coupon banner

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Crayon Fun

I think this is going on my Christmas shopping list. One reason is because I think it will be fun for me to play with too. Never underestimate the importance of your children having toys that don't drive you bonkers to hear or play along with.

The Crayola Crayon Maker appeals to my thrifty side because we have so many little pieces of crayon that are too short for a toddler to use but wasteful to throw away. I love Crayola Mini Twistables Crayons because they don't get instantly broken in half, but my clever child has still figured out how to extract the crayon portion and break them when she's in a mood.

I like the Crayon Maker for artistic reasons as well. I love the color effects created by Crayola True to Life Crayons and the Crayon Maker will allow us to make our own color blends.

Violet has a few years to go before she meets the minimum age guideline for this toy. But I'm plenty old enough and think this could be a fun project for us to do over and over.

Or we could DIY it and melt them down into chunky crayons ourselves. I think they are far more likely to be used with the familiar crayon shape, though, and apparently you can watch the melting magic with the Crayon Maker.

Creativity is a good thing.

My daughter built a hippopotamus out of blocks today.

You don't see it?

Neither do I. Even as she pointed out features. She may be pointing to an eye.

I may not recognize the various things she builds, but I'm thrilled that she has the imagination and creativity to do this.

By the way, those blocks are puzzle cubes my brother brought back from Germany for her. Each side is part of a different picture. At this age, she enjoys them more as blocks.

Room with a View

"They're working on my road."

Further play-by-play ensued as the trucks and workers did interesting things outside. Meanwhile, the baby who sleeps through all sorts of toddler screams and mayhem was very disturbed by the rumbling truck noises outside. But he finally fell asleep, and Violet enjoyed some one-on-one time with Mommy and loved having her picture taken while she played in creative ways.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Changing Views

I need to get used to seeing Gator sitting up every chance he gets. The way he's going, he'll be standing up and looking at me soon. He managed to pull himself up on something earlier today. His mama is not ready for this. Not that it will slow him down.

Slow down, you move too fast

Gator is almost six months old and seems so much older every day. That picture on the left was taken a week and a half ago, and I see him looking like a baby less and less.

He doesn't spend much time laying down to play now. If he's not crawling, he's sitting up and enjoying the higher vantage point as he plays.

I still do double takes sometimes when I see him sitting up. In the wee hours of the morning, this sleep-deprived mama had a "who is that?" moment when I found a child sitting in the crib and calling for me.

This stage and new discoveries and abilities is a fun one, but it makes me sort of sad to see our baby days slipping away so quickly.

I'm finding myself feeling sentimental about little things, like the fact that I need to buy some size 4 diapers for nighttime. Size 4! Violet was in 3s for a lot longer than this. I was reading an older blog post and realized he's only been in the 3s for two months! It's not my imagination...this kid is flying through babyhood.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Why didn't I check Amazon before the local craft chain stores? It's much cheaper to get a nice assortment of knitting needles on there.

I'd love to get some 12" circulars for knitting little hats...maybe I can get my mom to split a set with me. The bamboo needles really are nicer than metal ones, but I'm hesitant to get too many sets.

So far, I'm finding knitting hats to be very relaxing. Something about the circular needles makes it even more so. I never have to change the needle from one hand to another...just knit knit knit. Earlier this week, the kids were driving me NUTS. So I set them each up with activities and sat and knit while I kept an eye on them and chilled out a little. It was good for all of us.

What a difference a year and a half makes...

April 2008

October 2009

She looks a lot different, but she's still in love with that dog.

When it comes to anatomy, she's nuts.

For many months, Violet's pronunciation of "peanuts" has sounded a lot like a part of the male anatomy. It's always nice to hear what sounds like "I want penis!" from your toddler.

Last night, she and Gator were in the tub and she finally looked at his crotch and asked "What's that?" I told her it was his penis, and she said, "Penis? I put penis in my nose!"


Remember my post about the pumpkin seed up her nose? I guess she tried putting some nuts up there too. And I guess she can't discern the difference between "peanuts" and "penis". Some very funny talk ensued.

Then she went to her usual contrary mood and insisted that she had a penis and her brother had a vagina. It does fit with her insistence that she is a boy and he is a girl...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Discovering Food

His: Today, Gator had his first meal that included something other than breastmilk. He seemed to enjoy the mushed up bits of banana that I put on my finger.

He's been showing more and more signs of readiness, and as much as I don't want my little baby to grow up so fast and I prefer less-complicated mealtimes, in the past week or so it's become obvious that he's really ready, and I didn't want to hold him back too long.

I have a feeling his sister will let him sample things long before I'd like him to. We've spent almost six months telling her that he just drinks milk, and now he's trying something else.

Hers: Earlier in the day, Violet was enjoying a bowl of trail mix at her little table in the living room. She told me she had something in her nose and came over for me to help. Usually this means a booger is bothering her. I didn't see anything, but she insisted there was something in her nose. After a few tries, she finally blew hard enough to expel a PUMPKIN SEED in the tissue.

From what she tells me, apparently she put it up there on purpose. I guess it's not enough that she sticks her fingers up her nose all the time. The stuck seed seemed to shake her up a little, so hopefully she'll stop subjecting her nostrils to intruders.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Violet Wanderer

Violet's a big fan of the hat I just knitted for her. It's my second hat, and I'm still a beginning knitter, but I'm enjoying it so far. I need to perfect how and when to start reducing at the top. I'm not sure that the pom pom is the best way to top off the hat, but it needed something.

I think I'll call this general design The Wanderer. It was a free-form design with sections of different stitches as the mood struck me. I really enjoyed working with some different stitches without having to pay a lot of attention to how many times I knitted or purled or what I was supposed to be doing on a certain row. Keeping to a pattern with little ones around isn't always easy, but I get bored just knitting the whole time.

I have some other ideas for things I want to try, and I need to work on perfecting my sizing for my little girl, and get some double-pointed needles or shorter round needles if I want to make much for the baby without driving myself nuts constantly moving the stitches around on my 16" round needles.

Interesting expression, eh?

Baby Sitter

Gator has progressed from a tripod sit to sitting without his arms as support, for brief periods. I happened to have my camera handy when I saw him doing it for the first time yesterday morning.

At 5.5 months old, he's getting more and more efficient with his version of crawling. He can do a traditional crawl for a few steps, then goes to his modified version that works so well for him.

No teeth yet, but they have got to be close. He chomps on anything he can get his hands on. Including his toes. I really need to get a photo of that, because it's pretty funny, and he'll probably stop as soon as a tooth pops through. He crawled over and chomped on my toe yesterday, and that did not feel good. The kid has some strong jaws!

Violet's jealous furies have increased now that he is touching more and more of her stuff. We're attempting to use this as an incentive to keep her toys picked up, with mixed results. We're also working on SHARING. It's fine when she doesn't want him to play with something he shouldn't have. Not fine when she lays claim to infant toys.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Books, Booties, and Boogies

This morning, Gator had a very happy reunion with his toes during a diaper change. There have been many such joyous events since fall scared summer away and footed sleepers became a necessity. Seeing his smiles come so easily brings me great joy.

He had a not-so-happy reunion with the hospital nasal syringe, a.k.a. the Yucker Sucker. Poor little guy was snuffly all night and we had a night like we had when he was brand new and needed to nurse constantly and needed a lot of extra soothing to rest. It's amazing how quickly your body adjusts to getting just a little more sleep, making it that much harder to backtrack.

We had a fun day yesterday that included some great time with friends. Violet wasn't as interested in the little boy her age as she was in his baby brother. That baby is about six weeks older than her baby brother and just a little more interactive in a way she likes. For instance, he can sit up! She loved that.

We enjoyed seeing the Usborne Books and have a few in mind for Christmas and birthday gifts for Ms. Violet. I'm considering doing a home party and/or e-show, so if you're interested in seeing more or thinking of buying any for your kids (or mine), let me know. I really enjoyed seeing the books in person and they were a nice combination of quality and affordability.

One thing that really caught my eye was the Box of Bugs puzzle set (unless someone's tastes change more to fairies before I order it.) Violet loves things that come in neat little storage boxes with handles, plus the puzzles are just perfect for her age. We were also impressed to see a new baby book that depicted our postpartum life much more closely than many books do. Mama didn't suddenly look thin after having a baby, and she was breastfeeding. Yay, Usborne!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Green Crafts!

I've always loved the upcycled creations my friend Devona makes and sells on etsy (that's just her latest store). She and another creative lady have an amazing blog, Clever Nesting, that is full of great tips, ideas, and tutorials..

Two great things I just learned about from them that I can't wait to try out...

Use pretty kerchiefs or scraps of fabric as reusable gift wrap, and learn pretty ways to wrap and tie them here. I love using reusable gift packaging, and this is such a simple solution and can give temporary use to those wonderful pieces of fabric that haven't found their purpose yet.

And I can't wait to try crocheting tiny flowers to use on hair bows and other craft projects for my little darling. And because I have LOTS of embroidery floss from back in the day when knotted friendship bracelets were all the rage, I don't even need to buy yarn! Just a small crochet hook, unless I manage to find the one I know I once owned...but the need to corral stray craft supplies is another post altogether...


Violet picked up Gator. She was doing surprisingly well with it, even though he weighs just 10 pounds or so less than her. She kept lifting him higher and higher. Right before I flew over there to intervene, she finally listened to me and put him down.

She lifted her arms from under his and dropped him on the laminate floor!

Fortunately, he was more scared than hurt, but OMG!

And now I know it can be more dangerous to have her suddenly stop something she's doing that she shouldn't be than to let it continue a moment longer until I'm there to assist.