Sunday, December 25, 2011

{Winter ONEderland!}

Dylan's 1st birthday was a success!  Our Winter ONEderland theme was so much fun to coordinate.

My mom and sister-in-law made the most scrumptious, delicious, festive (and gluten free!) cake pops! I documented the loooooong process...

This gf cake mix taste like brownies! 
After coming out of the cake pop mold

Candy melts heated up made the cake pop shell.

Decorating was the best part!

Finished product!!

Then we had to let Dylan have his very own cake.  Who better than our old friend, Frosty, to join the festivities?

My brother made these fantastic signs...they were a huge hit!

As a proud mama of this happy little one-year-old, I can proudly say that he had a great time!

He figured out very quickly how to open  presents...

 Now we are on to Year Two!


Mama D

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Wanna-Be DIYer

My New Year's resolution inspiration has come early this year.   I want to channel my inner-Martha and become a bona fide DIYer. Perhaps I've been watching too much HGTV, or possibly spending a few too many hours on Pinterest. It's likely that I've realized that being uber-crafty is totally in right now. Who knows?Maybe I'll discover my artistic alter ego has been dying to make it's debut and I can make some extra spending money selling my masterpieces on Etsy.

So far, my new birthday present (insert plug for the best husband in the world) has proven to be an addicting little hobby.  Nicki, the Nikon (clever, I know), has slept by my side each night.  Every morning, I slip my not-so-compact camera into my purse to bring to work and my husband wonders what could be so picturesque from inside my office cubicle. I'm sure I'll run out of close up, focus shots sooner or later. But for now, I'm having a lot of fun playing with it. Either way, I'm easing my way in...

First, the inanimate objects:
Nom nom nom.

Then on to my child and dog:

Pretty sure he hates me.
He was more interested in the shoebox.

 Then, I took my creativity up a notch and attempted an actual craft-related project.  I tried to make my son's 1st birthday hat.

I was wrong, now he really hates me.

Not too shabby, especially considering my non-creative self bought the wrong size glue stick for my glue gun, and had to carve away at it like a boy-scout carving a wooden stick. Pretty sure I broke the glue gun, but at least I (sort of) made something. Then I got to photograph it, so it was a win-win situation.

More projects (mostly photos) to be expected in the next year.

Until then,

Mama D.

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Christmas House

Well, we've done it again! Our short stint in the 'burbs left us craving a shorter commute, the soothing sound of a busy street, and the city at our fingertips.  Yes, friends, we've moved again.

Turns out our investment property proved itself to be an investment sooner than we thought. So we found ourselves a quaint little love nest back in Bellevue.  Sacrificing the square footage of the south for the convenience of the city was definitely something to be considered.  However, the pros weighed out the cons in this decision making process.  By the time most of my colleagues are getting home, I've already started dinner, finished up some miscellaneous items around the house and cozied up in my  comfies to enjoy some quality time with my fam.  I also look at it this way, 1100 square feet is a whole lot less to clean than 1900. :)

I've got to give my husband credit for his tenacious moving skills. His 18+ moves by the time he was in college gave him the scrappy skills that it takes to move mountains (or so it seems).  Moving day was Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and we've already got everything in it's place, pictures hung, decor set.  (Another bonus of a smaller house...less furnishing to do!)  

We've dubbed our little snuggle cabin 'The Christmas House' due to it's festive appearance. Red with white trim.  I'm basically living in the North Pole and loving every second of it. My childlike enthusiasm for Yule-Tide happenings isn't getting any better being 1.2 miles from the most magical urban Christmas celebration on the face of the planet...

Two words: Snowflake Lane.  
When: 7pm every night throughout the month of December. 
Where: The Bellevue Collection
What you can expect: Pure happiness, enchantment, holiday tunes to be heard within a 5 block radius, Christmas characters parading in the streets, and guaranteed snow.  

It's Christmas crack. And I'm a junkie. 

Borrowed from:
Borrowed from:

PS- Word on the street Mr. Claus is bringing me my very own camera this year. Expect some more photo updates! 

Until then...


Mama D.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Dunckley's on the Move

Our sweet little townhouse was good to us. But we've realized that 1200 square feet was no longer cutting it. You can only multi-purpose so many things in a house that's being taken over by exersaucers and highchairs. So we took the plunge.

That's right. We've succumbed to the suburbs.

We are now the proud owners of a 1900 square foot house, equipped with 3 bedrooms, a den, a loft, and brand new stainless steel appliances! :) A bargain at a short 20-25 minute commute to work. Not too shabby for the Dunckley's!

It's funny how certain things show up on your radar when you've reached various stages in life. I have a new found appreciation for things like a nicely manicured lawn. I can't help but recall my college house when I lived with 6-10 girls (number of roommates varied depending on that weekend's events) and we were in charge of maintaining our own landscaping. Although we should be taking full responsibility for the wilderness that was our front yard, I do have to wonder, what was wrong with our landlord?? If I decide to rent my house to 4+ college girls, I'm going to venture a guess that the majority of them have never operated a lawnmower, weed wacker, or any other type of lawn accessory, nor do they have any intention of purchasing said equipment. You would think that our landlord would have realized the extent of our thriftiness the first time he noticed that 6 girls were splitting rent in a 4 bedroom house. (My bedroom also served as the formal dining joke.) If that wasn't enough of a give away, he may have noted that the oil tank, which supplied our heat, had not been filled in 2 years. Instead, we situated ourselves in front of the oven and baked everything. Who cared that it took 3 hours to bake a 20-minute cake?

This is no exaggeration. Our grass and weeds were so overgrown that we had 2 Christmas trees, bags full of dirty dishes (the consequence for not washing your dishes- they wound up in a plastic bag outside) and a trunk that were all camouflaged by the lawn. Those were on the other side of the house from the fire pit in the back yard. Smart, huh?

Our poor neighbors.

It just goes to show you how people can mature. I'm actually looking forward to finding my inner- Martha Stewart and planting a garden. I dream of walking through Home Depot to gather flowers to plant in my pots. The smell of planting soil beckons me through the aisles. The term 'hoe' has a whole new meaning to me.

So as I now find myself diving head-first into suburbia, I still maintain that I will never own a minivan.

Until next time...


Mama D

Noteworthy Article

A good girlfriend of mine brought this article to my attention, and we agreed that it was 'Musings-Worthy'.

Sunday, June 19, 2011


babiquette, [BAEB-i-kit], noun;
1. the conventional requirements as to social behavior with regard to person(s) caring for a child under the age of 2 in a public environment
2. a code of behavior for all bystanders within a certain range of a child under the age of 2 in a public environment
3. like etiquette, but for babies

My recent observations while on outtings with my baby have prompted the invention of a new word. Babiquette. This word is not only applicable to mothers/ caretakers, but also to the general population because there's a certain give and take any given situation involving a baby. There are more obvious babiquette faux pas, such as:
1. changing a dirty diaper containing offensive odors near people/food
2. bringing a baby into a fine dining establishment not designated for children
3. using your friends scarf as a burp cloth, etc.

The lesser known babiquette faux pas, however, are my focus for now. These are the indiscretions made by the observers of parent-baby interactions, not by the parents/ caretakers themselves. Examples are as follows:
1. When in a situation where you are witness to a woman with a diaper bag strapped to her back while carrying a child in one arm, and pushing a stroller with her free hand, you have committed a babiquette-blunder by simply standing and observing as she attempts to open a door. Make yourself useful and open the door.
2. While in the presence of a screaming baby with a mother who has exhausted every attempt to soothe her child, you have committed a babiquette blunder when you do any of the following:
a) Stare, jaw ajar. This is not helpful. It just makes her feel bad. Once you have gathered a visual on the noise you are hearing, look away or offer help. Staring is not condusive to bettering the situation.
b) Suggest that the woman is torturing her child. This is not constructive, nor will the woman appreciate the humor your are attempting. (Yes, this actually happened.)
3. If you are uncertain of a child's gender, don't venture a guess. First, observe the clothing the child is wearing as well as the various acoutrement that accompany the child. If gender indentity cannot be derived at this point, best to continue the use of the word, "baby".
4. Don't, under ANY circumstance, imply that another sibling is on the way when in the company of a mother and baby. (Fortunately this hasn't actually happened to me, but I've been witness to this occurence and it's not pretty.) It takes 9 months to put the weight on...don't be surprised that it can take 9 to take it off!

Let's remember these little babiquette rules the next time we're on either end of the spectrum.

Anyone else experience babiquette-blunders that you want to share?

That's all for now...

XOXO, Mama D

Saturday, June 18, 2011

{Almost} 6 Months: Photo Shoot

It's amazing how 6 adults can be so completely captivated by 20 lbs of pure joy. This kid LOVES the camera! (Not surprised.)

He's a big fan of my phone cover. Pink? Shmink!

Luke wasn't too fond of the flower pics, so we switched it up to a rubber ducky. Much more masculine.


Mama D.

{Social Transitions}

From college life to married life to the having-a-baby life, I've found that the transitional periods of these major milestones are something to be noted. College life to married life was fairly seamless. There was a little over a month left on my lease with my roommates, so we simply added another roommate when we got married. (Except I had no problem cooking dinner for, cleaning up after, and accidentally walking in on during a shower with this roommate.) My roommates welcomed the man in the house because we could finally get lightbulbs changed, doors repaired, and spiders squashed!

Once we got our own place is when I slowly started to realize how drastic a change married life was. Yes, we were still game to go out on the town with an impromptu invitation. But the weekly get togethers and girls-only happenings started to diminish for me. I didn't get married so that I could participate in events that excluded my best friend/ life companion. And the weekly get togethers became difficult for me to commit to, because the convenience factor of living with all my best gal pals was no longer there. Plus you are now having to merge your friends and your husbands friends, so you are left having to altnernate groups every other weekend. "We hung out with your friends last weekend, so we are going to my friends' house this weekend."

Expressing this to my single friends, however, was more challenging than I anticipated. There's an automatic stigma that correlates to 'married couples' in the view of the ever-so-independent, do-as-I-please bachelor or bachelorette. As if the action of slipping that wedding band on your spouse's finger has simultaneously morphed you into someone who can now only participate in couples-only events. The real kicker is, once your single friends start writing you off because you have declined invites to 2 out of 3 parties per week now, you find yourself seeking out other couples going through the same thing. So the irony is that now you've become a couples-only couple.

Then your single friends start to follow suit and all of a sudden your dropping $20K per year on wedding events. (Who really needs a retirement fund, anyway?) So now that you are no longer written off as 'that married couple', your social life has made a full recovery. Then you decide to throw yourself for a loop and have a baby. It'll be the same as before, you just bring a baby with you all the time now, right? Wrong. The notion of on-the-fly, spontaneous get togethers has altogether become a thing of the distant past. (Believe me, we've tried it...many times.) Despite how many times other parents tried to relay this to me, I truly did not understand this concept until I had my own child. Your life is never the same again. Ever. Your social events are now categorized by the words, 'adults only' or 'kids welcomed', your child-friendly-restaurant radar is on full force, you think going to bed at 10pm is late and you now get tipsy off one glass of wine. (The last one has actually improved our economic status.) And yet, you wouldn't change a thing because you're so overwhelmed by love for this baby that you'd give up anything in the world for them.

So now, when you're around people without kids, you find yourself constantly apologizing. You apologize because your baby has been crying for the last hour, or they've now pooped-through 3 outfits and you have to stop (again) to change them, or you're racing town trying to find a restaurant who knows the meaning of 'lukewarm' when trying to make a bottle. Inevitably, you gravitate towards people with kids because they, too, are able to zone out a crying baby for the 30 minute drive from one end of town to the other. You not only become happy for your friends who find out they're pregnant because of the immense joy that comes with having a baby, but also because you feel like you can re-connect with them on another level. You cannot believe you've become that person who only surrounds themselves with people who are in the same stage in life as you. Yet, you understand how it can happen.

I, therefore, have a message to all my currrently single friends: Please don't give up on me because I can't join you for drinks tomorrow. Know that you still mean the world to me, and I still know how to have a good time...just between the hours of 6am and 9pm.

My message to my currently child-less friends: I'm sorry (again) that my kid threw up on your $300 jeans. I promise that smell will go away when you wash them. Also, let's do dinner again soon. Adult time is very much appreciated!

Until next time...