Grandma Kate and the M&M

When I was growing up, store-bought costumes were unheard of. Mom would spend evenings and free time sewing everything from Minnie Mouse to a very professional looking Nurse costume. Sometimes, she would get stuck, or run out of time. Though we lived 10 hours away, Grandma Kate would always come to the rescue; whipping up the last piece for the perfect costume and popping it in the mail.

The first two years of Murray's life, we didn't go trick-or-treating, instead choosing to stay home and pass out candy to the neigborhood kids. Last year, I gave in and purchased a pretty cute Candy Corn costume. This year, though, I just couldn't bear the thought of him wearing a store-bought costume (after all, it's tradition in my family to wear homemade). I did some research, picked out an idea, purchased my materials, called my Grandma for instruction, took a deep breath, and sat down to begin my project. After approximately 30 seconds of staring at the copious amount of fabric I'd purchased, I picked up the phone and and invited myself to Grandma's house so that she could "help" me.
I should preface this with the fact the my Grandmother is a brilliant seamstress (and multi-talented too). She can create clothing that would make Ralph Lauren weep with envy. I arrived on her doorstep with all of the materials I thought we'd need, but without a pattern. She quickly fashioned one out of newspaper, we pinned it on my fabric, and I (sloppily) cut it out. Then I basted the seams (kind of), and that is where I stopped working and started watching. In no time at all, Grandma had created this:
This is not a great picture, because of the way Murray is standing (it looks like he has wings). In reality, he's dressed in white pants, a white turtleneck (the white hat and gloves will come later). On top of all that, is a perfectly round, red M&M in soft fleece (did I mention she free-handed the "M"?). I hope to get some better pictures on the big day. Here we are heading out the door:
Murray acting the part of photographer:
When all is said and done, I can thread a needle, but the buck stops there. Thank goodness for Grandma Kate; Murray probably would be at home passing out candy to the other kids had she not saved my behind. I guess sewing isn't like riding a bike; it's been too long since seventh-grade home economics class. I better get started on next year's costume. . .

Rename That Blog

I just checked my blog to see if I had any comments to post (sadly, none) when I realized that it's time to change my subtitle. You see, as of mid-June, I officially entered my thirties, which means that I'm no longer a "20-something new mom". But even though I'm not in my twenties anymore, I still consider myself a new mom. After all, every day brings new parenting challenges, and besides, Murray is only our first in what we hope will become a brood.

Any ideas? Throw me a bone. . .I could use some creative assistance.

Dragon Pride

We celebrated Dragon Home Coming last week. I decided that we should enter the office decorating contest.

In case you are wondering, the photo to the left means: The Dragons will Dam the Beavers. I thought it was very clever, but apparently the committee didn't.

Below: Student helper's desk

To the left is the volleyball team, surrounding a photo of our four living presidents. Below is the football team.

Left: From my desk looking out.

Can you belive we didn't win?


Last weekend, Craig had a conference in Duluth, MN. Duluth being one of my top five favorite cities, Murray and I decided to tag along. Following is a synopsis of our "adventure in Dulwoof" (Murray's words)

Day One:
Hop out of bed and hit the pool. Murray was out the door wearing only (yes, only) tennis shoes before I could fully open my eyes. After reigning him in and getting dressed, we swam for a good couple of hours, played in the arcade, and then it was back up to the room to dress for lunch.
We treated ourselves to a delicious lunch and breath-taking view at the JJ Astor, the hotel's roof-top revolving restaurant. After that, it was off for a long nap.

After nap, we had time before Craig was finished with meetings for the day, so we decided to visit the aquarium. Although I've grown up with fresh water fish, there were many exciting species that were new, and besides, every thing about the aquarium thrilled Murray.

Craig met us after our aquarium adventure for a walk on the beach; stopping along the way to watch the bridge rise and let the ships go under. We had a fantastic Italian dinner at down-town Bellisio's. We all fell into bed; all five senses having been stimulated to the max.

Day Two:
Murray and I were exhausted, so we slept in, ate a late breakfast and walked a block south to board the Northshore Scenic Railroad, which took us to the edge of the city and back. One of Murray's greatest loves are trains, so you can only imagine his delight at the prospect of riding on a real train. His eyes were round as saucers, and when the whistle blew, he joined in with a merry "WOO WOO"!

One of the advantages of having a two-year-old is that they still need naps. So after our train excursion, we headed back to our cozy room for a long rest.

Craig finished his convention shortly after we woke, so we met some friends for dinner, and took another walk to watch the ships come and go at night. Beautiful!

Day Three:
Finally, family day. We decided to drive north. I'll let the pictures tell the rest of the story (unfortunately, we forgot the camera in the car when we were at Lutsen).

When it was time to leave on Monday morning, Murray and I both had tears when we drove away from Duluth. At one point, our little traveler even tearfully exclaimed, "I want to go b-back to Duwoof!" Me, too, Murray, me too.


Murray's latest vocabulary:

"Oh man!" (when something is just unbelievable)

"Oh DARN IT!" (if he has made a mess)

"Daddy, light is green, you can go." (pretty obvious)

"Stupid Daddy!" (he said it once and I guarantee, he'll never say it again)

"Don't forget the M&M's, Mama." (very nonchalantly while Craig and I were making a grocery list and we assumed he wasn't paying attention)

"I wanna go back to Duwuth, pwease?" (big crocodile tears rolling down his cheeks while driving away from the big "yake")

"I'm going swimming!" (this, at 7am; Murray walking out the hotel room door wearing only underwear and shoes; Craig and I still in bed)

"Hey, what's that?" (every five seconds)

"Nawa, kenn up!" (asking Nala to stop barking "kennel up" is her command to stop, but it rarely works)

"Mama, sing garage song, pwease? "(he is referring to Bed of Roses by Bon Jovi; yes, I do sing rock, country, classics as well as nursery rhymes, i.e. Winken, Blinken and Nod - I like to mix it up, even though every one I know other than Murray begs me to sing "SoLo")

We hear so many new words, phrases, and confusing sentences from Murray every day that we are amazed at the ability of a soon-to-be three to think, act and speak as we do. Of course, we think he's a genius, but when all is said and done, we know how completely conceited we are.

Here's to celebrating children. What better gift could God bless us with?