Dish Cloth Mania

When I started this blog my intention was to not only post about Lewis, but also to include some posts about my own art/crafting/cooking/etc. I’ve written a bit about things I’ve cooked and baked, mostly in relation to Lewis, but I haven’t posted much about the artistic side of things. I’ve been feeling inspired to create more recently, so I thought I would share some of that with you.

I’ve worked in an art journal off and on for a long time. I did a lot in it while pregnant with Lewis, especially in the few weeks that I was home between stopping work and actually giving birth. At that point I had uploaded some photos of a few pages to flickr. Since Lewis was born I’ve done quite a bit of sketching and doodling combined with journaling, but not much of the painting/glueing/etc. that I had been doing.

As I was sorting through a box of papers yesterday I found several product registration card thingies that we never sent in to register whatever random things we had purchased. For some reason this pile of little cards inspired me to make a little book with these and some other random papers, junk mail, cards, etc.

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The cover.

I haven’t done much yet beyond just putting together the book and gessoing over some of the pages to make more of a blank canvas for work.

The page on the right is a pocket.

The page on the right is a pocket.

This little book has me feeling inspired to do more painting/collage/drawing/etc. If you are interested in art journaling, altered art, etc. I recommend looking at the Daisy Yellow blog and artjournaling.ning.com.

My creative energy has also recently been pouring out into a mountain of cotton dish cloths.

IMG_8621It started with making a new cloth for our kitchen when I noticed several of ours were getting worn out. I used up all my cotton yarn making three or four more cloths, and then went and bought several more balls of cotton.

IMG_8616I have a stack of 8 dish cloths sitting by the couch, I’ve given away 3, put one into rotation in the kitchen, and have yet another just cast on to my knitting needles.

IMG_8613The knit cloths are my favorite to use, but I’ve made a lot more of the crocheted ones because they are faster and use less yarn. I think the dish cloths are appealing to me right now because they are small and can actually be finished, they are easy to pick up and put down while busy with Lewis, and they also don’t get boring because there are so many different patterns I can try out. I think I need to try this leaf pattern soon, but first I have to get more cotton yarn.

Anyone need a new dish cloth?

 

 

 

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Snuggle Time

Lewis is in super-snuggle mode recently. Anything soft and squishy he will snuggle, but especially pillows, stuffed animals, and any blankets laid out on the floor. Here are some photos of the cuteness. I happened to take most of these all on the same day, but he is snuggling things all the time.

Snuggling Daddy. Right before he started trying to bite Daddy's nose off.

Snuggling Daddy. Right before he started trying to bite Daddy’s nose off.

Giraffe snuggles.

Giraffe snuggles.

He loves this huge turtle. He'll snuggle it, pick it up and try to walk a few steps with it, drop it, and then snuggle it some more.

He loves this huge turtle. He’ll snuggle it, pick it up and try to walk a few steps with it, drop it, and then snuggle it some more.

Our cozy reading corner is perfect for pillow-snuggles.

Our cozy reading corner is perfect for pillow-snuggles.

Transitioning To Toddler

Lewis is almost 11 months old and it’s becoming clearer and clearer that he’s not such a baby anymore. He’s been walking for a few weeks now, firmly qualifying him as a toddler. He’s babbling a lot more, making new sounds and stringing his da-da-da’s and ba-ba-ba’s and other sounds together in new combinations with new expression, clearly “talking” and trying to communicate with us. I’m waiting for him to bust out with some actual words (besides Da Da) in the very near future.

We’re also starting to retire some of his baby equipment and upgrade to bigger and better versions. We stopped by Target today and got an Evenflo Truimph convertible car seat to replace his old Graco Snugride.

IMG_8530Chris installed the new seat in the car this afternoon. Lewis won’t be testing it out  until next weekend, but I think he’s going to like it. We’re keeping him rear-facing for a while since that is safest, but I think he will still be a little higher up and be able to see a bit more out the windows.

Tiny little Lewis heading home from the hospital.

Tiny little Lewis heading home from the hospital.

Fourth of July. Ten month Lewis, almost too big for the seat!

Fourth of July. Ten month Lewis, almost too big for the seat!

 

I’ve also decided to retire his infant bath. He’s been fighting baths for the past month, suddenly deciding that he objects to sitting down in the water. He always looks interested as I get the bath ready and happily lets me put him into his tub, but almost immediately starts trying to climb back out and over the edge of the bath tub, crying if I don’t help him get out. Today at target we picked up and no skid mat for the bottom of the tub to try out baths without the baby tub. I got in with him for our first test run, and he did really great and let me wash his whole body and even his hair. He seemed to like having more space to play with his toys and more freedom to move around. I’ll probably bathe with him a couple more times but hopefully he will get over his bath-aversion and be happy to take his baths and play in the water again soon.

Mid-June and one of the last few times he willingly sat in his whale tub and let me wash his hair and everything.

Mid-June and one of the last few times he willingly sat in his whale tub and let me wash his hair and everything.

It’s crazy and amazing to think how much he has grown and learned in the past few months. It’s so exciting to see these transitions, and see him moving into my favorite stage/age.

He’ll be 1 in a month and a half and I’m sure I’ll write a big nostalgic post with lots of “than and now” photos and such, but with all these changes we’re reaching now it already feels like we’re making that transition to toddlerhood that is so often associated with that first birthday. This next couple months will probably be sprinkled with these posts as I make the mental adjustment to realizing he’s no longer my tiny baby. Plus, it’s fun to look back at all those teensy tiny little baby photos!

 

Photo Friday

"This balloon is the coolest thing ever."

“This balloon is the coolest thing ever.”

Using his fork just like Mommy. He hasn't quite figured it out yet, but he tries!

Using his fork just like Mommy. He hasn’t quite figured it out yet, but he tries!

My little helper, "cleaning" the floor.

My little helper, “cleaning” the floor.

"Look at the stickers stuck on my hands!" He doesn't try to eat the stickers anymore when we play with them, just pulls them off of things and sometimes tries to stick them back on.

“Look at the stickers stuck on my hands!” He doesn’t try to eat the stickers anymore when we play with them, just pulls them off of things and sometimes tries to stick them back on.

Took his mattress out to change the sheet. He had a lot of fun walking and crawling across it and climbing up and down from it.

Took his mattress out to change the sheet. He had a lot of fun walking and crawling across it and climbing up and down from it.

Finally back outside now that the weather is a bit cooler. Hunting ants.

Finally back outside now that the weather is a bit cooler. Hunting ants.

Baby Food

When choosing food for Lewis I try to stick mainly with things that are fresh, healthy, not too processed, etc. I also try to give him a lot of variety and introduce “new” things so that he can experience all different tastes/textures/etc in his food. When he has something more processed or unhealthy it is usually because he has seen Chris and I eating it (mac & cheese, etc.) or because we are outside of our usual routine and eating things we don’t normally have around (graham crackers for s’mores while at camp).

We give him lunch and dinner regularly every day, although most of his nutrition still comes from breast milk and his “meals” just supplement that. Because of this I don’t worry too much about giving him a fully balanced meal with fruit/veg/protein/grains/etc. He seems to get overwhelmed when I offer too many things at once and prefers to focus on 2 or 3 different things to eat. Instead of balancing out each meal I try to give him a balance through-out the day. If he has fruit and yogurt for lunch then dinner might be some kind of grain and veggies.

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Of course he has his preferences and like so many other kids his favorite things to eat are fruit, yogurt, fruit, crackers, fruit, and cheese. He enjoys meat when we give it to him but we only eat meat a few times a week as a family, and although he enjoys it he will usually only eat a few bites because it is difficult to manage. Veggies he loves to snack on raw, but can’t easily eat more than a few nibbles with his four little teeth, and most of the time he thinks that cooked veggies are best for squishing in your hands and/or throwing onto the floor.

So, like so many Mamas before me, I find myself trying to think of new ways to get a few more veggies into his diet.

Earlier this week Chris and I were having salads for dinner, which is one of the few meals that he can’t really share with us. (Try chewing lettuce with just your front four teeth. Not happening.) Lewis had already had yogurt and blueberries for lunch and some pineapple and banana for a snack, so I really wanted to find a way to offer him some vegetables. I remembered we had rice cakes, and pretty much anything you give him smeared on a rice cake (or on toast, etc.) he will lick off and ask for more, so I started to try to think about what we could put on a rice cake.

My thoughts wandered to a kohlrabi we had from the CSA box, with no plan to use it. After looking around online I found a website where they mentioned how delicious a carrot and kohlrabi puree is. Perfect! The only problem is that since we did Baby Led Weaning and skipped purees I’m not that experienced with making pureed food. I managed to figure it out with help of my immersion blender.

We sat down to dinner and I handed him a spoon pre-loaded with the veggie mash. He happily popped it into his mouth, probably expecting delicious yogurt again. He then preceded to make a face and try to scrape the mash off his tongue with his fingers. Huh. I guess he doesn’t like that. I got out the rice cakes and give him a plain piece and one with the veggies spread on it. He ate a bit of the veggies off the rice cake, but mostly stuck to the plain one. I’m not sure if his reaction to the mash was due to flavor (but he likes both carrots and kohlrabi raw) or the texture, since he hasn’t been given much mushy or pureed food. Or maybe it was just the surprise of it not tasting like he expected.

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The next day for lunch I mixed the leftover puree onto some pasta along with a splash of tomato sauce (which he loves and would eat straight from a spoon). He happily sucked the sauce off his noodles, so I will have to keep this in mind and try other combo-veggie sauces in the future. I ate some with him and even though I only added a small amount of tomato sauce it didn’t taste too different from normal pasta with sauce, so I think this is something we could have for dinner as a family in the future.

How Does It Work?

Our little Lewis is extremely curious, especially when it comes to trying to figure out the mechanics of things. Anything with screws, bolts, hooks, a lid, hinges, or moving parts of any kind is just an invitation for him to start studying and fiddling with it to try to understand how it works. Before we know it he’s going to be dismantling my sewing machine and taking apart the toaster to see what’s inside. He’s also quite curious about cause-and-effect of things.

Some of the earliest things he started “studying” were the wheels of his stroller (which I guess he has all figured out since he doesn’t play with them anymore), the dead bolt on our door (which he quickly learned to lock and unlock if you hold him near it), and all the moving parts under our glider chair and foot stool (he started studying these as soon as he could sit up near them, and still gets down to check them out from time to time.) The vacuum cleaner has also been one of his favorite things from the first time he spotted it, because it has so many different interesting parts and pieces to it.

IMG_4718He’s fascinated with the laundry machine and dish washer, always trying to open doors, flip switches, turn knobs.

Up at camp he loves playing on the swinging bench thingy, and looking at/touching all the bolts and hooks and things that make it work.

"Hey look how that is connected, that is so cool!"

“Hey look how that is connected, that is so cool!”

He likes to play with the baby gate, swinging it open and shut, looking at the hinges and the latch mechanism. He also studies all the different parts of our second baby gate which is different and has a completely different locking system.

Recently he has been spending a lot of time crawling under the table and chairs and checking out how they are put together.

"What a neat screw right there!"

“What a neat screw right there!”

He has been taking lids off containers for ages, and attempts to put them back on. This includes being able to open the handles on my plastic storage bins and now also take the lid off.

We have some of these tea tins from Adagio, and he figured out how to open the latch on them after watching Chris and I do it just a couple of times. (He has an empty one he can play with. I don’t give him tea to dump all over the floors.)

He understands that the light switches turn the lights on and off, and will happily turn them on and off and on and off and on and off himself if you hold him near the switch. He will also pull the string/chain to turn on the bathroom fan as well as the ceiling fan over our table.

There are sliding glass doors on our entertainment center and after fiddling with them for a few days he figured out how to slide them out of the way to get at all the “good stuff” inside. We had to get creative with some safety locks to stop him from opening these and messing with the xbox/ps3/game controllers/cables/etc.

"My highchair is so interesting underneath!"

“My highchair is so interesting underneath!”

I just love seeing how curious he is about all of this, and watching those little wheels turning inside of his head. I can’t wait to see what other things he will discover, and hope he doesn’t get himself into to much trouble with all his exploring!

 

Birthday Weekend

We’ve had another busy weekend this weekend. Yesterday morning we drove out to visit some friends for the weekend. We made the plans for this visit about a month ago, and it wasn’t until after we had decided on the dates that I realized today would be my birthday. Chris mentioned this to our friends, and they ended up making me a delicious chocolate/mocha cake. Yum!

We weren’t sure how Lewis would do with the visit since it was so soon after our trip to camp and he’s only met these friends twice before, but he did really great.

Their apartment is on two levels and this was the first time since become mobile that Lewis has been somewhere with a full flight of stairs. He loved climbing up them (but had no clue how to climb down and  no interest in figuring that out.)

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They have two cats, although one of them hid the entire time we were there. The other came out some and kept an eye on us, but didn’t want anyone to come close. Lewis was very excited every time he saw her but a little nervous after getting hissed at, so he mostly watched and pointed at her from a distance. The cats had a little electronic water fountain which we ended up having to put away because Lewis thought it was a fun place to splash and play.

IMG_8195He even got down on the floor and tried to drink from it.

Saturday afternoon we went bowling which was a lot of fun. Lewis got a bit antsy since we were staying in one area and he wanted to spend the whole time exploring. He also didn’t like when it was Mommy’s turn to bowl and he had to wait a minute or two to be held. Mostly he had fun though and liked exploring the balls, the nasty dirty floor, and watching the bowling and the score screens.

"Walking straight off this ledge seems totally safe!"

“Walking straight off this ledge seems totally safe!”

We had a lot of tasty food all weekend, including tacos, grilled chicken, fresh bagels, take out chinese, and of course the yummy cake. Lewis enjoyed sampling everything except the cake, which we waited to have when he was sleeping.

He is getting so confident in himself and his walking, and also more and more comfortable being around people besides Mommy and Daddy. He did great with his aunties and grandparents at camp this past week, and even better with our friends this weekend. He even let them hold him and play with him without showing any sign of feeling nervous or uncomfortable. I hope he keeps feeling safe with other people and that we’re over the worst stage of separation anxiety, which he hit really young.

We’ll try to get to the library for story time tuesday or wednesday this week, which will be another chance for him to work on socializing. In mid-August he’ll have the biggest test when we are at the camp again with many of my aunts/uncles/cousins/siblings/etc. Hopefully he won’t get too overwhelmed surrounded by so many people!