Tuesday, November 25, 2014

One Year Kid Update

The photos of above are kiddo selfies.

My kiddo's favorite things:
  • Book: “My First Colors Board Book,” and the big book that plays sounds that his great aunt Mary gave him
  • Color: Yellow
  • Vehicle: Fire truck
  • Toys: Little Tikes Car (he rides in it if you push him - and he can get inside it and shut the door by himself), his stacking toy (has different colored shapes that you stack onto pegs), and Mega Bloks
  • Words: He can say “daddy,” “mama,” “baba” (for bottle), “no,” and “oh.” Sometimes it sounds like he says other words.
  • Animal: He still loves our black-and-white cat, but he is showing increased interest in our dog (before he ignored the dog)

My kiddo's Milestones:
  • Mobility – He cannot walk yet but he can pull up and furniture-surf. He can walk if you hold his hands, and recently he has been able to walk while only holding on with one hand. He can also climb fairly well, over curbs and even up and down steps (we supervise him closely though). He has been able to get down from a bed or couch by himself for quite some time (although we still supervise him in order to be safe).
  • Food – He can hold his own bottle with one hand. He can feed himself finger foods. He can drink regular milk (not formula).
  • Motor Skills – He can make a fist and pull his own arm through the sleeve of his clothing. He can pick up small objects. He loves turning the pages of his books, and sometimes even points to the objects on the pages. He seems to be right-handed.
  • Sleeping – He has been able to sleep alone throughout the night on most nights for quite a while. However, he still prefers to also take two naps during the day (one at about 10 a.m. and one at about 12:30 p.m.).
  • Social Skills – He is a bit of a toy-hog. He shows concern for other children, such as turning to see what is happening if he hears a child crying. His best friend is a little Asian girl named Ally.

  • He seems to generally be in a jolly mood. He loves smiling and laughing. He gets upset if he does not get his way, or if he is separated (by a door or baby gate) from his people, but he gets over it relatively quickly once the problem goes away. He generally responds favorably to new people, instead of being shy. He prefers to do things himself, including: holding the phone himself during FaceTime with Gram, turning the pages of his books himself, and trying himself to stack his toys even though it is challenging for him. He really is a little person.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Vacation Photo

It was great, but we're back now.

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Gym Room

One of the reasons my significant other (SO) and I decided to buy our house was that it had a downstairs room that we thought would be perfect for use as an exercise room. Fast forward two years, one dog and one kid later and it's been used for only one thing, storage. There are many reasons for this failure but I'd like to get back on track. Here is the room after two organizing sessions. One day, I hope to proudly post a finished gym room like in my Pinterest board. Hopefully, you never get this far off track like we did.

Organizing my Utility Room...

There is not much to say here, so I'll let the photos do the talking. This is part of a larger effort on my part to free up physical space in my house to make way for future endeavors (like parenthood) as well as the unexpected. I do not want to be held back by previous endeavors (vacation souvenirs, sports equipment I no longer use, failed paintings, items I regret buying, furniture or decor that suited previous residences but don't fit in at my current home...). I am trying to pare down the items I own to include only those that are useful, with a few items that are sentimental sprinkled in - you know, my basics.

Step 6: Under the Sinks

A while ago, I found a 21-Day Home Organization Challenge, and slowly, I have been doing them. Step 6 (because there was no way I was going to get it all done in only 21 days) was conquering the area under the sink. And, here are my results:

The basic idea is always the following:

  • Remove items that belong someplace else
  • Toss items that can be thrown away (e.g. expired, broken, useless, duplicate, or empty items)
  • Donate items that can be donated (not applicable this time)
  • Consider making use of vertical space (not applicable this time)
  • Group like-items together (preferably by corralling them in some kind of storage container)
  • Do not fear empty space - it's a good thing to have leftover space

I have now done step 1, step 2, step 3, step 4, and step 6 (above). I did step 5 too but I really don't think the Internet needs to see the inside of my purse to prove it ;). Plus, my clean purse results lasted all of like ten hours, whereas I have been successfully making sure the other areas that are part of this challenge don't get recluttered.

DIY Needlekeep

When I cross stitch, I want a handy small yet noticeable (not easy to lose) place to put my needles. I decided that a "needle keep" (also called a "needle book") would be that place. I tried to buy a DIY kit for this item, but I could not find any such kits. Although normally I hate the results of my DIY efforts and sewing, and normally I prefer buying something ready-made if I can find it at an inexpensive price, I thought it would be artistically disingenuous to be cross stitching by hand while using an item made by a stranger to hold my supplies. So, despite these totally cute needle books on Etsy, I made my own using thread, a sewing needle, and two colors of felt.

Needle books on Etsy, from top left, going clockwise:

Cross Stitch Sunflower

Here is my finished gift. The sunflower was created using a kit. However, I added the lettering using an alphabet I made up (there was not as much horizontal space as most cross stitch alphabets require so I had to improvise) and a purple thread I bought seperately. Over all, this wound up being a somewhat expensive gift because I bought a frame (after spending twelve hours on this I wanted to protect it with a frame). Additionally, I had a lot of trouble with this pattern (as documented via twitter), because of the subtle variations in the colors (I could not always tell them apart) and because of the weird color names (salad dark, salad medium, salad light...). I still have two more cross stitch gifts I need to finish before the end of August!