Monthly Wrap-Up: May

Wow.  Is it really the last day of May already?  I can't believe how fast this month went by.  I don't know if blogging every day (almost) had anything to do with how fast time passed, but I'm really glad I decided to take the challenge.  Considering I went out of town twice (and am heading for my Mom's house as soon as I finish this post) and I only missed 4 posts, I'd say this month of blogging was extremely successful.  I really liked posting frequently and I hope to continue writing this much.

So what did I end up writing about all month?  We saw some blue trees and discovered a cave under our driveway.  Our house passed the final inspection, we had an Ikea mishap (that we still haven't fixed), and I was a winner!  Jack turned seven months old, and tried honeydew melon and banana for the first time.  We went out of town for Memorial Day weekend and served 400 people spaghetti dinner.  I discovered an awesome new phone app, showed some book love, and thanked the Academy.  I debated the merits of long hair versus short hair, and hosted my very first link-up.

Whew!  What a busy month!  What am I planning for June?  To keep writing (regularly), host another link-up (take those photos, you know you want to!), get the house ready for a housewarming party, and continue to make new blogging connections/ grow the connections I have.  And so much more!  How was your May?  What are your plans for June?

Spaghetti Dinner

Yesterday I talked about what a great time Dennis, Jack, and I had over Memorial Day weekend at Scarborough Faire, but I left out one of the most important parts of the weekend, our annual Spaghetti Dinner.  I figured it deserved a post of it's own since it's such a big deal for everyone at faire.

About twenty years ago, my husband and his friends started Spaghetti Dinner.  Renaissance festivals are usually only open on Saturday and Sunday, but Scarby is open on Memorial Day Monday as well, making for a very long weekend.  One extra day doesn't sound bad, but when you're in costume, in character, in 90-100 degree heat, an extra day makes a huge difference.  So our friends decided to cook spaghetti for a few friends on the Sunday night of Memorial weekend.  Those few friends turned into a lot of friends and acquaintances, and that quickly turned into us cooking and serving almost 400 people Spaghetti Dinner every Sunday of Memorial weekend.  We feed anyone and everyone who works at the festival salad, spaghetti, and garlic bread for free every year.  It's a huge event that everyone looks forward to every year, and we wouldn't miss it for anything.

Troy adds the "secret" ingredient


the cooks eat first

salad wagon - this is actually how we served the salad at our wedding

the sauce arrives

waiting for the spaghetti to arrive

the spaghetti arrives


Scarborough Faire - Memorial Weekend

I was totally MIA from blogging this past weekend because Dennis, Jack, and I went out of town for a mini-vacation.  I brought my laptop intending to blog every day, but getting back to our hotel room at midnight every night made writing impossible.  Plus, I didn't want to advertise to my little corner of the interweb that we weren't at home - safety first!

Anyway, we spent the weekend at Scarborough Faire, a renaissance festival just south of Dallas.  Scarborough, or Scarby as we affectionately call it, is actually the very first renaissance festival I ever went to, back in 1999, and it was love at first sight.  It's where Dennis and I met and fell in love (our "anniversary" is Memorial weekend - but that's another story for another time), and is now the first renaissance festival Jack has ever been to.  To say Scarby has a special place in my heart is an understatement.  Dennis and I usually work at Scarby, so it was nice to get a chance to just visit for a change.  We had plenty of time to hang out with our friends and walk around and see the faire.  And Jack had the best time!  He's such a good traveler!

Jack offered to help drive

but the weather was really bad

Things cleared up for the rest of the weekend, though.  So some of our friends dressed up like the characters in Shrek.

yeah, there's nothing weird about that Donkey costume

Jack was fascinated with the Danatee's green goatee

Troy, Bug, and Kevin hard at work
Rabid babies should be properly contained

faire food, war pig, and battle bunny

this was the Queen's last season as queen

she bestowed Jack with the pinwheel he was getting handsy for

Jack's very first Safer Sword
Memorial Day parade

I got "mud blessed" during parade
I promise I'm not naked; my dress was strapless!


Winner, Winner, Chicken (Tiki) Dinner

I took Memorial Day weekend off to go out of town with Dennis and Jack.  I was planning on blogging while away, and even took my laptop (scheduling posts takes way more forethought than I have), and I quite obviously did not blog all weekend.  Oops!  I should've known I wouldn't get any blogging done--I was on mini-vacation!  But that's okay, because when I got home, I found out I won an awesome set of two tiki mugs from Cupcake Rehab!  Entering this give-away is how I found out about Sourpuss Clothing and all their cool baby clothes, but I should note, had absolutely nothing to do with me winning.

see, totally random
I'm super excited to have won.  These mugs are going to look great in the (in progress) tiki themed dining room.  I'll post pictures of the mugs as soon as they arrive.  I'll also post about our weekend shenanigans soon (maybe even later tonight!); we had an amazing weekend full of fun stuff, so I have plenty to write about.  How was your Memorial Day weekend?  Have you won anything cool (lately)?

NKOTB - The Package Tour

I'm so excited!!  In a little over a month, the New Kids on the Block will be coming to Houston, and I have tickets!!!  This will be the 5th time I've seen them live, and I'm just as excited as the first time.  They have always been and will always be one of my favorite bands, and on this tour it's not just NKOTB.  Boyz II Men and 98 Degrees are also in the lineup.  This is going to be quite a show!  I didn't get to see them the last time they were in town (with Backstreet Boys), so there were no hugs to be had, and I'm not sure if I'll have the money to get VIP backstage meet and greet passes, but at least I'll be seeing them again!  I'm going with my friend, Consuela, and hopefully I can convince her to go on the NKOTB cruise next year.  I'll now be counting down the days until June 27th.

Enjoy their new single, Remix (I Like The).  It's a great way to get your Memorial weekend started!  And it's a super cute video--I love the leading lady!


A few days have gone by since we gave Jack his first solid food, and we have now moved on to bananas!  Jack was immediately curious about the banana and took it from me as soon as I offered it to him.  I don't think he found it very interesting, though, at least at first.  I had my camera ready, and I think me snapping pictures was too distracting for him.  I broke a piece of banana off for me to eat and gave him his own piece to explore.  Part of baby led weaning (BLW) is sharing food with your baby and eating at the same time.  I think this is going to be the most difficult part of the process because our schedules are so different; Dennis and I are rarely up at the same time for breakfast, are never together for lunch, and don't seem to be able to eat dinner before 10 pm these days.  I guess it's a learning curve for all three of us.  Anyway, Jack wasn't terribly interested in the banana after I finished eating my piece.  The camera was distracting him, and I don't think he liked that the banana went straight from the fridge to his hands.  Another aspect of BLW is not forcing food on the baby.  So as soon as Jack seemed uninterested, I put the banana in a zip-lock for later.

banana schmanana
gimme the camera

Later in the day, I decided to offer him the banana again, and this time it was a HIT!  I was making myself lunch, and didn't break out the camera until he was good and interested in the banana.  I think having it at room temperature and a bit squishier made things more interesting for Jack.  I sat back and just enjoyed watching him squish the banana in his hands, and like all things lately, try to chew on his hands/banana/anything within reach.  He also seemed to like the flavor of banana a little more than the honeydew, but that also may have had to do with temperature (the honeydew was also right out of the fridge) than with flavor.  I did have to help him a couple of times.  The banana was slippery and he kept loosing hold of it and it would fall into the seat of the highchair where he couldn't quite find it.  I would only hand it back to him or help him steady it; I never actually put the banana in his mouth.  One of the points of BLW is letting the baby feed themselves, and if I had tried to get the banana in Jack's mouth that would've defeated the purpose of letting Jack explore the food on his own.

hmmmm, what's this?

nom nom nom

and it feels good on my belly

really, Mom, I have no idea how this happened

So far I think we are on track with BLW.  Jack shows an interest in food and likes to examine whatever we give to him.  He picks it up, looks at it, pus it in his mouth, squishes it, looks at it some more, drops it, wants it back, squishes it again, looks at it, puts it back in his mouth, and rubs it on his belly.  Pretty typical of the early stages of BLW.  I wonder what to give him next.

Seven Month Out-Takes

I can't believe it, but another month has gone by and I'm now the mother of a seven month old.  Where has the time gone???  I'm still taking Jack's monthly picture (with Pigger and Butt-Naked), and today was, without a doubt, the most fun photo shoot we've had yet.  Jack really wanted to get his hands on the camera.  The only problem--everything he gets his hands on goes straight into his mouth.  Here are some of today's out-takes:

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