Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sensory Overload

There's a couple boards on Pinterest I'm subscribed too and on a particular one, these sensory, heuristic "Treasure Baskets" will pop up every once in a while. I've always said, "Yea..I should put one together for Luna!" Then I never do. Not anymore, though! I actually did today.

There is an awesome blog for this kind of thing: The Imagination Tree. I followed the guidelines in this post. Basically, you get a bunch of baby-friendly (and safe!) things from around the house and put them in a basket and let the baby guide the play. The only catch about what you put in the basket: no plastic. This can be harder than you think. I've come to realize how little natural objects I have just laying around the house. (Well, baby safe objects at least.)

Here's what I came up with...from left to right, top to bottom: a wooden pig (part of a little instrument), an old tin from some cookies, a crocheted alligator (made by Mr. 246!), a little drum, a glass jar with some keys in it (lid put on tight - she's not so advanced to take that off yet), a sewn pegasus I made last year, a maraca, empty toilet paper rolls, a coffee tin with some metal jar lids inside, a wooden train whistle, a small crocheted circle leftover.
 
 So, all I had to do is put it all in a container and let Luna Bean at it. Mostly a baby led activity and you let them discover what's inside for themselves. For reference, Luna is about a week away from being 8 months. (Disclaimer: if you make a sensory basket, please be sure supervise the fun. Babies have a knack for taking really simple objects and somehow turning them into dangerous, pro baby-injury objects. It's part of their creativity I suppose.) Here's some action shots:

 


 She of course had to take a break to pet the soft blankie: (Part of the fun!)





The winner of the sensory play items was the coffee tin with metal lids inside (like the kind of spaghetti jars and things like that). She loved the noise, and she loved taking the lids and just manipulating them in her hands.




And of course, she's into these toys all day, then when I decide to have a photoshoot, the camera is waaaaay more interesting, she kept coming over to try to get it from me. (Side note: she started crawling exactly a week ago!)

And of course, you can always put the baby in the basket. She loved that as well and it was so freaking cute.
But that's not all for today's sensory play extravaganza! We had made some sketti noodles and let her have a go at it. I over cooked them so if she put them in her mouth then it wouldn't be too much of an issue, but baby girl didn't really even realize it was food and never once tried to put them in her mouth. I was very surprised. I couldn't really tell if she liked this activity or if she was just really interesting/confused.

I've also seen online that you can put food coloring in the spaghetti for a whole different experience but I opted out of that today and I didn't really want to deal with colored baby fingers. And again, please supervise carefully (unless your kid is old enough to eat spaghetti I guess). There are a ton of ideas at The Imagination Tree for babies and toddlers for this kind of stuff. I've already pinned a bunch of activities for when she's older. I'm just so excited that she's at an age now where we can start doing neato stuff like this. I absolutely love watching how her mind works. You can practically see the little gears turning in their heads! I have to keep looking and figure out what we're going to do next!

- Ms. 246

P.S. Please forgive the spacing issues with the pictures/text in this post. Blogger seems to be giving me a chance to practice my patience today. Well Blogger, you win! Because I give up and don't understand you half the time! ;)



Thursday, February 21, 2013

Finished my Mini Art Quilt!

I simply can't wait! I participated in a Mini Art Quilt Swap on Craftster and I finally sent off my quilt today. My partner was really specific about what she wanted and I think I did pretty alright! First let me show the awesome quilt she made me:
It's a Gryffindor Crest! She chose my Harry Potter theme and did an excellent job. Can you believe it's only her first time doing paper piecing? I chose her Christmas theme and although I messed up a lot of it, I think I'm in love. It's super cute. It's a table square (like a table runner). She wanted something that didn't have a "top" in the design, meaning from every seat it makes sense. She also wanted the design to work with her possibly putting flowers in the middle or a center piece. So, without further ado....
In that picture you can see the layout, but it's really the details that make me love this Mini Art Quilt. Take a look...





It was a lot of fun using all the new stitches on my new sewing machine. There was an issue, however, with the decorative stitch that I used on the binding. It's all over the place. I think I may have some practice to do for that one.

How I did it: I didn't use a pattern. I just kind of made it up. It's around 2 ft x 2 ft. I've never done machine applique but I had a general idea. There is a good tutorial here. I prefer to use Heat 'N Bond.  (That stuff is AMAZING. I've been using it forever and it never ceases to amaze me.) That's pretty much it. Then just used craft batting. The back is the same fabric as the sky and I used double fold bias tape for the binding. Easy peasy. (Hint: If you need help with binding/bias tape, there is a great tutorial here. They do a hand sewn hidden stitch on the back instead of a top stitch. It depends on the look you're going for. I like do top stitches with a machine because it's quicker and I like the way it looks. In the picture above I did a decorative top stitch -- see the green swirlies on the red border? In her tutorial it would just be plain red.)

I thought it turned out pretty good! I think I'm done with swaps for a while, however. I've got another full size quilt to finish and an afghan I'm crocheting that I'd like to get done this year. Haha. Thanks for looking!

- Ms. 246

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Six Awesome Things

Six awesome things about this weekend:

1. We got a lovely flower pot and a very generous pre-wedding gift from my parents. Let the planning commence! I just love this bright azalea. I think it's probably supposed to go outside but I'm keeping it indoors for a couple more days.

2. I received my MiniArtQuilt from my Craftster swap! It's an awesome Gryffindor crest. It's beautiful and I already put it up in our hallway. (I finished mine last night, I'll have to take pictures soon!)

3. I decorated our little shelf for spring finally! It's raining and cold today (and snowing in the foothills) but last week and this past weekend it's gotten up to 70 degrees!




4. We went to Sonora on Sunday to check out some places for weddings. We didn't prepare so we didn't get much done, but we did find out that there is a wedding fair there next weekend so we're going to go next weekend. But, when we were there we checked out the shops and just had a lovely day out of town, the three of us. Look really close at the shelf above and you'll spy my newest purchase...a vintage teacup, and it's GORGEOUS! I'm in love with it. I made myself some tea in it yesterday afternoon and felt quite fancy.
There were tons of really awesome antique stores. Mr. 246 found a store that was quite eclectic. It was a cafe/old school soda fountain shop/antique store/vintage book store/museum. Whew. That's alot. The books were in the basement and it was pretty neat down there. There were a couple areas off to the sides that were blocked off, but you could see into them and it was parts of the old mines, right there under the building. Pretty neat.
We're going back next weekend for the wedding fair. There's also a yarn shop that I'm super excited about. I didn't make it back in time to check it out before it's closed but I'm excited to check it out next weekend. I peeked my head in and it looks awesome! (And they're crochet friendly, haha. Some yarn stores are uppity against crocheters. Hahaha.)

5. I actually worked on our garden some! We had beautiful weather this past weekend. Hello little daffodil! Only 84 cents. :) That's a tulip next to it. I wonder what color we'll get.


6. We broke down and got Luna a play pen since she was getting so good at army crawling. (She can move quick!) We got the play pen just in time too because....she started crawling on Sunday!! And no big surprise, she had her first bump-on-the-head yesterday. Haha. I hated the idea of the play pen at first (I called it a cage, lol.) But I really love it now. She can play and do her own thing for a while and I know everything in there is safe for her to play with. She's really good at independent play (if she's not teething), which makes it easy for us to get some chores done here and there.





I'll have to take pictures of my Mini Art Quilt tonight so I can show you tomorrow. I hope everyone else had a good President's Day weekend!

-Ms. 246







Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Happy Love Day!


Happy Valentine's Day!

We don't make a big deal out of Valentine's Day, but we do take part. Here's some of our Valentine celebrations today:

Luna and I went on a mommy/baby walk while Mr. 246 had a nap. (He did ALOT around the house today and Luna has a way of wearing you out if you're with her all day, but in a good way.) We saw some kitties, and some of the first flowers of spring. :)

Mr. 246 got me some BEAUTIFUL bright happy flowers. They promptly went by the tulips (which are starting to open up). So bright and sunshiney. I love fresh flowers! He didn't really have to get me anything. He's off the hook for a while because he got me a pretty engagement ring. He still spoiled me and got me some new teas and a box of chocolates as well. (Not a fancy box, a box of KitKats. Mmmmm...) I got Mr. 246 a card and a couple IOU's wrapped up in Altoid tins. (I ordered him some things off of Amazon but they haven't gotten here yet.) The card was heartfelt though, I think he liked it.
Luna also got a card! And she got a whole set of "Fancy Nancy" books. I think those books are so cute. She seemed to like them. Her new thing, as of this evening, is picking things up and putting her hands in the air. She was fussy this evening. She's still teething and I accidentally pinched her poor belly in the buckle of the high chair. Bad mommy award. Sigh. I'm sure there's many more of those moments to come...

Anyways, hope everyone had a delightful Valentine's Day. I feel slightly obligated to write a post talking about how much I love Mr. 246 and what he means to me and on and on. I'm not going to though, because I don't currently have the patience to try to put into words everything he is to me. Plus, I don't need to tell the online world. The only person who really needs to know how I feel already knows. :) So, goodnight everyone! Hope you had a love-filled happy day!


 -Ms. 246



Monday, February 11, 2013

My SAHM Day

*Pardon my make-up free face...I had no one to impress today other than Luna and she loves me just the way I am. :)*
Today was Mr. 246's first day of work (training) all day. I just happened to have the day off of work (Lincoln's Birthday...who knew? Kind of silly...) so I got to play make-believe Stay-At-Home-Mom. I haven't had Luna to myself for a whole day since she was two weeks old. At that time, she pretty much still slept all day and I was still recovering from my c-section. Well..let's just say that I am POOPED. She had one of those days that babies have where they refuse to be put down and you have to hold them all day. Luckily I had the Ergo. (Which is almost impossible to put on by yourself...)

So here's some of today's highlights:
Hanging out in the Ergo because she couldn't possibly sit and play like she usually does 90% of the time. Haha. We also went on three walks 'cause that seemed to entertain her...
She didn't want to make any cute faces. Lol. Then we found some flowers! (I was on the hunt!)
I've had a flower craving recently. I can usually find some around the apartment complex but times are bare. None of the plants are in bloom it seems. Our apartments are "garden apartments" so there's a ton of landscaping. The right time of year and I have tons of roses I sneak from the rose bushes by the pool. Hehehe. I promptly put them in water when we got home (Luna helped!). They look bigger than they are, they're in a baby food jar...
At one point Luna decided all her toys were boring so I brought out the big guns: tupperware. That seemed to keep her entertained...
So, while she did that I worked on my Mini Art Quilt for the MAQ swap and I'm almost done!! I just have to finish the binding. I've purposely not been posting about it because I want it to be a surprise for my partner, but here's a sneak peek:
Hopefully that doesn't give too much away. I also decided to make something I found on Pinterest and it came VERY close to becoming a Pinterest Fail. Here's what I was supposed to be making:
Photo credit: http://griffithsrated.blogspot.com/2012/02/valentine-prezel-buttons.html (This also has directions!)

The original picture I had pinned didn't have directions, but someone had said to bake them at 350 for 6 minutes. I've come to realize after a kitchen full of smoke that this may have been too high of a temperature (especially since the link I posted above says to do it at 200.). I caught it just in time though, and though the bottoms were "browned" they still turned out delicious. So much so that they're pretty much all gone. This is the best picture I have of the finished product:

I have some of the stuff left over, I think I may try again. The kisses didn't even melt all the way. Gosh, this is seriously probably the easiest "baking" you could do and I still messed it up. As soon as I saw the smoke I had to start laughing. On another note though, I made a bomb-ass dinner. One of those beef roast crock pot kits with the veggies. I left it in the crock pot perfectly and it was wonderful. (Forgot to take a picture though...too busy in delicious food heaven.)

I decided at some point that the little flowers I picked weren't fulfilling my flower craving so Luna and I went to the grocery store. I didn't like any of their cut flowers, but I found a lovely pot of bright red/golden orange tulips! They're sitting near the front door, just happy to greet me when I get home. :)


Then, after Mr. 246 got home, we got a silly surprise. Our apartment complex does cutsy little things every once in a while. They recently had a "pick the Grammy winner" type thing to win money off your rent. We looked at the form and pretty much didn't know ANY of it. There were like 3 names we recognized and somehow by blind guessing we got SECOND PLACE. hahahahaha. It's just silly. We did not make any sort of educated guesses whatsoever. But, hey...I'll take $60 off rent. :)

So yea, I survived. Luna survived. I think I may be sore tomorrow from having to carry her every where, but that's okay...I'm glad we could have a girls' day. I love my little Bean. I'm going to go finish my quilt, then take a nice hot bath with some Harry Potter then it's time for tea and bed. :)

-Ms. 246





Sunday, February 10, 2013

Our Lovely New Neighbor.

We got a new neighbor this past week. I was quite glad when the old ones moved out (3 young, very annoying boys with a mom who never watched them and a dad who was never home). So, you could imagine my excitement when an single old lady moves in beside us instead.

Mr. 246 had met her before when I wasn't home. Today I met her and answered the door. Yesterday Mr. 246 had helped a different neighbor and her daughter fix the daughters bike. New neighbor lady thought that was nice and brought him a tin of cookies and a small Jesus pamphlet. Hmm...to each his own I suppose. So I'm talking to her about gardens and what not and she invites me to see her plants next door so I go. We get to talking about everything (she's pretty much telling me her whole life story).

She swears a lot for an old lady. And apparently smokes cigarettes....and she's super Christian. (Her words: "I'm a Christian, but I ain't no Jesus freak or nothin'") Uhhh...yea. I just let it go. I don't like talking religion with people and I don't like having battles of wits with people who are hardcore about anything. They're just much too passionate about things I just don't care that much about. I had a very surreal life moment when I was talking about how we wanted to move back to the midwest before Luna was too old and that we didn't want to raise her in California. Her response: "Yea! There's too many damn liberals and homosexuals out here!" Oh my gosh. I definitely had a "Is this real life?" moment when she said it.

Needless to say, we like to be good people just to be good people, not because of religion or anything. And for that reason alone, I exchanged #'s with the old lady (she happens to have MS as well so will probably need help from time to time.) But I don't think we're going to be that great of friends. If people want to a certain religion, that's fine...just leave me out of it.

Even this evening, I'm still having a very "Did she really say that?" reaction to the whole thing. How odd. And what a very interesting old lady. I'm sure you'll be hearing more about her in the future...

-Ms. 246

P.S. Luna has TWO teeth almost all the way in now. Her bottom center ones. :)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Whoa! It's been a while!

I've been hesitating writing a new post because so much has happened recently! I quickly got backed up on all the news that's been going on, then overwhelmed about making posts about it so I just...didn't. So, in order to get back on track, I'll give you all the Cliff Notes version of life recently, in chronological order:


1. We're engaged!! I started writing a really touching post about this. I may even finish it. Yes, after 5+ years we're finally engaged. :) Mr. 246 picked out the most perfect ring and proposed in the most perfect way. I can't wait to get married. (And to throw a wedding!) Two things I've learned already: I love wedding planning. Who knew weddings could be SO expensive?

2. Mr. 246 got a new job!! This job is seriously perfect. He'll be working with autistic toddlers at a behavioral center/school. It's part time (which is what we wanted) and he'll only be working in the afternoons (around 12-3 ish). It's neat that it's on a school schedule so we'll both have the weekends and holidays off. The pay is just around what we wanted too. I'm sad he has to go back to work, but I'm grateful that Luna had him at home for at least the first 7 months. Some kids don't even get 7 weeks of a stay at home parent. Plus, he'll only be gone a couple hours a day. My mom will be watching her otherwise.

3. It was my birthday!! Twenty-five was an awesome year. I'm not too fond of being another year closer to 30, however. I keep waiting to feel like an adult, it keeps not happening. I wasn't super pumped about my birthday this year. There are more important things. I am sad, however, that I no longer have health insurance. At least Obama let me keep it this long. Guess I'll just have to double up on my hand washing and avoid sick people at all costs. (This can be kind of hard when you're a nurse.)

4. Not so fun one: My job has been super stressful. I won't say this much on this one because I don't like to talk about work online, but I've been super stressed about it lately. I've even updated my resume (with some help from Mr. 246!) to perhaps look at some other places.

5. I've been doing my 365 Project, but I'm not going to update on here this week.

6. I took a diet break over my birthday weekend. I'm having a bit of difficulty getting back on track this week. I think I'm definitely looking at a gain for this week, even if I'm back on track for the rest of the week. No matter. I most definitely will be back on track next week.

There are some other "not so fun" things going on as well, but nothing fit for a blog. Plus, they aren't exactly  happening at 246 so I won't mention them here. So, I think I'm updated enough. I'll be sure to stay on top of things from now on. Now to update some of my other corners of the internet!

Goodnight!
-The Future Mrs. 246!