August 30, 2009

Linen Skirt

yellow-green linen skirt with embroidery

So, it's confessions time here on forty-two roads. Sometimes I just don't really want to parent my kids. I know, it's shocking, but a three year old and a three month old are sometimes just kind of tiring, and I just want a break from them to do my own thing. Yesterday was one of those times. So I let Sesame Street raise my children for a couple of hours, and I had fun making Lara this swirly skirt with godet inserts. It's made out of my mom's old linen skirt that could never be made to look good on me (probably because I sew without patterns and that doesn't really work with straight skirts intended for adult bodies). I totally love how it came out - and, phew, Lara likes it too. Alas, she's gotten to the age where she - ahem - apparently has her own taste in clothes. And is not shy to tell me that the thing I spent hours making is "not good, Mommy. I just don't like it."

Oh, and if you're curious about what that stuff in the corner is? Here is a zoom-out shot of Floam, the best thing to happen to kids sculpting media. It's made out of little tiny balls that stick only to each other and not to anything else, it doesn't ever dry out, and it doesn't have a weird smell unlike other sculpting toys that shall remain nameless. We encountered this stuff for the first time at the Please Touch Museum and I instantly bought some for home so that I no longer had to be the zero-fun-zone parent constantly saying no to playdough.

August 27, 2009

Jakey at 3 Months

Jakey, you are the happiest, calmest, most joyful baby ever! Also, you are our little resident giant, weighing in at 15 pounds (your sister didn't weigh that much until six months) and wearing six month old clothes. In the last few days, you've figured out how to pull things into your mouth, and how to make a variety of chirpy, squealing noises for our amusement. You still cry a little in the car, and when you do, your sister yells for you to be happy. She made up a little song about you, to the tune of something from Sesame Street - "Down down Jakey, he's a little baby! Down down Jakey, he's a small baby guy!" You love when she kisses you and give her your best smiles and cooings. You are my little baby man and I adore you.

August 23, 2009

Kitchen Koolness

Michelle's version of the Little Kitchen has pretty amazing-looking lighting (check out details on her blog, Finding Balance). I'm wishing I had something like that in my actual kitchen!

Cecile made this one in fun country style with the red gingham! Read all about it en francais on her blog.

August 18, 2009

Weekend Fun

Sunday afternoon, we met up with the adorable Benjy and Mikey (and of course their parents) for a picnic in Princeton. That sculpture is Henry Moore's Oval with Points, but Princeton student lore has it that from a specific vantage point it looks like Richard Nixon's profile. I definitely remember walking around it freshman year trying to find the right angle... with limited success.

Our other weekend adventure was going on the Duck Tour of Philadelphia, in one of those amphibious vehicles constructed for WWII and now repurposed for tourists. They do a mix of historical tidbits (did you know that Race street got that name because they used to have horse races down it? did you know that the cobblestones paving the streets downtown were used as ballast for empty cargo ships and then thrown overboard when the ships were taking on goods?) and get-psyched arena-style music with duck noisemaker accompaniment. It was a wonderful, cheesy, funny, and loud good time - highly recommended for something to do with the kiddos.

August 17, 2009

Adventures in Cooking

dinner - eggplant parm

To my surprise, I apparently had all the ingredients on hand this morning to make Eggplant Parmesan! Quite a happy coincidence as I was staring at the lonely eggplant in the otherwise mostly empty refrigerator, wondering what to do with it before it went bad. I used the very simple recipe from the ever-wonderful Mark Bittman book, How to Cook Everything, although I think the forty-five minutes or so of hands-on prep time makes this not the best thing to try with a three month old around. But it's fun to make, with the dredging through flour (or maybe I am far too easily amused...). In any case, here it is, pristine, before I cut out a piece for lunch.


Also, thanks so much to Michelle for featuring the "Close Your Clothes" book on her blog, Sewing Craft Gossip!

August 15, 2009

MDF Little Kitchen

Katja and her family just built this version of the Little Kitchen out of MDF! I am fairly certain she had to make a few adjustments in order to get the design to work with this material, since it is not flexible like cardboard, but look how super-adorable the kitchen came out! Fantastic job.

Katja's MDF Little Kitchen

Also, a big thanks to Michelle for featuring my "Close Your Clothes" book on her blog, Someday Crafts!

And finally, the Martha Stewart episode featuring me will reair on August 21st - set your Tivos!

August 14, 2009

Sesame Place

We spent a really great morning at Sesame Place (an amusement park for kids). It was perfect weather for that sort of thing - very hot, but overcast, so the water rides felt great and we didn't feel like the sun was baking us alive. Lara scaled this crazy tarp mountain,

ate some french fries after a reluctant (read: somewhat screamtastic) encounter with the splashing water slide playground,

and cautiously floated along the gently inner tube river, later revealed to be her favorite ride.

Jakey spent the whole time sleeping in the stroller, but I'm sure he's psyched for next summer, when he'll be able to actually go on the rides!


Also, here are some recent conversations that I think warrant being recorded.

We found a tick on Lara's leg recently (check your kids after they go in the grass!), and she had to get a preventative course of antibiotics.

L: Do you have my medicine?
M: Yes, here is it from the drug store.
L: I need my pink medicine, Daddy! I had a tip bug on my leg. You took the tip bug off with the squeezers and now I need to get some medicine for the bug bite.

A few days later, when we were reading a book, we came across a picture of a mother and daughter walking arm in arm.

L: Look, Mommy, they are married!
A: They are? What does married mean?
L: It's when you can walk with someone or go for a walk together...
A: Oh, I see. Do you know anyone else who is married?
L: I think Mary Poppins got married!

August 10, 2009

On the Bay

We've just come back from a lovely weekend on the Chesapeake Bay with Misha's dad and Sandie. On the drive there we saw the most amazing thing - a cloud rainbow.

How does this happen? I have never seen anything like it before - a rainbow visible only in the parallel cloud streams left behind by two airplanes. I love coming across tiny bits of magic every now and again. That's something adults don't really experience very frequently.

Although, I guess, these two are bits of magic I experience on a daily basis....

August 9, 2009

Extended Dresses

I'm sure I'm not the only one out there with a little girl who grows up and not at all out (she still fits just fine into the waist of pants she was wearing two years ago. They're pretty much shorts now though, of course...

So what to do when clothes get too short, but the next size up are way too wide? Sew some extending bands onto them, of course! Here are two dresses from the last week, now good to go at least until the cold weather is here:

Reconned dresses

I'm not including instructions because it really is about as easy as it looks, especially if it's something that is only meant to last a few months and thus doesn't need perfect seams. (Or at least that's what I tell myself as I rush through the sewing and don't bother to make the seams particularly nice!)

August 7, 2009

A Visit From My Dad

We had an all-around great time! And Jake showed off his bath skillz:

August 4, 2009

Last Weekend

Guess what, peeps? I finished editing the second chapter of the ol' dissertation!

Also, we had a great weekend in D.C. -

Lara is a pool master

Jakey is a nap master