Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Nikolai is 3!

Our son Nikolai turned 3 today! It has been so much fun to look back at last years birthday pictures and see how much he has grown...so many wonderful changes and events over the last year. We spent this Saturday at the beach house celebrating with family. Nikolai wanted a fire truck theme. I made each of us a t-shirt with a Dalmatian "3" on the back. We mugged for a few pictures, but this has to be my favorite.

Happy Birthday to my little man!

Friday, July 27, 2007

EI Goodbye

Today was Nikolai's last speech therapy meeting with Early Intervention. These amazing services are offered through the state until age 3 and my big boy celebrates on Tuesday! We had Nikolai assessed when he first came home from Russia, but decided to give him a little more time to acclimate before receiving services. I wasn't sure at first what it would be like to have someone come into our home weekly to work with Nikolai, but it has been an incredible experience for him and for me. His speech therapist, Kristin encouraged him and taught him many language skills, but also taught me how to best encourage him as well. She was also a great source of knowledge for a new Mom of a toddler! Her visits were really one of the highlights of our week.

We couldn't thank her enough, but part of her gift was a custom tote from some Amy Butler and Michael Miller fabrics. I love unexpected color and pattern combinations.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Hazy, Hot and Humid

We are back from a lovely week visiting my Gram in Florida. Each day's weather forecast included a wild thunder and lighting storm, but those would pass and we had lots of time to enjoy the hazy, hot and humid weather! We were shocked daily by the humidity as we left the house. There is a certain sluggishness to one's walk in that kind of humidity. Of course, this did not slow Nikolai down one bit as he investigated every inch and crevice in the yard and had fun chasing after lizards and toads. I could never live in this climate, but it was a lot of fun for a little boy. Jason has vowed never to live in a climate where moss grows hanging off the trees i.e. Spanish Moss. I like it much better in my floral arrangements too.

Our trip was full of a lot of little adventures including our trip back. I pretty much go with the flow on travel days and figure if a plane is cancelled or delayed it was meant to be. But, traveling with an almost 3 year old takes away a little bit of that adaptability. Nikolai was a real trooper though as a direct flight turned into two flights and our arrival time in Boston changed from 10pm to 2am. On our leg from Jacksonville to Atlanta, an announcement was made just as the crew was about 2 rows ahead of us serving drinks and peanuts. We were experiencing some turbulence as we began our decent and cart service was going to be cancelled. They were terribly sorry for any inconvenience. I was having a moment where I was terribly sorry to be sitting with a 3 year old who I had promised juice since takeoff. Now, I'm not one to break the rules. I hate to be scolded and am still reeling from being pulled over by a cop in 1997 (minor one-way street mix-up). But, motherhood and well, thirst can be great motivators. As the flight attendant finished her announcement, I unbuckled my seat belt (mind you, completely disregarding the "fasten seat belt" sign) and dove forward two aisles to the cart and grabbed the only thing within my reach... a bottle of water. Now for some reason, it just didn't occur to me that there was a planeload of people behind me who were my captive audience. So, before my back end hit my seat, cheers arose including a woman who shouted "You GO girl!" I was MORTIFIED! (Signing off now as reliving this moment has cause decreased cabin pressure.)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Red Paint

We are in the midst of renovating our 1st floor bathroom, which up until this point has consisted of just a toilet. I'm not sure why the previous owner did this, but we are finally getting around to adding a sink. The room is tiny and is tiled in a sky blue 3x3 with white accent tiles up to about 3.5'. I would never pick this color and have tried off and on to find a shade of brown paint for the walls to update it at bit, but always with no luck. So, the walls have remained white and have showcased a variety of miscellaneous framed prints over the past few years. I have just now taken everything down and want to add a few splashes of red including some hand towels with a fun retro cherry print. I couldn't decide what to do for the wall art and then spied my "Tiny Picasso" who is always begging to color the walls. We took a little outing to the art store and picked up a painting canvas and some red acrylic paint. Nikolai spent part of the morning channeling his inner artist while singing his mantra "train" over and over. Hey, whatever works to inspire...

Monday, July 09, 2007

Bits of Brooklyn

Jason and I took a trip out to Long Island this weekend to celebrate at our friend's wedding! We had a bit of time on Saturday morning to do some exploring and drove into Brooklyn for a quick tour. Highly recommend a map....which we picked up part way through our adventure. We wound our way through parts of Williamsburg, Park Slope, Brooklyn Heights, and many more areas. We swung by Treehouse on Graham in Williamsburg, but were a little early for their store hours...next time. We didn't have a lot of time, so we mostly drove around and I snapped photos out of the window in our Jeep. But, nevertheless we fell in love with Brooklyn...

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy 4th!

Nikolai and I set out on foot for our town's parade this morning. We stood on the train bridge at the end of our street...prime view of both the parade and the train for an almost 3 year old. Vintage cars, fire trucks, "ambutrucks" (as Nikolai would say), marching bands and my favorite...Boston's Steel Drum Orchestra. We were dancing on the sidewalks! Happy 4th Everyone!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Swallows in Flight

I'm not sure from where my recent swallow obsession stems, but a small flight of swallows is now swooping through my kitchen. I used the same vintage illustration as for my embroidered dish towel to make these. I printed out the illustration in different sizes and flipped the image horizontally for a few. I then ironed a piece of heat and bond to a piece of black dupioni silk, peeled off the backing and ironed my swallow illustration to the back side. Then, I cut out the silhouettes and applied them to my wall using Mod Podge. (Liquid starch would be good for a less permanent solution.) I adore birds individually and envy their freedom of flight. Flocks of birds on the other hand send shivers up my spine. However this silk version seems to have a calming effect...

Monday, July 02, 2007

"It's surely summer. for there's a swallow: Come one swallow, his mate will follow... "

I have been taking some time to work on a few home projects. It is surely summer in my kitchen with a new embroidered dish towel featuring an endearing swallow swooping in for some juicy red cherries. A beautiful vintage illustration of a swallow inspired this design. I took a scan of the image and sized it in Illustrator to best fit my towel. I then printed it out. Using a heat transfer pencil, I outlined the details of the bird that I wanted to embroider and then turned my paper over...carefully placing it in a choice spot on my towel and ironed. You are then left with a fine outline of your design and a really portable project. I pop my embroidery threads, a small pair of scissor, my project and a needle in a small handled basket so that I can grab it whenever I want. I spent some of Sunday at a playground with Nikolai. He was hard a "work" moving sand and rocks in the sandbox, while I found a sunny bench and pulled out my embroidery. A little girl, about 7, sat down next to me and told me that my cherries were "pretty, but looked like flowers because of the green." She told me she ate a cherry once.