March 11, 2011

Cousins, Cousins...(Part 1 of 2)

oh, how we love them!  We got to spend some time with both sets of cousins the last couple weeks before Oliver was born...sweet, much needed, quality time.

First, the kids and I traveled down to Austin for a quick 32 hour trip.  The mission?  Sew some t-shirt hoodies for Asher before this baby's arrival while spending some craft time with my sis.  You see, I bought this pattern from Lil Blue Boo over a year ago, and I knew that if I didn't get to these soon, it wouldn't be until next year that I finally got around to making Asher some hoodies made out of our old t-shirts.  I knew my sis would make me get them done.  She is pretty much a professional seamstress and works very quickly!  She made me cut out all my pattern pieces before I came down.  I got 3 hoodies done that first day during naptime and bedtime combined.  It also helped that she has a serger. (And, I actually used it this time...which was a total victory for me!  In the past, I've been too intimidated by the contraption, that I'd just pass off the pieces that needed to be serged to her and sew anything else on my machine.)

Here is my little model in his new hoodies:

He is so proud of this one revealing his new age...I think it's the frontrunner.

And, originally, I thought this was going to be his favorite b/c he was excited about the hawk's face on the front.

But, now I think the double swords on the front might have sealed the deal for his second pick.

We sewed during naptime and bedtime...but all between we soaked up our family.  Some of the highlights?   We played tons of outdoor games and even some board/card games: Reid and I taught Asher how to play kickball. And all the kids (but Nash) played Duck, Duck Goose and Crack the Egg on the trampoline, Red Light, Green Light and Simon Says.  This brought back many sweet memories of playing these with my sisters in our yard at the Green Acres Woods house.

With the current TMNT craze going around the cousins, Kyle knew she had to stop when she saw this on the side of an ice cream truck in her neighborhood:

Unfortunately, this was the only ice cream they were out of, but she came back with a bunch of other goodies and the kids were more than satisfied.

Don't you just love "Mario"?

The next day we toured the beautiful, new fire station that is directly across the street from their house.

We also whipped out a hoodie dress for McKlayne that I have yet to put a front pocket on.  I was going to appliqué some hearts on a single pocket on it for Valentine's Day...but then I had a baby.

We used the above hoodie pattern for the top and my sister hand drew a pattern for the skirt portion of the dress. See...I told you, professional!  My brain does not work that way.

The thing I love about this  dress?  I left it sleeveless so she can wear it all year round, with longsleeves and leggings when the weather is cold or alone in the summer.  I think it'd make a great cover-up for the pool.  My sis had the brilliant idea of suggesting that we make some of these out of terrycloth for true cover-ups.  Maybe we'll get to that some day?

Then we had to take some pictures with "Lucy" (Bitty Baby is 20 years old...she used to be my doll.) McKlayne received her for Christmas this year and named her Lucy.  She is now her favorite doll, which, of course, makes my heart swell with pride.

Aren't those such squishy, kissable cheeks?


The next week Ave and her three girls made the trip up to visit us.  Asher had asked the week before if we could take his cousins to one of his favorite local venues, Blue Baker, all painted up, of course.  

Depending on how blue you are, you can earn quite the spread of free food.  (We may or may not be guilty of painting our kids up about once a month-during the warmer months-and allowing them to earn us a free dinner.)  Charlie and all the kids got painted up and Ave, Ash (speaking of cousins...Char's sis made a quick trip to Texas...with a new baby girl cousin in utero...a first cousin for the Apel side!) and I painted our cheeks for free cookies.  Four adults and four children ate just under $50 in food, drink (and cookies) for $9.  See why we love this place?

The kids had a blast getting painted up to go eat at their favorite place...even in 24 degree weather.  Charlie won the Best Parent award that night as he raced around the fountain with four littles as they ran out their crazies for about 20 minutes.  Or does that make us the worst parents that we allowed our children to run around in that kind of weather?  Either way, they enjoyed it and so did we as they burned off some excitement.  (Kids, your Daddy really is the best.)

(McKlayne was cracking us up about how seriously she was taking her blue one else even wanted it, but she was super pleased with it and wore it ALL NIGHT LONG.)

The next evening we had a little Valentine's Making Party.  We made mini heart-shaped pizza's and the kids were thrilled to get to top their own:

Homemade Pizza Crust
2 pkg. rapid rise yeast (5 tsp.)
2/3 c. warm water
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
4 c. flour (I use half white and half whole wheat.)
1 tbsp. sugar
3 tbsp. olive oil
2/3 c. warm water
-Preheat oven to 350°F.
-In a small bowl, mix first 3 ingredients. Let stand for 5 minutes until foamy.
-In a large bowl, combine salt, flour (no need to use the full quantity - use enough flour to make a stiff dough), sugar oil, and the second 2/3 cup of warm water.
-Mix together yeast and flour mixture and knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic.
-Place dough into an oiled bowl and turn once to coat with oil. Cover and let rise until doubled in size (about 45 minutes to 1 hour).
-Press dough out with your fingertips (or have your husband, who worked at Papa John's in college roll out) into a circle.
Spread with your favorite toppings.  
Bake at 350°F-400°F for 15-20 minutes or until edges are golden and lightly browned in spots and cheese is melted and bubbly.  (Makes 2 large pizzas.)

Uncle Jordan came over, too, and was eager to help make some heart shaped pretzels for the party.  (He's a hands-on kinda guy, ladies.) We used the Pioneer Woman recommended recipe, but, honestly, I wasn't too impressed with how they tasted for all the work that they were.  Maybe we did something wrong?  I will try another recipe if I attempt these again.  

I gave Jordan the job of twisting them up, which, surprisingly, he was really good at! Did you know that was a gift?  

He is, indeed, a self-proclaimed pretzel expert, since this has been his snack of choice for the last 24 1/2 years.

The kids (with parental assistance) made these Valentine's for the Grandparents.  I bought all the supplies (other than the cupcake  liners and paper) in the Target $1 Hot Spot.  They enjoyed gluing and having creative reign over the placement of stickers.   

Here's the finished product:

Cousins, Cousins (Part 2 of 2) to be continued...tons of pics/video from our second annual snowday!!


Jordan said...

24...and a half. really? i think we coulda done without the half! ;-)

Angela said...

Love Charlie's blue face! What a great daddy!

The Lourceys said...

I love those t-shirt hoodies! I know I don't know you personally so this might sound funny but Asher looks like such a big boy in them!

Kyle said...

The length of your post is inversely proportional to the length of my comments...

1. You have grossly misrepresented my sewing skillz. But thanks for makin me look good!

2.He looks SO old! Ugh!

3. (sigh) Getting my hands on some TMNT pops would SO have secured my place as favorite aunt ever. Or at least for a couple years.

(pumping fist in air, said in Shredder voice) I'll get you next time, Turtles! Next time!!

4. Why is Reid dressed up as Mario in January/February??

5. I love Asher and Stella in the first ice cream pic. Could their mouths open any wider? And McKlayne. Really. Could she be any cuter?

6. So glad you got pics at the fire station.

7. Like I said before... Really. Those cheeks.

8. Yup, she did. She gets cuter when blue. I love her wrestler-like mask.

9. Brynn's seriousness cracks me up.

10. I like how you showcase Jordan's talent(s) for the "ladies". Ha!

Love you and your sweet ones!

The Currie Family said...

Great pictures.

Sweet Cousins.

Talented sisters!

Pretzel Pro Brother.

LOVE Mario.

CASSIE said...

They are so cute. You are like super mom, 9 months pregnant and sewing, going to the fire station, and painting your children blue...WOW!! Looks like you and your sisters had fun. I need to learn to sew like you, I am only an amateur. And for the newest family member little Oliver, what a beautiful baby. I can't wait to meet him!! We need to get together soon, so come see your family and then we can meet up.

Suz said...

Hi Kirby, I found your blog through my sister who is a friend of Cate's. We are going to Great Wolf Lodge with my two little girls in two weeks and loved your detailed post. So helpful! I have one quick question: did you have wet shoes for your kids or did they go barefoot in the water park? Also I am pregnant with our third and wanting to go naturally after the previous two with epidurals so I am excited to read more about your latest birth story. Thanks! Suzanne Lair

Spelled with an H said...

I cant help but stalk your blog and see what your gorgeous family is up to, and couldnt help but notice that awesome hoodie of the "Beak 'em Hawks" shirt that I think I sent you way back in the day! Its adorable! Hope all is well with the Apels!