Crafty Mama!

I like crafts. I like making stuff. Lately I have had a little less time than I’d like to make stuff. Go figure. But, I was trolling around Instagram the other day and came across one of those signs you can have made with your baby’s birth stats on them. They seem to be all over sites like Etsy and for a wild second I thought, that would be a cute thing to have. And then my mind came to a screeching halt and I went….wait a minute! I don’t need to pay all that money for one of those! I can make that myself!

So after our early morning walk in Wash Park last week we trucked off down the highway to the nearest Michael’s (since we don’t shop at Hobby Lobby anymore) and picked up supplies for my project. I spent a lot of time wandering up and down the aisles looking at things that the Bean and I will be able to do soon–chalk and crayons and foam letter projects…oh I’m so stoked. I found these crayons that are egg-shaped and meant for toddler hands, so can you say stocking stuffer?! Oh boy.

Anyhoo, we escaped without anything other than what I needed (what a shock) and I got to work. I decided to stencil the whole thing because I am lousy at free-hand, so while it came out looking better it also took forever because I had to let the previous letter dry before I could lay down the next stencil. Anyway, here’s my finished product!

I’m pretty proud of it. I guess I could have done better at centering the lines a little more but whatever. I like it and it’s made by hand by ME! 

In other news, we are getting ready for Bean’s first trip and first airplane ride. We are going to Maine for a week to help settle my grandma’s estate (she passed in February) and send her ashes off to sea. Cameron won’t be able to come because he is about to start a new job, but I’ll be traveling with both my parents which eases my mind a little bit. The flight situation is less than ideal because we fly very early from Denver to Orlando and then to Hartford (yuck) where we’ll be picking up a rental and driving up to Montague, MA to spend a couple nights with my grandma and grandpa before driving the rest of the way to Maine. Luckily, this means we’ll get to see all our family still in Mass and the Bean will get to meet her Nana and her great uncles. I’m excited to go back to my second “home.” My mom grew up there and almost all of her family is still there so we spent a lot of time in the summers there, and I lived there for a year during my freshman year of college. We visited two years ago for an afternoon, but I haven’t been back to Maine in almost 10 years. Can you say…..lobster!!!

We are also super close to crawling. Bean will lean way forward on her legs and rock her butt back and forth and has recently been holding her belly off the floor too, so I know she’s getting close to getting it. Everyone said to put toys just out of her reach to entice her but weirdly I’m having better luck with food. Apparently she, just like her mama, is highly motivated by food.

Bean has been an absolute chatterbox lately and has been very close to “Dada” and “Mama” though I don’t know if she has actual association with them yet or is just repeating what we say. She says “baba” pretty regularly. She has the sweetest voice and I am so happy to hear her talk to me. 

Happenings Around the Bean Pod

Happy Summer!

Well, what have we been up to lately? Seems like a lot! I feel like more often than not the last week or so we have been out of the house more than we’ve been in it!

Family Time

Last weekend my brother got married, so we had some out of town family in for that. We got to spend some time with my grandma Linda and grandpa John, who saw Bean when she was about a day old.

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We took another trip to the aquarium with them, since it was too hot to spend time outside. Bean loved it.

Before the wedding rehearsal luncheon.
At the wedding (it was a renaissance theme)

Baby’s first baseball game

A New Beanmobile

The day we went to the aquarium I found myself crawling over the front passenger seat of my car to wrestle the stroller into the back seat because someone had parked too closely to me in the parking lot and the trunk had the baby’s wagon in it, and I decided then and there that it was time to get a bigger car. (I drive a Honda Accord.) I thought initially that we would trade in my car for something larger, since it still has a lot of value in it and that way we’d still only have one car payment, but when we mentioned this to Cameron’s dad and stepmom, they graciously offered to front us some cash to buy a car outright, then sell Cameron’s car so he would drive the Honda and I would drive the new car. We spent the weekend poking around on Craigslist and looking up car reviews. Finally, frustrated with the fact that nobody online seemed to be willing to respond in a timely manner to my inquiries about buying their cars, I popped onto a used dealership that has locations all over the place and immediately spotted a 2009 Dodge Caliber for an insanely good price considering it only had 63,000 miles on it. We jumped in the car and headed down to Park Meadows to look at it. It’s in practically perfect condition and we really liked it so we signed it that afternoon.

Here’s the catch though…it’s a standard. And can you guess who doesn’t know how to drive a standard? If you guessed ME, you’d be right. So, so far I’ve only driven my new car a couple of times under supervision while Cameron teaches me how to drive it. I think it’s going pretty well all things considered! I may even brave a trip to the store this afternoon. (In hindsight, that’s the reason it was so cheap. But I’m happy we got a good deal on it even if it is a manual.)

Renaissance Festival

‘Tis the season for ren faire! We’ve taken Bean to the festival twice now and she has a ball. I dressed up her wagon to look like a carriage and she is without a doubt the cutest thing that has ever happened to the faire. Nobody even notices me and my parents in our (cough) thousands of dollars worth of garb because everyone is staring at the baby. I guess that’s okay though.

This was right at the end of the day before we left–she was TIRED.

Keeping Cool

The temps lately have been in the high 80s and low 90s which is a bit brutal, so I try to avoid taking the baby outside in the middle of the day if I can help it. We go for our walks either early in the morning or in the evening when it is cooler. In between, we steal free air conditioning at the mall or hang out in the basement and watch tv. I say “watch tv” loosely, because we don’t have cable so really we’re watching dvds or Netflix. And when I say watching dvds or Netflix I mean Disney movies or documentaries. I know screen time is supposed to be discouraged at this age, but I honestly have no problem whatsoever with Disney or documentaries. I’m not plopping her down in front of the tv alone so I can go do something else, we always watch together, and I’m comfortable with her watching these programs rather than cartoons.

IMG_20140629_193702Plus, this way I get to learn stuff too. This week we have been watching “Blue Planet” which is about the oceans. I may have a future marine biologist on my hands.

Sleep

Maybe it’s because we’ve been keeping busy and have been out and about so frequently, maybe it’s because she’s not teething right now, or maybe it’s because she’s just figuring it out finally, but sleep has been great lately. She’s had 3 nights in the last week where she slept straight through the night! If she doesn’t sleep all the way through, she only gets up once, has a small bottle, and falls right back to sleep. It’s been awesome.

 

 

Moar Food!

Dude. The Bean has suddenly turned into a real person who eats real food. It’s sort of weird and really awesome. She decided that purées are for babies and she wants to chew food on her own now. And mostly pick it up on her own, though she’s still working on how to make that happen since she seems philosophically opposed to using her index finger and instead insists on scooping it with the side of her fist and hoping it hits the target. We’re working on it. She will eat anything. I don’t think I’ve put anything in front of her that she has rejected so far. She even apparently got the lemon gene from me and eats them like you might an orange. I need to get better at introducing more veggies…fruit is easy because most of it is soft enough to eat without having to steam it first. Even with only two teeth she can take down crackers and cookies, but I don’t think a carrot stick is going to go down very easy.

Oh, but will she hold her bottle on her own? Yeah right, mom. Dream on.

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Steals

I definitely don’t consider myself a bargain hunting queen or a master of the thrift shop finds…hell, I haven’t even clipped a coupon since I helped my mom do it every Sunday as a kid. Sure, I buy in bulk and check out sales when I need something expensive, but I’m definitely not one of those wonder people who manage to find a priceless one of a kind Picasso in a thrift store behind a matte print.

There are some things, though, that I typically hate to buy new and spend full price on, so I go out of my way to buy second hand. And by some things, I mean practically all baby items.

Sure, diapers and wipes and bottles and small toys, whatever. If I see a cute outfit on the rack at Kohls on sale, I’ll snag it. But I definitely prefer to buy most or her clothing and large toys used. The nice thing about baby items is that unless it’s been handed down for five children, chances are it was used only for a short time, so damage tends to be minimal. And unless we’re in a desperate pinch–like the time we bought a brand new swing at full price because we were desperate for the baby to sleep–I spend a little time shopping around for a good used one.

Did I mention the baby swing was used for two weeks and has been gathering dust in the basement since? Yeah.

Anyway, enter my two fantastic steals. I started poking around on Craigslist for a used wagon for the baby, since strollers are pretty difficult to navigate on the grounds of the renaissance festival. I was hoping for one with a canopy on it, but would settle for one without and rig up an umbrella if I had to. I finally jumped on one that was being sold not too far away for $40. (A new Radio Flyer without a canopy costs nearly $100.) On Friday I went to pick it up and when I got there, the lady selling it hands me a canvas bag with all the pieces to the canopy. Say whaaaaat. She didn’t even mention in the ad that it had the canopy with it, so I basically robbed this lady blind over this wagon. Best deal ever.

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To join in the World Cup fun: scoooooooooore!

And steal number two. Yesterday we went for a walk around the complex and came upon a perfect Cozy Coupe left next to one of the dumpsters. Uh, hello. I was going to get one for the Bean for Christmas, but apparently Christmas came early. We looked around to make sure there were no kids nearby who might have just left it in an unfortunate place, but since there was no one around and the thing was sitting in the dumpster enclosure, we took it. It appears to have nothing wrong with it whatsoever except for the stickers which are peeling, but other than that it’s basically brand new. The Bean is still on the small side for it, so it may be a month or two until we can tool her around in it, but even so, hot diggity! The only thing better than getting a good deal is getting it for FREE.

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Oh, and, speaking of the wagon and ren faire…

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(Okay so the one of me has nothing to do with the wagon or its contents, but I felt like sharing anyway.)

7 Months

Well, I normally use that chalkboard to write what month we are at as well as the date…but the Bean had other plans for it this month. As soon as I set it down in front of her she grabbed it and rubbed all the writing off. Oh well!

We had a lot going on this month with the Bean! She now sits up on her own, eats basically everything I give her, started chewing real food, has 2 teeth now, and has started saying consistent sounds that seem to be actual concerted efforts at words. We’ve even heard what we think might have been attempts at “hi,” “kitty” (though it came out “tikky”), and maybe, possibly, even “daddy.”

I’m happy to say that the un-swaddling effort seems to be going without much of a hitch. When she’s not teething, she sleeps pretty solidly even for nap times. When she is teething, well, that’s a completely different story, but I guess that’s just part of the package.

I try to give her 2 “meals” a day now, as well as snackies in between bottles. I’m not full-on baby-led weaning (I don’t think) but if I see something on our plates that I think she could handle, I give it to her. Tater tots, beans, small bites of frozen yogurt…she eats pretty much anything and everything. This morning she tried orange juice for the first time and she didn’t even bat an eye at the taste. She loves the yogurt bite treats and apple-sweet potato crunchies from Gerber Graduates. In the mornings I try to give her pieces of fruit, strawberries or blueberries, along with some yogurt, and she snarfs it all. She even likes hummus! I’m so thrilled that I appear to have a baby who enjoys food. She still drinks 4 bottles a day plus usually one overnight, but I’ve noticed that with the addition of the solids she doesn’t appear to be as hungry for as much formula as she used to, which is good because that makes it last a little longer. She can sort of feed herself, but usually I put it in her mouth for her just to keep the mess to a minimum. She is still working on the pincer grip but usually she grabs the food with her fist and then tries to shove her fist in her mouth. So, still a work in progress obviously. We are still working on getting her to hold her own bottle too. (Yesterday we left one of her bottles with handles at a restaurant and I’m super annoyed.) She gets the idea but the application isn’t quite there yet.

If you read my last post you recall that I was fighting with her teeth. She popped one a few days after Mother’s Day and I didn’t even notice. Seriously. I happened to peek in her mouth and there it was. The one right next to it was a completely different story, oh lord. That thing sat right under the skin of her gum for weeks. It finally popped about a week ago, or I’m assuming that’s when it happened anyway because the poor thing was up all night screaming her head off. The next day was totally different and the tooth was out. Yay! My mom estimates that the top center teeth are about 2-3 weeks away. Guess I’ll enjoy the tooth-free time while I can.

She loves getting out of the house and hanging out with us. I take her to the park almost daily (though it depends on her nap schedule, if she gets up too late I don’t take her out because it’s just too hot). She can sit in the front part of a shopping cart now which makes my life massively easier in terms of shopping. We’ve gone to the mall, the art museum, a chalk art festival in downtown, a Memorial Day service at the local cemetery, pretty much everywhere we go she is down. She loves hanging in her stroller and is good in the car…usually. Next weekend the Colorado Renaissance Festival opens, and I’m in the process of hunting down a used wagon for her so that I can transform it into a carriage and trundle her around the faire site. (It’s too uphill and bumpy for the stroller and I’m not carrying her all day.)  At least she is ready for the faire!

She loves her kitties. The best way I’ve found to entertain her recently is put two piles of catnip in front of her. The cats come running and she laughs and laughs at them. Sure, the cats are stoned all day long, but it gives me a few minutes to get a couple things done while she is entertained. On that note, she really is pretty independent and definitely doesn’t require my attention all the time, which I’m grateful for. Now that she can sit up, I can put her on the floor or in her playpen with her toys all around her and she will entertain herself for a while. In her bath, as long as she has her wind-up toys, she will stay quiet for twenty minutes while she tries to figure it out. She is curious and loves to explore and observe. She is obviously a hands-on learner and loves new textures and sounds. Anything that rattles or crinkles has her full attention, so tins with snacks in them and pieces of paper are super handy. She sits in the grass feeling it with her toes which is super adorable. I’m going to be making up some sensory play toys soon because she really likes feeling different things. She loves music too, and she bangs away all day on her little piano and her guitar.

She isn’t too interested in trying to crawl yet, and still usually gets pretty annoyed when I put her on her belly if it isn’t to sleep. On the one hand I’m okay with this because I have a lot of baby proofing to do when it finally happens and I haven’t figured that out yet, but on the other hand I start worrying she’s falling behind when in 1 outing 3 strangers in a store ask me if she’s crawling yet. I know every baby is different and some don’t crawl at all, it’s just one of those paranoid mommy things I guess.

One thing everybody does comment on, however, is how happy she is. And it’s true! I have one happy baby. She smiles and laughs at just about everything now and generally is just one easy-going gal. I feel like if she were an adult, she’d be that friend of yours who is down for anything at anytime because really, she’s just happy to be here.

An Open Letter to My Daughter’s Teeth (And to My Cat)

Sorry for the mildly R-rated post but I’m having a day.

Letter #1: To my daughter’s teeth:

Look, I know we all have a job to do. I know you’re going to come in handy soon and that you’re roaring to come into the world and be useful. That’s nice. Very considerate of you. I get it.

But let’s be real here for a second.

Teeth, if you were a person, I’d kill you. Straight up. I would throw you down a flight of very steep concrete stairs and beat you with a hammer until you died from blunt force trauma and blood loss.

So here’s the deal. Quit dicking around and just come the fuck out of my daughter’s gum. I have been waiting for you to erupt for 2 fucking weeks. I can see you there, waiting, just being an asshole chilling there while in the meantime she is spending half her days screaming in discomfort. You know who you are. You’re the bottom center tooth on the right and you’re a little shithead. Be a good tooth like your neighbor and just come out already.

Seriously.

At least the swings make her happy.

Letter #2: To my cat:

Whiskey, if you shit one more time on my floor I’m going to lock you on the patio, open the gate, and hope that a coyote eats you.

Phew. It’s a good thing a friend wants to meet for dinner tonight because–just in case you couldn’t tell–I need a drink.

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