Saturday, February 28, 2015

Room for the Speck

With the Poppy on the horizon, for the last few months I have been plotting how to reorganize the two bedrooms.  I wanted to do some fun things in Boo Boo's room and planned to move some of his furniture over to the Poppy's room.  With everyone's room situated now, I took some pictures and, as luck would have it, the little master is wearing the exact same thing as in his first room tour.  Plus snow boots.

We had some paper lanterns left from two apartments ago, and I decided to paint some whales on it.  I made a template based on his name sign/mobile, traced it onto the lantern and then painted it.  It was much easier than I anticipated. 

We flip flopped his reading corner with the table and chairs and hung up the light to make a cozy reading spot.  The light has been a hit, leading to many exclamations of "Whe-ale."

(He likes to sit on the ottoman during reading time.)
The other change was moving his little dresser to the Poppy's room and replacing it with something bigger and a little more multi-purpose.  Thanks for having exactly what I wanted, IKEA!

(See, Cami?  We love your pictures!)

I will be honest, I'm not exactly sure what to put in those cubbies.  We've had those baskets all along, and there are socks in one, but the other is empty.  I put his animals in the middle just to put something, but we shall see.  I like the idea of having books there, but I think his book box is still more functional at this age and it won't fit in there.  Anyhoo, still thinking.  

I originally planned to move the chair and ottoman into the Poppy's room as well, but once we got the second chair I change my mind.  But that will be revealed in her room tour!  For now have some pictures of the chair and its little reader.
"Two tunks!"


Monday, February 23, 2015

Solo 21

For twenty-one months now, Mr. Moo (yes, I call him something new all the far he doesn't seem confused) has had the run of the place.  With his delightful solo reign drawing to a close, I thought there should be one more update all his own.  And really, three months has made such a difference in his little personhood.

(Haircuts also make a big difference.)
Not that he is not the same happy, funny little person, but he is a funny little person in new ways.  He parrots us, he builds block towers, he runs away when I mention brushing teeth and has all kinds of opinions on dinner (that change nightly of course).  Not that these kinds of developments are unexpected, but it's so, so interesting to watch him change and figure out himself and the world.  

(Getting in was one thing, getting out another...)

Talking happens all the time, often with a questioning intonation, and sometimes "talking" is more like "squealing."  He's putting some words together too, like "bye car" and "mooooore pease?"  He even says a mashed together version of "I love you" (YES, it's very cute).  One day I told him something that ended with "actually" and he's been saying that ever since, probably because we crack up every time (same goes for "ohhhhh mannnnnn!").  He's also started saying "Whaaaat?" in this incredulous voice when, for example, he finds the dinosaurs in the quiet book.  He also says "Bye!  Seeya!" a lot and it's funny every time.

(He started making this face late last fall and it took a lot of work to catch it on camera!  Hahahahaa, that face.)
Books are still popular, which makes me glad to no end.  He's been very into the How Do Dinosaurs... series of books lately, partly because there are toy trucks and airplanes and cats and dogs to find on most of the pages.  He's learned a lot of color names too, and often gets them right these days (red is problematic).  He also loves to watch Baby MacDonald as often as I will let him ("Traaaactors!") and has consequently learned the words wheat, fields, barn and, of all things, windmills. 

Speaking of babies, he is often going into the Poppy's room and saying "Babyyyy" and he knows what Mama's enormous tummy space is full of.  And really, I think that's about as much as he's capable of grasping right now, but I keep telling him that one day that baby's going to come out and play with him.  Okay, so those probably won't be the SAME day but I'm not getting that specific.

Anyhoo, he is so funny and smart and sweet and just sometimes naughty.  He's had like four teeth coming in for months so I blame any episodes on that.  Let's look at more pictures (sorry they're all phone pictures).

(Things he loves in this picture: the purple crayon [the first color name he learned], that free water bottle from an OBGYN [not mine], Kitty)

(Why is there no slot in the baby book for "Baby's First Full English"?)
(This was his first time eating apple slices, and his method cracked me up.)

(Sometimes he feeds Kitty)
(He loves to play outside, and, lucky him, there's no winter this year.)

(I wish I had a better picture of this, it was so funny.)

(That little face!)

(Yes, he did put every single wooden block down his shirt.)
(He wore these snow boots every day for almost a week straight and several more days since.)
(There's a tummy picture for you!  Don't say I never did anything for you, internet.  This was almost at the 37 week mark.)
(See?  No winter.)

(He loves this Thomas shirt.  "Train?  Train?" he asks every morning.  "Choo choooooo.")
(Drew's art skills are really coming along, thanks to his new teacher.)

("Boots?  Booooots??")

(He REALLY wanted to do puzzles on the baby play mat.  And wear his snow boots.)
Did you happen to count how many times Kitty appears in a picture?  He LOVES Kitty.  Kitty is getting pretty crusty lately but it's a well-loved crustiness.  Luckily Boo Boo gets regular baths or he would be BURIED in love crust.  

(Love crust is a thing now.)

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Quiet Down!

When last we left the quiet book saga, the pages were done and only the cover remained.  Did I say "only"?  Dun dun DUNNNNNNNNN.  So.  The saga continued at Hobby Lobby...

I bought denim for the outer cover--but not enough to make it from one piece.  So the cover was three pieces sewed together.  The inside cover was a green gingham that frayed like crazy.  

I spent a LONG time making the inside pocket.  I spent another LONG time doing the inside spine piece because it required grommets for the binder rings to go through.  (The pages I sewed together with small loops of ribbon to hook onto the rings.)

I put it all together, sewing the wrong sides together first, leaving a gap.  Then I flipped it and zigzagged around it again.  Lastly I sewed the button on.  Hurray!

Well, it was okay.  The cover was so floppy and too big.  But it was OKAY and we took it on our trip and Boo Boo liked it, floppy cover and all.  

After we got home I decided I needed to pull it apart and add some interfacing to the denim to stiffen it up.  Long story short, everything went wrong.  The gingham was fraying like mad, making it hard to sew with a necessarily narrow seam allowance, the interfacing wasn't just looked sad.  Look at it, poor savaged thing:

So.  I went back to Hobby Lobby.  I got more interfacing, the correct amount of denim and started over.  It still took a long time, but I was able to fix some things that had bothered me, like the pocket construction.  I used a different fabric for the inside (extra from Boo Boo's quilt) and I used a button on the pocket instead of velcro.  I also used smaller binder rings and just folded the fabric edges under, rather than the sew-flip-sew again method.  And guess what, it's so much better!  Easier to hold, easier to look through, easier to put in my bag.  I'm glad I redid it, but I'm even more glad it's done.  Let us examine:

(You can see the grommets here)
It's hard to show much nicer the cover is with the interfacing.  It makes it easier to hold open and look through, plus it just feels so much sturdier. 

(I used two leftover quilt squares for the pocket.  The buttons are extras that came with my white coat [thanks, Nordstrom!])

Saurs!  Sometimes the game is to put them all down my shirt.
So now that it is all said and done, how is it working out?  Well, I won't say that Mister adores every page and plays with them all.  Some are still beyond on him, as I knew they would be (like the ribbon tying page).  But he loves pulling the zippers, playing with the ocean page and finding the apples in the pie.  The crayons, animal tails and button flowers are also popular, but the truth is that he probably loves the dinosaurs in the back pocket best of all...

But he DOES like it and I think he loves the new fishy inside cover.  I think he will continue to like it more as he gets older.  I have a few more pages I'd like to add at some point, maybe for his birthday (dinosaur themed of course), but for right now, I'm happy with where it's at and how it turned out.  It got me to try some new sewing things and hey, I don't even really fear buttonholes anymore.  Plus I never have to make another cover.

Just for easy reference, here are the blog posts for all the individual pages:
Ribbon Lion
Animal Tails
Zipper and Clock 
Pie Weaving and Ribbon Tying  
Ocean and Textures
Alphabet, Button Flowers, Crayon Box and Tiger Tails

Monday, February 09, 2015

Flowering Crayon Tiger Tails x2, or, More Quiet Book Pages

Last November we had travel plans for Thanksgiving and I thought it would be good to have the quiet book for the airplane (spoiler: I never even took it out for any flight).  Since I still had a lot of pages to do, it was a bit of a marathon to finish the pages and make the cover before we left.  But I did it!  Sort of.  But we'll get to that later.  

Unfortunately our camera is out of batteries right now so I just have so-so phone pictures, but you'll get the idea. 

This first page has its origin in the year I spent studying illustration in college.  We had an assignment to make our own font, and I made one with tiger tails.  Seriously, it was my one and only idea.  Anyway, I still had it so I pulled it out and made it into an alphabet page:

I traced the letters onto the page, colored them with a fabric marker and then went over the edges with puff paint, just for some texture.  I think it's cute.

Then I did the standard button flowers page, like we had in the book my mom made.  These are the most perfect buttonholes I've ever done.  Though you can't really tell because they have been--ahem--a little stretched out with aggressive unbuttoning.

This next one was an undertaking.  I wanted to do something about colors, and Drew came up with the idea of doing a crayon box.  Let me tell you, I had some sore fingertips by the time I finished sewing all the crayons (they were made of a layer of interfacing sandwiched between felt).

It was a lot of steps to make this one, but it turned out well in the end.  

The last page is pretty obvious--just some super cute fuzzy tigers and a little rhyme. 

These pages were sponsored by my sister-in-law Sarah, who gave me this shirt many moons ago because I love those tigers so much.  Seriously, look at their little faces...come on!  Anyway, I couldn't really see a day when it would fit me again so I decided to recycle it.  Upcycle it?  Whatever.

And that was the end of the pages!  Of course, little did I know the hardest part was yet to come...and come again a second time.  But the cover is a story for another blog post...

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Miss and Not

As the weeks go by and the Poppy's inside time draws to a close, I have been making a mental list of things I will miss about these days and other things I won't.  One list is a bit longer than the other...

Things I Won't Miss:
  • Barfing in the sink in the morning because of this cough that has plagued me since the Poppy's earliest days.  (Cough --> Gag --> Throw up).  
  • The process of rolling over in the bed at night.  I refer to this as "heaving my bulk about."  Related: the process of getting out of bed.  
  • Having increasingly fewer options of clothes to wear. 
  • Knocking my tummy into things, or being knocked into.
  • Heartburnnnnnnn.  Augh.
  • This extra weight.
  • Not being able to keep up with Boo Boo, especially outside.
Things I Will Miss:
  • The daily pokes and prods and tap dances.  Even though they are occasionally painful, watching the Poppy move from the outside--and feeling it on the inside--never gets old to me.
  • One on one time with Boo Boo.  I think I will miss this the most, since it will never happen again, ever.  I love having my little buddy around and being able to give him all my attention.  I know I will love having two buddies and he will like having his own little friend, but it's a bit sad also.
  • Not having to come up with an excuse to get a milkshake/mac and cheese/fried chicken/anything.  
  • Sleeping all night, like a rock.  (Though this will come again so at least it's just temporary.) 
Say, I could really go for a sherbet float ice cream cookie sandwich both milkshake right about now...