Sunday, September 30, 2007

Our trip to Thailand

Just Kidding. Beautiful weather today. A trip to Olbrich Gardens (where there was a quilt show!) and then to Ella's Deli which is a VERY cool place for kids. Talia rode the carousel which she has been refusing to do for the last 3.5 years.
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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Bustin' Out

Alex is busting out of his 3-6 month clothing (pants and one piece outfits mostly). I'm kind of sad about it, although for the last 4 1/2 months I've just been wishing he'd grow up, start sleeping through the night (yeah right) and be able to sit or pick stuff up so he could occupy himself just a little. I just went through a bin of "6-9 month" clothes and found some nice sleepers he received as gifts. Ron will be so happy since he is the one who usually has to stuff Alex into pajamas after his bath. I also found some other cute items that he can wear now. Lots of people bought him summer outfits in 6-9 months (oops). He's still small for some of his 3-6 month shirts and even wears some 0-3 month onesies. I found two of the same really nice Gap sweatshirt in 6-9 months. I wish I had noticed that earlier so I could exchange one. I guess one can be left in the car for emergencies. It's quote soft!
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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Details:: 6 :: Organized Pantry

A completely organized pantry. I bought clear bins (big = $3, small = $1) and labelled each one with literally EVERYTHING in my pantry. Talia loves beans so I have one bin for cans of lentils and chickpeas and one for black/ white/ red beans. Now I just look in the bin to see what beans we need (this week, for example, we need red, black, white and lentils!). I have a bin of oils and vinegars, one of spaghetti sauce and salsa, etc. I can so easily see what I have that I can also see what I need. Before I would ask myself, are we out of rice?-- Oh, I'll just buy more... Now my cannisters are labelled and easy to see into. This has been amazing and it makes putting away groceries really easy too. Lastly, I bought non-clear bins for all the desirables-- chips, cookies, etc. so Talia can't see into them. She still asks for snacks but doesn't just open the pantry, see chips and want them. I also separated bags of opened chips (easy to reach) and unopened (way up high) since I generally find about 10 open bags of tortilla chips every time I look. Love love love!

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Details:: 5 :: Wildflowers

I pass this protected area of wildlife every time I drive into my neighborhood. It has changed through the season from early to late summer and now to fall. According to my Wildflowers of Wisconsin book that's Canadian Goldenrod. In early summer it looked more like this...

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Chutes and Ladders

We sort of played Chutes and Ladders. She won, of course. We're working on the game skills such as taking turns, having patience, being a good sport etc. I remember the act of playing board games as extremely fun and I was NEVER the first person to tire of any game. Now they seem pretty tedious. Maybe when we get to the good stuff like Payday and Careers...?
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The babe

First time in a swing, first non-jersey-knit cotton outfit
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Design Corkboard

Bought a corkboard, a staple gun and some fabric. Had the batting at home. Love it!
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Monday, September 17, 2007

Madison Quilt Expo 2007

Went to the Quilt Expo in Madison. So inspiring. I was really excited to be there and kept repeating to myself "My kids WILL grow up and I WILL have time again someday" and "It's going to be a long winter, right?" Bought lots of fabric, including Moda's Blossom line-- a jelly roll, charm pack and some fat quarters to make a simple quilt. Also bought Alex some fabric. Above is a picture of a bundle of Amy Bulter fabrics (does EVERYONE have these or what?), some Kitty fabric featuring Talullah (!), and some St. Jude Hospital fabric that I thought I would use for another spinny dress. T sure likes rainbows. I know Talia would have enjoyed going, hopefully next year she will be old enough and still be interested.
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a Spinny Dress

None of T's dresses are "spinny enough" so I've been meaning to make her a layered, gathered spinny dress for a long time. I was a bit scared of gathering but I *do* enjoy learning new sewing techniques so I finally took the time to figure it out. I definitely didn't think I would be able to "set in" sleeves (another technique on my "to learn" list) so I came up with an idea that I personally think is genius (if I do say so myself). I bought a shirt from Target and sewed the skirt of the dress to the shirt. It's soft on top and spinny at the bottom. Quite easy as well. I used fabric I had in my stash but you really need long pieces for it and I mostly have 1/4 and 1/2 yards lying around so I used fabric from "The Princess Quilt." I wonder if anyone at school will notice her dress matches her blanket? Talia seems quite satisfied with the level of spinniness (whew). Many more of these dresses to come!
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She wanted a bow skirt

Talia saw a skirt in one of her books and said she wanted it. I took a skirt she already owned that had a lining, gathered it in three places and added bows. I also added ribbon to the bottom so the lining would be longer. I think I might add more to lengthen it...
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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

My favorite quilt show is back!

Simply Quilts on HGTV is back on after a few month hiatus. I guess people really wanted it back on the air. It's a good show-- mostly because it's on everyday. I'm pretty happy about it!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Trying the video feature: Yankee Doodle

This is Talia singing Yankee Doodle. It's almost 7pm, she hasn't had a nap and is FULL of energy. Sigh.

Details:: 4 :: Staircase

I've basically got the coolest staircase ever. The metal design is amazing and makes me smile every time I go up the stairs. The wood is hard and has a refreshing quality to it. And it's very wide. The ends (posts?) have two different colors of wood in them. I will add a picture sometime when I get a chance.
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Monday, September 03, 2007

I made something else!

A birthday gift. It's a knitting needle roll. You stick in your needles, roll it up and carry it around. Not my best work yet again. I had some squirmy kids on my lap a lot of the time. I also had some sewing machine problems. I think the bobbins I got are slightly too tall for my machine. I also didn't use a pattern, didn't measure anything, didn't plan it out before I did it, didn't pin anything, and didn't make my own binding. But hey-- a friend got a homemade 30th birthday present! And I learned how fun it can be to actually quilt (as opposed to piecing, which I already love) when the project is small and it's easy to turn it in the machine. I bought a darning foot for my machine a while ago. I never tried it out. Perhaps that's what I need to do. I think the next quilt I make I'm going to send out to get quilted by someone with a long arm machine. Does that mean I didn't make the quilt myself? I think so...
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Laughing smiling boy

Alex is starting to really respond and interact more now. Talia can get him to laugh and smile pretty easily. He's not crying in the car as much and responds somewhat to singing and stimulation if he does start crying. Once he really gets going though there is still no stopping him. A daytime nap schedule seems to have evolved as well with a very predictable 30-60 minute nap around 9:30/ 10 am and shorter ones at 1:15 and then again at 4:30. With Talia out of school this past week and Ron around more it's been easier to work around Alex's nap schedule but I just know that once school starts again I'm going to be dragging Alex around town to drop of T, pick her up, and get some actual STUFF done when she is in school. (No way was I taking TWO kids shopping if I could avoid it!) Poor second kid.
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Chocolate chip pancakes

On one of our weekly trips to the library we found a book called Tallulah in the Kitchen by Nancy Wolff. In it Tallulah bakes blueberry pancakes. The story is basically a how-to book and I thought it might be nice to make pancakes (chocolate chip of course) as an activity. Usually I think stuff like that ends up being more trouble than fun but with TWO adults home it actually worked out great. Ron did most of the cooking since I had Alex in the sling. We all ate them and they were delicious. Of course, the next day T wanted them again and Ron told her we didn't have all the ingredients. T then proceeded to list EACH ingredient from memory and point out that we still have everything. "We have eggs!... We have baking powder!... We have milk!..." I couldn't believe she remembered EVERYTHING. My smart girl!
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Ron has a long weekend off from work. We decided to spend some time exploring Wisconsin instead of going away on a big trip. We went to Devil's Lake State Park, which is about 30 minutes from our house. We went hiking and played by the lake. Talia didn't want to walk of course, so we took the monster stroller we recently bought used from an acquaintance. It wasn't the best situation but I felt like we actually *did* something when we were done with our 1.5 mile hike. This park has some cool looking trails of different difficulty levels and I can't wait to try them with older kids or just with Ron. The weather has been beautiful this weekend. Next up on the agenda: a ferry, a farm and a waterpark.
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She poops!

I know, really exciting stuff! After more than a year of T peeing on the potty (she was very easy to train and I'm thankful for that), she finally will now POOP on the potty! It took a few months of us struggling to get her to try. No amount of bribery worked. I finally used the "we have no more diapers/ pull ups" trick. I let her watch the pile dwindle down and finally I just told he we didn't have any more. She was so proud of herself! I took her straight to the toy store and she picked out a Sleeping Beauty dress up dress with shoes and a wand. We called all of our family from the car. The next day she reminded me that I had promised to paint her nails when she went (one of a LONG SERIES of bribes that included chewing gum, getting some Princess Polly Pockets, eating chocolate covered cherries etc.). It's been about 5 days now and all is well in the universe!
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