Monday, August 30, 2010

Bee Bonnet

Check out little Edie's newest bonnet. I fell in love with the honeycomb fabric awhile ago, and I finally had a reason to buy it. With (our annual friend adventure) UsFest this weekend and fall around the corner, I thought it was about time to make a new bonnet. So, introducing the bee bonnet!






Next, I hope to make this cute little jumper for myself. I found some grey and white corduroy at a garage sale this summer, and I think it will make the most adorable dress for fall.


Monday, August 23, 2010

Tourists in a Familiar City

Along with the Engelhard Family (or part of it... Kim, Zach and Chelsey), the little TrygKerz family took a fun trip to the twin cities. We go to Mpls./St.Paul fairly often (well, not so often after the birth of Edie) but usually head right to St. Paul to visit our friends. This time, we took a different approach and did all the touristy things we never do.

We drove down Thursday and spent the day at Valley Fair. It was Kris' first time riding a roller coster. At first, I think he was a bit afraid (okay, really afraid). But, after the first ride on the Wild Thing, he was hooked. Valley Fair might become an annual tradition now. Unfortunately, their selection of rides for a 1-year-old isn't so awesome. We did ride the carousel and we have pictures (and video) that we will post very soon (in otherwords, they are stuck on our other camera).

On Thursday evening, we headed to Hastings to visit with the Richardson family. Chad is fellow wedding photojournalist/MSUM Advocate Almuni/Winter Thaw Participant and editor of the Hastings Star-Gazzette. We hung out, took some pictures (will post on the photo blog this week) and ate some amazing Puerto Rican Food (thank you Lisa!). Here are a few photos from Hastings:


(Photo by Chad)

(Photo also by Chad)


(Chad and Lisa's adorable and hilarious son Gabe)

Friday morning and afternoon was spent at the Mall of America where Chelsey found all sorts of fun stores and I finally bought something nice for myself. Kris, Kim, Chelsey and Zach went to a Twins game at Target Field on Friday night while Edie and I chilled in the hotel and took a fun trip to IKEA (of course!).

The whole purpose of the trip was to take some graduate photos of my niece Chelsey. I've been photographing Chelsey for a very, very, long time. She is so extremely photogenic, so, naturally, she is one of my favorite subjects. I decided we needed something new and different for her pictures, so we decided to take a trip to the twin cities to take her pictures. After numerous recommendations to visit the St. Anthony Main neighborhood, I knew it was the place to go. Too bad the GPS doesn't know where it is. We ended up at the Old Mill Ruins (also awesome) and eventually found our way to where we wanted to go.

Here is a pic from the St. Anthony Area of Chelsey:


And a few more of Edie, Kris and Zachary...







All in all, it was a super awesome trip.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Review of the New Cat Litter by Onslow

From time to time at the Trygkerz blog, we turn our attention to our feline companions to allow them their say. They are the Kitten/Cat Caucus, a loose, disorganized collective of exactly two: Onslow and Pauline. Onslow took some time out from his busy schedule of batting at mosquitoes and mrowling by the back door to file this review of the new cat litter we began using this past weekend.

Hello, friends, and welcome to my first missive for Trygkerz Chronicles. I write to you in a time of great excitement and apprehension among myself and the other cat in the household, whatshername. You see, the humans purchased and began using a new brand of cat litter. This is was an earth-shattering moment, and I simply had to share my reactions with you, dear reader.

At first blush, the litter was noticeably different. Its floral scent and granular structure smaller than that of Arm & Hammer Multi-Cat litter told me that this may not be the ride for me. But as I took my first step into the box, I realized that my paws were caressed in a way I had never felt from the litter box. This was litter of love, not of antagonism.

My first usage, a tinkle, offered a run-of-the-mill experience. Clumping action was satisfactory although only a few grains stuck to my fur. Ah, but my second usage, a log, revealed the true character of this litter. Its floral scent complemented the smell rather than beat it over the head. I felt a palpable sense of joy as I recklessly flung more litter over the top of the log with my hind legs.

In sum, I applaud the humans' superior judgment in their selection of a new litter. I can think of no better substance to accept my outstanding waste.

The Breakdown:
  • Granular structure - B+
  • Clumping ability - C+
  • Scent - A+
  • Overall - A-

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Frock by Friday: Wednesday, Saturday and Done!

As promised, I finished my Frock by Friday™: The Anda Frock and I'm blogging about it for you today. It's been a super busy week around here, so, unfortunately, I didn't finish until Saturday morning. Oh, and I did sew on Thursday but forgot to take a picture (it was the mid section the dress). Anywho, without further ado, Wednesday and Saturday's pictures:



I'm some what pleased with the results, though there are few things I would change. First, I would make sure to shorten the pattern instead of figuring how to shorten the hem after the dress is sewn. It was a big struggle Saturday morning when I had to figure out how to take 7 whole inches off the bottom of the dress. Also, I wasn't crazy about my fabric choice in the end... I think next time I attempt this dress it will be with some nice, comfy jersey (t-shirt fabric). I also would make a few tweaks to the top of the dress.

All in all, I think it's pretty cool that I made a dress. The pattern was super easy and there is no doubt I could make the next one super, duper quickly (and a lot better). I can't wait until the fall when I can where this dress some orange tights and cardigan.


Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Kitten/Cat Caucus on Edie's First Year

We last sat down with the Kitten/Cat Caucus over a year ago when we first broke the news of our baby to our cats, Onslow and Pauline. It's been a roller coaster ride since then for the Kitten/Cats, a roller coaster of peeing on stuff and sleeping.

I caught up with the Kitten/Cat Caucus for a frank discussion between naps.

Kris: Hey guys. How have you been?

Onslow: Well, to tell you the truth, things are going pretty well. I like that little human of yours. What's her human name? Ee-dee? Ha! Your language is something else. I call her (emits ugly meow) which, in your language means something like "one who smells of milk, drops green food and grabs fur on occasion." She makes life around here dynamic and exciting, which is fitting for a cat like me. Yes, things are going quite well for old Onslow here.

Pauline: (Under her breath) Well sure, when you get all the good window seats whenever you stinkin' please.

O: What was that?

P: Everything's great!

K: Edie's a year old now. I know there was a big period of adjustment when she started to crawl and chase you around, but how have things gone since then?

P: I go away. Far, far away. As far as I can get.

O: That kitten human is such a little rascal. You know, she reminds me of myself at that age, precocious and ready for mischief. Ha! I was quite the rambunctious kitten!

P: (Mocking Onslow under her breath) I was quite the rambunctious kitten, blah blah blah.

O: What was that?

P: I said 'ha ha ha!'

O: Like me, Edie seems ready to grab the world by its horns and really let herself shine. She's capable of anything, you know, just like me. If she had sharp claws, excellent hunting and fighting skills, striking fur, and a roar that makes the house shake, why, we'd be the same cat!

P: (Mocking Onslow under breath) We'd be the same cat, blah blah blah.

O: Hey, you know what! Shut up. Shut up!

P: I. Am. So. Sick of you. Pushing me around! My fur is clumping because of you!

O: No, your fur is clumping because you spend all your time talking to Ceiling Cat instead of grooming! You see this fur? Do you see this fur? That doesn't come from just laying around for 22 hours a day. That comes from laying around 21 1/2 hours a day and spending a half and hour giving a crap about my appearance. And, not for nothing, but did you eat the last of the food last night?

P: No. Uh. The humans did it?

K: Don't drag me into this.

O: You're lying. (Turning to me.) Do you see this? Do you see how she treats me? Speaking of, do you have any treats?

P: Oooh! Treats!

K: Uh, sure. Treats. Here you go. (Hands them treats.)

P: Wow, look at this. We are just burning through 3rd afternoon nap time.

O: Yeah. Human, go over there so I can sit here. Scootch over. I want to do some Cat Tai Chi'h and really stretch out.

K: Ok then. Good talk, guys.

Both snoring. Yes, they snore.

Friday, August 6, 2010

A Year of Parenthood

So, it was Edie's birthday yesterday. I wish her the happiest of birthdays, and I don't say that in any sense of obligatory parental duty. I say that because Edie is a wonderful person, full of joy and fascination, with a hearty laugh and a love of nature. I just like her. She's fun to be around (when she's not crabby).

Edie's birthday also means we've spent a year as parents. In that time we've learned a lot, not just about being parents but about being people. So much more of the world makes sense after you've been a parent, and I thought I'd mark this momentous occasion by talking about a few of the things we've learned, like:

Perpetual fear - The wisest parenting advice I got? "Being a parent is about coming to terms with the fact that you're perpetually terrified." It's true, so one of the hardest things to learn as a parent is when to let go, when to let your kid make their own decisions, and when to step in and force the issue. While I could fret, worry and rule Edie to no end, I know that it eventually becomes counteractive.

Patience - That screaming kid in the grocery store that I used to complain about under my breath? No problem now. I'm always grateful when it's not Edie.

Straightening up and flying right - In my 20s, I was a hippie/loner type who read too much Jack Kerouac and played "embellishment guitar." Now I read Newsweek and learn three-chord songs. I still feel cool, by the way, although I am fully aware of the fact that I am so not cool.

How people go from little small people with issues to large big people with issues - After observing Edie now for a year, I realize that many of her emotional responses to stimuli aren't much different from an adult's. She gets frustrated, angry, ecstatic, thoughtful, contemplative, and confused, along with many other complex emotions. She has a lot to learn about how things work and how they affect her, but she has learned what the effects of the world are - varying degrees of plus, minus, and "I dunno."

The whole world is freaking awesome - After taking Edie to Folk Fest this year, I learned exactly what people mean when they say that they see the world through the eyes of a child (I think that was a Michael McDonald song). There was a point when, outside in the sun and air, she started dancing to Andrew Bird and Konono No. 1 and I figured that this was about the most awesome thing EVER. Then, just a couple nights ago, she started drawing with a piece of sidewalk chalk and I thought that this was about the most awesome thing EVER. You see where I'm going here. Everything is the most awesome thing EVER. You can pay big money for pills that do that, or you can just watch a kid make their way in the world.

They see and learn more than we think - Edie puts on her little monkey bag the same way I put on my bag. She's always trying to put on Britta's shoes. She picks words up out of thin air. We hear her practicing words and using her voice in her crib. While paying attention to her, it's easy to see ourselves reflected back at us. This may be the most potent lesson learned from your children - who you are. One of my parenting edicts is to avoid negative feedback loops, meaning that I try not to let negative situations spiral out of control by piling on more negativity. I see this as being more and more important as time moves forward.

There's a lot more to come - Here I'm talking about Edie like she's fully grown and ready to move out of the house. We're still caring for a vulnerable and impressionable youngling here and the prospects of that make me dizzy with happiness.

It's been a good year so far, Edie Pants. Thank you for all you've taught us and are about to teach us. Happy birthday.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


We are having an official first birthday party for Edie in a few weeks, but we had to have a little celebration of our own this afternoon. After work, we all headed to the Milestones Photography studio for a mini photo shoot and some good old fashion cake eating.


Edie love the balloon I gave her and I imagine it'll be a favorite toy until either it poops out or the cats destroy it.


She didn't know what to think of the cake at first, but found out quickly it contained sugar.







Fifty Two Weeks Old

I cannot believe how quickly 52 weeks can fly by. Just one year ago, I was sitting in the hospital holding a brand new, fragile baby girl. Today, I chased around a hearty toddler and encouraged her to meow at the cat. How quickly life can change.

Edie is such a joy. She is kind and funny and a little mischievous. She has the sweetest little voice and the cutest little dance moves. Observant since birth, she has a great eye for detail and learns things very, very quickly. There is absolutely no doubt that she is a mover but she is also very careful.

I'm totally head over heals in love with my daughter (can you tell) and she has made our little family even more awesome.

This week, Edie has been perfecting her words. She can say "doggie" and "kitty" more clearly, and she has added "uh oh" to her list of most used words. She barks. She meows. She squeals with joy. It is fantastic.

Edie and our cat Onslow have formed quite the bond. She gives Onslow hugs and Onslow gives her purrs. He allows her to pet him and doesn't mind (too much) when she gets a little rough. Pauline (the other cat) on the other hand still runs at the sight of little Miss Edie-Pants.

We had a little birthday celebration/photo shoot this afternoon at the studio and discovered she really digs balloons. Go figure. She also likes cake,


So, the First 52 weeks series is now complete. But, no fear! I shall continue writing about Edie and her various milestones once a month!

Frock By Friday - Monday, Tuesday & Fabric

Yay! Three days down and two to go in sewing the Frock by Friday™: The Anda Frock. Like I mentioned last week, I'm following the August edition of A Frock by Friday tutorial on the Grosgrain blog.

Here is my fabric choice. I'm pretty sure it's some kind of rayon. In any case, I bought 5 yards of it for $5 at St. Vincent De Paul Thrift Store in Fargo. Not sure how old the fabric is, but I'd guess early 1970s.

So far, so easy. I only have a few pictures to share with you today. But, let me assure you I did do my Wednesday night sewing and I will share the rest of the pictures as soon as I complete the dress. As of right now, the dress resembles a '60s era MooMoo. I'm hoping the band around the waist will class it up a bit or styling will be key.

Monday: Cut out the pattern from 28 sheets of paper

Tuesday: Cut out my fabric... it was a little tricky since my fabric is pretty slippery.