WI Roadtrip

A 900 mile drive to WI sounded a bit daunting after all the time we've spent in the car the last couple of months, but everything seemed to line up to make this the best time to drive west to we packed up for another road trip.

DaddyO stayed home to remodel our bathroom while I headed up to PA to pick up my parents.

We loaded up the Mazda 5 and then drove out at 5:30 for the 13 hour overnight drive to my parent's home state.

Fortunately car trips are something EJ still looks forward to with great anticipation and this one wasn't any different. She knows she'll get to enjoy special snacks in her car-seat and see fun new places. All her excitement trickles down to little brother.

The drive across PA, OH, IN, and IL was straight and flat. We kept ourselves entertained with books on cd and conversation. We drove in shifts and were able keep a steady pace. The kids fell asleep around 8 p.m. and woke up at our destination. Oh how I miss the days of just being a passenger.

We arrived in Madison a little over 13 hours later.

It was beautiful to watch the sun came up on a snow covered countryside.

Spring has Arrived

Spring has officially arrived when Grandma and EJ start planting the garden.

Sweet pea and sunflower seeds along the fence.

Since seeds take a bit of patience so Grandma also picked up some pink blooms for us to enjoy till the rest of the flowers bloom.

DIY Silk Tie Spring Eggs

In preparation for Easter Avia brought a couple silk ties down with her to try out a fun project she had learned about from Aunt C. This is such a simple and fun way to decorate eggs I have to add silk ties to my list of items to be on the lookout for at thrift stores (DaddyO doesn't have many ties).

Avia cut up the ties to cover the raw eggs, wrapped the silk right side down against the egg, covered that with the interior of the tie, and then EJ helped her secure the fabric with rubber bands.

The eggs were then boiled in vinegar and water.

 Then we waited for the silk die to transfer to the egg shells.

Once the eggs cooled it was time to unwrap the fabric and see what what was inside. 


CJ got in on the project.


We found a beautiful purple paisley transfer exactly what was on the tie.

 This tutorial gives more detailed instructions.

10 Months Old

This month is all about independence. CJ knows what he wants and is on the move to get it. Forget about keeping him in one place for more than a few seconds let alone lying still enough in a clothes basket for me to take a picture.

CJ is usually up an hour earlier than his sister in the morning so we get to spend some quality time playing in the playroom while I sip a cup of tea. When EJ finally wakes he'll let out a little squeal as she comes down the stairs. Then he is off to follow her around the house. 

CJ is just a few steps away from officially walking. He can toddle a couple steps unassisted but after falling to his bum usually decides that crawling is much faster.

He is quite vocal about what he wants now. He has found a high pitch shriek that quickly gets our attention.

It's fun to watch his little mind reel as he takes in what is going on around him. I can give him a task like "give this book to your sister" and he is off. He'll turn around when completed beaming with pride.

Fortunately he is still good on the road and got two thousand more miles under his belt with our trip down to Pensacola. I had his backpack filled up with toys and continuously handed them to him in between Mum Mums.

He gives the sweetest kisses, open mouthed and slobbery, and I can never get enough of them. His loving spirit makes all the little parenting frustrations totally worth it. We finish our day with kisses all around and him waving to the family as we head up the stairs.

Red Tricycle

As soon as CJ saw the little red tricycle he was hooked. Pop Pop gave him a quick course in steering then then CJ was off. His feet can't reach the pedals so he just scoots around the patio. He was insistent on doing it all himself and has a couple bumps and bruises to prove it.

Irish Potato Candy

a plate full of irish potatoes
Avia brought an Irish potato candy recipe to make with EJ in celebration of St. Patrick's Day this visit. Oddly the potatoes do not originate from Ireland but  from Pennsylvania.

They involve one of EJ's favorite ingredients, sugar, and put her playdough rolling skills to good use.

They mixed.


 And dusted the "potatoes" with cinnamon and sugar.

The result was a sweet confection.

Here is the recipe I found by Martha Stewart:

Beat 4 tablespoons each softened unsalted butter and cream cheese with 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract and 1/4 teaspoon salt until pale and fluffy.  Mix in 1 pound powdered sugar and 2 cups walnuts (toasted, cooled and finely chopped) until smooth. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Roll dough (about 1 tablespoon each) between your hands.  Shape into "potatoes." Roll in ground cinnamon, brush off excess with a pastry brush.  To create "eyes," stick in walnut pieces.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes.  Makes around 40 depending on size.

Backyard Fence...Check

After a couple of months of minor home improvement projects, a dining room facelift and switching up the kitchen, DaddyO was ready to start tackling the big ones. The first on his list was moving our fence line. This was the perfect project in that it didn't take much money for a big payoff.

It was a beautiful weekend so it became a family affair.

He started off by digging the post holes.

Once the fence frame was ready

DaddyO stripped off the old fence boards and hammered them on the new frame.

Just a weekend of work paid off with amazing results. Our yard is two times larger and we have a pretty view of the yard when looking out our back windows. DaddyO was glad everything went without a hitch and is starting to plan his next big project, the demolition and remodel of the bathroom.

Ballerina Pillow

"today I want to be a ballet dancer" are the words on EJ's favorite sweatshirt. We have reached the point where it is too small for her but there are too many fond memories to part with. Instead of packing it away to maybe be worn by another someday Avia helped EJ sew it into a pillow.

EJ helped snip, stitch and and stuff. She now has a soft pillow to cuddle with at night and I remember a bright eyed little girl practicing her ballet moves when I see it.

St. Patrick's Day Parade

We celebrated St. Patrick's Day a day early this year by attending Norfolk's 46 annual Saint Patrick's Day Parade. EJ has fond memories of last year's parade so she was very excited to attend another. A downpour of rain hit just as we were about to head out so I wasn't sure if it was cancelled bu when the sun peaked out a bit later we thought we'd try anyway. We were greeted by crowds of people decked out in green lining the streets and had to do little walking to find an open place for the kids.

Norfolk has more Irish blood in it than I thought.
EJ had fun waving and cheering along with Avia.

 CJ worked on his wave for a bit.

And then decided the view was better for DaddyO's shoulders.

We enjoyed variety of Irish themed floats.


The cars and trucks caught CJ's attention.


It was a parade to start off the St. Patty's Day weekend. Now for the corned beef and cabbage!

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