Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Voracious reader

Andrew loves to read books in bed. it's one of the most adorable sights to watch him on the baby monitor. He will sit up in bed and flip though books for 15-30 minutes before laying down. We usually let him take the book we read together to bed along with one or two other small board books and a super-sized board book (that is harder for him to toss out of his crib) lives in the crib full time. It is absolutely precious and seems like a great bedtime habit so Michael and I are already pretty attached to it.
spy cam

midnight on NYE. My mom asked if he was cramming for a test

In the meantime Andrew has grown 12 teeth and is currently working on his incisors. We totally respect his attitude when it comes to teething. In the past it has definitely bothered him as they've come in but other than some occasional grumpiness and some heartbreakingly sad refusal to eat foods he loves he is a super trooper. But he copes by chewing. With his front teeth we were really good at having teethers for him and all of his toys were designed for chewing. With his molars we found some good teethers that reached back into his mouth and most of his toys couldn’t get back to the spot that hurt. But these incisors are right up front and apparently very bothersome.

Now most of you are probably putting those two paragraphs together and realized he started chewing his books. When we first noticed we were bummed that he had ruined a few of his favorites but decided maybe he wouldn’t think some of his other books were quite as tasty and continued to feed them to him night after night. Finally we were like, “hmmm, guess he just likes to eat books.” And wised up and got a few indestructible books like one that my college roomie had gifted him. We also thought, well he wouldn’t chew on the giant book so that one (also a gift from Roomie) can stay. Wrong.

Could he have been more clear about the fact that he is in book chewing mode?

We may learn slowly but we do learn. The damage wasn’t as bad as I thought. Only five books were a total loss but a few of those were kind of special. Now he goes to bed with a nice solid teether and three indestructible books. It is working though he can’t quite sink his teeth into his new nightly reading I think he misses some of his old titles…maybe because he has long since digested them.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, February 23, 2015

Wordless Weekend

When I was a kid in San Diego I truly thought Christmas was the end of winter. Learned that was incorrect in Connecticut and have lived with that sad reality. BUT we just had the most outrageously beautiful weekend in February!

Started off with a Friday night craft fest.

I am so in love with the little gift set that I made for one of Michael’s colleague’s new baby.

Saturday we went on a hike down to the beach with DSF and her family. It was absolutely gorgeous.

Saturday night we went to the aforementioned colleague’s house and played board games until too late.

Sunday was lazier. I Zumba’d. We played in the backyard for a bit.

Hallway car races.

Did some chores. Went to Gymboree’s open play time. Then Michael GRILLED dinner.

It was so nice. So, so very nice. And the best thing of all is that we are turning the corner on sunset. It is currently at a much more reasonable ~6pm and the time change is only two weeks away.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, February 16, 2015

Helping out our helper

I love having Andrew help in the kitchen.

Ok, ok. I think it really helps kids build life skills, makes them feel involved and keeps them busy and hopefully out of trouble. Plus the pride in their little faces is just too much.

But it is sort of a pain. When he was a little guy I would wear him in a carrier facing out and let him poke stuff with a spoon. After that we went to help from his high chair like handing me leaves of lettuce to wash or topping his own pizza. But then we got to the standing on a chair stage. Which sucked. It was annoying and nerve racking to me and he LOVED it. Problem.

attempts to work at the kitchen table

The good people of Montessori philosophy have an enormous and expensive solution in their "learning tower." Which is a stable platform for them to work from with rails to keep them from getting so wrapped up in their work that they teeter over. But my cheap ass was not about to spend that much on one. So I browsed Craigslist intermittently and forgot about it.

Then a facebook friend posted her toddler in his ikea LT hack!

I enthusiastically headed to ikea with my guys. I swore I had seen the hack as two ikea items being fused so we bought two and headed home.

I was bummed when an email from M revealed I had been hallucinating about the actual hack. But happily M problem solved and made it work, sending me a picture of the amazing final product. It looked even better than the original hacks, with a more secure bar and everything.

I rushed A home to see it.
It was love at first sight. He climbed right up and would have stayed there the rest of the night.

We have created a monster! He wants to see everything from his little perch.

He used to want to be picked up when we were cooking breakfast but now he is happy to climb up and supervise.

Daddy did good!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, February 13, 2015

Baby V Day

Well, we have already arrived at the class Valentine's stage.

His daycare shares the weekly lesson plan and this week they were doing Valentine's activities (I love the format of their plans, they do all sorts of cool stuff). At the end of the email they said you could bring in Valentine's and that they are a part of name recognition activities. ;)

So I had to decide how far to go. My Facebook group for the silhouette is going nuts for their kids classes. personalized stuffed animals, eos lip balm cards and puns galore. But my son is 1 and I wasn't ready to set that bar.

So we went simple. I cut out their names in a heart. Andrew stuck stickers on a piece of construction paper and Michael glue the heart to said construction paper.

the name variety of kids today

It was less than an hour of work, Andrew participated and I think they turned out darling.

I'm not sure A was quite as impressed

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, February 9, 2015

Wordless Weekend

Thanks to my little sickie baby the weekend started with a sick day on Friday.

Despite the doc scaring us about his illness he was in pretty good spirits, just a snotty mess.

On Friday we cooked. Made chia seed pudding which was delicious.

I got to hang out with this cutie

Saturday Andrew finally got to try his tricycle.

We blew many many bubbles

That adorable age where they LOVE helping clean.

He tried out the Uggs I found at value village ($1.50!!!!) and looked eerily like a teenager from California.

I made some valentines shirts for little people.

Had a craft fail

We went visiting but it was oddly not pictured.

Posted using BlogPress from myiPhone

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Can't stop, won't stop

I have a new obsession. It consumes me and the sentence "screw this, I quit. I'm off to follow my passion" has run through my head more than once.

I have been a crafting fool! Back in the wedding planning days there were brides on the internet who had and loved die cutting machines. And they were awesome. But they were CRAZY expensive. Like $300 expensive. So it wasn’t even a serious thought to get one. And time marched on and I forgot about it until I was pregnant. An old family friend used her Silhouette to make Andrew cute stuff and I was again SOOO TEMPTED but TOO CHEAP to spend $300 on one.
Now mind you, I had many die cut needs throughout this time. One year I got into glass etching and was only held back by having to order stencils off of Etsy. I also made do with what I had access to and made myself at home at the local craft store and their huge and awesome die cut center (like the teachers’ lounge at my Jr. High had for bulletin boards). I used it to craft my way through hosting a baby shower and throwing Andrew’s 1st birthday party. But I still pined for the ability to cut out anything I desired at any time using any material.

the outfits I embellished for his first birthday using the Ben Franklin die cutter

Around Thanksgiving, through an RSS feed for a coupon website, my life changed. Turns out in the past year Silhouette has made an entry level cutting machine that retails for $120ish and IT WAS ON SALE beyond that. It was serendipitous because I was in the middle of a craft project that would be vastly improved with a professional looking stencil. So I got it and I have had so much fun since.

I got a Silhouette Portrait which has a cutting width of 8”. It can cut most types of media such as paper, vinyl, chipboard, fabric (with interfacing). Unlike some of the earliest machines this one does not have preset cartridges you buy. Instead there is design software which allows you to design or trace any image or text and send it through to the cutter. The software has some quirks but is pretty user friendly. The machine itself is basically a printer but with an exacto knife rather than ink (though it can carry a pen instead of a blade).

My main problem now. It is so awesome I want to ignore my work and family and just play around with new features.

some of my projects
A Christmas ornament I made by tracing my Niblings signatures and cutting them out

Appliqué I made for Andrews curtain.

Silly T-shirt I made for my sister

The original project that justified the purchase

Vanity plates (first time tracing and layering vinyl)

My first paper craft

First attempt at freezer paper stencil (current obsession because it is so cheap, fast and will last better than the vinyl shown above)

Even Andrew can get in on the game. I put a stencil down and let him paint then pulled it up to make a gift for Speedy's new baby.

Another problem I have. I'm running out of people who want personalized crap. I told Andrew's daycare teachers that they are in big trouble because they are the easiest targets for junky gifts.

Case in point. Already made them cutesy bad sanitizers for V-day.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone