May 30, 2012

Grandmommy Films Yo Gabba Gabba

The girls have been under the weather, so Grandmommy is letting them watch all sorts of TV while they convalesce.  However,  some TV shows are less restful than others.

...this is apparently episode #3.  SI pooped out after two.

May 29, 2012

Girls of Summer

I love baseball.

I learned to love baseball from my father, who, I'm sorry to say, is a Mets fan.

There's something of a family tradition when it comes to unfailing loyalty to a team that constantly disappoints, or at worst, breaks your heart.

My granny is a lifelong Cubs fan, the poor thing.  When she and my granddaddy were dating as teenagers, he would drop her off at Wrigley, buy her a hotdog, and wait outside with a book while she scored the game from the bleachers.

She feels personally responsible for the end of the 2003 season.

I will never forget my first game.  I was about the age the girls are now, and my dad told me I could make all the noise I wanted.  I screamed through seven innings and then passed out.  I was hooked for life.

Of course I married a baseball fan.

Every year, for our anniversary, we go to a baseball game.

And this year?  We brought the girls.  To their first baseball game.

It was awesome.

I wanted to plan a road trip for us to spend the weekend in Pittsburgh to catch MY team play... but M's team was in Chicago playing the Sox for the week, and we decided... on the whole... it made much more sense not to drag our family (and a very pregnant Becoming SuperMommy) across three states just to enjoy the luxuries of PNC Park.

So despite the hazards of doing so, we all went to the Cel and rooted for the Twins.

...enjoy the photo spam!

Nobody was more excited about the game than Poppa.  Well, maybe SI.

The seventh inning stretch was FASCINATING

Daddy needed some help with his hat
Whenever a White Sox player hits a homer, they get fireworks.  Sadly, we saw a lot of fireworks that night.
Sometimes fireworks can be scary.  But mostly they're fun!

SI wearing mommy's hat- we might not have gone to Pittsburgh, but I still showed my team spirit.  :)
Daddy and the girls' first cotton candy!  DD didn't like it- she must not really be my child.
A Mauer homer!  Yay!
DD in mommy's hat

May 27, 2012

Sunday Blogaround 5.27.2012

Welcome to another edition of the Sunday Blogaround!

I'm so sorry these have been scattered- as Baby X gets closer and closer, my brain seems to be, quite simply, shutting down.  I can't speak in grammatically correct sentences, I forget what I'm doing ten seconds after I start, I make all sorts of wrong turns driving up to the grocery store (FYI- that's nine blocks directly up the street I live on), and my children would be completely unbathed, unbrushed, and unfed if it wasn't for Grandmommy and Poppa picking up the slack.

But here is this week's Blogaround!  And hopefully, soon Baby X will vacate my uterus and I can go back to being a person with a fully functional brain.  :)

BWS tips button"Miracles" - The Writer Revived
This is a wonderful story.  I can't imagine the range of emotions that must have gone through this couple, and I am so, so happy for them.

"I Know Kung-Fu" - The Hossman Chronicles
Owning your home is a gigantic set of hassles.  Things break, things need to be replaced, and that's all YOUR responsibility.  Just ask me about my epic battle against the ants.  Go on, ask me.  Daddy Hoss has figured out why this is, and has encountered the secret for doing battle against one's own home.  Maybe.

Photobucket"Gettin' Our Princess On" - googiemomma
As you probably know, I loathe princess crap.  But, I love this post.  Because it is so simple, it is so sweet, and it so obviously made this one little girl unbelievably happy.  So... way to go princesses!  :)

"Pretty in Pink" - The Daddy Dialogues
Speaking of awful pink crap, Brandon of the Daddy Dialogues knows exactly what I'm talking about.  And what I mean when I say that sometimes, it doesn't matter how much you personally hate the stuff... it's just plain adorable and you can't help but melt over it.

"Saluting Shakespeare: A Study Guide" - Departing the Text
This is a great introduction to Shakespeare.  And since M and I saw an incredible performance of "Timon of Athens" for our anniversary, it's kind of close to my heart right about now.

"Sunday Secrets" - PostSecret
Secret #7.  I makes me feel so angry, so sad, so helpless, and so motivated to do something to make things different.  To all you parents reading out there, do NOT be that guy.  Do not.  You are already part of a problem that will take phenomenal effort from ALL of us to even begin to address.

"Martha Stewart Inspired Lego Ice Cream Cake" - The Spin Cycle
I loved this lady when she was the Desperate Housemommy, I love her now.  This is my favorite tutorial ever.  Evar.  Prepare to laugh your ass off.

"Shel Silverstein Tattoos.  Yes.  Please." - Diapers & Daisies
This is a lady after my own heart.  I too dream of more tattoos.  Not quite like this, but...  I LOVE them.  I LOVE the idea of literary tattoos.  And I think that these are particularly awesome.

May 23, 2012

Baby Showers Bring May... Babies?

Big sisters in just a few short weeks!
Well, probably not.  Baby X is on track to stay entrenched in my uterus well into June, although we've hit the magical "term" time, when I don't have a preemie in my belly- just a baby.  Which means she can get out any time she pleases.

My wonderful friends Aunt K and Aunt Texas threw me a shower last weekend.  It was lovely- alphabet themed and colorful and fun.

And Aunt Texas did double duty as hostess and photographer.  So the best pictures of the day are definitely hers.

And here they are!

DD is hiding in my skirt, because what better place is there to hide?

I love this kid.

Such a ham.

C is for cupcake!

C is for cupcake!

I have so many pictures of Uncle Texas and Uncle Robot making these faces.  Just not together.

Maybe my new favorite picture of me and M

L and Aunt K

This child has the most gorgeous eyes maybe ever...

Aunt K and SI and... something... up and to the right...

I am often both filled with and covered with children.  It can be overwhelming at times.

Baby Z covered in strawberries!

L and E!

Aunt Robot and Baby Z

Aunt Texas and DD

SI with Aunt and Uncle Robot

Passed out toddler.  A must for any event.

...make that two passed out toddlers.

Our friends the S's.  As you can see, the child dress code was Yo Gabba Gabba only.

Thank you, awesome friends!  If I ever get the opportunity, I'd like to shower you in style someday!

(For those of you who either couldn't make it, don't know me "IRL," or just feel particularly generous, we still have need of a few baby items- they're on the Buy Buy Baby registry {#6231682}.)

May 22, 2012

Yo Gabba Gabba Dresses

The Brobee fabric
My daughters *love* Yo Gabba Gabba.  And, as you probably know, Yo Gabba Gabba doesn't particularly bother me.

That said, I'm not the sort of person to go out and buy much in the way of licensed toys.  Yes, I got the girls Yo Gabba Gabba plush backpacks for Christmas, but that was very specifically special.  Licensed toys are not things I generally like to have around the house.

But that isn't to say the girls can't have *any* stuff that relates to their favorite cartoon characters.

While we were out shopping for the fabric for Baby X's room, we found this... material.  It's a poly terry- light, comfy, and striped green.  Pretty much exactly like Brobee.

DD went nuts.  So when I offered to make her a Brobee dress, you can imagine her excitement.  SI also got in on the action, she wanted a Muno dress.  Now this was going to be harder.  There was no comparable material for Muno.  So I grabbed half a yard of some plain red cotton, a yard and a half of that dangly ball trim that people like to put on lamps, and decided I'd just figure it out.

They asked about their dresses daily for a few weeks.  Then just once in a while.  What can I say?  I've been busy!  But for the baby shower (my friends threw me a shower last weekend) I managed to pull them together.

Voila!  Brobee and Muno dresses!
Freshly bathed and dressed to kill.
For DD, it was love at first sight.  She sang and danced and gave me all sorts of hugs.  "I LOVE my Brobee dress!"  It was great.

After a brief initial panic attack over the scarcity of bumps, SI also decided that her new Muno dress was the best thing ever.  She wanted to sleep in it.  She wants to wear it every day.  I call it a win.

As is my modus operandi, I didn't use a pattern.  I traced a bit of one of their dresses, and sort of winged it from there.

For DD's Brobee dress, I made it longer and with deeper arm holes than I knew it needed.  I figure this dress can last at least two years- and it is PERFECT beach wear!  The light terry cloth?  A breezy dress?  I see this being our go-to garment for trip to the beach (or backyard sprinkler) for as many as three summers. And that would be great.

I gave it a button closure on one shoulder, because I imagine DD's head is just going to keep growing.

Plus?  With those big arm holes, she can wear a warm shirt underneath it for the fall, if not the winter!

Passing out in her new Brobee dress (and with her new unicorn from Grandmommy)

"I LOVE my Brobee dress!"
It's certainly not the fanciest dress in the world.  It's a play dress- a beach dress.  It's not supposed to be for special occasions.  And that had been the plan.

Of course, the Muno dress was a whole different story.

First of all, the fabric is a weave, not a knit.  So no stretch.  That meant it would need a zipper (I freakin' hate button holes.)

Second of all, I needed to find a way to give it bumps without simply covering the thing in that trim.  The trim was more expensive than the fabric ($3.50/yard v. $2/yard), so there was no way I was going to do that.  Instead, I decided to hem the dress with the "bumps," trim the neckline and yoke, and then give it trimmed pockets.  I *barely* had enough trim.

All in all, this was much trickier.  The fabric was less forgiving, the invisible zipper much more difficult to install than a single gigantic button, and the trim of course threatened to unravel itself if I pinned it.  But the result?

New Muno dress and a new unicorn

"We both have bumps!"
The girls are happy.  And I'm happy.

I had a plan, when I was pregnant with DD and SI, that I would make them all sorts of pretty little play dresses.  Because little girl dresses are easy, and fun, and we would pick out fabric together and they would have a closet filled with dresses that I made for them for as long as they'd let me.

Of course, that fantasy didn't involve the rigors of University life, another pregnancy, or... well... much else in reality.  Aside from Halloween costumes, these are the first clothes I've made my kids.

I am so pleased with them!

"I am Brobee!"

"I am Muno and I have a unicorn!"

...I think the girls are, too.  :)

May 16, 2012

...Life is But A Dream

Rolling down the river...
Well, we didn't "Row, row, row" the boat, but it was an amazing time nonetheless.

To celebrate M's victory over his Master's program, I got him a little graduation gift.  Thanks to the modern marvel that is Groupon (and all the other group-based discount companies- this one might have actually been Living Social) I was able to rent us an electric yacht (with a Captain!) for a leisurely architecture tour and dinner cruising down the Chicago River.

...I don't think he realized he was going to be carting around a bunch of art, architecture, construction, engineering, and urban planning nerds.  That certainly changes the tenor of any conversation about, well, buildings.

It's amazing... when you live in a world class city, there's sort of a stigma to "tourist-y" activities.  You don't need to go to the top of the Sear's (sorry, Willis) Tower- you're a LOCAL.  You don't need to dedicate days to museum hopping, you're a LOCAL.  You certainly don't need to go around downtown looking straight up at the buildings' dizzying heights- what are you, some sort of country bumpkin?

No.  You're a local, dammit, and that means you are officially too cool for those sorts of activities.

Which is utter nonsense.

Fun is fun, cool is cool, and the things that get relegated to the sphere of "tourist activities" aren't by default lame or uninteresting simply because they're a great way to enjoy the Chicago-ness of Chicago.

We had never taken a river tour.  And this was an amazing way to do it.

We picked up Five Guys for dinner (don't worry about my gall bladder- I had some fruit and veggie rolls from Whole Foods- YUM), and met up with some of M's best friends from college for the boat ride.

The day could not have been nicer.  Around eighty and sunny, with barely a breeze, we started off about half an hour before the sun started to set.  It was absolutely gorgeous.

The girls had a BLAST.  I think their favorite part was the other boats, they loved waving to people on the water taxis!  My favorite was when a little speed boat was going by- the driver topless- and SI shouted out over and over again, "That daddy is naked!"

That was freakin' great.

So without further ado- the photo spam!  (And many thanks to Aunt Texas, who's photographs are way better than mine!)

Before taking off (or even getting her life jacket on)- SI with Grandpa

DD was nervous at first- but the presence of french fries quickly calmed her down.  Just as the sweet tea vodka did for Grandma.
We love Aunt Texas!  Which makes it all the sadder that she and Uncle Texas are moving... back to Texas.

Uncle Texas, Max (one day you'll get your own blog name), and M

Our fair city

On for ten minutes every day (weather permitting), the Centennial Fountain commemorates the reversal of the Chicago River.  Which is a fascinating story that I won't tell you now.

My kind of town...

DD, SI, Uncle Texas, and Aunt Texas 

Mini-cupcakes in M's new school colors

DD enjoying the sights

I might be pointing out ducks, I'm not sure.

Warming up to Max- who they don't see very often

Seems like Max is okay...

Yeah, he's cool.

Congratulations M!  And hooray for boats!


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