Countdown to Disney!

Woo hoo! We’re going to Disney World!! Of course, I can’t wait and of course, I’m a bit obsessed right now. I’ve had a countdown going on my phone since we booked the trip and I’ve been meaning to create some sort of physical countdown craft for in the house for a while. But I haven’t been able to decide on what to do.

I liked this one:
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So cute! But I’m way not into painting wood.

…and this one:
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Perfect use for Pick Your Plum blank wooden block sets!! Too bad I didn’t buy a set. Will have to remember next time they come up for sale.

…and this one:
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Oh! Oh! Oh! How cute is that one?! But making it to an actual craft store where I could pick up wreath forms just isn’t happening these days.

I finally decided to just do something that I could use the materials I had on hand. So with a bit of red polka dot fabric (leftover from making the crib skirt for Max’s nursery), some black vinyl, some chalkboard vinyl, my Silhouette Cameo, and a picture frame, I put together our Disney countdown!

First, I removed the back of my picture frame and cut the fabric so that I could wrap it around the back. I just secured my fabric down with tape because the frame would hold it in place once I put it back together (and after the trip is over, this whole countdown will easily disassemble so that I can use the frame for other projects).

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Then, I assembled the frame; it already looks pretty cute, right?

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I cut and weeded my vinyl with my Silhouette. I cut the Mickey head from chalkboard vinyl and the words (using Waltograph font) from indoor (non-permanent) black vinyl.

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Then I applied my vinyl to the picture frame’s glass. When I created the design, I didn’t account for the fact that an 8×10 picture frame wouldn’t have 8×10 inches of glass showing after it was put in the frame. So it took some rearranging and I ended up erring on the side of caution and spreading out the design a little bit more than was necessary toward the top and bottom, but I still think that it turned out pretty cute!

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And it looks pretty cute on my mantle snuggled in between two of my favorite pictures of my little man!

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Cutest Couch Potato Ever.

The other day, Maxwell was entertaining me by slouching like a teenager in his Land of Nod Chair.  He just looked so stinking cute that I grabbed my camera and started snapping:

Such a hard life, you know?

Such a hard life, you know?

As I was snapping away, I saw Max look at me out of the corner of his eye and smirk…

Sinking down further...

Sinking down further…

So he started really hamming it up…

...and further...

…and further…

… and I kept snapping away…

...and further!

…and further!

Max finally sunk down so far that he couldn’t get himself back up – and we both just cracked up laughing!  I helped him up and he grabbed his cheerios and enjoyed munching away on his little snack.

Cheerios!

Cheerios!

This kid just cracks me up!  I’m so in trouble when he’s a teenager!

My silly little guy :)

My silly little guy :)

<3

Feeling Pinspired!

I feel like my crafting goes in drips and drabs – some weeks I’m sewing and creating every night, and other weeks I’m passed out on the sofa early every night.  The past few days fall more into the former category rather than the latter.  I’m in a crafting group on Facebook and we’ve decided to do monthly challenges.  The first challenge was to create something from a pin you’ve had on Pinterest.  We had a few weeks to do this – but of course I didn’t start to do anything for the challenge until Saturday night!

I was kind of held hostage by my job this weekend – the details are boring so I won’t go into them, but I was on call for work and had to be available all weekend for a big project go live that kept getting pushed back.  Anyway, I only mention that because it forced me to not be out and about, so I was able to focus and get to work cleaning up my craft room.  I’m still far from done organizing in here, but it’s a start and I now have some clutter free spaces where I can get busy crafting!

I bought some Michael Miller Super Hero flannel fabric and coordinating orange minky dot fabric about a year ago.  I’ve been intending on making a blanket for Max, like the one in this Prudent Baby tutorial I’d found a couple years ago.  I’ve made a few of these blankets before as gifts, but never made one that would stay here!  This is pretty typical for all of my sewing projects, actually…  So I was pretty excited to finally getting around to sewing a Super Hero blanket for Max!

 

This is such a cozy blanket with flannel, minky dot, and satin blanket binding!

This is such a cozy blanket with flannel, minky dot, and satin blanket binding!

The minky dot is super soft and the weight of the flannel makes it incredibly cozy.  I may need to make one in adult size for me!

The minky dot is super soft and the weight of the flannel makes it incredibly cozy. I may need to make one in adult size for me!

I really love this fun Super Hero print!  Max seems to like his blanket already too!

I really love this fun Super Hero print! Max seems to like his blanket already too!

I’m kind of obsessed with how cute and cozy this blanket is.  I want to make at least two more for Max in other fun flannel prints and colors – one to keep in each of our cars!

I took a day off from crafting on Sunday, but I doubled up my efforts tonight!  Not that I really have some sort of goal of a project a night, but just go with me here…  Anyway, so tonight I was staring at a bunch of socks that I picked up at Target for Max without noticing that they didn’t have skid-free grippers on the bottom of them.  Since we have hardwood floors throughout our home, Max is like Bambi on ice without gripper socks.  So, feeling inspired by I Am Momma Hear Me Roar, I decided to fix the socks with some puffy paint grippers on the bottom!

Here are Max's DIY Gripper Socks.  I tried to stick with simple patterns, since the tutorial I found advised that larger designs tend to crack after a while.

Here are Max’s DIY Gripper Socks. I tried to stick with simple patterns, since the tutorial I found advised that larger designs tend to crack after a while.

So now Max had a new carseat/daycare nap blanky, and some new gripper socks.  The kid was making out pretty well thanks to Pinterest!  But I’d finished up with the socks so early – way too early to go to bed.  So I figured that since I still had a lot of time to craft tonight, I’d knock out another project that’s been on my to do list for a while.  Now that Maxwell isn’t a tiny baby anymore, he’s kind of outgrown most of his towels.  He had a couple of larger towels – given to him when he was born and at his first birthday – but for the most part his towels were getting pretty skimpy on the little man. A few weeks back, I figured I’d do something about that.  Since I’m too cheap to buy him some big kid hooded towels from the store, I decided to DIY one for him like in this Prudent Baby tutorial.  (Can you tell that PB is one of my favorite crafting blogs?)  I bought the towels that I’d need a few weeks back and they’ve been sitting in my craft room since I brought them home and washed them.  The tutorial was super easy and super quick, and about a half hour after starting Max was the proud owner of a pretty amazingly cute bright orange big kid size hooded towel!

A DIY'd big kid hooded towel!

A DIY’d big kid hooded towel!

The hood is trimmed in a fun "fast cars" and transportation themed flannel.

The hood is trimmed in a fun “fast cars” and transportation themed flannel.

I can’t wait for after Max’s next tubby when I can wrap him up in this oversized-kid-size cozy hooded towel!

Maxwell made out thanks to mommy’s Pinspired crafting.  I’m not sure what the next month’s challenge is, but I hope that I can work some projects in that I’ll get to keep for myself!  I really would like to make myself a new bag, so hopefully I can try and work that into whatever the next crafting theme is!

Max’s 1st Birthday Party

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We held Maxwell’s 1st Birthday Party yesterday afternoon and it was so much fun!!  Max had lots of friends and family around him to celebrate and he really seemed to have a great time!

I had a lot of fun planning and prepping for his party!  I focused on the dessert table, and I think it turned out fabulously – exactly how I’d pictured it:

I sewed the pennant banners using leftover pennants from when I made one for Max's nursery.  I cut the letters out out of flannel using my Silhouette Cameo.

I sewed the pennant banners using leftover pennants from when I made one for Max’s nursery. I cut the letters out out of flannel using my Silhouette Cameo.

On the dessert table was: red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, shortbread cookies shaped like mustaches, marshmallows on striped straws dipped in blue colored chocolate and sprinkles, a red velvet with cream cheese frosting smash cake, and some red candy (Twizzlers, Jolly Ranchers, and Swedish Fish) and some fun non-sweets-treats that guests could bag up and "shave" for later!

On the dessert table was: red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, shortbread cookies shaped like mustaches, marshmallows on striped straws dipped in blue colored chocolate and sprinkles, a red velvet with cream cheese frosting smash cake, and some red candy (Twizzlers, Jolly Ranchers, and Swedish Fish) and some fun non-sweets-treats that guests could bag up and “shave” for later!

I really had a lot of fun incorporating some fun mustache details to celebrate “our little man”!

I cut out these little mustaches for cupcake toppers using my Silhouette.

I cut out these little mustaches for cupcake toppers using my Silhouette.

When I saw mustache cookie cutters, I knew I had to have them!  These shortbread cookies were amazing - definitely tasted "like butter and magic" as the girl who I'd gotten the recipe from promised!

When I saw mustache cookie cutters, I knew I had to have them! These shortbread cookies were amazing – definitely tasted “like butter and magic” as the girl who I’d gotten the recipe from promised!

"I MUSTACHE you to do yourself a FAVOR and bag up some treats to SHAVE them for later!"

“I MUSTACHE you to do yourself a FAVOR and bag up some treats to SHAVE them for later!”

Even the tables got mustached!

Even the tables got mustached!

Our guests even got into the mustache spirit!

Mustachioed!

Mustachioed!

Of course there was cake – and Max loved it!

Getting ready to sing Happy Birthday

Getting ready to sing Happy Birthday

Eating cake!

Eating cake!

Cake is good!

Cake is good!

Cake feels cool on your fingers, too.

Cake feels cool on your fingers, too.

Cake monster!

Cake monster!

The kids had fun playing with the ball pit (a kiddie pool – pink was all Wham could find lol! – filled with plastic balls), dressing up with the photo props, and playing with balloons.

OK, this ball pit is fun! Emma found a mustache balloon Not sure what they were doing here, but it's cute!

Max had so much fun in the ball pit, in fact, that he didn’t want to get out of it, so he opened gifts from the ball pit!

Opening gifts in the ball pit, which was too much fun to get out of!

Opening gifts in the ball pit, which was too much fun to get out of!

Opening gifts in the pink clam ball pit lol!

Opening gifts in the pink clam ball pit lol!

Gift opening chaos with the kids - which was really fun!

Gift opening chaos with the kids – which was really fun!

We had a lot of fun and were so happy to be able to spend some time with our family and friends eating cake and drinking some beers or juice!  We’re so thankful for the outpouring of love for our little guy – it was really a great way to celebrate all of us making it through the first year!

My Little Man is a Whole Year Old!!

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Maxwell is a year old today!  Alex and I keep saying, “A whole year!” and, “Where did this year go?!” because we just can’t believe that our baby is so big already!  Max keeps saying, “Hi” and “Ba ba ba ba ba” because those are the words that he knows.

We had a small celebration for Max tonight.  Alex made two of Max’s favorite foods – green beans and macaroni and cheese – and picked up a cake for Max.  We had dinner, sang “Happy Birthday” to Max, gave him some cake, gave him a tubby, and then let him open up three of his gifts.  We’re doing  a birthday party for him on Sunday, so we’re saving the rest of his gifts for then.  It was a fun, quiet night at home and we’re looking forward to a great celebration with family and friends on Sunday!

This past year has been the best year of our lives.  Watching Max transform from a tiny, squishy, little squawking newborn into a sweet, inquisitive, and silly little boy has been amazing!  We’ve met the challenge of first-time-parenting head on and discovered that we were capable of much more than we ever imagined; and Max surprises us every day with how much he is able to do.  Just today, for example, we gave him a spork with his birthday cake and he dipped it into the cake and shoveled some into his mouth!  Of course, it was the wrong end of the spork that he used, but we’ll get there!

We’re so proud of our Little Man!  Happy Birthday, Max!  We love you and we’re so thankful that we get to be your parents!

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December already?!

Where did November go? It’s already the end of 2012? MAX WILL BE A YEAR OLD NEXT MONTH?!?!

The first part of November was very busy work for me at work.  I had a project that I was working on with a Go Live the week before Thanksgiving.  So the first part of the month really flew by for me  And then suddenly it was the week of Thanksgiving, so there was shopping and cleaning and baking and cooking to be done.

And then it was Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving 2012 Highlights

Thanksgiving 2012 Highlights

Who doesn’t love a holiday where you get to make (and eat!) lots of food, use your china, and dress your kid in a “turkey butt” outfit?  But seriously, I have so much to be thankful for – most of all my little man!

Of course, the moment Thanksgiving was over, Christmas started.  And we had our tree up by the Sunday following Thanksgiving.  And our second tree up this past week!  (Well, I put that one up while Alex was working – he didn’t approve of the idea of a second tree, but letting our old tree just sit in the basement didn’t seem right when we could brighten the playroom with it!)  I’ve made a big dent in my Christmas shopping and really just getting so excited for Max’s first Christmas!  I’m hoping we get to take him to see Santa this weekend!

Christmas 2012 Decorations

Christmas 2012 Decorations – I get so excited when I see all three of our stockings on the mantle! (I should have taken a better picture when Alex wasn’t playing “Assassin’s Creed”, though…)

 

Finnegan Lost and Found and Lost

Finn – loved to pose.

This morning as I was getting ready for my day, the thought crossed my mind that I hadn’t yet posted about how we lost one of our cats.  My sweet little Finnegan, our shyer, younger, snugglier little boy cat got out about three weeks ago.  Alex’s friend, Andy, was here working on putting the tile floor down in our kitchen and had the front door open when I got home from work one day.  I saw both cats in the living room and said to Andy that we’d need to watch that the cats didn’t get out, since the bottom window of our storm door was broken and the pane was empty.  Andy taped up a garbage bag on the door to keep the cats from getting out and I focused on getting Max fed, bathed, and to bed.

Later in the evening, when Andy was cleaning up to leave, I heard him call me from the front steps.  “Alison… There’s a black and white cat out here.”  I went out front and saw that somehow both of our cats had gotten out.  I wasn’t so worried about Fiona – she’s a braver cat and I knew that she’d probably just stalk around the house and then yell to come in when she got bored.  But Finnegan – he’s a scaredy cat.  And he did exactly what I was afraid he’d do: he bolted.

I couldn’t go chasing after the cats since Alex wasn’t home and Max was inside sleeping.  So after a few minutes of trying to coax them back in with no luck, I knew the only thing I could do was go back inside and hope that they’d come home.  Fiona did what I thought she’d do – I checked out front an hour later and Fiona was there meowing to get back in.  Unfortunately, Finn was nowhere to be found.

Finn has gotten out twice before – the summer after we moved into our house.  He was out for about a week each time, but both times came home.  Both times that he came home, though, he came home in the middle of the night and we found him because we happened to be awake and could hear him crying outside the open windows.  It’s cold now, so there are no open windows, and with a baby to keep us busy, we’re usually passed out pretty early.  I had very little hope of ever seeing my Finn again.

And then this morning, after three weeks have passed and I’d really started to think it was time to stop checking outside every time Fiona meowed like crazy for no reason, I saw Finn run across the street from out of the park to beside our house as I was leaving for work.  I yelled to Max in the back seat, “Oh my God, that was Little Finn!!”  I pulled my car into our front driveway and got out, yelling, “Little FINN!!”  I followed him behind our house, trying to keep my distance because I didn’t want to spook him.

“Come here, Little Finn!” I pleaded.  “Please come here!  It’s cold out and it’s going to snow tonight and Mommy just wants to bring you inside and give you some food!”

Finny stopped and looked at me from across the neighbor’s yard.  And then kept going into the yard beyond that.  I followed him but then he disappeared right away.  I saw that there was a hole in the wood foundation of our neighbor’s neighbor’s back porch.  I think Finnegan has been hiding in there.

I meant to knock on their door after I got home from work tonight, but I forgot until after I put Max down to bed and couldn’t leave the house.  I did put a bowl of cat food and Finn’s favorite blanket in a basket on our screened porch and left the door of the porch open.  It’s way, way too cold to consider leaving the window from the house to the porch open (and besides, Fiona would be able to get out that way).  I guess I’m hoping that if he does find his way into the porch to the food and the snuggly blanket, that maybe he’ll stay until the morning – though he’s such a scaredy cat that I’m sure he’d run away when he heard one of us approaching the door to the porch in the morning.  I’ve compulsively checked the porch approximately 100 times in the last hour.

It’s so cold out.  He looked skinny.  I was so shocked to see him this morning – it’s amazing to know he’s alive, but the little fantasy I built in my head where he found another family and was somewhere happy and warm and fat was shattered.  I feel so terrible knowing that he’s out there alone and cold in the dark snowy night right now.  My poor Finnegan.

Hopefully he finds his way home to us again!