Thursday, December 6, 2012

Fifteen months and settling in

Wow, E is fifteen months old today!

It's now almost a month after we moved to our new home, and we're slowing settling in. I took this picture awhile back from the kitchen table. (I do have to admit it was rather strategically framed and timed - we're not living in nearly as remote a location as it might appear.)

E is in the midst of a put-things-in-and-take-them-out phase.  For a long time, he has been helping me empty the silverware out of the dishwasher, but recently after we finished he wanted to put it all back in the dishwasher basket!  Here is his work of modern art: every piece of our silverware (minus the knives) fit into one of the baskets.

We spent a little while drawing together this morning.  Well, I doodled and he mostly moved the block crayons in and out of their tin.  It was fun for both of us!

He is also really in to walking backwards now, especially if he can sit down on something behind him when he bumps in to it.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Fall-tastic times

Around here, everyone is saying that the leaves are falling early this year - they sure are falling fast. I took this picture a few days ago, and now the vines are nearly bare.
I see these vines climbing over our neighbor's fence from the kitchen window of our little rental house, they're always pretty in the fall.

In other fall news, E is currently showing a lot of interest in using silverware at meals. I've been using his little wooden bowl a lot, and giving him mini spoons and forks to practice with.

Chewing on the toothbrush feels good when you're teething!
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Mr. Muffin is also keen on "giving five" - taught to him by Grandpa. Today he turned a light switch on for the first time too!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Big Changes and Quick Change Trousers

I mentioned that I thought E was starting to say "mama," and now I really think he is.  He will say, "Mamamamamama" when he wants to give me something, when he wants me to give him something, or when he really wants my attention on something.  Once in awhile he says "Dada" too!

Some other changes are in the air: Mr. Tiny walks more often with his arms at his sides now, rather than up in the air for balance.  I've noticed him picking up things, especially food, with his whole hand when he needs to, instead of always using thumb and index finger.

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What cute pants you have there, Mr. Muffin!  We have been having a little bit of a tough time finding pants that fit over the cloth diapers, so I sewed this pair for E.  The pattern is Quick Change Trousers, from the book Handmade Beginnings.  I'd read a lot of blogs saying that these pants are great for cloth diapers.  While they are super cute (and reverseable - although the reverse side is a little busy with that circle pattern fabric making up most of it), they are definitely not the answer to our fit dilemma.  The improvement in fit over store-bought sweat-style pants is negligible.

I have another pattern in mind to try, and although I don't think it's as cute as this one, I have higher hopes for it actually fitting.  I might also try making this pattern in knits, I think it would fit well then.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Pixie Hat: Complete!

After I finished my hat, I started in on a hat for E.  I thought this "pixie" style with a point in the back was too cute.

The green yarn is Socks That Rock medium-weight in the beryl colorway.  I've had this yarn quite a long time and tried to knit it in to a number of things, but most of them just didn't work out.  I find it rather too thick for socks, despite the name.  I realized a third of the way through that I wouldn't have enough of that darn green yarn, hence the gray stripe, in Regia 6-ply (another sock yarn that I find too thick for socks).

View from the side:

And the back:
Stay tuned for details on Mommy's headband :)
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Hubbo put the hat on Mr. E for these pictures, I would have made it a bit tighter, but then, E never likes it when I put his hat on.  Hmm...

If you look carefully, you might notice that in the previous post, the hat isn't oriented in the same way as it is here.  This is the way I intended for it to be worn, but it looks cute either way!

Sunday, October 7, 2012


Thirteen months (and a day)! I had every intention of writing this post last night, but I fell asleep immediately after putting E to bed, oops.

1-3 month day was a busy one.  It was pretty chilly in the morning when we went to the farmers' market to pick up some eggs.

Stay tuned for details on the pixie hat
Then we went to the Spunky Dunkers doughnut shop.  It was packed, as you might expect a doughnut shop to be at 10 on a Saturday morning.  They had a lot of seasonal (like pumpkin) doughnuts, but we stuck with tried-and-true favorites.  Overall, I think they were pretty average.  Glad we went once, but we probably won't go again before moving day.

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Fun facts about 13 months:
  • You weight 22 pounds and 15 ounces
  • You are 31" tall
  • You might be starting to say "mama" (when you give me things)
  • Roasted butternut squash is about the only thing you don't like to eat
  • You've gotten really good at standing up on your own

Monday, October 1, 2012

Baby's First Drawing

Today was a busy day for E. This morning, he learned how to flip a light switch! (But only down, flipping up is a bit trickier.) Most of the switches at our house are old-school (original from the 50's?) hard-to-flip and very loud. The bathroom, however, was remodeled recently and has "normal" switches, so we practiced in there and he was able to turn off the lights by himself.  He can't reach the light switches yet when he's standing on the ground, so I'm not worried about him playing with them and turning the house into a disco party.

For E's birthday, my parents gave him these way cool beeswax block crayons.  Unfortunately, the first thing he did with them was try to eat them.  So I put them away for awhile.  This morning, however, I was writing with a pen, and E kept trying to take it and write, but he couldn't hold it quite correctly to get it to make a mark.  I got his crayons back out, and he made this drawing!

I followed my dad's advice to try giving him the blue crayon instead of the red, in hopes that he wouldn't eat it because there isn't too much food that's blue, while he loves some red foods, like strawberries. It worked - there was no eating of the crayon!

I had chosen red originally because I remember reading that the Montessori approach to painting and drawing is to start with a single color, and they start with red. We might as well start with blue, if you ask me.

What do you want with my drawing?!
The drawing is on the back of a recipe for butternut squash soup.  I really like this soup, but it's a project to make, so I generally only have it once a year, in the fall.  This time I spread it out, I made the stock (since I had some bones in the freezer) a few days ahead, and I diced the squash a day or two in advance too.  I roasted it in the morning, and then just the actual cooking of the soup had to take place in the afternoon/evening.  I added black beans too, yum.

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Baby in a hood, too cute.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sniffle, sniffle

E and I have been fighting off a cold this past week here chez Tiny Muffins, hence the radio silence.  I do have a few fun pictures that Hubbo snapped before we got sick.

E has since agreed to wear pants (at first he seemed quite worried about where his legs went).  We are still working on shoes and hats.  He didn't mind hats at all last winter, and he even did pretty well with his sun hat over the summer, but now he is not keen on them in the slightest, even if his great-aunt and I made them for him!

In anticipation of our move (we have a closing date!  Oct. 19!), we have gotten a couple of organizer-type items that don't "fit" anywhere in our current house, but will have good homes after the move.  The idea with this one is to have a limited selection of toys out and rotate them periodically.  Looks much neater than it did before.

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Speaking of moving, we still have some things we want to be sure to do before we leave (not that we're moving thaaat far):
  • Go to the donut shop with the fun name (Spunky Dunkers, tee hee)
  • Go to Mass at the church where we got married (it's much closer now than it will be once we move)
  • Have yummy yummy Thai food from the restaurant we can walk to
  • Take pictures of the house before we start packing - to show E when he's older -- almost done, just need to do the outside
  • Visit the bead shop that neighbor J mentioned -- it was a little creepy for me, good thing Hubbo went with :-/
  • Go to the forest preserve one more time -- it's gotten quite cold, I'm not thinking we'll do this one
  • Have a family brunch at Wildberry (on a weekday!) 
  • Dinner at "Big Bowl Noodle"

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Birthday Party Recap

We had E's birthday party with his grandparents the weekend after his birthday. He was a little surprised to wake up from his nap and find the living room filled with party guests, but it didn't take too long for him to warm up to everyone.

Here he is checking out a sparkley birthday card from my mom. It is still fun to touch the sparkles a week and a half later! E is also wearing a necklace with a lucky jade charm from Hubbo's parents.

Birthday cake made by Mommy!  I used this recipe for the cake, and this one, more or less, for the frosting. The cake was not exactly light and fluffy, probably because I used almond milk instead of cow's milk, but all in all I think it turned out as well as one could expect for the first cake I made from scratch. Luckily I have a whole year to devise a birthday treat for next year!

Mmmm cake.  I would say that the majority of the cake ended up on the floor or on the highchair, but E did eat some of it.  He liked it well enough, but he likes to eat just about anything these days!

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Friday, September 7, 2012

One Year Old!

Happy birthday, E!  It really is hard to believe that it's been a year already.  We remember the days in the hospital and the early days at home like they were just a few months ago...

The day itself was full of our usual activities: breakfast, playing outside, nap, picnic lunch, nap, taking a walk with Mommy in the carrier, dinner, and then ... presents!

Okay, this one is actually from our Labor Day cookout
What could be inside?


Hammer balls!  Want to play?


I'm pleasantly surprised that this toy seems really developmentally appropriate for a just-turned-one year old. E has just started experimenting with putting objects on other objects, and once in awhile inside them, so putting the balls back in the holes is great. He doesn't quite get that he's supposed to use the hammer to knock them down, but he has a lot of fun just pushing them out with his hand and putting them back in.

A birthday post wouldn't be complete without a blast from the past, here's our little guy at 24 hours old:

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Saturday, September 1, 2012

Official Walker

It's official, E is walking! This post is about a week overdue, but he is roaming all over our (ranch) house now without any assistance from us or the furniture.  He still likes to have a hand to hold when we're outside, for now.

Here's an action shot, he likes to keep that arm up :)

One of E's favorite walking games is to lead me by the hand in to the bedroom, and then he hides behind the bed, and I crawl out the door and around the corner.  Then he comes chasing after me like the wind!  He can easily play this game six or seven times in a row, whew.

Mr. Man also has enough balance to stand on his tiptoes now, to reach just that little bit higher when he sees something interesting. He's absolutely wearing himself out these days with his newfound skills, too. I think that might be why his appetite for solid food seems to be increasing a bit.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Complete: Selbu Modern

A hat! Not just a hat, a winter hat! Yep, I knit myself a wool hat (and not just any wool, but Shetland wool from Shetland sheep living on Shetland and processed in to yarn there too) in the summer. =)

This pattern is called Selbu Modern, and for some reason I always read it as the French "moderne," although I don't think that's what the designer intended. The hat was my first stranded (i.e. using two colors at once) project. My tension is a little wonky in some of the parts that alternated single stitches of each color, but overall I'm really happy with it. Using two colors essentially creates a hat of double thickness, this one is really warm.

The knitting was completed in just under a month, faster than I expected.  I knit like a fiend while E was napping.  The entire hat was knit while he was sleeping - I think I tried working on it once in the car while Hubbo was driving, but E needed some distractions, so that didn't last.

Ravelry info is here.

Doesn't this rose look like it's just peeping out at you from behind the wall?  The camera's auto-focus had a really hard time with this one, it wanted to focus either on the wall or the bushes in the background.  Luckily I do know how to switch it to manual!  Not as easy as you might think, because you have to set both the camera body and the lens to manual focus on our camera.

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Monday, August 20, 2012

Making Waves

What have we been up to lately? Well, little E now has almost 5 teeth! Three on the top (two of those are still coming through), and two down on the bottom. He has also just started waving! I actually didn't realize he was waving, until we saw our neighbors on their bikes, and E waved at them, and the neighbor said, "He waved!" He'll sometimes wave if you say "wave," but "bye-bye" gets a wave more often.

In our classic book, Pat the Bunny, Paul and Judy wave bye-bye at the end, and E loves that part. So far, he's also happy to pat the bunny, look in the mirror, and read Judy's book.
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Unrelated, I made this furniture polish. I didn't polish our wooden furniture last summer (I don't know why I thought I'd have more time for that this year ?!?!), and finding a "natural" furniture polish recipe has been on my radar for awhile. I stumbled on this one from a blog I don't usually read, but who's author just released a book called A Year of Pies. I'm not a big pie person (unless it's pecan), but the book also has savory pies (i.e. chicken pot pie), so it's on my list if our library gets a copy!

All that to say, it was pretty random to find this recipe, but it only has 3 ingredients, and they're not too weird (that is, Whole Foods had them all). So far it seems to me to work as well as Old English. One less fatal-if-swallowed thing to have around!.

 Coming soon, I made myself a way cool hat, I just need to get some pictures of me wearing it.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Onze mois (eleven months)

Happy eleven months, little E!

This month:
  • You took your first vacation
  • You started pointing at what you want
  • Your third tooth started peeping through
  • You're happy to cross a (small) room to walk to Mommy or Daddy
  • You can pull yourself up from laying to standing!
Sitting on a bench in Montana
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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Baby's First Vacation

We recently took our first vacation as a family of three to visit my sister in Bozeman, Montana, where she's in grad school. Here E and I are looking out the window at our airport:

You can just see them, check out his shoes!  They are these "Robeez" leather slipper-like shoes.  I replaced the elastic around the ankle because as they were, they totally squashed his poor self.

Here we are with E's auntie at the Hyalite Reservoir.


The reservoir itself:


This puppy wanted to play fetch with Hubbo.  Not much of a dog person, he was quite impressed that the dog kept getting the stick and bringing it back.


Checking out the picnic area:


On one of our two (very) short hikes.  Check out those cool leggings on Mr. Man.

The apples at the hotel's continental breakfast were a big hit.

Everyone resting chez sister.

Playing during our (don't remind me) three hour delay at the Bozeman airport.

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All in all a successful trip. E did very well on the first plane ride and was even able to take a good nap during it. Sadly, because of the delay, he missed his afternoon nap on the way home and was a bit whiny on the plane. We were very lucky and shared our row with a lady who had traveled a lot with her kiddos when they were babies, and she was very encouraging at the end of a long day.