Friday, August 23, 2013

FO Friday: I made up a pattern!

**Disclaimer**  Just so the grandparents/family/friends don't get confused: I am not pregnant.  This is not an announcement of any kind.  This was made as a gift.  Again, I repeat, Ellie is not going to be a big sis, at this time.  Thank you.

Ok, now that that is out of the way.  I made up a pattern!  I mean, it's a hat, so it's not like it was anything complicated, like a sweater or anything.  Basically I made a rectangle, folded it and sewed the edges.  But I did have to plan out the lettering, which turned out to be a learning experience.  I started with the pink hat and I ended up having to do it twice because I didn't like the way the letters turned out the first time.

I made these hats for a friend of mine who is having her second baby.  I wanted to include her daughter in the gift in some way, and I knew I wanted to knit something.  Since the baby is due in the fall, I figured a hat would be perfect, and why not add a hat for the big sis so she can let everyone at school know about her little brother (although I'm sure she'll tell everyone she sees, hat or no hat).
It was easy to choose the colors, as they were from the yarn I recently inherited from my grandma's yarn stash.  So there is a little bit of grandma knitted into these hats as well.

I can't remember exactly what I cast on for each hat, but I think it was something like 28 for the newborn hat and 38 for the big hat.
Then I knit approximately one inch of 2 x 2 ribbing.
Purl one row.
Stockinette stitch, adding in the lettering (although you could add any design you wanted, it is a big blank square).*
I did about 50 rows of stockinette for the newborn hat and about 80 row for the pink hat.
Purl one row.
Another inch of 2 x 2 ribbing.
Cast off.
Sew the side seems, and add a pompoms or tassels to the top corners to finish the hat.

*I do have my chart for the lettering if anyone is interested.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Snacky Snack: Popsicles

My mom and oldest nephew were visiting a few weeks ago.  We decided to do Nashville specific things, which was fun because Ellie and I don't venture into the city that often.  First we visited The Parthenon.  

By the giant doors

                James showing how thick the doors are.          Rub the lion nose for luck!

 The Goddess Athena

I had been there before with Nick when I was (very) pregnant.  It's one of those touristy spots in Nashville that you really should take the time to visit.  It's an inexpensive self-guided walking tour, and it's set in the middle of beautiful Centennial Park.  You could visit the Parthenon and then have a picnic and feed the ducks!

After taking in the views of a gigantic golden Goddess Athena, we needed a snack.  I knew the perfect spot: Las Paletas!  Gourmet popsicles?  Absolutely!  

Ellie had peach, James had strawberry kiwi and mom had butter pecan.  
I think it might have even been Ellie's first popsicle.  

Well, she was hooked, and nearly finished the whole thing!

I realized, I could totally make these at home!  Well, maybe not quite Las Paletas quality, but still yummy popsicles that are healthier than store bought.  My mom always made popsicles when we were growing up.  She would fill little dixie cups and put popsicle sticks in them.  When you were ready to eat one, you just peeled the paper off!  I didn't have any dixie cups, but I had several ice cube trays.  I thought that might be the perfect size for a little popsicle snack.  I also didn't have popsicle sticks, but I had straws!  I just cut my straws in half and they were perfect!  

To Make the Popsicles

You'll need:

One can peaches*
6 oz container of greek yogurt

  1. Drain and rinse the peaches.
  2. Place peaches and yogurt in a blender or food processor.
  3. Blend until completely pureed.
  4. Pour into ice cube trays or popsicle molds, if you have them.
  5. Place popsicle sticks in the middle (or cut straws in half to use as sticks!).

*You don't have to use canned peaches, or even peaches.  You can use frozen, fresh and any mix you want!  This was so simple and I love how versatile it is.  I also have canned mandarin oranges.  I think I might try those with some yogurt next, kind of like a dreamsicle!  And I was thinking, since it's sometimes difficult to get Ellie to eat veggies, I could mix up a green smoothie and turn it into popsicles too!  Of course there is always the true dessert version: frozen chocolate pudding.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Ramblings: Potty Training

I may have mentioned in the past how much I was dreading potty training.  
Well I can't officially declare Ellie potty trained, but we're fantastically close!  

We tried the "Kool-Aid Method", which is what my mother-in-law did with her kids.  
Basically you let them have a big cup of Kool-Aid and you hang out in the bathroom, read books, until they go potty.  It's more of a get-them-acquainted-with-the-potty-chair system, than a long-term plan.  I tried it when Ellie was interested in the potty, but wasn't quite aware of when she had to go.  I figured a little Kool-Aid couldn't hurt, but I was secretly hoping it wouldn't work.  I wasn't super excited about the idea of filling Ellie with sugar water.  

Well, it turns out Ellie doesn't like Kool-Aid.  
She seemed into it at first, but after about four sips, she was done and asked for water.  
I was okay with that, less sugar means a better bedtime for me!

When Ellie got really into the idea of sitting on the potty, I made her a Potty Chart.  I just bought a poster board, a bunch of stickers, and made a grid.  This kid is obsessed with stickers, so I thought it would work as a reward.  

At the beginning our system was:

  • Sit on the potty = 1 sticker (even if she didn't do anything)*
  • Pee on the potty = 2 stickers
  • Poop on the potty = 3 stickers**
I was hopeful that by the time we filled up the chart she would be potty trained, 
but I wasn't counting on it.  

Well, the chart is full and we're so close!  
I am really glad we didn't have to resort to candy.  

Although I would have done it, if it came down to it.  

Now I have to dig out some of Ellie's old clothes 
because without a diaper she's back to 12 month size pants...

*Once she got accustomed to sitting on the potty, she no longer received a sticker unless she actually went to the bathroom.
**She still has yet to poop on the potty.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Ramblings: Hilarious Misbehaving

So last night bedtime was difficult.  
I'm not sure what it was, but Ellie was just not interested in staying in bed.  I was trying really hard to stick with our "silently walk her back to bed" routine, but I was losing patience.  Nick was working late, so I was fighting this bedtime battle on my own.  

I needed a mommy break, so I put the baby gate up.  She could still open her door, but she couldn't leave her room.  I explained to her that big girls stay in bed at bedtime.  Until she learned to be a big girl and stay in bed, the baby gate was going to have to stay up.

 (For the record, I took it down after she fell asleep.)

When Nick got home at 11:00pm, Ellie was still awake.


I was doing my best to ignore her constant requests for 
a snack, or a drink, or a different book, or a new toy.  She had eaten a good dinner, she had a drink before bed (at 8:30pm).  She was fine, just trying her hardest to stay awake.  
She also has a new tactic where she says she pooped and she needs a new diaper.  This is usually not true, but every now and then she has in fact pooped.  
Around 11:45pm she kept saying, 

"Need diaper.  Need diaper.  Need diaper."  

Unrelenting.  I figured if she is this insistent it must be true, so I went to check.  
Remember, it's dark.  She's standing in the doorway.  I go to pick her up and put her in bed.  

She's naked.

She's not dirty, or wet, or anything, just naked.  
I was so confused, I turn the lamp on and look around. 

She has stripped, thrown her clothes and diaper over the gate and into the hallway.  It took everything I had to not laugh at that moment.  I held it in, got her dressed and told her to go to sleep (which she finally did about ten minutes later!).  Then I go back to the den to tell Nick what happened.  

I have never laughed so hard in my life.

Friday, August 09, 2013

Ramblings: A New Goal

Some day I'm going to figure out how to contribute to this blog on a regular basis.  I opened the Etsy shop and somewhere between my toddler and my messing craft room, lost all motivation to make anything for it.

I have this problem when there is something looming on the horizon I am constantly distracted by it.  It could be something as little as a playdate in a few days or as big as planning Ellie's birthday party.  Back in May, I had no idea what we were going to do in June because I was so consumed with Ellie's party.  Well, in two weeks I start graduate school.  I feel frozen in time.

In my head I'm making lists and figuring out the timing of my classes and dropping Ellie off at her Nana's and what am I going to wear because none of my clothes fit or look nice enough.  But my house is a mess and I'm so distracted from what's going to happen in two weeks that I've completely neglected all my knitting and sewing projects.

On top of this, I feel like a bad parent.  I usually have some small level of parental guilt hanging around, but this week is very specific.  When Ellie was little, for the whole first year of her life I kept a journal.  I wrote in it nearly every day.  I also managed to completely fill out her two baby books.  Pictures, journaling, the whole deal.  Well, since her first birthday, I haven't written a word in a journal.  I hate it because she has said and done so many adorable, hilarious, amazing things, and I didn't write any of them down.  It's not like I can go back and try to remember them all, and that makes me sad.  I think I might start making a habit of writing them all on here.  Maybe this will become my new Ellie journal.  I'm not sure, though, because I loved having the hand written copy.  My mom always made a big deal about having things with a person's handwriting.  When that person is gone, having something in their handwriting can be really special, it shows a lot about who they were.  My grandma made lists, my mom kept journals for all her daycare kids, I have handwritten recipes and notes in really old photo albums.

Starting school is going to be a big change in itself, but I want to make a goal to write more about Ellie, whether it's on here or in her own journal.  And maybe with everything that will be happening, I'll feel like I have more to write about.  Staying home can get monotonous, and maybe I ran out of things to say and inspiration to craft.  These next two years are going to be stressful (but hopefully fun too!) and maybe writing will help keep things in perspective.

(Yes, this was just me rambling.  I didn't really have a point, nothing special to take away from this.  Just thinking while Ellie naps.)