Monday, July 28, 2014

DIY Envelope Liners for Birth Announcement

I’m pretty sure that I’ve posted a tutorial for envelope liners previously but they’re fun to do and an easy way to spiff up an announcement so here is another quick little tutorial. 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Emma: Finished Birth Announcement

Well, it took almost seven months but I finally finished Emma’s announcement.  I fuzzed out a few bits but you get the general idea:

Front and back:

I’m slightly embarrassed by how long it took me to design, print, and mail them out. Six months is the official cut-off for baby cards and well...we were past that by a bit.

So we sent them to a small group of family/close friends and called it good.

I like to do one fancy card and envelope for the baby of honor, which usually means an envelope liner. I ended up buying two sheets of paper (the first design can be seen in the leading photo) although I haven’t yet decided which will go in the baby book.

Did you know that the President will send your baby an official welcome note if you send him a birth announcement? From one president to a (future) president.

Just kidding. :)

The envelope color is persimmon and it a gorgeous pinkish red, although it looks flat-out scarlet in these photos.

I have a short tutorial for envelope liners that I’ll post shortly.




Photos and Card Design: Sonja (me!)
Printing: Vista Printing
Envelopes: Paper Source
Liners: Marigolds and Midnight Floral by Rifle Paper Co. (both from Paper Source)

Friday, July 25, 2014

From the Blog-O-Sphere

Summer is flying by. We have a low-key weekend planned: more basement work and a family jaunt.

Not sure where we’re going yet. If you live in the Seattle area and are looking for hikes, this site is worth checking out: Hiking With My Brother

How Poverty Taxes the Brain (fascinating infographic.)

Rookie Parent Mistakes (hilarious)

9 Questions about the Israel-Palestine conflict you were too embarrassed to ask (and how biased is NPR on its Gaza coverage? - Thanks Pat)

This evening I told Chris we needed a drone. One of the tiny quiet ones on which you can mount a GoPro. Wouldn’t that be awesome? Here is an even better reason to get one: Drones on a different mission.  

Tell the driver behind you what you really think. 

Genius life hacks.  (check out the clothes folding one!)

God save the British: Cafe offers breastfeeding mothers a pit stop

8 things worth knowing about how to eat sushi

Love people, not pleasure

That’s it for this week, folks.

In other news, Emma is perfecting her backwards slide. Yesterday she slide under the coffee table and it took me a while to track her down.

She’s starting to get those legs up and under her so I suppose crawling isn’t too far away.

Not surprisingly, she finds this process to be fulfilling and frustrating at the same time.

When in doubt, take a breather. And suck your thumb.



Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Benisms vol 29

"Mama, I am an awesome big brother" yes, and equipped with an ego the size of Manhattan, too.

"Mama, we need to go outside.  You need the exercise. " (Ouch. From the mouths of babes)

Ben has started petitioning heavily for a pet. Specifically a giraffe.  And evidently we need to travel to Africa so we can acquire said giraffe. Poor Bailey isn't cutting it anymore. 

In other Ben news, he is completely besotted by the nine year old daughter of his preschool teacher who helps out during the summer months. Totally over the moon, idol worship, puppy love. He's already planning a sleepover with her, his two buddies, Bailey, and his grandmother. Odd combo, right? 

What's cute is that when he arrives at preschool and spies her, he turns into a shy, timid little creature that can't even squeak hello. He hides between my legs and refuses to look in her direction. She must find it quite puzzling. And if you're acquainted with my son, you know that his personality can quite accurately be described as the antithesis of timid. Bold, brash, and loud are pretty good Ben descriptors. 

But somehow, during the course of the morning, he overcomes these obstacles and at pickup time I'll  find him happily ensconced in her lap, listening to a story.   Or trotting after her in the playground. This awesome gal must have the patience of Job. Bless her.



PS: He is an awesome big brother.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Happenings at Home

Today is a grand day. We had our first official carrot harvest (Ben’s impromptu pulling of several rows doesn’t count) and our baby juncos have hatched. 

Last night only three had hatched but this morning there were four tiny little guys. Their eyes are still closed. Here is the nest, back when it was in the egg stage. 

Best of all? It’s supposed to cool down and RAIN this week. Hallelujah.



Tuesday, July 15, 2014

From the Blog-O-Sphere

I hope you’re having a great week. In Seattle it is hot, Hot, HOT. We’ve been hiding in the basement.

Today is our eighth wedding anniversary! Can’t believe how the time has flown by. Love you more than ever, darling. It’s a grand adventure and I’m lucky to share it with you.

Also, our little Emma just turned six months old. She’s growing like crazy, has a new tooth, and is chewing on everything. 

“A first child is your own best foot forward, and how you do cheer those little feet as they strike out. You examine every turn of flesh for precocity, and crow it to the world. But the last one: the baby who trails her scent like a flag of surrender through your life when there will be no more coming after--oh, that' s love by a different name.”  -Barbara Kingsolver

Here is the latest from around the web:

How Finland keeps children focused throughout the day. 

Not a picnic table...a boat! Vessel registration required. 

A photo contest for drones. Here are the winners.  [What do you think that eagle is thinking?]

Tried canceling your internet or phone recently? Your call probably sounded a lot like this. 

A dog’s last day on earth (in photos). Sniff. 

The latest in zoo design: going vertical. 

The disturbing trend I noticed after my breastfeeding story went viral.  Be proud, Mamas! Bare the boob. And don’t take any crap from anybody. The best line: “How about you go eat your lunch in the toilet)

Going out with grace: the right way to handle having your foot cut off (thanks Sara!)



Friday, July 11, 2014

Ben - Almost 3.5 years old

There are days when this kid makes me want to pull my hair out. Ben is embracing 3 with a vengeance. Stubborn, obstinate, loud, and aggressive, we’re butting heads like crazy these days.

It’s a humdinger of a phase.

But there quiet moments when I’m reminded just how much I love this little guy. When he climbs into bed in the early morning to cuddle, when he takes pride in his latest masterpiece, when he curls up and asks to read his favorite books. When he wants to be tucked into bed - for the tenth time that night.  I see him interacting gracefully and confidently with adults, gleefully running 'round the playground with his posse of equally high-spirited pals, and laughing uproariously along with Emma.

Those moments help remind me that the tantrums and outbursts are all educational experiences; Ben is doing his best to learn how we conduct ourselves, socially. He doesn’t always get it right, in fact, he’s wrong more often than not. But he’s trying really hard and I’m confident that he’ll get it someday.

In the meantime, I need to go stop my darling boy from assaulting the dog. Bailey looks like he’s ready to flee.



Monday, July 07, 2014

Weekend happenings

My Dears,

I hope you have a happy holiday.

Chris had to work for most of it but got off with enough time for us to go over to a friend’s house for a BBQ. There was a gaggle of similarly-aged kids and Ben had an absolute hoot running around with his new pack of friends. It’s fun to watch the interactions of a three-year old. Plus we got to consume lots of tasty food and spend time with friends.

I made this ice cream cake, except with chocolate, vanilla, and a raspberry sorbet. We topped it with magic chocolate sauce and toasted peanuts. Judging by how much was left, I’m going to call it a success. It was outrageously simple and I think it’s going to become my go-to cake for summer birthdays. There are so many ice cream combos that are begging to be tried.  This one also looks tasty.

As a sign of how badly the vegetable garden required weeding, we discovered this dark-eyed junco nest in amongst the lettuces.

Each day there is a new egg and Ben and I are anxiously awaiting the arrival of the babies. For my part, I just hope they make it. 

Bailey and I have stepped up our efforts to ‘encourage’ the hordes of neighborhood cats to pursue their interests elsewhere but these little guys are on their own come night-time. Keep your fingers crossed, my dears. Our native avian populations need all the help they can get. 

Last night we had a great BBQ with my parents. Emma is a happy baby when she’s on somebody’s lap.

We also did a bit of house work this weekend, including a door in the basement bathroom:

With trim, even. But no handle (yet). So far we’ve been really pleased with the final wall color of the basement. It’s "light pewter" by Benjamin Moore and it’s nice and bright, without being plain ole white. 

We are also the proud new owners of a couch in the tv room. Beats sitting on the floor, that’s for sure. Chris installed window trim but this room still needs baseboard and a door. That’s our project for next week. We are soooo close. 

I am also finished with the tile in the laundry room but I’m out of time so that post must wait for another day. 

And last but not least, we did a small hike in Paradise Valley Conservation Area on Sunday. This was our second time there and both Chris and I agreed that we’re going to shelve this hike. It’s mostly brushy single-track that is shared by hikers, mountain bikers, and horses. On a beautiful sunday, it was simply too nerve-wracking due to the mountain bikers coming round corners and down hills at top speeds. But head on over there if you’re a biker; they even have a bike-specific ‘playground’. 

That’s all for now. 



Saturday, July 05, 2014


Let’s talk about things we’re grateful for today:

Life, health, family, country, and digital cameras. 

Because taking a normal picture of my son shouldn’t be this hard. 

Ben is in full-on boycott-the-camera mode so we have to make it into a game. “Let’s see your monster face! Your silly face! Your angry face!”

And then you just hope to high heaven that you get a decent one. 

Little Em is a little easier to photograph, simply because she’s not quite so quick. You have to get her in between drool streams, however. 

And a photo of them together? Happy? Smiling? Forget about it.



Friday, July 04, 2014

Happy Fourth

“Freedom is the open window through which pours the sunlight of the human spirit and human dignity.” — Herbert Hoover

Have a wonderful day; may it be filled with good friends and family, tasty food, and an appreciation for this magnificent place we call home. Happy Fourth of July.

Much love,