Tag Archives: Lilly Bug

My Baby ran her first half-marathon!

My Baby {right} & her friend Lindsay stop for a picture at Mile 3

That’s right. My daughter is a rock star! After running a handful of 5Ks and one 10K, our daughter took on her first half-marathon and not only finished, but did it with a big smile on her face. Seriously… who runs 13.1 miles and still has a smile on her face? That’s right – My Baby!

TCP & the grandbabies bundled up

The Complete Package & I took Jonah Bear and Lilly Bug to the race so they could see Mommy run. Getting them up and dressed at 5:30am was not their idea of fun, but once we were out on the course staking a claim on a great vantage point (& unpacking breakfast snacks), they started to get more excited. It was freezing cold, or at least felt like it, but it was important to us to be there cheering from the sidelines and documenting her first half-marathon experience. It was so worth the cold and wind when the kids saw Mommy running up the street at Mile 3. I have to admit, I got excited, too. Once that first runner and his escort passed, it was a blur of runners for a good solid hour.

Here are a few snaps of the runners we cheered for until My Baby and her friend Lindsay ran past. I was amazed at the diversity of runners.

I don't know this girl, but she gets my vote for "Best Dressed in a Tutu"

This "Beer Run" sign was wildly popular with runners.

Oh, wait…. here they come! Here they come!

Coming into view at Mile 3 - all smiles and pure awesomeness

Hi, girls! We're all so proud of you two! Whoo Whoo!

This is where they stopped to have their picture taken (that first photo above). We were at the bell tower on Cesar Chavez near City Hall. It was a perfect vantage point for the early part of the race, and it was just far enough from the start line that they could shed their outer layer of clothing and leave it with us.

Once they were past us, we gathered up the kids, hit the port-o-potties (TCP has a special place in heaven now for taking 2 toddlers into portable toilets on a race course), took a stroll around downtown Austin, and made our way to the First Street bridge, where we saw the girls cross the river at Mile 8 – still smiling.

Matching hot pink shirts & black headbands made them easy to spot.

I snapped of a few quick shots of them coming across the river at Mile 8 before they spotted our son-in-law and his friend Marcus directly across the street from us. They rode their bikes to the race, and pretty much trailed the girls along the course. It turned out to be a perfect way for them to cheer the girls on, but also mule all the gel packs and energy bars they might need along the route.

My Baby stops for a gel break with her hubs {left} & their friend Marcus

It was right after this point that the kids hit the wall. Jonah Bear was tired and Lilly Bug was frozen like a popsicle. Her little hands were like ice. We agreed to meet the kids later for a post-race lunch and we headed home to give the babies a break and let them thaw out. At lunch, the girls celebrated with giant beers and a platter of carbs. They laughed at the looks they got walking into Pluckers in their full running gear and medals, but who cares? They had an awesome time, and met their goal – to finish together in under 3 hours. Their final time as they crossed the finish line side by side was 2:39:37.

Smile, ladies. You're about to win your 13.1 badge of honor.

I’m no expert, but I think that’s pretty awesome for a first half-marathon, and we couldn’t be more proud. As we celebrated over lunch, we asked our daughter if she would ever shoot for the full marathon. She immediately said, “Oh, no way! I can’t even imagine it!” Then I reminded her that she said the same thing about moving up from a 5K to a 10K, and from a 10K to the half-marathon. Her response? “Good point, Mom!”

So it’s settled. 2013 = 26.2. You might as well dream big.

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Yup. It’s’ Thursday.

And that means Friday is just around the corner. Do you have any big plans for the weekend? Our family will be celebrating a birthday.

Happy birthday, Jonah Bear! You're five and I'm stunned.

Jonah (our grandson, if you’re a new reader) turns 5 next week. I can hardly believe it. I honestly remember the day he was born like it was yesterday. He scared the water out of us. We thought we’d have time to drive to Austin for the big day and be there to hold My Baby’s hand to see her through the birth of her first child. Instead, little Jonah Bear went into distress and an emergency c-section was performed. That drive from Houston to Austin was the longest 3 hours of my life. Don’t worry. The story has a happy ending. He ended up being fine and we got there just about the time our daughter was settled into a room. When we saw Jonah for the first time, he was pink and swollen and wearing a knit cap. He looked like a tiny boxer that lost a really long bout, and we immediately fell in love. Now he’s a healthy, happy, funny boy who absorbs every detail like a sponge. He has a heart as big as Texas and a smile that will melt your heart. He is one of our greatest joys in life (as is his spunky little sister, Lilly Bug).

Hang onto your hats! Lilly Bug is in da' house!

Be A Good Cookie Week benefiting Cookies for Kids Cancer continues! It started with Kirsten at Comfortably Domestic on Sunday night when she announced what our blogging circle of friends was up to via the Cookies for Kids Cancer: Best Bake Sale Cookbook. (Sidebar: For a great take on what we’re up to this week, click here). On Monday, she started the week with a walk on the savory side with Parmesan Cheese Bites laced with cayenne pepper. My mouth still waters just thinking about these little gems. They are on my holiday “to do” list for sure. My Toasted Coconut Shortbreads were up next (on Tuesday). I’m saving these for a cookie exchange playdate next week, and let me tell you – it has been a challenge not to dig into that tub-o-cookies in my fridge. Yesterday, Megan at Wanna Be A Country Cleaver knocked my socks off with German Chocolate Cookies. Coconut, nuts and German chocolate in a warm, gooey cookie? Yes, please! This morning, I awoke to Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies by Kat at Tenaciously Yours. Now THAT is a breakfast, my friend. And because oatmeal is involved, you can bet I would use that excuse to eat them at 7am. Or 8am. Or all day. Her 1-to-1 chocolate to cookie dough ratio rocks.

Still to come this week – Mads at Le Petite Pancake and Allison at Decadent Philistines Save the World. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to see what these ladies are baking. There’s a rumor going around that homemade gingersnaps may be in the works. GAH! Oh, and hey let’s not forget there are two giveaways going on for Be A Good Cookie Week! Click here to enter Kirsten’s giveaway and click here to enter mine. That’s two fabulous baking giveaways so you can bake your own holidays favorites and support Cookies for Kids Cancer at the same time. Better hurry – both giveaways end this weekend. You don’t want to miss your chance to win, or these fabulous recipes.

Parmesan Bites, Coconut Shortbreads, German Chocolate & Oatmeal Chocolate Chip

With all the decorating, shopping, baking and everything else that goes with the holidays, I’ve noticed that I’ve let a few things slide. For example, I really need to strip our beds and wash all the sheets. My pantry shelves are a mess and need to be emptied, cleaned and reorganized. Don’t even get me started on the closet in my sewing room. I’m afraid to even open that door. Most shocking, though, was what crawled out from under my sofa yesterday.

Hello, little dust bunny! If I weren't horrified, I'd think you're kinda cute.

Best thing about wood floors: they’re easy to care for.
Worst thing about wood floors: dust bunnies made of rug fuzz are highly visible.

Okay, kids. That’s all I’ve got. I’m off to strip beds, bake more cookies, and avoid closets at all cost. Hope you’re having a wonderful week, and that your weekend is even better.

PS – Did you hear about the reindeer that got loose on I-45 in Houston yesterday? Evidently, they busted out of their trailer and ran amok on one of the busiest freeways in town. Chaos ensued. Reindeer wranglers were called. No animals were harmed by their shenanigans, and all is well. I wish I’d seen it with my own eyes, though. Just the thought of it sleighs me.

And I’ll leave you with that golden nugget.

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Pineapple Update: A Harvest Tale

Once upon a time there was a young, hip grandma who planted the top off a store-bought pineapple and hoped for the best. For 6 1/2 years, this vibrant funny grandmother babied the pineapple plant. She watered it every third day. She set it in the sun and turned the pot so that all corners of the plant would thrive. When it dropped below 40F outside, she brought the pineapple plant indoors and lovingly wrapped it in a blanket. For six long years, she loved the pineapple plant. And then one day, just as all hope had been lost that the plant would ever produce an actual pineapple fruit, the plant finally bloomed.


Now, you should know that the average pineapple plant takes approximately 2 to 3 years to bloom and fruit. But this one was a late bloomer; a very, very late bloomer. On that day, the incredibly patient, horitculturally gifted grandmother cried a little. Not because she was a borderline wackadoo as her beloved husband hinted, but because her hard work and dedication had finally paid off. Her dream of nurturing a home-grown pineapple to fruition had finally been realized. Love triumphed over despair yet again… and it was a beautiful thing.

As the summer passed, the baby pineapple continued to grow as the caring yet brilliant grandmother was surprised and delighted daily. Together, they talked about the weather and sunlight and water and grandkids. Soon, the two of them became inseparable. The grandmother’s friends would see her and say, “Well, hello! And how is our baby pineapple doing?” And the grandmother would smile with pride and answer fondly, “She’s getting bigger and more beautiful every day” which was true, because the baby pineapple had begun to flower with lovely purple blooms the likes of which the scintillating grandmother had never seen.

As time passed, the baby pineapple matured and grew into the adult pineapple the loving grandmother had always known she would become. Slowly, her purple blooms turned into the traditional pentagon shape patterns of an adult pineapple fruit. Yes, the baby pineapple had blossomed into a lovely young woman, and the illustrious grandmother was very proud. Her hopes and dreams were not only realized but exceeded as the pineapple plant began to produce offshoots that in turn, produced six additional new pineapple plants. At this, the vibrant and charming grandmother was pleased beyond her wildest dreams.


But the wise, all-knowing grandmother understood that the future would eventually bring the inevitable. Some day, the pineapple fruit would mature to the point of harvest, and their more than six-year adventure together would end. This made the tender-hearted grandmother sad, but also hopeful. For the grandmother had a grandson, the gentle yet effervescent Jonah Bear, who – like the grandmother who planted the pineapple top and wished for the best – also had a dream. A dream of homemade pineapple upside-down cake.

And so, the day arrives when their more than six year journey ends

And so, with both sadness and excitement in their hearts, the family gathered this weekend to celebrate the second birthday of their beloved granddaughter Lilly Bug and the life and noble sacrifice of their beloved pineapple plant. Together they gave thanks for the blessings of nature as Jonah Bear (with help from the adults) at long last harvested the fruit from the pineapple plant.


And the family’s sadness was transformed into a joyful celebration of life.

A celebration of dreams come true, of a homemade pineapple upside-down cake, and of a little boy who couldn’t quite harness the excitement of it all.

With the creative and yet humble grandmother at his side, the boy known affectionately as Jonah Bear began his adventure in baking a birthday cake for his baby sister. He sprinkled brown sugar and melted butter into the bottom of his prepared pan. He carefully placed the fresh pineapple rings and pieces. He meticulously and lovingly nestled the maraschino cherries into place.

He waited until he thought the grandmother wasn’t looking and tried to snitch all the cherries back out of the pan without success because the patient but ever vigilant grandmother wasn’t born yesterday. Or the day before that.


And when all was said and done, the boy’s pineapple upside-down cake dream at last became a reality. A beautifully fragrant, homemade reality.

And a tiny princess got a birthday cake made with love by her personal hero.


And this made the grandmother happy. Blissfully happy. The End.

To see more about NanaBread’s pineapple plant adventures, simply type pineapple plant in the search box on the right hand side of this blog. It has been a long road from planting to harvest, but we enjoyed every minute of it. Thanks to everyone who came along on our pineapple adventure!

PS – the top of the pineapple has already been re-planted so it can grow and produce fruit of its own some day. I smell a sequel!

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Pineapple Update: Day….Heck, I forget.

Our first pineapple, along with the sprouts she spawned.


Honestly, I’ve lost track of what week this is in our “sprout to fruit” home-grown pineapple saga. All I know is that it has been a while since I’ve posted an update, and we’ve had significant changes this week. That’s right. Our baby pineapple is about to fully mature. She’s just starting to take on a yellow hue that indicates she’ll be ripening in the next few weeks. We’re so excited!

We called the kids and we’re tentatively planning a get together in mid-September to harvest our first pineapple – just in time for Lilly Bug’s second birthday. If you remember, Jonah called “dibs” on the first pineapple. He has his heart set on a pineapple upside-down cake, and he hasn’t let me forget it. That boy has the memory of an elephant.

So stay tuned, kids. In a few weeks, we may be harvesting and dissecting and baking with the grandbabies. When we do, I promise to snap photos so you can see us celebrating the life and sacrifice of our first ever pineapple. It took us six and a half years to get here, but I have a feeling it’s going to be worth the wait.

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Crafty Recycling: A DIY Toddler Dress

Our beautiful firecracker of a granddaughter turns two next month. Can you believe it? I can’t. She’s changed so much over the past few months. Her language skills have improved. Her dancing skills have improved. Her patience at meal time has not improved, but nobody’s perfect. She’s just the sweetest, funniest, spunkiest little cutie-patootie ever. Yes, I am biased.

One of my favorite hobbies is making stuff for the grandkids. I usually have one project or another going for them, which brings me great joy. This week, I was cleaning out some old clothes when I found an old men’s underwear tank. You know the kind… your grandfather probably wore them under his dress shirts. I threw it into the trash can, even though it was barely used, then pulled it right back out and thought “What a waste. There’s got to be a way to recycle that.” It was so soft, it just begged to be turned into something useful. I chose to covert it into a lightweight summer dress for little Lilly Bug. All it needed was some “taking in” and some embellishment to girly it up a little.

Here’s what I did:
1. I cut the shirt in half, horizontally, about 6″ below the front neckline.
2. I folded the back side of the top over and stitched it down (see below).
3. I pinned the shoulders and cut off 1 1/2″ to shorten, then re-stitched them.
4. I folded the top of the “skirt” down 3/4″ and stitched it to finish the edge.
5. I pinned the top back onto the bottom, with the “skirt” overlapping the top.
6. I stitched the two pieces back together with a zigzag stitch so it would stretch.
7. I pleated the sides to take them in & stitched them along the top of the skirt.
8. I ironed a cute print onto 2-sided fusing and cut out 3 flowers (freehand).
9. I did the same thing with a green print and cut out stems and leaves.
10. I peeled off the fusing paper and ironed the flowers & stems into place.
11. I used a zigzag stitch to stitch/embellish the flowers, stems & leaves.
12. I stitched a red bow to the back, just to jazz it up a little.

The details - front, back and hem. All it takes is a cute print, fusing & buttons. Click anywhere on the photo to enlarge, then hit your back arrow to return.

Cost: Zero dollars
The shirt was recycled, and the fabrics, ribbon and buttons came from my scrap piles. And now Lilly Bug as a super soft, lightweight little dress. Or a nightgown. I’ll let Lilly Bug decide if this is day or evening wear. It’s a girl thing.

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LillyFair & Jonahpalooza: The End

The Complete Package and I just wrapped up two glorious weeks with our grandkids. For the first time, we decided to give them each their own special week at our house. Together, they are a whirlwind of constant motion and commotion. But separately, we are able to focus all of our attention entirely on each of them and give them one-on-one time they don’t normally get.

We started on Sunday, July 17th with our first annual LillyFair. After spending a long weekend in Austin visiting family, I brought Lilly home for a week of Yo Gabba Gabba, dress-up, baths in the kitchen sink and lots of snuggles. After 8 days, we feel like we’ve gotten to know our little Lilly Bug much better. She’s a pistol. She’s funny and lively. She loves music as much as she loves food (and girlfriend LOVES to eat). She has a small collection of favorite words. Her two favorites are Papi and snack, and sometimes she uses them in the same sentence. She’s a sweet little elf.

At 22 months, she plays hard to the very brink of exhaustion and loves to sing, especially in the car. She can’t get enough Yo Gabba Gabba, which she calls Baba, and she has a crush on DJ Lance Rock. When he walks onto the TV screen in that orange jumpsuit carrying his boom box, she giggles and lights up like a firefly. Her favorite part of the show is the silly faces segment.

Every time the kids visit, I make them something. It might be a costume for their dress-up box or sword holders for pirate swords or spy glasses made from paper towel rolls. It’s something I love to do, and the kids love it, too. For Lilly Bug, I recycled some of Jonah Bear’s old t-shirts to create Yo Gabba Gabba character shirts. First, I created Muno’s trademark lumpy orange body using felt and French knots. I love Muno. He’s cool. Lilly loved the color and the textures.

Next, I reworked Plex the robot on a red t-shirt using felt & embroidery thread.

If I’d had another week, I might have crafted a Lilly-sized DJ Lance Rock, but time ran out, so we’ll never know if I could have pulled it off. I’m thinking Papi should rent the costume and surprise her some time. She would lose her mind. As if her Papi isn’t already her hero. Papi would rock as DJ Lance Rock!

Last Sunday, we met My Baby and Bama Boy for lunch to trade Lilly Bug for Jonah Bear. Jonah loves coming to visit, and has since he was a little tyke. Now that he’s 4 1/2, he’s an old pro at coming to visit. He had his little suitcase packed and was ready for adventure.

We kicked off Jonahpalooza with a movie night. We made popcorn, broke out a bag of gummy worms and watched his new favorite movie, Rango. He spent the week playing dress up, watching his favorite cartoons and taking private swim lessons. We had picnics and rode bikes and visited the science museum to see the dinosaurs. Jonah is all boy, and is the total polar opposite of his little sister. While Lilly’s switch is always set to “high-energy”, Jonah is active but also sweet & tender and has his quiet moments. He’s thoughtful and polite and big-hearted. He loves to read and tell stories, and his imagination is astounding. He’s exceptionally smart and very creative. This week, Jonah asked for a new Bolt costume. It’s one of his favorite movies. And of course, I never say “no.” This time, Jonah was big enough to help cut the fabric and sew on the machine. Here’s the result, complete with a carrot dog toy.

Here’s our sweet boy learning to float like an ice cube. Hi, Kaki!

And here’s Jonah at the science museum with the T-Rex. Run, Jonah!

In all, we spent 16 days with our grandbabies. Our house is a mess, our refrigerator is empty, and our energy is completely sapped. But you know what? It was a fabulous 16 days. I know everyone thinks their grandkids are the cutest, the smartest and the greatest. But in our case, it’s true. {wink}

And we already miss them.

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Meet House Guest #2 – Jonah Bear!


I don’t know what you’re doing this week, but we’re smack dab in the middle of Jonahpalooza. That’s right – 8 1/2 glorious days of the Jonah Channel. All Jonah; all the time. Last week was LillyFair. We got our girl time on in a big way. Our little Lilly Bug is a firecracker. At almost two, she kept us on our toes and laughing all week. What a hoot! On Sunday, we met Our Baby and Bama Boy to swap kiddos. I meant to post something then to let you know that Jonahpalooza had officially kicked off, but we’ve been busy around here. Real busy.


We’ve been going to swim lessons. A certain 4 1/2 year-old is learning to swim like a sailfish. Why a sailfish? Because his Papi told him that a sailfish can swim faster than just about any other fish and if there’s anything Jonah is determined to be at this tender age, it’s fast. That’s our friend Kaki with Jonah Bear. This is their second summer together. She’s a good swim teacher; she knows sailfish.

We had a fried chicken picnic at the park and played hide-and-seek with Papi.

We’ve watched Rango “sixty-eleven times” (and it’s playing again as I type this). Jonah Bear likes to watch a movie over and over until he’s memorized the entire script and all the songs. Our boy’s got a mind like a steel trap.


And we’ve ridden bikes (or photographed a certain boy riding bikes) at least once or twice a day since Sunday. Jonah Bear is learning to ride his Mommy’s old bike. It’s still just a tiny bit too big for him, but he’s determined to master it. And since Papi outfitted him to look like Tony Hawk (he’s a ‘safety first’ kind of guy), Jonah Bear has found his courage and is slowly gaining in confidence and speed. He’s enjoying it so much, he sometimes rides to the very brink of exhaustion. Sometimes a boy just needs to stop and take a break.

Yep. Jonahpalooza is on like Donkey Kong, and The Complete Package and I are in for the full ride. I’ll be back to my regular blogging schedule next week, and I’ll share more Lilly photos. Until then, I’m committed to my favorite endeavor – being a Nana. Have a great week and an even better weekend.

And now…. we ride!

Uh… I mean, “We ride!”

Wait… that’s not right either. Let’s try this again. “We ride!”

There… that’s more like it.

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