Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Hayden Pics

I figure it's time for a Hayden post.

Like Kira, he's a drooly baby. I often double and triple bib him just so he won't soak through his clothes. He is now able to sit for a bit... not just held up by his rounds of fat, but really sit.

I still give him tummy time but he is not a fan. Often, he needs encouragement. Here are pictures of Kira entertaining him during tummy time.

He has been a pretty good sleeper. Although he is not sleeping through the night, he usually falls asleep on his own without much fussing. I know I am totally jinxing it by saying it out loud... oh well. He sleeps in his crib most of the night
...and when I am too tired to get up and nurse him, he gets to sleep in the big bed. He likes to be right in the middle. He is usually swaddled at night so he doesn't take up a lot of space but occasionally, he is allowed to sleep like this:


His tiny hands and feet are still cute and little.

Then the legs... I am not exaggerating at all when I say they are bigger than my arm. Here's proof:

I've been calling them turkey legs but Brett reminded me of the term we used for Kira's legs - THUNDER THIGHS. So, here they are, Thunder Thigh!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Sol Food

We went to this Puerto Rican restaurant on Saturday called Sol Food. I didn't really know what to expect as I couldn't even imagine Puerto Rican food. I was impressed by the decor and atmosphere as soon as we entered. The lay out gives a feeling of spaciousness and openness. The big pieces of wooden furniture has a lot of character.


This was our table. It can seat up to 10 people and when it gets busy, the tables are communal.


This entire wall is made up of doors!


Most importantly, I saw many things on the menu that sounded intriguing. The daily special was "Fried Whole Fish". I almost decided to just go with that without reading the menu further. But while we were in line to order, I gave the menu another look and saw lots of other good sounding things. I ended up ordering the roasted chicken thigh and a mango-orange iced tea. The chicken was the second best piece of roasted chicken I've had at a restaurant. I've had good roasted chicken at people's houses, but somehow, restaurant roasted chicken always disappoint me. After our main courses, we decided we needed more plantains. So Brett went back and ordered a fried plantain chips. Man, was that delicious.

Since I am unlikely going to have a chance to see Puerto Rico, this is probably as close as it gets. I am glad it was such a yummy experience.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Purple Smock and Bloomers


Does anyone remember this outfit? I made this when Kira was about 9 months old. It was my first attempt at a garment and I wanted Kira to wear it on her birthday. It was of course way too big then and she wore it a couple of times when she was about 18 months and now that she is two years, it's still fitting very well. Smocks are amazing!
Oh... and remember these dolls? The left one is modeled after her. See the resemblance?







Friday, April 25, 2008

Shirring

I don't know why it took me so long to discover shirring. Shirring, if you've never done it before, simply involves sewing with an elastic thread in your bobbin. For a simple girl's dress, 6 parallel lines about half an inch apart pretty much does it.I think I am going to try to make an adult sized top for myself next time. Here is a picture of two of the little girl's dresses and the third is an adult tank top that I made using the pattern for the flouncy top in the Sew Everything Workshop book. (Although the book got really good reviews on Amazon, I was a little disappointed. I've read a few sewing books without problems but I just can't seem to understand this one. Something about how she describes thing just doesn't jive with my brain.)

That bottom left dress that is going to be Kira's still needs some kind of strap or sleeve. I can't decide what I want to do. I can make spaghetti straps, halter straps or little "chicken wings" sleeves. "Chicken wing" sleeves is a direct translation from Cantonese. I don't know what those cute sleeves are called. Here is a picture of baby Kira wearing an outfit with that kind of sleeves. Will someone please educate me?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Bliss

I've had a couple of bad days with whiny children so I really appreciated this afternoon. This is what all my afternoons should be like. Notice at the end of the video how Hayden reached out to grab the giraffe toy. That was such a milestone when Kira did it - we were crazy excited. I guess with two kids and so much going on, I don't notice the little things so much. I don't know how long Hayden's been doing that but I sure was proud of him when I finally noticed it.
video
And then this evening, Brett tried to give baby a bottle. What a tender moment! Hayden has been an incredibly good baby. He deserves some special daddy-baby time.


Finally, a short version of that special baby-daddy time. Look at how relaxed they both were. Near the end of the video, the sunset casted this perfect light over baby's head. If that's not the image of an angel, I don't know what is.
video

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Art and Stories

It was like Kira's birthday all over again yesterday because another gift and two other birthday cards arrived in the mail for her. Her gift was a very professional art easel that I thought was too nice for her to use. I told Brett I'll have to wrap it up and put it away for a special occasion. He convinced me that is a silly idea since a true artist's easel should be well used and painted on (read: dirty). So we set it up and gave Kira the "go".

After she created her first masterpiece titled "Circles and Lines", it was story time. By the time Brett comes home, I've been dealing with the kids for too many hours to be patient and fun. Lucky for them, daddy comes to the rescue. Yeah!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Party and Easiest Project Ever

We partied with Kira's friend over the weekend at a playground. It was a gorgeous day. The hosts gave out balloons to all the kids and they were a big hit. Kira and Hayden each got a balloon. Yes, even Hayden. He liked it a lot. The only problem with Hayden having a balloon is that whomever carried him always had a balloon right in his face. Yep, HIS face. Brett carried him the whole time.

It was a great party and we all had fun. Kira and her other friend were identified as cake vultures. As soon as we finished singing Happy Birthday, they got away from their respective parents and weaseled their ways next to the birthday boy. They figured that's probably the best spot for getting cake asap. Kira even brought her own chair to sit next to the birthday boy. If you saw how many people were at the party, you'd be able to imagine how funny it was - tiny little Kira trying to maneuver her way clumsily to the cake. I have never seen her so motivated before. Before we left for the party, she did say "I need the cake" over and over. I guess she really needed the cake.

Kira and the birthday boy.


Kira, the birthday boy, and the other cake vulture. Brett and Hayden and another dad are in the background.


Brett, Hayden and the balloon


Kira and her cake buddie. Isn't it funny how the slice of cake is almost as big as the girl's head?


I also discovered, over the weekend, the easiest craft project ever... if you can even call it a project. I made some photograms in a matter of minutes. All you do is lay objects over some photosensitive paper and expose the paper to the sun. After a minute or two, you rinse the paper and out comes this beautiful, almost ghostly image. I have to explore it some more.

This is the brand of photosensitive paper I used. There must be others, I just haven't found them yet.


This is what I made.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

BADM Again!

I can't seem to get enough of this place. Sometimes, I wonder if I am pushing Kira to play at the BADM too much. Since we have a membership and she doesn't seem to mind (She actually has a lot of fun. Can't wait until Hayden is old enough to play. I'll carry him around for 4 more months tops.), I keep taking them back when we run out of things to do.

Kira is playing with the big kids. She is often intimidated by toddlers. They are too unpredictable for her. She does much better with older kids. In fact, it was really funny when a girl started talking to her telling her what to do with the sand and she nodded and said "yeah, yeah". Totally sounded like they were having a conversation.


Here is our small setup at home. I couldn't resist anymore and bought some Moon Sand. Half the time when I buy toys for Kira, I am really getting it for myself. I now also understand why people like really big kitchens. I tried to make dinner while Kira and Hayden played. It was tricky.


It was another sunny day so she paraded around in her new shades.


One reason I love the BADM is there is always something new. Kira learned to make paper today. Here is a picture of her being shown how it's done.


Then she gave it a try herself.


When she was done, she looked back at the tub and decided what I've been calling "paper water" is just a tub of dirt. She was quite distressed. Kept telling the exhibitor there's dirt in her water. She also saw the fibers that got stuck to her hands and obsessed over picking them off all the way home.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Mutants

We somehow let Brett take the car, the stroller and the baby Bjorn to work yesterday. So, when I wanted to walk to the corner store with Hayden, we went like this:

I didn't think to take a picture until we came home from the store. They are not the best pictures and the background is our hallway. Not very interesting. I thought I looked like a mutant with two heads or a pregnant woman who is waaaaay overdue. So much that the baby poked right through. Here is another picture that shows the both of us... and how I was taking the picture. I stood in front of a big mirror. My weird hand placement is my crazy attempt to make us even more mutant like... as if we are not funny looking enough.

Surprisingly, Hayden loved being carried like that. He smiled at everyone and cooed loudly while we were out. He is a funny baby.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Sassy Apron Swap

Did I mention I am in for the Sassy Apron Swap?? I am so excited. You can read more about it by clicking on the Sassy Apron Swap pic. I have heard all kinds of great things about various swaps and now I am in one! Yeah!



I have also joined the Sparkling Power Sew-along. Yes, I am doing everything so motivate myself to sew more. I had so much fun at the Craft and Play yesterday that I think I can train the kids to put up with my sewing during the day. We'll see how that goes.

Reversible Children's Apron with Fabric Crayon Embellishment Tutorial

Yeah, my first sewing tutorial! I put this together quickly during a "Craft and Play" play date. I am so used to putting instructional material together for my high school students that when I read my first draft, I felt like I was back in the classroom. It's weird. I had prepared this as a pdf file but I don't know how to attach that as a link on Blogger. Does anyone know how to do that? In the mean time, here is a cut and paste version of it. Happy sewing.

Oh... and if you don't have time to make one, check out my shop for ones I have made for you. :-)

Reversible Children’s Apron with Fabric Crayon Embellishment

You will need:

- fabric – some polyester if you are going with the fabric crayon embellishment

- ½ to ¾ inch wide bias tape or ribbon or twill tape

- paper for sketching the pattern – I used a paper bag from the grocery store

- Crayola Fabric crayons (optional)

Step 1:

Draw the pattern on paper and cut out the pattern. Then pin the pattern on the first fabric and cut on the fold. Repeat on the second fabric.

This is what you should have:

Step 2: (optional)

Draw your design on white paper with fabric crayons.

Step 3: (optional)

Layer the fabric and paper as follows starting from the bottom:

- brown paper bag

- polyester fabric right side up

- white paper with drawing facing down

- brown paper bag

Set iron to polyester (medium heat setting) and press firmly for 1-2 min

This is what the result should look like. Remember the image on the fabric will be reversed so pay attention if you include letters or symbols in your design.

Step 4:

With right sides facing, sew along the blue line in the picture with a ¼ inch seam allowance. Notice how the sewing line breaks at the bottom for a 4-inch space to turn the piece and there are four 1-inch openings along the top, which will become the casing for the tie.

Step 5:

Turn the piece inside out using the bottom opening. Straighten everything. Iron and pay special attention to make sure the casing openings are folded neatly.

Step 6:

Topstitch all the way around the apron. Be careful not to sew the casing openings closed.

Step 7:

Create casing by sewing addition lines 1 inch from and parallel to the diagonal edges of the apron.

Step 8:

Insert bias tape/ribbon through casing as shown in picture. A safety pin can be helpful in guiding the tape/ribbon through the casing.

Step 9: (optional)

Finish the ends of the bias tape/ribbon if necessary. Sew a few stitches by hand to hold the casing openings in place. I find that the topstitching takes care of the openings and they don’t fray or pop open even after a few washings. But you can put in a few stitches if you like to make the openings extra-sturdy.

Now put the pretty apron on a kid and have him or her help you bake some cookies!