Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas 2010

Oh December, you came and went so quickly. You are a blur.

The beginning of the month was hectic with work (me) and scrambling to get in the holiday spirit. I didn't think I'd be able to pull it all off, but looking back I fared well. My only setback was extreme tension in my neck which cause severe pain and stiffness for 5 days.

We started the the holiday festivities by celebrating with all the Nesbitt's. We wrapped gifts for our Adopt-A-Family then played the annual Nesbitt dice game. Six boys ages 1, 18 mos, 22 mos, 3 1/2, 6 and 9 caused most of the chaos and entertainment. It was a memorable time.

The day before we had a blizzard in Minnesota. Christos, Me, CT, Thea Mags and the pups all ventured out in the Subie to drive to Big Lake for a photo shoot for holiday pictures. It was an adventure. We made it there and back safely. The pictures were worth it!

Every year growing up all the Nesbitt's would meet downtown for dinner at Cafe de Napoli. After we'd all go to the 8th Floor auditorium at Dayton's. Times have changed. The Nesbitt clan has grown so large over the years that it's become complicated getting everyone together to carry on the tradition. So our immediate family has started a tradition of our own. This year we walked through the 8th floor auditorium at Macy's (A day in the life of an Elf.) After we enjoyed dinner at a local restaurant and following we watched the Holidazzle parade from our heat seats. Despite CT being under the weather that weekend, he had a lot of fun running free in the skyways with his cousins. It was fun.

Christmas was low-key. With our families being close we didn't have to travel far. We spent time with each of them celebrating the holiday. CT received many new fun toys to learn and explore with. On the evening we celebrated with his cousins, he was very interested in what they were doing and opening. When Christos received golf balls from his parents, they were an immediate distraction for CT. He ignored his remaining unopened gifts and played with the balls for a long time. It was a very lovely white Christmas filled with magic and love. And although our tree was up, it was never decorated with ornaments. That didn't matter though. We were together and happy and we made new memories.

CT surprises us every day. He laughs at us, with us and at himself. He is SO much fun right now. Our ability to communicate is getting better each day. Although he is still only saying a few words (Mama, Dada, More and animal sounds), he fully understands what we are saying to him. The other night we were visiting some friends when he filled his pants. We asked him if he had gone poo and without hesitation he retrieved his changing pad from his diaper bag and proceeded to lay down on the floor in preparation to be changed. Christos and I looked at one another in awe. As every day passes, he becomes less and less of a dependent baby and more of a little boy. I'm reminded of this each night when I put him to bed. I cradle him in my arms and sing to him. He is getting so heavy and awkward to hold. I know the days are limited that this nightly ritual will be able to continue, so I try to soak up every second of it.

He is still so tall and skinny. Despite how heavy he seems when I'm holding him. I suppose all the winter layers make him heavier. His 18 month check-up was this morning and his stats are always so fun to hear. He stands 33 1/2 inches tall. That puts in him the 75th percentile for his age group. This comes as no surprise. He can now grab things off the counter and table. A new level of child-proofing has just taken effect in our home. He's also able to pull himself up on the kitchen table chair. He and Drew played cars at the table one evening. CT was so proud of himself playing like a big boy.

He's grown out of 12 month pants, it's mostly because of his length although his belly is slowly filling out. He weighed in at 23 lbs this morning. I thought for sure he was up to 25 lbs. He feels heavier than that to me. This puts him in the 10th percentile for weight.

He is a good eater and sleeper. He'll try pretty much anything we offer him. His still prefers fruit and I've learned that I have to wait until the end of the meal to put it on his plate or it will be all that he eats. He's sleeping most nights from 7:30 p.m. until 6:30 a.m. And on most days taking two good naps totaling anywhere from 2-4 hours.

Teeth Count: Still holding at 8, but his pediatrician could see his upper molars are close to the surface and I felt one of them tonight.

We are excited for what 2011 holds. It's bound to be a year full of growing, learning and making memories. We're ready!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Crafty Much?

I like to keep my hands busy every now and again with a fun craft project. I started sewing at a young age, much credit to the help of my mom. I've sewn the likes of a variety of items; my prom dress, Halloween costumes, curtains, multiple baby gifts and nursery items. I wouldn't exactly call my craft perfect. It's always a work in progress. While yelling at my sewing machine, there is always a lesson to be learned for next time. I daydream about finding a niche with one of my creations and selling it to the masses. But let's be real, sewers are a dime a dozen these days. Have you seen Etsy?!?! For now, I enjoy seeing a finished product, even with it's flaws. Even more so, I LOVE seeing the reaction of the recipients of my gifts.

As CT neared one year old I grew eager to get my hands busy with something new. My dear friend Molly told me about the book One Yard Wonders. My mom got it for my birthday and I quickly marked all the pages of the things I wanted to make.

A few baby showers were on the horizon, so I picked out a couple things that I thought the mothers-to-be would enjoy. I'll preface this by saying that these two items were completely out of my range of sewing projects. I usually steer clear of intricate detailed work. I can hardly sew a straight line, let alone masterfully assemble a tiny bird.

The first project to tackle was the bird mobile from OYW. We knew cousin Jenny was (is still) pregnant with a little girl (Olive, although that won't be her real name when she enters the world in January). I excitedly picked out fun, bright colored fabric. Since I didn't plan on documenting this project, I don't have step-by-step photos of it. I will say it was one of the more challenging sewing projects that I've attempted. But, the finished product was adorable!! I don't plan on making another, but that makes it even more special and one-of-a-kind for Jenny, Dan and baby Olive. I hope she loves it!

The second project that I marked in the book was Elodie the Elephant. I decided to make it for our friends Becca and Erik's baby girl who will be arriving very soon. Becca mentioned that she didn't want to go the traditional route for decorating the nursery. So I knew I could pick a non-baby themed fabric and have fun playing with different colors and fabric.

This is what I ended up with.

Elodie was fun to make. Sewing the head on the body was very challenging and I had to go back over it sewing by hand a few times to make sure it was secure. Sewing the ears on were the final step, and it certainly made the whole elephant come together. I'm happy with it. If an opportunity presents itself to make another Elodie the Elephant, I will probably try it again. Although, there are still plenty of other fun patterns to try in the book.

Over Thanksgiving, I packed my sewing supplies away to make room for the holiday festivities. Meaning, I transferred them from the kitchen table where I do all my sewing, back upstairs to my sewing table in the guest bedroom. I wasn't ready to start something new over the holiday and I wanted to keep my kitchen table relatively project free for a while. That didn't last long once I read Jill at Baby Rabies post about making a Felt Pomp Wreath, I thought, "I can totally do that." It doesn't require hauling out my sewing machine and it looks like a big impact with little effort.

True to my nature, it took me a few trips to the fabric store and Michael's to get all the supplies needed to make the wreath. I always either forget something or don't get enough of another. I really wanted to find the sparkle felt that Jill used, alas Hancock did not have it. And I wasn't going to trek to the other side of town to go to JoAnn's. I'd come this far, I was going to get it done this week if it killed me.

Cutting out the 4x4 inch squares wasn't as smooth as Jill made it sound. Mostly because I don't have a "bitch-ass" (as Jill refers to it) rotary tool. Once the felt squares were cut out, I started working my way around the wreath pomping close together. Only burning my fingers with hot glue a handful of times. I think I pomped the first row too closely because I only had enough felt for 3 rows, unlike the 4 rows that Jill suggested. Anyway, I'm fairly satisfied with how it turned out. I will likely make it again for another holiday or for a gift. I'll know what worked best and what to do differently the second time around.

Since we live in the frozen tundra, my pretty new felt wreath would get slammed with snow if it were hung on our front door. So I'm currently scoping spots to hang it inside with the rest of my Christmas decorations.