Friday, July 31, 2009

It's all about perspective

Our 15 month checkup for Peanut was rather uneventful. Yeah, she got a few shots at the end, but nothing her binky and a sticker couldn't soothe.
(and for those interested in her percentile range, it goes as follows - weight: 75%, height: 80%, head circumference: 95-97%...all still trending the same as it did when she was 2 months old. We gots a big kid!)

As I was sitting with the doctor discussing her current milestones, Peanut ran around the exam room, chatting away. She stopped me at one point and asked, "how many words does she know?! I think I've heard at least half a dozen!" I said, "I guess we've never really counted them before...uh [trying to think quickly] 15-20, maybe? Who knows." She responded with "wow, we expect about 3-5 words at this point. So, I don't think I need to tell you that she's doing really well. She's at a 2 year old level with her vocabulary."

Now, I am not saying this to rub it in anyone's face. I had to share this because...well, before this appointment we were a little concerned about her vocabulary. Not enough to send up red flags, but we thought she should be farther along. We had no idea where a 15 month old was supposed to "be" as we don't read those milestone charts you are bombarded with when you have a kid. We know if there was anything to be concerned about, the pediatrician would be quick to let us know.

Once this was brought to my attention, I started thinking about our daily interactions. And it hit me - she really does talk a lot (with and without purpose. She still babbles like the crazy cat lady on the Simpsons, but uses words all the time). A few examples:

While running around the house, "Da Daaaa! Weh are yoooou?"
When asked what she would like for lunch, "Hmmm...(goes to fridge and waits for you to open it up) - hot dog!"
Upon hearing a crying baby down the hall in the doctor's office: "Awww, baby..."
My personal favorite: When she wants up, she'll say "up!" When she wants down, she'll say, "up down!"

We have full conversations. She tells me what she wants and doesn't want. She understands what we tell her and will respond accordingly.

When you live it everyday, you just don't notice...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I need sewing help!

Ok, I'm bringing my request to the masses...maybe you (or someone you know) can answer?

As you know, I have a very basic (but very nice) Kenmore Mini Ultra. And I'm asking it to do a very simple task: sew on knit and jersey fabrics.

My sewing machine does not like it. AT ALL. It skips stitches, eats the fabric, moans like a dying whale...

I have tried every goshdarned combination of solutions to (what seems like) a very simple problem - ball point needles, changing tension, interfacing, synthetic thread...nothing is working.

Can anyone help?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I get it...I'm not a young'un anymore

I went out last night. Normally, not something I would consider notable...except when I go out in Chicago. At 9:30pm. And lose track of time. And have to drive home afterward.

I'm exhausted, but surprisingly alert. I hope to have a big freakin' nap post up later detailing the events of last night.

Oh, in addition to my obvious sleep deprivation, Peanut has a doctor's appointment today and will receive her 15 month shots (shot? Shots? I'm not sure how many. All I know is that MMR is on the list. Fun times). For the first time in her life, daddy won't be there to hold her down hold her hand while she gets her shots. That part will be played by the understudy - me.

And here we go...

Friday, July 24, 2009

A question

Short and simple:

For the last couple years, ShankRabbit's shaving cream came from H2O+ (the body butter is amazing! Works well to curb pregnancy itchy skin). This was the only product that did not irritate his sensitive skin (and it smelled good - an important factor for me). Sadly, they have discontinued this we are on the search again.

Do you have any recommendations? Preferably something that costs less than a lobotomy.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Random Wednesday

The past few weeks have
I don't know how else to describe them other that. There have been ups (how can you not enjoy a perfect sunny day?), there have been downs...but that's life. You know?

* * * * *
I woke up this morning to the wonderful sounds of Peanut who, upon seeing me round the corner, took out her binky just long enough to sign for "food." A whole banana, a piece of toast, and half a bowl of cereal ( this was originally my breakfast) later, she was finally full. A mere 2 hours later, she wanted a snack. Hmm...can we say growth spurt?

* * * * *
I wrote up a post about someone I was not very happy with...but in the end, decided not to publish it (I'm certainly glad I got it out...even if no one will read it). Since I don't want to leave you wondering who is ruffling my feathers (it's not an easy feat), I will share this little bit with my readers...
My father's side of the family INVENTED manipulation and guilt trips. I can hear one comin' a mile away. So, if your intention is to have me emotionally check-out with you and doubt your words/actions, then by all means...send one my way. I'll point to center field and knock it out of the park every time.

* * * * *
I had very painful deja-vu this morning. I was just sitting on our couch, sipping my coffee, watching Sesame Street with Peanut when I shifted my position ever-so-slightly - resulting in throwing out my neck/back. Again. Same time of day, same situation, same debilitating pain.

* * * * *
To all the people getting ready for BlogHer: I wish everyone good weather and safe travels.

Friday, July 17, 2009

A word tour of our home

"Hi, welcome to our home! We're so glad you could join us. Here, let me take your coat.
If you would, please leave your shoes by the door. It's not that we're clean freaks - Peanut loves to eat soil and any interesting finds on the floor. Thanks.

Would you like a tour?

This is our living room. No, we do not decorate with Tupperware containers and measuring spoons. Our child just loves to play with those. Be mindful of where you sit - you don't want a kitchen utensil where the sun don't shine! Hahahaha...heh...wooo...moving on.

This would be our dining room. I know that most dining rooms have...oh, what do you call in them. But we're minimalists. We like to think the absence of furniture in here will make our house seem bigger. In reality, it provides more floor space for Peanut to leave her toys. And for us to have dance parties. Who needs to eat?

And now we have made our way into the kitchen. We spend most of our time in this room, as you can see by the dishes and stuff on the counter.
Isn't our fridge "festive?" Peanut loves to decorate the fridge with handprints and slobber. Oh, and take note of which letters of the alphabet are on the fridge - the other 22 will be underfoot during this tour. Think of it like a scavenger hunt!

We can skip our rooms and the bathroom. The only thing of interest in any of those is our family photo - which can be found on the floor of the bathroom. Our daughter has quite the design sense, doesn't she?

Oh, you're leaving so soon? But you haven't seen our toy-riddled TV room yet! Well, if you must, you must...

Thanks for stopping by! "

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A cop out

It's not that I've been lacking material for blogging, I just lack the motivation. I get 1/2-3/4 of the way through a post and I put it on the shelf for later. I run out of steam and can't seem to get the post right where I want it.

So, while I've spent the last hour technically blogging, you are going to get this meme post ...because it's a heck of a lot more interesting than the drivel I just wrote. Trust me.

Movie Meme

1. A movie that made you laugh: The first one off the top of my head would be Drop Dead Gorgeous. Stupid, yes...but funny.

2. A movie that made you cry: So, so many...but again, the first to come to mind is What Dreams May Come. I think I cried from beginning to end.

3. A movie you loved when you were a child: The Little Mermaid. I used to watch the VHS tape at least 4 times a day when I was little. Kids these days don't know what it's like to wait for something to rewind. Excruciating for an 8 year old, I tell ya.

4. A movie you’ve seen more than once: A lot.

5. One movie you loved, but were embarrassed to admit it: Oy. George of the Jungle (with Brendan Frasier). Mostly because of this dance scene (starts at about 5:10 into the clip). If you're not into seeing half-naked dancing men...then don't click.

6. One movie you hated: I can't think of any that I said I absolutely hated...maybe Mr. Wrong. That was just weird.

7. One movie that scared you: The Grudge. I hate scary movies. I don't know what I was thinking.

8. One movie that bored you: Darjeeling Limited. We turned it off about a third of the way through the movie. Apparently, we stopped it just as it was getting good. I have yet to try this movie again.

9. One movie that made you happy: Enchanted

10. One movie that made you miserable: Well, any movie that makes me cry a majority of the time will do that (see answer to number 2). Although there was a movie I didn't make it through because I was an emotional wreck - Fluke.

11. One movie you weren’t brave enough to see: 90% of scary movies

12. One movie character you’ve fallen in love with: I can't say I've fallen in love with a character. There are times I get so swept up in a performance that I care about them for the couple of hours they are on my screen, but no "falling in love."

13. The last movie you saw: ((checking netflix history)) That would be Forgetting Sarah Marshall. A lot funnier than anticipated.

14. The next movie you hope to see: the newest Harry Potter

Friday, July 10, 2009

How nature made me cry

The minivan story will be up soon...I have to wait for someone *cough, cough* ShankRabbit *cough* to finish writing. In the meantime, here is my story about nature:

It was a typical Wednesday. I had just dropped off ShankRabbit at work, and Peanut and I were heading back home. A few miles away from the house I remembered that I wanted to stop by the bank. I decided to take Highway 100 all the way there (for those non-Milwaukeeans, Hwy 100 is a six lane road. Fairly busy any time of the day). Oddly, not a lot of traffic on the road, "Cool!" I thought. As we were coming up over a bridge, I notice a few cars had stopped or slowed down. I then spied a mother duck and her (8-10?) ducklings crossing the road. They were already in the far right lane (and I was in the middle) so I was able to pass them with no incident. But, my heart got the better of me and I pulled into the right lane, just ahead of them, and turned on my blinkers. A guy in a pick-up truck did the same thing, only he stayed behind the group. So, between our two vehicles, the ducks would be safe.

There was only one other problem - about 5 of the ducklings were unable to make the jump from the road up to the sidewalk. I got out and tried to offer them a makeshift ramp (a book I found in the car), but they were too scared of me. So, I sat in my car and waited. It took about 5 minutes, but they found a crack in the curb they could leap through, rejoining their mother and the other ducklings. SUCCESS! Now, they were all safely on the sidewalk, but next to a (typically) really busy road, about to head over a large bridge. Oy.

Knowing that this mama duck was looking for a nearby water source (and not knowing how close that would be, or how many other streets she'd have to cross) I called the Wisconsin Humane Society's wildlife rescue department and explained the situation. They agreed to look into it.

Now, you're probably thinking, "how did this make you cry?"

Well, just as I was about to leave the spot where I stopped (thank goodness traffic was fairly non-existent), I noticed something in the middle of the road - a duckling that wasn't quite fast enough for traffic, lying in the middle of the street. Mutilated by the continual passing of cars.

Something about seeing that dead duckling, after helping the others, just made my heart sink.

Thanks nature, for making me cry.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


I am working on a new blog layout, so in the meantime you may see some wonky lookin' stuff. Sorry.

(and let me state for the record that I hate all the unnecessary spacing Blogger adds above and below photos. Ugh!)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

DIY car seat strap covers

My child has a wonderful car seat. Unfortunately, the straps irritate the side of her neck when she falls asleep (especially if she's wearing a tank top or short sleeve shirt). I knew I needed to do something before we spend 6+ hours in the car on Friday.

Now, some brilliant person has already created the concept of the "car seat strap cover," but what fun is buying some when you can make your own?

Here are my instructions on how to Make Your Own Car Seat Strap Covers
I apologize ahead of time for some of the camera battery died in the middle of production and I had to use my phone for the rest.

You will need:
fabric - I chose a soft "minky" fabric for the outside and a plain ol' boring cotton fabric for the inside.
(optional) Batting or some other stuffing-type material (polyfil, cotton, scrap fabric, the neighbor's cat...)

1. Measure your car seat straps above the clip, length and width (IMPORTANT: be sure the clip is in the appropriate place your child wears it. You do not want the cover impeding the proper use of the car seat straps).

My strap width was about 1.75" - I rounded this up to 2" (I call this the "Isabella factor" - gives me room to make a mistake with no real harm to the project) and added an extra inch to accommodate the Velcro.

On the length - I added only a 1/2" to accommodate the seams (no room for error on this one - yipe!)

No, I did not embroider some weird arrow motif on her seat belt. Those arrows indicate where to measure.

2. If your fabric has an obvious directionality (like this godforsaken lovely choice I made), decide which way you want it to lay as a final product. Also, it is a good idea to do test runs on a scrap piece of fabric to figure out the correct tension for this project (if your machine does this automatically...then I hate you).

3. Cut out 2 pieces of the cover fabric and 2 pieces of the underside fabric.

See that pizza cutter-looking thing? That's my new rotary cutter. *swoon*

4. Pin fabric, right sides together and sew, leaving an opening on one side (for turning).

Who uses a white pin on white fabric? Really...

5. Clip the corners (it will make the corners less clumpy) and turn your fabric right side out.

Now, onto velcro...

6a. Attach Velcro pieces to each of the long sides (on the underside fabric).

To each his own when it comes to exactly how to attach the Velcro...if you've got a tried and true way to do it, then go for it. I personally did a basting stitch down the middle (red arrow) then went back and stitched around the outside (removing the basting afterward).

Note: I decided to put the Velcro in such a way so when closed it would be more like a clam-shell around the belt and not looped around to the underside of the belt. I didn't want unnecessary bulk under the belt, both for safety and comfort reasons.

Ah, my seam ripper. We have such a love-hate relationship, as you will see later on.

6b. Remember when I told you to do a scrap test for tension? Well, I didn't (do as I say, not as I do). It took three tries and a lot of hand cranking to get that friggin' lovely Velcro attached to the project.

(Behold! The Blur of Frustration!)

(Everyone, this is Betty. Betty - everyone)

6c. Don't get in a fight with your seam ripper. He will always win.


7. Originally, I decided against doing any kind of filling because the fabric was plush enough not to need it. However, I thought a thin layer of batting might make things a little more comfy for the slumbering child. So, this part is completely optional - especially if you are using a wonderfully soft, plush fabric for the outside.

Note: I did not secure the batting to the project in any way. Yes, I realize the "afterthought" batting will eventually shift and clump after washing a few times. I can always open it up, replace it, and tack it down in some way. No biggie.
(Eeeew. My nails look gross. Gotta do something about that...)

8. Stitch the openings closed.

9. Hey look...the *grumble, grumble* Velcro works!

10. All done and ready to use!

A preview of posts to come

A list is needed. There is just so much ready to come flying out of my brain:

- A tutorial (of sorts) on car seat strap covers

- How aesthetics ruined my wrist forever

- People and their words (or - How a Punch in the Face Wouldn't Be Enough...)

- My true thoughts on having another one