25 December 2010

Mele Kalikimaka

...is Hawaii's way to say Merry Christmas to you!

Hope you have a great Christmas and a fulfilling, joyous New Year. See you next year!

Peace and Love,

21 December 2010

Not a fashion consultant

This is why no one will ever ask me for fashion advice:

  • a sassy homemade apron
  • seasonally-appropriate grungy Old Navy shirt
  • my grandpa's old overalls, probably from the 1970s or 80s, complete with stains from who-knows-what on the thighs.
  • Hair in pigtail buns. Yes I'm 28. Why do you ask?
Not shown:
  • down bootie slippers
  • seasonally-appropriate snowflake socks
  • and the torn cuff of my overalls, still safety-pinned since circa 2003 when I ripped it on my bike.
Yep. Pinnacle of Fashion. I guess that's where Doodle gets it.

19 December 2010

Handmade holiday overload!

The crafting is (again? still? always?) going full-tilt 'round these parts. Yummy sugary things have been made...

...many child paintings have been completed (and then repurposed)...

...and the pile of sewing is slowly getting smaller.

After the traveling and the celebrating (and after these things are no longer surprises) I promise I'll show off some of the things I've been making. In the mean time, I'm off to crank up some festive music and sew and glue and bedazzle and package away!

17 December 2010

That time of year again...

...time to bust out John Denver and the Muppets!

16 December 2010

This is what happens...

...when you leave the 14 month old at the table to play after breakfast. You find him digging all four of his little teeth into the stick of butter, happy as can be. *sigh* Cute happy culprit visible in the background.

15 December 2010


Just before Thanksgiving our good friend Jake came and stayed with us for a couple of days. We hung out, drank beer, watched birds in our yard, sang a nerdy plant song (which I will post soon, I hope), played with ketchup birds and went bouldering. We were all glad to spend time with him. Doodle was thrilled to have one of her favorite grown-ups from Utah here to play with her, and barely left his side the entire time.

It was really great to see him and catch up. Thanks for coming to visit, Jake! Next time: another growler and a pollination song!

14 December 2010

All About Doodle - Four

The idea for this interview was blatantly stolen from our Awesome (former) Neighbors. Just to give credit where credit is due. All answers are Doodle’s; my notes come after the *.

Favorite Subject: Wishes like hugging bears for my birthday.

Favorite Song: Twinkle twinkle little star

Favorite Albums: No! (*by They Might Be Giants)

Favorite Videos: Thomas

Favorite Movie: Signing Time Happy Birthday to You
Favorite Books: Sheep in a Jeep, Sheep on a Hike, Ladybug Girl
Favorite Toy: Emily (* toy train she got today from Ari), parachutes (*old cargo chute from Granddad is hanging in her room as a fort right now)

Favorite Color: Purple
Favorite Person: Ari
Favorite Game: Run around with friends, Molopoly 

Favorite Place: the Dentist

Favorite Place to Go: to the Farmer’s Market, Hawaii
 (*we’re going to Hawaii for Christmas and she’s very excited)
Favorite Activities: get presents, play games, make friends, to color, watch movies in the movie theater, play at my play kitchen.

Things That Really Bug You: mosquitoes.

Your Secret Wish: the secret playground. *restated, emphasizing the Wish part: wishing to get a present that a friend gave me like a pretend candle
Your Best Friends: Ari and Sylvie and Jennifer and Lindsey and Hayley because she’s awesome.

Favorite Food: cupcakes, chicken soup

Favorite Trip: hiking, Hawaii 

Things You Don't Like to Do: sometimes I don’t want to say thank you because I’m sometimes grumpy at them. I don’t probably like to get spiders in my body.

What You Want to Be When You Grow Up: a princess or a queen or a prince. *restated, asking what job she wants to have when she grows up: I want to have a flower job. I want to study flowers.

13 December 2010

Doodle's 4th birthday

Four years ago this amazing little person came into the world, into our lives. Before Doodle I never could have imagined I could love someone so very much.

We're busy celebrating her today.

Tonight I hope to read "On the Day You Were Born" with her. At the end we'll whisper into her open, curving ear, "We're so glad you've come."

Happy fourth birthday, my sweet Doodle.

12 December 2010

Almost Four and ready to fly

The birthday crown

She's bouncing bouncing everywhere, reminding us at least once an hour that tomorrow she'll be Four!!!

While watching climbing/base-jumping/wing suit flying videos with J this morning, they struck a deal.

Papa, when I'm big like Jake, I want to fly.
Me too, Doodle.
Papa, maybe we can fly together!
When you're big enough.

14 years (+ 1 day) and she'll be old enough to sign her own waiver. And chances are, she and her Papa probably will fly together someday.

I'll be sitting by, watching and marveling at how the time has flown by. Just like I am today.

08 December 2010

The decking of the halls

Every year until now we've held off on holiday decorating until after Doodle's Big Day. This year, being nearly four and full of opinions, we consulted her. Given the options of only birthday decorations until December 14th or decorate for Xmas now and add birthday decor on top, she chose the latter. I was slightly surprised, but I know how much she likes the sparkles and novelty of decorating for something special, so we went with it.

A small tree was purchased and thoroughly covered in fabric birds, cones gathered on hikes and then smeared with glitter glue, and a bazillion bells.

I love the blend of nature and glitz we have going on. Especially the little fabric bird sitting watch on top, possibly keeping an eye on its nest:

In further Bday-Xmas fusion style, Doodle has suggested that we put her birthday presents beneath the tree until it's time to open them. We'll see...

07 December 2010

Counting down

See that purple link with the star? That's a fourth birthday, rapidly approaching. After that there will be some hanging out and merriment and more presents and flying to Hawaii and such. But right now what matters most is that there are only six! days! left!

She's already planning her cake (the standard maple-carrot cake, but with red and yellow frosting) and her birthday dinner (chicken soup). Plus lots of presents and maybe even some cake eating before dinner. I foresee her spending each of the next six days lobbying for cake-before-dinner.

I foresee myself agreeing with her.

(Especially when she's wearing the awesome birthday crown I finished for her last night. Shhhhh! It's a surprise...)

06 December 2010


In addition to learning a new flora now that we're out East, I also have a new avifauna to work on. I've never been an avid birder, and am frankly a bit embarrassed by my general lack of birding knowledge. I have slowly been working to hone some birding skillz by attempting to identify all of the birds I see in or near our yard. I have started to keep a Yard Bird List over there ---> in the right sidebar (so you subscribed readers will just have to come look at my blog itself to check it out).

The birds so far are pretty standard for this area. The Downy Woodpecker is nesting in our neighbor's Oak tree, and had a territorial dispute with the White-breasted Nuthatch a couple of weeks ago that was very fun and interesting to watch. The Blue Jays and Dark-eyed Juncos have been making the circuit through our yard each morning for the past couple of weeks, as have the Cardinals a little later in the morning. I'm enjoying getting to know our avian neighbors a little better, and slowly work on my birding skills. Maybe by the end of winter I'll even have a handle on what the darn unknown sparrow hanging out with the Juncos is.

If you're curious and want to see some pretty photos of some of our local birds, check out this blog post by the folks at Shaver's Creek Environmental Center (just a bit south of us). If you've never seen a Tufted Titmouse you should really look at the photos to see what a cute little bird it is.

Oh, and I almost forgot! If you have a bird feeder and are interested in learning more about the birds in your area and conducting a little Citizen Science, check out Project Feederwatch. Lacking a feeder, I've opted not to participate this year, but they have some awesome resources like this poster of common Eastern feeder birds that I just stumbled across. I may figure out that sparrow yet!

03 December 2010

Dinos in Durham

While in N.C. we visited the Museum of Life and Science in Durham. It was AWESOME. We first rode the little train around, from which you can see the longneck (above; yes, she recently watched The Land Before Time) and Meat Eater!!! (below; it's an Albertosaurus).

After the train we walked through the dinosaur park exhibit, marveling at the size of the dinos and how cool they all were.

(Above: Leptoceratops)
We even got to dig for fossils, and found some! The museum had trucked in a bunch of soil from a nearish quarry where lots of small shell, coral, etc. fossils are regularly found. That was cool.

In all, the museum was amazing. There was a large outside portion, including the train, dino trail and a butterfly pavilion (also very cool). In fact, we hardly spent much time inside, but what little we did see was really neat. We'll definitely have to visit this museum again.

Wish I could remember the name of this one. Has anyone else noticed how many more dinosaur names kids know these days? Why, back in my day, we had Stegosaurus, T Rex and Triceratops. Everything else was "a dinosaur like..." one of those three. Oh, plus dinosaurs like the characters from Land Before Time. At least until Hollywood brought us the Velociraptors.

Doodle even got to sit on one. It's a Parasaurolophus, of course.

02 December 2010


Doodle & J went fishing while we were in N.C.
No fish were caught, but she had a lot of fun in the process.

01 December 2010


Our first dusting of snow in State College. The holly looks so festive, so perfect for the season. (Note the oaks, still with a bunch of lower leaves, in the background. I wonder when they'll finally drop.)

Today we made a paper chain to countdown the days until Doodle's birthday and Christmas. This year she has declared that we should start decorating for Christmas before her bday, so we're putting wires on our stuffed birds (to perch them in our tree, once we have it) and glitter-gluing our assortment of collected cones (also for the tree). I'm enjoying the holiday crafting with Doodle, plus sneakily sewing some surprises for her after she goes to bed.

Here's to embracing the magic and the fun of December!

The Bird

Is it bad that I'm so very amused by this photo?

She had a sweat bee on her finger, and was showing it to me. I swear I didn't pose her.

Excuse me while I giggle inappropriately, and save this photo for her to see when she's 16 and will think it's awesome. Heh heh.