Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Conversation with Evan

Back in February Cathy Zielske released a new template for Designer Digitals called Story Guide No. 1. I have wanted to create this layout for a while now, and today I sat down with Ev and interviewed him for the page.

The process of interviewing a 5 year old is pretty funny. He was very thoughtful in forming his answers, and a couple of times he said "I don't know yet... ask me again in 99 seconds." The kid is very into seconds, minutes, and time. After I finished interviewing him, he said it was his turn to ask me some questions. He asked me "What did you do when you were a baby?" I responded with "read books with my Mommy." He seemed to like that answer.

You can view Cathy's blog post on how to create this layout digitally or as a hybrid layout here.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Pirate Cupcakes

I can't believe I almost forget to post Evan's pirate cupcakes! He had talked about having a pirate cake for months, but it turns out I am a horrible cake maker. Well, I'm horrible at getting the cake out of the pan. I tried multiple times, asked friends for advice, searched the Web, but I still couldn't do it. It was very frustrating. But Evan would have been devastated if I didn't come up with something Pirate themed, so I baked the next best thing:

Pirate cupcakes

{recipe by Betty Crocker}

After Mark and I finished putting the final touches on them, Evan gave me the biggest grin and an even bigger hug.

Happy 5th Birthday, Evan! I can't wait to see what this year brings for you.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Magic Kingdom: Part 2

I am still working through our photos from our trip to Orlando. We took a ton on this trip!

Mark took a lot of the photos in this post. He has been picking up the camera more and more these days. I love finding unexpected photos on my memory card when I transfer them to my computer. He sees things differently & interacts differently with the boys than I do, and his photos represent that.

I love the big smile on Evan's face.

I took this photo right before we left the park. I wish I had asked my Mom or Dad to take one of the four of us, though. We didn't get a single family photo that week.

Some of my favorite memories from our day at Magic Kingdom:

* Paying $34 for ponchos with the Disney logo on them. I really wanted to ask the cashier how much the ponchos cost when it's not pouring down rain.

* Going on the Buzz Lightyear ride with Jack. Evan and Mark were in one little pod, and Jack and I were in another. He figured out how to control the joy stick and had us spinning in circles for the entire ride.

* Riding the Speedway with Jack and my Mom. We were all wearing ponchos and the car was soaked, and I couldn't figure out how to keep the car from ramming into the metal rail, but it was a blast.

* Having a late lunch at the Crystal Palace with Mark, Evan, Jack, and Uncle Tom. The food was good, the dessert bar was yummy, and having the characters come right up to our table and interact with the kids was great. I was not about to stand in line with two kids, in the rain, just so they can pose with a character or two. Character lunches were a great choice for us.

* Tracking down a green Mickey Mouse balloon for Evan. He insisted on a green one, but none of the street vendors had green balloons left. One of the vendors was nice enough to run to the back of the park and get one for him & Evan was so excited. I was less than excited when he told me the darn balloon was $10.00.

* Running around Tom Sawyer Island with Evan and Jack. After standing in lines, sitting in a stroller, and being generally confined for most of the day, the kids were thrilled to have some space to explore the island.

* Rides, rides, rides. It was raining most of the morning, which I'm assuming is the reason the crowds were tolerable most of the day. Between short lines at the less exciting rides & my Dad and Uncle walking ahead to get fast passes for bigger rides like Big Thunder Mountain Railroad & Space Mountain, we were able to do almost everything.

I cannot wait to go back to Magic Kingdom. It is definitely my favorite of the four Disney parks & I would love to visit again without the ponchos. :-)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

New Karla Dudley Designs release tomorrow :-)

Karla Dudley has a new kit coming out tomorrow, Welcome Spring, and last week she released Template .007. I combined the two to create a layout about our trip to the beach in February:

{All supplies are Karla Dudley Designs: Supplies- Cardstock: Cardstock Essentials No. 3. Patterned Paper: Welcome Spring. "BEACH: brushes: Digi Essentials No. 6. Staples: Digi Essentials. "feb" brush: Digi Essentials No. 10. Heart tag: Tweet. Decorative stitching: Welcome Spring. "sunshine" and "the things we do together" brushes: Welcome Spring. Vellum tags: Welcome Spring. "Love" epoxy tag: Welcome Spring. Font: Georgia}

After editing these photos I definitely think we need to take another family trip to the beach. I am already spoiled by all the nice weather! My family hasn't seen a full day of sun in almost 9 months (hi Mom and Dad!), and I get to walk to my car in shorts, a t-shirt, and flip flops every morning when I take Ev to school. Doesn't seem fair, does it? I feel bad for all my friends and family in Washington... I don't think they have had a day above 60 degrees! It is going to be 84 degrees here, today :-)


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Right Now.

You weigh 28lbs, and wear size 2T clothes.

You are still taking one afternoon nap that lasts from 1.5 - 3.5 hours.

We are working on your numbers and colors. Tonight at the dinner table I was counting to five, and you said "four" after I said "three". You followed "four" with "eight". We still have a little work to do :-)

Your vocabulary is expanding every day, and you especially like to mimic Evan.

Your favorite TV show is Jake and the Neverland Pirates.

Your favorite book is Moo, Baa, La La La by Sandra Boynton.

You love to color, paint, play with play-doh, stick stickers on paper (and yourself), and do puzzles.

When I tickle you, you say "tickle, tickle, tickle" while squealing and laughing.

You are finally starting to eat (and enjoy) new foods. Lately you have tried macaroni and cheese, taquitos, bananas, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and pizza. You still don't like to be messy, so I wipe your hands regularly, but you are making progress. I am so proud of you.

You smile and laugh constantly.

You are loving and gentle, and you are so sweet to your big brother.

I love you so much, Jack. You have brought such joy to our family.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Quick Layout to Share.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend. We have been relaxing, playing outside, hanging out in the play room, and being lazy. It's been perfect! Evan has been recreating his Mario Brothers game with his lego mini figures, and Jack has been playing with his "cool race cars" for two strait days.

Most of the race cars Jack has been playing with were cars we saved from when Evan was 2, so it's nice to see them getting used again. Jack isn't as into cars as Evan was, but he definitely likes to send them racing across the kitchen floor. He laughs and laughs when they crash into the kitchen table or the wall. I can't get enough of his little laugh.

I have a layout to share featuring Karla Dudley Designs. It took be forever to create this! I don't know what my problem was... too much time on vacation, I guess. Anyway, this is a story I wanted to make sure I documented, and these photos of Jack in his orthotics were perfect.

{All supplies are Karla Dudley Designs. Kraft cardstock. Patterned paper: Modern Marvel. Heart tag: Tweet. Heart frame: No. 1 Dad. Date stamp: Digi Essentials No. 10. "Jack" brushes: Digi Essentials No. 6. Stitches: Digi Essentials. Dot brush: Spring Anticipation. Number brush: Cypris. Staple: Digi Essentials. "21" bushes: Freebie stamped numbers. Fonts: 1942 Report & Georgia}.

The chocolate chip muffins I have baking in the oven are done, so I better run. I don't want to burn them... the boys would probably be a little miffed at me. Jack loves his "fuffins" :-)


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Magic Kingdom

Our first of four days at Disney World was spent at Magic Kingdom. We arrived at 9am and took a ferry across the lake to the entrance. Just as we were passing through security the skies opened up & it starting pouring down rain. It rained & rained... but I was not about to let a little rain get in the way of our first trip to Disney World! We rain into a store along Main St. and purchased 4 over-priced ponchos and ran to our first ride: Cinderella's Golden Carousel. Evan hated wearing his poncho (he doesn't like plastic things touching him... tags, wrappers, and apparently ponchos), so he was a bit crabby, but we were all happy to be under cover while the ride was moving. Next we went on Snow White's Scary Adventure, followed by Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin. After Buzz my parent's and Uncle arrived at the park & we took Evan on Space Mountain for the first time. Ev is .5 inches above the minimum height requirement for most of the roller coasters, and I was nervous he would not like the twists and turns, or the darkness, of Space Mountain. At the end of the ride he said "it was scary in the dark", but he wanted to ride more coasters. By the end of our trip he had ridden Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Test Track (Epcot), Expedition Everest twice (Animal Kingdom), and Space Mountain. He told us several times that the roller coasters were his favorite part of our trip.

We made reservations to eat at the Crystal Palace with Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, and Piglet. Evan and Jack adored meeting the characters from one of their favorite books and movies, and Evan had no problems posing for pictures with each and every one of them.

While we waited to go on Peter Pan's Flight, our last ride of the day, Evan hung out with Uncle Tom.

Grandpa, Grandma, and Evan.

Jack was so easy going during the whole trip. We spent more than 10 hours at Magic Kingdom, and he didn't cry or have a single melt down. He was exhausted by the time we reached our condo, but I couldn't have asked for an easier (almost) 2-year-old. He was happy, upbeat, and easy to please. Jack is used to going on rides and seemed to love them all.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Photo by Mark Taylor.

Mark, the kids, and I have been on vacation in Orlando for the past week. I wanted to enjoy this time with my family, my Mom & Dad, and my Uncle, and not spend all my time online, which is why I haven't updated my blog in over a week.

I'll post next week with more Disney photos and a layout or two for Karla Dudley. She had 4 new releases last week that I can't wait to create with! I like working with digital templates because they make the creative process so quick and easy. You can see her latest releases here.

I'll be back soon!