Friday, April 17, 2009

Vintage Photo Friday—Water Baby

Sara & Dad, circa 1976. Hanging out with Dad in the pool.

With Vivian's curly hair, people always say that she looks like Richard. No one can ever see me in her.

Vivian at the beach, 2008

But I can see me in her.

More of Vintage Photo Friday at Paper Dolls for Boys.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Viv & Robert

Viv &Robert

One of the coolest things about having kids is watching them develop relationships with the people around them.

This photo was taken on Sunday, after Vivian finished looking for Easter eggs in her granny's back yard. She's sitting on the swing with her uncle Robert.

As is completely obvious in this photo, she has him wrapped around her little finger, and thoroughly enjoys it. He doesn't seem to mind, either.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Vintage Photo (Object) Friday—The Mission Book

The majority of my photos are buried in my garage, so this week, I'm doing another Vintage Object post for Vintage Photo Friday. As today is Good Friday, I thought that it was a good time to highlight my great-great-great-grandmother's Catholic Mission Book (published in 1878).

Let me first say that I am not religious at all, but this book has been passed down to the oldest child (more or less) since it belonged to Hannah Cook, who was born in Ireland in 1849.

There is something almost overwhelming about seeing your name as part of this unbroken line. And it's even more powerful seeing my daughter's name as part of that line.

I don't think the book has actively been used as anything other than a family memento since my grandmother Patricia was a girl. The book has several colorful cards with a religious theme.

I think this card was given to my great-grandmother, Jeanette Hutley (sp?) Fahlbusch. (Dad, does that sound right to you?) While the religious nature of the book doesn't hold much significance for me, the fact that this book was passed down from mother to son, father to daughter, and from my dad to me, and from me to my daughter, makes it a treasure.

More of Vintage Photo Friday at Paper Dolls for Boys.

Thursday, April 09, 2009


Too much work to do, and of course, I'm stalling by writing here. Well, not really writing, just posting photos...

I got a haircut! I went to the Aveda Institute in Westwood, and paid only $19 (and a $5 tip that went to charity). And, ok, the cut took almost THREE HOURS, which is patently ridiculous for a simple bob and bangs (even if it did include a wash, dry, style, neck rub and mini-facial), but the student-stylist was super paranoid about cutting it too short. You pay for what you get, either in cash or time, and right now I have more time than I do cash.

The bangs are too long, but it was like pulling teeth to get the stylist (and her instructor) to get them to cut them this short. I guess they think everyone wants bangs that hang in their eyes like an Olsen twin or something. Sorry, I'm not a celebutante—I'm a 33-year-old mom of a toddler who doesn't want to spend all her time sweeping her bangs out of her eyes.

I have been working on my Easter-related crafts. If the weather is nice on Sunday, Viv will wear this little sweater over an adorable navy blue (with white & green daisies) sundress.

And this is what happens when Viv get a hold of the peanut butter jar:

I tried to give Viv crackers with a bit of peanut butter spread on them. She outsmarted me and just licked the peanut butter off, handing the crackers back to me and saying, "More?"

And here is a shot showing many of the things that Viv loves: her pony, her bike helmet, and wearing mommy's shoes.

And here is one of the Easter crafts I've finished: fabric flower brooches for Viv. I have several vintage metal flower brooches that Vivian loves. I wanted to make one for her that was a bit more toddler-safe. But how do you create a safe brooch? Annika came to the rescue with the idea to use diaper pins, which have a locking mechanism, so Vivian can't accidentally poke herself. Hurray! These flowers were made based on this tutorial:

I've finished a couple more Easter crafts for Vivian's basket, but haven't photographed them yet. I'll probably get some photos of them this weekend.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Vintage Photo Friday—Olan Mills

The Manfredi kids, 1984. From left, Robert, JoAnn, Linda & Richard.

I guess 25 years makes a photo vintage, right? I love this photo because it is such a time capsule of suburban life in the early eighties. The glasses so big they look like they might sprout wings and fly away. The Olan Mills bayou plantation background, complete with random wagon wheel prop. JoAnn's Little House on the Prairie-style dress. Linda's girl mullet. Richard's velour polo. Bob's yellow & pink stripes.

I can't make too much fun of this photo because they are my in-laws (and husband, but he was adorably cute, even in the eighties). Plus, there are plenty of bad hair cuts and questionable outfit choices in my past, especially from the eighties. But that's something for another Vintage Photo Friday.

So for now, I can laugh. And hope that, in 25 years, I'm not looking at our current family portraits and wondering, "what was I thinking?"

More of Vintage Photo Friday at Paper Dolls for Boys.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Little Bunny Fou-Fou: Easter memories

This is the first year that Viv will be able to appreciate Easter in all its non-religious glory -- baskets, bonnets, chocolate eggs and, of course, that Bunny. When I was a kid, Easter had a very specific ritual:

7:00 a.m. Wake up and pounce on the basket that the Easter Bunny had left at the foot of my bed.

7:15 a.m. Start bouncing off the walls as the sugar from the various chocolate and marshmallow candies kicks in.

8:00 a.m. Fall asleep on a bed of plastic Easter grass as the sugar high crashes down.

8:30 a.m. Have Mom start taking out the pink foam hair rollers.

9:00 a.m. Put on fluffy Easter dress and take picture with sisters on the lawn (along with whatever our "big" toy from the Easter baskets were that year -- I remember Cabbage Patch dolls figuring significantly in those photos)

9:15 a.m. Drive with the family to my grandmother's country club.

10:00 a.m. Jump up and down on the Easter Bunny's lap (who was actually probably a poor teenager who was conned into this sorry job).

10:30 a.m. Try not to get run over by the older boys during the Easter egg hunt on the country club lawn (those kids were vicious, and probably ended up as second-string linemen for the San Jose Saber Cats)

11:00 a.m. Get in line for the brunch buffet. Skip the poached salmon in gloppy hollandaise and head straight for the dessert bar.

2:00 p.m. Finally leave the country club. Race to take off the tights and uncomfortable shoes.

This year, we're heading up to Kingsburg to celebrate Easter with the extended Manfredi clan. One or another of Richard's aunts and uncles always have big family holiday celebrations, but we never seem to attend because they just never seem to match up with our travel schedule. But this time, we're determined to do it.

I've had these grandiose ideas about all the crafty projects I'm going to do for Vivian for Easter, and then, last night, I realized that Easter is NEXT WEEKEND. Crap.

So here are the projects I want to do. We'll see how many of them actually get done by next Sunday.

Bunny Hat & Paw Mittens
Soft Easter Basket
Recycled Cashmere Bunnies (I have a tattered pink pashmina somewhere that would be perfect for this)
Chibi Rabbit
Fabric Easter Eggs
Wintertime Teddy (with long ears to turn it into a bunny)
Amigurumi Birdies

If I actually get two or three of these done in the next week, I will be thoroughly pleased with myself. I'll probably focus on those that I already have the materials for, i.e., the basket, the cahmere bunnies, the chibi rabbit and maybe the bunny hat. I have actually finished an adorable little crocheted sweater for Viv to wear on Easter, but I haven't uploaded the photos yet.