Raise a Glass

I really didn’t realize how sad my last blog post sounded until several of you commented!  Thank you for keeping an eye on me, it makes me feel loved!  This past weekend was Danycon 2.0 which I will write about in a future post!  It was the first time Will and I met our nephew Finnegan!  He is an adorable little fellow and we can’t wait for him and Julius to be best buddy cousins!  So far Julius has tried to grab Finn’s toes, but there has been minimal interaction otherwise.  (Finn is still a squish right now, and though it seems it happened so quickly, Julius is a fairly sturdy, busy baby. )

Julius is playing with Finn! Or maybe he’s just stealing his toys. Hard to say.

After my last blog post, Julius seemed to get over the funk I mentioned.  In fact, several days later he even gave me baby kisses again!  This age is definitely the most fun so far.  Every day it seems like he is learning more and more.  You can almost see the gears turning.  Most people warned us that it is a pain when babies are mobile, but right now we just find it fun.  Julius likes to explore, but he is equally happy to sit and play.  The cutest thing he does is scoots over to where you are standing and tries to climb up your legs until you pick him up and give him a hug.  After that he’ll let you hug him until you put him down again whence he goes on his merry way.  I am loving every minute!

One thing Julius finds fascinating now is drinking glasses.  He always wants to drink out of my glass when I’m holding one.  I’ve started letting him drink out of them, and though he doesn’t have the technique down, he has gotten better.  Well for this Danycon I decided to make Danycon pint glassses.  They were a hit and as an added bonus cut down on waste from cups.  I used folk art multisurface paints that I had from my paint night ladies’ night, but you can use any paint suitable for painting on glass.

DIY Stenciled Pint Glasses

What you’ll need:

  • glass paints (I used folk art multisurface)
  • spouncer
  • pint glass (I got mine from the Dollar Tree)
  • contact paper
  • X-acto knife
  1. On a piece of paper print or sketch your desired design.  Designs with solid shapes work best.  Those with negative space in the center are difficult to create.
  2. Place your piece of paper on top of the contact paper and on a cutting surface.  Cut around the design using the Xacto knife, pressing hard enough so it transfers through to the contact paper.
  3. Remove the backing from the contact paper and stick it to glass in your desired location.
  4. Using the spouncer, dab paint on the stencil on the cup.
  5. Remove the stencil immediately.
  6. Let the paint dry 24 hours then place glass in a cold oven.  Bring the oven to 350 degrees F then cook for 30 minutes.  When finished, turn off the oven and let the oven cool completely.  Glasses will be top rack dishwasher safe.
Posted in Crafts & Sewing | 2 Comments

We’ve Got You Covered

Well I think the tides have turned.  This is a heartbreaking week for motherhood.  Julius won’t nurse consistently for me.  It has been a struggle for a while, but it was mostly due to distraction which I could handle.  Over the past few days though things have progressed beyond distraction and he will go 5 hours without nursing.  To prevent him from starving, we finally have to give him a bottle, which he takes mostly happily.

Along with that awful blow, Julius hasn’t been his ecstatically enthusiastic self for mama either.  Saturday Will went to another bachelor party and gave Julius a big hug before he left.  When Julius was handed back to me he actually sobbed!  AND he hasn’t given me baby kisses in nearly a week!!!  What is going on?!  Forget any hopes of being a mama’s boy, I just hope he hasn’t outgrown mama already.

All this seriously makes me regret ever heading home from work late!  What was I thinking?!  Who cares if I get fired, I could have had so many more baby kisses and snuggles!  I miss them already…

Enough mama drama – I have a crappy project to show you!  Okay, okay, it is a really bad pun (but that won’t stop me from making it the title of this post!)  I’m going to show you how to make the cloth diaper cover that Julius has been wearing for a couple months now (not continuously). I wanted to wait until we’d used the cover for a while before I posted it.  I can tell you it works great!  Just like a normal diaper cover!  Plus it was exceedingly inexpensive to make (I think it cost me around $4 for materials with a Joann Fabrics coupon).  What’s the catch?  Well, it was fairly time consuming to make.  I’ve been meaning to make more for months.  This diaper making procrastination may have become worse than my curtain making procrastination.  The cover, while re-sizable, runs a bit large.  We use pre-folds instead of inserts, and it comfortably accommodates these.

Here let me get that shirt for you.

Multisize Cloth Diaper Cover

What you’ll need:

  • 1/2 yard of PUL material (plus more for seam binding)
  • 1/2 yard of 1/4″ elastic
  • Plastic snaps
  • Diaper pattern here
  1. Following the pattern pieces cut out the diaper cover, two gussets, inside cover top and two inside cover sides.

    Cut out pattern pieces.

  2. Make bias/binding tape by cutting a 2″ strip, so if you pull the edges of the strip it has the most give.  (For the knit PUL I have, that is NOT on the bias).  Or you can use this tape, which I am going to try on my next diaper project!

    Make bias tape.

  3. Pin the top cover to the inside cover top and sides, shiny waterproof sides together.  Stitch along edges of the diaper cover.

    Attach diaper cover to diaper cover lining, wrong sides together.

  4. Cut a 3.5″ piece of elastic for the front top of diaper cover.  Cut a 6.5″ piece of elastic for the back top of diaper cover.  Cut a 4″ piece of elastic for the inside of legs.  Stretch each piece of elastic and stitch, fully stretched, between markings on pattern using a zig zag stitch.

    Attach elastic, fully stretched, using zig-zag stitch.

  5. Cut a piece of binding material so it is slightly longer than the straight edge of your gusset.

    Cut binding material slightly longer than gusset.

  6. Pin right sides together along the straight edge and stitch.

    Pin right sides of gusset and bias tape together and stitch.

  7. Cut a 4″ piece of elastic for the gusset.  Attach a piece of elastic to the seam allowance using a zig zag stitch.
  8. Fold the bias tape over the seam allowance as you would double fold bias tape (hiding the unfinished edges). Stitch outside the elastic.

    Fold bias tape over edge of gusset and elastic.

  9. Pin the gusset to the diaper at leg markings, wrong sides together.  Stitch.
  10. Repeat steps 5-9 with the second gusset.
  11. Attach bias tape right sides together all along the edge of the diaper, stitching just inside of where the elastic is.

    Attach bias tape around edge of diaper cover.

  12. Flip bias tape to the inside over seam allowance, tucking in the unfinished edge of the bias tape.  When you get to the leg gussets, encompass the unfinished edges of the leg gusset bias tape inside.  Stitch at the edge of the bias tape, outside the elastic.

    Enclose the unfinished edges of the leg gusset bias tape.

  13. Mark placement on diaper for snaps, following pattern.

    Mark placement for diaper snaps.

  14. Attach snaps according to instructions on package.

    Attach snaps.

     

    This picture was taken over two months ago! He’s gotten even bigger since then!

    Back

    Front view on smallest setting.

    Back view of cover.

    Is it cool if I suck my fingers?

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Maren’s Quiet Book

Well everyone, it’s the day you have all been waiting for… guest blog post night!  Ladybeekeeper.com’s first guest blog post is written by Maren Safran, my dear friend and baby buddy from Colorado!  Not only is Maren a loving mom (she had a precious baby girl, Nora, just a month before I had Julius), fellow beekeeper, caring friend and driven woman (did I mention she finished her Master’s of Social Work while pregnant?!) but she is also an inspirator!  For me, she has been a sparkle of sunshine during the sometimes dark and stressful parts of pregnancy and parenthood, and a co-conspirator during all the good parts.  I am so lucky to have Maren as my baby buddy!

And without further ado… here’s Maren’s fabuous project!

Maren and Nora

Maren’s Quiet Book

My name is Maren and I’m excited to be a guest blogger for The Lady Beekeeper! I know Lexi through my husband, as they went to college together. I look forward to Lexi’s blogs to see what new things Julius is doing developmentally, what delicious foods Lexi has to share, and what projects she is working on. Having a ten month old myself I am amazed at Lexi’s dedication, creativity, and ability to keep up with this blog! I have always been into crafts and cooking and was inspired by Lexi’s work to learn how to sew. My first big sewing machine project uses materials with different textures and colors, like Lexi did in her  Crinkle, crinkle little star post, and I am so honored that I get to share some of my progress with you all!

In my house, productivity tends to happen in increments of time that I like to call, “while baby is sleeping.” This current sewing project is still a work in progress. I am working on a quiet book inspired by the bedtime story, Goodnight Moon. My husband and I read this book to our baby, Nora, every night before bed and have done so since she was just a few days old. One would think that reading the story over again may get dull, but we try to spice it up a bit. Sometimes we add sound effects, or sing the story, or use silly voices, or if she is overly tired we just read the first and last page. It will surely continue to be a classic in our house, and since it is such an important part of our routine I thought it would be fun to make an interactive quiet book of Goodnight Moon so she can “read” the story to us as soon as she is able.

All of the materials I used are scraps and bits from old clothes, curtains, upholstered chairs, and fabrics that I’ve collected over the years. Given that there are some choking hazards, when it is complete we’ll be sure to watch Nora while she plays with it.

Little Toy House quiet book page

This page is my interpretation of the little toy house. There are buttons stitched to a ribbon on either side of the house. When they are pulled it makes the lights appear as if they are turning on and off.

Young Mouse quiet book page

The young mouse in this page has a fun scarf I got from a small box of chocolates one Valentine’s Day. I also used some leftover tulle to act as type of fencing for the bits of golden seeds.

Red Balloon quiet book page

I decided to turn the red balloon into a hot air balloon. Bits of old ribbon were used to create the fire needed to keep the balloon afloat.

Cow jumping over the moon quiet book page

The cow jumping over the moon page is my favorite page, and it is actually part of a different quiet book I made a while ago. Luckily I still have some of the scraps left over that can be used for this Goodnight Moon book.

Quiet book pages are an excellent way to encourage learning through play and development of fine motor skills. Not only are they a great way to use up remnants of old projects, there is no limit to what you can make as one can design a book to meet any child’s interest or skill level. Many people share their ideas or patterns for free on idea sharing platforms like Pinterest, which is where I got some of my ideas for special features like the lights in the little toy house page. These are just a few of the pages that are done, and I will be sure to update Lexi when the project is complete!

Posted in Crafts & Sewing | 6 Comments

Sink your teeth into this!

Well I have been having an eventful July!  DanyCon is coming up soon and so is another’s ladies’ night, so I’ve got lots of new and exciting projects to share in the coming weeks!  And I am very excited to announce that we have a surprise guest blog post coming this Thursday!  Stay tuned for an awesome baby-related craft project from a dear friend of mine!  I won’t reveal the blogger or project until Thursday though, so be sure to check back Thursday night.

Julius has been having an eventful July too!  In addition to floating around in the lake in RI, there have been lots of fun events at his daycare.  He has gotten to meet the local fire fighters, sit in a firetruck and pet all sorts of crazy animals (like an alligator!).  Our daycare posts pictures of all the fun activities – and my favorite set includes Julius excitedly petting a (muzzled) baby alligator, while in the next frame he is just as excitedly petting the animal handler’s shoe while the handler holds the alligator out to another child.  At least he’s happy.

This week is science week at Julius’ daycare and though you’d imagine we have tons of science themed onesies, I discovered we really don’t!  I think I can rustle up one for each day of the week (including the white onesie I just puff painted), especially considering this is also shark week, but I am really disappointed in Will & I.

Speaking of Shark Week, poor Julius has been extra fussy at night and during naps.  I think the poor guy is teething again.  I’m pretty sure I felt another tooth the other day while he was chomping on my chin.  Based on his normally cheery behavior and his unhappy sessions at night I am really happy I can’t remember what it felt like to have teeth come in.

This next project I keep forgetting to post!  Will had been mentioning frequently that he wanted a mousepad to use with his gaming computer, so I decided to make him one for father’s day.  Since I ordered this cinnamon bun printed fabric for Erin’s shower I’ve wanted to try printing on fabric myself.  Obviously I don’t have cartridges specific for dyeing fabric, but I saw many people claiming they could print on fabric with ordinary printer cartridges.  After some more research it appears that most cartridges are either dye or pigment based.  While it may seem that dye based inks are the way to go (based on name alone) it is actually pigment ink you want to use for ink jet printing onto fabric.  The reason being that pigment based inks will just sit on top of your fabric, whereas dye based inks will get sucked in and dispersed causing a blurry picture.  It turns out that on my printer, the black ink is pigment based.  While I was able to get my fabric to run through the printer by taping it to a piece of paper, next time I’m going to use the “waxed paper method”.  This was much cheaper than buying an actual photo printed mousepad, but it isn’t quite as professional looking.  I may make some amendments in the future and see if I can improve it.  It has not, however, rubbed off – probably in thanks to the coating of fabric glue.

DIY Photo Mousepad

What You’ll Need:

  • plain mousepad
  • ink jet printer
  • 1/4 yard of white fabric
  • fabric glue and spouncer
  • waxed paper or 8.5″x11″ piece of cardstock, adhesive spray and tape.
  1. Discover which of your inks are pigment based and choose a photo that utilizes pigment based ink only.  (For me this meant black & white.)  Resize the photo so it will print in the center of the page and is slightly larger than your mousepad (for me this meant 8″x9″ and I had to adjust my margins to print nearly to either edge of an 8.5″ piece of paper)
  2. Either use the waxed paper method (I haven’t tried it) or cut an 8.5″x11″ piece fine weave white cotton fabric, spray the back with adhesive and tape the edges to a piece of cardstock.

    Tape fabric to cardstock

  3. Place the sheet into your printer tray in the proper orientation (for me this is upside down in the tray since the paper feeds up through rollers, flipping as it prints).
  4. Print image from step 1.

    Printed fabric

  5. Let ink dry completely then remove fabric from waxed paper or normal paper and tape.
  6. Coat mousepad evenly with fabric glue.

    Coat mousepad with fabric glue (then spouncer out evenly).

  7. Place fabric picture on top of glue so it covers the mousepad entirely.  Press to adhere then let dry.
  8. When fabric has dried cover fabric with a coating of fabric glue using a spouncer as an extra layer of protection. Let dry.
  9. Once the mousepad is completely dry, trim the fabric up to the mousepad, getting as close as possible to the mousepad even if that means removing a few micrometers from the side of the mousepad.

    Trim fabric around edges of mousepad

    Julius presents his father’s day mousepad to daddy!

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Hit the Sack

I should rename this blog “Poor Life Choices”.  Not entirely, but I have been making some bad decisions regarding sleep.  Instead of sleeping, I have a list of a hundred things I want to get done.  Plus I’ve become quite the procrastinator.  I was always a procrastinator, but you’d think I would stop procrastinating when I have some downtime and get right into the fun stuff.  Instead it is the opposite. I dawdle around until I finally decide it is too late to do anything, but is much later than I wanted to stay up, and then I go to sleep.  For instance, just now instead of writing this blog entry, I accomplished two tasks I meant to do last week and brushed out Dany’s entire coat.  Way to go…

On the bright side, Dany really did need to be groomed.  Even the Roomba can’t keep up!  And now that Julius is army crawling around the house he’s basically become a giant dust mop.  I seriously have to roll him down with the lint roller before he goes to daycare every morning.  I should probably actually strap a mop to him – it would help him slide on the floor and would clean my hardwoods.  I’ll work on that next.  Oh, and yes, Julius is now mobile!

He’s also definitely getting bigger because he finally won’t fit in his sleep sack.  Because of more procrastination I was a bit overdue in making a new one.  This one though should late him a long time.  Plus the fabric was almost free.  I got 2 yards of fabric for a dollar at the thrift store.  The fabric has monkeys on it, which are a creature I generally find disturbing (uncanny valley) with the exception of kid’s stuff.  Hand drawn cartoon monkeys look nothing like the real thing and if you can abstract them away from their poop flinging models they are actually quite adorable.  This sleep sack took me 3 after Julius bedtime sessions (but that included creating the pattern).  Julius is 8 months old and it is a bit large on him, but he’s a little guy, so it may be even be able to fit someone a bit younger.

Post nap smiles.

Sleep Sack

What you’ll need:

  • Pattern Here
  • 1 yard cotton flannel
  • 1 package of bias tape (single fold is fine here)
  • 1 24″ or 26″ zipper
  • Scrap piece of interfacing
  • 1 medium weight snap
  1. Prewash fabric.
  2. Trace and cut out all pattern pieces in flannel for front, back, zipper cover and zipper liner.
  3. Pin one side of your zipper along one side of the center front panels, right sides together, starting the zipper tape slightly above the center front neck line.  Stitch.
  4. Fold the material back along the line you stitched so that the zipper teeth are exposed.  Flip so the wrong side of the zipper faces upwards.  Tuck the zipper panel between the zipper + material you just stitched and the wrong side of the center front panel.  Pin.
  5. With the back side of the zipper facing upwards, fold the zipper panel strip over the zipper, with the fold along the edge of the zipper tape. Repin.**
  6. Stitch on the back side of the zipper panel 3/8″ from the fold.**
  7. Pin the other side of your zipper along the other side of the center front panels, an inch in from the center front, right sides together, lining up the two center front pieces so they are even.  Stitch**
  8. **When you reach the bottom of the tape, if your zipper isn’t quite long enough, continue as if the zipper extended to the bottom. 
  9. Then stitch the fabric together along the two folds on either side of the zipper, only from the end of the zipper to the end of the fabric.
  10.  Place fabric front on fabric back, lining up shoulders.  Pin and stitch.
  11. Pin the bias tape, right sides together, unfinished edges matching, along armscyes.  Stitch along the fold.
  12. Turn the bias tape to the inside, fold under, on top of the unfinished edge.  Pin and stitch.
  13. Repeat steps 11 and 12 for the inside unfinished edges around the zipper.  Start at the bottom edge of the sleep sack, continue up the zipper panelon top of the zipper, along the neckline back down the other side of the zipper, again pinning on top of the zipper.
  14. Pin the back to front, right sides together, along the unfinished edge.  Serge.
  15. Pin zipper cover, right sides together.  Pin piece of interfacing to the outside.  Stitch along all sides but the flat end.
  16. Clip curves and turn zipper cover inside out.
  17. Pin the zipper cover directly below the neck interfacing on one side of the zipper, with the curved end pointing to the armpit. Stitch close to the unfinished edge. 
  18. Fold over the line you just stitched and stitch again on top of the cover, close to the fold.
  19. Add snaps as per manufacturers instructions.  Make sure you position the zipper cover so it will cover the zipper head when closed.
  20. Finally stitch the last side of the zipper along the right side of the material so the material lays flat.

    Big stretch after a good nap.

    Close up of top

    Finished sleep sack

 

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Working for peanuts

Well Julius has teeth.  So I guess the drool mystery is solved.  Not that it was really much of a mystery.  But he has been drooling far less now that his teeth have emerged.  I can’t quite tell how many have emerged but it is at least 2 bottom teeth (and possibly as many as three).  And the weird thing is they all seem to have emerged at once!  Or perhaps I am just not very observant and they’ve been there for weeks.

Actually, there is a good chance that I just may not be very observant because I remember thinking a couple weeks back that nursing had started to become slightly painful.  It didn’t really feel like what I expected teeth to feel like while nursing so I wrote it off as pain due to cranking the suction up too high on my pump.  (I have been impatient while pumping at work.)  Looking back though, it may have been teeth that were causing those issues all along.

Can I tell you about something really strange that Julius does that I think is adorable, but may in actuality be very weird?  When Julius gets very happy he likes to suck on my face – especially my chin.  The usual procedure is that he squeals a little bit then opens his mouth really wide and gloms onto my cheek (or some part of my face).  Like a little zombie or baby cannibal!  It usually happens while I am giving him lots of kisses.  I assume (but really have no way of knowing) that this is how babies kiss.  Today he even had added some suction when he glomed onto my cheek and it nearly felt like a normal human (non-zombie) kiss!    But then I asked Will if Julius did any face sucking to him and Will said that he definitely did not.  So maybe we’re back to the cannibal baby thing.

Cannibal babies aside, I’ve got a recipe today today that you can really sink your teeth (or tooth) into!  This quick two ingredient addition makes your brownies go from good to awesome!  Will, who generally dislikes brownies, actually requested these peanut butter brownies once.   You can add the concoction to your favorite brownies.  You can even use boxed brownie mix, but I find it just as easy to whip up brownies from scratch.  Just remember to increase your cooking time by a couple minutes and check them periodically for doneness.

Peanut Butter Brownies

Ingredients

  • Brownie mix of your choice – my favorite is this one
  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  1. Grease a 9″x9″ baking pan and preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Prepare brownie batter as directed.
  3. Mix together peanut butter and sugar until thoroughly combined.

    Stir together sugar and peanut butter

  4. Spread half the brownie batter in the bottom of the pan.
  5. Spread the peanut butter mixture by spoonful on top of the brownie batter.
  6. Top with the remaining brownie batter.

    Layer chocolate, pb, then chocolate

  7. Cook for 21 minutes (or a couple minutes longer than your recipe calls for), insert a toothpick into the brownie and if it comes out clean it is done.

    Bake brownies

  8. Cool completely in pan then cut and serve.

    Cool completely then cut and serve

Delicious PB brownies!

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Droolius Caesar

So I may have mentioned that Julius is quite a drooler.  He likes to buzz his lips frquently, sending spit everywhere and drools like crazy when he is gloming a toy.  He makes Dany starring at a steak look like a cat in a desert.  These are probably all reasons that hand, foot and mouth disease spreads so easily amongst babies.  Which explains why he is suffering from a fever now because of it.  The poor guy has been crankier than usual (which means just a tiny bit cranky since he’s such a cheery little man) and is having a bit of a rough week because of the virus.

This weekend Julius spent his first night away from us, and of course it was also the night he’s had his highest fever ever.  Luckily he was at my parent’s house and I (half) joked that he was in better hands with my mom (the experienced nurse) than with his own parents.  Let’s face it, it’s true from a medical perspective.

Anyway, sick baby aside, when he’s his normal drooly self I have lots of punny nick names for him. My favorite one of late is Droolius Caesar.  So I finally created my little Caesar a bib that can help with his serious drool problem.  On top of that it throughly covers his shoulders and chest and is waterproof so it makes for a great spoon feeding bib!  As an added bonus this bib only takes around 2 hours to make, including embroidery!  Make one of these for the little drooler in your life today, you won’t regret it!

Waterproof, Full Coverage Bib

  • 1/3 yard PUL material
  • 1/3 yard terry cloth
  • 2 yards wide bias tape
  • 5″ of 1.5″ wide velcro
  • bib pattern here
  1. Trace and cut out bib pattern on terry cloth.  Make sure to mark along horizontal and vertical markings to form an ‘X’ in the center of the bib.

    Trace and cut out bib from terry cloth, marking center

  2. Flip pattern then trace and cut from the PUL material’s non shiny side.

    Flip pattern; trace and cut out bib on non-shiny side of PUL

  3. Hoop and stitch out design as desired on terry cloth.

    Hoop and stitch out desired design on terry cloth.

  4. Pin wrong side of PUL (shiny side) to wrong side of terry cloth. Baste.

    Pin wrong side of PUL to wrong side of terry cloth.

  5. Cut two pieces of velcro for ends of bib, cutting to match the curve.  Pin the loop side of the velcro to the bottom of the right side of the bib.  Pin the hook side of the velcro to the top of the left side of the bib.  Stitch all around each piece of velcro.
  6. Open out bias tape.  Pin along the fold of the bias tape on the 1/2″ seam allowance mark of the terry cloth, right sides together. When you reach the end of the tape, turn under 1/4″ of an inch and overlap with the beginning of the tape.  Stitch along fold line.

    Open out bias tape and pin along fold at the 1/2″ seam allowance mark on bib.

  7. Clip curves of bib.

    Clip curves on bib

  8. Fold bias tape over the unfinished edge of the bib.
  9. Tuck unfinished edge of bias tape back under.  At the overlap of the tape, make sure to fold the unfinished edge of both pieces of tape.  Pin bias tape through front side of bib.

    Fold bias tape around unfinished edge of bib. Pin

  10. On right side of bib, stitch 1mm from the original stitching of the bias tape to secure bias tape on back side of bib.

Droolius wearing his eponymous bib.

I loved this pattern so much (first applique pattern I created on my own) that I have made two so far for the children of my friends.

This is an inside joke of an already obscure joke. But I suspect he will be a McDrooler!

Posted in Crafts & Sewing | 4 Comments

Pride

So did I mention last week that Julius has a new little cousin?  Our nephew Finn(egan) was born nearly two weeks ago to my sister in law Erin and my brother Mark.  All I can say so far is he’s pretty darn cute!  He’s been mkeeping Erin and Mark awake in the wee hours right now, but hopefully he’ll get on real people time soon!

On the Julius front, he’s been getting pretty frustrated.  He sits up and flips around all the time and even rolls over onto his belly now to sleep.  Much to his chagrin though he hasn’t mastered any form of mobility.  The closest he gets to mobility is moving backwards in a circle.  On the bright side, he has found his feet which makes character footy pajamas way more fun.

But mobility aside, boy can this guy paint!  Just this weekend he made a masterpiece in honor of pride month.  Some year we’ll all actually get to Boston to see the pride parade.  Until then it’s rainbow finger painting for us!  As a side note, Julius is actually too young for finger painting because he puts everything into his mouth.  The method we used below came from the amazing teachers at our awesome daycare!

Don’t break my concentration, Mom!

Rainbow Abstract Art (for infants)

What you’ll need:

  • 6 colors of non-toxic paint in red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet
  • 1 gallon sized zip lock bag (hopefully one being reused from previous usage)
  • 1 half sheet of cardstock
  1. Apply vertical stripes of paint to your cardstock from left to right along one long edge in the order: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet.
  2. Open the zip lock bag and gently insert the cardstock inside, using care to avoid touching any plastic.

    Insert rainbow paint stripes into bag.

  3. Zip the bag leaving one corner opened and very gently press out most of the air so the plastic begins to press on the paint.
  4. Place your child in tummy time position on top of a boppy or floor pillow.  Place bag with paints in front of child.

    Beginnings of art

  5. Encourage child to play with paint inside the bag.

    Julius making art

  6. When child is finished, unzip the bag, gently lift the plastic off the wet paint and remove artwork.  Let dry.
  7. Admire for years to come.

    Happy Pride Month!

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Up, up and away

Well I stayed up way too late last night with Amy and Overton (aka Sugar and Daddy-O) making a cake for the 50th anniversary celebration cake competition at Intel.  Amy and Overton did a really cracker jack job making the adorable bunnymen for the cake (the pièce de résistance) in addition to providing lots of moral support.  Our competition was steep (a single other cake) but I’m happy to report that the late night paid off – we won!

My 50th anniversary design with help from Amy and Overton!!

Amy and Overton are visiting their grandson (and son and daughter-in-law) this week and getting in their baby time!  Speaking of Julius, I am mostly content with Julius’ room and furniture (though I’ve got some more wall art to work on) so I’m going to cut to the chase. I’m tired, you want to see the room, here it is…

The trash can on the side of the changing table holds our dirty cloth diapers, wipes and covers. It is a simple human trashcan with a waterproof liner. I take everything out every other day to wash them.

This end table was $3 at a yard sale! I finally painted it white. The striped bins I found at target and fit perfectly. The lamps are from our old apartment. The tall lamp is wired to the light switch and has a 4 way switchable light bulb. The lowest it goes is .2W which is perfect for late night diaper changes or feedings.

Though you can’t see them I installed black out blinds on the windows. That painting I painted in high school… I have always loved hot air balloons!

My late night feeding rocker with my brest friend/shelf, a blanket form my sister and the pillow featured in an earlier post.

Up, up and away – Julius loves his hot air balloon mobile.

Julius’ bookshelf was a $5 find at a thrift store that I painted white. The awesome bench was purchased by my aunt and uncle by a local woodworker.

Our changing table holds cloth diapers, diaper covers and wipes as well as disposable wipes for daycare, and clean crib linens. You’ll notice the Julius caddy on the side holds diaper creams and lotions.

The inside view of the closet. We hang up complete outfits, the drawers are filled with individual onesies, pants and pjs. The tiny baskets on top hold socks and hats while the hamper holds clean blankets and clothes given as gifts that aren’t yet his size.

I updated Will’s old college laundry bag for Julius’ laundry and attached it to the changing table for easy access.

I stitched double sided velcro onto the bag so I could easily affix it to the changing table, and remove it when it was full.

 

 

 

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A Swift Arrangement

This weekend we went to Will’s childhood friend, MacRae’s wedding.  It was Julius’ first wedding and the first of nine weddings we have on the calendar this year!  We had so much fun celebrating with MacRae and Jewel and all their friends.  Jewel dip dyed napkins for the reception, what a great idea and a great segue into to some summer dyeing projects I’ll be doing in the future!

On the way back from the wedding we stopped by Erin and Mark’s house to check on our nephew’s status.  Well he’s still in utero!  He was due 3 days ago, but like Julius, I think he must be too cozy to greet the world yet.  Being at Mark and Erin’s house again reminded me that I have one last post to put up from the baby shower!

Many florists encourage you to use floral tape to create a grid on the mouth of your vases for ease of arranging.  I’ve found this method works fairly well, but half the time I destroy the tape grid trying to insert the flowers.  Luckily there is a sturdier solution using scrap wire mesh if you are using mason jars as vases.  Several years ago my co-worker gave me a bunch of wire mesh he had in his basement (he gives me lots of junk because he knows I like to reuse/recycle things but chicken wire may be the strangest thing he’s given me.)  I used some of it to prevent critters digging into my garden from underneath, and some to prevent critters from entering my beehive in cooler months.  Now I’ve also made several mason jar flower inserts and it still feels like I have yards of the stuff.

Mesh Flower Arrangement Helper

What you’ll need:

  • 1 sq foot of 1/2″ wire mesh
  • mason jar including lid and ring
  • wire snippers
  1. Remove lid from the mason jar and place it on the wire mesh.  Mark around the lid perimeter onto the wire mesh.

    Trace around lid onto mesh

  2. Snip at each mark on the wire mesh forming a rough circle of mesh.

    Clip mesh at markings

  3. Snip down to the nearest corner so no pokey bits remain

    Trim mesh down to corners to remove pointy bits

    .

  4. Insert mesh into ring of mason jar and screw onto jar.
  5. Insert flowers into the mesh grid to create your perfect floral display.

    Arrange flowers as desired!

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