Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Summer Line Drying

Um, yes, this post is out of season.

But I'm still proud enough to mention the fact that I can count on one hand the amount of times I used the dryer this last summer, cloth diapers and all!

I bought this drying rack at Bed Bath & Beyond for $40, {minus 20% from a coupon}, and I used it as late into the Fall as I could, to dry ALL our laundry, save for a few emergency underwear and bedsheets loads.  Let's be real, line drying takes some planning and coordination, and up until, oh, about 11 months ago, I would've chosen buying new clothes over doing the laundry.

I'm going to throw Rogér under the bus a little here, sorry Love.  He doesn't get to join in on my green podium today.  He totally used the dryer, even when it was an unbearably hot day and a load that we weren't in dire need of RIGHT NOW.

I guess that's O-K.  It was my challenge to use the drying rack, not his.  And he did use it every now an then, {usually after some "nagging" on my part}, which is better than nothing.  Maybe next summer it will be a family endeavor.

It was more work, that's for sure, but there were three great benefits that made it totally worth the effort;  1) lower energy consumption {which also means lower bills!}, 2) white diapers! and 3) Rogér's shirts didn't turn into belly-shirts due to shrinkage.  See Rog, there's something in it for you too.

I'm not sure I actually saved money this year, but I think it's possible, since those damn diapers take like three cycles to dry in the dryer, and I'm positive I'll continue to use it in the coming years, so I think it was a good investment.

Once I got used to it, it wasn't even so bad.

Do you line dry?  Give it a try!

Monday, November 28, 2011

New Camera Lens = Love

We've had a really nice, Nikon D60 SLR camera for quite a while now,{long enough for many people not to recognize the model number}.  The pictures were crystal clear, but to be honest, I wasn't very happy with them.   I guess we had kind of neglected how important a good lens is.  The camera itself was a hefty purchase, let alone the cost of some fancy lens, so we passed.

I guess semi-okay photos were acceptable until Cubbie came along. In our low-light house, the Nikon stock lens just wasn't cutting it. Rogér began looking into lenses, and although we dreamed about this one, it's a little over our budget, so we chose this, Nikon 35mm lens.

Unfortunately, our new lens doesn't completely take skill out of the equation, which is really what I need.  There are a few things that I've had a hard time getting used to as well.  The lens doesn't zoom.  You have to back up quite a bit in order to take a larger view shot.  And I'm so trained on the old lens that I try to zoom, by adjusting the lens, which switches the mode to manual! Manual doesn't work for me.  I'm no photog.
But all in all, I'm so happy that we bought this lens!  I mean, how can I complain with results like these?


Friday, November 18, 2011

Halloween in November

So...we are a little behind.

But  I wanted to share Rowan's first Halloween. 

Most babies dress up as bugs, or peas, or furry animals....not our little Cubbie Cub.  We've always thought that Rowan looks just like Toon Link, from the Zelda video games (I promise, we are not video game geeks...well, Rogér may or may not be.  However, we do play some video games.  I keep mostly to the cute ones, and the Toon Zeldas are pretty cute:))

But look!  I mean, he pretty much is Little Toon Link re-incarnate.  Especially with his crazy eyebrows, (which are hard to see because they're so blonde, but if they were black, I mean, c'mon, it doesn't get any closer than this).

So, there was no question in our minds.  Rowan HAD to be Toon Link for Halloween.

I grew up where moms made their kids' costumes.  Maybe this was out of necessity, but I've always felt like making home-made costumes was a standard that I have to live up to as a mom.  It was hard to find the time, given ALL the things moms have to do, but I swore I'd do it for as long as I can, so I set out to make a Toon Link costume.

Okay, Green Tunic, White Pants, Belt, Hat.  How hard could this be?

THANK GOODNESS, Rowan already had a pair of white pants!  This costume may never have manifested if I had to make the pants. Kinda cheating, but I'm no seamstress, ya know.

I found the perfect green jersey material for the Tunic and hat.  (Note: never worked with jersey before and never want to again).

The belt was super easy and fun to make from felt.

I made the little bootie covers out of some faux seude I just happened to have (sometimes I'm glad that I save EVERYTHING).  They weren't too hard.  I just pinned the fabric using some of Rowan's real boots as a model and then sewed them up.  I attached them to the pants so that they would stay in place and Rowan just wore dark socks underneath.

The bright green undershirt was too daunting of a task to make, so I went to Kohl's in search of a pre-made shirt.  Of course, I found the perfect color...in the girls' section.  So, yes, that's a girl's shirt.  It's got some girlie stuff on the front, but it's covered by his tunic ;)

Got the sword at Target for $1, and put dark blue carstock over the handle to make it blue like the true Master Sword (that's Links sword, for those of us who aren't Zelda savvy).

I'm not one to bragg, but I was thrilled with the way it turned out!  He really is the perfect little Link.

Our costumes (Linebeck and Tetra, from the same video game) suffered from my focus on Rowan's outfit, but I was OK with that.

OH!  And I can't forget the thrilling end to the pumkin portrait saga....The Good, The Bad, and...

The Ugly!

The Ugly - by Rogér Balyon

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Day of Fun in Moss Landing, a Little Reflection, and What's to Come

This last Sunday, we went down to Moss Landing (near Monterey, CA), to visit Rogér's dad and to see a ship from the Disney movie, The Pirates of the Caribbean.  Unfortuneately, the ship was only open for viewing for a couple of hours and the line was really long, so by the time we got there, we didn't think we would get the chance to get on, so we left.

No biggie.

I doubt Rowan really cared to see the boat anyway. 

Instead, we grabbed lunch at the famous Phil's Fish Market & Eatery. YUM!  And spent some time on the beach.

It was Rowan's first beach experience. He loved digging his little toes in the sand.  And he was thrilled when Opa took off his shoes, rolled up his pant legs, and took Rowan down to the waves to play in the foam!

On the way home, Rowan couldn't stop "talking" about all the things he'd seen and done that day.  And when I put him to bed, he refused his bottle, popped his speenje (pacifier) in his mouth, rolled over on his side and was fast asleep.  Dreaming of fishes, and lobsters, and the ocean. 

The next day, he could hardly stand, his legs were so wobbly!  He must've been sore from all that running around on the beach!  (oh yeah, did I mention he's walking now?? So much to say and not much time to blog ;)  He took his first steps at 10 mos old...little man....I still have to post his Halloween costume!)

I can't even begin to describe how much fun this little guy is.  It's crazy how quickly he learns. I wish I could capture all his little facial expressions somewhere other than just my memory, but that's kinda hard since babies don't exactly hold it long enough for you to grab a camera and click.

It doesn't really seem like the time is going that fast, but when I look back on the months that Rowan has been in our lives, it's a blur.  I don't know what happened to the swim lessons I was going to sign him up for at six months, or all the jogging I was going to do with our snazzy baby jogger, or baby sign language, but those flew out the window along with blogging and a lot of other things.  Oh well.  Honestly, I don't think those things matter too much.

And now, Rowan's going to be a big brother!  Yep, we're expecting another baby boy on April 2nd, 2012!! It doesn't seem real yet, even though my belly is growing and we've seen all the ultrasounds.  I'm both excited and scared for two. I wonder how we'll dole out our time.  I wonder how our next kid could possibly be as cute as Rowan (although, I'm sure we'll think he's is equally as adorable), I wonder how we'll ever pick a name for the new wiggle worm. But I also can't wait for two little boys to be running around making mischief ;)

Maybe it's the season, but I'm feeling especially blessed, and grateful for everything that we have and all the things we have to look forward to.
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