Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Time to Fly

Our first family vacation on a plane with Griffin is approaching and I've put off thinking about all of the details long enough.  He's 10 1/2 months old, not yet walking, but also not wanting to sit still...ever.  I am issuing an advance apology to anyone who is on our plane, and especially to those in our row.

Gammie Gail has helped us do a lot of research about what you can bring, what you can check, etc.  It sounds like you can always check a stroller and a car seat with no bag check charge.  You can also gate check those items, and if there is an extra seat in your row, you can bring the car seat on the plane for no extra charge and put the baby in a car seat.  Since I'm not willing to haul our giant car seat around the airport on the off-chance that our full flight has an extra seat in our row, I think we are going to curbside check the car seat.  Too bad he is too big for the infant seat....that would make things much easier.

The plan is to keep the stroller with us, to be able to easily maneuver the airport with Griff and probably a million bags that we will be bringing, though I'm aiming for just one carry-on after reading this (Hollywood Housewife).  Unfortunately, I think the stroller wheels need to come off the stroller to go through the x-ray machine.  Another option was checking our stroller and just using an umbrella stroller in the airport...seems like just an extra thing to keep track of, but maybe I'll regret this later.  Here's hoping that they have some kind of special wand to run over the stroller instead of taking off the wheels.

As far as "stuff" goes, Griffin requires slightly fewer baby items that should make traveling a little easier.  Unfortunately, with about one month to go before officially weaning Griffin off breast milk, my beloved pump will have to come along (thankfully it doesn't take much space). 

Milk is another story.  Griffin is still on a breast milk diet, though we have resorted to exclusively pumping after some teeth came in and Griffin didn't quite understand "no biting."  So, I need to bring his milk but he will need more than 3 oz. than the allowable liquid that can go through security.  From what I am told, breast milk is an exception, but it needs to be inspected.....sorry for whoever has that job.   

What Griffin will need: car seat, stroller, clothes, pj's, hats, swimsuits, SUNSCREEN, sunglasses, a few bottles, sippy cups, nuks, toys.......I'm getting overwhelmed even making a list, and if you know me....I love lists.  But this list is seriously stressing me out.  We decided to not do cloth diapers on vacation, even though we will have access to laundry, we just don't have the extra space to bring them there and home.

One really nice thing is that we are staying at my mom's place in Savannah, so she was able to get a crib to keep there, as well as a high chair.  There is also a washer and dryer, so I'm really trying not to over-pack clothing.  Plus, I know my mom...she brings extras of everything. :)

In addition to all of the lists for packing, I've made a Savannah prayer list: Lord, please let Griffin be tolerable for the other passengers on the plane.   And if that doesn't work, help me to not care what others will think of me or my child.  Amen.

One final issue to complicate things is that we leave first thing in the morning.  So there will be no time to pack the day of.  Everything must be done ahead of time, (which I prefer) but is tough with a baby who requires so much stuff each day. 

As stressful as it is planning and packing, I am sooo looking forward to a relaxing vacation with my family!  We plan to golf, walk, go the beach and pool, eat good food and do whatever else we feel like, because we'll be on vacation! 

Is there anything I forgot?  Does anyone have tips for flying with a 10 1/2 month old?  Wish me luck!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

I like big butts...

...and I cannot lie.  You other mothers can't deny....when a baby crawls in with a big ole butt....I think I'll stop there.

Yes, my child is one of those big butt-ed babies...due to his cloth diapers.  Let's face it, they don't have all of the chemicals that make the disposable ones super absorbent and thin, so in order to be absorbent they need more material.  I typically need to buy him one size bigger pant than he is old (right now he is 10 months old and wears 12-18 month pants).

So when my friend Katy came across Big Butt Baby Pants on Made By Rae, we quickly got to work making them for our little cloth diapered babies.  Katy made a few for her daughter Mara that are absolutely adorable, ruffles on the butt and everything.  I made a plain denim pair and khaki pair for Griffin just to make sure I liked the style.

I love them.  The Big Butt Baby Pants Pattern is only $10, and with some couponing and scouring of your local fabric store, you can make some pretty cheap and very cute baby pants!

After my first two pairs, I had enough denim and khaki fabric leftover to make another pair of each, while trying to attempt the cuff.  They also turned out adorably, if I do say so myself.

Oh, and my favorite part....the tag!  I need to actually get some heavy duty ribbon to use, but all I had was some scrap fabric, of which I finished the edges and sewed it in.

On a quick trip through JoAnn Fabric one day, I saw this fabric on the clearance rack.  It immediately caught my eye and looked very familiar.

Awhile back, I got an extra set of crib bedding (Dwell Studio for Target-in Fun Dot Blue) that was on extreme clearance.  I'm saving it for Griffin's first birthday room makeover.  The similar dot fabric at JoAnn's was 50% off an already on-sale price so I got it for $4.99 (1 yard).  I got home and opened it up....come to realize it was a Dwell Studio fabric so it really did match the bedding!

I made the pants first....

Then wanted to use one of the plain color onesies Griff has to make a matching shirt.  So I cut out a few of the dots and sewed them on to a heather brown onesie.

I think it is a pretty cute little outfit....that looks even cuter on my big butt baby:).

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Cooper Kisses

Anyone who has a dog that chizzles, knows that it is a special act of endearment.  (Not to be confused with my college roommate Chizzzz, who by the way has an awesome new blog!)  Cooper has only been known to chizzle his special dog friend Ella, during one of their little lovey times.

Here they are when Coop was just a pup and Ella took him right under her wing like a little mama.

Okay so back to the chizzling.  Cooper and Ella chizzle each other all the time and what it is really is the most gentle little nibbles, but really are more like little kisses.  

I think Griffin is growing on Cooper because their relationship was taken to a new level the other day.  Cooper chizzled Griffin, and Griffin loved it.  I think the rest speaks for itself.

Part 1:
Part 2:

Part 3:

Friday, February 17, 2012

My little Bostonian

No, my child is not from Boston, he's from Minnesota....and you becha we are working on that Minnestooootan accent don't ya know.  But for now, he has a Boston accent.  His first word, spoken about a month ago, is "car." We weren't sure at first if he was really referring to a car or just liked the way the "c" rolled off the roof of his mouth.  But he definitely knows what a car is.  He says it all day long.  In fact the teacher in me was quick to correct his over generalization of trucks, diggers, boats, planes and buses all being cars, but then I thought, maybe he really does understand what a car is, what sound it makes and what it does....and is actually applying what he knows to a new situation.  Now that's higher level thinking.
His little voice is so sweet and he works so hard for the "c" sound.  I love when he really draws one out, "caaaaaaaa."  We spend a lot of time looking out the window hoping for a car to go by.  While we are thankful we don't live on a busy street, it would be very convenient during this stage to have cars going by all day long.  Our neighbors do tend to park their cars outside, so while not moving they are usually there if we are needing a car fix.  

He is starting to say a few other words, "hi," "ball," and "baby," which come out "haaaaa," "baaaaa" and "baaaaa baaaa." Oh, and of course he says,"dada," whom he adores.  He even has started to crawl to the window so he can pull himself up and watch dada drive his caaaaa up the driveway. 

While I'm excited to hear his vocabulary explode over the next year, I'm cherishing all of his firsts.  I even catch myself when he's napping, still saying, "car," when I hear one go by.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Why I'm ok with 40 degrees in February

I think the pictures speak for themselves.  40 degrees in February is fine by me.  We are so spoiled to be able to get out and enjoy the beautiful snow-less outdoors and get some fresh and exercise. 

This is at the Minnehaha dog park that we affectionately call the DP, that runs along the Mississippi River. 

We tend to frequent the DP mostly during the spring/summer/fall, but add winter to the list!  It is Cooper's favorite place in the world, except Cable and frisbee competitions.
It's hilarious when we start walking down the trail, there gets to be a point when Cooper doesn't want to stick with us anymore and just takes off to the river for his first dip.  And yes, even in December, January and February when he's had the opportunity, he takes a dip in the icy water (not even chasing a frisbee, just because he likes to take a polar plunge).

He's so happy to just prance around....he's not really too interested in other dogs, though he gives them a run for their money when they chase him and entice him to play.

Sometimes when he stops, I think he's wondering why we aren't also running into the chilly Mississippi like it's spring break at the ocean on the beach in Florida.
It's weird to see how bare the trees are.  It looks so monochromatic in the winter with the beige sand but beautiful nonetheless.

My guys....
We walked down by the river only for a short time, it was pretty windy.
Then we moved back up and walked the woodsy trail.
Too bad Griffin was of course watching Cooper and not the flashing, beeping, self-timing camera...we'll have to work on that.
So when we're complaining in July that it is too hot or too cold or too humid or something....I will  remember the relief we got this winter and how we got to spend so much time outside.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day! 

We're not big Valentine's Day people, but a nice dinner with the family at home (Nate's cooking!) will suit us just fine....who wouldn't want to spend Valentine's Day with this smiley guy?!
I think this will be Nate and my 12th Valentine's Day together, but our first with our little mischievous crawler....
 And thank you to Great Grandma Nancy and Great Grandpa Oscar for the adorable bib!
Whether you are celebrating Valentine's Day or not, this little guy wants to send some love your way.

Monday, February 13, 2012

'Hanging' during nap time

Hanging wall items is an adventurous nap time project.  Why?  You risk waking the sleeping baby.  Well a few members of my family have the "bee-in-your-bonnet" gene and I got a "bee" to hang my newly finished mirror.

This is what our dining room looked like.  We got this clock as a wedding gift from Nate's cousin Georgia and we love it.  It has hung in at least 4 different locations (once in our apartment, over our fireplace, here in the dining room and now...well you just have to wait and see!).

It went really well with our dining room, especially since we upgraded to our new round table (which you cannot see here purposely because it was covered with junk:).
We didn't have a wall clock in our newly (I'm using that term pretty loosely) finished basement, and we loved it over the fireplace upstairs, so why not!
It looks great and I actually put new batteries in it while it was between walls so it keeps time again and is right more than twice a day.

Oh, side note: I hung these three little mirrors in the hallway between the main room in the basement and the bathroom.  I got these at a garage sale, actually my garage sale.  My sister-in-law was getting rid of them when we had a joint garage sale so I snagged them before they hit the market.

I think they are originally from Ikea.

And now for my shimmy the dining room it goes!

It looks great with the circular table and since it is much bigger than the wall clock, I took down the sconces that were on either side.  I may try to spice up the area with something else later, but for now I like the simple look of the giant (handmade!) mirror.

Friday, February 10, 2012

A 'shimmy' Mirror

I've been working on this mirror for months.  Literally, once a month for the last 5 months, I've been trying to get this project done.  I enlisted the help of my expert-woodworking father and utilized some of the Tuesday morning time I get free of Griffin thanks to my dad's lovely wife Signe:).  I saw this done on Bower Power as a part of the Pinterest Challenge and she gives great instructions and here is a much more in-depth tutorial from Kristi at Addicted 2 Decorating.
I'm still getting the hang of writing/picturing through a project and therefore forgot to get any before pics.  But here are some of the materials I started with:
-scrap plywood
-cedar shims
-wood stain (Jacobean)
-string and pencil (for tracing circles to cut)
-wood glue
-wood glue brush
-tacky glue
-picture hanging kit
-various saws from my dad's woodworking garage stall

First we (my dad and I) started by cutting all of the cedar shims into 2 1/2 inch strips, that way when you arrange them in the basket-weave pattern, the width of two shims is the same as the length of a shim.  Then I just started gluing them down.  This part took about 2 hour-long installments. 

 Once I had a square piece of plywood, covered in basket-weave shims (chose this pattern over the parkay, but the possibilities are endless!), I used a pencil and string to trace a circle in the middle for the mirror and around the edge.  My dad was in charge of the saw and cut out the holes for me.
Then I set it up for some staining.  I gave it a good, dark stain (Jacobean).  One caution is to be careful not to get any wood glue where you are going to stain, because the stain won't stick to the glue.  Using a dark color was a good idea, since it is tough to get the stain into the small cracks and even harder to wipe off the excess.  If you used a lighter stain, it might look darker between the shims.
 Once dry, I flipped it over and positioned the mirror.  This was a re-purposed mirror from one of the closets in our house.  It had what I'm sure was once a very stylish floral design on the front, however not really my style so it got re-purposed.
 Just a little tacky glue around the edge of the mirror, right onto the back of the wood and give it some time to dry.
 And...voila!   A re-purposed mirror!  I love how it turned out, though it is much bigger than I thought it was.  We did all of the cutting at my dad's and when I got it home it was too big for above the basement fireplace, which is where I had thought it would go.  Give me a day or two to figure it out and I'll let you know where it ends up....maybe the dining room.