The Connolly Family

The Adventures of Matt, Shannon, Liam & Paige

Month: June 2011 (page 1 of 2)

Words Of Wisdom

Liam:  “Hey, Mama?”

Shannon:  “Yes, Liam?”

Liam:  “Ahhh, basically we don’t want to get run over by a giant cracker so if you see a giant cracker rolling down the street you should run out of the way.  Giant crackers can be VERY scary.  Okay, Mama?”

Shannon:  “Very wise, Liam.  Very wise, indeed.”

Brother & Sister

Here are a few pictures of the munchkins from the last couple of days.

The Big Green Hat:

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Lying in wait:

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Pouncing:

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This is the look she gives her big brother.  Heart.  Melting.

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Her strength-level terrifies me.

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Begrudgingly #1:

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One:

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Two:

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Three:

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Four:

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Ta!  Da!

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When sisters attack…

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Whoa-oh here she comes…

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Watch out boy, she’ll chew you up!

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Paige expresses her feelings on baby jail:

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Craning for a glimpse of Sesame Street (and having a snack on her way…):

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The tongue-of-concentration-and-devilishness is a big part of her repertoire these days…

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Those eyes…

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We won’t let her have ice cream yet, so sometimes she’s just gotta improvise…

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Daddy love:

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Here’s hoping I get a chance to take more pictures very soon!

Truck Pants

About a week ago I received some “boy fabric” I’d ordered.  I made the mistake of showing it to Liam and he proceeded to list for me a roster of the order in which he wanted pants made out of each fabric.  His first request was for the “fire truck fabric” (which is actually red pickup truck fabric) so I set to work.  I love making things for Paige but it is nice to get a little appreciation in return and Liam loves the mess out of these pants.

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I decided that I would try making my first pockets and I think they turned out fabulously well!

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I had a little panic (after I’d already cut them out, of course…) about making a flat-front and what that would do to the width of the pants (since the last pair fit perfectly, but without much room for error in that department).  I ended up cutting out strips of the truck part of the fabric, patching them together, and then stitching them in a strip down the sides of the legs.  I’m declaring it a ‘happy accident’ because I love the stripe!

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During the course of making these pants I drew blood with several pins and incurred a burn after the iron shot hot water out of the steam spout all over my hand (at which point Matt, who was sitting in the next room, proceeded to immediately order a new iron for me since this isn’t the first time this has happened).  In case giving birth to him wasn’t enough I’ll be able to tell him that I also put blood, sweat, and tears into making clothes for him…literally.

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It was worth it.

Perfectly Paige

Here are a few recent shots of our girl:

She’s very proud of her newfound standing ability:

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You can’t tell how exhausted she is, can you?

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Even better than the pride she feels in her standing ability, she loves how much more easily she can get into things…

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L.O.V.E.L.O.V.E.L.O.V.E.L.O.V.E.L.O.V.E.L.O.V.E.

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And I’ll leave you with this virtual Paige hug:

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Good night, all!

Father’s Day Weekend (Part Two)

We had a jam-packed Father’s Day at The Connolly Ranch.  We started the day at the Gardens, came home to let Matt watch multiple sporting events and have a couple of beers, and followed it up with a feast of gorgonzola & red wine burgers, baked beans, maple-smoked bacon, and tater tots.  Matt and I toasted to having produced two of the world’s best kids with chocolate-dipped shortbread cookies and continued the “dad theme” when Matt had to deal with Liam waking up at 9:45 wailing for water.  Fatherhood is no joke and I’m so glad my children have such a wonderful dad!  Here are some pictures of the day.

We started the morning by giving Matt his “Man Apron” so he can start working to achieve his goal of Connolly Family Grillmaster.  I couldn’t resist getting matching kid versions.  Here they are showing off their stuff.

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L.O.V.E.

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This is where we started losing them…

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“Oh, Paige!  Was that you?”

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“Whatchoo talkin’ ’bout, Liam?”

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Aaaaannnnd, we’re back:

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Soon after we arrived at the Gardens…

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Paige break:

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First attempt at a Father’s Day picture:

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Liam is SO cooperative these days…

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He also REALLY likes to stay very still:

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This is like a rare bird sighting…

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This is the most honest face he could muster in the moment:

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I think that this accurately portrays the situation:

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Second attempt at a Father’s Day picture:

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And that is where we gave up and let Liam run around like the wild animal he has become…

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Then we switched it up and took the opportunity to take a few shots of me and Paige:

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Pollination in action:

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Liam checks it out:

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Copping a (brief) squat:

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One:

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Two:

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Three:

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Four:

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Checking out the venus flytraps:

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Paige break:

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We tried to wear Liam out by getting him to run around the frog pond.  He made it about a quarter of the way around before losing interest and turning around.  Hey?  We tried.

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For the first time we heard the bullfrogs do their thing:

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Water-catching lilypad:

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Sunflowers make me happy.

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Liam has been mesmerized by this fountain for years:

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I had completely forgotten about the fountain in the children’s garden (I have no idea how) but Liam’s memory was refreshed almost instantaneously.  We stripped him down to his shorts and here were the results:

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This might be my favorite shot from the fountain:

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Paige looked jealous of Liam’s good time so we stripped her down to give her a turn.  She wasn’t so sure of the cold water at first…

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She warmed up (literally and figuratively) after a while:

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Liam felt that Paige wasn’t nearly wet enough, so he shared a little water with her:

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Paige is a little jealous of Liam’s water-fueled dance party…

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Photobomb:

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Ahhhhhh.

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Time-out.  (While this was going on, Liam was whining/wailing and two men walked by and asked him if he was okay.  Matt went over to let them know that he was in time-out and their reply was: “we guessed that, he said that he ‘wasn’t being nice.'”)

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Sleepy baby:

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Heading home:

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Back at home, Liam donned his apron once more:

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Laptop time:

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“Hooray for Father’s Day!”

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“We love you, Dad!”

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“Clap (or bury your face in Daddy’s arm) if you love Father’s Day!”

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What a wonderful day for a wonderful Daddy!

Father’s Day Weekend (Part One)

On Saturday we split up to celebrate Father’s Day in Decatur.  Matt and Liam met Pop at Avondale Pizza and Paige and I met up with Gran, Granddaddy, Mo, Pok, Greatmama, and Greatdaddy at Gran and Granddaddy’s house.  I had the camera for the day and here’s what I got.

Finger Game redux:

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“Aha!  I have an idea!”

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Playing with Greatmama:

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Greatmama led the train to the couch:

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Staged photo session #1 begins:

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Paige attempts to take flight…

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…then moves on to her best bucking bronco impression:

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Now this is a little more what we were looking for:

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And here’s another winner:

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I know it’s Father’s Day, but…

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Staged Photo Session #2 begins…

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What a ham.

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I don’t think she minds being the center of attention…

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Here we go:

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As it turns out, staged photos are much easier to take when there isn’t a baby involved…

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…but even adults aren’t foolproof:

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“And I give standing one thumb up!”

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“Hey, Mama!  Check me out!”

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That’s the last of the pictures from the first half of the Father’s Day 2011 festivities.  More to come tomorrow!

Happy Father’s Day!

To the best Daddy two kids could ask for…

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…may the force be with you.

I’m Sew In

Let the pun parade continue!

I have finished a couple more things in the last week.  It turns out if you only watch television while in bed or on the treadmill there’s a lot more time for other things.  Also if you stay up too late, let your 3 year-old run wild, and dream about pattern modifications…but that’s neither here nor there.

First up is a modification of the pillowcase dress from my last post (the one with red gingham and blue star fabric).  Instead of the ribbon at the neck I made a casing for some elastic and added buttons to the shoulders.  I’m really pleased with how it turned out and I think I’ll definitely use this method again.

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Here’re some close-ups of the neck and button on the shoulder:

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Next up was a very simple upcycling project.  I took one of my old t-shirts (which was stained under the arms and had a hole in the seam at the neck), removed the sleeves (and the stains right along with them), and used the shirring technique from my last post to add some sleeves and make the neck small enough.  Because this t-shirt was so well-loved (read: old…I remember buying it when I was working as a babysitter during the summer so it was either 1994, 1995, 0r 1996) it was extremely soft and I think this will make for a fantastic toddler summer nightgown.  As always, it’s far from perfect but I can’t wait to explore the concept even further.

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Last (but certainly not least) comes my debut boy project.  Liam had become increasingly aware of both the amount of time I was spending in the sewing room and the fact that the product of all of that time was focused on Paige.  I asked him if he’d like a pair of sleep pants and he was emphatic in his response, “Oh Yes, Mama!  I would LOVE that!”  He then proceeded to ask me each day if I was going to make his sleep pants.  Last night I took three hours out of the evening while Matt worked and whipped up a pair from this basic tutorial.  I absolutely love the results and Liam has refused to take them off since he put them on this morning (except when I was taking pictures, to which he agreed reluctantly).  I can’t wait to make so many more for my boy!

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New pants dance:

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The possibilities are endless!

Singin’ (& Dancin’) In The Rain

On Sunday afternoon we had a pop-up shower that lasted for all of 20 minutes (and didn’t even wet the concrete underneath the cars or come close to washing away the dirt on the driveway).  Liam and Matt had come outside to eat popsicles on the front porch and I came to join them after I was swarmed by a pack of yellow jackets who had apparently been making their home underneath the bush we’re removing.  But that’s another story for another day…

When the rain started Liam felt compelled to run around in it and I felt compelled to take as many shots of our elusive boy as possible.  Here’s what I got.

“Rain Dance”

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“Ta Da!”

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Frog:

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Sneaky frog:

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Attack of the 50 Foot Dad:

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Aaaaannnnnd, the shoes are off!

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“Look, Mama!  I found a puddle!”

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Splash!

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If this doesn’t bring more rain, nothing will:

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Catching some air:

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Investigation:

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Sweet boy:

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Footprints:

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Grass break:

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Back to the puddle:

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It’s been so long since he was willing to stand still anywhere near my camera, I went a little nuts.

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But I ask you…

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…with a face like this?

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How could I resist?

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A face like this, however…

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And we’re back after that brief goon break:

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I’ve been admiring them for more than three years and I still can’t get over this kid’s lashes:

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L.O.V.E.

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Hanging on Daddy’s every word:

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JUMP!

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It was only for half an hour, but it was so nice to have some time to spend as just the three of us.  With Paige around sometimes it’s easy to forget that Liam’s still a little boy.  He just seems so big by comparison.  Seeing pictures like these helps me to remember.

Sew Much Fun!

Since Liam was born I haven’t been able to really work with clay in the way I would love to do.  So much of working with clay is timing and children have a knack for having their own timing.  As a result I’ve been looking (for three years!) for a creative outlet that would fulfill my need to, well, to create.  I like things that have practical and aesthetic value at the same time.  I needed something that I could do in fits and starts.  I searched and searched and searched.

Then I had a girl.

Finding girl’s clothing that I like (and that’s affordable) was much harder than I thought it would be.  Then my mom asked if I would like a used sewing machine and when I said yes, she gave it to me for Christmas.  It took me a while to get things set up, but when I did it just felt right.

I’ve just gotten started, but I feel creatively alive again for the first time in years.  I started small by working with my mom on some (very) large bibs we made from re-purposed flannel receiving blankets for our messy girl.  I could tell immediately that my juices were flowing again and I was immediately off to the races!

My first big project was a small quilt for my friend Courtney’s baby girl, due very soon.  It’s not perfect by any stretch, but I was pretty pleased with the result:

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Next I moved on to the simplest dress pattern out there: the pillowcase dress.  It certainly isn’t perfect either, but I learned a lot for the next time.  I love the style and I can’t wait to try it out with some modifications and fantastic fabric from my (rapidly growing) stash.  She’s all set for the 4th of July next year!

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Next I moved on to a shirring method that uses elastic thread and has the potential for so many applications that it keeps me up at night!  I started with a tutorial and (as I am wont to do) moved on to my own modifications.  Again, not perfect, but I learned a ton with this as well and I think it’s pretty cute.  I can’t wait to make more very soon!

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I’m so excited to keep going and going and going!  I’ll post more pictures as I finish more projects.  Hooray!

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