Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Bruno | The many faces

Oh, it's picture time? Let me turn on the charm...

Charm. You're welcome.

I can even do cute poses.

How long do I have to hold this smile?

Oh, fresh angles I see.

How are you not exhausted by all this picture taking?

If this face doesn't give you two straight weeks of good days, then I don't know what will.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Bruno | Teething is the pits you guys

So you get 4 nearly identical photos on the subject. I could have cut it down to two... I could have.

Bruno has hit this stage of thrashing and gnashing at everything. I can't hold him over my shoulder without him violently rubbing his gums into it or my collar bone; All my shirts are covered in drool. Yesterday I gave him this teether, and I really wish I had a video of him attacking it. Sometimes, in his frenzy to get it to his mouth, he whacks himself in the eye.

Poor fella.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Create | Upcycle & Alter

We are getting family pictures taken on Friday, so I've been trying to put outfits together. Bruno has been the toughest to figure out because we don't have a lot of clothes for him since he's so much bigger than Seb was at this age. I did find this cute pair of pants that fit him, but I didn't care for the wide leg, and for that reason Seb never even wore them but once. I've been meaning to try to alter the leg for ages, but I'm finally getting around to it now that the pressure's on. I simply turned the pants inside out, sewed a line (started by marking it, though!) starting from the base of the pockets at the outer seam of the legs, and ran it straight down to the leg opening so that it ended about an inch or so in from the original outer seam. I then trimmed off the original seam. Just google it and you'll find tons of tutorials to reference.

Our pictures are scheduled for 7:30 a.m., which means that even if it's going to be 80 degrees later that day, it will be pretty chilly in the morning. So of course, the boys needed hats to wear! I tore my closet apart yesterday and fortuitously found a sweater that is really annoying for a number of reasons and decided that it would be better used for some hats. The ribbing at the bottom is lovely and wide, and the color was perfect to match both of the boy's outfits. This one is Seb's, and needs altered slightly. I'm going to make one for Bruno tomorrow.

I love that I was able to take two things that had potential but weren't useful, and make them great additions to Seb and Bruno's wardrobe. This was my first time altering and upcycling. Have you ever done either?

Monday, October 22, 2012

Home | N.C. official + Baby geniuses

Somehow it seems that we've been so busy with so much nothing. Really, I can't tell you one significant thing I did last week. Hold the phones yes I can. I passed my driver's test and got a North Carolina license! I had to actually study for this test, and then, they had the nerve to put me on the hot seat and ask if I wanted the Wright Brother's plane, the State Seal, the outline of N.C., or some other thing that I now forget printed on my new license. Don't these people know that a decision like that takes time!? In the end I chose the state outline, because although the Wright brothers are the bomb, everyone knows—or at least they should—that they actually are Ohio people, and just because their first plane took flight in North Carolina does not give North Carolina the right to say they were "first in flight." As Cody put it, "Really all North Carolina can legitimately claim is that they have a windy state, perfect for testing the first airplanes." Growing up, I always thought North Carolina a little arrogant.

Anyway, so that was a big deal, and now I can think about how N.C. has a cool shape every time I go to buy some red wine (which should happen more often) rather than get a little annoyed at this state's favorite claim to fame.

And now to the real news around here... Seb has this sudden ability to count to nine! Yes, nine. Until Saturday, the highest we had ever heard him count to was three. And now he can count to ten! There's a genius in there, guys.

Speaking of geniuses... Bruno thinks that when I'm holding him in my lap and texting,  he can't help but do a nose dive for my phone. He's getting very good at that hand-eye coordination. He's also grabbing my hair these days, but I don't care because I'm just relieved my hair is finally long enough to grab!! And his thighs... they're impressive. I love my little meatball genius.

P.S. My friend, LeAnn, made those rings you see Bruno playing with and they are my go-to toy for him. They have the softest, loveliest rattle inside and are perfect for entertaining him at church. Thanks, LeAnn!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Home | Bekah visits and all is well

first things first: lots of crazy antics, and "jump all over bekah!"

Duke Gardens photo-op and Seb lounging on Bekah's luggage

"your finger will be mine." & scary is obviously funny in baby world.

We hadn't seen family since our big trip in August, so we were much overdue for a familiar face. Somehow Bekah always manages to buy a ticket to come see us even when it seems that she won't be able to get the time off work. I can't express how thankful I am that she goes to such great expense to visit us. We lived minutes from her in Hillsdale, and it kills me that it's an 11 hour drive or hundreds of dollars in plane tickets between North Carolina and Michigan. 

She arrived late Thursday night and left early Sunday morning, but it felt like a full visit while she was here. It was fun to have another girl in the house, and another "mom" to play with Seb and hold Bruno. She also has this amazing ability, unlike anyone else I know, to make me feel like something other than a mom. We went to the mall with Bruno and we had fun perusing the Anthropologie, Madewell and J.Crew stores. We even shopped at Sephora for punchy J.Crew model lipstick! I'm pretty sure I'm going to go back sometime this week to buy the one we picked out for me. Bekah's choice is this gorgeous burnt/peachy/brownish/redish (how obvious is it that I have no idea how to describe this lipstick?) that looks both vibrant, but surprisingly subtle, i.e. work appropriate. We also made red velvet brownies and made/bought/ate a selection of about 50 other desserts, and duly counteracted this dessert-fest of a weekend with wraps for our lunches (no, not exercise. sheesh. who do you think we are?).

One thing is certain: when she visits, living in the midwest again never looks so good.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Brothers | Sweats

These guys are so happy because they're looking at Auntie Bekah in the flesh! She arrived late yesterday laden with all kinds of treats and the cutest ever matching-ish outfits. Auntie keeps them stylin'.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Seb | Baby Cumpkin

Seb, Bruno and I went to Trader Joe's yesterday and I let Seb pick out a little pumpkin to take home. Since then, "Baby Cumpkin" and Seb have been inseparable. They're BFFF (that's best friends for fall), for sure. They sleep together, eat next to each other (although BC did narrowly escape actually being eaten like an apple) and watch movies together.

And apparently, Baby Cumpkin even takes the brunt of mama's incessant picture taking!

Oh wait, hang on a sec. There's Seb!

Home | Midnight snack

It's been agreed over here in the Strecker house that someday there will be vanilla yogurt and granola every day.

And here's a photo from this weekend, I think. Bedtime stories. These 3 are going to kill me with cuteness.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Create | Fall 2012 KCWC

I've been wanting to take part in the KCWC (Kid's Clothing Week Challenge) for a while now, but as of yet, have been unable to for one reason or another. Happily, this fact doesn't prevent me from thoroughly enjoying the amazing creations of everyone participating! The Fall 2012 KCWC kicked off today, and I'm soaking up all the amazing creations of those participating. An easy way to keep up is to follow the group Pinterest board. You can also get a recap of the entire pre-KCWC amazingness (including her Day 1 post) here at Elsie Marley. Or, last but not least, you can check out the KCWC Flikr pool.

Both pants (Top & Bottom) and pictures by the seriously inspiring Groovybaby and Mama.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Home | The little peeps I'll be spending my weekend with

Look at these guys! This picture was taken after an all-out tickle attack, which Seb loves. These days I hear him say, "Kickles 'gin? Kickles 'gin?" quite often.

And don't let Bruno fool you... he's not completely bald yet. He's keeping some nice fringe in the back, just to spice things up a bit. I'll really be kind of sad to see it go as it's the last remnant of his newborn hair. 

Goodness, I love seeing all their new things and they way they're growing into the men they're supposed to be, but I also just wish I could freeze time. So much. Seb stumbled out of his room tonight after he'd already gone to bed, and fallen asleep, and said, "Wo-wo?" Which means harmonica, obviously. He wanted to take his wo-wo to bed with him, so it joined him, his blanket, his pacifier, his soccer ball and football, his Boppy pillow, and his snuffles bear named Blueberry. Oh, and a few books, too. We're going to have to get him a bigger bed!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Seb | "Paint!"

Watch out! Seb's got the camera! 

The only art medium Seb loves more than paint (or at least equal to it) is markers, and even washable ones create a little too much chaos and destruction at this point. So paint it is. Right now we're working on learning the order that goes with painting, meaning, "Dip your brush in the water. Okay, now rub it in the color you want... and now put it on the paper!" He likes the results, but when left to his own devices for a while he finds the method of loading his brush with paint, washing the paint off, and then painting with muddy water much more to his liking.

Today he was excited to paint circles, a triangle, and numbers. Soon we will start some fall themed paintings!

showing off his circles before we cut them out / showing me his "teeth" / artsy shot of those dreamy eyes / Mama! Not only is Seb a painter, but he's an aspiring photographer. I was trying to ham it up for him, and apparently with great success! / messy hands / there are those teeth! / more posing with the artwork & the raw quick oats with yogurt on top that he specifically requested for lunch / surveying the artwork during lunch / circles / numbers

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Bruno | We like to hang out

We've been trying the "kangaroo hold" lately, and if the content look on this chubster's face isn't enough to convince you that it's pretty fantastic, then I don't know what will. I mean, sitting around with my feet up to my chin (or in his case, chins) isn't really my thing, but to each his own.

Really, Brunstar, I'm just jealous of your flexibility... do you do yoga?