Sunday, November 28, 2010

Baby vs. Grinch - Fourteen Months

Here I am! Still alive even after nearly a month of no posting...

And here is a fresh new crop of Maggie pics!

She is quickly growing from a baby into a little girl. As a follow-up from her ear infection, we had to go back to the doctor for a check up a few weeks ago. In FIVE weeks she gained TWO pounds. This has catapulted her into the world of front-facing carseats and big girl clothes. I feel like I have become used to clothes fitting her great and then all of the sudden being way too small, but the jump has usually been from one size to the other...not two sizes at a time! Yikes. This girl is growing fast.

She continues to LOVE to communicate. Mainly by saying "heh" or "huh" and pointing, but also has an increasing "vocabulary" of sounds that she associates as words. If only they didn't sound so similar! I would say that her first full word is "duck," as it is one of the only words that she pronounces more than a letter or syllable. It comes out more like "guck," which can also be interchangeably used for "stuck." She also knows the animal sounds for cow, chicken and, SO cute.

Today was an awesome day, as it was the first time that I've heard her say "mamamama" in recognition of me. Granted, she also says "mama" for "grandma" or "grammy," but I'll take it! (She has known and recognized Gary as "dada" - or "da-dad" as she mostly calls him - for some time now...)

She has decided to pick her sign language back up, but (as with most things) only on her terms. "More" and "please" are her signing words of choice, and the signs she uses do not really look anything like the actual signs, but at least she's consistent. Hoping that she will get thank you down soon.

(this is her saying "please" open the door - she puts her hand(s) on her chest)

Her favorite toys right now are balls, books and her baby. She also loves anything that she can dump out and put back into a container one by one.

It is really, really neat to start to see her interact and recognize people more. In particular, my favorites are her dad and her friend Charlotte ("shhh-shhh"). She gets so excited at the mention of them, let alone when she sees them. I love seeing her and Charlotte hug, kiss and tackle each other. So thankful for a friend so close in age and so nearby!

We continue to spend a portion of each day watching squirrels...which are becoming more and more rare to see, but are still her favorite animal (and activity).

Her molars AND incisors have both come in the past couple of months, bringing the tooth count up to 16.

I really need to go back to posting monthly is really hard to remember everything that has happened or changed in the past two months!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

How to Make a Squirrel

I do not post this because it's my own original idea or anything extra special, but because I was so frustrated when the blog I was referencing had very little (er, nearly no) instruction or direction. I think that you could actually make a lot of different animals using some of these basic pieces, too.

I started this project hoping to channel my inner Lorelei Gilmore, being able to whip up my daughter's prom dress or an entire cast of costumes for Fiddler on the Roof without even trying...however, I'm finding for an "artsy" person I am hopelessly un-crafty.

For the Vest
I brought out one of Maggie's vests and traced a back and two front panels.

Then, thinking "it's going to be soooo cold, I need to make a liner" (???), I cut three more panels (using the outer ones as patterns) out of the same fabric I had for the tail. (Joann's had some amazing remnants...I really lucked out)

After ironing and pinning the panels, I began to sew. I made sure to go extra, extra slow because I cannot sew a straight line to save my life. I finished sewing the outer panels together and could not have been more proud of myself. Until I discovered that I sewed through the armholes. Awesome.

I then set out to sew the outer and inner pieces together. Feeling quite confident, I was just about beside myself when it came time to turn the vest inside out. Unfortunately, this was the resulting product.

No one told me not to sew the armholes before I flipped it right side out. (Consider this your fair warning!)

I ended up just folding over and top stitching the armholes in the end. I still have no idea if this is the right way to do things, but I didn't have the energy or brain power to figure out something different at that point.

The rest was fairly straightforward.

I sewed a spare snap I found in my sewing bag to the front flaps. I then made some little leaves (out of what is proving to be the most useful fabric I have ever purchased) by cutting out (just freehand it) two leaf shapes and sewing them together front/back. I trimmed the edges with my scrapbooking scissors so they looked nice and clean. I did the same thing for the little acorn that I put on her hat. My sister just hand sewed those onto the front of the vest, on top of the snap closure.

For the Hat
I'm sure there are a million ways to make a hat, but after all that I had been through with the vest, I just used one of Maggie's beanies that happens to be brown. We hand sewed the leaves and acorn to the front. For the ears, we cut out two half-moonish shapes and pinched together the bottom and then hand sewed those on as well.

For the Bag
I cut out two "acorn shapes" and sewed them together. I then cut some scallops from the green material again, pinned those, and sewed a brown grosgrain ribbon around the edge of the bag to "finish" everything and make a little handle.

For the Tail
Much simpler than it looks! We sewed a "tube" out of the fuzzy material by cutting a square and sewing up one edge and across the top. We then "cinched" the top of the tail with a needle and thread so it wouldn't be so box-y on the end. Once we stuffed it with polyfill, we sewed across the bottom to prevent fill from falling out. I think you could attach it in a variety of ways. I ended up stuffing the extra material at the bottom into Maggie's pants and then put two safety pins on either side attached to her vest so that the top sort of flopped down to make a question mark shape.

And that's how you (well, I) make a squirrel.

Monday, November 1, 2010

'Tis the Season

So is it just me, or did Christmas literally appear overnight?

It was like the entire commercial/retail world was just begging Halloween to be over already. Today I went out to run a few errands and it was like Christmas merchandising and marketing had thrown up everywhere! Granted there was some before, but this is crazy. Even the gift-giving commercials have started.

Don't get me wrong, I loooovvveee Christmas and everything that goes with the season...but I'm still enjoying fall here, people!

And then I was flipping through the nothingness that was on TV tonight and wouldn't you know, "While You Were Sleeping" was on. All it took was five minutes, and I totally lost the fight.