen lot.

I’ve shaded this quiet country home,
Watched this family passing by,
Watched children grow and leave to roam'
Felt my leaves blow off and die.

Heard children’s laughter fill the air
Swinging on a swing in my branches there.
Watched her brush her auburn hair
Underneath my branches there.

Sunday picnic beneath my summer shade.
Watched a loving family have fun and play
Watched her auburn hair begin to fade
As time gently coaxes her hair to gray.

Seasons come and seasons go.
Horse and wagons pass to and fro.
God continues to let me grow
In this favorite spot I know.

Years pass by, the road is paved.
Cars and truck go swishing by.
Times are changing, nothings saved.
Every one rushing, on the fly.

I think I know why God placed me here
A loving shelter from life’s storms
Help protect a wonderful family from all fear
With shade and cover from devil’s swarms.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Thirty Birthday Wishes for My Son on my 30th Birthday

: : some silly & some serious in no particular order : :

1. good health throughout your life
2. learn to love and take care of animals
3. learn to laugh at yourself
4. find enjoyment in little things like Pancake Saturday, hearing your favorite song on the radio, and climbing trees
5. learn how to tell a really good joke
6. care for others especially children, the elderly, and those who are less fortunate
7. practice good southern manners
8. develop a generous spirit
9. find something you're really good at that brings intrinsic satisfaction 
10. learn to be truly happy for others when something good happens in their life
11. respect your parents and grandparents
12. experience joy that moves you to the point of tears
13. learn to be selfless (for the next 5 years, this means sharing your toys, and maybe one day your room)
14. know right from wrong and have a desire to do right
15. enjoy watching college football with your Daddy, because to be honest, Monkey, I could use a break
16. express empathy for others in need
17. develop a great sense of humor
18. enjoy listening to Beatles records over, and over (for the same reason as #15)
19. develop a creative spirit (I could use a partner in crime for all of those trips to Hobby Lobby)
20. feel confident in social situations
21. thank God daily for all of your blessings
22. enjoy reading
23. inherit your daddy's musical abilities
24. one day know the sheer joy of having your own children (but not until you're married!)
25. that you're not tone deaf like me, but if you are, that you'll still sing from your heart
26. find a soul mate that you love as much as I love your Daddy
27. that you'll always let me hold your hand as you fall asleep
28. continue to bring joy into the lives of others just as you've done for your Daddy and me the past 4 months
29. continue to smile so easily 

30. remember that you are loved like crazy

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

McCord is Four Months Old

... and in the 95th percentile for height!!!  We can't believe how long our little fellow is!  I just brought him back from his doctor's appointment and the nurse practitioner said that he was a "happy baby" and a "social butterfly" since he was smiling at everyone in the office - that is until he got his vaccines!   He took his oral vaccine without spitting it out and even made it through the first shot without crying.  His brave face was gone, however, when it was time for the second shot and no tears were spared!  Mama's brave face was gone too, but Daddy was pretty strong.

Daddy and Monkey next to McCord's Maple
Mc puts on his monkey suit
This month, McCord experienced his first Halloween and dressed up as a monkey.  He enjoyed trick or treating at a couple of houses and then we came home and sat by the bonfire Daddy made while we waited on trick or treaters on Surrey Lane.

Here are a few highlights from this month:
  • McCord has been mimicking facial expressions - right now he is focused on learning how to motorboat his lips.  He can't quite figure out the difference between lips and tongue and tries to stick his tongue out instead.

This supper funny face is Mc trying to motorboat!

  • McCord has really enjoyed Kindermusik.  He seems to like the music, but I think his favorite thing is seeing all of his Kindermusik buddies. 
  • At 4 months, he weighs 14 lbs. 9 oz. (50th percentile) and is 26 3/4 inches long (95th percentile)
  • He's a great night-time sleeper and can go 11 hours through the night.  However, let's not talk about naps during the day!
  • McCord has started doing a "happy noise."  When he's really excited, he makes a noise while he inhales air - quickly followed by a big smile and lots of kicking.  It's fun to see what gets a happy noise from McCord.  Lately it's been Daddy coming home from work and bathtime. 

Mc's pre-trick or treat outfit - would you look at those chunky thighs!

Trick or treating at the Brannan's

Trick or treating at the Leaders