Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Mmmmm Pie!

Well, I finally had a chance to cut into the faux fur. I sewed a vest using this tutorial and a fleece vest I have as a template. I'm actually really happy with how it turned out. I wasn't completely sure at until I was able to try it on. I styled with some maroon jeans, a plaid flannel shirt, and riding boots. 
 I haven't worn it yet because it's been too cold lately. I've been living in sweaters and sweatshirts lately. Hopefully soon it will get a bit warmer. Fingers crossed!

I have a half yard yesterday. A friend suggested making a matching vest for The Boy with a hood and ears. I love the idea but after thinking about it, I think the fabric sheds too much. I don't need him eating fuzz. He already eats everything he can stick in his mouth! So I think the spare fabric will make an excellent cowl for me. 
I also baked an apple pie this weekend. It's Ted's favorite and it was Valentine's Day so I figured why not. I used this recipe, which is truly awesome and delicious. I did not make the crust however; Pillsbury makes a pretty great one and I'm just a hint lazy. I even made a crust top hat for the top of it, as it was President's Day. Ted ate Lincoln's hat already though! 
 Other than that, I've just been busy with the volunteering I do for my sorority and for NGLA. There is a lot going on right now and The Boy is not too keen on me doing it during the day when he's awake. Honestly, it is a little overwhelming, after being with him all day, to sit down at night and work. But it keeps my hand in the field and gives me good experience. Hopefully it will quiet down a bit soon.

Oh, and I've been planning a first birthday party for The Boy!!  Talk about fun! More details soon.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Vest with the Fur?

I went to JoAnn's yesterday to buy some fabric for a few infinity scarves I planned to make.  Wow, that place was hopping with people doing inventory!!  After navigating the aisles with a stroller and all these people, I found couple of great patterns.  And then I stumbled across some faux fur (more fluffy than fur-like) fabric.  I bought it, thinking I'd make an infinity scarf for me too.  But now I'm thinking I might finally fashion a little vest for myself.  I just need to hunt through the stash to see if I have a good lining fabric.  Fingers crossed this works out because that fabric turned out to cost more than I anticipated when I had it cut!
The Boy has been doing more and more independent standing. I think it's really just a short amount of time until walking happens! And then I'm in trouble. He's doing so good though. He's interested in eating everything. And seems to like everything. He is exploring. He climbed up the entire staircase (with supervision). I just love his desire to learn and his energy. It's amazing! 

I'm in planning mode for his birthday now.  I can't believe it's a little more than a month away! We're going to do a little event and I've slowly been gathering everything. Today, I bought all of the plates, cups, silverware, and a birthday banner at the Dollar Store.  Oh, how I love a bargain. And, oh how I love party planning!  Now, to figure out the menu.

What have you been up to?



Wednesday, February 4, 2015

I Heart You

I was approached by a healthcare site about sharing a heart health fact on their site for February.  Heart health is a cause close to my heart so I had to say yes.  It hasn't been posted yet but I thought it would be valuable to share my story here. 

My father had a fatal heart attack when he was 44.  I was 14 years old.  The night before he died, he had shoulder and arm pain. He ignored it. He was an early riser. When we woke up that morning, he had already been up for a bit.  He was out in his car because we had out of town guests staying with us.  My mom went out to check on him and found him dead. Heart disease ran in the family.  His father passed away at 42.  My dad also was a smoker for many years. So although his cholesterol was good, he had a number of risk factors. And I never got to have my dad watch me go to prom, graduate, get married, or have a baby. 

In my late 20s, I had a sore shoulder that gave me pause.  After talking to my doctor, they ended up ordering a stress test. It turned out that there was nothing wrong with my heart.  But I got peace of mind after being tested. 

Heart health is something we need to take seriously.  Do you know the signs of a heart attack in women?  What are you doing to make your heart healthier? 

I know there are a number of things I could improve but my household's diet has improved greatly over last year.  We're cooking more (yay for having a kitchen again!) and I'm trying to offer a number of low fat, healthy options.  And I've gotten my husband to eat vegetables more often!  I've also managed to eliminate some stress from my life and am practicing yoga more regularly. 

I hope this February you find one new healthy habit to improve your heart health. My goal is to add more walking to my daily routine.  And if you have any of the symptoms of a heart attack, please get checked out!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Trip to Buffalo

Last weekend, the family took a little road trip to Buffalo.  It was my mom's birthday - a big one!  Luckily, we were able to celebrate with her and with a lot of family members. About 25 people - my mom's siblings and their kids and my stepfamily - joined us to recognize the amazingness of my mom.  Ted and I put together a little potluck lunch. We did roast beef, crazy good cake, and pop/beer.  People brought salads, brownies, stuffed shells and other deliciousness.  Oh, how glad I am that we were able to be there! 

The boy was a great traveler. It's about a 7 hour drive from here. He's been on 3 trips to Buffalo already in his 10 months of life. He is pretty content hanging out in the car seat. I really hope he remains a good traveler as time goes on!  I think we're setting him up to be a good one. 
Stopped for lunch at a little diner in NYS.
 Ted did all of the driving.  (Oh, I'm blessed!) So, I got some quality knitting time while we were in the car.  I haven't knit in so long so I started small.  I just made a loosely knit hat - knit one, purl two - out of some black yarn I had in my stash.  I like that it is loose enough that I don't have to worry about my hair denting (happens way too easily people!) and I can wear it over a ponytail if needed. 

I forgot how much I like knitting.  It was good to work the needles and make something!!  Now to find another project to cast on with the yarn already in my stash. 
Modeling my new hat from the backseat of the car!
And, as always with trips, it was good to get home again.  We got back on Sunday and had Monday to just relax as a family.  I'm so blessed to have these amazing human in my life! 

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Nurture

I've been thinking a lot about the word for 2015.  I even thought about not doing it.  But 2014's word was just right.  It was a year of Possibility.  Lots of good happened.  I definitely changed and evolved.  I became a mother.  I became a wife.  I left my job.  We got a completely new kitchen and bathroom.  I let the possibility of goodness overtake any possible anxiety I could have about so much change.  And so I think another word is a good thing! 
They follow me everywhere.  I must be totally awesome.
I thought about it for a while. I finally settled on Nurture. There is the obvious kinds - my kid, my dog, my marriage. Those are very important. But my goals include nurturing my creative side - sewing, knitting, and general crafting. Nurturing what I do to keep myself professionally engaged.  Nurture the friendships I value so. Nurture my soul by embracing my faith. So nurture it is.  It starts today. 

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Year in Review: 2014

This year is probably the best year yet!  Thank you 2014 for all of the blessings of my life.  I'm so very grateful.  The big blessings are obvious - my son and husband.  This year not only did I give birth to an amazing little guy who has changed how I view everything but I also married his dad, a man that makes me grateful every day and whom I love deeply.  I seriously am so blessed by these two and Rosy every day.

Among the other great things of 2014 are:
  • A new kitchen in our home.  I use it every day and I love it.  I'm so glad we took the wall down so it flows with the rest of the first floor better.  
  • Starting yoga again post delivery.  I love how it makes my body feel.  
  • Leaving behind a job working with amazing students to focus on my son's development and growth for this first year or two.  I'm so grateful we can afford to do this.  
  • Celebrating our first Christmas as a family in our renovated home.  I sit and look at the tree and mantle with stockings and marvel in the beauty.  
  • Health.  I am healthy.  And after a major surgery (C section), I am strong and able.  
  • Family - both mine and Ted's.  I'm so lucky to be part of three amazing families - my mom's siblings, my stepfamily, and Ted's.  Add in the benefit of reconnecting with my cousin on my dad's side this year, of which I'm so grateful. 
  • Time I've been blessed to spend with dear friends and sorority sisters.  I'm so glad Amy, Kathi, and I planned a brunch two months in advance so we could all get together.  I'm so grateful for a day spent with Amy in St. Louis this fall.  I'm so glad to have Katie still in my life after all of these years. 
I'm sure there are so many other little blessings I'm not remembering currently.  This has been a positively delightful, amazing, and transformational year.  Thank you 2014 and thank you to everyone who made it so wonderful.  I'm truly, deliciously blessed.   

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Apparently I Like Chocolate

It's been busy around here.  This past weekend, Ted was out of town skiing with his friends.  Chase and I had a big agenda and managed to accomplish most things.  On Saturday, we went to the Philadelphia Orchestra's kids program.  It was Christmas themed, with lots of great music.  Little Man was a dancing fool.  He sat on my lap and swayed a lot.  He bounced.  He loved it! I'm so glad we went; we might need to make it a holiday tradition. 
I also did a good bit of cookie baking for the holidays.  My friend Katie came over Saturday night and we made peanut butter blossoms and Russian tea cakes.  Both turned out delicious!  The tea cakes were a new recipe for us and a nice addition.  Today (yay for nap time!) I made chocolate sprinkle cookies. They are so fresh out of the oven, I haven't even tried them yet! Now, to ensure there are still some left for Chritmas..... how do I do that? 

We shared some of our cookies with our neighbors.  I had found the perfect gift for them that doubled as a container for the cookies.  It was a beer pitcher for the dedication of our local firehouse, where the husband serves as a fireman. 

Chase has also been practicing his standing.  Lots of pulling up then sitting back down.  He's gotten pretty good!  We've covered crawling, clapping, and standing in very little time. He has been in his 8 month sleep regression, waking up between 1-3 am for a bottle. Last night was the first night in probably 3 weeks that I didn't get up to feed him.  Mind you, he woke up a lot but always quieted down before he needed me.  I looked at the monitor at one point, thinking I might be needed, and he was sitting up in the corner of the crib playing.  I made a bottle and walked into his room to find him sprawled out, asleep.  He's taking an extra long nap this morning to make up for it I guess! 

He turned nine (9!!!) months old this Sunday.  I can hardly believe 9 months has passed already.  He's wearing 12 month clothes still but just about ready to go to 18 months.  He's active, not wanting to sit on me or be still for long. He's also very inquisitive. That said, at our little gym, he's tentative, not wanted to stray too far from me still.

He's eating everything! Anything we offer, he'll try. And most likely like! We've tried turkey, eggs, potatoes, pizza crust, and pasta this month.  I'm guessing lots of other things I'm forgetting too as he typically eats what I eat. We just started the sippy cup today at breakfast.
Oh, how I'm looking forward to Christmas.  We still need to get our tree up but I feel like things are coming together.  I can't wait for Chase to stare at our tree.  We were at my in-laws yesterday and he was fascinated by theirs so I know he won't leave ours alone.  Although it will require a lot of chasing after him, I'm looking forward to the holiday through his eyes. 
one of the 9 month old photos


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Clap Your Hands

Today, Chase learned how to clap.  And he was oh so pleased!  We clapped all afternoon.  Then it was nap time.  Because clapping is exhausting you know.  I love watching him discover something new.  It seems like each day, there is something.  But clapping might be one of my favorites. 
This photo is from the gym the other day.  I've taken him the last 3 days as it's a good safe place to burn off some energy and interact with other little people.  The people we typically hang out with all have older kids, who he loves seeing.  But I believe socialization with kiddos the same relative age is important.  He's tentative and stays close to me.  But I'm guessing with more experience at the gym, that will change. 

I have been organizing some of my craft stuff lately.  We've been cleaning out the room we affectionately call the "scary room" to prepare for my mom to come from Christmas.  In the process, Ted has made space for all of my craft stuff.  It's fun to go through it all again but boy do I have yarn.  I should get knitting!  We're hoping to put my desk in there so there will be a dedicated place to sew.  Oh, how I long for that! 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Infinity and Beyond

 I've managed to sneak in a bit more sewing. I bought some plaid flannel for infinity scarves.  I needed (needed.... hmm, not really) to make one for myself because the boy is less likely to strangle me with an infinity scarf.  And then I loved it so much I decided to make one for a friend for Christmas.  While shopping for flannel, I opted for another for me.  And then I made a spare (above).  I'm giving this one away on Instagram right now (though tomorrow at noon). 
 
I also finished our Christmas stockings.  They are up on the mantle and ready for the holiday!  Ted's has a camping theme, mine has dogs, Rosy's has rabbits (she loves to chase them), and Chase's has Viking ships.  I like that they are fun and different. I hope they become a cherished part of our family Christmas!
On Thanksgiving: he enjoyed turkey, mashed potatoes, and sweet potatoes.
I've been busy with the kiddo too.  He's started crawling and there is no stopping him! He would really like to crawl into the fireplace but mommy is the fun police.  He loves to eat pretty much anything we feed him.  We just joined a local kiddie gym so we'll be going there two to three times a week I'm hoping.  I think it will be good for him both from an interaction with other kids standpoint and to work out some energy.  I'm hoping to meet a few other moms too. 

Next weekend I'm baking our Christmas cookies with a friend.  I'm looking forward to it.  We're definitely making peanut blossoms (those ones with the Hershey kiss) but everything else is up in the air.  Any favorites out there?