my first summer vacation

3 is 1 too many for a good photo
3 is 1 too many for a good photo

The above photo is in no way indicative of the quality of our visit. Liam had a great time. I just picked the worst possible moment to finally get a photo of some of the kids together. Being around his cousins, and aunts and uncles as well, was big fun.

ready for action
ready for action

During our visit Liam’s goofy army style crawl picked up some wicked speed. Keeping up with the big kids required it! He also began sitting up* without assistance. Only babies lie around all day. He picked up some seriously loud new vocalizations, including one that makes me think he’s having an asthma attack. Yay! Plus, his first day home we found him standing in his crib. It’s safe to say that the little man learned a great deal on his vacation.

Liam loooooooooooooved his first tast of pierogies and a had a wonderful time with his troop of babysitters (thanks Sophie, Bella, Cealinn, Tate, Colm, Casey, and Caitlin). B and I enjoyed hanging out with the grownups at Aunt Ninny’s bar.

The 12 hour drive to PA went very smoothly. Liam slept the entire time. The trip back was a little less smooth. It took over 13 hours and Liam woke and wanted out of the car at the 12 hour mark, so that last hour or so was tough. Totally worth it though. Liam did remarkably well in his new surroundings. He woke once or twice each night, but went right back to sleep after a quick nurse and snuggle. His naps were as good as they are at home – for whatever that’s worth.

Sadly, I didn’t get many photos. Mainly because, happily, I was having too much fun. We all had a great time and can’t wait to see everyone again.

yum
yum

Liam’s current sleep pattern, now that we’re home, is bed around 7 an early nurse somewhere between 4 and 5 and then real wake up at 7. A night or two he just slept through until 6:15 and woke for the day. His morning nap is still good, usually 1.5-2 hours, and his afternoon nap not so much, usually only an hour. He may be cutting more teeth? Not sure if that has any impact on his sleep or not. It’s kind of wacky right now, so we’ll see how it shakes out over the next week…

*Liam has been sitting unsupported for a while now. He’s now able to get from laying on the floor to a seated position all by himself.

PS. The kittens are not pleased about Liam’s new found speed.

Welcome to the fold

dressing for success
dressing for success

I think we have a future crafter on our hands. Every visit I introduce some new technique to Cealinn. This trip it was sewing. She took to it like a fish to water (as did Aydan, might I add).

Cealinn, Colm, and Reese made many yo-yos, using the fabulous Clover Yo-Yo Maker and Cealinn, Aydan, and Colm made adorable sarubobo dolls following mairuru’s instructions. Cealinn made hers yellow for luck with money and added a blue “shirt” for an added boost of school good fortune. Quite the thinker, eh?

Aydan made a blue sarubobo, but I neglected to get a photo of it. Shameful, right? Maybe he can take a picture for me to share. Please, Aydan!

pincushion bracelet
pincushion bracelet

This leads us to the project hinted at in last week’s post. Hopefully, Cealinn’s new pincushion will get plenty of use.

Here’s the pattern for anyone who’d like one of his/her very own. It’s a quick and easy project that uses fabric scraps, a small amount of felt, a plastic bottle cap, and a bit of elastic. I may even make one for myself!

Here it is on PatternReview.com.

More to post about our fantastic visit to PA, but you’ll have to wait…

please feed the ego

Our self-professed alpha cat Pan needs some extra love. Once tied for most photographed, he has now dropped to second most photographed in the house (tied for second, actually, but let’s not make him feel worse). In efforts to buttress his flagging self esteem, we entered his photo in a local news station’s cutest pet competition and he made the finals. (Note: that’s him on the cat button too)

So, help a kitten out and vote.

lip smackin' good
vote for me!

shhh!

what could it be?
what could it be?

Don’t tell anyone. I think I’m starting to like this hand sewing business. More on this project next week. It’s a giftee for my girl Cealinn and I don’t want to spoil the surprise.

typical saturday morning

Well, the new typical anyway. Once upon a time Saturday mornings were for nursing hangovers. Not anymore. Since Saturdays begin somewhere between 4:30 and 6:30 AM, a hangover is no longer an option. Actually, when the day starts at 4:30, it kind of feels like a hangover…but the only “nursing” going on is the boy’s first breakfast.

Blah, blah, blah. Here are some pics.

good morning!
good morning!

The world according to ESPN magazine… 

and the lions will win a game
"and the lions will win a game"
he believes this junk
he believes this junk.
reading magazines is fun
reading is fun!

 Liam still loves kissing that baby in the mirror…

mirror, mirror on the wall
mirror, mirror on the wall...
i'm the cutes of them all!
i'm the cutest of them all!

sniffle, cough

My poor, sweet, adorable cuddle monkey has a cold! Well he had one. For almost 2 full days. He’s still a little stuffy. My poor, poor baby. He even had a fever. We went to the doctor and everything.

Aside: He’s just shy of 21 pounds these days.

Sweet little guy. He was quite the trooper. He started coughing on Saturday night (in his sleep), then woke with a very low fever on Sunday morning. He was very clingy and a bit crabby and had two morning naps. We wound up taking him for a drive to get him to nap in the afternoon and when we got home he fever was up to 101. My little love. We then gave him some Infant’s Motrin and then a 1/2 dose of Children’s Benadryl.

Anyone care to guess how that worked out?

Holy hyper baby, batman! That Benadryl wound him up like you cannot believe. He was a wild man – a very cute and happy wild man. Bedtime finally arrived at 8. As in 8 PM. Far and away the latest he’s been awake in months. Yowza. Liam slept poorly on Sunday night, waking almost hourly to cough and whine for a few minutes before returning to sleep.

Yesterday morning his temperature was back down to 99 and his mood had greatly improved. His energy level was way up too. Still B had called the doctor and they suggested we bring Liam in. So, we did. The doctor said his lungs sounded clear but his throat was a bit red. Told us he’d likely be fine by Wednesday. By yesterday afternoon his temperature was back to normal. Bedtime was a complete disaster though. Assuming it was due to the stuffy nose, we gave him another dose of Benadryl and settled in for the crazy Liam hour. He finally went to sleep around 8 and slept well until 5 this morning.

So, today he’s still a little stuffy, but back to his old self in mood and energy. Whew. Let’s not do this again any time soon. K?

post processing fun
post processing fun
33 weeks
33 weeks

Thanks to the strong back-lighting (and my poor exposure compensation), Liam was pretty underexposed in these shots. I did some major fill light and light/dark adjustments to the originals, then slightly desaturated them. What do you think? I dig it.

welcome back

Our friends John and Chris were in town for a visit last weekend, so we had a bit of a shindig in their honor. Allow me to clarify further. It was more than just a “thanks for coming back to see the gang” get together. It was also a “we’re so ridiculously happy for you and can’t wait to meet the new baby once he/she finally arrives!” celebration. Don’t know about anyone else, but I had a good time. Thanks in part to the company and in other part to the Original Sin (Thanks John!).

In honor of the player to be named later I made cupcakes.

Recognize this guy?

name that bug?
name that bug?
DSC_5190
red and blue sprinkles for the hair

And for those of you who don’t have kids, it’s the Very Hungry Caterpillar. Eric Carle’s books are a big hit at our house. Inspired by Coco Cake Cupcakes’ brilliant idea, I made a double batch of lime coconut cupcakes with a triple batch of coconut cream cheese frosting. The double cake recipe made 3 dozen cupcakes, one 6″ round cake and 24 mini cupcakes and there’s still a good bit of frosting left over.

fondant head, antennae, and feet
fondant head, antennae, and feet

 The frosting was dyed yellow and green then swirled together in a pastry bag to make the body. The antennae and feet are fondant and the head is covered in fondant too. There’s some dyed coconut grass and on the center of the sun.

The whole shebang is arranged on three 13″ x 17″ cake boards taped together with duct tape and covered in wrapping paper.

Could have done a better job with the photos, but was enjoying the festivities too much to play photographer.

Here are the recipes to make and frost 24 standard cupcakes from cupcakes by Pamela Clark.

Lime Coconut Cake

  • 2 sticks butter (softened)
  • 2 tsp coconut extract
  • 1-1/2 TBSP finely grated lime peel
  • 1-1/3 c sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 c milk
  • 1-1/2 c unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2-1/2 c self-rising flour (sifted)

Beat first 5 ingredients until combined then stir in the milk, coconut, and flour. Divide among 24 baking cups and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 5 TBSP butter (softened)
  • 5 oz cream cheese (softened)
  • 2 tsp coconut extract
  • 3 c powdered sugar (sifted)

Beat first 3 ingredients until light and fluffy then add powdered sugar and mix well. It’s very spreadable when warm and firms up quite a bit when refrigerated. Don’t count on it to hold piped shapes well…