Monthly Archives: December 2013

A wee elf

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bunting bunting2These photos are from October, back before the computer died. I made a baby sleep sack or bunting, or whatever you  want to call it, and a sweet little elfish hat to go with it. I bought this yarn in 2008 when we were just starting to entertain the idea of a second child. I thought this warm. soft alpaca would make a darling bunting and hat for a baby of either gender. But then somehow I never even got around to starting the project for Worth, so it’s a good thing I had a third baby and was able to use this yarn! I based the sack around the Zodiac pattern on Ravelry, but kind of did my own thing with it. The hat, likewise, is just a typical knitted baby beanie, but at the second-to-last decrease I stopped decreasing and just added length instead. The sack is beautifully warm and wonderful for cozy days at home, but unfortunately isn’t car seat friendly, so it hasn’t gotten as much use at it deserves. The hat she is wearing constantly, because we figured out that when she’s stuck to the front of me in the mei tai and is wearing this hat with the tip sticking up, it looks just like I’m babywearing one of Santa’s little helpers and it makes every single person I encounter get a big grin on their face. It’s like my tiny Christmas gift to all the other Costco shoppers.

tagsAnd speaking of the baby and Christmas joy, I couldn’t resist using her sweet face on our gift tags this year. I used craft punches on photographs, then stuck them to card stock with a glue stick. Add a quick little rubber-stamped message, and I have the cutest gift tags ever. 🙂

Crafty kids

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quilt

There are lots of things I’m not sure about when it comes to parenting. I really struggle with my kids and food, for example. All my fine ideas about how they were going to love vegetables haven’t really panned out. But one thing I feel pretty confident about is the way they both (I’m excluding Daphne here, who can hardly be expected to show creativity or initiative at 10 weeks) can envision a project and tackle it head-on, with whatever materials they find. I think I’m doing a halfway decent job of giving them confidence in the “homemade” department. At least that’s something, right? So at least if they ever lose their teeth to poor nutrition and go to jail for bad behavior they can sit in there and knit a cozy for their meal tray. Or something.

Dorothy has really been into sewing lately. She sews lots and lots (and lots) of little pouches for things and gets really upset if we don’t use them for all the things they are meant to hold. Although I’ve taught her about sewing on the wrong side of the fabric she prefers her own free-form methods, which I think is fine. Just recently she’s progressed from pouch-making to quilting, and has made coverlets for her doll, a doll of her brother’s, and now one for baby sister. I thought it was an adorably sweet project, and I loved seeing the big sister cozy the tiny sister up in it. It did get slightly less charming when the big sister basically followed me around doggedly for the next whole day, placing and replacing the little quilt over the baby just in case I “forgot” to cover her up in it just for a trip to check the mailbox or something. But I understand; it’s the same reason I don’t like to sew Halloween costumes–you want your sewing projects to get used.
bracelets

Dorothy has also been really into making rubber band bracelets. I realize this is no different from almost every other 2nd grade girl in middle America at the moment, but it is possible that being a homeschooler and having more free time has given her the opportunity to be a little more prolific than most–she’s about to suffocate every bare surface in the house with these little rubber chains, made in two styles and a variety of colors. She and her friends trade them and make them for each other. It’s funny how every few years sees a new trend of childhood “currency,” and I think it’s nice that this particular trend involves the kids making something with their own hands to swap and gift. cookies2

Yesterday we made iced sugar cookies to share with the kids’ grandparents after their church Christmas pageant this weekend. I cut out only snowmen to keep things simple, then set each child up with their own jar of icing, a small stack of cookies, little bowls of candies to share for the decorating, and a big fat lecture on hand washing and not licking.cookies3

Worth was not old enough to remember the last time we decorated cookies together and took the job very seriously.cookies4Of course the most enjoyable part of the project was the tasting at the end. Dorothy ate her “weird” snowman, I ate my piped icing mistake (oops! a uni-brow!), and Worth ate his snowman with the most candies and icing crammed on top. As is our custom when I have frosting in tubes, we wrapped up by me piping a “finger rose” on the tips of all their fingers, for them to lick off before going for one more good hand-wash.

first-christmasThere is nothing homemade in this photo except my beautiful baby herself, and her fine chubby cheeks. Breast-feeding can give such a sense of accomplishment when you see your child fill out and grow! Like I’m not sure how I did it, but I did it! Is it crafty? Nope, but still homemade. 🙂 She’s ten weeks old now and is doing great. She’s not a particularly easy or laid-back baby (of course I’m comparing her to Worth, who was just about the most pleasant and obliging infant I’ve ever encountered) but we don’t really mind trying to keep up with her exacting standards. She should have what she wants, this precious (final) baby #3!

Christmas outfits

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christmas-family christmas-kidsYou may not have noticed that I’ve been missing, but I have! Was I off dealing with that cute but rather fussy baby? Well, yes and no. My computer died almost a month ago, shortly after my last post, and it’s taken me this long to get the stupid thing replaced. First there is the denial (maybe it’ll come back to life!), then the half-assed attempt to fix it myself (will the vacuum cleaner help?), then the grief, then the period of pretending I know what the little numbers in a computer description mean so I can make a wise choice in a new one, then waiting for the damned sale to start (frustration is mounting!), then realizing that the stupid thing must ship from China (Costco, you’ve never done me wrong like this before!), and finally nearly knocking the poor FedEx guy over when he finally brought it to my door all these weeks later. In retrospect I should have just gone to a store and bought a machine that was more expensive but could have been in my hands immediately following the grief stage. My mental health is worth something, right?

Anyway, I seem to be up and running now (please, go knock on wood), and here I am. In the interim I’ve made matching Christmas outfits for my kids and they are cute. I bought a cotton plaid in Christmas colors at my local fabric store that seemed soft enough to put on a baby and used it for pants for Worth, a skirt for Dorothy, and a dress with bloomers for the baby. I also bought red t-shirts for the big kids from Children’s Place and painted a tree on the front with fabric paint. They have plans to embellish my tree with fabric paint ornaments themselves but we haven’t gotten around to it yet. Which basically means that the day Mommy could handle three kids, no computer, and permanent paint all the same day had not yet arrived, because it is still warm in hell. But I digress. The trees will be embellished in due time, before the outfits get worn on Christmas. That they were not yet embellished at the time of our Christmas-card picture-taking may have secretly been part of my plan all along, because who knows what they’ll look like after the kids go at them with paint. But if I had plans for a perfect Christmas card they went awry anyway, somewhere between not being able to get five people to look at the camera in a pleasant manner at the same time and having hair that mysteriously poofed into the shape of Church Lady hair on the day we took the picture. I promise the shape of it in this photo has nothing to do with my usual hairstyle or my actual theology, and it calmed down later and fell into a more natural-looking, messy, lefty-Presbyterian style. But I’m rambling. Just so glad to be back online.

Worth’s pants are from the book Sewing for Boys, Dorothy’s pleated skirt is McCall’s Easy Stitch N Save M5909, and Daphne’s dress and bloomers are from Making Baby’s Clothes. I need to make some elastic adjustments yet on the skirt and pant waistbands so they don’t fall off and ruin Christmas, but other than that they turned out well. Though I have to admit that after finishing two whole Christmas outfits and still needing to make one whole Christmas outfit it did occur to me that I actually have three whole kids now and that that’s kind of a big deal. Like, a lot of kids. But it’ll be fine–at least I’m online again. Oy!