Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry Christmas!!!

I hope you all had the most amazing time this holiday season.  I'm still coming down off the high of being a parent at Christmas.  This was Ruby's second Christmas, of course, but her first where she actually kind of knew what was going on and it was SO MUCH FUN!  Since I've been pretty much MIA from the blog the entire month, I need to go and do a little recap of the holiday season.

We kicked it off with a visit to our favorite tree farm to find the perfect Christmas tree.  It was freezing cold that weekend.  Like, in the 20s, which it basically never is in western WA.  So Mr. G declared that he was absolutely not cutting down our tree, and if we wanted one, it had to be a pre-cut.  Ha!

We found the perfect tree - tall and narrow.  Emphasis on the tall.  Somehow we ended up with like, a 10 foot tree!  Luckily we have oodles of ceiling height in our living room.  I also remembered that they have a Santa at this tree farm.  We tried seeing him last year, but he was on his lunch break.  Not the case this year!

Ruby was NOT into sitting with Santa.  In the pic she's asking for me, lol.  She didn't cry, but she didn't like it.  Funnily enough, after that day she would say, "Ho ho ho!  Lap?  Picture?" over and over.  And if you'd ask her if she wanted to sit on Santa's lap and take a picture, she'd say, "yeah!!!".  Goof.

So we took her to see Santa and get our "real" picture done in her Christmas dress.  Mr. G had the great idea (not) to go after nap to the mall Santa on a Saturday.  Which meant we waited in an hour long line right at dinner time.  But Ruby was a total rockstar.  She loved the reindeer flying over the center of the mall, and the people watching.  When it came time to sit on Santa's lap for her picture, she was again, not into it.  And offended by the camera's flash.  So we ended up with our second annual awkward Santa pic.

Our plan was to take Ruby over to the Red Robin at the mall for dinner after.  You have to go outside the main mall to get to it, and as soon as we stepped out the door we were stopped in our tracks by a HOARD of people.  We'd forgotten about Snowflake Lane, a nightly music/light show they do out there.  It was insanity.  So we bailed and headed back towards home (where there's another Red Robin).  It was after 8:00 before Ruby got any dinner, but she was totally chill!  We were so impressed with her ability to hold it together in a weird situation, and so thankful.  We were totally aware that not every toddler would put up with that!

At home, we decked our halls with our giant tree, our handmade stockings, a gingerbread man garland (because of the "five little gingerbread men in a row" song we learned at school), and the Pinterest felt Christmas tree.

Plus Christmas jammies, plates, Santa sippy, reindeer antlers and festive outfits.  Ruby loved it all, but was especially obsessed with reindeer.  In fact, she can now say the word "reindeer" incredibly well.  Christmas comes out "ki ki", and Santa is just "ho ho ho", but reindeer she's got.

I tried to do as much shopping online as possible (ha!), and nearly broke my hand making many of the gifts as well.  Ok, not really, but basically every nap time was dedicated to crocheting or sewing, and now my hand absolutely needs a break.

Ruby's handmade Christmas consisted of a dolly, play food for the kitchen Santa brought her, and an apron & oven mitts as well.

I also made a scarf for my step-mom.  Did I mention my hand hurts?  Ha!

Finally, finally the presents were wrapped, the cookies were baked.  After going to two separate grandparent's houses last year, we vowed that Christmas would henceforth be at our house (or at least it would this year).  So the house was cleaned, and it was finally Christmas Eve.

Ruby helped me check the mailbox for some very last-minute gifts (and our Christmas cards, argh!!!), in one of her festive outfits.

In case you're wondering, both Snapfish and the USPS are on my naughty list. and FedEx are on the nice list (and makes the most amazing photo calendars).  In fact, FedEx delivered gifts at 7:00pm Christmas Eve.  Talk about cutting it close!  We were sad that they didn't knock when they dropped them off, as we had a box of homemade cookies all packed up to give the driver for being out on Christmas Eve.

Since we were hosting the next day, we wanted to keep our Christmas Eve dinner simple.  So I surprised Mr. G & Ruby with a homemade Christmas tree shaped pizza.  They both loved it so much - I think it may be a fun new tradition!

Ruby and I made pumpkin pies after dinner.  Well...  We tried to.  I guess I overfilled them, but right after they went into the oven, one of the pies dumped custard filling all over the bottom of my hot oven.  What a mess!!!  I had to turn it off and wait for it to cool down so I could clean up and try again.  Let me tell you - scrubbing out my oven was not what I pictured myself doing on Christmas Eve.

Ruby didn't want to go to sleep (maybe she wanted to wait up for Santa?) so I scrubbed, while Mr. G put her to bed.  Then I had to get to work building the play kitchen we Santa got her.  That thing was no joke.  But by the light of the tree, and with the Christmas Story marathon getting started on tv it was pretty fun playing Santa!  Oh, and the pies baked perfectly after that, so we were off to bed.

Ruby woke just before 6am (barf) so I brought her back to our bed so we could sleep more.  She & Mr. G snored away, but I never got back to sleep.  So I got up, made some coffee and baked our traditional Christmas morning Monkey Bread, and made sure Santa's loot looked perfect.  Finally, it was time for our little girl to see what the big guy had brought!

First peek at the tree before coming downstairs.


She wasted no time getting into this bag!

We finally had to point out the kitchen to her, but then it was pure joy!

Time for stockings!

Serious unwrapping concentration.

Daddy and Braidy had to help her "opo" this one.

And then I stopped taking pictures and we got to opening the gifts under the tree.  Ruby got into ripping the paper and had herself a grand old time.  The kitchen was a HUGE hit, and the crocheted eggs I made her seem to be her favorite.  Which is good, because they were a major PITA.  Ha!  Once gifts were opened, we trekked up to the kitchen for our traditional Monkey Bread and eggs for Christmas breakfast.  Ruby thought she'd died and gone to heaven with the sugariness of it.  Then she went back to playing and we got to work cleaning up before family came!

As I stepped out of the shower, Mr. G came in to tell me he'd gone to start the ham, and smoke was POURING out of the oven!!!  We're guessing there was some dish soap residue from when I'd cleaned it out the night before (that pie mess wouldn't come out without it, but I thought I'd rinsed it completely).  But it was so strange because we'd cooked the pies and bread without a problem!  Our house smelled HORRIBLE and was full of smoke, so we had to open all the windows.  A bit later, he told me that it was ok and now the ham was cooking.  So who knows what happened, but I guess this was the year we almost burned the house down.  Twice.

When I was getting Ruby into her Christmas dress, she told me she wanted to go down and "cook eggies".  Which is exactly what she did.  And I died of the adorableness of it all.

Soon, our relatives came pouring in.  My mom, dad & stepmom, Mr. G's parents and brother, and my older brother, sister-in-law, and niece were all here.  The only one missing was my little brother (in DC with his girlfriend's family.  I stopped taking pics again and just enjoyed it.  Everybody brought food that we grazed on all afternoon.  Ruby and her cousin Frankie (almost 5yrs) played together the whole time.  It was the first time I'd really seen her play with another child, not just alongside, and it was so amazing.  

We skipped Ruby's nap, and even though we could see her getting more and more tired, she was SUCH a little trooper.  Her sweet, charming self the whole time.  Not one single meltdown.  It was more that I could ask of any toddler, and we all just marveled at her.  

There was more gift opening, of course.  Ruby played Santa.  As long as you told her who a gift was for, she'd hand it to the right person.  It was adorable, of course.  Then more eating, drinking, being merry.  Oh, and my brother brought these remote control helicopter things, which basically turned the men into little boys.

We Skyped our other brother.  Talking to his nieces was the highlight of his night.

Ruby could barely keep her eyes open anymore, and just about fell asleep in Mr.G's arms.  So he took her up to put her to bed, and she fell asleep mid-diaper change!  That's a sign of a kid who enjoyed some Christmas, I think!  Our family gathered their things, and everyone made their way out to go home.  Mr. G and I cleaned up a little bit, but decided just to leave it and watch the last few minutes of the last airing of a Christmas Story.

All in all, it was a perfect day.  A great shindig with the family.  Everything turned out great, everyone got along and had a good time.  And best of all, Ruby did.  We couldn't have asked for anything more.

I hope that all of your holidays were as wonderful as ours, and merry everything from our family to yours!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

I couldn't be more thankful for this little lady. Hope you all have a wonderful Turkey Day!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Exciting News!!!

I'm putting my craftiness to good use and opening up shop!!!  As you know, I've been quite absent from blogging lately, as I prepared for a craft sale at Ruby's school.  The sale went as well as it could have, and I have used it as a jumping off point to start selling my handmade goods!

Can I get a drumroll please, for my new shop, Spotted Pony Handmade!!!

For right now, I'll be running my little shop on Instagram only.  I'd like to eventually get it over to Etsy, but this is how I'll be getting my start!  If you'd like to shop, please follow @spottedpony_handmade over on IG.

I'll be hosting a holiday flash sale THIS Sunday (tomorrow!) at 5:00pm PST!!!  I'll have headbands (including the one Ruby is wearing above), bows, and holiday-inspired ready to ship hats.  Like this guy:

So come follow me, shop handmade for your littles this holday season, and help make my first sale a success!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Calendar Girl - Eighteen Months

Well hello, little blog.  I know I've neglected you terribly, but it's all in the name of good things.  Finding time to blog has been crazy hard, but I couldn't let Ruby turn 19 months before I documented her 18th, right???

Eighteen months...  Holy cow.  That's a half birthday!  My baby is one and a half!!!  I know, I know, I'm always shocked by the passage of time, but really?  How'd she get so grown up?????

Because grow up, she did.  This girl seems like such a KID.  For one thing, her vocabulary is through the roof now.  New words this month (well, the ones I remembered to write down) include: school, yarn, yeah, corn, read, please, leaves, water (wa-wa), baby, towel, up, clothes, bow, ride, rhino, yum, keys, bra, gourd, dog, beans (which comes out as "means" - adorable), feed (which she says as "ah-ree" - weird), dance, and noodle.  She is much more into repeating things we say than she ever has been.  Which is cool, but also means our language has had to clean up a bit...

She has many loves right now.  "Read!" is her favorite word, and she will grab a book anytime and insist you read it to her.  Which, of course, I love.  We read a lot of Halloween books, since it was that time of year.  One of my faves, being Goodnight Goon.  In the story, the goon rides a ghost.  Which leads to Ruby's other favorite word - "RIDE!"  She is obsessed with the concept of riding.  Horses must be ridden, stuffed animal cows must be ridden, the dog must be ridden (yes, she really tries to do this every chance she gets).  She even climbed on Grandma one evening, when she was relaxing on the floor, and started yelling, "Ride!  Ride!!!".  It's pretty hilarious.

Look at that wacky hair...

Also topping her loves list?  Leaves!!!  She's not loving riding in the stroller so much (she wants to walk/run), but give her a leaf for each hand?  She'll do whatever you want!  She also gets really excited when she hears the landscapers with leaf blowers.  "Guy?  Leaves?  Guy?  Leaves?" over and over.  She's also been super into coloring, and actually scribbles now, instead of just stippling her crayons on the page.  And while she already loved music and dancing, she got introduced to "What Does the Fox Say" and is obsessed.  If you ask her what a fox says, she replies, "Dance".  Ha.

Caught mid-dance.
As far as toddlers go, she takes the cake.  We're still riding the toddler honeymoon of awesomeness.  As of now, Ruby still does not throw tantrums.  Maybe this is because she has really good communication skills?  It takes a lot to ruffle her feathers, too.  She does have her sassy moments, and she's a thrower when she doesn't like/want something.  She'll just pick up the nearest object and chuck it.  Or if you ask her to give you something, and she doesn't want to, she'll chuck that, too.

Ruby also has this weird habit of kind of freaking out if she thinks she's in trouble.  Like, when she does something she knows she's not supposed to, she often will immediately shut down and cover her face with her hands.  Or she'll go over and turn on Mr. G's Xbox, but if you ask her to turn it off, she gets upset (like, scared, not like mad) and tries to run away or hide behind one of us.  It is bizzare.

At 18 months, Ruby's starting to get more and more into pretend play, and using her toys.  She loves to pretend to cook, both at home and school.  She loves on all of her animals, and likes to put the baby dolls at volunteering to bed (she tucks them in with blankets).  She also loves her Little People bus, and Playmobil 1*2*3 girl and horse; she plays with them every day.  She also loves balls - throwing light up ones, and learning how to kick a beach ball with Dada.

At her 18 month well-baby visit, we found out that our girl has done a huge amount of growing!  Jumping from 25% all around, to 50% for weight at 24lbs 8oz, and 75% for height at 32"!!!  I had a feeling she'd done a lot of growing, but whoa!  Baby girl is wearing mostly 24 month stuff now, but can still fit into 18mo Carter's stuff.  Conversely, I've been buying her 2T as well, and just cuffing everything, lol.  She still wears a size 4 shoe, but she's about to outgrow those as well (finally).  I tried to enter her in the See Kai Run casting call this month, as they needed models her shoe size, but they told me they couldn't take her because her feet don't match her age!  Haha, she is a littlefoot.  =)

Basically, at 18 months Ruby is amazing.  Just like she was last month, and the one before.  And just like she will be the next.  I don't even have time to mourn her growing up, really, because each new month is a different kind of fun.  I am SO excited to see the magic of the holidays through her eyes, and to see what she is into next!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Halloween 2013

There is just something about seeing a holiday through a child's eyes...  As Ruby is getting older, it's getting better and better.  Our Halloween was SO much fun!

We kicked off the week by having Grandma over on Sunday to carve pumpkins.

The pumpkins we got from our trip to the patch were no joke!  It was quite the feat to get those guys gutted and carved out.

Then Monday was school.  The kids were encouraged to wear their costumes, and had lots of pumpkin-related activities (and no painting, so they'd stay clean!).

Exploring a sensory bin (she dumped that basket of sand on her head).

Stamping spider shapes into play doh.

Shakin' her thang with the pumpkin shakers at circle time.

Then we took all the kiddos outside for a group picture.

The candy corn is covering the face of a little guy whose parents don't want him on the internet (they were ok with covering up).

On Tuesday, we had our weekly volunteering gig, of course.  The classes were having their own little costume parties, and the instructors encouraged me to bring Ruby in her costume as well.  Didn't have to tell me twice!  Ruby was an adorable little kitty cat greeter, and she was super interested in checking out the newborns in costume!

It also happened to be National Cat Day (that's a thing?), so it turned out she was dressed appropriately.

Wednesday we laid low (though she did wear her glow in the dark onesie!).  Finally, it was Halloween.  Ruby put on her trick or treating dog shirt and festive striped leggings for one last time, and I plopped her pumpkin hat on her head, so that we could go out and run some errands (no surprise, I needed to buy yarn).

Ruby later requested to wear one of her Halloween bows.  We discovered that because the bow has candy corn all over it, she thinks the word for candy corn is "bow".  Dead.

I realized just in time that I should probably take her outside to get some pics of her in costume before it got dark.  I had just been planning to dress her for trick or treat.  What a mom-fail that would have been!!!

Seriously?  Cutest kitty EVER.

She was kissing her pumpkin...

Messy hair, don't care.

Kissing her rocks...  Weirdo.

She looks like she's about to pounce on those pumpkins!  Me-OW!

After all the photo-taking shenanigans, we went inside for a dinner of pumpkin and bat ravioli.  You know, to be festive.  

When it was dark, we had Ruby grab her pumpkin bag (an old gift card holder from Starbucks many years ago - the perfect trick or treat bag for a one year old!), and we went next door to our neighbor's house for her inaugural trick or treat.

Our neighbor, Tanner, answered the door and was excited to see Ruby.  I was pretty much dying from all the cuteness.  He offered her the candy bowl, and she was like, "heck, no, you are not my mom & dad!".  She was being super shy, so I took a piece out and showed her that it got to go in her bag.

Whoa whoa whoa.  I get to put candy in my bag, Mom???

Yeah, that's when her demeanor totally changed, and she was into the trick or treating!  She got to take another piece from the bowl, and did all on her own, putting it into her bag.  We heard Tanner's wife, Samantha, yell from upstairs, "Don't go!  I want to see Ruby's costume!!!"  So we hung around and chatted a bit.  The whole time, Ruby was saying, "Bag?  Bag?" and pointing to her candy.  It was freaking adorable, and my heart was exploding into a million pieces.

Their baby was dressed as a skeleton, which Ruby thought was pretty great, too.  But baby skeletons need to eat, so we said goodbye.  We decided to take Ruby to one other house - our neighbors across the street (who gave Ruby her red wagon).

It was a good call.  Our neighbor, Sandy, was so excited to see Ruby all dressed up.  And Ruby was pretty excited that people were offering her more candy!

We came home, and in the spirit of the holiday, we let Ruby eat one whole piece of candy, all to herself.  Ok, so it was one of those tiny square candy bars (Baby Ruth), but she basically thought she died and went to heaven.

I told her that kids were coming to our house for trick or treat, and when one finally did, she was SO excited!  I think she might have liked helping hand out the candy even more than trick or treating herself!  Unfortunately, because our front door faces only a sidewalk (no street, see the pics above with the rocks in the background), we get very few trick or treaters.  This year was an all time low - only 4 doorbell rings before we shut it down and put Ruby to bed (late).

My heart was so full from watching my little kitty girl on her first Halloween that she had any idea what was going on.  It's going to be hard to wait until next year to do it all again.  Thank goodness we have Christmas coming up (I've already ordered Ruby some festive leggings)!

Want more Halloween fun?  Check out how we spent it last year.  My baby was so tiny!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Daily Livin'

Good morning! Well, I guess if you live on the east coast it's afternoon already... Anyway, good... day?

If you'd like to see what a "typical" day in my life with an (almost) 18 month old, head over to The Domestic Wannabe to check us out!

And if you came over to visit from Ashley's blog, welcome, don't mind the cobwebs (I promise they'll clear once I'm done with this craft sale!), and feel free to stick around!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Month in iPhone Pictures. Whoops.

Holy crapbag.  It's been a month since I've done my weekly ipic roundup.  Also?  I had 291 pictures on my phone that hadn't been uploaded to my computer.  Yikes.

Before I get this mess o pictures started, be warned.  I'm probably going to be just as, if not more, terrible blogger than ever for the next few weeks.  I've decided to participate as a vendor in a craft fair for Ruby's school.  Which means my every spare waking moment is currently being spent crocheting.  Well, except for this moment.  Because I've got to catch up on my daily iphotos...

Ok, turn your clocks back to:

September 15-21

Sunday:  Sewing, sewing.  I feel like if Baby Beast-mode were holding a football in her right hand, this would almost look like a Heisman pose.  Tackling the dog.  Monday:  First day of school!  Checking out her new classroom.  Super wound-up and goofy after an exciting first day.  Tuesday:  Happiness in the form of an iced chai.  Pretty excited about construction in the courtyard.  A happy mail day.

Wednesday:  Um, my kid is crazy.  And she haaaaaaaated the little coin-op rides at the outlet mall!  Thursday:  If she kisses the frog, will it turn into a prince?  The coolest swing ever.  Friday:  Our favorite toy.  Coffee date with Auntie Dawn!  Completely wiped on the stroll home.  Saturday:  Playing the family piano with grandma.  Our neighbors are amazing, and gave Ruby this wagon that their grandkids had outgrown!

September 22-28

Sunday:  Coloring in her menu at breakfast.  This is what happens when you miss naptime...  Monday: Off to school we go!  Trying to return something she pickpocketed from the diaper bag.  Tuesday:  She takes her volunteering seriously, and likes to wear the badge.  That t-shirt kills me (inside the french press it says, "too young for coffee, but still going strong").  This is what happens when I have "help" with the laundry...  Wednesday:  Snack time!  A cheerful hello on our walk.

Thursday:  We found this awesome shirt at Target, and wanted to send a pic to Daddy, but you can't even tell it's neon green.  The face of a girl who woke up from nap with a cold.  Not too sick to play outside, though!  And bring her mommy rocks, of course.  Then some "art" with dollar bin stickers.  Friday:  Daddy brought home a super cool glowing bracelet from the Microsoft meeting.  My little helper pretty much unloads the dishwasher on her own.  Saturday:  I guess we only took pics in the bath?  That's not a yawn - it's an "I-O!", baby!

September 29-October 5

Sunday:  How we roll at breakfast.  She's not just a sports fan, she reads novels, too.  Hey!  I cleaned up the craft room dining room, so we can actually use the table now.  Monday:  We had to play hooky from school because she still had the sniffles, but she still wanted to play outside.  Wrapped up in a quilt, per her request.  Tuesday:  Trying on my toddlerhood kitty costume (crazy!).  Showing off her Halloween doggie shirt.  Wednesday:  Pet store = toddler amusement park?  Poppin' bubs.

Thursday:  Someone insisted on wearing boots to do a little reading.  Wagon ride to the park to take some 17 month photos!  My sweet little cowgirl.  Friday:  Yes, that's a candy corn hairbow.  Daddy came home early, so we took him to the toddler park.  Bubbles every day.  Saturday:  A grumpy hayride.  Nap part deux in the Beco.  All smiles in the pumpkin patch.

October 6-12

Sunday:  So cozy!  Wistfully watching big kids with bubble wands at Salmon Days.  Monday:  Sensory bin fun.  Our weekly trunk picnic.  Tuesday:  My maple is holding out, trying to hang onto its green.  Once again, taking her volunteer job seriously.  Wednesday:  Color, color, color.  She wanted to help walk the dog.  Hugs, every chance she gets.

Thursday:  Rockin' the glow in the dark onesie!  Classic Ruby-face.  Friday:  Ghosts in the House.  One of the many hats.  "Helping" me bake some Halloween cookies.  Please note, the flour all over the legs...  Despite having plenty of toys in her room to play with, she entertained herself with this shirt of mine that she pulled off the drying rack for a good half hour.  Saturday:  My sweetness.  Who then turned around and tried to ride the dog... which is frowned upon in this establishment.