Thursday, September 30, 2010

Fashion legwarmers

Hi! Still here, just kinda tongue-tied this week. Maybe because I am as busy as all get out! Have you ever had one of those weeks where you were trying to sell a car, buy a house, meet a former president, christmas shop, babysit, and survive a tropical storm? This is that one for me.We are just kinda non-stop these days.

In the midst of all that though, let me just tell you what happened at Target today. Even though I am majorly downsizing my closet and safely made it through the store without any new cheap clothes, I cannot say the same for Ella. We were just minding our own business, picking out Christmas presents for soon to be even chic-er cousin Isobel when we stumbled across these:

Ummm, how am I supposed to resist striped, ruffled, black and white BABY LEGWARMERS? I know. There is no way possible. So, let me just show you what a good decision it was to bring them home, and at the same time, give an example of the new crawling skills.

There are quite a few other videos where I just plead with Ella to crawl and she gets up on her hands and knees and then decides . . . naahh, and sits back down. Here is the cutest one of those.

Hope you are having a very chic afternoon where you can display some impressive new skills as well!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tuesday's tidbits

I have been really inspired lately to get back to business with my sewing. A couple of weeks ago, I had a streak of inspiration and drew a bunch of designs and thought about what I want to do. I love getting my fabric from the Scrap Exchange, but I would really like to find a local textile company (which exist in abundance here in NC) to produce exactly the fabric I want and be confident that the workers are treated fairly as well as being able to cut out the transportation costs of getting fabric from Asia. Wouldn't that be great?

Anyway, here is one of the new designs. It's not the greatest picture, but you get the idea. The fabric is actually more loose and flowy than I've used in the past. I like it.

If you want one, let me know and I'll make it custom for you. It's up in the shop in a different fabric, but of course, you get to pick!

I like this top so much that I was planning to wear it when we go meet Jimmy Carter tonight. That's right. The humble McCalls have a ticket to get our book signed by President Carter this evening at the Regulator Bookshop. However, said ticket will be useless and said top will have nowhere to go after all it seems. President Carter is hospitalized. We were really hoping Ella could get her picture taken with him. I hope he's all right!

Meanwhile, back on the ranch, we are just crawling around finding everything messy or unsafe one at a time. But being as cute as can be all the while.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Aaahhhhhhhh : )

Well, I feel like I have re-entered the ordinary world again after 48 hours of zombie existence. Ella had a bit of a stuffy nose. Not a big deal except she could not sleep a wink with it. So, neither could we. Thursday night was bad, as I reported. Friday night was worse. So much worse. I don't even really remember yesterday except feeling desperate last night at around eleven when Ella was already settling into her scream as soon as you put her down because she can't breathe through her nose and suck on her pacifier at the same time while horizontal routine. A third night of no sleep might have pushed me over the edge. But then, the tide turned. Paul went out to search in vain for some Vick's vaporub. (Of course we waited til it was eleven and we wanted to go to sleep to go get some even after knowing all day that's what we wanted to try. We were tired.) He discovered what I heard as I was tryyyying to lull Ella to sleep--a HUGE great horned owl hooting in the tree in our front yard. So other-worldly and cool. Ella would cry, ooooohhh, and then there would be a matching hoooooohhh. Cooooool. Even cooler was that when I came into our room a after he was home, the desperation on my face and in my voice, and bless him, Paul took his baby shift first, he was able to get her to sleep for real. We only had one little wakeup at 2 and another at 6. Lovely. Healing. It's amazing how much you need sleep.

Then this morning we got to meet our sweet tiny little niece, Izzy, who lives across the ocean, over Skype. She is precious! And then after church we whiled away the afternoon around Central Park downtown. Here are some shots from playtime:

Friday, September 24, 2010

Aughhhhhhhh . . .

Good morning.

Or is it still night? I've been up the whole time, so it gets kinda blurry.

I know you are here to listen to me, so I feel I have permission to complain to you . . . On the grand scheme of things, I am still praising God because my little Ella Bella had a healthy 6 month check-up yesterday and is the sweetest little blessing I've ever had. But on the other hand, I feel, like birdie, that even if its only out of love, she has sat on my head.

I don't know if it was because she had shots yesterday, or because we are trying to cut out the midnight feeding, or because our go to sleep routine got a little messed up last night, but Ella decided it was morning at 1 am. She talked pleasantly to herself from 1 to 3, but then after a little nap from 3 to 4, cried her head off every 45 minutes for the rest of the morning until I finally gave up at 8:15. And, sure enough, once we got out of bed, she was all smiles. And what could I do but smile back? She is down for a nap now. Hopefully it will be looooong. : )

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Time to baby-proof.

Ella has decided the first things to explore with her new-found mobility are the fireplace and the big industrial coffee table on rusty iron wheels. So. Mama is going to have to figure out a way to safen things up in here. The coffee table may have to go. But we love it! So maybe we will just tape pillows to it for a while or something. But the hearth? What do you do about that? Anyone have any suggestions? Let me just point out in the picture below that that little dark spot is where Ella was tasting the brick. It must not have been very good because that only happened once. Gramma suggested a rug over the edge. Our interior decoration may be about to take on a whole different flavor.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Daddy's home!

Do you remember, as a little kid, how exciting it was when you realized it was time for Daddy to come home? I remember pulling a chair up to the front window to watch and wait for him to turn the corner and drive down our street. Then it was time to yell, "Daddy's home!" and run to jump on him at the front door. Ella can't talk yet, but she gets that same feeling already I think. When she hears Paul come in she freezes, concentrates and looks around until she sees him and then he gets a big smile. Last night there was also some celebratory banging of the little doggy picture in a box that Gramma sent.

Then there was some special daddy daughter time on the deck while I finished up dinner (and/or played with the camera).

Monday, September 20, 2010

It's official!

Ella is crawling!

And I have the cutest video of it which blogger absolutely refuses to load. Booooo.

She crawled all the way across her blanket and then across the living room. Slow, but steady. Here she is arriving at her destination . . . me! I feel so honored to be the thing she wanted to get to! From what I hear it doesn't always stay like that. : )

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Farm tour

It's no secret that we love us some local food here in the McCall house. Today though, not only did we do our normal farmer's market trip,

but we also visited several of the actual farms where the food comes from. This weekend is the Carolina Farm Stewards Farm Tour. And tour we did. We went around to 4 farms, 2 outside of town and 2 more urban plots. It was nice to see healthy piggies and chickens hanging out waiting to become my food, as well as inspiring to see the awesome yard farming that's going on within city limits. Normally I wouldn't post sooo many pictures of this, but it just happened to be a beautiful day and the light was perfect and Ellie was gorgeous! Let's start with some general farm pictures of us:

This button was the ticket to get in everywhere:

Notice me peeking at you in the reflection in Paul's glasses:

Now for the beautiful baby:

Friday, September 17, 2010

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Sitting pretty

Here's another fancy 6-month-old trick!

Squirrely girly

We had a very exciting bath this morning. A 6-month-old bath is very different from a 5-month-old bath. Ella has always enjoyed bathtime, but it used to be more of a relaxing thing. Now it is like an athletic event. The goal is to try to squirm away from Mama and dive headfirst into the tub. Bonus points are awarded for every liter of water that you get out of the tub and every dishwashing supply you get into the tub. It's fun. : ) This face is saying, "Mommy WHY did you take me out of the bathtub? I was NOT DONE yet!"

She clearly did have extra energy to spend because when I put her down for a nap she got louder and louder until I went to go investigate. I found her completely naked, having crawled out of her diaper with her crib gymnastics. I guess this is what mobility is all about!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

6 months today!

It is hard to believe, but we have hit the halfway to 1 year old mark today. I can't believe how much life has changed in that time and how much I have come to love my sweet darlin' baby. There is nothing like it!

It is another gorgeous day. And we haven't had a birthday party or anything, just a normal day with as much fun as possible squeezed in between the laundry, dishes, diaper changes and naps. Thankfully she seems to be feeling all better.

Here are some things we've done so far:

played in the grass

played with Lucie (my battery conked out just when the footage was getting good, sorry!)

washed Stacy and hung her out to dry after an unfortunate run in with puke she had yesterday (doesn't she look silly hanging from her pigtails? Don't worry, she says it doesn't hurt.)

And that's about it so far.

I feel like I should be thinking deep and important thoughts about Ellie's milestone today, but honestly, I just feel like it's another beautiful day where I am totally in love with my little girl. : )

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Father-daughter bonding

Learning to appreciate two of Daddy's favorite interests, computers and triathlon:


(She's seems to be feeling much better now, by the way. No puke since early afternoon. : ) )

Tummy trouble

Well, I think I understand what the fuss was all about Sunday night. Ella did actually sleep fantastic last night. (Thank you God!) But this morning, she is throwing up. Poor little girl. It is so sad to see your baby feeling so bad. She's taken 2 long naps already today.

Hopefully she'll be better soon! Say a little prayer for her today.

Monday, September 13, 2010

When life gives you beans, make coffee.

The McCalls had a lovely weekend. We did our normal stuff, but with a special treat, a fantastic show on Saturday night. Have you heard of Prairie Home Companion, Garrison Keillor's radio show? If not, please do yourself a big favor and go to and start clicking and listening. I think that will convince you to find out what time your local NPR broadcasts. It is just a delight. In Durham its on  91.5 Saturdays at 6pm and then rebroadcast Sundays afternoons. But most of the crew was here live for a show at the Koka Booth amphitheater Saturday, and even though it rained on us the whole time, it was an experience of a lifetime. So enjoyable.(And it's saying a lot for yours truly to be able to pull it together and enjoy an evening of being rained on.)

Sunday was good too, prominently featuring a long afternoon nap. But also my first time teaching 4th and 5th grade Sunday School at church. I really enjoyed it and the kids seemed to hang in there with me even while patiently digging through their Bibles for a gajillion prophecies and their fulfillments. Paper airplanes were kept at bay, and thanks to several different adults, 5 dozen doughnuts showed up that morning. You could imagine a worse class session. ; )

Overall a very nice weekend.

And then there was last night.

I guess I was tempting fate by enjoying my nap so much yesterday. But it didn't feel like enough rest to prepare me for the flashback to newborn times we were all treated to last night. I mean, crying constantly for an hour from 11:30-12:30 followed by repeated wakeups and freakouts about every hour following. I'm wondering if we are maybe finally going to get some teeth? Things had been going really well until now.

But, around 8:00, when it finally gets light in our room on the west side of the house, Ella decided it was time to smile, coo, and generally be as happy and adorable as possible. I'm glad she recovered so well. I, on the other hand, am really tired and feel like circuits are firing half speed. It didn't help that the house was completely on its ear and I had to run around like crazy for 2 hours before I could get my cup of joe. But ahhhh, when I did, at 10:30, the world started to come back together. I love coffee. Hopefully round 2 which I'm working on now will see us through to a (please, God!) more peaceful night's sleep tonight.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Beautiful day

It is gorgeous outside today! Ahhh I love the first taste of fall! We lounged around on the deck to celebrate. Look at those beautiful baby blues against the blanket.

Thursday, September 09, 2010


Nothing cuter than a little sweet pea covered in sweet peas. She sure loves em!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010


I have noticed this drive in my life lately (conviction from the Lord maybe?) to SIMPLIFY! The amish phase, penny-pinching, they are all a part of it. But most recently I have been thinking about my closet. It is so hard to keep your clothing under control don't you think? I try to weed things out as I put away winter or summer things for the season, but still I have a trunk full of clothes I am moving in and out of storage! I think of people who live with hardly a change of clothes, and this just strikes me as a little wrong.

I also read two really interesting things lately. I can't remember which one was first. But there was an article in a magazine that talked about the environmental and humanitarian impact of the fashion system we have, where clothes are made to go out of style after a season and only last that long so you have to buy new ones all the time. These are made by the oppressed in sweatshops in Asia and then shipped gajillions of miles over to the western world using terrible amounts of fossil fuels. Shoot. Old Navy apparently has consequences. Some of which are much less serious (addressed in What to Wear for the Rest of Your Life by Kim Johnson Gross) like a closet bursting with clothes that you don't wear because they don't look that good or fit right.This was a book club book for me.

So. I'm getting rid of a LOT of stuff. And it feels really good. The book above suggests going through and trying on everything you own to see what fits. It's a really good thing to do, I highly recommend it. I have been holding on to a lot of stuff that doesn't. The things that need replacing I have been trying to get from Goodwill. But in general I am trying to just run with a lot less clothing of better quality. Also, I hereby resolve not to buy things from Old Navy and Target. And that is going to be tough. But here is evidence of the change. I bet I am cleaning out 40% or more of what I have!

Ellie is crawling past tons of dresses and tops on the banister there and 2 boxes of purses and shoes on the landing. Yes this may probably be less than half of what I had. Eek, embarrassing! But at least it's progress.

I may have a garage sale before they go off to Goodwill, you know, more penny-pinching. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010


Hi everybody!

Did you have a nice holiday? We did. It was a busy weekend. Paul's best man Ben and his puppydog Hobbes are here visiting us. Ella is very happy about Hobbes, but she did have a nice little chat with her own dear old doggy this afternoon. Do you think Lucie can tell she's not speaking English?

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Isobel Rose

Ella has a new little cousin as of this morning. And . . .  she has red hair too!!! I'll let the proud parents be the first to share pictures, but let me say, I got a sneak peak and she is just lovely!

Saturday, September 04, 2010


I love Saturday. I told Paul last night, "Yay, super saturday tomorow!" and he said "What's super saturday?" I explained how Saturday is just super because we get to go to the farmers market and eat delicious pastries for breakfast and then have the weekend. He thought I was talking about some special event or something, but nope, saturday is just super. Every time. Love that!

Here are me and Ella posing before we left for the farmers market because she is such a cutie with that huge flower. (We seriously love it Misty!)

This next one is blurry, but you can still tell how much fun we're having.

In the afternoon we worked in the yard a little and played at the table a little. Squash is cool to play with as well as to eat. We didn't let her play with the jalapenos. I will not play with them either.

However these linky things are just the bees knees. What a great gift Miss Martha! : )

 I just love the little wincing faces! Those arms turn out to be pretty powerful things, she finds!