Friday, December 17, 2010

Kate's 5 month pictures

I've been meaning to post this all week, but with concerts coming this weekend, Mark being out of town and just the general craziness that is the Christmas season, it just keeps being put off.

But without further delay, here is Kaitlyn at 5 months.

I've known since she was in the womb that she had a completely different personality than Mady. Madelyn LOVES to get her picture taken and will smile without much prompting. Kate saves her smiles for special people. She likes to smile for Mady and will spend tons of time laughing at (with?) her. So, I guess I should have used Mady as my photographers assistant to get some smiles, but the reality is that as soon as the camera comes out, Mady wants pictures taken of her. Which would mean there would be none of Kate.

She did smile more than once, but then she gets all shy and turns to the side and stops smiling. It's really cute, but my camera isn't fast enough to capture that split second of a smile. Perhaps I need a new camera. Okay, not perhaps. I do.

I realized as I was uploading the pictures that I didn't have any of just her and monkey without her little age sign. Whoops. Sorry that you can't see the size comparison as easily. I will try to remember to get another one this week before she gets too much bigger.

Speaking of big, she now weighs 15.5 pounds. Mady was 16 at a year and basically walking at that point (she was at least crawling) so my biceps have received some extra strength training that they haven't been used to. Kate is starting to figure out the whole moving around thing. She still can only roll from her front to her back and she is SO close to being able to go the other way. She just needs a tiny bit of momentum and she will be there.

She does, however, find a way to skooch around on her back. I'm amazed at the places she can get. The other day Monkey was sitting a few feet away, and I don't know if she moved on purpose, but I walked back in the room to find her holding onto his foot happy as can be.

Madelyn has also figured out that Kate is showing a bit more personality. The other day I left Kate in her little seat in the kitchen while I went down to switch the laundry. I came back to find that Mady had pulled her into the dining room where she was playing with her kitchen and was busy loading Kate down with toys. I picked up her chair to move her into the living room with me, but had to put her back after Mady protested that they were playing together. It was really sweet!

This last one is of her feet (obviously). She was burping and was kneeling on the pillow. I looked down and had to capture their cute pudge to remember forever.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Mady's Quiet Book

Done, Done, Done!

Do you hear that sound? That "Awwww" of angels singing? That's because it is a special day. This is the day (and the post!) I never thought would come! It took 4 months, but I have officially (finally!) finished the quiet book. I'm so proud of myself for pushing through, even when things weren't working and getting it done and actually finishing it before Christmas (because who are we kidding? If it wasn't done before Christmas it never would have been finished).

I went to my parent's house last weekend and my mom helped me measure and cut the fabric for the cover. Then I came home and cut the felt letters and sewed them on. This proved to be tricky as the striped fabric didn't have straight-dyed stripes. That totally messes with you sewing straight lines, let me tell you.

I decided to zig-zag around each letter to fasten it down better and though I'm very new at the whole zig-zag thing, I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out.

I had originally planned to make the fastener to close the book be three buttons on the front page and then a loop of elastic on the "tab" so that no matter how big or small the book was (if I took out pages etc) then there would be a button onto which it could fit. However, my wording ended up being bigger than I thought and I didn't have to space for three buttons in a horizontal line. So then I thought I could do it the other way with the buttons on the tab, but then there was no way to put the elastic through the bias binding without it being weird. So then my next plan was a single button on the cover and three button holes on the tab. The first button hole I made, turned into a mess (I wish I knew what causes this problem so that I could fix it!). And out of frustration I declared that I would be doing a simple snap. And I'm glad I stuck with that.

The cover itself has quilt batting inside to make it a bit more durable and a bit more soft. To make the "binding" part of it, I used belting and stitched little "channels" for the rings to go through. The belting then comes around and was inserted into a tube of fabric that I made to cover it and then stitched down to make a handle. If you want clearer instructions on how to do that send me an email, comment or if you know me personally give me a call and I'll walk you through it.

Lastly I put bias tape around the edges to finish it off nicely and to save me the whole "fold this under a 1/4 inch" thing. I'm into simple, people!

The cover as a project would have intimidated me had I looked at it and decided that was what I had to do, but doing each part step by step made it quite simple. Kind of makes me think I really could take on a harder project. Now I just need to decide what. Any ideas?

Below is a picture list of all the pages and the skill they teach as well as a link to the post where I explain them a bit more. Of course, if I didn't explain something and you want more detail, please let me know and I will further clarify.

If you're wanting to make a quiet book, I recommend doing 10-15 pages (not 26 like me). And check out this site for some great ideas and links to other blogs with quiet books. I used some of her templates and ideas for some of the pages you see here.

(See? I wasn't kidding, the thing is huge!)

Well I'm going to go wrap it now before a certain someone finds it!

1. Giant Pocket (holds extra dress up clothes and whatever other treasures she wants)
Skill Learned: Buttoning

2. & 3. Potato Head and Pocket/Clothesline
Skill learned: Clothes pinning, Creative/Imaginative Play, Face Structure

4. Teddy bear
Skill learned: Bow Tying

5. Picnic Setting
Skill learned: Doing up a buckle, table place settings

6. & 7. Count the buttons
Skill learned: Counting, patterns

8. Hair
Skill learned: Using barretts, hair elastic, clips, braiding etc.

9. Apple Tree
Skill learned: Hooking, unhooking

10. Ladybug
Skill learned: zipper, snaps

11.Counting Beads (though 2 pages are shown, I only ended up putting one in the book)
Skill learned: Counting

12. & 13 Oven & Cupcakes
Skill learned: Imaginative play

14. Shoe
Skill learned: Shoe lacing/tying

15. Matching Shapes
Skill learned: Matching colours and shapes

16. Weaving
Skill learned: Weaving

17. Tic Tac Toe
Skill learned: Logic

18. & 19. Get Dressed
Skill learned: Imaginative play, outfit coordinating (ha! here's hoping)

20. Yo-yo
Skill learned: Up/down

21. Puzzle
Skill learned: Logic, patience (these are hard!)

22. Ice Cream Cone
Skill learned: Sizes (small medium, large)

23. Clock
Skill learned: Time telling (analog/digital conversion)

24. Telephone
Skill learned: Imaginative Play, how to make a call

25. Button Flowers
Skill Learned: Buttoning, colour matching

26. Traffic Light
Skill learned: Colour recognition, Traffic control meanings

Where You Can Find Me Today

They* say that if you want to see a true reflection of yourself, just watch your child play. Anyone who watches Mady play for even a short time will learn quickly that I like parties. Even more particular birthday parties. She spends hours lining up her dolls to go to and host parties (complete with singing Happy Birthday).

Well, it turns out Stacey likes a good birthday party too. So much, in fact, that she created a blog called The Birthday Blog and has filled it with Birthday parties! And today she is featuring the Under The Sea party that I did for Mady's second birthday! This is the first time something I've done has been featured on another blog and I'm pretty excited!

So go check it out and then the next time you need ideas for a kids' birthday party, or you just want to soak in some awesome ideas, go to her site!

As for me and where I'll PHYSICALLY be today? I will be at my sewing table finishing this:

I'm SO close to being done and am hoping to post the completed book tomorrow! My mom helped me cut out the fabric for the cover (she has a cutting board and wheel which I don't, so straight lines are difficult to do at my house), but I promise I did the cutting.

*So we always wonder who "they" is, right? Well, when I was reading the baby name book while looking for names while pregnant with Kate, I read that some guy actually changed his name to They! The things people do to be famous...

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Hair and dress up

Well these are the last few pages. I'm so excited that this book is nearly done! Here's what I just spent the last hour doing:

I'm in the middle of putting the grommets through all the pages and then I just have to make the cover. I'm so proud of myself for not stopping such a big project halfway through. Now to just push through to the end! But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Dress Up

(this one I took when I was pinning/placing things and forgot to take one after everything was sewn down, so just pretend the pins aren't there)

These pages were on hold while I looked for flesh coloured felt. My sister found some in her tiny town and sent it my way. I used a paper doll pattern found on-line but then scaled down so that I could fit two people on the page. I made a bunch of clothes and did them double thickness in different felt for more clothing options.

All the clothes can clip onto the clothesline (tip: thread the string through the spring in the clothespin so it doesn't get lost)

but I also made this pocket at the front of the book since these are hard clothespins to work when you're 2. I figured she could use the pocket for all sorts of goodies.

(I'm well aware that my button is not truly centred. Remember how I'm still learning how to use my buttonholer? Ya, part of that "still learning" is figuring out how to centre the thing.)


I'm totally in love with the hair page. I found the face online, but the search program I was using didn't tell me the source, sorry, but I have it saved if you want it. The body is a pocket that will hold hair clips for all the hair dressing needs of a little girl.

So those are all the pages I've done. There are SO many more that I have found around blog land that I wanted to do, but when you see the size of this book when the pages are all stacked you'll understand why I had to stop. Some of them are just so good though that I may have to do some extra pages to swap out in the future. You know, for Kate.