Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Your baby eats WHAT?

No offense to the fine baby food companies (ahem), but baby food is gross. Seriously yucky stuff. So I tried to do solids the "right" way... pureeing my own veggies, shoveling it in her mouth three times a day, trying to distract her enough to open her mouth... but it took WAY too long, was way too messy, and quite frankly, was not a pleasant experience for anyone. Totally frustrating.

Beef stew and blueberries - definately a favorite!

That's when I gave up. I read a book called "Baby Led Weaning" by Gill Rapely. Full disclosure: this not a scientific book. The only scientific study referenced in it was done in the early part of the century. It's full of first-person testimonials, which are interesting but definately not scientific. That being said, I found a lot of logic and rational thought in it. Primarily, do you really think that moms through the ages spent hours pureeing food for their babies? Or wasting so much time trying to spoon-feed little ones who clearly don't desire to be spoon-fed? I doubt it. I don't buy everything in the book, but the basic concept seems sound. So, last week (just in time for Thanksgiving), we switched our approach: Gracie eats what we eat.

Chicken noodle soup

She's actually doing surprisingly well with it. I know she's eating (we cloth diaper... use your imagination), and actually eating a lot more than I thought she would. She's tried pretty much everything I've put in front of her. Sure, it's messy... but you should have seen what we were dealing with when spoon-feeding. Believe it or not, this is cleaner. And she's SOOO happy! We all sit down for our meals together, with Gracie getting a small portion of whatever the meal is. Sometimes I'll cook her something a tiny bit different: last night we had fish but I didn't season her piece, and for lunch today I didn't put sauce on her pasta. But that's minor in the grand scheme of things. We're teaching her not only what food is, but also what family mealtime is. She's a part of our family, and family mealtime is something we very much believe in.

Some kind of sherbert, and yes it's a spoon, but her face is priceless!
This kid makes the best faces.

Has anyone else done this, or something similar? I have a couple friends here that have done solids basically this way. It just seems so natural. Thoughts?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Action Shots: Grace's Coat

Because baby clothes are way cuter on the baby instead of the table :D

It's almost a pefect fit. Just a little loose, so it should fit throughout the cold season. This is a toddler size 1/2. LOL, I didn't even know they made a size 1/2!

You can see how the fullness hits just above her bum, and it only buttons to her waist. As wiggly as she is nowadays, this keeps everything nicely out of the way. And as Gillian suggested, I did skip the bow - there's enough going against me already trying to get this kid in a carseat. I don't need anything extra!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Fixing the Baby-Blanket-Bundle Problem [Gracie's New Coat]

Did you notice that it's finally November? Meaning it's finally cold, wet, and all around unpleasant outside here in the midwest? Oh yes. I envy the moms of tiny babies this time of year... throw a blanket or one of those special covers over a carseat and you're good to go. I get a little green-eyed at moms of toddlers and older, too... they can find coats, and their kids will maybe possibly be a little helpful getting the coat on. Not so here...

Our regular solution: Bundle and run.

Well, Miss Wiggles hasn't been tolerating being wrapped up in a blanket lately. She wants her hands free to touch and wave at absolutely everything. Since coats for babies are WAY too expensive for the amount of wear you get out of them (even the ones at Walmart were $45!), I graciously accepted a hand-me-down... in size 2T.

Her hands don't even come to the elbows. Not going to work (and her pants are long enough, Shaune just struggles holding her and keeping her clothes in place).

What a blessing grand-opening sales at Joann's are! Remember how I said I went a little crazy? I bought fabric, patterns, notions, and everything for (at last count) 10 different projects. The first, out of necessity, was a coat that FITS for Grace. I think it turned out darling!

I was trying to model this darling coat I found at BabyGap - cute, but more than I wanted to pay. So with some fleece and a basic coat pattern to work from, I got sketching and sewing. One night's worth of work, a little bit of learning when I realized my machine's buttonholess won't do fleece (I did my first by hand!), and some lovely PBS history house episodes on Youtube later, my daughter will no longer freeze. Just in time for relatives over the holiday :) Grand total: $6, all new materials.

The original has a bow on the back, but I haven't decided yet if I should do one. Thoughts?

May your Thanksgiving be warm and cheery!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Happy Turkey Day!

No, not Thanksgiving. That's in a few days. Today was Turkey Day! Can you find the turkeys?

I have a weakness for rice krispy treat concoctions. My best was the Krispy Kristmas Train of 2009 (you can see it in a photo halfway down the page here), but these are a pretty darling second place. The balls of rice krispy treat are dipped in chocolate then decorated with candy corn and sprinkles. I saw an ad in a magazine, of all places, and just couldn't resist!

Three of the not-rejects

All packed up for Grandma's house!

Some were so bad. You have no idea how hard working with molten marshmallow-cereal lava is, then trying to coax candy to adhere to it once it firms up harder than a rock (much faster than I was prepared for). But some turned out darling!

I hope your holiday preparations are giddy, cheerful, and chocolate covered as well! Blessings!

Friday, November 11, 2011

A Long-Awaited Adventure!

Oh Boy! At long last, a Joann's worth shopping at has opened in my neighborhood. Well, it's about 5 miles away, right next to where Shaune works and I attend Bible study. Danger zone, in other words.
Today was tehir grand opening. You can BET I was there, shopping list in tow! I'm so excited. I finally got my sewing machine fixed last weekend (I broke it over a year ago when I was sewing too fast on a civil war petticoat) and have been working on organizing my fabric and pattern stash. I've been collecting lists of projects that I want/need to accomplish between now and Christmas. I scoured the add and selected coupons, then braved the excitement.
It was worse than "Black Friday." LOL.
Have you ever seen several hundred women... crafters... who have been deprived of a decent fabric store for quite a while? Our joann's stopped taking shipments in late August; Hobby Lobby and Hancock are just so junky (these ones at least). Mass pandemonium ensued when we ladies were finally able to get our fix.
I was there for an hour and a half. Just guess how many people got fabric cut during that time (you have to take a ticket, then a screen shows what number is currently being served). You'll never guess. 162! 162 women gathered around the poor cutters like a cage in the zoo. 162 carts stacked high with bolts of fabric. 162 husbands somewhere wringing their hands at the anticipated credit card bill!
But alas, I patiently waited my turn... got my 6 cuts of fabric and more patterns than I'm going to admit to you (they were only $1 each)... gathered MY tired husband (who insisted on coming along, but later regretted it)... and cleared out, having quite satisfied my fabric addiction for a long time... or until my Mom comes up to do it again on Sunday!

Happy Weekend!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Gracie's ZigZag Jumper

Did I mention I was having fun knitting? LOL. This is my latest creation for Miss Grace. I've been loving her in jumpers lately because I have yet to find pants that actually look good over cloth diapers. Even when she's wearing pants I tend to slip a dress over it to cover the fluff. I'm already concerned about what I might do when we have a boy...

This fun little number was all from scrap yarn I'd bought back when I was knitting teddy bears. Both yarns are acrylic, which I don't use much anymore, but hey... at least this can go in the wash unlike my more recent woolie projects. The pink has a silver strand wrapped around it which didn't photograph well but adds a special sparkle up close.

My unwilling model. Yes, those are tears...

I've been loving my new knitting books that Shaune bought for me. This pattern is a slipped-stitch technique, which means I was only working with one yarn at a time. It's a lot less bulky than the fair isle pants I made a couple weeks ago. I had to do a little bit of play to make the bodice work, but I think it turned out nicely.
I'm kind of in love <3 This is a really simple dress; I think I'll probably make bundles more for Grace, and I'm toying with the idea of restarting my Etsy shop. You see, I have a delima - I want to knit, but there's absolutely nothing that I, or anyone in my family, need! I want to pawn off my creations on others, haha!
I hope you're having a blessed Monday! It's cold and dreary here... perfect for curling up and watching Lord of the Rings with Hubby while I knit my next insane project (it's bright... fair warning).