Wednesday, February 29, 2012

... of spooning

I know. I probably shouldn't call it that. But it makes sense. He started to figure out how to use a fork the other day and yesterday I let him go at a cup of yogurt with a spoon. He did remarkably well! I think, as adults, we forget that using a fork and a spoon take different kinds of movements and positioning. At least, I forgot, until I started to try to get my 15 month old to feed himself.

This was more toward the beginning of the process. Again, like the forking, it degenerated and got significantly messier. Here he is about 5 minutes later.

The problem with this in between stage of kind of getting it but not really getting it is that now he is really possessive of his fork and spoon. So if we let him try to feed himself at any point, we aren't going to get the utensil back in order to help him speed up the process without an inappropriate mini-tantrum. I am not a fan of those and hopefully we can prevent them more as he gets older. The solution now is to have a back up utensil. So he holds one and if not much food is getting in, we offer him a bite on the back up, adult one while he continues to play with the other one. It's going to be quite the process, but when he finally gets it, it will sure make dinner time a bit easier. Cean-up: maybe not so much.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

... of two

Today Selah is 31 weeks and Abram went in for his 15 month well check (a few weeks late). The fact that this will be an update on both of them made me realize that pretty soon that's going to be the case for most posts. I get long winded when I'm just updating on Abram! What's it going to be like when I have two kids doing new things and being cute for pictures?! I guess we will all find out soon enough.

31 weeks feels like a lot and a little at the same time. It's like we are in the very beginning of the home stretch. When you get into the home stretch you feel like the end is actually closer than it actually is and with this girl quickly running out of places to go, I'm starting to look forward to the end a bit more. She keeps going out instead of up. This is good for my diaphragm, lungs, and breathing, but not so great for my belly button. I blame it on Abram and the fact that my abs never came back together after him and so they haven't done a good job keeping this girl up and supported. I had Quinn take a picture this morning, but the lighting was bad, so we used the flash and it made a black shadow behind me. This wouldn't be a big deal, except that I am wearing a black shirt, so it makes my stomach look bigger than it actually is. So just know that there is a little extra added on to her in this picture :)

Selah - 31 weeks

Abram - 31 weeks

I wouldn't normally do a 31 week comparison, but that's apparently when I took this picture with Abram. I did 28, 31, 33, 35, 38. Weird. Anyway, I guess they are continuing along about the same.

I still can't figure out her position all of the time. I think that she's flipping around in there a lot, so it changes constantly. We are praying regularly that she will settle into the correct position before too long so we won't have to open the can of worms that comes with a breech baby this late in the game.

Our best friends are going to be having their third baby any day now! We are so excited to meet this little boy. Maybe Selah's husband? :) Just kidding. But not really. I think we all secretly think it would be awesome if we ended up being in-laws. Hey, my grandfathers fought in the Korean war together before they were married and my mom and dad met for the first time when they were three and five, so it happens! Anyway, our friends are up near Dallas waiting to have the baby and we are anxious for news any day!

So Abram's 15 month well check/life update:
Weight: 21 lbs 13 oz. 15th percentile. He's finally out of the bottom 5th! I credit whole milk.

Height: 31 inches. 50th percentile. Quinn's child.

Teeth: 9 fully in now, including one bottom molar. The corresponding top one has been working its way through for awhile, but taking it's time. He drools like a machine and always has a completely wet shirt pretty much all of the time. But he's been doing that since he was about 3 months old, we we are used to it by now.

Words he actually says that he understands he's saying: Dada (obvious), BuhBo (Bible), upm (up), Puh-puh (please). Other than that he pretty much babbles all of the time. He also has almost words for things, like "kkkhhhh" for cookie, "nana" for banana, etc.

Understanding: The doctor was really surprised when he was wandering around the office and went to play with the door stop and I said "Don't touch that, Bubba" and he walked away from it. Then he started to look at his book and it was upside down, so I said "It's upside down. Can you flip it right side up?" and he did. Apparently this level of understanding for a 15 month old is pretty good. I thought it was normal, because he's been listening and responding to what we say for awhile now. It's really nice that he understands so much. I feel less like I'm hanging out with a baby all day long and more like I'm talking to a real person :)

He got two vaccinations today. The DTap and the Hib. I only do two at a time, but that means I have to bring him in for vaccination appointments in between well checks. He usually does well with them: cries really hard during/right after and then calms down quickly. But he was really pulling at his pant leg where the shots were when we got home and were playing for a bit, which worried me. It didn't look bad when I checked before his nap, but hopefully we don't have a reaction at the injection site or anything. We'll see when he wakes up.

Post injection stupor.

Other cute picture from the last few days:

Playing with Daddy in the very-in-need-of-a-mow backyard.

On a family walk.

Sunday morning Mohawk.
We put him to bed with slightly wet hair and this
is what happens. This is how he went to
church that morning. Pretty cool little man.

Well, Quinn and I decided to try and do lunch as a family once a week. We chose Tuesdays, so I'm going to have to wake him up early from his nap. I hate doing that. Hopefully it won't be a fussy family lunch and he will take an afternoon nap for me later.

Whew. Lots of news on these two. I better start learning to edit myself soon :)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

... of nesting

I think it's finally hit me. My nesting is kicking in with this girl.

We prepared to have a garage sale today that we ended up cancelling last night because we had too much to do still and hadn't even gone through some parts of the house. But it was for the best. We've found a lot more to get rid of and now we just have to go through and price it all (we're over half way there already). So we are aiming for next weekend. Hopefully the stuff will move and we won't just be stuck with it in our garage instead of in our house.

The interesting thing about getting rid of stuff - and I mean really clearing out - is that when you start to pull things out from all of the closets and and cracks and crevices that you had them in, it actually feels more cluttered that when you had more stuff. Because it had just been hidden. I've gotten really good at hiding stuff. It hasn't been until the past week or so of garage sale prepping that I have become aware of certain things like the fact that we own three versions of Scrabble (travel, regular, and deluxe). But when do we play Scrabble? When we are on vacation and find that our hotel has a set. Not at home. Where we have three of them. (We sold our key chain version of it at our last garage sale).

So all of that to say that this has all been really good for me. It's made me realize that all the things that I felt I had to have, I didn't really. And I would save myself a lot of time decluttering and getting ready for garage sales if I just said no to it in the first place. It's a bit ironic that Quinn chose to have his dad make us this wall decal to put up in our kitchen:

But it has been really good for cleaning the house as well. As, room by room, it gets less cluttered, it gets significantly easier to clean and keep clean. Today's project ended up being the laundry room. I say "ended up" because I really started in the work room (which is definitely not a one day project, as evidenced by the fact that this was probably day number five of working on it), but I moved some shelves into the laundry room and then decided that it was high time the whole thing was cleaned and organized.

The laundry room is right by our kitchen, but it's probably the dirtiest room in the house. Not only do we have a litter box in there for the cat, but it just catches all the stuff from traveling through the garage and lint and stuff from dirty clothes and mounds of plastic sacks. The sad thing is that we have to keep the door open for the cat, but you can see it from the living room. It was always so bad, I just never thought anything could be done about it. Enter Pinterest. I really wish I had a before picture. It all got a lot better a few months ago when my dad put cabinet doors on the shelves in there, but today it became a room I don't mind looking at and going to.

This is now what you see from the doorway. I made the calendar awhile ago (also a pinterest inspired idea), but it was on a wall where we never really looked at it. The laundry basket was pulled out further and had all sorts of stuff behind it - including a bag of tennis balls, a tank top I wore once and forgot I had bought, some boxers, a pillow, and a lot of paper sacks. The dustbuster always lived on top of the washer or dryer. Basically, wherever it could be out of the way of the clothing that was folded and put in various piles all over the top of the washer/dryer. So the shelves are meant to be for being able to put folded laundry piles up and out of the way until they are taken to the back of the house.

Anyway. I was very excited to get something done today. We worked on a lot of things today and really did a ton now that I think about it. But the only thing I actually completed was the laundry room. And now, hopefully, this post :)

Quinn did some yard work today, which even he was unable to finish because the lawn mower ran out of gas. Abram really loved being outside with Dada. He walked around the yard out of the way while Quinn trimmed a tree and they pulled up some grass together and did some air tossing.

Overall it was a really good and productive Saturday. Somehow restful and tiring at the same time. Hope yours was good, too!

Friday, February 24, 2012

... of Cotillion

Did you do Cotillion growing up? I didn't. But I had friends who did and it baffled me. Why on earth would some kid from Fort Collins, Colorado need to know how to dance the Foxtrot or learn how to properly greet people of various ages or distinguish between multiple forks at dinner? Multiple forks? Whoever heard of such a thing? Didn't you just lick your fork clean and set it aside for the next course? And by "course" I mean turning your plate from the salad to the meatloaf.

At any rate, I never learned these things. But watching Downton Abbey recently has made me wish that I had not only learned them, but was actually able to use them. This was not supposed to be a post about Downton Abbey, but while I continue to ramble on about it we are on the topic , it's a really good show that makes me absurdly think that it would be more glamorous to live in wartime England rather than my own millennial life. If you haven't seen it and you are a person, you would probably like it. The only exception might be a man-person who normally chooses to watch nothing but Sports Center on repeat. Or my husband (ie. a hater-of-television person). Those people probably shouldn't even think about watching it. The rest of you, give it a thought.

This was supposed to be a post about Abram's new found interest in learning to use a fork. We've given him baby forks to see if he'll figure out how to feed himself, but he always hands it to us to "load it up", then asks for it back and takes a bite. Or he holds the fork in one hand and uses his other hand to actually feed himself. But today, he picked up my fork from the bowl of food that I had been eating and spent the next 20 minutes silently and diligently attempting to stab pasta and feed himself. He was quite (surprisingly) patient.

This is a video taken toward the beginning of the 20 minutes.

I think he got a total of 6 or so pieces of pasta actually in his mouth by using the fork. He eventually and understandably got less patient and it degenerated.

Mostly into picking up the pasta and trying to stick it on the fork.

Sometimes successful, sometimes not so much.

But it was a good learning day! The learning continued as I had him hang out with me in his room while I went through his 6-9 month clothes to store/give away/sell. I also sorted through all his blankets and stuffed animals and shoes and toys. We are having a garage sale next weekend and I wanted to make sure we hadn't missed anything. So he pretty much just entertained himself around him room while I folded and sorted and took pictures. We ended up with two Boppys from when he was new and I found this one in a corner of his room and sent it out to take it out to the garage.

I didn't think he would care much and then I looked down and he was coming over for a few seconds just to lounge in it and return to what he had been doing.

He did this about four times before getting distracted by something else.

I thought it was pretty funny, but I'm wondering if he is going to do the same thing with the Boppy when we have it out for Selah when she arrives. Hopefully he won't get possessive and try to lay on her while she's in it. That would be unfortunate. And not very proper of him.

Maybe he will need Cotillion after all.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

... of a factory... and a preacher

My first real Seat Sling took me 3 hours to make. I have now made 4 total. The last one took me just under an hour and a half! I'm like a factory. So I've got 3 ready to go.

I want to list them on my etsy shop, but I need pictures. Because of the nature of the product, I can't take the pictures alone. I need a model or a photographer. Preferably a model, so I don't have to be the model...

On an Abram note: He is still enamored with the little Bible. Quinn is really trying to teach him to be gentle with it and it bothers him quite a bit when Abram is not. Overall, I think he's being very gentle for a 15 month old handling a book with tissue paper-like pages. He's held it for a total of at least a few hours now and none of the pages are ripped - just a little crumpled. I got these pictures of him today and the combination of the button up shirt and Bible kind of make him look like a baby preacher.

He was in a really good mood this afternoon and was having a good time hanging out with Obie.

That cat is amazing with babies and kids. Anybody want a super sweet, amazing, indoor cat? We are wanting to find a good home for him!

Oh, and I wanted to add these blurry (but pretty great) pictures of Abram in his high chair. This is what his face looks like whenever he hears anything outside.

Mostly airplanes and our wind chimes. He gasps really loud: "Huuuuuh!", his eyes get huge, and he says "Dat!" very emphatically. Then he does this sign with his hand that looks kind of like yes in sign language: like a fist up in the air, moving at the wrist. Not sure what that means or where he got it, but he does it every time he hears something that he doesn't see.

Toddlers are so weird.

And awesome.

Very, very awesome.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

... of fashion

See? I'm back already.

I told you we left town so our house could have some work done. It did. And then we all discovered a malfunction in the sheet rock on the ceiling of our room when the texture and paint failed to adhere and the ceiling started cracking and falling to the carpet. Luckily, we hadn't moved anything back in yet, because we were waiting for the paint to dry. So our friend is back for the next few days, trying a new tactic to get the ceiling to "stay up" this time.

If we were smart, we would have grabbed clothes from our closet before he arrived on Monday. We did not have that foresight. So now we can't get into our closet. We can maneuver into the bathroom if absolutely necessary, but the closet is a no go. This is what our room looks like:

Our closet is behind that plastic. Trust me. There's no way to get in. I've tried it.

So I was able to get to our dirty laundry in the bathroom and we had some in the laundry room already and now we are living off of whatever was in our laundry. This is our "closet" in the guest room (because the actual closet is full of important stuff, like gift wrap and wedding dresses - or wedding dress)

I only have 2 pairs of pants, 3 tank tops, and some sweater/sweat jackets. Today is a nice day. The tank tops aren't really stand alones and it's too hot for a sweater. So I was left to my crafty (and delusional) devices. I took an undershirt of Quinn's - because he had a lot more clothes in the laundry than I did and therefore has more options - and made it into a "maternity" shirt that fit me. It still doesn't fit me that well, but it's something. It wasn't very flattering and looked a little like a tent, so I grabbed some ribbon from the work room. And I ended up with this makeshift little number:

And this is how I dress myself (and look like I dress myself) from the laundry. It's pretty much the opposite of fashion. Oh well.

And here's a cutie picture of Abram watching me try to take a picture of said fashion.

"Wow. You're going to go out in that? Well, at least I look put together..."

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

... of my 30's

This was too perfect. I turned 29 yesterday and Selah and I were 30 weeks yesterday. Lots of 30's and almost 30's around this house now.

I know I've been MIA for awhile. So let's start with a quick explanation and some pictures/videos of the Bug.

We were visiting my parents in Colorado while some painting and construction work was being done on our house. I am awful and didn't get any pictures of my parents. Can you believe it!? We talked about it, but it never happened. They were working during the day and we only really saw them one day and a few nights. But I know Abram was really glad to get to see them and spend even a limited amount of time with them.

Here are some pictures:

This is right before he pooped in the bath for the first time since my harrowing constipated infant experience. And let me tell you, I'm really glad I wasn't in this bath with him. It was super gross. We sent this picture to Quinn for Valentine's day along with a story. Those are the kind of things we give each other for Valentines day: Poop bath stories. We are so in love.

We were a little off schedule, so there was some tiredness in unusual places going on.

He never falls asleep in his car seat, so he couldn't really get comfortable. Poor baby.

(He was snoring pretty loudly.)

We didn't have a car during the day so we went on a nice, cold, long walk in our new Uppababy Vista stroller (which we love).

It took all those snow banks on the side walk with ease. It was very nice for airport travel and I couldn't be happier (unless it was a bit lighter). We will get a car seat adapter and a second seat (rumble seat) that attaches to the bottom for Abram when Selah is born. We are all very happy with our stroller decision :)

My parents' Gideon neighbor gave him a Bible when we visited and this child would not put that Bible down.

He even started saying "Bible". It sounded more like "buh bo", but he knows what he's talking about. He looked at it most of the time he was awake on the plane ride home. When we got it out to show Quinn when we got back, we tried to take it and read from it to him for just a second. He literally bawled the entire time I had it. He never cries, even when you take toys from him. He might get upset for a second (more attitude than sorrow), but he was devastated that I had taken his Bible, even just to borrow it. What can I say? He loves the Bible. More proof that he is Quinn's son.

And he played the keyboard a bunch at Nana and Papa's house.

Smart kid.

It was a good experience all around. The hardest part was the airport/airplane. We flew standby because we got passes from my uncle, who is a pilot for Frontier. It was cheap, but quite the hassle on the way out to Colorado. We didn't get on one flight, Quinn picked us up, took us back a few hours later, and we got on the last one of the day. We were worried about the way back (because my parents were both working and they live significantly farther from the Denver airport than we live from Austin's). But, praise the Lord, we got on the first flight we tried. We even ran into my uncle coming off the plane that we were about to get on. So we got to visit with him for a bit and thank him. Also, being 6 1/2 month pregnant with a squirmy 15 month old alone on a plane is difficult. Thankfully, we sat next to very understanding mothers/grandmothers on both flights who were so wonderful. More praise for the Lord.

So that's that.

I turned 29 yesterday. People kept asking me if I felt old or sad that I was in the last year of my 20's. Honestly, I think I had my age crisis when Quinn turned 30 earlier this month. It was weird to think of him as 30 and that I was married to a 30 year old. Even though we are a year apart, I think of us as the same age. So I reconciled myself to it a few weeks ago and sort of felt 30 already. So when I realized I was turning 29, it was kind of strange. But I think we are both ready for our 30's. The thought of having two kids makes me feel a lot older anyway, so it just seems to make sense that I would be in my 30's. So no age sorrow in this house. Bring it on!

And Selah is now 30 weeks gestationally. Abram was born at 38 1/2. For some reason I feel like she is going to be two weeks early. I don't know why. I shouldn't get my hopes up. But I've been having so many Braxton Hicks contractions for so long now, I can't believe that it all wouldn't be pretty ready by that point. We shall see! That means two more months! I think it will go by fast, because there is a lot that is going on in March and April.

I tried to have Quinn take a picture when I was actually dressed and looked presentable and they were all out of focus. But I guess you can get the idea...

And then here are her crazy antics from that day.

She doesn't rest a lot and she hasn't found her comfortable position yet. So sometimes she is bottom up and sometime her head is in my ribs. I'm really praying that she'll settle down in the right position soon. Abram was really low and in the right position for the last 6 weeks at least, which made his head a nice cone shape. Great for a fast, easy delivery, not so great for attractive newborn pictures.

Whew! That's a lot. Sorry. See? It's better for me to write shorter, more frequent posts that really long, multiple topic ones (I'm justifying it to myself). So hopefully we will see you soon.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

... of brilliance

Never will I be so presumptuous as to actually call myself brilliant, so I'm sure I will always just be on the verge of brilliance with a hint of lack of common sense. However, I had a eureka moment just now and thought I would share with you, get thoughts, and ask for more.

You may have read one of my recent posts about The Seat Sling. Well, you've all given me some great support and encouragement and suggestions. My friend whose church going problem brought the whole thing about tried it out this Sunday. She stayed the whole time!! Praise the Lord, it seems to be the problem solver it was intended to be. I've only had a brief confirmation from her that she stayed the whole time, it was easy to get on and off, and that she used the pillow vertically (which is another good reason for it not to be attached to the sling itself). I want to debrief with her a bit more about it when I get home from visiting my parents in Colorado. Then I think I may slowly start to pursue this!

One thing that was hindering my belief that it could be successful, was that I was having a hard time with cost of materials. I need a full two yards (a bit less) of fabric for one sling. And I need over half the width of those two yards, so I can't get two slings out of two yards of fabric. I was having a really hard time finding any cotton fabric that I even remotely liked for less than $5 a yard. I don't want to buy in bulk yet, because this may not end up working out and I don't want to have spent a ton on fabric trying to save money. So between the fabric, snaps, foam, and elastic the materials alone were running me close to $20 at a craft store.

So I've been looking and looking and thinking and thinking about this fabric issue. How could I get cheaper cotton fabric in fun-ish prints for less that $5 a yard? Then I happened to glance at an old blog post from someone that was called "Upcycled blanket". And I thought, "SHEETS!!"

But here's where I need your input: I'm talking Goodwill/Salvation Army/vintage (of course I would avoid stains and launder them) sheets, but is that weird/gross? I mean, no one would ever know... :)

Do you have any brilliant ideas? I am very open.

Friday, February 10, 2012

... of answers

Two posts in one day!! Who am I? Design Mom?!

I didn't want to put two totally different topics in one post. I know I do that sometimes, but for organizational purposes, I thought I'd do it this way today.

Basically, I just wanted to share this video I got two days ago. I was trying to capture some of Selah's crazy gymnastics (they guessed this girl was 2 lbs 13 oz on Wednesday!!) But what I ended up capturing was the first real "conversation" that Abram and I have had.

Until now, he's been like a parrot or a mime. He either repeats things that we say or if we ask him a question he responds with a head nod. He won't say "yes", but he'll not his head all day long. But this day, I asked him a question and he answered! With words! Watch:

Yea!!! We are conversing!!

Just so you know, Quinn and Abram's favorite game is "I'm gonna get you", which is why Abes heard Daddy come in and ran for my lap. I'm the safe zone in that game. So it was excitement and not fear :)

There ya go. Talking baby.

Speaking of Dada: he gets a half day off today because his company is being moved to a new office this weekend and the movers are starting this afternoon. The office is even closer to our house, which is pretty cool. So this afternoon we are going to do some family outings, including going to Baby Earth and looking at strollers so Quinn can understand why I want to spend so much money, SLASH, Anaka can be talked out of thinking she needs to spend so much money. We'll see if we compromise or one of us ends up convincing the other. He's got his work cut out for him, that's all I have to say about that.

... of a patent

... or maybe, just maybe, I'm jumping the gun :)

A good friend told me the other day that she and her husband have been leaving church after the worship because she can't sit for an extended time in the folding chairs. Our church did a great thing and bought inexpensive folding chairs for our sanctuary in order to 1)save money and 2)be able to use the empty room for community type events in the neighborhood during the week. This is awesome. I support their decision and so does my friend who is leaving after the worship (and watching the previous week's sermon from home). But she is pregnant. She already had back problems and now (of course!) they are worse. My back is just starting to bother me and I know that there are many pregnant women with back problems and normal people with back problems who whimper inside a little every time they enter a room and see folding chairs.

Until now, I had just sort of reconciled myself to the fact that sitting in a folding chair was uncomfortable and I would just deal with it. I didn't even think about the fact that I had any other options until my friend told me she was missing church because she just couldn't handle them! My goodness, how sad!

As we sat and talked about this at our friend's baby shower (so many babies), I had an idea for something I could make that might help solve the problem. I explained it to my friend. It involved a lot of fabric and velcro making a sort of sling like cover for a folding chair. And my wheels started turning. I left, telling her that I would be thinking of her and her dilemma and how I might be able to help.

The next day I started working on something. It became apparent through lots of sitting and staring at a folding chair in my work room that most of my original idea was going to need to change in order to make it easier to make and easier to use. And such was born the first iteration of "The Seat Sling" (temporary name...)

Here are some of the features and changes I made in my mind and in the prototypes:

1)No velcro. It's really not strong enough anyway, but the idea of having to undo a bunch of velcro if you had to leave somewhere quiet early was just not a good one. So I moved on to buttons for the first prototype and eventually became snaps for the second.

2)Elastic. I wanted it to be able to fit any folding chair: plastic or metal, which vary in size by a few inches. Large, sturdy elastic makes this possible.

3)A support pillow needed to be involved somewhere. The sling itself provided a bit of the lower back support, but a small lumbar pillow would make it super great. The first prototype had one built into the sling, which made it not stick out as far using the same amount of foam (for reasons involving physics). So the second prototype has a separate pillow, which can be moved around to anywhere on the back and any time.
It can be used alone for support in an uncomfortable chair with a back (like our hand-me-down reupholstered kitchen chairs). Or the whole wrapped up sling could be used in this scenario as a little bit larger pillow in a chair with a back.

4)It needed a closure. When wrapped up and carried around, I wanted it to be easy and compact. I attached ribbons to the sides of the snap placate that wrap around the back and tie for closure so it won't unroll on it's own.

And that's The Sling Seat! They are fairly quick to make and the materials cost about $15. I've tested it on a chair from our church (which my friend borrowed and brought to my house for that purpose), but she was going to try the first prototype at church this Sunday. I really need to get her the second one because it's so much better in my opinion and we'll see if it helps her with her problem!

What do you think? Have you seen anything similar to this or something else that solves her problem? Could I potentially make them to sell or is there only a small niche of people who have this problem and would pay $30-$40 (because of materials and time)? Should I just wash my hands of this endeavor and maybe just do a tutorial some day soon? I want honest opinions, because I'd be okay with either.