Sunday, October 28, 2012

Halloween at the Mall

Bloomington's mall hosts a Safe Trick or Treat sponsored by WTIU (the PBS station here) where children can go to the various stores and get candy, stickers, or other treats.  It's also just about the only place children around here can wear their costumes without coats and mittens!

Benjamin wanted to be a bat.  A black bat.  A blackest, blackest, black bat.  Since I was making his bat wings, I had tried to encourage him to choose a sparkly black fabric so that it would increase his visibility for Trick or Treating (our neighborhood does it at night), but he wasn't going to have it.  So I made a simple black cape out of fleece fabric so that I didn't have to worry about hemming and made it a little large so that it can be used in play for years to come.

Miriam wanted to be a whale, but I just couldn't wrap my head around how to create a whale costume! However, she's pretty easy to sway to an easier costume, as long as it involves a dress and glitter.  So, I put together this tutu for her.  She couldn't wait for me to finish it, so when I'm not so exhausted one night after bedtime, I'll add some more tulle strips to make it fuller.  The butterfly wings are from last year's Halloween when she was too little to walk our route and I put her in a back carry in our Boba 3G.  When I asked her what she was, she said, "I'm a butterfly! I'm a princess! I'm a Miriam!"

As I mentioned above, WTIU was a sponsor for the Safe Trick or Treating.  Super Why and Princess Pea were there!  Benjamin was so afraid of them that he disappeared behind my back, and if I hadn't felt the death grip of a 3 year old on my pants legs, I probably would have thought I lost him!  Miriam, however, was so excited to meet a princess!!

We had to tear her away.  You could tell Princess Pea was starting to get a little uncomfortable. ;-)

Monday, October 22, 2012

How Tall Are We?

I've always loved the idea of marking the height of our growing children on the walls in our home.  However, we move and expect to move a lot, and I don't think I could bear to leave the marks on the wall behind.

I saw a suggestion to use an old plank of wood to hang on the wall and mark heights onto that.  Then, when you leave that home, you can take the plank of wood with you.  I thought it was a beautiful idea!

However, I generally don't have old wood laying around, and I don't have a saw to easy cut through a tossed aside piece of wood.  So searching the internet, I found people who sold pre-marked wooden growth charts for, on average, $75...a bit above my available budget.

So yesterday, I took the bull by the horns, packed the kids in the van, and headed to Lowes.  They have pre-cut wood, you know.  And wood stain to make the wood look weathered and worn.  And hangers. I knew all this, but for some reason I thought it would be a lot more expensive than it was.  As it turned out, the wood, the stain, and the hangers, as well as vinyl numbers and a foam brush, cost less than $25.

This is a 1x6x6 pinewood board stained with one coat of Rustoleum's Provincial stain (don't skimp on the wood - this is a "hang in your house until you die" type of piece, beautiful wood matters).  I marked out the dashes with permanent marker for every inch, making the 6" and 12" marks longer.  I carefully cut out the black 2" vinyl numbers (they came on a white background) and stuck them on.  Then I hung the board 6" off the ground (the marks go from 6" to 6'6" - hoping Benjamin doesn't end up a giant!).

The children's heights are marked in colored permanent marker.  I can go back to their medical records and pull their heights to mark on the board.  And this board can go with us wherever we live!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Benjamin's new hat

Benjamin is such a gracious recipient of my knitting.  So when I finished Miriam's hat, and he asked me to knit one for him, I couldn't really say no.  The only problem was that I hadn't planned on making a new hat for him, so I wasn't very inspired with the patterns I was finding.

So I opened up my boxes of yarn for him to search through.  As long as it was blue, he was okay with the choices.  In fact, he did express this blue tweed yarn to be his favorite option, and it just happened to be a yarn that I made a hat out of 2 years ago.

Then I found 4 patterns for him to choose from, and he, of course, chose the exact hat I made from the same yarn.  Unfortunately, that hat is now too small for him, so I did need to reknit the hat.

I'm sure he doesn't remember that he had an identical hat, but I know he currently loves his new hat!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Time for new hats

Miriam's winter hat from last year met an unfortunate demise in an incident involving a hungry cat.  We don't talk about it much.

Her new hat had a rough start.  I first cast on with a green yarn, but then realized it would just make her look jaundiced, so I ripped it out.  I decided to use a natural colored yarn and figure out a color later, since I could also dye a natural yarn.  This yarn is a natural oatmeal color, and while knitting, I was really disappointed with it.

Until it was done!  Now I absolutely love it, and she does as well!

Unfortunately, it's now 80ºF outside, and no one really needs a hat just yet...

Monday, October 8, 2012

I guess they were hungry...

A little over a week ago, we discovered that Miriam is allergic to soy.  Soy tends to find it's way into every processed or pre-made food you can buy at the grocery store.  So, I make our own sandwich bread now.

I made this loaf before I went to bed last night and let it cool on the counter.  It was still there in the morning, and then I turned my back.

They couldn't keep their teeth off of it while I tried to scramble to put it away.