Tuesday, March 04, 2014


I've neglected this space for too long.  And the longer it went, the most unsure I was about where to start back up.  I had plenty of things to say, but wasn't sure where to begin.  But this feels like the perfect place to begin again.  Fresh.

On February 15, 2014, we were very excited to welcome to the world Ms. Olive Elizabeth.  She came into the world in a fierce hurry and was almost exactly the same size as her big sister.

Olive 02_edit

We are all smitten with everything about her including her two dimples.  Though, admittedly, Big Sister (that's what she wants to be called most of the time now) has had a few moments of rough transition.  But we're figuring things out and we think she fits in pretty perfectly with our family.

Scout's birth was so strange that I was looking forward to something boring this time.  That didn't happen.  I'll be back soon with the story so I can document it for posterity.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Goodbye 2013

Hello.  Is this thing on?  I've been meaning to write.  Honestly, I have.  But I realized that repeated posts that say, "I'm busy chasing a 2 year old, keeping afloat at work, and gestating a human" does not a blog make.  But there's been a lot going on here.  Knitting, crafting, DIY Christmas type stuff, home stuff, etc.  And eventually I'll get caught up.  Right now, I'm not even sure where to start.  I feel like this some evenings; I have so much to do so I just go to bed.

While there weren't many monumental milestones in 2013, I think it was pretty great.  Two year olds are amazingly fun (and at times mind numbingly frustrating), and Scout pretty much amazes me every day with the things she does and says.  She has an extremely vivid imagination and is constantly pretending or making up games and then giving Rykert and I hell because we don't know all of her rules.  She talks a lot about "New Baby Sister" (who remains nameless), but it's fairly abstract.  I think she thinks I'm carrying a doll in my stomach.

I'll be back soon.  At least I hope.  But until then here's my instagram recap of 2013...

Also, I spend way more time on Instagram then anywhere else on the interwebs these days.  So if you are interested my username is "acraftybalance."  My account is private so let me know in the comments or elsewhere if you request me so I know to approve it.

Thursday, October 17, 2013


This year, more than most, I was really looking forward to fall.  It was a combination of factors such as knowing that by the time it was fall the "morning" sickness would surely pass, my energy would return, and I'd be able to eat again.  Plus it seemed like a pretty hot and busy summer.  Well, fall is here, but honestly it's been every bit as busy as the summer between work, keeping up with a 2 year old, and trying to tackle lots of projects.

So where have we been...
  • It was a big year for the fruit trees around here, and my parent's lone apple tree produced more apples than it ever and was collapsing under the weight of the fruit.  We tried to do our best to pick (and pick and pick) and chop and bake and freeze.  And we barely made a dent.
10 pies, 17 quarts of diced apples, 2 apple crisps, hours of picking and we didn't make a dent.

  • We helped my grandpa celebrate his 90th birthday.  We attempted to get a group picture of all the great-grandkids, and the results were fabulous.  I love the imperfection of this.  So much better than the original plan.
10 great grand kids, sorta
I hope my sister and cousins don't mind me posting this picture. 
  • Last weekend we took our superhero on a hike in the woods.  I had trouble keeping up with them.
The Adventure

  • I've been working on some crafty stuff.  Capes (more on that soon), Halloween costumes, Christmas gifts.

  • In a week or so my family will be participating in the Race for the Cure.  If you are interested in making a donation to our team, you can find all the information here.  I'm a little behind on the fundraising part of the Race so any help is appreciated!
  • Very slowly, I've been clearing out our guest bedroom which will become Scout's new big girl room.  Her room will stay the nursery.   My goal is to have that finished by the end of November.  Wishful thinking?

Friday, October 04, 2013

So where have I been?

So there's a partial reason for my long absence from the blog...

20 Week Ultrasound_01_with bow

Coming in February, we'll be adding on to the house by two feet.  20 weeks, which makes her approximately the length of a banana.

We're very excited.  It was unexpected, but not unplanned, if that makes sense.  While our family has known for quite awhile and to anyone who sees me in real life it's now pretty obvious, I've kept the baby off the internet.  Part of this is that I have a growing weariness about what I share online.  Particularly on Facebook.  Don't get me started on Facebook.  It's one of those things that I'm not sure why I can't quit.  This growing weariness also has me questioning the blog.  For now, I'm leaving things as they are, but I'm toying with putting a password in place so I can still share family stuff and pictures of my kids and also have space for the crafty stuff.  I don't know.

So that's the news.  Another little girl.  Coming sometime in February.  We've got a lot to do before then.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Oh. Hi.

Sadly, the summer is winding down, and things have been quiet around here. There are reasons for that, but it's a long story. I haven't forgotten about the blog. I'm reminded daily when I receive random email requests for "guest blogs" and "product reviews" (for the strangest products) that I pretty much always delete, because they don't usually feel right. And then I'd mean to come and check in, but my Google admin settings got jacked up and it's taken me a few weeks to figure them out. Today I was finally able to log in, and to my surprise, there's been a significant (for this blog) amount of traffic lately. Most of the traffic coming from Pinterest and old posts about craft projects and Halloween costumes.

I'll give you some highlights.  When last I left you, we'd celebrated the 4th of July festivities and had settled into the heat of summer.  Since then...
  • There's been gardening...

  • My dad built an impressive camp fire in their backyard.  My sister sat with the hose on standby, and the heat nearly melted the s'mores supplies before we assembled them.

  • We pulled my first bike out of my parent's garage, and I realized it's going to need a little work before Scout is ready to ride it.

  • When things aren't going here way, Scout has taken to saying, "I am vewy sad." 

  • Despite neglect, our garden is producing a significant amount of produce.  So I made pickles.

  • And more pickles.  These took 4 days to brine, and I nearly gave up.  But I persevered.

  • Scout has become obsessed with her play kitchen and the felt food I made years ago is providing hours of enjoyment.  I'm already planning to make more soon.

  • And last, but not least, I planted cucamelon seeds last spring as an experiment, but mostly because I saw an adorable picture on Pinterest.  To my surprise they are taking over and producing tons of tiny wee melons.  They taste like a cucumber with a hint of lemon and a tougher skin.  They are also called mouse melon, and we have no idea what to do with them.  I'm looking for suggestions, but if there's enough ready at once, they may become even more pickles.

I'll be back soon with more.  Big things are in the works around here, and I need to start planning for Halloween costumes too.

All of these pictures are from Instagram where I'm spending a lot of time these days.  My account is private, but if you'd like to follow me, I'm "acraftybalance" over there.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Where y'at?

I didn't mean to go radio silent, but things, they happen.  One reason for the silence is that we are without internet service at home.  After briefly discussing the insanity of our cable bill, someone in our household took it upon himself to disconnect the cable boxes and modem and return them to the cable company along with a request to disconnect.  And before I knew it was happening, it was done.  We've lived without cable before, quite easily, actually.  But the internet?  Try as I did, I could not crack the neighbor's WiFi password so I had to get by with checking my important social media during my lunch break and on my phone.  We're in the process of getting a new provider set up, but I'm already disappointed in their awful customer service. And in the end, it's probably not even much that of a cost savings.  Hopefully, next week (at the latest) we will have internet service again.  End rant of the most trivial of first world problems.

What's been going on?
  • We had a fun 4th of July, and Scout (and baby doll) donned their patriotic frocks.  I love sewing this pattern, so expect to see even more incarnations.
Scout July 4 01

Matching Dresses
  • There were sparklers.
  • And a fairly profitable lemonade stand.
Lemonade Stand 02
  • We've come to the realization that our daughter does not like ice cream.  It's heart breaking really, because who doesn't love a family trip to Dairy Queen?  She really likes the idea of going to get ice cream, but once there she makes a disgusted face as the taste.  We've tried different flavors and toppings, and I think it's likely that it's the coldness that bothers her, but still...  I did manage to get the first bite captured the other day.
  • It started a little late, but sweet corn season is here.  My sister and I had to drive down a random gravel country road to find the first of the season.
  • Scout is obsessed with the ABCs.  She's been singing the song for a year now, but she's now started recognizing letters (just a few) and in particular "S".  When she sees one, in a book, on a sign, on her letter puzzle, she'll point it out and say, "'S.' For me."  She also knows "R" (for Rykert), "L" (for Libby), and "N" (For Nola) plus a few others.  It's definitely a work in progress and is sometimes hit and miss, but we draw all.the.time.  Now she scribbles and pretends she is writing letters.  The other day she scribbled away and then had a happy accident with something that resembled an "S.
  • Whenever Scout "cooks" in her kitchen, she prepares 4 of everything and makes sure Nola gets her share.

Otherwise, it's summertime and the weather is hot.  My garden is drying up and filled with weeds.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Best Laid Plans

Last weekend we had plans.  I have been wanting to go see my college roommate.  She moved a few hours away a year or two ago, but our crazy weekend schedules just haven't allowed us to visit.  But finally, it seemed like the stars had aligned.  Rykert had the opportunity to ski at a tournament in the same town where she lived, so we planned to drive down on Friday after work and stay through the weekend and let our blonde haired, blue eyed girls get to know each other.  I was really excited.

So fast forward to Friday afternoon at about 1:55.  I was still at work preparing for a conference call at 2 and Rykert was home packing the impressive amount of crap that needed to come along for the ride.  My phone rings and it's day care.  Scout had refused to nap, was crying, and had just projectile vomited all over a poor unsuspecting teacher.  Usually they wait until they puke twice before calling, but, "uh, this was, uh, pretty bad, so maybe you want to come and get her," they said.  "Oh, and it looks like she might have pink eye."  Shit.  Truth: I had suspected the pink eye in the morning but it was truly borderline, barely pink, and barely any gunk.

Needless to say we reluctantly cancelled our trip and rushed to the doctor before closing time to get the pink eye drops.  As disappointing as it was, I was certain that I'd be even sadder if I brought a stomach bug and pink eye to my friend's 3 little girls.  Particularly since her husband is out of the country for the summer and she is parenting solo for a bit.

Saturday wasn't much fun.  Scout didn't feel well and she did one of the only things a toddler knows how to do when she doesn't feel well, which is to say she acted like a complete pill.  Poor thing. But by Sunday we were able to save a bit of our weekend by going out for breakfast (sitting outside on the patio where the rules of restaurant decorum are a little relaxed), taking long naps (actually I attempted to reclaim part of our garden during naptime), and then hitting the pool.

Speaking of the pool.  This summer had a very slow start, but the weather has finally been warmer and we've managed a few trips to the pool.  And this child loves it.  I think that watching her cousins swim at swim meets is rubbing off on her.  She fearlessly puts her face in and kicks and talks about "swimmin' real fast" and joining the swim team.  Outside of the pool she moves her arms in a windmill as if swimming a modified freestyle.

She's learning the ropes.
My brother-in-law is a swim coach, so I've been asking if he has an age group for the "near drowners." I'm pretty sure she has the perfect competition fast suit.  See?

First post-work pool outing. Finally

We discovered that if we are really efficient in the evenings we can make a quick trip to the pool between dinner and bedtime.  It's actually pretty great since the sun is less lethal and the pool is a lot less crowded.  The pool that is closest to us (when our bridge isn't under construction, grrr) has water slides for every age and an integrated splash pad.  The pool on the other side of us has an indoor/outdoor pool in one.  We learned our lesson on that one because she wanted to be inside where the air was stagnant and the water a bit warmer.

We haven't done swim lessons yet, but mostly because I think toddler swim lessons are kind of a joke.  It's really just about getting kids used to the water at this age and making sure you don't create fear.  But I think we might sign up for the July session to see how they go.  They are really inexpensive through our local rec center and it would at least motivate me to take her to the pool 2 evenings a week.
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