Tuesday, August 29, 2006

It's Officially "Back to School"

A Walk at Kathleen'sIt's been busy around our house this week.
Workshop week started on Monday - students don't start until the day after Labor day. Grandma G. spent the day with the Bud on Monday, but on Tuesday he went off to Kathleen's house. He had so much fun, and seems to be adjusting just fine.
We are so lucky to have found Kathleen. She loves her job, and is extremely competent and careful. I was shocked the first day when I picked up the Rad man and received a one page newsletter with pictures of the day's happenings. It was very cool to feel like I really knew what the group had been up to all day. It's fun to learn about his new pals too: Aidan, Anna, Luke and Ilse. Apparently - she does newsletters every day!
On day two, Kathleen had our email addresses and during afternoon nap time (aka newsletter time) she emailed some great Rad photos. I have no basis for comparison, but it seems like we have something pretty special here.
Eating at Kathleen's

Other fun news:
  • Last night when we got home from Kathleen's, Radley instigated Peek-a-boo by himself by hiding and appearing from behind a chair. I thought it was unintentional at first, but he hid, appeared and laughed with me about 10 times.

  • This morning at breakfast he tried to feed me some of his Cheerios. He couldn't quite put them in my mouth, but he wanted me to eat it from his hand.

    I think we will be seeing new things all the time now that he is playing and learning with older kids at Kathleen's.


  • Saturday, August 26, 2006

    Our State Fair is a Great State Fair... don't miss it, don't even be late

    We took Radley for his first "out of womb" state fair experience yesterday - he couldn't see very well last year. It was a perfect day for the fair - cool and cloudy.

    We walked around a lot, but didn't go in some buildings just to avoid the crowds with our big stroller.

    We had to go to the 4-H building to look at the exhibits and see a bit of the State Arts In show.

    We stopped by the dairy building to see the butter sculptures. The princess heads always look the same - only the hair changes, but you still have to go see them.

    Davin is a sucker for the "new" foods and had to try beer battered, deep fried bratwurst (not that great) and hot dish on a stick (ok, but why).

    I had to get the best ice cream at the fair: Honey Sunflower Seed Ice Cream from the horticulture building (by the honey exhibits).

    Radley loves wheels, so we took a break from the stroller on what's left of machinery hill. He thought the huge wheels were pretty cool. The only uncool part is that they put oil on the rubber of the wheels to keep them looking shiny - I'm still working on how to get that out of his light colored pants!

    We never go on the midway (there is so much else to see and do), but this ride right by midway entrance cracked me up - maybe because it was so huge or maybe because it had the same "busty" view from every direction. I don't think the picture does it justice.

    You gotta love the fair!


    Monday, August 21, 2006

    Fun in the Park

    Our friends Nathan and Kristen and their son Stellan are in town, and yesterday we had a great time hanging out with them and a few friends at a local park.

    Stellan Swingin'

    Radley tuckered out

    Today we had more fun in the park. Kathleen (Radley's day care provider starting next Tuesday) had a small picnic in a neighborhood park for the kids and families to meet each other. I think we are pretty lucky to have found Kathleen - Radley is going to have a lot of fun.


    Sunday, August 20, 2006

    New Video: Growing Up

    There is a new video in the sidebar. I have had this one in the works for awhile, but I just never got it up. We just took the 10 month photo, so I decided to finally get it together. It blows me away every time I see these photos together like this - it's only been ten months and already it is hard to remember when the kid wasn't moving and laughing the way he is now.

    FYI: There is some dead time at the end of the movie - I wanted to leave the file in a way that I could add more photos later without re-doing the music. I hope that doesn't bug anyone too much.

    Video Quiz: In which month's picture is Radley very unhappy?


    Saturday, August 19, 2006

    Rad Man Walking

    This week was pretty busy... I have not started back at work, yet I worked Monday-Thursday. August is like that. Thanks to the Grandmas for taking care of the boy on Monday and Wednesday - I only had to bring him with me Tuesday and Thursday. He did really well - only once did he "escape" and start chewing on someone's used Kleenex.

    As for the title - On Wednesday Grandma G took him outside with his walker. What a great idea. He loves his walker lately, and outside the runways are far longer and more fun. Since Wednesday we have had a lot of fun walking up and down the driveway - he likes to stop to look at the ants.

    I finally changed the look of my page. I was getting tired of the standard blogger template, and I was feeling guilty about using the Charles Dumuth 5 as an icon - that whole copyright thing. So I used a few pictures from our trip to Italy. It seems so much longer ago than two years - I guess a few things have happened since then.
    The banner is a fresco from Pompeii. What an amazing place. There is so much to see and discover. The city was huge. I loved how you could walk right into many of the ruins. It really felt like you were discovering the ruins yourself - sometimes you would enter a room and find a beautiful fresco, other times you would suddenly be walking on an ornately tiled floor. Amazing.

    Thursday, August 10, 2006

    Back to School...Soon

    I can't believe that the summer is almost over for me. I always feel like once August 1st hits, my summer hours are numbered. Part of me wants to do as much as possible to "get it all in," and part of me wants to savor every minute a can where I can get away with doing nothing.

    One thing I do like about going back to school... is actually having a paycheck again! (Don't get me wrong, I love my job - but I love summers off too)

    In honor of not having a paycheck right now, I made myself a back to school skirt with materials I had on hand. I have a healthy stash of Marimekko fabric from an unnamed but probably obvious source. I have made a number of things out of my stash - I love how it ages with washing - it just gets softer and more comfortable. Now, if I had to actually buy the fabric, I would probably be too afraid to make anything from it.
    I made my skirt from a print called "Tulipunainen". I really like this print - I actually have it in three colors. The green became a skirt two summers ago; the orange is still waiting in the stash.
    I am all about easy projects, and this skirt was no exception. I used a very simple pattern - it has four "A" shaped pieces in front and back so that the top is more fitted and the bottom flares out. I like how the vertical print of the fabric worked out with the flare at the bottom.

    I don't officially go back to work for a few weeks yet, but I am unofficially working tomorrow and bringing the kid along. We will see how that all goes. This will be the first time he has gone to work with me since he has been mobile. It could be fun.


    Monday, August 07, 2006

    Celebrate, Celebrate, Dance to the Music

    It was my favorite niece's 8th birthday this weekend, so we all went out to the zoo yesterday. We had a great time (even though we didn't get to see the dolphin show, and the meerkats were gone due to a recent potential rabies incident). It was a beautiful day to be outside, and I hadn't been to the zoo in ages.

    My favorite nephew looking for "Dori" and "Neemo":

    The birthday girl and Grandma walking back to the car after fun at the zoo:

    We had a small party afterwards at great-grandma's.
    The birthday girl and Radley:

    Here's Uncle Neek with the kids - a freeze-frame of the party chaos:

    The kids had a good time running around in the party room, but I think they wore a few of the adults out (Papa John?!?)
    We were also celebrating Uncle Neek's birthday, which is actually today - Happy Birthday, Uncle Neek!

    And we were celebrating our anniversary. Today is our 7th anniversary - I can't believe it has been 7 years! Many of you know that each year to celebrate we purchase a piece of art together. Here is our anniversary piece for this year.

    We got this on Saturday when we went out to a local art fair with Grandpa Bob and Grandma Gloria. It was taken by a photographer from Red Wing. The frame is a negative holder for an old box camera. Right before we purchased it, we discovered it was taken on HWY 5!


    Saturday, August 05, 2006

    Pants and a Pal - Whiplash

    Here is my entry for the Whiplash competition this month. I am entering this in the deconstruct/reconstruct category. I decided to take my husband’s old shirt and make pants and a pal for my 9 and a half month old son.

    Here is the shirt before:

    Here are the pants...


    and the pal...


    The shirt is made of a more industrial type weave (it made me think of Dickies brand). I like the orange, blue and brownish colors, and the orange ribbon label inside was too cute to toss, so I added part of it to a pocket. The colors with my digital camera didn’t seem to come out well, so I put the pants in my scanner.

    Original Shirt tag:

    Scanned Picture of Pants:

    I liked the thicker fabric for a crawling boy. I originally wanted to have the pockets as knee patches, but there was not enough fabric on the front of the shirt to work with without doing piecing.
    For a pattern I took an old Simplicity pattern I had for a simple jumper.
    With creative folding of the pattern piece, I was able to cut out pieces for pants without drawing out a new pattern for myself.

    I knew that I wanted to make the bottom of the pants roll up with a snappy strap on the bottom.

    I sewed French seams down both sides of the legs to make the seams look nice when rolled – I don’t have a serger, so French seams have been my work around for awhile.

    Along with making the roll up legs, I also wanted to make the elastic waist adjustable. I sewed the casing open on the inside in the center-back and sewed a button on one side. The elastic is sewn down on one end in the ditch at center back, but comes around to a loose end held by the button. This makes the waist easily adjustable in the future. I have seen this idea a lot lately in maternity and baby pants.

    As for the Pal – what kid doesn’t want a pal to match their pants? I have been inspired lately by the stuffed creatures I have seen on other blogs, and recently made a couple out of old boxers and some remnants. The collar of this shirt inspired me to make a cat this time using the points of the collar for the ears. The limbs all have a layer of felt and a layer of crunchy plastic (a favorite of my boy). Inside the stuffed body is a small metal container with a little jingle bell I found in my junk drawer. On the back I added a felt tail.

    Pal in action:

    Pants in action:


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    Friday, August 04, 2006


    The kid slept until 7:30 this morning! That's unheard of around here. I actually got up before he did!

    Sara came over last night and made us dinner - a fabulous bean pizza. How lucky are we? We are definitely going to have to make that again sometime. Thanks, Sar!

    I have been working on my entry for the Whiplash competition for August. I am almost finished. Things take longer when they are relegated to nap time.
    I will keep you posted.

    I loved so many of the entries from last month's Bag competition. My favorite had to be the Grocery Bag purse for the sheer quirky genius.

    Tuesday, August 01, 2006

    New Bed

    I finally consented to setting up our new bed. Davin got a nice C&B bed for $5 from work about a year ago (someone returned it). Our old bed is a funky platform bed with handicap bars on the side that Davin made years ago - it really was like a piece of art. That piece of art became super squeaky over the years. Even laying down on it anymore was loud enough to wake the neighbors - especially since we have the same brand of baby monitors. I don't know why I was so sentimental about it - Davin didn't care. So this weekend we put together our new bed. We had to do something with the kid once he woke up, so we confined him to the colloseum of pillows. I was surprised how ok he was with that - I guess there were toys in the colloseum.

    Incidentally, this morning he fell out of the new bed (I'm sure the bad parenting police are on their way). It's pretty low, so it was a very small thud, and not one tear. I think it scared us more than anything - he's gotten so fast - I was laying right next to him and suddenly he was gone. I guess "that'll learn us."

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    Dinner Posture

    This posture for dinner the other night cracked us up. I didn't see how he wiggled his leg over the tray... suddenly it was just up there and he thought he was pretty cool.

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