Sunday, January 27, 2013


So....when exactly did mustaches become popular?  They are everywhere these days - greeting cards, wrapping paper, glassware, fabric, etc.  I was therefore not entirely surprised when I passed a "Wear a Mustache to School Day!" poster a few weeks back when dropping Joseph off one morning.  Is pajama day and crazy hair day not cool enough anymore?

However, all you need to do is give me a theme and I can run with it, so I had my sister-in-law send me the chocolate mustache lollipop mold she had used for my nephew's Super Mario Brothers birthday party a few years ago.  I thought the kids might get a kick out of them.

I must say, we got a kick modeling them at home, and the kids absolutely thought they were the funniest thing (and tastiest treat!) in the world.

I don't doubt that it must seem crazy to spend time making dozens of chocolate mustache lollipops for a pack of kindergarteners, but anything that makes Joseph laugh so much and smile so big that his eyes get all squinty is more than worth every second of my time.  I love being a crafty daddy!

Addendum:  I kid you not, just 2 days after publishing this post, a catalogue arrived in the mail that contained the following page.  Look at all this crazy mustache related stuff!  For kids!!  They are charging $10 for 3 mustache lollipops, and since I sent 30 of them in to school, someone out there owes me $100.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Holly, Jolly Thursday

So adorable how a kid's mind works: when we opened the front door to discover it had finally snowed in DC for the first time last night, Joseph started running around outside singing, "Have a holly, jolly Christmas, it's the best time of the year!  I don't know if there'll be snow, but have a cup of cheer!"

He's been singing it All. Day. Long.  And now it's stuck in my head too.

Space Invaders

It used to be that I only went fabric shopping when I had a specific project in mind.  Now, I just buy any fabric that I like and hoard it until inspiration strikes.  Case in point, this quilt:

Along the way I'd picked up some yardage of a cute blue and green polka dot and an aqua/blue rocket ship print that I knew would be perfect for a little boy someday.  Then, when a baby boy named Jace was born into my extended family in October, I found just one little quarter yard of this black and white aliens print (who remembers the Space Invaders arcade game from way back when?), and there was a plan.  I also pulled some black and white fabric from my stash that reminded me of asteroids (another classic arcade game!) and comet trails, along with some solid green and teal.  The pattern is a simple "tumbler" block that I've wanted to make for ages which showcases the larger scale prints perfectly.

I used up every scrap of that Space Invaders "fat quarter," with just 2 tumblers left over to piece into the back.

The rest of the back was just the remaining yardage of those adorable rocket and polka dot prints......which I will miss dearly, but they sure made a darn cute quilt - made even cuter with the addition of the perfect green stripe for the binding.

(The binding, by the way, is machine-stitched, which is perfect for the extra wear and tear a baby quilt will probably suffer.)

The quilt by now has hopefully found its way to baby Jace, and he will enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it for him.  And speaking of babies loving quilts, can you tell that my baby is still a big fan of my favorite hobby?  His red pants are a give-away, but he insisted on helping hold it up to take pictures!

Monday, January 21, 2013

I Have a Dream

In addition to being Inauguration Day (congratulations, President Obama!), today is also Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  Our great friend Nadeen (who did residency with us at Georgetown oh so many years ago), is here for the long weekend.  We brought "Auntie Nay Nay" downtown to see the new MLK Jr memorial that was built since she last lived here.

Soon enough they'll be removing this misquote (which is actually a paraphrase from a real quote) from the side.  People have argued that it makes him sound pompous.

In school Joseph's class must have been learning about Dr. King, as this came home in his backpack one day.  In case you need a history lesson, here is the short version:

They kids were also asked to think about what dream they would have that had something to do with equality.  Joseph's:  that there would be bigger doors so that everyone would be able to fit through, even giants.  His teacher told me she got a good chuckle out of that one.

Saturday, January 19, 2013


If you know me at all it will not shock you that I have a cookbook devoted entirely to whoopie pies.  For it's initial use I made the classic chocolate cake with marshmallow filling.

I decorated them with rainbow jimmies and sent the whole batch off to school yesterday for a special occasion, along with a note of explanation:

Joseph has been obsessed with his half birthday.  Having a summer birthday stinks when it comes to school parties.  They lump them all together on one day at the end of the school year and it just feels like a pity party to me.  Last year's surprise half-birthday celebration at home clearly resonated with Joseph, and he'd been counting down the days until he hit 5 and 1/2 for almost a month.  There was no surprising him this year, so I let him pick what kind of treat he wanted me to make for school and what flavor cake he wanted for home.  No shock either that he went with chocolate all around.

Of course a half birthday only warrants half a cake.

And half a candle, although Joe Joe called me out on that one - he said, "It's not half a candle, you just shoved it all the way down in the cake."  Which luckily for him meant there was more icing to lick off when he pulled it out.

Welcome to 5 and a half, my darling son!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Things I Know How To Do

From Tuesday open house in kindergarten this week, I learned Joseph knows some simple subtraction.

Beyond that, your guess is as good as mine.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Plunge!

Skiing at Wintergreen was definitely fun, but snowtubing was absolutely awesome!!!  

The Plunge is a huge snowtubing park.  There are ten 900 ft. lanes with a vertical drop of 100 feet - 10 stories! - where you can reach speeds of 25-40 mph!  As they say, thrills and chills, without the spills.  You get 2 hours of tubing for $20.  We didn't know they book up fast, so the earliest we could get was a 4-6pm slot.  Turns out the colder it gets, the icier the lanes get, and the faster you fly down the slopes!  So much fun hooking up in teams of 2 and having "races" to the bottom, but the boys were so excited and having so much fun they even went alone a few times.

The sun was setting as we neared the end of our time slot, and it couldn't have been a more beautiful ending to a ridiculously fun-filled day.

It was so much fun that we had to take the boys back the next day.  We had booked the extra spot in advance and they only had 4 tickets available for the 2-4pm window, so Steve and I took Ethan and Joseph while Brent and Lisa skied a little more.  Since it was earlier the conditions were better and they let us hook 3 tubes together, so I went backwards in the front to video the downhill action.

Seriously, this little getaway to the mountains was just about the perfect mini vacation before having to head back to school.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Hitting the Slopes

I can't say I was ever quite sure Joseph really understood what he was signing himself up for when he agreed to take a ski lesson, but when the time came, there was absolutely no hesitation on his part.  

Ethan and his parents joined us on our trip to Wintergreen.  For our first morning we found a great option to have each boy take a private lesson along with their dad.  Brent and Lisa (Ethan's mom) checked out the trails kid-free while we were in ski school.

Joe Joe did so amazingly well his first time out!  I had thought I'd need a refresher course having been off the slopes for so long, but it came back to me almost immediately and "Grandpa Bill" was able to focus his attentions on Joseph, leaving me free to takes some action shots.  He looks like a natural in the video, but Joseph spent his fair amount of time on the ground too.

We were so proud of our boys and were even more excited when Joseph and Ethan said they wanted to take another lesson the next day.  This time we signed them up without parents so they could truly get one-on-one attention (and we could get some quality time on the slopes alone!).

I went early our 2nd day to register Joseph in ski school and got to spend an hour on my own getting comfortable on the green trails.  When I met up with Brent and Lisa later we hit the blues!

I think we may have to make this an annual trip!  But as much fun as we all had skiing, snowtubing was a blast!!!