Tuesday, January 28, 2014

On the Rocks

We had a short adventure at Vasquez Rocks with the Verlaques and their extended family visiting from Australia. We're so incredibly lucky to live close to such a beautiful place. 

So many adorable children! Some with Australian accents! The amount of self-control it took for me to not just squeeze them to death caused literal smoke to come out of my literal ears. Literally.

Trying to give his poor mother a heart attack.

And nearly succeeding.


Perfecting his photobombing skillz.

Friday, January 24, 2014


Well, the child went ahead and turned eight on Saturday. We knew it was going to happen eventually, but I guess I thought I'd have more time to prepare. Eight years just doesn't seem like long enough to get ready for your kid to turn eight. You feel me, I know you do.

A tradition has developed in our home over the last couple of years--Dash gets to sleep in our room the night before his birthday & then he gets a balloon attack in the morning.

Josh and I stayed up late trying not to hyperventilate and silently tying thirty balloons to assorted surfaces in our home.

Dash also got to pick his breakfast. He chose ice cream and doughnuts. Obviously.

He wanted a laser tag party this year, so for the invitations I turned him into James Bond in Moonraker & armed him with a laser gun. 

I kept up the space theme on the gift baggies. They contained: laser fingers, blinking led sunglasses, a candy laser pop & some Yan Yan. Yeah, I don't know what the Yan Yan had to do with anything, either.

I didn't get many pictures of the actual party because you know what happens at laser tag? A bunch of kids run around in the dark. 

So 99% of my pictures look like this.

 Here's one with Dash pointing a gun at me, so that's nice.

I got to play a round, too! It was so totally awesome and not nearly as scary as I expected. I even won an award. (For Best Target, but still.)

Dash's beloved Grandma Sonja came out to stay with us over his birthday weekend, and took us out to dinner after the party. If I have to venture a guess, I'd say he had a pretty good birthday.

Happy birthday, Little Man. You are our moon and stars.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

A Hat

I knitted a hat this weekend. It's not perfect, but I worked hard on it--I had to start it completely over at least six times. Knitting does not come naturally to me, but I love how it looks so much better than crochet. And I honestly believe that my life and the lives of those I love will be measurably better once I can knit a pair of socks.

Anyway, the hat. I gave it to Dash and I just assumed he'd throw it on the large pile of things-his-mother-made-for-him-that-he-doesn't-really-care-about-but-that-will-make-his-wife-resent-me-some-day because "why aren't you more like my mother, she could do anything?" (what? I'm a Jewish mother, these fantasies are my right). But Josh took Dash to the ice rink today and he wore it, completely unprompted my me.

So naturally, he will be getting about eleventy hundred more hand-knit hats in the coming months.

Monday, January 06, 2014

Friday, January 03, 2014


Ok, here's my list for 2014. I am stupid hyped about it!

1. Re-start Fox vs. Squirrel. I've been working on getting some dollhouse pillows made up for the shop, and I've been testing new doll patterns. I'm going to try to keep my focus on just one or two items that I really love and enjoy making and see if I can't make a go of it in 2014. Not yet. There just aren't enough hours in the day. Maybe this year?

2. Learn to knit. I've been spending a bit of time every evening in the last few days practicing different techniques and poring over YouTube tutorials. I've got some fairly lofty knitting goals for this year (socks for everyone!) Well, no socks yet (but I did buy a Craftsy course and plan to knit some soon), but I did learn to knit. I made some pretty awesome hats and shawls and scarves and even learned to cable. I didn't take pictures of most of what I made, but here are a couple of hats:



3. Enter my jam in the Ventura County Fair. It's just getting ridiculous. I'll make a Goddamn vision board if I have to. This is the year. Womp womp...

4. Read fourteen books. I actually managed to read twelve last year & it was such an honest pleasure to take the time and really be thoughtful about what books to add to my list. I'm already into my first book of 2014 and I'm loving it so much. Boom:
  1. The Snow Child
  2. Where'd You Go, Bernadette
  3. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (Flavia de Luce #1)
  4. Dept. of Speculation
  5. Eleanor & Park
  6. A Tale for the Time Being
  7. David & Goliath
  8. The Apothecary
  9. Tenth of December
  10. The Ocean at the End of the Lane
  11. Perfect
  12. Sharp Objects
  13. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
  14. A Week in Winter
  15. The Rise & Fall of Great Powers
  16. Landline
  17. The Husband's Secret
Attempted but abandoned:

5. Work diligently to continue reducing our debt. I don't know how diligent we were, but our debt load is slowly but surely going down.

6. Host a mystery party. This is just silly and stupid but I've always wanted to do one. Maybe for our anniversary... Nopesky. Not giving up on this one for 2015, though.

7. Run at least one more 10k. See if you can't find a running bra that doesn't leave bloody scratches on your sides, too, while you're at it. Yes & yes!


I didn't make much of a list of resolutions last year, but that didn't stop me from failing to complete a lot of it! Here's how I fared:

1. Enter my jam in the Ventura County Fair. I know why I keep putting this off. It's because the idea of making something and not having it be loved just kills me. But I need to put myself out there. I want to take this risk. Ugh. I am such a puss. This year I am doing it even if I have to beg Josh to just enter it for me. It's such a minor risk to take, but for me it's become a major hurdle. This year I clear it.

2. Run a 10k. I want to get serious about running. I'm getting old and I want to be strong for as long as I can manage. Also, when I'm running, I'm not watching Disney Channel and no one is whining at me. I should embrace the peace when I can. I did this! And I want to do at least one more in 2014.

3. Work on the dollhouse. I have so many ideas for my crazy little Wizard's House, and I get so much pleasure from fiddling with tiny things. But I don't make time for it because it's silly. I officially give myself permission to be silly. I did make a few framed pieces of art to put up, but I never did anything else. Maybe this year, but I'm not putting it on the list.

4. Make five crazy ice cream flavors from my new book. No reason other than it seems fun.
  • Thai Chili
  • Oolong
  • Chai
  • Coffee & Doughnuts
  • Chocolate & Stout
Yes! This really was so much fun and I'm excited to try more flavors this year.

5. Read twelve books in 2013. This would be easy if I would just put down my stupid phone.
You would not believe how down to the wire I was on this one. This year I'll read fourteen. BOOM.

6. Do a face peel. This seems like a ridiculous thing to write down, but it's kind of a big deal to me. If I actually did this, I'd have to take a week for myself. I'd be stuck in the house, all blistered and useless, and I'd be putting myself and my needs and wants ahead of Dash and Josh's for that week. Not even close. Again, maybe this year, but I'm not putting it on the list.

7. No sugar on weekdays. Sugar is the devil. The sexy, sexy devil. I actually did fairly well with this until December came. Fucking December, am I right?

8. Pay off two of our most pressing debts. Well, we paid one.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Merry Happy

I don't have much to say about our Christmas day aside from the fact that it was beautiful and perfect and filled to overflowing with blessings. Also, Dash got a metric ton of stuff.

Dash made his Daddy some new jammies ("World's Best Daddy!")

He's bearfoot! Get it?! Get it?!


Making his own custom markers

We let him ride all over the neighborhood in his jammies.

The Night Before

Dash prepping the nog & cookies for the Fat Man, carrots & oats for his reindeer.


Just a few more images of our lovely day at LACMA with the Babkes crew.

We stopped at the Griddle for breakfast before heading over to the museum. Those are Oreo pancakes. And no, that's not an optical illusion, they really are the size of basketballs. Each boy ate about 1/8 of a pancake before calling it done.


It's become kind of a tradition for us to head out to LACMA over Dash's Winter break with blank books & colored pencils in tow. I've always loved the idea of having the kids copy whatever piece of art resonated with them as a way of engaging with it.

Here's what resonated with my darling boy this year:



We had a lovely Solstice this year. The kids decorated graham cracker houses, made ornaments and rolled beeswax sheets into Christmas candles. I photographed exactly none of any of that, but here are some people having fun!

But really this post is just an excuse for me to brag about these potatoes. Look at them!


Whelp, It's January 2 and I am just coming up for breath. Bear with me in my charade that I found time to chronicle our holidays as they happened, will you?

Let's pretend now that it's still mid-December, yes?

Remember last year when I made homemade vanilla &, more importantly, Vanilla Ice tea towels because sometimes you get a crazy thought at 4am while you're trying to pretend you can make it to sunrise without getting up to go to the bathroom but really who are you kidding you're in your 40s now and there's no more making it through the night without at least one pee and once you get that idea you can't not execute it? Well, I decided that this was now going to be my thing.

I wanted to also make raspberry sorbet because it rhymed better with Raspberry Beret, but I couldn't figure out a way to package and store it for gift giving. So raspberry syrup it was.

I have already designed next year's towel. It's nice to have hobbies.