Friday, July 29, 2011

... of the etsy experiement

I have a shop on Etsy. You may not have known that, because it's been something that I have been very apprehensive about actually pursuing. One of the reasons is that I make a TON of different things, but I know I should probably just do a few things and do them really well. However, I've had a hard time committing to those few things. How do I know that those are the few things that people will want to buy? What if my pictures aren't professional enough? What if I want to start making something else? What if people don't want to buy my stuff and I look silly? How will I have time to do it with everything else that I have to do?

And then I realized... the great thing about selling on etsy is that you can make it whatever you want it to be. I can do less sometimes and more at others. I could stop completely or slow down. I could also list a bunch of different thing and figure out what people want that way. I can start with whatever pictures I can get and progressively get better pictures as I have time. Maybe having a hodge podge of things would be ok for a little while.

So I'm just going to do it. I'm just going to list things that I've had in my "to list" box in my work room forever, and we'll just see how it goes!

Ironically, the items that I just listed today are kinda new to me things. I've made the tie onesies often, but the gift set idea is a new one. So we'll see how it goes! Here's a look at my new stuff:

Baby boy gift sets: Green Dots

I hope to get more up soon!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

... of a normal inconsistent day

"Who needs consistency when you've got me!?"

Our... well, my... life has changed quite a lot in the last few weeks. With all of the crawling and pulling up and climbing and grabbing and cat hair, I just can't leave my child unattended anymore. For the moment, he is safe for a few unattended minutes at a time in his high chair or his walker, but those are getting more and more sketchy by the day. So that has made the productivity level drop significantly. Also we are fluctuating between two different schedules on any given day. The last two weeks have been comprised of what I like to call the A Schedule and the B Schedule.

The A schedule is as follows (because I know you all care so greatly... but this is more for posterity's sake than yours, so... there...)
6:00a - Wake up, nurse
7:00a - Back to sleep
9:00a - Wake up
9:30a - Breakfast
10:30a - Nap
11:30-12:00 ish - Wake up
1:30 - Lunch
2:00 - Nap
4:00-5:00ish - Wake up
5:00 - Snack
7:30 - Dinner
8:30 - Bed time

But the B Schedule is as follows:
7:30a - Wake up, Breakfast
9:00 - Nap
10:30-11:00ish - Wake up
11:30 - Lunch
1:30 - Nap
3:30-4:00ish - Wake up
4:00 - Snack
6:00 - Dinner
8:30 - Bottle, Bed time

The biggest problem is that that days are really very different, time wise. So when I try to make daytime plans with people, I plan based on the A Schedule (because it happens more often). But if turns out to be the B Schedule that day, I have to change plans or take a very fussy baby to visit people (which makes for a very fussy Mommy, as well).

Now, you may be thinking: Why don't you just wake him up at 6:00 to make sure you have always have the A Schedule. But I have two issues with that. 1: How will I ever know if he could eventually start sleeping until 7:30 consistently, if I keep waking him up at 6? And 2: If a crying baby doesn't wake my up at 6am... I am unlikely to wake up willingly at 6am, even to a blaring alarm clock. So, until he decides to get a bit more consistent, my friends will just have to deal with my making "window" appointments, i.e. "Yeah! We can come over! Is sometime between 11:30 to 12:30 ok?" Usually it is. So that's good.

So far today, we are on the A Schedule (which also means that we were unable to take Daddy to work today and he had to ride his bike. Poor, hot Daddy).

We played with Abram's wood blocks last night and this morning. One of my favorite/unfavorite new developments that is emerging is a very boy like propensity toward destruction. Last night Quinn kept trying to build stuff and Abram would see it and immediately smack it down. So I got them out again today (trying to work on colors with him) and even if he was entertained with something else, the second he would see what I had built, he would trek all the way over to smash it and then return to whatever he was doing before.

We are also working on what can go into his mouth and what can't. The painted blocks are a favorite snack of Abram's, but definitely not of mine.

Then he played with Obie for a little while.

Poor Obie.

And this brings us to nap #1 (which he just woke up from after only 45 minutes!!) Yesterday I left him in his crib during his afternoon nap when he woke up and he went back to sleep for a total crib time of over 3 hours. Now that's the kind of nap I'm talking about. We'll see if he can put himself back to sleep for this one. He's singing and talking - which is not a good sign (but pretty cute, I guess).

Monday, July 25, 2011

... of some big developments

You know those email updates you can get during your pregnancy? The ones that tell you how big your baby is in fruit terms each week? Maybe you don't. Anyway, they exist. And I got them throughout my pregnancy. And then they continued after Abram actually arrived (weighing about as much as a large watermelon). So each month, I get an email update about what my baby might be/should be doing at that age... although, sadly, there are no fruit comparisons anymore. So the other day I got his 8 month update email which stated that babies this age tend to be abnormally fussy, probably because they are developing and changing so much.

Well, boy, has that been the case. Fussy: yes. Sleepless: occasionally. Changing: before our very eyes.

Within the last two weeks he has started: saying "ma ma", consistently doing the for real crawl, pulling up to standing, going from crawling to sitting, walking in his walker, and eating finger foods. And he's gotten his two top teeth. I'd be fussy, too.

Here he is pulling up on the back of the couch (the kooshiest spot in the house, in case he falls).

And here he is going from crawling to sitting.

So that's the news on the Abram front. On the Anaka front, I baked two loaves of bread tonight! I've never baked bread! What a development! ...Tomorrow I might be a little fussy, but I will have tasty zucchini and banana bread to make myself feel better.

Actually, they are for our community group party tomorrow, so I better not eat (too much of) them. I used this zucchini bread recipe and this banana bread recipe. The banana bread turned out better, actually (I used applesauce instead of egg, because one of my friends is vegan and I wanted her to have something to eat). I also used parchment paper to line the banana bread pan, but I greased the zucchini bread pan. The parchment worked soooo well! I will never do it any other way now.

I also took a nap when Abram was napping for the first time in his life. Everyone says to do that (especially when they are newborns), but I was never able to make it work. I always had other stuff I wanted to do with my free time. But today, I was just too darn tired. So Abram and I took a nap from 12:30-2:00. And it was really nice! One of the other reasons I never did it before is the same reasons that I've never gotten a credit card... I was afraid I would get used to having it and would get a little out of control. So it's not going to be a regular occurrence, but I may try it a little more often.

Maybe if I went to bed early instead of blogging, I wouldn't have to nap... ok, ok, I'm going...

Saturday, July 23, 2011

... of a vocabulary

Ok. So they are really just sounds. But they happen to be sounds that sound like words. For awhile it was "dada" which, of course, made Quinn feel pretty special. But guess who's turn it is now??!!

That's right! Mom Mom's. I think my favorite part is that it's not "ma ma". It's "mom mom" with a very round "o" :) I think he's getting the feel for his lips. What a cute Bubba.

Friday, July 22, 2011

... of a mini musician?

Both Quinn and I are musically inclined. Although neither of us do much any more except playing hymns and worship songs on my wonderful little travel guitar every once in awhile. Quinn is actually quite good at the guitar and used to play the banjo. I used to play piano, but haven't had the opportunity in awhile. I've also been told that I have a decent voice, but I'm not sure how much I agree with that one. Anyway, all of that to say that we did play the guitar around Abram a lot when I was pregnant and up until he was a few months old. It has waned a bit, but we pulled out the guitar the other day and he was fascinated by it!

Maybe all babies would be, but we was wanting to touch the strings and drag his fingers along them. So perhaps we will have a little guitar man on our hands. Two of his grandpas are great musicians (piano and trumpet, mainly - although I think Grandpa Dan might be able to claim proficiency on multiple instruments). We'll see!

Also, I had to share this picture of how I am greeted after 95% of Abram's naps when I walk into his room.

He gets so excited and bops up and down behind the bumper.

So cute.

On a final note, the Bobby has officially been retired to storage. He doesn't need it for help sitting anymore and he definitely doesn't stay in it on the couch the way he used to...

It's like we've marked the end of his little baby years. The other day I was talking to Quinn about how bad he has been sleeping lately and that he had the worst day he has had in a very long time yesterday. I found myself saying that it was the worst day he's had in his "adult baby life". Quinn laughed, but we agreed that's kind of what it feels like. He's a big baby now! An infant on the verge of toddler-dom. I explained the term "toddler" to Quinn the other day; that it applies when they start walking, because they are "toddling". He never knew what toddling meant. Just like he never knew that the "fetal position" was referring to the position in the womb... my husband has learned a lot since becoming a father :)

So my adult baby is crawling and standing by himself (when holding on to something, of course), and yesterday he pulled himself up for the first time! I'll try and get a video of that today to share.

Until then...!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

... of some snazzy little men: Tie tutorial

My first tutorial! Today I made a few little tie onesies for two friends that just had boys and I decided to do a tutorial, since it's so easy!

Here is Abram sporting his at his first wedding.

Also, there are many cute things out there for girls, but not many for boys. And sometimes a baby needs to look a little dapper, but a tuxedo is not required. So I thought that this quick little homemade project for a boy would be fun.

This is more of an experiment than anything else. It's a super easy project and not one that I thought of myself. There are many people on etsy that sell these, and I am unsure about creative ownership issues. So I have never made them to sell, only to have Abram wear or give away.
But you could make it with a sewing machine and basic skills or even basic hand sewing skills. Hand sewing is will obviously take longer, but not much.

*Here are the supplies you will need:

-Heavyweight fusible interfacing
-Fun fabric
-Thread roughly matching the fun fabric

*Start by figuring out how long you want the tie to be with your ruler.

My 0-3 month onesie tie is 6" long, total (1"tall top and 5" long bottom). My 6 month onesie is 7" long, total (1" top and 6" bottom), but you can eyeball depending on the particular onesie you are working with.

*Then draw the tie exactly the size you want it to end up being on the non-fusible side of your interfacing. Make sure it's symmetrical. You may want a "normal" looking tie, or maybe you want a 1960's super cool skinny tie... or an even more super cool, 1970's fat tie. It's up to you!

*Cut out your pieces and lay them on the onesie to make sure it's the size you want it (this is the exact size the tie will end up.

These are the measurements for my 0-3 month tie.

*Then place the fusible side of the interfacing on the WRONG side of the fun fabric. Make sure you line it up on the fabric in the direction you want the pattern to go. This will depend on the fabric you are using. I used the other tie I was making in this picture, since it had lines, which is a little different.

I like for the lines on the top to be horizontal and the lines on the bottom to be diagonal, but it's up to you.

*Iron on your interfacing. I usually try to hold the pieces in place as I flip it over and iron from the fabric side, because sometimes the interfacing warps under the direct heat from the iron.

*After that, trim the fabric around the interfacing leaving about .5" on all sides.

*Now use your iron to fold the extra fabric around the sides of the interfacing.

Some of the corner folding will be a little tricky. You don't want to trim the fabric around the corners (or you'll get fraying). So I iron it and then hold it in place with a pin until I'm ready to sew it onto the onesie. The top part is hard around the curve of the neck. You aren't going to get it perfectly curved, but I clip the access fabric just a little on the top to make the curve a little easier.

*Trim the access fabric on the top of the bottom part off.

I guess you could do that when you are cutting the fabric, but I realized at this point that it would make things easier.

*Then pin the top part onto the onesie (making sure to only pin through the front of the onesie). Tuck the top of the bottom part under the bottom of the top part... :) Does that make sense? This is what I like better about the ones that I've made compared to the ones I've seen for sale. I sort of gather the top of the bottom underneath to create a pucker. It makes it look more like a real tie and I like that.

You want to pin both parts together and sew them at the same time.

*Then you sew! Regardless of whether you are machine or hand sewing, you want to do a top running stitch all the way around all parts of the tie. I did the top first (all the way around), making sure I was sewing down both the top and bottom over the pucker. And then I went around the bottom part. If you are machine sewing, you have to do a little maneuvering, because the onesies are so little. Make sure you are only ever sewing through the front side! It's really easy to get the other side caught under the presser foot without knowing it and you will be seam ripping before you know it.

Also, try and go slowly and don't stretch the onesie fabric under the tie. You want it to lay nice and flat.

And you're done!

Pretty simple, right? Now go ahead and snazz up your little dude. He deserves it.

Don't ask. We were all tired and though this was really funny at the time...

Friday, July 15, 2011

... of a teeth explosion?!

Abram's top two teeth have come in in the last few days. And even though there is some disagreement in the medical community about whether or not teething can cause fevers and diarrhea, my son had both before the second one final broke through this time. So I thought this round of teething was over. He got his first two at 4.5 months and these two at 8 months. I breathed a sigh of relief when that second top one finally appeared, hoping things would go back to normal.

Then, he woke up early this morning, really fussy, did not want to nurse (and he's biting!), and he won't let me near his mouth to look at what's going on. He's literally angrily pushing my hands away when I get anywhere near it. But he's chewing vigorously on stuff. And no fever or diarrhea. So, I don't know. Maybe it's more teeth. Maybe he's just being a punk. Maybe there's something really wrong, but I sure hope not. I gave him some children's Tylenol and put him to sleep and I've made sure that his noise machine has not stopped (it's on a 45 minute timer) and so far he's been asleep for almost two hours. Yea!

Last night he was in a really great mood after his vaccination band-aid choking incident...

... yeah, that was awesome. After his vaccinations yesterday, with his pink band aids on his un-panted legs (it's HOT here, people), I put him in the car and we headed to Joann Fabrics for a quick errand. In the parking lot a few minutes later, I was about to get out to get him and I looked back right as he choked and projectile vomited all over himself and his car seat. I ran around the car and opened the door to find a very wet pink band aid on his chest amongst the throw up. Needless to say, we did not head into Joann. But the whole way home he was babbling and talking and laughing and fine. I was the one who was shook up. I just thank God that he had thrown it up. If I had not been stopped and he didn't get it out on his own, I can't imagine what I would have done. Praise God for His protection and sovereignty. He is so good...

Anyway, last night he was in a good mood and not fussy at all. He was even entertaining Quinn and I and our dinner guests, Akin and Masami, with his walking skills.

He just figured that out yesterday! Pretty cool, huh? They (the experts?) also say that babies this age can be extra fussy because of all of the development that is happening in them. And it has been by far the most development filled month for this Bubba.

Next post: a walking baby with a mouth full of teeth...!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

... of being on the move

"Hey baby, let me show you my moves."

Well, you've all seen the videos, so you know as well as I do that we now have a very mobile baby. He doesn't have the traditional crawl down (although he is trying), but he is almost as unstoppable in army crawl mode.

So now he likes to spend even more time on his tummy than he did before. This means that I must to try to be better about vacuuming and keeping the floor clean. Chelsea came today and she helped me out a ton with the floors and with Abram (some of these pictures are Chelsea originals...) She spent about 30 minutes in the pool with Abram, who spent the whole time on his belly dragging himself around in the water, splashing, and chewing on his toys.

As if we didn't already have an issue with him putting things in his mouth, he has officially been teething this week (fevers, diarrhea, and all). His two top teeth have broken through and I'm hoping that will all cool down for a while.

He's been chewing on the spoon when we put it into his mouth and it's made eating just a bit more messy than usual.

Although Daddy was just a little impatient during this feeding and contributed a bit to the mess level .

Abram is also working on standing a little more.

He's been able to stand on his legs since he was about 4 months old, but now I can let him stand on his own for awhile if he's holding on to something. He hasn't quite gotten the weight shifting down enough to take any steps, but he's working on it.

And I find it so funny that he has all of these toys, but when left to choose what he would like to play with, he will always go for the weirdest thing.

Like the knob on the drawer in his room.

So our little boy is getting less and less like a baby every day. Today he wouldn't put his tongue in his mouth and he was blowing raspberries all day. We did not teach him that. Chelsea did not teach him that. Apparently, babies have built in defiance mechanisms. That's our sin nature, I suppose.

On the homefront, I decided to make these cool little treats that I saw on Pinterest tonight. My mom was thinking about doing them too and I have to say they were very easy. Not quite as easy as just buying chocolate covered pretzels (which is essentially what they are), but they are much cuter.

You take small pretzel twist and put a Kiss on the tops:

Unwrapping the Kisses is the most tedious part:

Then put them in the oven at 275 for 3 minutes, just enough to get them soft...

And push MnM's into the centers before they cool:

And refrigerate them!
But make sure a ziplock of carrots doesn't fall on them while they are still melty :(

Let them cool and harden. And then feed them to your husband:

Who will make awesome faces that you can share with the world on your blog.

With that, I must say good night so I can get to bed at some sort of a reasonable hour... say 11?

(Super cute Chelsea original)