Laughter

Cat backIt’s been a crazy time for my family and me lately. Opening a business is no joke, folks, and between that and a sick kiddo sleep is a fond and distant memory. However! There must still be laughter even when the stress piles up and the number of hours I spend in bed at night dwindles. There must always be laughter. (And cats.)

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Olive’s hat

A friend of mine who lives in Portland has an absolutely darling little girl (well, at least in photos… still haven’t met her in person yet). A few weeks ago I sent that darling little girl a cute hat I crocheted. Olive’s parents liked the hat so well they want a couple more! Here’s the first one (of two) that I’ve finished for Olive. It looks very much like an Olive hat if I do say so myself.

Olive's hat 1

Isn’t it adorable? I added the brim after some thought about how to make the hat look more complete than it did. That’s why I added the ribbon, too. And if Olive’s mom doesn’t like the ribbon she can just pull it out, easy peasy. I combined a pattern from the Interwebz, but tweaked it a little to make it bigger. Then I added the brim.

WEB 2-5-13 olive hat 2

The yarn is by Manos del Uruguay, which is a non-profit women’s fair trade cooperative in Uruguay. According to the tag, the aim of the organization is “to bring economic and social opportunities to rural women.” It’s viciously expensive, but it’s beautiful yarn. It’s 30 percent silk and 70 percent Merino extra-fine wool.

WEB 2-5-13 olive hat 3I hope Olive enjoys her colorful new hat!

Baby hats

I’m at the time of life when the majority of my friends are getting married and having families. Not all of them, but quite a few! So all these babies calls for baby hats! I’ve found I can churn out baby hats in just a few hours. And they’re fun! (The patterns are here and here.) Not much else to say on the topic, so I’ll let the photo do the talking.

Little baby hats

 

The pink one went to Georgia and the blue one went to Oregon. Well traveled hats!

Lake hikes

As I think many other folks will agree, when you’re chasing a little kid around all day, trying to get meals on the table, squeezing in a shower somewhere, and oh, yeah, starting a small business, exercise and enjoyment of the beautiful countryside that abounds without can take a back burner. Silliness, I tell you! Silliness!

So, one of my New Year’s resolutions was to do yoga. And I’ve been doing that (it feels great!). But I also want to take care of my body more than I have the past few years. It’s not only about weight loss. It’s about being physically active and cultivating a lifestyle that is a model for my children (I should say child, because no, I’m not pregnant, I’m just thinking in future tense). I want my kiddos to grow up being active. We live in an amazing place with scads of recreational opportunities, and it’s foolish to just sit at home when we could be out there in that beauty getting skinny.

So yesterday I went on a short loop snow hike (took the snowshoes but didn’t need them in the end) near the reservoir. And it was awesome. Though I’m still sore as I write this.

Starting at the beginning, I drove up to the trailhead, and when I came to the parking lot, which had about 6-8 inches of snow covering it, I thought to myself: “Self, you probably shouldn’t try to park in there. You’re going to bury the 2-wheel drive Honda Civic lacking snow tires.” So what did I do? Tried to get into the parking lot anyway! So like I thought, I did bury the front tires and that was that. Got about three feet into the driveway to the parking lot. So my friend, who was just behind me with her dogs and baby in her four-wheel-drive, snow-tire fitted car that actually makes sense in this climate/area, tried to get my car rocking so we could push it out, but no dice.

But why ruin a perfectly good hike worrying about the car? It was mostly off the road. So we flipped the flashers on and loaded up the babies and did our hike. Have I ever mentioned that 30 pounds of baby/backpack combined is sorta heavy? Well it is. My shoulders and my hips ache. But that means I did something, right? Yoga will sort out residual aches anyway.

It was a very pleasant hike through the trees around the lake. The weather was fabulous, warm actually, and we both quickly worked up a sweat and started stripping off scarves and gloves. The Peanut babbled away in the backpack and was quite content, even though I had to crawl under several downed trees with him in the backpack. All part of the adventure as I told him!

View from lion lake hike

When we were nearly back to the cars we called a local mechanic to come tug the car out. Which he did for free because he’s a nice guy.

A great little morning adventure!

Lion lake hikers

Recent projects: Crib bumpers

I recently completed a couple of projects I’ve been meaning to do for a while now. I made bumpers for Jonathan’s crib, and also a bib (which I will share in the next post).

I decided to make the bumpers myself after reading this blog post and doing some research on what nice bumpers were likely to cost. For about a quarter of what I would pay to purchase the bumpers, I made my own. They’re not that great, but they’re better than nothing! And we needed something, because our son has a penchant for sticking his feet through the bars of his crib (and consequently his fat little legs get stuck and then he screams bloody murder), and he also scoots around in his sleep so much he kept banging his head against the bars of the crib. Waking up in the middle of the night to a screaming baby is not OK at this point.

I used some fabric I already had on hand (my fabric stockpile has gotten a bit out of hand, and I’m trying to use what I have before buying more… though I did buy gingham for the bib, but more on that in my next post), but picked up some navy blue piping for decoration, navy blue ribbon for the ties, and foam for stiff padding.

After the tedious measuring and fabric cutting stage (every project I do, I swear I hate measuring and cutting just a little bit more), I pinned together the fabric, piping and ribbon. I placed the ribbon at even intervals so there are ties on the ends and in the middle. I did, of course, run out of ribbon at the end, so I have one bumper with five ties on the top and one with four ties, but my baby sure isn’t going to notice something like that. It’s important if you’re making something like this yourself that the ribbon lays INSIDE the fabric, as shown below, as you pin, not the outside, or you’ll end up with the ribbon on the wrong side of the fabric. Though maybe I’m the only person who has to think that sort of thing through. I also use the same color pin (green in this case) to denote where the ribbon was so I sewed extra carefully in those spots. Anybody else give themselves visual clues like that?

I sewed the top (with the piping) and the two sides before inserting the foam and sewing the foam in. I probably should have used buttons instead so I could remove the foam to wash the bumper fabric, but I decided to live on the wild side (a.k.a. I didn’t want to learn how to sew buttons this time around) and sew the foam in. Down the road I’ll inevitably have to wash the bumpers and when I do I’ll plan to wash them on a cold, gentle setting. And keep my fingers crossed. I left about an inch on all sides of the fabric to account not only for seams but also for the width of the foam.

Here are the finished bumpers on Jonathan’s crib:

You can see the top of the crib bumper is actually a pale blue. The one on the bottom matches it. I didn’t have enough of either the pale blue or striped fabric to complete all four bumpers, but I thought the two fabrics went well together and the navy ties and piping help them match. Also, I think these bumpers are neutral enough for a baby girl’s crib in the future (no, I am not prego).

I’m happy to report our days of stuck feet and bumped heads are over. Our little peanut seems to sleeping better at night. Mission accomplished!

 

 

 

Yum avocado!

That’s what we tell Jonathan when we feed him avocado. We started feeding him solid (mushy) food last week. We started the first day with rice cereal, which he did not like. As you can see below.

Even my silly attempts at convincing him he liked the rice cereal didn’t elicit much response.

Me: Mmmm delicious mush!
Jonathan: Lady, you’re nuts.

He seems to like avocado better. We’ll do another day or two of that and then we’re moving on to sweet potato! I am making my own baby food. It’s purer that way. I control the ingredients. There aren’t any preservatives. It’s less expensive. So far the food I’ve made is a single ingredient, such as avocado, sweet potato, or peas, mixed with breast milk. I’m freezing the extras, and I’ve made enough for now that we’re set for a while. I’m using the book The Best Homemade Baby Food on the Planet. It has recipes from age six months to two years. So far I like the book a lot. Beyond recipes, it also has tips for feeding your child and nutritional information.

Making baby food from scratch is easy, but it does take some time. The avocado recipe is easy, and requires no cooking, just blending the milk and avocado together. The sweet potato and peas recipes do require cooking (baking and steaming, respectively). After cooking I mix the ingredient with breast milk and blend. Then I freeze the mush in a special, nasty plastics-free baby food freezer tray (1 tablespoon blocks, since a serving for a baby is 1-2 tablespoons). After that, I put the cubes in glass containers for storage. The containers have lids that also don’t have nasty plastics.

Jonathan hasn’t quite caught on to the whole solid foods thing yet, but I’m sure he will soon. At least it’s fun for my husband and I. And so far, only one projectile experience!

6 months

Today our son is 6 months old. When the heck did that happen?

It’s been a very interesting 6 months. It feels like it took forever, but it also feels like it happened in the blink of an eye. Six months ago, we were sitting in a hospital with our brand-new son. He would have to stay in the hospital for nearly a week, since he was a month premature and needed a little help breathing the first day after his birth, then he needed some help learning to nurse, then he needed help getting his bilirubin levels (which cause jaundice) down to normal. Six months ago Jonathan had two very nervous parents.

Six months later our son is sitting up on his own (though he’s still a bit wobbly). He’s starting to have an interest in toys. He likes being read to and enjoys looking at the pictures. He’s learning to love being in the hiking backpack (which is a good thing since we plan to hike frequently this summer). He’s going to start solid foods (well, mushy foods) in the next day or two. Jonathan’s parents are less nervous now, but still learning a lot every day about being parents.

We are so thankful for this little boy. I’m a firm believer that God puts the people a person needs in his or her life. Shawn and I needed this baby, this easygoing, smiley, beautiful baby. What a wonderful 6 months it’s been.