July 28, 2011

tiny traveler

There are times when I look at Malcolm and wonder how I got to be so incredibly lucky.

What can I say?

The kid is awesome.

Throughout our entire week of vacation (to Conneaut Lake, Pennsylvania), he was an absolute angel.

Really and truly.

Except for a single incident during dinner where he was blatantly misbehaving (and therefore placed in the "Naughty Spot"), he didn't cry or fuss at all ...

He loved exploring his new surroundings and playing in the sand and water (and basically occupied himself from sunup to sundown)...

He was a pro during a day of errands (and shopping) with Gramma ...

He slept like a champ (even in his Pack-n-Play which is looking smaller by the minute) ...

He survived the "hottest day of the year" in style ...

Tee-shirt: Jumping Beans (thrifted for $1.00)
Jean shorts: Garanimals (thrifted for $1.00)
Sandals: Baby Gap (thrifted for $2.00)

He was unusually pleasant during the two-hour drive back home ...

I could go on and on ...

I guess it's highly beneficial that my boy is so easygoing because my husband and I (and my extended family as well) love to travel. In fact, we will be going to Jamaica in the fall, so any successful trips before then are further indication that Malcolm will be an asset (and not a source of stress) to our time in tropical paradise.

I guess, if we give him just enough freedom to do "his thing" we will be rewarded with more wonderful vacation memories.

July 26, 2011

vamp up some gift bags

I have mentioned on multiple occasions that Malcolm absolutely loves Count von Count (AKA "The Count") from Sesame Street ... Any time he so much as catches a glimpse of the purple puppet (and even when he does not) he shouts out a gleeful "Ah! Ah! Ah!"

So, it was a no-brainer that The Count should have a prominent role in Malcolm's Sesame Street themed second birthday party. In addition to being on the home made invitations, I used his likeness to make some plain old paper gift bags a little more exciting ...

All supplies (as usual) were either from my current crafting stash or purchased at my local craft store:

Next, I did a little research ...

Using Google Images, I looked at as many pictures of The Count as I could find (a similar project from this Etsy site was extremely helpful and became my main inspiration). Once I was comfortable with The Count's unique attributes, I created templates using scrap paper then traced and cut out the various facial features (eyes, nose, mouth, teeth, tongue, widow's peak, goatee, and even monocle) that I would need to construct my gift bags:

Lastly, it was a matter of gluing everything together with my trusty glue stick:

And, as quickly as a vampire morphs into a bat (or disintegrates into ash when the sunlight hits him ... I'm not sure which analogy I like better), the gift bags were done!

Now I need to fill them with some Count (and kid!) approved goodies for the big party!

July 25, 2011

longing for the lake

I haven't even been home for a full day and, already, I want to go back!

July 22, 2011

tough as iron, sweet as candy

Tomorrow, I will be celebrating my six year wedding anniversary!

And, in total harmony with the traditional gifts for this milestone (as listed in the title of this post), I am so truly lucky to be married to the toughest, yet sweetest guy I have ever had the pleasure of knowing!

Instead of sounding like a broken record (as is probably the case whenever I talk about my husband and/or our marriage), I wanted to do something a tiny bit different with this post ... So I dug through my (our) extensive stash of relationship memorabilia and found the card I wrote on our wedding day.

Almost exactly six years ago.

Have a peek ...

This is only a small part of it:
My Dearest,

I am so honored that you chose to spend your life with me. I know that I can make you happy and I will do my very best to spend each day doing so. I feel in a way like no other when we are together ... I feel special, and loved, and so many other things.

Many people have asked me if I am nervous about this wedding. I am so proud that I can honestly tell them "no." I have never been more sure that marrying you is so perfect and right. I can't wait for our first kiss, our first introduction as "Mr. and Mrs.," our first dance, and our many other firsts! I know that as long as I have you as my husband I will be content and all will be right in my little world. You are the greatest gift God has given to me and I am thankful every day for my good fortune.

My world would not be the same without you.

I will end this now. I'm sure that my long-windedness is hard to take on a day like today. If you get anything from this, just know that I love you and I always will. Who knows? Maybe one day our kids will look at this and think how corny their Mom and Dad are ... But I wouldn't have it any other way!

I love you! Now I really can't wait to be your bride!

Love Always,

Many of the sentiments (if you ignore all the statements about "firsts") still ring incredibly true today, all these years later. In fact, they sound eerily like something that might show up in our sixth anniversary card.

Just as I was back then, I am still so sure about us as a couple.

While some things are still the same as they were six years ago ... And some things are so very different, we are still standing strong. Through it all our friendship remains our solid foundation and our love only continues to grow and deepen and (dare I say) mature with each day that passes. I am so content and blessed by, not only my husband, but by the little family that we have begun building together.

I couldn't imagine my life any different than it is today ... And, to think, each moment (good and bad) that we have spent along those six years has brought us to this exact place!

I can't wait to see what the next six will bring ...

July 21, 2011

adorably dorky

WARNING: This post contains multiple levels of dorkiness!

I have been waiting (Seriously ... Waiting and waiting!!) for the day I'd be able to compose a post about the shirt in the following outfit. From the second I opened up the gift bag at Christmas and saw it inside, I knew that I'd be blogging about it.

It had to be showcased.

It deserved to be proudly displayed across the internet!

Let me set this up by saying I've never been one of the "cool kids."

One of the "popular" crowd.

For as long as I can remember, I have always been a little bit awkward, off beat, unfashionable, and too smart (and often full of useless knowledge) for my own good ...

That's why it is so easy for me, especially today as an adult, to label myself as a "nerd."

There is no shame in it. I embrace the title.

I'm proud of who I am.

In my mind, being a bit nerdy shows that I care more about intelligence and inner strengths than outward appearance. More about being unique and true to myself (and my own likes and dislikes) than to what others believe to be "the flavor of the month."

It shows that I don't need the best or newest merchandise to find happiness ... The fact that I was able to thrift name brand, practically unused (and unblemished!) shoes excites me more than if I bought the exact same thing at the regular store!

Being a "nerd" is inherent to who I am.

It is part of my identity and, in many ways, I hope that it becomes part of Malcolm's too.

I want him to see that it's okay to be yourself ... To like what you like, and dislike what you don't, and to make no excuses for being uniquely you.

From what I can tell, he's already got the "brainy" end of things down ...

He loves catching Sesame Street every morning and settling in for a good book every now and then ...

Tee shirt: Now & Zen (gift)
Shorts: Circo (thrifted for $1.00)
Canvas shoes: Baby Gap (thrifted for $2.00)

And he looks darn cute with his silk-screened pocket protector, thick-rimmed glasses, and suspenders ...

July 19, 2011

July 15, 2011

the looooong goodbye

My husband and I, although we are very much alike, come from families that tend to do things very differently. That's not to say that one family is "right" and the other "wrong," or anything like that ... We are lucky to have such incredible, supportive, families ... It's that our collective perception of "normal" can be at odds every now and then.

The biggest example that comes to mind is the way our families typically say "good-bye" when it is time to go ...

After any time spent together, my family, quickly dishes out hugs and kisses, and basically pushes us out the door with little fanfare.

My husband's family also gives out hugs and kisses, but the good-bye takes a great deal longer. New conversations begin and end, then we all spill out of the house (and sometimes down the driveway and to the car) together.

All this to say that Malcolm is beginning to take after his Dad (and that side of the family) in respect to his "good-byes" from a given location ... Basically, he has to wave at everything before he can officially leave the area.

For example, after the weekly Munchkin Storytime session was over at our local library, Malcolm, ready to go home, began the routine:

He waved at the letter cards (Each. Individual. Letter.) which organize the picture books in the kid's area ...

He waved at wooden toys and foamy blocks on the floor ...

He waved at the cushioned stools which lined the wall ...

He waved at the librarian (and Storytime leader's) empty desk ...

He waved at a structural column which supports the library's high ceiling ...

He waved at a cardboard cutout, advertising some young adult literature ...

He waved at a colorful construction paper sign encouraging "Summer Reading" ...

He waved at a metal cart stacked high with books and CDs ...

He waved at a table covered in newly-returned DVDs ...

He waved at the Star Wars display case and all the memorabilia inside ...

He waved at a chair next to the exit doors ...

He waved at the exit doors themselves ...

He waved at lots and lots (and lots!) of inanimate objects and, after each one, waited patiently for me to say "Good-bye [insert name of object here]" before moving on.

We may have gotten a few funny looks, but (What can I say?) the kid comes by it honestly!

July 14, 2011

the watering hole

Late last week, we were lucky enough to spend an evening at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo with my husband's side of the family ... But, wouldn't you know?

Malcolm didn't appreciate the chauffeured wagon ride ...

Or any of the animals for that matter ...

Instead, the highlight (for him) was climbing around on a brick drinking fountain ...

Tee-shirt: Sonoma (thrifted for $1.00)
Jean shorts: Garanimals (thrifted for $1.00)
Shoes: Sketchers (thrifted for $0.50)

Just like a crocodile waiting to devour an unsuspecting antelope, the evil little grin says it all.

Maybe he'll actually be interested in the animals next year ...

July 12, 2011

here we go again

And so it begins ...

The crafting of table "centerpieces" has begun.

It's time to start planning a second birthday party.

July 11, 2011


You may have noticed that I've made some recent changes to it's MOMbojumbo ...

With summer in full swing (and lots of time on my hands), I've decided to give this blog some extra attention and much needed updating. Not only will it (hopefully!) make the blog easier to navigate, it will also help motivate me to keep working on it!

As I mentioned in one of my very first posts, I am no stranger to the blog world ... I'm just not very good at keeping a blog going for any length of time! The last one survived just over a year (so this blog hitting the one year mark isn't a record), but it was much more sparsely updated ... And while I am (still!) enjoying coming up with posts from week to week, sometimes a "fresh start" is just what I need to keep the creative juices flowing.

It certainly doesn't hurt!

So, in all of this updating, any regular readers may notice the following changes:
  • The blog has a different look (and bigger photos).
  • There are new tabs toward the top of my blog to help improve functionality! They will help you to find an "about me" section, some of my featured and/or crafty posts, and help you back to the main page if you stray too far off the beaten path.
  • My Tuesday "baby fashion" posts will now be featured on Thursdays instead, because the title "Thursday Threads" just popped into my head (and I thought it had a nice ring to it). So, if you like keeping up with Malcolm's wardrobe from week to week, use the new tab to go directly to those specific posts ... I made the mistake of using it and found myself lost in the nostalgia ...
  • Lastly, and probably most excitingly (if that's even a word), I'm now a part of the BlogHer universe! So, if you're new and found me through BlogHer ... Welcome!
So, again, you may have noticed that it's MOMbojumbo has had a bit of a makeover ...

Please let me know what you think and feel free to leave any suggestions for ways I can make it even better!

July 8, 2011

birth of a hobby

I'm still getting the hang of the SLR camera I got for Christmas ... But the lovely holiday weekend gave me ample opportunity to get my feet wet!

After a little light reading (late into the night) about photography tricks and tips, I found myself venturing onto the manual setting a little more frequently with mixed results. Even so, I do feel like I'm making some slight progress ... And a little "post-production" experiment has piqued my interest in taking more than just straight out of camera (or SOOC for all you photography types) photos.

What started out cute but majorly overexposed ...

Actually turned into something pretty cool ...

(If I do say so myself!)

I'm really liking the almost vintage feel that it has to it ... And it's gotten my creative juices flowing.

Just in time for my month of summer vacation!

Maybe this means that I'll have to spend a little more time loading my photos into our old editing software and then tinkering with contrast and brightness, hue and saturation from now on ...

If only I had a "little more time" to spend!

July 7, 2011

summer at its best

This year's Fourth of July was a busy (but awesome) one!

We started our day bright and early and took in a local parade ...

Circo (thrifted for $0.50)
Shorts: Baby Gap (thrifted for $2.00)
Sandals: Arizona Jean Company (thrifted for $2.00)

Then we headed out to Gramma and Grampa's for (a quick nap and then) some carnival fun at a community festival ...

Where Malcolm survived (and liked!) his very first "Kiddie Ride!"

Beep! Beep!

I would have accompanied him on the mini-roller coaster, but he was about an inch too short ... Maybe next year! (I have to keep reminding myself that he's not even two yet!)

Then it was back to Gramma and Grampa's for some snacks (poolside) and then a leisurely walk to the lake ...

Swim shirt: Old Navy ($2.99 on sale)
Swim shorts: Old Navy ($1.75 on sale)
Water shoes: Unknown brand ($2.00 on sale at Target)

If only every summer day could be so perfect!

July 5, 2011

visual vocabulary

He still may not be saying much, but one thing is certain ...

This boy can sign!



Cracker (as he looks for them on the counter):




Thank you:

Enough with the pictures, Mom!