Friday, September 30, 2011

Sew Lovely

It was about last year at this time that I found out I was having my little girly, Ruthie, and I decided to try my hand at some little sewing projects.  My mom was kind enough to loan me her sewing machine, and I got to work ruining making some burp cloths and little blankets.  My friends started inspiring me with their more complicated projects, and then my mom surprised me with a sewing machine for my birthday in February.  It was ON :)  Armed with a pattern for a simple pillowcase dress, I was off and running in the world of sewing.

Now, a year later, I am loving my new hobby, and while I am certainly no expert, and haven't had any real training, I can throw together some pretty tidy little boy pants, and girl dresses and rompers, in a pretty short amount of time.  Now, instead of browsing gossip websites online when I am bored, I am pouring over project ideas on Pinterest, buying up cute patterns on Etsy, or window shopping for fabrics on one of many favorite online fabrics shops.  In other words, I am addicted.  But it's a good addiction!  Since sort of putting landscape photography on the back-burner (once serious travel was similarly side-lined with kids!), I needed and craved some sort of creative outlet.  With sewing, not only do I feel inspired and inventive, but I also feel useful and productive.  Granted I should probably spend more time on my housework and "serious responsibilities", but I just am really enjoying myself.

Here are some of my more recent projects for the kids.  I have about a million more ideas all floating around in my head - most having to do with the holidays coming up.  I just ordered 3 coordinating Christmas fabrics in green, blue and pink, and I have visions of cute little blond heads, smiling next to the Christmas tree, all in matching pajama pants :)  Am I insane or what?  The things that make me happy these days.....

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Bedtime - Roberts Style

This is pretty much my new favorite photo.  It is SUCH a perfect depiction of our family.  Let me explain.

Every night before bed, the boys climb up into Hayden's new bunk, and we all ready stories together.  Our life is so hectic, but this is the time of day that things slow down, and we can all really tune in to each other.  As Ruthie gets older, she is staying up long enough to take part in our nightly reading ritual, and of course the boys insist she sit right up there with them.

What I love about this picture is how everyone fits their little niche.  Hayden is deeply engrossed in his reading (the atlas of all things haha), and you can see the concentration on his face.  Pierce is just happy to have his blanky and plapi (pacifier), and he's lounging in bliss.  He doesn't really care about the story, but wants to be part of the fun.  Ruthie is in the middle of it all, trying to grab for everything in sight, while Pierce is trying to pull her down to snuggle with him.  And then there is Dallas, who cannot stand to be left out of the action, and has actually managed to CLIMB THE LADDER to get to the upper bunk, where he's made himself comfy.  It's amazing how far he has come in the 4 years we've had children.  When Hayden was younger he wouldn't go NEAR him, and now the fact that he's letting Pierce lay on him is just a really big deal.  

I just love my sweet little family, and all the wonderful, precious people (and animals) in it!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Grand Cayman Island

So last week my mom, Ruthie, and I traveled to the most lovely little gem of the Caribbean; a little place called Paradise Grand Cayman Island.  For the past 3 years I have been working on building a storm surge model for 3 nations in the Caribbean - the Bahamas, the Turks and Caicos, and the Caymans.  Finally, my boss and I decided it would be beneficial for me to travel to these places, so I can get a lay of the land, and speak more knowledgeably with our clients about the geography and population distribution, etc, on the island.  Because of it's westernized culture and relatively wealthy, insured populace, Grand Cayman was a good starting point from a business perspective.  No one had to ask me twice haha, my tickets were booked asap!

Because I'm still nursing, I decided to bring Ruthie along rather than try to pump for days on end, and risk drying it up, etc.  Plus, I can't bear to be separated from her yet!  I flew my mom along as well, so she could help me care for Ruthie while I was working.  As it turned out, my mom enjoyed driving around the island with me, exploring, and we had so much fun discovering fun little spots for meals and cocktails, and tucked away little beaches.  I really accomplished a lot from a work perspective, and I LOVED my time with my girls!

First Day of School

How how did we get to this point?  Not only is Hayden in pre-K, but Piercey J has officially started his first year of pre-school.  It's amazing to me that I have two little boys in backpacks!

As you may recall from my posts at this time last year, Hayden had a difficult time adjusting to school.  And just when he started enjoying the drop-off, Ruthie was born, and he reverted back to tears.  So naturally I was expecting the first day to be hard on him, especially since his beloved teachers were no more.  Thank God, his two best friends, Tatum and Kailey, are both in his class again, and after meeting his teachers at an open house, he declared that he liked them.  Pierce has one of Hayden's teachers from last year, Miss Melissa, and she immediately was drawn to him since she was close to Hayden, and I think that is helping him feel comfortable.  He gets spoiled just a bit!

So the drop-off on the first day of school was rough, as expected, for Hayden.  But I was extremely proud of him for putting on a happy face, and acting enthusiastic, even though he was nervous.  He was trying so hard to fight back the tears, and even mentioned to his teacher that he was trying to keep his eyes dry, but the tears just kept falling.  Eh break my heart a little :(  But he is always smiling and happy when I pick him up, and telling me he had a great day, so I know I'm doing the right thing.

Pierce was thrilled to run into his classroom with all it's fun news toys, and he never looked back on that first day!  He even fell asleep on his nap mat without his blanky or plapi (pacifier), which was a major surprise.  He must have felt very comfortable.  Unfortunately, each day has gotten harder since that first drop-off, but I think that is because literally EVERY child in that 2 year old class cries their heads off when mommy drops them off.  I think Pierce would be ok if he didn't look around and see a bunch of crying kiddos!  But the teacher assures me that this is normal in the 2 year old class and once they get past the 3rd week, things will calm down. 

So overall, it's been a good transition back to school, and I'm looking forward to all the fun things the school year will bring for both boys.  Hayden is required to take on a lot of his own responsibilities this year, like carrying his back-pack in, and remembering his homework tasks, in preparation for kindergarten, so we'll see how he gets along.  And I can't wait to see little Pierce in the Christmas and Easter programs with his brother!  Adorable.  It's sweet to see them in it together.

And I can't forget to mention that Hayden is now attending one extra day of pre-K at a wonderful little school geared around animals and farming.  The director's labrador is one of his classmates (Bella), which absolutely THRILLS him, and after the classroom portion of the day is over, he gets to go outside to feed the fish in the pond, and the animals in the barn (a donkey, some pigs, and chickens right now).  Now there were NO tears on his first day there!  It's a lovely little school, and I'm considering sending Pierce there as well....stay tuned for that!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Texas Beach House

Hey all!  I am so behind that I am only now blogging about our beach vacation, even though it took place over a month ago!  I'm terrible, but it's been one of the busiest months on record!  And here is my dirty little secret - the only time I have to blog is once the kids go to bed, and Nate and I have recently discovered a little show called "Mad Men", which is currently streaming on Netflix, and we are sort of obsessed!  Which means blogging has taken a backseat haha.  I aim to get back in the action.  There have been so many fabulous and fun things occurring, it's a shame to let them fall victim to a(n) (incredibly addicting) television show :)

Anyway, last month we took the last of our family summer vacations.  We had taken trips with friends in the past, but this was on a whole different scale.  Nine families under one roof!  This translates to 16 toddlers, 2 infants, and 18 adults. 

I know this would intimidate even the most saavy traveler, but honestly, it was great!  We had the best time celebrating Hayden's 4th birthday, along with 3 of his best friends, and the kids did wonderfully at the beach.  Pierce was a bit timid, but Hayden was wading out as far as his little legs would take him, and Ruthie was delighted with the sand and surf at the shore.

Birthday time!  What little boys don't like pirates?  It was the perfect setting, and everyone had a blast.  All the moms really pulled out all the stops and we had the cutest decorations and food.  Love these boys!

I couldn't help but post this one below.  We wanted a shot of all 4 birthday boys on the deck in their pirate gear, but Jack, for some reason, just was not into the situation haha.  Perhaps a little tired, who knows!  But I love the faces of the boys!  I took these shots in quick succession, and it captures Jack crying, and the other 3 boys looking on in confusion and consternation.  I'm sorry, but it's just funny.  I can just read their thoughts - "why is my buddy crying and it's our birthday party?!?"  Luckily he recovered quickly and I think had a pretty good time :)

And of course the adults had an amazing time once the kids went to bed (which was remarkably early considering the circumstances).  There was only one door out of the house, onto a deck, and we always had it covered by at least 2 adults, so everyone else could enjoy the beach at night, without fear of any children sneaking out or getting in harm's way.  Nate's family has come up with a game called "glow stick golf", which is pretty self-explanatory, and which we shared with our group of friends.  I sat the game out while I waited for our kids to fall asleep, and got some fun shots of the glow sticks flying through the air as they played.  We also enjoyed some night-time surf fishing, and just all in all had a great time with our best friends.  Can't wait to do it again, and I hope we make it an annual tradition!