A Happy Halloween

Ash Ketchum, a ballerina and a garden gnome…

I feel like that’s the beginning of a really bad joke. Like one my dad would tell (and we would all groan instead of laugh at the punchline)

halloween-2016

So last year we went ALL OUT and dressed up as The Incredibles (seriously, go check those pictures out!) and it was awesome! I feel like I did my time with the whole matching thing and just let the kiddos pick their costumes this year…except for Baby G. He was going to be a gnome and that was it!

My oldest has an obsession…a little one (*eye roll*) of guess what?! Daddy introduced him to a card game and the classic “Red Version” on the Game Boy and now its all he talks about….and I miiight play a little of the game on my phone (maybe….)

ash-the-trainer

So we went with the classic Ash look. I bought a white polo shirt and a blue t-shirt. I cut the sleeves off the t-shirt and cut both shirts down the middle. I sewed the two shirts together at the opening in the front and then craft glued a felt yellow band around the bottom and fake pockets.

For his gloves, I just bought a two pack of children’s gloves and cut off the fingers, and the hat I found online for like $6. I did a simple amigurumi crochet pattern to make a pokeball. (seriously simple, it takes like 20 minutes to make). I already had a tiny black back pack (no, I’m not going to break out into song…hello 90’s!) I did splurge on the cute stuffed animal because I knew my son would love it.

I added some of his normal jeans and tennis shoes and BAM! Best Ash ever! (don’t say that too fast!)

 

 

Gotta Catch Em All

Gotta catch em all!

 

Now the daughter was a little harder because she is so indecisive. I have NO IDEA where she gets that from! She went from ballerina, to Wonder Woman, to a cat and probably other things.

Sissy the beautiful ballerina

Sissy the beautiful ballerina

We stuck with ballerina, because if you know anything about her, you know she loves to dance.  Her costume was super easy, but, I thought, came out really cute! I got her a cotton leotard, white tights, and simple ballet slippers. I made the tutu with a wide elastic band and white and pink tulle which I alternated around. We bought the legs warmers when we bought big brother’s stuffed animal (so they both got something special for their costumes)

 

She had an absolute blast being a ballerina. There was a DJ with a dance stage set up downtown where we always trick-or-treat and she was dancing away on stage to all the great Halloween classics. It was awesome!

ballerina-twirl

Now the decision to make Baby G a gnome was made back in July actually. We were at my nephew’s first birthday party and we put a red party hat on Baby G and my heart melted. With his red hair and tiny toddler-ness (shut up! It’s a thing) I knew that the gnome was in our future.

Garden Gnomw

It was totally a hit and Baby G LOVED his hat. He kept pointing to his head at saying “at at”. I just bought a long sleeve white onesie and black sweat pants for the base of the outfit. Besides that, his costume was mainly made of felt (that I already had lying around so…WIN!)

For the blue “shirt” I just cut a little tunic out. (Just fold the felt in half and cut how wide you want it. Then make a head hole!) The belt is just black strip of felt with a yellow square. For the hat I used the Garden Gnome Hat Tutorial from Tikkido. For the shoes, I just made shoe covers. I sort of followed the Elf Slippers pattern from maya made, but changed it a little to be shoe covers. The beard (also felt) was a last minute addition because I wasn’t sure he would tolerate it…and he did, like a champ!

Garden Gnome

The garden gnome costume was such a hit and was not that hard to make. I might try and work on a costume tutorial post…because seriously…who DOESN’T need a garden gnome in their life!

And yes, I totally put him in our front flower bed like a REAL garden gnome…

Hope you enjoyed our pictures as much as we enjoyed taking them!
Happy Halloween!

 

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A Super Birthday!

I am TWO

I’ll be honest and say that I am not a fan of birthday parties. I don’t like planning them, and I don’t like going to them. I should specify with children’s birthday parties. If you invite my kids to a party, if we don’t show up, don’t take it personally. It’s not because we don’t like you, or your kids, its because of the birthday party. Yeah, I know, I’m such a party pooper…whatever.

Normally what happens in our house is that we invite family to come do a fun activity with us to celebrate. No house to clean or decorate, and no kids to entertain for 2 hours. It is a great alternative to a party. With my son we went to the zoo and with my daughter we went to the aquarium and they had a blast!

BUT with the baby we did a party. With the older two we had a party for their first and second birthday. Long story short-ish, we wanted to make sure Baby G got the same treatment and brother and sister.

So, the super birthday party was planned. You know what? I actually had a great time making stuff for the party. Baby G is really into super-heroes right now so we went with it. I just invited family and a few friends with kiddos close to Baby G’s age.

First I did a Clark Kent mini photo shoot. I dressed him up in a onesie with a tie, jeans and some prop “nerd” glasses.

Baby G as Clark Kent

Yes, I totally stuck him in the middle of my street and took pictures. Before you panic and say awful things, I live in the back of my neighborhood on the corner. We didn’t see a car the entire time we were out there.

Ok, so the photo shoot was totally for fun, but seriously! Is he not the cutest!?

The next thing I did was to make capes and masks for the kids at the party. Because I’m a crazy crafter-lady, I just had mounds of felt laying around. So I used the felt I already had to cut out capes and masks. I stuck velcro dots on the capes so they could be put on and taken off easily.

capes for the kids

I also Googled the heck out of “superhero” and “party” and “printable” and also “free” and found an awesome PDF template that had everything I needed for a party…did I mention it was FREE! The PDF had templates for water bottle labels, cupcake signs, straw flags, display signs and more! I just saved that bad-boy to a flash drive, got what I wanted printed in color on card stock, paid like $5 and BAM! Party WIN! The printables are made by Love Party Printables and the link to the Superhero Party Printable.

One of the coolest things I did for the party….but lets be real, it was all pretty cool…was the skyline that I made. I feel a superhero party is not complete without a skyline. How would the Bat-Signal work? Anyways….. I took white tri-fold display poster and two black pieces of poster board. I, again, used the magic of Google and found an awesome model skyline of New York and copied it to the right scale on the black posters, cut it out and glued it to the display board.

skyline

Yeah, I know what you are thinking….
I’m crazy
That looks really hard
How do I have that much time

CALM DOWN! It seriously only took me a little over an hour! It’s all straight lines and I used a ruler and now I have this awesome skyline….that I have no idea what to do with now, but is still really cool.

For snacks I got fruit….LOTS and LOTS of fruit. We put the fruit together on a circular tray and made Captain America’s shield. It was so easy and looked pretty good.
Seriously, from the outside in its:
Strawberries (halved)
Bananas (sliced)
Strawberries (still halved)
Blueberries (don’t waste time trying to cut something as small as blueberries!)
Apples (sliced and placed in the shape of a star)

square-shield

The last thing I did was set up a photo area. Basically I bought a superhero table cloth, crepe paper, and tissue paper, handed it to my little sister “the event planner” and said GO! (No, but seriously, she is an event planner!)

batman-robin

I also bought a pack of cut outs at Hobby Lobby that have different onomatopoeias on it and taped sticks to it for props. There was onomatopoeia all over that wall! (Hehe! I made a funny!)

bang

Baby G’s favorite words that day were “BANG!” and “BOOM!” It was awesome! He still walks around the house yelling “BOOM!”

For not being a big birthday party person, this was actually a lot of fun! It didn’t cost a whole lot and people seemed to have fun. We asked everyone to dress up in their favorite superhero shirt so that added a lot of fun too!

Capes

You really cannot go wrong with a superhero party! It almost makes me want to plan a party next year….no, just kidding. MAYBE if it was another superhero party.

Always be yourself…
unless you can be Batman
then ALWAYS be Batman.

 

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When Life Happens

When Life Happens

Sometimes life happens.
Sometimes life happens and its ok to admit that it’s hard.

I normally don’t write posts like the one in the picture. I know parenting is hard, and I know that YOU know that parenting is hard. MOST times social media is not the right outlet to complain. Maybe I should repeat that…

MOST TIMES, SOCIAL MEDIA IS NOT THE RIGHT OUTLET TO COMPLAIN

Ok, Back to your regularly scheduled post…

As I said, I do not normally write posts like this, but the exuberant amount of unadulterated chaos happening at my house at that time was so overwhelming it was humorous! Seriously, here is the low down:

2 out of 3 of the kids were screaming
The baby was screaming to be held in between shoving amazing amounts of green beans in his mouth and promptly choking on them. (Or screaming because we wouldn’t let him shove more in) Before dinner he was screaming because he wanted dinner.
My 4 year old was throwing a fit, screaming that she is mad, running around the house (for the millionth time NO RUNNING IN THE HOUSE) and asking for more food (If you know her, this makes complete sense). Before dinner she was asking for food. EVERY.KIND. OF.FOOD.EVERY.BREATH.SHE.HAD.

The oldest is trying to be overly calm because he feels the chaos in the house. With his mini-notebook in hand, he has a million questions (which he asks VERY calmly) “Mommy, how do you spell AGAIN?” Mommy, will you teach me to crochet with a hook?” “Mommy, can I have my K’NEX back?” “Mommy, can I play with this toy that has tiny, microscopic pieces while the baby is right here?”

It always starts with “Mommy” and ends with me giving him this “Are you kidding?” look while holding a screaming baby and telling (yelling over the baby) the 4 year old to STOP RUNNING IN THE HOUSE!

Oh, did I mention that EVERY WINDOW IN THE HOUSE IS OPEN? Oh, yes, there’s that. While cooking dinner the hubby nearly smoked us out of the house. Seriously, we are talking open front door, red eyes, waving the smoke away from the fire alarm type of smoke. We were one step away from having to crawl around the house!

On top of that (oh yes! There’s more!) my husband had to leave for a meeting at the height of the chaos, smoke, screaming and dinner. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry! The only thing I could muster was “Please don’t leave me!” He promised me he would be gone for not very long and would bring back some wine. SOLD!

As soon as he left, the chaos in which I had mistakenly thought had climaxed, indeed increased…three-fold (I can neither deny or confirm this relation to the amount of children in the house). About 30-minutes in, the chaos got too much for me to bear and I gave in and called the hubby to return pronto because, no. As I heard it start to ring, I noticed a ringing sound coming from the counter…

No. This is not just happening.
This is when I started writing my Captain’s…I mean Mommy’s… Log.

Mommy’s Log:

Stardate 69593.6
I have just lost communication with the co-pilot. I must now trust that he will return to the mother-ship and not abandon his crew.

Stardate 69593.7
The co-pilot has been gone for a suspiciously long time for what was supposed to be a “short excursion”. I can only assume he is acquiring provisions of wine and cookies.

Stardate 69593.8
The princess of the crew is finally in her quarters. After much convincing, a firm talking to and a lullaby, I think she has officially retired for the evening.

Stardate: 69593.8
I am growing suspicious of the youngest member of the crew. He seems out of sorts. I suspect mutiny! Or he might just need a nap.

Stardate 69593.9
The co-pilot has finally returned! There was much rejoicing until we took inventory of the acquired provisions. Mistakes were make and in this time of crisis, there is no room for error!

Stardate 69593.9
The entire crew has finally retired to their quarters for the night. The oldest of the crew was commended for his assistance and bravery in a time of crisis. I still have my suspicions about the youngest. I must keep a close watch overnight and the days to come.

and on top of that, we are out of wipes.

***These are actual stardates based on a stardate calculator from TrekGuide.com.

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Exciting NEWS!

Exciting News

The answer is no. NO, we are not expecting another baby.
No.
Nope.

BUT…there has been a lot going on around our house in the past month (or two). Mainly, my computer desk area got taken over by a Christmas tree and other Christmas decoration explosions! I am happy to report that the tree is down and I have my wonderful work space back!

Anyways…

Back to the NEWS.
In October I did a big International Babywearing Week post on my website with mini photo-sessions with moms and babies and a group photo shoot with everyone. The editor of our local newspaper found out about International Babywearing Week and contacted me. I told her about my photo shoots, IBW, and my blog where I was posting the pictures.

The next thing I knew, I was meeting with the editor and she was offering me a column in the local newspaper to write about mom-type-things! She said that the publisher and herself loved my blog and my writing and thought it would be a good addition to the local paper!
What?! How cool, right?

(See what I did there, with the title? Exciting NEWS as in NEWSPAPER! Yeah, I didn’t think it was funny either.)

Since then I have been writing some mom column pieces here and there and have even written a few of the headline articles. Look at me! I am now writing regularly with the newspaper and am loving writing and meeting new people in my community. I have no idea what is next for me, but I am loving being a bigger part of my community and sharing my thoughts as a mom to other moms in my area.

I never knew if anything would come out of my blog writing. I do it on the side, between changing diapers, mediating fights over toys, and trying to manage my home, but it is a labor of LOVE. I LOVE the writing. I LOVE sharing what I know and I LOVE the people and connections I have been making for the past 4+ years. It feels pretty good for someone to look at my work and recognize the work and love I have put into it. I am not going anywhere. I am actually hoping to be able to blog a little MORE often now that I am doing it for the paper as well.

Did you miss my International Babywearing Week posts? Check out the pictures!
My Babywearing Project
Babies of Babywearing

Thanks for all your continued support and I can’t wait to see what the future holds!

Katie

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An Incredible Halloween

Saturday was Halloween and my family had a blast! No gore or scary costumes here! Earlier this year I got the idea to be The Incredibles for Halloween this year! We have the perfect number of people and even a red-headed baby to play Jack-Jack. I soon found out that buying the cheap “made in China” Incredibles costumes would have been WAY expensive. (The adult versions were like $40!) Sorry, I love Halloween, but not enough to go broke! Plus I would rather buy real clothes that are comfortable and possibly used again (minus my husband’s red leggings!)

The Incredibles

I opted to make my own. Off to find red leggings that would fit a grown man! (I found them!) I got some inspiration from Life Out of Bounds, including her logo and mask pattern, but mainly had a picture in my head of what I wanted and did my own thing.

Mr Incredible

I love that my husband was just as excited as I was about this! (Ok maybe not THAT much, but he was pretty excited!) I love that he doesn’t take himself too seriously and is game to wear red leggings and his underwear on the outside. I really think he is Mr. Incredible. Mr Incredible had red leggings, a red t-shirt with a black long sleeve shirt underneath. He had back boxer briefs with a yellow felt belt and HUGE black socks that he wore OVER his shoes, and of course, his mask to keep his identity a secret.

Elastigirl

As the maker of the costumes, I had a blast getting to dress up with my family! We went downtown for our local Trunk-or-Treat and we had so many comments and people stopping us to take a picture. That was super fun! Elastigirl also had red leggings, a red t-shirt with a black long sleeve shirt underneath. (which I forgot to wash before wearing and woke up with HIVES all over my arms the next morning) I used my black swimsuit bottoms with a yellow felt belt, and some black boots that worked just perfectly, and of course, my mask to keep my identity a secret.

Dash

My oldest was so excited to be Dash! I am pretty sure he would have dressed up like Dash for Halloween even if the rest of us were something different. As soon as he got his costume on he took off running through the house. I didn’t know what to do! Do you tell Dash to stop running in the house? Dash had red leggings, a red longs sleeve shirt, tights that were cut up to make underwear, boots (over his shoes) and arm cuffs (yeah, that’s right! I used the entire pair of tights!) a yellow felt belt and of course, a mask to keep his identity a secret.

 

Violet

My daughter is the shy one of the bunch and I wasn’t sure she would go for this, but as you can tell, she totally got into it. Even though we have a different birth order than the TRUE Incredibles (Violet is the oldest) it still worked out. Violet had red leggings, a red longs sleeve shirt, tights that were cut up to make underwear, boots and arm cuffs, a yellow felt belt and, of course, a mask to keep his identity a secret.

Jack-Jack

Baby G’s costume was so cute. It was just like the older two kids, but smaller. I originally didn’t make him a mask because I had no doubt he would just rip it off, but he did great when I was taking his picture! I also loved that Jack-Jack and Baby G are right about the same age, have red hair and totally make some of the same noises. Jack-Jack had tiny red leggings (with little bows at the end that we hid with the “boots”), a red onesie (which was amazingly hard to find, tights that were cut up to make underwear, boots and arm cuffs, a yellow felt belt and, of course, a mask to keep his identity a secret.

It made me feel great that not only did my family have a blast, but so many other people enjoyed our costumes! I have NO IDEA what to do for next year. I don’t know if I can top this! Better start working now! Hope you enjoyed our costumes! I would love to see what you and your family did for Halloween!

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