Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

A good morning was had by all. We did our normal routine of getting up at 6 and feeding Declan breakfast. Then Daniel got up and started the cinnamon rolls and we all migrated into the living room for presents. It was mostly about Declan this year, but of course, he's too little to understand anything. Next year will be lots of fun, I think. But he still had fun playing with ours and his presents.

"Yay, it's morning and Mommy and Daddy are playing with me!"

"They tried to make me wear a Santa hat, but I think it's more fun to pull it off and eat it."

"Here, Daddy, open this one next."

"Well, if you won't open it, I'll just go ahead and eat it."

"Oooh, a present for me? You mean I can tear this paper all up, and you're happy about it? Okay."

"Yay! My very own keyboard to play with, since Mommy and Daddy don't let me pound on theirs. They say it's wireless, whatever that means. I heard Mommy say to Daddy last night to cut the cord off."

"Yes, I know I loved the elephant when I saw it in the store, but there's a KEYBOARD here, Mommy and Daddy. Priorities!"

"This is a great Christmas. What's Christmas again?"

Sleeping Like A Baby

Is there anything more peaceful looking in the world?

Ah Christmas Vacation

I'm a couple days late on this. Started my Christmas vacation on Wednesday by doing some shopping and seeing Avatar in 3D while Daniel watched the little guy for me.

I loved Avatar! It was visually stunning and had a good story, too. I'd want to go back and watch it in the theatre again if it weren't for the fact that we have the little guy to watch and I don't want to saddle Daniel with him too much while I'm on vacation. It's his vacation time too.

With those computer graphics, they have GOT to make the Dragonriders of Pern soon. I'd so love to see that.

Also did some yardwork to try and improve the mess that is our front yard. And did a little bit of last minute Christmas shopping, mainly for stocking stuffers.

I guess I'm in an organizational / cleaning up mood lately, too. I took one look at my pantry on Wed night and decided it must be cleaned up right then. Well, as soon as little guy went to bed. Took everything out, cleaned the shelves, put the stuff we wouldn't eat aside for the food bank, threw out all the expired food (and there was too much of that), then put stuff back. Even went out to Walmart 2 days before Christmas (shudder) for bins and containers for the pantry. But now it looks great!

I even decorated my house for Christmas, going beyond just putting up a tree! This is a big deal for me. Usually I have no decorations except for maybe a couple of stiped candles.

But this year, Lowe's was selling their live greenery for $1 each when I went to pick up some yard materials, so I got a bunch of garland to put in the window sill. I added lights and silk roses. Are the roses overkill? I could have done candles, but hate to with the little guy around. And the cats, but they pretty much avoided the garland.

I also got some greenery for the coffee table. I like how this turned out.

And here's what I was working on for several weeks, after little guy went to bed. I found the letters, decorated them, hung them up, and found lots of cute stuff in silver and red for the mantelpiece. I even have family pictures of us there.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Pictures

So yesterday, we got professional pictures taken of the little guy, and we even included a family picture. I was afraid the outfit I'd gotten him would be too big, but it fit him just fine. The photographer suggested that we take his socks off, so he'd be barefoot and it makes it look much better. He just would not smile though. He acted like he was sitting for a formal portrait and Must Not Smile! We kept playing with him, and eventually a little smile peeked through.

See if you like the little guy's pictures as much as I do.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

My funniest video of the little guy thus far

We have a new game we've been playing with Declan for a couple weeks now. It started off with rubbing his tummy while he was making noise, and it evolved into what you see now. I laugh every single time we do it, and he seems happy enough to let us keep doing it to him, so I guess he likes it too.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

He's Learning and Growing

Last week, Declan learned to clap. He'd been able to bang two blocks together, but he didn't get the concept of clapping his empty hands together. We'd clap, and he'd wave his hands up and down, but not toward each other. Last week, he finally started clapping, and now he does it all the time. We encourage him a lot, too. :)

I think he's also starting to work on pulling up. Last night, I was practicing his standing up. He's really good at standing up on his own, as long as you provide the balance for him. Last night, I'd put out my hands and he'd sort of reach out to grab them, then he made a motion like he sort of wanted to stand up. So I'd lift him up a little bit, and as soon as he felt me start to lift him up, he'd work on standing up and getting his legs under him. I really think he could skip crawling, or at least, he's not going to be crawling for long if he does.

I have to brag on him a little bit, too. He's such a good sleeper now. I feed him his bedtime bottle around 7-7:30, then he immediately wants to go to his crib. No cuddling for him right now. I put him down, give him his bunny, turn on the lullabies and walk out the door. He usually doesn't even fuss, but immediately falls asleep. Then he sleeps through until 5:30 am.

I'll get up at 5:30, too, even though I'm not really thrilled about it. But I let him play in his crib until 6, while I'm getting his breakfast and my coffee ready. Right around 6, he starts fussing that he's ready to get up, so we go start his day.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

More Pictures. Just Because

I'm trying my best to organize my videos and pictures, while at the same time, making Christmas cookies, getting presents ready, teaching Declan to nap in his crib instead of his swing, and trying not to fall asleep.

So anyway, here are some of the latest pictures of my growing baby boy. Ignore the drool and the rash around the mouth. He's cutting his two front top teeth and the drool factor has turned up by 100.

I got him some new, footed pajamas for winter time (such as it is in Houston). Now he can't pull his socks off at night.

Standing in line at Bass Pro to see Santa.

Daniel snapped this one. Hopefully, next year he'll be happier about the prospect of seeing Santa. :)

His picture with Santa.

He's 8 months old now!

"Hey, want an orange? They're delicious."

New Video: Declan Rolling Around

Rolling is his major (only) means of locomotion right now. Why bother learning to crawl when rolling gets you anywhere you want to be. Of course, there are some minor issues like rolling into the couch, but a quick 12-point turn can take care of that.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Before and After - A Picture Frame Reborn

I've been inspired by crafty blogs lately, so when I spotted this hideous framed picture for $3, I decided to pick it up. I forgot to take a total before picture, showing the original painting, but it was black with some sort of gaudy, gold painting and words on it. Ugly. And the frame was an icky, ugly, chipped gold.

A few coats of Heirloom White, and a scrap of fabric taped around the original picture, and I have a new piece of art for the baby's room. It's over the changing table right now.

Baby Yoga Pants - A Tutorial With Pictures

I like dressing Declan in sweat pants because they seem to be the most comfy and easy to get on and off. But considering he goes through about 2 pairs a day, he needs more. I'm also cheap and hate spending $7 at Target, and I couldn't find what I wanted at a thrift store. So I decided to make my own.

I found a nice sweats fabric in the remnant bin at Hancock Fabrics. I got a half yard, and it's enough to make a couple pairs, but so far, I've just done one.

Cut out the two pieces from a template that I made from an old pair of pants.

Sew a 5/8" seam along the inseam. I forgot to take a picture of that part. It's the long leg seam.

Press the seams open.

Invert one leg and slide it inside the other one so that the right sides are together.

Pin the front and back seams together, matching at the existing crotch seam. Sew a 5/8" seam.

Press that seam open.

Do a quick test fitting on your model. Mine was fairly willing to model at the time. The waist is a little small, but it'll do. Next pair, I'll add some to the waist measurement.

Cut a piece of 1/2" elastic that is a little bigger than the waistband.

Using a seam guide, turn the waistband down 1" to the inside. Pin.

Sew a seam about 1/4" from the bottom edge of the waistband casing. I went back over it with a zig zag seam and cut a couple of snips in the original straight seam, because it didn't seem to have enough give. Make sure to leave a 1" - 1.5" opening in the casing to thread your elastic.

Fold one end of the elastic over and thread onto a safety pin.

Using the safety pin, thread the elastic through the waistband casing.

Sew the elastic together, giving your waistband whatever stretchiness you need. Hand sew the casing closed.

Turn inside out. I added a row of decorative stitching, just for the heck of it.

Dress baby in new warm sweat pants. I purposely let the legs be a little long so they cover his feet. He's not crawling or walking yet, and if I need to, I can tack them up.

Not the most professional dressmaking job ever, but he's only going to wear them around the house, and they'll likely be covered in bananas, cereal, crackers, and all sorts of other stuff.

Monday, November 30, 2009

More Teeth!!

Today Declan has been super super cranky and upset. Daniel said that the baby was crying and screaming the entire day unless he was asleep or eating his bottle.

Well, tonight I was feeling in his mouth, and I finally felt a little tiny point on his upper gum! I checked his baby book and he got his bottom teeth starting on August 27. It's been three months since then. I was beginning to think his upper teeth would never come in.

He's been drooling a lot and had a bit of a rash around his mouth, but he's always drooling, and we've been saying for 2 months that "maybe he's teething" every time he's cranky.

I'm just so happy that he finally has his upper two teeth coming in!

Scary and Depressing Story

I just deleted this entire post. It was on something depressing and I felt the need to say something. But having said it once, I no longer felt the need to keep something this depressing on my blog. So...Delete.

Did you have fun shopping?

I did all my shopping online, at Amazon. I love that store. You can find anything there. I decided that I needed a better camera, because I wanted to blow up a picture I had taken to poster size, and at the best resolution from my camera, the store still wouldn't print it. Okay, so time to upgrade my 5 MP camera. Found a nice one on Amazon; it's a 12.1 MP Canon. I was happy with my old Canon, so I just decided I stick with the same brand. Makes it much easier to shop when you eliminate 90% of the field right away. I should have my new camera soon! Of course, it won't help me be able to make a print of my pictures I've already taken, but I guess that just gives me a good excuse to go somewhere and take more pretty pictures.

I got a good deal on a cherry-wood, large picture frame (with the picture) last week on the Swap Shop. I don't care about the picture inside, but the frame is nice, and that's what I bought. Unfortunately, it's going to take longer than I anticipated to get a picture to put inside the frame. Not just waiting for the camera; I have to wait for my next vacation.

Yesterday, we made a foray to Ikea so that I could look at the storage/shelving units there and figure out what I needed to replace the old shelving in my garage. Of course, that's after fixing the front yard, on the priority list. That reminds me, I need to call and find out how much delivered mulch will run.

We played with the little guy near all the big stuffed animals and put each one up to him to see which was his favorite. Turned out to be the big elephant, so we came home with it. It'll sit under the Christmas tree for him. He might manage to roll his way over there this month, but if so, that's okay. Christmas isn't a big deal for him this year.

Friday, November 27, 2009

More Random Baby Pictures

Because I love pictures of my baby. I don't need any other reasons.

Rubber Ducky. He outgrew his baby bathtub in the sink and was getting the kitchen soaked by splashing. so I found this. It smells all plastic-y, and I'm sure it's not good for the environment, but I fell prey to the awesome rubber-ducky cuteness.

Baby Football. Easy way to cart the baby around.

Block Contemplation. He's just starting to grasp the concept that he can knock down the tower of blocks that we build.

Bath Time is Happy Fun Time.

New Pajamas. I finally bought him a new set of matching pajamas.

Baby Toys. Why bother buying a baby presents when he's perfectly content for 30 minutes to chew on his sock and play with a can of evaporated milk?

Da Bears!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Fun With Blocks

Last night, Declan finally got the hang of knocking down the block towers I was building. We'd been playing blocks for several days now, and he'd knock them down, but it was more of an accident. He would reach out for the tower and it would fall.

Last night, he actually swatted at the towers to make them fall. He didn't have emotions about it, like giggling. But he's figuring it out.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Memories of Summer

Well, fall, technically. I don't think I posted these after I got back from my parents' house in Illinois in October. I went out one morning to take some pictures around their house. Wish I could still live around there. *sigh*

Hrm, think I might print one out and frame it to bring to work and have something pretty to look at. Which one would be best?

Morning dew:


Country Lane:

Fields in the river bottom:

A splash of red:

Sentinel tree: