Monday, April 28, 2014

Hippity Hoppity

Just taking a moment to share some photos from our Easter weekend, which was very laid back and unscheduled. Exactly what we needed after a long and busy winter.

Somehow the men ended up doing all the egg decorating. Keith is thrilled that the egg paints he used as a kid are still available.

Colter said the face needed a mustache.

Then we filled the Easter baskets with grass and set some carrots out for the Easter bunny. I had to buy two baskets this year even though Colter already had one because I would go crazy for the rest of their childhoods if Colter and Elliott and different styles and sizes of baskets.

The Easter bunny came! A few sweet treats, but mostly books and puzzles.

Elliott got some interesting flavors of baby food (rutabaga, anyone?) and some puffs. And apparently, not enough sleep. Or is that the face of disappointment when you get healthy food in your Easter basket?

Also, a funky monster doll. That Easter bunny is so crafty!

He also delivered a teeny tiny bear friend for Colter, who sleeps in an Altoids tin and is named Eric Carle (so says the toddler).

Snuggles were in abundant supply with great-grandparents, cousins, and uncles around.

And the sweetness continued when we got to see Keith's parents a few days later and they brought a chocolate bunny for Colter.

Ears first, of course!

He was so thrilled with his bunny and would have eaten it all in one sitting if mean old mom hadn't made him stop.

Thanks for a lovely holiday everyone!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

File This

Back in the early part of the winter, I read "The Happiness Project" by Gretchen Rubin. I was (and still am) quite enamored by it and all the ideas she shares for increasing the happiness in your life. One of the more tangible ideas that struck me immediately was a memory box. Specifically, a memory box for your children. To me, a person who loves to save things but never has an ideal place to put them, and one who took over two and a half years to finish #1's baby book, scrapbooking and album keeping sounds lovely in theory but would never get done. But this memory box, I could do this. Simple and organized. Now, why it took me nearly six months to get around to it, well, we'll just blame that on the baby.

So here's the idea: get a stack of hanging file folders and a box to keep them in. Gretchen Rubin got very nice ones for her girls; my boys got standard, inexpensive plastic ones. I figured I wasn't up to spending $50 or more on each box right now, and it would be simple enough to upgrade later on if I found the right box for the right price. (I actually cashed in some credit card points for a Staples gift card to buy two boxes and two 25-packs of hanging file folders, so I only had to spend $11 out of pocket.) Then, label your folders for each school year or age, other activities, etc. depending on your kid. I looked around Pinterest for a bit for a good list and adapted a bit to end up with these labels:

I took a little time to type up labels in Illustrator with a font and with a little extra decoration; some of the things on Pinterest showed using Avery labels that you use with a template in Word. My final rundown of labels is:
  • Age 0-2
  • Age 3-4
  • Documents & Certificates
  • Health Records
  • Baby Information
  • Kindergarten
  • First through Twelfth Grade (one folder for each)

One box has gray folders, the other has green, and I just put the extra, unlabeled folders in the back so that I can use them in the future (maybe for activity-specific stuff, like Boy Scouts or something). Then it was time for my handy labeler to label the outside of each box with the boys' names.

Then on to filling them up! How nice to go through my office and gather all the cards, projects and pictures that I've been randomly stashing. I also put photos of each of them from Halloween in their boxes.

So, what do the boys think? They don't care a bit. Keith was nice enough to say it was a good idea. Someday though, their wives will thank me. I just know it.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Let's Roll!

It just doesn't seem possible that Elliott is big enough to ride around in his own set of wheels. Well, they are his now because Colter is too big for this car, though he will still squeeze himself in it with hopes of being pushed wildly around the patio until his mommy is dizzy.

Might this be the last time my boys share a car without whining?

Colter, on the other hand, is currently into driving his cozy coupe car off the sidewalk or patio and down the little bank for the three-quarters-of-a-second thrill of wondering whether it will tip over or not. (Mostly it doesn't.) Then he likes to stay sitting in it while his mother tries to push it back up said bank and start all over again. I do believe the mantra of toddlerhood is, "One more time!" (Unless he doesn't like something, and then it is without a doubt "No!")

Here's hoping for some more mild and sunny days when we can all be outside!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Friday, April 11, 2014

Busy Needles

I like to follow a pattern. I like to do what it says and have the desired results. So adapting a pattern is something I rarely do. But there's this baby hat that I like to make, and a friend asked for one for her baby and one for her toddler as well. So obviously the one for the toddler needed to be bigger.

The first round of adapting and it was way too big. Way too big even for my head. I was farther in than you might expect because it was squished on my needles and tough to determine how big it really was. So, I pulled it apart and started over. I knew I needed to be somewhere between the baby hat and my first attempt, probably closer to the baby end of the spectrum. And this time, I decided to write down what I did, in case I ever want to make another. Since I've done all the figuring, why not share it?

Toddler Hat (that's it on the right)
adapted from Artful Yarns' Candy One Skein Baby Hat

Work on size 7 double points or small circular needle.

Cast on 98 stitches, divide over three needles if working on dp. Join in the round.
Work in St st. until piece measures 4 1/2".
Dec row 1: {K5 sts, k2tog] 14 times - 84 sts. Work 9 rows even.
Dec row 2: [K4 sts, k2tog] 14 times - 70 sts. Work 6 rows even.
Dec row 3: [K3 sts, k2tog] 14 times - 56 sts. Work 3 rows even.
Dec row 4: [K2 sts, k2tog] 14 times - 42 sts. Work 1 row even.
Dec row 5: [K1 st, k2tog] 14 times - 28 sts. Work 1 row even.
Dec row 6: [K2tog] across - 14 sts. Work 1 row even.
Dec row 7: [K1 st, k2tog], with 10 sts. remaining.
Work even for 3 1/2", cast off.
Tie knot at top of hat.

I hope I made all my notes right and my math works out because I just wrote it down as I went but haven't worked it again from my own pattern. Does somebody else want to do it and let me know if it doesn't work?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Scoop the Poop

It was time for the spring "shitment" for the garden, and Colter got to help out.

I see some digging in his future.

And you thought this was going to be about diapers...

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Six Months

Oh, Elliott! You are six months old! You are full of personality and are becoming quite the chatterbox. You have started screeching as loud as you can, and Colter says you don't know how to use your indoor voice. You wiggle and squirm (and occasionally roll) and love to watch everything that's going on. You adore your big brother, and he is the only one who can get a real laugh out of you.

You are starting to grab everything and you very nearly have a tooth so anything you can get your hands on ends up in your mouth.

You look like your Uncle Travis, but I don't think we can get him to style his hair like this.

What a pleasure it is to be your mommy!

(But you could start sleeping through the night anytime now, ok?)
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