Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween 2013: Curious George and the Man (and Woman!) with the Yellow Hats

Hope you all had a fun Halloween! Not unlike the last two years, we had a pretty low-key night. We got dressed up and stopped at my sister's house and then at both sets of Grandparents' houses to show off our costumes and indulge in a couple pieces of candy. Levi was definitely more into the festivities than he has ever been, which was fun. We still haven't done any real trick or treating as of yet, but he was more than happy to see some of his favorite people, act like a monkey, yell "trick or treat!" and ingest more sugar than he ever has in his life. As I write, it's 2 hours past his bedtime and he's still in his crib talking the ears off of his stuffed animals. ;)

This year, I thought I'd dress him up as one of his favorite storybook characters, Curious George. We love reading those books together and Levi often reminds me of a curious little monkey. Brian's costume was easy to decide on, of course he would be the Man with the Yellow Hat.  There aren't any main female characters in the books, so I settled on being The Man with the Yellow Hat's long lost love, The Woman with the Yellow Hat. Totally made up, but kind of cute and fun. 



-The recipe for the George hat is THIS earflap hat pattern + the ears from THIS pattern.

-For George's tail, I chained 10 and double crocheted around until it was the length I wanted (about a foot?) then decreased and closed it off. I just safety pinned it to the back of his pants. 

-Brown clothes, we already owned. 

"The Man with the Yellow Hat"

-I cut out a simple tie with yellow felt and glued on some polka dots with black felt.

- With the rest of the black felt, I cut a band to put around a yellow fabric hat that I found at "Party City".  

- He wore a yellow shirt, khaki pants and his black rubber boots. 

"The Woman with the Yellow Hat"

- I wore clothes I already owned; black skirt and boots, yellow shirt and yellow sunhat. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

these days

these days, I'm... 

- watching a baby bump grow, thankful for the second trimester
- going on oodles of playdates with my very extroverted toddler
- knitting cuddle sacks like a madwoman, welcoming new babies
- taking video of my husband trying to rake leaves, while Levi runs through and ruins all of his piles
- writing 1st quarter art evaluations
- planning Christmas projects
- noticing Levi's love and gift for music and rhythm; listening to him drum -
- supporting my husband during a season of an overload of work and responsibility
- feeling less nauseous
- playing lots of "I Spy"
- packing for an all church retreat
- reading through Galatians and The Jesus Storybook Bible
- studying prayer with the girls
- watching beautiful art being made
- constructing forts and running in hay mazes
- trying to stay warm; layering more clothes and blankets
- looking forward to visiting the grandparents and aunts/uncles on Thursday in our Halloween finest
- enjoying the last days of one of my very favorite months of the year

Monday, October 28, 2013

Monday thanks

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    his love endures forever...

When hard pressed, I cried to the Lord;
he brought me into a spacious place.  
The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid.
Psalm 118:1,5
Thankful, for..

-a good God, spacious places
- for lots of excitement and well-wishes for baby #2
- a fun fundraiser and masquerade ball with church; especially Levi ripping it up on the dance floor.
- football Sunday at the Antonells; not so much the football, but the company :)
- new library books
- a proper date, dinner and ice cream
- Brian and Levi in costume, getting their picture taken by many strangers throughout the streets of Salem
- autumn collages galore by my youngest students 
- early morning devotions with Levi; his love for his Bible and his prayers for his friends and family
- warm blankets
- a crochet student
- a skype date to Fiji, on the calendar
- costume days at school
my beloved's hands to hold
- leaves everywhere, glorious colors
- every day, feeling a little better

Sunday, October 20, 2013


So, I guess it's time to level with you. :) If you hadn't guessed based on my spotty blogging for the past couple of months, we're expected our 2nd child in late April/early May. And yes, I'm officially adding two weeks to my due date, just to keep my sanity after Levi's late arrival! We are so very excited and extra thankful after a very hard 1st trimester.  I was (and kind of still am) ever so much sicker than I was with Levi. Every symptom I knew you could have and then some. It's definitely a crazy mixture of emotions when you're so happy, so sick, so tired and so anxious all at the same time and for so long.
Some of you may remember that I lost 2 babies before Levi late in the first trimester due to a hyperactive thyroid. All of my pregnancies are considered "high risk", so it's always a challenge not to worry. This time I had quite a scare around 10 weeks when I went in to my endocrinologist and she informed me that my levels were dangerously high and warned me that I may lose the baby. Many prayers were said and medication was increased and I seem to be stable again. We're praising God that the baby was able to survive however long it was that my levels were so high. 
All of this to say, it's been a long and joyful few months and I'm happy to report that I'm starting to get back some energy and feeling hopeful about this little baby staying alive and being healthy. Brian and Levi are very excited, of course. And both of them are convinced it's a girl. :) So there you have it. Hopefully I'll be blogging more often in the coming weeks! (cause man, it's hard to blog when you're just sick and tired and keeping a secret!)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Operation Autumn List: A Day on the Kancamangus

On Monday we spent the day up in New Hampshire, in hopes of catching some peak season beauty in the White Mountains.  We began with lunch and a craft fair in Lincoln and then we took our sweet time driving along the Kancamangus Highway, a beautiful road that cuts across the pristine White Mountain National Forest. Throughout the afternoon we stopped at many gorgeous overlooks, played on the shores of the rocky Saco river and took a short forest hike to a waterfall. It was definitely one of those days that felt longer than it was (in a good way!) and one you just want to bottle up and remember forever. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Operation Autumn List: A Day at the Topsfield Fair

Yesterday we spent the afternoon at the Topsfield Fair; it's the oldest fair in the country and one of my very favorite fall activities. Brian is never terribly excited about going, but every year I drag him and every year he ends up wondering what on earth he was thinking (ok, maybe that's going too far, but he always enjoys it!) Now that we have a curious and excitable toddler in tow, it's even more fun.  Levi was beyond excited and couldn't stop asking questions and making amazed faces at all of the animals, gigantic pumpkins, carnival rides and games, and of course the crazy people lighting themselves on fire and diving into a 10 foot pool from 30 feet (!!). Oh yes, it happened. We also indulged in our fair share of fair food- a turkey dinner, a loaded baked potato and my personal favorite, maple cotton candy. We met up with some church friends and even ran into my parents, helping out with the Gideon's booth. Levi spent some time handing out pocket Bibles with his Grampy and "helping" Grammy with the coffee. 

We've been doing our best to make the most of these beautiful October days and this weekend we're checking tons of things off of our Autumn List. Today we'll spend the day up north enjoying the foliage on the beautiful Kancamangus Highway. Oh, delicious autumn!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

buddy reunion

These boys have been buddies since Levi was just a few weeks old. They hung out together a couple days a week for 2 years while their mamas took turns teaching classes. This year, Evan is in pre-school, so they don't get to hang out nearly as often. A couple times last week, Levi looked longingly out the window and said "Wheeeeere's my Evan?". So, Evan's mom and I decided to make things right and get together for a nice long playdate at a fancy new playground. They were so excited to see each other and followed each other around happily all morning. Buddies are the best.     

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

schooner sail

My birthday present from my sister Katie was tickets for a schooner sail for us and our men. On Saturday morning we boarded the Thomas E. Lannon out of Gloucester and went out for a relaxing sail around the harbor. It was beautifully foggy, calm and temperate, a perfect day to be out on the water. It's not every day we get to sail OR all hang out without a little boy (us) or a puppy (them), so it was a real treat all around! 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Art Room Diaries: first projects

I finally had time to post my students first projects on our online art gallery (yes, I'm afraid that blog has been just as neglected as this one!). We're off to a great start; illuminated manuscripts, Miro action figures, pointillist paintings, identity boxes and bas-reliefs inspired by Donatello. Now we're on a roll- so much more to come!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

of late

Beginning of the school year craziness is calming and I think we're all getting into a nice rhythm. I had a doozy of a cold for over a week, but I'm slowly mending. I'm enjoying the the wonderful things about having a two year old (talking! jokes! energy! playdates! imagination! affection!) and learning day by day how to be patient and give grace to that same rambunctious toddler who is just learning how to cope with his little world (its utter joys and its perceived travesties! Toddlers are a little bit bi-polar!). 
It's October, a busy month in our dear Salem-town and many locals hem and haw at all the tourists and the Halloween madness.  The Jameses, however, choose to embrace the season and milk it for all it's worth. I mean, this month we'll have at least 2 fried dough stands within walking distance! How could you complain about THAT? And the city just turns into a constant carnival with all sorts of seasonal fun. In what other city is it totally normal to walk around in costume? Now, if I could just learn how to dodge those zombies and people with fake knifes sticking out of their heads....gross.